Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Sock - Walk in the Woods

Merry Christmas to all -

It's been a while since posting has occured and it looks as though Ellen started with a bang with all of her completed projects! All I can say is wow! Right now I am working on a 2nd sock - plain old pattern, but tried and true with some Seacoast merino wool "A Walk in the Woods"

I took several pictures of the sock and none captured the true colors of this sock, but this is as close as I can get today without boogering up the colors any more. The wool is not as boingy as Socks the Rock or Koigu, and on occasion, it has split. but all in all it's a pleasant wool to knit. I always feel like singing 2nd verse, same as the 1st while working on the second sock.

Ellen, I think the sweater demands a fashion show of some sort!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Secrets Revealed!

Dear Knitheads - So sorry for the delay; I was working on Christmas presents and got ambushed by the season. The felted purses were presents for DDs. they seemed happy to get them. The cardigan is for me--Whispers mohair blend made using a Colinette pattern. The red scarf is for the Red Scarf Project, which seems like a very worthy endeavor. I used Caron's Simply Soft Shadows in Autumn and can't say enough about how nice it is to work with. The Pattern is Edgar from Knitty, and it's a riff on the Mason-dixon miter square. It takes no time to make, and one skein makes a 60" scarf.

The lemons (yes they are) are the entire first-year crop from a tree I planted last spring. It is in a large pot on casters which I put in the shed during last month's freeze. Now that the harvest is over I don't have to worry so much about the weather.

As 2007 approaches I have signed on (in my own mind, of course) to Wendy's Knit from your Stash plan. I would like to complete at least 2 major projects from stash by the September end date, plus assorted small projects and socks. Other knitting-related resolutions are finishing up pending projects and working on a tighter, more even stockinette stitch. This weekend I'll take some time to think of non-knitting resolutions.

One of the bset Christmas presents this year was Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top. I can see a couple of applications for stash yarn, inspired by the pullover described in Mason Dixon this summer.

I hope we can get this blog thing going again. I miss hearing from you and seeing projects. It can be a resolution!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Magnificent Da Capo

Elln, the Da Capo is gorgeous. Now can we see you modelling it?

Enjoyed your pictures, and the beautiful daughter with her cats. Is her sweater a handknit by mom?

I am kniting scarves and baby bibs for the church bazaar, then I will get back to my socks project. Plan to take the socks with me to Virginia to visit oldest son Thanksgiving week. I have to call the airline or web search to see if I can bring them in carry-on or will I have to check them. The Tall. to Atlanta flight is not long enough to get started but the Atlanta to Virginia is 2 hours so I might make some progress.

Who knows? By next fall I may feel capable of undertaking the DaCapo or something similar. I am lusting after the red fan pattern socks the Yarn Harlot is knitting. Wonder how long it will take me to do those?
Cathy, hope Joe Ann continues to make good progress but knitting while viviting the hospital is okey-I don't recommend knitting while a patient. I still laugh everytime I think of that red scarf I 'worked on" while I was in Memorial. It did not look like that when I was working on it. Sorry I did not get a picture for posterity.
As to gardening, weed immolation i9s the magic word, but hope to plant some knockout roses this month. They are all the rage now but when they go out of style and everyone removes them, I will be different.
Happy knitting. Naomi

Monday, October 30, 2006

All's Fine with Da Capo

Finished without a moment to spare! That is the story of Da Capo, which I wore nearly nonstop while I was in New York. On some days the sweater was enough, on other days it was just what I needed under the raincoat. It is warn amd lightweight and elicited lots of compliments.

The New York trip was so much fun. I drove through the Hamptons; you can't get to the Montauk lighthouse any other way. Montauk was featured in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

While visiting Manhatten we saw the snakes and reptiles exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, went to the top of the Empire State Building, and visited the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. We also ate at Babbo which is just a few blocks from my daughter's apartment. (The daughter with the squirmy cats!)

