As if I didn't already have a thousand intended projects whispering to me from my stash. What should arrive in the mail today? The new Interweave, that's what! This is almost more than I can take! I've only thumbed through it, but I've already seen some great things. I love the cover sweater, Equinox Yoke Pullover, a beautiful fair isle by Michele Rose Orne.
Then there's the Gatsby Girl Pullover, fitted cables and lace, by Jodi Green.
Coral Crossing, again a cabled pullover, this one with a graceful wide neckline, by Jennifer L. Appleby. I think I would have to eliminate the pockets on this sweater. I just can't afford the extra bulk at the midsection!
Saffron Cables, a cozy afghan by Kathy Zimmerman.
And of course, an issue of Interweave would not be complete without another must knit lace shaw. This time it's the Swallowtail Shawl by talented lace designer, Evelyn A. Clark. Good thing I have all of that beautiful lace weight yarn waiting for projects. . .
To top it all off, the brilliant, Eunny Jang has written what looks to be an article that I will refer to often, LACE, Shaping Your Garment. Ahhhhhh. . .
To further my distractions, there are other intriguing things occupying my time and thoughts. I am beta testing Sock Wizard for Mac this weekend. This is my first time beta testing, and I am really excited about it. I've already downloaded the program and am having a great time playing with it. Get ready Mac users, we are going to have some great knitting software come our way in the not so distant future! Yippee!
My sister came to visit yesterday. We had a great time dyeing yarn. I used some Knit Picks Color Your Own, and LJ used Dale of Norway, Baby Ull. I didn't get a chance to snap any photos of hers, she had to leave as soon as her yarn came out of the dye pot, but it is very similar to my "Ocean" color way. (That's because I grabbed the dye bottles she had mixed, they were just so pretty!) We also had a visit from my friend Susan, who sat and knitted her sock, and kept us company. It felt like a party!
Now, off I go, to read my Interweave!
I was out weeding today, the gardens really got out of control in the month we were away. While pulling weeds from around the beets, a %*&! yellow jacket stung me. Ouch. So now I am sitting inside feeling sorry for myself.
Despite the weeds, these Turkscap Lilies managed to bloom. I love the way their petals roll back.
I came home to some goodies. Before I left, I ordered some Socks That Rock to give as gifts. I will only be keeping one of these, but having them in the house, for even just a few days makes me happy. It is beautiful yarn, the colors are so vivid, and the texture of the yarn, perfection. I would love suggestions of patterns to make with my skein. The Jaywalkers are an obvious choice, but I would love to hear other ideas. . .
Birch and I have reconciled. It was never Birch's fault. I tried so many needles, but none were right.
There were the Turbos, the needles that I do 95% of my knitting on. They are lovely and smooth with great joins, but horrible, dull tips. Awful for lace knitting. (I'd rather put a tu-tu on an elephant than K2tog through back of loop with a pair of US 8 Turbos and Kidsilk Haze!) I also tried Inox, good points, lousy join, Addi Naturas, slightly better point than Turbos, but still too dull, and again, not a great join, Bryspun circulars, good points, bad join, along with the fact that these break easily. I really don't enjoy knitting with straights, so I was in a pickle. Where were the perfect needles, silky smooth like Addi Turbos, good points like the Bryspun, lovely smooth join, again like Turbos, and reasonably priced? I must say, in my opinion, Knit Picks has done it! I ordered some of their new Options needles, and they were waiting for me when I got home. They are sharp, smooth and have great joins. I'm sold.
I know there have been many reviews on these needles, both positive and negative. All I will say is that for this girl, they are what I have been looking for. I have so much lace waiting to be knit. These needles will make it so enjoyable. I'll just be really sure to tighten up that screw.
I've started two new pairs of socks since my last post. One is a pair I am designing, made with Trekking XXL. So far I am happy with the pattern, and I love this color Trekking.
The other is a pair of 2x2 ribbed, knit in Koigu. They are a birthday present for my Dear Old Dad. He turned 77 on Saturday. Happy Birthday Dad! I have mentioned how much I love knitting for my dad before. He is so appreciative of anything his daughters make for him. He hasn't been well lately, so I'm hoping having a pair of hand knit socks will be very comforting for him. I plan to put on some sort of skid proof soles, make them slipper socks. Does anyone have any suggestions of good products for this?
