Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mt Rushmore

Is approximately the size of my blogging block! I'm still here, knitting little projects, spinning some and I had a blast at SOAR, learning more about weaving and looking forward to a return to the Campbell Folk School in January. But blogging, not so much. There are lots of things to tell you, when I get home.

We're out of the country right now, on the tiny island of Nevis in the eastern Caribbean. And though I am not getting any knitting done, I do have fiber content.

Nevis Sheep
Barbados Blackbelly Hair Sheep

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WIP Wednesday – Progress

If you ever wonder why the Hubs is so supportive of my fiber adventures, it’s because I help him do this.

shorty40_17 After

A slideshow with captions is HERE. Yes, ham radio towers are bigger than any loom I could ever dream of wanting. Plus, I spend hours standing around in mosquito infested marshy fields, manage hundreds of feet of rope, hoist many tower sections, actually read the instructions, help build antennas, solder circuit boards, and cheer him on in the contests. I'm happy to help him achieve some of the goals he's had for this hobby, literally since he was a little boy. And he has been delighted to cheer me on as I've careened down the slippery slope of fiber arts from knitting to spinning to weaving.

Meanwhile, I’m making good progress on the Fiddlehead Mittens for mitten swap. I’m coming in the home stretch on outer mitt #2. These mittens get a plain liner mitten picked up and knit after the outer mitts are done and blocked.

Swap Three Mittens-03 Progress

I’ve got a shocking pink wool/mohair yarn from local folks Kid Hollow Farm to use for the liners, That should provide a bit of bright cheer for dreary winter days!

Swap Three Mittens-04 PINK for the liner
Oh, you thought I was kidding about the SHOCKING part didn’t you?

Other than the mittens, knitting has sort of stalled around here. I need to finish up the hem of the comfy sweater and get some sleeves started. But, I keep looking at cowls I see on the blogs, and thinking about the handspun stash, and printing out cowl patterns, and thinking about handspun. Maybe I should cast on for a neckwarmer. With this.

spin 070426 good-2a
MMmmmohair and BFL

More on spinning and weaving soon!

Friday, October 17, 2008

SOAR 2008

Where to begin describing SOAR? I walked into the hotel and saw a bunch of spinners and knitters lounging in the lobby. That’s a start. To say I’ve never seen anything like it is an understatement. And, it got much better than that. When I spent a week at the Folk School, we had twelve spinners in our class, all very focused on what we were doing. But at mealtimes there were blacksmiths, and woodturners, and cabinetmakers, and quilters, and musicians, and well, you get the idea. Now picture 250 spinners sitting down to dinner, and carrying spinning wheels here and there, and drop spindling during meetings, and knitting at odd moments, and learning and teaching and cheering each other on.

SOAR2008 Spin In with band
All my photos are blurry, low light and too much caffeine I guess

Spinning goddesses mingling with mere mortals. Rockstar knitbloggers. Spinning and whirling Peruvians.

soar2008 Aquilina

Making new friends. Staying up too late spinning with the cool kids. Swill. Chance conversations containing gems of information.

SOAR 2008 Abby and Aquilina spindling
Peruvian Drop Spindling - Abby and Aquilina

Lightbulb moments. Total spinning amnesia. The Market.

soar2008 Loot

Wheels so fast they humble you (Click and watch the video of Abby on her new wheel, 60:1, it gives you something to aim for). Polwarth and Silk Top. Autumn in the mountains.

soar2008 Sunrise
Delaware Water Gap at Sunrise

These are a few of my favorite things.

I “got” long-draw, was able to spin on the very fast flyer,

soar2008 spinning class 1
Spinning for a Purpose

bottom whorl spindled,

soar2008 spindles
Made possible by the Mary K. Larson Drop Spindle Fund

learned that nupp rhymes with soup, figured out how to spin for a sweater with all that Romney fiber I have,

soar2008 Sweater Swatch
Three ply knits up nicer than two ply

made countless teeny sample skeins,

soar2008 Sample Skeins
If I knit them all together, they might make a great sampler scarf

soar2008 Samples
Goats, and Silk, and Bison, Oh My!

watched silk being reeled from cocoons, finished my chunky handspun scarf,

One Row Scarf Done

had fun spinning Wrap and Roll,

soar2008 wrap and roll detail
Easier than it looks

and gained a new appreciation for the many features of the little Pipy wheel.

