Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me.

It's been an interesting few decades. But I must say the last one has been the best. I share my life with the Adored One, and now with the dogs. I've returned to creating (crafts) instead of just getting by (working & worrying). The jagged edges of loss have been buffed off slightly, they're still there but no longer catch on every loose thread. For most of my life I've been the Strong one. Everyone always compliments me on my Strength. Now I think I'll turn a new page, I'd like to be known for being funny, feminine, loving.

Strong and capable is all very well, a nice foundation indeed. When disaster befalls my friends, they know I have loyalty and strength enough. As such, I've heard everyone's stories.

Now I'd like to be invited to the parties, shopping trips, lunches, and BBQs too. I'd like to reach the end of a tube of lipstick before it goes bad. Buy a coral coloured bra/panty set. Figure out what the blazes women are carrying in those handbags. I'd like to roast marshmallows instead of snatching life out of the fire.

This isn't about not achieving. It isn't about giving up. It's not about money, or time, or work. It's about handling all my experiences with love, joy, and ease.

Here's to another great year.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Spinning wheels, but still going places.

This is my third thing on the wheel. Progress is being made. It started life as the free cream roving that came with my B-E-A-utiful Kromnski Sonata wheel. I hot pour dyed it, split it down for pre-drafting and started treadling. I live with an active fantasy life that involves being able to spin sock yarn, knit socks, wear socks, resist being able to tell people - lookie, socks! Perhaps someday.

I'm actually still trying to figure out what flipped the switch from NO-Spin to Spin. I had the opportunity to go to Rhinebeck and didn't because it was mostly spinning stuff, NO INTEREST IN SPINNING STUFF, to the current obsession with SPINNING STUFF. Weird, eh?


Traditionally I am a Wallflower. Seems odd to say given that I essentially meet new people for a living, but I've always been more interested in hearing Their story than telling my own. Consequently, as part of the Master Plan, I was considering dropping the blog. After all, I'm blessed with a really boring life. This IS a good thing, the early decades were too exciting. And being a private person I'm not inclined to hang out my laundry, nor would I hang out the laundry of others. And the vast enjoyment I receive from Blogs is in the reading of others.

However, during my morning walk I was struck by the essay on Sticks and String. If you haven't listened to David's podcast you really should subscribe. He's lucid and erudite, yet very human and warm. What I really took away from the essay this week was that it's important to continue to contribute. Even if I go to the party and don't dance, the party is different because I came. And I get something different from the experience if I participate than if I stay home listening to audiobooks. So let me encourage you to come to the party too. If you're not willing to get out there and dance, you are free to sit with me and I'll listen to your story.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Part of the Master Plan

The Adored One and I were doing our review of the Master Plan and I was considering pictures of my Stash. Yes, I have pictures (digital) of my stash. I can't travel with it, but it helps to be able to pull up a photo and see how much, what kind, etc. I was thinking about the abundance in my life. People, things, goals, dreams, projects without enough hours in the day.

And lo and behold, what do I find...Stash 2007. Destiny. So please, join in. And I REALLY like rule#3.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I have been seduced away from knitting these last few weeks by the siren call of Spinning. Yes I suck at it, yes I'm spending time making useless ropey knotted stuff. No, it's not stressful and I have no plans to stop.

I have finished some objects but they are gifts and must go in Secret until 2007. I am also test-knitting a pattern by Carol Wood. Fabulous! I still chuckle at the thought of me as a test knitter though.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

New Dyeing.

For the Adored One. Because after all nothing says love like hand knit socks.

The Hues are not quite what I planned. They came out a little Middle Earth-y for me, but he will like them.

They're just blue enough for jeans, and not just plain solid colours, but plain enough for him. The Chestnut brown is really quite lovely.

And with the left over yardage I think I'll put toes and heels into a pair of solid colour socks for me.

Every so often...

those wacky quizzes are on target. Snapdragons are my favourite flowers.

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

Friday, November 24, 2006

A little Snuggle to ward off chills.