He's got big feet, very wide. I've never made such a big sock! I have tried them on my 15 year old son with his wide, size 11.5 feet, and they fit him, so I guess they will be okay for dad. If I can get the darling teenager to model the socks, I will post a photo when they are done. I always think socks look better on the feet. I guess if I bribe the boy with candy. . .
As I weeded earlier, I was serenaded by baby blue birds calling their parents to feed them. I tried to catch a shot of the beautiful adult male, but he was camera shy. Instead, here is the bird house. The vine growing up the post is an invasive weed. I'll need to pull it out once the babies move on. Every year the local blue birds have two batches of babies in this house. It has gotten a little worn over the years. I doubt it will make it through the winter. It'll be replaced, I'd miss those beauties too much.
Note the story has been updated with illustrations by the author. Click drawings to enlarge. ;)
My twelve year old daughter loves to write. She keeps a journal where she often puts snippets of stories that pop into her head. Many nights, when I go into her room to kiss her goodnight, I find her furiously writing. Today she wrote a knitting story for me to post on my blog. I hope you enjoy it.
“Which project should I continue today?” sighed Victoria, rummaging through her UFO basket with one hand, her steaming morning coffee in the other. Picking a particularly fuzzy hat from the throng of projects, she plopped herself down and listened to the light Saturday drizzle outside. She started her knitting, her crystal blue eyes staring intently at the needles, and her ears, covered by a fiery mass of hair, missing the sounds below. In the basket full of UFOs next to the soft leather chair, the unmistakable twitter of arguments and anger had broken out.
“I can’t believe she picked Angora, AGAIN!” fumed Clapotis, her wings beating furiously, though she was only lounging on her unfinished scarf counterpart. “Chill, Clapotis. She’ll pick you soon enough.” said Embossed, in a very exasperated tone. Her twin, who was not done growing, like her sister, and was practicing loops in the air, interrupted, “Yeah, don’t worry about it.” Apparently deciding she had to say more, Leaves added, “But really, you look more like a humming bird than a project pixie at the moment. Won’t get picked that way!” in a joking way knowing that project pixies were invisible to humans like Victoria. This time Kiri Shawl cut across the conversation, “Guys, show a bit of sympathy! I haven’t been picked in weeks either.” “They were just having a bit of fun, Kiri. You wouldn’t understand!” retorted Sitcom Chic, defending her friends. As if she had just flown across some invisible line, Sitcom Chic was suddenly bombarded with angry retorts from Kiri, “Oh, I don’t know fun!?!” “Sitcom Bleak the amazing sneak!” This went on for some time. Pixie magic was even used at the peak of the argument at which time, Flower Basket and Sunflower Tam intervened. There were so many wings and needles , for the knitting soon got involved in the fight, that you couldn’t tell which belonged to which pixie. Finally, everything was calmed down and tidied up. But, something was amiss.
The project Pixies searched everywhere in the basket. Flower Basket and Kiri tunneled deep under piles of yarn and UFOs, while Embossed and Leaves, being the best fliers, searched from above, like birds of prey. Everyone they could find helped out in the hunt. At the end of the hour, Clapotis still hadn’t turned up. “This is terrible!” sobbed Kiri, sprawling out on her shawl in exhaustion. Bawling, Sunflower Tam agreed, while moping up her glistening, tear-covered face with the edge of her hat counterpart. She’s probably left the basket and has been eaten by a ferocious flock of wild moths by now! We’ll never see her, or her scarf, again!” As two other pixies flew over to calm them down, Sitcom Chic decided on something. She, Embossed and Leaves flew up to the leather arm of the chair, their thumbnail shaped wings beating harder than ever, to keep up their pinkie sized bodies. They devised a plan as they flew upward to their destination, their knitting project counterparts in tow by magic. Finally they made three graceful landings on the cozy leather arm of the chair.
Waving their kitting projects around in the air they attempted tirelessly to draw Victoria’s attention away from the nearly finished angora hat. Though they failed, they beckoned Angora over, and told her of the tragedy below. “I thought I heard crying, and a search party.” “Well, we need strong magic to do a tangibility spell and your hat is almost finished, like our project counterparts. We need to be seen and heard by Victoria. She’s the only one who Clapotis will believe when we say we want her back.” “Plus, moths are scared of Victoria!” chimed in Leaves, hovering around in circles excitedly. Embossed interrupted, “No sense standing around to chit chat, guys. Let’s get this show on the road.” The four project pixies chanted and concentrated intently, going through all the spell's steps with great precision. Finally they had finished. "Can you see me?” “Well yeah, but we need to know if Victoria can see us, Leaves.”
