Monday, October 31, 2005


Having kids home for the weekend and/or the prospect of visiting the kids brings out the domestic baker in me.
Usually, I love to cook, but am not much of a baker. Friday Katie came home from college, Saturday Mark got here, and Wed I am leaving to go to MI to see Daniel.
So, the haul from Saturday AM: oatmeal cookies, brownies, dried rosemary (not for the kids obviously), choc chip cookies, and guacamole for Jeff and Katie while they watched the Georgia Florida game. What did not get eaten, and what Mark and Katie did not take back to school with them is getting sent to Daniel today.

And, while waiting for various batches to come out of the oven, I got more done on the Irish Hiking scarf I started on Wednesday. This one is made from some Berger du Nord SilkKid, a very hazy mohair blend, from the archives of the stash. Soft, pretty. Will have to make mittens from something white and not hazy to go with. This one is for ds#2 girlfriend, Ashlee, who is a Jr at Grand Valley in Grand Rapids MI. It is a very fast easy knit, the pattern is easy to remember after one repeat, and I can talk and knit this at the same time. Unlike the Irlandais sleeves that I got back to yesterday - ended up having to rip back completely on one of the sleeves to the very first cable row - comes from knitting two sleeves at a time on the needles and not paying attention to which sleeve is being worked - 'cause I'm too busy running off at the mouth.
Took the Irish Hiking scarf with me last night to Borders, where I've been catching up with the nicest bunch of young women who get together to stitch via the St Louis stchnbtch yahoo groups. I really enjoy this group of women, and it is so different to listen to them talk - all at a very different stage of life than I. I love that knitting and stitching give a very diverse group of women common ground to come together, and learn about each other, and form friendships that otherwise never would have been formed. On Wednesday nights I've been going to Myers House and knitting with a group of women that are on the other end of the spectrum, and are closer to my own age and up to 20 yrs older than I, and again, there is that commonality that brings everyone together and an openness and willingness to share knowledge and talk about life experiences and form friendships - something I've sorely missed since moving to this city 2 years ago.

Friday, October 28, 2005


Taking a break from regularly scheduled knitting, Enter the cabled chemo cap.
My friend Sharron (the queen of the cables) starts chemo Monday, so I found this pattern and created my first FO in a long while. It was a really fast knit.
Yarn: the new Plymouth Suri Merino in navy, an incredibly soft dk weight that knit up beautifully. I've got some Inca Alpaca in dk green to make another.

I've also managed to do very well keeping to my schedule of getting a little bit woven each day on the loom - usually between 6:00AM - 7:00AM.
On the agenda today: finish up the last 7 rows of contrast color on the front neck edge of the USMP, go make the investment in the blocking board that I've been lusting after, and then get that puppy blocked. I'm not sure about whether to wet block or steam the Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino. There's enough acrylic (microfiber) in the blend that I'm a little afraid of wet blocking. Anyone with experience with this yarn, input is welcome.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wednesday silliness

In todays email:
• Dotted Sweater: Siam aqua (dark aqua). Large burgundy dots on right bodice. Open-knit left bodice, left shoulder, V neckline, and back. Ribbed elongated cuffs. Self bow; three-button front. Cutaway waist. Long sleeves. 100% lambswool. Marc Jacobs. $268 at Nieman Marcus

Why is it that designers feel they have to keep piling detail upon detail to make something outstanding?
Goes along with all this over the top embellishment phase we're in.

On the one hand, I love this sweater. Love the color, love the dots, love the shape, love the eyelet - but there is too much going on. They call those 'elongated cuffs'. The cuffs go to the bicep! The cuffs on the Cochique Irlandais are elongated - they are 8". This I would call a ribbed sleeve with a puffy cap, which I would have left off.

Has anyone been shopping lately? not the LYS, or the nearest great fabric store, but ready-to-wear? Sweaters Sweaters everywhere. Most with the look of handknit, even when they're not. Great way to try on shapes you might be considering knitting.

