Thursday, December 30, 2010

such a small thing

So, most folks know that I have been working on this:
off and on with my Dad for the last 6 weeks.  Things got around weather, obligation, illness... y'know, life.  It was cold, hard, intense work.  My Dad and I spent the weeks off recovering from wind-burn. 

On the 24th, my Mom and Dad came over.  My Mom watched the bean so Dad and I could put up the skirt below the porch and close in the last 6 foot space that allowed air to freeze my pipes.  We worked steadily from 9AM until 1:45 AM.  We were at the very end of the project, getting ready to go inside for the lunch I'd prepared and baked that morning. 

The observant among us will have noticed something not quite right in the picture above.  I was on the ladder, when there suddenly was no support from the left.  I felt that I was going down, knew that it was going to be the last gasp of my knees if I landed on them, and managed to twist enough to land on my butt.  And part of my right shin...  oh, and I gently bumped my right funnybone.  Not even enough to make a bruise.

Looking around, I was relieved to see this:
ha!  metal fatigue in the support, not bad balance
I know relieved sounds strange, but the fault in the ladder couldn't be predicted, planned, or taken into account.  Plus, I am thrilled and grateful that I was the one on the ladder when it went.  15 minutes sooner, and it would have been my Dad hitting the ground.  I would have been sick over it, and have been cheering that my (now NOT frozen) pipes were not the cause of hurting my Daddy.

Anyway, quick trip to the emergency room shows that funny bone bumps?  Not so funny.
bone in wrist cracked by MY OWN TENDONS.  Heh.
Yep, I'm immobilized from above the elbow to just below the tips of my fingers.

On the other hand (as it were), there was this waiting for me. 
"Ma, I wanna cuddle!"
So, knitting is on pause for a little.  Not long, just a little.  In the meanwhile, I'm working on this:

1 started, 4 to go.....
Tomorrow, my Mom is taking me yarn storage shopping.... for my 3 season porch with no unwanted cyclones!!

Hehe, take that Winter!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

bork bork bork

Posting is goimg to be at the convenience of helpful minions the next few weeks.  Broke my right wrist + won't know what will happen until Wednesday night.  I do have updates and pictures to share, but they will need to wait until #1 minion is not snowblowing the driveway/entertaining the bean.

Look for updates weds/thurs + I hope you're all safe, warm, and in good company.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Conan, what is good in life?

Where to start.  Hmm, how about here?
Ah, sweet caffeine, with knitting beyond.  This is good in life.
Wait, let's get a closer look at this
Chocolate coffee???  This is GOOD in life.
What else is good in life?  I'm personally fond of quick projects in alpaca.  Something like this:
Knit by mom, worn and loved by boy.  This is good in life.
Shorty announced that this was the best small scarf ever because he doesn't trip on it.  That boy has a way with words.

Then there's lace projects in bulky red wool that photographs like crap even with a renewed flash.  (flash is another story, and I think I'll pretend it didn't happen so that I won't get a facial tic or toss it down the stairs shrieking "knitter smash!" in response)

Scarlet in real life, this is my bulky project.  It's also the only photo that shows the yarn color for the peacock medallion.
This was once enough yarn for a size 10 sweater.  It was my perfect 10 denial sweater, in that I'll never be a size 10 again.  Heck, I haven't been a size 10 since I was 17, so reality and I were clearly not on speaking terms when I bought it.  On the other hand, it's knitting into a niiiice stole... so I guess it wasn't a bad purchase after all.

Interestingly, the peacock is too dark to be seen, the red is closer to right, and the pattern shows some tentative plans.
Medallion stole thoughts are good in life.  I love things that keep my mind busy.

What else?  Oh yes Fleece Artist blues in a new shawl start are good too!
color is good on this one
Love Fleece Artist.  I might have mentioned it in the past, but it's still true.

This is also good in life, especially now that I'm not knitting on it any more.  This one needed a knitter intervention, and I lost a few days of knitting due to exhaustion in my arms from holding it up.  It's almost 3 lbs and all of that in the pearls.  The antique tinted beads in the main body were not that heavy....

teaser pic, this deserves its own post.  HEAVY
And that's sort of where I'm at.  I was thinking I'd take porch pictures but was disheartened by the snow.  Perhaps tomorrow, when I'm not working I'll grab a few for here.  Snow isn't much fun for building, but it does encourage knitting (and coffee!)

