Archive for the 'knitting' Category

Getting back to normal-ish

Between this being the year of personal life challenges (loss of a beloved cat, loss of a dearly loved aunt) and struggling to fight against the negative energy in the air these days…. I’ve found that after I finish knit projects, I just *don’t* pick up the needles again. The world has been a bit too distracting and poisonous for me to trust my gauge. This lack of knitting mojo is not normal.

Reading has also been a bit “meh”. I’ll get started on a book, and then the characters feel flimsy, or the book doesn’t work with my mood (think I found a good one though… if it sticks to darkly farcical instead of veering into horror writing, I will be relieved).

I’ve been sketching. Nothing for the press yet, but I’m getting close. I’m contemplating something written with my next print piece, so we’ll see how far I get on it.

Today, I’m reading Knitty.com with a great deal of interest.

  • Ancyra by Susan Schira combines mosaic design with colors like antique smalti (visit Ancyra pattern here).
  • Wolkig by Martina Behm looks like a cowl in an upscale window on the Konigstrasse. I love how it looks, but would want to use a light, misty blue or copper for this design. Very inspiring.
  • And if you have scrap yarn that you want to show off, Longwing looks like a project that you could do while watching t.v. or reading. Am I right, or is it more complicated?
  • The cool tools section provides a lot of ideas for knitter gifts (hint, hint). Currently in love with this book.

Amy and co. have upped their game. Tusen tak!

And while things are getting back to normal-ish, the WordTapstry blog is likely to continue to be sporadic. Although I might manage to get pics up of the garden. It’s been glorious.

 

May Days

trailingvinesThe days are filled with flowers. This whole week has also been rainy, so I pause to marvel at a new bloom, a new bud forming, and rain drips down my raincoat’s hood, and slowly runs down the bridge of my nose. I’m loading photos onto my flickr feed as fast as I can. The colors are fabulous.

We’ve seen the first stirrings of the fig tree closest to the house coming back. Leaves have unfurled like tightly wrapped green fans, and I think I’ve seen some of the breve’ figs. The Gardener has been fighting a fight to the death with old tree roots, trying to get a patch set up for new raspberry bushes (a more intricate endeavor than I knew, with lots of space needed between the canes… and no idea if that means between the roots as well).

Also with spring comes: Mother’s Day and the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. It’s always either raining, or blistering hot, with lots of hours spent hiking about looking at the alpacas in pens, sheep shearing, and sheep on parade.

In the merry month of May, the Midatlantic region gets ready for Preakness . Preakness is always an exciting time, with tours of the stables at sunrise, and the unveiling of the Mayor’s hat (there is a female mayor in Baltimore right now…. I’m not sure a man’s tophat would be all that interesting). The stars, of course, are the jockeys and horses that come to Pimlico to race, and it get very exciting. [It also gets very tempting to go to the free sunrise tours, to see what the track looks like.]

The bird watching has been marvelous: titmice, mockingbirds, blue jays, red tail hawks, a brown creeper, and maybe a wood thrush. We’re ignoring the cardinals and robins that never seemed to leave. (I’m also ignoring politics right now. Focusing on birdsong, flowers, and a weekend that’s packed with too many things. MD Sheep & Wool is always a grand time, by the way. But I’m double-triple-booked.)

15 row countdown to next pattern shift – concerns about yarn

I’m still knitting on the Oslo shawl, doggedly trying to get to the next pattern shift (graph 2), and wondering if there will be enough blue and white for graph 3. If you click on the link, you should be able to get to the details page. As each row get longer, i get a little more concerned that I’ll run out of blue or white. Kind of wish that the store had more of the yarn (seabago) in the same lot so I could add a few more rows and maybe make mittens. If it washes, and keeps its color, I will be on the lookout for more of this, because knitting it is lovely.

Unfortunately very few good photos of the shawl in progress, because I’ve been stuck inside with a head cold on the one  sunny day when I could have gone out to take photos on my lunch break. The world turning dark while I’m driving home in the evenings is the trade off for the beautiful riot of autumn color on the trees at sunrise. We’ve had some sugar maples turn, and the streets up the block are red and yellow with fallen leaves…looking a bit like they’re paved in gold.

Many single stitches make a pair of socks

… and I feel like I remember knitting every single one of the stitches that made up my “Pinkie” project*. These socks are great, the pattern is fairly easy to “remember” as you go along, but they aren’t good knitting when you’re interrupted by a sidewinder (kitten).

pinkieSpecs for Socks:

Designer: Nancy Bush

Child’s French Sock

Knit in size small (I always have sock yarn left over, and these were 2 generous hanks of Shepherd Sock multi won during a raffle at a yarn retreat in Massachusetts). Yarn was donated by Lorna’s Laces in a special dye lot called “no yellow”, and it made a splendid multi-color yarn without flashing too much. I’d love to see what the dyer would come up with a “no red” colorway.

My Flickr feed is currently glacial, so I’m not sure when any of my pictures will pop up. But for now, here’s a photo of the obligatory sidewinder, duking it out with corn husks leftover from dinner:

kittenhusk

* In case you’re wondering about “Pinkie”, like many children of my age, I had pictures lovingly hand stitched in Berlinwork/needlepoint of both Pinkie and Blue Boy on my bedroom walls. In my case, done by my grandmother.

Knitting continues – with kitten intervention

Having learned how to get about half an hour of uninterrupted knitting time (run the vacuum cleaner for a while – the kitten magically disappears), I managed to do one full pattern of Pinkie (Child’s French Sock by Nancy Bush). Which means I’m almost through the gusset of the second sock. I’d love to get these totally off the needles before August, or by the beginning of August.

My knitting lags when I have an active kitten participating in every moment of the day.

Precious little knitting is getting done

Between older cats that are acting displaced, and a kitten that’s bonkers, I’ve been busy managing feline expectations. Not a great deal of fancy knitting has been going on — in fact, with the rehearsals for the chorus over the past few weeks, I didn’t pick up my needles more than half an hour at a time.

I can’t figure out how I made this shawl while Malkin was a teen kitten (although it did get unraveled at least once by him). The Leaf Lace shawl was my Winter challenge during the 2006 Olympics. How did I complete it in 3 months, even if you factor in a half hour commute back and forth to work instead of my current one, and no choral practice to take up my free time?

I’ve got one shawl to work on next, after my lace socks (Nancy Bush’s Child’s French Socks, code named Pinkie). The new shawl is color work instead of lace. Hopefully that yarn will hold up better than sock yarn when confronted by little kitten grabby claws and teeth. In the meantime, I’m knitting the socks (found in this knitting pattern book) when the kitten is in “jail” for being naughty. And when I work on them, they go speedily.

One simple scarf – grey, red, blue

greyredblueThis garter stitch scarf was made the first year we lived in the house nearer to downtown. It was knit on summer days, gazing out at the mountain in the distance while listening to the radio. I used Minerva wool, because that’s what was in my Mom’s stash, and chose simple garter stitch, so I wouldn’t forget what side I was on and purl when I should knit.

I chose grey and blue, because the scarf was for my father, who had blue-grey eyes, and then red, so it wouldn’t be too boring. The moths have gotten to it a bit, and the Minerva yarn isn’t all that soft (he didn’t end up wearing the scarf because it was too scratchy).

It’s a memory of hot summer nights, when I first started the project, then the desperate figuring near November, if the scarf would be long enough by Christmas before I ran out of stash. Of time that ticked away while I was content, alone with my thoughts — back before I was worried about Latin class and physics. For me, it’s a bit more than a simple garter stitch scarf, but it’s time for it to belong to someone else. How about you — any early projects that have grown in importance over the years?


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