Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Peacock Tail Stole

Pattern: Peacock Tail and Leaf Scarf
from "Knitted Lace of Estonia" by Nancy Bush
17.5" x 60"

Yarn: Louet Gems - 100% merino; 4-ply fingering weight
color Cloud Grey - 185 yards/50 grams - 3 skeins (555 yd)

Needles: Size 6 - KnitPicks Options

Yes, the RED DOOR is back. It is just too miserably hot to be out styling photos. I get extra points for at least sweeping away the dry leaves before taking the shot. Last weekend I noticed brown leaves falling almost like it was the beginning of autumn. I can only assume they are just burned and are giving up early. I know how they feel.

Except for knitting one extra length repeat, omitting nupps, and using a heavier yarn, I knit this exactly like the pattern. The pattern is written as a scarf using lace weight yarn and is lovely with the nupps, but I had this yarn and wanted it in a stole size. At 17.5" x 60", it came out just right using only 3 of the 4 skeins of yarn.

The pattern was very nice to knit and, with no nupps on this one, fairly quick as well. You may not really notice in these pictures, but there is an eyelet section between the edging and the body which I particularly like. I'm not as fond of the edging as some others because this one is done in garter stitch.

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this book. Maybe it arrived at the right point for me when I was more comfortable knitting lace, but I've used it more than any other. I find the patterns extremely versatile. It is easy to change yarn weights or to add or remove repeats to alter the size. Although many require that you knit an edge separately and either graft (kitchener stitch) or sew it on, I find that less daunting than knitting on a edge afterwards to live or picked up stitches. It is also easier, so far, for me to feel comfortable with having enough yarn.

Maybe it is just time for me to dive in and try the other kind.

This is going out to the grown daughter of a former coworker of JP. He requested a knit. : ) The Louet Gems is a superwash 100% merino and I think is perfect for gifting to a non-knitter.

ETA: YouTube video of Nancy Bush demonstrating knitting nupps here

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Heart Piecework

The July/August issue of "Piecework" hits newstands July 6. My subscription copy should be here already but isn't yet. Worrisome. I surely would have enjoyed relaxing with it this weekend. This issue reveals the Heart Ornament Contest winners.

As usual, it is another stellar issue. And included among the famous names of Galina Khmeleva, Nancy Bush, and Allyne Holland, is the name of my friend, Pat!

You've heard me mention before how talented Pat is (and regret the fact that she hasn't a blog). Pat has a particular fondness for pansies; real, pictured, on greeting cards, or rendered in needlework. Her entry "I Heart Pansies" is a wonderful example of her skill with a needle. [See it shown as F, page 5 of the "Piecework" pdf file here.]

Pat used some perfectly-suited hand-dyed threads and the technique of Brazilian embroidery to stitch pansies on a quilted gold silk heart.

My entry, a Hardanger heart, didn't make the cut and will be returning home to me soon. That's OK. It is always fun to try and come up with an entry.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


1 : to work laboriously and monotonously
2 a : to walk heavily or slowly
b : to proceed slowly or tediously

Went out early for my walk today and spotted a comrade.

Just like me this guy is plodding along, not making great time, but putting one foot in front of the other and doing the best he can.

I don't usually take my camera with me, but walking is walking, so I just walked back home and retrieved it. Yes, I am that desperate for blog fodder.

It's been a bit of a rocky path around the cul-de-sac lately, but things seem to be getting sorted out.

While walking I listened to a Never Not Knitting podcast and enjoyed the guest essay by Nic Knits detailing her experience in knitting a lovely little Christening Sunday brunch coat for a friend's adopted daughter. So many things can make a knit challenging. It's great to hear when things eventually work out well. If interested, you can read the essay at the Nic Knits link above, or see the finished coat here.

A bright spot along the walk - some hardy Black-Eyed Susans.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A mixed bag

Have you ever seen a less inspiring knit? Don't answer that.