Blue BFL Skein
170 yards, worsted-aran weight, chain-plyed BFL with angelina

I can’t wait to go back next year!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

“It Depends”

Greetings from SOAR!

We’ve finished the workshop half of the week. I wisely decided to take Thursday off instead of go on the ALL DAY field trip and will test drive some wheels at the Market, you know, just for future reference. I’ve learned a few things about spinning with my little Pipy that have slowed down my wish for a big wheel a lot. But, while I’ve got a chance to see them in person, and spin on a few, I might as well.

Our class was really useful. Spinning for a Purpose, with Abby Franquemont, who knows an amazing amount about fiber, and has led an interesting life. And whose answer to many of our spinning questions was the above post title. That or, “Have you tried it?” We don’t have a lot of product to show off, but all gained tips and techniques and new ways of thinking about our spinning and project planning.

Photos tomorrow, some itty bitty skeins, and an FO!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

WIP, uh Thursday

Haven’t done a WIP Wednesday in a while, but the day got away from me yesterday. I’m getting down to all the last minute things that have to be done before going to SOAR. Little things like payroll, bills, cat food, laundry.

There are promises of wi-fi at the hotel, but time and brain overload may not allow much in the way of blog posts until I get back. So, I’ll leave you with a few simple projects that are in active rotation, for inspiration:

Endless Top-Down Raglan Sweater
I love this yarn, Classic Elite Classic Silk. It’s got a soft cottony-silky hand and some texture. It’s just a little tiring on my hands, so progress is slow, but I’m gonna love this sweater when I ever get it done. This is the generic top-down raglan pattern and with a scoop neck. Starting over, I would cast on fewer stitches at the back and front as the body ended up a bit oversized by the time the armholes were long enough. But my goal was a casual like-a-sweatshirt sweater, so it’ll do. And, I did add some decreases at each side at the waist to bring the hem in a bit.

Comfy Sweater-03 seed stitch hem

In order to really check on the fit, I’ve already picked up and knit the neck’s seed stitch border, and will finish the hem and cuffs with the same seed stitch. I’m considering adding a small simple lace motif around the cuffs, but we’ll see when I get there.

Comfy Sweater-04 hem detail
Just a few more rows!

I realized taking this photo that it’s just the color of my favorite crape myrtles!

Crape Myrtle "Tonto"

Goal: This has been great mindless TV knitting, and I’ll probably turn to this for evening knitting at SOAR. So, the goal is to finish the hem, figure out my decreases for the sleeves, and get one started.

Swap Mittens
I balanced my desire to knit some really complex Latvian mittens with the reality of a deadline for the mitten swap. Then too, I kept looking at the pattern for the Fiddlehead Mittens from Hello Yarn and just really wanted to knit them. I’ve kept the scheme to two colors rather than six but may have a surprise planned for the lining. I don’t want to give away too many details, but I don’t think showing a photo will spoil the surprise for my pal.

Swap Three Mittens-01 First Cuff
Yes, they are that bright!

I did add a longer cuff, using one of the motifs from the mitt.

Goal: Knit a bit on Mitten #1 at SOAR.

Green Twill Scarf
I’m using some Ultra Alpaca Light and M&W point twill threading and treadling on 4 shafts for a nice soft scarf. The draft is from Dixon’s Handweaver's Pattern Directory, page 88-89. I’m getting some xmas gifts started early for a change this year!

Green Twill Scarf-01
Have I told you lately how much I love Ultra Alpaca?

Goal: Weave a few more repeats before I leave on Sunday. Weaving is NOT portable.

Blue BLF with a Twinkle
Last but not least, this is spun from some lovely carded batts from Keri (her Etsy shop is empty at the moment but she has wonderful little project bags too). There’s just a touch of Angelina carded in for the subtlest sparkle in the spun singles. I’m spinning a bit thicker grist than usual (for me) and will chain-ply for an aran weight yarn to knit a Tudora neck warmer. The BFL is really soft, and I’m letting little inconsistencies into the singles so I’ll end up with a slightly tweedy (in texture not in color) finished yarn.

