Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking back on 2009

Just a quick recap in this last hour of 2009. I thought after May I would have so much more time to do all sorts of things, like knit and write about my knitting, but somehow that just didn't happen. But even so, here is what I managed to complete in the last year.

4 sweaters
2 pairs of fingerless mitts
1 pair of socks (??!!??)
3 washcloths
1 neck warmer
1 afghan square
2 lace shawl/stoles
4 baby hats

Of these 18 items, 12 were given away--that is 2/3 of my knitted items. That said, the larger projects (3 sweaters, 1 shawlette, socks) were for me.

Let unfinished this year is the Tilted Duster, which for the past 4 months has needed nothing but the arms sewn on. I really could use this sweater in my state of expanding belly. Also, the Baby Surprise Jacket, which I had been thinking about for so long, but just could not get into. I really should finish it though. Also unfinished is the Colonnade wrap which I thought would be done in a snap considering I finished the Ishbel in 2 weeks, yet this one lingers. And also, the project I knew would be a long term one--and which I do work on sporadically, especially on cold winter nights, because now it covers my legs--the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket.

Hoping 2010 brings us all the time to do the things we really love.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Puff Mama

A few weeks ago I knit and sent off a scarflet to the one respondent to my Pay It Forward challenge.
I made the Puff Daddy using about 1/2 skein of Big Softie, and got to use my pompom maker for the first time. A fun quick knit--I highly recommend it, especially if you are looking for some last minute gift knits.

I'm getting fond of the Big Softie. I'm not usually into (super) bulky yarns, but they work really well for certain things--and this wool blend feels really nice, and makes the best pompoms!

Friday, November 27, 2009

10 years, 24 weeks, 28 days 'til Christmas

In the spirit of being thankful . . .

Today marks 10 years of marriage. With all its ups and downs, it has been a great decade.
This is the 24th week of my second pregnancy--so far so good :)
With 28 days to go, I ordered the perfect Christmas gift for my husband today. It took me less than 2 minutes on the phone, it will not take up any space or gather dust in my house, and it was on sale (bonus, bonus, bonus).

I am thankful for my family, my current state of good health, and the fact that I have access to everything I could possibly need (and more).

We are looking forward to a few days off before tackling the spare (soon to be occupied) room. The paint has been purchased, now to get cracking!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Photographer's Prop Hats

Well here are some projects that came and went so quick I haven't even posted them on Ravelry yet.

I have a friend who is a family/child photographer. Some time in the past we had talked about hats that she could use with babies during her shoots. I promised to make her some cute hats, as I had seen some posted on Ravelry. Her request was that the yarn was "pretty" and machine washable. Hmmmm, lots of pretty yarn, but not so much of it machine washable.

After a bit of looking around I found a yarn that I liked--Sidar's Big Softie--purchased at my localest LYS, less than a mile from my house. I actually purchased this yarn for another, yet to be blogged, project--but that was a gift for someone, who I believe is a reader, so I will wait until she receives it before I show it off.

One of these little hats was clearly inspired by the hat I saw on Ravelry. One of them, I must have subconsciously remembered--I thought I had a unique inspiration to make it, but when I checked the patterns of the original prop hat there was one similar. One of them is a basic hat, all my own, but undoubtable made by generations of other knitters.

Here they are:

Playful Pompom

Pretty Petals

Plain Vanilla

I will write up and post the pattern for plain vanilla--though you can probably take a look at it an figure it out. Meanwhile, I will be checking my friend's site (Traci McCabe Photography) to see if she has had a chance to use the hats. If you live anywhere near Westford, MA, and are interested in having portraits taken, especially of children, take a look at her site. I think she does lovely stuff.


I became obsessed with Ishbel a few weeks ago--and I just had to knit it.

I used the Alpaca Sox that I bought last year (I think) in hopes of making actual socks. Since I have lost my sock mojo, I decided over the summer to make a scarf. I can't even remember the pattern I was making--but it was a Knitty pattern that I believe actually called for this yarn (maybe)--but I got a migraine while doing it, and it just totally put me off the pattern. Never even took a picture--we were traveling at the time. I balled it up and put it away, and I'm pretty sure I did not even knit for the rest of the trip (weird, right?).

