Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Reasons Billy Should Knit

Help thy brother's boat across, and lo! thine own has reached the shore.
-Hindu Proverb

Meet my brother Billy. (Call him "Bill.") Bribed with nothing more than meals on the road, a plane ticket home, and a promise to not listen to country music all day everyday, Billy's helping me drive cross-country. He was an obvious choice because

a) he's a student and has time
b) he drives stick shift
c) we're related; I know where he lives.

But he has a host of other qualities that make him a great road trip companion. It seems to me that these qualities would also make him a great knitter.

Here are my Reasons Billy Should Learn How to Knit:
  1. Spatial orientation - He can rotate three-dimensional objects in his head, which is way more than I can do. This guy can close his eyes and tell you the location and relative speed of every car on the road. Not that he closes his eyes while driving, but think of what he could do with sleeve shaping!
  2. A sense of direction - I won't embarass my sister by talking about the three hours it took us to not find the movie theater that one time, but let's just say we would have been there 10 minutes early if Billy was with us. Pattern-reading here we come!
  3. Hand-eye coordination - Tennis apparently isn't "his sport," but he still managed to walk onto his college varsity team. Who wants to p3tog tbl?
  4. Appreciation of textiles - He claims indifference, but I know better. A guy who carries 2 kilos of baby alpaca around South America for 2 months just because his sister wanted some, well, let's just say it's a good sign. And he sent me stunningly gorgeous from India. Real madras plaid. From Madras. Nope, he's definitely not indifferent.
  5. Time - Mapquest tells us that we have 42 hrs and 36 minutes of road time. (How do they get the 36 minutes?) Anyway, since we're adding some side trips, it'll probably even out around 50 or so hours on the road. That means Billy'll have about 25 hours of quality time in the passenger seat. Prime knitting time.
  6. Me as a companion - I know a thing or two about knitting (pause) and we have a lot of together time in the next week. While I'm driving he can knit; while he's driving I can tell him about knitting.
  7. An appreciation of silence - Billy's the strong-silent type. He won't make mistakes by chatting too much at knitting group.
  8. Knitting is sexy - For the record, Bill has no trouble getting his own dates. In fact, he's been seen with a girl on each arm more than once. But everyone can use a little help from Russell Crowe, right?
  9. Gift-giving season - Guys are hard to shop for. Wouldn't he get better gifts if we could give him yarn and Addi Turbos
  10. A thirst for adventure - He's traveled to at least 4 continents. The Amazing Lace, anyone?
We're leaving today, so wish us luck. 2746 miles to San Diego. And even though Billy thinks this blog thing is a bit crazy, he might change his mind if you leave comments encouraging him to knit. (Or he might not, but wouldn't it be fun?)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Double Your Pleasure

Double Your Pleasure, Kiss Me Twice.
-Vintage button, circa 1960s

Commencement weekend was just fabulous - family, friends, doctorness - but I did absolutely no knitting. Not a stitch. And today I'll be running around like a crazy lady getting ready for The Grand Cross-Country Road Trip of 2006 (begins tomorrow, 6am). So let's get caught up on some knitting that didn't make it to the blog yet, shall we?

I was helping my Grandmom do some organizing this past winter, and we found the fabulous vintage 1960s button quoted above. I'm sorry I don't have a photo, but it's bright orange and has cute cartoon children on it. Today, to double your pleasure, we have two lace scarves.

Cashmere Leaf Lace Scarf
Pattern: Leaf Lace Scarf from an old Vogue Knitting; other details lost in the copying; 76 st lace repeat
Yarn: School Products Hand-dyed Cashmere-Silk Blend in greens; 1 sk, approx 400 yds of fingering weight
Needles: US 2 old-school aluminum straights - it's all vintage here
Notes: This scarf turned out a little wider (10") and a little shorter (56") than I would normally make scarves, but it looks nice anyway. It was a pleasant, relaxing pattern to knit. I made it on smaller needles than the pattern called for, but I think it shows the lace better.
Best Thing About This Project: Leaving a wrapped birthday gift for a September birthday - one less thing to pack!

