Sunday, December 30, 2007


From my sister Marla
Gift of recycled yarn and knitting pin.
from the shop at one of our favorite places, the American Visonary Art Museum. That makes me love the yarnballs even more than for their twistedy colors with that hippie store smell. I may just keep them in a bowl on my desk and admire them for a while.Gift of recycled yarn and knitting pin.

I gave myself the gift of not even attempting to do those things I said I would this week, like cleaning my office, whupping that bookkeeping once and for all, and catching up with IOU photos . What have I done with that time? Movies! Along with traveling back & forth to DC, and some social gatherings, I've seen Once, Walk Hard, Juno, Waitress, Into the Wild , and that's just the start of the rundown . I'm Not There is on later today unless the snow starts flying too heavily. Half of the viewings , the ones I didn't list, reveal I hang with teenage boys and their preoccupations. Which boil down to ONE thing .

Most films were on DVD but a few at theaters. Juno was
here, a completely swoon-worthy setting for watching any movie. Maybe Superbad might have been Supergood if I'd seen it in that venue?

You'd think I'd have finished tons of knitting what with all the screen gazing. Not really.

And a very special gift,Gift of recycled yarn and knitting pin.
passed on from my mom. It belonged to my grandmother . She received it in the 1940's for her commitment to charity knitting, when she organized the Bronx chapter of the Womens Voluntary Services to knit for the troops during WW2. I had no idea this was floating around the family, and as tiny and battered as it is, I treasure it. I haven't found too much about it yet online . I'll put the research on the to-do list. The pin? I'm wearing it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

progress report

3 pm Saturday I declared I was done for the day and planned to watch a movie and knit a hat for a bro-in-law. I used a don't mess with me tone.
Handknit hats
I'd sort of wanted to make that Noro scarf (you've seen it before?) but ran out of time so went the hat route.
pattern: Improvised 2-1 rib, over 92 stitches in the round
needles: us 7
yarns: 1 skein Noro Kureyon, 1 skein handyed charcoal-black merino from Farmhouse Yarns.
Thanks to the not-so-solid color of the black/charcoal,much softer than a true evenly dyed black, the switching colors worked well. When I got to the decreases I made the Noro stripes wider, I realized I liked knitting them better than the black and the 2-2 stripes were too symmetrical. (Did I mention I was in a a bad mood?)
Handknit hats

Handknit hats
I think he'll like it.

And here's an alpaca silk beret hat that only needs a button decision.

All that's left is some wrapping, one sock and a long car ride. Good to go!

Monday, December 17, 2007

knitbloggier than usual

Rarely do I have so many knitbloggy items in my reporting notebook.
First, there's the gift knitting.
Here we have socks underway for a sister. It is another
Artyarns Supermerino with Razor Shell cuff, and is, if you knew her, so very her. I ordered the main color , #239, thinking it was indigo-denimish, go ahead and look at the bottom of that link and see. I hoped to knit Dave much deserved socks but the skeins arrived with a truly purple bearing, so sis's it is. I've also completed a hat, I'll need to show it later this week. There are two other giftees I want to knit for definitely. Funny, as the number of days before the holiday decrease, the simplicity of the projects and the choice of yarn weight increase. Likely I'll be knitting two super chunky bulky somethings in the car as we drive down to DC next Monday.

I squandered serious amounts of knitting time finding and attempting to re-find a pattern for vertically striped mitts with checked thumbs to fulfill a funky mittens request from a nephew. You know how you get that set in your jaw, glint in your eye and you just can't move forward till you re-locate the pattern you have in mind? I was sure it was online. Or... maybe in a magazine. Nope, nope, nada. Just as I declared it too late to be thinking about any kind of handknit that required a pair, while calculating how many bars of chocolate would make an equally appreciated gift, I tripped over a little spiral bound book of patterns , Knitters I Know, from Blue Sky Alpacas not two feet from my desk, and there it was , the pattern . Can I have a D-U-H? (and can I have a W-T-F? Does that link really say that it is available for $65.50? Maybe I shouldn't keep it on the floor?)

