Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candy Day!

Happy Halloween!

What's not to love about a holiday that celebrates CANDY
and encourages decorating with cobwebs?!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Holiday lace NFO

Color is not just right on this picture. It was wet and overcast, but I wanted to give you an idea of the pattern and the resulting size. It hasn't been properly blocked either, but I did iron it out a bit. I used size 1 needles and J&P Coats size 10 Royale in Forest Green.

I saw another blogger use the acronym NFO for nearly finished object and I've adopted it. Obviously the knitting is complete, but I haven't added the beads/berries or bow.

As I said, I'm quite in love with this little wreath even though I haven't really a use for it. This pattern has a 1995 copyright date and only uses k2tog decreases. As I was knitting I wondered if perhaps some should be changed to SSKs but I was too inexperienced to tell which ones. Now that it is complete, I still cannot tell. All in all a fun diversion.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Holiday lace

Oftentimes things - patterns, projects, materials - have to marinate for some time before bubbling up to the surface to be used.

I bought this Diane Willet pattern way back in April 2009 but have always found something else to do instead. [I bought pattern from Lacy Susan, but don't see it listed there now, and find no other good links for you.]

When the latest stole got put on hold awaiting a new, longer circular needle, I looked around for some project that I could make with string on hand and, hopefully, one that would not take too long. This seemed like a good possibility. We shall see.

ETA: The knitting finished up quickly and I quite like the little wreath. Directions have you whip the center to a bangle and stiffen the wreath before adding beads and bow. I'm not sure yet if or how I'm going to use it but the knitting sure was fun.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Last Friday we drove up to Fletcher, NC (near Asheville) but not to attend the Tractor Show.

This was my first time to visit SAFF; Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. It was a wonderful experience and I didn't even make it to the Sheep-to-Shawl event or any of the livestock shows or sheep shearing demonstrations.

Weather was delightful, but, as you can see, fall foliage must not have been at its peak. That's OK as I was not there primarily for leaf peeping.

I was lucky enough to land a spot in one of Galina Khmeleva's classes; the fundamentals of Orenburg knitted lace, an all-day class on Saturday.

I've mentioned before that I've enjoyed all the "Piecework" articles on Orenburg knitting history and Galina's patterns. I've read, reread, and studied the patterns and charts, but frankly have been more than a little intimidated by them. I'm not a stranger to fine yarn and tiny needles, but these have a completely different construction than anything else I've tried.

Here was the set-up in the McGough Arena:

Workshops were held inside those portable dividers in the center of the arena - except if you'll notice closely (you may have to click to enlarge) areas 9 and 10 (you see only 10 marked in the top left of the photo) had only partial makeshift screenings. When I first spotted this on Friday I worried that the distractions would be too great and also that I wouldn't be able to hear.

I worried needlessly. It was GREAT. Galina is a champion instructor, not only thoroughly expert on the Orenburg shawl history and technique, but an excellent teacher, superbly prepared, and able to overcome any shortcomings in the surroundings. Truly once we started, I never even noticed the vendors or visitors.

Besides being such an enthusiastic and excellent teacher, she's so much FUN and has a great sense of humor. It was a such a delight to be in her class and a huge treat to get to see and touch so many of her amazing shawls.

We worked a couple of the traditional motifs, reviewed the others, and also learned to turn the corners. She made it all seem so easy and, indeed, repeatedly assured us that it was so.

So I am back at home now and I hope to have time in the weeks to come to complete the small sample shawl as a learning project. It isn't a shawl really but a miniature example that incorporates all the elements of a large project. I'm struggling but I keep hearing Galina's encouraging words.

