Sunday, August 26, 2007

Lace which is not making me bash my head into the wall

Hemlock Ring

I love this! You all should run right over to Brooklyn Tweed and get his pattern (or rather, his pattern modifications) for the Hemlock Ring Doily-turned-Lap-Blanket. It's very large-scale lace, which makes it fun and just what I needed to satisfy my lace-knitting urge without frustration.

One of my LYSes even had Ecological Wool on sale yesterday, so I bought 2 skeins and some size 10 DPNs. Eco Wool comes in a number of natural shade, all very close to one another. This one is called Antique (8019).

I cast on this afternoon, using the famous Emily Ocker circular cast-on, which wasn't at all fiddly at this size. I knit the first 20 rows on DPNs, then switched to Denises, which will make it easy to lengthen the cord as needed.

This is my mom's Christmas gift -- I don't think she reads my blog -- but I may need to make one for me, too. It only takes a skein and a half of Eco Wool (which come in huge hanks), so maybe I'll run over and get another in this same lot, just in case......

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More pretty!

I mentioned last week that I had won yarn, just for donating to Norma's Red Scarf Fund. The prize, donated by Cathy, arrived a couple days ago.

Mystical Creations

Isn't that beautiful? It's Mystical Creations Handpainted Merino in the "Tip Toe Thru The Tulips" colorway. It's 1/4 lb. of fingering weight merino -- about 875 yards. I have no idea what it will be. Right now, I'm just petting it a lot. Thanks so much for donating this, Cathy!

I pulled out Arwen a couple days ago, to work on during a talk at the Museum of Art. I realized that I'm almost done with the straight stockinette back, and ready to begin the more interesting front and scary hood. It would be nice to get this done to wear this fall. Of course, I also need to finish Flared Lace Smoke Ring. And Hidcote is progressing nicely, if slowly. Oh, and I'm still working on the Illini socks, which are kind of boring. I had forgotten how boring I find stockinette-in-the-round.

Despite all these WIPS, I'm about to begin some Christmas knitting. More on that soon....

Monday, August 20, 2007


Wooly Wonka Fibers

On the left Wooly Wonka Fibers Merino Laceweight in Northern Lights; on the right, the same in Buckwheat Honey.

These were both purchased to make KnitSpot Anne's Bee Stoles/Shawls. I think the Northern Lights will become a Honeybee Stole as a Christmas present for someone who likes blue. The Buckwheat Honey is for me, but I'm not sure if I'll make the stole or the Bee Fields Shawl.

I have to tell y'all about the great customer service from Anne at Wooly Wonka. I originally ordered the Buckwheat Honey Shawl Kit. When the stole pattern came out, I decided I liked it better, so I ordered an additional skein of Buckwheat Honey yarn, since the shawl takes more yarn, plus the Northern Lights yarn. (I ordered the stole pattern directly from the other Anne, at KnitSpot.)

When Wooly Wonka received my second order, Anne emailed me, worried that I hadn't ordered enough yarn for either of the Bee Shawls, since, I suspect, that's what most of the orders for Buckwheat Honey Laceweight are for. I explained that it was just to supplement the previous order. She offered to send me one big skein of Buckwheat Honey, so there would be fewer ends and the dye-lots would match, if I just sent the original order back. She also sent the Northern Lights in one big skein. Isn't that nice? And isn't that a great reason to order from a smaller company that actually looks at the orders as they come in?

What's funny is that my first order came after we had agreed to do this, and I realized that I had ordered the wrong color in my original order -- I had ordered Tupelo Gold instead of Buckwheat Honey! So this really all worked out really well!

So -- there are my future knitting plans. In the meantime, I'm still working on Hidcote. I also pulled out the Flared Lace Smoke Ring, since I really need to get it finished before the weather gets cool.

Flared Lace Smokering

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Whole Lot of Randomness

Earlier this week, I was so excited -- I had Friday afternoon off, and I was going to go to Des Moines on Saturday to see one of my best friends from Texas, who is in Des Moines visiting her husband, who is working a contract job there. (Got that? And isn't that a weird coincidence?)

