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Posts from July 2007

Lace Diva

I have come to the realization that I love to knit lace.  I see so many projects that I want to knit; sweaters with cables, mittens with amazing colorwork, socks with intricate patterns.  For me those things are all about the end product.  I want to make them because I like idea of the finished object.  It has occured to me though, when I am truly happy, while I knit, it is always lace that I am knitting.  I love the feel of the fine yarn, I love the rhythm of the yarn overs and the knitting two together, I love the sharp needles.  Of course there is also the joy of the finished piece.  I wear my lace shawls every chance I get.  I will continue to lust after patterns with cables and colorwork. I'm sure I will cast on a project or two.  But I think the projects most likely to be finished will be lace.

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Pattern:  Adamas Shawl
Designer:  Miriam Felton for Knit Picks
Yarn: Fearless Fibers, Colorway:  Hendrix
Needles:  Addi Lace US 6
Modifications:  None
Model:  DD#2

Ben's Blue Devil Hat

My girls and I are home from North Carolina after a fun filled visit with my sisters, parents, nieces and nephew.  I really enjoy the Durham / Chapel Hill area.  There are wonderful hiking trails, fabulous restaurants and three yarn stores within a short drive.  We had tour of the Lemur Center (which I highly recommend if you are in the area), visited the yarn stores, bought our copies of The Deathly Hallows at midnight, ate apple pie, went to my mom's new quilt group, celebrated my dad's 78th birthday and mostly enjoyed one another's company.

My seven year old nephew is a huge fan of handknits.  (He is obviously a very intelligent child!)  As soon as I arrived he started asking me to make something for him, so I set to work knitting a hat.  I found some self striping Berroco yarn in the colors of his beloved Duke Blue Devils.   He was thrilled with the results and despite the 95 degree heat, he happily wore the hat.

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I didn't feel right leaving his sisters out of the fun, so my mom and I set to work knitting three more.  Luckily the Berroco yarn comes in a variety of colors.

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My mom had so much fun knitting hats that she asked me to write up the pattern so that she could knit more after I'd left.  The hat is knit top down and I did all of the decreases at the crown, then passed them off to her to knit the rest of the hat, so she needed the decrease instructions.  Since I typed the pattern up for her, I thought I would offer it here too.  It is a very basic top down hat with a rolled brim.  I'm sure there are many more out there, but here is my humble contribution.  The pattern is in the sidebar.  I'm calling it "Ben's Blue Devil Hat" for my charming nephew.  Now he wants to know what I'm going to make for him next - socks perhaps or a scarf to match the hat.

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(yeah, my sister has twins too)

Specs.
Ben's Blue Devil Hat (pattern in the sidebar)
Yarn:  Berroco Love It Colors
Needles:  US 8/5.0mm DPN's
Gauge:  17 stitches = 4" /10cm.
Beautiful Models:  Ben, Abby, Emma & Hallie

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Coming soon: my finished, blocked Adamas Shawl.  Much knitting can be accomplished waiting for delayed flights.

Halley's Comet

I'm off to Durham, NC tomorrow to visit my family.  My parents relocated there in May and I have really missed them.  It will be good to see everyone, my sisters both live there too.  Although we grew up in NJ, I'm the only one left in the Garden State.

I'm not sure if I will get a chance to post while I'm there.  (Or if I will produce anything "blog-worthy".)  But I will leave you with the quickie hat I knit for DD#1.  She wanted a "summer hat".  I found Marnie MacLean's Halley's Comet hat while playing around in Ravelry.  (Which I am spending way too much time doing these days.)  It was a quick knit without being boring.  I'll definitely be making more of these.

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Specs.

Pattern: Halley's Comet by Marnie MacLean - a well written pattern and I love the way it turned out, I'll be making more of these.
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease, color Lime 1 skein
Needles: Knitpicks Option US 7 magic looped - that's how I like to knit my hats!

Last week while I was in Mexico Ava and Lola of Two Black sheep nominated me as a Rockin Girl Blogger!  Yay!  I was very flattered, and think they are pretty Rockin' too!  Thanks Ava and Lola!

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I'd like to nominate a few Rockin' Girl Bloggers too:

Nova at Archivist on the Edge
- even if she didn't have the cutest model around, her photos and projects would keep me coming back.

