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)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Masterpiece Mystery! tonight was the second in the Sally Lockhart series. I like the character of Sally, but I haven't been too fond of the shows.

Instead I browsed around the Masterpiece website and became nostalgic for more Marples.

I really love Geraldine McEwan as Jane Marple.

But what I'd really like to know is - who is doing the knitting for the costume department??

Miss Marple wears some amazing sweaters.

And.....I may be wanting her bag, too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Blackberry Bramble

Pattern: "Teal Forest" by Lijuan Jing for Jojoland
9" x 60"
Yarn: Jojoland Melody fingering weight superwash
220 yds/50 g - color MS20
Needles: size 4 KnitPicks Options circular
This was a project that started off great. I saw a shop sample done in the lovely forest green colorway shown on the pattern front and just loved it. Things went downhill shortly afterwards when I got ready to add in the second ball and couldn't locate it anywhere. The LYS still had a ball in the same dye lot so I was able to complete it.
Verdict: I'll probably not be knitting this pattern again. I'm not sure I did the p2tog tbl stitch properly. I did the best I could and figured if I did it consistently it would still be a pattern even if not exactly the pattern. Yarn has a nice feel and I enjoyed knitting with it - when I could find it!
A bit ironic that I ended up going with yet another Jojoland colorful yarn right on the heels of the overly colorful Harmony shawl.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


It has been complain-free knitting around here. I am still loving every stitch, every line on the chart of the Heartland Lace Shawl. Some of it is due to Evelyn's magic and some is due to the wonderful feel of the yarn.

Doesn't really matter when the knitting is this satisfying.

I've completed the number of repeats of Bison Tracks for the main body but have decided to add at least one more before beginning the River of Life chart.

I can hardly wait to block and wear this one!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pecan Pie Yarn

Hello! It's Pie Day here at stringplay. Luckily it isn't pie day often. Have you SEEN the "nutri-tion facts" for a slice of this stuff? It's best not to know.

Almost as tasty as the pie is this heavenly pattern by Evelyn A. Clark. If you aren't fond of YOs, you might not like it as much as I do, but I am finding it surprisingly intuitive.

I e-mailed Mary earlier to say that I wasn't thinking of the color of this yummy yarn by it's true name (Red Clover Honey) as much as I was thinking of it as Caramel Cake, another sinfully delicious Southern treat.

But then I opened my little two-slice box and noticed the picture. Hum....maybe I should call this yarn Pecan Pie yarn.

"But I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie. " Billy Crystal as Harry Burns in "When Harry Met Sally"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Happiness Is...

to Charles Schulz' Charlie Brown, a warm puppy perhaps, but to me an Evelyn Clark design!

Couple it with the promise, the merest hint at last, of cooler temperatures ahead and I am walking on air. See that lovely leaf? I picked that up on my walk today. Not in my yard. No colorful sugar maples in my yard, and don't even remind me of all the raking ahead. Right now let me live in denial.

Happiness is also the blessings of good friends.

See that yummy Red Clover Honey yarn? A surprise gift from Mary! I think it's going to be just perfect for the Heartland Lace Shawl (pdf pattern).

I was reminded of much happiness during my walk today.

I am most certainly not a gardener, but fortunately others enjoy it so I benefited from some lovely flowers and lawns in the neighboring subdivision; climbing morning glories at a mailbox, a mini-garden of zinnias and almost-spent black-eyed susans, the wonderful stacked rock terrace wall that must be the result of several hours of labor. I stopped, watched and enjoyed butterflies at a large butterfly bush. [Gee. Kinda wish I'd taken the camera, huh?]

And keeping me company while I walked, was a wonderful, very entertaining interview with designer/author Margaret Hubert on KnitPicks podcast #53.

"I see trees of green, red roses too I see them bloom for me and you And I think to myself, what a wonderful world I see skies of blue and clouds of white The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night And I think to myself, what a wonderful world." lyrics by George Weiss / Bob Thiele

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Thrill Is Gone*

Here's the Blackberry Bramble so far. That's the second ball about halfway knitted......or the third, depending on how you look at it. Technically ball #2 has never surfaced.
What can I say? I'm a fickle knitter. Suddenly, without warning, I hate it. And to make matters worse, I dropped a stitch while in the drive-thru at the bank. I know. Stupid to be knitting in the drive-thru.
Maybe I should hide it for awhile. Maybe I should instead tackle the mound of paper that is taking over the house. Mary and Kay seem to be all domestic this week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Fruits of Rumination

So far, so good. The Green Bead Experi-
is working out so far - in that it will block flat. Yeah!! I was a bit worried that it would want to cup.

