Wednesday, December 31, 2008

the agony of defeat

It's called a counted thread em-
broidery for a reason!

You need to count.


I like the colors and think it will work overall, but for right now I'm going to have to pull out a quarter of that satin stitch section. It's two threads off! All because I failed to COUNT.

Oh well. What's time to a monkey?

[and these are not the subtly different colors called for by the pattern, I changed my mind.]

another year has gone by

back in
the box Santa!

We'll see you
next year.

[whew! My
favorite Santa
(circa 1964)
wasn't the only thing
that had to be
put away. What a job!]

Monday, December 29, 2008

String, string,

where; nor any color right!

Spent a lovely time yesterday looking through patterns and finally settled on the one I'd like to stitch. It uses two subtly different colors of pearl cotton in two sizes - so FOUR balls. Do you think I have ANY of the colors and sizes needed?


Need. More. String!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


noun: freedom provided by the cessation of activities; especially time free from work or duties.

It's been a very quiet, peaceful, relaxing Christmas and in large part, I think, because I have had more time off work this Christmas than I have had since high school. [and don't blab it around but that was a LONG time ago!]

The Leave It To Beaver socks are not the best looking ones I've ever knit, but just as I expected, the Lion Brand Sock-Ease is warm and wearable.

Pattern: Gentleman's Fancy Sock by Nancy Bush in "Knitting Vintage Socks"
Needles: Size 2 Inox dpns; just about my favorites
Yarn: Lion Brand Sock-Ease (w/ aloe) color Rock Candy; less than one 438 yard ball

Friday, December 26, 2008


File under the heading "just not as good as they used to be". I had several of these type puzzles when I was young(er) but they were more sturdily made and the tiles were much easier to move. I guess with all the electronic toys there is not much demand for these low-tech amusements. I couldn't resist sticking this one in a stocking this year but it turns out I'm the only one who enjoys playing with it.

I've not accomplished much else. It's been a very relaxing day around the cul-de-sac. I have (finally) finished the Leave It To Beaver socks. And am quietly celebrating 33 years with JP.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

all is calm

all is bright.
Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

a bowl of fun

In the days right before Christmas it is good to have a small project or two to work on - something to soothe with the knitting but nothing too taxing for the tired, old brain. The miniature mittens have been a good project. I still haven't used up the first ball of 152 yards and it is entertaining to see how each one stripes up differently.

Hope your plans and projects and preparations are going well, too.

[pattern from the OOP Interweave book:
"Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit" - Edited by Elaine Lipson]

Saturday, December 20, 2008

To: me From: me

Here it is Christmas and I was using an old, faded and stained (and ugly, I think you'll agree) dishcloth. Time to STOP the gift knitting, and START knitting something for me!

Ahh! That's better. Now I can go back to churning out mini mittens.

[I love the new one; Waffle Knit Dishcloth found here.]

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rx: More PLAY for stringplay

Late last week I was in a bit of a funk and I knew that it could all be chalked up to a lack of play. I don't consider that I spend a lot of time "goofing off" (although some might disagree), but I do spend usually some part of every day in some creative pursuit, generally involving string.

When everyday chores crowd in too much and leave me no time for play, I can get a little grumpy. Reading blogs, I see that I am not alone.

There is usually just enough time in a week to get everything that has to be done done and still leave a bit of time for stringplay. Christmas comes along with all the extra things to be done and places to go and people to see and stringplay quickly takes a back seat.

Whenever I get to feeling really pushed and out of sorts I can generally step back and see that it's clearly a matter of not getting, what to me is completely necessary, downtime, a time for the hands to be busy but the mind to be freed to relax and roam and ponder. I'm big on pondering.