Moving on. 1207FamVar_556Did you see flying pigs? Hell freezing over? (well sort of around here but anyway) - stop the presses, sister Lulu and I are back on task with the mitered square blanket.1207FamVar_555 Last seen in progress August 2006. We did some end weaving, steaming and seaming Sunday morning and soon had half of the squares secured into bigger squares. I snuck over for an hour attack this morning, assembling our first strip, before we lose our mojo again. It makes a lovely tube dress, yes? Do you think Kay has some kind of mutated DNA helix that enables her to put these together in apparent effortlessness? This is what I'm thinking as I'm seaming, even as I realize she is all " pfft those big squares tant pis!" sewing fifty gajillion much smaller mismatched squares for the Oliver Fund American blanket (which you must click over to and buy a raffle ticket now, btw).
FYI you can tell I'm working at Lulu's because she accessorizes beautifully. Just look at the pincushion she brought out for us to work with, it is mighty miterly.

Finally, I close with a moment only a knitblogger could love. NYC Saturday,for the first time ever I popped in at Purl. Filled with wonderful yarn and nice salespeople to be sure, but very crowded. I was retreating when I noticed a hat I'd downloaded from a blog only hours earlier. I mean not a version of the hat but I was certain it was the very same hat , a distinctive hat, on the head of the same daughter who wore it online., and here they were, yarn shopping, in 3D. I surprised all of us , blurting out " Hey, I saw that hat , you designed it. And you're the daughter, right ? I downloaded it ! It looks awesome !!". I used exclamation points in my voice, too. They looked startled or possibly stricken. It is kind of weird to have strangers know details about your clothing, and the designer, Kirsten, said she'd never had anyone out her before. Plus she'd only just posted the pattern to blog 24 hours before, and I'd never visited her blog before that. Most randomly, none of us live in NY. I sent an email saying I hoped I didn't freak them out . She assured me they'd both gotten a kick out of being recognized. fyi the hat? Even better in person.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

eight plus 1

Here it is , one day past Chanukah and I haven't even mentioned gift knitting. Which is not to say it hasn't been going on.
When my guys were little, we made dozens of these strings - yarn with recycled holiday cards from the year before. It got to the point where we had so many you'd get tangled walking through the house during Chanukah. Now we just use a couple dozen a year hanging above the kitchen table and window by the menorah. Some of the Xmas cards with religious themes cut into dreidel shapes are deliciously subversive.

Sister Lulu received socks from me, on the first night, when we had our Iron Chef Latke event .
Lulu Socks=RazorShell Cuffs

Pattern: Inspired by Miriam Feltons Razor Shell socks, these are instead knit over 48 worsted weight stitches. You can razor shell on any multiple of eight. I used the heel flap, toe and foot shape in stockinette I always use because , well, I just always do.

Needles: Size US 5 needles , or possibly US4. Just do a gauge swatch if you knit'em, OK?.

Yarn: Artyarns Supermerino , worsted weight, in # 114, an olive/moss/ eggplant/grape colorway that screamed her name. Toes, heels and cuff edge in another Artyarns Supermerino almost solid color, I think its 236. I've already sworn allegiance to knitting worsted weight socks this winter so I won't go there again. I love these, they are the shining achievement of my short sock knitting career.

On the third night she called to say she loved her socks so much she was tempted to wear them around her neck. The funny thing is, all along I had an extra skein of the yarn and planned to make a little scarfette with buttons for Lulu , along with the socks. It was a bit of a joke, we'd had a debate whether buttoned neck scarfs were fresh and cool (her opinion) or uptight and fussy (mine, although I may be wrong. There. I said it.)
On the fifth night, Lulu got the hastily finished other part of her handknits, this neck scarf.
I improvised with the same yarns, and the Razor Shell stitch again. Its a one-skeiner, if you're not counting the small amount of contrasting yarn on the ends.

Lulu Calls it a Dickey Razor Shell Scarf
Yarn: 1 skein MC plus small amount CC of Artyarns Supermerino
Needles: size us8 needles
Other: 2 good buttons
SK2togP = slip one, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over. Also sometimes called DD (double decrease)

In CC, cast on 22 stitches on size 8 needles.

row 1, RS:
Sl1, K1, *K1,YO, K2, SK2togP, K2, YO* repeat 2 more time, K2
row 2, WS:
Sl1, Purl to end.

