Knitting Notes


First item of knitting note: my co-worker C went to Ireland for a week, and brought back gifts for several us that covered for her while she was out, and she brought me yarn! It’s the best purple ever. Right now, I’m just having fun looking at it.

Second item of knitting note: remember how I ran out of yarn on Galadriel’s Mirror, and had to order more? I have one row and the cast off left, and I’ve run out of yarn again. Yes, I’m going to have to order more yarn, for two rows. Granted, it’s the widest part of the shawl, and the cast off is a crochet castoff that looks like it’s going to eat a relative ton of yarn, but still. I’m so disappointed. I have never this far under estimated the yarn I’d need for project. Thank goodness I didn’t try making it from something hand dyed…


Which leads to the third item of knitting note: since I’m stymied for the moment with the shawl, I’ve cast back on the Ruched Yoke Tee, this time, using the correct needle size. Here’s hoping this turns out a bit snugger this time.

Common Ground Fair – Unity, ME





An assortment of random pictures from the Common Ground Fair. It was great to get back there, after a two year break. The weather was incredibly gorgeous (maybe even a bit too hot), and the food was as fabulous as always.

I was remarkably restrained, and managed to come out with only one skein of yarn, a lovely wooden rolling pin, and $38 worth of garlic. I do have my priorities, after all…

Knitting Notes

We had my family Christmas on Monday, and since this about half a knitting blog, I’ve got to share the gift that warmed my knitterly soul. My father and C got me a sampler of handspun wool from Darthia Farm. Not only is it handspun, it’s also naturally dyed. They specialize in indigo dying, and you can see the results above. My favorites are the little skeins of deep indigo and cochineal red (I’ve always loved the idea of cochineal red – it comes from snails), and the tiny skein of light green in the top of the picture, which turns out to be a mixture of indigo and goldenrod. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to knit with any of this. It’s just so cool to look at as is.

Knitting Notes


I’m not done with my Sockdown September socks yet, and this is why.

I had my ball winder out on Thursday to rewind some sock yarn scraps I was sending out, and in a fit of what I now know to be stunning naivete, I decided it was time to finally wind the Malabrigo sock yarn I’d bought from Webs when it first came out. I’d sliced through it when I opened the package, and it’s been sitting in the bottom of my yarn crate, mocking me, ever since. So I put it on my swift, because surely it would peel off in discrete pieces. Surely! Well, it took about a minute flat to create a complete rat’s nest, and my free time for the next four days to untangle it. (I have just enough OCD that once I started, I had to get it done.) I did nothing of substance this weekend, save rewinding 29 separate pieces of yarn.

The things I do for my craft…

Weekend

I’m back from a rather whirl wind trip Downeast for the weekend. The main reason for the trip was so that my father and I could attend a workshop at the Woodlawn Museum where we learned to make our own painted canvas floorclothes.

Since I have pretty much no native artist ability, I chose to do a motif from one of the books the instructor had brought, and even ended up making the stencil to do it. (With much help. Geometry is hard!!)


This is my more or less finished project. I figured I’d keep it simple because I couldn’t quite decide what to use as an edge border that would match the knots. I’m pretty proud of myself for a first outing.

Here are a couple of other examples from the class:



I never did get a good picture of my father’s. He based his on a geometric design that another student brought, and was still working on it this morning when I left to come home. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a picture the next time I’m up there.

The most impressive one there was this one, shown in an intermediate and close to finished stage:


She used a book as an inspiration for the actual picture, but she drew the drew the design freehand, and then traced it as a transfer to be able to fill the detail in on the floor cloth. Definitely more than I could ever do.

Later that night, Dad, C and I went to see Neil Simon’s Laughter on the 23rd Floor, performed by the New Surry Theatre at The Grand in Ellsworth. The play is apparently based on the writing staff of Sid Caeser’s vareity show in the 50s. It wasn’t a bad little production, though in discussion afterward, someone pointed out that the timing was off, and in retrospect, I have to agree.

The next morning, I headed early so I could make a few stops on the way home. On the way out of Ellsworth, I naturally had to stop at the Big Chicken Barn used book store. I wasn’t able to find anything from BF’s list, but managed a decent haul for myself, including three Patricia A. McKillip books, of which I’m most excited to have Heir of Sea and Fire, the second book of the Riddlemaster Trilogy that I didn’t know was a trilogy when I bought the first book. It’s actually out of print as a trilogy now, and Paperspine doesn’t have the omnibus edition, so I wasn’t sure when I was going to get around to reading the other two books. Now I’ll just need the third, and that seems very doable if I take a surf through Abebooks.com.


I also stopped at the Barnes and Noble in Augusta, and managed to completely accidentally score an edition of Maui Magazine. I’m suddenly in the market for all things Maui, as my sister and I bought tickets last week to go there in July. The price was insanely good, and we figured we just had to go. I’m really looking forward to it.

My final stop was the Purl Diva yarn shop in Brunswick. I didn’t make it there last summer when I visited the other yarn store in Brunswick, as the day I went was the one day of the week they’re closed. However, that’s probably a good thing, as I was compelled to buy both Malabrigo and Madeline Tosh sock yarn, and I really couldn’t have afforded to add that in at the same time as the stuff I bought at the Knitting Experience shop. At least I was able to pace myself. And it’s definitely pretty! (I also found out that Schaefer makes a Heather sock weight yarn. I was only able to make it out of there without it because I don’t want silk in socks so I don’t have to worry about care. I purposely let myself forget there are other applications suitable for sock yarn. I may have to go back. But at least I made it out with only two skeins this time.)