Victoria stopped her knitting. She had thought she had heard voices, yet no one was home but her. She looked around, scanning for the sound’s source, but could find none. She was about to get up, when something flew up and hovered near her angora hat. “Hi! I’m Angora.” “No, you’re not! This is angora!” Victoria retorted, gesturing at the fuzzy hat she had been working on. “Now you’re getting it!” “What?” “No, no. ANGORA.” “Huh, you’re Angora?” “Yes, let me explain. I am a project pixie, the personality and counterpart of your knitting project. Every project, UFO and FO, has a project pixie to go with it.” She gestured animatedly at this point, directing Victoria’s gaze at her friends. Finally, Victoria spoke, “That’s crazy! Am I turning into a nut job?!” “No, I do believe you are perfectly sane. See.” Angora pulled Victoria’s ear with a jolt. “Okay, so I’m in my right mind. What do you want then?” “We need you to save Clapotis. She ran away with her scarf, and we haven’t seen wings or needles of her in hours. She might’ve been eaten by moths by now. Poor Clapotis!” “Wait, so I have to go out and search for my scarf and er. . .project pixie?” cut in Victoria, still rubbing her blue eyes in disbelief. “Yes. But she’ll only listen to you because she feels neglected.” “Okay then, let’s go.”
“May I ride on your shoulder?” asked Angora, after only a few minutes of searching. “You’re already tired? We’ve only searched the living room!” “Well, I’m only a two inch tall pixie.” “Oh, all right. Hop on.” “Thank you!” said Angora indignantly, hovering onto Victoria’s shoulder. Scanning the hallway they were about to go into, as she waited for the fairy to settle on her perch, Victoria spotted something peculiar. Walking over, she found a piece of yarn, the color and kind she was using for her Clapotis scarf, lying on the ground next to the open basement door. “Maybe she’s down there.” Suggested Angora hopefully. “I wouldn’t take that as a good thing. Moths live down there.” was all she got back as they stepped through the doorway and descended the stairs to the dimly lit, box covered, moth infested room.
A piercing scream rang out around the basement as a beating of many tiny wings grew louder. Victoria and Angora wheeled around in time to see a flash of pink light being ambushed by a large flock of moths. Victoria grabbed the nearest box, her eyes set on the tiny glow. Taking out what she knew to be blocks of cedar, she hurled them across the room, sending moths scattering in many different directions. Using a quality shielding spell, Angora protected Clapotis from the rain of wood. Finally, the disgusting bugs retreated, leaving a very battered Clapotis pixie and Clapotis scarf lying on a box of summer clothing.
“Are you okay? What happened?” Clapotis was bombarded with questions as Angora made her tangible to humans and dressed her wounds. “Well, I’m all right except for these few scrapes, and being a bit messy. I was really unlucky. What happened was, I left the basket while Sitcom Chic and Kiri were having a go at each other. I was already going into the hallway when you started your search for me in the basket. I could hear Embossed and Leaves calling my name. Then, I was flying down the hallway when my scarf got stuck on a door hinge. I couldn’t just leave it, we get sick if we’re separated from our knitting, so I pulled and pulled until the caught yarn snapped in half. I was thrown forcefully into the basement, and landed where I am now. The Clapotis scarf and I were then mobbed by those wretched moths. You know the rest.” Adding the last part, Clapotis calmed down and Victoria took the two projects and their pixies upstairs.
After this episode, nothing strange ever happened to Victoria again, really. The Clapotis scarf was finished, along with all of its friends. Victoria, however, never singled out a project again, and she treated her knitting with much more care. The day when she met the project pixies became a dream-like memory.
As, I said, every UFO has a project pixie, or do they?
For 10+ weeks I have been on a yarn diet. All dieters cheat don't they, let's not mention my purchases in Sweden or the moment of weakness I had over at Scouts Swag. I will just say that for the past 2.5 months I have exercised more restraint than usual. It was all in preparation for yesterday's Big Day Out with my sister. I got up early and picked her up in NJ, to drive her to King of Prussia, PA for the Knitting and Crochet Guild's Annual Conference.
We hadn't pre-registered for any courses, our reason for the trip, the Market. Ooh-la-la, we had fun. With all of that yarn acquisition energy built up, I showed no restraint. Listed here are my purchases, along with my plans for their future projects.
