Monday, November 29, 2010

Facing Lilies Stole

Pattern: Facing Lilies Stole
by Nancy Bush
Interweave Knits - Spring 2010

21" x 58"

Yarn: Old Maiden Aunt handpainted yarn
80% merino / 20% silk 2-ply laceweight
1300 yd/100 gr.
won from Podcaster Paula at Knitting Pipeline

Needles: Size 3 addi Turbo
24" for body / 32" for edging done in round

I am over-the-moon satisfied with this FO. It is always easy to love the latest, greatest FO the best, but this one may very well turn out to be my most favorite knit ever. The pattern, combining two traditional Estonian motifs, by Nancy Bush is just perfect. The body was a very relaxing and enjoyable knit. You may recall that I had a little problem getting that edging started. Stitches are picked up all around the four sides and the garter-stitch edging is knit in the round. The problem was entirely my own fault. The instructions specifically call for wooden or bamboo needles but I went with the slick addi Turbo ones. Lesson learned: Listen to Nancy.

I took a number of photos of the finished shawl but this one seemed to show the pattern the best. It has been quite overcast and dreary these past few days and this photo was taken indoors without natural light so you don't really get to see all the subtle shadings in this yarn.

The yarn was a dream to knit and the finished hand is heavenly. I was fortunate to win this yarn from Paula's podcast, Knitting Pipeline. I enjoy her podcasts so much! I listen to quite a few podcasts with the majority concerning knitting. Paula's quickly became a favorite.

So thank you Nancy and thank you Paula; two-part harmony.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I finally knitted a sweater!

The Facing Lilies stole came off the needles this past Saturday and sat in a crumpled heap until Sunday afternoon when I took the time to soak and block it.

I just couldn't face up to the blocking wires, but this one was easy enough to just pin out each point of the edging.

With the time change and massive amount of leaf raking, I haven't had available daylight time to give it a proper photo shoot. And it most certainly deserves a good FO shot.

This yarn is a DREAM and I'm really pleased with the final outcome.

In the meantime, I decided to knit a sweater. [Yes, I know I don't knit sweaters.] But this one was a top-down and really didn't take that long.

I used some more of that Moda-Dea Sassy Stripes acrylic that Kay bought me a good while back. I'm really bummed that it is discontinued as it is just perfect for these miniature creations.

Do you have folks on your Christmas knitting list that would like a hand-knit sweater? Well, here's the free pattern. Whip them up one!

Pattern is by Cheryl Niamath, the same talented person who did the Fetching Fingerless Gloves; another fabulous free pattern as well as Dashing, that is slightly longer and suitable for guys, too.

I'm so happy that I finally knitted a sweater.

Monday, November 22, 2010

V is for

Vintage clothes. We have at least two places to shop for vintage clothing on the square. Long time Square merchant, Vintage by Judith,
has been a fixture on the square for over 20 years.

Need something from the Victorian era, need to vamp like you lived in the 20s, or perhaps a vinyl go-go suit, then you might want to give her shop a visit.

A much newer shop, Mint Julep, is just across the street from the office and I enjoy seeing their creative window displays. I have (obviously!) a hard time taking photos of windows without getting reflections. I loved their holiday dresses display.

A few days earlier when they were changing out the display, I popped over to get a photo of this visually-arresting dress they had outside. It looked almost like lace from a distance.

Mint Julep is next door to Vintage-ology. You can see the holidays and seasons are overlapping around the square already. These lovely mums are still showing their warm autumn colors even as the window of the shop is decorated for Christmas. Oh, and it was a very warm 77 degrees when I took the picture. What time of year is it again?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

All thumbs

With the Estonian stole off the needles, it was time to think of a new project. But before I could, in good conscience, start a new project [especially with the dark green leaf stole in progress! eeep!] I thought it best to finish up the Nordique mitts. Everything was finished except for the thumb on the second of the pair.

How hard could that be? In fact, these had been in a project bag in the backseat of my car for a week or so. I was sure I'd be somewhere long enough with enough time on my hands to finish up one measly thumb. Apparently not. So into the house they came to get finished.

This has been a fun project. I have no idea why I postponed finishing so long.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Almost there


The Great Bind Off commenced last night at knit night. Only two of us there, so it was a relaxing start on a long task.

It continues this morning, but should definitely be done today and ready to block.

Bind off is done with a double strand of yarn and makes such a nice edge. That Nancy Bush sure writes a nice pattern.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

a bit of a mystery

Do you like mysteries? I do.

I've really been enjoying the new Sherlock series on Masterpiece Mystery! I love this very 21st century adaptation.
You can watch online until Dec. 7.

Here's another mystery. Why do I have so much yarn left?

I knit and knit and purl and that wodge of shawl scrunched up on the circular gets heavier and yet seemingly No Yarn Is Used.

I'm already contemplating what I can make with the leftovers. Two more? Four?

I'm glad (boy! am I ever glad!) to say that the edging is moving forward. I'm halfway through it now. I was quite gleeful really until I had this sudden realization.....I'm going to have bind off all those stitches. I put that little thought right out of my head.

Monday, November 15, 2010

U is for

USPS - the post office (it was either that or the undertaker!)

The main post office, just east of the square opened in 1963. Doesn't that architecture scream 60s? It is an unusually busy place most of the time as we've almost outgrown it.

