Friday, March 31, 2006

Flashing Just like a Sorority Girl


April 1st is
Flash Your Stash:
click on the link for the real down and dirty



is there any doubt why I need the Stash-Along?
this doesn't include my coned yarns for weaving, and the last few pics I didn't get after my camera battery died.
Donations and Prizes:
I'm going to be perusing the stashes flashed today, per the Flash your Stash links
and plan to award a prize - from this stash - to the stash that appears to be the neediest. This is a purely subjective decision on my part - but, if you think you have a needy stash and want me to look, leave a comment with a link to your flash

Stash a Long click on link yada yada
per the rules of the stashalong, which I've volunteered to play by and follow.
For the next 60 days (thereafter in 30 day increments - all bets are off if I can get even a day at Convergence in July, and get to Stitches Midwest in August), I digress,
60 days, knit from stash, no stash enhancement - none, nada, zip, zero, zilch.
my goal: to reduce my stash over the next 60 days by 5% - knit it, sell it, or give it away.
yup, I know how many skeins I have, so I know what 5% is. Not telling here.
note: I count yarn as stash until it is knit off the needles. Hence, when I Finish Colchique, I get to reduce my stash by 12 skeins. Not until then. So, 5% is doable. I have 78 skeins currently involved in projects that are on the needles. Makes me shudder to think of it.

Project update:
Gyrid - will knit off needles this weekend. Def will be done in time for
Knit the Classic Life of Pi project deadline
Drops Cardi - ready to cast on just as soon as Gyrid is done
Orangina - casting on today ;)
everything else is same as last week.

Not all my stash is Yarn - in fact, my fabric stash makes my yarn look like childs play.
Mind you I've been sewing, and collecting beautiful fabrics, all my life. Most of the most fabulous pieces that I have have been from periods when I've had more $ and inclination, than time, so I bought for the day when my avail time would exceed my ability to buy. The time has come.
Want a peek?

Monday, March 27, 2006

It's Raining, it's pouring

And I think I'll just dial up Las Vegas and order one of these fun numbers to protect my Dark and Short new hair from the Spring Showers. Isn't that just one of the prettiest umbrellas you've ever seen?

In weekend news, I got lots and lots of projecting done. Mostly in my sewing room. Blue curtains finished for my son Daniels room at college (Finally!) and some surprise sewing for some swap pals. Can't post too much about it here, yet.

Stashalong starts this weekend, so last week I ordered and got the rest of the linen print i needed to be able to knit that Drops cardi (you've seen it already), and I broke down and ordered a skein of the yellow Lollygirl colorway from Mama-E. It should be here by Friday, so I'm ok w/ not acquiring more yarn after the start of the Stashalong. Maybe I'll actually knit a pair of socks, but doubtful. More likely I'll have another go at that Princess Scarf that nearly defeated me that I knit for Maisie for the ISE exchange. I loved the finished project, and although the pattern is written as a stole in a heavier yarn, I really think it is meant to be knitted of merino sock yarn that is hand-dyed. It came out so pretty.

So, at the end of this week, I'll be sending out some packages, and I've got some little incidentals, products of this weekends sewing, that I'd love to share and send along to friends who read my blog. email me your snail mail address if I don't have it, if you would like a Little surprise in the mail....at mlweaving at earthlink dot net

One more thing: Is there any interest out there in participating in a Knit Along for a project from Alice Starmores Tudor Roses? I'm thinking starting somewhere around Memorial Day - be a nice take-along vacay knit, any project from the book. Carrie K has already said she would be interested. let me know in the comments. ohh, maybe I could even interest Dicksie, who is the queen of all time of Alice Starmore Knits, to consult for us. I'll try to find the link for Dicksie's photo album. I want to knit like Dicksie, Eunny, and Marina, all rolled into one, when I grow up. And Sew like Susan Khalje.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Life of Pi project and ...



Life of Pi project.
I've gotten started, and am into the section starting the St Johns cross.
Why do I think this is representative of the story from the book?
A religious theme dominates the book - "this is a story to make you believe in God", yet Piscine aka Pi doesnt' restrict himself to one form of God, but practices the Christian, the Muslim, and the Hindu faiths. The book also deals with themes of the eternal. Even Pi's name is derived from the number that is never ending 3.14......
The St Johns cross motif in the center of this sleeveless top is a continuous, eternal 'cross' that is representative of Christianity to the Christians, however it is derived from pagan culture symbols.
I'm using one strand of blue and one strand of green Rowanspun 4 ply yarns, which, aside from creating a beautiful fabric, are representative of the blue of the ocean that Pi and Robert Parker are floating upon in their lifeboat, and the green of the life-sustaining, life-threatening algae island they happen upon in the middle of the story.
It may be stretching it a bit...but I find myself thinking endlessly of this story while knitting this top, and I will never wear it without recognizing the duality of the symbols here.