I do actually finish things. It's a snuggly little top down capelet. I used esperanza in an unnamed colourway. It took one skein with about 2.5 inches of yarn left. It worked up quickly utilizing 2.5 hours at the new Bond movie, some odd moments during 4 lunches, and one relaxed evening. Admittedly there were points in the movie when I was not knitting, being engaged in eating, drinking, cringeing, and emphatically "Not Looking".

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stitches East Black Bunny Harvest

Look at my delicious fingerless gloves. In Carol's Harvest wool and nylon yarn and the Natalya pattern. It was a simple easy pattern although there are no instructions for the pinky finger. They are snuggly and still let me knit.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I love myself but....

Life is good. We're doing okay and have even been known to P--S money away on "like to haves, not need to haves".

However, not being fashionably inclined nor subject to whims of design I tend to knit items that will still be in style when I get around to finishing the project. I admit it...I don't let fashion magazines make me feel inferior because I don't follow the trends, I ask myself "where would I wear this?" in stores, I don't wear something that looks bad on me (intentionally) because it's the rage (forget Flashdance - it was the eighties), I actually don't have a blowdryer. So when I saw this darling pattern Pimlico Shrug, I thought, yeah, I'd wear that. I'd even wear it years from now. So I turned to the requirements.

If there are delicate ears nearby you may wish to shoo them away. It takes 14 - not a typo - 14, ten plus four, one less than fifteen - fourteen skeins of Koigu. Yeah, Ri-i-ght. So that shrug that I would sling over furniture, toss over sweats, catch on door handles, cram into the carry on would be $168.00 (let's see, hourly wage minus taxes, divided into 168 equals how many hours of my life in trade before I even cast on a stitch?).

I wouldn't spend that on sweater in Barneys. I couldn't enjoy a sweater that cost that much. Can't you see it..."Hey Elysbeth, nice sweater." "Yeah, sure, look could you and your wineglass back away carefully?"

It's not the yarn...I love Koigu. I mean it's practically a mantra, Koigu, om shanti shanti, Koigu.
It's a great wearable pattern. Go check it out. Very cute right?
Yes yarn substitutes are available, but if you're going to pay for 1456 metres of sleekly spun merino that will wear nicely you are going to pay close to Koigu prices. (oh, the agony of the complicated sweater that pilled and fuzzed in cheap yarn)

The Adored One summed it up nicely..."Honey, I think this might be about you, not the yarn."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ze Black Hole of Knitting

I swear by all that is holy I am knitting diligently, if not monogamously, on the Black bunny Feather and Fan. I am up to row 80, so could some kind soul please explain why it's not getting bigger? Or send a bottle of Chambord.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

So, now that the package has been received I can post the photo....
Anniversary socks for the Adored One! Now, I plan to log off before I have to explain why so little else has been finished.

Some local colour

Tucked away in the center of New York State.

If you zoom in at the bottom of the falls you can see the itty bitty people.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Stitches part Deux

The rest of my Stitches Score...not including some excellent British Pub Food, some groceries at Whole Foods, a terrific back massager, and a smack-tabulous pint that I sipped not guzzled.

The bumper sticker is from Pearls KnitWits.

I don't know why the pattern photos are sideways. Oh well, it happens.
I figured patterns were easier to Stash than yarn. Cheaper too. Okay, except maybe the one from Windy Valley. It was 'spensive. But they had the sample there, and well, you know the power and lure of samples.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stitches East 2006

For you Stephanie Plum fans...look its the perfect food...TastyCakes

I picked up this B-E-A-utiful Satin Rose Shawl Pin, since Shawls feed the girly girly in me, but still allow me to be warm and practical. And lord knows, the girly part needs all the help it can get.

Then because of Lime n Violet (how about that last podcast?) I was nearly stampeded at the Lisa Souza booth. Still, after intense navigation while hopping on one foot; and the use of a couple of stragetically placed elbows I picked up some Petal in GingerPeach. I think it'll become a Shawl, that can go with my shawl pin.