On the yarn side I showed great restraint, buying only 2 skeins of Austermann Step sock yarn. I see that Wendy has also bought some Step. It was about 1/2 the price I've paid for it in Gainesville. I also bought a book that contains a shawl pattern for some Ritratto I already have.

As of now I'm working on a Step sock, a cardigan (using Whispers from the stash) and have a little purse ready to felt. All of these seem like mere trifles compared to Da Capo!

I need to come to Georgia for a little show and share!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Spanish Christening Shawl - finished!

This past weekend I finished the Spanishing Christening Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's book, Folk Shawls. I used Caron's Simply Soft yarn this time which is more of a worsted yarn. I used size 8 needles, cast on 135 stitches in contrast to the suggested 195 and if I had to do it again, I would cast on 115 to get more of the desired width that I wanted.
I used this particular yarn for its durability and softness. It took approximately four skeins of the white yarn.
The edging is what is termed a "godmother's" edging. It is a straight knit stitch with k 2tog and y/o to give the eyelet look. The edging is a binding off of 4 every set of rows. It was an easy one to memorize once you get the rhythm to it going.

Biggest challenge was finishing it since the baptism was held 2 1/2 weeks after the baby was born!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Ellen's trip to Charleston and all the fun and the knit shops we are waiting to hear reported. Yes, the southern version of the Civil War is interesting. We moved from Florida to Texas and when I enrolled at Texas Tech was informed I would have to take American history again as it was different after the Civil war. I was so confused I went home and asked Chuck on which side Texas fought. I un-enrolled at Texas Tech.

Cathy, LizardRidge is such gorgeous colors.

After not checking the blog for several days I signed in and was amazed at Cathy and Ellen's blogs and projects. I was planning to report that I have the needles and yarn out. Nothing elaborate but using the fancy yarns I bought on sale to knit some scarves for the church bazaar. One is complete and the second one is coming along nicely. I really like the second one, if it doesn't sell I will be happy to keep it. Getting ready to start the socks again and when the new needles arrive I will start a simple sweater for myself. Yes, I am one of those people who has to have several projects going at one time.

As to gardening, weeding is my only accomplishment there. Of course there is all the planning in my head and on paper for future plantings.

Happy knitting and gardening!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lizard Ridge in action

At Ellen's urging, I am posting a work in progress. Lizard Ridge, using Noro Kureyon, is the most colorful project I have going at the moment. See that middle one??? It's a maverick. Somehow is ended up with more rows than the other. As you see they need blocking, but the middle one is making me consider not to do these in squares, but in long strips. Would be less work in the end, would it not? So says the author on the Knit Along at Lizard Ridge KAL .

Ellen, I am waiting now to hear about your yarn portion of your Charleston jaunt. Good food, good scenery, now let's hear how MANY yarn shops did you actually enter?

Well, church supper is soon to be. So must skeedaddle.

Doin' the Charleston

Attention Knitters: Welcome to Knits of
Charleston. This is an incredible store in the old city center, situated in 3 long, narrow rooms and just full of yarn and books and patterns and kits! You wouldn't believe the kits, prepacked yarn and patterns of lots of those patterns you've coveted online. The pictures show a Crayon Box Jacket that is made up of miter squares knitted together. It includes directions for a wide size range, and could be a stash buster, but of course it is really a reason to buy single skeins of the most outrageous yarns. I bought the pattern and plan to make it with Sonata (Elann cabled cotton DK, bought last spring for another project ) as the base yarn, but I bought a bag full of other yarns to incorporate.

I arrived in Charleston on Saturday and waited until Wednesday to visit Knits. It was hard, but I didn't want to inflict my habit on Mom and DH. By Wednesday afternoon she was in Myrtle Beach visiting her brother and he was at work, so I could go with a clear conscience. On Thursday I made another visit and met the owner's 3 sweet dogs. They all look alike, and for a while I thought there was one very quick and stealthy dog! One of the dogs is asleep on the sofa in the picture.