Lopi Lace Scarf (in Silk Garden)
Pattern: Lopi Lace Scarf from Weekend Knitting
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 2 skeins
Needles: US 9 Brittany Birch 10" straights
Notes: This was a fast, fun knit. I saw Cassie's back in March and I was suddenly compelled to make one out of some Silk Garden in my stash. I'd made the scarf before in plain colors, but it was so vastly entertaining this time around. The zig-zags. The color changes. The vegetal matter always in Noro yarns. I could barely put it down.
Best Thing About This Project: Knitting it was just so fun.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

An Ancient and Honorable Profession

Now being admitted to the high calling of the physician, I solemnly pledge to dedicate my life to the care of the sick, the promotion of health and the service of humanity.

In the spirit of those who have inspired and taught me, I will seek constantly to grow in knowledge, understanding and skill and will work with my colleagues to promote all that is worthy in the ancient and honorable profession of medicine.

The health and dignity of my patient will ever be my first concern. I will hold in confidence all that my patient relates to me. I will not permit consideration of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, nationality or social standing to come between me and my duty to anyone in need of my services. This pledge I make freely and upon my honor.

-The Physician's Oath,
Brown Medical School,
Class of 2006

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bankers know that history is inflationary and that
money is the last thing a wise man will hoard.
-Will Durant

There's a reason that the WEBS website is This place has a lot of yarn. A lot. Of. Yarn. Last weekend, Rachel and I took a little trip to their annual tent sale.It was a lovely day.* I'm pretty pleased with the yarn I have. Want to see?
(That's mine and Rachel's together.) Bags and bags of yarn.

Top: Casablanca, a ribbon yarn. For MyNewCaliforniaLifestyle
Left middle: Saucy. Something summery.
Right middle: Madil Merino Mix, 50% merino, 50% acrylic. 10 100g skeins. For $15. Incredible, and, with the acrylic, might even work for the NewCaliforniaLifestyle.
Bottom: Jo Sharp Soho Summer, DK cotton, 2 bags of navy and one of white. There's a twin set in here. Plus at least 2 tanks or short-sleeved sweaters. This is a lot of yarn.

Last, but certainly not least, I got some cones. I got a 1-lb. cone of grey Shetland wool, a lace-to-fingering weight for $5. (Not pictured.) On your right is a close-up of a wool-silk blend. Incredibly luminous in the sunlight. Gorgeous. Huge cone. Rachel got one in burgundy and we're going to split them. The two cones below are both Tencel. One in Coral. One in Turquoise. I'm going to make lace. I like lace. . . . And I now have enough cones of lace yarn for about three decades of contiunous lace knitting. Maybe more. You never know when there will be a yarn famine, right?
All in all, a great trip. Although we all might question the wisdom of so much yarn buying after my movers have come and gone with all my stuff. I guess we'll have to find a spare corner of the trunk for this.

*Rachel has since discovered some irregular fading in some of her yarn, which is very upsetting. I'll let her tell you all about it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Red Socks

I see great things in baseball. It's our game - the American game.
-Walt Whitman

Red Socks at the (Pawtucket) Red Sox game.These are the Sockapaloooza socks from Carola. Don't they look great? Not only are the same color as Felix (my new car), but they match my Red Sox t-shirt.

Knitting Summer Stripes Socks in Regia Cotton.(This photo actually from the bowling alley the other night. Senior week is a good time.) I turned the heel at the game. Sailing right along.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wind in My Sails

Who is staring at the sea is already sailing a little.
-Paul Carvel

Newport, Rhode Island is famous for its wind, its historic seaport, and its Naval Station. I had some business at the third at the charming hour of 0630 yesterday morning (and Blogger was just not cooperating at 0500), which gave me several hours later in the morning to enjoy the other two.

