Friday, April 30, 2010

Rainy Day Knit Bride

One of my favorite brides (and grooms) EVER! How sad I feel that they came so early in the wedding season!!! She was LOVELY, and especially lovely on the inside.

The day was nasty----- nas-ty. It rained all day and she and her groom never complained one time! They wanted photos on location and armed with umbrellas in her wedding colors signature pink and black off we went. The coolest photos ever, like so cool you almost beg for rain on your wedding day.

Jen was happy to pose with the Bella's Mittens that were on my needles that day--- of course I had to cast on something that coordinated with her wedding colors and the wine color of these fun mittens fit the bill.

No wedding this weekend, but more rain! I'll be finally knitting on the NEW cardi of choice, yarn thanks to the boat cover. The LAST skein remains to be wound after the unravel/skein up/soak down/dry and now re-swift and wind into happy fat (jumbo) yarn cakes. On I roll.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Boat Cover Gone--- aka The Ship Has Sailed!

Thanks to Tuesday night knitter Silvana, a swift was in use at the table at knit night (the barista was inquisitive!) and at home into the wee hours. The boat cover was on the way to GONE. Without the swift it would have been a horrible project. Horrible! I am madly in love with the swift and my covetousness has moved up the list of must haves to be sure.

Above was the necessarily resulting pile of yarn that got sucked into the snafu zone. It really wasn't a lot--- even so there is enough to clad the third world in Eco sweaters.

Go Swift Go!!!!!!!

I had a lot of help too! Both dogs claim fair territory any soft thing that is placed on the floor. Little girl dog decided that this blankie was hers, no matter my tugging on it.

Little boy dog lined up next. Funny these dogs!

The last shot is the finished Santa Fe Shawl................ Taos shawl more accurately. Finished, great drape and it was even chilly enough last night to wear it.

The great skeins of yarn have been dunked and are now hung to dry nice and straight without the curly bits of used yarnishness. Then I'll re-skein and wind into balls (which will take a bit with the Dirter)---------- then time to cast on. YAY!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Over-dye Experiment

Remember the yarn I used to knit Citron????

Knitpicks Shadow in Campfire is the yarn. I had MORE (why I can't tell you although there is some dim memory) but didn't want to have another shawl in the same color. Not that I don't like the color but why have yet more in this shade???? What to do, what to do.

Deciding that an over-dying experiment was called for I moved on. The decision was made easier by knowing that I wouldn't use the yarn in this color so even if the experiment proved to be disastrous it would be okay. Freedom at it's best.

Last Sunday early morning while grocery shopping at "The Wal-Mart" (I live a rich life) I passed an aisle with Rit Dye. Now, Rit normally wouldn't be my first choice ----- I'd go schmancier. But as waiting for me to actually PURCHASE other dye, and knowing that this is a shawl after all that won't receive a lot of wear or washing, Rit seemed a good choice!

I wet down the skein fully, filled the sink with 3 gallons of water and about a half a bottle of Rit Scarlet. Stirred up the dye bath, plunked in the wet yarn and stirred a bit off and on for half an hour. At the end of the half hour I carefully rinsed until clear, gave the yarn a squeezy dry off in a towel and hung to dry.

I LOVE the result. A paprika-ish tone of yarn, subtle and nice this spicy red!!! I think the over-dye experiment worked wonderfully! Now.................... what to knit what to knit????

The gold shawl has been blocked and is almost dry, photos to come!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bella...... Done Socks

I had to cast on a new project. The gold shawl is quite bulky at this point and the dpn's are empty (yay). With the wedding last weekend and squirreling away in mind I was in the mood for mittens and found these, "Bella's Mittens" apparently inspired by the Twilight series. I don't follow that series AT ALL, but loved the mittens, long, squishy, chunky cable in the front--- very nice. And I wanted something to knit that my bride du jour could hold that matched (somewhat) her colors---- which were pink and black. So the winy color of Peruvia Quick (stash) was perfect. The project flies and is lots of fun, despite a good bit of ribbing. Thank heavens for chunky yarn. If I didn't spend Sunday going to the grocery store (woo hoo) and baking cupcakes for a Sunday night turkey dinner (also cooked)----- I'd be done. But they are CLOSE. I've laid in some DK yarn for a pile of other mittenly plans as well, I feel a mitten jag on the horizon. You can see the stitch holder for the thumb to be in the photo above, shows off how nice and long the arm of the mittenly bit is!

