Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sunday Evening Prepositions

On the needles:

The Sienna Cardigan from the Fall 06 issue of Interweave Knits. I still have the sleeves to knit but I've found two errors and one inconsistency in the pattern. I'll post a summary of the errors later this week.

From the wheel:

I finished plying the sparking singles I spun from Spinerella's thrums. Love the sparkle:

I'm thinking this would be wonderful knit into a teddy bear or other toy. Anyone know of a good pattern?

Over on the DeStash Blog:

More yarn that needs a good home. Maybe your home??

Who's linking here?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

In Which I Reveal A Surprise

I don't know how many of you have seen and/or purchased a copy of Donna Druchunas's new book, Arctic Lace. It's not just an amazing book of patterns; it's also an account of the Oomingmak Knitter’s Co-op and includes information on qiviut fiber and yarn. Donna has embarked on a blog book tour and she'll "be" here next Friday.

I thought it would be fun to send Donna some questions about Arctic lace knitting and the process of researching and writing her book. If anyone has a question for Donna, please email me or leave your question in the comments. I'll send all the questions to Donna in the next couple days to give her time to prepare answers by next Friday. The book is really fascinating so don't pass up your chance to ask Donna about Arctic lace and knitting with qiviut.

More DeStashing

Emboldened by the success of selling the yarn I recently listed on the DeStash blog, I'm plowing ahead with some more offerings. I just I listed my copy of Knitting With Beads by Jane Davis. Click on the photo if you want to buy it for $12.50

Picture 293

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Knit Faster

The view from my porch last night:

Picture 292

Now where did I put that scarf and those gloves??

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In Which I Describe How I Knit Fetching Pair #2

Here's my second pair of Fetching fingerless mitts:

Picture 289

Pattern: Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: one skein, Queensland Collection Kathmandu (merino, silk, & cashmere)
Needles: 4mm double points
Pattern Alterations: I began knitting this pair on the 45 stitches called for in the pattern and immediately realized the gloves would be waaaaay too big. So I frogged and restarted with just 35 stitches. Perfect. I knit the cuff for 18 rounds, the same as the pattern suggests, but I set up the thumb opening by knitting only 5 stitches onto the waste yarn. Like I did with my first, 45-stitch pair, I centered the thumb over the 4x1 ribbing cuff by knitting the first two stitches of the left glove, inserting the waste yarn, and then completing the round. For the right glove, I inserted the waste yarn at the end of the round, but again I centered it over the 4x1 rib. After placing the waste yarn, I worked 6 rounds in the 4x1 rib, worked a cable, knit 5 rounds in 4x1 rib, worked a second cable, knit 3 rounds in 4x1 rib, then bound off all stitches in purl. For the thumb, I picked up 4 stitches above, 5 below, and 3 at each side. I knit the thumb for 8 rounds and then bound off in purl.

I adore this second pair and have been wearing them almost nonstop. The yarn is soft and warm and very fluffy. Does anyone know if it's exactly the same yarn as Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed, 'cause it sure seems like the same yarn.

More Finished Forest Canopy Shawls

The owner of my LYS, Suzette, finished her Forest Canopy Shawl quite a few weeks ago but I never uploaded a photo. Here it is:

Picture 248

She used Zephyr yarn in a beautiful apricot colorway. I love the lace-weight version.

Donna sent me a photo of her completed shawl:


She used her own handspun; some of the first she's ever spun! Awesome.

And Eileen (one of my SnB grrls) finished her shawl too. She's got photos on her blog. It's gorgeous in person; the Wool in the Woods yarn was a wonderful choice.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Biting The Bullet

It's official. I put a few felting yarns up for sale on the DeStash blog.

Click on the photos to go to the listings

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday Prepositions

In the sky:

Today's sky is filled with sunshine and small, wispy clouds. And, yes, the sky really is that brilliant blue color. It's literally, the perfect day. This photo was taken while I waited for my daughter to finish up at softball practice.

Off the needles:

Picture 283

My second pair of Fetching gloves. These were knit from one skein of Kathmandu yarn. Details to follow.

