let’s regroup

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it feels like a year since last week, seriously. in that time we traveled 1,000 miles to NYC and back, laid Big Dave to rest, and were reunited with a whole schlew of family that even david hadn’t seen in many years. we ate food from four other countries and “read” water for elephants in the car (if you haven’t read it yet, get yourself to the library and check it out). and came home to release (unbeknownst to us) a veritable bee storm. plus, so many details to take care of.

by monday, my latest sticky note list was caterpillared. you know the kind—you start a sticky note list and then the next day (or hour) you need to add on, but there’s no more room, so you stick another note onto that list, and so on . . .

well mine was hanging on the bottom of the computer screen and had started dragging along the desk, so i figured it was time to clear some of those items away. heh. like bookkeeping, pattern writing, and oh, picking tomatoes before they rot.

there’s nothing like crossing off the last item (for the moment anyway), and now that THAT’S done, and i’ve answered all your incredible emails from the last two days, i am really glad to be back just to write. thank you for your overwhelming response to the honeybee stole design . . . honestly, i just wasn’t prepared for it. i have totally revised my hesitation to offer variations on a single design.

see, i had thought that offering a design more than one way might be overkill. and for some designs it might well be. certainly it isn’t always appropriate. but when something is shaping up to be a real favorite, i can see now that offering variations on it would be well-received, and give everyone a chance to take part in knitting it. wow. i’m telling you, i learn something new EVERY day from you (because, heh, i’m not particularly good at covering all the bases myself).

so a lot of you want to know what the next BIG thing is going to be (do you know how amazing that feels for me, just to be asked? it IS, and i never dreamed i’d be answering that question).

the thing is, i have a LOT of secret knitting projects right now . . arrrgghh! i am dying to talk about all of them but i can’t! and one of them is going to take all my time for at least a couple of weeks . . .

BUT! the orchid lace mitts are almost ready to be released and they are smashing. SOoo sexy—wait til you see—they are sitting on my desk and causing some real distraction here.

ok, i’ll give you one photo, but i’m saving the rest to show all at once with the pattern (i know, it’s a tease, but the teasing is what makes it feel so good in the end . . .).

let me tell you something—this fearless fibers merino laceweight feels more elicit every time i touch it. it is soft-i-li-cious. it’s so good that debbieKnitter just flat-out asked me for this pair. and i was in such a swoon that i said yes.

while the test knitters are working on their mitts, i’m going to work on a pair in the shorter length for myself. i haven’t cast on for them yet, but soon . . . i still have enough leftovers to do it.
you know, i do need to be careful though . . . mitts are like socks—completely addictive once you start.

SO, since i can’t talk about all the knitting i have, i thought we could talk about yarn and other knitterly must-haves.
over the last week or so i have received new things from several people that i want to share, and i thought that since i don’t have much new knitting i could talk about that.

this is the coolest thing. my buddy, blogless kim of the chocolate, was traveling recently in ecuador and the galapagos and found unique examples of our two favorite things

the gray-green yarn at left is a laceweight alpaca, but i suspect it has silk in it too—just look at that sheen. and when i hold it it feels more liquid than straight-up alpaca. plus, kim admits that the seller was trying to tell her about “another animal that is in there” but she didn’t understand the word in spanish. hmmm.
the red and white yarn is a wool/cotton blend. the cotton in it did not take the dye the way the wool did and so it is speckled like spatterware. pretty cool. i just love it, and it will be perfect for a manLace project i’ve had on my mind for a while. it may have to wait a couple of months but i am pretty fired up about getting this yarn.

oh yeah, and the chocolate. kim got it from a place where they process the cocoa and coffee beans and rainforest nuts just harvested. yum-my. she also sent some dried california strawberries that she made. but, um . . . those are gone i’m afraid (insert sheepish giggle).

the other day i got a package from briar rose chris with a bundle of grace bamboo/merino in it

does seaweed or mermaid come to mind for anyone else besides me?
chris comes across as a really sweet good-girl type, but really she is ba-a-ad. everything she sends is something i want to knit with right now. and i can’t right now, but trust me, this is is going to nag at me. and then she tells me she has another new fiber she’s playing with that she’s going to send. of course, he-he, far be it from me to say “no”.

i really think i need to have ALL of you over some weekend to help me work down some of my stash.

kim at the woolen rabbit is back at it gettin’ busy with dyeing again. she has a new fiber blend for socks that she is working with and sent me some to try

that’s deepest purple on the left and sweet pea on the right.
i’m such a sucker for spring greens . . .

