Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And so it goes......

This morning I was doing my usual routine. I took a moment to flop on the sofa to sip my tea and peruse the newspaper. When I walked back into the kitchen, there was a note taped to my patio door. I didn't hear the gate on the fence, I didn't hear the sliding screen, I didn't hear ANYTHING, yet there is a note. The painter (condo association is having the buildings painted) wants to know which day I want my doors painted. When I tracked him down on my way out, he wanted to know when I could "give him access" so he could paint all around the door and LEAVE IT OPEN FOR AN HOUR OR SO. Hey fella, we work!! And we've had "mouse incidents" from the corn field across the street. And the place is lousy with grey squirrels. I don't know if it's a good idea to leave the doors ajar.....Sigh. Can I please have a week without drama? Please? Meanwhile, I'm recovering from my second or is it third(?) go around with this cold.

But I have pictures of FOs! Hurrah!

This is my Chevron variation of the mobius. I found this "pattern" on the Mason-Dixon blog. Ann made it up, did it double stranded with Sea Silk. Mine is Artyarns in 100% Regal Silk color 115 - with lovely AB clear 4mm square beads. Note the lovely blending color of the clothes pins......It's a little hard to see the chevron pattern.

Here's a closeup of the beads. Looks like I set them in a pattern, but I didn't they are completely random. I'll stick beads in just about anything.

This was a little "trickesy" to knit. Because of the slippery, silkiness of the yarn, I started out using Denise needles. But I couldn't get the cables to slide easily in the mobius cast on. I then went to KP Options. The cable was better, but the needles were soooo slick, I lost stitches in the YO k2tog pattern twice and had to frog. It's pretty simple knitting if you're not a clutz.

The pattern a la Ann Shayne:

5 rows k5,yo,k2tog
5 rows p5,yo,k2tog

I used a #5 needle, and an i-cord cast off. It took about a skein and a half to knit about thirty rows and cast off.

The trick is to figure out how big you want your mobius, and to cast on a multiple of 7, minus one stitch. You want to move the beginning of your round one to the left each row. Just for reference, I cast on 195 stitches, and it took me multiple tries to get it right!

Edited to add: When I displayed this creation for my hubby, he admired it appropriately, then said, "Um, I hate to tell you this, but it's twisted......" Sigh......

I <3 Bonne Marie! I finished CeCe! Just in time for cool weather! That's me! Perfect timing. Her pattern is wonderful. Very complete. Very clearly written. But I screwed up twice. It wasn't her fault. Apparently, I can't read. Here's the finished product, with our fading impatiens in the background:

I was afraid that it wasn't going to fit. That the neckline would be too low and "open" and floppy. Ahhhh, not to worry it fits great. (I just wish a smaller size fit great, but I digress.) I know you'd love to see how great it does fit, but I have a confession. I do not know how to use the timer on my [relatively new] camera. I just got it last Christmas, and I'm still fooling with it. I'll try and work it out soon so I can get a decent photo. I have not mastered the mirror shot yet. Working on it!

But there's a story here:

This is a handmade Fimo button. In the early nineties I was just beginning to teach computer science and I was teaching an intro class for the very first time. Anyone who has taught a class for the first time knows that it is fraught with pitfalls and quicksand. Add to the usual mess, tech classes especially, are prone to change at the speed of .... well .... electrons. What was valid last semester, can be gone in a matter of weeks. So this was only the first or second time I was teaching this particular class. This however, was a group of students that particularly stood out. Among the traditional students, I had a grandmother in her fifties, recently divorced, who was going to "learn this stuff" come hell or high water, a young mother, who brought her three year old once or twice just so she could finish an assignment (she was later killed in a horrible accident, all I could think about was that toddler), an adult student who couldn't understand why he needed to show up for class, particularly tests, and a professional artist. It was a tough semester for all of us, but we got through it with patience and lots of laughter. At the end of the semester, the class presented me with a gift -- a set of dry erase markers because I could never find one that worked in the classroom. The artist gave me a card of her hand made buttons. She knew I was a knitter, and told me they were for my next cardigan. I could not refuse. I've had them all these years, just waiting for that cardigan. I think it's the perfect accent! Don't you?


Cascade Sierra (80 pima cotton/20 wool)- Sunset (I just fell in love with the color.)
4 skeins (192 yds/skein) I bought five.
I went down TWO needle sizes to even get close to gauge. I think the pattern called for 6 and 7, and I used 4 and 5. And yes I washed the swatches before measuring.

Sierra has a great hand and is not as splitty as some cottons. Thanks to the wool, I think, it is a lot lighter than I expected. It blocked beautifully. Even with my unorthodox blocking method. (Soak in sink, spin in washer.....)

I'm going to make this again, maybe even with Sierra, again, but with long sleeves. I like it THAT much and it was a fun knit. Once I learned to read. Right after I get started on the b. marie Ribby Cardi. I also have her bucket hat pattern. Great easy knit. Bonne, will you marry me? My husband won't mind.......

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Finally.....yarn stuff.

One aspect of my job is that it takes me to locations all over the state. On occasion I get lucky and there is actually a yarn store in the area that I'm visiting--AND it's open. The moon has to be in the right orbit for that to happen.

It happened last month in York, PA. I was in the area to do a faculty workshop, and a LYS, Uncommon Threads, had evening hours. Eureka!

After struggling in Harrisburg traffic for much too long, I checked into my hotel, dealt with the usual issues (e.g., my key cards (both) refused to work), then got into my car to try and find the shop. I had my mapquest map in hand, and it's not like the city of York, is all that huge. Well, the problem that presented itself was that there was a carnival at "the stadium" and the locals decided to close numerous roads around the stadium. Well, it took about 30 minutes to go 5 or so miles. When I finally found the place I realized I had stumbled into their weekly stitch and bitch. Though, frankly, these people were so lovely, there wasn't a lot of bitching going on. The owner Beth (Hi Beth!) was lovely and made me feel welcome. I must admit, though, I did feel a little out of place. I had knitting with me (duh), but didn't knit. Instead, I mostly admired the work of everyone else, and talked about the knitted beaded bracelet I was wearing. Beth, a woman after my own heart, has a "thing" for knitting with beads.

And because I never know what to do when faced with an embarrassment of gorgeous, yarny, riches, I just bought sock yarn. I wanted to buy Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock because I have never used it before, but the price on each of the skeins (which were tied together, presumably to make a pair) was $19.95! Yikes, thought I, that's too rich for me. I wish I had asked though. Of course, they meant that it was $19.95 for both skeins, not each. Duh. I can be an idiot. Really. Instead I bought this.

This is Pacapeds sock yarn (20/65/15, alpaca/merino/nylon). I had never heard of it before. It is incredibly soft and lovely. I had intended to make socks using this for both mother and mother-in-law, but I think I have to try it for myself. The luster you see in the photo is pretty accurate. It is quite lovely. So one of the lovely mothers will just have to make do with Socks that Rock. Yes, I know it's a sacrifice.

I also have this from Mountain Colors. I was at Stitch Your Art Out my LYS for a Norwegian Purl class and couldn't leave without this.

I've never used Mountain Colors sock yarn for socks. The last time I used it I knit a Clapotis for my mother-in-law. It turned out great. The other weird thing is that I'm not exactly a "green" fan, but this just grabbed me. I think this has Monkey written all over it.

And if you're wondering why I haven't mentioned's because NONE of these yarns have colors on them. Weird or what?

For now I'm still tooling along on my chevron sock and my hanging gardens stole--the slog of slogs, though I'm just dying to finish it.