Carole at Carole Knits - who inspires us with her example to live as green a life as we can, charms us with her re-enactments and adorable husband and seems to crank out socks and lace shawls at inhuman speeds.

Beverly at PoMo Golightly - who was one of my very first commenters, is the master mind behind last year's Knit Sock Kit Swap and the Knit Mitt Kit Swaps and recently knit the most beautiful shawl for her wedding.

and

Megan the Knitting Philistine
- because Fiberlicious is such a fabulous idea and because I wish I could live her life, working toward my PHD in Near Eastern Archeology - oh, and she's a pretty skilled knitter too!

Have Guitar, Will Travel

When I should have been packing for our trip to Mexico last week, I dyed these.  They were still wet when we left.

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It was fun to come home to them still hanging on the rack, nice and dry.

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The yarn above is 1/2 lb. of wool2dye4 super sock, 100% merino.  They call it fingering weight, I think it is a little lighter.  A half a pound is about 950 yards, so there is enough for a lace shawl here.  Hmmm, what to make, what to make?  I've named the color "Summer Grass".

Echeveria_1

This yarn is 50/50 merino silk in a worsted weight.  If I could find a wholesale source for this stuff I would buy some and dye it to sell.  I bought these three skeins  at a LYS a few years ago.  I always planned to dye it to knit Clapotis.  The jury is still out though.  I'm open to suggestions.  I've named the color "Echeveria", which is the botanical name for some of my favorite little plants; Hen's & Chicks.

Echeveria_2

DS leaves for Spain tomorrow.  He's going to be living with a Spanish family for two and a half weeks, taking Spanish classes and documentary film making classes.  I'm really going to miss him.  We went out and bought a cheap guitar for him to take since he can't be away from his music.   He's hoping to find a few Spanish musicians to teach him a bit of traditional guitar. He played his new toy for me the whole drive home from the store.   I had my own private concert - a bit of Macy Gray a bit of Soul Coughing and a touch of Jill Scott.  Now he's playing and he and DD#2 are singing.  It's moments like this when I realize how much I love being a mom -  and how cool this dear boy, who sometimes makes me want to rip my hair out and other times makes me laugh till I cry, is.

A Tip of the Hat to Our Neighbors South of the Border

Last week was an interesting one.  We went on a family vacation to Mexico.  When I say family, I mean 19 of DH's nearest and dearest.  The trip was to celebrate his mom's & Aunt's 70th birthdays.  (They are SIL's born 10 days apart.)  All things considered, everyone got along pretty well.   But I'm glad the week is behind us.

Chichen_itza

Chichen Itza was a highlight.  The announcement that this awe-inspiring Mayan Pyramid earned a well deserved place on the new Seven Wonders of the World list was made the day after our visit.  (The photos I've included here are not of the pyramid itself, but of other buildings at the site.  My photos of the pyramid have far too many tourists in them.)  Oh, and I shouldn't forget to mention the inclusion of the Taj Mahal on the list, which was heartily toasted by the group of lively Indians that I was traveling with!

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On my return from Cancun, I found a note from the post office that they  were holding a package for me.
It was from Uruguay . . .
It took all of my very limited self control not to rip into the package on the drive home from the post office.  I did it for you dear reader.  I just had to show you how pretty the stamps are!

Uruguay_package

Do you want to see what was inside?
Mmmmmmerino - lace.  Ahhhhhh. 
Purchased from this e-bay seller.
It took a few weeks for this order to arrive, but it was worth the wait.  I don't know what I'll make with it.  I'll probably just caress it for awhile.

Uruguay_merino

There was a bit of plane knitting on the Mexico trip.  I started Miriam Felton's Adamas shawl.  The pattern has been on my list for ages, and I found the perfect yarn from Fearless Fibers.  The yarn is Lace weight Merino in the Hendrix colorway.

Adamas

I was enjoying knitting this shawl so much that when the pilot announced our "final approach" to Newark, I was actually disappointed!

Final note:
I received my Ravelry invite at long last!  Hurray!  There is so much to be inspired by.  As if my knitting ADD weren't bad enough!   I've been having a great time exploring and adding projects.  It will take months to list the stash!