Monday, December 24, 2012


I'm so thankful to have my daughter with us for a few days. We're trying to finish up sewing new curtains for the living room and are otherwise generally laying about and catching up.

I wish you all good health and cheer!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Lesson 1 for me. The Blogger iphone app places the most recently uploaded photo first. Hence the unfortunate reversal of tea cat and Bruno cat in yesterday's post. Sorry 'bout that.

A quick update about Fleurette II. I am still on the sleeves. It's been so warm here that on Sunday I was able to sit outside and knit for an hour while my better half circled around the woods. Still, slow progress.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Checking in

I'm trying out posting from my phone. If there's too much pointless babble from my end, I'll stop this and go back to regular posting.

I managed to make 92 shortbread cookies this evening. It was the first baking in my gas oven and it went really well. Ooh, that's 5 grams of butter per cookie. Too much?

Here are some of them, unbaked, under the watchful eye of the tea cat. Plus a bonus photo of the gorgeous Bruno.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Thanks, everyone for your comments. It's so good to hear from you.

September will stand as the peak month of 2012 in my mind, but hey, what happened to October and November? I find that if I don't mark the time in some way, it is hard for me to remember much that happened, or if I remember an event, a vacation, a visit, a walk, etc, then I can't remember when it happened. What would I remember of my knitting projects if I didn't track them on Ravelry? It doesn't bear thinking about. Sorry for bringing it up. 

Earlier today, I browsed through my photos to garner some hints about what went on in October/November, with little success. All I have to show are a few blurry shots of half finished objects and some hackneyed nature scenes.

In October I gathered these seeds from the special Russian radishes (red'ka) that we grew from seed this year. The radishes were spectacular, unlike everything else that I tried to grow. I'm hoping that the seeds will sprout more plants next year.

Both October and November were beautiful months in Western New York.

Here is what the south coast of Lake Ontario looks like. Big beach. Big water.

I wish that I had kept a better picture of this project. It's a shawl that I knit for my Auntie Margaret. It turned out so well, it's lucky that it made it into the mail. I used two different colours of Malabrigo Silky Merino, the perfect soft yarn to place near your neck. I knit it without a pattern, but I was inspired by looking at photos of Veera Välimäki's 3/4 Hap shawl. It's a fairly traditional style. My version has a quasi Stahmanesque beginning.

Somewhere in there, I tested a pattern, Hunter's Moon for Eileen Vito, aka Ironknitter. I had never knit a bottom up shawl before. The idea of casting on hundreds of stitches and working your way down to zero really appeals to me. Just think, you get past the seemingly endless portion of the knitting at the beginning of the pattern rather than running into it at the end. This pattern has a lovely, gently wavy edging.

A friend broke some bones in her foot at some point and got a cast. I knit her this cast sock.

I knit my sister these silk fingerless mittens. She picked the yarn. I just knit them.

And finally, I ordered a new black coat online. When it arrived, I found it to have magenta peeking out from the lining. This called for a Madelinetosh scarf.

Other things doubtless took place as well. What they were will be lost in time.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


September seems so long ago now. This is Lac de Ste Croix near the Gorges de Verdon in Southern France. We stayed two weeks in a the lovely hill top village of Tourtour and then a couple of days in Nice. I got on with my knitting, but I didn't see any yarn shops, people knitting, or people wearing hand knits. And no one offered to buy the shawl off my shoulders. Texas it ain't.

From Nice, we took a train to Menton, near the Italian border and climbed to the highest point in the town. This was taken near the bottom, showing that the top isn't always the nicest.

You may remember Fleurette, a lacy cardigan which I designed and knit in 2008.  I had originally intended to knit a loose, hip length garment, but it quickly became clear that my 9 skeins of Koigu wouldn't make more than a short, fitted cardigan. Here is the swatch for Fleurette II, my vacation knitting. 

I'm having another go at knitting what I originally intended. The yarn is Socrates, by Alpaca with a twist (30% Merino, 30% Alpaca, 20% Nylon, 20% Bamboo). Come to think of it, that's 50% stretchy sock weight yarn with no memory. It will be interesting to see how it wears. Will it get longer and longer?

I've done the front and the back so far, more or less following what I did the first time around, but making it longer in the body and in the sleeves. I'm currently working on the sleeves, which will be set-in. I have high hopes, even though I'm planning as I go. If it doesn't work out then it will become a dressing gown liner. Either way, I'll show it to you when I block the pieces.

The only piece of knitting that I finished in September was a pair of brown socks for my uncle, who really appreciates them. I'll stop here and next time I'll cover October and, perhaps, will get back in the habit of writing here. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lovingly Begun

One evening a few weeks ago, the discussion at the Yarn Boutique turned to the second hand craft shop in Fairport, NY - Craft Bits and Pieces. It's in the plaza upstairs from the Fairport Public Library. Run by volunteers, this shop takes in, sorts, and sells used craft supplies at low prices, all to raise money for elders. Great idea, right?

Someone told a story about someone else who picked up a passle of Addi's there at a buck a piece. Urban myth or true tale? We talked about a section of the shop that I have never noticed but which I find intriguing - Lovingly Begun. Apparently they regularly take in unfinished projects and the supplies to finish them. The volunteers tidy them up and package them together for sale. I don't get out to Fairport often, but when I do, I always stop by, if only to peruse the 80's patterns. 