And, last but not least, I give you various pretty flowers from my weekend:





Knitting Notes


My new swift works! I spent a lovely, leisurely time winding my Three Irish Girls Carys Blue Faced Leicester yarn, which is practically lace weight it’s so skinny, and I didn’t feel the need to tear my hair out once. I’m repressing a serious urge to take all of my stashed skeined yarn and wind it right now. I’m repeatedly reminding myself it stores better in the skein…


The reason I wound the yarn is that they added Chrissy Gardiner to the designers for this month’s Sockdown. I’ve been looking for an excuse to make her Moonflower socks, which were the Sock Yarnista pattern for December, and figured I might as well use December’s yarn while I’m at it. The yarn is the Mulled Wine colorway, which is not a colorway I’d normally choose for myself, but I really like.

The challenge for this month for me will be using size 0 needles. So far so good, the yarn seems to glide pretty well over my Harmonys, so I fairly well flew through the cuff and first pattern repeat.

In other news, I need to frog the Koolhaas hat. I got way off once I got to the pattern. I think I’m just going to place a marker for each repeat. It’s going to be a little marker heavy, but the pattern is just long enough it’s a little too easy to get off in the middle of the row. I do like the Malabrigo, though.

Knitting Notes


My ball winder came today!!! And I promptly found out the pin on my swift is warped, and won’t got in, so the swift is currently useless. Still, in my excitement, I had to try the ball winder out, and as you can see from above, it works beautifully, even if I did have to do the Malabrigo from around my knees. (The sock yarn on top is one that I already had hand-wound into a ball. That one was much easier to do than the Malabrigo.)

So, someday, I’ll get the whole thing working in one beautifully slick process, but I now at least have the means to make nice yarn cakes, even if I do have to contort myself to make them happen.

Knitting Notes


Christmas is finally over. (Since my mother went to visit my sister in CA, we waited until she got back to finish off presents.) I got a swift! And enough gift certificates to order a ball winder when I go to my class at Knit Wit tomorrow! And what’s even better is that Anna at Knit Wit knows the BF by sight! Mwahahah!


On the yarn front, despite thinking I was perfectly happy with my Sundara haul from the Artist’s Choice Collection in December, I’ve jumped into the trading ring. Whimsical on Ravelry was looking for additional skeins of Midnight Forest and contacted me about a trade. I mentioned my love of green and that it therefore wasn’t up for trade, and she offered me the above lovely Evergreen over Lime. It’s a great shade, and I was very happy to be able to help her towards her sweater. So my Sundara is in circulation. This’ll probably be the end of it though, as the Persian Poetry is definitely not up for trade, and I can’t see the Denim over Indigo being that hot a trade (it’s pretty, but not overly unique).

As mentioned earlier, I’m starting a two week class tomorrow to do an Undulating Wave Beaded Scarf. It should be a lot of fun, provided the snow fore-casted for tomorrow is indeed light and/or holds off until later in the evening.

And, last but not least, they’ve upgraded Picasa. I give you my 2008 finished projects in their new and improved collage format:

Yarn


My Sundara Artist’s Choice Yarn Collection arrived today. I’d gotten the mixed palette, figuring that was probably the best way to score some blue, as well as the warmer tones I like. I figured I’d get two colors that I really liked, and one I could trade for something else.

I got better than that. I started following the Ravelry spoiler thread yesterday, and saw Persian Poetry (the purple one), immediately loved it, and immediately knew there was no way in hell I’d get it. Clearly though, whoever chose which yarn to give me is a clairvoyant mind reader, because not only did I get the Persian Poetry, but my other two skeins are lovely examples of blue and green, aka my two favorite colors. None of these skeins are getting traded. I loves them! Merry Christmas to me!

Yarn

Yesterday, not being much of a hordes of insane shoppers fan, and with the BF working, I decided to head into town to see Twilight. Of that, I’ll 0nly say that I’m about fifteen years too old to be able to sit through that movie with a completely straight face. That being said, I did enjoy it. It was delightfully overwrought.

After the movie, since I was already paying for parking (and by the way – $5.25 Nickeloden parking garage for a movie and the additional few minutes it took me to wander through the city’s smallest yarn store? $5.25? Really?), I was finally able to wander over to Tess’ Designer Yarns. It’s a tiny little storefront, but inside, it’s packed with yarnish goodness. The colors are absolutely amazing, and the variety of really, really, really nice yarn was wonderful. I wandered around for a bit just feeling up the silk and cashmere. I ended up buying two skeins of sock yarn, which totally don’t represent the totality of the colorwheel available, but do represent my favorite colors. The sage green yarn is their is their regular sock yarn, but the blue yarn is the Peruvian sock yarn, a mixture of wool, silk, alpaca and nylon that’s actually machine washable. I’m totally in love.



And then, to top it all off, I got home, and found my Sock Yarnista package in the mail. I was prepared not to like this month’s selection that much, as it’s not really in a color scheme that’s normally my cup of tea, but I actually like it a bit more in person. It’s still probably going to become a gift, but I’ve definitely been enjoying looking at it today. (This month’s extra was magnetic pattern place holders. Love them!!)