On your right, a view of the Pell Bridge and Jamestown from a nice park along the bay. In the front, my oldest remaining work in progress. This is a Saucy "Lace Aran Tank" - a Reynolds pattern - that I had started in San Diego last September and then tabled for the duration of a New England winter. Now seems like a great time to pull it out, and it's moving quickly.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Keystone State

I've been there, done that, I ain't looking back
It's been a long long road
Feels like I've never left, that's how the story goes
It doesn't matter where you are, doesn't matter where you go
If it's a million miles aways or just a mile up the road
Take it in, take it with you when you go
Who says you can't go home?
-"Who Says You Can't Go Home?" Jon Bon Jovi and Jennifer Nettles

As you may or may not be aware, military personnel can maintain their state of residence no matter where they are stationed. For a combination of sentimental and practical reasons, I am a Pennsylvania resident (and so is Felix).

(Some) Advantages of Being a Pennsylvania Resident:

Sentimental reasons:
  1. My grandparents, parents, and parent's dog are all in Pennsylvania.
  2. I grew up in Pennsylvania.
  3. The Jersey Shore. It really belongs to Pennsylvania. And it's a wonderful place.
  4. Ask me anything about Quakers. Or Ben Franklin.
Practical Reasons:
  1. My parents have a reliable address for my voter registration card, the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry, and my college's requests for money.
  2. Voting in a swing state.
  3. Nice looking license plate for Felix on the back, and room for the Swedish plate on the front.
  4. And speaking of the DMV, no excise tax on cars and no inspections when I'm active duty out of state.
  5. Plenty of other tax advantages, including no sales tax on yarn. It's considered clothing.
  6. On a related note, Rosie's Yarn Cellar and Loop and the trip downtown that Felix and I took last week where
  7. We met Wendy and were interviewed for her podcast, KnittyD and the City to talk about The Amazing Lace (so go check it out) and
  8. We bought yarn.
  9. Koigu. Because it's hard to find. And do I really need to justify Koigu?
  10. Linen. Because I was feeling nautical. This might turn into handtowels (magically?).
  11. Suri Alpaca. (That would be the slate blue soft-looking stuff on the left of the photo above.) It was on sale. And it's so soft.
Other Notes on Stash:

While I appreciate JennyRaye's suggestion to bring all the stash in Felix with me when we go next week, it won't all fit. Not even close. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Consider this a warm-up to the post about my trip to the WEBS tent sale. Too much yarn at once is overwhelming.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Moving Day

The greatest thing in the world is not so much where we stand,
as in what direction we are moving.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes (Sr.)

Theresa can't come to the blog right now.

The moving van is here.

The stash is not packed.

And she added to it last night.

Details to follow.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

All Day Long

May the sun shine all day long,
everything go right and nothing go wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes that you wish come true.
-Irish Blessing

It's amazing what a little sun can do to photographs, isn't it? (Which means that any blurriness would be my fault and not the weather's. Felix and I have stopped driving around just long enough to do some knitting (and take some pictures with the pretty flower bushes). While I was doing so well with all that finishing last week, I just had to start something new. On your right, the Lopi Lace Scarf from Weekend Knitting. In Silk Garden, not Lopi. It is fun. It is addictive. It is fun. Did I mention how fun it can be to knit lace on US9s? Fun. Fun. Fun. I might have to make more. Plus, it's quick. It'll take two skeins, and I knit the first skein in pattern in about 3 1/2 hours. Can anyone say Christmas gift?

On the left, the Fancy Silk Stockings from Knitting Vintage Socks in Lorna's Laces. Usually I knit each sock from it's own ball, but I found myself out and about without the second ball. Look how much yardage there is! I actually finished the heel and picked up the gussets before it ran out of yarn, and these are with 7.5" cuffs and for a 9.75" foot. It makes Artyarns' yardage look punier and punier . . .

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I find myself physically unable to knit anything but lace right now. It's the sun. It's the flowers. It's The Amazing Lace. Note that, due to an overwhelming response (we've stopped counting, but there are now around 300 participants), we are closing sign-ups on Memorial Day. All aboard who's coming aboard; all ashore who's going ashore.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How Felicitous!

The pause - that impressive silence, that eloquent silence,
that geometrically progressive silence,
which often acheives a desired effect where no combination of words,
howsoever felicitous, could accomplish it.