On Friday Gary and I drove to Myrtle Beach to pick up Mom, and we stopped in Georgetown on the way and just by pure chance we parked in front of (gasp) a yarn shop! The name is something like Joyfull; I only had a brief visit and it looked like it had good stuff, but I didn't want to impose on cara sposo. We visited the Rice Museum instead!

On the trip I made good progress on Da Capo. With discipline it will be finished for New York. I'm not taking any more pictures of it until it is ready to block, and then I'll do pre- and post-blocking shots.

In conclusion, I recommend a knitting road trip to Charleston, with breaks for meals and sightseeing.

Cathy, the Lizard is lovely. I like the 3 dimensional quality, but I guess that won't survive the blocking. Are you making a full-size bedcover? BTW, I would like some more house pics when you get a chance.

Tomorrow is the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden Open House at the Leon County Extension Office. I'll be there demonstrating plant propagation and giving away free plants. Gotta flit now to get organized.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Charleston on my Mind

Dear Knitty Friends,
I just realized that I refer to my cats as "Kitty Friends" although they certainly aren't friendly with each other. The both seemed glad to see me after my 9-day excursion to Charleston, and I was happy to get back to them, but Charleston was waaaay cool. Gary's apartment is within walking distance of everything, and there is so much to see and do (and eat!) Here are some random comments:

Fort Sumter - I think the Nat'l Park Service has lost its way on this, and is too "respectful" of local sentiment. The interpretation of history presented here makes it look like the American Civil War was a difference of opinion that got out of hand, and that both sides had equal claims as to the "rightness" of their positions. In particular, it implied that slavery was an institution about which reasonable people could disagree, since it really did work out well for the slave owners and supported the local economy. We discussed this with a colleague of Gary's who independently arrived at the same conclusion, so I don't think I'm overreacting.

Church Street - A residential area in the oldest part of the city with so many examples of the Charleston single house. Great for walking around with a guidebook, and plenty of gardening inspiration.

Charleston Churches - This is a city of churches, and several are open to visitors. The most distinctive feature is the churchyards which are just full of tombstones and vaults. I have never seen so many churches with graves right up to the church walls on 4 sides. Gary and I did get locked in a graveyard, but the caretaker let us out. (The gate was climbable, though.)

Charleston Fashion - Charlestonians pay attention to the way they are dressed. People in the restaurants and on the streets tended to be carefully dressed, including jewelry! Of course there were tourists dressed like tourists everywhere, but there was a noticeable difference between what I am used to seeing in Tallahassee and what I saw in Charleston. There are also some very nice stores to buy these fashionable duds!

Charleston Food - The downtown has few franchise restaurants, and the local places were great.
There is plenty of sweet tea and seafood, but the vegetables tended to be less seasoned (read salty). A lot of restaurants sell small plates of the entrees and these portions are more realistic for anyone except an NFL lineman.

Tomorrow I'll get back to you with pictures of a Charleston knitting shop, and maybe some progress on Da Capo.

I'd love to see project pictures!


Monday, October 09, 2006

Lizard Ridge

Dear Pointy Friends,
I tried to escape the temptation. I really did. However, I kept navigating back to Knitty and thinking how beautiful this is and how I wanted it. As you well know, southern friends, how often do we need something made of wool - and Noro Kureyon is scratchy wool, but it's beauty has me mesmerized and so I took the plunge and got some of the Noro Kureyon from Taos Sunflower, as they had an excellent price on the yarn.
I started this post yesterday and am finishing it this evening before school begins. I have completed two squares of this pattern, but I believe it needs to be out in sunlight to get the truest colors and beauty. IN addition the squares resemble the cardboard in those boxes that hold apples - the cushioners of the apple. They DEFINITELY need to be blocked. It's such an interesting pattern and they way the colors are defined is by the unique way of using the yarn within the skein. ONe begins knitting with the outside end of the skein and after 6 rows knitted, you begin using the inside end of the skein. Hence the variation in the color. First 2 blocks completed are Noro Kureyon 165 and 154. Also there is a knitalong blog at Lizard Ridge Knitalong - you will see where I had an interesting dilemma question posted there. Got it solved!
By now Ellen should be through with her travels. Naomi, in between gardening and your other obligations, get a knit and a purl in with the pointy sticks!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Knit and purl

This sometime knitter has been off the blog for a while and off knitting. The thumb has recovered and I am ready to start again. Will keep a couple of projects going with different sized needles and see if that helps.The church bazaar is less than 2 months away so I will tackle some projects for that. Time to visit the stash which has to share a closet with lots of other things.