This was confirmed and reinforced in a podcast I only recently listened to - an interview with Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play (no, I'm not kidding).

some scattered snippets from the podcast:

---Think of your earliest emotion-laden memories - what gave you joy? That will point to your innate talent.
---Look at the lives of highly successful people (musicians, athletes, entrepreneurs). They LOVE what they do and it is PLAY to them because they enjoy doing it so much.
---When you feel stuck, it is a clue to start playing.
---An active play life is a quality of a healthy individual.
---No play in adulthood has many consequences including the inability to cope in a world of many demands.
---A playful life contributes greatly to the capacity to approach and solve the complexities of life's problems.

Are you tired and stressed a bit this holiday season? Step back and PLAY awhile and I'll bet you start to feel lots better. I know I sure do!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The RED shawl

Pattern: Estonian Triangular Summer Shawl
by Nancy Bush
"Piecework" magazine Jul/Aug 2008; preview from Nancy's new book

Yarn: Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb
color NY225 blood red - about 1/2 ball?

Needles: Size 4 bamboo circular

I've already said that I love it. I debut it tonight at Christmas concert. I didn't start it with the intention of wearing for Christmas but am very happy to do so. : ) I love it in the RED and would never have considered it if not for seeing FloridaMo's gorgeous one.
The pattern was great; just perfect; perfectly Nancy Bush. I had to let it marinate a bit before getting up the nerve to sew on the separately-knit edging, and I had to have two goes at it before I got it done, but now I feel more comfortable about edgings in general. I'd like to try a knitted on one next.
Have you avoided nupps? Don't. They are just wonderful!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Elf Help

The RED shawl is blocked and I'm in love. FO pictures and details later but it's an Elf Saturday and there are Christmas things to do. Two little stringplay ornaments also finished.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday observations

1. It must be Christmas. I teared up last night over a Publix commer-cial.

2. My Christmas cactus and I have much in common. We both are growing whiskers.

Two readers (i.e. fully 100%) suggested I use the wreath for a centerpiece, so last night as I was hanging up the cranberry and popcorn garlands, I did. I love how the colors complement my M&Ms.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

time for cards

My Christmas card list is way too long and I wish I could cut back but I like to stay in touch and I really enjoy receiving cards.
For my needlework pals I always used to try to find a box of cards that depicted needlework in some way. Some years it was easier than others. Some years - this year - I simply didn't have the time to search around for them.
So this year I sent a digital pic electronically to the the drugstore and had prints made. Of course they don't exactly fit the blank cards I have (that would be too easy) so I'm trimming them a bit before attaching them to the card.
Then it's just a matter of writing, addressing, sealing, affixing stamps, and mailing. Piece of cake, right? Piece of cake? That reminds me......

Monday, December 8, 2008

If at first I dont' succeed....

Not quite - but closer.

Thanks to encouragement from a very kind fellow Ravelry knitter,

FloridaMo*, I attempted sewing on the edging to the Estonian triangle.

I had to pull out and redo the curve at the point but feel better about it now. Only trouble is I need to now pull out the WHOLE thing and start again. I have less length on one side than the other.

Live and learn. Good thing I have a goodly supply of holiday M&Ms on hand!

*FloridaMo is blogless, but I've linked to her Flickr pictures. She really turns out some beautiful shawls.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

All dressed up and no place to go

I've mentioned before that I usually contribute a wreath to the Woodstock Public Library's annual Festival of Wreaths. I always do the handwork during the summer and get it sorted away so that when the reminder comes just before Thanksgiving I'm not scrambling around to come up with something.
This year I decided I wanted to try to knit a lace wreath and I used a pattern for a lace fan from "Piecework" as my jumping off point.
In real life it looks a bit better than this picture. It's been pretty gray and overcast around here lately. And there are some lovely red glass beads that don't show up too well in this photo, either.
It's was the Monday before Thanksgiving before I realized that I had not heard from the library. When I called I was told that no display would be put up this year. Participation over the years (this would have been my ninth), had dwindled. Well, bah humbug.
I guess it won't matter now that I was never able to find liquid starch and now I don't have to worry about pinning out the edge loops or even falling back on Plan B.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Three Tenors in situ

I was invited down last evening to help my daughter get her tree in the stand and the lights on. She seems very pleased with the snowmen tree skirt and even took a picture of it in situ for me to use here.