-Mark Twain

This is a great week.* I received the best ever Sockapaloooza package from Carola all the way from Iceland. See all the cool Icelandic goodies? Remember how much I liked Scandinavia?
I actually received the package on Saturday, but Carola, the supercool Icelandic sockpal, understood why I wanted to wait to blog about it today. Can you see it?That was subtle, right? Felix and I were finally reunited this week. (He enjoyed the boat ride very much.) The red! So much red! Carola clearly did her homework for this package. She sent me the most lovely red (and it's really the same color as my new car) Pomotomamus socks (which fit perfectly, and we all remember that I really had no success with that pattern, right?). . . in a sock box!
We all know how kindly disposed I am to sock boxes, right? This box is red all over (to match all the other red, of course), and has a map and some photographs of Iceland decorating it. I can only assume the ladybug is marking where Carola lives, which is cool. (Although she might regret that when I show up on her doorway unannounced!)
Isn't the sock pattern beautiful? She even included extra yarn in the event that I need to darn them. And just for comparison's sake again:
It's home.

*Oh, and that Navy thing? I forget that people started reading the blog at different times. Clearly, it's not a secret. I was comissioned an Ensign, Medical Corps, US Navy Reserve my first year of medical school and now I'm going on active duty (LT, MC, USNR) when I graduate. They paid for medical school; I owe them three years as a Navy doc. I think it's a great deal that lets me move to San Diego, practice medicine, and serve in my country's uniform. Thanks for all your congratulations and kind words.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Abandon Hope

Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here.
-Dante, The Divine Comedy;
H.F. Cary's translation of the inscription on the gate to Hell

I had big plans. A strange combination of Pride and Prejudice and Mason-Dixon Knitting was swirling around in my brain and I was going to knit frivolous lace for the home. I was going to have crisp cotton lace edgings on my pillowcloths. They were to be a light, crisp grass green in the color of Lizzie Bennet's bonnet ribbons when she tromps through the mud to come to Jane's rescue. Ahem. . .You know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? Not even the mighty heavy-duty starch could save these edgings.

Notice how they curl.
Stockinette stitch. What did I really expect?
Notice how the straight edge is longer than the scalloped edge.
I don't really understand why this is so, but it's unacceptable.
Notice how I couldn't remember which decreases I was using.
You may not be able to see it from a galloping horse, but it would drive me crazy.
Notice how I ran out of yarn.
Of course. But that wasn't the last straw.
Notice how one of the pillowcases got a rip in it.

Goodbye, lace edgings. Goodbye. Now to try to wash the starch out and see if I can reclaim the yarn. . .

For the morbidly curious, the yarn is Paton's Grace and the pattern is for the lace edgings from IK a couple of summers ago - you know when they had all those little gift patterns? I still love the idea, but the execution needs some work.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Heaven's Lieutenants

The voice of parents is the voice of gods,
for to their children they are heaven's lieutenants.
-William Shakespeare

Direct from the gun deck of The Oldest Commissioned Warship Afloat, I bring you two things:

1. My Dad's birthday socks in actionGuess whose idea it was to take this photo for the blog? (Hint: not mine. Isn't that great?)

2. You can call me Lieutenant. Just a little cold for those summer whites . . .

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Guild Hall

To gild refined gold, to paint the lily . . .
-William Shakespeare, King John

I don't know about you, but when I think of guilds, I think of medieval times, the Burghers of Calais, and - for some unexplicable reason - big heavy beer steins. The reality couldn't be further from the truth.

Meet the Ocean State Knitting and Crochet Guild: In a chain of events that began with the Knitting Olympics and Team College Hill's fifteen minutes of fame in the Providence Journal, we were invited to attend the guild's monthly meeting last night.

We spoke about our very (in)sane approach to competitive knitting-as-sport. Katja (on your right) had to represent both herself and Leah as the knitters of Ene's Scarf, since Leah just couldn't make it back from Paris in time. Tragic, really. Rachel and I wowed scared them with our plans for The Amazing Lace. (Over 220 participants to date - sometimes it scares me, too.) One of the many joys of meeting a group in person is the back-and-forth, give-and-take; we got to answer questions in real time, as opposed to the several-days delay that can happen in blogland.

