Monday, April 30, 2012


I'm not motivated to share lately.  Hopefully it will pass.
Here's an update on the knitting fringe:
I STILL love my Dahlia.
I haven't LOOKED at all of my many socks on needles... for a month.
My mid-May tank top is aaallllmost finished.  To the point where I've put it down and started another sweater I had hibernating.
Hibernation awakening:  Sound Bytes from Interweave Knits.  I'm curious.  I REALLY liked it until I started it and realized the amount of 'picking up stitches'.  I'd rather seam, thank you!

I'm going rafting!  Grand Canyon! 18 days of no contact with outside world.  Why is that such a stretch when it was life 10 years ago? Knitting will be done!  I'll be knitting socks... on the rapids!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bragging rights

Last night (Knit Nite) "we" laughed so hard that we cried and came dangerously close to embarrassing accidents!  Did I take a picture?  No... I was too preoccupied with keeping up with the conversations.  Our "fat hands" were busy with knitting and cookies.  What a bunch!
Then this morning I received notice of an FO from my daughter.  And who can resist a cute pattern, a cuter model, and a talented daughter!  Did I have anything to do with it?  Maybe... :)
It's on my Ravelry page (as if I made it...what a scam I have going!)  Tons o' Elephants!  And the yarn (Lerke, Dale of Norway) is so pleasing that she's looking for more projects to use it.
And the model!
What can I say?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Where I at?

Honestly! Not only have I been busy this week, but I also ignore written instructions. My dyslexia kicked in. As I was knitting away on this tank top, I thought to myself... odd, the shaping at the side seams.  I've never seen one that expands the sides and decreases as you get to the arm opening.  I decided to read ahead in the pattern because I had a moment of panic where you find one of those "meanwhile, or at the same time" phrases. No such luck, but what I did find was that I  had reversed the decreases and increases. Not encrypted, plain English:  decrease, increase... yet I chose to read something else. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this top would be perfect for pregnancy, but not boobs. I'm up to about 30 cm and I have to rip it back to 8 cm. (See steam coming out of my ears.)
Head down... breathe.
This piece has a deadline in mid-May, so all other projects are on hold.

Audreyby Elsebeth Lavoldfrom Book Four: The Sophisticated Lady Collection

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Socks, Out of Control

Why not start more?
Let's see.  I have a few on needles.
  1. Argyle, 2-at-a-time
  2. Lang, frogged, currently 4 rows of toe
  3. DoubleFun, to be frogged.  Needs smaller needles.
Double Fun
DoubleFun is interesting... but slo-ohw.  Straight needles, double knitted.

Don't know why I keep ignoring these... they are going to be great!
 And now:  Wedding socks.  Two pair...  Friends getting married.  Now THAT's a deadline.
Wedding: Find Your Way Home
And I love them all.  Odd... all three pictured are patterns from Think Outside the Sox. <3

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Something finished!
Remember my moaning and groaning about the sweater that won't fit, hangs funny, should go back in the stash...?  Well, here it is.
Before blocking:
The Penguin
Needs a pull down

Don't worry, I fixed the jog on the left.

After blocking:

Do I look happy?  Well, yes I am!!!!!  Such a relief after months of angst.  
On top of the worries of how it will fit, I came home last night to my blocked sweater covered by a blanket on the kitchen counter. (!!!)  I knew exactly what had happened.  A few weeks ago, from another room I could hear a popping sound in the kitchen.  After a few moments of deciding it was worth putting down my knitting and going to investigate, I found my yellow cat on top of my pinned shawl, on the same counter where I do all of my blocking.  He was behaving like he was high on catnip and exercising his claws in the plastic blocking pads.  I was furious, of course, and he took off like a shot.  I examined the shawl and found NO pulls.  THAT was totally unexpected.  When the shawl was removed, there were several punctures to the blocks, but no real damage.  Last night, I assumed there had been a repeat performance... and my hub described the same thing, plus there WERE pulls in the sweater.  And I was furious again.  This is one giant snag, plus a second lesser one, and somehow the cat had arranged the wire rod to be poking through...
I assured my hub that I could fix it, and with a pin, I pulled the snag back into stitches, and then... I put it on.  Nice.  (The block underneath have more damage.)
Below was an alternate ending to this story.  I wrote it 2 days ago.  I retract it!   This Dahlia is mine, ALL mine... :D
I have another option:  Giving it up for adoption OR trade!  There is another one of my sweaters out there that I really kind of liked, and I hoped that this one would replace.  Maybe someone (ahem C) would like this one...??