Continue these two rows.
On row 4 switch to MC, continue these two rows until the scarf is 22" long, switch to CC, continue in pattern for 3 rows, bind off loosely.
Block to accentuate the scalloped ends . 1207FamVar_515Sew on antique buttons that you want to show off since they're featured by the style, try it on to find placement. No buttonholes needed since the lace accomodates the fastening.

Let me know if you try following these instructions, and show me the results!

Friday, December 07, 2007


Before I dive into some big visuals, a huge ferklempt thank you to everyone sending knits for The Tree of Warmth . Especially the New Haven SnB Homegirls like her, and her, and , if you're on Ravelry, her, who are coming through powerfully. Not to mention wow, with serious knitting talent. Must do a Tree of Warmth Show & Tell post before we set up the donation at the soup kitchen.
My co-conspirator in the Tree of Warmth project, Julie (she alas has neither blog nor website these days) offloaded a big honking bag of sturdy Newfoundland yarns to me a while back. She'd had them around for something like 20 years. They are woolly and strong and handsomely natural and as you can see, not so colorful. 18 months later, we scoured the local supermarkets for kool aid . My advice, don't expect a fabulous assortment of flavors in New England in winter.
The wet view: We mixed and added in some cake decorating coloring. Don't look to me for kool aid dyeing science. You should go to the new Knitty for that. (Impressive)

Dry view. We love them. Scarf underway and planning major mitten action

Love the overdyed orangey and grape solid (former) darker gray on the far right.

Speaking of leftovers? Here's what the munching horde resorted to Thanksgiving weekend.
Next year I'm giving everyone tiny flags with their names, so they can claim their food leftovers like teeny explorers on new mashed potato and gravy continents.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007



phone ringing sound
Me: Hey Pat, I have a question for you.
(Pat is the director of the Community Dining Room , the local soup kitchen serving meals 7 days a week to adults, children & families, as well as offering other services, to a string of towns in our area.)

Pat: Hi Gale. How'd that work out last month when you cooked for us here? You locked yourself out the back door and left me that frantic message?

Me: (trying to gloss over embarrassing incident gracefully) ummm, yeah.... I have a question. I saw a flyer somewhere for a Mitten Tree you have? A friend & I have this group of knitters we organized and we'd like to support a local project, and since some of us already cook for you at the .....

Pat: A tree? With knitted things? That sounds wonderful! We've never had one, I am so thrilled you want to set this up.

Me: No, Pat, I meant, um, I saw this flyer asking for handknits and...

Pat: Our clients need hats and mittens and scarves and it is SO WONDERFUL you're offering to organize this.

Me: Um, really,I thought I saw this flyer.... maybe at the library?

Pat: Oh, Gale, we so appreciate this, we'll talk later this week, I have to run, and thanks SO MUCH FOR STARTING THIS FOR US, I can't wait to set it up at the end of December after the holidays.

Me: (voice trailing off , as Pat hangs up) no, but, wait, Pat? I thought there already was a mitten tree.....

It seems I've started the Tree of Warmth Project. Knitters wanted!!!!

Please, if you can spare a pair of mitts or a hat or a scarf, the Tree of Warmth Project will provide much needed protection from the chill , starting at the end of December. About 30% of the need is for children, all sizes, the rest is adults of both genders and all ages.

If you're in the general New Haven / shoreline area I can pick up your knits, otherwise send me an email (or if you comment, please be sure you leave an address for reaching you!!) and I'll give you my mailing address. I know every single thing will be appreciated.
• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Monday, November 19, 2007

small undertakings

Usually a few snappy remarks on a topic keep me happy without needing to do anything further. Like I can browse online for weird mixed breed rescue dogs for an hour but not actually bring a new bowser home. This time, after wisecracking to Norma, and joking with Mary Lou, I went ahead and started this

Since it's tongue in cheek, I invited a few friends who have clear records of NOT being underachievers but who seemed to share my sense that Ravelry is a brilliant piece of interactive web design but we weren't finding the time and the clicks to get all that we could out of it. Somehow instead of invites they became administrators , and without agreeing to it, there were then six of us. I was glad, if I was alone in the group it'd really hurt my ego.

