Friday, December 21, 2007

The Jurassic WIP progresses

It is all in one piece now, with the ends woven in. I felt it needed a little border of some sort but of course don't have any yarn left, so my good friends at Stix-n-Stitches in Montclair, NJ helped me pick out some contrasting yarn last night. Will whomp something on the edge later today, fueled by my annual last minute Christmas mix of cookie dough, coffee, and antibiotics.

All in all I am pretty pleased with this - it will be taking up no more space in the stash closet or my brain, and I know my mother will love it.

In other news - there is no other news. Bah Humbug! I am buried in cookie baking, present wrapping and general holiday stress, just like half of the rest of the world. The good news is I finished my shopping this morning. The bad news is I hate the mitts I started for the Kid and feel the need to make something else instead. The good news is she tried on someone else's Calorimetry last night and loved it so I might just whip one of those out instead.

No computer for most of next week - some days with my parents, some days with friends, and of course what would an attempt on my part to relax be without the Kid having a step dancing competition in there some where...

Here's to a peaceful New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Jurassic WIP and some brand new handspun

Hard to say which pleases me more at the moment.

I finished off and plied the yarn I was spinning from some Fleece Artist merino sliver that I got from Knit Knack in Maplewood, NJ. Many less bumpies than before, and I got over 300 yards of a worsted weight yarn so there is actually enough to make something with. I like to spin, but I find I don't like to spin up 75-80 yards of something just for the heck of it - I want to make something with the yarn I spin. So this pleases me greatly. Now what to make of it?

This pleases me in a different way entirely.

Every year the Kid and I wake up at the butt-crack of dawn and schlep to the local mall when it opens at 7:00 am to hunt for bargains and blast through the Christmas shopping list. This year it looked like we weren't going to go - she got invited to a sleepover the night before our scheduled run, and although I was a tad bit disappointed that we wouldn't have our tradition, I can certainly understand that she likes to spend more time with her friends now that she is in middle school. So I got over myself, plied the yarn, and had a couple of beers with a neighbor/friend.

Imagine my surprise when the phone rings at 3:30 am - it is the Kid. After I ascertain that nothing is horribly wrong (and my adrenaline level begins to return to normal), I hear her say that she has been thinking about it, and she really doesn't want to ditch our shopping trip - could I pick her up around 6 am? I wanted to shoot her for waking me up, but of course I went to get her in the freezing cold at 6 am - tradition is tradition.

What does this have to do with the WIP? Well we were not as successful at whipping through the whole list as in years past. Maybe we are getting pickier, maybe the stores didn't have exactly what we wanted, but we came home with several names on the list still not crossed out. So I went stash diving to see what could be made up in a hurry. And yes, I know what day it is - I was thinking hats or washcloths. Anyway I found this afghan in progress that I started in 1992. Yes, 1992 - fifteen years ago. It has lived at three different houses, is older than my Kid and my dog, and has been taking up space all that time. The pattern is for a sampler stitch afghan - I found 10.75 completed squares, two skeins of yarn and the pattern booklet. So I decided it is now a throw and almost finished! I finished off the last two squares so I can have three squares by four - they are about 15" square once they are blocked - and started blocking. Two more to block and a quick crochet together, and I will have a pretty wool throw for my always freezing mother - hurrah! As well as more closet space, and the psychic space that is given when you get rid of stuff that has been hanging around for the better part of your adult life. I will post pix when it is completely finished. Right now the whole thing just makes me smile.

Still two pairs of fingerless gloves to go on the list but I am not worried - the throw should be finished today which gives me a week for the mitts.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cool essay in the CSM

Hey all,

I will blog a bit later when I have time to post pix, but I wanted to alert you to an essay in The Christian Science Monitor. Written by my friend Dawn at Subversive Stitchers it is a nice bit of knitting content!


Monday, December 10, 2007

HersheyPark Happy!

Long ago, in a faraway land where everything was made of chocolate, our knitting heroine spent a few summers working for the live entertainment department at HersheyPark in Hershey, PA. As summer jobs go for aspiring theater technicians who lived in really crappy digs in Brooklyn, this was not a bad one. Although the schedule required each stage manager and department head to work six days a week, we had very nice apartments to stay in walking distance from the park, and it was way nicer working in the theaters than as ride or games operators.

