ya know it don’t come easy

Posted on 23 CommentsPosted in lace/shawls, projects

(flower of the day: impatiens. ok, so no flowers but check out those buds)
mom has an awesome green thumb—more on the sock below.

oh we had it all planned out—it would be so easy once the old laptop was updated and streamlined. i’d be able to login just like at home, write posts, check email, keep tabs on the store . . . all that stuff.

we just forgot one, um, small thing; there isn’t much free space in my mom’s condo.

and access to her ethernet via an actual cable is also limited. so it’s not as comfortable to be on my computer for any length of time. checked and answered email, yes. downloading pictures and blogging, not so much. once i have a laptop with wi-fi, things will improve. but i’m still too cheap restrained to dish out a couple grand right now for what i need (but i’m saving my pennies . . .).

but that situation is good for the knitting, and today i cleared a spot to show you what i’ve gotten done.

i got lots done on the geese wrap in the car on the way out, since david graciously drove most of the 8-hour trip

here’s a closeup of the stitches; the cattails in the center panel don’t show up as well as the geese in the other photo, since they are not as textured

but i’m hoping that they will pop a little better after blocking. the piece is feeling very luxurious . . . and getting to be a good length, yay.
i love the merino/silk yarn; i have some for a scarf too, though i might make that in a different pattern; i kinda have my eye on another fun, goosey stitch that i saw.

and then there is simurgh.
i’ve been working on that in the evenings while we watch movies or talk.

we talk a lot in my family.
i’m almost done with the first stole half. oh boy—is it gorgeous, this yarn. geisha is soo beautiful in this colorway. i can’t wait to soak it and block it. it’ll be beautifully liquid once it is stretched.

we went to a cool exhibit of american bronze sculpture at the state museum in albany the other day with my cousin lynn. she is a knitter too, and we found ourselves looking at all the winged creatures in terms of what they’d translate to in yarn and stitches. there was one that had wings with vertical feathers that i especially liked.

and i’ve been working away on the bee sock, too.

i’m afraid the depth of the textured parts doesn’t show up to its full advantage in this photo, but trust me, it looks like it’s been cast in gold. the yarn has such incredible stitch definition and spring that it looks like a sculpture, too.

well, we head home tomorrow already . . . hard to believe that four or five days can pass so quickly. but there’s plenty that waits us back at the ranch too.
in fact, just this afternoon david and i were planning some garden reconstruction for next year. i think we are going to go for a whole new layout with more planting space.

i know; it’s not even christmas yet, but it’s later than you think.

no moss on this stone

Posted on 51 CommentsPosted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

and for all of YOU a beautiful lily photo that i’ve been keeping for a special occasion.
thanks so much for the crazy-amazing emails and enthusiasm for irtfa’a. it’s been a splendid project and i have to hand it to you because on this one, more than any other, the encouragement you provided from the very first glimpses was instrumental in the success of the piece.

i am SO lucky to have this incredibly interactive communication with all of you, and so grateful that you take a few moments to comment with opinions, ideas, suggestions, and answers to my questions. it has a huge impact on my end, providing endlessly interesting information.

ok, now, enough mushy talk. you think we’re done? we’re not done!

sunday night i got a few more inches added to the geese wrap

it’s a great comfort knit . . . i kept stopping to squeeze the fabric in order to calm myself (sunday night was right before the pattern release and my heart was pounding). i swear it made me feel more secure.

though i did get to work on various projects over the weekend and on monday during class, when i arrived home my geisha stole yarn was there, waiting to be wound up and cast of for simurgh, the rectangle raven.

when i saw it i almost wet my pants. you know how i love plum and eggplant right?

oh swoooon . . . it’s valkyrie alright. how much do you think i want to sleep with this yarn?? the plum, the black cherry, the deep rust, the gray, the eggplant . . .
oh. and the silky sheen (heads hits desk—hard)

ok, gotta stop that; don’t wanna get dizzy all over again.

even though i had a mailbox POPPING with email, i raced upstairs in my bike clothes to wind it up, so i could cast on; after all i had the pattern waiting; it even contained some updates from the test knitters already.

i’ve gotten a couple of repeats of the large feather pattern done so far. i’d have more done if i wasn’t so distracted, but i figure i can make up some time over the weekend.

because we are going visiting! david and i are taking off tomorrow for a thanksgiving visit with my mom. it will be really nice to drive through new york state this time of year . . my favorite. i love the corridor along the thruway between buffalo and albany.

once we get there it will be 3 days of relaxing and visiting so i should get a lot of knitting done (i usually do). and her house is warm.
this time i will have a laptop with me so i am even planning to blog on location (the fun never stops, does it). with pictures too. david fixed up my old powerbook laptop so i can use it for traveling.

tonight i have to figure out what knitting i’ll take along (in order to figure out how much other stuff i can pack). i have it narrowed down to the above two wrap projects plus:

bee sock

celebration/inspiration wrap and scarf

(i know that’s a really small swatch; i had to stop when i realized i needed a bigger needle)

cashmere mitt. PLUS:

finish off the last few inches of the acorn sock. PLUS:

finish off the second cardigan sock, which i don’t seem to have a recent picture of (and yes, i am too lazy to go take one).

now even I know that might be too many things to fit in the car.
but is it enough knitting??

next time you hear from me it will be from the road . . happy trails.