For those watching the Black Bunny Hop I scored some Harvest that will become Mitts.

There will be more to follow.....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

On a lighter note: I am apparently Mohair

Okay, just for fun; what kind of yarn are you?

You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.
Take this quiz!

From Quizilla

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Two Aspirin Please

Oy Gevalt! do I have a yarn hangover. I drove to mecca Interlaken NewYork; home of the Schaefer Yarn Company where the gracious and funny Cheryl gave me her time and a tour.

My flabber was gasted. I spent a large chunk of the year 5767 allowance, seen below. The haul includes Esperanza, lambswool and alpaca bulky 3 st/in and Lola superwash which is a bulkier weight sock yarn. (Lola - 5 st/in; Anne - 7-8 st/in)

I would have spent more but was rescued by the fact that Anne is not only my favourite yarn on earth, but also beloved by many other wise people.

And of course, this little skein of Andrea silk will become pattern #283 Andrea Beaded Diamonds Shawl by Catherine Devine.

I was allowed to fondle, squeeze, and yes, smell, to my hearts content. (Picture a cat with catnip). I did excercise enough restraint to refrain from putting a big pile on the floor and rolling in it.

I met the real Danya which was also the name of my best friend in High School.

I previewed the NEW yarn that they are releasing. Martha. It's a light worsted weight with Cashmere. Sigh. Amazing yardage. Don't quote me but I seem to remember 700-720? yards. Yes, enough for a cashmere enhanced Clapotis. Full stole sized and without ends to weave in. In those luscious colourways.

We had a fun conversation about the Memorable Women and how people become attached to the idea of the person rather than the yarn. (Woe unto the person who cancels a favourite). She talked about how they got started, how it's grown, and where they're headed. Absolutely fascinating. Very lucidly expressed. She even shared some dyeing hints and tips, with visual aids. See Piggy in wool and then in Silk, or even in the above photos - the Lola and Anne are the same dyelots but different yarns.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I need to go lie down.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Just Sayin'

Admiring my Bunny Hop yarn so much I had to post it's photo again.

A word to open hearted and generous knitters out there...the gift giving season is approaching. Time to start gift knitting. Let me share this parable.......

Once, while in the wilds of Alaska, I decided to knit a sweater for my best friend (best friend that is NOT the Adored One); and chose a long sleeve sweater pattern. Next came yarn, (this was pre-easy internet yarn). So my choices were inexpensive yarn or higher priced yarn. After much pondering I went with the lesser price.

++++++++Camera Angle cuts to the red CLUE phone ringing in the corner.++++

Why the lesser price? Not because I couldn't "afford" the nicer yarn. But, because, my friend is somewhat plebian and honestly wouldn't appreciate $90 in Nice yarn, or even $45 in nice yarn, any more than she would appreciate the $21 I ultimately spent.

++++++++++CLUE phone ringing+++++++++++

The moral is: if they won't appreciate the WORK enough to justify nicer materials, go to TJs or Marshalls and buy them a sweater, save your tendons and Time for yourself or someone (like me or the Adored One or numerous charities) who Will.

Just Sayin'

Sunday, October 15, 2006

We who are about to Dye salute you!

First Official dyeing dried and swatched. As always the colours are not as good in photo. They are less pink, more autumnal in real life. I am thinking a Clapotis. But it will sit on the shelf for a while as I finish other WIPs. The base yarn was
Bare dyed with Jacquard Acid Dyes. Yum!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The knitting jinx has lifted! (don't say that out loud)

I put down the $$#%%** Fair Isle and started a different sweater for the Adored One. It's from Knitpicks Shamrock in Doyle. It's interesting how the colours pooled differently in the rib than the sleeve. I hope it doesn't continue this into the body or I shall be forced to change from Seamless to Seamed. Pbbt!
And for those of you who have seen "Something about Mary" these are SLEEVES not a bra for the old lady.

I'm now up to row 50 of the Feather and Fan. It started with 8 stitches, was 160 at row 30, is currently 258 on row 50. Time to put it down for a while and work on the other WIPs.

