Archive for September, 2007

it’s a James world…

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

…and Anne’s just livn’ in it.


(flower of the day: grifola frondosa).

Hello, this is James, Anne’s nephew and I’m visiting for the weekend.



Anne’s preparing a vegetarian lasagna tonight and we spent the morning cooking together with me teaching her a thing or two about the kitchen.


(right; this is james showing me how do sniff like a real chef)

For example, she found this group of mushrooms by a roadside and was determined to eat them immediately to gain what she believed to be “supernatural powers” over plant life. I told her that this didn’tsound scientifically accurate, but she insisted.

So, Anne Hanson ate this 4 pound mushroom in one sitting on the side of the road.

. . . ok, enough of that (just for being a wiseguy, i put that photo in . . . he’s objecting, but too bad).

i actually found the mushroom growing against one of the garden beds. if you take a step back, it looks like this:

this mushroom is somewhat legendary . . when we first moved into our home, our neighbors explained that we would see these things growing all over in the fall, and to keep an eye out for them, because they are delicious. so i have been. for like 5 years.

and then earlier this week when i was cutting basil, i literally bumped into the start of one at the edge of the bed. finally. in just a few days, it has tripled in size, too.

so this weekend, we are cutting it and eating it (but not tonight). we’ll sauté it and eat with the homemade pasta we’re also making. i’ll keep you updated.

tonight we are having a birthday feast. it’s david’s and beckie’s birthday once again, and we are celebrating. i spent all day yesterday shopping for, and then getting the parts ready

so that dinner will just need to be assembled and put in the oven/on the table later tonight.
we’re heading out so to a “wine and wool gathering” soon, and i’m hoping i can restrain james from getting drunk and learning to knit; we don’t need him coveting my stash.

i actually do have a serious post about swatching for lace projects to write, but it’s really hard to focus when you’re keeping an eye on a 12-year-old.

so i think for now i’ll do the easy thing and show you some yarn.
this is kim’s new lightweight sock yarn

in her famous tupelo honey colorway. GUESS what kim wants me to design with it??

A 4 pound mushroom?

just swatch me

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007


in the “everything is new again” department, we have canteloupe. if it doesn’t cook right on the vine (we’re having 90-degree afternoons this week), it could freeze in whatever drastic turn of weather could possible be coming next (and really, it could be anything this year).

everything out in the garden has a new crop coming on; you can see that there are plenty of dying-back vines, and yet there is new growth among them. i know you’ve seen all these same photos ALL summer long, but the light is so seriously gorgeous at this time of year i am helpless in the face of it. my finger just twitches to snap one shot after another.

so i’ll try to sneak in just one a day (ok, it might be two on days with less knitting content. plus a closer. hehe, just kidding.).

and in the “everywhere i look, i see purple” department

actually, it was not a good day for getting the best photo of the yarn color which is much deeper and blue-er, and certainly nothing like this

which i photoshopped as much as i dared and still ended up with maroon.
but we are just looking at stitch patterns today, and only two of them, too!

i like this combination a lot . . . it’s handsome; it has a stoutness in the patterns that i want in a cold-weather piece. i love the garter stitch borders; they add depth and framing to the stitches like a cozy house around them.
i would even hazard to say that this combination qualifies for manLace—i can totally see it thrown carelessly over and aran-and-kilt combination.

of course, that kind of daring can only be pulled off by the manliest of Men.

speaking of cozy, i don’t know if the photo translates this or not but the yarn is unbelievably soft; another reason why there should be garter—for the squish-me factor. it’s sort-of like malabrigo but with a bit of a felted surface that makes it even better. it feels like slightly fulled cashmere. if i could give you anything right now, it would be virtual-groping-and-fondle-vision

i think i’ll do three repeats of the thistle head stitch for the bottom borders, with the remainder of the wrap body in the thistle leaf stitch. simple and strong.

the eggplant says, “bite me”.

a time of heeling

Monday, September 24th, 2007

where have the last few days gone?
we’ve been having gorgeous fall weather and i think i just sank into it for a bit to knit and enjoy the last days of gardening, putting up produce, and clearing a few small projects off to the pattern stage before the next Big One begins (it starts soon; another top-secret deadline project).