Then I just needed to make Ishbel. So out came the Alpaca Sox, and I think it was perfect. I have no pictures of me wearing it, though I have worn it around the house.
US 6 / 4.0 mm
Classic Elite Yarns Alpaca Sox
0.82 skeins = 369.0 yards (337.4m)
I did a large stockinette section and a small lace section, adding beads to the D chart.
Here it is blocking.

This was made in exactly two weeks! I am considering making one for my Mom. She seemed to really like mine, and I have plenty of nice fingering weight yarn just lying around.

Phat Fibers

It has been so long since I had time to write anything that the next set of Phat Fibers boxes have been sold and probably received by some. But I will post some pictures and talk a bit about what I got.

Here is what I found when I opened the box. The theme was masquerade--and I did wear my mask for the trick or treaters (all 5 of them) on Halloween.

Inside the box was a lovely assortment of fibers and some handspun yarns with a good amount of glitz.

The most substantial amount of fiber came from Desired Haven Farm--at the top right of the picture. It is wool, but I'm not sure what type. All it says is Batt made from Simi my black ewe. Plenty of glitz mixed in with this one. Most of the other samples were quite small, just enough to get a feel for the fiber, I guess. Something like 0.25 oz.

There was a good amount of merino fiber in an assortment of pretty colors, but I've had a go at spinning merino and I was hoping for some more variety--and I did get it.

Alisha goes around included some lovely blue merino/bamboo blend. Polyartgirl sent in some mauve 100% bamboo. Anzula send in some natural black, brown and gray alpaca. Dragonmaille sent in some milk fiber--interesting. Rule out: Fiber addiction, NOS send some superwash corriedale--in the color Pavarti Patil--pinks! The Sheepy Kitty sent some BFL, in a color called crushed velvet--lovely aubergines.

Of the yarns, the samples were just enough for a small swatch. Of the yarns there was some merino, and alpaca, but the two I particularly liked were blends. Mama Jude sent in some 50%wool/50% silk that had a lovely sheen (and color). Lampyridae sent 70% alpaca/20% cashmere/10% silk in a laceweight that was just beautiful--pinky browns--and ridiculously soft.

The box also held some non-fiber items (other than the mask). My favorite was a pad of graphing paper, but very special graphing paper. Each "square" is actually a knit stitch, with all the right dimensions, so you can create a pattern on your knit graph paper and really know what it will look like. Very cool. This KnitStitch Graph paper came from There was also a beautiful, large, ceramic button from heartstone ceramics that can be used as an accent on a hat or one large button closure at the top of a cardigan

Now that I know what all the fuss is about I will probably hold off ordering another box for a while. I hope to get around to trying some of these fibers and deciding if I'd like to get to know them a little better. I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Not much blogging recently--though I have been knitting and I do have some FOs to post--just don't have the time (or the photos to do it at the moment).

On a bit of a rant. . .
I opened up my Knitting Daily just now to find that they are trying to sell me another magazine (hey, I thought only Tues and Thurs were for useless advertising). This one is Interweave accessories. Well I bought the Weekend issue (as a impulse), and found nothing jumping out at me and this weekend I bought the Holiday issue, and found nothing exciting. Damned if I will be buying the accessory issue, unless I see a whole bunch of good stuff in there.

They still get my money--I still subscribe, and clearly I've been buying these extra issues, but I'm feeling let down. I know their job is to make enough money to keep things going, pay the bills, etc. But I'm just not feeling the Interweave vibe.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Shopping list

On my shopping list today:
police officer costume
bra extenders

An eclectic list!

Oh, and my Phat Fibers box arrived this past Wednesday!! I have taken some pictures and I will try to post soon. It is truly a box of samples. Unlikely that I can actually make anything from it (though spinning a little bit with the fiber should be interesting)--but oh, they are some nice, soft, sparkly, squishy samples!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Phat Fibers

I think I actually just purchased a Phat Fibers mystery box!! I'm very excited!
Looks like everything went through. I was on there (logged in) before the specified time (refreshing and refreshing). When it came up at 10am I picked a box and went through the process of buying/paying on Etsy. By the time I got back to the Phat Fibers site, at 10:03, all the boxes seemed to be gone!
This was my first time trying for this, and I chose a box with a mixture of fiber and yarn. I can't wait to receive/share the goodies!
They will be putting more boxes for sale later in the day--sending good luck out to those trying to get one!
Makes me feel a bit better about missing out on Rhinebeck (again) this year.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Dyeing fiber

Although I haven't been doing much knitting, I thought I would share my dyeing. A few nights ago I spend some time dyeing up approx. 4oz of Bluefaced Leicester and 4oz. of South African Fine Wool.

