Monday, April 28, 2008

A little bit, and a little late

Yes, yes, I know that my knit blogging has been woefully neglected in recent weeks. Okay months. Unfortunately, what I have to show now is not all that I had intended to show....

Question: What do you do when you realize that half the knitting pics you tried to download to your blog file never made it, just vanished into the ether? Scream? With my daughter cornering the market on that extracurricular activity, it wouldn't even be noticed. Cry? I'm tempted, merely from losing documentation of one project in particular that I'd worked *so* hard on. But, you know, my brother just got his car stolen, with his *laptop* inside. I think I'd feel a bit frivolous crying, comparing mine to *that* loss (he's doing fine, BTW).

So, I guess I'll tell you about the things I can't show you, and I'll show you the rest. I'll get over it :).

First up, the item whose lost pic nearly brought me to tears: the Wrap Around Cardigan for my gig wtih Schaefer Yarns. I don't really like wrap-arounds, but this ended up being really cute (you'll have to trust me on this, because I can't even find a pic on their site). It's made with Schaefer's Judith yarn, which is 100% alpaca, in the colorway Rosa Parks. The yarn was easy to work with, but the construction took a bit of time, as it includes a front band that is worked separately and sewn in, then has four i-cords that attach to the fronts and sides for fastening. You know, for the wrapping part. I gotta say, I was very proud of that sweater :).

Next, the London Beanie for a friend, with no pic of my own to show :(. It was my first adult-sized hat and came out really nicely. I was told that it fit, too, which is a bonus :). Made with one skein of Cotton Ease in the Violet colorway (not my pic, either),

but I eliminated the stripey parts of the pattern. She really liked it :).

Now, my daughter's socks that I thought I'd never finish. If you remember, in November, they looked like this:

And in early March, they looked like this:

Kind of a problem, considering I wanted them for the spring. So I put all else aside and worked on these exclusively, finishing them just in time for Easter:

These were made with one skein (much less, actually) of Marks and Katten's Clown yarn, which is 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool and 15% nylon. I used the Child's Lovely Lace sock pattern from a slightly aged Paton's book, Happy Feet. The yarn is a bit stiffer than I'd like, and it doesn't give much on her foot, as you would expect from many cottons. I do still like the idea of cotton or cotton blend socks for kids, and I'm pretty sure I can find a cotton that gives a bit more. I want to try this again. My daughter likes them, but I think the stiffness gets to her as well, and they don't really fit into her shoes :(. That's a bit of a problem, since you kind of need shoes to go out. So, since Easter, they've been really fancy house socks.

Next, my latest work for Schaefer, the Winter Bag made with Schaefer's Laurel. This is a 100% mercerized pima cotton, in the colorway Frida Kahlo. I had lots of trouble with pooling on this bag in the beginning:

and I ended up splitting the one skein I had into two and working with two balls, switching off on random rows. All in all, it turned out pretty well:

with much less going on in the pooling department, and frankly, aside from the pooling, it was a fun knit. I also really love working with mercerized pima cotton, even more than any wool or wool blend, so this was a treat. Hmmmm, mercerized pima cotton kids' socks? Maybe?

Finally, something I am actually working on right now! Progress on the much-talked-about-and-finally-begun Moderne Log Cabin blanket, which used to look like this:
and now is starting to look like this:

I was a doofus and forgot to place something in the pic for scale, but I can tell you that the measurements in this pic were about 39 inches long and 38 inches wide...that would be a bit bigger than a baby blanket so far. And maybe in the next pic I'll actually get the stray yarn ends out of the way, who knows?

So, I thought I had more to show, but this will have to do til I finish that blanket, whose endless garter stitch rows fill every waking hour these days. I'm not kidding. Really. I'm not (help me!). I'll *try* to remember to take more progress pics as I get further along. Hey, I hear you laughing out there...don't misunderestimate me, I blogged twice in two weeks!!!

Yarn Nirvana

Yes, we made another trip to look at yarn we don't need and buy things we hadn't planned to! This time it was the CT Sheep, Wool and Fiber Festival, and it was lovely. It isn't Rhinebeck, but I don't think it's really trying to be. It's just a modest, contained celebration of the fiber arts (of course with plenty of opportunities to purchase!), including music, food, border collie trials and real live alpaca! And the obligatory sheep and angora rabbits, of course :).

I took the trip with KnelleyKnits, WifeMomKnitter, CostumeChick, Yankee Lagniappe and blogless Pat. As expected, it was as much, if not more fun, traveling to and from the festival as was the event itself! As with Rhinebeck, my friends made the trip so much more than just another adventure in capitalism. Thanks, guys, I had a blast!

And, as expected, I didn't bring a camera :(. But I do have pics of my own modest take!

First, can't forget the family. I surprised them with this:

Maple cream from Just a Mere Tree Farm in Worthington, Massachusetts. If you haven't had it, you don't know what you are missing. It's a spread made from maple sugar, kind of like a Nutella for the maple crowd. In previous trips to Canada, this was a highlight of the trip, my partner being Canadian and having grown up on the stuff. I must say this made quite a hit at home.

Less popular, but still missing half its contents a mere two days post purchase:

Maple sugar, from the same farm. Great on toast or virtually anything you might want to put sugar on for sweetening.

And these for the kids:

Alpaca pops! Actually I loved them more than the kids, which is kind of dangerous for my waistline. Glad they are almost gone!

And lastly, these:

Raku-fired earrings from Keith O'Connor Pottery of Exeter, New Hampshire. So beautiful, I couldn't decide on which color to buy so I bought them both.

Yes, you read right, no yarn whatsoever in this haul. No knitting books, no tools. So boring, sorry y'all. I'm kind of feeling okay in that department and don't find myself longing for more yarn or more toys at this moment. Nevertheless, I still managed to spend more than I'd intended at the festival. As expected :).

My knitting is suffering from severe underblogging. Will catch up in the coming days, I promise! Well, I promise to try! Well, I promise to have every intention to blog and then apologize profusely when I don't ;).

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Six-Word Memoir

Tagged again! Thank you, Nutmeg Knitter! I was tagged to do a six-word memoir. Sum up life in six words...this is *very* challenging.

Here's my best effort so far, with alternates at the bottom - because I think that life is just too big to be captured in six words!

It was never about the money.

Here's the NPR story that describes the concept and gives examples of six-word memoirs from writers and non-writers alike.

Here are the guidelines, should you choose to participate in this yourself:

Write your own six word memoir. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere. Tag five more blogs with links.

My alternates follow:

It is true. Knitting changes lives.
Four kids...what were we thinking?

Well, it's not perfect, but I still like my first the best. OK, I'll tag four...Once Upon a Cookie, The Original Test Dummy, Wife, Mom, Knitter and Passimenterie.