I read a good bit and I re-read almost as much as I read. I tend to re-read at Christmas more than any other particular time of the year.

Maybe that's because I like the familiar and like to repeat traditions at Christmas? Maybe it's because I'm lazy and can't find the extra time needed for extra library trips and searching for good new-to-me books. I'm pretty sure it's a combination.

At any rate, the current re-read is "Christmas on Jane Street" a true story told by Billy Romp and with Wanda Urbanska.

It's a short little volume and can easily be re-read in an evening or over a couple of mornings with coffee. The Romps travel from their rural Vermont home every Thanksgiving with a load of cut Christmas trees to a lot in Manhattan, only leaving late on Christmas Eve for the tired night trip home. It's a father-daughter tale, too and a reminder that parenting is rewarding, but also hard.

This year I suddenly remem-bered Google Earth and had the bright idea of searching out Jane Street so I could get a look at the real location. So amazing. I could even see Bonsignour, the French food shop across the street from where the Romps set up their trees. What a treat!

I noticed the book at the bookstore last night. (Well I had to go pick up the new IW Knits magazine, didn't I?) Seems it is the 10th anniversary of the publication of the book and there is a new softcover anniversary edition.

I always enjoy seeing old friends at the bookstore.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Feet

I'm not much of a shopper and for most of my Christmas purchases I have "let my fingers do the walking". I am, however, really having fun wearing my new holiday Chucks.
So far I've resisted adding jingle bells like I always used to do in high school (since I'm all so much more mature, you know).
This pair of socks I finished back in the summer especially for my holiday shoes.
Pattern: Roza's Socks by Grumperina
Interweave KNITS, Spring 2007
Yarn: Crystal Palace Panda Wool, color #4108 vine green, 2 balls
46% bamboo, 43% wool, 11% nylon
Needles: Size 1 bamboo dpns
This sock is knit with only 60 stitches. On size 1 needles as written, I was a bit afraid at first reading that it wouldn't fit my 'sturdy' legs, but reading the Haphazard Knitter's account and seeing - or rather shamelessly copying - hers made me decide to give it a try. Like she said, the brioche stitch rib makes a very stretchy and comfortable sock.
The two-row pattern makes this sock a perfect travel project, too. I think I might one day try it again in a yarn without the bamboo content.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Some assembly required

Saturday after Thanks-giving. No work. No malls. No to-do list. Leftover pie. Plenty of string. A compilation iTunes CD from JP surprise on my desk this morning. In other words, a practically perfect day!

The formless blob at left is the RED shawl. The separate edging is complete and just needs attaching. Then I'll need to block the daylights of it if it is indeed to be a shawl. It is frighteningly small just now.

AND a Christmas card arrived today. Not even December.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Three Tenors

"I laughed when I saw him,
Who comically stood
With his bright eyes of coal
And his gay mouth of wood.
His nose was a carrot,
So pointed and thin,
And a deep dimple sat
On the end of his chin."
---Grace E. Easley

The snowmen tree skirt project is finished. I'm pleased that this project came together and fairly painlessly. It started when I saw a magazine ad for something similar from The Company Store which was happy and nice, but $79. [sorry. direct link eludes me.]
Holiday stringplay is finished for the season. Anything else I decide to start will not be intended to be finished by Christmas.
I can now give my full attention (a laughingly small quantity) to the RED shawl. I'm pleased to say I'm on the third and final chart. Knitting a pattern that decreases with every row has real advantages. I could get spoiled. [Evelyn A. Clark, I hope you're listening.] There is, of course, a long, long separate edging to be knit and then sewn on. But we won't worry our pretty little snow heads about them just yet.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Elf and the Sockknitter

....or my first step to becoming a Net Granny.

