Monday, April 30, 2012


They're done! Now I only have 3 works in progress (WIPs).

by Carol Gioia

Socks come into the world with mates,
but, while doing the laundry, we find,
one mysteriously disappears,
leaving the other behind.
A sock that goes missing
creates fuss and bother,
leaving in the lurch
its significant other.
Lonely singles
yearning for mates,
mismatched styles,
nothing relates.
a knee sock or anklet
languishing in the drawer,
depressed and abandoned,
of no use anymore.
Then along comes the owner
with a sewing kit,
turning single socks into puppets
or handy dusting mitts.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tour Eiffel

Done at last - Natalie Servant's Eiffel Tower Shawl
Detail of the lace filigree
An Homage to Lacemakers Dear Ladies, how lovely is your work, 
Above all friends of lace, 
Carefully copying your patterns,
Bringing birth to these eternal marvels.
You are not just people of times past,
But you are here to show us clearly
How with interlacing threads,
The old designs are e'r renewed.
By means of the tool called a pillow,
In throwing the little bobbins about,
Joyously pure beauty appears before our eyes,
Which your hands transform into gifts.
It is through your painstaking diligence, 
Helped by our community,
You offer us consideration
And show us your finished masterpieces.
May you long set your hearts, 
To your work, in this ageless craft,
For wise daughters are you all,
Truth and beauty your faces illuminate.
Whether you are making black or blonde,
Either will bring you profound joy,
Which will allow you to dance a roundelay
At Craponne, worldwide and beyond.
by Edouart Lagrifolle

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yes, I'm Still Here


A wonderful city
A place for lovers
A city to dream wild
In that river the boats are moving with lovers inside
Watching that beautiful sky above the river
And the moon from that beautiful sky
Is shining in
The river
A city that never sleeps
The romance is in the air
The lovers are feeling the love that are in the air
That smell of the roses the lovers can smell
This is the sign that spring is here
Spring is the most beautiful time of the year
Now that winter has finally gone to sleep
The lovers welcome spring with open arms

Aldo Kraas
Paris was indescribable - in all positive ways - therefore, I won't attempt to describe it. But I'll be putting photos up on Facebook, a few at a time, and who knows? I just might insert a few anecdotes in here, now and then, if the mood strikes.

But what about the knitting, you ask? And the handspinning? And the exercise? Well, I'm back with lots of things to show and tell.

First off, I have photos to show of six different fibers spun up during the winter of 2012, that I FINALLY got around to washing, thwacking (to set the twist) and drying in the bright sun.
This side: "Change", "Angkor Wat", "Nightmare" - all Spunky Eclectic fibers
This side: "Night Owl", "Little Periwinkles", "Headache" - all Spunky Eclectic fibers
Washed, Thwacked, and Drying
Unfortunately, I've already added all these to the spinning "mileage" gadget, but I do hope to make some significant progress on what's been waiting for me so patiently - the "Tartan" fiber that I'm more than 50% done with.

String Theory Seri leftovers
As for knitting, I (as always) took more yarn/needles/patterns with me to Paris than I ever could have knit in a month, and I didn't even finish the Tour Eiffel shawlette I had hoped to wear while there. But it's finally off the needles, as of today, and is washed and blocking as I type. I knitted this using String Theory Yarn's "Seri" in their "Carina" colorway, and I LOVE it. The 100-gram skein had 1120 yards in it.  I measured (on my handy yarn meter) the leftover yarn, and I still have 400 yards left (maybe a yard or two less than that) for another project. Thank you, String Theory!
Tour Eiffel Shawlette is off the needles!

Tour Eiffel Shawlette detail
The center of this photo shows the motif captured in the shawl.
This was a delight to knit. Natalie Servant's directions and charting were clear and complete. The finished product is soft and feather-light - perfect for these (way too chilly) spring days.

I thought the graphite color was going to be a perfect match, but realized, when actually there, that the real tower is painted brown. Oh, well. A shawl knitted in the true color would be UGLY. Mine is BEAUTIFUL.

Now I am trying to finish up the second of the pair of vanilla socks I began way back in (gasp) February. So much for the lofty goal of knitting two pairs a month in 2012. Eiffel Tower shawls take a long time, as do Fair Isle Malthese Flower shawls (I'm ALMOST done!). And I'm still plugging away on the tangerine string bag for Zig.

I lied. Here's a Paris story. I made my way one afternoon to Lil Weasel, a tiny yarn shop in the Marais. I was the only customer, and I allowed my lack of French to scare me, but I did manage to ask for, and purchase, several items, including two colors of yarn actually produced in France. (It seems that there isn't much of this.) The shop was lovely, welcoming, colorful, and very well stocked with Cascade and Malabrigo.
Lil Weasel Yarn Shop, Paris, France
Mauve Fonty "Gueret", a DK- weight yarn made in France

Red Fonty "Gueret" from Lil Weasel
Gorgeous Malabrigo destined to become a Pimpelliese scarf
The Gueret yarn will, I think be knit up into "Saroyan" and "Brandywine" scarves.

Well, that's about enough for now. Oh, yeah - exercise. We walked more than 50 miles while in Paris, and since we've been back, I'm back in the saddle with weights and aerobic activity.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Paris demain


We anticipate many long walks, in the rain. While we'd prefer sun, Midnight in Paris convinced us that Paris in la pluie is the quintessence of romanticism.

More later, friends family et voyeurs.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Respite from Fair Isle madness in the form of a string bag
Fair Isle knitting overdose. Result? Cast on for a string bag. Yes, I caved in. I am THIS close to finishing the blasted Malthese, but I just couldn't take it anymore (for a little while, at least). Zig is sorely in need of replacement grocery bags, and an entire box of cotton/linen yarn sits just behind the couch. As we left the house for a bike ride yesterday afternoon, I found myself grabbing yarn and needles to begin the "Clementine" bag (Clementine being a trendy name for pale orange). The base of the bag is almost complete.


By Edna St. Vincent Millay
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Definition

The act of steeking - photo courtesy of Knit Buzz
Partially steeked garment - photo courtesy of Sheila Joynes
Steek or Steeking: It just occurred to me (thanks to Carol and Suzy's comments) that most folks don't know what the fuss is about steeking. Here are a few photos and links to explain/show why it's so freakin' scary!

Fridays Are Good

...especially when it's a day off from school. The sun is shining brightly but it's chilly. Here are a few photos - in natural light - of the Malthese Shawl, which is about 90% complete!!! So much for making inroads on the stash in 2012 - who knew this would take 4 months to complete?

Today's selection celebrates the colors in the shawl - white is the only color mentioned in Rossetti's poem not present in the garment. 
Malthese with top border folded under but not sewn yet
Even though it's steeked, you STILL can't see the triangle
Seems like an awful lot of yarn is still left -
the chartreuse is the only small ball











By Christina Rossetti
What is pink? a rose is pink

By a fountain's brink.

What is red? a poppy's red

In its barley bed.
What is blue? the sky is blue
Where the clouds float thro'.
What is white? a swan is white
Sailing in the light.
What is yellow? pears are yellow,
Rich and ripe and mellow.
What is green? the grass is green,
With small flowers between.
What is violet? clouds are violet
In the summer twilight.
What is orange? Why, an orange,

Just an orange!

Monday, April 2, 2012


I CUT THE SHAWL. I AM TERRIFIED AND JUBILANT. My sense of geometry has abandoned me and I am panicking about where to pick up stitches for the two remaining legs of the triangle. There are zillions of yarn ends that need to be woven in, and frail, cut stitches in the steek that cry out for stability. What have I done? Only what the pattern calls for, but the earth trembles beneath my feet.