I don't have any idea what I want to knit, but this is not it. Still I keep going. Why start something else when I don't know what it should be?
I think I'll blame the heat. It is relentless and brutal with never a break.

To make up for posting such a dull picture, I'll share a cartoon

[click to enlarge for easier reading]

In the meantime, I have serious pocket envy. Seriously.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

J is for



The Juice that gives me just enough energy to keep me jumping.

Cool Beans roasts their own coffee and is right around the corner from my office.

At the front it has two small recessed alcoves perfect for setting up a laptop and with windows to the entrance. Books, magazines, and pastry case. Who could ask for more? They don't sell books and magazines, just have an eclectic collection about to read.

There's a cobblestone courtyard in the back if you have time to sit and people watch. (I usually do not.)

J is also for Jewelers.

Wilson Brothers Jewelers, established 1868.

Wilson Brothers definitely has that small-town feel. They are happy to replace a watch battery or band, or rework a family piece.

While you wait you can look at the large photos on the walls from past days. This one shows how the shop looked in 1908.

And, a blast from the past:

J was for Jo-Ann Shop-

Mother and I once rode the bus to the square for back-to-school shopping. I had a multi-colored suede coat that came from the Jo-Ann shop. I felt quite grownup in it.

Here's an interior shot from 1955.

Check out those prices!
And the simple furnishings and displays.

Wasn't life so much simpler? Or perhaps I mean less intense.

Here's an exterior shot from the late 1940s showing Jo-Ann Shop among the buildings on the east side of the park including the old Courthouse. None of these buildings still stand. [click for my 'C' post to see the new Courthouse and how East Park Square looks today.]

Where's the string?

I'm thinking of instituting a new feature here on the old blog called Where's The String?

This is a lively, sometimes frustrating, occasionally exhausting or unfruitful, and disconcertingly frequent activity around here.

In case you haven't already imagined how it works, I'll explain.

It usually happens when I am doing one thing but thinking of something else, some new project.

Often prompted because a new "Piecework" arrives or I see an idea on the web. I remember that I either have just the string I need or I have something that I think will work and want to give it a try. I go to where I just know the string to be and lo and behold it is Not There. I start the search. I go through bags. I try to remember when I last used it.

I stop to e-mail Kay.

I describe the string to JP. This is a waste of both our time. JP thinks ALL string looks alike! You and I know all string is unique. Each string has its own special qualities. One string cannot be substituted for another without good reason.

Tuesday, after running across this pattern, I wanted to find the above string. Only took me about 90 minutes. I still haven't started the pattern. By the time I found it, I was grumpy.

Maybe if my room looked like this or my closets looked like this. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bright Ideas

I haz them.

In getting things together to go to our WWKIP day, I decided not to take the lace-in-progress and instead cast on quickly for something portable, the Sweet Fern Mitts from Clara Parkes' Book of Wool.

The project is portable and, without distraction, easily enough worked. I wouldn't call Kay and Pat distractions, but having fun and following conversation led me to do a bit of UNknitting in public as well.

The cable crosses and the thumb gusset increases happen at different times. Finished with my UNknitting, I charted me out a tick-sheet so I can keep up with everything that is happening - and check ahead to verify stitch counts. When I rule the world, ALL patterns will have this already.

Maybe Real Knitters can do this in their head. I have to use my brain cells to remember where I hid the emergency M&Ms.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How do you like to go up in a swing

Whew! It is pretty hot around the cul-de-sac lately. But somehow just looking at this 4-picture blog post made me happier and cooler at the same time. [I confess to viewing it several times just to see that last photo!]

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

The Swing - by Robert Louis Stevenson

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Man does not live by thread alone.
Friends make the whole Shebang more enjoyable!

Kay and I purposely left our plans to celebrate Worldwide Knit in Public Day very loose and fluid, waiting to see how the day panned out with other members of our families. As it turned out we decided we could get together, but wisely chose an INdoor venue this steamy year. A couple of e-mails later and Pat decided to join us making it even more fun.

