Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gimme a G! Gimme an R! Gimme an E, E, N!

What's that spell?  Green!  That's the color of the leaves on the maple tree.  It came to me in a flash last week that those leaves are going to be green until October or later.  That would be one long, boring section of Maple Tree scarf, so I gathered up all the green yarns in my arsenal, and I plan to change out one green for another every week or so, slot them in and out to make it interesting.  I want to find another mostly green sock yarn for when the one I'm using runs out too.  I might have to order some online but that's doable.  I've actually dev...  

Wait, I was going to say that I had developed some self-control over yarn & fabric buying but then I went to JoAnn's yesterday after lunch for some buckles for a purse strap and, well, look what happened.  They're having a Memorial Day sale and all the "value" fabric was 50% off.  Damn their eyes.  I couldn't resist some of it.

I'm determined to spend some time making slippers this year and found this upholstery fabric that'll be awesome as slippers.  I bought a yard.

I'm always on the lookout for interesting linen.  I want to find printed linens like she uses in the book Zakka Style but evidently they don't sell them in the States, or this state anyway.  There are wild, Impressionistic florals that I usually love, not what I'm looking for in this case, but I did find this lovely dark brown with embroidered dots on it.  I bought a yard.

And who could resist this?  I was drawn by the round... things and amazed by the rest of it.  I had to buy a yard just to convince myself that someone really did put all this together on one length of fabric.  It's a border print too, both borders the same.  Holy shamoley.

The other day after my shower I realized that the soap sack I kept for myself when I handed them out at Christmas and that I've used at least 3 times a week since then, is all sagged out and still bleeding out color which looks disgusting as it collects on the ridge at the end of the bathtub and dries looking like diluted blood.  Urk.  So I dug out some dishcloth cotton and a one-size smaller hook and made myself a shorter and plainer one.  I like it.  I know it looks small but judging by the previous one, that'll change.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Over-Feathering My Wingspan

I finished wedge #8 yesterday.  Looked at the shawlette, and decided it's just too "ette" so it needs another wedge/triangle, at least.  I have plenty of yarn.  Plenty, because I'm not really into skein #3 yet and they're only 137 yds. each.  Okay, so that's 274 yds. casting on 60 sts and using a US9 circ.  I have 392 yds. of the Lana Gatto Acquamarina so I can make the next one bigger.  It's a good thing that I've made this "practice" one. Wow, it's like swatching!  Who knew?

The Dragonscale mitts pattern that I made for DD's wedding mitts has been scratching at me for a while.  I finally gave in and cast on the other night.  This is attempt #2 since I decided halfway into mitt #1 that I was using too big needles.  Did someone say swatch?


In Maple Tree scarf news, I've decided to gather up all my green yarns and then switch them in and out randomly through the summer.  It's going to be a long green summer of green leaves (I'm not complaining) and I'll need some variety.  It's going to be awesome.  Right?  Right.

I thought you might like to see the hole Porter chewed in the new linoleum over at DS & DIL1's last week.  She managed to scratch up a wrinkle and then gnawed away.  Look at that face; she's not even sorry.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

You've Just Gotta Have the Right Brown... make that bluish-limey green work.  You'd never know there was a lot of blue in that green unless you tried to make it play nice with a very yellow, pear green; that's when its true color shone out.  Clashed out's more like it.  Now that I've replaced the black sock yarn of the "winter" colors on the Maple Tree scarf with the variegated green of the "spring" colors and the ashy brown worsted of the "winter" bark is replaced with the Crayola brown DK of the "spring" palette, that limey Cascade works.  I've been thinking that it'd be fun to sub in all the greens that I've collected, alternating them after a few inches, in and out, in and out, to keep interest up.  I still have that skein, huge skein of brown and white-ish sock yarn that might become bark next but then I think that the trunk color needs a larger presence in the scarf than one measly sock yarn will give.  Time will tell, I've got over 6 more months of scarfing yet to go.  I missed a chance in the early early Spring.  I've got a skein of tan/green/turquoise that would have been absolutely perfect for those early days when there was just a hint of green and lots of sky showing through, but it was buried in the bin and I missed it.  Ah well, that yarn will make an excellent pair of mitts or a hat sometime.  Or something felted the next time a jag comes around.

