Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Mobius magic

Spinning is so much fun!

It is also a great therapy. It keeps your hands, feet, eyes and mind coordinated and focus on the yarn in front of you. Yet is is magically relaxing.

It has been so hot. We are in the middle of a heat wave here on the East Coast. My garden looks so sad.

This is what's left of the hydrangea. The vegetable garden looks a little better because I water the tomatoes. But not by much...

I won't get a good crop this year. Oh well, there is always next season. Global warming, I guess.

The pee gee hydrangea fares a little better. But even the heat-loving, drought-tolerant coneflowers look pathetic.

The mercury is supposed to reach 100 today. With the Washington humidity, the heat index will make you feel like it is 114.

Let's go inside.

Spinning, anyone?

I spun up some blue roving that I dyed.

And started a mobius bowl. The pattern is from Cat Bordhi's Second Treasury of Magical Knitting.

First you start with a mobius rim.
Then you keep kintting downward.

Runty came over to inspect. Of course he think it's his.

But Mommy took it away and actually finished knitting. Here is the before picture:
And presto! The magical mobius bowl... Nested inside yet another Mobius bowl.

And if I ever finish all the second socks, everybody on my list will get a bowl of socks this Christmas!

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Second Sock Syndrome

I have not been updating my blog for a few weeks. This is because I have been recovering from SSS.

Second Sock Syndrome : A definite pattern of behaviour in which after finishing and loving a sock, the knitter is totally incapable of duplicating that sock, no matter how many times he or she tries. This syndrome can lead to the knitter wearing many unmatched first socks together, the first symptom of the insanity that reknitting and reknitting and reknitting the second sock can cause.

See what I mean?

These poor single socks have been waiting for their respective mates for some time. Even though I was itching to cast on a new pair with some new gorgeous yarn I got, I made a July resolution:

I will not cast on another new sock until I finish at least one pair.

Okay, here we go:

Drum rolls, please:

Two down, three to go. So far, so good. Don't you think.

In the meantime I got a new toy.

Here is my new Majacraft Rose spinning wheel. I have been dabbling at spinning on a hand spindle for some time but found it too slow. Then back in May at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival I ran into a lady who gives private lessons. She is also a Majacraft dealer.

The spinning bug got me pretty bad! I even tried my hand at dying my own roving.

This is a corriedale roving I got from Crown Mountain Farm that Idyed in Egyptian red.

Spinning takes a lot of practice. I came up with loads of thick-and-thin, uneven yarn as I practice. Now what to do with all this practice yarn?

A felted Kitty Pi, of course

Runty is getting a new, hand-dyed, hand-spun kitty bed.

It doesn't look like much yet, but I have got a lot to go. After all, that "Runt-of-the-litter" kitty of mine now weighs 21 pounds. So I will keep spinning. By the time the cat bed is big enough to be felted, I should spin well enough to attempt non-felting stuff. Otherwise there will me more felted baskets around the house for sure.

Stay tuned. Next, a non-knitting life. My garden. Here is a preview.

Now can I cast on a sock please?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Meet Sam the Siamese Ram!

Sam is here

He was so much fun to knit. There are a couple of "design elements;" i.e. miscrossed cables. But that makes him totally mine, right?

I could not resist this:

Sam and Runty grazing in my front yard.

Now onto other WIPs

Bill's FLAK vest is moving right along. I hope to finish it by Father's Day, which this year happens to also be our 18th anniversary.

And a little progress on my "Inspired cabled" sweater:

I really like this Mountain Mohair yarn from the Green Mountain Spinnery. It is so soft to the touch and knits up really fabulously. It also comes in a rainbow of colors.

I also got bitten by the sock bug. I took a sock class at my LYS a while ago but have only been knitting plain socks in stockingnette.

I got this handpainted superwash merino from Dave Daniels at Cabin Cove. The pattern is the fluted banister socks.

And since I have never been known to buy just one skein of yarn, I got more handpainted sock yarn...


And this is from J. Knits which I got on Ebay.

Knitting is such a great therapy. However, I beg to differ with whoever says it is cheaper than a therapist!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Runty's new toy

Of flowers, cat, and knitting

It's been so hot here in northern Virginia. I took a break from knitting and other chores and took stock of my garden.

When I planted this rose last year it was only about a foot tall. Now it is almost five feet tall, with abundant flowers and great fragrance. I used to think roses are difficult to grow. I must have lucked out.

Not much else in the garden. The peonies are pretty much gone. The hydrangeas are only budding and the lillies also have a while to go yet.

But my favorite flower of all are blooming.

Sweet William!

What about knitting?

Well, I finished Mary Lee's entrelac shawl.

I put it in the mail last week, so she should get it some time this week.
And of course Runty thinks it is his.

So I decided to make him a toy.

Here is the Huggable Hedgehog -- a Fibertrends pattern. Runty is checking him out on the kitchen floor.

It's approved!

Two local yarn stores had sales this weekend, but I only made it to one. (Augh!) As though I need more yarn....I got some any way. Mission Falls and Lamb's Pride superwash for Bill's sweater.

Back to work now. This is a short week. Yeah!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

FLAK Update

I bypassed sleeve island.

I cheated!
Bill's FLAK is going to be a vest.

I must have some mental blocks about knitting sleeves. However, I think the vest would look just as nice, and he will wear it more often (I hope).

This is what I have so far:

Well, it will be a v-neck vest. No buttons either. I don't know how to make button bands yet. Instead of casting on additional stitches in one row as per the cardigan/pullover, I gradually added on the stitches to make the vest armholes. The armholes will be deeper but I think that will be okay once I add the armhole ribbing.

I am now in the body shop.

I think it is really nice with the Black Water Abbey yarn. The color is Bracken.

A small progress on SAM

I have not been working on him that much. But Sam the Ram now has his four little legs waiting to be grafted on.

Hang in there, Sam. Maybe this weekend.

In the meantime my yard is a mess!

Marphy's law: When the peonies bloom, it rains.

My peonies flopped all over the place. So I cut and put them in a vase to bring inside:

Aren't they pretty?

And of course Runty has to check them out.

I'd better get back to work. More later.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Entrelac, entrelac and more entrelac

I love entrelac.

Last year, I took an entrelac class at my LYS (local yarn store for you non-knitters). This is the result:

Yes. You must have figured out by now that I love vests. This is knitted with Noro Sil Garden, one of my all-time favorite yarn.

I am now working on two more entrelac projects:

This is a shawl/stole for a very good friend. It is again knitted with Noro Silk Garden -- about 1/3 done now. The pattern is from Pam Allen's Scarf Style book.

And of course another vest in progress:

This is Rowan Summer Tweed and the leftover Prism Wild Stuff from the denim jeans jacket.

I had to do the entrelac part twice. The first time I followed the pattern, but the entrelac squares turned out far too large, thus making the vest pan out at the bottom. I ripped the whole thing and decreased it by five squares (30 whole stiches). It now fits perfectly. I did the twisted ribbing at the bottom and will do the same around the armholes and front placket. I should finished it this weekend.

See you at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. Yes, I need more yarn!