I think Kay and I are about to play a variation on the folk story, The Elves and the Shoemaker.

Kay, [the elf in this senario] in spite of turning out record numbers of dishcloths, isn't ready to embrace the purl stitches in a sock, but would still like a pair of handknit socks. Who wouldn't?

You can see the bag, recycled from our now-closed LYS, has made a couple of doorknob drops already. Today it was hanging on my doorknob and two balls of nice cotton/wool/nylon blend sock yarn were inside.

I get the fun and Kay gets the socks. But probably not by Christmas, Kay. You know I work best at a relaxed pace. Besides, Mary beat you to it. I got a bag of yarn from her on Saturday!

[more about my plans for that loot later]

Friday, November 21, 2008

In search of mate.
The first sock is done. I usually don't have any problems with Second Sock Syndrome. I don't mind knitting the second one and usually start in as soon as I have the time.
I'm calling these my Leave It To Beaver socks, but I'm using Nancy Bush's pattern, Gentleman's Fancy Sock from "Knitting Vintage Socks". These are not going to be beauties, but I think they'll get lots of wear and be warm. I changed the heel just because I didn't want to deal with that purl seam stitch down the middle, but I kept the wide toe just to try something different and I think I like it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still with the nupps

A sign you just may be letting the Estonian knitting get to you: you start referring to your candy as nupps!

Nope. They are Nips. But you can see what I mean.

I've finally made it to chart 2. Whee. I'm still enjoying the pattern and I'm still SLOW.

I'm going to try to squeeze a few more nupps in today, but I managed to find the black beads I need for the snowmen 'coal' eyes and buttons on my other project and I need to get that finished.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Shadow

I HAVE a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an India-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

---------------------Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

I took this picture a number of months ago and it's been hanging out in draft form since then. I'm not sure even why I wrote it except I know that as I did my walk that day and watched my shadow move and change, these lines kept running through my head.

Today is the birthday of Robert Louis Stevenson and I've loved his poetry since childhood. Most of the small, early poems I read and loved were from my Childcraft; Vol. 1 "Poems of Early Childhood".

I confess to being quite immature and my childhood may have lasted longer than many! I have my Mother to thank for preschool reading material and trips to library.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Natural Light Needed

I am working on the red shawl. I promise. Granted I don't get very many rows done each day. In fact, on good days I get a whopping 2 rows done. But I've finally decreased down below the 200 stitches mark so I'm feeling a bit better. Will it be done in time to wear Christmas? I have very serious doubts. But since I didn't start it with that in mind, I hope I won't be too disappointed.

Instead I finally got around to another project that's been percolating - and one I hope I surely do get done soon.

Sometimes there can be just a very subtle difference between floss colors. Since I intended to take the blog photo outside anyway to get the best lighting, it only made sense to audition the colors while out there. [probably keeps the neighbors scratching their heads about me, too!]

In the past I've always aimed to end any holiday stringplay by Thanksgiving. I don't need any stress of working on gifts right up until the last minute. I do much better without those kind of complications. Well, Thanksgiving is almost here. Yikes. Time to get this project done.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank you to all who have served and those who continue to serve. I can not truly appreciate all your sacrifices because I have not been in your place, but I can honor you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Field Trip!

Today Kay and I took a field trip to the Georgia Tech Institute of Paper Science and
Tech-nology to see the current exhibit "Cutting Fine, Cutting Deep: Cut Paper Works from Switzerland and North America".

Since the exhibit closes this Friday, I won't link but here's a bit from the exhibit description:

introduces audiences to environmentally focused cut paper art. The exhibition includes works from artists of the Swiss Scherenschnitt (scissor cutting) tradition, along with contemporary artists working in North America. Visitors will see silhouettes, dioramas, paper lacework, pop-up drawings, and complex symmetrical designs.

