Friday, September 24, 2010

Nose Returns to Grindstone

I return to completing my last Pi.
C'mon, pumpkin, we have until Monday's class to get you off the needles.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yay for Autumn

I have been yearning for autumn to arrive since the last week in August. Yesterday did not disappoint with an overcast morning/early afternoon. I needed a sweater to keep the chill off. It was wonderful and I want more.

On Saturday, I gave into the urge to cast on and began my Wool Peddler's Shawl. Though it isn't what I am supposed to be doing, I am really enjoying its mindless nature and its golden pumpkin hue.

I want to share my substitute that fills the need for Pumpkin Spice lattes - Tazo Chai teabag brewed strong, half the mug then covered in milk, and a splash of Torino Pumpkin Spice Syrup (glad that I have two large bottles as I am running through it quickly). It ends up being immediately drinking temp. Perfect.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Relief of Finishing

I was a good girl last Friday. I worked through that week only only on this doll.

This scarf is made from a free pattern on the Misti Alpaca website. Very clever. The borders were worth the wait.

Crochet for knitters. Brilliant. I am good friends with the hook, but I know that not everyone who likes pointy sticks feels that same way about its cousin. This project is a fun way to imitate some of the unique features found in crochet.

Friday night, Sept. 3rd, I powered through to the final bind off and felt triumphant. Then, the following week, I was not so well disciplined. I did finish some other nagging projects, but not the last two big ones.

This week I need to return to the call of my last Pi Shawl and a few other goodies.

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Monday, September 20, 2010

A Frog, a Fish, and an Urchin...

...walk into a bar. No, park themselves on my patio for a chat?

Urchin is a fun pattern by the most adorable Ysolda Teague. It arrived on the scene in Knitty's First Fall 2007. I made it the moment that I finished clicking through the pattern selection for that issue. But, it was a disaster; nothing like the poetry modeled by the golden haired beauty in the pattern. I used a thick thin ivory that looked like a lumpy chef's hat after being bound off.

Hope springs eternal when another knitter shows you success in real life. Katy, fellow worker bee and teacher, just lead a class in this cute adventure through short row shaping and grafting. She has made it in a couple chunky yarns that look absolutely adorable. So, this morning, as I frogged something that I wanted to call the Good Morning cap (due to lacking yardage), this beret popped into my head. It works up so fast! Since I started around 9am and had it photographed by about 11:30 am, I can confident say that it takes just a couple hours. I even did the grafting as described in the pattern (rather than copping out with a 3 needle BO).

The collage is to illustrate that it is very hard to take a picture of yourself wearing a hat. (I used to be better at it, or at least more willing to work harder to achieve better results.
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Surprises and wishes

I recieved this ball of acid joy from a fantastic knitter/quilter, Jill.

This green is my color. It is probably too yellow based to really be a color that looks great on me, but this fact does not assuage my adoration for it.

Taking a break from re-reformatting my pattern layouts, I was trolling ravelry for future project solutions.

These are the things that caught my fancy (no particular order and not necessarily for this yarn):
Billington Bag
Sookie's Scarf (strongest candidate if by name only)
Only Finger Gloves
Bookworm Bookmark
Air Deluxe
A Harebell Fichu
Boobylicious (a good reason that some lace weights should be washable)

Oh ya, BOGFREE is still going until Sept 30th at 11:59 pm
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Worse than Bedbugs

Actually, there is probably nothing worse than bedbugs. I haven't had the privilege to host an infestation, but the idea makes me squirm to consider it.

Being bitten by the urge to start new endeavours when your needles are already thoroughly commited, that itch is my complaint.

Let me tell you, new yarn, I have plans for you when I can get my hands on you.

Check out my BOGFREE Pattern Sale.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Starting bug

My fingers itch for something new to be on my needles. I have been diligent about sticking to my work knitting. The itch is to begin the Wool Peddler's Shawl from Folk Shawls. Exactly a week ago this pattern was all the buzz at the Thursday night K2tog at Anacapa, in close to this color scheme. I am planning to put together Manos del Uraguay Silk Blend Color 300X with Cascade 220 Tweed Color 618 for the ruffle option. I may switch out the gray for a light turquoise Ultra Alpaca Fine (to be double stranded) if I can find it.

Don't forget the BOGFREE Pattern Sale.
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Thursday, September 09, 2010


With autumn falling upon us, I wanted to entice you to add some of my designs to your knitting list. So, I am offering you a BOGFREE (buy one get one free) offer. Purchase one of my patterns (links on the right hand column) and you will be rewarded with a second free pattern of your choice. Just email me (anneland at aol dot com) or message me on with your selection. If you haven't already joined ravelry, then I strongly suggest that you make today the day.
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Now, I remember!