The green socks, finito and in their parting shot. You will notice that the stripes match bang on. I love when that happens-------------------- and sometimes it doesn't! :) They're washed and blocked and sitting in the cubby soon to be filled with little friends to be squirreled away for the holidays

Thursday, April 22, 2010


That's Alecia above----------the second bride of the season happily posing with my knitting. I stuck these socks in my knitting bag along with the ginormous gold shawl and actually knocked a few rounds off the socks while sitting in the back of the church during the ceremony! People give me the funniest looks................................ what, you don't knit in church? Please! She is (as is readily apparent) not a knitter but more than happy to strike a pose with the Last Sock. I didn't want to bore you two weeks in a row with what looks for all the world like a big gold shawl stuck in the same place it was previously.

Secondly I'll say is that those knitter girls were no boogerin' help whatsover in helping me decide whether or not the beginnings of the spring green silk shawl were going to work, whether it needed to be sized down, or whether the "THANG" that the silk yarn brings to the shawl party is going to make it all relatively moot. The word seems to be knit for a bit longer. I'm not sure how long a bit is so for the moment I'm intent on finishing the last 6 rows on the happy green socks. That will be one item finished and the void they leave in my knit world shall be filled with something mitteny. I think.

Friend Francis (who is a knitter of course) was kind enough to get me over the hump with the long languishing (finished) boat cover. It SHALL be frogged and re-knit into the Everyday Cardigan. I'm pretty excited about it although not looking forward to the frogging. There are miles and miles and miles of Cascade Eco to be frogged in the boat cover! I bet I can get TWO regular person sized sweaters out of that ginormous cardi. I'm hoping I can talk Silvana into bringing her swift to knitting next week. How better to frog miles of yarn than with a borrowed swift, some friends and lots of coffee! Then I'm pretty sure I'll have to bring it home, and wet it down, drying with some weight to remove what shall surely be scrunchy squiggles of yarn that will undoubtedly make me crabby. Funny another sweater in the plans when I said that I'd do a season without one! Perhaps I just need to have a sweater in the works! (Even one knit of yarn whose very cream=ness at the height of the endless project of boat coverliness was scorching my retinas!)

Last shot of Alecia, I just love this one~! She was SOOOOOOO happy on her wedding day and it made me smile. Sometimes it does pay when you have to wait a bit and work through some sorrow to find your Prince!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sewing Machine Alert & A New Cast On

I love to sew! Love. It. Somehow it gets shoved to the back burners when work gets mad and life madder yet. Which is crazy pants stuff. Knitting frequently wins because one can sit on ones' butt and consume cocktails while lamenting life. Or something like that.

I was OFF (from job one and job two) on Sunday and guess what I did?????? I sewed. It was glorious. Having moved the contents of the creative space into the living space----- I hadn't tried it out. And it worked. Speaking of calling it the creative space, have you noticed that those foo foo tv home design shows and especially the Selling NY show (which I love) schmootily call a bathroom off the master bath EN SUITE????? Yup. So my creative space needs another name. Like, well I don't quite know but I'm working on it. Sewing stuff in the other half of the living area ain't workin' for me. Having said that, I was off and spent all day drinking tea, eating junk, wearing no makeup and grubby clothes and sewing. I cut out the cutest tiered skirt and a mondo darling top. The skirt I sewed up and it's hanging in the closet waiting for the reappearance of spring. The top---- well, it is cut out and pinned together and hopefully will get some time later on this week. The fabrics are assembled above------darling! Very boho chic.

