Sunday, August 27, 2006

my vacation? it was...Fetching

It really was.

Pattern: Fetching from Knitty

Yarn: Hopyards Spinnery Farmhouse Yarns. Andy's Merino in Magenta....I think. This was part of the grab bag I, umm, grabbed.

Notes, modifications and an excuse for why these look quite different than the pattern as written:
First off, the yarn is heavier, so I went down to size 5 needles. I cast on 40, instead of 45 stitches. When you're talking mitts, it gives them a different look with one less rib.

And speaking of needles? It occured to me that the magic loop could be used well here. No dpns were lost in making these mitts! Admittedly a cable needle took the leap into sand at surf's edge. With the tide rising before I noticed, it was covered and gone. It was one of those small curved metal ones, so when it shows up piercing a skim boarder, I bet a fisherman will get blamed instead of a knitter. I am torn between feeling guilty and smirking over this.

Secondly, I finished the first mitt. It was skimpy. I took a good look at the pattern sample photo and I'd indeed re-created the item . It wasn't what I had in mind. More coverage was in order.

I am very relaxed on vacation, it bothered me not a grain of sand to rip it out and start over. This version has more length before the thumb to make the wrist longer, and an extra repeat of the cable round, after 7 plain rounds, before I cast off. The thumb, too, was extended.

Thirdly, that cast -off. I love the picot cast off on the pattern. It somehow looks raffish and polished at the same time. Not in a heavier yarn though. In this lovely yarn it looked too rough and hung away from the hand. I tried a picot-every-three-stitch cast off. That looked plain old strange. I went with a cast off in rib pattern. I'll save the picot for a Fetching pair knit in a lighter weight yarn.

Finally, the alert amongst you'll notice the cables are the same on each hand, although the designer cleverly made them cross in opposite directions so there'd be a Left and a Right. I love details like that! But apparently, not enough to cut through to my brain while I was knitting them. With no gussets, it hardly matters, the fit is identical. So, my left handed sister will receive two left hands for her birthday later this week. Does that make me extra thoughtful? Or what?

Monday, August 21, 2006


The pears, the guys, the long ignored sock knitting, the cameras, the lighting, the clothes, the music, we have all hit the road. Our first stop , DC for some work. A shoot that had, in part, this knitterly charm.
Then everything back in the car, on to the family rendezvous at the Delaware beach. The single category of Item Not Along for The Week? The miters. My little square friends and companions this summer are sitting it out at home, to save the surprise of their existence from my parents who will, someday not too far in the future, receive the squares in afghan form.

So there I was in my beach chair right at the edge of the surf, knitting away on a sock, when a woman jogging by in a bathing suit smiled, nodded her head, and as she passed, this trailed out toward me from over her shoulder "hey, good beach project!"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

csi local

I don't need Horatio Caine (who makes up these names?). I have all I need to identify what's going on here. Process this:

evidence of a good outing
client list
Julie & I went to the Hopyard Spinnery's Farmhouse Yarn sale. Its exactly on the way to nowhere, just past the charming village of East Haddam, CT. If you can't get there this week, at least look at the yarns and ask your LYS about them. Heavenly. I may have mentioned in the past how jelly-like and spaced out indecisive I am in a normal yarn store. I am not stash prone. Without a project in mind, pointed at an array of fiber, I am jello left too long on a sunny picnic table. I'm the one who walks out empty-handed.

So there I was, with a meadowfull of rubbermaid tubs of half price yarn ( how many tubs can a meadow hold? like, I dunno, a few hundred in case you're wondering), behind which sits a small barn full of mixed up tubs of handyed yarn of many weights and styles, which , we were told by the dyer herself, we should stuff into a shopping bag and pay $ 89. for the whole lot. Really? I hesitated. Julie plunged. We shared a bag. I think she could see I might just implode otherwise. It was a Very Good Outing.

