Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Love Saturday Mornings

The sun streams in through the front window, so brightly that I have to shade my eyes when I look outside. Icicles sparkle, snow gleams, and stray snowflakes drift by. I can hear a junco calling - one of the few animals brave enough to be out and about. I'm certainly not going out there: the deck pops and groans in the cold, so why should I risk it? I'd much rather sit here in the sunshine with my laptop warming my - what else? - lap!

Zig's on the couch under the afghan I knitted for his 40th birthday. That afghan is now 13 years old (Zig's 53rd birthday was the day before yesterday), but still keeps whomever it covers toasty and safe. "Weekend Edition" beams sanity into the living room, and I'm about to resume work on the first of a pair of stripey socks, using Koigu and Shibui Sock yarns. The socks are part of my effort to use up stash yarn - I've got enough sock yarn to knit up AT LEAST two dozen pairs of socks, whether they be top-down, vanilla, stockinette workhorse editions or toe-up, Cookie A./Cat Bordhi nouveau-construction-technique works of art. I have, after all, been a subscriber to several years' worth of Redbird Knits SOTM club (12 kits each year), and last year I subscribed to Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club (6 kits) AND Crown Mountain Farms "Knitting For Fun" Club (another 6 kits). Rather than assiduously keeping up with each shipment, I've allowed the kits to accumulate, unknit, to such a degree that I've lost count.

Yesterday afternoon, in between spates of shoveling, I started, but quickly frogged, the "Bunny Hop" sock pattern from Redbird Knits. I didn't care for the angora fuzziness, although the base yarn, Casbah Sock from Handmaiden Fine Yarn, is gorgeous. I'm thinking I'll save it for one of Romi Hill's small shawls - it's much too pretty to be hidden under jeans.

Handmaiden Casbah Sock Yarn

Also finished and blocked the "South Seas Table Runner" from Knit 2 Together by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark. I used Elsebeth Lavold's Hempathy yarn rather than Euroflax Linen as called for, and I'm happy with the result, although I made some mistakes in the piece, so it's not good enough to give to anyone. I'm thinking I'll sew some beads to the four corners to give it some weight...
South Seas Table Runner

South Seas Table Runner detail

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 18, 2011

What should have been just another day at work morphed into a summer vacation day, courtesy of snow followed by sleet followed by freezing rain, followed by rain. Seems like the entire state of Connecticut had the day off; at least the public schools did. What's a woman to do, but stay at home, where it's safe and relatively un-slippery, and knit?

Husband's new Market Bag
This safe, dry knitter finished the second of two market (aka string) bags, using up virtually all of some unidentified hand-dyed cotton boucle´ for which there is no other aesthetically pleasing purpose. The first of these bags is going to the safe, dry knitter's husband, who is in dire need of a new (well, replacement) string bag, as he (the husband) trashed another string bag (just how does he DO this? how do you unravel a string bag with grocery items?) that the safe dry knitter had graciously knitted for him last year.

The second string bag is going to the safe dry knitter's father for his 84th birthday. The safe dry knitter is not quite sure that the octogenarian dad will know what to do with the string bag, but the octogenarian's wife will, so that's okay.

Dad's Market Bag

Now to summarize the other knitting that's happened since the Tucson post. After finishing the Pimpelliese scarf, I cast on for the famous "Citron", using Sanguine Gryphon's Sappho I lace yarn. I finished that on the plane from Tucson to Chicago. I'm please with the finished product, and look forward to wearing it one of these chilly winter days.
Citron Shawlette on the blocking board

Detail of Citron Shawlette
 After casting off Citron, I began Romi Hill's Merope, the first in her 7 Small Shawls to Knit booklet. I used Swan's Island Sock Yarn in a lovely, subtle ice blue color. That shawl screamed on the needles, at first (it starts with 3 stitches, so of course it's fast!), knitting up so quickly that I was on Row 70 before I knew it. The finished shawlette gave me my first experience at blocking lace, and just as every lace knitter has ever explained, the process seems magical - you start with a lumpy bunch of stitches and end up with a crisp, defined piece of art!
Merope on the blocking board - pinned to within an inch of its life!
Detail of Merope


Merope after blocking

Merope Shawlette
Edge detail of Merope
Interior of Merope shawlette

After finishing Merope, I cast on a pair of vanilla socks for Zig's birthday. Yes, he's already gotten several pairs of socks from me, but you can never have TOO many pairs of socks, right? Right?

Horned Lizard and Sock

Zig's Vanilla Socks knit in Opal yarn

Well, I began this post 3 days ago, but life interrupted, so I'm posting on January 21st, 2011. And guess what? It's ANOTHER snow day (which is why I have time to write) here in northwestern Connecticut. It's lovely as it falls, covering the old, dirty snow with a layer of lacy white, but shoveling awaits, when and if the storm stops.

What's next for knitting? I just finished the South Seas Table Runner - it's soaking before I block it on the board. Still working on Rowan's "Brea", a pair of "Tree of Life" mittens, and Robyn Gallimore's "Bunny Hop" socks. More soon on all of these projects!