And the new cast on is "Arrowhead"---- a Pam Allen shawl design. I had chosen this yarn at Jessica Knits in Scottsdale at the tail end of vacay, it's a silk that looks like straw, very wonderful. I'd planned a simple triangle shawl with the increases marchingdown the center of the "v"......... but frankly? After the mindlessness of the big ole' gold mondo shawl and two pairs of simple socks, I need something else on the sticks!!!! The knit is marching along, after a sad confession that I must have knit the start of this shawl maybe 10 times? So often that the starchy finish on the yarn went from crispy straw to softy silk!!! I don't know if it was the yarn or the knitter but I was about around the bend! I'm knitting on 7's and honestly? Not sure if after the first repeat I like the resulting shawl in progress. I'll haul it to knitting tomorrow night and listen for the votes from the gallery. We are all particularly good at that! ;)

Until then I work and knit a row here and there on the socks that must be finished and the shawl that begs to be.

In my creative space, en suite.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

First KB of the Season

The first bride with sticks of the season----- at least one I've captured in film! Last weekend was one of those glorious spring days that felt almost like early summer. The skies were brilliant blue, the breeze was gentle and the temperatures were in the low 80's, it was a great day for a wedding indeed!

Her new husband? Well you can tell by the look on his face, he is not sure why his wife is holding my knitting, and frankly wondering why they are out on location on this gorgeous day celebrating their wedding with beautiful photographs at all when he could be sitting in a bar somewhere getting drunk. Er.

It was kind of a crazy day!

The shawl is not crazy at all but just about ready to add the ruffle and cast off. I'd been dreading the ruffle, maybe because it hasn't been that long since I added a ruffly bit to Citron. This ruffle has the requisite doubled stitches but thankfully is not that deep unless I'm feeling like torturing myself quite a bit and have the yarn left over to do so! Today's wedding is almost an hour's drive out to wine country, perhaps there will indeed be car knitting on the way!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tangent I

I fear I was around the bend for a short while today! When madly driving home from job one to make job two (sounds more dramatic than it was) I came upon a road closure. Not just any road closure but one imposed by police officers that are getting ready to salute a fallen brother. So sad in any case and so incredible to see up close. The line of cruisers with lights flashing, the long line of officers in uniform ready to salute and people coming out of everywhere to watch and to pay respects.

Youknowwho was riding with me and my tangent ensued when I had a bright idea after my own demise. I think that when I pass away (no rush intended) I shall be burned and boxed as is my request and taped to the hood of my happy red suv with pretty pink duct tape. I insist that the car pass in front of all of my favorite knit shops here in STL. A nice slow drive during which folks will come out and wave their knitting as if to give me a wooly good send off. The giggles led to plans for hand-knit prettiness to cover the box of ashes, something perky and complex if you please. Then I could still go to knit group on Tuesday nights and have a great time. You know, show off your latest and greatest and prop up the lacy covered box against a cup of coffee. I'll go home when it's time and back out again the next week.

Speaking of sad passings, can you believe Dixie Carter died? Awful! I adore Julia Sugarbaker to this day!

My birthday was last Sunday, thanks to those of you who emailed happiness(es). I have never had a birthday where I felt old, or over the hill, or even sad. This one? Freakin' gobsmacked my butt! Kerschplooey. I'm still scraping myself together but delighted that while feeling ancient I am not ensconced in a wooly lace urn cover.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Pop Up Timer POPPED!

After a long time lolling about with dpn's in her A YEAR............ the chicken is DONE!

It really didn't take all that long to get her finished---- just a bit of knitting the fiddly bits, the little crown pieces, the tail feathers, the beak (chicken lips???) and the wattle.

Mod-wise, because she was on the loose and poofy side (which seems to describe me as well!), I "trussed" her, that is taking a bit of a tuck at the neck and tail end to better square her up.

You can see a bit of the neck tuck in the photo above. Not perfect but certainly better than without the tucks.

All in all, she's cute as can be, right down to the little yarn stitches for the eye. Using the same yarn for the wattle as the red stripes, this whimsical chicken appears to have on a bow.

Happily I report that this is the last long languishing UFO---- and that feels pretty good!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Guess Who?????

Knitting last night was spectacular------- great knitter friends, excellent coffee, gorgeous weather and a nice spring breeze............. who could ask for more?????

I scored with a couple goodies from blogless Emily's Ravelry box, sort of a knitters white elephant sale! I'll share them later, suffice it to say one item in particular made me smile! Everyone is knitting lace, wham bam lace with all the frilly holey bells and whistles, even beads! I'm plodding along with the straightforward knitting projects to be finished and dreaming of what might be next? I don't think mittens count as anything exciting, but a gal can't be held to only one project! Can she????