The fabulous Lynne from the LYS is having a sock class in November so I plan to treat myself to that class. (Having been classless all these 25+ years.) And I am going to NYC next Saturday, and hope to peek at a couple of stores while touring other major tourist sites. Although, lets face it...Koigu versus the FlatIron Building? Right. Union Square vs the elusive turkey bacon from the 59,000 square foot Whole Foods market? Yeah Right. I make a terrible tourist. Locations of mass death depress me, locations of Architectural Splendor crammed with hordes of hurrying people overwhelm me, my idea of heaven is my back patio on a fine day with the Adored One and the Puppies, a project, a book and a pitcher of Wild Blackberry with Sage Decaf. Sigh. Brigette from work and I plan to return to NYC Dec 2 to see the window displays. The thought of all those people fills me with trepidation. Should be fun anyway.

And how about the Yarn Harlot getting Married?!? Wow! Mazel Tov!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tink Tink Tink, Frog Frog Frog...Cha Cha Cha?

I am alive only because Jung and Michelle in NE bought me a groovy yarn cutter. Thereby meaning I did not pack my scissors, thereby meaning I had nothing Sharp with which To End My Life after I knit two Beeeeyoooottuiful Fair Isle Patterned Lopi Sleeves...sat back to admire the beauty and realised that I had knit one whole pattern (at the ##$%%$$## cuff) in the Wrong Colour. Was it noticable? Apparently not during the knitting, but blatantly obvious to all observers.

Perhaps the Adored One would like something from a tool catalogue for our Anniversary instead?

Friday, September 22, 2006

May you be inscribed in the book of life.

It's time for a new year. 5767 to be precise. And as I enter the "Days of Awe" I find myself considering what I need to do to make this next year a good one. On a material note I have allotted a strict sum for yarn aquistion. On a personal note, that's a tougher one to sort out. It's tradition during these ten days to ask for forgiveness not only for the sins I know I committed but also those committed unknowingly. And pondering the list I realised that most things I need forgiven for are little petty things. So I decided to make it a Mindful year. Pause before speaking, think before eating, tell my opinion to my car dash and not my co-worker; that type of thing.

May all of you have a sweet new year and, always, may you be inscribed in the book of life.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Black Bunny Project decided.

I decided to do Meg Swansen's Feather and Fan circle shawl from Gathering of Lace. Here's the first 30 rows. Look closely, I may never get any farther : )

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Black Bunny Hop A Long

I went out for my this-is-good-for-me walk and loe, in the post....the Bunny! Now I will have to fondle it for a while and consider what it shall be. And it's going to be for ME, ME, ME! (can you tell it's been a rough month?) This KAL is courtesy of
Knitty D and the City. A prime example of why mothers worry about who you spend your time with. The particulars of this unique yarn are....Summer Garden colour, laceweight wool, 2400 yds. So it will definitely be lace, and cheerful, and and and.....

Friday, September 15, 2006

Mea Culpa

Shelly my dear, I apologise for taking so long to post this. Your daughter is adorable and I miss you.

Everyone, let me present Shelly's hat for Katherine.She had actually finished it when I left, but this was earlier in the day. These hats point out how important gauge is. We had three women with identical yarns, identical needle sizes, identical patterns and mondo different gauges. One needed 75 stitches to get 22 inches, one needed 80 to get 23.5, and one needed 80 to get 18. A swatch lesson in there somewhere.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Epilogue - no knitting here either.

The Car Story…the Adored One read the blog and was offended by the content.  “We are not amused” and it sounded like the Royal We.  

Now, in my defense, I have had limited internet contact and so have not been able to exonerate him.  It all worked out in the end.  Very nicely I might add.

So step back in time with me to a balmy Saturday and a test drive.  Yup, I want this car.  Problem...he does too.  Lots of good reasons why he should have it. AAAGH!  So we go home to martial sorta harmony.  Car lots are closed in Wisconsin on Sundays.  Now he says he wants the car and he doesn’t feel guilty and he’s not backing down.  Okay.  That makes up that decision.  So, now, do I cut into my (yarn) household money and greedily buy a car too?  Or should I be wise and sensible and pinch through with what I have?  