I'm on triangle #6 of 8 or 9 or even 10 of the Wingspan shawlette.  I'm liking it.  A lot.  What say you?  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

See What I Got?

I got these 3 terrific card, this lovely rose plant, and gerbera daisies for the porch.  I feel very well Mother's Day-ed.  Oh, and the northwest corner of the basement is now passable.  I did not take a "before" picture, it would have just been too demoralizing also hard to get that volume of crap into the frame.  I kind of got off the decrappifying track a while back and figured a Mother's Day dose of helping hands will help me climb back on.  DS was happy to oblige.  Also he bought me ice cream.  Yay!  Next up is the workshop so Durwood and I can build some bird houses and feeders.  Once again I need at least one extra day per week to accomplish one-tenth of what I'd like to.  Is it normal to set oneself up for failure so readily?  There is no way I can knit, sew, write, make lotion, plant the garden, work, walk, do yoga, and build bird accommodations all in one month, much less a week.  

The Maple Tree scarf is growing by its requisite 2 rows per day.  I like the way it looks.

I'm into the fifth triangle of the Wingspan and the second skein of yarn.  I really like the way it's looking, but I thought it'd be bigger.  Maybe I'll have to up the needle size and stitch count for the next one.  Look at the yarn, I realized the other day that it's chain-plied instead of twisted.  Looks kind of cool that way, plus in the close-up you can see that it's indigo and yellow, not black and yellow.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

All Greens Are Not Created Equal

At Friday Knit Night I was catching up on my Maple Tree scarf rows.  I cut the black sock yarn and added in a different, brighter green because the leaves were starting to emerge and were greener than the buds.  I was thinking that I'd eliminate the black and add in another green to emphasize the greenness of the leaves, letting the brown fade into the background, perhaps even scaling brown back to a sock-weight brown for the summer.  Well, that bright, lime-y green was just wrong.  It was too blue for the ambiance of the scarf as it was but I kept knitting it in thinking I'd get used to it.  I didn't.  I went down and pulled out all the greens I had gathered.  The skein of Heart & Sole kept jumping into my hand, so I carried it up, tinked back to where the wrong green started and added in the Green Envy.  I also decided that the trunk deserves to be represented by a worsted weight brown all year, so the brown sock-weight went away and a skein of brown brown got spit-spliced onto the end of the original heather brown skein.  Now that that's decided I feel much better.

Yesterday at work I realized that my Wingspan shawlette was headed toward bandana-hood since I was into the third of eight triangles and was still on the first 50 g. (137 yd) skein.  So I turned it back into a ball of yarn and started over casting on 60 stitches.  It's much better.  I just finished the first triangle and have used up nearly all the yarn I had balled back up.  Much better. 

Here's a gratuitous cute baby bunny photo.  It's name is Flash because it's exceedingly speedy when it dashes across the patio.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Made a Haul

Really, a haul.  Wait 'til you see what came home from Friday Night Knitters with me.  Donna, who moved to Minneapolis a couple years ago and is moving back, was/is in town and had bins (bins, people) of yarn and books that a knitting friend was getting rid of.  Donna drove it to Green Bay and brought it to Knit Night for us to paw through.  I pawed well and deep.

From the book boxes I glommed onto a copy of "It itches.", a book of knitting cartoons (knitting cartoons??? yeah, knitters need a sense of humor) by Franklin Habit, and Scarves, a compilation that has several interesting patterns in it. 

The least of the skeins is one black Knit Picks EssentialSolid.  It's sock-weight superwash wool & nylon.  A person can never have too much black yarn.

In the "looks like bark to me" department, we have one skein of Galway Highland Heather and one of Brown (brown!  are you seeing the trend here?) Sheep Country Classic Thick & Thin.