Shaeffer Anne, in a scrumptious wine, plum, navy and pumpkin colorway. This will most likely become a pair of socks.
The most unbelievably gorgeous cashmere lace weight hand dyed by the very talented women at Just Our Yarn. They had a lot of other beauties, but there was only so much cash in the coffers. I'm thinking Kiri for this.
This amazing yarn is lace weight from Skaska Designs Limited. It is destined to become a shawl from Folk Shawls. I've got two photo's of this one, from the top and from the side, just because it is so beautiful.
Some mill ends of Louet Pearl, it will become some fun stripey socks. I like these colors together, and the price was right.
Below is some wool and mohair from Buckwheat Bridge Angoras, they have angora goats on their farm and dye all of their yarn using solar power. I will make a lace shawl out of this yarn as well.
Suri Elegance for the Icarus Shawl. This is the yarn and the colorway of the original pattern. I'm not sure I've ever done that. . .
Trekking, for some fun socks.
We also picked up some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock for my mom. My sister is going to teach her the magic loop, and get her started on a pair of socks. My dad has been having health issues lately and she does a lot of knitting in hospitals and doctors waiting rooms. My mom was supposed to join us yesterday, but dad was in the hospital again, so she stayed with him. My sister and I are hoping to take her to Rhinebeck in the fall. Keep your fingers crossed . . .
Now it's off, in 100 degree NYC heat. DD 1&2 want me to take them to the Museum of Television and Radio today. I think I'll take my Baudelaire along.
Yes, I give up, I will give them my six bucks. (Plus three and change for the Cappuccino.)
I've gone to Starbucks to post. :(
I just had to show you my first Baudelaire. I finished it today. Cookie has given us a great pattern again. It was a fun knit, with clear instructions. This was my first time knitting socks toe up and I had no problem following her instructions. I also, really love the cast off she used.
So here are shots of the sock in action.
And basking leisurely in the late afternoon sun.
My kids and I went to see a great band last night. (We ignored the sign on the door that said "21 and over" - they drank Coke, I had a pinot noir.) DD #2's keyboard teacher had a show. The venue was perfect, a very small, intimate "music hall" (more like music room) on Allen just off of Houston, called Rockwood Music Hall. The band, "The Midnight Show", was wonderful. Joanna has been teaching my daughter keyboards for 5 or 6 months now, we had no idea how well she sings! Go over and check out her band's web site. You can even have a listen, or download a song if you like them. We've been really blessed with the people we have met through our kids music school. They are all talented musicians, who really care about the students they teach. It is an amazing experience to take you child to see their instructors perform.
Why is it harder for me to post from New York City than it was from Sweden!?!
The kids and I are staying at my MIL's apt. for a few weeks while the DS is in music camp. The apartment has an ethernet connection which my Mac doesn't seem to like. So the only computer that I have access to is her stone-aged Dell. Oh, I could go over to Starbucks and pay for a painfully slow wireless connection. But that just seems wrong! I need my techie-guru sister Lisa to come visit me and get me hooked up! I'd like to show off lovely pictures of my projects. But I just don't want to upload my photos on the old Dell. Who knows what that would do to it!?!
I'm having such fun with my projects. I have three of them scattered about the apartment, on which I randomly knit depending on my mood. There is the lace scarf/wrap thing I am knitting out of the yarn I bought in Stockholm, the beginnings of my Baudelaire, and the lovely mindless stockingette of Turbulence from Knitting Nature. Turbulence served me well as I watched The Devil Wears Prada yesterday. But alas, no photos. :(
So pop over to the Wandering Knitter, and encourage Lisa to visit me in the City, we could shop for yarn, knit, drink wine and she could bring me back into the 21st century. . .
In the spirit of Ann's "question of the day", I ask you, what makes you happy?
Here's a list of what makes me happy.
Sunny Summer Days
Running Spell Check and Finding No Errors
Stitch Pattern Books
Having All of the Laundry Done
Coming Home From Summer Trips
A Clean Laptop
A Fresh Pedicure
Chunky Funky Jewelry
The Perfect Pair of Pants
A Good Bottle of Wine
Piles of Yarn
Day Dreaming About Future Projects
A Good Mail Day
DH Going to the World Cup Finals in Berlin, Soccer is his Passion
Pollinators in My Garden
The Smell of Lavender
A House Full of Music
A House Full of Books
A House Full of Laughter
A House Full of Love