Out of the bag the SAF seemed much fluffier (this is a technical spinning term, right?), and seemed to stick to my clothes more than the BFL. Although I was a bit scared that the combed top would just float away in the water, it seemed to hold together just fine when I put it in for a pre-dye soak.

For the SAF I was going for the color of autumn leaves and for the BFL I was going for some muted blues, reds and greens that I have done in the past. Here are the results.



After squishing the water out and pressing the remaining water out with a towel, I was concerned that the roving would be a flat mat of fiber, but after letting it air dry on my clothing rack it did fluff up.

If you look closely you can see the wavy curliness of the BFL. The waviness of the SAF is much finer so it looks smoother.

I'll be passing the SAF along to someone else, and keeping the BFL for myself.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Breaking out the wool

Yes, time for the big guns. Yesterday afternoon I finally switched out the summer/winter clothes and today I am wearing my EZ fair isle cardi. And guess what? It still needs a clasp! The clasp has been sitting on my dresser for months! The sweater is a bit rumpled, and could have used a soak or at least a steaming, but it was just too chilly and rainy today.
As I was shuffling the clothes, I realized that there are many many things that I won't be able to wear for a while. I only have a few sweaters that will take me through the winter--and I guess I should put the pullovers to use earlier rather than later. I put away quite a few winter clothes that just will not fit me this winter, and that was depressing. I really need to get the Tilted Duster sewn together.
On non-knitting/clothing issues:
We had a lovely time at the Fair a few weeks ago. We only went once this year, but I did get to see the giant pumpkins and the sheep. The pictures are on the other computer though--will get some up soon.
We also did a bit of hiking in Purgatory Chasm--very cool. I'm still a bit achy from it actually, but in a good way.
We also enjoyed a day of Fire Safety with the Beverly Fire Dept. We watched a demonstration of how they use the jaw of life to rip open a car--impressive. And got to climb all over the fire trucks--always fun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Knitting funk

I've been in a knitting funk lately, and just can't get out of it.
I haven't knit socks in months--maybe because I was so disappointed with the last ones I tried.
The knitting of my Tilted Duster is complete, but I just can't whip up the energy to get those sleeves sewn in.
I have a few small knitting commitments that I just can't make decisions about (small gifty items).
My Baby Surprise Jacket is just sitting there about 1/2 done--some how I just can't count, and I'm having trouble keeping the increases and decreases in the right place. I do have time for that one though, as the little energy sucker is not due until March--but it would be nice to see this looking like something other than a weird rag.
What I have been working on the last few nights--my Moderne Blanket. Ah, so mindless and soothing. But last night I finished a skein--time to pick a new color and pick up some stitches.

Friday, October 2, 2009

So long September, I hardly knew ya

As work keeps piling on at the office, and team members are dropping like flies (lost one person last week to indefinite medical leave--we are again 3 short on a team that should be 12), I try my best to keep my sanity.

My Tilted Duster is still armless--but I really should get cracking, it has gotten chilly and I could use a cozy cardigan.

My Baby Surprise Jacket is coming along, but of course still looks like a badly made washcloth. We'll see how that all goes.

What has been keeping my sanity is the spinning! It is mostly mindless and that is pretty much what I need these days. I've been working some more on my Stained Glass merino, and I'm about halfway through that bunch. I also bought 2lbs (!) of undyed combed top from Hello Yarn. 1lb of BFL and 1lb of South African Fine wool. I haven't done anything with it, but I will give dying it a shot and let you know how it turns out.

Otherwise, this household is looking forward to the Fair tonight--have a good weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

World Wide Spin in Public Day

I just found out, through Ravelry (of course), that tomorrow is World Wide Spin in Public Day. I don't know if I will get a chance to spin in public--I'm not sure that the waiting room for my flu shot is a good place, but maybe at (our first) soccer practice!