And then a couple days ago, I developed a sty on my eyelid. Thank god mine doesn't look as bad as the one in the link! It got better, then it got worse again. I realized I would need to forgo eyeliner and mascara completely until it's really gone. Without eyeliner and mascara, I feel like I have no eyes at all.

This morning I woke up with a headache. I still had it when I got home. I took ibuprofen and laid on the couch with a hot compress on my eye, feeling quite sorry for myself.

Then my email dinged. It was Norma, telling me I had won some yarn, just for donating to the Red Scarf Fund. It dinged again. It was Cathy who donated the yarn. Turns out she's a doctor; she not only asked for my mailing address so she could mail me my yarn, but endorsed my use of hot compresses!

I was happier. I mean, the Red Scarf Project is such a good cause, and to win something just for participating -- wow!

And then.... I discovered that High School Musical 2 premiers tonight. I know, I know - a childless, middle-aged woman shouldn't know anything about High School Musical, but I do. It makes me happy. It's permanently saved on my DVR. And now I've got part 2. How can you not love a movie with a teenaged bitch named Sharpay?

I actually think my eye feels better! ;-)

Oh - I have been knitting a bit. Look -- it's an Illini sock!

Illini sock

Well, okay, only goes up to my ankle, and the ball of yarn (which I wound personally) has turned into a knotted mess, but it makes me happy, too.

And here's Hidcote, which I've returned to after putting MS3 into hibernation. I was only on row 24 of Hidcote's chart 1, so I frogged it and started over. I just started the the second chart, and am really enjoying it.

Hidcote 2

The Knit Picks Shadow (color: Oregon Coast) is lace-weight, but a good bit heavier than the Skacel Merino Lace I was using for MS3. It's much more relaxing to knit. My lace mojo may have returned!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Good Night, Sweet MS3, Good Night

Although I love the idea of knitting a swan's wing at the end of this stole, it is absolutely kicking my butt. This morning I put a lifeline in row 132 and began 133. At the end, I was one stitch short. I tinked back, and by the time I got to the beginning of row 133 again, I was missing 5 stitches, and I had some sort of weird knot going on at the far end of the row.

I've frogged back to my previous lifeline at row 122, but I just don't have the heart to keep going at this point. It's not the pattern -- it's not that hard -- but combined with the Skacel Merino Lace, which is the finest yarn I've used since my tatting days, I'm just very frustrated. MS3 has been folded up and put away for a little nap. I'm going to go back to my other WIPs -- Hidcote, the Flared Lace Smoke Ring, Arwen, my Illini socks. I may even block and seam Askew!

I think once I start seeing completed MS3s, I may be excited about it again. In the meantime, I've got plenty of other project to knit. Did I mention that I've ordered yarn for both Bee shawls? ;-)

Friday, August 10, 2007


I have no knitting photos, because there's been no interesting knitting this week. I've made little progress on Mystery Stole 3 -- I'm still on Clue 2. Part of the problem, I think, is that I'm really impatient to be farther along, and get discourage when I look at it and realize I've got so far to go! Unlike some people, I'm really excited that the other end of the stole will be shaped like a wing, and I just want to be working on that part!

Last night, I went to the Museum of Art to hear my library's rare book librarian talk about medieval medical books (it's a little disconcerting, isn't it, that they used a picture of the Big Boy sculpture next to the listing of presentations in the From Monks to Masters series?), so I took my Illini sock to work on -- toe-up stockinette a la Wendy. I'm past the heel now, and the plain old knitting round-and-round was sort of soothing.

Despite this lack of progress, my knitting queue keeps growing. Have you seen Anne's Bee shawls -- the triangle and the rectangle? I've bought both and have yarn coming for both! I can't decide which I like more. I think I like the stitch patterns in the rectangle better, but tend to prefer triangle shawls -- at least for me. I've already swatched the bee pattern used in both. It's very clever, put does require a bit of practice.