One of the other joys is getting to fondle others' projects. We met knitters who don't have blogs (incredible, isn't it?), which was a new and exciting experience. Since this is Rhode Island, however, we quickly established about two degrees of separation. Of course, we met also knitters with blogs. Am I the last person to learn that Judy (on your left) has a farm? And here I was jealous that she was just back from Maryland Sheep and Wool. I learned that Kristen is as lovely in real life as she is on her blog, and Cindy convinced me that a linen shawl is in my future. This is a summer of lace, is it not? I hope I didn't miss any blogs, but let me know if I did.

Last, but certainly not least, the guild gave us lovely knitterly gifts. Can you believe that these are the first decorative stitch markers I've ever owned? Me neither.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Random Thursday

You've got to play to win.
-The Massachusetts Lottery Comission

Because Random Wednesday is more random on a Thursday. It is Thursday, right?

1. Thanks for all the insight on Rogue. I wore it yesterday to ponder (yes, it was cold enough), and I decided two things:
  1. It's done. It's on the FO list. It's totally wearable and the hood is the coolest thing ever.
  2. I will probably order a zipper when I get to San Diego and have a reliable mailing address long enough to get a custom zipper. Then we will experiment more, and probably leave a top toggle. I think. Anyone in San Diego have a sewing machine?
  3. I want another one. Now. Maybe Silky Wool? Maybe a linen-blend? I need one in an off-white crisp-hand summer yarn. Thoughts?
2. Look what I won!
Tam at Knit Once, Purl Forever had an exciting contest a while back, and she sent me this lovely Mountain Colors Bearfoot. It's no surprise that I love sock yarn, and this is one I've really wanted to try for a while. Thanks, Tam!

3. Apparently I have a package at home - a suspiciously foreign package that very well may contain my sockapaloooza socks. My parents are still trying to figure out where it came from, but suspect Iceland. How cool is that? I'll get in Saturday.

4. If you require more scintillating knit blogging today, may I suggest that you look at my recent Amazing Lace post. Good reading. And seriously, a gal can only write so many blog posts at a time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I wanted a perfect ending.
Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme,
and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
-Gilda Radner

Let's talk about closure. You all know I'm graduating medical school (in - gasp! - less than three weeks) and gearing up for a big cross-country move. It's the perfect time to re-evaluate past decisions and consciously more forward with deliberate thought. I think it's really important to leave everything tidy and settled. No loose ends.How great are toggles on Rogue?

I'd love you to think that I had a fabulous artistic and creative vision from the beginning, that I was so certain wooden toggles with leather cords would add a perfect complement to the wooly-cabley-goodness of Rogue. A certain je ne sais quai, if you will. That's not quite exactly how it happened, though. What happened is that it was going to take more than three weeks to get my custom 18" double-ended zipper in the perfect shade of red. And in three weeks, I'll be in a car somewhere in that great vast middle of the country. Not the ideal time to face my fears and carefully sew in a zipper, a la Claudia.

So I thought of toggles. And I love them. But you can see the problem, right? They gap. (I do have two other toggles, but when I put them in there, it made the front of the sweater crazy busy.) Maybe I should add them back? I also considered adding a series of hooks and eyes to actually (and invisibly) close it, but that just causes smaller gaps. Any other options you can think of? I love the look of the toggles, and the whole toggle-ness way I can close it, but it's a pretty heavy sweater for wearing mostly open all the time. I could still order the zipper, but I've fallen hard for the look of the toggles instead. My solution for the moment is to wear it closed either at the top or at the middle (but not both at once), and it looks great (photo unavailable due to really bad things going on with my hair). This may be a permanently acceptable solution - it's a jackety-sweater, so I'll always be wearing something under it. But I welcome any and all suggestions (including calling it done) so I can bring some closure to this sweater.