Blue BFL on the bobbin
Please ignore my uneven singles and just click for big to see the little sparklies

Goal: I’m going to see if I can spin the second 2oz before I leave, or alternatively take this as sit-n-spin fiber at SOAR.

So, I’ll see you after spinning camp and a quick visit to my Sister at the Delaware Water Gap!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

FO: Weaving - Tropical Handtowels

Handtowel-002 Border Detail

My first project woven on the big Toika loom, Yay!

I wanted to weave a simple, mostly plain weave project just to shake down the loom and get a feel for how it weaves. So, I planned a set of handtowels with a random stripe warp (the longwise threads) in colors to match the crazy pink bathroom’s shower curtain, and wanted to try several simple twill and basketweave borders that could be woven with a straight threading and treadle tie-up for 2/2 twill. Desired finished size ~ 12 x 18” plus fringe.

Handtowel-002 Done

Knitters, this is what those scary looking cones of really skinny cotton are for. The yarn is about laceweight to heavy laceweight, and I even mistakenly bought one cone of 20/2 cotton that’s the size of cobweb-weight, but decided to use it anyway for a little extra texture. It weaves up fast though – the actual weaving time on these was just a few hours. Setting up is the time-consuming part of the process.

The colors look great together, and I like my mis-matched borders. I had a number of missed threads on the reverse, since I think the cotton occasionally sticks to itself. But, otherwise, the cotton was easy to weave, and I’m still working on the right combination of tension on the warp threads and how hard to beat in the weft (the crosswise threads) to get a balanced weave (same number of picks per inch as ends per inch, or same number of threads longwise and crosswise for plain weave). My fabric did shrink more in length than width though with a machine wash and dry, so the finished fabric is closer to being balanced, and I think it looks better.

Handtowel-002 Borders

Since I was asked at weaving guild, the edges had no special treatment. I didn’t use a floating selvedge since there was going to be so little twill. I did twist the colors together at the right edge and catch the edge thread on the left with the shuttle on pattern picks. Mostly, I try to weave reasonably quickly, at an even pace, and without fussing with the edges so that a steady rhythm will even out my edges.

It will take me a while to get settled on an ergonomic weaving position on this loom, but otherwise, once I finally figured out how to tie-up the treadles (the foot thingies) to the harnesses (the eyelets the threads go through that, in part, determine the pattern) for a decent shed (the open area between the threads where you throw the shuttle across), it was easy to weave countermarch (a loom type where some harnesses go up and some go down at the same time, on a jack loom they only go up or down). I’ll set up something with a bit more complicated threading or treadling for the next project though.

Project: Handtowel-002
Pattern: Plain Weave and Twill
Technique: Twill and Basketweave borders
Source: Chandler, Learning to Weave
Loom: Toika Norjaana
# Harnesses: 4
Reed: 10 dent
Width in reed: 14.5” 13.5” after draw-in
Warp yarn(s): Cottons from Stony Mountain Fibers in 8/2, 10/2, 20/2
Sett: 23 epi
Weft yarn(s): Same as Warp
Picks per inch: 18
Width: Off the loom unwashed 13.25” / Washed 12.75”
Length: Off the loom unwashed 22 - 23” / Washed 19 – 19.5"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Assortment of Projects

It’s like a Whitman’s Sampler of the fiber arts and projects around here lately. Welcome to my knitting, spinning, weaving, and ham radio blog! Wanna see some FO’s?

While in Mathews last week, we finished the Hubs’ second radio tower.

Heron Haven 130' Tower - last section up

Yes, that’s the Hubs up there at 130 feet. No, I do not climb up there.

Heron Haven 130' Tower - PHB at the top

But, his is a hobby that makes anything I want to undertake seem reasonable, small, and inexpensive by comparison. For example:

Me: I think I’d like to take up weaving.

Hubs: Well then, you should get a loom.

Me: Umm, I may have already found some used looms on craigslist.

Hubs: Looms? How many looms?

So, now you will have to endure my noob weaving for a while. First, I wove off the warp that was on the Baby Wolf when I bought it. Some sort of lineny-cottony blend, and it worked perfectly with the cottolin I had on hand to make a nice, simple dishtowel with a monk’s belt border.