Will try to get back later with a 'what was I thinking?' Wed post. Right now, have to At least with all this running you'd think I'd be losing my tush - not happening.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Monday ramblings

good monday.
Before 8:00 AM I completed another 1/3 yd on my weaving. This is what I need to do. I figure at the rate I've been going, I'll have this piece woven off in 6 weeks.
In my head I'm already 2 projects ahead on the loom. (and I have the yarn for both already!) I've already designed the next project (in my head). It is another fairly loosely woven wool/silk/tencel blend that will be suitable for a Chanel type jacket, in purples and creams. I've got 2 handpainted yarns that are fine as thread, and 2 solid purple wools and I'm thinking of combining them. Have to sample it and modify to make what is in my head a reality. After that I'm going solid (one yarn!) and have been mentally playing with weave structure in a birds eye pattern (a raised diamond with raised center dots for interest. It will be a real change to be able to just throw a shuttle back and forth and establish a rythm to my weaving. I've got 4 working shuttles with the piece that is on there now, and I have to pay supreme attention or I mess the sequencing up. There isn't a continuous sequence that makes sense - that would have been too too easy!
I'd like to kick up the 6 week plan, but I don't think that is realistic with everything else that is on my plate, not to mention that I'm going to be going to Sault Ste Marie in two weeks to see the babybug. (doesn't he look studious?)

I also have to interrupt previously scheduled projecting to interject some holiday gifts. Hopefully quickies that will get finished before the holidays. What a concept.

On another note:
From the class I taught Friday: Jazz Your Jeans
These are student jeans, finished while in class. They were thrilled.

Then Saturday I went to Terre Haute to see my eldest son. Seen on the sign outside Lowes:

FALL ladder event? Are they kidding? This is getting sent to Jay Leno.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Opinions please

So much for my posting this week - it's been a heck of a week.

No project content, no What Was I thinking? Wednesday, What can I say?

I'm going to be ordering labels. These are not for client workt that I do, these are for my own projects and for gift projects.
Do I order two, one for handknits and another for custom clothing? or do I combine it all in one label?
Some thoughts:

Three lines of personalization (Vertical DESIGN remains constant)
ML Studios

Grey letters on white

Marjorie Van Zile

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Knitting in Public

Courtesy of a friend who was in Italy this summer. She saw this woman several times in the village, then rounded a corner one day and saw her just perched on the stone wall there knitting away.

Monday, October 17, 2005

rearranging priorities

The siren song of new projects is still singing.
What to do? What to work on?
As has been evident, all other projects have taken a back seat to Irlandais. It's such a fun project to knit. Well, over the weekend, I was ready to start the cabling on the sleeve, when the cable needle failed to present itself in all the places it should have been.
This is a sign. USMP has been sorely neglected. Esmerelda is ready to run away. and my loom considers itself an orphan.
The thing is, it has become Important that I bump up the finishing schedule on the project on the loom. So, I sat down and threw the shuttles back and forth for several hours.
Fran, on KR, is fond of saying "10 minutes a day" Well, 10 min isn't going to accomplish anything on the projects I've got going, but I can commit to 1/3 yd woven per day. Saturday I completed about 1 whole yard.
Then I sat down with USMP and knit up more of the body. Note to self: while I love the sweater, this process is just too too tedious. No more stockinette sweaters on 3's. I'm now 3 rounds away from the armhole bind off - will get those 3 rounds done today. Then it might start moving faster.

What's new?

Dave and Wendy are pregnant

Michelle is pregnant

my no-buy pact with Laine doesnt' cover books, and this was just too cute, too good to pass.
So, between Irlandais and USMP, and after the woven goods are off the loom, I think a fast, instant gratification project might be in order.

Meanwhile, the post office, the kitchen, the refrigerator with its spoiled fish smell that needs detoxing - all call.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Top on my Wish List

A real one. Not something that dials in and out, but something that is pinnable and shaped right.

There, now that I've got that rant out of my system....Nice weekend.
Weather is finally something that is livable. dh and I went to "The Hill" Saturday AM, the Italian section of downtown. We had lattes at the coffee shop that roasts their own beans right there, then went to the Italian market and did our monthly run, buying olive oil and pastas and olives and sausage and....went to the Fish market. Great fish market.
Then came home and I sat down at the loom for several hours, then listed more books (I'm up to close to 100 so far - sold 4 overnight) on Amazon, then made a fabulous boullaibase.
dh had football on for a solid 10 hours yesterday. This house has an open floor plan, and my loom is in the loft overlooking the great room where the LOUD TV is located. I swear they have one sound track for football and baseball games, and they just run that screaming loud loop over and over again; and they pay some poor shmuck to whistle and scream right near the mike at intervals. Yesterday I was about to go out of my mind.

