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October 2005
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December 2005

Warm Hands


Look, Sandy, I finished the mittens after never showing you the almost done one that was ripped from the US6 DPNs after I admitted it was too tight. These, on 7s, fit just right, with the second one an even better fit than the first. My edit to the Ann Budd pattern adds a coupla rows before beginning the thumb gusset. Yarn, as I've mentioned, is mohair in a chained construction from MdS&W vendor, Dovetail Farms, of which enough remains that I've already cast on for Wee C's. This sunlit shot washes out the color somewhat; the blue is more royal than turquoise.

Sleepy Relatives


Brotherman is faking, but the Wee fell out sitting right there next to her uncle after our Friday feast. [Gnosmother Lizzi, if you're reading, look, she's wearing your jumper!]

Future Socks


Yes, I've joined another knitalong, because who can resist the call of Cara's praises for Socks That Rock yarn and Grumperina's Jaywalker pattern? Not me, so I wound up another Maryland purchase (from The Fold), a skein in the Sapphire colorway. Remains to be seen if I can follow Cara's notes and get a pair from one hank; I thought I'd need two, and purchased accordingly, so I may have a gift to share with our fellow Jayrockers ~ This stuff does feel great, and i can't wait to get my needles into it, but first I either must finish the pair on my circs, or see if I have US1 DPNs.


  • I spun & plied another Corriedale skein at the show on Sunday. Now I have more than 200 yards, and I'm itching to shop for Kool-Aid! Cherri demonstrated her cleverness by rigging my folding chair to serve as the lazy kate. Several folks stopped to chat and see the wool, alpaca and baby camel we were spinning up. If I'd had my camera, I could've documented the coolest moment of the afternoon: a couple of Doswell alpaca breeders recognized the shorn locks Maggie was spinning as having come from one of their herd!

  • I only have the wheel for two more weeks. I have a bag of New Zealand long wool to try, and will probably dig out the dyed Wensleydale roving I bought on a whim at MdS&W.

  • Scarf_style_35 I want to knit many of the designs in Scarf  Style, which I've owned for so long it's practically dog-eared. Last week I tried to start the turtleneck shrug in some old Rowan Kid Soft I helped Sheila destash a while back, but, after two tries to get a gauge/size that was working, I realized I was not going to enjoy knitting 50+ inches of ribbing. So I ripped.  Now I'm ready to cast on for a version of the chevron scarf, something between those mother and daughter ones pictured in the book.  Rather than use stripes, I am going to have midnight Manos del Uruguay with variegated Manos at either end. In my own turn at clever, after winding the skein to be split into two balls, I weighed them on the postal meter scale before cutting the yarn. They were only a tenth of an ounce apart in my estimated effort ~

  • Yesterday I bought a 10-lb. free-range/natural turkey. I have never cooked a turkey, other than boiling a breast back in my meat-eating days, but my mother is coming for Thanksgiving, and I want our feast to feel normal to her. A couple of fellow fish-eating vegetarians are joining us Friday (after they serve Tofurkey tomorrow); they may not sample my bird, but if I successfully cook the thing, I will surely taste it, too!

  • Went to see Capote last night. Wow. There's an Oscar-worthy performance, eerily so. Brotherman will bring the family copy of In Cold Blood back to the Rich City when he goes to collect the matriarch!

Knit Unto Others

Knituntoothersbutton I hope by now that you too have found this quickie knitalong put together by Margene and Carole. Before I found it, I had already plotted to get right to some charity knitting for Lisa, another soon-to-be China-mom whom you may remember from the Red Scarf Project she started nearly a year ago to fund her trip to volunteer in a Chinese orphanage. Lisa had recently shared with me some correspondence she'd received from Amy, another volunteer in China:

"I volunteer every week at the China Care Children's home in Shunyi, which is close to the Hope Foster home. China Care has in Shunyi, about 30 babies to toddlers and now some school-aged kids. When I was there last week the Chinese office manager and I were talking about the school- aged kids and she told me the new 4-year-old deaf boy had finally been placed in a school. I thought it was great; however, she then told me he might not could go any longer as it is starting to get cold here and his school has no heat and he has no warm clothes. So I came home and begged all my Western neighbours for clothes and I went to the market and bought him a coat and then I knit a hat and scarf. I went back with all the stuffand the same Chinese lady says great, we also have 87 school-aged kids with the same problem in foster homes in Shan Xi. I knit a lot, but I don't think I can knit for 87 kids! Should you happen to belong to a knitting group and you all are searching for a project...this could be one! I even have an FPO address which means no international postage fees. If you don't belong to such a group, could you give me any pointers on how to get the word out? Thanks so much, Amy in getting colder by the day Beijing"

Lisa's posted additional correspondence detailing the need, but this cried out to me and I got right to knitting a scarf. (Well, I started out making a hat, but complications ensued . . . ) If you're seeking a more immediate recipient than the most worthy Dulaan Project, please consider this one. And of course many other options are linked at the Knit Unto Others site.