I haven't technically blocked it yet but was so anxious to see if it would stay flat, I gave it quick iron with the steam iron. [Sadly : ( the iron and I spend a lot of time together.]

When I do block it, I'll need to come up with some way to stiffen it as I intend this to be a wreath.

I adapted a pattern from the May/June 2008 issue of "Piecework" magazine.

I'll just stop here and say again how MUCH I love "Piecework". Absolutely my most favorite periodical ever. Ever.

The pattern, by Deborah Robinson, was for "Nightfall", a lace fan. See this and more of Deborah's amazing work here.

I had been ruminating on some way to knit a circle with a hole in the middle to make a 2D wreath. I had only very vague thoughts until this issue arrived and I saw the fan. What if I changed to knit in the round and added more repeats? Luckily rumination did not result in ruination. So maybe I won't need Plan B after all.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Only Her Yarnseller Knows For Sure

A ball of Melody yarn - same color, same lot number.
Is it the missing ball or a replace-
ment newly acquired?
The old Clariol commercial has been rumbling around in my head (the vast, empty warehouse).
Do you remember it?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cascade Booga Bag

Pattern: Booga Bag
Yarn: Cascade 220
1 skein (I think; label gone) color ? but lovely
Needles: 10-1/2 bamboo dpns
This is at least the second one of these that I've made and it's a fun, easy knit. In fact, I usually call it the Whitlock Wait Bag because I usually (as I did this one) knit it in the car during my morning commute while I am inching my way up Whitlock Avenue. There is one stretch where I am literally inching. [It's a 7-mile drive to work and it takes a minimum of 30 minutes!]
This one I decorated with some brads I ran across in the scrapbooking section of Michaels. Sort of like these. According to the receipt, I bought them 6/3/07; over a year ago and I know I had the bag knitted by the time I bought the brads. So you can see that this project has marinated for some time.
Now that it's finished, I'm wanting to cast right on for another. What could be more relaxing than knitting around and around? And with only one ball of yarn, there's no worries about losing that second ball.
Speaking of which, it's Day 4. If you're out there Melody and can hear me, turn yourself in. Come home and all will be forgiven.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yarn Amnesty Program - Day 3

Yes, it's Day 3 of the Yarn Amnesty Program and no ball of yarn has appeared to take advantage of it. Blackberry Bramble is still snagged.

Refusing yet to cast on for another project (is that what it's going to take??), I returned to the Green Bead Thing. Gah! This was actually begun on Memorial Day - the start of summer.

It stalled out once I reached a section that called for repeated k3togs.

But you know, if you sit and actually knit on something, it grows. Go figure.

Besides it's nice to be able to take some of the frustration out on the k3togs.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cheap and Portable

The sun was low as I hurried to get a quick picture so will you please overlook the quality? Thanks.
The marigolds in the lovely blue canning jar were a gift from Mother this weekend. Since you so seldom get to see flowers around here, I thought I'd include them.
The tatted horseshoe is today's quick stringplay and the wonderful pattern is courtesy of Be-stitched. Her e-newsletter arrived in my mailbox this morning perfectly timed. I had grabbed a little bag with my tatting shuttle and thread this morning with the intent of starting something while visiting my mother-in-law.
I always say that tatting is the cheapest and most portable craft you can do. You really don't even need a little bag as you could fit both in a pocket.
My favorite shuttle is only $5.95 now (was less when I got mine) and a ball of thread is even less.
Of course, who can be satisfied with only ONE ball of thread when they come in lovely colors and sizes?
What in the world am I going to do with a tatted horseshoe? I'll explain later. In the meantime, it was Sheep Shearing Day at the Norwegian Folk Museum this weekend. Why can't I go to Norway??

Monday, September 1, 2008

Some Xs and a few Zzzzs

Not much knitting around here this weekend. I raced to finish the first ball on the Blackberry Bramble scarf only to discover the second ball has gone AWOL.

It is nowhere to be found!

I have decided to stop looking. Except about once an hour I think of something and go have another look.

For instance, I've taken out the sofa cushions three times. Not there the first or the second time? It must be there the third time! Such logic.

I've gone through bags, drawers, gotten the flashlight and peered under sofa, chairs, and tables, tried the trunk of the car. Was I robbed?

Kay says she's heard of several instances of random yarn thievery, that it's a growing problem, and that the police are stumped.

Luckily I have a fab new embroidery kit to distract me. Those lovely overdyed silk threads are a real solace. I've gotten the middle stitched and have started on the over-one verse that surrounds it. So mostly this holiday I've put in little Xs on the kit and caught a few Zs for relaxation. Not a bad way to spend a 3-day weekend.

In the meantime I've instituted a Yarn Amnesty Program. If it chooses to come home on it's own by the time I get this finished, there'll be no questions asked.