This afternoon we went out to the winery, sat outdoors listening to a local blues band while enjoying a great picnic, mostly stuff we picked up yesterday, along with a bottle of Missouri wine. If you are reading this in CA, you may cringe. Still, it was nice. Now a game is on again. I think I may go to Borders. to knit. to enjoy the quiet. breathe. breathe. who knew that fall football noise would get to me this bad?

Now, who is it whose blog I was reading that has their wish list along the left hand side, that has a bunch of books listed from Amazon? If you're reading this, don't be shy, tell me who you are, I've looked and can't find you to remember. Because I remember turning around and seeing some of your books on my bookshelf. I'm not letting go of my cookbooks yet, but other than that, the books are where we are starting to let go of 'stuff'.

tomorrow i will update projects, Maybe.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Penchant for Purple

The latest version of the Chanel jacket.

It may have to do with my longstanding fascination with all things royal - medeival royalty anyway, from the Plantagenets to the Tudors and the Louis' and the Phillips, but I seem to be in a purple haze.

I think I have to have these shoes.

My sisters tree skirt (she doesn't want red, even for Christmas) - I really must finish that this month.

Two sleeves - Irlandais, Colchique Along

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What Was I Thinking? Wednesday

This is some absolutely gorgeous Lane Borgosesia yarn, purchased sometime in the '80s, along with this soft and rich looking wool. I don't have any idea what happened to the pattern I had started - maybe I had the sense to burn it. I def abandoned the project.
Diagonal ribbing sprinkled with popcorns...?!? What on earth motivated me to try that?
out of a yarn that is 26% mohair and is too soft to hold the definition of the popcorn - and too sticky fuzzy to allow one to rip back. That 6" piece of ribbing there represents about a months worth of knitting time for me.
I still love the yarn, love the woolen piece for a bottom, either skirt or pant to go with, and have been contemplating what I can do with the yardage I have left.

If I ditch the deep ribbing at the bottom, I may have enough yardage to complete this cardi, from the Winter 1986 issue of Vogue Knitting.

note to self: if you are going to go through the effort to knit popcorns, do it in a light colored, solid yarn that is firm enough to hold the stitch definition. There is a reason the fisherman knit sweaters full of cables and popcorns are knit in natural cream or natural grey wool worsteds.

On the slate for next Wed: My closet vs my potential closet - the angst of a stashing fiberholic.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tuesday morning.

Well, what do you know. Pictures today. Yesterday pics weren't loading again.

A finished back.
For technical info on how i chose to do the raglan decreases see the Colchique Along, button to link on sidebar.
I do have some extra rows in there, which is fine, except that it is going to affect the fantasie no 2 (the diamond pattern) on the front of the sweater. Yesterday I was thinking I would raise the diamond pattern, starting 14 rows into the godron (the horizontal ribbing), but looking at the illustration of the finished sweater (would it be too much to ask for co's to give us ONE stand-up- straight or sweater-laid-out-flat so that we can actually see the design elements?) I think that I will start the fantasie no 2 right at the end of the cabled ribbing, and let the extra rows of plain godron reside under the collar.

Laine and I have a PACT. details have been worked out and agreed upon. Good thing.

And, I've been loading books onto Ebay. dh and I have over 1000 books; almost none of which will fit on the boat, and only a few of which we are willing to put into storage. So, Saturday I put about 40 of them up on Ebay. The easy ones that are easy to let go of. Last ebay go-round I sold the Jean Auel Clan of the Cave Bear Series, but the Anne Rice Vampire chronicles didn't sell - who'd a thought it would go that way?, given the sheer number of Jean Auel books listed, and the rather small # of Anne Rice and the PR that AR has been getting lately. I have pics taken of another 50 or 60 or so books, ready to list when I get the minute to write the descriptions and do the upload. We figure we need to start being willing to let go of 'stuff', and the books seemed like a good place to start. We only have bookcases for a fraction of the books we actually have, so this is good.