Ellen, the kimono sweater is beautiful-it is prettier than the one in Mason-Dixon. The Da Capo jacket just leaves me speechless. Anxious to see the finished product modeled. Ellen's awesome armoir brings a little green tinge of envy.

Cathy and Sharon, what are you two knitting?

As to gardening, the cooler mornngs bring out the gardening spirit. Stores are selling pansies very cheap but know it is too early to plant them here. Will have to wait for the ground to cool down. Weeds are still ahead of me but I am slowly gaining ground, I think.
Cheers all. Naomi

Friday, September 29, 2006

Gratification: Quick and Slow

Knitting Friends - Work issues have been grabbing at my skirt and demanding attention this week, so I am just now getting a chance to share my progress from last weekend. The Mason Dixon kimono was a shower present for a friend from Voces Angelorum who was also a classmate of daughter Alexa in high school. I used 1 skein of Cotton Fleece on #6 needles (with only a few yards to spare) and made the body 5" instead of 4". It looks more like size 6-9 months instead of newborn. This took 2 evenings to make (plus finding buttons) and got a great reception at the shower.

Da Capo, Hanne Falkenberg's exercise in geometry, is 2/3 complete and still makes me smile when I look at it. The solid square section that makes up the front took longer than I anticipated--for some reason stripes seem to work up faster than the same area in a solid color--but since it is worked directly onto the sleeve and back there will be very little assembly at the end of the project. Sleeve 2 is progressing nicely, and all that remains after it is done is the neckband, which is also knit onto the fronts and neck opening. I think it will be complete in time for New York.

Next week I will be in Charleston SC visiting DH who is there on sabbatical. I want to visit Ft. Sumter, the aquarium, Drayton Hall, and the LYS a few blocks from where I'll be staying. I understand it carries Alchemy yarn. DH says he has found lots of places to eat--everything from shrimp and grits to Carolina-style barbeque (yum!) I have another pair of Step socks for him, but they are just like the last pair and don't warrant a picture.

You should check out the shawl on Brainy Lady's blog. I love the size (not too big) and pattern (not too fussy but certainly not plain). I've been thinking about making a shawl in on of the Fleece Artist yarns, but I'm still looking for the right pattern.

Gotta put the final touches on a report before I leave town, so keep those cards and letters coming.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why Vogue Knitting Makes Me Crazy

Well, knitter-critters, this is what progress looks like: a sleeve and the beginning of a front. I love the way this sweater is coming together, but I have to crank up the AC just to work on it. That is a lot of wool to be holding in ones lap in a Tallahassee September. Persevere I will, though, because I have a trip planned to NYC in late October and this sweater will be worn!

While I was in San Diego I bought the fall issue of Vogue Knitting because it has a tutorial on entrelac, but I had the same reaction to the magazine that I've had before. It makes me crazy, and I have been thinking about why.

1. The patterns seem to call for way too much yarn. I haen't tested this hypothesis, because I am risk averse, but, really, how can a pair of womens' socks take 2 skeins of Trekking XXL?
2. The models do not remotely resemble the knitters I know. I like to see the products modeled on real people (as in or people who at least resemble real people (as in Interweave Knits).
3. The patterns seem to be fussy for the sake of fussiness, or of using yet more yarn.

I will probably buy Vogue Knitting again, and may even knit something from it (I have in the past) but I don't think I'll ever love it.

Any thoughts on what makes the perfect source of knitting patterns and inspiration?