Dishtowel 01-3  border

Pattern: Plain Weave, with Monk’s Belt border, pattern on page 98 of Dixon’s Handweaver’s Pattern Directory.
Woven on: Schacht Baby Wolf, using 4 of 8 harnesses
Warp: Mystery cotton-blend
Weft: Cottolin, 22/2, Cream and Green, from Weaving Works
Finished Size: 17 x 27”, hemmed

Handspun Twill Scarf:
Then, I unwove the scarf I had started on the little table loom as it was taking FOREVER to weave. I did in fact unweave almost three feet of scarf, take the warp off the loom, untangle it a bit, wrap it on the warping board, then beam it onto the BW. Oh yes I did. This was one of those “only a beginner would do something dumb like this because they don’t know any better.” But, hey, it worked!

Goblin Eyes Twill Scarf - 2

The warp is sock yarn (very stretchy, which was a challenge, but soft) and the weft is my handspun(!) Romney from last year’s Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club. The scarf is woven in a simple 2/2 twill which I think really shows off the texture of the handspun, and doesn’t fight too much with the subtle serendipitous stripes.

The scarf has had a soak and a little agitation by hand, much as I would wet finish yarn that I want to set and full just a bit. I used fairly hot water in a big pot, some Eucalan, and dunked the scarf a number of times, rolled it in a towel, then hung to dry.

Goblin Eyes Twill Scarf - 8

Pattern: Straight 2/2 Twill with plain weave borders and knotted fringe
Woven on: Schacht Baby Wolf, using 4 of 8 harnesses
Warp: Tess' Designer Yarns Super Socks & Baby, in a semi-solid dark chocolate brown, 1 skein, 450 yds, used every bit of it.
Weft: Handspun Romney, Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club, October 2007, Goblin Eyes colorway, ~350 yds fingering/sportweight.
Finished Size: 11 x 74”, plus fringe

So, then, I spent a week trying to figure out exactly how to set up and tie-up the Toika loom. And now I know why you do in fact need to have a warp on a countermarch loom to make the tie-up work, despite the loom instructions' claims to the contrary. The beginner wins some and loses some.

I dressed the loom with a very bright random striped warp of 8/2 and 10/2 cotton for a set of handtowels to match the shower curtain in our crazy pale coral pink 50’s tile bathroom. The plan was to weave something simple and fast just to get the feel of the loom, and not get too fussy about little missed threads here and there. Each towel has a different border of twill or basketweave, and will be finished with a short fringe unless I change my mind and hem them all.

Handtowel-02 On the loom
Need some shades to look at these

No more photos of these until the Hubs gets back to Charlottesville with my camera.

Then, I found a sweet little spinning wheel for sale on Ravelry. It’s a 70’s vintage Pipy Saxony, from New Zealand (again, the link will have to do until the camera gets home). The wheel is small enough to pop in the car, 16” wheel, single-treadle, double-drive or scotch tension, with a very “polite” take-up that will be just right for spinning thin. Along with the wheel, it’s former owner Sarah sent me some beautiful hand-dyed BFL in teal blue and violet from her Etsy shop. Mmmm, BFL.

Speaking of BFL, while the Hubs is up on the tower, or while we’re waiting for the wind to die down enough for him to get any work done at the top of the tower, I get long breaks and have learned to bring lots of knitting and my spinning wheel along. Last FO of the day is a skein of brown BFL hand-dyed by Gale Evans, who was a classmate at the Folk School in January, and who has her own Etsy shop. I spun this over a period of a couple of months, so the grist of the singles varied quite a bit, and I decided a the last minute to Navajo-ply which means the thin and thick spots didn’t get a chance to even each other out as they would in a standard 2-ply. But, I liked the idea of preserving the color changes instead of blending as this roving had real potential to ply up to be sort of muddy. I fought the wheel at a few points as well which left me with odd bits of plying. But, overall, I love how the skein turned out, and think I see some stranded mittens being knit with this.

BFL Deep Blue Sea-03

Fiber/Starting Weight: Brown Blue-Faced Leicester, ~4oz.
Purchased from: Gale’s Art, at the Folk School, colorway Deep Blue Sea
Spun with: Lendrum DT, fast-flyer, middle whorl 15:1 / moderate tension
Plies/Method: 3-ply / Navajo
WPI/Gauge/TPI: ~14wpi / DK to Light Worsted / 9tpi
Yardage/Finished Wt: 215yds / 3.6oz
Started: June 2008
Completed: 9/18/2008
Intended Project: Mittens maybe?