I was NOT sensible and I, like the Adored One don’t feel guilty either.  I decided to go on a serious spending freeze and buy a New Car.  Yes, I know new cars are not good buys they lose value, yadda yadda yadda.  But it’s yummy.  It gets nice mileage for the amount of space involved – 3 rows of seats, drives like a car, hauls like a SUV.  It has in dash navigation, heated seats (perfect for that time of the month), DUAL climate control (Amen), and a sun roof.  Last years model, good price, right amount on the trade-ins.  Downside…it’s silver with a black interior.  The Adored One’s is Pueblo Gold with Pebble interior.  Sigh.  

So I spend 3 days accusing him of being a car thief.  (Have to milk while I can).  Then, the day we’re leaving for vacation he gets up early and switches the cars…Awww.  Because I really like the Gold one.  Isn’t that romantic?  Ironic too since one of the emails I received about the blog suggested that I let him get the car, and then load it early in the morning and drive to NY with it.   Only he’s very sanguine and had worked hard over the weekend to convince me to buy the car I bought, and had talked me into wanting to keep it.    So I told him that I need the cool Platinum color to smooth out my hot Sun energy.  (It was before caffiene)  

So, we both got cars.  And the navigation software is handy for finding (yarn stores) new job sites.  It especially helped during our disastrous vacation.  I do miss my tape deck though.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Blog post cop out

Still suffering from Internet withdrawal, but since I drove to Niagara Falls today I stopped for coffee and some free wi-fi. Unfortunately, the pressure to be witty and clever was too much for my brain so I will cop out with a non-knitting related post that features our Cairn terrier instead. Gotta love him.

Friday, September 08, 2006

No Internet, No Phone, Oh My!

Sorry about the lack of posting, but I find myself without phone or internet until the 15th. Funny how used to having it you get. Just like the microwave, never needed it until you got one.

Will tell y'all a little funny. To make a short story long....people complain about how many small businesses are closing within the first 5 years. Yet, how often have you gone into a yarn or quilt store the size of a 2 car garage and been there more than 20 minutes without anyone acknowledging your presence? How much energy would it take to at least give the chin nod, or a hello? I find that I do not want to spend money in these establishments. After all, as much as we like to say "Yarn is necessary to life" or "Fat Quarters aren't fattening, buy lots", the reality is these are little luxury items. If you are selling a luxury item, you should be nice to people. I have to be nice to people all day, so I expect it from others.

This was vividly demonstrated to me this week. On Wednesday I went into a high end quilt store, browsed for 34 minutes without acknowledgment, finally found something I really wanted, went to the cutting table where the clerk was telling a lady her tale of woe, stood for 8 minutes before the woman looked at me and asked "Did you want something?" I looked at her for a minute, looked at the 2 bolts in my hand, set them down and said "I don't think so." And left.

On Thursday, I went into a lovely little yarn store Alfred Knitting Studio in Alfred Station NY. Was greeted as I came in, asked what was on my needles, and then when the owner decided I was new to the store given the tour (naturals on the south wall, man-made on the north wall, notions to the west). Told when the open knit nights were and invited to come. So naturally I bought a $30 book for full price that I probably could have gotten at Amazon for $20 but I wanted her to succeed. The Universe works that way sometimes.

Hope everyone out there is healthy and well, will post in the future so please check back to find out what happened with the car - even if it isn't knitting news.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I apologise.

I don't know to whom I am apologising, I don't know what for, although in my lifetime I've both thought and said things to people that would account for the current VOODOO Doll treatment I am receiving. Whoever you are, - except maybe that girl in 7th grade - I am sorry.

Thank you.

Oh, alright - I'm sorry about 7th grade too.