And here's my own "lovingly begun project." Some years ago, too many to say, I made a garage sale purchase that included 21 blue and white knit squares. I can't remember what else was bundled with them, maybe some of those scary plastic clown heads I keep tripping over upstairs,  Each square is knit in a different textured pattern, probably from a stitch dictionary. Fibre unknown, probably acrylic dk weight. They did come with half a skein of black yarn. The other night, the person next to me complained that his feet were cold from the air conditioning and couldn't I make some kind of, you know, cloth for him. I remembered the squares, and perhaps more amazingly I was able to lay my hands on them and the black yarn. Here they are, all crocheted together except for one lone square. Too bad I don't know who knit them.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Lakeside to Garden

My Ravelry project page says I started this in May, but you know I think it was April. 

Pattern: Cobweb Crepe by Sharon Miller
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock (2 skeins) for centre and Ambrosia (Knit One Crochet Too - 4.5 skeins) for the edging on 3.25 mm (US 3) needles.

The pattern calls for a larger Old Shale border, but I simply stopped knitting the border when I came to end of the 2nd skein of Malabrigo Sock and then looked for a yarn for the edging. I was severely enabled by my friends at the Yarn Boutique and ended up using Ambrosia, a merino, cashmere and silk blend. It's heavier than the Sock and to make up for that I caught up an extra stitch on every third return edging row. I like that the edging is slightly heavier and more sumptuous than the centre. Mmmm. All mine! 

Things seem finally to be settling down. My ankles are much better though I haven't dared a trip to the gym yet. A bit at a time. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The End of June: Watching Socks Dry

I don't have much to show this month. I'm still knitting away on the endless Clematis edging and a couple of pairs of socks. I don't seem to have what it takes to get on with the Pine Tree Palatine which is a shame since I'm past halfway through it. See it sitting here in its bag...

Meanwhile, far, far away, my daughter has washed all the socks that I've made for her over the years...


There are many socks in my kingdom, thinks Bruno.


They have all been washed and hung up to dry, guarded by the Boojums.

One sock, two sock, red sock, blue sock...

Boojums and Bruno: what a wonderful thing to have one's knitting appreciated!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

End of May

For the first time ever, I've had ripe strawberries in my garden during the month of May. I hear that there's been plenty of rain downstate while here, in Western New York we've been having a drought of sorts, very strange for May. My fingers are crossed for tomorrow. Right now, the peonies are blooming nicely.

It looks as though there will be an excellent gooseberry crop this year too. 

My tomato plants are still tiny. I planted them from seed, and late too, along with radishes, coriander and zinnias. What comes up, comes up. You can see the new fence here.

We have someone cutting the grass for us now as I am not up to doing my share. It's tremendously liberating, not have to think about the lawn. 

In Knitting

Looking back, I see that the workshop that I attended with Galina Khmeleva took place in 2007. Five years ago! We spent 2 days in a community building in the middle of a field near Utica, NY learning the ins and outs of Orenburg lace knitting from Galina, instructor supreme. I just love Russian teachers. My home room teacher in high school was from Odessa. There's no fussing, no guilt; either you complete the task at hand or you don't; plus hours of of wry humour and stories. Just don't point out your mistakes. And George. I wonder how George is doing?

If all goes well, I'll find out on July 8th, when I attend the advanced lace classes hosted by the Genesee Valley Handspinners' Guild (GVHG) in Victor, NY.

In preparation, I've hauled out my Pine Tree Palatine (scarf, shawl, baby blanket, throw?). It's three quarters done, so I should be able to complete it by then. Apparently I started knitting it in January 2008. I've set it up on my knitting table. Fortunately it didn't take long to figure out where I left off. Wish me luck!

In other knitting, I finished the gold and green curtains for the little window in the knitting room. The yarn is a mystery fibre, but I suspect rayon. I performed a burn test in the sink and there is definitely no silk in it. Sister F. is a witness to it. Now I'm having a h-ll of a time taking a good photo of them. Here they are with a pale yellow cloth pinned behind them. They need a lining. This will have to do for now.

I'm knitting the Clematis Edging on this shawl. I daren't call it a Cobweb Crepe, which is the name of the pattern because there's nothing cobwebby about it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday at the Lake

This was the most relaxing weekend since we started the renovation last Fall. On Saturday, we messed around in the garden, moving plants in preparation for a fence going up on Monday morning. Fingers crossed about that, but never mind.

On Sunday we took the Thruway to the rez, and then up to the lake, stopping for lunch on the way. It's a big lake. Usually there's a stiff breeze off it but at midday today, it was almost completely calm. 

K brought me a lawn chair to sit in since I'm still staggering around in a boot. Little waves were lapping on the shore...

I got going on my knitting while he went for a walk. This is the diamond knit centre for a Cobweb Crepe. Can't seem to get away from that pattern.

Lake Ontario is so big, you can't see the other side. Hmmm. Matching knitting.

Everything was perfect. There were masses of Admiral Butterflies landing on the Dandelions. Sorry, no photos of them. I didn't want to move.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Hour of the Red Bud Drags On...

This Red Bud tree has been blooming for over a month, since the mercury hit 85 F/ 30 C in early March and pushed many plants to flower early. We planted it soon after moving into our house  over a decade ago. My husband has trimmed and shaped it over the years. His careful work probably prevented the branches from breaking under the weight of the wet Spring snow that fell this past week.

This Birch is also very flexible, dare I say friendly. We planted it too, though it's not one of our favorites. It's tall and lopsided, like some loopy relative. We can't bear to get rid of it.

Our Lilacs didn't fare well at all and in fact one of them was uprooted under the weight and had to be taken out. In nearby Highland Park, which is home to more than a thousand Lilacs, there were many victims. Every time we drove to and from work, we saw piles of sawn off branches along the road.

The next day, the snow was all gone, and although the temperatures have fallen below freezing on several nights since, we're back to that Spring feeling. We just don't trust it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

That Spring photo

This is the Spring picture that I promised yesterday, but was unable to upload. We're having a gorgeous but uncharacteristically dry and drawn out season.