Saturday, August 30, 2008

No More Humdrum Mittens Swap Three

They’re Back!

After a wonderful mitten swap this past Winter/Spring, I’ve signed up for No More Humdrum Mittens Swap Three. And, I’ve enticed another local knitting pal, Norwegian-knitter-extraordinaire Vilde to join too. It may be dueling Selbu mittens at SnB soon! So, two posts in two days, I don't expect to keep this up, but here are my answers to the mitten questionnaire.

How long have you been knitting & how did you learn?
Five and a half dog years. That sounds way better than how many years since I was ten or eleven. What I remember is that we learned to knit a garter stitch square at school for a class afghan project. I learned to knit, forgot, and learned again a time or two or three. About every five years or so, I'd decide I wanted to knit something, knit it, then leave knitting alone for a while. I bought a copy of Knitting Without Tears about twenty years ago, and that was my main source of instruction for a long time. Since finding my way back to knitting, I've taken lots of classes and a couple of trips to Stitches, but most things I figure out on my own.

Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I think I'll have to say advanced. I consider myself a collector of knitting techniques, though I've rarely knit entire projects with most of them.

What are your favorite colors? Any you dislike?
Like: Purples, Blues, and Greens. Also, natural sheepy Grays, Browns, and Black. Dislike: Hunter Orange and Lemon Yellow. I like rich colors (even if they are light) better than pale pastels.

Do you like Latvian type patterns? If so, what are your favorite patterns?
Oh yes! I finally got a copy of Lizbeth Upitis’ Latvian Mittens book and though I haven't knit any, I love the motifs and color combinations. No favorites.

Do you desire mittens for yourself, your "special someone else" or your child?
For myself, please.

What is the measurement from your wrist to the tip of your longest finger?

What is the circumference of your hand at it's widest point?

What other things do you enjoy knitting?
Lace and socks.

What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs circs, bamboo vs aluminum) Addi Lace circulars. Also, in my comprehensive needle collection are regular Addis and KnitPicks Options and the occasional Harmony.

What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make?
Still have entrelac on my list of things to try that I haven't gotten around to yet.

What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with?
I’m a little curious to try CTH Possum Sock and Louet Mooi (bamboo, bison, and cashmere, what’s not to like?)

What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden? Cook?
Spinning, brand new weaver, not enough gardening (you should see the weeds this year), a little cooking, occasional beading.

Besides yarn, do you collect anything?
You mean like my new hobby of collecting looms?

What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? Anything you hate or are allergic to?
Dark Chocolate. I'm allergic to walnuts and cashews.

Do you have any kids? Pets?
Evil step-monster to four. It’s OK, they’re grown. Three cats who do like me! (local knitting friends will know why this is amusing)

What is your favorite part of Winter?
Clear skies and bare lacy tree branches.

What is your least favorite part of Winter?
Freezing drizzle.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Lost my blog voice for a while. Longer than I intended.

Rather than try to catch you all up on everything that has happened – a daunting prospect which has pretty much prevented me from even trying, here are the Cliff Notes. Went back to Seattle for a week, moved my Mom to Cville, nephew visited for ten days, the Hubs had eye surgery, we have lots of new client work, cleared out late FIL’s house, knitting a little, spinning a teeny bit, I took up weaving and bought three looms.

Looms - Baby Wolf and Toika
Schacht Baby Wolf, 26", 8H jack loom and Toika Norjaana, 40", 8H, countermarche loom

Yes, that's only two. Here's the third.
Loom - Northwest Pioneer Designer
Northwest Pioneer "Designer", 15", 8H

That pretty much sums up the past three months.

Finished Scoop du Jour which will get it’s own post. Started a Comfy Sweater of Classic Silk that I found in Seattle.

Comfy Sweater - Waist Decreases
Such a lovely plum color that is so hard to photograph

After the Mystery Lace meltdown, I started and stopped a couple or three mystery shawls, then started Hazel Carter’s Sampler Stole from Gathering of Lace which is resting until cooler weather.