When we unstuffed the bag later, our juicy assortment included this selection of mine.
Do you think I still had beet juice on my mind when I picked up these? This'll take care of that itch, in a way that only beautiful dyed merino can. I just love it, I'm thinking simple striped lengthwise scarf for me.

This morning, grievous evidence of a tiny fruit thief. This, on the left,
percomp is what I saw on the back deck this morning. I practically flew over to the tree to make sure it wasn't stripped bare. Its our 14th summer in this house, it came equipped with 2 spindly pear trees out back. Each year we watch 2 or 3 lonely pears develop a bit, then rot or fall off or just lose their will to thrive . This year? A bounty. A mystery of green speckled beauty. We decided the crime scene should be taken as a hint, not an affront
Harvest time!

Monday, August 14, 2006

miter diplomacy Round 1

Our call to Kofi Annan for peacekeepers went unanswered. We read the papers. We understand. The first round of mitered square afghan assemby had to be handled all by ourselves.

Our plan was, start out calmy with a limited square swap, no need to attempt a full afghan layout. We'd mix up our use of colors and stripes, sew them into sets of four independently and meet again in two weeks to lay out the whole she-bang.

We have no restraint. 30 seconds after I walked into her place:


Tendencies quickly emerged.
There was reconsideration.........5

and we found an agreeable first layout, knowing we still had options, when we meet again with these in sets of 4.
We have five squares left to knit, we wanted to see if any color combo was obviously missing. Umm, yeah, right.
After I showed her a really lumpy demo of how to do mattress stitch (not), we decided to see how long it'd take to steam/iron and weave in ends of a couple of squares.
Its not so bad. Really.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

had to, want to, won't

Had to: buy this shirt.
shirt6 I spent most of the weekend shooting a tourism job featuring an arts festival. With vendors. Sure the theory here is make money, not spend it, but how could I pass this by?

Want to: koolaid dye a big pile of sturdy Newfoundland gray worsted wool that a friend gave me in May. I was so happy with my light gray overdyeing last year and looking at Kathy's dyeing successes inspired me . I keep thinking of beets and the juice they make in such tempting deep red tones....

Won't : No beet dyeing! Here's why not. How much do I love the internet? I could easily have spent a whole day and a big honking red mess of cooked beets to end up with crappy brown on gray. mmmm-mm. Note that the site, which looks immensely helpful if you are interested in dyeing, opens with "novice dyers assume that beets will make a good dye" . Oh heellloo? over here? That's me you're speaking to!

I wonder if anything in my garden would make a good dye? I wonder if I'd be better off tucking a tiny sign in the flowers that says " KoolAid! Aisle 5. Go Now"

p.s. go click on the Yarnival button in my side bar,
its a great idea by Eve . She must be a whiz at this editing/blogging/linking speed warp thing or maybe a lot of time on her hands..either way, I'm looking forward to learning about some new blogs this way. Check it out.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Waterfire in Providence last Saturday night.
(Note the subtle titling to work this in. ) If you can, go. Schedule here. The image doesn't come close to the impact. Several city blocks of bonfires, lit in an old canal/river downtown, while music speakers set above the water line play haunting accompaniment: monks chanting, opera, world music. Its awesome in the true sense of AWE. Thousands of people show up to stroll & watch but its just about silent as this shirtless guy in the jean skirt - yet somehow looking extremely macho- lights the braziers from a black boat, except for one end of the canal, here, where he walks on old bridge supports. There's close to a hundred fires blazing by the end. Even the teenagers along reluctantly on this Mandatory Family Outing were blown away.

OK, we turn now from tribal togetherness and beauty to miters. A few more completed, clearly I was on a cream jag here. So far no two are alike.
I've been finishing miters and sticking them into plastic bags casually, when last week the mitering sister called to say she'd finished about a dozen, how was I doing.
To our surprise, when I took them out to count, our project is just like my mental state this week: only ten squares short of a full afghan.