If you are at all interested in this type of knitting, keep your eyes open for her workshops at events in your area. In the meantime, there's an excellent interview with her on this podcast.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

From Russia With Love

This is my brain (pretend)

and this is my brain after a class on Russian lace knitting

I've been away this weekend attending a fantastic class
on Russian lace knitting.
More details later when I'm coherent.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I've grown accustomed

I've grown
accustomed to her lace
She almost makes the day begin
I've grown accustomed
to the tune
she whistles night and noon
Her smiles, her frowns,
her ups and downs
Are second nature to me now
Like breathing out and breathing in

I was serenely independent and content before we met
Surely I could always be that way again and yet

I've grown accustomed to her nupps, accustomed to her style

Accustomed to her lace

The body of the stole is complete. All nupps are done. Now all that remains (she said so offhandedly) is picking up 800+ stitches around the full perimeter and knitting the edging outward. Whew! That required another, longer needle. And a good excuse to visit the new digs of a not-so-local LYS.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yet another bonnet

I finished up the Evelyn A. Clark baby bonnet over the weekend. Once I got it blocked and dry I decided I did like it enough to consider gifting it, but it is far from my favorite.


Pattern: Tiny Treasures; Baby Bonnet and Booties (sans booties obviously)
an absolutely PERFECT pattern

Yarn: Fortissima Piccolino by Schoeller +Stahl
50% Merino Superwash Wool - 25% Nylon - 25% Rayon (Bamboo) • 109 yards per 25 gram ball • color 07

Needles: Size 2 Clover bamboo straights (love 'em)

All reservations about this FO are due entirely to the yarn. This yarn comes in a small, 25 gram ball and normally retails at the yarn shop where I got it for $6.00. Luckily I visited on a sale day and got it 25% off. I found the yarn very splitty and it lost all body when I soaked it to block. I let it dry a good bit and then tossed it into the dryer. That seemed to help and I was a bit more pleased when I retrieved it. This may be a characteristic of superwash yarns. Certainly ease of care is desireable in baby knits, but I will not be knitting with this again.

But I will, most definitely, make this pattern again. This pattern was the only reason I kept making stitch after stitch with this yarn. Besides having a sweet little lacy edge to start off with, it has short-row shaping at the back of the head which is just plain FUN to knit. It finishes up with an attached i-cord ties.

The pattern is in the Vogue On-The-Go! series book, Baby Knits Two. There is really little else in that book that appeals to me. As usual, I bought it only because it contained an EAC pattern.

In case you haven't noticed, I love EAC.

Monday, October 18, 2010

R is for

The Root House, a Greek Revival home built circa 1854 by Hannah and William Root, is one of the oldest surviving frame houses in Marietta and now stands just two blocks from its original location.

some history:

1833: 26-year-old Hannah came with her family in a horse or oxen-drawn wagon from South Carolina to Marietta. They probably traveled by ferry over the Chattahoochee River. Settlers to the area lived in their wagons, tents, or half-houses until they could build log houses. Stores and government buildings were also log structures. Leonard Simpson,age 64, Hannah’s father, built a log tavern near the Square. His tavern was an eight-room, one-and-a-half story log building.
1839: 32-year-old Hannah took over the tavern’s housekeeping duties when her mother Hannah Simpson, age 66, passed away.

That same year, 24-year-old William Root wrote, “Arrived in Marietta by stage and somehow soon felt like it was to be my home. It was not a pretty place…. Still there was enough
to make me decide to not go farther….” William was traveling from Augusta, Georgia, along
the route of the newly proposed Western and Atlantic Railroad seeking a good location to
open a new business. William Root’s drug store opened for business September 3, 1839.

Do you think that, upon his arrival, he stayed in Leonard Simpson’s Tavern? Do you think he met Hannah there? Almost exactly one year later, on September 15, 1840, Hannah Remer Simpson and William Root were married!
Here are some roses at the Root House garden; still blooming here in warm October. All the plants around the Root house have been researched for availability at the time the house was built.
Mr. Root was Marietta's first druggist and the first merchant to receive a shipment of goods on the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

And it wouldn't be the square without the railroad. The W&A railroad, founded in 1836, is partially famous because of the Andrews Raid, a/k/a The Great Locomotive Chase of the Civil War. Except for a few track realignments, the W&A Railroad is little changed since 1862 and trains go through Marietta several times a day. There are underpasses at both the north and south end of the square, but three roads cross directly over the tracks into the Square.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Q is for

Fit For A King & Queen

I'm not sure this would be classified as an antique shop or not. Indeed they bill themselves as Antiques and Uniques. I'll say! They have quite a quirky quantity of goods for sale.