Friday, August 25, 2006

*Bite, Chew* repeat pattern until end

Or in this case...NOT!
I have come to admit defeat on the Sea Silk. There is no way it will be enough yarn. Sob. Do I unravel it right now while disgusted with it and seek another pattern? Do I turn it into a TOAD (trashed object abandoned in disgust)*? Something in the middle? Sigh.

On a brighter note, there will be no blogging next week. VACATION! VACATION! Yay!

*courtesy of Wren Ross.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Sin of Envy - or how I almost became a widow.

Let me start by saying "Arrived Alive" and there's little Knitting in this post. I started off fueled by caffeine in an extremely cute Hello Kitty thermos (thank you Shelly). That got me through the nasty thunderstorm that followed me to DesMoine. So then it was popcorn (really Joan, I could have fed all the pigeons in Iowa) and the LimeNViolet Show. About Ankeny the salt from the popcorn (thank you Holly) started kicking in so I was forced to counteract it with, no not fruit, York Peppermint patties! (Thank you Andrea). Hit a Starbucks in Minneapolis - did I mention I got up REALLY early? (Thanks Gang) and the REI. Then back in the car. Bleah.

What does this have to do with Widowhood? Well, I am out with the Adored One on Saturday and I say "I'd like to look at cars with a few more comforts and some more Cargo Room." And a-lot-hoppin we go. Look at this that and the other. Nada. Finally we come upon the perfect Solution. Right car, right features, right price (slightly used), etc. LONG test drive, I drive out, Adored One drives back. I should have been suspicious then, he never wants to drive my car on a test drive.

Yada yada, dicker dicker...and my Husband has the new car! What in the fine fur of frogs? The astute among you will note that this does not solve the original problem that we car shopped for. So now, if I want to selfishly pick out a newer car for me we will go from NO car note to 2 car notes. AAARGH! I am not a widow because he was so excited about his new car that he did not enter the deep sleep necessary for a subtle smothering.

So, do I cut into my yarn money and get a different car also?

On a knitty note...I am fearing that the Sea Silk wrap is going to be short yardage. And I even test knitted it. Phooey. Perhaps I will unravel, steam, and make the One Skein Sea Silk Shawl from Lettuce Knits. It was first mentioned in the YarnHarlot post and when the shop was besieged with pattern requests the lovely young woman wrote it up. Whatdya think? Change the plan?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Clapotis progress

It's not much, it's not far but the colours are smoother than I thought.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The babies leave the nest. And I spend money.

Okay, the photo doesn't do it justice but Michelle has finished her hat too! And we went to a real LYS and they bought Louisa Harding Angora to make new hats, and they looked like they were having so much fun I bought yarn for Scribble lace. Good thing I'm leaving town, this could be bad for the UFO list. Especially since I don't want to Clapotis in 100+ heat, I still have to pack to move (hard to do when you need the stuff right until the last day) and I've tired of the Sea Silk wrap. Sigh.

Looking at that photo...don't look at it, it is really truly much cuter in person. The best photo is her wearing it but I wasn't sure how she feel being flashed on the web.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Fun Knitting Quote

From "The Ghost and Mrs. McClure" by Alice Kimberly
Page 167

"Apparently the (Knitters for Charity Club) had arrived at the church for their Saturday afternoon meeting to find the lot completely full. They were ready to kill - and a dozen pissed-off Presbyterian matrons armed with knitting needles can be as dangerous as your average weapon of mass destruction."

Friday, August 11, 2006

August UFO KAL update

Yay! Something from the list! It the Mason Dixon kimino modified to a cardigan but on 40 stitches this time. The yarn is Baby Teri. So a little softer and fluffier to the hand.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

There is rejoicing in Omaha!

Look how cute! Why a hat in August in 105 heat index? Because I did not knit it. This little dumpling is courtesy of Jung and it's her first project. She really took to this with ease, recalling some long set aside skills from youth and is currently mapping out Feather and Fan to make a stole for her Mother. Amazing.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

August UFO KAL

Okay, here's the list:

Baby Kimono - This must come first, I'm fixin to leave Omaha and the Co-worker.
Modular SeaSilk Wrap - Second because the vacation is in 20 days.
Buttonhole Bag - I'll only have a one week window of access to a washer.
Clapotis - Still increasing.
Side to Side Cardigan - One Sleeve, and well, okay that's all.

