Friday, September 30, 2005

It's Friday!

You Belong in Paris

Stylish and a little sassy, you were meant for Paris.

The art, the fashion, the wine, the men!

Whether you're enjoying the cafe life or a beautiful park...

You'll love living in the most chic place on earth

What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)

Find the Love of Your Life
(and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Tale of Silky Woe

Once upon a time there was a knitter. She was fairly new to the craft, but she had taken to it well. One fine day she wandered into her local yarn shop to find a hank of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool out of which to make Branching Out. They didn't have any greens, but they did have a lovely purply-blue so the knitter purchased two hanks and walked out happy with her find. Two repeats into her knitting she discovered that she had made a dreadful error. Leaves should not be purply-blue. It just isn't right. The knitter, now on vacation and over a thousand miles from home, found another wonderful yarn shop that had just the right shade of green Silky Wool. The knitter rejoiced and finished Branching Out with only one glaring (but not terrible) error.

Now the knitter was faced with two lonely hanks of Silky Wool without projects. After some thought, the knitter decided to make Clapotis out of this lovely fiber. The problem, of course, was that two hanks was not nearly enough. So the knitter, now back home, went back to her local yarn shop and dug through the bins until she found more Silky Wool in the same dye lot. She rejoiced and purchased two more hanks. Then the knitter did a very silly thing. She cast on for Clapotis out of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino. While the Blueberry Hill colorway is making a lovely Clapotis, the knitter is no longer sure that she wants to knit another one out of Silky Wool what with all the delightful patterns available to her needles.

More thought was given to the plight of the four lonely hanks of Silky Wool. The knitter had in her possession a copy of Folk Shawls and desperately wanted to make a Highland Triangle Shawl. This seemed to be a good application for Silky Wool! The problem, of course, was that four hanks was not nearly enough. The knitter made her way yet again to her local yarn shop. She searched through the bins where the Silky Wool should be. She searched two bins out from where the Silky Wool should be. She found Silky Wool in natural, brown, black, and pink, but no purply-blue. The knitter was despondent. Luckily, the local yarn shop had many other fibers to make the knitter feel better. She found a delightful ball of Rowan Calmer in a positively happy purple. Then she found three balls of Rowan Kidsilk Spray in lavender/magenta that will make the perfect Kiri shawl to reward the teacher of the knitter's son for her trials.

Still, the knitter really, really wanted just two more hanks of the perfect Silky Wool. She thought to herself that she could make one more try. This time she searched three bins from where the Silky Wool should be and there, back in the corner, hiding under some tweed, she spotted it! Yes, there were four more hanks of that gorgeous purply-blue Silky Wool in the same dye lot! This time the knitter purchased three hanks. As a reward for her stubborn pursuit and insanity persistence, the knitter gave herself a copy of Fiber Trends' Flower Basket Shawl pattern. Now, should the Silky Wool become the Highland Shawl or the Flower Basket Shawl? Time will tell, but the knitter now has enough for either pattern.

Postscript: Please do not tell the knitter that the pattern for Kiri clearly describes it as a "fern" motif. The knitter has convinced herself that Kiri is more of a feather motif and will look delightful in lavender/magenta. The pattern is not, not, NOT going to look like leaves.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Moving to the Bookshelf

Last night I knit a few rows on Clapotis and then moved on to reading. I finished two books in one night! The first was a very enjoyable, quick read. I tried to pace myself through Stephanie's Yarn Harlot, but I couldn't stop myself from finishing. I laughed, I cried, I related.

The other book to move onto the bookshelf has graced my nightstand for several months. I finally turned the last page on David McCullough's biography of John Adams. If you have not read this book, I strongly recommend it. No, really, you need to read this book! I spent my years of US history buying the standard line that Thomas Jefferson was the greatest mind of the revolution. This book tossed my assumptions quite rudely on their heads. Jefferson was still a great man, but he was also filled with faults. The true framer of the revolution was John Adams. I am sure I would have had many disagreements with Mr. Adams should we have met, but I also think we would have agreed on far more issues. The book itself seems daunting, but it is engagingly written and sucks you in to the life and adventures of one of our greatest founding fathers. There is also a fair amount included about Abigail Adams. Truthfully, I have to say that she is even more amazing than her husband. The thought that a woman who had never been more than a few miles from home would pick up and sail to Europe at a time when there was more than a fair chance of being lost at sea astounds me. Abigail truly kept John grounded and made him a much better man because of her abilities.