We both had a great time and were amazed at the work exhibited. The tiny images I'm able to post here cannot convey the beauty and intricacy of the work. This one is by Ueli Hofer.

We saw some very traditional Swiss scherenschnitt by Beatrice Straubhaar,

some intricately colored pieces by Elisabeth Bottesi-Fischer (her work is shown on the sign out front), and some intensely lacy pieces by Ernst Oppliger.

Many of these artists can be seen in this YouTube video (but be forewarned; there is a very intense yodeling soundtrack!!)

(also click on my pictures to see the details larger)

In addition to the exhibit, we toured the permanent exhibit on the evolution of papermaking and viewed the Dard Hunter collection. Hunter practiced "the creed of the Arts and Crafts Movement, whose proponents believed that a hand-crafted object was inherently more desirable, beautiful, serviceable, and worthy of human endeavor than anything made by machine". Amen.

It was a lovely fall day made even better by getting to spend time with a good friend.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Leaf Peeping

I'm sure it won't be too long until I'm com-plaining about all the raking and how long it takes me away from the string, but not yet.

I think today must be the PEAK for the color. Every tree I've seen has been beautiful.

We've enjoyed a really great fall with pleasant temps throughout October.

It's overcast and raining just a bit but I wanted to get a shot of this tree in our front yard. These past few afternoons when the sun has been shining on it, it has just GLOWED.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Citizen Knitter

under 35 minutes!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Got Nupps?

It is slow going for me on the Estonian shawl but I can hardly complain when I am absolutely in LOVE with it.

It's my first time using Lacey Lamb and I don't want to ever knit with anything else. When I'm not inching my way across another row, I'm online looking at the other colors.
But as I mused to Mary, would it be such a bad thing to only wear RED lace forever? There are certainly worse eccentricities.
I still can't seem to get the idea of the construction of this shawl through to my brain. I have it really upside down in the picture. The pointy edge that I sort of pinned out is the top edge - the long wingspan edge and I'm knitting down to the center point in back.
I am in LOVE so far but there are many, many more nupps to go. I don't look at the charts yet to work and I certainly don't allow my eyes to land on that scary sewing illustration for the separate edging that gets attached around the curved edge. Yikes.
LOVE, remember, is blind.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall back

When the weather is as perfect as it is today, who wouldn't want a whole extra hour of it?!

We have really been having some lovely fall weather.

Throughout the month of October Kay was busily knitting more cotton washcloths. She may have mentioned her project and I knew she was working on a new batch but little did I know one would find it's way to my door knob. AND with some really yummy blackberry soap to boot. Thanks, Kay!

I spent my extra hour putting a few more nupps into the Estonian shawl. How did you spend yours?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Faster Voting Lines?

Faster? Really? Amazing what a difference a day can make!

Poor PJ Bear. He looks a bit pig-ish. Too many M&Ms maybe?

I'm still glad I've got the socks. Speed is relative.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leave It To Beaver Socks

Wasn't it only last week when I was adamant about finishing the Anniver-
sary Socks so I would have no other WIPs and could knit my RED shawl with my full attention?

Gee. Where is that knitter? A little head cold and I cast on for the pajama bear and then the very next day.....the very next day!...I cast on for another pair of socks.

There is method to the madness. (I think.) Neither the Estonian shawl nor the pajama bear would be suitable for knitting while standing in line to vote. And from the look of today's headline, I'm going to need a project!

Way back the Yarn Harlot talked about some Lion Brand Sock-Ease so I kept my eyes peeled for it to appear at the big box. When I did find it, they only had three colors; a hot pink, an eye-searing yellow, and the one I chose - Rock Candy. It didn't really look like any candy I ever buy but at $6.94 for a pair of socks, I couldn't pass it up.