Gotta flit.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Fire on the Mountain burns knitter

I'm right there with you Ellen with the socks with the sock serenity. However, mine just flew out the window. See this nice completed sock to the left here? It's Sock's that Rock Fire on the Mountain. It's been finished for a while, patiently waiting for its sister sock to be completed. Today I finished it. I was satisfied. I even though my tootsies might just be cool enough to try them on and wear them with pride. And as I was sitting and looking at them with a bit of pride thinking to myself that I was satisfied with the fact that I have finished at least 6 pairs that I can think of.

And then it appeared, staring right back at me. I thought to myself, you know, there appears to be my toe showing through my sock. Nah..... can't be.. hmmm so I wiggle my toes a little. What crossed my mind at that point was not repeatable - and what good would it do anyway? Needless to say, nausea started to set in. And no good blog would not provide you with the evidence of a sock gone bad.

The kitchener stitch went off without a hitch (hmmm poetry)...this is like having a run in your hose - a stitch escaping a toe hold.

While Ellen is tweaking and deciding between size 0, 1, 1.5, and 2 needles and finding the perfect fit, Cathy is dealing with bigger fish to fry - because starting off with a hole in the toe of a sock is about as bad as having a hole in unmentionables.

So.... my next venture after this repair, should it be my mission, will begin with a toe up sock without the seam.

Seeking Sock Serenity

Dear Fellow Sock Knitters - I feel like a very slow learner. While I see other knitters turning out socks with lace or cables, I am stuck in the search for the "best" basic sock. Since June 2005 I have knit at least 10 pairs, but not one has been entirely satisfying. Sometimes the wool had been the issue, but usually it is the pattern--loose in the ankle, pointy in the toe, tight at the cuff bind-off.
The sock in progress incorporates improvements on each of these issues, and I've gotten advice from so many sources. I use the figure 8 cast on, a short-row heel from the Interweave Knits Sock page (members only), and the Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn bind-off. There are 64 stitches knit on 5 #1 dps (Brittany Birch 5") and the cuff, which starts 12 rows above the heel, is 1x1 ribbing. After 3" of ribbing I switch to #1 1/2 needles to complete the cuff.
These are husband socks; for myself I use #0 needles and adjust the foot length. The wool is Austermann Step, which you really should try. It is treated with Aloe and Jojoba, and feels so good to knit. It could come in better colors, especially in guy colors, though.

I went to San Diego last week and got a lot of knitting done on the flights and at the hotel. I also visited a yarn shop but was disappointed by the selection; it was predominantly upscale novelty yarns. There were beautiful ribbons and metallics but those are not what I am interested in right now. They are also so expensive! I'd like to see more patterns combining a little of the glitzy stuff with "normal" yarn.

The other picture is the first Da Capo sleeve. I've been looking ahead on the instructions and it seems to get complicated; it probably calls for good lighting and no alcohol!

Gotta flit! Let me know what you are up to.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stash Heaven, or Armoire Amour

Dear Sisters in Sticks,
My DH thinks I'm nuts, but setting up my knitting armoire has been the second-biggest thrill of the summer (after Norway, of course!) All of the drawers are full of yarn, sorted by fiber and style, but the yarns in ziploc bags on the shelf are those of which I have substantial amounts, enough for at least a short-sleeved pullover. The binders contain patterns, sorted by type, and the patterns downloaded from the web are in plastic page protectors. Woohoo!

Looking at the pictures reminds me of how much yarn I have (good), but I can also see that there is plenty of room for more (not so good.) I think I'll hold off buying more at least until Da Capo is fine.

Cathy, I agree that working on a longer circular needle is better than having all the stitches jammed together trying to escape. Have you taken care of the errant holes in the shawl?

Last night I had a knitting epiphany. While trying to figure out why some of the wraps were twisted on a short-row heel sock, I realized that I have been making backward yarnovers. On most things it doesn't seem to be a problem (as long as they are consistent) but on sock heels it makes a difference. Of course all the yarnovers on Da Capo are backward and I will just keep on making them backward on that little project.

