Sunday, January 30, 2011

Prairie Rose Lace Shawl

Prarie Rose Lace Shawl in Jojoland Melody, hot off the needles

In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,   
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,   
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,   
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.   
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,   
as glad as anyone to hear the news

-from "Snow Day" by Billy Collins
I blocked the edge straight, rather than spiky as called for on the pattern. because I like it better.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Harald Mittens, pattern by Elsebeth Lavold, wool by Brown Sheep Lanaloft Worsted, knitting triumph by me
I've been breathlessly reading blogs about the Vogue Knitting confab in NYC this past weekend.  Wouldn't it be fun to fly into NYC, stay in the conference hotel, take classes, meet famous designers and bloggers, and stroll past the yarn vendors saying I'll take this, this, and some of this?  On the other hand, think how much Koigu KPPPM the $2,000 or so it would cost to attend could buy!

It would have been fun, though.  Thanks especially to Anne Hanson's blog for all the vicarious food photos - not only did I save money by not going, I saved calories!

No, instead of rubbing elbows with the knitting stars and buying dizzying amounts of yarn, I knit away on the Prairie Rose Shawl.  It'll be ready for viewing in a few days.  In the meantime, let's celebrate staying home, knitting down the stash, being  finally able to decipher an Elsebeth Lavold chart, and National Knit Mittens Month with my Haralds, Viking-inspired cuffs and all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Day after the Third Monday of January

If you cross a soap opera with an historical bodice-ripper romance novel, you get "Downton Abbey". Are you watching? 

 I do find myself wishing that the women of the manor would make a trip to Paris.  Mademoiselle Chanel's shop on the rue de Cambon opened for business in 1913. She was already freeing women's bodies by eliminating the corset and working with jersey.

In honor of the corseted women of Downton Abbey upstairs and downstairs, I've taken up a quasi-Edwardian knitting project.  It's Evelyn Clark's Prairie Rose Shawl.  The yarn is Jojoland Melody is a subtle shift of color from sage to lilac.

In the meantime, please do not tell Jack the beagle that the third Monday of January is (statistically) the most depressing day of the year.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stashing up

Sing along if you know the tune.  If you're a knitter, I bet you do.

 My  knitting  for a recent weekend away was all about starting a pair of socks from yarn from the (embarrassingly vast) supply in my cedar chest.
  See my knitting bag all packed?
Knitting book with pattern - check!  Yarn from stash - check!  Needles - check!
It was even more virtuous than that.  The yarn was reclaimed from a half-knit pair of socks  that had languished for several years in the cedar chest.  I frogged the one knit sock and wound the yarn into a ball.  Into the ball I stuck a set of #1 dpns.

I never touched any of it all weekend.

Long story short,  new yarn came into my life via Lakeside Fibers in Madison. My daughter Thomasina wondered could I make her a hat just like the one on the model by the front window?  With this thick-and-thin nubbly Arucania Liwen?

Infinity Hat inspired by anthropologie  in Arucania Liwen  (50% superfine alpaca, 50% wool)

Uh, yep.  I can do that. In fact, on #10 needles, I did it before her bus back to college left.

Well, I was buying the yarn for Thomasina's hat anyway, why not buy myself that pretty ball of Noro Silk Garden?

My new ball of Noro Silk Garden in the act of becoming a hat
And then I saw some nice Mmmmmmmalabrigo in an inky blue and Tom has a birthday coming up and ... I bought that, too.

You know that some of the best yarn stores have an attached cafĂ©, right?  That's where I headed next.  A latte + a gingersnap cookie + yarn fondling is not a terrible way to spend time. I sat in a happy daze and Tom and Thomasina went around the corner into the yarn part of the store.

Tom came back with MORE yarn - surprise gift yarn - for me!  It's a kit for a shawl.

Really, life doesn't get much better.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Seasonable Activity (and the Lack Thereof)

Snowbound beagle
For Jack the beagle, it is Snowbound Season.  If the mercury dips below 15 degrees Farenheit, walks are brief and more of a hustle against the elements than an opportunity to sniff out regulars and interlopers.  Chilly days are passed between watching the street from the big windows and long snoozes.  There are soulful beagle eyes and long beagle sighs.

For me, it is Knitting Season.  These socks came off the needles this morning.  They're Pointelle from Cookie A's new book, knit. sock. love. When Thomasina put them on to model for the camera, she exclaimed,  "I love the fit!".   That's the design, more than the knitting.  See that nice, stretchy lace that travels down the foot and also wraps around the ankle?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

January is NaKniMitMo

That's National Knit Mittens Month and I've got plans.  Big plans.

Waving Lace Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Solid
But first, let's talk socks..  These came off the needles last night.  They're for my younger daughter.  She heads back to college in only two days.

As for NaKniMitMo, I'm joining others on and planning on 11 pairs of mittens or gloves in 2011.  Living in Wisconsin as I do, it won’t be difficult to find a use for 11 pairs of mittens. Probably they’ll be gifts for family.

I plan to try different techniques.  Baltic mittens - how’s that for a theme? I can do Elsebeth Lavold’s Viking knits, Bohus colorwork, selbuvotter, and Latvian colorwork and it all stays in that theme.

I'm also knitting my way through Cookie A's Knit. Sock. Love.  

There will be a lot to show you this year.