GUESS WHO??????????????
And almost finished! I'm pretty excited!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Slow Tweet

I've kept a creative journal for years now, sometimes more regularly and more organized than others. After the recent vacation I had quite a few pages in my traveling spiral [pocket sized], a few scribbles here and there loose and running amok, as well as in the fresh composition book. In an effort to not only compile the good stuff into one place but to dress it up into a pretty notebook that would "CALL" other great thoughts to join the group----- Slow Tweet was born.

Not the electronically fast Tweet (which I don't indulge in......... so far), but the Tweet that comes from adding bits of prose or sketches or schematics that may become 'something' in the future. The cover for the book is felt with a double layer glued over the bright blue of the composition book that would mask it. A very simple turning under with machine stitching to make the side pockets and a freehand Tweet with an antique button eye. The hand drawn scalloped edge is rough stitched with a heavier blue cord and the tweeter stitched on with the same rough stitch in a double ply of embroidery floss in yellow.

Tweet Tweet indeed! Or maybe even Sweet Tweet!

The Tweet Journal is sitting next to the last pair of down and dirty socks---- they always get to the foot gusset and languish! Once they get past there to the foot and decrease for the toes they rather zip along. No zipping at the moment! It has been a rather knit sorry week for sure!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Green Theme

So here is the best thing of all, culinarily and perhaps only to me---- the arrival of a certain black and white box. Contents? Green chilis, necessarily frozen as they are not in season currently, and quick shipped to my kitchen. A must have purchase to my thinking!

The cost for 5 pouches of frozen green chilis, one pound each, including shipping (free, riiiiiiight!) was $65.00. Two pouches makes a batch of the best thing in the world, green chili stew. I'm not kidding, it really IS the best thing in the world, amazing, fantastic, nirvana! Computing cost means two pounds of chilis, a pound of pork, a pound of potatoes, chicken broth and cilantro. Let's call it $36.00. Thirty Six dollars for a batch of green chili stew (worth it at any price)----- which let's say makes 4 dinner sized servings. That is $9 a serving. Now I feel so much better, just waaaaay better----- as purchasing the chili of the gods in Santa Fe runs about that.

The weekend is here and I've prepared by laying in groceries for the traditional Easter BBQ (what? You don't have barbeque for Easter?), and making a big pot of green chili stew. The chilis themselves arrived frozen so after thawing them, taking each individual chili and stripping off the burned-y black-y skin from the outside, cutting off the cap and de-seeding them was a happy labor of love. I kept the seeds from one of the chili's for the stew, liking a bit of heat and not knowing how hot the chilis were on their own, it seemed a good place to start. After browning pork cubes and adding stock and potatoes, simmering and then adding in those lovely chopped chilis the kitchen smelled amazingly wonderful. Would it be the same as my beloved eaten 2-3 times each day while in Santa Fe chili? Could it be? Or was it simply $65.00 poorly spent.

Hum the theme to Jeopardy here.................
\ I know, it sort of looks awful------ don't judge!!!!!!

The verdict was a resounding YES------ what a delicious and happy bowl of stew! Worth every step along the way from ordering the chilis to the preparation. I will add that it was HOT, and I like spicy so for me to say the stew had a kick is saying something. Boom! But delicious!! I'll scoop some of the pork and potato-less liquid out, thin with a bit more sauce and have a Saturday breakfast of scrambled eggs, cumin and spice fried potatoes all smothered in green chili sauce. Oh yeah. I'm pretty sure that the Easter Bunny will be joining me for a pre-hop brekky to get him going. No pun intended.

Easter is on the way and it will be bracketed with Green------- mostly chili stew! Cookies have been baked and assuming they make it until Sunday, dessert for the oh so traditional bbq will be ready too. Cream Puffs---- maybe some cream puffs?

Clearly the chili has gone to my head!

A peek of the almost finished second pair of mindless vacation knitting socks--- yes, one photographed, the second is not off the needles yet. Are they happy or what?? And they are GREEN, well themed I say!

If Easter is your celebration I wish you the best---- with wishes for a lovely weekend!