My First Yarn


That's the result of Sunday's plying. I spun another bobbin* while watching Wednesday-night TV ~ that was our homework so we're ready for the Andean plying lesson this Sunday. As I've got to get the second living-room curtain panel hung before a little party I'm hosting tomorrow night, that may be it on the spinning front for this week.

But I am hoping to get in a bit of charity knitting, which I will detail later as it is time to collect the Wee C!

*Do we call it a bobbin or a spool? The verbal cross-pollination  with sewing is confusing me. And what's a spindle?

Look Who's Spinning


Why, yes, it's your friend and mine,  MaryB! She quilts, she knits, she spins and she enables: months ago she alerted me to this wheel spinning class and encouraged me to sign up, too. Last Sunday, after predrafting enough corriedale roving to stretch it miles across the fiber studio, we spun. Carted our loaner wheels home for more, much to the kitties' pleasure at my house ~ I set the thing on the hunt board in the dining room, hoping to keep it out of sight and out of claw (with some success). And yesterday we plied:


Mary even tried Andean plying, since she'd been so productive, homework-wise. Me, I'll be learning that next week under the eyes of anyone taking a break from shopping at the Craft & Design Show, since our class will simultaneously offer a demo there. I can't yet say whether I'll be shopping wheels at MdS&W six months from now, but I am enjoying getting to know my yarn from the fiber side. Actually, our teacher recommends taking this class three times (with advancing instruction, not the same stuff repeated) before committing to a wheel. Then, she'd be happy to sell us a Fricke!

Brotherman took on the Wee C challenge for these four Sundays, but I don't know that he wants another two rounds. I told him I'd be happy for this to constitute my Christmas gift from him. And maybe I should knit something for him with my handspun yarn ~

PS> See that T-shirt I'm wearing? The very cool Monica, a local stitcher, turned me on to Threadless, this delightful site where designers submit artwork for potential Ts and the members vote to determine which ones should be printed. I ordered three Ts the first time I checked it out, and I've just uploaded a version of that photo for a $1.50 credit. And if you link to the site from here, and make a purchase, I'll get another buck or two, so check it out! There's a $10 sale just starting, but I don't know how long it will go on . . .

Phoenix Mitten

Novknits0003 OK, that title's a bit overblown (and the pic's a bit under- focused), but I have now knit past the ripping point of attempt #1. The new version sports 1x1 ribbing, and I've only one more pair of thumb-gusset stitches to add. I worked on this during Lost last night, having left the bag o'Gloria in the car ~ along with the tin of stitch markers, hence the twist-tie improv, which were a bit chubby to work around, especially with these dull-tipped Pony Pearls. I had planned to pop in to the biweekly knitting group that meets at B&N (formerly the Meet-Up), but Wee C had other ideas, so we ended up participating in a family event at her preschool.

Novknits0001 The night before, I finished the Deco-Ribbon scarf for Art Karma and blocked it overnight. I delivered it today and saw an abundance of crafty goodness. We'll definitely attend the event tomorrow night at Plant Zero. And, hey, don't these two items look nice (except for the focus) together? I seem to be experiencing a blue period ~ not that I'm willing to go into details of my matching mood. The scarf uses two coordinating colors of the ribbon. My junior photographer liked this shot more, of course, and she took a good one herself, but the close-up better suggests the basketweave/brick pattern.

Spin I'll leave you with this hint of what else I've been up to this week, and I promise to offer details in my next post (as long as the kitties don't wreak havoc) ~

Knit Night

Last week, on the cusp of my conference, I enjoyed the best attended S&B since we moved house. Below, left to right: Caroline interacting with the unpictured Frances, new knitter Susan, Pam looking at patterns, long-absent Beth, Michele and Heather, soon to be joined at the hearth by Janene.


Mich_4_1 Caroline then had her own turn with the camera, before I got it back to shoot the Booga Bag variation Michele had made for the ART180 Art Karma sale/auction that's this Friday. She also made a fabulous "scribble-lace" shawl, while Heather is contributing a Rockstar variant that I last night learned has already sold! Almost a week later, I have almost finished my Deco-Ribbon scarf, and I decided also to give another two scarves that I made this year, plus some jewelry.

On the S&B night, I worked on my mittens in the chained mohair from Dovetail Farms, a vendor with no website, nor even their physical location noted on the label. When the gals had all left, I ripped this 3x3 rib with braided cable because the cable didn't really show and the ribbing wasn't tight enough ~



Here's a close-up of the scarf I finished last night, in a yarn called Mimosa and some green Elann Peruvian. I knit it the long way, casting about 116 stitches onto US10s. Alternated knit and purl rows somewhat randomly, which may be a little tough to see in this dimly lit close-up. Knowing the two Mimosa balls I had were only about 60m, I knit a section of doubled highland wool after the first one ran out, saving enough to trim the ends. For those, I picked up 34 stitches in a single strand on US7s and knit three garter ridges. I'm donating this to the annual Art by Architects (and Friends) silent auction that's part of our annual professional conference, which begins tomorrow, so I tried to make something that may appeal to the mostly-male attendee crowd, and gave it a construction-y title.