While I was going through still packed stash boxes (only been a year now), I found a bit of knitted fabric that answered a burning question from my internal dialogue. I was questioning why I would have bought single balls of Crystal Palace Panda Silk, one each of varigated pink and green. The little bit of fabric I found was a Mini Baby Surprise. It now seems appropriate that these arrant balls remained in the Elizabeth Zimmerman circle by being repurposed into Pi shawls.
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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Growing longer and fonder

I have been making strong and steady progress, though at a slow pace. The entrelac is purely for fun and edification. I hope to finish at least one tier a day, putting my finish date in early October. The yarn that I am using is Crystal Palace Mochi Plus. At 95 yds/50 g, this project is projected to use 12 balls. I have 16, if I can find them all.

As for the Mystery Scarf, I gained about 5" yesterday. That progression puts me at 20" with 33" to go.

Into the wild green depths I plunge my swift fingers today.
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Friday, September 03, 2010

I like Pi.

Last night I finally finished the border on my second Pi Shawl. The Pi shawl is started in the middle and worked out from that center. A piece of brillance from Elizabeth Zimmerman and July of her Knitter's Almanac. This border, the "plain border," is in leui of a plain bind off and is well worth the effort. You need to be in a fairly zen place as you work it and keep calm and carry on. If you can keep your focus, then it takes a few hours; if you cannot keep your focus or discipline, it could take you from about August 19 to September 2. I chose emersion blocking and laid it flat to dry on two towels. No pins or wires involved, I am not much for persision work; it is round enough for my tastes.

There are 3 styles of this shawl contained in the almanac: a simple stockinette, this simple lace or concentric circles, and a more involved lace pattern.

Today's knitting adventure is trying to stay centered on work knitting (it ain't digging ditches, right?). I still have two substantial class samples to complete: the third pi and the mystery lace scarf or faux crochet.

The first 3 or 4 tiers of a Pi shawl move very rapidly but the 5th and 6th slow down significantly as your stitches have doubled and double again (144 to 288 to 576). I am also bracing myself for the lace edging that is worked over nearly twice the number of sts. as the plain border.

The mystery lace scarf is a free pattern from Misti Alpaca that very successfully imitates single crochet and a scalloped edging all with knit stitches and techniques. It is pretty simple but is the kind of work that you need to keep your eyes on rather than read or watch tv.
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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Entrelac Enters My Repetoire

I have owned Scarf Style since nearly the week that it was released back in 2004 (dated by copyright, not by memory). I have looked it over and daydreamed many times. I have suggested it to other knitters more times than I care to count. However, I have never actually cast on for any of the projects. Since there is a new entrelac book and we are offering a few classes at the store on the subject, I have finally set to trying this technique by way of the Lady Eleanor pattern by Kathleen Power Johnson.

Entrelac is a ton of fun so far. Since turning the larger piece of fabric every 8 stitches is fairly tedious, I strongly recommend giving knitting backwards a try. I had practiced this skill about a year ago on a swatch with the intention of doing some sort of entrelac (perhaps the adorable felted pouches from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2009). As with any new set of finger movements, it felt slow and awkward. I got the gist and then set it down to move onto an entirely different pursuit. The past practice paid off as I began this new project. The awkward faded quickly since I was already familiar and I am expecting it to become smoother and faster as I work through this length stole.

I am amused by the spelling suggestions that blogger is giving me for "entrelac" - entrails to interlock. They almost have it right as I imagine that the etymology of entrelac and interlock are closely related.
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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sheep and Goats

Check this guy out. He is a Jacob four-horned sheep. Doesn't he look like a living tribal mask? We met this sheep, his herd, two llamas, and some fainting goats when we were up north a two weeks ago. The Jacob sheep is an all around winner as they are bred for both wool and for meat. They have been marked as threatend in the US so it is nice to see their breed being propogated at this tourist spot. They are one of the featured attractions at California's Old Faithful Geyser.

The livestock was much more fun than the geyser, as Mr. C was greatly looking forward to make some goats tip over from shock. Fainting goats don't really faint, but the US stock has been bred with a genetic flaw that makes their legs lock when they are startled so they just fall over. Sadly, a much dissappointed husband and 2 sons tried their very best to yell and scare these little cutties. Yet, the best they could get was one whose back left leg would lock and drag behind him as he fled. This set of goats is either getting genetically stronger or feels like humans storming their pen, arms waving and voices booming, is not impressive.

Though we didn't see the goats tip over. We did get to see the geyser erupt many times. There a had just been an earthquake so the eruptions come closer together,nearly every 5 minutes. Seems that the intervals between shoot off lengthen with an approaching quake and shorten in the aftermath. A neat little side note was that they had displayed the seismograph readings from each of the earthquakes from our childhoods, the 1994 Northridge quake for me and the 1989 Loma Prieta quake for Mr. C.

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