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April 2003
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June 2003

Template's back, hooray. The sampler

Template's back, hooray. The sampler quilt shot is added.
And, more importantly, I have a button! Look, it's over there in the sidebar, where it says, "stitch this"! It comes courtesy of my web Xpert friend Suzanne, and I'm tickled pink. I guess I better alert the blog-button collectors. Check your mailbox.

Well, blasted Blogger's being buggy

Well, blasted Blogger's being buggy -- I'm trying to make some template edits, on the b'days and WIPs, and it's giving me blankness. And then there's my other problem with my camera software for some unknown reason causing bigtime errors to the whole computer (Windows) when I try to download pix from it to the hard drive. [Fixed the camera glitch, or got to a try that worked, so here's a progress photo on Daypack]

I also have a new quilt to add, but Blogger says it doesn't have my template! What gives? Otherwise, a fine holiday weekend despite intermittent deluge. My latest Elann order arrived and I excitedly cast on a swatch of the less-costly yarn I'd ordered for the Smooch knit-along. Despite my guesswork based on the online info and the picture there, it's too fine a strand for that tank, although I think I can do something with Bonne Marie's boatneck shell pattern that calls for 5 st/in. I think I'm going to break down and buy some Rowan All Seasons Cotton, as the pattern is written for that -- it hasn't been the price that's stopped me thus far so much as none of the colors grabbing me. Alison, if you're reading this, I swear I'm not nearly so indecisive in real life, although I am a Myers-Briggs P!

You gotta love a 24-hour

You gotta love a 24-hour knitting project (actual knitting time considerably less, of course)! Here's the catnip mouse, posed against the paw of its stoned recipient. As I wrote to Wendy when I send her a pic for the mouse-along gallery, Bring on the full-size arans! (But not until the fall; I've a stack of summer projects to knit before wallowing in wool again.)

Uh-oh. I fear I'm suffering

Uh-oh. I fear I'm suffering from that finish-phobia: Since I've knitted all of the pieces of Amelia's Haiku sweater, I've started three new projects, two of them last night. Thankfully, I have her birthday as a completion deadline, but that's not until July; still, I should complete it completely!

Meanwhile, here's a look at one of the newer two. First, a summer scarf knit from a cotton-blend yarn called Portofino that I picked up in NC over Mother's Day weekend. I cast 15 stitches onto US15 needles, and am working six K rows (three ridges) alternating with nine (K2tog, YO) rows.

The other is to be a catnip-stuffed mouse for Ethan, at the prompting of Wendy who posted a simple aran pattern on her blog and created a gallery to display the mice and their delighted recipients.

Either of these new WIPs is sized for knitting on the go, and I needed a new one of those (she rationalizes.) And knitting also continues on the daypack, having received Rob's reassurance that one strand will felt into a sturdy accessory. I'm into the rounds now, but not to the first stripe.

I finally cast on the

I finally cast on the daypack last night, experiencing for the first time the use of provisional stitches in a waste yarn. I'm eager to have this for my summer bag, even if it is wool. But I must check with Rob & Matt at Threadbear to be sure I should only be knitting with one strand of Cascade 220, because my other felted projects thus far have used double.

Caroline's birthday party was big fun, despite the rain that kept us from spreading to the deck and garden. She's been enjoying the many books she received, and takes frequent turns on the rocking ladybug, but I think her favorite gift was the rain or shine set from my knitting mentor friend, Frances.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CAROLINE! My daughter is two years old, and we're having a pizza party this evening. Yea!
Meanwhile, the venerable (although not so much so, given the recent Jayson Blair revelations) New York Times features an article today on blogging -- in the Styles section. Check it out; I, for one, am glad we're concentrating our blogging, for the most part, on knitting.

I just realized I have

I just realized I have another WIP. Once upon a time I tried some crocheting, and made a baby afghan that I thought would be for Caroline, but that I ended up giving to my friend Cary, the mom whose birthday it happens to be today, as she left for Russia to adopt her daughter Jaqueline. Then I bought some more Sugar & Cream cotton to make a second afghan, but meanwhile started knitting again and realized I liked to knit more than to crochet. So, I frogged (can we use that term for ripping crochet?) the rather wonky afghan-in-progress and decided to knit it in squares like a quilt -- so that I could do just a bit at a time, between other knitting projects. Nowadays, I work on projects between projects and have left the nine-patch blanket be. I hope that placing it on this public WIP list will lead me to finish it -- eventually!

