Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas knitting

Thanksgiving week was wonderful -- a poetry reading by Laura Kasdorf on Monday, time with my daughter, family on Thursday and on Saturday.

And fiber-wise, I finished five more knitted and beaded ornaments -- ready for Scott to add the turned cherry finials and icicles. And Ileana's scarf is finished, grafted together and blocked. The back of Scott's vest and half of the left front are finished too. And yesterday, I spent some time demonstrating at the Spinner's Flock Holiday Fair in Ann Arbor. It's always inspiring to see what beautiful things the members of our guild make -- and I succumbed to some socks (all my handknit socks were in the laundry basket) and some handspun to give as part of a Christmas gift.

Hoping everyone's Thanksgiving was filled with peace, friends and family.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I learned a very valuable lesson last night.

When you leave a knitting bag on the seat of your car, it is important to check that these
are not poking through before you sit on the bag.

And I have definitively determined that you really can penetrate flesh pretty far with an Addi Turbo.
Just a word of warning.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Birthday stash!

Yesterday was my birthday -- we won't say which one -- suffice to say it ends in "9."

In a sequel to last year's fabulous yarn store crawl, Scott took me on another tour -- this time of shops in Northwest Ohio (and one in Michigan that was almost in Ohio)

First, we went to Vintage Yarns in Lambertville -- what a great store and lovely people. I bought an Elegant Heirloom stocking kit (The Hapsburg Santa). I made the Christmas tree version for Scott a few years ago and loved it, so I'm making one for me.

Then it was off to Marblehead, Ohio, home of an old lighthouse and some fascinating history involving the Revolutionary War, cholera and the first woman lighthouse keeper. You should look it up. We visited Just for Ewe, a really cute little shop --

packed with lots of yarn --

I bought some of the Noro Kureyon -- for socks!

There were also some hungry fiber animals --

and who am I to resist making a llama smile?

And some not-fiber animals, but cute nonetheless.

Christi has lots of gifts and Christmas ornaments, and she's a knitter and spinner. What's not to love?

After lunch overlooking the marshes, we headed to Perrysburg and visited Dale Ann and Bobbie at Yarn Haven, which is located in a little house on Second Street. They are warm and friendly, and helpful without being pushy. I bought Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters and Knitting Memories (on CD, so I can listen in the car.)

Last was FiberWorks in Toledo. Packed with great stuff, and now missing a few skeins of Rowan's KidSilk Haze.

After all that yarn, we had to get sustenance. So we headed to Barnes and Noble to make shameless use of their restrooms to change into our clothes for dinner. And of course, we were in a bookstore, so I had to buy Knitting America --
and then it was off to Diva in Toledo for one of the best meals I've had in a long time. Absolutely fabulous food, and a lovely wait staff.

And dinner with the person I love most in this world.
Truly a happy birthday.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dyeing and carding

Last week, I decided to do something with the walnuts I've been collecting. They'd been soaking for a while, so I had some nice dark "dye liquor." When I went to drain off the liquid, I noticed some splash marks and a few nuts lying outside the container. I've been watching the squirrel feeder to see if one of these has darker-than-usual feet.

There was plenty left for me, however, so I strained out the solid bits, and brewed up the liquid on my trusty dyeing grill -- and then added some Rambouillet.

Looks good enough to eat, doesn't it?
While it was simmering away, I thought I'd card some of the wool I'd dyed the week before. I like carding outside when the weather permits; all the yucky stuff blows away instead of embedding itself in my dining room carpet.

I started with this --

Then did this --

And ended up with this --It has a few noils, but I picked most of them out while I was pulling it out into roving.

Meanwhile, Scott decided to try tinting some of the ornament finials he'd turned by dipping them in the walnut dyebath

We could tell it was really fall, though -- I needed this to keep me warm enough to card.

The walnut-dyed fiber came out of the dyebath and onto screens, but a week later, it is still wet. So tonight, it is naturally staining our basement floor while it dries.

And then -- I card it, spin it, and knit it into something to wear with my Civil War era garb.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Works in progress

Christmas is coming -- like an out-of-control freight train heading at me in the tunnel.

The Novemberness of today is frightening me -- so much to knit, so little time.

I've made progress on Ileana's scarf, but of course, no photo. Scott's vest is still looking frighteningly like this --

I have to remind myself that last year, I was steeking the sleeves of this the day before Christmas Eve.

So, it could be worse.

I haven't even begun a couple of gifts.

And these have been languishing on the needles for almost a year.

So, am I knitting?

No, of course not.

I'm spending all my time on Ravelry!!