So I cast on today to get it ready and, instead of being reminded of any candy, I immediately thought of those striped t-shirts boys wore in the 50s. And even though my episodes of "Leave It To Beaver" were in black and white, I just knew he must have had a shirt in these colors!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pajamas for all

I had been looking forward to this past weekend with visions of spending lots of time really getting into the red Estonian shawl. But it was not to be. I came down with some bug and didn't feel like doing anything, certainly not concentrating on charts and lace yarn.
Finally today, with a little energy, the urge to knit returned and I decided to cast on for a baby gift - a Baby Bear to be exact.
I made one a couple of years back. That one was a solid chocolate brown that was christened Hershey.
This time, for a baby gift, I decided to make one of the pajama-clad bears. Seemed fitting since I've been living in pajamas all weekend!
He's an ugly garter stitch mess right now (hum....we have much in common!) since he's knit at a loose gauge intended for felting. I remember how horrible Hershey looked at this stage though, so I'm not too concerned.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

veniv kootud serv*

Here is just the very beginning of my new project - Nancy Bush's Triangular Summer Shawl. The pattern appeared in the Jul/Aug 2008 issue of "Piecework" as a preview to her upcoming book, Knitted Lace of Estonia.

Go look at the preview pages. ALL are wonderful.
Oh, oh I hope I can pull this one off. I can't believe I bought RED yarn!
*in Estonia this cast on is called veniv kootud serv or "stretchy knitted cast on"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Pattern: Anniversary Socks by Nancy Bush
Sep/Oct 2003 "Piecework" magazine
or "Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs by Interweave Press"
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock
color Harvest - 8NS
a gift from knit night pal, Claire
Needles: Size 1 (2.25 mm) Clover 5" bamboo dpns (the shorties)
Nothing to say that I haven't already said. LOVE the pattern, LOVE the fit, LOVE the feel.
I love how the back half is stockinette with just the mini-cable and rib cuff.
I LOVE the yarn. It's LACE in a sock!
In the pattern Nancy called this a French toe from "Weldon's Practical Needlework", Volume 1. It is a really quick toe to knit and fits and feels better than I imagined. I'm smitten.

The Motivated Knitter

It seems that all I want to knit is lace; specifically lace shawls.
I had in my mind to branch out, maybe (finally) try a garment - a sweater. Instead a trip to the LYS, ostensibly only to browse (yeah, right!) resulted in a ball of blood red Lacey Lamb coming home with me.
I had become smitten with a red shawl that a knitter on Ravelry had made. She's made the most stunning Estonian shawl from Nancy Bush's pattern in "Piecework" a preview - a tempting foretaste - of goodies to come in her new book.
I have absolutely loved knitting Nancy's Anniversary socks. I've enjoyed every minute, but I told myself that I wouldn't start the new shawl project until the socks were done. They are in a great fall color and I didn't want to postpone them. So instead, I (happily and) furiously knit on sock 2 using my wonderful shorty dpns (5"). The only problem is that they are just short enough that the end of my right working needle began to rub a blister on my palm! Good thing I'm almost done!
Speaking of "Piecework" (have I mentioned how much I LOVE this magazine?), have your seen the preview of the next one due out Nov. 4? The cover features Nancy Bush's Extraordinary Norwegian Wedding Gloves. Oh, my. I think I'm in love.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

First Anniversary

Some time spent in a waiting room yesterday and having the morning off today was just what I needed to finish up the first of the Anniversary Socks.

I worked it exactly by Nancy's perfect pattern. It was my first time with this particular toe, which decreases 6 stitches every other round at three points. It fits well and no Kitchener required. I'll have to wait to see how it feels in a shoe.

After today's walk, I raked some leaves that have covered the driveway. One shouldn't have to rake in 80 degree weather!

But this was more a cosmetic effort than a real rake. It didn't take too long and was only to make the drive look nicer. The real rake will come much later.

There are still MANY leaves left on the trees. [I try not to think about it.]

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


....because, really, all I need is more patterns!