On the needles:

Picture 285

A secret project that is causing me much heartburn at the moment. *sigh*

Into the mailbox:

Picture 281

I finally mailed the Wavy Feathers Wimple I made off to my pal in the International Scarf Exchange. Hope she likes it.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

In Which I Thank You And Describe How I Altered Fetching

First, thanks to everyone who left a comment for Blogless Val. Seriously, I really appreciate that you took the time to help me bring my little scheme to fruition. I’m not sure whether Val can actually respond to the comments or whether they are delivered to Margene’s email account, but I’m sure she was appreciative of every one . . . and surprised. Last time I checked there were over 148 comments (wow!). I would say Val is entitled to something extra special from Rhinebeck! And don’t forget to check out today’s post from guest blogger #2, Karen.

Second, as promised, here are my first pair of Fetching fingerless gloves:

Sorry for the crappy photo. The one in Monday's post is much better.

Pattern: Fetching by
Yarn: Classic Elite Wings (yellow, overdyed by me with Brilliant Blue ProChem dye)
Needles: 3.5mm double points
Pattern Alterations: These notes won’t make much sense unless you have the original pattern in front of you.

That’s about it. I think the pattern is a clever use of a single skein of yarn. I love the gloves and will probably make a few more pairs after I finish my current crisis knitting. I’m thinking Classic Elite Lush would be a nice substitute for the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran since it has a whopping 123 yards in each 50g skein but knits up at about the same gauge.

Tomorrow or Saturday I’ll show you the second pair I made and tell you how I altered the pattern just a bit more.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In Which I Ask A Favor Of You

Many of those who read my blog, also read Margene's blog. This week, Margene has abandoned her blog while she searches for the proverbial Golden Fleece at Rhinebeck. But zen master that she is, she made arrangements for two other Ewe-tah knitters to guest blog while she's away. Their compensation is a fibery goodie from Rhinebeck. That's the background, now I'm about to ask for the favor.

I kinda, sorta, maybe goaded Margene a bit about how many comments her guest bloggers will receive on their posts. In the spirit of a good wager, Margene agreed that the more comments her guest bloggers receive, the better their fibery goodie. And I'm all about forcing Margene to pony up goodies. So, please, hop over to Margene's blog and leave a comment to today's post which was written by the incomparable, yet sadly blogless, Val. I might add that the post is truly wonderful and very inspiring.

And while I'm acting all nervy and everything, if anyone knows how to sew together the shoulders of a sweater worked in 2x2 ribbing, can you help Sibylle out. Don't let the German blog fool you, she speaks English too. Thanks!

As the quid pro quo for all your help today, I promise that tomorrow I'll describe in full detail how I altered the Fetching pattern, not once but twice. Promise.

Who's linking here?

Monday, October 16, 2006


I spent part of the weekend plying the sparkling roving and the rest working on my first project inspired by the Lonesome Skein Knitalong . **

Behold, the left half of a pair of Fetching fingerless gloves.

I'm using one skein of Classic Elite Wings yarn that I overdyed. I split the skein of yarn into two equal balls before I started knitting; one ball for each glove. Hopefully, my measurements were close. I figure I'll weave the ends in after the second glove is finished in case I have to make any adjustments; like take out a round of knitting at the top.

I didn't follow the pattern exactly (surprised?). And I have plans to alter it a bit more for the second glove in order to make them mirror images. I'll let you know how it works out.

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawls

In the last week or so, I've received several emails from knitters who have finished their Forest Canopy Shawls . I've just been too damn lazy to post the links. But I have tried to visit everyone's blogs and leave a comment.

Elizabeth knit her shawl from Anne sock yarn and wore it to a wedding. Check her blog for a funny story.
Edna knit hers from Anne, too.
Kristie knit hers from Lorna's Laces yarn. Gorgeous.
Sharon used Mountain Colors Bearfoot. Great substitution.

***BTW, if you want to join the Lonesome Skein Knitalong , today (Monday) is the last day to sign up. So act fast.

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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Prepositions

Above our heads:

Bare Tree

Although it's brightened up considerably, this morning was grey and overcast. DD and her friend accompanied me to Silver Fork Lodge for a late breakfast. The three of us then took what will most likely be our last lap around Silver Lake before winter sets in.


Around the bobbin:


DH and DS were in New York the last few days on a pilgrimage. I took advantage of the evening quiet to spin up a bit of Spinderella's thrums for a baby sweater. I think the purple Angelina will be cute knit up.

