Wednesday, March 26, 2008


080707colorado078 - Version 2an excellent storm from vacation last summer,other than that, totally out of context here

I'm uncharacteristically participating in one of those pass-it blog things. How could I not? Sheila nominated me as lucky # 13 in her list of Ten Excellent Blogs. I know, 13 out of 10, wtf, but rules are made to be broken, nothing succeeds like excess , and all that.
excellent1_2Here are mine. I thought I'd try to list blogs that seem way under-subscribed to me but you know, there are very popular blogs that are just so dang excellent I must include them.
Drumroll, please, and not in any particular order.

1. Norma because Now Norma Posts Daily and gives you a piece of her mind. Lucky for us it's a fine mind. Only nominally a knitting blog but who cares? Someday Norma & I will be living out our dreams in our respective Airsteams, and I hope she's got wireless broadband in hers so she'll keep posting.

2. Ann & Kay at Mason Dixon I know, they have gajillion readers. And another book coming out (not. soon. enough.) but these two are both fabulous writers and prolific, creative knitters. And not afraid of crazy. Go wish Kay a happy bday this week.

3. Knitting Weather Brilliant knitter, clever writing and life in Alaska. If only she posted more often (heh talk about the pot calling the kettle black). Did you see the wolf on the lake?

4. Cosymakes A recent addiction for me and another book I can't wait for. Cosy has this wonderfully inspiring use of color, texture and decoration without being over the top. Her dyeing is to die for. She makes new things funky-vintage without looking too granola. (I cannot believe I just used granola as an adjective, but there it is). She makes me want to stick buttons on everything and dust off my embroidery chops.

5. Stitch marker More inspiration. And another blog with a book that I will be getting my hands on very soon. Am I getting repetitive?

6. Mary Lou Egan at Yarnerinas She's smart, she's a talented designer and knitter and I hear a heck of an MC, which she'll be doing for the Yarn Harlot appearance in the Twin Cities soon. (Ok she also saved our tushes by designing via reverse engineering a sweater jacket and hat for my book Shear Spirit and because of that she is stuck with my unending admiration and friendship for life, but I'd still recommend her blog )

7. not really a blog but ever since I put this in my bloglines feed I get a little digest of blog postings to look at everyday, and I find new voices without falling into the deep vortex of endless surfing . I don't get how they choose who is included on any one day's list -I first found them when I was getting a bunch of hits from their site last month- and I don't think I've been on their list since. Whatever. Fun to scan.

8. Phila *craft Cristina's a natural talent at everything she does, and articulate, too. Attention to detail in a way that I can only dream of. No waste of words, no waste of materials , beautiful objects crafted lovingly and thoughtfully. She's got the touch.

9. Hello Yarn Adrian is a source of inspiration whether designing, dyeing or just sharing her projects. F'rinstance, I just lost 10 minutes following a link she had for a new Noro yarn and her idea to knit it vertically with a steeked boat neck. Think about that for a second. See what I mean?

10.Norah Gaughan's blog because it is fun to know what is on her mind, or her needles. I love her designs, they pepper my ravelry queue. Someday I'll knit them! Until then, I'll just lurk.

