finally, a flower

Posted on 32 CommentsPosted in food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

it’s not any warmer today than the previous few days (it’s cold, in fact—i think—for almost-april). and yesterday when we were out in the yard mincing around in our socks (well, david was mincing and i was perched precariously on the edge of the steps yelling “yeah baby, gimme sugar” to his feet. is it any wonder our neighbors look at us warily?), the flowers were still buttoned-up tight and showing no signs of opening any day soon.

then today, BAM

i know i’ve been fussing like a big baby all week about when are the flowers gonna open, but i just wanted to see one. and for no apparent reason (it really is cold), today we have a veritable field of them out front.

sigh. i’m happy now.

i hardly have any new knitting to show you—i’ve been joined at the hip to my secret project, which i am going to finish today (if it kills me, dammit). no, really, i am within finishing distance if i knit for the whole rest of the day without stopping.

i don’t think i can get it blocked til tomorrow, but that’s ok—if i do, i will have achieved my (fairly random and arbitrary) goal of finishing it by the first of the month. hell, i’ll be shipping it by the first of the month if i get it done today. what can i say—i love being early for deadlines.

so anyway, i didn’t start any new scarves yet, though i did write two of the patterns and sent them to the test knitters yesterday (which is why i didn’t finish my secret project yet). but tomorrow, i am SO there, knitting a little turquoise nothing during class.

now my friend nan (blogless), who you might remember did a test knit of the snowflakes in cedarwoods shawl, has been sending me joyful emails all week complete with photos (she lives in a sunny, warm place; i’m so jealous).

she’s so happy about finishing it that she can’t stop staring at it (you know the feeling!). and i’m so happy because she’s so happy (i’m sure you know that feeling too). and since she doesn’t have a blog, but she tests so many complex patterns, i just wanted to showcase her fabulosity for a bit.

i think part of her joy comes from using quite a bit of the spare 5,000 yards of merino laceweight that was sitting in her stash. she said she was just wondering what she could ever do with it when i contacted her about the test knit.

hehe. no problem nan—i got your back.

(i’m super-excited because at the end of april i’m headed for san diego, where i’m going to visit my friend kim and her family AND i’m going to meet nan AND our friend jocelyn in person for the first time. if i think about it too much i can’t sleep.)

so last night, after writing patterns and knitting on the Big Thing for many hours, i went up to watch TV with david (a really dumb movie posing as a french “film”—i hate those) and worked on my new sock.

i hate this too.

as i photographed it this morning, i could not see one reason why i should keep going with it; i do like the yarn, and i might like the stitch pattern in something different (sigh, and i had such high hopes for it here), but i hate the way it looks with the ribbing, and a 2 x 2 rib wouldn’t work either (ask me how i know).

hoo-boy, did THAT feel good.

school sock

Posted on 15 CommentsPosted in patterns

not too cool for school (or work, or the pub), and making good use of a nearly solid yarn—though a little bit o’ multi works great too.

shown here in araucania ranco, a wool/nylon blend, colorway 107 midnight.
to purchase pattern or to view complete pattern information, please click here to go to the product page in the knitspot pattern shop.

i am very grateful to melissa, who test knit this pattern; go take a look at the other beautiful spinning and knitting projects she has at her blog; she’s fantastic!


Posted on 9 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events

i am so excited to have this book in my hands. i think you all know from seeing my desktop so often that stephanie’s first book is a constant companion of mine. i love to open it randomly to read a “purl” of wisdom, humility, or laughter; it’s a real treasure.

so when i read on her blog that the new book was in a similar format (tiny lessons and essays), i got pretty excited. i’d had my copy on pre-order since last october or so, and now i knew what it might be like. then i got the email from overstock saying it was on the way.

and now it’s here . . . and it’s wonderful (it’s only been in the house an hour, so no, i haven’t read the whole thing yet, but i’m already sure it’s fun). AND—it’s in hardcover (i am so going back over there right now to order a bunch of them for gifts).
(ooops, they are sold out—i swear it was not me.).

thank you stephanie, and many congratulations. i hope i get to see you during this tour.

friday smash-up

Posted on 17 CommentsPosted in designing, food and garden, projects

today i have a bit of this and a bit of that—not really anything that makes a coherent story.
oh yeah, but we’re talking about me and my knitting so chaos is status quo.

first of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my two nephews, james (28) and daniel (11). much as they may chafe about sharing a birthday, they are each uniquely special to me. i marvel at the admirable, arian qualities they share (great sense of humor, gregarious personality, self-assurance, ease in conversation) and delight in the differences that set them apart (daniel has a beautiful speaking and singing voice, james is a veritable arsenal of information about comic book art and artists).

i finally scored a skein of the right dye lot of ranco to finish my school socks, though it doesn’t match all that well, unfortunately.

i know. i should rip back and intersperse the old with the new so that the transition is nicer (why didn’t i think of that at 1am??). of course i should, and curse me for not doing that to begin with. but i also want to have these off the needles—like now—so i’m waffling (can you believe the laziness??). why am i not willing to go back and fix it when i am happy to do in more complicated circumstances for less obvious reasons?

ahhh, the eternal question (hmm, maybe the answer is in stephanie’s new book).
i think the cause is a temporary feeling of too much to do, needing to put closure on something, brought on when i when i gaze over my flooded inbox

but then, what an inbox, right? who wouldn’t want this to be their workload for the next little bit?
i really am very lucky, and because of that i should fix the sock, right?
right. maybe after i put together a scarf pattern and get another foot done on my secret project (which i’d like to finish up this weekend, so i’d better get crackin’ on that . . .)

or, i could just move on. oh yeah, i’ve already done that

oh, and i’m not a virgin any more—i’ve finally broken into one of the STR sample skeins i have, to continue my exploration of how best to use very dark colorways in socks. this is one of the raven clan samples tina sent me last summer; i’m not exactly sure which one (it was marked only by number), but i’m thinking it’s haida, or an early version of it.

i know this little bit of a sock tells you nothing, but all will be revealed in good time.

the mail carrier brought another little surprise for me this morning

this is a test skein of a new sock yarn that deb is thinking of adding to her fearless fibers collection. it’s a merino/tencel blend and she’s really excited about it. i’m going to try it out, either in a sock or in a scarf or maybe even mitts. it’s an interesting colorway with lots of rich gold.
hmm, yes, i could see doing some mitts in this—they would make one’s hands look like they were sheathed in precious metal—it could be really nice.

it is trying so hard to be spring here

while at the same time being determinedly stuck in 30-degree cold. these crocuses had half-opened the other day in a tentative testing of the spring sun, but have snapped themselves up tight against the chilly wind and rain today.

however, hope springs eternal

our first tulip has broken ground in a hardy surge toward its goal.