AND....most exciting of all: I found the Yarn to use to knit the Eris Cardi that my Secret Pal gifted me with the pattern for, while knitting this top! I love the Rowanspun stranded together as 2 yarns. I just love it. and the weight and gauge will be perfect for the Eris Cardi. and I have BAGS FULL, bags and bags, of Rowanspun 4ply. I plan to knit that pullover with the Vittadini Eva that I have in grey, but I don't have enough to knit the cardi - and I love that cardi. So all I"m left to decide is what colors to use. oh the possibilities.


Meanwhile, in the world of swap pals:
I got a package yesterday from my mystery book swap pal from Knit the Classic bookswap. I was so excited. I got home, saw the pkg, but had to turn around and leave right away again, so I opened it while driving (I know, I know, worse than talking on a cell phone while driving) - so, no fancy box opening pics - oh wait, I'll go take a pic of the front seat of my car: It contained a 400 yd hank of this yummy cotton yarn - looks good enough to eat don't you think? so, I'm open for ideas. It's Schaefer Yarns handpainted Laurel, 100% cotton, worsted weight. What to do with it?
As for reading materials, in contained her "genuine vintage" "absolutely favorite Sherlock Holmes mystery", The Hound of the Baskervilles. and a "tea Shop mystery" Death by Darjeeling. As well as some sweets, which I exercised great restraint in not trying to open as I was driving down the highway.
Thank you for everything! Can you believe? I haven't read Hound of the Baskervilles although I've seen the PBS production.
My mystery book swap pal seems determined to stay a mystery though - I don't know who this is from. Shall I guess? Or will you tell me?


and, for the stash pile, before April 1, I scored this from yesterday mail from Elann. Now I have enough to knit that Drops cardi that I swatched for last week. it's a discontinued Rowan linen print. The gauge is perfect, and I think it'll look great. But, I didn't have enough - now I do ;)



and last but not least:
This is going right to the top of my wish list!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Flash Your Stash '06


in a yarn-ographic twist on Spring Break, and
to coincide with the start of round two of Stashbusting Stashalong KAL,
and April Fools Day - for those of us that are fool enough to do it.
April 1st marks the 2nd annual

sign ups on the knitty board or at Zib's here

I think that I may even pull something out of the stash and add to Zibbibo's prize pile.

and now, it's time for the Wednesday AM WIP WIPEOUT update:

Lady Eleanor: on tier 22

VK 11: last sleeve will get sewn in today

Lara, side seams and ends woven in, today

Feather and Fan Scarf: ends woven in today

Colchique: knit back up to point that I ripped from a month ago. finally ready to finish the front.

Does anyone understand why Blogger is so tempermental about uploading pics these day?

Frustration city.

Monday, March 20, 2006

holz and stein needles.

Catherine at http://www.catherineknits.com/ just got in more Holz and Stein circulars.
They are expensive, but they are fabulous. and they won't last any time at all, so if you are interested it is not time to dally. You have to call her with an order, or fax her an order, but then you know what she has left too.
they are on her web page under Knitting Needles, Noble Needles. she has ebony and Rosewood circs and some dpn's.
I still can't get Blogger to upload any of my pics from flickr, but if you look here you will find a pic of a rosewood circ with the ISE scarf on it.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

a foody day, and Secret Pals..

I love to cook. This is no secret.
Today ended up being a real foody kind of a day.
This morning I got up and made a sour cream coffee cake to have with b'fast - my son was here from college, and dsd was home. I used a new tube pan that I got yesterday - a small little 1/2 size silicone baking tube pan. I was super skeptical, but I really wanted to give this silicone bakeware a try - because it would be Ideal for the boat. I LOVED it.
Kids, it's going on my Christmas list - only a small amount - a loaf pan, a square baking pan, a round cake pan - maybe a cupcake pan. That's it. But it baked evenly, came out totally clean without any greasing of the pan, cleans up easily, and won't degrade in a salt water environment, not to mention the ability to wad it up to store it. If you haven't tried it - run out and get some.

Tonight I made a mushroom risotto, braised fennel and radicchio, and grilled wahoo. the keys to the risotto: quick sautee chopped baby bellas over High heat in butter, then set aside to be folded in just before serving; hydrate some dried porcinis in the liquid (I use equal amounts chicken and beef broth) used to cook the risotto - intensifies the mushroom flavor, and add a dash of soy sauce to the mushroom broth.