Speaking of which, time for more COFFEE!  MMMMMMM.

Monday, December 20, 2010

cold enough for bulky!

This weekend, I spent my time building instead of knitting.  Tomorrow before work I will take some pictures, and will hopefully have them posted by evening after work.  My Dad and I spent a long, cold day re-framing the short wall on the porch and putting the windows into the frames we had built previously. 

The windows look good.  But mainly, they keep wind off the back wall where the pipes are.  At least in part.  Getting the north wall in will keep wind off that wall altogether.  It was a long, cold day and I spent most of the weekend in a world of hurt.  I suspect my Dad was in just as bad shape, but he is pretty stoic.  On the way home I bought some nice black alpaca yarn to make him a cowl in. 

Friday, we've tentatively agreed to meet again for a final mutual torture session.  Ah, old houses.  So much work....

I'm blocking a third shawl for the blog which has been mentioned here, and I have a project that I'm excited to share shortly.  I'm not sure if it's an insanity or brilliance, or maybe some heady mixture of the two.  I did a beading project that was so heavy I couldn't use my hands after the last day of beading it.  The knitting was so satisfying, and the weight of the sucker is so pleasantly solid... but I didn't think out the process very well.

I'm looking forward to blogging that one, very much. 

Finally, I found that one of my favorite lace weight yarns is being discontinued.  *sob*
Sappho, I will miss you.

If you like lace weight knitting, this stuff feels like knitting velvet.  I've got a bit that I'm going to use in the project, but I can't buy all of it and hoard it like the precious lovely thing it is.  So, maybe some of you will love it the way I do.  The skeins I've gotten have all been slightly felted.  At first, I wasn't thrilled with that, but after knitting it, I love it with a dire and unnatural love.  I might toss over silk to knit this stuff.  On purpose.  So, if you like working with lace weight single spun yarns, give them a look.  It won't be around for long.

More later,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

alpaca hugs and a sneeky peek

These are what I've been working on the last 10 days.

alpaca.  No replacement for loss, but good for a hug.
A second serious scarf

And a latte colored stole

I just hope they have the intended message/effect.

I've also been playing with beads.  I'm thinking of calling this twinkle twinkle

fairly representative of the correct colors, no thanks to my flash
pretty close on color, I like this shot

representative of the pattern, color not dark or bright enough.
Still fighting with my flash, but it looks like I'll win sometime soon.  I look forward to that.  I have one last secret project I need to finish knitting.  I might photograph it if I can get permission from the recipient.  I like the pattern I've come up with and would like to use it in this project.  I have to apologize in advance, this weekend will be just as light blogging as the last 10 days due to project conflicts.  But I really want running water this winter, so it needs to be finished.

Hope all is well with you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It is I, Captain Vegetable

Today's post is brought to you by the number 1, as in the number of flashes that are misbehaving, and the letter c, for cowls.  Since the flash is not behaving, and my photoshop skillz are nonexistant, I fear I will be providing no pictures in this post.  I took some, and they are pretty uniformly.... dark seems too light a word, black not descriptive enough of the various shades of not quite color.  I will be working on this.

This weekend was my once a month obligation, and this month it required use of a GPS to get where I was going.  I've decided to name my GPS Sadie, for I'm sure she is a sadist.  On one hand, she gleefully tells me to go on streets in Boston that likely shouldn't ever be tried by car.  On the other, I did get there and back again with most of my nerves intact.  Almost on time even.  Plus, she doesn't tend to sound worried (unlike one that I borrowed a couple of years ago) which is reassuring.

I was not able to work on the knitting for the family members, as I'm not quite smart enough to have memorized the Serious Scarf pattern, and people get really funny about it when you stare at a computer screen saying "uh-huh" and knitting feverishly.  Especially if you're supposed to be remembering things for them and storytelling.  So, that torch gets carried again today.

What I did accomplish was three cowls.  One for me, one for short-stuff, and one for the spousal unit.  Eldest Son already has his.  It was a nice reminder of how fast knitting *can* be.  Three items, knit with alpaca yarn on size 9 needles.  One day.  Viva la accomplishment.

I did finish the first of the stoles for my family, and I'm well into the second.  This weekend will see not much knitting as well, as it looks like my Dad may come over for the last assault on the porch of gusts and sighs.  (gusts of wind, and long sighs of despair... mine)  If it happens, great!  If not, I will certainly not complain.  I started the project late in the year due to earlier time and money constraints.  One way or another, getting as far as we have has been a fantastic and herculean task.  I'm just grateful to have had some expert guidance and help along the way.  Anyhoo, if I'm going to be back on task in the 10 day time frame I need to fix my @#$@ flash. 

