Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More tricks!

I think of all my past projects, and wonder how I got along without the new tricks I learn. Or even more so, I wonder how bad they look compared to how nice things work out with my new techniques.
Here's an example that I got from Knitting Daily today. (Especially see the video.) Honk if you like to weave in ends!  I'm not hearing anything...  That Eunny Jang (editor of Interweave Knits) sure is clever and she probably has clever people working for her too. I can't wait to get to the end of a color or the end of a ball so I can use her method and NOT weave in ends when my project is done.
Can this work with fair isle--carrying the yarn on the backside? The jury is still out, but I'd like to hear your comments and opinions.

What you can do on two 18 hour flights (with plenty of interruptions):
This is another Sock Innovation pattern: Vilai.  I'm in love with the LL Shepherd Sock yarn too!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Out of Norway

Can you pick out the Americans in the picture?  Who isn't wearing black?

And back...
I dressed up like a big person, with real shoes that made me limp! I wrongfully assumed that the streets would be sloppy with snow, or rain, so I didn't bring proper dress-up shoes, and borrowed a beautiful pair of purple shoes that belong to Celina. A size larger than what I wear, walked 10 minutes over the cobblestones to the court house...ouch. I didn't mind!  My girl was getting married!!!

The big day began with a leisurely morning of casting on and salvaging an aborted project from the previous day. The dilemma of the wedding cuffs: When I had decided NOT to attend the ceremony (a few weeks back) I knew I wanted to make something that C could have with her. A trip to Durango to the local yarn shop and a serendipitous purchase of a "Knitting Traditions" magazine put me on the track of something small but personal: Wedding cuffs. I imagined that the bride and groom would walk over to city hall and little fancy cuffs under the bride's coat sleeves seemed perfect. And of course, she would wear her bright pink coat (her favorite) so pinks and purples--cant' go wrong. Right? Wrong. The coat would be shed and a borrowed ensemble of peach colors and red would be the dress of the day... I couldn't believe my eyes that she had betrayed her favorite colors. When I
arrived I gave it a day, and then announced that something had to be done about those pink/purple cuffs; the something being I had to make new ones in the appropriate colors. Yarn was purchased and the day continued with shopping and planning and baby holding and a nap and suddenly it was evening and I was starting my 40 x 2 rows of 60 stitches for the cuffs. I restarted 3 times, (too many stitches, wrong cast on) completed 10 rows and then the question about the prospect of finishing in time came up. It was decided I could knit up a few flowers and use as a pin... OK. I went to bed. 
 Up early, I started to cast on AGAIN.
 This time, in 1/2 hour I had a flower. I continued, knitting up 3 flowers in all, and rejecting one, went back to the unfinished cuff, bound off, sewed the flowers on and added a bright red French knot in their centers.  I was pleased, the bride was pleased. I watched, I held the baby, it was wonderful: Simple and elegant. Cake and champagne!

Monday, March 29, 2010

What I do for Love

Two full (24 hour) days of no sleep, restless nights, naps, another night of time change (setting clocks forward is cruel, especially twice!).
My journey back began by turning the clock forward, so I would have a maximum of 6 hours sleep, then proceeding to only sleep 2 hours.  Naps were all I could get.  Hopefully it means I never got my body adjusted to 8 time zones away, so I should be good in a few days at home.
I was overly optimistic when at 4 AM I could see the surrounding mountains clearly and packed away my rain jacket.  When I stepped out at the early hour, I realized my mistake, but then it was just to make the 10 minute walk and dry out elsewhere. Waking at 4 AM, out the door at 4:30, a short walk through the rain to the bus stop.  Then the bus-- Being early Sunday morning, the Saturday night revelers were still on the streets, but no one was smiling on the bus!  It was very poorly equipped, unlike the "real" flybussen, with no racks for luggage.  The entire floor space was 2 and 3 deep with luggage, people standing, no way to step around bags... it was a mess but at 5 AM no one had the energy or desire to complain.
Getting off, the first dozen people walked over the bags and grabbed their own, finally making a path.