I think the Acountablity will help.

Looking at the title, I feel like a Civil Servant...all those 3 letter abbreviations.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

A little dichotomy Please

Yay! It's Finished. A warm and wooly reversible hat. Will have to wait for when it's not 99 degrees Farenheit to find the flaws though. The yarn did pool in interesting ways, but I can't see it when it's on, and the snow will hide most of it anyway.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Need help with Perspective Please

Well, I finally had a chance to cast on for my Clapotis. Wildflower DK Blue face by FleeceArtist. Yummy yarn. However, not loving how it looks. It seems...babyish? I don't know. So I thought that before I Frogged and turned the yarn into a Feather and Fan Stole I would post a photo and see what the consensus was. I admit to having become set in my idea of fashion and sometimes ignoring great clothes because of my minds eye and not the mirror.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lessons Learned - or how to do it too!

First let me start with 3 disclaimers:

1) I did not photograph the steps. Sorry, I started with Christina Shiffman's Kimono and well... Also have not knit another from my notes yet. (ie-not proofread after taking drugs). If you are a "must have every line spelled out knitter" read the whole thing through. The end part about the button bands may seem "fly by seat of pants" to you.
2) One funny lesson I learned was really about myself...I knit the what would be Baby right side while on pain meds and recovering from Oral Surgery. I knit the left side while riding the bus to/from work. So why is the Right side even and pretty and the left side looser and bigger? Hmmn. Perhaps all future gauge swatches need to be done in real life, not seated on the sofa watching Soap the Comedy.
3) If you find a huge ERROR in the pattern please put it in the comments so we can all adapt accordingly.

Now, I did start with only 35 stitches Cast On. My last 2 kimonos were Huge. I use the Long tail cast on which makes the first knit row as you go. I used size 7s and ONE ball of Sugar and Cream.

Cast on 35
Knit 5 rows in garter stitch.
I switched to stockinette at this point.
Knit 22 rows (total 4 inches)

Increase 3 stitches at each end of stitch row, (just like Kimono)
14 times (you have 74 stitches)
Stockingette 2 rows (one purl/one knit) - I would change this to 4 rows, my sleeve seems smallish at the cuff. It probably wouldn't fit over anything bulky.

Purl 25 stitches, knit 24 stitches, purl 25 stitches.
Work this for 6 rows - (this gives you the nifty little border around the neck)

Now work the sides like the kimono.
Work across 30 stitches, cast off 14, work across 30.
On the next and every following RS row increase 1 stitch at neck edge. I made the first 4 stitches of the neck edge in garter stitch and stockinetted the rest of the row. To hide the make one's in the garter stitch I did my increases by picking up the bar of the stitch next to it. I knit the first stitch of the neck edge, Increased one, knit the row. On the purl row, I purled from sleeve edge to 4 stitches from neck edge and knit the last four. I think making the stitch as a yarn over 4 stitches in from the edge might be pretty, but more challenging to line up.

You will work 25 rows doing this. (roughly a 4 inch wide sleeve) (Again, seems smaller, perhaps I would add rows before decreasing.)
Continue to inc. at neck edge while decreasing 3 stitches at sleeve edge (just like kimono) until you have 30 stitches.
STOP increasing. (continue 4 garter stitches at neck edge though, this is your button band)
Continue to dec 3 stitches sleeve edge until 21 stitches on needle.

Knit straight (ie, 21 stitches, 4 garter on neck edge, stockingette rest) for 22 rows. Knit 4 rows straight. Cast off. (yes, this is one less row than back. I don't know why, but it was the same on both fronts). I bet EZ or the YarnHarlot would know, but I don't.

Here is the goofy part. I don't know what size buttons y'all have. And as I said, I got these buttons (40% off at Hancocks mind you) and HAD to use them. So, I stitched them on the button band. And counted the rows inbetween to know where to make the matching buttonholes on the other side. (Learned that from Elizabeth Zimmerman).