There was this one lonely ball of Cascade 220 Superwash in a gorgeous dark red.  Anyone who knows me just steps out of the way when I see a ball of red wool.

I kept coming back to this skein of Mooncake Yarn (isn't that a great name?) in the delightfully named Swimming Pool.  I'm not much of a blue girl but since my felted bowl jag I'm thinking of having various colors of wool on hand just in case I have to make something to be felted again.


Without a label but irresistible nevertheless was this skein of what I'm guessing might be Araucania Multy Chunky.  It's dark brown, black, chestnut, even a bit of dark teal and dark rose and will make a gorgeous scarf or hat.


I dug waaaaay down to the bottom of one of the bins and unearthed this unlabeled trio of skeins of worsted wool in greens and lilac.  It's freaking gorgeous.  I don't care that I don't know what yarn it is exactly.  It's in a bag that says it has 100 yds. per skein.  I'm picturing a pair of Fetching mitts.


But the piece de resistance (IMHO) was a bag with 8 little skeins of Ice yarn from Turkey.  It's bright yellow blending into deep indigo, and it pleases me no end.  It's 50/50 wool and nylon, really soft, a little splitty, and it has sunk its claws deep into my soul.  


I immediately (IMMEDIATELY) cast on a Wingspan shawlette.  Just as a practice project, you understand, so that I don't ruin my special, expensive Lana Gatto that's wool, silk & mohair, not because I couldn't not knit something with it immediately, no.  I stayed up until after 11 PM so that I knitted to the yellow.  I'm about halfway through the second of eight triangles.  See?

I have to confess that I didn't intend to take home even one skein.  That I stood looking at the bins and boxes and said right out loud, "I'm not taking any.  I don't need any more yarn."  Z-Dawg just laughed at me, and razzed me the rest of the evening as I tried to shove 10 lbs. of yarn into a 5 lb. knitting bag.  Oh well, I made a haul.  And it was free so it didn't go against the letter of my self-imposed yarn diet.  Way to rationalize!

I felted my 8 bowls and they turned out great.  I took them along last night and everyone liked them.  It was a fun night even though there was no yoga (only me and the teacher showed. next week she's teaching me anyway if it happens again.  I whined.)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

No, I Did Not Fall Off The Planet

I just haven't been knitting or sewing or anything creative much lately so I haven't blogged.  If you get really lonely for me I blog every day over at  There're always pretty pictures.  Not of knitting, no, but of birds and dogs and garden things, ya know, stuff like that.  Today I have some knitting for you!  Real, honest to goodness knitting.  Really!

Here's the week #18 shot of the Maple Tree scarf. 

 I think I might scale back to a sock-weight brown once the leaves are leafed out since the bark kinda takes a backseat to the leaves come Summer.  Then I'll ramp the brown back up in late Autumn once the leaves start to fall and the trunk and branches are more visible.  Plus I'll be able to blend together all of the various shades of green I have assembled.  I am determined to maintain interest through the long, green time by using a lot of different shades.  We'll see how successful I am.

I'm still knitting Color Stripe Vessels.  I think #8, the orange one in the lower right, will be the last, partly because the bowl jag is lessening and partly because I am finally running out of the gray heather Cascade 220 that I'm using for the bowl bodies.  I will finish it today (yes, I will) so that I can felt tonight, let them dry, and take them to Harmony Knitting tomorrow.  At least that's what I hope.  No, that's what will happen.

Did I show you the yarn I bought at ReBelle when we were in Lexington?  It's Lana Gatto (wool cat? please tell me it's not cat hair), according to the label it's merino and silk with a little mohair thrown in for good measure.  Oooh.  She had 4 skeins on the "reduced for quick sale" table (I head right there in any shop) and I scarfed up all of them.  I'm hoping to make a Wingspan shawlette with it--hoping I have enough yarn.

I think that's everything for now.  I've got a sewing project I'm working on but it's kind of a secret.  You'll get to see it soon enough.  Patience.