Posted on 111 CommentsPosted in designing, lace/shawls, patterns

Irtfa’a [Eert-FA-ah with a little lift in the middle]: from the arabic, means soaring

shown here is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Laci, colorway Thraven (from the raven clan group), available now at Blue Moon Fiber Arts

to purchase pattern or view pattern information, please check out the listing in our pattern shop

my sincerest thanks to tina for creating the inspiring, beautifully deep Raven Clan colors, and for asking me to design something with them; it has been a privilege to work together, and i hope we will again.
nan once again not only agreed to test knit, but fairly leaped at the opportunity, and once again has proven to be invaluable. and of course we can’t do any shawl pattern of consequence without vanessa, whose speed and experience (and enthusiasm!) make all the paper become real. vicki (also blogless) joined us from australia which was so cool because she knit whilst we slept and found all the stuff everyone else missed; you can’t really get much more coverage than that.
kate was instrumental in guiding me to just the right name for this piece, and i am grateful for her bottomless love of the arabic language (and her patience).

nothing like something new . . .

Posted on 24 CommentsPosted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

i’ve been starting new projects all weekend. sort of a kneejerk reaction to the project monogamy of the last week, maybe, or to the large amount of paperwork i have also processed over the last few days.

i think i have five new projects on the needles in fact, though two of them are not even big enough yet to take pictures of. i know this is trouble in a way and not only because i also still have a few nearly-finished objects that i really should just get done. i still have a raven stole to knit.

oh well. i was overcome by the urge to get my hands into some different yarn. sue me.
and, as i was saying to kim the other day, projects in progress are better blog fodder.

one new item is the bee sock i started with kim’s beautiful new lightweight merino sock yarn

it’s a bouncy hi-twist yarn in supersoft merino that gives beautiful, crisp stitch definition. kim is going to put together a kit with yarn and pattern.

i also finally got to wind up judy’s beautiful merino/silk artisan blend yarn to start the geese wrap i’ve been thinking about for a while now.
i just couldn’t keep my hands off it any longer

mmmm, it’s Sooo smooshy. and don’t get me started on the colorway—i have just one word: love. this wrap is moving right along and it feels like i’m adding inches by the hour. because, well, i am. it’s a nice change of pace from laceweight and just what i needed.
i already like this wrap a LOT.

the patterns are easy to memorize and that keeps things moving along too. yay.

oh, but was i satisfied?? i think not. in addition to that cashmere mitt i’ve also been working on, i’ve been trying to find a great stitch pattern for the fearless fibers wool/mohair blend.
this has proved somewhat challenging!
maybe it’s the size of the yarn (nearly worsted weight), or the sheen, or both, but i’m having trouble finding just the right stitch that will really make a WOW of a scarf. i thought i had something, then i waffled; i’ll get it, though.

and when i do, you’ll be the first to see it.

and then chris’s huge hank of celebration starting waving it’s tag at me and jumping out of the goodie box. totally out of the blue, i swear it.
this bamboo/merino DK-ish yarn was a gift from her in the summer, and she dyed it in the most beautiful blend of slate blue, gray, and plum just for me.

i had no intention of starting anything with it just now, but about a month ago i found the perfect stitch for it and it’s been a bee in my bonnet ever since. i’ve been simultaneously weedling myself to play with it and shushing myself up.
and i couldn’t stand it anymore so today i balled it up and got the stitch pattern ready. it will be another easy-to-knit wrap and i’m really psyched. it can’t take priority over the raven stole or the goose stole, but i can take it to class or work on it when i’m too tired for either of those.

the stitch pattern takes full advantage of the yarn’s natural sheen and that’s one of the things i’m so psyched about . . . i just know i’m going to like it. and funny enough it all came together the same way the totally autumn throw did . . just all in a burst of inspiration.

sometimes that happens.
and hey, i am NOT gonna look a gift horse in the mouth.

in fact, i’ve been slowly hatching another idea concerning this stitch. it might also be the perfect one for that wool/mohair yarn, so i MIGHT knit up both a scarf and a stole with the same pattern. it could be a nice joining up two old friends (who have never met) and two yarns. it could work.

we got our photo shoot in today for Irtfa’a and the pictures came out awesome. that david sure knows how to photograph a shawl (wink).
the weather has been wretched here, both cold and wet, but as luck would have it, this was the perfect light for the raven colors. and can i just say that yellow maples make the most spectacular backdrop?

now i know you don’t want me to ruin the surprise so i’m keeping them under wraps til release day.
it won’t be long . . . .