Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Use for Cheap Acrylic Yarn


Welcome to our Poison Spider Farm! You have to brush past the spiders on your way to the front door, bwahahahaha!
Yep, the spiders are just pompoms intentionally kept raggedy and given long tails. We attach them above with masking tape.
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Now All I Need Is The Coat

I had an extra skein of an angora/silk blend, a pair of #3 dpns, and an afternoon. This is the end result. It's Lacecap from Knitty with the modification of yarn instead of perle cotton.


Knitting lace is my favorite. The rhythm of it, the intricacy without too much effort - it just never gets old. This one is fairly simple lace. If I knit another Lacecap, I'll add a couple of inches of brim to make it less skimpy for winter in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.



Which leads to the search for the Serious Winter Coat, something for January and February when it's 10 degrees to 20 below. I'm one to amortize my coat, meaning I spend big for something wonderful but boy howdy, it had better last 7 to 10 years.

For now I'm wearing the Not-So-Serious Winter Coat, good for temps down to 15 or so with a sweater underneath.

Day 3: I Want Juicy Pear

A surprise package arrived at the house. It came from some online friends at a Disney message board and was full to the gills of Jelly Bellies. For my husband, there was a box of sugar-free Jelly Bellies. For me, my very own glass canister full of the real deal. For our girls, a huge bag of Flops which are Jelly Belly irregulars.

A Jelly Belly feast. A fiesta. An orgy of Jelly Bellies! Can you tell I happen to love Jelly Bellies?

Too much. I can limit myself to a couple of potato chips (yes, really). I cannot limit myself to a couple of Jelly Bellies. Yes, I am a Jelly Bean harlot - I love them all, excluding those gross Bertie Botts Beans. What is it about a Jelly Belly?

The thing is, they give me a headache. The sugar rush makes me tired. They are no good, those Jelly Bellies. And so, because I cannot control myself around them, I have gone cold turkey. No more Jelly Bellies for me, at least for awhile.

The tank top in the photo is from Vogue Weekend Knits. The yarn is an angora/silk blend. I knit it last summer not on a weekend but during a couple of weekdays, sitting around in Wyoming while the hubster was out on the rez doing field work.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Yes Sir, Yes Sir, One Bag Full




http://www.Herrschners.com 's physical plant is not far. However, if you're shopping for anything besides mint-green acrylic for a baby afghan, it can be depressing. Every so often, they hold a warehouse sale. It's a hodgepodge of stitchery kits and paint-by-numbers kits and embroidery floss and fiber, all arranged on long tables in the actual warehouse. If it's a hot day, bring a bottle of water because there is no air-conditioning in that warehouse.
But if you get to the sale early, you just might score something wonderful.
A few weeks ago, Herrschners had another warehouse sale. It was raining cats and dogs. It was cold People were lined up in the pouring rain, waiting on the off-chance there'd be something wonderful.
At the sale last June, I found my something wonderful: German superwash sport-weight in a tie-dye look. I got hot pink; I got forest green; I got cerulean blue. I went crazy and kept loading the stuff into my cart. $1.99 for 109 yds.!

It wasn't until the checker was packing up my purchase that I realized I had just bought a grocery bag full of the stuff. I already had a terrific pattern from http://pinklemontwist.blogspot.com. It cost $6.00, downloadable, and worth the money, although there are plenty of free mitt patterns on the web. Pink Lemon Twist's is clear, easy, has very complete directions and two variations from the basic mitt you see above.
The mitts knit up fast and easy, almost a pair to one skein of the German superwash. I'm on my third pair. I may just knit up the entire grocery bag full of wool into these mitts.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

