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Posts from April 2007

Thank You Barbara Walker

I enjoy checking in on the Walker Treasury Project.   I own BW's Second Treasury, and turn to it all the time for stitch patterns.  The Walker Treasury Project is such a brilliant idea.  It is so helpful and inspiring to see those beautiful color photos of stitch patterns.


Being the visual sort, I find it much easier to graph the patterns before I knit them.  All of those, "row 1: k1, yo, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, k2tog. . . "  instructions make me dizzy.  I could never. never. never. knit lace that way.  When I find a pattern I like I put it in my handy-dandy Moleskine grid notebook.  A few rows into knitting I am usually able to see the pattern clearly enough to dispense with the chart.  Then it is just the lovely flow of the pattern.


This stitch is the "Gothic Leaf" from BW's Second.  I knit it on US size 6 Addi Lace needles.  The yarn?  Oh the yarn, lets talk about the yarn. . . mmmmm.  It is Jade Sapphire, 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere, colorway Tourmaline #71, purchased on a whim at Purl a few months back.  One of the women working at Purl was wearing a gorgeous green scarf knit from the stuff.  Once I saw how hers had bloomed, I just couldn't stop myself.  This yarn isn't cheap, but from one skein I was able to get a scarf that is 6" x 66", and still have a nice bit leftover.


The fabric is so light and airy that it will make a fine spring scarf.  It was all I could do to keep DD#1 from trotting off to school with it today.   I have been loving the Chevron photos I've seen of scarves being worn as head wraps.  So, we took a few shots that way.  Although it's not a Chevron, it makes a nice wrap.  Also, it certainly helps to tame DD#1's unruly tresses.


I think I'll check in with the hosts of the Walker Treasury Project and see if they've had anyone knit this pattern yet.  Otherwise I'll submit photos of mine.  (Just checked, they've already got it.)


Using a random number generator I've chosen one more winner from my blogiversary contest.  Jennie, who was the 19th comment on the post will be getting some yarn in the mail.  Thanks again for all of the kind and supportive blogiversary wishes.

Sunday Sky

If anyone ever tries to tell you that New Jersey is an ugly state, show them this photo.


It was the perfect combination of sun and rain to create not one, but two stunning rainbows.  They each formed a complete arch across the sky.

Thank you for all of the kind blogiversary wishes.  I am trying to write back to everyone individually, but the week has gotten away from me.  Vicki was my 2,000th commenter.  (I hit that number on my blogiversary!)  I've already sent a package off to her.  So many of you commented that  I've decided to draw another name randomly and send out another package.  I'll let you know who that lucky winner is tomorrow.

This week I plan to finally write up the pattern for Linea as well as the golf club cover.  Thanks for your patience!

One Year

Today is my first blogiversary.


It has been an amazing year.  I've met some smart, funny, kind, generous and creative people.  Thank you to everyone who has been reading, commenting and keeping me inspired and motivated.


Last night it occurred to me that I should have a wonderful new finished object to help celebrate.
But, I'd spent the entire day playing tennis and golf and generally enjoying the beautiful weather.
So I did the only logical thing.
I made a sock for my King Cobra driver.
This is a big club and it deserves a flashy cover.


Cobra Cover

Pattern:  My own, if there is any interest I will write the pattern up.  I just don't know how many other knitting golfers are out there.   Added 5/2/07:  The pattern is now up in my sidebar.  Enjoy!

Yarn:  Laines Du Nord, Dolly Maxi 100% Superwash Merino - purchased from Elann about two years ago.  Sorry, I've lost the tags and can't be sure of the colors.

Needles:  US size 9  Knitpicks options - one pair, magic looped

I call this club my grapefruit, because that pretty accurately describes the size of the club head.  Naturally I choose the yarn in my stash that was as close to grapefruit colored as I could.  Then I just knit and had fun with pattern.

Thanks again for a great first year of blogging!


PS  I'm really close to my 2000th comment.   I will no doubt send yarn to whoever crosses that milestone for me. . .