Thanks to Ravelry, I discovered the Spring 2005 Interweave Knits (my subscription began with Fall 2005). I ordered a back copy, because there are so many pretty patterns. My favorites are the Paisley Lace Shawl, and the Vintage Pink Cardigan (Kim, did you knit that?). I've added both to my queue, although it's unlikely that I'll actually make the cardigan.

Because I always feel guilty about not posting any pictures, here's one of Simon giving my sister a hug, something he's very good at (although it's not the most flattering picture of Linda!). Sometimes he climbs up a little higher, wraps both "arms" all the way around your neck, and tucks his head under your chin. It's absolutely irresistable, although it makes it hard to knit!

Huggy Simon

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Winner!

The random number generator told me to pick number 25. The 25th commenter to my birthday post was Uberstrickenfrau! I've emailed her, too. She gets to pick between these two skeins of Colinette Jitterbug:

Sahara or Raspberry

Thanks to everyone who entered!

In other Jitterbug-related news, here's the skein I won in Courtney's contest.

Jitterbug Fruit Coulis

I'm keeping this gorgeous Fruit Coulis Jitterbug for me! It's pinker and brighter than it appears here, as is the matching tissue paper Courtney used to wrap it. It's all so me!! Thank you again, Courtney!

In other knitting news, I finished the second Monkey sock. This picture is a little blurry, but I like how it shows the pattern.

blurred monkeys

Pattern: Cookie A's Monkeys
Yarn: Emily Parson's Sophie's Toes in Seafoam
Needles: Size 1 rosewood DPNs (love my rosewood DPNs!)
Modifications: I started with a picot cuff rather than a ribbed cuff
Comments: I love these -- the pattern, the yarn, my picot cuff. I'm happy, happy, happy!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

I am Elmo and Rain


Your Score: Elmo

You scored 66% Organization, 65% abstract, and 64% extroverted!

This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert. By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more about herself.

You are mostly organized, more abstract, and both introverted and extroverted.

Most people either love or hate Elmo. I hope you love Elmo, because that's who you are.

You are both somewhat organized. You have a good idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably clean. You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Elmo has the same basic approach. His place is pretty tidy, but he doesn't spend all of his time cleaning it up.

You both are abstract thinkers. You definitely are not afraid to take chances in life. You only live once. You may notice others around you playing it safe, but you are more concerned with not compromising your desires, and getting everything you can out of life. This is a very romantic approach to life, but hopefully you are also grounded enough to get by. Elmo's whole life is based on fantasy and his imagination. In the beginning he was a regular character, but now he spends most of his time in this fantasy world.

You are both somewhat extroverts. Like Elmo, you probably like to have some time to yourself, but you do appreciate spending time with your friends, and you aren't scared of social situations. Elmo spends some of his time with real friends, but he also needs some time just to chat it up with his goldfish.

The other possible characters are

Oscar the Grouch

Big Bird

Cookie Monster



Kermit the Frog


The Count

Guy Smiley


Hey, don't be a grouch! If you liked the test, let others know by rating it below. Feel free to vote for your favorite character too.

Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

You Are Rain

You can be warm and sexy. Or cold and unwelcoming.
Either way, you slowly bring out the beauty around you.

You are best known for: your touch

Your dominant state: changing

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Rockin' Girl Bloggers

Both Kim and Mary named me a Rockin' Girl Blogger. Thank you both so much! However, with this honor comes responsibility -- the responsibility of naming five more Rockin' Girl Bloggers. I guess these means I should name ten!

I decided that I would only name bloggers who I had met in real life and who are currently blogging. And I'm not going to worry about whether they've been named before!

So here's my list. Kim and Mary would both be on it, too, but I don't think the Rockin' Girl Blogger honor has a tag-back feature.

I think I'm supposed to tell you what makes them so cool, but what do you need to know? They're all knit-bloggers!

(And if it weren't for the "girl" part, David and Steve would be on the list, too. Sorry, guys!)