Saturday, July 20, 2013

PS on the yarn

Here is a photo of the yarns that I will combine for the project that I described in the last post. There are two shades of Debbie Bliss Angel and two of Skaska lace weight merino. Mmmmm. 

On the road

Off to Montreal, Ottawa, Wakefield today to visit family and the Three Crazy Knitters: Juie, Maureen and Kathryn The current post (Jun 24th) shows Kat's new studio. I hear that she has given up her day job and is painting and dyeing full time. I am looking forward to visiting Riverside Studio this week. Her merino singles are gorgeous.

First I must get out of Rochester. My first flight was cancelled. I was to fly through Philly but am now flying west to Minneapolis in order to fly east from here to Montreal. Crazy. If I get there on time it will have taken 14 hours to fly what normally takes 5.5 hours to drive. Don't ask.

In the meantime, I am catching up on the knitting blogs. There seems to be rash of people posting photos of their ancestors. I'll have to see what I can come up with.

Here's my current edging from Heirloom Knitting. My idea is to knit it to about 70 or 80 percent of the desired length and cast off. Then pick up all along the inside edge and knit a stripe of a similar width. Cast off, then pick up for another stripe.

I'll use a different combination of the Angel mohair and the Skaska for each stripe. I'm struggling to download the right photos, but here's what I have so far. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I've probably given up on about half the sweaters that I ever started. And, if I finish a sweater, there's a good chance that no one will actually wear it without serious adjustments. Witness my Lopi, my Minimalist Cardigan, and the Mark II among others.  Bit Red seemed to be a success at first, but later I learned that the giftee secretly tried to shrink it and then gave it away. There are other tales. My sweaters have accidentally been tipped into washing machines, adopted as dressing gown liners, and re-purposed as cat beds. 

But I never give up. I keep at it. Sometimes I manage success. The North Sea Jacket worked out well and I wear it often. Sometime in March, I volunteered to test knit Copperline for Eileen Vito. It turned out well and I took it to Iceland where I wore it daily under my winter coat during our whirlwind car trip through the Eastern Fjords. 

Then I volunteered to knit BFL Sweater for Kuduja.  I loved the entire process and the end result as well. I really enjoyed knitting with Anna and the other test knitters. Plus I learned a whole new method of knitting a sweater from top down.

I used Madeline Tosh Merino Light. Not the hardest wearing yarn perhaps, but it turned out well. I have washed it several times and it continues to look good. The sleeves are knit into the armscyes from shoulder to cuff.

I liked this pattern so much that I made a second one in a more alarming shade of blue. Here, the yarn is a true sock yarn, for which the pattern was written. It is Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors II sock yarn which people swear is the same as Tosh sock. I haven't done it yet, but I intend to wash this sweater in the machine.

I have a few other sweaters in the works but I am on shaky ground with them. I have a couple of commitments to get through, before I get back to knitting more sweaters.

Back in the winter, I promised to show you the shawl that I was working on for a friend's wedding. Well, maybe I didn't promise, but I was planning on promising. Here it is, Jane Sowerby's A Curved Shawl with Diamond Edging, from the book, Victorian Knitting Today. 

In other news, the local Morello cherries are ripe and preserves are being made from them. Fingers crossed.

Monday, July 1, 2013

It's like this...

Let there be radishes! Black Spanish radishes! We grew these last year too, but they quickly bolted. We only had a few meals out of them, but I saved all the seeds and planted 4 rows on Memorial Day (May 27th). They are longer to harvest than regular radishes and won't be ready until late August. If they bolt again, I'll just save the seeds and try again in cooler weather. It's been pretty cool though. 

Can't believe I haven't written here since February! I have been knitting like mad. I grappled with my sweater issues and completed three between March and the beginning of June. They were two test knits , one of which I liked so much that I knit it twice.

The first was my friend Eileen Vito's Copperline, which you can see here in Ravelry. Copperline is a long sport weight cardigan with a cabled yoke and lovely detailing along the seams. I knit my version in two colours.