In the meanwhile, I thought I'd post pictures of my latest spinning results.

Here is the second half of the green merino. I'm happy with my progress.

The boy would like me to make him something with this first bunch of yarn that I've made. Once I do a bit of swatching, I may look into using it for some color work--maybe mittens.

And I've started the new stuff.

A little more brown than I would have liked--but pretty nonetheless.

I'm looking into sources for my next fix :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

100 days until Christmas

. . . and I don't think I will be doing any Christmas knitting this year--though I seem to toss in a hat or two somewhere near the deadline.

The knitting for the Tilted Duster is complete. Now I just need to sew in the sleeves (it has been a long long time since I did set in sleeves) and weave in the ends. I'm also planning on putting in some snaps so the collar overlaps where I want it to. I didn't add button holes--I plan to use a pin to keep it closed.

I finished spinning all of that first batch of fiber and the 2nd 2oz definitely came out better than the first. I've told the boy I will make something for him using the first yarn that I spun. I was thinking a hat or mittens--but I wonder if I should use this yarn for some color work. I need to check it to see what kind of gauge I get with it (mostly). Is it fingering, sport or dk? Either way, I'm sure I've got a single skein or so of some complimentary yarn that I can use.

Last night I started spinning the Frabjous Fibers merino--and this one is a bit different than the other merino--interesting. The colors spin up quite dark. I will take a picture soon. I find it funny reading blogs and hearing podcasts about being able to control your spinning so you get the yarn you want. I am at the mercy of the spindle. Pretty much what it wants to do, happens. I have been trying to get thinnish yarn though, so I predraft everything to get it close to what feels right.

On a less fun note--tonight will be my yearly stash reorganization night. Less fun because it was only at 7am this morning that I realized the necessity of running downstairs and moving all my yarn. For months we had on the calendar the annual check up of our burners (yes, plural, we have two, one for each floor). The cabinet that holds all my yarn, as well as my letterboxing stuff (papers, cutters, carving supplies, binding supplies, etc.) blocks one of the doors to access one of the burners. So this morning I unceremoniously dumped all the yarn into plastic trash bags so that we could move the cabinet. Just as soon as I moved the last bag, the burner guy showed up. I did find stuff that I had been missing for months--one good thing about being forced to do this. I just wish I hadn't been stressed out and rushing. Tonight I will sort through it and put it all back--though who knows, I may put some in a pile to give away.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I was hoping to get a post in before the end of August, but September snuck up on me. Around here we are busy saying goodbye to preschool and getting ready for kindergarten!

There has been very little knitting in the past few weeks, but I have done a bit of spinning. One of the neighborhood boys came over to play with my son the other night and I was so surprised to hear my son say, "And this is my Mom's spindle". He is paying attention to what I do :)

So I started playing with the lovely green merino I bought at the Fiber Revival. I was as bad as you would expect the first few times, but I think there has been some improvement. Here is my first yarns--from left to right. See, the right-most one is a bit better!

I plied it with the Andean plying technique that a friend showed me years ago--with a refresher course via the web.
I've got some now that is waiting for the twist to be set, but I want to do it all in one batch, so I'm waiting to finish this bunch of roving. Which brought me to the point that I'm running out of roving! I've only got about 1 oz left. What will I do when that runs out?
Then yesterday I got the weekly (I think she sends it weekly) newsletter from A Loom with a View in Newburyport--and they are now selling handpainted roving. Hmmmmm, interesting.
So, we went out to dinner the other night, conveniently right next door to the yarn shop, and I just had to pop in and see what they were selling. And here is what I found. Yummy.
That will keep me occupied for a little while.

Meanwhile, on the Tilted Duster. . . I had bound off the bottom edge, and it was curling like you might expect if you actually thought about it (like I hadn't), and this bothered me. I looked at people's pictures to see if the curl could be blocked out. I was suspicious. So I let it sit there, not snipping the ball. I thought about it and looked at pictures, and I finally decided to do what some others had done--add some ribbing to the bottom. So I ripped out the bound off edge and went back a row and started added a bit of ribbing. I need to do another few rows before I bind off again--but hopefully this will keep the curl away. Then on to the collar.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fiber Revival

On Saturday the boy and I braved the heat and headed out to Fiber Revival in Newbury MA. We saw some lovely alpaca--and I really did want to take one home.
I met Julia Farwell-Clay and Alison Green Will--both very nice. I also bumped into my knitting pal Paulette, just as we were leaving.