Monday, March 24, 2008

spring thing

In a back corner of my brain there's been this itchy little idea that I wasn't through with Razor Shell stitch yet. I loved working it on the the three (five if you recognize the socks singly, yes, I AM a nerd) gift projects in December. I felt one more Razor Shell project in me. Which is to say, FOR me.
seen earlier today
I was in Woolcott & Company, on a dark and stormy evening 2 Saturdays ago. I won't go into the scenario (bad oversleeping teenagers!) but there I was, killing an hour caffeinating before driving home, 2 plus hours in torrential rains.
Lots of nice yarn there, some I'd never seen before, including newly arrived Manos Silk Blend. That yarn screamed,"indulge yourself with a new spring scarf fer godsake, you are driving home, alone, in the dark cold rain, and I will look damn good in a Razor Shell stitch".
It is clearly very clever yarn , because it was right
Anyhoo, enough of the chit chat.The deets:
yarn: Manos Silk Blend semi-solid . The woman at the shop (btw, really nice people, one had just finished knitting the coolest felted squirrel. I hope she didn't shave it down, it looked like it had just crawled out of the woods, in a good way. Not as cutesy as in that link.) called this color Juniper, I almost chose the loveliest slate/gray/blue. Excellent hues. It is DK weight, this scarf is 2 skeins worth down to the last yard. My scarf all blocked out is at least 72" long and 7" + wide .
needles: size 5US, I knit loose. Use a US6 if you don't.
the stitch: Razor Shell.
some words about the stitch: Last week with the flu , feeling too sick to knit , I whiled away an hour moaning on the sofa , surfing Razor Shell scarves.
I found this and this, inspiring my button embellishments.
I used the 8 stitch repeat Razor Shell stitch I'm so fond of, I found variations : over 10 stitches (there are 3 stitches on each side of the sl1K2tog,psso )which makes the non-eyelet columns wider, and over 12 stitches, (there are 2 stitches in the center of the eyelet columns), making it less lacey overall. On Ravelry I found garter stitch Razor Shells, the zig zagginess emphasized in the ridges. There are unlimited ways to render this stitch. Maybe it was my fevered state but I found this interesting enough to consider swatching some variations. Which, for me , is saying something. I had one of those moments where you realize the "knitting pattern" and the "knitting designer" are modern conceits of this age-old craft, wherein a Razor Shell Scarf just meant you hunkered down and knit a stretch of a stitch you liked and there, you had a scarf.
final thoughts: This is lace. It was a joy, and quick , too. It is easy and lovable lace, I need to stop saying I am lace-challenged. I've been knitting lace projects all fall/winter. And now it is spring. Maybe only 30 degrees out, but, hey ! who cares! I have a new scarf.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

things are turning up

The socks I finished for Dave last month decided to make their whereabouts known.
the details:
A hybrid pattern. I loved the broken rib stitch texture of Thuja but prefer my standard 48 stitch worsted weight sock template from the Yankee Knitter Classic Socks pattern.
The yarns are Lambs Pride Superwash 100% wool, worsted weight for the main part, and some Artyarns Supermerino for the toes and heels. That Lambs Pride Superwash makes an excellent sock yarn but I'm not sure I would have been able to squeeze a pair out of one skein of the Lambs Pride if I hadn't switched out for the toes/heels.

My personal theory on why these socks reappeared after being unfindable since I completed them in Colombia? I believe they took pity on me. I have so many unfinished, almost completed , troubled projects scattered around this joint that I am beside myself. A little clutter is good for creativity but I've crossed over, project-wise, into distraction.

By contrast, I visited my 22 year old nephew's apartment in NY this week. Remember when life was simpler?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

someone please hit the forward button!

My Knitting Life seems to be on pause, if not reverse, like some kind of knitting Twilight Zone episode. Go ahead and make those doo-doo-doo-doo theme sounds for yourself. I mean really, check it out. I'll skip showing you the 2 berets that are put aside until I can deal with them but consider them part of the show.
0308FamVar_100My Juliet is still being a surgically improved. I've blocked, put long circular needles through the two lines I want to join, taking out about 4" of garter stitch that now exists between them, using a 3 needle bindoff to do the join.3deets
Then I'll delicately cut the extra , unravel it and use the yarn to get a better length on the bottom section. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it, even if it feels like this simple project will never end.
This is how it looks hanging around the sofa.

In the course of trying to go forward with the 3 needle bind off, I snapped one the few remaining Bakelite needles I have from Dave's Grandma Frieda. 0308FamVar_106
I was lucky enough to know her pretty well. I love having the needles , they make me think of her when I work with them. I might frame the last one.

I thought I had breakthrough: I knit this stripey kimono for a freelance asst's new baby, and I was just sooo proud of myself for whipping it out quickly and cutely as can be until I pinned it out wet to block and discovered....0308FamVar_115
yup, I bound off two stripes too soon. 0308FamVar_116
See what I mean? I bet it's not what they had in mind when they named the pattern Heartbreaking. (fyi? that's the ravelry link to 890 of these with the edges neatly matching).