At the airport, the time change had everyone bleary eyed.  As I waited for my flight to Frankfurt, I thought of the others being called to more enticing destinations like Rome, or Alicante.  Even Amsterdam seemed more festive than Frankfurt.  The passengers on my first flight despondent from lack of sleep and having to choose ham OR cheese. Both? No, however, Lufthansa has lovely German high quality leather seats.  Very first class! Then flying in, I remembered how amazingly forested it is around the airport in Frankfurt. That cheered me up a bit, but mid-Atlantic I realized I had another 12 hours before landing in Durango.  A journey from snow country (Norway) to snow country (Colorado).
After the first day of Spring, Norway has more hours of sun than the States.  It increases several minutes a day, but you wouldn't know it.  I last saw the sun above the clouds, briefly between Oslo and Bergen, and was thoroughly delighted that it made an appearance just as we stepped out on the street for our walk to the court house.  I immediately demanded that the wedding party stop mid street so I could take a picture in the sun!  
(A little snafu here:  I used Celina's camera which didn't get loaded into my files of pictures, and she is now on her way to Tunesia if she managed to conquer the British Airways strike, and I won't have those pictures for at least 10 days.)
It was beautifully clear the rest of the day, and in the evening the moon shone brightly. Then back to rain. I've come to expect that life goes on, with umbrellas and boots. 
Statistics: I was away from home for 5 days, 14-1/2 hours; At C's 3 days, 16-1/2 hours.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mother of the Bride

It's just beginning!

The day after the wedding, with pictures to sort through, and the good bye's being made. It's a happy day and a tearful day, as we part for another 2 months. It means a lot that I got to hold my daughter and squeeze my son-in-law, and pinch and carry my granddaughter. She started clapping her hands during the 3 day visit. What a cheerful baby!!

Friday, March 26, 2010



Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Had a wonderful time shopping with C after 20 hour journey with no
sleep. I must be excited or something. In two days I'll be mother of
the bride. Our mission today was to locate fine one time use china
which if I had thought or C had thought in time I could have purchased
at home. Norwegians are so proper that paper plates are for children
only. We found only pirates, princesses and Hannah M. None of those
being acceptable we shopped at the charity store and came home with 14
china cake plates for $15.
Tomorrow's mission: Double the cake we ordered. C is finding that
there are many more coming than she intended (like her MOTHER)!

Weather is as expected: Rain with intermittent drizzle. Photos to
follow! Nothing is going to dampen spirits. Champagne,everyone?

J Thom

My Yarn and Ivories Blog


Why I like New Mexico weather in March:
  • Blue skies
  • When I look at the 7-day forecast and 6 of the 7 days mention sun, sunny or sunshine, what's not to like?
  • Snow does occur: 1 of the 7 days says "Chance for morning snow showers"
  • Snow doesn't last
  • I've lived here 20 years and maybe 3 times we've had a patch of ice on the north side of a building that lasted over a month.
  • Special this year: Normal precipitation year to date is 1.56"; This year to date is 3.71"
  • Normally we get 7.3" per year.  I can live with that!
Downside:  Body lotion is a necessity! (And the wind is not blowing at this moment...)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

10 Tips

Learning new things?  I've knitted so many sweaters yet when I saw this list of 10 Tips my reaction was:  DUH!  It all makes sense and I never thought of it. Numbers 4 and 9 are the most enlightening for me.

I'm getting "startitis".  I don't have enough projects sitting around, but plenty in my queue.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I am so dull when I compare myself to others' blogs.  Take for example Muffin's World that I follow, and you can see to the right. Jorid has a competition going for Easter that you can see here.
She is so imaginative! The gist is that she made six chicks for egg warmers, numbered, and she has 6 eggs, one with a heart on it.  If you can guess which egg has the heart by letting her know (1-6) you can win a prize. The prizes are in the next pictures.  Very clever!  And look at all of the commentors lining up with guesses!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Lots of things are amazing me these days.  Babies crawling, orchids coming to life, wind (where DOES it go?), texting 8 time zones away, and now this: Electronic purchasing and receiving.
I got to say, I'm not a fan of microphones and video/sound that are sure to work until you expect them to. (Another topic.)
But you gotta love computers, Skype, and Tracfone.  I don't know how it works, and since it works I don't care to know, but it simply amazes me that it does. I just purchased another year of service and extra minutes for my Tracfone and before I finished printing out the receipt, my phone buzzed and was updated.  I love it.
I know, I know:  Tracfone, PULLEEZ! I know it's holding me back from constant communication, and I often don't answer because I have it on some setting that I'm not aware of. It keeps me honest, and is... cheap! We aren't anywhere near giving up our home phone number, and this is a warning: Don't rely on it in an emergency, unless I know it's an emergency too.  I guess that sums it up: Tracfone is for my personal emergencies, not yours.  Sorry about that! (I still have Celina's texts to me that she was about to give birth and that she had. It covers great distances, what more can I say?)