Anyway we are now close to 200 members. How fun is that? It's a fine group and I've already learned some good Ravelry tricks from them. Stop by ! I mean, if you're not busy reaching all your life goals and stuff like that.

In other communal small efforts, I joined Olivers American Blanket. I don't know why but I've never knit a diagonal garter stitch square and it looked so satisfying.
It is. I apologize in advance to Kay for these very unKaylike (and un Kaffe like too) colors, I have faith she'll find a way to work playdoh-meets-egg-yolk in with more tasteful colorways. That second little bit on the needle was a log cabin style square underway, because the rules didn't say it had to be 4" of diagonal. I've since ripped it out and went back to the cool modern efficiency of the diagonal square, my log cabin just looked too dadburn down home. Yet sort of pleasingly Gees Bendy, if that can be an adjective. It's a small thing. Maybe some other time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

in which we take on gauge. again.

Maybe I should taken account of the stitches per inch sometime in the 2 years this was on needles. Denial is such a powerful set of blinders.
Cutaway in Rowanspun DK.

This isn't my first go-round with gauge. We go waaay back . It was the Twelve Corners Middle School 5th Grade Spelling Bee., final round. A voracious reader, I had an excellent vocabulary. There was a whole cosmos of words I knew but never heard pronounced. Hors D'oeuvres for instance. In books, people were always eating HORZ DA VORZ . Likewise, my engineer dad would talk about measuring things, and deputize us to monitor dials on the dashboard when he fixed his weird old car but the spoken word gauge never connected in my brain with that word in books, GAWJ.
So there we were on the auditorium stage. First, Richard Lee, goes down on roccoco, I am glad it wasn't my word because I wasn't clear on the CC's there.(and in truth just had to spell check it now, heh). The next two kids stayed in. And me, my word? GAYJ, to measure. Umm,so familiar, yet... G-A-G-E? Ding! Out!
Love the yarn, love the style, love the pattern, not loving the fit. If only I had arms 5 inches longer, another 6" of bust and was taller with broad shoulders. I am no waif, this is just a larger-than-me cardigan.
I am not ripping it to re-do. Just no heart for it, the yarn itself is kind of tender. I'll probably just wear it around the house, sob.

postscript: 24 hours later , leaving to spend the day with an old friend, I threw it in my bag. She has always been 5 " taller and proportioned for her height. It was a perfect fit. What might have seemed like gauge kicking my tush again was actually divine intervention.
(I'm not 100% behind selling myself on the divine intervention bit, but it takes the sting out of the whole situation, you know?).
Ok, gauge, we'll talk again. soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

go tell it to the judge

Exhibit A:
The reward project, clearly started, your honor. Looks to be about one skein of Araucania Nature Wool Bulky knit in the round, garter stitch. Top down, I believe.

Cough, um, your honor, a sidebar? The defendant thinks you should be extra nice to her because she just linked you to an excellent sale price for this yarn, which she is crazy about. The shading variations in the solid not quite midnight blue not quite teal are mitigating factors.

Exhibit B:
Very pink, very plastic circular needles. Origin unknown, believed to have been acquired from a five and dime ( a what? sorry , referencing a retail kinda place that sold everything, from fabric to hamsters and makeup, and even had a lunch counter) back when I liked to knit scandanavian sweaters in the round and there wasn't a yarn store nearby.

Exhibit C:
Forget it, I am not showing my messy desk with ,um, the incriminating not-quite-done-book keeping . You know, the work that had to be done before I could so much as breathe on that yarn.
In lieu, leaves which are oddly still on the trees around here.

In my defense:
I had to start this sweater. I had jury duty on Monday. The pamphlet clearly stated that no dangerous objects would be allowed in the courthouse and the only dangerous object they bothered to list as an example was...drumroll..knitting needles. I saw this as a challenge. My little pinky translucent needles scream Easy Bake Oven more than Danger Danger . I cast on at 6 am, by 8 am I was swilling coffee up in the jury pool waiting room, poised to start knitting as soon as the official speeches and instructional voir dire videos were over.

