Sunday, April 24, 2011

On Easter Day

Peace be with you at Easter
This holy day of days,
When every flower and living thing
Gives unto him the praise.

I retyped the verse in case you have trouble reading from the original. I darkened the scan, but still it seemed a bit faint.

Still a lovely, lovely card, I think.

and the reverse side:

Postmarked March 30. 1923 as best I can tell. Easter in 1923 was April 1 so that would make sense. Just the briefest of greetings from Florence in Rochester, NY to the Lekoys in Johnsonburg, PA

You'll have to look closely to see the faint pencil notation (below Florence's message)
"ans" indicating her postcard was acknowledged. Love that part.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Deep Peace

Earlier in the week, with the doily gone horribly* off course, I was in need of a calming, relaxing knit.

I mean really! Isn't that why I knit in the first place?

Naturally my thoughts turned to an Evelyn A. Clark design - my go-to comfort knitting. I pulled out pattern and yarn, and then did The Strangest Thing. I started a project not designed by EAC. Amazing!

I started a pattern named Deep Peace which I discovered when one of my Ravelry friends posted her project. Norma doesn't have a blog, but if you are in Ravelry, check out her projects page. She does some lovely work.

Deep Peace. Now that's just what I am seeking.

*horribly is just overstating it, isn't it? It is only knitting after all. Just some silly little string. Nothing really horrible about it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Uh, oh.

Doesn't look like there's going to be a new doily on my Easter table. Shame since a distraction from my cooking might have helped.

I've tried tinking back and fear I may only be making it worse. It doesn't help that I haven't been in the frame of mind to really concentrate on it.

I think I should zip this up in a handy bag with some good notes as to where I went off track and, perhaps, get back to it when I can give it some UNdivided attention.

But just so you won't feel cheated, go here to see a truly spectacular doily - a real Niebling and so beautiful. And not her first either. Wow.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stitches South was FOBulous

I was fortunate again this year to have Kay as my companion for the day as we slowly and methodically made our way through every single booth at Stitches South. If Kay is not a saint (and I'm not convinced she is not), then she certainly has the patience of one!

Not only does Kay keep you focused and on track (there is NO wandering to the other side of the aisle with Kay!), she keeps you laughing and upbeat as well. It's worth spending the day with her even if there isn't yarn around every bend.

While planning our trip, we reviewed the 1-hour Market Sessions workshops and both of us were intrigued by the beaded fobs. We knew we wanted to try them, we just couldn't decide if we wanted to commit a specific hour of our time.

We decided instead to buy a kit which contained the materials to make two and we'd learn on our own. Kits are really perfect for small projects like this. No having to gather materials. When you get ready to try it, everything is right there to hand. These worked up very quickly and I can see making more and keeping my eyes peeled for interesting charms and focal beads.

Then on Saturday I went back to the market to meet Dianne in person. I already felt like I knew her from our emails, but it was especially nice to meet her (and her daughter) in real life. We sat and chatted a bit and toured a few of the booths together.

While Dianne and Jessica were getting their lunch, I sat down with Jean at the BagSmith booth. Jean is the mother of Becca Smith, the founder. Kay and I had noticed Jean sitting at the booth on Friday working away on GIANT needles. In just a few minutes Jean taught me Tunisian Crochet. What a treat to learn something from such a beautiful and gracious woman. I wish I could find her picture to show you!

"Friendship is a sheltering tree." Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772-1834

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Summer Satchel

Pattern: Summer Satchel
by Leigh Radford in
One More Skein: 30 Quick Projects to Knit

Yarn: Red Heart Eco-Cotton Blend
75% recycled cotton / 25% acrylic
145 yd/85 gr - a tad over 2 balls
color 1340 Almond

Needles: size 7
16" circular and a set of dpns

I just happened upon this book at the library last Friday and brought it home for a browse. Unlike some of the others in the one skein series, you'll notice the MORE in the title of this one. Most of the projects call for two skeins of the specified yarn.

Naturally it was a bag that caught my attention. Just the thing, I thought, to throw over my shoulder when I head to Stitches South this weekend. Fun, as well, I thought for the summer ahead.

I had seen this yarn last summer and thought it would work for a bag but never got around to making one. The cotton component comes from remnants generated in t-shirt manufacturing. I wonder if it is not the same as 2nd Time Cotton? It can be machine washed and dried, too, which will probably come in handy as the summer wears on (and on, and on).

The pattern has you start the full amount of stitches on a provisional cast on at the bottom and knit up through the handles. You then release the provisionally held stitches and decrease the bottom. It really was a quick knit.

