Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm Weak

I had to go to Sturgeon Bay yesterday to interview an artist for an article I need to write for The Clearing's newsletter in the fall. I had a lovely and interesting talk with Ram Rojas and after I left him my car drove straight to Spin. I didn't do too badly, most of what I bought was in the 40% off basket but I did bring home one skein of lovely cotton yarn to use to make a scarf.

This is Dalegarn Ara wool from the bargain baskets. It's thick and thin and I thought it'd make an interesting shawl or bag. Each skein is just 55 yards so I'll have to find something needing around 275 yds., if you have an idea please leave a comment.

The colors of the Araucania Ulmo Multy are what attracted me. I'm usually a "red" girl but this green and purple grabbed me and wouldn't let go.

Knit on!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

See? I Have Been Knitting

I am so excited about the sweater I'm knitting. I love the colors and I love the yarn. I'm excited that I managed to do 2-color knitting even though there are places where the floats are too tight. I'm hoping that blocking will take care of some of it. Fingers crossed. It's a little hard to see in the picture but I'm up to the armhole decreases. Too cool!

I'm on the foot of Cartoons Sock #2. I do love this yarn, it's so colorful and bright.

I'm knitting around on that slipper sock thing I found online. Look at the gigantic holes where the heel and gusset are. They're like yarn-y sinkholes, almost makes me think they won't felt shut, but I'm keeping on keeping on.

Ta-da! Knitting!

This morning something hit the patio door and when I looked I saw this little hummingbird sitting on the doormat with its left wing extended. It sat there for about 10 minutes before it pulled in the wing, shaking its head. Finally in about 5 more minutes it flew up into the honeysuckle. Within about 15 more minutes it had flown up into the apple tree and seemed to be find. Durwood called the Wildlife Sanctuary just to be sure that he could take it there in case it was hurt too badly. He stood watching it until it flew into the tree to make sure that nothing hurt it while it was recovering. They're amazingly tiny. It was so tempting to go out and pick it up but we resisted.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Last Thursday I drove away from home for a two-night stay upstairs over the main office of The Clearing to be in place on time for an early morning meeting to plan the rejuvenation of their newsletter. I was flattered that Mike, the director, had thought of me but terrified that he'd ask me, expect me to be the boss of it all. I've been battling moderate depression all summer (got new pills and they're starting to work, thank God) and it felt good to drive away from home and Durwood for a couple days, not that there is anything wrong with either of them, but I needed a break. That night I had supper with friends and we went to a classical concert which was lovely. Friday morning was the newsletter meeting with the Director, Assistant Director, and the Program Director and I was right, he wanted me to be editor. I had my "sorry" smile all ready and told him, them that I'd love to write for them, stories, interviews, whatever but I just can't be the organizer, I procrastinate too much, it's just not me. For a moment there was silence and then he said, "well, I guess we can all kind of be the editor, you can be the writer." Whew. I was afraid he'd send me packing. Instead I got to interview Kevin the Landscape Architecture intern and Wendy the Weaver who has finished an art piece commissioned for this their 75th Anniversary year on Friday and I'm setting up an interview with Ram the Painter who is restoring a mural in the Schoolhouse. The articles about the weaving and the mural have to be written tout suite so that they can be sent to the Peninsula Pulse for publication before the grand unveiling. All of those things conspired to make me feel more like myself than I have in a long time. Ahhh. Welcome back, self.

I did manage to buy a bit of yarn while I was there. Wendy the Weaver had some Harrisville wool for 25% off. How could I resist?

After our interview, I went right down the road to Red Sock Yarns in Fish Creek where I got another skein of Kraemer Mauch Chunky that I plan to use with the other two partial skeins in lime and a light orange to make a felted bag,

and a skein of Ty-Dy Socks Dots to make a polka dotted sock. What's not to love?

Continuing with the dots theme I picked out a couple of cute buttons to pin on my knitting bag. They came in a little polka dotted drawstring bag.

I did knit this past week, really I did. I promise to go home and take pictures tonight of the finished 2-color sweater bottom (well, the two color part's done, not the whole sweater back) and the sock. Cross my heart.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Wanna Sail Away To Be A Pirate

On my way to work this morning I drove downtown to see the last of the Tall Ships in port. (Thanks, David!)

One of them was leaving.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer Malaise

It's the time of the year when I could very easily veg on the couch, napping and reading. My urge to do things is at its lowest ebb. I'm not even terribly interested in eating, although I, of course, manage to force myself to maintain my current level of eating just enough calories to keep from losing much weight. God forbid I should have less of me to drag around when it's hot and muggy. I hope before I kick the bucket (buy the farm, check out, croak, insert your favorite euphemism for DIE here, and if you have any interesting ones send them my way, please) I manage to figure myself out. I don't want to figure out other people's motives and motivations, only my own which remain, after 59 years on this planet, a mystery. So here's my yarn-ish output for the week.