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Who has too many hand-knit shawls?  You can ask Mary, Eileen, Kay, Denise, Bonnie and Lynn from my knit group.  They will all answer: YOU DO!  We were talking shawls, and I was trying my best to explain why I like the shawlette pattern by Judy Pascale. Since we were sitting in my living room, I went to my closet and pulled out an example... or two or...dang, but there were 4 without even looking in my cupboard of sweaters. I guess I DO like that pattern. It fits: You put it around you and it doesn't fight gravity to slip off.  
It might seem a little complicated but it's worth it!  And it's only a 4 row repeat... Warning: It is necessary to count your stitches on each side of the mid-point. (I do since I don't focus well when I'm getting distracted multi-tasking.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring is Here!

I've been reading my Norwegian bloggers and finding that they are shoveling snow, and have frozen water pipes and such.  And here in mostly sunny New Mexico (except today) we have had pleasant temperatures, the daffodils are blooming and the occasional snowstorm comes through every week. The snow slows down traffic for a few hours and then it's sunny again.  I love this place!  Snow is pretty... then it's gone.  

Our sign of Spring is seeing the cattle and their new-born dogies, horses, mini-horses, and donkeys arrive in the field behind the house.  Mamas calling babies and donkeys calling in the night are the only disturbances we hear.  (I choose to ignore the wind.)

For the past few years I've been intrigued by orchids. It makes me think of tropic scenes, and humidity. The blossom itself is so unusual with its un-concentric design. Never daring to assume that a dry NM climate could sustain them, I didn't give in to my urge to have one in my house until last May.  I bought a beautiful dark pink plant with 11 buds, and most of them open.  It made me so happy to watch it and count 13 blossoms in all. In October the last one fell off, and after a trim and a wait of 5 months, today the first new blossom opened up.  I have at least 6 more to look forward to!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I love to knit...

You all know that I love to knit.  I'm more comfortable doing something creative with my fingers than sitting, waiting, or sleeping...:-)
Seriously, it's a sickness:  Waiting to play something on piano or organ is torture.  If I can be at the keyboard playing, I'm much more calm than pacing, or thinking.  Knitting has the same soothing effect, calming, and I pride myself that patterns are my forte.  Charts, patterns, k2tog, yo, no problem.
Tonight I realized that I'm not going to be able to memorize the lace pattern I'm doing for a baby (one year size) Jasmine Lace Edge Cardigan.  The "lace edge" is a 12 row repeat of 13-16 stitches. It's beautiful BUT I have to follow the instructions for each of the 12 rows, every time.  This is a first for me.  I expected that after the first three or four times I'd be able to eyeball it and make it work.  Surprisingly, I have no idea where I should "yo" to make the pattern... I've done the repeat 17 times, which will fit the bottom edge of the cardi itself, and next is more of the same for the edging of each sleeve.  Not only do I not have a clue what comes next in the pattern but the number of times I've miscounted is embarrassing.  THAT I do know: It's wrong, and I have to tink, and often frog rows.  "yo"s are the worst when you have to frog, eh?
I noticed in Ravelry that when you look up a pattern, the pattern has been linked to blogs!  I wonder how that happens?  Do I have to link it to Ravelry?  We'll see.
Don't forget to give up an hour of sleep!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Famous People

I can't help it!  I do everything to avoid watching the Oscar's then something falls in my lap like a great parody.  Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me is another one of my obsessions and they were there, and commenting so quickly!  See the Stars here!
Please take the Daily News Quiz today or any day!
Knitting News:
I learned something new!!  Liidia's Braid cast-on.  WOW! A real braid!  Thanks to Nancy Bush!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Never Finished

How can anyone be "finished" with knitting?  I have so much yarn stashed, and so many ideas, I hope I'll never be finished in my lifetime.  And if I should happen to use up all of my yarn, there's always the closet full of fabric leftover from my quilting days, and if that happens to disappear, I suppose I could set up the loom and...  That's what closets are for!
I vowed I wouldn't buy yarn for a long while... I should have set a date, or at least parameters for my "yarn diet", but alas, I didn't, and an outing to the local yarn shop brought with it the usual temptations.  I had a list which was one project that I wanted to make and I knew it wouldn't work with my stash yarn. And (here I'll blame it on the others I rode with) if the others hadn't been dawdling I would have marched out of there feeling pretty good.

But the longer I spent there, the more I thought about the Cookie A sock book, and how my current stash just doesn't make it with all of its fancy striping and variegated colors. (btw: there are 9 pages of errata for that book) So I found the perfect Shibui Sock yarn for one of her projects in subtle periwinkle.

Meanwhile, I finished my little liza jane dress... Can I wait until June for a birthday? No... What if it fits NOW?
Made in Bee Sweet Bamboo, somebody is going to be so cute!
And look at the yummy buttons I found for it!  Can you see that they are sheep?
One more purchase, which didn't add to my stash was the Interweave Magazine Knitting Traditions, Spring 2010.  Gorgeous inspirations and stories.