i’ve worked every night for a couple of hours on my briar rose sweater and it’s paying off; i’ve got two fronts and nearly two sleeves done. that leaves just the back

i am SO going to have a rhinebeck sweater.
it may be the only decent article of clothing i have to take on the trip, but i’m confident i can exploit it (i’m lucky i haven’t been arrested yet for wardrobe neglect. no, really).

that is, if it fits; i shouldn’t gloat yet. (“pride goeth . . .” and all that.)

i’m going with the red glass buttons, but i thought i’d lay out the pewter ones just to see. it’s not that i don’t love them; i DO. but i think they pop just a little too much; the metal is too cool for the warm color of the yarn.

on the other hand, if the red ones don’t arrive in time, i can use these temporarily.
how gobsmacked am i that i have a backup set from my button stash?? stuff like this never happens to me.
as a permanent installation, i think they would be lots better on another sweater knit from a natural-gray handspun yarn

in fact, i am loving the cardigan sock so much that i might use that same stitch pattern for an actual cardigan, in that handspun corriedale yarn. sounds cozy to me.

in sock news, i got pretty far on both new socks and i entertained myself with heel designs for a good part of sunday afternoon. i don’t usually indulge in fancy heels, but i thought i’d give it a whirl.

for the cardigan sock, i extended the pattern down the heel in a ‘V’ formation, framed in garter stitch

it’ll require a little attention, and a separate charted stitch pattern, so i’m going to also try out an easier ribbed heel on an alternate sock, and maybe include both in the pattern (not sure about that yet). i’m planning on using kim’s new lambswool/nylon yarn for a second pair, to demonstrate that using a lighter-weight yarn will make a women’s size sock (whereas these red ones are done in the heavier dicentra yarn and are man-sized).

once i got this one past the gusset area, i went to work on the acorn socks for the fearless fibers club, which i am NUTS over (get it?). by friday night the pattern on the leg was well-established

it reminds me of those x-ray shots in the old chipmunk’s cartoons of the tree which is filled chock-a-block with nuts.
by sunday evening i had worked through the heel

not as decorative as the cardigan heel, but i love the last little acorn there. and i think it will look more prominent once it is one my foot and i can get a shot of the back of my heel (always an adventure). i am thinking to take the acorns partway down the foot in the same pattern, and bring just the ribbing to the toe.

so guess what? deb was reading all your enthusiastic comments about the acorn sock and noted (with dismay) the wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who did not get into the sock club on time, and therefore, would not be able to get some of the greed colorway that will accompany the acorn pattern.

and she has dreamed up a wonderful solution. she is going to create a kit including the sock and pattern that she will sell from her etsy shop. the kit will be available in november, but deb will be happy to take pre-orders any time (in fact, that would help her plan ahead so that she’s sure to have plenty for everyone). if you are interested, you can follow this link to her shop and use the contact button in the sidebar to let her know. you can also visit her blog and contact her from there.

i also got the mitts moved from the last rows of fiddling around to the patterning stage. and discovered something cool about them in the process of taking some pictures

whereas most of my mitts have a left and a right, due to the offset thumb and lace panels along the back, this mitt, which has an allover lace pattern, is interchangeable.
i tried to take a picture of it on my right hand, using my left to work the camera, but that was, uh, (snort) not so successful. you’ll just have to take my word for it.
i did however get a nice shot of the palm-side of it, so i will distract you with that.

this pattern will soon be all set to hand over to anne so she can add it to her growing list of lovely kits. i believe it will be available starting october 15th in her shop.

i’m still working out the design for the thistle wrap, and making progress . . . i’m hoping to maybe have something to show for myself tomorrow. to be honest, i’ve been letting that one stew a bit; i got way into overthinking it last week and really worked myself up, so i thought it would be best to let the best parts come to the surface on their own. but now vanessa-the-wonder-knitter has yarn on the way, and nothing to knit (!) in the meantime, so i need to funnel that stewing into an actual plan.

now, i think i’ll go finish my second sleeve, and hang with my honey.

merlot vine sock

Friday, September 21st, 2007

a swirl of leaves winds from the instep, around the ankle, and up the leg of this toe-up openwork sock. the stitch pattern holds its own with self-striping yarn, or work it in a nearly-solid colorway to make the texture stand out even more.

shown here in twisted fiber arts superwash merino sock yarn, in a custom sock club colorway, similar to talon
for more information, or to order, please visit our shop

thank you meg for making such a gorgeous colorway!