Hope your knitting all feels like alpaca..... mmmm alpaca.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

nowhere near

I can't believe it's already Wednesday.   Good thing I chose 10 days, because I think I can manage that.  I don't have photos of the finished items today.  We got a look at the weather report, and decided that we must push the rest of the porch.  I am, however focusing on the necessary things.

For instance:
Takes a surprising amount of time.
Little man wanted to do some of this:
Hmm, this looks dangerous.
Which turned into this:
no sane adult will eat these.  He's given me two. 
And this vile monstrosity, which he is determined to eat some of:
he wanted me to take this picture, he loves this house and wants me to knit it a cozy
He doesn't ask for much, and there's so much I can't give him that I will indulge him where it isn't insane.  Although my concept of insane may be a bit stranger than most.

This was the knitting I reached for when I got the news of the latest loss in the family.
Alpaca or silk are the most comforting fibres for me to knit when I'm feeling a bit off.  It looks a bunch different now, and I'm hoping to manage finished object shots soon.

In the meantime, I chose some Eco Alpaca Duo for my Aunt's hug.  The colorway was knit up in the store, and it looked like it'd be a heather in lovely chai tones.  See?

does this look like it should stripe to you?
The 4x4 sample was a solid color.  I now know that the striping effect:

Would be well camouflaged in a 4x4 square.  But it becomes obvious once you knit anything of any size.  This yarn is yummy.  It's soft and lovely.  I hope it will give my Aunt some comfort.

Mmmm Chai.
can't resist this yarn
Maybe when I'm done, I'll do some sweaters in it.  It's really nice.
I hope your knitting is warm and soft, and the pattern is fun.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Morning blues

So, we've had another death in the family.  I do have 2 full sized shawls that are blocking, and 2 shawlettes that I will be posting around the same time.  I'm aiming for Wednesday to have a full picture post up on those.  Actually, they'll each get their own but that's neither here nor there.

The next 10 days are going to be focused on making warm soft things for my family members directly affected by the latest death.  They don't need or want me to descend on them, they just need some time.  So I'm going to send them alpaca hugs.  It's all I can really do.

But this does mean that the next 10 days will not be much on knitting for the blog.  I will post the pictures of the hugs here, as most of my extended family doesn't read the blog and it is lace knitting even if it isn't for the project.

I hope you keep warm and well.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

and so we knit

Tonight, I type this knowing that my youngest son went to sleep angry with me.  It's not a good feeling, and moreso because his anger is unjust.  He is angry that he missed the last 45 seconds of his episode of fruits basket.  This is because I was picking up and he decided to fight with me for the dvd player remote control, and in grabbing my hand, he managed to also smash the power button.  Rather than letting me turn it back on and finishing out the last 45 seconds of his show, he threw himself into bed and wept himself asleep.  Refusing all offers of comfort, explanation, or condolence. 

So, unsettled and unhappy, and aware that we'll likely go through something similar tomorrow while my husband is at man night, I knit.  It doesn't undo this miserable episode.  It doesn't fix anything, or make the 5 nights a week it's my job to put him to bed any less of a struggle.  But it does let me sleep without weeping in sadness and frustration myself.  So I knit.

Shawl 10, Mary Mary take 2, Hoarfrost

While I was knitting shawl 9 on size 3 needles, I was knitting this shawl at the same time on size 2 needles. 

I added some more holes to the edging lace, just for fun on this one. 

white back detail, shown flat

side of triangle, detail, shown flat

This is a heavier yarn.  Almost a fingering weight, to the Misti Alpaca lace weight.  This is a smaller shawl, but by no means a small shawl.  Although the yarn is heavier weight, the smaller needles make for a more dense, silky (thanks to the cashmere) fabric.

Only a few inches shorter, but compare this back to the original knit and you'll see the density difference.
In white, this reminds me of hoarfrost
Is it wrong of me to love this shot?
To be honest, I have another of these on the needles in midnight blue that I'm beading.  I have another just off the needles in an alpaca silk (which won't be offered, it was a yardage test-knit).  I also have the handmaiden silk and wool currently on the needles, and another vine and leaf nearing the point where I can knit the border onto it.  And I have one more that I know of blocking on the bed.  So, I'm pretty close to 4 more to post here.  Now that I have the results of the poll, I will be blogging the knits more aggressively.  I wasn't sure I would be able to use the results of all of this knitting, so it didn't get blogged as closely as I would like.

