catching up days

Posted on 10 CommentsPosted in designing, food and garden, projects

still picking stuff from the garden every day, but since i ignored some of the putting up work while i finished my stole over the weekend, i had lots to attend to the last couple of days.

i promised myself that yesterday i would knit only on my sweater, as a reward for keeping to my schedule and getting the stole and pattern finished and blocked. and i did . . . i had classes to teach but i worked on it during those, and then in the evening i treated myself to a couple of hours of work on it.

i’m knitting the body of it in one piece. normally i prefer to do seams in sweaters to give them the structure i like, but i wanted on-seam cables here so i went with working the body all at once. and cables at the seams provide rigidity similar to that of a sewn seam, so no worries about it losing its shape there.

it feels great to be working with heavier yarn—the knitting goes quite a bit more quickly and i’m already about 6 inches deep into the body. i’m adding a little shaping at the sides and center back so it will fit a bit like a tailored jacket. the ribbing you see at the bottom will be steamed flat instead of being allowed to pull in, so far, so good. i’m aiming to get this done for rhinebeck but i’m not going to kill myself making that happen.

the yarn is gorgeous, isn’t it?? the colors are actually much deeper and richer than this photo shows . . . more like this:

(but that still doesn’t qute represent the color exactly, sigh)

chris at briar rose fibers just outdid herself with this one and i know this will be a garment i’ll wear a lot—it goes with everything i own. the yarn is her BFL DK named glory days and i love it.

come this morning though, i had a lot of catching up to do in the kitchen. i had two big bowls of tomatoes that needed to be cooked and puréed, so i did that first thing.

then i went out and pulled in all the remaining mature swiss chard, zen greens, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes that were ripe. i put the greens on to soak, filled a big pot with water to boil them, and cut up all the eggplant i have lying around to roast up for the freezer

it was a lot—three cookie sheets full. nice.
actually i love this roasted eggplant in recipes almost better than fresh. and definitely better than any eggplant from the store. the nice thing about it is that it is par-cooked, so that when i take it out to use it on pasta or in a curry, it doesn’t take forever to cook through. and the roasting seems to improve the flavor, too.

by the time the eggplant went into the oven the pot was boiling for the greens and i tossed them in for a few seconds to cook, then into freezer bags.

never got my peppers stuffed over the weekend so i got out the big bag full that i had in the fridge and started cleaning them. i packed them with the family recipe which includes good bread, anchovies, capers, grated cheese, garlic, and herbs

and laid them on a bed of herbs to roast.
i had about 20 larger peppers and 30 or so midget ones. the little peppers came from the plants my friend kris gave me and they are awesome. sweet, meaty, and they turn bright orange on the plant—how much do we love that?

i’ve been using them all summer in curries and pasta dishes, but i thought they’d make great appetizers if they were stuffed. the plants have been very prolific, so i’m hoping for at least one more good harvest from them. if i get it, i’ll make roasted plain peppers to use in the christmas eve antipasto—i just think they’d be so festive.

i really wanted to get the rapini in and cooked up today too, but by this time it was 3 pm and we had to do our photo shoot with the shawls.
i’m telling you—every day it’s go, go go. but i like it that way.

ok, now i really have to get those photos edited so the stole pattern can be released tomorrow with a nice picture . . . see you then.

same post, different knits?

Posted on 30 CommentsPosted in designing, lace/shawls, projects

hopefully i’m not that boring. sometimes though, an item bears repeating, especially when dished up in a different, but equally amazing colorway in the same yarn. this one is for all those who see water and wind patterns in the new stole project.

kim’s yarn is just awesome; i’m not sure this summer green is in her store yet but hopefully it will be soon.
we will release the new stole pattern on wednesday i think and provide lots more information about the yarn and pattern details.

this is vanessa’s petite-sized stole; a little narrower than mine, and dainty as a doily.
her join is a whirlpool rather than a flower, and we like it just as much—look at those amazing swirls of light and dark color.

the edges look like lapping waves or big green summer leaves dangling heavy from their own weight to form a natural umbrella

i have to admit that seeing it all laid out and letting my eye wander along the bends and breaks of the flowing color even made me soften a bit toward a much-hated decorative element in my living room.

on any other day, it cannot be stressed enough how much this paper reminds me of a certain famous painting (and not in a good way).