This is my favorite ride of all time.
And I got to spend some quality time on it on Saturday when the Kid and I, plus big sister and her grandson, hightailed it to Hershey to see the Christmas displays. I love Hershey at Christmas - while the big rides like the roller coasters aren't open, those aren't my favorite things anyway so I don't miss them. And we had a beautiful day in the 40s with no wind or rain, so a HersheyPark Happy day was had by all.

Then we went to Lancaster to see the newly renovated Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum Holy Cow was it beautiful - a wonderful display of local Amish made quilts, and a whole room full of antique and contemporary hooked rugs, among other things. Middle sister works there, managing the fabulous and knitter friendly museum shop, and this is the first time I have been there since the new building opened. If you are in the area and have any interest in textiles, take an afternoon to drop in.

Last but certainly not least, I came home to find this package had arrived while I was gone. Yup - it's sock yarn by Noro! I cannot cannot cannot wait to try it, but of course I have to finish up some other things first. I got it at Webs who recently added it to their inventory. The top color is S95, the bottom one is S184 - the colors are just slightly less bright than in this photo. MAN do I want to cast this on!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Appropo of nothing...

I just really like this photo of all the beautiful fruit in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. The market was right outside of the hotel where we stayed for the dance championships, and it was pretty funny to go over there and watch the vendors watch the heavily made up and tanned girls with their crazy curly hair and tiaras...

Back to the old grind this week - I finished my column on antiques for Hobby Farm Home magazine, submitted a bunch of sketches for review, and plowed back into both the never ending red sweater and the log home book that will not die.

Tonight I am off to Woolbearers in Mount Holly, New Jersey (not New Hampshire my sharp eyed friend Nichole :-) from 6 - 9 to sign books and generally carry on. I am told that Mount Holly has a pretty cool First Friday event going on tonight, where the stores and restaurants are all open late, so stop on by if you are in the area. Bring your knitting - if it's cold we can just huddle in the yarn store and watch the silly freezing shoppers go by...

I am SO not ready for Christmas -So. Not. Ready.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thanks... And greetings from Philadelphia!

I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all who sent notes and comments about my poor bunny-boy. We don't know what happened - one night he was happy and eating (according to the pet sitter, whom we have known for many years and trust implicitly), the next morning he was dead in his cage. So so sad...


Last weekend the Kid and I were in Philadelphia for the regional Irish step dancing championships. She was competing in both the team and the solo events. So we quick checked in on Thanksgiving afternoon before we ran off to eat with the family, and discovered we had lucked into a very cool corner room with terrific views of the city.

The Kid especially liked the fact that she could go back there and shut the curtains and no one could see her. She put her book and her lucky bamboo stick, and her sugar stash back there and retreated whenever she needed a minute to think.
Bitty Erin (named for one of the Kid's dance coaches) quite enjoyed the view herself, although she never did manage to get the Skittles opened...

And look - some actual knitting! I whipped up this little scarf for the Kid using two skeins of Online Solo . Solo is that wide tape yarn that you stab with your needle to knit with - lots of fun and quick results. I discovered that the farther away you "pick" your yarn the more ruffly it gets. And because the start bells out a little, instead of attaching the second skein to the first and going on, I knit up the two skeins separately, then sewed the two halves together center back so the ends would match. She loves it, it's purple!

On her own knitting front, she has discovered the circular needle love and I think has knit more in the last week than she has in the last year. She is stitching away on a felted purse from Amy R. Singer's Knit Wit: 30 Easy and Hip Projects (Hands-Free Step-By-Step Guides). Kid has promised pictures when she gets a little farther along.

I am sort of buried in all the work I didn't do when I was driving her to dance class every day of our lives, but hope to finish getting caught up this week. Then if I can clear a space for the Christmas tree to live in, all will be well in my world.

Mt. Holly this Friday night - Woolbearers from 6 to 9 pm. It is also a First Friday in Mt. Holly so come and get your holiday shopping groove on if you are in the neighborhood.

Wow, this post is long - congrats to those who are still with me!

The blue shrug that I wear to death? The pattern is finally up at
Leisure Arts Library. It is $3.99 until December 31st, when it goes back up to $4.99. In any case, the sample there is made with Bernat Cool Crochet, but the original was made in Blue Heron Beaded Rayon, so anything in the silky/multi/dk range would probably be an okay sub. Because it is lacy, the fit is very forgiving so gauge is maybe not as important as it might be for some other patterns. I am working away on the red sweater for Soysilk, and a few other surprises that I hope to be able to show you soon.