Archive for September, 2008

just what the decorator ordered . . .

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

while admittedly stylish, this just might be pushing my personal tolerance for construction materials that creep “out of bounds” (and believe me, that limit is high. just ask our friends—they’ve seen it all).

as far as i know, our living room does not need extra seating. and if so inclined, there is an actual WC just across the hall for anyone to use—without asking, even. david assures me it is going upstairs to claim its rightful place in the newly-refurbished third floor bathroom as soon as possible.

i’m thrilled to hear that, because my friend kim (sadly blogless!) is coming to visit in about two weeks and A) she’d probably appreciate having it up there near her room a lot more than having it down here, and B) so will i.

sigh, i know—all good things take time.

so, i made lemonade with the situation and sat appreciating its beauty as i worked on my knitting last night. it is a nice toilet . . . a lot nicer than the ones that came with the house, that’s for sure.

after classes yesterday i worked on my sweater for a couple of hours until i felt guilty enough to stop and do real work, then i worked on another revision of the neckwarmer.

this is the smaller size and though i haven’t gotten to the bottom hem yet, i’ve decided what finish i’m going to try next. hopefully i will like it a lot. i love this silky merino yarn . . . it feels like pure silk, but it behaves a lot better, mmm.

and you know what? i need to get another sock on the needles . . all i have going right now is david’s grandpa sock, and that’s fine for car knitting, but not really a project. maybe i’ll get to work on the one i need to do for deb’s sock club.

i’ve also been thinking about my next big lace project, which is going to be a shawl knit with fearless fibers laceweight merino in the majestic colorway

how beautiful is that? i’m telling you . . . just show me a gray and my knees get weak—and deb does gray really, really well (i see the purple too, but it’s the gray i zero in on).

some months ago i swatched for a stole with this yarn in a different colorway. but since then, one thing led to another and we ended up switching to this color and now i’m thinking that my swatches, which were all sort-of frost-related, might not be right.

also, i’ve got that whole pile of new stitch pattern books and my mind has started wandering.

also, we’ve done a couple of stoles in a row and i have another to do in november—maybe it’s time for a triangle shawl? hahaha. never leave me to my own devices for any length of time . . . i will change everything before you get back.

anyway, i’m thinking i’ll do a drive-by on my stitch dictionaries over the next day or so, just to see if a different composition seizes my mind. meanwhile, you can vote if you like for rectangle stole or triangle shawl (just those two, please).

just place your votes in the ballot box.

i need to save my neck

Monday, September 29th, 2008

the end of the gardening season is only somewhat signified by dying back; there is still so much color out there to take in. i’m not planting anything new right now (though i could; if we weren’t drowning in greens i’d plant more if only to see them sprout. and garlic—i really should plant some of that. hmm, must look up where i can get some . . .).

anyway, i’m still out there gathering stuff a few times a week, and it’s good entertainment to watch the change of color all around.
most days i come back in with full colander of various items that can be used for dinners.

today it was mostly tomatoes; other days there are more peppers and eggplant. on the weekends i’ve been taking in larger amounts of things that need to be cooked and put in the freezer. saturday i processed about six pounds of rapini. um, i think now we have enough for winter . . .

we have great lettuces right now thanks to the planting i did in august using the lettuce boxes david made for me. i didn’t thin them early enough and they have long stems from being squeezed a little, but they still taste great.

even my summer squash—which i admit, i was just too lazy to pull out when i thought it was dead—is making a valiant effort at being productive again

i’m leaving it in the ground now just to see what it does next. can it do something even more spectacular than come back from the dead?

and this next i think makes me proudest (never give up, norma!)

spinach! real, good-sized, leafy green spinach in a quantity big enough to make a meal with. maybe two. yes, the greens god smiled on my garden this year. sigh. i’m happy.

(speaking of norma, she is doing some begging for the red scarf fund; if you read even a little bit about what this organization is doing to help foster kids get through college and start a life, i think you’ll be persuaded to send a few bucks to help. after you wipe your eyes of tears of pride for these kids and their mentors, that is)

ok, where was i?? oh yeah, the garden . . .
and then there are the seemingly ever-fertile eggplant

they really like makin’ babies. we’ve eaten eggplant at lease twice a week since, what—july? and i’ve put up quite a bit of roasted ones in the freezer, so that isn’t going to end too soon. nice.

i’m noticing a lot of plum, purple, and dark green in all those photos . . . kinda reminds me of something i’m knitting

see what i mean?

i love, love, love this yarn—glory days from briar rose fibers. it’s a good, sturdy sweater yarn with gre-e-e-eat color.
and for all the ripping and reknitting i did whilst getting this sweater started, the yarn shows none of that. of course the real test will be when i wear it, but i’m thinking it will be great-looking for a good, long while (always a plus!).

i also finished up my little lace socks this weekend

and got the pattern straightened out pretty well; i just need to get the last info on one size, then i can send it to rachel for proof reading. yay.

