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September 2004
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November 2004

Cotton Kitten


I moved the basket o'Cotton-Ease from the living room to the study when Hondo & Frances started having too much fun and putting the fiber at risk. I baby-gate the study when not in use, to keep all small creatures away from the computer and its wires. I know the cats can jump the gate, but they're not that active when I'm away. But when I'm at the keyboard, if she's not in my lap or on the arm of my chair, Frances now likes to relax there atop the scanner. Hondo prefers the overturned trash basket . . .

Work deadlines are killing me right now, as I've had to bring stuff home to work on in my usual knitting hours. I managed four CP rows while Wee C had her bath, and a couple on the scarf while a fella affixed my new keyboard tray, but that's it for the week, so far. Copy is due to two different designers tomorrow (one for print, one for video), so I hope to regain my sanity-stitching over TV Wednesday night ~

Stacey Made Me

Stacey over at Sheep in the City is having a show-your-stash contest. And the prize? More yarn! As if I need another inch of the stuff, here goes. What you see are the four 70-gallon plastic bins that saved my skeins from the flood of Gaston a couple months ago. In the USPS box on top, the recently arrived Critter Knitters prize, for which there's no more room in the Noro cooler (Also in the basement, but smaller and less photogenic). In the other box some Webs and LYS sale acquisitions that haven't been squeezed into the bins. Is there more? Only the projects in progress, and, oh yeah, the little Lego box o'Koigu, which gets to hang in the dining room, for easy fondling. Looks like the sock yarns are all resting together; I think they're in the third one down. What cottons remain after my late-summer clearance are in the second one down; I see some Cestari from the spring 2003 wool fair in the top bin, while my Rowan Plaid waits in the bottom one. More unidentified wooly goodness filling in everywhere else. Oh my.

Island Quickie

Baby sweaters make for short stays on Sleeve Island.


I've now finished these Cutie Patootie sleeves for baby Hazel Rose, who was born last Sunday. This time around, I am not going to knit the whole body piece as one, but will make separate fronts and back. No real reason, maybe just because I did it differently the first time I made this sweater. Or maybe because I have variegated yarn this time, while the first one was solid lavender.

I updated the WIP list, and it's a pretty scary sight (just in time for Halloween!). Definitely had some startitis around here lately, but I'm not letting myself begin Clapotis until the gifts are wrapped up (ha). They're nicely different from one another at least, in both gauge and stitch, so I've got a pleasant rotation going.

Here's a confession: at the family reunion bonfire, my poncho caught a spark and lost a stitch. I wasn't willing to assess the damage fully at first, but got to the repair yesterday and no one will notice the one longer stitch, nor the tiny knot on the wrong side where a bit of ribbon melted away. While I was at it, I took some specs and wrote up the pattern modifications I made, now available over there in Stitches to Go, or right here.

A Mother's Shawl

Remember this purchase from the VFFF? (I know Rhinebeck reports have overshadowed my smaller festival experience, but good things come in small packages, to quote an aphorism I favor.) I knew I wanted to make my mom a Christmas shawl, but I didn't have a pattern in mind. With Charlotte in the works, I was looking for something simpler, partly because of the loose ply of this luscious stuff, which means it's thicker in some places than in others. So the popular and pretty Flower Basket Shawl probably wouldn't be the best choice, for example, and I didn't even want to try the new Cozy from Knitty. So I surfed the good old Knit List Gift Exchange pattern listing, printed out a few, and decided to create a variation of this one, the Turkish Stitch Shawl by Suzan A Smith (Does that lack of a period mean she's Canadian?).

The stitch she describes is YO, S1, K1, PSSO, and her pattern just adds increases at each end on odd-numbered rows once the foundation is laid. My variant is to purl, rather than knit, the even-numbered (WS) rows, and to do a pair of intervening K & P rows between the pattern rows (also increasing, with a YO, on the RS row). And here's what I've got so far:


The yarn's ever so soft, and the pattern just what I was looking for. I'll just knit until the yarn runs out, or until it feels big enough for her. I'd like to add some sort of edging, crochet or fringe or both, as long as the yarn holds out. Or course, I know how to contact the vendor up the road if I need a little more~



Have I mentioned that I'm gonna make Clapotis? Again, I'm hopeless in the face of what I find in blogland. Once I saw several of these, I had to have my own. But, reluctant to spring for the Lion and Lamb, I cast about for other options, and came up with one I'm thrilled to share. The yarn you see above is 675 yards of hand-dyed alpaca from Mystical Creation Yarns in New Mexico. I found them as an eBay vendor, then visited their site to discover I could order a variety of yarns and colors. Smaller producer, better prices. Danielle even has a silk/merino blend; I'm pondering another order, but will probably try the pattern out on this yummy alpaca first. Or course, I have a couple of gift items with a December deadline to knit, too. I've started one ~ I will have details and a photo next time.


Klaralund, she is done!


Surely every knitblogger knows the specs on this one by now: pattern from Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's second Noro collection, Silk Garden #34 on US8s, four big rectangles in about a month and a half, which is pretty quick for me ~ if not for our gal Rachael, and speaking of whom, here's my Rachael pose. (Sorry, Em & Iris; with my co-poser and her sitter/photographer, one extra's all I could manage!)

I love this sweater, which I probably would not have made were it not for this happy internet and the knitalong that made me seek out the pattern. It helped that I had the yarn stashed for Tilt; after watching dear Em's struggles, I decided it was too piquant for me. Now I've rounded up a few more balls of SG34 to knit a semi-matching (as close as this mom wants to get to such a notion) Boo for the Wee C.