My friends Elizabeth and Matt

My friends Elizabeth and Matt (recipients of quilt and Fuzzy Feet) wed this hour on the bank of the Piankitank River. Congratulations!

This is the life (or at least one that's fun to sample). Caroline's caregiver's gone to Boston, so I've taken two days of vacation this week to hang with the wee one. Yesterday: Power walk with a pal (& strollers), iced coffee al fresco, a visit to the LYS, swatching and other naptime tasks, and goddaughter's soccer game coupled with the discovery of a great new playground.
Today: Yet another playground with a mom-tot pair o'friends, the Farmers' Market and it's naptime again, so who knows what the afternoon holds!

One more blog note: I've added the pseudo-Suki to the gallery, having finished the handles to Mom's specs -- she opted for short and doubled, which I find dandy. On to the next . . .

I've felt a bit odd

I've felt a bit odd working on only three projects for a few weeks now, so I'm ready to get a start on the popular felted day pack designed by the team called Two Old Bags. And, no surprise, I purchased the pattern and the Cascade 220 from the fellas at Threadbear, and was mightily pleased to have color guru Matt's approval of my choices. But it was Joe's remark I read yesterday that prompted me to set up the winder, so I could try placing the skein label into the wound yarn, comme ca:

Thanks, Joe, for a great suggestion. I look forward to casting on later today.

Another aspect of my winding set-up was suggested in the forums at Knitters Review when I was researching swifts and winders to determine whether I wanted to own one or both or neither. Here, as a result, is my lampshade swift, which works just fine, thanks!

Virtual House Tour for Pioneer

Virtual House Tour for Pioneer Melissa
But first let's talk about some stitches. I had a chance over the weekend to photograph the log cabin quilt I made for my mom for Christmas 1999, so that image has been added to the gallery. And progress on Haiku continues, so here's a shot of it spread out, rather than in pre-assembly pose:

So, Melissa's thinking about paint, and put out a call for ideas and glimpses of the choices others have made. I've got the house, I've got the digital camera -- so here, Pioneer, is one more knit blogger's homestead. When I arrived at this home nine years ago (!), all walls were an off-white; I've left them that way in the living room, the study and the upstairs hall. But, as you'll see in the photo, we enhanced the stairway itself with some bright yellow paint, as suggested by my friend and consultant, Chris, a design professional. This paint had a number rather than a name, Melissa, but the dining room walls are Crabapple by Martin Seynour. (Look, it's the pile o'knit chair, adorned with the Sitcom Chic yarn in a bag.)

The kitchen was the first room I attacked; if I had a scanner I'd show you the before picture -- but the changes have occurred over time. I painted the cabinets (and the refrigerator) right away, gloss black and a blue with a number that I subsequently couldn't get more of when I wanted to paint the wall to match. The mixing men did their best. A few years later we replaced nondescript vinyl flooring with black and white tiles, then about a year ago opted for new laminate countertops, stainless steel backsplash and open shelving. (The hanging ladybug flag thingy awaits the passage of pollen to be hung on the back deck.) I forgot to photograph the powder room that's off the kitchen, not that there's room to shoot, but its walls are covered in apple-green gathered muslin because I found them unworthy of paint.

Shall we go upstairs? Here's the bathroom, and let's show off the mirrors I made from the spare tiles that remained after its complete makeover. This was the project where I met the aforementioned Chris, when he worked for the contractor. All credit for its delightfulness are due him, but he made me feel like a participant as he guided the design decisions.

It's a small space, but made reasonably roomy by the choice of a corner tub and the diagonal placement of the sink. I couldn't photograph the paint feature here, Melissa, but know that the ceiling is the same aqua as the laminate facing on the side of the counter.

The walls in Caroline's room are painted another Martin Seynour color called Arizona Sky. I've never seen skies this shade out there, but it's a nice dusty peach that worked in the room for years before it became hers and I found fabric for curtains. There's the ladybug pillow, my second knitted object of this century! The other bedroom is in its second incarnation, having been painted about three years ago this lovely Sherwin Williams shade called Fawn. To view the carpet, scroll up to today's sweater shot!

That's most of the inside, Melissa -- I only skipped the study from which I often write, and the basement which has green porch paint on its floor and basic white sprayed onto all remaining surfaces. I find it interesting that you see the primary colors on the ground floor (and if you stand in the kitchen can view all of them at once) and the secondary variants upstairs. I didn't plan it that way, but there you go.