Upon cross examination it was revealed that I did actually have a long neglected Kidsilk Tubepeople on a bamboo circular needle that could have come along instead, honoring the reward nature of the knitting. The extreme boring-ness of sitting in the jury pool room knitting around and around on fuschia Kidsilk Haze might cause me to poke my own eyes out, so was ruled Not The Right Project For The Situation.

Verdict: Guilty. Will attempt to stop any further knitting on this lovely project until bookeeping goal has been met. Will return to seaming sweater that is almost done, and wandering around the vicinity in my gorgeous handpsun alpaca shawl which I can't show you. If you happen to see me in person, I will not give you a chance to admire it, because before you can speak, I will have demanded that you pet it. It feels that good.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

sweetened carrot, urgent deadline

Feeling guilty for your compliments on my goal reaching last post. Soon as I posted, my great intentions were interrupted by my real life . Books remain only partially kept. Which the accountants among you know is like being a little bit pregnant. Incentive yarn waits temptingly.

To help me keep my eyes on the prize, and since the knitting gods put me right by an excellent button store, I heaped a little sugar on my reward cast-on.
Do you love these as much as I do? Despite knowing that one of my sons offered this with a passing glance: " oh- pig noses carved from horn. Cool...I guess. "

Meanwhile my knitting attention turned to an impending meeting at the book publisher this Friday. On Sunday I was idly wondering what I would wear when the big red revolving siren in my brain went off : these are marketing and promotion folk! I need to make an impression as a presentable, fibery, knitterly , interesting kind of person, one that you'd want to chat with after the book comes out. I'm OK with the chat. I have all kinds of interesting tales to tell. But what to wear? I need to wear something from the book, duh!

So here's a challenge. It is too early in the season to wear a wool hat without looking a little crazy , the only finished sweater sample I have here is a heavy jacket a size too small for me, and there is
no way I can crank out any of the other sweaters or vests this week. Don't even have the authentic yarns on hand. But! The unbelievably luxurious handspun alpaca from Victory Ranch I brought home from New Mexico, and the shawl pattern from that chapter. Perfect. Settled on the shawl , one with some lace, but worsted weight, so I have hope of getting it done. Not enough yardage to make the full flowing length as shown in the book - hopefully enough for a large wrappish shawl.
If you've read this blog for a while - or have peeked at my Ravelry projects - have you noted a distinct lack of lace? Yeah. And that would be why I knit to row 31 three times before I got it right and was able to keep going. I'm tootling along, glancing fearfully at the dwindling ball of fiber. Geometry being what it is, the triangle is swallowing so much yarn per row now that my bowling ball of yarn is speeding through the produce department: it's cabbage sized ! no it's a grapefruit, then an orange, an apple and presently heading into kiwi. Why oh why didn't I wind off the fringe yarn first?

My schedule isn't leaving me much knitting time . Yesterday afternoon the stress of worrying that I 'll go to a meeting with a luxuriously dorky handknit alpaca neckerchief prompted me to call the ranch and ask them to overnight one more skein. At Victory Ranch the handspun is made by one alpaca each, I mean if you buy a skein, it has the name of the animal it came from, and is only spun from that one fleece. I called and asked if they had more of Laurel. They do! It'll be here Thursday. I'll be the one sitting on MetroNorth Friday morning, using the 1 hour 50 minute train ride to attach fringe. That ought keep people out of the seat next to me! Maybe I'll wear shiny shoes to distract.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

gittin'er done

Lately I've been feeling like the guy you hire to do work on your house. When the job is 98% done , he just stops coming by, and there's this one little piece of trim that hasn't been put back up, and you just can't believe that it is left like that. For weeks. You know what I mean.

This week I couldn't stand it any longer. I -whheeeeee!- knit and cast off the button bands for the Cutaway I started almost 2 years ago, it's been near the finish line for a while now. I can't bear to bore you with unblocked unseamed sweater pieces, but I am just rarin' to block & sew.

Earlier today, I uploaded the last two teeny remaining images for my book cover - I know, can you imagine I left out something so critical as the center square of the cover?- to PotterCraft. That felt good. Anti-climactic, but good.

