off we go

Posted on 31 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events

hardly any knitting yesterday—instead i bring you . . . cake.

i spent the day scurrying around finishing up last minute details, packing patterns, and cooking a nice dinner for our west-coast visitor (which, let’s face it, was mostly an excuse to get to the cake).

i picked kim up in the early evening

and started snapping pictures right away to add to my growing collection of kim-at-the-airport photos.

we went to baggage to claim her luggage and the silliness began. this woman can talk, let me tell you. and we have so much fun.

then we headed home to have a good supper and pack (man, will i ever learn to get that done ahead of time).
i showed kim all the shawls that i knit over the summer while i packed them up for the trunk show i’m bringing to new mexico next week—she hadn’t seen most of them in person, since it’s been a year since she last visited.

then we ate

i made pasta with fish and garden vegetables, and we had salad picked just hours before.
kim loved the salad and wasn’t at all distracted by the cake.

david of course was completely cool about it—

but we all know what he was really thinking about (kim brought him some goodies from see’s and some french truffles—does she know my husband or what?). in fact we were joking that we’d leave with all this nice food in the fridge, and when we come back it will all still be there but the chocolate will be completely gone.

i know . . . you came to see knitting and all i’m giving you is glam girls jet-setting off to sheep and wool shows. but there will be much to see, feel and share where we’re going and i’ll take lots of pictures.

i’m leaving my laptop home (executive decision; there won’t be internet access where we’re staying) but i’m taking my iPhone with me and hopefully i’ll be able to blog on it from public places around the catskills. if i can’t, i’ll catch up with you when i return.

have a great weekend!


Posted on 16 CommentsPosted in designing, projects

one of the tasks i wanted to accomplish over the last couple of days is to get several new small projects on the needles that would be good travelers to tote along on my two upcoming trips. i won’t be home to plan and start new items for almost two weeks, so i needed to get squared away before i leave on thursday. that means that today there are new little knits sprouting all over the house.

i have the butternut scarf and david’s handspun grandpa sock, and to those i added a new mitt project (which will eventually be joined by a matching scarf and maybe a hat, too).

isn’t it just good enough to hug??
i love this yarn—it’s bunny patch from cheryl at newhue handspuns, and i started a new project with it. there are so many things to love abut this yarn—the beautiful colorings (this one is rose petals), the beautiful spinning, the incredible merino/angora fiber blend.

but what i love most is the fabric it makes. it has that soft flannelly feeling like thick, warm baby pajamas have, mmmm. the fabric drapes beautifully, even with cables knitted in, which i am ecstatic about

because i wanted to knit cables in it and i want to knit a scarf. the softness and fuzziness of the fiber called for a motif with strong lines, but that sometimes makes a stiff fabric, and i don’t care for stiff scarves. not so here . . . it’s just right for one of my favorite cable patterns.

i love this cable so much i have used it in two different sweaters,

(including this one from my own handspun) and still i want to knit it some more.

it feels so good to have a cably project on the needles. thank you cheryl; i really love this stuff.

then i started another small item

in this rich brown/deep purple colorway from fearless fibers. it’s a sock club color so it’s not in the shop yet, but there are lots of other choices in deb’s new tight twist merino sock yarn which is FAB. i love the way it knits up; it has that top-quality touch that all of deb’s yarns have, and i’m so glad she added this one to her line.

i have a pattern swatch for this one too but i think i’ll stretch out the suspense a little and reveal it as it comes off the needles.

david’s sock is growing a little at a time; today it joined me in a meeting for work, but i have a feeling it will gain lots more inches in the car on the way to and from rhinebeck, when it’s kim’s turn to drive.

i love the way the light looks when it passes through handspun yarn . . it really glows.

now, i have lots more to do before we leave in about 36 hours, so i better scramble. kim is coming in tomorrow evening and i told her i’d bake a cake. i also have to pack and do some other work before i’ll feel completely ready (ha, yeah, like i’m not gonna forget something).

i’m so excited my stomach hurts.

weekend ephemera

Posted on 27 CommentsPosted in designing, food and garden, projects

i’m trying to get everything in order around here before i take off for my rhinebeck trip on thursday. actually, kim is coming in from san diego wednesday evening, so i really want to be all done before then. therefore my weekend has mostly amounted to a lot of this and that, without much theme or focus. and gosh, darn it, it’s almost over already—how can that be?

to that end, i washed the other half of my sweater collection, and worked on getting some new design projects on the needles. unfortunately, not much success with that and nothing to show yet, but lots of progress eliminating ideas . . . for what that’s worth.

we also took time to have a little get-together last night. my very good friend beckie shares a birthday with david, and we usually celebrate together. but she was away for it this year so we decided to make a nice dinner for four last night and have our party a little late.

i cut some greens from the garden and the last (i think) of the eggplant, and beckie came over in the afternoon to cook curries with me. we chopped onions, peppers, potatoes, garlic, ginger to go with the roasted eggplant and tomatoes, and made a couple of different dishes.

