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M is for Mice

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And mice are my thing, as you may have guessed by eyeing my blog banner (which also acknowledges my Year of the Rat birth). I believe I mention on my About page that my mother called me Mouse as a childhood nickname. I almost fell off the loveseat when I opened papers from China a bit more than four years ago and discovered that the Wee C herself was called Little Mouse at her social wefare institute! I wrote a poem called "Namesake"  before she joined me, but since switching computers I can't find a copy to post here now; I'll hope to add it later. I think the ceramic mouse above is Royal Copenhagen; my favorite may be the Steuben one that doesn't photograph as well, on the middle shelf.

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Starting the Trek

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I took my Trek-Along sock to the beach over the weekend, so it's now walked some dunes on the Atlantic side and some trails on the  Bogue Sound side of the eastern edge of North Carolina. My colorway is #66 and I am knitting on two US1 circs in a 2x2 rib with a pair of cables on the sides, inspired by my own Sockapal2za pair I received from Nanette last summer. These will be a gift, the yarn having been selected from stash by the designated wearer. Next stop, Boston's Freedom Trail!


L is for Lollipop

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I'm falling behind again, but my intentions are good. As are these bits of sweetness from the Spangler Candy Company. I have a story to add here, but will have to do so later ~

[Later] OK. I previously plied my trade at the local history museum, which is widely regarded for its costume & textile collection. In the late 1990s we mounted an exhibition called Fashion Recycled, which considered a variety of trends old and new, from the practical remaking of dresses in newer styles to the manufacture of Polarfleece. Because our city is also home to a university with a fashion design program, the astute curator [Hi, Catrina!] thought to invite the school to hold a student competition, with winners to be displayed in the exhibition. One such student made a strapless cocktail dress from Dum-Dum wrappers (taped together, then cut and stitched like any fabric), so I sent a slide (imagine a time before this fully digital era!) to the folks at Spangler as part of my pitch to get a donation of lollies for the opening event. Not only did they send me a carton of Dum Dums, they asked for the student's contact information in hopes of purchasing the dress for use in their own marketing efforts! (Once I passed their info on to the student, I was out of the loop, so I never learned what happened . . . )


The Conquered Rag

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I think I already admitted my lack of love for this popular pattern. I stuck with it, though, because I need a gift for hosts when we visit Boston in a few weeks. It's not so bad, really; I think maybe the Lion Cotton is not the best choice (even if it is essentially created for just such a project). I wish this didn't look like a brick wall ~ may force me to make a mate in opposite colors. We're off to the beach in a day or so, and I would rather tote my sack o'Saucy and keep mitering away!


Kitchen Blues

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In our prior house, I painted the cabinet doors and one wall blue. The new kitchen is not predominantly blue, but lots of my items certainly are. Ceramics come from c.1979 NC, MdS&WF, Richmond artist & architect Lisa Taranto, Jerusalem, the Netherlands and my daughter's hands, among others. More blues from more rooms to come!


Warmath Blues

Warmaths0003_1Last Sunday we spent some time at the home of NC friends who have a lovely garden and terrace that features a lap pool. After their hydrangeas  caught my attention and sent me off to find my camera, I noticed plenty other attractive blues to document for Project Spectrum.
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  Warmaths0004     Warmaths0006


First Pair

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I posted last week over on the MDKAL blog that I have found my "can't knit just one" pattern from  Ann & Kay's book: the mitered square. This isn't even my first go at them; I knitted a square for the Jamie Blankie for Curls and Purls Elisabeth, and made a cushion cover last spring. I also bought 13 balls of Reynolds Saucy a year ago to start on a blanket of my own, but it took the book to get me going. Luckily, Kay's post detailing her no-sew strategy appeared on their blog before I began, so I am giving that tactic a try. The pair above will be relegated to a side set, though, because I jumped in with such enthusiasm that I forgot to read the blog post that instructs me to purl back across the cast-on row before beginning the decreases. Already I have a full block in the works, although I am only onto the second square within it. I'm guessing that I would need about 10 more balls to knit a blanket as big as the one in the book, but since I've committed to Summer of Stash, I'll first see just how far these 13 get me ~


Little Boy Blue

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Pam asked if I could help her young friend N. by making this vest for him to wear for a certain therapy he does, and I was happy to oblige. They called me while shopping one day and I talked them through the purchase of pattern and fabric. She remembered thread in both colors, and Velcro for the sides and front, to ease its wearing. Inside there are pockets to hold the weights or magnets that are an integral part of his therapeutic regimen. N., a boy with my same color loves, selected the purple buttons. I had hoped to have a model-shot photo, but N. had a death in his family so Pam hasn't been able to bring him by, and the vest is actually too small for the Wee C (even though N. is a year older) ~


Tuesday's June S&B

The children kept [most of] their clothes on; Katie, Beth & Kathy missed the camera, and [leftover birthday] chocolate was plentiful at this month's Stitch & Bitch.

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Heather and Cathy were both making socks, via knitting on the left and crochet on the right.

Sbjun060007 Cathy's pupil Shanelle paid a return visit with her crochet hooks and books in hand ~ what will that red strip become?

Sbjun060005 Frances worked on the second half of a cotton handbag knit with two contrasting strands of yarn ~

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And Michele, after showing us the Rebecca eyelet wrap cardi she'd finished for her Caroline in yummy KnitPicks Shine Sport (which I immediately modeled for all but the camera), worked on a kid's sweater for charity in a flying-geese fair-isle pattern. Me, I started a mitered square ~ pix at the Mason-Dixon KAL blog, or in my next post!


Sunless Vest

Aztec Sun Vest by Jennifer Appleby
Interweave Knits Spring 2004
Unlabeled cotton (Karabella Zodiac?) from School Products in NYC, knit on US 6s
Mods: I changed the colors and embroidered no suns on the lower quadrants, and I accidentally purled a single stitch rather than knit a 2-st seed stitch to divide the red band into those sections. After trying out a variety of embroidery options, I snuck some yellow stitches over and under the purl bumps to create a subtle break with a bit more color ~
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[Click the photo for the full-body view.]

This fun knit makes me glad I didn't sell off this cotton yarn in the spring purge. While it is a bit too loose and swingy to wear without something under it, I liked it with a camisole more than with a T. Between the vents, the V and the ample armscye, I've certainly little risk of getting sweaty! I know it's got no sleeves, but I'm still pretty impressed with myself for finishing it in about five weeks ~