Pat brought along some of her class projects from the recent lace club workshop, six shuttle tatting and other adventures. Too bad I didn't take my camera out for that. She had a lovely butterfly working up in fine gold thread with iridescent beads.

So who took this picture? A nice gentleman, traveling with his family from Cleveland, TN interrupted his meal and obliged. How kind.

What a lovely time!

"We have been friends together in sunshine and in shade."
Caroline Norton


This bud's for you!

Look! I bought a geranium.

So red. So cheery.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Knitting Tango

Well the Leaf Knot Clutch is finished.....except for weaving in the ends (of which there are many).

I ended up having to take back both the first handle attempts, so that in all I knitted SIX half handles. Just call it practice or experience.

I gave it a soak this morning and patted it out to dry. DRY. What a joke. Will it dry? When I checked the weather this morning before leaving for work, the humidity was 91%. Not exactly dry around here.

In the meantime I'll leave you with a picture from the other day's walk around the square. I don't think I'll be out walking around the square today.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm running out of stitch holders

I need to remember to always read ahead in the pattern. I think I do, but in my enthusiasm to start a project, I must block out some of the more troublesome steps.

I was very excited about this little bag and got all but the handles done quickly but then got a bit intimidated by the instructions and pushed it out of sight..........and almost out of mind.

I finally got up the courage to pull it out again and even remembered where I had stored the second ball of yarn. No small feat. In just an afternoon I got two halves of the two handles done. I'm not confident that they are done correctly. It remains to be seen if the other two halves will meet up with them and if all will work out satisfactorily.

And peeking ahead, there may be crochet, too. Eek.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I is for

Italian restaurant!

Bring on the carbs.

Were you expecting ice cream? Me, too, but when I went around to the ice cream parlor, all the fixtures were out on the sidewalk and they appeared to be remodeling.

The timing seems Incredible!

and I is also for IN:

IN with new and out with the old. Demolition has begun on an older building to make way for a new $7.7 million parking deck diagonally across from the new Superior Court building. That seems fairly incredible, too.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

No more frost

Less than a hour after deciding what my next project would be (Ene's Scarf by Nancy Bush), I started having doubts. Do I want another triangle just now? Do I really like that center decrease section? (It's the only part of the pattern that bothers me.) Should I look over some of Evelyn A. Clark's single patterns?

Suddenly I wasn't so sure any more and I began to drag out patterns, books, printouts. You know how it goes. A couple of piles later I ran across a free pattern from Classic Elite that uses the Frost Flowers and Leaves motif.

Here it is just with two full repeats just before I ripped it all out. I LOVE the motif and it is much fun to knit, being patterned on both sides, but it just wasn't what I wanted and I wasn't thrilled with that edging. Not thrilled maybe, but rather proud. Do you know it has p15tog?! Don't adjust your set. You read that correctly. Purl 15 together. That's enough to make anyone sit up and take notice. But thanks to Ravelry, I read more than one reassuring comment that it is no big deal and, truly, it wasn't. It is the most unusual stitch I've ever knit. The row before has all these yarnovers between stitches that you drop to get your 15, thus they are long and loose and easily captured to purl together creating a sort-of shell effect.

Here you can see a really gorgeous example of this shawl (in silk no less!). No coincidence that it was knit by blogless Maureen who was the reason I knit my first red Estonian shawl.

I had hoped to be further along with a new project, but here's what I arrived home yesterday to find. Some small branches were driven straight into the ground. This picture shows just part of the mess and was taken after I'd moved enough limbs to allow the car up the driveway. Instead of settling in for a nice cast on after morning coffee, I had to hurry out and start clearing this before the sun got ahead of me. What an irksome chore!

I suppose it was a microburst. Nothing was really damaged and, thankfully, I didn't have 200 sheep to worry about.