Monday, May 28, 2007

The Ankle Socks are finally finished!!!!!

These socks have been in progress for so long that I can't for the life of me remember what the yarn is. Shirani might remember... it's a very nice, muted stripey thing in various shades of red and green and my daughter loved the yarn so much that what was originally intended to be a pair of socks for me became, almost as soon as I had cast on, a pair of (blessedly) quick ankle socks for her. I hate those never ended ribbed legs! (I realize as I write this that the quickie ankle socks concept seems to be in direct contradiction to my opening sentence...however the actual knitting time was really quite brief!)

They would have been done yesterday, but I ended up having an epiphany that downloading this way-cool palm project management software would be a great way for me to better organize and stay on top of all my knitting projects. It of course took 2 hours to install on my Treo and another 4 hours to load all my knitting projects into it. And it did cross my mind that, compared to the 30 minutes of knitting I actually had left on the ankle socks, this way-cool have to do right away software tangent was maybe a bit ridiculous. But it is WAY-WAY-WAY-COOL how, with only the touch of a button, I can get a neat list of all my projects On The Needle, vs say another view of What I Must Get Down For My Classes ASAP. (I'm thinking I may have lost most of my readers' enthusiasm at this point, and maybe only fellow palm-lover Chris J is still with me here... so back to the sock....)

It's got a star toe. Thank you Nancy Bush for that great book on vintage socks!! And for those of you with teenage daughters, ankle socks seem to be the only knitted garb they'll wear these days...which makes only having to do an inch of ribbing all the nicer.

I can't however bask in the glow of a freshly completed knitting project because there's SO MUCH FREAKIN SOCK YARN IN MY STASH SCREAMING my name that I can't think straight. I have to cast on either the Lorna's Lace, the Jitterbug, or the Cherry Tree I'm off to find my new Lantern Moon Sox Stix...

Happy Memorial Day,

ps (Did you know the original date of Memorial Day, May 30th, was chosen because it was the only spring day on which a civil war battle had not been fought?)

Yours in knitting,

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Check out what's new at the Cultured Purl!!!!!!

It's Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn and Wow is it GORGEOUS!!!! Rich, vibrant colorways, beautifully soft merino wool with an interesting little twist that I think is going to knit up to one very pretty sock. It arrived at Cultured Purl 2 days ago and before it had even been tagged, 10 skeins had been sold!! So hurry on in and take a look.

And for all the lace knitters out there...check out the beautiful Addi Turbo Lace circular needles...

It's pretty common knowledge that I am a DIEHARD wooden needle lover...but I am working on a design for a new triangular lace shawl and decided to give these a try. Skacel has come up with a needle that is geared toward the needs of lace knitters: very sharp tips for getting into tricky stitches on fine yarns; soft, dark toned cord that makes tiny stitches really visible; hollow, coated brass tips which let the stitches fly along at a quick pace without being too slippery to control; and finally, and BEST OF ALL, the
smoothest, tapered join that you could ever hope to find which really cuts down on the drag and snag that so often happens when working lace on hundreds of stitches... Can you tell I love them??? So...I wouldn't say I'm a convert, because wood will always be my first love, but for lace knitting, ADDI LACE TURBOs ARE THE WAY TO GO.

And finally, Sue just got a delivery of Blocking Wires: sets of very thin, long, flexible, metal wires that are designed to make blocking lace, among other things, simpler. You slide the wires through the edge stitches and then pin the wires down with a couple of T-pins. For example, they would have come in REALLY HANDY when I was blocking my Lace Sampler Shawl with 102 T-Pins...Definitely worth a serious look.

Well I am heading back to the lace design board...hope to see you soon at the Cultured Purl.

Yours in knitting,

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Another Lace Project

Thanks for the kind comments about the Sampler Shawl. It will be at Cultured Purl for the next several weeks (while the class is going on) if you think you might like to tackle lace and want to take a peek at it. The thing with lace is that you never get a sense of how beautiful it's going to be until you block it and it turns into something entirely different!

I'm so pleased with how the sampler turned out that I've decided to jump right back into the deep end and design a triangular lace shawl for the fall! I've always been intrigued by the the construction of traditional English triangle shawls knit from the center top down. Shirani is getting in some exquisite Zephyr lace weight yarn that I think will be beautiful to work with. Can't wait!

Yours in knitting,


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's Done!!!

Well, I finished the Lace Sampler Shawl yesterday...and blocked it last night, and I have to say that the Silky Wool turned out to be a beautifully lacy fabric. Working a lace pattern with any kind of yarn, but certainly one not really intended for lace, takes a giant leap of faith. It works up looking like this:

pretty, but

not really

very lacy looking...


you haven't blocked it yet...

and it takes a

really strong constitution to take this thing that you've LABORED over, maybe even very likely seriously STRESSED about for a long LONG LOOOONNNGG time, and soak it in water.

and by soak I mean really truly drench it...

and then

it takes










to stretch it out...(by the by, that's the (in)famous Teddy Bruschi make-a-wish t-shirt...a story for another time)

and then with the patience of Job, you wait and you wait and you wait for it to dry; and you try not to cry when you step on a T-Pin because you stupidly blocked it in your bedroom and it doesn't exactly glow in the dark...

and then the everything you put into it suddenly seems SO WORTH IT.....


it turns out like this:

and this....

and even this.....

And you think


I can do this in another color...

Yours in Silky Wool,


Friday, May 04, 2007

Teddy Massacre

Despite the limbs and severed heads this is not a teddy massacre....This is Laura's teddy bear class! Some really really cute bears were made that day. Trish even made one for Leo...Thanks Trish, we LOVE it...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Lace Sampler Shawl

Well as Linda kindly reminded me, it has been a while since I blogged...besides feverishly working on this....

to keep ahead of the very talented lace knitters in my Wednesday Lace Sampler Shawl class,

I was busy last week running our elementary school's bookfair. 24 hours at school doesn't sound like alot until one considers that during those 24 hours (spread over 2 1/2 days) we sold $5,200 in paperback books to over 600 students and their families!! I did NOT get a lot of knitting done!!!

but I THOUGHT about knitting...and how I was going to set aside most of the weekend to finishing the shawl and maybe a sock or three (lonely singles waiting for partners but that's another story) but then I came to my senses and the reality of the laundry problem set in: My dear husband is away - renowned heart surgeon who's real claim to fame is his amazing ability to fix hearts all week and STILL get all the laundry sparkling clean and BEAUTIFULLY, METHODICALLY, PERFECTLY folded and (here's the clincher) - PUT AWAY!!!!! I had really felt kinda proud about getting it done through the busy week, but getting is done led to the larger problem of not being able to get into the laundry room to start another load because I couldn't move through the 6 loads of clean clothes that were piled in front of the door crying out to be folded. I tried to ignore the cries (plaintive ones, for any kind of folding, not even the crisp done-right kind), so that I could get a few more rows done on the shawl, but then I started to panic and hyperventilate a little and my count was off....

so the laundry is done...but the shawl is not...

still, I'm in good shape for the class today and it's a beautiful, crisp, May kind of day today, and I'm not going to let a little thing like a few unfinished pairs of socks bother me. But Linda, I'm glad to hear you finished the Lorna's Lace socks and that they turned out nice, and thanks for missing me!

Yours in knitting,