Thursday, November 29, 2007

Four-Letter Words

…or the Cul-de-sac Dwellers Guide to Fitness and Exercise

For exercise, I usually walk in heat or cold, fair weather or rain, but in the fall I substitute a different form of torture exercise and I rake (and rake, and rake, and rake some more).

I love the trees but the task of raking is a seemingly endless and certainly thankless job.

Many four-letter words came to mind:
work, leaf, rake, sore
I tried not to think too many of those other four-letter words today as I was raking. Instead I tried to be thankful for the nice weather. I hoped the drought hasn't been too damaging to all the lovely old trees and they will be able to make it. And I was thankful, too, that I'm able to be home some days so that I can work and rake and not have to spend quality weekend/knitting time on this chore.

I thought of some four-letter words I like better:
play, read, knit and REST.

"Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree." Joyce Kilmer - 1914

Monday, November 26, 2007

So Easily Swayed

So easily swayed. First Mary talks about and shows pictures of a really great looking cable she's knitting. Then I read about a Swallowtail Shawl that The Harlot has planned in Misti Alpaca laceweight in a sooooo soft pinky/coral melange color. [With beads! I can hardly wait to see it.]
I wanted me some of that! It's a busy time. I can't be expected to concentrate on a colorwork chart for a Selbu mitten. I need relaxing, soothing knitting.
I actually had in mind to knit a pair of "Fetching" fingerless mitts. That's only one ball of yarn. But once I saw this pink (and realized it would mean more thumbs to be knit), I quickly abandoned that idea and decided on a scarf.
The first two trials were quickly frogged. The Double Moss stitch seemed to be a good choice but the thought of doing yards of k1,p1..... quickly lost its appeal (and I managed to screw up even that!). My cable is way easier and not nearly as dramatic as Mary's, but I'm happy and enjoying it and that was the point after all.
Now, unlike Mary, I've never embraced pink. I don't own a single pink article. And while this scarf is not intended for me, I am really, really enjoying this color. What a surprise! Of course it helps that this yarn is not only quite affordable, but also unbelievably soft and wonderful. And it isn't even pink - it's PEONY. Doesn't that sound divine?
Why, oh why, doesn't Misti Alpaca make a fingering weight??

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sampler Lady Bag

Sampler Lady Needlework Bag
Pattern: The Sampler Lady - Little House Needleworks

Did you notice? Two (that's right, two!) WIPs made it off the side bar and into the FO category. Hooray for long holiday weekends. No Black Friday shopping for me. I avoid that at all costs. Instead today I've had a nice time at home finishing up a couple of WIPs intended for Christmas presents.

For this bag I stitched only the lady figure with her sampler skirt and none of the additional surrounding design before making it into a drawstring bag. This is intended as a Christmas gift to a stitching friend.

I had a bit of frustration threading the twisted cord in the casing, but I'm quite happy overall with how it came out, particularly since I was using only a picture of a bag that I had saved from blog browsing earlier in the year.

With the finishing of this and the Tomato Soup Socks (more about those later), I've completed my gift stitching. From now throughout the holidays I can sit, relax, enjoy the lighted village on our mantle and have a calm Christmas. This will be easier by totally avoiding the mall and traffic in that area!

"Who does not thank for little, will not thank for much." Estonian proverb [noticed in a "Mutts" cartoon!]

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Snowflakes in November?

Not real ones! Less than a week before Thanksgiving and it is quite warm - in the 70s from now through Turkey day.
These snowflakes are tatted and are on my contribution to the Woodstock library's Festival of Wreaths. Each year individuals and groups (such as Lions Club, The Tribune, etc.) can create a wreath for display during November and December. I've been contributing since it started, about eight years or so.

I generally decide what I'm going to do and then do all the handwork in the summer and get that well out of the way. Wreaths are hung over Thanksgiving break. You know how fast the holidays arrive. If I waited, it would be a burden to get it all done. Summer always seems like the perfect, slow time to casually and gradually make the ornaments.

This year I decided on tatted snowflakes and had fun leafing through pattern books and magazines to find patterns - some of which were more 'snowflake-ish' than others.

Last year was the first time I did anything knitted. I knitted angels from "Angels - A Knitter's Dozen" by Gerdine Strong. What fun they were to create!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Leaf Lace Shawl

Pattern: Leaf Lace from "Knitting Lace Triangles" -Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: KnitPicks Bare laceweight - about 1/2 a hank, undyed
Needles: Size 4 KnitPicks Options circular
It's been finished and blocked for a few days. I'm not sure what will become of this one. I started it just because I needed some lace to knit. I may give it (along with the Cranberry Shawl) for a church auction.
Naturally, since I had no plans to keep it for myself [gee, I have plenty and more planned], my husband likes this one best of all. Know why? The color. The color! Really the lack of color!
I still think I'll probably pass it along. I have a ball of ivory Misti Alpaca Baby laceweight which makes a really fine feeling lace. If I'm going to have an ivory shawl, I'd rather have it in that yarn.
But two small shawls for $4.29? That's hard to beat.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Time for Sock #2

Knitting on the leaf lace shawl is finished and it needs blocking.

I've purchased some really nice Alpaca With a Twist Fino lace yarn and am itching to start a lace shawl - rectangular this time and probably from "Victorian Lace Today".

But first I need to get that second Tomato Soup Sock out of the way. It is a Christmas present and a house sock with thick yarn and big needles makes quick work. Still it is less thrilling to do than start a new project. Besides the rectangular shawl would be mine and these will not be.

This is Artyarns Supermerino and is so squishy and nice. This will be third pair of Thuja house socks I have made and none have been for me. So see; I'm not completely selfish!

(I only use 2 skeins and make the cuffs shorter than I do for 'regular' socks.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Stalled Shawl

Well, Fun Fur caused me problems.

Last evening when I picked my leaf lace shawl back up, I noticed a fair amount of pain in my left hand, particularly in my middle finger. It persisted throughout the night, so I'm having to put my knitting and handwork aside for a couple of days.

This is particularly frustrating as the leaf lace shawl is so close to being done. I'm not a great judge of yarn, but I decided to try for one more repeat and then the edging.

I'm still enthralled with this leaf lace pattern. It's one from Evelyn A. Clark's book "Knitting Lace Triangles". That links leads you to her new website.

Is it too geeky that I've already used the e-mail feature to send her fan mail? I just love everything she designs!