We saw lots of spinners.
And some weavers.
And I did not leave empty handed.

Later that afternoon we went to the pool. Some dragonflies really liked where I was sitting and kept coming to rest on me. Some nearby kids were super impressed and wanted to know how I called them :)
For number one, you've got to sit still!! Which these kids had a hard time doing--but they finally got the hang of it, and the dragonflies came to them too. They must have thought it was some sort of magic. I'd sit there knitting for a while, then stick my hand up and a dragonfly would land on my finger. It was fun.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm back

The cicadas are buzzing, the sun is shining, there is a cool breeze and I won't have to cook dinner--what a great day, if only I wasn't so swamped at work.

We were away for a while, resulting in the lack of posts recently. We tool a road trip of the northeast where we spent time with family and friends. It was great.

I stressed out about what knitting to bring. In the end I brought two potential scarf projects. I tried to start one early in the trip, promptly got a migraine that night, and put down my knitting for the rest of my travels. So, I lost about 10 days of knitting time, but it was such a good 10 days it hardly matters.
I'm back to working on my Tilted Duster and here is how it looks now. Just two more repeats of the skirt before I start thinking about the collar.

In the mail came a lovely package of Kool Aid dyed yarn from Destiknit.

Lovely stuff--but my favorite are the tiny little "hand made" hands. I'm looking forward to using those!
Tomorrow I hope to get the boy out to the Fiber Revival to check out some spinning. If I take any pictures, you'll see them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Results of the Re-dye

Here are the results of my overdyeing efforts last week. A bit better than before, but now due to felting, I guess this yarn will be used for felted projects. I've already gotten a request for kid sized felted slippers.

The Tilted Duster is moving along--sorry, no pictures. I have completed the 6th (out of 10) repeats in the skirt, and I think it is looking pretty cool. I will redo the shoulder seams, since I'm not happy with them. I already did those seams 2-3 times each, but I'm afraid that bad seams will totally ruin all the work for this sweater. I'm not looking forward to putting in the set-in sleeves. I haven't done that in a long long time, and I never particularly liked doing it.

And finally, can you see this little guy? His body is about the size of my thumbnail. He has been hanging out near the light at our front door during rainstorms. Eat up the bugs, buddy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tilted Duster progress

The Tilted Duster is coming along nicely--but I've hit a snag--I've got to do some sewing to move on. I can't believe how many years it has been since I've made a sweater that needed sewing!!


Dyeing instead of Letterboxing

The plans for Sunday were to meet up with a bunch of people and go letterboxing. It was a glorious day here in New England, so of course the boy woke up with a fever--sigh.
So instead I spent the day dyeing.
This is some yarn I dyed for a swap. I started with this:

I learned that Louet Gems fingering weight Merino is WAY overspun, and when it hits the water it twists up on itself.

But I think the color (Kool Aid) turned out nice.

I also did some color correction on the yarn I tried to dye green a few weeks ago--it is now greener. Unfortunately, by the end of it all, I was so tired I tossed it on a delicate laundry bag and tried spinning it out in the washer. Well, guess what, Knit Picks Peruvian Highland Bulky felts very very easily. Another 2 minutes and it would have been unusable. As it stands, I was able to rip it apart and ball it all up, but I think this wool is destined for felted projects--maybe some kiddie felted slippers or the Lucy Bag. I didn't take any pictures though--will try to do that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dream catcher

This post is not about knitting, but there was some crochet cotton involved and certainly plenty of crafting.