GoL Sampler Stole - Cast on
Yes, it looks like a big pile o’ because it’s lace

Also need to get back to work on the lovely nectarine-colored silk Heat Wave scarf from Wooly Wonka’s Change in Seasons lace club (Hi Anne!) And, I signed up for No More Humdrum Mittens Swap Three! Questionnaire to follow.

Yes, it does take nine months for me to knit a pair of socks. All the more ironic considering the size of my sock yarn stash.
STR Charade Sock Two - finally past the heel
STR Charade Socks, coming in the home stretch!

I’ve got pounds of free raw fleeces, fiber back from processing, and dyed rovings. And couldn’t figure out what to spin since I couldn’t envision what to knit with the yarns I saw in the fibers. So, I haven’t been spinning. Even though I was accepted to go to SOAR and Abby Franqemont’s workshop.

And then, like a little tickle at the back of the throat, I thought that maybe if I learned to weave I could weave faster than I can knit and would spin more. I’m not sure which is the gateway drug here, but it’s already too late.

Like I decided to spin, I have decided to weave. I bought a neat old table loom from a Raveler, and signed up for a week of classes with a wonderful local weaving teacher Laurie Duxbury (scroll to the bottom of THIS page). I was warping and weaving in no time, and found myself really inspired to pursue this new craft. I even got to finish a project of two handtowels during my week!

Sampler Scarf-01 Class sampler = scarf for the Hubs
Obligatory newbie weaver sampler = scarf

Weaving Class Handtowels
Cotton handtowels with monk’s belt borders

Weaving Class Handtowels - Detail of Monks Belt borders
The borders, how cool is that?

So, that’s my icebreaker. I plan to be back around the blog more, and reading and commenting on your blogs, and I’ll tell you more about lace and sweaters and weaving and spinning soon. And, Yes, Krista, I miss you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Did you miss me?

Greetings from the Chesapeake Bay. Here's a Saturday Sky as proof I'm back on the East Coast.

Heron Haven - 20080510

I had a wonderful time in Seattle! Hanging out with my nephews for almost three weeks, when I usually get to see them once a year at best, was just what I wanted it to be. A chance to get to know them better, who they are growing up to be, and what their life is like. Seeing someone on vacation, on a visit far from home, and rushing to do lots of activities is at best a snapshot of who that person is, not a portrait.

Seattle is a fascinating place. The weather was just awful. I’m not making jokes about Seattle weather, it really was unseasonably cold, hailing, and rainy. But the “Emerald City” was green and full of blooming Spring flowers. I’m not a cold weather or a hot weather person, and I dream of a temperate climate like the Pacific Northwest. Rather than try to post them here, go to my Flickr set and see the slideshow for a walk around the Washington Park Arboretum.

There are many yarn shops. I know there are several that I missed, but I’ll be back for a few days in June. Here are a few that I did visit. You know, just to look.

Weaving Works: Where I taught Boy #3 to spin. Knitting and Weaving yarns, Spinning fibers, supplies, equipment, and workshops. A nice friendly comfortable shop with good selection of yarns and fibers. I brought home a pretty Cascade drop spindle to practice spinning with the nephews, but resisted the yarn. Near the U-Dub (University District)

Bad Woman Yarn: A wonderful shop in the Wallingford Center, small in size but packed with lovely yarns. Lots of hand-dyes, organics, and luxury yarns. Some Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace came away with me for a mystery stole.

Acorn Street Shop: A welcoming shop with a beautiful selection, and lots of pretty summer yarns. Some spinning supplies as well as knitting. I succumbed to a sweater’s worth of Classic Elite Classic Silk in a yummy Plum color. Near University Village.

Hilltop Yarn: Worth the trip all the way to the top of the hill in Queen Anne. Also small, but with a wonderful selection, including lots of Rowan yarns and indie hand-dyes. Found some Addi’s I needed there.

Tricoter: Whether you like things organized by color or not, it certainly makes for a pretty shop. This is the place for high-end and luxury yarns, attentive service, and the offer to write a custom pattern to your measurements for any yarn from the shop. Drawn immediately to the wall o’ cashmere, I did try to resist, but was helpless against the charms of some pretty blue Tahki Cashmere 7000 for the Persephone Scarf. Located in Madison Park.