a-a-a-aah-aaah!
it’s the kind of paper that turns a potentially light-drenched room into a dungeon, and has been the bane of my knitting eyesight since we moved here.
but today, i can appreciate it more (although believe me, it IS slated to go at some point).

i promised myself that once my stole was off the needles i would certainly start my sweater project, and i have

this is the center back of ribbing after class this morning, and now i’ve gotten into the body section, so it’s moving along. more on this project tomorrow.

i’ve made a little progress on lace sock #2

and i need to get that pattern written, hopefully tomorrow.
yesterday in the car i started a somewhat-plain sock for david . . .

it’s kind of a grandpa sock actually—his favorite kind. i love it; the creamy handspun wool along with the variegated black and white is a classic i think.

ok, then, i had a full day of classes, blocking, and email, so i’m ready to move on to a full evening of knitting. i’ll be back.

blocking; don’t leave home without it

Posted on 47 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, lace/shawls, projects

i stayed up late friday night and finished knitting the stole. it’s always liberating to get a big project off the needles. and with yarn to spare

ok, not so much. because i was knitting a hybrid size (tall width, petite length), i cut it a little close with the yarn i had (i had some backup yarn but didn’t break into it). but hey, enough is enough, right?

i was anxious to see the join; i wasn’t quite sure what it would look like, but i love it

it looks like a beautiful exploding flower.
and the unblocked leaf pattern has a richly ruched look along the length i think.

into the bath it went for a soak, and then onto the blocking wires for a good stretch.

the pattern flattens out quite a bit of course, but still maintains some of its lovely raised texture along the decrease lines (i imagine it will be even more pronounced once it’s released from the wires).

even so, the subtle color variations in the yarn highlight the intense distortions in the fabric and that, i think, lends it the illusion that the deep texture of the unblocked fabric remains

this is a great pattern for tonally variegated yarns; the play of the color changes really enhances the motif. i can see it equally well in a solid yarn that has a bit of sheen . . .

let’s take a look at that voluptuously scalloped edge

mmm.
actually, this piece has edges galore; there are the little insertions with their own tiny scallops and winding gryphon shapes

and the side edge—a row of little bending leaves

the join, which looks a little crooked in this photo (darnit) but which i think will look lovely at the center back with its pretty star shape.

i have to confess that i got so caught up in taking pictures of the details that i forgot to get a money shot. oh well, no worries—there’ll be another opportunity sooner than you think.
because while mine was taking a bath, vanessa’s petite stole arrived in the mail.

hers was knit from a beautiful green combination the color of the summer tree canopy, complete with little blue highlights peeking through. just in case you miss the cool lakeside feeling of august just about now.

sigh.
this one will get it’s final blocking tomorrow between classes.

i would have done it today, but we were off to the fair at the crack of dawn. my sunday spinning class and i headed to the wool gathering in yellow springs for a full day of gawking and shopping amongst piles of fiber and yarn.

i was a very bad blogger and took practically no photos, not even of the two amazing handbuilt spinning wheels i saw. but we visited catherine and tonia, and a few other friends, and shopped the offerings for project fiber for class (we’ll be working with color next), and whatever else we just couldn’t live without.

i was very restrained—i bought a couple pair of beeswax candles, and made just one fiber purchase

this lovely, soft-as-baby’s-breath icelandic lamb from quiet thyme farm (sorry, the link i am trying to access for them isn’t working). just two ounces. i’m adding it to my collection of small amounts of icelandics that i hope to spin for a striped hap shawl at some point.

we ate lunch in the dairy restaurant at the site and it was nuts—being a gorgeously warm fall day, everyone was there to eat ice cream, buy a pumpkins, and look at wool.

and of course, no field trip would be complete without a weird, completely-out-of-context siting. when i sat down i was faced with a little standing menu that explained the ice cream flavors for the month and right at the top of the september list

there was the other anne. heh—hi anne, wish you were here.
i’ve absolutely no idea what flavor wooly wonka is, and i think i don’t want to even imagine what it could be . . .

ok, time to go off and knit on my sweater. YES, my sweater. it’s on the needles. just barely, so no photos but i’m planning on getting a bunch done tonight and maybe there will be some tomorrow. plus, the sock i started in the car. see ya.

