Thursday, September 28, 2006

Blast from the Past

Rather than bore you with yet another picture of incremental progress on the Central Park Hoodie, I thought I'd share some "historic" knitting.

These are mittens I knit from Magnificent Mittens by Anna Zilboorg. This link is to in Canada, the only place I found, in my limited googling, that has the book new, and therefore at a reasonable price.

These were a birthday gift for my sister, who requested special mittens, but left the rest to me. They're knit from Dale Tiur (which is actually just a tad light for these patterns) and some special hand-dyed yarn that came my first Magnificent Mittens kits, which I bought from Merijke Saarnit at Stitches ooh so many years ago. The black and white yarns are the Dale yarn, the bright colors are from my original kit. The kit I bought is still available here but the book (which you'll need) is not. These mittens are mostly one pattern from the book, but the orginal mittens didn't have the braided edging, nor the funky color contrasts. My sister wanted mittens to wear with her black winter coat. I intended the bright colored cuffs to be like a surprise tucked away inside her coat sleeves. The mittens are lined with baby alpaca - a very soft surprise inside. The first ones I made were lined with angora.

I think the yarns in the Magnificent Mitten kits are sold here, but they no longer seem to be selling the mitten kits.

These mittens are knit up from the fingertips, like Turkish socks.

Monday, September 18, 2006


My prize from the Amazing Lace Knitalong arrived today. Here it is -- from Kaleidoscope Yarns. There's a skein of Skacel Merino Lace yarn, some Clover bamboo needles, the pattern from Fiber Trends for Cocoon Lace Scarf or Wrap, and some Peach-Ginger tea. A lovely end to a very fun Summer of Lace.

Many thanks to Kaleidoscope Yarns and to Rachel and Theresa for running Amazing Lace!

Speaking of bamboo needles, I've changed to 'em on the Central Park Hoodie. I'd been using Bryspun circulars, and trying hard to like them. But the yarn (Cascade Sierra Quatro, 80% Cotton, 20% wool) sticks to the plastic. The points are nice, and theoretically there's no join, but now that I've switched to a bamboo needle, I'm knitting faster and enjoying it more.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Waiting in the wings

After seeing the Noni bags that Wendy was knitting a while ago, I checked out their web site and fell in love with this Bobbles, Bobbles Everywhere Bag. My local yarn store, Sheep's Clothing carries the Noni patterns, but this particular one has been backordered for a while. It makes me happy just to look at it, and I was so glad when it finally came in. I did buy the three skeins of Cascade 220 for the body of the bag, but plan to use leftovers from my knitting past for the bobbles. Besides being much more economical than buying 16 more skeins of yarn, it will be fun to see what I can come up with.

This project was supposed to be my simple project to work alongside Am Kamin (Crossed in Translation), but the Central Park Hoodie has since taken that spot.

I haven't done quite as much knitting lately, particularly in the last few days. I have The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos as a "7 day book" from my library. So even if I wasn't engrossed in the story (which I am) I'd need to be reading voraciously right now. Pelecanos' books are police stories set in Washington D.C., and are of the "gritty with a moral base" sort.

But even before I started Night Gardener I've been lost in books recently. I really enjoyed Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. This is a young adult novel about parasites, featuring a sort of vampirism. Not something I'd think was my cup of tea, but my daughter's science teacher had used the science chapters in 7th grade last year, and I'd had it on my "incoming" list ever since. The fictional story alternates with facts about real parasites. I will say that I'd like my daughter to wait a year or two before reading it.

And, I've been on a bit of a Ruth Rendell binge. The latest Inspector Wexford novel, End in Tears, is especially good.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Long Time, No Post

What's been happening?

Well, school started.

Here we see the 8th grader keeping a fair distance from her father on the walk to the bus stop. Notice the carefully straightened hair. Life has been busy with school starting, and "All that that implies. . ." (This phrase is part of our family vocabulary thanks to The Iron Giant.)

But I have made some progress on Am Kamin -- slow but steady. My progress on this HAS been slow, but I am enjoying the work, so it doesn't much matter, except that there's less to blog about. Since I added a few stitches at the side, I'm going to need to re-work the raglan decreases. I'm pretty sure I can do it, but I've been stalling. I actually think my row gauge may be off, so customizing the decreases will be a good idea for that reason too.

I've made more progress on the Central Park Hoodie. This is a better project for in the car and other times when concentration is less than total. I got quite a bit done on the way up to pick huckleberries on Saturday.

Here they are -- the caviar of berries. Huckleberries are, to borrow a phrase from Garrison Keillor, a "private fruit". They're never available in the grocery store, and if you find them in a farmers' market, you pay the earth for them. And I've paid when I can. Our huckleberry tradition involves about 6 hours of driving, taking the family car on a road that actually would justify a SUV, if we had one, a picnic, a few hours of picking, and dinner out on the way home, dressed in our stained and dusty clothes. All that for a gallon or two of berries, if we're lucky. All for the pleasure of jam or pies this winter that bring back memories of a late summer day in the mountains.

Finally, I WON! Though I was never a winner in any of the Amazing Lace challenges, I did win one of the final prizes. Happy day!