Would an invisible zipper work with the toggles on top of it?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mother's Day is Coming

We stood together on the wrong side of the Taj Mahal,
where we weren't supposed to be,
holding hands in the moonlight.
-Perri Klass and Sheila Solomon Klass

I am tempted to write a paean to my local independent bookstore. It is a wonderful, welcoming, cheerful place full of really good books. It has heart. It has soul. I can walk to it. It is across the street from a coffee shop and around the corner from a yarn store. They have comfy couches and they support Reach Out and Read.

But I will mostly spare you. Instead, I'll tell you about last night's exciting reading and book signing by the mother-daughter author team of Perri Klass, pediatrician, author, knitter, founder of Reach Out and Read, and daughter; and Sheila Solomon Klass, professor, author, and mother.

This is an unusual book from two witty and gifted authors (you may be familiar with Perri's column in Knitter's magazine, or with her book Two Sweaters for My Father, a collection of essays about knitting). The mother-daughter team wrote it in tandem, apparently doing little or no editing of the other's work, but writing in response. When they read aloud sections from their writing, I felt as if I were in the middle of a great conversation. They write on their relationship, their relationships with their children, their travels together, the knitting Perri does for Sheila, the way they cook, and anything else that comes up. It includes recipes. It includes knitting patterns. Really, when was the last time a "regular" book included knitting patterns?

After the mad crush at the last book signing I attended, I was a little surprised to see a crowd closer to 2o than to 100, in part because comparing this book to Knitting Rules!, Every Mother is a Daughter has a much wider potential audience. Don't get me wrong - I love Stephanie and her niche of knitting humor. But I'm of the mind that the Yarn Harlot book signings are much more about getting together as a knitting community than there are about the books themselves. Last night was in line with every other (non-Stephanie) book signing I've ever attended, because it was about the book and the author rather than the friends you'd expect to see.

This has a potential for a longer conversation about the commercial impact of knitblog "buzz," but maybe we'll save that for another day. (Although you could buzz about the Klass and Klass book -it's quality writing and reading and cooking and knitting.)

Mother's Day is coming. I didn't do any impressive Mother's Day knitting, but if you need proof that I love my mom, look at her Christmas present. Anyway, if you aren't done your knitting, your mother will like this book. (And, Dad? This is not a good day to show Mom the blog. Thanks.)

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Most of Everything

New York is simply a distillation of the United States,
the most of everything,
the conclusive proof that there is an American civilization.

-Raymond F. Loewy

I hopped down to New York City this weekend for a visit some quality knitting time with friends. Look! A friend!
That's a totally gratuitous shot of me (left) and the flitgirl (right) celebrating her birthday. She knits, by the way. Lately, she's been knitting baby sweaters for her church's Lenten charity project (and extending the spirit of giving by continuing past Easter, thankyouverymuch). Now she's gearing up for The Amazing Lace, because we've been friends since Mr. Hallman's 7th grade social studies class and I can twist her arm like that.

Flitgirl and I knit on the crosstown bus and earned the accolades of several other passengers. They really liked my new socks-in-progress. These are the Fancy Silk Stockings from Knitting Vintage Socks. They are a perfect match for the Lorna's Laces (colorway unknown) that I won in Leah's contest. No pooling. No striping. Just lovely lacey ribbiness.

What? That wasn't enough knitting content? I saw my college roommate, a wonderful woman in every respect except her bona fide allergy to wool. Fortunately, she can wear alpaca. Even more fortunately, she's knitting with bamboo right now - a lace scarf (yes, I forced invited all my friends to join my knitalong) - and it has a fabulous hand and drape. Kind of like a silk-cotton blend. Or maybe a silk-linen blend. Very crisp. It has the potential to be fabulously formal.

I pulled out my oldest UFO for the train ride back - a close up of a leaf lace scarf on your left. This is a hand-dyed cashmere-silk blend that I got at School Products a couple of years ago and have pretty much only ever knit on in New York. Not consciously, but it's on US 2s. My only US 2 straights are the old-fashioned aluminum kind that you can't take on airplanes, but in every other respect it's great travel knitting. The only place I travel by not-planes/not-cars is New York. Q.E.D. If I ever worked on it, I might finish it. Think I can hang onto my finishing mojo long enough to knit another 30+ inches of a lace scarf on US 2s? No, I didn't think so either.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Boy, Am I Ever!