I think I have mentioned in the past that before I had this knitting obsession I had a passion for plants.
I would start pouring over plant and seed catalogs in January, placing orders in February and March, and by early April the hunt would be in full swing.  I knew every local and not-so-local nursery.  I remember many spring days driving home with every available inch of the car packed with perennials, shrubs and trees, my girls in their car seats, little faces peering out from between the foliage.  They loved it, riding home inside a mobile garden.  My neighbors knew me as the crazy one who would go outside, a baby strapped to her back and trim the roses. 

As I learned more, my taste in plants became more sophisticated.  Just as knitters quickly outgrow the flashy allure of novelty yarns, I began to loose interest in the garish flats of annuals that fill neighborhood garden centers.  I started to see the diverse beauty in foliage.  I loved the variety of color, texture and form I found in leaves. 



Lolly has appropriately assigned green as one of the colors for April and May.  As we watch the leaves and plants emerge, we can appreciate the spectrum of greens that nature presents.  In photographing my two scarves today I was struck by how these two projects, so similar on the surface - both long, narrow, green, lace scarves, are as different as the leaves of two families of plants.  One is the vibrant yellow-green of spring grass ablaze with dandelions, its handspun yarn and textured stitch pattern giving it a lively rugged feel.  The other is the soothing blue-green of newly emerged lambs ears*, the downy-soft, hand dyed cashmere adding to the refined effect.



I still love plants and try to find time to tend my gardens.   But the knitting now must be given equal time.  The ideas that get me excited about both endeavors are, in the end, so much alike.

*Since most who read this are knitters I must point out that I am referring to the silvery ground-hugging plant and not the fiber animal that we all love so well!


When LaVerna sent the birthday package I showed yesterday, she included a small sample of Merino Bamboo roving that Funky Carolina had included in her order.  I spun it yesterday.  I'm hooked.  This yarn is lusciously soft with a subtle sheen.  I must get more, but I must resist.  The roving stash is starting to take over in the same way the yarn has.

There are only about 10 yards here.  The big question is do I want to knit something with this or just enjoy it for what it is?


I've got another FO.  These were so close to being done for a long time.  I finally decided to finish them off while we watched Planet Earth the other night.


The thing about Socks That Rock is that if you get bored with the cables and only make the legs of your socks 4" long, you end up with enough yarn for another pair.  So much for stash busting.


Cable Socks

Knit cuff down, 54 stitches, 4 stitch cable, eye of partridge heel
Socks That Rock Mediumweight 'Chanticleer'
Addi Turbos US#3

I've added a new pattern to my sidebar.  It's the scarf I made for my blogless friend Susan back in February.  I blogged about it here.  I'm calling it the Rickenbacker Scarf, since that's the bass that I posed the scarf with for the photo shoot.  The juxtaposition of the sugary sweet scarf with this classic rocker bass just works for me.

Tomorrow I drive with my parents to NC, where they will be re-locating.  It's going to be a difficult time for me.  I'm so spoiled by having lived so close to them for so many years.  I'll really miss them.  The move should be for the best for them.  My sister lives there, she has lots of connections in the medical field in the area where they will live.  She knows how to get the kind of care that my father needs.



I've been diligently working on improving my spinning.  But until recently, hadn't knit anything with the yarn I've made.


Surfing around blogs on Sunday I was inspired by HPNY over at When the going gets tough, the tough get knitting!.   She made a simple hat from her first spinning.  I immediately decided I had to do the same thing.  I even went so far as to copy the way she knit a soft band on the inside.  This was clearly the best choice of finishing since any other edge would take more yarn than I had.


Handspun Hat.
Two-ply yarn spun from Superwash Corriedale from Perchance to Knit on my Golding drop spindle.
Knit top down until I ran out of yarn.
Inside edge knit with Manos Striata.
Needles US 10.5 - I should've used 11's but once I started knitting, I didn't want to stop to rip out.

When we returned from our trip to Miami on Saturday, I was greeted by some lovely birthday gifts in the mail.

Susan, who was one of my first commenters on this blog and has since become a friend, sent some gorgeous hand sewn coasters that she made, along with a sweet card.  As a crafter it is always so special to receive a gift that someone has taken the time to make - and they are so beautifully sewn!  Thank you for your kindness Susan!