Then I dug into my most unfavorite, much procrastinated upon task, bookkeeping. I need a carrot on the end of the mind-numbing-number- entering-category-checking stick for this one , so I went out and purchased yarn - lovely Araucania Nature Wool Bulky in what I think is the third color from the top on the little card from that link but mine is deeper in its hand-dyedness, with less variegation in tones. I am allowed to cast on a frivolous Juliet sweater for myself as soon as the books are kept. Or....whenver I can rationalize casting on sooner.

Monday, October 15, 2007

consider yourself warned

You know how when you first started blogging, you were excited about having all these people, more like pretend people because no on actually knew about your blog, to talk to about knitting? Then it dawned that you were not getting much knitting done anymore because you were blogging about knitting? Or reading blogs about knitting? Or thinking about blogging about knitting?

OK, now take that and supersize it geometrically when you get on Ravelry. oh. my. I lost last week. I can't stop clicking onto that site, there is something so gratifying about logging in projects and queuing up a wish list. Nerdy, but gratifying. Not to mention peeking in on all the groups. Is there a group for people who lurk about on knitting subculture groups they don't belong in? Oh, wait, let me just click over there and check....

ps. my Ravelry name is SheShootsSheep . I can't come up with anymore aliases!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

dear norma

*I was going to send this as a private note to Norma, but then decided to be an opportunist, now it's a a blog post, come read along

Well how're things up there? I've been meaning to tell you about the Really Big Red Scarf To-Do that you didn't take my advice and call in sick to attend, the Orphan Foundation of America Congressional Care Package Event in Washington two weeks ago. It was awesome. I mean it. From the moment I had my all-access-I-am-cool Senate pass slapped on and headed up to our room just to the left (thank God, politically speaking, how could I be to the right of the senate??) of the Senate Chambers it was a blur of activity . The OFA folks did a smashing job setting up a display of things that go into a care package, for my Photo-Op Corner, highlighted of course by some very beautiful hand knit red scarves.
And Norma, they are just gaw-jus this year! I was more or less pinned there for the whole event, as the Photo part of the Op; the Op part was a rushing stream of Senators,"quick, do my photo, where's a student, I'm the senator from Alaska , I'm getting called for a vote in just a few seconds" , US Reps and other Very Important Folks who came to pose stuffing a care package with an honest-to-goodness OFA college student. These photos will go out to media in their home states , spreading the word that kids who are in college but have no families need support!
Two students and two OFA staffers who run the Red Scarf program from the office.

It was a fine group of college kids there too.
Here're the students on a tour of the rotunda , later in the day.

Just like last year when we did a little PR trip to visit OFA kids in New Hampshire together (remember that ? On the Freakin Coldest Day of the whole winter?) , the students were heartbreakingly, genuinely, touched by having us knit them scarves.

Anyway, Norma, the red scarf fund is doing you proud, as are the knitters. I was told that "some of Norma's People" would be there, and honestly, I kind of thought of that as Norma's Knitting Army, and expected a pack of folks to walk in with big sashes across their chests, wielding needles. How crazy is that?

Anyway, wish you were there. Next year in DC!
And to all of you reading along, send in your scarves this week! You can have a couple of extra days but don't go too far.

your faithful correspondent,

An aside: If you are reading this and saw me there in the corner taking photos maniacally, I just want to say I know my hair looked bad and I've done something about the bangs since then. I like to shoot sheep, not look like them, really.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

file this under: ain't technology grand?!

See this?
It's my book! 160 pages, 219 great big image files and so many hours of my life, all in that tiny little thingy in my palm.

And see this?

The tiny little thingy above just arrived at the publisher this morning . Yet you can already pre-order. Amazing!
• • • • • • • • • •
Also amazing: how hard it was for me to sit in my office for a solid week of doing all the final computer work on the images. I am simply not a sit still indoors person. What saved me was listening as I worked, to hours & hours of brilliant backdated podcasts, from This American Life, Cast On and Its a Purl, Man. Thanks Ira, Brenda and Guido, my virtual heroes, for keeping me in my seat.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

this just in

"Your invitation was sent on September 16, 2007. We just sent you a new copy of the email (from in case it was lost or eaten by a spam filter."

oh good.
Now I'll have something to do to fill my empty hours when the book goes off to the publisher at the end of the week. Gotta go. A few hundred images to finalize. How is it that deadline already? And why is it that I'm checking my Ravelry queue spot and making up blogposts ?

