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Posts from September 2006

Swallowtail Finished

Swallowtail is finished and blocked.  Despite uncooperative weather and cranky daughters, I managed to get a few photographs.






Pattern:  Swallowtail Shawl, Fall 2006 Interweave Knits by Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Just Our Yarn, Myne 100% cashmere, hand painted, less than one 500 yard skein
Needles:  Knitpicks Size US #3
Modifications:  Since the yarn I used is much finer than the called for yarn, I did 5 extra repeats on the "budding lace" section. 
Finished size, after blocking:  46" width across top edge, 23" long at point
Hints:  I used a size zero needle to pick up and purl the 5 stitches to make the nupps, then transfered the new stitch back onto the size 3's which I was working with.  With the points on the Knitpicks needles, this worked really well.
Started: September 1
Completed: September 28

Freshly Baked!

DD #1 is becoming a really talented cook.  She made bread for us last week.  It didn't last long.  The bread was soooo good, hot out of the oven with a little butter.   She says she wants to bake bread every Saturday this fall and winter.  You won't see me complaining!


My Swallowtail is in the home stretch, I've reached the last chart, the peaked edging.  I would have been done sooner, but I dropped the stitches on a nupp and had to tink back a row and a half to fix it.  This is not a pleasant task on laceweight cashmere.  There was much muttering and crankiness involved.  I won't bore you with more pictures of it in progress.  There should be finished, blocked photos in a few days.

I have also been working on a cabled vest.  It's a pattern that I am making up as I knit.  I'm thinking deep scooped neck and crochet edgings, but that could change, since I am designing this on the fly.  The yarn is RY Classic Cashsoft DK.  It is quite soft and lovely to work with.  I've joined the Fall Cable KAL so this will be my project for that.  I am very inspired by some of the projects I'm seeing over there.  I'm sure there will be more cable projects in the near future.   I modeled the  vest in progress with some of my favorite bangles.  These are my accessories de jour.  I can put on jeans and a t-shirt, add the bangles and I feel all dressed up!


I am planning on making EZ's Norwegian mittens for my first Zimmermania project.  I thought, with a stash the size of mine I would definitely have some yarn waiting for just such a project, but after much digging and contemplating, I decided that a trip to the LYS was in order.  I fell in love the colors of  Reynolds "Whiskey".  It was tough narrowing my choices to just three.  Once Swallowtail is off the needles I'll cast on for the the mittens.


DD #1 has discovered the wonders of the lace shawl.  She keeps pilfering my Birch.  She wanders around the house in her jammies swaddled in fuzzy gray goodness.  She's asked for one of her own.  I guess I'll be knitting lace for Christmas.   I'm thinking some alpaca lace for her, in the Adamas pattern. 

Sock-ret Pal Questionnaire

The basics:

How long have you been knitting?
I've been knitting on and off since I was a kid. 
I've been obsessively knitting for about two years now.

Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter,
an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long
you could probably knit a pair in your sleep?
I think I could probably knit socks in my sleep.

The measurements:

While your pal may ask for some additional info
to ensure a great fit, please provide your shoe size,
or any other fitting related info you think is pertinent.
I wear a women's US size 8 1/2 shoe.

(fiber related) Favorites:
What colors do you love? 
I love color both bold and soft, I love unusual combinations. 
The only colors I don't really like are
dusty pinks or dusty blues especially together,
they're just too sweet.

Do you prefer solids or variegated?
It really depends on the sock pattern,
but I am a fool for pretty hand-painted yarn!

What fibers do you most love to knit with? 
Merino, alpaca, cashmere, wool in all it's forms.

Who do you consider your favorite yarn vendors? 
My favorites are the small independent dyers
popping up all over the internet;
Socks that Rock, Scouts Swag, Sundara, Mama-E,
Sweet Georgia, Cabin Cove Mercantile to name just a few.

What projects (other than socks, of course*S*)
do you most enjoy knitting?
Lace shawls, sweaters, bags,
whatever strikes my fancy at the moment!

(fiber related) Dislikes:

What fibers can  you not stand to knit with? To wear?
Fun fur, bad acrylic (some is better than others)

What colors would you never wear?
I'm not sure this is an issue with me except for
the super sweet dusty pink, dusty blue combo mentioned above.

The Tools:
Plastic or Metal? Bamboo or wood?
Usually metal, I love Addi Turbos and am
really enjoying my new Knitpicks needles. 
I'm lusting after a pair of beautiful Lantern Moon wood needles too.

Circs or Straights?
Usually Circs.

DPNs or Magic Loop?
Two circs.

Are there any knitting accessories you don't
have in your collection but would like?
I've been wanting a set of wooden cable needles,
the straight kind with the grooves. 
I usually cable without a cable needle,
but for really complex or large cables, they would be really nice.

The Extras:
Do you have a wish list? If so, please share the link!
Nope, sorry, no wish list.

Do you like sweet, sour or salty? (or all of the above? *S*)
Both, but I have a pretty healthy sweet tooth.