THEN, i saw something on romi’s site that i didn’t buy (yet) but i’m very tempted . . . i fall hard for jade. go look here and tell me that rectangle jade stick isn’t totally me. i love simple, formal designs. and that is IT on a stick. so to speak . . .

our friend knitnana, creator of wonderful bags, has a new sock bag (posy) that i saw on wendy’s site and knew i had to have. why? i mean, i don’t even like cats that much (don’t hate me—part of it is that i am allergic to them). but i think i would have a cat if it looked and behaved like these

in fact i totally would . . . maybe . . . these felines don’t look like they use anything remotely resembling a catbox, do they?
i like this bag because it is roomy. most sock bags are just a little too small for a big ball of hand-dyed yarn, needles, and a pattern, much less room for perhaps a second sock in progress (you know, for emergencies). ha! but that’s where knitnana is so clever. here, look inside

there are pockets for needles and other items. the bottom is narrow so it can hold your yarn cake nice and snug, and then the bag gets wider so you can pile a couple of socks on top and still close it. and the closure allows for the yarn strand to flow easily to the knitting in hand.

now, this last item i am a little ashamed of (but just a little). back when i posted the pictures of my grandma’s afghans, debbie in maine emailed to ask me about the booklet and how did i think she could find one? so i went on ebay and took a look and there i saw several versions of the book. but this one really caught my eye

because i’m pretty sure it is the original version and probably the one my grandma used. so i emailed debbie all excited and said “look, look, what i found—i think this is the exact one my grandma used.” and then, without even blinking or giving it a second thought, i went right back to ebay and snatched it up.
i swear, it happened before i even realized what i was doing.

debbie of course was too nice to get mad at me, but i felt so bad i spent the next little while helping her locate another one; it’s a newer version of the same one with a color cover . . . not exactly the same. but it has a color cover . . . (oh, the shame!)

ok, speaking of sock knitting, i better wander off and actually DO some of that. see you next time.

36 thoughts on “let’s regroup

  1. I’ve been knitting a sock and listening to the audio version of “Water for Elephants” tonight (oh and sipping wine of course). So far, I’m loving it.

    I’m looking forward to the pattern for the Orchid Lace Mitts. They are beautiful. The fact that you used Fearless Fibers laceweight merino is the icing on the cake. I finished a shawl using that yarn a few weeks back and love the stuff.

  2. It’s great that you got such an overwhelming response to the bee stole… especially if that was what you needed to revise your hesitations! I’m all for the revision of hesitations, and to people with a tendency to limiting their options based on purely self-imposed constraints, I will often ask “why not?”…
    You received all that in the last week or so? Wow, I guess you already know you’ve got very nice friends! Can’t wait to see what these yarns will become. I totally understand that the speckled wool-cotton had such an effect on you: it’s awesome!

  3. What a drool-fest! Do you feel rich in anticipation? Such lovely yarns to work.

    I’m anxiously waiting for the mitts pattern and I love, love, love the bee fields variation. So does my Mom, who I made buy a kit in buckwheat honey for the triangle shawl. After I bought my own in Tupelo Gold. Now, who will do the stole, and who will do the triangle?

    I’m glad our enthusiasm supports your enthusiasm.

  4. Will you perhaps be able to show us photos of the secret-knitting-in-progress after the secret knitting is no longer secret? It’s fun seeing your work develop on the needles . . . .

  5. Wow….lots of goodies here today :-). I have a number of Romi’s sticks and pins and I love each and every one………..just beautiful………..give in to the temptation, you won’t regret it :-)…heehee

  6. Lovely collection of yarns and the Orchid Lace Mitts are so beautiful and I look forward to trying this pattern and the Fearless fibers yarns one day soon.
    Second Lynne E with regards to showing off your secret knitting once it is no longer a secret, as your knitting is a work of art and so inspirational. Good knitting!

  7. What a set the mitts & the scarf shall make, gorgeous! He,he–leave it to that Debbieknitter to be sooooo brazen 😉

    You got a haul of yarn btw! You just say when, and I’ll hop a flight and help you knit down that stash no prob LOL! I’m always good for eating up chocolate too……

    I just love that sock bag! Are you a bag-acholic? I know I am, that one is just purrfect 🙂

  8. Haha! I didn’t even realize I needed to enable you the first time I read your post! Then I saw the referrals in my stats, so I am back here to say “yes.” Unequivocally. As a fellow green lover, you *know* you have to have that little block of heavenly color on a stick. 😉 We are of a mind. :g:

  9. sticky note caterpillars – I have about 3 – desk at work, car and kitchen. The list grows at the end and I keep crossing out at the beginning. somehow it never goes away! 🙂 all that new yarn – looking forward to the reviews!

    if you ever need another test knitter for socks, let me know….(figured I’d put a bug (or bee!) in your ear)

  10. Heh – I like the “Kim of the chocolate” nomer. Kind of like the “Knight of the Woeful Countenance”, only more fun. I swear, dearie, I do NOT know where you find the time. Must be your power naps or something, but you just keep churning out the most beeeeeeutiful things. 🙂

  11. I swear, you have the best job in the world. Just look at how your groupies worship you, bring you gifts, sacrifice. . . you are a knitting goddess!!