Told you you wouldn't like that part.

Now in the words of Christina Shiffman the designer of the Heartbreakingly Cute Kimono - full credit to her - Rejoin yarn to stitches of other sleeve at neck edge and using the same method you used on the first side, etc. etc.

If you get machine washable buttons, this little variation of the Kimono is still washable. (And affordable) Mine came out 9 inches across, 8 inches deep, sleeves 4 inches Around, with a gauge of 16 stitches to 4 inches, and 22 rows to 4 inches.

Thank you for the encouragement, and remember...when Life becomes a Tangled Skein, make more Warshcloths.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Learning Experiences

Okay, so it started as a MasonDixon Kimono, but then I saw these fab little buttons and well, buttons mean...cardigan. So, Schmeal, Schmozl, and it's a Cardigan.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Stay tuned for scenes from Next Weeks Exciting Episode

Behold the double layer hat. Yup, that's what it will be when it grows up. Why, in the name of all that is yarn am I knitting a Winter Hat in July?

Well, fast mindless knitting. I had some Baby Alpaca Brush by Plymouth left from the Red Sweater and kept petting it. Soft, but not warm, not much left...what to do? What to do? A hat. But not warm (whine). I wore a hat so much last winter that people asked if it were hermetically sealed to my head.
Well, lets combine the soft alpaca with the warm Mountain Colors Weavers Wool in Rosehip so I can have soft ear touching with warm wool covering. (Did I mention my sewing room is in the basement? In Wisconsin? Brrr.) I'm not certain if I like the weird pooling of the yarn colours, perhaps I should have used Malabrigo. Hopefully it will look better on the noggin. Of course, when I finish and can't see the hat while wearing it, I may decided that any finished hat looks better than one which needs to be ripped out and redone.

The bag is a little handbag from the New Look pattern company. Perfect for holding my yarn at the bus stop. The pattern didn't have pockets on the lining but I added them for my keys, cell phone, etc. I bought the fabric from the clearance aisle thinking to test make the pattern before using "good" fabric and have gotten so many comments on the bag that I'm keeping it.

Check back for the finished item. (the eternal spring of hope)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Warning! Explicit Content with Graphic Images.

Yes, I plan to engage in Yarn Porn (to borrow a phrase from LimeNViolet Podcast.

These images are brought to you courtesy of my Snookums. He sent a care package from home to celebrate his taking FIRST place in his bodybuilding competition. And, this is why I keep him….He wins first place and sends Me goodies. Come on now.

Nestled in with the bills, flyers, JoAnn coupons, and other post were….

Hand Maiden Sea Silk in Origins colourway. The yearning for Sea Silk was brought on by the YarnHarlot from her birthday party post. I mean, how can you say Seaweed in a yarn post without further investigation? The Softness and Sheen of this were what caused the pierogies to burn. The little card says “one of a kind”. And I think it was rude of the smoke detector to shrilly burst upon my fantasy of a Iris Schreier modular wrap with it’s own label “One of a Kind.”

Now that I have decided that I wasn’t that hungry anyway, it’s time to fondle the Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester DK in Wildflower. < It looks more pastel-y in the photo than it does in life. In life the colours are sheer and crisp. Yum! Very out of my usual wardrobe but I envision a wrap, perhaps the Clapotis?, with Soft dressy white trousers, and a crisp light blouse, and the tarty gold heels. I hesitate with the Clapotis because I’ve heard it can be a real yawner to knit, and I prefer wraps that can be pinned or tied and be self babysitting. Because life is just to short to wear clothes you have to tug and yank. (Goodness, remember the Flashdance sweatshirts in the 80s, always sliding off a shoulder and garroting you.)

Any suggestions out there for What to Make with The BEAUTIFUL yarn? (250 gm of DK weight)

Afterthought: if you are interested in the other colours investigate your LYS, FleeceArtist, or Bob and Nancy,