Friday, September 28, 2007

let us now praise wool socks

...were the words running like a zipper billboard across the base of my skull when I stayed in this cabin , on the scenic shores of Lake Sebago in Maine a couple of weekends ago.
And when I say scenic, I mean pristine beauty with a SNAP in the air. Like 40 degrees F at night. No windows.

I left my sunny 80 degree neighborhood to attend this 3 day professional meeting, haphazardly grabbing a pair of wool socks on the way to my ride north. Just in case. I wore them day and night . I think they saved me.
My colleagues are still skeptical when I say I spent a great part of the year photographing sheep, alpaca and goat farms for a travel & knitting book. Pretty much a conversation stopper. There was one person who talked ruminants with me, because he and his talented wife just published
this book. Excellent reading, vicarious pilgrimages are such a pleasure. Only problem is it makes you crave goat cheese, big time.

Back to my theme: In particular , let us praise the knitting of worsted weight socks. That's right, gentle reader, I finished a pair of socks in less than 2 weeks. Me! The Slowest Sock Knitter around *that'd make me SSK around, wouldn't it?

I think I'm on to something. It feels a tad remedial, a bit like cheating, but I love these heavy socks, I love immediate gratification...and I have so little pride.
ps I also love Artyarns SuperMerino . The first of these socks took 1 skein plus an annoyingly small extra bit , about 3 yards , from a 2nd skein The second sock took one skein neatly. I think its a couple of rounds shorter in the cuff. Don't tell anyone, OK?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

what the inarticulate pirate shouted

Arrrrrgh! Go sea!
(Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day)

pattern: Argosy from Knitty Winter 06
yarn: hand painted worsted weight silk from HipKnits
needles: size 7 us
finished dimensions: about 62" long by 5 " across at widest
the lowdown:
Last month's vacation knitting, blocked yesterday. I was worried about not having enough yarn, with a 180 yard skein, so I narrowed the pattern . There's SO much yarn leftover. Maybe enough t0 make a second scarf, not quite as long. Crazy! If only I'd weighed it I'd be more accurate but I'm guessing it took less than 120 yards. I think that qualifies this pattern as a good worsted one-skeiner.
thumbs up? oh yes. Easy to memorize the pattern, quick to knit, fun to look at, plays well with a variegated / changing yarn. The silk might be a little floppy for my taste but ooh you should see the pearlescence of it. what's not to like? I definitely recommend it as a quality knit, in, oh, I don't know, maybe a shade of, hmmm, RED!
I'm not alone:
check out these Argosies or the wrap version at the designer's blog.

Here's a truer view of its colors, a really perfect blues/steel/touch of yellowish-brownish tinge. It really does look like the water, seen from below on a sunny day, in my neighborhood. Maybe not the cleanest body of saltwater but one of my favorite places on the planet.
I think we can agree this proves I'm no Julia Trice, can that woman rock a self-portrait or what? Be sure to scroll down to the knit nightie and jeans shots from that link.
I stand (or lean) in awe.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

slow learner

Things I learned since Sunday that I already knew (or should have known)

Item 1
Old friends and annual gatherings are the best way to spend an afternoon. Especially if there's at least one other knitter

Item 2
It definitely takes more than 2 skeins of Artyarns SuperMerino to make a pair of socks in my foot size.

Item 3
Webs is fab on the phone. So easy to order from and happy to grab matching skeins off their shelves. Webs has a discount if you spend , um, more than one skein's worth.

Item 4
It is dangerous to leave your credit card sitting next to the computer after you order body lotion because put together with Item 3 above, you will end up with two pair of additional socks' worth of Artyarns Supermerino. Holiday knitting, here we come.

Item 5
Referring to item 4 above, because you will uncharacteristically order a groovy new camera strap to stand out from the boys. An item you haven't felt necessary since...forever.
You hope it'll arrive in time for an awesome photo op in a couple of weeks. (Hint, get your red scarves knit and sent in, they can appear on famous senators' necks)
A sweet new year to all of you celebrating tomorrow!