I'm chugging along on the Red Marl sweater. I'm over halfway through the chart and I love the way it looks and feels. I wish I had touch-o-vision so you could feel how soft, springy, and scrumptious this is. I can't imagine it'll be anywhere near complete when I go to The Clearing in October which was my original intention but that's okay. It'll be worth the wait, I can tell.

The 198 yds. of Mochi shawl-ette is growing too. I discovered that using thinner yarn and smaller needles makes progress slower. Well, duh, Barbara. The color stripes are getting narrower too but I'm still just as fascinated to see how they look as they lay down atop one another.

I got to the heel flap and turn of Cartoons sock #2 at work this week. I do like the way the rich black looks against the vibrant colors of the main yarn and it'll eventually get cool enough to wear wool socks again.

And in frog pond news, the Sun Visor Cap went back to being 2 skeins of cott
on yarn. I started the visor part and it was loose and floppy and I just knew that I'd never be able to stiffen it enough so that it acted like a real hat bill, so I frogged it. I can use the yarn for a bag that I'll love or a kitchen towel or a hot pad, it will not go to waste, but I just couldn't see it turning out so, as the Red Queen said, Off with it's head!

I was feeling particularly down in the dumps the other day and this is what I saw when I glanced out the window next to my desk. It's a rose blooming on the bush my dad planted year
s ago. It's an old-fashioned one with deep red color and a strong rose aroma. Thanks for sending me a rosebud when I really needed it, Dad.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Not Much Progress

This past week was not a very knitty week, not at all. I didn't knit at work (pesky customers!) and I barely knitted at home. I even skipped Friday Night Knitting and you know that's not a good sign. But I'm determined to do better this week. I've got a slew of good, trashy novels loaded onto my Walkman (I love the library) so I'm ready to listen to someone read me a story while I knit. I've fallen under the spell of another wizard named Harry--Harry Dresden of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files fantasy novels. I'm listening to the third book, of 12 so far, and it's the last one that my library has on CD for a while, so soon I'll have to read them on paper. *sigh* It's hard to read a book and knit if you have to hold the book. My feet aren't as dextrous as they'd need to be to turn the pages, and I'm not a good enough knitter to divide my attention anyway. I'd be trying to purl the next paragraph and dog ear my knitting to keep my place. It would never work.

I got a few more rows of the sweater done. Look! Two colors! Genius!

It's time to begin knitting the brim on my Sun Visor Cap. (more learning new stuff)

I'm nearly through the first repeat of 198 yds. of Mochi. It's going slower than the last one but I'm still learning about lace knitting and still entertained by it

The sock didn't get a lot of attention but it's creeping along. It spent most of the week under the desk at work squeezed between the shredder and the recycling bin.

And I'm playing with a pattern I found on the 'web. It has a short row, wrap & turn heel. Semi strange.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ribbit and Repeat

You know that old saying about "the best laid plans?" Well, I fell victim to it on Sunday. I was so excited to use that marled gray merino and alpaca yarn and I was sure it was bulky. Well, it's not. Not bulky, not exactly worsted either, bulky in spots and worsted in spots, thinner than worsted in some spots. Guess that's the risk you take with handspun. I started out using two strands of the merino together, but after only a few rows I thought maybe it was too thick. Didn't measure gauge then, of course. So I frogged it and restarted using only one strand.

Got 11 rows of the pattern knitted before I pulled out my handy dandy gauge measuring thingy and, lo and behold, I had way too many stitches per inch for my size. If I kept going my end product would be too small for me and I'm not doing all this work in this gorgeous yarn and then end up not being able to wear it. No, sirree, back to the frog pond I went.

You understand that this is my first attempt to knit with two colors so
as disappointed as I was to have to rip out all that knitting, I was at least that happy that I'd been able to use my newly-acquired chart reading skills to do it and redo it. I even ended up with the right number of stitches in all the rows. Score!

Both times I frogged it I was able to stop and pick up the last row of the ribbing, and make sure the stitches were sitting on the needle with their correct side forward; I'm feeling slightly smug about that. And I'm being careful not to pull the yarn too tight across the back of the fabri
c so it doesn't pucker. I hope I'm doing it right because I don't think I want to frog it again. Nope, don't want to do that.

I've restarted again carrying 2 strands of the gray marl and I have about 1/2 a st
itch over gauge. I'm happy with that; I'd rather have it be a little big than too small, and I've got plenty of yarn. (fingers crossed, knock wood--I'm not saying that too loudly just in case the knitting fates rain fury down upon me to humble me)

In one swell foop I've learned both knitting things I wanted to learn this year: how to knit from a chart and how to knit with more than one color. Go me!