Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Goodbye to WEBS !!

I think we've had three parties at WEBS in the last week: not only do we love to knit, we love a send0ff. And, lucky me, I'm the one being sent off. In the top picture, I'm wearing a present that I think is not originally a hat, but reminds me of what one wears to Ithaca's 8-sided school house, back in the days when one knit without a commercial alternative.

The other pictures feature the four tiaras I was given; and you'd need to know the Princely Prince Charles story to understand why so many great minds thought alike in giving me tiaras: "I'm a Winner."

I have made wonderful friends at WEBS, staff, teachers, and knit-along regulars. Such a snappy community, of edgy, witty, concerted, varied women. We learn from each other, about slip stitches and canine lupus and matters of the heart. What a rich six months for me!

Sharon, Barbara, Kathy, Marlene, Rina, Pat, Pixie, Beth, Jenny, Gail, Nicole, Dori, Louisa, Karen, Leslie Anne, oh my: thanks for sharing, laughing, and commiserating.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

bathroom pictures

Good morning, Kangaroo yarns. I guess I won't be showering early this day. All my beauties have aired overnight, and feel ready to be wound today.
Above and below: wool with a bit of tencel, for sheen, a la J-Knit Stunning. We did two parcels of this, at 450 yards apiece, so lovely Sharon Burke and I can do identical scarves, a pattern that Dori Betjeman designed and displays at WEBS. I think this forest floor color range might be superb; it's the one I'm probably most excited by, maybe because I know what garment it's heading toward.
The other green colorways yarn is Green Mountain Spinnery's wool/mohair blend ("Mountain Mohair"), a 140 yd skein Gail had given me. It was my first try with the green blendings of dye.
And here's the kid silk haze. I'm not a little relieved to witness it fluffing up and drying away from the sodden matted plops it was yesterday. Gail and I set two chairs on her porch about twenty feet apart and strung this out, so we could, after tying it neatly along the ways, make long colors before it would repeat. Dyeing it in two bowls, I created at first what looked like the leftovers at a beauty shop. But it seems to be becoming. Will be tricky to wind, no?
Trying a range of reds on "O" merino wool, which I bought yesterday at the Shelburne shop, Metaphor Yarns:
And here's sock yarn Gail gave me, the same yarn she dyes her sock yarn for WEBS:
And now, on with the day.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Samantha Six

This one touches on majesty. The button choice is rare. Samantha remains my favorite girl baby present. Drat, the color of the photo doesn’t get the deep raspberry, mixed with hidden tone of blue. dark. Look deep into the top right corner of the front, and think even darker.

This Kate Gilbert pattern always draws me. This one for baby Saia Mizrahi, born on 2 June. The bold reds will take well into November and February. I can't wait to meet her, on my return to Ithaca next week.

I spent all afternoon dyeing, with my WEBS friend Gail Callahan, the fine KANGAROO DYER, whose new book on hand-dyeing will be published in January by Storey Press. (See her ETSY shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=57917; and her web site: http://www.kangaroodyer.com/index.htm

Gail and I had a fabulous three hours. I got to dye that "O" wool, some Green Mt Spinnery Wool/Mohair, some wool/tencel that's exactly the same as J-Knit Stunning (for twin scarves a Webs friend and I want to do), some Kid Silk Haze, in long variegations (by winding the yarn around two distant porch chairs), and a silk scarf. I'm off to hang them now, so I can wind them tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mo's Aran Sweater Pillow

What a great present for Mo, who’s brought me several Irish sweaters from her Galway travels over the years. This centers on and begins with the “three-hour aran,” a one-sided allusion to the sweaters she brings stateside every year. Then I running-stitched the sweater onto a twelve-inch stockinette square. Then knit a forty-eight-inch border, about two inches wide, with one fat cable running around between garter stitch edging. To ease the boredom of doing the edge, I simultaneously knit another, plainer–to not compete–12-inch square, using the “blackberry” bubbles to echo the popcorn on the sweater.

Thought I’d have to find a weenie 12-inch pillow, but with the edging of course the outcome is a plush 14-inch throw pillow. I stayed up late, for me, last night mattress-stitching it all together. and LOVE IT. (And Mo will love it.)

I used WEBS' Valley Superwash, and #6 needles. (I knit/closed the pillow into the pillow covering, so even though it's all washable, I'm not making it easy to do that: don't drink wine next to this one, Mo.)

I salute those who have knitted an entire aran afghan (see Great American Aran Afghan on ravelry and elsewhere), for such a long-running and intricate project. I’ll never do one, but will do lots of pillows in the future, both aran and fair isle (I already have some plans for fair isle sweater pillows), and who knows what else.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

a little catch up

I've been busy in May, with a three-day wedding, a niece's Yale graduation, and Elizabeth's becoming Doctor Bogel. I've also been spending more money than I can tally with three dogs having Lyme disease (blech; the nicer person would feel sympathy for the dogs; I feel sorry for my bank account). Yesterday, I got myself tested for Lyme disease, at the Northampton ER, and seem not to have it, since no one's called me with positive test results: and I'm the only one with health insurance.

In the interstices, at the top of the page, is a three-hour aran sweater I made on Tuesday. Three-hour sweater! faster even than a baby sweater for this one is a one-sided, 9-inch "allusion" to "real" sweater. It will get sewn onto a square--which I'm in the process of knitting, to become a pillow. From The Great American Aran Afghan.

I've also made progress on Luella, the cotton vest cardigan:

And worked up a little demi-tam, out of yarn I dyed, in Gail Callahan's workshop at the MA sheep and wool festival: an organic wool from the Green Mountain Spinnery. The hat took one skein, of undyed gray, and I dyed a second skein, of white, which I'll knit another hat from.

Here's a version of Kate Gilbert's "syncopated cap," done in Regia sock yarns:

Tonight I listen under the stars (and knit onward making the aran pillow?) to my dear friend's two-person Blue Grass band, The Don't Tell Darlings, on tour in my part of Massachusetts. Have a listen: http://www.myspace.com/donttelldarlings