Into the shopping bag:


What do you think? Ugly? Cute? Hard to say. I'm holding onto the receipt just in case I change my mind.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

In Which I Think Too Much About Destashing

I've been thinking some more about why I seem to have such an enormous stash and I think I've reached a unilateral consensus on the issue.

Although I am the child of Depression-era parents (who, to this day, have difficulty throwing away even the most useless things), I don’t stash yarn because I fear a fiery fibery Apocalypse or the arrival of a day when I won’t be able to afford to buy even a single skein of Red Heart Shetland Chunky from Smiley's.

Picture 276
[Random photo of my current mindless knitting project posing with my still-fabulous flowers.]

Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion that I stash yarn for two main reasons:

1. I love to shop but, at the same time, I hate to shop. In other words, I’m a browser. I absolutely, positively hate to go shopping when I need something. And, I’m basically indecisive by nature so I fear I would never knit anything if I bought yarn on a project-by-project basis. I would simply wander aimlessly from yarn shop to yarn shop, seized up with all the possibilities. Having a healthy stash eliminates the panic of finding myself projectless and thrown into the distasteful situation of actually needing to go to the yarn store.

2. I love yarn . . . all yarn. Well, okay, almost all yarn. Think about it. Every skein holds such promise. How will it look knit up? What will the colors look like in garter stitch, stockinette, double moss, felted? What needle is best for this fiber? I can't stop myself from endlessly pondering the possibilities hidden inside each luscious skein. This is the main reason why I still haven't listed any of the yarns I set aside on the DeStash blog. I just need a little more time to exorcise the demons.

That's my stashing story, and I'm sticking to it.

So, why do you stash yarn? Or not.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In Which I Reveal The Buttons I Chose For The Baby Sweater

Thanks for all the helpful input on the buttons for the baby sweater. I was 5 minutes away from sewing on the plastic/leather, old-man buttons when I decided to look in my button box. And, of course, I found something I'm pretty sure I like better.

Picture 271

Cute or what? Even better, the parents of the as-yet-unborn child for whom I knit this sweater met while serving in the Peace Corps in Africa. Brilliant.

My favorite is the back panther which I think I'll put at the neck unless one of you talks me out of it.

Picture 273

And kudos to those of you who guessed that I spent part of my Columbus Day holiday preparing my stash for a major destash. Here's some of the stuff I'm contemplating moving out:

Picture 269

Somehow, it seems like more in person. The first to go will probably be some mohair and two skeins of orange Cotton Ease that someone might like for a quick Halloween costume or a scary deer hunting project.

Picture 268

For someone who doesn't particularly like mohair, I seem to have an ungodly amount of it in my stash. I guess I like the idea of mohair, I've just never been able to make friends with it. If you're looking for some nice 100% mohair and a mohair/wool blend (there's no nylon or acrylic in my mohair), check the DeStash blog either today or tomorrow.

And, can I make a quick observation about destashing. Why is it that I have very little interest in any particular yarn until I decide to get rid of it? Seriously, I have been staring at the bags of yarn and the books for three days now and I can't stop thinking about all the projects I could make from them. I keep removing skeins from the bags and coming dangerously close to casting on. What's up with that?

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Monday, October 09, 2006


The only thing better than having a day off work for a federal holiday, is when that day is not a school holiday. Aaah, how I love the deafening silence around here when the kids are at school. Not surprisingly, I made a bit of progress on a couple of knitterly projects. In fact, I actually finished something. Seriously, that is not a misprint.

Remember the baby sweater I botched a couple of weeks ago? It's finally off the needles:

Picture 266

I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again, but I just love this pattern which is called the Blossoms and Bowties Baby Cardigan. I think this is the fourth one I've knit. Instructions are given for bulky weight and worsted weight yarn and I've made the sweater with both types. I prefer the worsted weight but if you use bulky, you can easily knit the entire sweater in a weekend. Well, unless you totally screw it up like I did last month.

I changed the pattern a bit this time, working garter edges instead of the chevron cuffs and lower edge. See my double-start cast on at the bottom edge?? You gotta love that double-start cast on.

Tell me the truth; what do you think of the buttons?