Speaking of 2nd Time Cotton, Helene Rush, knitwear designer and owner of the yarn company Knit One Crochet, Too, has a new podcast. Perhaps you recognize her name as she designed the popular free sweater pattern Hey, Teach! from the Summer 2008 Knitty.

Summer 2008! Could that have been three years ago?? As a matter of fact, there's a bag pattern over in that same issue that would work great in this yarn.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


This may not be done by Easter! I've already had to back up about 2-3 rows to get back on track and now I've messed up again. This is where I think charts have an advantage over written instructions. In a chart you can see at a glance what stitch is directly over a stitch below. On these edging rounds, the instructions have me shifting from one to three stitches to the right each round. All of these rounds also have double yarnovers, which, on these rounds unlike those in the body of the piece, are treated as one stitch. I knit the first and drop the second. Everything seemed to be working fine until I got to this row and I became unsure that I was on track. In double-checking, I lost a stitch or two. Nothing to do but TINK back and try to find my place.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I feel strongly both ways

I've been knitting around and around. At one point I thought I just might have enough stitches to switch to a circular, but my only size 1 circular is 24" long and it wasn't happening.

I don't mind dpns at all, but I knit fairly tightly and this cotton isn't sliding along that freely on the wooden needles.

So what is it? A doily. It is the Dahlia pattern from Gloria Penning's lovely booklet "Knitted Heirloom Lace II". Gloria, whose husband said "with enough steel wool you can knit a Volkswagen". I like that spirit.

There are some lovely patterns here. I chose Dahlia because it does not have the crochet loops around the edge. I haven't knitted from this book before because none of the patterns are charted and you know how I love my charts! I was afraid I'd get lost in all the written instructions, but do you know it is working out Just Fine.

Perhaps you are wondering what I want with a doily. I've been wondering that as well. A doily in 2011. Its the journey. The round and round journey. Seeing the leaves form and being amused by double yarnovers.

As I've been knitting around and around, I began to think this might work as the bottom of a round bag. A bag, because, you know I need a reticule every bit as much as I need a doily! It looks rather sweet all gathered up on the dpns and my mind had raced ahead to the top and the cording. Checking the gauge on a spot of plain stockinette, which is what the body of the bag would be, made me realize it would be a rather large bag. Certainly too large to be a dainty reticule.

Oh, well. I think a doily will look nice on the table at Easter.

M&Ms for scale.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Spring String

Knitting on the blue stole is complete. The edging went on just fine. This was really my first time to knit an edging on at a ninety-degree angle and at first it was a bit confusing and fairly fiddly. It didn't really help that my chart was pointed in the opposite direction so I had to mentally reverse it. Fortunately it was a very simple and repetitive pattern and I was familiar with it from the other end of the stole. No FO picture for a bit. My blocking wires are out on loan.

I told myself that I was not going to start a new project. Stitches South is coming to town in less than two weeks. I wanted to be free to start any project that I may happen upon there.

I told myself this would be a great opportunity for me to spend quality time with my sampler.

Apparently I did not listen to myself. I did work on the sampler on Sunday and again after work yesterday. I even got the whole next band done, but it is only a bit of verse. Next up is a band of Holbein stitch. Done properly, this double-running stitch is reversible. You do every other straight stitch of the pattern on the first pass and come skipping back filling in the missing steps.

Now if you are Marion Scoular, blackwork embroidery is a piece of cake. Me? Not so much. Invariably I make a misstep on the first pass, find it on the trip back, and have to rip out a lot. So Band J was shaping up to be not so relaxing.

What I needed was a small knitting project. And New String! So today I picked up a ball of string. $1.97 worth of a springy Frosty Green and (on the third try!) managed to get going on a doily using Emily Ocker's circular cast on. Ahh....all's right in the world.

String! Good for what ails you.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

for want of an edging

I am not a good judge of yarn-age. I see now that I most likely would have had plenty of yarn to do one more 24-row repeat of the body of the shawl, but hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it?

I think the stole will be long enough without an extra repeat, so no harm.

All I have left to do is that small sawtooth edging. I'm not knitting this according to the pattern directions. The pattern would have had me start two halves from the ends and graft them together in the center. I am going to try to knit the short edging on sideways knitting it together with live stitches at the end. First I'm going to need to pull out a book with those directions and, most importantly, take a deep breath.

I hope it works. I don't have a Plan B.

We are covered in pollen here around the cul-de-sac. Positively coated. As I was taking the shawl outside for this photo, I dropped the ball of yarn. As you might know it bounced and rolled all the way under the car to the other side and stopped up against the inside of a wheel. Since it is still attached to the knitting, I had to crawl around to get it and then roll it back. We were both a bit fuzzy from the experience. Murphy's Law of Blog Photography.