Tuesday, January 31, 2006

red scarf done and gone

One red scarf, delivered for The Red Scarf Project.
Not truly red but shown here, proof that its, um, winterberry red. Those might be beach rosehips but I'm a little lame on botany. I guess I did that local color thing again. Call me simple.
A reversible cable that looks more cable-y blocked out.
I'm now enamored of reversible cables for scarves. I found this pattern which goes on my long long list of Scarfs I Hope To Get To.

I'd just love to make photos of all the scarves that showed up for this at the Orphan Foundation headquarters. Wish I'd thought of it sooner.

And one last pair of fingerless mitts for Nona's KAL. lastpair

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Not related to this post but how can you not love this antique photo? The photo studio was in Maine, not in a circus town . Maybe they were just passing through...... maybe they weren't with the circus at all. Maybe they were three wealthy midgets in a little Maine town.
Ahem. Back to knitting.
yarn: so, do you know that you only have a few more days for the Red Scarf project?
me: uh-huh
yarn: what's taking so long? I mean, its just a scarf, and I'm not some delicate fiber on a toothpick, y'know.
me: well, um, I had trouble getting you into the right pattern.
yarn: yeah, not only that, once you drowned me in koolaid, you weren't that happy with me.
me: I like your color, but you sucked it up so evenly, I wanted more of the hand-dyed look.
yarn: Hello? I am Lion Brand Fishermans Wool, the workhorse of the wools. Not some fancy pants handspun from Name Brand Sheep breeds.
me: I know...but..
yarn: Then you couldn't accept me as I am. First you tried some scalloped stitches, next you got all grouchy on that pattern that you kept screwing up the third line (and it was unsuitable, too. Ha!) Third try, you took out a favorite drop stitch scarf and thought I could be one too, curled around some college student's nice young neck
hey, leave necks out of this.
yarn: I didn't say your neck wasn't nice & young, did I? Anyway, you still couldn't accept me. That scarf is baby alpaca. You knit it on thinner needles. Me, I'm no drapey fiber. You double stranded me and what did I become?nope
me: something that would be perfect for keeping on a sofa for TV watching in a drafty room. Not a scarf to send as a gift. You were big and crafty looking, but not in a post-modern ironic Urban Outfitters way. You're too sproingy for that pattern. No drape.
yarn: Then you finally see me for what I am?
me: yeah. A Fishermans Wool needs a cable and a moss stitch. The reversible cable in the back of Scarf Style is meant for you. yep (see Suzanne? I do use the book!) And if you'll just be quiet, you'll be at Einstein Bagels by Tuesday...
yarn: Norma's right. They're just gonna plotz .

Sunday, January 15, 2006

go red (or not) scarf project!

When Norma let everyone know about the Red Scarf Project, for college kids who've aged out of foster care and are out on their own, I was thrilled. Not that I need a new knit. I'm up to my knuckles - literally- in fingerless mitts . Then there's my quest for the ultimate warm hat for myself, my yearning for a skull & bones pirate patterned hat, started sweaters......

Nope. The reason I am thrilled to drop it all to knit a red scarf right away is that kids who age out of foster care need advocacy. I'll go on about this further down, I'll do the yarn stuff first.
Consider this a chance to switch gears, try a new stitch, do a bulky knit. Me? I hit the koolaid shelf at the local market.
That's a half skein of Lions Brand Fishermans Wool soaking in Berry Cherry with a bit of Grape. The second half got Tropical Punch, Berry Cherry & Orange.donedye1 Good thing the scarf doesn't have to be red, I call these Bright Coral and Chinese Red. The yarn is good for dying with KoolAid, it got nice and soft in the process. And the process itself....the moment when you drag it out of the dye and see that the yarn is colored and the water is clear: magic!

Consider a red scarf as a little break and a great cause this week, woncha?birddone

Basics: knit a red (or other color) scarf and get it to an Einsteins Bagel by the end of January.

To the soapbox: truthfully, I'd never thought about what happens to kids when they turn 18 years old and age out of foster care. In 2003, I was hired to photograph for a book on the subject, On Their Own: What Happens to Kids When They Age Out of Foster Care. Its very readable, by a wonderful journalist who'd followed 10 kids as they made their way in the world after foster care ended. Two had died, I spent time photographing the other eight, in whatever circumstance they were in. The kids had big issues to deal with and they were truly on their own. Each kid talked about small gestures making a big difference. Several mentioned life events - like a college graduation - when no one came to see them reach that moment. All of them inspired me with their resiliency.

More info at www.orphan.org or from The Jim Casey Youth Opportunity Initiative, a foundation that advocates for successful transitions to adulthood for kids who've aged out of foster care.

Soapbox pushed back under the sofa. Now git knittin'.

P.S. rock chick is onto this too. And you know how cool she is.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

local colorway

Here are fingerless mitts I've been knitting. I like how they look but couldn't figure out why I like the colors together.


Until I paid attention to what I like looking at around the 'hood.


Simple minded ? or inspired? You be the judge......hey! be nice!

For the record, the odd green is a skein of vintage Brown Sheep, from when they used to have 100% wool, originally natural colored, dyed with koolaid, and the brown is Alfa Maskin Vaskbar, a Norwegian wool/mohair blend.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

the perfect doesn't ring twice

I thought I'd found my perfect hat when I finished the Monmouth Cap for my bro-in-law. To recap (sorry) here's the FO shot and a bad snapshot of it in action.
I decided it'd be my perfect hat too, and this is what happened. Do you love how I phrased that as if I wasn't responsible for the outcome?
monmouthbig. Good thing I'm wearing my nerdiest glasses, or it'd fall over my face in all its lumpy organically textured glory.

What went wrong? Much. My sort of remedy was a consultation with Kay, my felting coach, who got me through to an acceptable version. But its so not perfect.

Monmouth Cap, the Not-So-Great Version

pattern: Monmouth Cap by Sarah Bradberry. Its a great design, don't hold this one against her.
yarns: the blue is Madil Pierrot and the green, knit held double, is Frog Tree, both merino wools.
needles: size 9us dpn
notes: Where to begin? Ok for starters, the blue yarn is wonderful but a bad choice. Its a thick & thin yarn, all wrong for this pattern. I started out knitting it held double, which was way too thick. I then started over single weight, its supposed to be bulky weight according to the yarn band.
Besides looking too lumpy, it completely threw the gauge off. And, because of the thin sections and the gauge change(I guess) the yardage didn't go as far as it should have so I needed to use a lot of a second yarn .
I happen to love this second yarn - the Frog Tree is so soft, so well-dyed to an interesting saturated shade and made by a non-profit women's cooperative - I mean, why haven't you stopped reading and ordered some now - but this design looks dorky in stripes.

So, to review, wrong yarn, bad design choice and wrong gauge. Small head. Stubborn woman. The lightly felted version is still too wide but the length is better. Its warm, and I'll wear it. But I'm already planning another hat for myself.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

keeping it simple


I made a whole honking list of new years knitting resolutions and saw that they were boring.

So, I'm keeping it simple:

No more thinking about knitting while doing yoga.
Thinking about yoga while knitting, though rare, is OK.

Namaste. And happy new year!