And here's some entertainment from NPR: Buttkiss

Friday, March 5, 2010

Welcome to the teens! 2010

Yes, I am now 70% accurate when I write the year.  The other 30% I still write a zero and put a one in front of it.  Do you?
The most important welcome is the change in scenery here at this blog.  You missed it if you are tuning in for the first time.  My old layout was a quick excuse to put something up there, but now I have a real theme and variations going on!  Red IS my favorite color; I don't like to admit it, but when I look at my closet and surroundings, I've chosen a lot of red in my life.

Last night was another meeting of the Knit One, Drink Too knit club. You can find us on Ravelry. We socialize and patronize go gah-gah over everyone's work, and nibble and sip. The main topic last night was the size of Girl Scout cookies. Do you have a comment?
The projects last night are in mid to final stages:  Denise is working on a baby blanket that is done is small portable pieces, Bonnie is going like a house a-fire on a baby cardigan, in gorgeous colors, hostess Eileen kept warm (Turn off that fan!) under her shawl (or is that an afghan?), Jenny is excitedly determined to finish her entrelac shawl, having finished the entrelac part and now engaged in the edging which is 9 feet long, Kay is working on her new drop-dead gorgeous cardigan however knitted socks last night so she wouldn't have to go home and rip back on the cardigan (knit night is not conducive to chart reading or concentration), and I am nearing the top of a baby dress in a one year size.
Knit night is more than a knitting support group. There's a lot of mojo and bashing and life support going on.  We have a great time and enjoy each other's company. Waaah! I love you guys!!  It's at my place in 2 weeks. Everyone is welcome:  Bring needles and yarn!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Knitters Unite!

Just want to bring to your attention that Stephanie caught a knitter at the Olympics, on TV.  DO have a look at her finish line gold, and picture!  Too cool for me!

A fly on the wall

Have you ever...?  

I knit for myself, my daughter, and my granddaughter.  Knitting has to be appreciated:  Take heed, all you non-knitters!  I know, I appreciate my work, and since my daughter also knits, she does too.  Grandbaby Juju has no choice in wardrobe, yet.  When I knit for others, I'm filled with low-esteem, as difficult as it is to be "filled low", you know what I mean. Will they like it, toss it, think the color is crazy, dull, will it fit, will they know how to take care of it, will I see at the charity shop? I'm so filled that yesterday I took two items to two friends who work together, and not being able to bear the moment of truth (or the look on their faces when they open the package), I left it, mumbling something about that there were two items and it would be OBVIOUS who they were for.  Do you see my second or third mistake?
A few hours later when we could get together again, it became OBVIOUS that it wasn't obvious! Now, with a 50/50 chance of being correct, and the obvious choice factor, it seems like a no-brainer (to the creator of this scenario) that they should be able to see what I see.  Alas, upon return, they had it wrong... but here's the kicker:  I would have liked to see them BOTH trying on the newborn infant bonnet!
Ha! (Picture above is the bonnet, half finished, compared to the skein. The top of the bonnet is in the middle of the picture, and the needles are working down to the neck opening.)
You say, well, where was the newborn infant in all of this?  I guess that was the problem, because the infant is in Colorado, and is the newborn granddaughter of one them!  See!  I can't be the ONLY one who thinks this way.  The other item was a lacy vest in dark green that would only fit one of them!  I laughed, and laughed harder when I heard about the try-ons... I can't believe that they didn't tear that little bonnet apart! Really, it was 0-3 months size, albeit with ribbing!

 That settled, I'm ready to alert them to the perils of garment care! Quick!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


It's over and on to a new challenge! Do you feel a let-down after the Olympics?  I feel... relief!  I'm no longer challenged to sit and root for anyone.  My favorites were the Norwegians, followed by the Canadians, and generally other under-dogs.  I don't appreciate the American hype for "our young athletes" who are so heavily sponsored.  And I should just let it go, except it will appear again in 2 years.  

I happened to catch one of the Colbert Report Vancourerage's where Stephen asked Bob Costas about who he roots for.  Obviously Bob doesn't care who wins as long as he has a job and a story, and in that order.  I don't blame him.  I'm ashamed that I watched so many hours.

So the world still turns, and earthquakes are still happening, and I finished my Olympic socks 2 days early.  To be followed quickly by the completion of a shawl that has been sitting in a basket for years!  And I wore it today!  Lovely, cotton, shawlette pattern that fits beautifully.

The socks are crazy: Maybe if I was more careful about fiber and color, they wouldn't be so "crazy" looking.  I love them, as I do most of my knitted projects. My feet are especially happy to have pure Norwegian wool wrapped around them...


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