True friends stab you in the front.
-Oscar Wilde

Knitting along, that is. Back by popular demand (well, Kristen said she liked it, so if you don't, blame her), here's our weekly semi-weekly occasional knitalong update, to prove that I can knit well with others.

The Amazing Lace
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Of course the knitalong Rachel and I are co-hosting gets top billing - it's just the best. It's a summer lace-knitting meets traveling extreme adventure sports. I'm starting with the Peacock Feathers Shawl from Fiddlesticks in a deep red Zephyr. Because my life is just that good.

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The Chalet Socks are done and winging their way towards their (tragically blogless) destination. I received a comment that my sockpal is delayed a bit, so I'll let you know when they arrive.

Sock Yarn Addicts Club
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The concept is brilliant, and oh-so-appropriate. I mean, the Stashalong went so well (really, it did), that I thought a sock-yarn-focused version would be great. I stocked up on sock yarn in Germany so that I would be ready for any natural disasters, wars, famines, or acts of God, and I was ready. I even joined two Nancy Bush sock knitalongs so that I could knit up some of my sockyarn. And then disaster struck: I needed more sockyarn for the knitalong. . . . I bought sock yarn on May 2nd. I can keep it to that one day.

Knitting on the Road Along
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This was the first knitting book I ever bought. I bought it at a time when I could do nothing but garter and stockinette. But I had ambition, and I thought the patterns were gorgeous. Still do. I've made more than half of them at this point, several of them twice. I'm looking forward to the knitalong to get to the rest. Starting with the Denmark sock in Artyarns Supermerino. Won't that be lovely?

Vintage Socks Knitalong
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This is Nancy Bush's newest book, so I've only knit one of the patterns (Gentlemen's Fancy Socks for my dad's birthday). The rest are gorgeous, and I'm already enjoying the Fancy Silk Stocking in the Lorna's Laces that I won in a contest on Leah's blog. Photos coming in the week ahead. I have them with me in New York City this weekend, so they'll get be further along after more quality time on the New York City subway.

Count Your Socks
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Add one more to my tally! I finished my 95nd pair of socks with my sockapalooza socks. And I have #96 and #97 on the needles now. But the real news of the week is that those d*&&*^d argyles are no longer. I ripped them. See the messiness of the diamonds on the right? The KnitPicks Essentials sock yarn is stringy and without much loft. Not ideal. While I love the thought of real, fingering-weight argyles, it turns out that worsted weight will do just as well for the Master Knitters program. Cascade 220, here I come!

Knit the Classics
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Reading: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice! An all-time favorite, even before Colin Firth went swimming through the pond.
Knitting: It's all about lace, amazing lace. And I'm all about finishing at the moment. So I think I'm going to try to finish my lace pillowcloth edgings this month. Seems like a nice early-19th century thing, right? It actually involves sewing, so we'll see how that goes.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Fee, Fi, FO, Fum

Finish each day and be done with it.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Spring. New beginnings. Usually I feel like starting all sorts of new projects. Not quite this year. I don't know if it's the impending move, the cold snap earlier in the week, the desire to start my lace with a clean slate, or the post-Knitting Olympics realization that I can, in fact, actually finish projects. Either way, I've been on a finishing jag recently.

Pattern: Trellis from Knitty, largest size
Yarn: Lionbrand CottonEase in Red (why did they discontinue this yarn?)
Needles: US 7
Notes: 1) I made the twists mirror images of each other, because that kind of thing is important to me. 2) Way too much finishing for a baby sweater. Note to self: Knit pullovers, not cardigans, without fancy collar shaping.
Best Thing About This Project: I "rediscovered" how to mattress stitch in reverse stockinette stitch while on airplane at 36,000 feet.

Apple Hat
Pattern: Easy-Stitch Apple Cap from Family Circle Easy Knitting, n.d.; newborn size
Yarn: discloth cotton
Needles: US 7
Notes: A variation on the strawberry hat theme. Cute.
Best Thing About This Project: There are triplets coming. Triplets. Think of the possibilities.