For quite a while my son has been asking me for a dream catcher. He doesn't seem to have many bad dreams, but he seems to think he does. And I'm not quite sure where he learned about dream catchers.
I went looking around. What I found was not to my liking; too gussied up, too much stuff, too sparkly or just not my thing. So I decided to try to make one--that way too I could customized it, my son's favorite color is green. I found only one good site with info on how to make one. There might be more out there, but once I found this one I knew I had hit the jackpot.
I found this site with good information:
which led to this site, with directions:

I needed some dried grape vine and some feathers. I found the feathers at AC Moore--but no grapevine. I found the grapevine at Michael's. I used a mini grapevine wreath--the kind you take home to decorate yourself, and soaked it and untwisted it. I can probably make several dreamcatchers from this $0.59 wreath. I bought a smaller one because you really need rather thin grapevine--dream catchers should not be bigger than an adult hand (who knew). Oh, and I also bought some nice beads, since I thought the seeds beads I had might be too small. So for approximately $5 I bought enough materials to make a whole bunch of dream catchers--though so far I've only made one.

Here is what it looks like.

It is currently hanging above my son's bed--I hope it is doing its job.

ps I just noticed the bird poop next to my front door--sorry about that, guess I need to do some cleaning up. Can you tell from our door knocker that we have a lot of birds around.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A good laugh

OK, this is not about knitting--but a blog that I wanted to share, in case you don't already know about it. I've been following it for the past year or so, sporadically--but more frequently in the past month. If you haven't yet heard of it, go to
Most days there are posting of wrecks, but one day a week she posts the opposite of wrecks, and those are pretty cool too, though not as funny.

I started the Tilted Duster the other night. So far so good. I have completed the back and the right front. I hope to finish the left front tonight, leaving the arms for the weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

February Lady Complete

I'm on a role with the sweaters here. This was a particularly fast one--I got to wear it over the weekend and I'm wearing it again today.
February Lady Sweater by pamela wynne
Needle US 7 / 4.5 mm
Yarn Valley Yarns Longmeadow 4.8 skeins

This sweater was a lot of fun to make. It was one of those patterns where I just wanted to complete one more row--keeping me up past my bedtime. For some reason I thought this yarn was machine washable--but it is not. No matter, it blocked really well (I have very little experience blocking a cotton blend), and it is just the right amount of negative ease.

My only complaint is the slight bulging under the arms. I do plan to make a winter version of this sweater and I will need to think about how to fix that.

This was another bargain sweater. I bought 7 skeins of this yarn during the recent Webs anniversary sale--grand total, just over $17 dollars. So this sweater cost me approximately $12. I think I have enough yarn left over to make my niece a matching February baby (or in this case February Toddler).

I've already started swatching for another sweater--this one for the winter. I've had the Tilted Duster in my queue since it was published in 2007. Getting gauge is proving to be tricky, but I think I've gotten close enough, and should be able to start tonight.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

February Lady, in June

may yarn flowers 018
After finishing my Deep Breath sweater (still haven't had the right weather to wear it) I promptly started a February Lady sweater. I'm using a lighter weight yarn than the pattern calls for. Some friends have done it this way, so I thought I would give it a shot. Here is my progress so far:
may yarn flowers 016
I'm really in a groove with this sweater. The lace is a 4 row repeat. Two of the rows are essentially just purl--those are kind of neutral to me. One row I really like to do (row 3 for those who care) and I'm not loving row 1. But over all this works out for me. I get through row 1 because it annoys me and I want to get it over with. Then I relax with a purl row. Then I am rewarded by row 3! Then another purl row, and I'm ready to deal with the annoyance of row 1 again. It really does keep things moving.

Contrast this with the Spring Forward socks, where I'm essentially neutral about all the rows. It makes me just not care. And since I'm not loving the way the way the color is working out on these socks I think I'm working towards frogging them, something I hate to do, but will ultimately free up the yarn for something that I will have fun with.
may yarn flowers 011

may yarn flowers 009
I don't know if I have posted pictures of the socks before--they are knit with a merino/tencel blend from Ellen's half pint farm, purchased at the NH Sheep and Wool festival last year. I put them down ages ago and I just haven't wanted to pick them up again. I'm at the gusset of the first sock--but these pictures were taken before I got to the heel. See how there are dark splotches of color (pooling). Every time I see them, they look dirty to me--add that to the fact that I don't enjoy knitting the pattern--well you see where this is going.

Meanwhile, even though I think we have had a grand total of 6 hours of sun in the past 2 weeks, I still have a few flowers popping up.