I was telling Mary only the other day that I don't know why I persist in buying Vogue Knitting. I don't fully trust the instructions, many of the projects are beyond my current knitting ability, and many are not exactly my style.

And in the whole time/patterns/materials equation, patterns are not the problem!

Still I'm off to make coffee, put my feet up and enjoy browsing through it. (Would enjoy this interlude much more if the neighbor's dog would quit his daily yelping!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Slowly Coming Along

The Anniver- sary Sock is slowly coming along. Not much progress to show in almost a week, but it's been a busy, tiring week here on the cul-de-sac.
All of the knitting I have been able to do, however, has been pure pleasure! The Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock is a joy to knit with, and I think, is working well for this pattern. I know you can't tell too much at this stage.
And you can't really tell from this picture, but there are mini two-stitch cables in the cuff and running between the openwork columns and these have provided a new stitch for me. I guess you could say I've been cabling without a cable needle (even though I think WAY too much is made of this). The directions have you knit into the back of the second stitch, leave it on the needle then come around and knit the first stitch. A neat little technique.
As usual, that Nancy Bush writes a nice sock.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Socks 101

I seem to be knitting yet again with gift yarn. Am I lucky or what?!

One of the other knitters at knit night said a friend had passed along to her some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock and she was going to pass along to me.

I was quite excited as I had not knitted with it before. It is very nice and I'm really enjoying it.

I dithered for days about which pattern to start. The color is Harvest 8NS (I assume that means nearly solid?).

The "Child's Sock in Miranda Pattern" in Nancy Bush's "Knitting Vintage Socks" calls for this exact yarn and color and I briefly considered it. And, of course, I had a look at the Evelyn A. Clark sock patterns.

I kept returning to Nancy Bush's "Anniversary Sock". I have the pattern from the Sept/Oct 2003 "Piecework" magazine Anniversary issue. I am loving this pattern. After the cuff, the back is stockinette with all the pattern on the front "where all the work would show to best advantage beneath a long skirt".

At the time I checked Ravelry, 100 pair had already been entered. My project was number 101. Fitting. I learned a lot about sock knitting and got such a confidence boost from all the wonderful tutorials and pictures by Terri Lee Royea at Socks 101.

Some people like magic loop or two circulars for sock knitting, but I love my short bamboo dpns.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Heartland Lace

Pattern: Heartland Lace Shawl (free pattern/pdf)
by (my hero) Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Socks That Rock - Laci
colorway: Red Clover Honey
the leftovers from Mary's North Sea Shawl
Needles: Size 4 KnitPicks Options circular
I wanted to get a better picture, but this seems the best I can come up with at this time. I did one extra 20-row repeat of the Bison Tracks chart, making it a very nice size; big enough to be a shawl, but soft enough to still wrap around as a scarf.
The yarn is just heavenly. It's heavenly to work with and it's heavenly to wear. The color is so yummy - such a rich, warm, buttery color and absolutely perfect for this wonderful fall weather we are having.
Heartland made it's debut last night at The Atlanta Opera's Madama Butterfly. This was my first opera as well and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Another reason I love the internet

Sure I waste a lot of time browsing blogs, but I can hardly help myself when I find so many interesting posts and links.

I enjoyed this one so much I thought I'd link to it here in case you, too, would love to see and read more about the embroidery of Maderia. Such beautiful, beautiful work!

Read the wonderful post at Needled, follow the link to the museum and be sure to view all the lovely images of fine embroidery.
"The Embroidery of Maderia"by Carolyn Walker and Kathy Holman (1987: Union Square Press) is, sadly, out of print. It is a terrific book if you ever run across a copy or if your library has it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

a heap o' knitting

It takes a heap o' knitting*
to make a fine lace shawl,
But it's mostly knit and purling;
not too difficult at all.

And once it's blocked
and ready and it's settled
'round your arms,
You'll soon start to plan another
for you've fallen for it's charms.

*with apologies to Edgar A. Guest (1881-1959)