And, though I did get to knit some, the second sock languishes, and the second mitten wonders where the love is.

I did knit the first clue for the Mystery Lace KAL (and got caught up in some of the drama)(it became a massive trainwreck)(no links for this one as it’s gone). But that is behind me, and I’ve started Renee’s Spring Mystery Stole instead with the lovely Silky Alpaca Lace, and will knit a bit until I see what the clues are shaping up to look like.

Spring Mystery Shawl - Clue 1
The pearly beads are BACK!

But the Scoop du Jour cardigan has been the darling of the WIP pile.

Scoop du Jour - Back and Sleeves

It is fast. It is easy. It is fun. Using the sleeves-as-giant-swatch method, both are done. The back is DONE! I’ve started a front. I may actually finish this thing. In time for shorts and bathing suit weather, but whatever.

Scoop du Jour - Left Front Started

So, there’s a long update. I’ve been neglecting the blog something awful. It takes me a long time to write long posts, because I feel like I want you to have Content. But I miss the blog, and will try some quick shorter posts for a while to stay in touch better.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WIP Wednesday – Soccer Aunt

(Three boys x two teams each) + violin lessons + (missed school bus x 2) + (mixed up dr appointments x 2) + three grocery stores + (Lowes x 2) + three yarn shops = many miles.

I’m getting a bit of knitting done though. It’s been hectic, but since I usually only get to see my nephews about once a year, and on hurried vacation visits, it’s been so great just being a part of regular life here. There’s a week to go in Seattle, and I already miss my Boys.

And while I’ve had some time to check blogs, I’ve been terribly remiss on comments, and owe everyone a Thank You for comments left here in the past two weeks.

WIP’s in Active Rotation:

Charade Socks:
Charade Sock #2 has suffered terrible neglect in favor of brighter shinier projects. So sad! But, I have a long plane ride home and socks make better travel knitting than sweaters or lace.

Goal: Knit past the heel before I get home

Scoop du Jour:
Just started this sweater last week, and it's moving fast. I swatched, but still wanted to get some real knitting in to check my gauge since I know I’m a teensy bit off the 4.5spi called for. I just felt the fabric was going to be a bit loose for the winter sweater I’m visualizing. So, I started with the sleeves, have finished one (my goal from last week), and am past the deep ribbing and into the increases on the second!

Scoop du Jour - First Sleeve Done

I’m such a sock and laceweight knitter most of the time, that this heavy worsted weight seems to grow by leaps and bounds. Gotta keep at it though and not get let myself get distracted. Still loving the Mountain Colors 4/8’s. It’s nice and smooth, soft but doesn’t seem like it’s going to be pilly, and it’s fast.

Scoop du Jour - colors

Goal: Finish Sleeve Two. Maybe cast on the Back?

Scoop du Jour - Second sleeve

Mystery Lace Stole:
Umm, Startitis? What Startitis?
A new mystery lace KAL that caught my eye. A quick trip to Bad Woman Yarn later, I cast on and knit Clue 1, once with beads and once without (the first clue was very small). I’m going with the non-bead edging as it means about a thousand fewer beads. I like the beads, really I do. But, one thousand extra beads. No.

Mystery Lace 1 Stole - Clue 1 without beads
Without Beads, Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace, mmmmmm

Mystery Lace 1 Stole - Clue 1 with beads
With Beads

Goal: Clue 2 may be delayed a few days, so this may go on the plane with me, or may have to wait until I’m home next week.

Boy #3 Wristies:
He wants wristies. I knit wristies.

Floyd's wristie
In the running to be favorite Aunt

I’ve got to tell you that this is the Boy who loves projects – though his sticking with things needs a little work. I taught him to knit on a visit a couple of years ago. He sat down at a wheel and I taught him to spin in an hour. We’ve repaired the toilet flapper, and practiced soldering. The light in the breakfast nook needs to be fixed. He cooks and has poured concrete. He has more power tools than his Dad. He’s 12.

WIP’s On Hold:

Bird in Hand Mittens:
Sorry BiH! I’ll be back.

Startitis Alert:
Who knows what tomorrow will bring in the way of temptation.