it was so fun to spend time in the kitchen together, talking and talking—like we hadn’t seen each other in ages, but that’s what two weeks felt like while she was away.

we took a break to indulge in a little modeling session

which worked out really well—isn’t she lovely? and she stands so still; she’s a natural.
and there was a gift for beckie . . .

i have to admit i’m not much for making a big deal out of wrapping presents, even when i’ve put a lot of work into what’s inside. i used to be better at it, but now, my gifts look like a toddler wrapped them and i’m likely to shove it at the recipient and say “here”.

you might be able to tell that she got socks, but which ones? i’ve had this gift set aside for her for some time now; once i had them done i knew i wanted beckie to have them—as i knit them she commented over and over how much she liked the yarn and pattern together.

cozy cardigan socks (i should really knit myself a pair; i like them too)

then it was back to work in the kitchen. to round out the meal we ordered some appetizers from our favorite local indian restaurant. yum. we ate and talked late nto the evening; it was wonderful.

i’ve not had any luck getting something new on the needles (yet), but i have been working on my butternut scarf while i watch TV late at night and it’s growing

as promised, i remembered to take pictures of the pretty pattern formed on the reverse side

it doesn’t usually bother me to see the reverse of a lace pattern because they are often so interesting either way. still. it’s a nice surprise when it turns out that you can’t tell which is the back and which is the front.

and today, of course was spinning class. once again we had a really good one.

susan was back and looking very accomplished as she finished spinning up a small amount of variegated blue fiber. she’s been knitting baby hats with her handspun while she travels, which is a great way to use small amounts.

since she had only a bit of the blue fiber, she decided to ply it with some white to extend the yardage and make the blue a little lighter

i think this is destined to be a hat for the grandson that is expected in a few months.

we explored navajo plying a little bit and will be working on that more in the future. i don’t have photos because, well, my hands were full as i was the one doing the plying, and everyone else was pretty intent on watching and deciding this was one technique they might want to do “some day” but probably not right now. hahaha.

it’s my fault really; i am not accomplished by any means at this type of plying, since i never use it. but now i’m intrigued and may practice up some to see if it is something i’d want to incorporate into my spinning ongoing.

alright now, time to go knit! and you know what happens when that happens, right?

wow, is it friday already??

Posted on 46 CommentsPosted in designing, projects

i guess you could say that it’s good to have focus. it’s good to be monogamous to one project from beginning to completion. but boy, howdy—as much as i like the results,

i am not used to it. being so buried in working on one thing makes me feel disoriented when i’m done. like i lost a week there or something. but nevermind, i’ve got a new sweater, yay.

and one i really like. i finished knitting the sleeves on wednesday evening and blocked them.
then i sewed the first one in while we watched TV late into the night.

yesterday i put the second one in and sewed on the buttons, then wove in all the yarn ends. finis!

and it fits great . . . it’s dense and warm and the fabric feels yummy—it’ll be a great indoor/outdoor sweater. it’s a little smaller than i imagined it would be, but if it was bigger i might find it baggy; a bigger sweater would need to be a bit lighter than this one i think. this has a classic fit with about two inches of ease and looks trim and neat. there is plenty of room for a shirt underneath without excess folds of fabric where i wouldn’t want them. i’m very happy.

and hungry to knit more sweaters now. i have another batch of this yarn in a different colorway

that is keeping me awake at night.
and then there is the baby spice handspun . . .

which i would love to knit up in a looser, more casual sweater.
something like my old bathrobe sweater

which has seen better days and now cannot be worn outside the house (besides, the size of it dwarfs me and that looks a little silly). but i reach for it day after day in winter because it’s so right—it’s light but long and cozy and warm. and while i’m not saying i want to replace it*, i think that in its old age it deserves a few more rest days than i give it—an alternate choice would be a good thing.

*(i just couldn’t. and anyway, it’s still very good except for those cuffs i am too lazy to fix—or maybe i just like them; i think that might be more like it. you know, when it comes to clothes i see myself turning into my father a little more every day and i really need to watch that. he was married to his oldest, most worn clothes, and i’m afraid i’m just like that.)

and it’s about time i knit that yarn up; i spun it at least two years ago, maybe three.
i know it’s not a colorful color like i said i would knit, but i love it.

now i know that before all that, i need to write the pattern for this new one (it will take time—i’m new at the sizing thing—but i’m doing it. please be patient with me; it is coming.). i also have a couple of shawls on the agenda for the next little bit and some small items (mitts!).

late last night i cast on for one more sample of the spiraluscious neckwarmer and knit the body while we watched TV

and all i have left to do on that is the edging at the bottom. then i can block it and take some photos of both the red and the iris one.

this afternoon i’m swatching for the fearless fibers shawl (i think it’s going to be a triangle), and hopefully casting on mitts as well.

my butternut scarf is growing and maybe tonight i’ll put some inches on that—it will be nice to have something light and delicate in my hands.