    I can’t wait on the mitt pattern. We just have to talk about a Knitspot charge card!!! I can’t keep up!

  12. I have question just out of curiosity. Which is the better selling style for Bees, is it the shawl design? or the stole design?

  13. I got my BEE kit from the “other Anne” yesterday! I’m sooo in love. And must wait to knit it…(boo hoo!)
    Just delighted that you like my Posy Sock Sack. And, no, I’m pretty sure you don’t have to worry about cat boxes with that crew! lolol!
    Enjoy it!

  14. Hahaha! That ebay story is cracking me up, because I have done the SAME thing! I’ve e-mailed my friend saying, “hey look I found exactly what you wanted! DOn’t bid on it though becasue i’m the high bidder”. Haha! We’re terrible people.

  15. Which weekend will we be reducing your stash? =;)

    Ooo…I will have to drop my boyfriend some hints on what to get me when he goes to the Galapagos (without me!) in February.

  16. …did you ever find that blogging and checking other blogs takes up the time you could be using to lower the stash levels? I’ve certainly noticed it. And here I am again, laughing at your posting and NOT KNITTING!

  17. Oh you just HAD to go there with the Briar Rose, didn’t you? You flaunt those colors right in front of me with absolutely no shame!!

    You’re a yarn hussy.

  18. Yeah, that Chris is a sneaky one. Now she has me working for her as well as you! And it all started so innocently: “Would this yarn work for your Cherry Country Stole?” Like she just wants to help, out of the goodness of her heart.

    Then before you know it…

    BAM! You’re knitting obsessively,writing down every stitch you take, deciphering computer directions for chart making , wondering if you’ll finish in time for the desired release date, tinkering endlessly, covering reams of paper with math scribbles, hitting yourself on the forehead when the solution to a problem area was right before your eyes and you didn’t see it,and losing sleep. Did I mention knitting obsessively?

    Who knew the pattern publishing business was so consuming?

    And I got three more hanks from Chris at the Castle Farms Fiber Festival.

    I tell you, she’s dangerous!

    But loads of fun…

    Blessings to my mentor (that’s how I think of you anyway)

    ps. LOVE the bees. Next in line, once I finish Cherry Country and Lily

  19. As for making the Bee Shawl as a rectangular stole, I want to say thanks! Some of us love lace knitting, but are not keen on triangular shawls (I just don’t like the way they wear on my narrow-shouldered self). I much prefer stoles. The Bee Stole is a definite purchase in my future.

  20. I’m so glad you did the rectangular stole version of the bee shawl! I’m one of those who prefer that shape, so now I have no excuse not to add this to my “must knit” list 🙂

    The orchid mitts look fantastic, as do all the new knitterly goodies you’ve acquired!

  21. Don’t know that I’d use those lovely shawl pins to pin shawls, but I’d definitely use one to pin up my long hair! 🙂 Cute sock bag. Don’t blame you at all for snatching up that old book. It looks great! Back to digging though my stitch pattern books, and wishing I had more of them… LOL

  22. You know, I don’t think I ever noticed your tattoo before! Maybe because I’ve always been staring at whatever gorgeous shawl you were draped in at the time… 😉

    I love the Briar Rose yarn, and can’t wait to see what you do with it. Sigh!…

  23. I’m sneaking out of lurkdom to say what a relief to know I’m not the only knitter who doesn’t have a cat (my husband is allergic to them and in any case he prefers dogs). And although I think the bee shawl is gorgeous, I think I am in love with the bee stole. Let’s not even mention the mitts. Ahhh….

  24. So many beautiful things! I love the mitts, glorious yarns, great bag, good buy with the knitting book your grandma had, and, great tatoo! A woman after my own heart. Enjoy the chocolate by the way. Won’t hold the cat allergy against you. Hard to like something that makes you ill. My daughter has allergies one of which is cats. YOu can admire them from afar.

  25. I purchased the Bee Fields Shawl kit from WWF. The yarn is beautiful and I’m anxious to start but I’m having trouble with the pattern corrections. First of all, there’s no date of version number on this pattern, so I have to assume that all errata apply. The entry for 8/8/07 says row 13 & 14 are not represented symetrically… but the replacement text says they are for rows 12 & 13. Does the correction contain an error too? Your corrections say the chart if wrong too. Can a corrected chart be made available?

    That you know, is this the only chart that contains errors?

  26. I figured out the corrections. Sorry to post this here. Thanks again for a lovely pattern. I want to do the rectangular version as well. They are just wonderful.:)

  27. ok, so I know it’s totally weird that I’m sneaking out of lurkdom to tell you how much I love your tattoo… I’ve really loved and admired your writing and knitting for some time, and probably should have come out of hiding to say so before now. 😉

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