Do you have any allergies your pal should know about?
I'm allergic to cat's and smoke.

Favorite scents? Scents you can't stand? 
I like earthy and spicy scents. 
I don't like overy sweet and strong scents.

Do you collect anything
(other than yarn and knitting toys of course)?
I'm starting a nice little fabric stash these days.

When is your birthday? (month and day is fine!)
April 14th

Do you spin? Dye your own yarn?
I dye my own yarn with Jacquard acid dyes. 
I really want to learn to spin, and hope to very soon.

Your favorite author/band/vacation spot,
anything you think will help your pal know you better...
I love to travel, I don't have a favorite spot,
because I'm always looking for a new adventure. 
My favorite place that I've visited so far is Costa Rica. 
As far as music is concerned, I listen to a lot of
different types, classic rock, jazz, folk, classical. . .


Ezbooks Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Yesterday the mailman brought me my first EZ  books.  Why did I wait so long?   These are books that one may randomly open to any page and read.  There will always be something to marvel at.  Her writing, her drawings, her knitting, her wisdom, they are all brilliant.  I joined Zimmermania because I have read on many knitting blogs how wonderful EZ patterns are.  What I wasn't prepared for was how much I would enjoy her writing.  She reminds me of the strong intelligent women I have been lucky enough to know.  Among them have been my grandmothers, my mother, my amazing great aunts (who I must someday write about on this blog), my sisters, my daughters, my friends.  All women I admire.  I recognize bits of each of them in the things she says.  I see these women in her confidence, her belief in her own ideas and abilities.  I have been lucky enough to have women around me who, like Elizabeth, embrace their creative instincts and are fearless in the execution. 

I worked on Swallowtail a bit yesterday.  I am done with 17 of the 19 repeats I plan to do on the budding lace section.  I don't think I'll have any problem getting this done in time for Rhinebeck.  I've begun to think about possibly making a vest for Rhinebeck too.

I took some photos of what's happening in the garden.  Fall is such a beautiful time.




Have a great weekend.

Flights of Fancy


There are some bloggers who I am very jealous of.  They have really nifty cameras, and are able to take those lovely macro photos of their knitting.  I really, really, really want a camera like that.  Hmm, maybe if I sell some stash. . .

I took some photos of my Swallowtail in progress.  This yarn, although gorgeous in person, is very difficult to photograph well.  The color is a warm mossy green.  It's hand painted cashmere from Just Our Yarn.  Swallowtail1_4

If any of my readers have made this shawl, do you mind telling me roughly what percentage of the top width of your shawl is border?   The yarn I'm using is much finer than that call for, and I need to do some math to work out how many more repeats I need to do.  The body of the shawl has a repeat of 6 stitches, and the border repeats every ten.   So I'm figuring I should go another 5 repeats and end up with an additional 6o stitches.    I want to figure out if that will get me a dimension I can live with.   I'm at 13 repeats, on more and I'll be done with the Budding Lace, according to the pattern.  When stretched, the top currently measures 28".  Hopefully the yarn will hold out.  I've got two skeins of 500 yard each.  Sock_1_1

I started a pair of socks for DD #1.  I'm using a stitch pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks.  It's working out really nicely with the Knitpicks yarn I'm using.  The color way is Smores.

We've got a busy night.  It's Back to School Night at DS's high school.  No time for links.  Sorry.


Why I Missed Knit Out

I really wanted to go to Knit Out this weekend.  We even drove by, and I gazed longingly out the window at the booths and all of those knitters.  But it was a big weekend for the kids.  Every few months, their music school puts on a show.  This weekend they did a Punk Rock show at CBGB.  It was AMAZING!  All of the kids were wonderful.  You almost forgot they were kids.  It was especially memorable because CBGB will close permanently in two weeks.  When you think of all of the great bands who played here, and all of the people who were inspired by the music  and performances they saw here, it is truly tragic.


So while everyone else was out knitting in Union Square, I was hanging out by the mosh pit, rocking out to my kids playing songs I remember well from my formative years.

I did get some knitting done.  I finished both scarves I had on the needles for Think Pink.  I'll be sending them off sometime this week.  I hope they bring a little comfort to a woman facing breast cancer.


It's not too late to enter your photos in Keohinani's shoe/sock contest.  I added two more entries today.



I've decided that my Swallowtail Shawl will be my Rhinebeck project.  Sometimes projects become bigger in my mind than they are in reality.  Yes, this yarn is very fine, and I will need to knit many more repeats than called for, but I do have a month, and the pattern it's self is not too difficult.  So Swallowtail it is.

Last week I asked my readers to show me their funky shoe/sock combos. Now Keohinani has taken it one step further, and made it a contest!  She's offering yarny prizes, so go get your entry in.

For my entry, I dragged DD#2, my intrepid foot model, out in the rain for a photo shoot.  I like the way my Pomatomi look with these shoes.  I think the watery rain theme works well with Cookie's fishy pattern.