Anyway, without more of my faffing on, here is Shawl 10, Hoarfrost.

Shawl 9, Mary Mary Quite Contrary

This is one that you've seen a little bit of.  It's a new-ish pattern in that you haven't seen a blocked specimen yet, but I have just had it test knit (successfully, yay).

So here she is, in Misti Alpaca light blue.

Overall shot.
And here
Detail of the transitions
I like this pattern.  I guess I should, since I slapped the stitch patterns together.  There's something simple, but fun about knitting it.  I used rule of 10 for the first 2, and then a 12 for the border.

This is now officially the largest of the shawls, coming in at around 5 feet long down the center spine.  Want to see?
Yep, that is almost brushing the hearth.
In order to get a decent detail shot on the dress form, I had to take 2 pictures.

See what I mean?  This was knit on size 3 needles.  Amazing what blocking does, no?

I actually like this shot.
double drape
For fun, I also knit a cashmere/merino/silk one on size 2.  She's also blocked, finished and photo'd, but as shawl 10 I figure she deserves her own post.  So here we have it, Mary Mary Quite Contrary.  You are now dubbed Shawl 9.

Shawl 8, Cashmere and Mink Pine Autumn Glow

Ok, so this one did get a little blog-time.  Not as much as it deserved, perhaps, but it was a terribly quick knit.  This is the Mink/Cashmere DK weight yarn, and it is just luscious.  Yummy even.  I can't help it, I still love this yarn with a deep, and abiding (and possibly unnatural) love.

But, really, what's not to love?

Center detail shot.
The color on this is a deep, forest green that is almost black.
very dark green
On one hand, the color was not as appealing to folks who saw it while I knit as was the original Autumn Glow Shawl with it's variegated rusts, reds, and browns.  On the other hand, while the pattern wasn't lost with the original iteration, it wasn't showcased.  The first was a matching of gorgeous yarn and simple (but elegant in my opinion) pattern which showed the yarn to lovely advantage.  This knit is a pairing of deep and elegant yarn with a pattern that showcases the pattern to advantage.  Again, my opinion.

On the other hand, this is quite nice.
This shawl will sneak up on you.  The pattern is pretty, the leaves are pretty, but the true secret is in the yarn.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that compares to mink & cashmere yarn.  Great Northern Yarns has a fabulous product at a crazy price.  Plus, it's a sustainable mink farm.  Luxury, affordability, and sustainability.  It's pretty close to perfect.

And the pattern's not bad either.
Mind you, I love it draped like a cowl too.  Here's a silhouette shot.
mmm, dk
It's a good thing this is in such a dark green, or I'd swipe this for myself.  Without further ado, Shawl 8, the Cashmere and Mink Pine Autumn Glow.

Shawl 7, Rose Colored Joie

I'm still catching up on finished objects here.  I'm grateful to my commenters who helped me decide that I could use more than one knit of each pattern for this project.  I hope that folks get a kick out of the next iteration of these.

So, here are the blog posts that deal with this shawl.  I'm kind of ashamed that I didn't blog this one more.  It was knit in the time when I was wrestling with whether or not it would count for the project, so I kept it kind of close to the vest.

Here are some detail shots, with red in the background per my husband's preference. 

I'm not sure I agree that this red was the best, but it does work.
Detail of triangle construction
Now, HERE they are on a nice scarlet color.
I like this darker red better.

The full monty!
This was knit from Fleece Artist blue faced leicester in rose.  Roughly 600 yards, this was the biggest of the shawls knit until I did my Mary Mary shawls.  I love knitting the Joie pattern.  When I knit the first, I thought it was just the alpaca/silk yarn that made this pattern so fun.  But in an unplanned happy coincidence of fate, these patterns just work well together (in my opinion).  I loved working with the BFL.  It has lanolin in it, which means it smells a bit sheepy.  I didn't do a power scrub on it, after the knit, so someone is going to have a lovely piece with fantastic soft (and softening) properties.  Knitting this shawl gave me a new fiber to love!

I hereby declare this finished object Shawl 7, the Rose Colored Joie.