Monday, November 16, 2009

Off and On the Needles - Fall Report II

Well now, I've survived another trip to the Kid n Ewe Festival in Boerne. The Hill Country was incredibly green this year, most unusual. The downside of that was an abundance of flies and mosquitoes that we don't usually notice so much. I didn't even take a single photo since I've taken so many over the years. But of course, there was modest replenishment of stash, notably some Buffalo Gold for a beautiful lace shawl. Then some single skeins from Brooks Farm for mixed skein projects. My goal had been to buy only grey yarns, but that proved difficult. I wanted enough for a sweater from Brooks Farm, but they didn't have any grey this time. I did score some grey from Plain and Fancy for another lace shawl, a skein of Smooshy in grey for socks and a skein of thick and thin in grey from the Tinsmith's Wife for another little ruffled neck thingy like I made last year and wore constantly.

Susan and I took a Fair Isle class from Leif Bloomenstahl the last day. It was fun and we accomplished a lot. I'm totally fired up now to start a vest, dare I say Starmore? Unbelievably, I have no appropriate yarn in stash.

There were six of us on the trip this time. We stuffed ourselves at all our favorite eateries. I've had enough chicken fried steak to last me for months. We added two new restaurants this trip, or perhaps three (new to some). All successful. The draft hard cider at the Dodging Duck is almost worth the trip all by itself.

On our departure from the bed and breakfast in Comfort, I kept my eyes peeled for another surprise visit from Celtic Memory Jo (remember last year?). Sadly, she didn't pop up this year.

And now for the second part of the current projects update.

An amusing knit was this pair of CookieA's Wanida pattern. Done in Socks That Rock lightweight, the colorway was Dixie Chicks, scored at Sock Camp a couple of years ago. These were for my dear friend K to help her survive the Vermont winters after a very, very many decades in the tropical swamp temperatures of New Orleans. They were well received and evidently fit well, always a concern when knitting for a pair of feet at a distance.

Another finished project is this Rivolo scarf from Ann Hanson's lovely pattern. Also done in a Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn, Seduction this time, colorway Rooster Rock.
The Rooster Rock colorway is even more beautiful than the photographs show and has a wonderful texture and luster. It has some tencel content, a nice hand, was pleasant to work with and it blocked very well. I started this one when Steven was in the hospital and worked on it during many hours spent there. It took me almost a year to finally bind off the last stitch and it was really emotional, as though I was letting go of some of that. This is a scarf I shall keep, although I might use the pattern again in a different yarn.
And then we have what is left of a very large shawl which had been done in Prism Wild Stuff. It was sticking out of a drawer the other day, and for some reason I pulled it out and frogged it. Punishment for its keeping the drawer from closing? Not sure quite what I will do with these two skeins of very pricey yarn. I wouldn't buy it again today for sure, but perhaps a purpose can be found.
And last but not least is my current Fascinate scarf in another color of Kureyon sock yarn. As I said after the last one, I think I will probably keep one of these in my purse at all times. At least until I've run out of friends to gift them. Easy knit and very effective.
A class with Cat Bordhi on her new sock technique looms next week-end. Cat is always fun and inspiring. Who knows what ideas she will put in my head? But I am really over-socked at the moment. As soon as I finish at least some of my WIPs, I'm seriously thinking some bigger projects are in order.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Off and On the Needles - Fall Report I

It's been so long since I've posted. The blogging fairy has gone AWOL. But yes, I've cranked out a bit of knitting over the past few months.

First, I apologize for the wonky order of the photos. Blogger and I are having a huge discussion and Blogger won't let me rearrange them, so please forgive me if the lack of logical order is perplexing!

First on the agenda (Blogger's agenda, not mine), a pair of Par 5 Socks by Ingrid Hiddessen in wonderful Eidos yarn from the Sanguine Gryphon. Fun pattern and the Eidos is a pleasure to knit. These are most definitely still WIP as I keep getting distracted by other tempting ideas.

Then a huge hurrah for the finished Morning Surf Scarf knit in Micki's incredibly beautiful handspun. I'm very, very happy with this one. The roving came from Crown Mountain Farms and bled like a stuck pig when I blocked it. Must add vinegar next time, although Micki did a vinegar soak after spinning it. Oh well, third time's charm. This is evidently typical for CMF.
And here is the beginning of a test knit of Everything's Connected Socks by Jeannie Fanihi. The test pattern was beautifully written. Love the socks. I'm using Wollmeise 100% in Fliederbusch that sweet Doris sent me from Germany. Adore the color.
Another WIP is a pair of broken rib socks, again in Eidos, again set aside for something else that caught my eye.
And here is another progress shot of Everything's Connected. Told you the photo order was WONKY! The pattern is very logical and hypnotic, so much so that I seem to fall asleep on them every time I start to knit. But thank goodness I'm approaching the toe of sock one. Jeannie assured me I needed to use the 84 stitch version of the pattern, and I'm so glad I did. With all the cabling, they are still snug. But that's a whopping lot of stitches on small needles.
And here we have another "Off the Needles". Fascinate by Berroco in Kureyon Sock Yarn. One skein, one very long scarf. This one was shipped of to Lizzie in Ireland for her birthday. I love this drop stitch pattern and may well keep one on the needles at all times for the rest of my natural life. And yes, I already have another one on the needles and yes, I bought a couple of skeins more for the stash.
Nothing knitted here, just the belly dancer who was also behind the cookstove when Doreen and I took a Middle Eastern cooking class at Central Market. BTW, the dancer donned a chef's jacket while she prepared the food, then danced between the courses. She was also teaching the belly dance moves and we were all semi-costumed. Hilarious. Excellent vegetable cous-cous.

Another "Off the Needles" is this pair of Angees by CookieA, done in Jitterbug. Nice socks.
And here is a close-up of the pattern. These were fun and went quickly. I finished them in time to wear to a class with CookieA at the Woollie Ewe. It was on sock design and Cookie was quite inspiring. I still remember her from Sock Camp years ago, sprawled on her stomach knitting incredibly complex German socks. What a girl!
And now we have a gigantic WIP, an Absorba done with 6 strands of cotton on size 15 needles. Reading others' comments on Ravelry about tangling and aching hands, I almost didn't attempt it. In the end, it is a fast, addictive knit which could easily be finished in a few days. I've had no tangling whatsoever (knock on wood) and not much hand trauma. Except when I tried to switch from the bathmat to a pair of socks and the sock needles kept falling out of my fingers. Lesson, start on the smaller needles first.
Absorba is a Christmas project for Dr. Persnickety. He is so perfectionist, I never know what to get him, let alone make for him. I thought a lovely thick bathmat couldn't go far wrong. Taya said the only problem is this mat takes a very, very long time to dry.
There will be at least another segment to this report. Hope the picture placing works next time. This was frustrating. Next time I will try to plan first. Fancy that.