The day lilies started opening yesterday.
may yarn flowers 020
may yarn flowers 019
And my nepal cinquefoil is not dead after all!
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Knitters against MS

I just want to give Claudia a bit of advertising here. If you don't know about Claudia and the MS ride she does every year, you should go check it out. For the past several years she has worn the number 1 bib--being the top fundraiser for the event!

By donating to her team you are also in the running for tons of knitting goodness donated by knitters, spinners, dyers, and designers that support her. Last year I was lucky enough to win a prize (skein of Socks that Rock) donated by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

So if you have a minute run over to her blog and check it out. If the cause does not entice you to give, maybe the yarn will! I will admit it again--my neighbor also does the ride--but I always give Claudia a bit more--he's just not dangling yarn in front of my eyes.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What's blooming, mid-June

My poor poor mountain laurel--total chewed to bits over the winter, but it still gave me a few flowers. I hope it can bounce back next year.
My blueberry bushes do make a few blueberries (not many though), but I never see them ripen--somebody always gets to them first.
And here are some of the violas I planted a few weeks ago--not dead (yet), that is a good sign. Still nothing with the giant pumpkins.
On knitting news, I have started a February Lady Sweater. I'm using Longmeadow, and it will be short sleeved. I'm currently at the second button hole--but no pictures yet. Ah, but here are the buttons I will be using--purchased at Black Water Abbey--they have some great buttons.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Deep Breath--Complete

I finished my Deep Breath sweater the other night, and I'm lovin' it.
Needle US 7 / 4.5 mm
Yarn Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk in Dahlia
0.56 skeins = 972.2 yards (888.9m)
Now really, if it would just warm up a tiny bit, so I can wear it without being chilly--can't complain though, today is lovely.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Impulse buy

A Full Year of Interweave Knits magazine, now available on CD!

I got the above message today from Knitting Daily. Usually I skip over those Tues/Thurs posts, since they are just trying to sell me something I don't really want or need. But today, they had something I wanted.

I've had the Cardigan for Arwen in my queue for a while--since I saw my friend Erika's completed cardigan. But the pattern was found in an issue of Interweave that I didn't have. I could have purchased the pattern itself, but I just never got around to it. I could have tried to find a back issue of the magazine--but I just never did. But today I find out that I can get all 4 issues for that year (plus the holiday issue) on a CD. So I go over and order it.

I actually thought about this for a few hours before I did it, and I've been thinking about this pattern for months (years?) so that really isn't the impulse part. The impulse part is when I realize the CD will be physically shipped to me (not just a downloaded file, like I originally thought), and I would have to pay shipping. That is when I decided to not only order the CD for 2006, but also the CD for 2005--because the shipping cost would be the same.

Well, I'm sure there were lots of lovely patterns in 2005 also--in any case, I will find out.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rainy day

I bought myself some flowers to combat the gloom of a rainy day.

I'm also on my second cup of Irish Breakfast tea, which is modestly more caffeinated than my usual oolong or green tea. Some days you just need a little extra something.

Here is a peek at the plants I finally got onto my pots. My town now has a mandatory water ban on outside water use, so I've been shuffling the pots out from under the overhang when it is rainy. I also dump my dehumidifier water into them when that fills up. It is actually easier to move the pots than it is to get the hose out around the house anyway. I also planted some others in the beds--I'll get some shots of those soon. I also tried my hand at some giant pumpkin seeds. I'll let you know if anything grows.
This weekend is our town's annual strawberry festival. As usual, my strawberries are growing nicely but I never get to see one ripen. I always blamed it on the bunnies--but this year we've only had one bunny sighting. What I have been finding on my hill of strawberries when I park my car in the driveway are some very plump chipmunks and today a squirrel munching away. Why they are eating all of mine and not my neighbors? Who knows.

And, for a change, here is some knitting.

Since graduation I've been able to take a deep breath--and make a Deep Breath! This is a laceweight sweater, with a few modifications. My gauge is 5 stitches per inch rather than 4 stitches per inch, and I've added the Hanami cherry blossom pattern. The sleeves go just past my elbows.

I'm using Valley Yarns Alpaca Silk, right off the cone, and I'm really enjoying it.
Just a few more inches to go. Maybe it will actually be warm enough to wear by the time I am done.