Since last time I have joined two knit-alongs--Mason-Dixon and Hanne Falkenberg. It does create a community to know about (and communicate with) other knitters who are working on the same projects. The really amazing thing is that about 90 percent of the Hanna Falkenbergers are knitting Mermaid. I tried on a Mermaid before I bought Da Capo and I thought it made my butt look fat!

Well it turns out that I'm not driving to Charleston this weekend after all (DH decided to put off his move until Monday) so I see visions of yardwork and knitting time. Next week I am flying to San Diego for a meeting; that looks like lots of knitting time and maybe a yarn shop visit.

Gotta flit. Keep those cards and emails coming.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Evil Holes

WEll Pointy ladies,
daCapo is looking mighty fine, and I don't see a hole in sight. However, in the middle of the night, the evil doers of the knitting universe decided to mess with my knitting. I ain't too happy because I can guarantee you these holes that those blue arrows are pointing to in the picture were NOT there last night. See the area circled? That's the way it's supposed to look like. So, I have to see if I can fix it without tinking, or if I need to go back and fix it. And I thought I was at the smooth sailing part. Oh ye be humbled.....
I am awaiting some addi turbo circulars in size 8 to come in - purchased off Ebay in the middle of the night like a sniper in the night, I think I will be much happier with a little breathing space with this Spanish Christening Shawl that is packed onto the circulars I am using right now.
I need to be thinking kind thoughts on this blanket for the baby it is going to. I don't want it to have any bad vibes when it goes to the precious baby.

By the way, moi was on the front page of the local paper today. :) Must have been starving for some news. Check it out.

Da Capo Update

Da Capo reality has finally set in. As the triangle grows from the center of the bottom, the rows get longer (exactly 2 stitches per row) and perceived progress gets slower. I am 13 ridges (that's 26 rows) from the top of the white triangle, and each row feels like an accomplishment. I watched the Spike Lee documentary on New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina for the past two evenings and have gotten some quality knitting time, but there are still miles of rows before I sleeve. As a reward for finishing this section I plan to arrange all my stash and knitting supplies in a new yarn armoire. Woohoo!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Da Capo

Would you look at that... Da Capo is working up much faster than I would have imagined. The rows get longer and longer, but still they get done and it feels like progress. This weekend Gary and I are driving to Miami; I would like to be ready to work on one of the sleeves on the trip, although in this heat it may be better to bring along a sock to knit on in the car.

I don't have much else to report. Ilona leaves for Germany tomorrow and Philip leaves on Thursday or Friday. I have to say that I've spent a lot more time with Ilona than Philip this summer and will really miss having her to talk to. Yesterday we went to Florida Caverns; I haven't been there since Alexa (now 25) was in 4th grade.

Keep those letters and pictures coming. I would like to see some of Cathy's empty boxes.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Ellen, your current knitting projects are awesome. The scarf is beautiful! Sweaters and socks, too. The triangle that is a sweater in the making is interesting. Actually it sounds tempting to try. My socks are going slowly, but with any luck I will have a pair or two by the time the weather is cool enough for socks. Actually I saw a sock patten for heelless and toeless socks that may be more my speed. Cathy introduced me to baby bibs and I have one underway but had to take a hiatus from all knitting because my right thumb went out on strike. I diagnosed my own problem. A combination of the computer mouse and using the cane so I have switched to the left hand with the cane and the hand is better so I hope to be back knitting soon.

Not sure Cathy has accomplished much knitting recently between moving and getting ready for school to begin.
Sharon, where are you?

The heat and drought combined to wreak havoc in the yard, even the weeds wilted. the heat is still very much with us but recent rains have 'greened' things up. I am enjoying planning all the things I want to do this fall when the weather is cooler. Redesigning the flower beds is a top priority.