(read that as: yay, now i can start something ELSE. actually, i have a scarf i’ve been neglecting and it’s one i really really want for fall so unless i attend to it soon, fall will be over.)

you might have noticed that i knit a good portion of the forefoot of this sock in solid stockinette . . . the pattern is very open and lacy once it’s on, so i decided that i’d like a little more solid fabric near my toes for better wear and comfort. normally i stop the patterning about .5 inch before the toe shaping but this time it is more like 1.5 inches or maybe more. not enough to be visible in clogs, though.

i also spent a whole lotta time over the weekend working on a project for the retreat i’m teaching at in october‚ a project i thought had to be secret, but turns out it doesn’t. it’s a short little project that should not have taken all weekend but i have seized this opportunity to obsess over the bottom hem.

it’s a neck warmer (it’s not blocked so it’s a little rumpled here). the last few rows are driving me nuts. i don’t even know why.

(ok, i know you are too distracted to pay attention right now because the yarn is so gorgeous so i’ll break here to tell you that it is shivaya naturals silky merino in the colorway sunset, which perfectly captures the color of the red hills in new mexico and couldn’t be more perfect for this project)

so next i’m going to work it out again in the same body stitch and top edge, but a completely different solution for the bottom edge. i’ll use the silky merino again, but this time in colorway iris

which perfectly captures the color of the big sky over the desert as evening turns to twilight.
(BTW, each skein will make at least two of these neckwarmers).

so, hopefully when i’m back next i will have worked out something satisfactory, becasue jocelyn is panting to get started on the test knit, heh.

you know you’re on my street when . . .

Friday, September 26th, 2008

that’s what i saw when i looked blearily across the street upon getting out of bed yesterday morning—my neighbor’s yard was positively brimming with buzzards. hmm, must investigate.

turns out that in the night some friends of his decided to play a prank by planting dozens of these birds in his lawn along with this sign

i guess that 50th birthdays deserve this sort of attention, but, um, maybe i’ll keep mine to myself (it’s a couple of years off yet, but you never know. bret really likes outdoor decorating.).

thank you for all your nice comments about autumn arbor . . . i always appreciate the kind notes that you leave, letting me know that you like a new design.

i’ve spent the last few days cooking stuff from the garden and working on various patterns for WIPs hanging about the place. so not as much knitting as i’d like, but lots accomplished.
and i worked a lot on my sweater . . .

then ripped it out again. i KNOW. when will i ever stop doing that?
i cast right back on; i just wanted to make a change, but it was a change that would affect everything down to the hem edge. that’s the downside of sweaters all in one piece; you lose everything every time you rip back.

now it’s back on the needles and i’m feeling good about this attempt. that’s a pretty good photo, by the way, of the colorway; it’s actually a nearly-black blend of various rich colors which aren’t quite that bright, but this is the best photo i have to date.

i wrote the pattern for my little lace sock and sent it off to hattie to test; she’s moving this weekend back to the east coast and my home town area, so i’ll actually get to see her once in a while now on my visits. i told her that there are lots of wonderfully welcoming knitters in the albany area, so look out for her, ok?

anyway, i have the leg of sock #2 done now and will knit through the heel tonight to see if i wrote that part correctly.

if all goes well and hattie’s does the same, we should be able to release this pattern some time next week.

can you tell from that picture that fall is in the air today, big-time? it’s dark-ish and cloudy but it doesn’t feel like rain—just fast-moving autumn skies leaves are falling and it’s turned quite cool. it’s great knitting weather. great sweater weather (i have one on now).

this morning when i got up, the buzzards were all gone from my neighbors yard, but a real harbinger of fall on harvard avenue has taken its place

after all, it is a mere five weeks til halloween. time’s a-wastin’.

autumn arbor stole

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

the answer to dressing for changeable autumn days—a featherlight wrap with extravagantly scaled leaf motifs undulating along its length to wear as a cloak, shoulder wrap, or scarf (yes, it’s that lightweight). softly draped it will trap warmth on a chilly morning and at noon, when the sun is high, let the breeze wash your arms as the ends fly behind.

shown above: a hybrid size (tall width/petite length) in the woolen rabbit whisper merino lace, colorway chocolate chambord (just one of kim’s wide range of yummy colors).

shown below, petite size stole, also in the woolen rabbit whisper merino lace, colorway mystic mountain pine. seahorse brooch by perl grey.

kits for each stole size may be pre-ordered by visiting this link at the woolen rabbit online shop.

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the product page in the knitspot pattern shop.

much thanks to kim who listened to my idea when it was just a bunch of babbling and a six-inch swatch, then jumped right in with the perfect yarn. i love it when someone gets me.
vanessa knit that green stole so fast it made my head spin, and then asked what will be next—don’t you just love her??
jocelyn is right there with her shoring up the effort with her constant helpful input and cheerful emails. i dunno how she does it with kids and a home and dogs and stuff, but she’s amazing.
as always, we owe a large hand of applause to rachel for her proofreading diligence.

alright, i know what you want—more pictures, right?