Picture 267

They're plastic (nice plastic) covered with a thin layer of leather. Are they too old-mannish for a baby?? Seriously, do they scream "Grandpa"?

And what else did I do today? Well, here's a hint. It involved opening many, many Rubbermaid bins.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Prepositions

In the sky:


The last bit of cloudiness after a night and day of rain.

On the kitchen table:

Click on the photos if you want really, really large versions.

I bought this fabulous bouquet of flowers at last night's Legal Aid Fundraiser. There was a different arrangement on each table and they were auctioned off to the highest bidder at the table. These were arranged by a local florist called Roots. Although I had never heard of this business until last night, their number went right into my address book. Seriously, this could be the most spectacular arrangement I've ever had at my house.

Around the bobbin:


Some roving I picked up this morning at Three Wishes. It's distributed by Kraemer Yarns and I believe it is fairly new because Kristine said she'd just received the shipment and I couldn't find any information about it on the Web, including on Kraemer's site. I can tell you what I think of it, though. It's OK. Personally, I don't like any of the Kraemer yarns. The colors are beautiful, but the yarn itself is kinda blah. Same is true of this roving. I'm spinning up a colorway called "Spice" and it's a beautiful, heathery mix of orange, red, and yellow. But the fibers themselves are somewhat short and coarse with little crimp so the singles are somewhat hairy. I don't think the finished yarn will be particularly soft or lofty. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this roving to a beginning spinner. It's been prepared nicely and drafts very, very easily.

Has anyone else used this??

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Great Balls Of Fire Baby Hat

Picture 254

Yarn: less than 50g of fingering weight wool (I used this handspun yarn)
Needles: 3.25mm circular needle (16”) and a set of 3.25mm double points

Using the circular needle, CO 96 sts using the stretchiest cast-on you know. I like the cast-on Nancy Bush calls the "double start."

Join into the round without twisting the stitches.

Begin working the ribbing pattern as follows:
*k1 tbl, p1; repeat from * to end of rnd

Continue working this ribbing pattern, round after round, until the sides of the hat are approximately 3.5 inches high, measured from the cast-on edge.

Begin decreasing as follows:
Rnd 1: *keeping in established rib pattern, work 14 sts, k2tog tbl (i.e., knit two sts together through the back loop): repeat from * to end of rnd
Rnd 2: *keeping in established rib pattern, work 13 sts, k2tog tbl; repeat from * to end of rnd
Rnd 3: *keeping in established rib pattern, work 12 sts, k2tog tbl; repeat from * to end of rnd

Continue in this manner, working one less st before the decrease until there are 12 sts on the needle. Change to double-pointed needles when necessary.

Last decrease round: *k2tog; repeat to end of rnd (6 sts)

Cut the yarn, thread it onto a tapestry needle, and draw the needle through the 6 remaining sts to close the hole at the top of the hat.

Weave in the two yarn ends.

Find a baby who needs a new hat.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

Genetic Defect

Last Friday I got word that a former co-worker is pregnant. After a brief search through my stash, I decided no particular yarn was calling out, "Baby gift, baby gift." So I decided to take matters into my own hands and spin up something more appropriate. I opened up the first of several bins holding my fiber stash and this immediately caught my eye:

Wouldn't it have caught your eye, too. I mean it's kinda bright, huh. It was actually dyed by Margene during the class we took from Kate at the Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair in early September. I shared my extremely dark, hand-dyed roving with her, and she shared her retina-searing richly dyed roving with me.

The goal here was to spin up a nice DK weight yarn and knit up a quick hat. If all went well, booties could follow since there's plenty of roving.

After plying up my two bobbins of singles, I came to the conclusion that I am genetically incapable of spinning anything heavier than fingering weight yarn. Instead of the 60 yards or so of DK weight that I was aiming for, I found myself with approximately 180 yards of fingering weight:

Picture 249

What do you think? Will the hat make the child look too much like a match head? On the other hand, I guess I could call the colorway, Don't Play With Matches.

Blind Squirrels

I have a friend whose favorite expression is, "Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometimes." The expression came to mind when I was browsing through the new issue of Knitter's Magazine today. I was surprised to find a wonderful sock pattern designed by Candice Eisner Strick:

Picture 252

Definitely worth the cover price of the magazine which is otherwise somewhat mediocre.

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.