Tuesday, January 25, 2011

flying blind

This is the Ingrid cardigan and it has me mesmerized. It starts with a provisional cast-on mid-cable in the center back of the neck and grows from there with some interesting knitting gymnastics that have you knitting in this direction and that, all on a background of richly cabled goodness.

Jeri Riggs did an awesome job of writing up this pattern. There's a lot going on and a lot to keep track of, especially for somebody like me, who has never tackled a sweater with this type of construction before, but the pattern is clear and concise, with cables both written out and charted. I felt like I was flying blind, but Jeri's pattern helped me along quite well. I did get off track a couple of times and there are some fudges in there, but it's on track now and I think things should go smoothly from here.

The yarn is from Bartlett Yarns. It has a rustic woolly look and feels like it'll hold up great for many years, but isn't scratchy. The Wild Grape color has flecks of gold and royal purple spun into it for subtle interest while still reading as a solid. It's also spun in an historic mill in the USA and available on cones (my favorite yarn put-up because no packaging, no waste, and no skein ends to weave in!). Love.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

out, in

Outgoing: a couple of glass bead-handled
orifice hooks, made by Scott.

Incoming: 35 skeins of Dalegarn Heilo in charcoal and blue.
I think they want to be this.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

it was bound to happen eventually

In the home of a knitter and a rocket scientist,
is this any surprise?

I didn't think so.

Launch planned for this weekend. Srsly.
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Monday, January 17, 2011


This is Nimbus, the super soft and squishy cropped cardigan that Leah knit in a week. She saw it as a sample at Stitches East in October and knit it up over the past few days with yarn we got in a trade a few months ago. Topped off with one of Scott's swirly glass buttons, it's a winner of a little project! She's thinking of knitting another one and said she'll let me show her how to do mattress stitch and make her selvedge stitches nice. We both especially like the collar on this easy peasy sweater.
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

budgie and not budging

Still sick, so just tying up some loose ends, literally and figuratively.

I knit most of this little Budgie baby sweater when we were on vacation last April. Got it all the way to only the neckband and button band remaining, then set it aside. It only took one evening of knitting, sewing in buttons, and weaving in ends to call it done. Blocking it really caused the yoke stitches to settle in nicely and evened everything out. It has no destination, but I'm happy with it and even happier to have cleared out another WIP.

Rec'd a sweater's worth of yarn, assorted lovely trims to make a seamstress squeal with delight, and handpainted yarns in another barter this week. Yahoo!


Flashback: 1970s, winter weekend afternoon in Pittsburgh. Me, age 8-12, draped over an overstuffed chair, crocheting, usually with this hook, for hours while happily watching Steelers football and the antics of one of their biggest fans.

Fast forward 30+ years to yesterday afternoon.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. :-)

As a matter of fact, I'm feeling cruddy enough and that felt excellent enough that I will do the same today, only with the Patriots and Jets as the backdrop. First, I'll take a good walk to make the most of the bright sunshiny day out there, but otherwise I'm not budging.


I updated my projects on Ravelry and also Leah's, to reflect our late 2009 and 2010 projects. Always a good feeling to get those up to date and see how our work has changed over the years. I especially get a kick out of how a browse through Leah's projects illustrates how far her skills have come in the past few years. I can't believe we both have over 100 projects recorded there!
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sniffle snuffle

Yesterday, Boston.

Today, sniffles and coughs and bleh.

If you need me between now and Monday, I'll be here:

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

snow day

Recent FO: Minimalist cardigan.

Mods: Tomcodgurl's cable panel in place of the stockinette panel, sleeves knitted in the round.

Yarn: mystery tweedy wool, 3 cones shown to the far left in first 2 pics of this blog post, knitted 2 strands at a time. Fairly coarse stuff, but I don't mind, especially for a grand total of about $6. I really like the fabric it made, medium gray to white with specks of royal blue, turquoise, purple, and black.

I was right; a smaller sweater knits up way faster. Only about six weeks from start to finish. It also helps that this was the kind of project where you barely ever need to look at the pattern, so it moves along quickly and can be worked on in many settings.

Now I'm clearing some UFOs out before I start another sweater for myself. Yesterday we got about two feet of snow (quite a bit more than there was when Jesse was cleaning off Scott's car, above), so it was a day of shoveling, knitting, shoveling, eating, shoveling, knitting. Thank goodness for extra winter woolens, as some were still soggy when we needed to bundle up and head out for another round of digging out.