German Flag Socks
Pattern: generic st st sock pattern out of my head (68 sts for a man)
Yarn: Regia, self-striping like the German flag (bonus points: bought in Germany)
Needles: US 1 dpns
Notes: I began from the outside of the ball, which resulted in upside down flags. Meaning no disrespect to Deutschland, I ripped them out and started over from the center. I did, however, maintain my artistic license to have fraternal socks that didn't start with a full repeat of black.
Best Thing About This Project: Where to start? They are a gift for the friend who accompanied me to Europe to pick up my snazzy new car. He bought me sock yarn; I made him socks. We drove around Sweden and knit on the sock outside of castles and ate pickled herring. . . On top of all that European fun, this is a man who appreciates handknit socks. He has been known to write spontaneous text messages in praise of handknit socks. Just because his feet were comfortable. . . . And for those of you who are counting, that would be pair of socks #96.

And Rogue is maybe even kind of sort of done. Details will follow next week.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lace Scavenger Hunt

It is difficult to see why lace should be so expensive; it is mostly holes.
-Mary Wilson Little

This is a week when all the stars align and the gods are with me. The fabulous and successful launch of The Amazing Lace turns out to have heralded a week of lace. On that very day, my Fiddlesticks order came and Knitting Beyond the Hebrides began their Online Symposium on Lace. (Great resource - check it out.)

The symposium involves a photo scavenger hunt, and I thought it would get us all in the mood, so to speak, so I'm posting it here as well. I've tried whenever possible to post links to actual blogs (knitters in parentheses) rather than the pattern sites so you can have more fun surfing - Enjoy!
  1. Lace knit in variegated yarn: Ene's Scarf (Knitting Brownies - my Knitting Olympics teammates have finally started a blog); my version below

  2. A wedding ring lace shawl: Misty Morning Shawl (Grumperina)

  3. An incomplete lace project: Fiddlesticks' Tina Shawl (sloth-knits); my Branching Out below

  4. A lace project that boggles your mind: Sharon Miller's Princess Shawl (The Princess Diaries)

  5. An animal modeling lace: Handknitted Lace Dog Sweater

  6. Lace with ruffles: Fiddlesticks' Flirty Ruffles Shawl (tricofolk - note: I do not speak this language - French?)

  7. Lace knit with chunky yarn: Bulky Lace Scarf (spiderwomanknits)

  8. Socks with lace: Elfine Socks (twinknit); my Little Arrowhead Lace socks on the right

  9. The most amazing lace you've ever seen: Amedro Christening Set (Jean Miles)

  10. The shawl you would wear to a wedding: Silvia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Shawl (Cara at January One, conveniently on her way to a wedding)

  11. The shawl you would wear to a nightclub: River with beaded thing (sweetgeorgia)

  12. A bride wearing knit lace: Birch (Fig and Plum), and for extra credit: June Oshiro's Wedding Veil

  13. A lace item that floats: Debbie New's lace boat

  14. A man wearing lace: Jefferson Davis (political cartoon courtesy of the Library of Congress)

  15. Lace in a painting: Lace Boat #1

  16. Unblocked lace: Circular Shawl (fruitcakeknits)

  17. Lace with an animal design: Fiddlesticks' Inky Dinky Spider Stole (Wendy Johnson)

  18. Lace with a flower design: Forest Path Stole (alisonknits)

  19. Lace that looks easy: Quick Lace Scarf (keyboard biologist)

  20. Lace that looks difficult: Hazel Carter's Alcazar (Kim Salazar)

  21. Lace project that you want to start RIGHT NOW: Fiddlesticks' Peacock Shawl (xntrick on crafster) - this is my The Amazing Lace project

  22. Lace with fringe: Fiber Trends' Faina Scarf (Catherine Knits)

  23. Blue lace: Scribble Lace (Mason-Dixon Ann)

  24. Lace in a garden: Highland Triangle Shawl (Wendy, Knit and the City); my Rose Trellis Stole below

  25. Lace with a shawl pin: Charlotte's Web with shawl pin (And She Knits, Too!)