Secret Pals Stuff
Can't wait to find out who my SP7 is. Whoever you are, youve been great. Thank you! I know you've been reading my blog, 'cause I've read your occasional comment.
And a shout out HI to Carmen. I emailed you earlier to let you know who I am, however there is still a final pkg on the way.

and HI to Becca from the Project Spectrum Swap I have such great ideas for you. I've already half put together the pkg. But I want to know a bit more about you.

I'm also participating right now in the Knit the Classics - and signed on for the Mystery Book swap. What's funny is, I picked up the book for the swap, started reading it to make sure it was ok to send, and got so into it, I had to go buy another copy to send! LOL. I hope she likes it as well as I seem to. Challenge is, I loved reading Life of Pi, even though it was never a book that appealed to me and not one I would have picked up and read on my own....and my swap pal didn't like it - I don't htink she even read it through, so, .... what if she doesn't like the mystery?
oh well, I don't htink that'll be a real issue. Mystery is such a diff genre than Life of Pi. I can see where people just wouldn't be able to get into a story ostensibly about a boy stranded in a lifeboat with a Tiger - stretches the ability to suspend your disbelief.
Once she's got the mystery I'll reveal what it is.

I just finished listening to The Kiterunner. I kept wondering, all the way through, "What was his motivation for writing this story?" It's just sad, all the way around. Not enlightening, not deep, not anything. Just SAD.

Paula, if you are reading this: I owe you an email, but yes, I htink I am going to read Moll Flanders. I picked it up at Borders over the weekend too. But may still upload it from Audible books and listen to it.

ok, time to see what I can get done on that Cochique Front.

oh, Julsey, I don't know, what do you think? I'm thinking the Jaeger Aqua, on the swatches, but that may be too heavy. Still ruminating while I finish up some of these WIP's.

More Project Spectrum


Lily
Originally uploaded by mlweaving.

Friday, March 17, 2006

S.W.A.T.C.H

(I spent much of the day swatching, and NOW blogger won't upload ANY of my swatch pics :(



Ohhhhh, I'm so excited (I feel like Donna Summer singing - shush if you're not old enough to remember singing I'm so excited, I'm about to lose control and I think I like it, I LIKE IT....just SHUSH

All set up with a fresh pot of coffee, my bins of summer yarns around me, my recently organized notebook full of patterns, a stack of books and magazines, and a mess of needles, and I'm ready to swatch.

and just in case you're wondering, yes, Lara is knit off the needles, ...and this font color is in honor of Spring, not that other thing happening today.

First, must remember to say:

Happy Anniversary Dad & Joan Happy Anniversary Jon & Erika

and in another anniversary of sorts, on this date in 1988 my first dh (a true Irish Catholic) left us. Mark was 5, Daniel was 3. We survived. we prospered. But I have a serious problem celebrating anything related to St Pats day - even though my dad and my bro each got married on this date.

______-

On to the fun stuff. Click on that for a link since I can't make blogger upload any of the pics! ARGH

And Finally, I cast on for my Life of Pi project for Knit the Classics

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sexy Knitting results are In

Ya, I know I was coming back on Wednesday with update - you don't really want another yawn update right now do you?

so, instead, I'm here to report that the voting was close - ridiculously close - on the sweater to knit next for the Sexy Knitters KAL. I had nominated my fav little Drops Cardi which only garnered 11% of the vote - sad but true.

Annie Modesitt's v sexy but complex knit Silk Corset and Knitty's Tubey each got 16% of the vote, and the remaining votes were split 28% for Orangina and 29% for Somewhat Cowl.
Orangina you can see on my entry from two days ago - it's on my list already.
but Somewhat Cowl....
interesting neckline. You'll notice that in the pattern photo there isn't any full on front photo to give the knitter a clear idea of what this is going to look like. Isn't that everyone's complaint with Rowan? Too much Art and Style in photos and not enough information on what the thing looks like? I digress.


I've found 3 pics on the internet of finished Somewhat Cowls
I'm just not sure about that collar sitting out there. The cowls I remember from the 80's (ackkkkk, in Roxane-speak) were drapey soft things. This is pretty stiff and 'out there'
Check them out and let me know what you think.
Actually, all of these examples look to be knit beautifully by really competent knitters - and I'd seriously consider following the lead of the cabled version, just please I would have to change that collar thing.

http://www.pixiestikz.com/blog/archives/000106.html

http://flickr.com/photos/77772407@N00/102601064/

http://boundbymyhook.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_boundbymyhook_archive.html
scroll down on that last one

What do you think?


oh, bonus: for the Drops free pattern fans among us: check out this cotton number- v cute with cables and shape. it's pattern 15-1

Monday, March 13, 2006

Serial knitting



Ah, did I mention that the summer projects just put into the lineup are for Serial Knitting, not consecutive knitting?