The ever generous LaVerna sent a birthday package as well.  She included more roving (from Funky Carolina) to fuel my new obsession & the pattern for the Spring Things Shawl.  I am constantly amazed by how LaVerna always knows just what I'll love!


After seeing my photos of Lenten Roses, LaVerna decided to also send her latest package from Sundara's Petals Collection!!   Having fought with myself to resist joining the Sundara's Sock Club, it is such an indulgence to have LaVerna share this with me.  Lenten Roses (or hellebores) have been one of my favorite flowers for years.  Sundara beautifully captured the color of the darkest varieties, which I so admire, in her yarn.  The lacy sock pattern that is included with the package is equally glorious.  Thank you once again LaVerna!


The thing is. . .

It is time that Olga and I reveal the answer as to which baby was who in last week's contest.  We have agreed to post our "now" photo alongside our baby photo.

I am happy to take photos of my kids or my knitting all day long.  But a photo of myself?  That is a whole different story.  I do not photograph well.  This is not a plea for compliments.  I am stating a simple truth.  Circumstances today conspired against my best attempts.  There was the studio-esque set up in the living room - too up-tight and the lighting, really awful.  Then there were more casual poses in the kitchen - more relaxed yes, but the lighting was even worse.  So I decided to brave the elements.  East coasters living anywhere from the Mid Atlantic on up will know about the conditions outside today - a little snow and freezing rain along with gusts of gale force winds.  Quite a funny idea, to think that I alone, equipped with a tripod and my little point-and-shoot camera - self timer set, would succeed at this mission.  I've decided that the best I can offer you pretty much sums up what was happening during this photo shoot.  At least I am laughing in this photo and not swearing.  No, my hair does not normally stand straight up like that.  DS says I look scary in this photo and worriedly asked if people who read my blog have ever seen what I really look like!


As a baby I photographed slightly better, especially when there was a particularly enticing lamb cake in front of me.  Clearly my mom and aunts were introducing a love of fiber early on.


I picked a name out of a hat from all of those who guessed correctly.  The winner of my birthday contest is Carole of Carole Knits.  She is a very generous blogger, so it thrills me to get the chance to spoil her.  Olga also chose a winner, so go check out her blog to see who won there.

Thank you to everyone for the warm birthday wishes.  It was wonderful to hear from regular readers, lurkers who "de-lurked" and new readers who came over from Olga's.  Tomorrow I hope to have better light so that I can do justice to some lovely goodies that a few friends sent.


In closing, a little tidbit heard in my kitchen yesterday:

DS (to his sisters):  When I was your age, Pluto was a planet!

As Promised

Modeled photos of DD#2's new beach cover-up.








Pattern:  Lacy Dress from Rebecca #31 - sans sleeves
Yarn:  100% cotton purchased at School Products a few years ago
Needles:  Knitpicks Options, US 7

Location:  Any guesses?

Lace weight cashmere makes excellent beach knitting.


It's not too late to enter yesterday's contest, you have until 11:59 EDT, Saturday the 14th.

Twins Separated at Birth?

As I mentioned last week, Olga and I turn 45 this week.  I have to pause here to point out that she is older than me for the next 5 days.  Today is Olga's birthday, mine is Saturday.   Happy Birthday Olga!

We've decided a contest will help ease the pain for us a bit.

The rules are simple.  All you have to do is identify who is who in the baby photos.  All of those who are correct will be entered in a random drawing.   We'll pick two names out of a hat.  The prizes of course are yarn & treats.  You are welcome to enter on both of our blogs.  We'll run the contest through 11:59 pm (EST) on Saturday the 14th.

Baby #1


Baby #2


Happy Easter

We went on a bunny binge.  Even DS & his friend/band mate got in on the act.
The tails are my favorite part.


The pattern can be found here.
I followed the link after seeing some over at A Friend to Knit With.

The first photos of the season from the garden are of Helleborus x hybridus, also known as Hellebores or Lenten Roses.  The common name clearly alluding to their blooming season.

I love these tenacious plants.  They are the sort that are shy and face toward the ground.  Sometimes the blooms simply hide under the foliage.  A passer by needs to take their time to see their glorious hidden faces.  I love them even more for the effort required to find the secret of their beauty.