Saturday, March 14, 2009

Elizabeth knits and so do I

I had my last, last visit with Elizabeth, before she leaves for two months working at an AIDS and tuberculosis hospital in Lesotho, southern Africa. After seeing her last Sunday at Alexander's, and seeing her overnight in Boston on Tuesday and Wednesday, with my mother, I met her at WEBS yesterday, for a two-hour stitch and bitch: she's decided to relearn how to knit, to make a blanket for a dear friend's first baby--a good occupation during twelve-hour flights this week, and post-stress evenings in her little apartment in Lesotho. After I'd devised a pattern, with texture, cables--variety--for her, and after choosing the super-wash Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, we sat in one of the classrooms at WEBS, having a knitty visit. So, above, she is casting on and garter stitching a border. We'll hope to post pictures of her cables and so forth as the weeks go by.

And I've made beautiful headway with Connie's Varese Hoodie:

Though I had another five inches, yesterday, to finish the back, and though these colors aren't true, you get the idea.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Connie's Varese Hoodie and tube scarves

My yarn, to knit Connie Chang Chinchio's "Varese Hoodie," for Elizabeth's birthday JUST ARRIVED (and I have to go to Boston for two days, darn, as I'm chomping at the bit to start this). The yarn, in ""Woodland," is Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3 ply, not an easy yarn to come by, especially in some of its most earthy tones. But I found a seller in Oregon, who sent along a lovely small zipper pouch, as a bonus for spending (almost ) $100: nice.

While I rubbed my needles together waiting for the yarn, I made inordinate use of the Addi Express, an odd "machine," aka turn it clockwise for half an hour, ouch, that knits tubes of a modest circumference. Some years back, Hickory demonstrated for me by "knitting" a mohair scarf, which I gave to my mother, whose friends in her retirement community quite coveted. So, I asked Hickory to send the machine to me in Northampton, and to send a few balls of Filatura di Crosa Multicolor, a mohair/acrylic delicacy. She sent eight skeins. I worked them all into these scarves; then, like the obsessed princess who couldn't think of Rumpelstiltskin's name, made scarves for my grand daughters, scarves for their Lady Alexander dolls, blankets for their Disney fairies--what a way to bust stash!

I'm very ready to resume hand knitting. I've almost finished the February Lady Sweater, which I hardly like at all, though I'm wild for the Jamieson's Grouse Shetland Heather. I can only hope the finished sweater makes me think less often, than it does now, of shapeless old ladies milking the cows in Michigan while they crochet toilet paper cozies.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I'm going to hear my favorite Estonian composer this afternoon, Arvo Part, at Amherst College, instrumental and choral works. ( "Lynda, who are your two favorite Estonian composers?" "Arvo Part and . . . .") Preceded by a docent-led tour of relevant Orthodox icons in the art museum's collection. So, will leave behind my computer and its school work as well as at least five works-in-progress, all of them in the smidge, you can hardly see what they will become shapes. So, a little help from me: Zimmerman-derived February Lady Sweater, lace descending, in a rough Jamieson's yarn that will counter the wimpy lace; two fair-isle hats, one in Jamieson's spindrift, one in WEBS Valley Yarns Deerfield (alpaca and silk); and the Blue Sky Alpaca fair isle cowl I'm "designing," quotes to indicate that I'm just doing a twenty-six inch long tube (nine or ten inches around), with patterns that strike my fancy as I go, and the yarn that's left over from two bigger projects from years' past.

Hickory and Steven kindly loaned to me their Addi Express, which arrived on my front porch Friday night along with eight skeins of varied multicolored mohair. I immediately set up the machine, and made a few of the scarves, requested by my mother for her admiring friends, who've liked the tube scarf Hickory showed me how to do a few years ago (that is, Hickory made it for me). Saturday morning, when my grand daughters were over, Ainsley and I made a third; and the girls made off with that one and one that I'd done, dashing my initial hope to take a picture of the mass of scarves--gold spun out of straw, as it were. When I make a few more I'll post a picture.