Next up is hard to guess. John Adams will be a hard act to follow. I've decided to give up on the Bush horror story (American Dynasty) as it is just too poorly written and scary. Since much of my reading is accomplished just before bedtime, I don't want to promote nightmares. I'm skipping the next book for my book club, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, since I'm running out of time and I haven't even purchased it. Maybe I should just move directly to November's book, A Room with a View. So many wonderful choices!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sky for Sandy

I'm game, but our view of the sky from home is so frequently boring that I didn't have any good pictures of it. Of course, if I had been quicker with the camera Monday evening, I would have proof that we do, occasionally, have excitement in our view. Since I was too slow to capture either the gorgeous double rainbow or some lightening, I will need to content myself with a memory of this summer's vacation in Minnesota. We vacation at a lake resort each summer and are usually treated to at least one good thunderstorm. Here is the evidence of one such storm. I do hope that Sandy likes it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Reveling in My Weakness

I wasn't going to go yarn shopping this month. Really. I figured that I had donated my yarn budget to the Red Cross and that was that. Then a really nice enabler person mentioned a combination yarn and quilt shop. Then that shop was having a second birthday sale. Of course I also had to go show Ursula my Petticoat socks. It was all downhill from there. On the other hand, I am very happy. First stop shows two of the Opal Rainforest yarns (Parrot and Tiger) along with a skein of Trekking XXL. I have been wondering what all the fuss is about this Trekking yarn and 15% off makes for a perfect opportunity. I also snapped up an early purchase for next year with the new Knitting calendar.

Next up is a Clapotis progress report. I have finished eight repeats on the straight section. I think I will end up with 16 of those before I start decreasing.

Finally, can you see how happy my sock is? It is nearly quivering with excitement. Yes, I have a copy of the new Yarn Harlot book. It's real and it's really in Southern California. Congratulations, Stephanie!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Greens and Blues

I'm not sure when green became my in color, but the last several projects have all either been green or have contained significant amounts of green. I have now cast on my third pair of green socks in a row! First it was Amble and then it was the Last Scream of Summer (which is slightly more blue than the picture suggests). Now it is a pair of forest green Chutes and Ladders socks for Young Man. Who can resist a child who asks for green hand-knitted socks?

I did finally cast on something that isn't green. I've started rectangles for a Warm Up America Afghan. I had been meaning to work on this before winter and Katrina just pushed me to dig out the Homespun (yes, Homespun) from my stash. It sure didn't take me long to become a yarn snob! This stuff isn't nearly as much fun as all the wool in my stash, but it meets the criteria for washability.

More blues are about to wing their way to Rebecca. She was the winner of the knitting bag, needle roll, and stitch markers that I tagged for Give a Little. Thank you for your donation, Rebecca, and I hope you enjoy the items.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Summer is Over, But the Scream Lives On

The last scream is finished, but I get to enjoy the results. This was my first time knitting with Koigu KPPPM and I have to say I really enjoy the yarn. The colorway, well, it isn't quite what I had expected. The socks, however, are wonderfully comfy.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Monday, September 05, 2005

Summer is Nearly Over - Aiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee

School starts tomorrow and I don't really want the summer to end. I've enjoyed this last, lazy week with Young Man and few responsibilities. Tomorrow he heads off to third grade and I go back to work. Time is marching along. Today is also Big Guy and my 18th wedding anniversary!

It really seems hard to believe that we've been together this long. It really doesn't seem like that long. This is a very good thing. We aren't exactly celebrating. I did give us a copy of Blues Brothers and we aren't doing the million tasks that need to be done today. Young Man is getting a play date this afternoon and I'm hanging around knitting.

The big project for the weekend is a pair of socks using the Koigu KPPPM that I picked up while on vacation. It's a pretty wild green mix. I had planned to make the Crusoe socks from Knitty, but what adult can wear socks with a 44 stitch cast on? I could have just made them larger, but the stranded design wasn't working with the colorway so I switched to Susan's tried and true sock pattern and a stitch design that she used earlier this year. The socks are still wild, but they suit my mood this holiday weekend.

If you wander to Susan's blog, be sure to check out the Give a Little campaign she has started with Margene. I haven't blogged about Katrina because I just don't have the words. I am very glad that no one I know directly was affected and I am saddened by the slow response by my government and the lack of planning for a disaster that everyone knew would happen one day.