I give their windows a quizzical look every time I pass by.

They've been on the square for some time now and in fact they quickly outgrew their first location further up the street and had to spread into two other nearby shops.

Earlier in the year they were able to move into this large space and consolidate all their goods.

If you're on a quest for something unusual, this is the place to start looking.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Enthusiasm. I used to feel full up with it, brimming over with it, but lately it is more elusive. Always visiting every day but often staying just a little while.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm" and I couldn't agree more.

People busy creating things are by nature enthusiastic. Wouldn't you agree? I mean creating something is work. Work we enjoy obviously and so much so that it is play instead, but effort nonetheless. And when a project takes a bad turn and has to be reworked, well only true enthusiasm powers that train.

Reading lots of knit blogs I often read that the knitter has lost their mojo. What is that except a dulling of enthusiasm?

One of my favorite things about reading knit blogs is seeing the energy and enthusiasm of the bloggers. When a project is finally finished to their satisfaction how they gush and cannot wait to share it with us readers, often with elaborate and imaginative photo shots. I love these posts!

Sometimes their projects aren't always something I would like, or want to make, but it is still so much FUN to share their enthusiasm.
This DELIGHTFUL post is a perfect example.

And you know what? It really is a bit contagious.

And since no post seems complete without a photo (even though there are scads of great ones over that other post), here's a photo from Monday's walk over to the park in the square. I couldn't resist getting my picture made with one of my favorite guys. Woody is always enthusiastic.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

P is for


There are a number of good restaurants on the square, but I generally eat a quick sandwich from home at my desk. When I do go out for something, I confess I generally wind up here, Marietta Pizza Company.

The pizza is great and you can get it by the slice and they have some wonderful salads as well. This picture was taken Friday the 8th and it was a warm day with plenty of people wearing shorts. All the outdoor tables were full of happy pizza eaters.

Tired of pizza?
How about a pot pie? I generally get Paul's chicken salad. Maybe if it ever gets really cool, I'll try a pot pie.

Next door to Paul's is a Pilates studio.
Probably won't try that.

It was such a pretty day that I walked on down to check on the progress of our new parking deck. You know the $7+ million one.

They are putting it up rather quickly. Seems like just weeks ago (actually June) they were just demolishing the building that stood there previously. The crane just lifts giant pieces into place almost like Legos.

I wasn't able to get a picture of any of our new Pedicabs. If you come to visit, a short guided tour in a pedicab might be a fun thing to do.

And lastly, since this blog is all about stringplay you know, P is for passementerie.

I had to stop and admire the tablecloths on the tables outside the Turkish restaurant, Kybele, as I passed by.

Aren't they pretty!

I had such a pleasant walk around the square.

Friday, October 8, 2010

O is for


I had to stretch to get this one as there didn't seem to be many O's around the square.

Still I knew I wanted to include the phone company building which has been at the south end of the square since 1899 - going through several different names through the years: Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph, Southern Bell, and is currently AT&T.

I recall my best friend's sister being thrilled to land a job there just after high school. No operators down the street now; just a lot of equipment.

This operator's switchboard from the 1950s is on display at the Marietta Museum of History.

Remember DIALS?

I feel Old.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Not Lovin' Knit Yet

Saturday was a gorgeously perfect fall day. Oh, my! How welcomed it was!

I decided to take the time to drive over and check out Lovin' Knit, a not-local-to-me yarn shop that opened earlier in the year.

My LYS closed and there isn't really another conveniently close. Perhaps that is a good thing wallet-wise.

Lovin' Knit is a lovely shop and I enjoyed my browse. As I am still working away at the Estonian lace stole, I didn't want to start another big project. However there are a couple of office babies coming in January, so I decided to try a baby yarn and bought one wee 25 gr. ball of Fortissima Piccolino and immediately cast on an Evelyn A. Clark bonnet. So far, I'm not sure I'm loving it yet. Seems to me I can feel the non-wool components much more and it is a tad splitty as well. Nothing really approaches Dale of Norway Baby Ull in my estimation.