Closed the evening out with a documentary about the Shakers. Of course, there was knitting on-screen and in my lap!
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

making the most of what we have

'Round here, we don't have power jobs, whopping incomes, or impressive connections, but we are really good at making the most of what we have and turning our unused stuff into things we want. That's how some recent barter offers on Ravelry helped us pass our unused things on to people who could enjoy them. So far, we've ended up with

a glorious pile of velvets, satins, and brocades (all the way from North Carolina via a generous Raveler and a good friend) to make a young seamstress squeal with joy,
a half dozen skeins of luscious handpainted yarns (rec'd on my b'day!), and more packages still to come.

Simple pleasures, boundless joy.
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Thursday, January 06, 2011

coat makeover

Last night, I visited with my old friend Tina and her wife Phoebe. So great to catch up with them both and spend an evening in their awesome home. Extra cool when Phoebe pulled out her knitting while we were chatting.

(Poor cell ph pic taken in low light, on the fly, so I fiddled with effects to basically make it an even worse pic, but you can tell that there was wine and smiles and knitting, right? That's all that really matters.)

Today, my coat had a makeover.

Bleh old black plastic buttons.

Spiffy new swirly glass buttons
made by Scott!

MUCH better!
Winter is tough enough without dreary buttons.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

i suck

One delicious part of a raw foods lifestyle is green smoothies. These are made with assorted fruits and vegs run through a high powered blender (optimally, although it can also be done with a so-so blender or food processor and strained through a paint strainer bag) to make a tasty drink that's chock full of nutrients, fabulous if you're on-the-go, and very satisfying. I have happily sipped a green smoothie every day for breakfast (and sometimes also for lunch and/or dinner) for the past year. To give you an idea of how delicious these can be, even Jesse loves them and jumps at the chance to have them frequently. His favorite is spinach, bananas, cacao powder, maca powder, cinnamon, and a bit of salt, which he calls "Tasty Mud" and feels like drinking a delicious chocolate banana malted milkshake for breakfast, but is soooo much healthier. We make a lot of green smoothies 'round here!

So, in an attempt to further reduce disposables in our life and cut down on our use of plastics, Scott got some boro (strong) glass tube, added some decorations for the fun of it and to keep them from rolling when on a table, and now we have a beautiful assortment of glass straws in different lengths and thicknesses to work with different sized glasses and smoothies ranging from juice to milkshake consistency.

Glass straws are awesome
for people like me,
who just plain suck.
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Sunday, January 02, 2011

up for grabs

15 lots/items posted on Ravelry barter board
(just a sampling of them above).
LMK if there's anything you're interested in!
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Saturday, January 01, 2011

where there is fun...

I should have known. A few weeks ago, Leah and I went to our first contra dance and it was F-U-N FUN!, so for New Year's Eve, a slightly reluctant Scott and Jesse joined us at another one. Jesse was lured there by the promise of a potluck dinner (yum!) before the dance and we all took part in the beginners' lesson before the main dance started. The next few hours were spent spinning and stomping and laughing and getting the most enjoyable aerobic workout there's ever been as we met a handful of the ~200 other folks who were there for a great time.

See Leah in the middle?
She's dancing with a whirling dervish and excellent dancer
who kept spinning her round and round (with permission)!

I should have known that where there's an evening that's chock full of simple pleasures, there would also be knitters, many knitters! We chatted with at least four who were actively knitting as they did stints as volunteers in various roles or were taking a breather in between dances. Rhonda had this gorgeous shawl draped over her shoulders until it was time to warm up in the foot-stomping way.

Contra dancin' folks are great about mixing it up, and experienced dancers are especially helpful to newbies by asking us to dance and keeping us pointed in the right direction (ha! Truly. They gently scoot you right along when you get confused and I got scooted a lot last night!), so all four of us kept dancing with a variety of partners and had a BLAST.

You wanna know the most astounding thing of all? On the way home, Jesse asked when there will be another such dance because he would be psyched to go again, even if there's not a potluck! He loved the music and even admitted to enjoying the dancing!

I was up early this morning to tackle the sleeve cap on my Minimalist cardigan. I had read others' Minimalist cardigan notes on Ravelry and knew the sleeve cap might be funky, but I figured I'd follow the instructions first to get a better idea of what needed to be done. Sure enough, compared to a sweater that fits well, the sleeve cap was too tall.

Since the rest of the sleepyheads were still crashed, I took advantage of the quiet time to rip back a few rows, modify the pattern, and end up with something that seemed like it would work better. It does!

Now, it's downright balmy out there (54ยบ), so I'm heading out for a good long walk. Happy new year, all!
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