Until 1963 it was in a building that we've seen before, a building that became the library after the post office move in 1963 and later, in 1990, the Marietta Museum of Art.

Here are four upstanding young ladies standing on the steps of that new post office in 1910 just after it opened.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I love leaves

Knitted ones at least. NOT the ones I have to rake. Sadly it is prime leaf-raking time around the cul-de-sac.

Since the Estonian stole is a being uncooperative, I've turned to a more soothing evening knit.

I bought two skeins of Brooks Farm Acero while I was at SAFF. I walked through the booth and looked at it twice before caving. It was, after all, in my most favorite deep, dark green.

I wanted a rectangular shawl and definitely something with leaves, so I came up with this one called Lacy Leaves Shawl. Name pretty much says it all, don't you think? The pattern shows it in 5 shades of Blue Sky Alpaca. That is a sportweight and Acero is listed as fingering weight. I'm using a size 7 needle which is what I used the last time I knit with Acero.

Pattern is from the book "Knit Ponchos, Wraps & Scarves" and there is not one single project listed in Ravelry. No one likes but me??

This is my first time knitting anything lengthwise. I have NO feel for what the finished size might be. However, the knitting is just so relaxing I figure if it doesn't work out, I'll rip it all out, reball the yarn, and have just as much fun knitting something else.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a mess of greens

Growing up in the South, I often heard the phrase "a mess of greens". Even Martha Stewart has a recipe.

I managed to avoid pretty much all green vegetables while growing up and when I did start eating more vegetables, collards or mustard greens still did not make the cut. (I pretty much saved green for M&Ms.)

Now "a mess of greens" mostly brings to mind my poor Estonian Stole. Oh, dear. It is currently in Extended Time Out.

I did get the 800+ stitches around the entire edge picked up AND I got that first all purl row done. Whew. The edging chart is not that bad, but I am having a devil of a time with it. You can see I have numerous markers. I even went out and bought needle tip protectors so I can put it down with stitches crawling off the end when my back is turned.

I can't believe I'm this close and yet may be beaten by another 12 rows. Hopefully sometime I can find the time, the LIGHT, the patience (ha!), and the fortitude to pick it up, count it out, fix whatever train wreck I left, and move forward. The body of the stole is lovely. The yarn, a dream. I hope to wear it one day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

T is for

Trolley! In 1905 our first streetcar connected the square to Atlanta. A couple of years ago the Historic Marietta Trolley Company reintroduced a trolley to our Square and christened it Uncle Ruban after that first car.

I love seeing it around town when I am out and about during the day. And whenever I wave at Charlie, the driver, he'll kindly clang the bell in a return greeting. Always makes me smile.

Charlie regularly takes visitors on tours around town. And this is the time of year for the Scary-etta Tours that seek out the Ghosts of Marietta.

The trolley was a convenient way to travel from Marietta to Atlanta until service was ended in 1946.

Here's a photo of its last run in 1946.

And one last photo - the First Baptist Church of Marietta Sunday School classes head to Grant Park in Atlanta for a picnic; 1942.

T is also for Tommy's, my favorite sandwich shop. Not trendy, not touristy, just great tasty sandwiches, quickly made and friendly service.

Just be sure to get there early before the jurors trod over there!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nordique knitting

There are a number of patterns that I really like in Veronik Avery's "Knitting 24/7" book, but the fact that we are finally getting some cooler weather is what prompted my choice of second project.

The pair of fingerless mitts that I have worn for my winter walks for the past couple of years are ones I made before I felt comfortable with a few knitting techniques - ones like thumb gussets and holding stitches off on waste yarn. Consequently they only had an opening for the thumb and my poor thumbs were left out in the cold.

When it would be really cold, I'd end up tucking them inside and holding them next to my palm. What kind of walking advertisement for knitting is that?

Her pattern for cabled gloves has the cabling end at the knuckles and seemed just perfect to me to be adapted to fingerless mitts. In fact, I saw another Raveler do just that. Also it gave me an excuse to use her new yarn, St-Denis Nordique. I would have preferred the lovely red shown in the book, but it wasn't available at the yarn shop. Somehow I came home with what must be the dullest color in the line! A color named Elephant. Maybe this means I won't forget them.

I'm knitting this sport weight yarn on size 2 needles into a nice firm fabric that I think will be a good shield against the cold. The pattern is very nice to work. There's a four-row cable repeat. Six cables across the back of the hand and the three on one side mirror the other three (as long as I remember to do so!). On the palm side, the cables are at the bottom cuff only and the palm is plain stockinette.

I'm using my Patented Hatch-Mark System to keep track of rows, gusset increases, thumb length, and to make sure both are knit the same.

Monday, November 1, 2010

S is for

Strand Theater, on the northeast corner of the square since 1935, "A Monument Devoted To the Best In Photoplays and Theatrical Arts" so the carving above the marquee proclaims.

It was dormant for several years, but was recently renovated and reopened in 2008.

In September 1935 Mariettans watched Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance cheek to cheek in "Top Hat" and then returned the next September for the 1st year anniversary to see them dance again in "Swing Time".

A slogan contest had been announced earlier that summer with the winning entry naming it The House of Smart Attractions.

I love this archival photo from the 60s advertising "The Apartment" with Shirley MacLaine and Jack Lemmon. One of my all-time