80 rows to go

Posted on 22 CommentsPosted in designing, food and garden, lace/shawls, projects

the toad lilies have actually been open now for about a week; a little later than last year. i never notice exactly when they do open since this is the time when the garden does not bear close inspection (at least, not by me—by now i’ve let a lot go out there and it’s better not to look too closely . . .). anyway, it’s such a still morning i thought i might get some nice crisp photos.

i don’t have a lot of different knitting to offer today; i’ve been completely focused on getting the stole done. i’m past the three-quarter mark and that always has me tasting the finish line.

80-ish rows to go, and i can block it. yay.
i’m thrilled because the other day, it was about eight rows long
(you can see it in the bag there, yikes).
the colors are really similar to the toad lilies, i think

i love how the pattern pulls and make frosting ripples (i was and addict for the old betty crocker commercials—as a young baker i strove to replicate that lady’s frosting technique, to my mom’s great amusement. ok, i admit it—i still do . . . ).

anyway, i like that photo because all the chocolately-plummy variations appear so well, mmm (darn it, now all i can think about is chocolate cake, and i’m not sure i have time to make one).

i did start my second lace sock, but i haven’t gotten very far. i decided i should write the pattern and then knit it to see if it works.

but i wanna finish the stole too. it’s always a balancing act.

the other day i went with debby and susie to see the women (sorry, that’s a flash thingy there with audio . . ).
i wasn’t sure i’d like it, being a very big fan of the 1939 george cukor original, based on the play by claire booth luce

the remake is completely updated and while it sticks to the basic premise and plotline of the original, there is no pretension there that life hasn’t changed dramatically in the years between the two versions. even if the basic nature of the relationships between characters remains same, the changes in the way we live and use our environment force the film to become a completely different movie—and one i enjoyed.

we’re going to rent the old one (debby and susie have never seen it!!) to watch while we knit some night. it was pretty fun to go to the movies; i can’t even remember when i went last—it’s been several years.

we also did some knitting—we saw film early enough that we had a couple of hours to knit afterward, and i got a bunch done on the stole. funny thing, though; as i was leaving the house to go i went to grab a simple something to knit at the movie and found i had nothing going i could bring. argghh. and no yarn wound that would be just the thing for a simple stockinette sock. believe me, if i had even five extra minutes (which i never do when i have to get somewhere), i would have found some skein or other and wound it.

must correct that situation . . . i have plenty of variegated yarns around here that i probably won’t use for a patterned sock. there is no excuse for not having one on the needles next to where i keep my purse.

also, it’s getting close to the time of year when extra socks will be needed for gifting. so went looking last night to see what i had around

here’s one option that would net me a pair of socks for david. it’s from some black and white brown sheep fleece that debbieKnitter gave me, which i spun up last year. it’s perfect for him. it’s a little short on yardage but i have this very tightly-spun, slightly heavier white longwool yarn for heels, toes, and tops. i could even do a sailor’s rib or a simple pattern with this.

i also could start a plain pair of socks in trekking, ranco, or some other easy-care yarn for the mail carrier’s christmas gift. i’ve gotta look and see what i have that would work, but that’s something i really should get on the needles even if it does take all the way til christmas to finish. at least it will be there.
(note to self: check out mail carrier’s feet for size guesstimate)

don’t think i haven’t forgotten a very important other project.

this is my carrot for when the stole is finished (that’s how i got myself to knit 20 inches of stole in the last few days. bribes are good). i put a working pattern together this morning (not anything anyone else could use; just a series of numbers). i can’t print it for some reason, but as soon as david is available he’ll fix that (it’s been a bit of a “journey” getting to the point where i could run my sweater software on my laptop)(i know you can do this stuff by hand too, but i’m addicted to the software—sue me).

anyway, yeah, i’m hoping to have this on the needles by saturday night, maybe (i’d say morning but i have a buttload of peppers to stuff and more greens to get into the freezer).

i have to get a lot done today and tomorrow because sunday my spinning class and i are heading to the wool gathering in yellow springs for the whole day. we leave at the crack of dawn and won’t get back til night. we’re going to see plenty of people we know—including catherine who has finished her awesome lacewing in an astounding green apple color. we’ll also see tonia, who i’ve never met in person but am looking forward to seeing.
i think the spinners are planning on gorging themselves. i’m going to try to be prudent. all in all, it should be a pretty big day.

which means i should go and do those 80 rows.