SherireynoldsI'm not entirely sure about the seaming at the bodice, where the sleeves yoke onto the body pieces, but I'm sufficiently satisfied to be wearing her out & about today. I was up & at 'em this morning to hear my dear friend Sheri's presentation at a conference. As a novelist and teacher, she spoke of how literature helps us figure out what it means to be human. And she read from her new play, Orabelle's Wheelbarrow, which rocks. I hope it gets produced some day, although Sheri noted she'd written it more for the process than for the product. If you haven't read any of her three novels, get to it before her fourth comes out next year!
(Sheri began her talk with this poem by Mary Oliver ~)

Anyway, the friends who joined me there (including Sheri) complimented the sweater, and one stranger was so taken with it that she wanted to know if it would be hard for her to learn to knit. I assured her it would not, and suggested she grab a copy of Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch [sic]. Then, after I'd collected the Wee and we were loading in our Target purchases, a woman stopped en route to her car and asked Is that Noro? I assured her it was, and told her I'd bought the book at Unraveled, the new LYS she commended in a comment. I may have to wear the sweater over there tomorrow, to show Karyn. And to the parent-teacher night Wednesday, in case I get to swing by the Meet-Up on the way home ~

Blogger Birthdays

Let's all wish a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Alison and Kerstin! All birthday best, babes!

This will be old news to a heck of a lot of knitters, especially with the Klaralundalong underway and many complete, but boy howdy, does that Silk Garden soften up after a soaking! I was disappointed to find the pieces still damp Tuesday night after their Monday dunk (and towel wrap and blocking spread); the sheet I draped over the pinned board as kitty protection clearly interfered, so I threw caution to the wind and left them fully exposed for another 24. Last night I seamed both sides and one sleeve, my only modification being the choice to leave open the lower garter section at the sides. When I tried on that tube, I liked the looseness of the 38" size just fine. Matching rows to stitches is tricky business ahead, but I can't wait to wear this sweater ~ maybe to the Bruce Hornsby concert Saturday night!

Oh, and check this out ~ a fun & knit-specific quiz created by one of us (and adding graphics to a previously text-only post)!

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.
You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


~ and it did feel good. I've not confirmed if my count was correct, since I heard others with a different tally, and one of my fave married-in cousins was off ringing bells, but suffice it to say many gathered, and many fared well.


I think we all especially enjoyed the energetic mingling of the newest generation. While whiffleball attracted the over-40 set along with the small fry, only the latter took to the sack race with a vengeance.

Grazing, if not full-fledged dining, was constant ~ I think this vegetarian ate three or four ham biscuits before the day was done (but this is Virginia, after all). The yellow-squash pickles were rather special, as was Aunt Anne's pumpkin pie cake. It was all I could do to get Wee C down for a little rest (but we had no trouble convincing the octogenarian brothers to do the same). At nightfall we migrated from the back deck to the bonfire out front, for s'mores and fireworks ~

As for the knitting, Klaralund is ready to be united, as soon as I block her four rectangles. I also got in a good chunk of Charlotte, and am ready to introduce her fifth color. I have visions of completing this in time for our awards gala next month, because it would be beautiful with my copper taffeta skirt, but I'm not going to knock myself out with the effort. I've gotta reserve knitting energy for a pair of significant Christmas gifts -- Kathryn's poncho and Mom's shawl -- and neither of those is even listed in the lengthy sidebar queue ~

Hat, no scarf

BabyhatI took the advice of my commenters and ripped that chevron scarf right out, I did. But I wasn't up for booties or mitts from such a fat yarn, so I mailed off the baby cap with no matching accessory. This was a thought that counts sort of gift. I'm not thrilled with its pointy top, but my real regret is that I forgot to sew one of my maggistitches labels into it! Click here for a top view. (That's an Acoma Pueblo piece modeling, one of my cherished possessions, a grad school graduation gift ~)

We're off to a family reunion in the mountains this weekend, so I'll hope to have some fall foliage images to share. My dad's side, just the three generations, of which I belong to the middle one. So there are only about (6+16+8), OK, exactly, 30 of us who I believe will be attending, everyone but my mom, who's not up for the journey, alas. Coming the farthest (I hope): the cousin from San Diego. Travel-free: the cousin who's hosting the picnic at his house. Eldest: Aunt Virginia, my father's brother's wife. Youngest: Wee C, who met the clan a coupla months after her arrival, two years ago at Dad's 80th birthday. I've wrangled us transport both there and back, so . . . car knitting!

They like it


Yup, Frances & Hondo have taken to their Kitty Pi. Of course, being kittens, they can sleep just about anywhere. And do. Right now on the "sheepdog" rug at the top of the stairs, in fact.

Oh! Go wish Nathania a Happy Birthday! (Then come back, OK?)

MichelleCpamAttendance at Tuesday's S&B was surprisingly slim. But a pleasure, as always. Michelle continued her stepdad's blue pullover, and Pam came just for the company ~ which Wee C certainly appreciated.
She was quite taken with Unexpected Knitting, the new volume (Oooo! Pun!) I recieved in a RAOK drawing. (Thanks, Stacy!) Alas, I neglected to snap a pic of Lisa, who started a mouse from Wendy's pattern, inteneded for our kitties, and even brought home-grown to stuff it!

Perhaps the veep debate kept folks away; these three were gone when it began, so I stayed on the sofa and listened via NPR because someone had taken to my bed (in the same room as the TV). And I knitted on Klaralund, even casting on for the fourth piece (and starting my eighth Silk Garden skein). The end is near! (As I so hope is the case for the reign of Dubya ~ )