Ellen, keep sharing all your great projects with us.
Cheers. Naomi

A Scarf in August

Behold the scarf, in all its pointy splendor! I reworked the unsatisfactory points on the darker blue end by working the beginning edge in that color(except for the final WS row), ripping back the end of the scarf to the first row of the main pattern, and grafting on the new edge, with the kitchener stitches taking the place of the WS row of edging. The grafting won't bear too close inspection because of some tension issues but on the whole I am pleased with the outcome. Now I'm waiting for the weather to warrant a wool and silk scarf!

The other picture is the beginning of the Hanne Falkenberg sweater. It is a triangle (duh!) beginning at the center of the lower back and it will become the back and lower part of the fronts. There are 2 other pieces that make up the sleeves, upper fronts and lapels. The whole sweater is worked in garter stitch (with some cunning shaping, though) and the yarn has a definite mind of its own. It is just barely sport weight (I'm working on 2.5 needles) but it has so much body!

I picked up an entertaining book at the Leon Co. Public Library the other day, No Idle Hands, The Social History of Knitting in America, by Anne L. Macdonald. It has lots of pictures and anecdotes about the role of knitting in various eras, but one common thread is the idea of knitting for thrift. That seems to be turned on its head in this time of readily-available machine-made knits. It may be less expensive to make one's own handknits compared to buying handknits (but even that is not always the case) but no one can say that knit to clothe themselves or their loved ones more cheaply.

Now that the scarf is complete and the sweater is under way I find myself thinking about beads. Have you tried knitting with beads? I would love to hear about bead-knitting experiences before I dip my toe in that particular pool.

Gotta flit. Write me!


Friday, August 04, 2006

Lace Crazed

Just When I Thought I had Finished this Shawl---
I realized that there is something wrong with the pattern for the ending edging. If you compare the photos, you'll see that the beginning edging pattern (light turquoise) makes a well-defined point with shaping coming from a central column of slip 1, k2tog, psso. The edging pattern at the end has no such shaping, and any point is just an artifact of blocking. Well, after all the aggravation and bad language that went into this shawl, that crappy edging just will not do! I am working on a solution that will likely involve grafting (and more bad language) so stay tuned.

The green mohair fingers on the red table comprise my current mindless knitting project. The pattern is in Norwegian, but there is nothing to it but garter stitch, bind off, and cast on. This will also be a scarf, and it can be as long as 2 skeins will allow, or until I get sick of it.

Hanne Falkenberg has progressed as far as a 1.5 " swatch. If the gauge is off I'll have to buy another 30" circular needle, so I really hope it works.

Cathy, I hope your first day of school goes well. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your summer projects and really do want to get up to see the new house.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jedi Knitting

Dear Cathy, Naomi, and Sharon - This is what I've been up to recently! The socks are Austermann Step yarn, superwash wool and nylon treated with aloe and jojoba oil. I used the magic toe cast-on and short-row heels, and the cuffs are all ribbing. The yarn is heavenly to knit; I have another skein waiting for me.
The purple tank top is Silky Wool by Elsebeth Lavold, and the pattern if from her book Sophisticated Lady 1, I think. I knit most of it during April, but ended up doing the top part (lace around the armholes and the straps) at least 3 times. There was a little problem with the pattern, and lots of big problems with my ability to count and read.

The other tank top is a remake of something I did last year. It is Giotto by Colinette, and the first time I made it it was just too big, and it didn't feel right. I pulled it all out and knit it again one size smaller and on size 6 instead of size seven needles. Now it is the snug little top I had in mind, and I only need to weave in the ends and make a button loop. If you look carefully at one of the pictures you will see why I felt like a Jedi knitter on the flight to Norway. My lovely daughter sent me LED knitting needles for mothers day! I have 2 pairs: sizes 6 and 8. The plastic is not too slippery and was fine for Giotto, a cotton-rayon ribbon, and I think it will be good for wool, too. I have visions of knitting baby blankets in movie theaters, or letting my DH watch TV with the lights turned down.