1" Rain, 6" Knitting on Lucie

48 Things You Could Care Less About
1. FIRST NAME? Helen
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My dad's mother.
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? When I saw my Jeep in the tow yard. A man ran a red light and slammed into my Jeep at 35 mph. My husband was driving and sustained a shoulder injury. My daughter was in the front passenger seat and is fine.
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Eh.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Salami
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Sure and we'd go for a decaf nonfat pumpkin spice latte, no whip.
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This be it.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No. The sensation of imminent death does nothing for me. For thrills, I shoe shop.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Blueberry Morning.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I'm a wimp when it comes to the Great Outdoors. But if you need something done right and on time, I'll move Hell and high water to deliver.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Rocky Road
14. SHOE SIZE? 8.5 or 9
5. RED OR PINK? Red.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I don't like physical activity.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My dad. He died almost 8 years ago.
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Post your answers on your blog, what the heck.
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'm wearing a striped blouse with two purples and ivory, a brown skirt, and Uggs slippers.
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Popcorn. So, so good.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? My husband turning the page of a book he's reading.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Saffron yellow.
23. FAVORITE SMELL? Lily of the valley.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? An insurance adjustor calling about my late Jeep.
25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Their sense of humor.
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Sure. CARRIOKE's blog is a fun read.
27. FAVORITE DRINK? English Breakfast tea
28. FAVORITE SPORT? Ugh. None.
29. EYE COLOR? Turquoise.
30. HAT SIZE? I don't know.
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Glasses.
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Pot stickers, no contest.
33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings.
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer. Winter gets old by March and we have a good month, maybe two to go after that.
36. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses.
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Crème brûlée.
38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? N/A
39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? I'm reading a collection of show biz profiles by John Lahr.
41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Blue sky and white clouds.
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? I didn't.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Rain, thunderstorms.
44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Rolling Stones
45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Austria
46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I speak French really well.
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? New Jersey
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I stole it from Carrioke

Friday, October 20, 2006

Lucie


Really, what's not to love about Lucie? The neck is right. The shoulders are right. The shaping is right. The ease is right. The length is right. It's all, well, right.
The yarn is the star here. A. de Sauveterre's merino-and-silk Arianne takes a pattern that is 100% and makes it irresistible. The colors glow and the hand is softer than soft. You do get what you pay for.

The colorway in the photo is Plankton. Everyone must agonize over which colorway to choose. it's all so pretty and unique. I even asked a non-knitting discussion board which they liked best. Answer: Briar Rose. But I decided I need a sweater to go with a turquoise necklace. Plankton it is.


The photo shows the back of my Lucie. My photographer daughter liked the purl side so that's what she shot. You can see that I'm letting the colors pool. I tell myself it looks more like plankton that way.
An adult sweater from fingering weight. And I'm hoping to have it done for an occasion less than a month away. The back is done. The front is 1/3 done. I'd better get knitting.



Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Like A Little Glitter


Cherry Tree Hill's Glitter Alpaca makes me happy. The yarn has exactly the right hint of glint - just a shimmer peeking out from the other fibers.

My eldest daughter is modeling the stole in the photo. It's in the colorway Mountain Madness (variegated forest greens, blacks, deep blues, plus the glitter). Mountain Madness looks like the mountains at a great distance but it also resembles the ocean. And what's more ocean than the crest-of-the-wave stitch?

My three skeins became this stole which became my favorite knitting so far. The Glitter Alpaca and the stitch are completely in harmony, the fiber quality is A+, the stitch easily memorized.

I gave this stole to a friend in Wyoming, no regrets. But I'm thinking I'd like to make one exactly like it for myself. Or maybe I'll try one of the other colorways ...

But first I have to finish the Lucie sweater.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

In or Auf?


To test out the Knitware Basics Design software I bought, I designed a sweater for Suzy the beagle. Her expression says she's not knit-worthy.

The particulars: the neck border is Swedish Check from Barbara Walker's Vol. I. The rest of the sweater is in stockinette.

Beagles are low to the ground and the sweater will soon get very muddy. I may deeply regret that I used wool but hey, this is Wisconsin. It gets dang cold.

The software did not disappoint. It's easy to use, flexible, and cost about $100. As soon as I finish my Lucie sweater, I'm doing something with my stash of Black Water Abbey from http://www.abbeyyarns.com . Check out that Pink Heather - sublime, non? I must warn you that the hand is really burly, rugged, outdoorsy, perfect for romping over the moors.

As in suitable for a dog sweater. But the beagle can just forget it. My Black Water Abbey yarn is going to the more worthy cause of one of my daughters.