Monday, June 29, 2009

One Swift Knit

A scarf with a 30-row lace pattern (15 rows of thinking and 15 rows of purling), you'd think it would be painstaking. Not this one. The Raha Scarf from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia just about fell off the needles and into my lap, complete and blocked. That's how quick a knit it is.

The pattern represents money; good fortune might be another way of saying that. Working on the scarf, I thought the pattern looked like cucumber slices. Now, looking at the whole, it's transformed from cucumber slices to something fin-de-si├Ęcle and swoony and Gustav Klimt-y/Aubrey Beardsley-y.

Part of that is due to the yarn itself. What's more decadent than the gleam of chartreuse silk? I used about 1 1/2 skeins of Alchemy's Silk Purse (100% silk) in Dragon, thought about knitting beyond the 11 pattern repeats, and decided, ultimately, that it might be too much of a good thing.

For a tall, spare, dramatic woman, a long scarf is so elegant. For myself, the shorter scarf is all I am licensed to handle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Ah, Alchemy Silk Purse, how I love your soft, glowing ways. With two skeins, 163 yards each, I had enough for some kind of a scarf.

But which scarf? I had just finished the Lilac Leaf Shawl from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia and I had previously knit the Lily of the Valley Scarf. Had I grown weary of Knitting Like An Estonian?

Not in the least. I cast on for Raha, which is supposed to evoke money. In this yarn in this Dragon colorway, I think it evokes cucumber slices.

Thank you to Tom for holding up the Raha while I pointed the camera and pressed the button. Our animals also got into the action, as per usual.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Acquisitions to the Collection

Yarn makes an excellent souvenir. Yarn on sale makes a super-excellent souvenir.

On my recent visit to the Bay Area, my sister and I hit two stores. Uncommon Threads in Los Altos is a well-stocked high-end yarn store. And by well-stocked, I mean not only did they have Rowan, Koigu, and Alchemy yarns but multiple copies of all four volumes of Barbara Walker's stitch dictionaries. As if that weren't enough heaven, Thai Silks is across the street.

Next to Thai Silks, Baskin Robbins. Next to that, a shoe store. Next block, a children's bookstore.

A couple of skeins of Mmmmmmalabrigo Silky Merino, 51% silk, 49% merino. The color: "Green Gray". Is it just me or do you also associate "green gray" with the complexion of someone who is seasick? It's really more of a light Aegean blue. The color in this photo is not true. Think deep duck's egg and you're there.

This Alchemy Silk Purse in Dragon was irresistible. The chartreuse color on the 100% silk glows.

Those are my excellent souvenirs. Now for the super-excellent souvenirs.

Around the corner and down a couple of blocks, my sister and I came upon Full Thread Ahead. The bricks-and-mortar part of the business is closing but the owner said she will be selling on the internet. Everything in that store was top quality and the all-things-must-go bargains were huge.

Oh yeah, I found two skeins of Misti Alpaca Chunky soft and light as a cloud at 50% off. The color is a raisin and it rocks my world.

I also picked up a couple of skeins of Art Yarns' Regal Silk in a vivid violet, also 50% off.

Which would you knit with first? I'll show you what I chose tomorrow.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Secret Knitting Revealed!

Since March, I have been spending secret time with some fingering-weight baby alpaca, a pair of Addi lace needles, and Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia. Result: one Lilac Leaf shawl. You can click on any of the photos to get enlarged detail.

I handed the shawl to my sister - surprise! - last week.

You talk about surprises: life is full of twists and turns impossible to predict. Wife, mother, equestrienne extraordinaire - all these things I would have guessed Edie would achieve. But who would ever have thought my freckley kid sister who hated Sunday School would turn out to be a pastor and a damn (I can say that, right?) accomplished one, too.

The shawl is to help celebrate a milestone birthday. My sister is a woman of wonderful surprises. It was only fitting she be surprised.

Someone fetch me an ice tea, please. I'm feeling faint. How is it possible that I am old enough to have a kid sister who is a hawt grandma?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

What Passes for Excitement around Here

That's a lot of pink yarn! When I tell you that my younger daughter has one more year of high school, I bet you know exactly what the yarn is for.

Yes,time to knit an afghan for her college dorm room. To that end, I scored Cascade 220 Superwash on sale at WEBS back in March, was it?

It arrived on Friday. I was excited. My Gang of Three was excited. That's Sally the Dowager Empress cat on the left, Jack in the middle, and Nala the Scary Ninja Kitty on the right.

I'll let Jack and Nala tell what happened next.

And then I put all of it in a closet.