I'm still working on pink scarves for Think Pink.  I should be done by the end of the weekend and back to my other knitting projects.  "What are they?" you ask.  Well, lately I've been reading other's blogs where they declare their "Rhinebeck Project".  Hmmm.  I've been looking forward to Rhinebeck.  It'll be my first time.  But now the pressure is on.  What will I knit for this event?  I have been considering finishing my Swallowtail shawl, but that would mean knitting nothing but Swallowtail for the next month.  I could take on one of the many sweaters I've got on my list.  I should be able to get a sweater done quickly enough.  But, I worry, what if it is one of those really warm October days.  I've  been loving some of the vests I've seen lately, so that's another possibility.  I'd like some input.  What do you think?

And for a little eye candy, DD #2's new boots!


Tomato Soup and Goldfish

As a kid, one of my favorite lunches was tomato soup.  Mm-mm.  For the past few days I've had a nasty cold.  So, what's the best way to make myself feel better?  Tomato soup and Goldfish of course!  (Suddenly I've got Maurice Sendak's Chicken Soup With Rice going through my head!  As sung by Carol King of course!)  It's not homemade tomato soup or anything, not Campbell's either.  It's one of those "fancy pants" new organic-soups-in-a-carton that all the grocery stores have these days.  Not a bad lunch for a girl feeling a little under the weather.


I decided I should get a few scarves done for Think Pink.  After searching my yarn stash, and realizing that I didn't have any appropriate pink yarn, I dashed off to my favorite LYS.  I was lucky enough to find some perfect choices in the 50% off bin!  So, I'm knitting two scarves on some big needles, so I can make the October first deadline.

This is Tahki Bunny Print, color 029, on US size 10 needles.  I'm doing a simple broken rib.


I'm also working on a leaf lace pattern in Rowan Cashsoft DK, color 506 on US size 10.5.  I'm doubling the yarn for speedier knitting.


In stash enhancement news, I broke down and placed an order from Dave, of Cabin Cove.  I've been eying his yarn for awhile and just couldn't resist!  They are as lovely in person as they are in his on line shop!


Funk It Up!

I'm still obsessed with the idea of how much fun we knitters can have with our handknit socks!  So, dear readers, I am challenging you to come up with funky, beautiful, garish, sublime shoe and sock combos.  Post a link in my comments.  C'mon, it'll be fun!  If I get enough I'll start a gallery.

Here's mine, in honor of DS, my funky bass player, I submit my funky/garish sock-shoe combo.


I made these socks last year.  They are my own pattern, in Trekking.  They are still one of my favorite pairs.

I've joined Rhinebeck Bingo.  This is going to be fun.  If you are going to Rinebeck, check it out.


A week or so ago Devorah asked me to show a picture of what I bought a Purl Fabrics.   I've been a little remiss in getting this done, so here it is.  I was pretty restrained, for me that is.  Only four pieces.   I'm planning on making a tote with the Japanese inspired floral and lining it with the brown calico.  The other two, with the dots, are something we are thinking about for DD #1's new room.  She and her twin sister are making plans to have separate rooms.  (They still love each other, just need more space.)


Back to School Wednesday!

Here in NJ the kids start school the Wednesday after Labor Day.
This morning, DS went off to his first day of High School.  He is so ready!  He turned 15 at the end of August, so he is old for his grade anyway.  It is time.
DD's 1&2 are off to their first day of 7th grade.  I often ask myself, "How did we get here so fast?"  It seems like I was just a new mom.  Now I look around me and see those moms of babies and kindergartners and think they look so young!  (Not nearly as many "worry lines".)   I'm loving my kids at these ages.  They are smart and funny.  The conversations we have are wonderful.
So happy back to school everyone.

In knitting news, I cast on the Swallowtail Shawl on September 1st.  I was itching for a new project after UFO August.  I'm knitting it with Just Our Yarn Myne.  It is the most heavenly yarn, 100% cashmere, hand painted, lace weight.  Mmmmmmm!  They don't have the yarn on the website because they sell out so fast.  But if you ever see them at a fiber festival, snap some up.  It is much finer than the called for yarn, and I don't like skimpy shawls, so I'll be knitting many more repeats.  This will be a long term project.  Sorry for the lousy photos, the lighting this AM is not great.  I did what I could with contrast and color adjustments.



I'm also test knitting a sock for Bev.  I can't show you the sock, since she'll be submitting it to an on line knitting magazine, but I can show you the yarn.  It's Mama-E's, in a beautiful blue colorway called June Bug.  This yarn is a pleasure to knit.


I had a good time dyeing yarn on Thursday.  I dyed some for my contest winners, and also for Karen's Diabetes Walk-a-thon.  There was even a little left over for me.


For those of you on the edge of your seat to find out which was the lie, the answer is #1.  DH did once have the opportunity to meet his childhood idol, Pele, but it was not on our trip to Costa Rica, it was at a business conference.  I guess I'm a pretty bad liar, a lot of you got it right.  Thanks for playing along.