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blocks Devine

Because I can...
I was fooling around, and wishing I had something to knit with my leftover yarns.
I found this pattern (Mitered Corners) I bought years ago after taking a class with Valentina Devine.  She's a free spirit/thinker/knitter.  She imparted the following knowledge:  Find a sweater you like, weigh it, and then assemble your yarn according to weight. (Or something like that.  The same goes with colors and shape.)
Valentina's patterns are mostly geometric.  During that class, we started at the middle of a block, and kept adding colors, and turning until we each had.. a square.  Here are some examples:

Valentina was very creative about using the tails of yarn.  This is something I had forgotten until I pulled these pieces off the shelf.
I ran into Valentina a second time at a rug festival.  Somehow she had convinced the organizers that she should be included as a vendor.  She was crocheting wrist warmers with bits of yarn.. again a stash buster!
Back to my jacket pattern, the directions indicate that you should make a block, measure it, and decide how many more you'll need for whatever you had in mind to make. Sounds easy enough!  The pattern is labeled as a jacket or coat.  My yarn is super bulky, and I think if (IF) I ever make enough for a coat or jacket, it should be lined with something silky.  Suddenly I'm feeling electric shocks... silk and wool.  That's for the future.  Maybe I can weave in the ends enough to be satisfied without a lining.
Stash busting, I'm using Dale of Norway Hubro (olive) and a dismantled New Zealand artsy sweater that was my daughter's.  It was made of uneven, multi-browns, with side seams.  There are lots of pieces of wool, but since it's so uneven, it's very easy to overlap and connect into longer pieces.
Lucky for me, I won't need it until November--7 months to fool around!

Sunday, April 1, 2012


It's late, my eyes want to close, but I thought I'd write a few thoughts.
Earlier this evening we celebrated Vivaldi's and Haydn's birthdays with a concert of their music, complete with cupcakes. I played harpsichord. What's that?
In a mirrored room

It looks like a fragile piano. It's smaller, fewer keys, fewer strings, and less sound. It's best known for the sound. At first you may think you can't hear it, but it's like someone banging on a can in the other room. It has a quality that puts a little edge on the sound.
It's fragile all right! The mechanism seems ok one moment and the next it doesn't work. I have an emergency pack of tools: an emery board, an exacto knife, glue, a screwdriver, needle nose pliers, a block of wood. And a tuner. Most of the time I can make it work. And most of the time people in the audience feel they've been treated to something special. It makes my teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling of the weeks leading up to a performance all worth it.
Even though it isn't a loud sound, I'm very aware of it. It's true of any performance where you have an audience listening; wrong notes are not on the program. I'm quite sure that this instrument was played by very brave individuals and I count myself as one of them. Be careful not to rest your fingers too near the keys, or you'll hear a ping (a note sounding).  Unlike the piano, which you have to hit or strike to get a sound, it's as if it has energy coiled up inside, waiting to be touched and released. And because I'm not as diligent as a professional player/builder/tuner/repairman, one note might play with a light touch, and another might need a little force.
Tonight, in the slowest, softest passage I was encouraged to, even ordered to, play more.*  Nothing concrete, like written notes, or anything I had heard before, but... Embellish.
Here's what happens: We play, that is 2 violins, viola, cello, 2 trumpets and harpsichord (Vivaldi Concerto for two trumpets), fast, loud, soft, lots of notes, then we stop for a brief pause (second movement marked Largo) and the strings and I continue with slow, soft repeated notes and then a chord that is held (fermata) for an undetermined amount of time. During this hold, I am supposed to play something original, (this is the embellishment part) a little up and down, and around and eventually, when I feel it's enough, the other players are supposed to sense this and we all stop (rest) and then we do it again with different chords... Three times.

It's special to play something pretty that just comes out of the fingers and the moment. Waiting to play something, before the actual moment is pretty exciting, too! (Read here nervous tension/adrenalin.)  I wonder to myself: Will it happen the way I have in my mind? It's so spontaneous that I've never played the same thing twice! And there are the string players holding notes on the fermatas, waiting for me to finish so we can move on. Music making can be a voyage into the unknown. Once played, the notes are out there in the universe, never to be retrieved. It's now that I wish we could do it a hundred more times!

*During rehearsal, the evening before the concert, I was asked to embellish more, so they really had no idea what I would come up with, and neither did I!  Improv...


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