No, I didn't mention that? Seems I've discovered the delights of (mostly)monogamous knitting. Thank you Yarn Harlot. And Risa has come up with an informal WIP Wipeout which fits nicely with what I've already started. Goal is to get down to just a few projects on the needles. She's set Wednesdays for updates for that - sounds good to me.

Must update the status bars on the sidebar, but the Lara is nearly done. Not bad, from cast on to seaming in less than 3 weeks. I've just got to finish knitting the right sleeve. Then, while I'm at the seaming, I'll finish setting in the left sleeve of the VK11 and that will be Finished. That's right, all that sweater needs is the last sleeve sewn in. Thing is, it's too warm now to wear it til next fall (late fall).

Am trying to knit a skein a week on the other Lady E, so that is satisfying any urges I have to alternate knits. That will get that done on a schedule too.

I showed off my Lady E at the Knitting Guild on Saturday and there was a lot of interest in the yarn, the pattern, the entrelac. I ended up showing a couple of women how to do entrelac, and Dianna, the Guild president already has hers planned.

On the home front, we are in a momentary lull in the upheaval. It won't last.

Friday, March 10, 2006

pics galore

Spring/summer knitting

I've gone and signed up for the Stash-along.
Needs must do
although, with the exception of a lapse last week when I bought some incredibly lovely Plymouth Bamboo (pic yet to come) I've done amazingly well at limiting the stash enhancement this calendar year.

so, right now I've got Lara on the needles - pics somewhere near the bottom of this collage
also up in the queue:




Drops cardi


and this EL number is to become, with some modification, my project this month for Life of Pi. reasoning and details to come (oh, aren't you on the edge of your seat?)


Lara - she sure is coming along fast.


These next two are contenders for the yarn that was USMP
Both are Rowan patterns (I promise details on which book they came from when I dig the books back out), Agnes (the pinkish one) is written for cashsoft 4 ply - which in terms of yarn substitution, the DB baby cashmerino is a one-to-one sub without any problem
the other is Agnes, and is written for Rowan cotton 4ply, and I think both the weight and the gauge will again be a one-to-one sub. IF you think otherwise please speak up - I really don't want to start again on something with this yarn where the substitution was a BAD BAD idea.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Back in Circulation

It's been an eventful and rough week+ here, which explains some of my absence from cyberland.
After a lot of drama, we welcome into our home as a permanent resident, my youngest dear step-daughter (henceforth to be referred to here as dsd). more drama I'm absolutely certain, as the legalities of this move get sorted out. The other 3 kids are all already at college (oh my aching bank account)

in no particular order we/I've also:
  • completed the refi on the house
  • supported eldest son through finals week and realization that there is yet another class that must be taken for graduation to happen
  • finished reading Eat Cake (easy light little read that leaves you longing for baked goods)
  • Finished listening to Anna Karenina (unabridged) on CD. If I'd been reading it, it would have been abandoned long ago, but I listened to it while knitting so got through it. Slog slog slog.
  • started and finished reading Life of Pi - which brings me to the fact that I've recently joined several new KAL - blog communities, one of which is KnitTheClassics. Must get buttons and links up on the sidebar.
  • cast on for and have half knit Lara by Debbie Bliss - out of (send up the flag!) Stashed Yarn! - an older tweedy number from Adrienne Vittadini
  • received my ISE scarf from Judy, aka SheepRustler, in Australia. it is a very interesting combination of I-cords, knit of various yarns and attached at random (I think they're random) points with stitches and/or buttons. I have a pic taken at my friend Sharrons yesterday, have to get to the other computer to post it.
  • knit off the needles (per stated goals) the back of Esmerelda and the body of the red cotton cardi. Esmerelda will get back burnered now til fall, Red cotton cardi will be finished at the end of this month, latest by mid-April. I'm loving that sweater. Had to pick up the size 0 addi turbo to start the yoke, meanwhile I can't stop knitting on this uber-fast Lara..
  • taken on a new student for private lessons and have started curriculum building. I may end up teaching at University yet.
  • Watched Chloe win Project Runway - only caught last 10 minutes last night so still haven't seen runway shows, but I'm not disappointed. And I Do hope that Daniel takes up Michael Kors on his job-offer. What an opportunity for Daniel!

Pics this afternoon when I get to loading from camera.