Tuesday is a store-working day, so, gotta run. Go rearrange and sell fabric, and make sure my new machine is back in the box. I'm trading up. Selling my Bernina 153 and trading up to the Bernina 165. I have two potential buyers for the 153 - first one that actually comes up with the $ gets it.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

i miss my friends

Hey Rox, got your email.
Miss you!

This is us on our b'day - we share one.

we weren't having any fun at all, nuh uh!

new yarn burning a hole in my pocket

shhhhhh, I KNOW that I can't cast on another project until some of what is on the needles is knit off....but
this is just calling me.
plug the ears.

Progress Report and more of ASE

The back of the DB ruffle cardi for which the rest of the yarn may never get here!

Esmerelda of Jaeger Odessa is feeling Very much the ignored stepchild to my other projects going on. Not much progress here.

Union Square Market Pullover
Yarn: DB baby cash
Since I took this pic four days ago I've completed two more inches of this interminable stockinette Am up to the increases after the waist shaping.

this is the baby that has been recieving the bulk of my attention in the evenings. From this 4 days ago....
Irlandais, see the pic of the pattern by clicking on the clochique along on my sidebar. I'm having fun knitting this one.

More on the Am Sewing Expo:

My purchases while at the ASE in Novi:
an incredible piece of cashmere, a Chanel lipstick red with a Pink overtones. Soft and supple - will become a jacket of some sort. A deep wine wool jersey for an easy dress. A wool windowpane check for pants and a butterscotch wool tweed for a skirt, a turquiose silk 4 ply for skirt, and 6 balls of the softest cashmere yarn for a simple cardi.

You wouldn't think that two someones who spend so much of their lives working with fabric and sewing would get that excited about being exposed to MORE of it. We were like two kids in a candy store or two men in a hardware store.

And bonus: I broke down and bought the Cochenille software design program for patternmaking. works for both sewing patterns AND knitwear. Can't wait to have time to play with it.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I'm baaaack

Day One: All day colorwork knitting seminar with Brandon Mably of Rowan fame and business partner to Kafe Fassett.
Bonus, Kafe sat in most of the day on the seminar, knit up one of the poppies samples himself, and we all got to see the current needlepoint tapestry he is designing right now. Interesting process, beautiful tapestry, and it will be charted and kitted up - Ha! it would take years for anyone of my abilities and attention span to finish. If it ever got finished. Nevertheless it is gorgeous.
Back to the seminar at hand: if you live in Minneapolis, Seattle, Houston, Toronto, or anywhere close to where he is doing this seminar - take it!

He changed my thinking on knitting with color. I've done it, I know how to do it, (the sleeveless shell that I just finished is technically two colors, although they are pretty close as to be subtle enough to look like a single color), but I haven't liked much of what I've done that is with several colors, and most of it hasn't worked.
I'm really glad that in my poppy sample I made a glaring color value error, it was more a learning experience than if I hadn't. he told me as I was knitting in that streak of green, 'that probably isn't going to work there but do it anyway so you can see', and it didn't and Now I GET IT (I hope).

Here I am with Brandon Mably, trying on one of the Rowan sample sweaters he designed - this one is Zoe from the summer magazine. I like it on me, and think that I may finally have found something to do with the Tahki Chelsea silk that has been languishing in my stash since the mid-80's . it's been knit into various starts, ripped out, and left to languish.

(and if I had a diff pic with him I would post it, have you ever seen such a bad hair day?)

the class samples using scraps of yarn.

I have progress reports too - got some knitting done while sitting at DTW airport waiting on a plane. would have been totally wasted time if we weren't allowed to carry knitting needles on. Sharron and I both just sat and knit while many around us fretted and fussed (many around us never got to where they were going Sunday night, so the fretting and fussing was probably justified).

more about the next two days later....
but, in along the lines of my eyes are bigger than my abilities to get things made:

and again, blogger isn't uploading any more pics. I really must change where I put this blog - the frustration level is too high.

will try again later.