Then I wore it to Iceland. Whirlwind one-week trip. More on this later, but how about this Lopi?!

OKAY, that's it for tonight. More soon.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I take it back

I said I was tired of winter. I lied. I've been throwing myself into snow drifts and making snow angels for 24 hours now. Loving it.

5 pm:

10 pm:

10 am:

But mostly I am thrilled that I was able to frolic in the snow without my ankles giving out on me. I remember last winter when I could hardly walk downstairs while having all that reno going on at home and I am grateful.

In knitting, at our guild last month some of us started sock circles. There are 5 people in mine. Each person starts a pair of socks for themselves. We're doing top down, so you knit the cuff and halfway down the leg. Then you pass it on to the next person. Month by month, each member of the circle knits part of someone else's pair of socks. I started mine and passed it on. I'm using leftover red and blue bits of sock yarn. Hope it goes well. Here's what it looks like:

Friday, February 8, 2013

And now this...

There has been enough snow today to have a bit of fun. I hate to think about the fruit trees though. See how our birch is completely bent over....

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

An Unhemmed State

Winter seems to start afresh here in Western New York every week or two. Then the snow melts away and everything seems dull. And don't try to tell me about the days getting longer. I'm not having any of it. Winter's getting tired and I'm getting tired of it. Period.

In knitting, Fleurette and the Amaryllis Mittens are languishing on the end of the couch. I finished my relaxing project, a North Sea Scarf and just cast on for my fourth Swallowtail.  The living room curtains remain in an unhemmed state.

The wedding shawl is coming along nicely. Not so secret any more, I'm knitting the Curved Shawl from Victorian Knits Today. The main stitch, in fact the only stitch in this shawl, apart from the edging, is Birdseye, or Spider . I'm almost finished the body, just 2 or three more pattern repeats. Every couple of rows in the 12 row repeat features a series of double decreases, which I stupidly started out by following the original pattern and doing them as k3tog. I didn't want to change in the middle so I've kept at it and can only work on it for short periods since it makes my hands hurt. Of course, about halfway through, I read the side note, which suggests using other, less stressful double decreases such as sl2k1psso and the like. I now recall that I made the same mistake with the Trinity stitch from Barbara Walker once while knitting the centre of another shawl. Story of my life: forge ahead and repeat the mistakes of the past. Nevertheless, it is lovely. I have shown it to the bride and she has approved. I will be done by the end of February or else.

I won't show you what it looks like here now. It's too horrible, but here's what it was like on January 19th - a picnic in the park. Imagine. 

Have you seen these lovely aerial views of tulip fields yet? Mmmmm.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year

We received our first snow of the winter overnight on December 26th. It's barely stopped since. It makes going for a walk a bit more challenging than usual but it's a
bsolutely gorgeous to look at.

Here are some things that I would like to knit in the coming months. Excuse the margins.

1) Finish my Fleurette II cardigan. I have only the top of the sleeves to do and to put it all together.

2) Knit up the Amaryllis Mittens kit that I won as a prize last year in NaKniMitMo 2012 during the month of January.

3) Knit a secret wedding shawl before the beginning of March.

4) Chug along on my current North Sea Shawl, a very relaxing project, pictured below.

5) Hem and press the bleeping living room curtains that I recently sewed and hung in place, also pictured below. The ones in the previous post only cover half the windows. I had a complete pair of beautiful, pale green ones that I found in the Salvation Army in Bath, NY, but the fabric was disintegrating. I'm blessed/cursed with 5 windows on a curved foundation. I priced out custom drapes and was horrified at the price. I bought new fabric for these, used the existing curtain rod and hooks, but had to order pleating tape on the internet! If you knew what I went through originally to concoct the curtain rings... I'm convinced there's a plot against decent homemade curtains. It's so hard to get everything you need. Some things, like those I-beam rods have ceased to exist. I      could have sewn the pleats, but these will be adjustable down the road, if I ever move elsewhere.

PS. Helen - wow, a litter of white kittens!