The unfelted cat bed features the most popular house paint colors of Norway (if you ignore white since it doesn't felt.) I plan to send it to grandcat Larry, but for him it need to be a big bed and I may have to block it agressively.

The scarf is approaching completion! The pattern is Trellis scarf, and it's turning out to be a stash-buster, using turquoise Zephyr left from another project and blue Zephyr for which I had no particular plan. I've done 16 of 20 repeats and, barring any major backtracking, should have it ready to block by the end of the weekend.

All of this finishing up is in anticipation of starting the Hanne Falkenberg sweater. I get nervous if there are too many projects going on at one time, and I want to start with a Zen-like concentration, at least for the cast-on and first few rows.

Cathy, I bought the Mason-Dixon Knitting book and have gotten lots of ideas for baby blankets. It is almost too tempting; probably I should have waited.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dear Pointy Sisters - Here are a few of the pictures of Norwegian yarn shops. All of the interiors are shops in Bergen; on the cruise we were not usually in town when the stores were open. (11 to 5 if you are lucky!) There was one exception-- a shop in Stamsund that was open at 8 p.m. I bought yarn there just to show my appreciation of keeping longer hours. The second picture from the top and the bottom picture are taken in my favorite Bergen knitting store. It's called Pinnsvin Design and it has lots of Hanna Falkenberg kits. They are on top of the shelf in the second photo. The web site has an English translation; check it out.

One of my favorite discoveries was that at least one department store sells yarn in Bergen. There was not a lot of variety, but they sold worsted-weight wool (not superwash) for 9 kr. which is about $1.50, and for most of my visit it was 20% off. The other yarns were not such a bargain, but a lot were less expensive than in any LYS in the U.S. There were good selections of wools (no surprise there) but also other fibers and some novelty yarns.

There is a picture of my purchases on my last post. They include worsted-weight and bulky wool for felting, pale yellow cotton/acrylic blend tape yarn, chartreuse mohair blend, and the Hanne Falkenberg kit for DaCapo. I plan to make cat beds with the bulky wool, and a sleeveless pullover with the cotton tape yarn.

The only disappointment with yarn shopping in Norway was the poor selection of sock yarns. I saw no hand painted sock yarns, and little variety. Most stores had a few skeins of Regia, and solid superwash wool in fingering weight, but nothing that rocked. One can buy great wool socks in Norway, however, at the store without spending a fortune.

Next time I'll share the adventures of the sock. Keep knitting and reading and don't get oppresed by the heat.


Knitting, reading and ramblins

Well, it's hotter than a well diggers' oven (how's that for an expression - ok, I tried) - and the weather has been a tease - 3 miles away, the land got soaked, but all we got was residual thunder. Just ain't right.

Ellen, you will have to tell us more about your yarn shopping Northern European visit. Are you still playing with the yarn? I know you have pictures in that camera just waiting to jump out!

A move has occurred, a blanket ( Knit Along with Debbie Macomber - The Shop on Blossom Street) is finished(headed to South Carolina), and I have been dabbling in the Mason Dixon Knitting book and have submitted to the Mason Dixon KAL blog. Baby bibs have been multiplying - now I have a couple of more baby blankets to work on for some more babies that will be on its way. I feel sure the babies will arrive before blankets are finished, but one never knows. I may resort to jumbo yarn on size 15 needles to resolve that problem (don't count on that). Oh - specifics on the blanket - Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece in Pink-a-Boo - used size 7 needles. By the way - though the directions on the skein of Cotton Fleece states to hand wash and air dry - I find that it washes and dries in the washer dryer nicely. Just put it on gentle and dry low!

I must say the summer has moved more quickly than I anticipated and before we know it, school will be in session again. Until then, I have two books to finish - Isaac's Storm and The World Is Flat [Updated and Expanded]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - both for book club.
Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History (Vintage) is an interesting account of meteorological history, more specifically the hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900. Oh what a long way we have travelled in 100 years in terms of weather predictions!

Enough of the mundaneness of this sultry summer - let's hear more of the yarn trip - ahem - trip to Norway.