Saturday, December 30, 2006

Winter in Boston

Today, after McCann's Oatmeal and Wheat Toast (just bragging about my healthy eating habits this morning...) I am finally going to Boston - where I have wanted to go all holiday season! - for shopping and visiting. We're going to drive down to a suburb and take the T into Cambridge's Harvard Square to visit the Bead Shop in Church St, the Yarn Shop on JFK, Burdick's Chocolate Cafe, and Cardullo's delicatessen, and any other shop that captures our curiosity. So many restaurants to choose from, too! Today is cold, but I don't care. The excitement of going to the city will keep me warm! I would like to take my camera to share the trip with you, but it's an old one that work discarded a few years ago and is very big and heavy.

I do have photos, though, for you today. These are the Christmas knitting things that I didn't want to post until their recipients opened them...

First, the scarf knit with Carina's grandmother's needles, which she sent me in the fall: (it's being modeled by my kind friend Chris) The bubbly-spun wool did all the work on this one!

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And these are her gloves, which I started before the scarf, but they took for-ev-er! The base yarn is the Opal superwash, but I added in a purple silk thread and a wrist stripe of KidSilk Haze. The back of the hand has a small beaded motif of flowers and leaves.

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This next picture is of the very complicated lace design scarf that I designed myself, for Julie. It has Louisa Harding Kimono Angora on each end and LH Impressions with a thread of silk for the lace part in between. The rose colour is really pretty - I noticed she was wearing this colour in a photo she posted, so that's why I chose it. I don't know what possessed me to photograph it against a red pillow, but remember I had the flu before Christmas and no doubt it addled my brain cells....

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This last one is the same design in different colours, for my sister J, to remind her of our 20-year-old cat - Shadey - a nice midnight black old man who seemed to glow with copper in the sunlight and disappear into the shadows in the shade. He had three white hairs on his chest - nowhere else. He died last year - a few months before Sausage. He was really her cat, much loved, and slept on her bed until she went to college.

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That's it for the knitting right now... I've been much absorbed in enjoying the wonderful gifts you all sent me. J gave me a Nintendo DS and the game "Cooking Mama" which I am already seriously addicted to.

Off to Boston - see you later!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sheep Cookie!

Last week was a wild one at work, trying to get so much finished so I could take next week off. People wandered the offices everyday with their little gifts for people. One of the secretaries is a master baker - seriously, she could open a shop - and she always makes fancy cookies as gifts for Christmas. This year she gave me two, and one was:

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A Sheep!!

I love his woolly polkadots in yellow and blue! I don't want to eat him, but I'm afraid that he won't last past Christmas afternoon, teatime...I just don't have the willpower, as her cookies are always not only lovely, but tasty!

Now today, I am going to bring in some of my antique knitting booklets (1920's) to the Yarn Store to show them. The store owner is trying to put some tie patterns together and asked me if I would bring mine in. I have the "Glossiler Booklet of Men's Ties" which is great and the styles are back again now after almost 100 years! My dream is to have a website where I sell vintage style knitted things... I love these old patterns, they have such an elegance and the cut is so flattering. like this one:

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

puttin' up reindeer

well, last-minute Christmas knitting continues, with me racking my brains trying to think of fast but effective patterns...the book, Last Minute Knitted Gifts might come in handy, you'd think, but many of the patterns are not that speedy... the 4-hour leg warmers took me 4 weeks! LOL! But, the little lacy scarf is a winner and can be knit on a variety of gauges, not just with KidSilk Haze. Here it is from one skein of Baby Alpaca Brush (110 yards, chunky-weight) from Plymouth Yarns (note - I used size 11 US needles). The colour didn't come out right in the photo; its a more leaf green than spring green. But then, my carpet is more light peach than dark pink! Anyway, this is for my physical therapist, who has been working on me for 3 years:

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Also "on the needles" is a thin red mohair scarf with a multi-coloured thread running through it. Marky sent me this partial skein that he found in an Australian Op Shop (thrift shop to us Yanks) and its lovely - very soft! The person I'm making it for is very tall though, so I need to add a second skein of something to each end to make it long enough. My plan is to add the yarn in K1M1 so that the ends will be bell-shaped ruffles. I think that would really suit the giftee.

And finally, a triangle angora scarf from Louisa Harding Kimono Angora in a leopard print (thanks for the idea, Nadine!). I'm using small needles (size 5) so its taking quite a while. This is actually a very basic time-honored pattern that's been around since the 1800's. You just start out with a small number of stitches and add one stitch every row by doing a YO on one end. It gets gradually bigger and bigger while retaining its nice triangle shape.

Both of the patterns above could be done in crochet with nice effect too! For the one in the picture, you would chain 16 (if using a normal weight yarn - more if using a thin yarn) and double crochet every stitch for five rows. Then on the next row DC in first 2 stitches and then chain one and skip a stitch, DC, chain one and skip a stitch, until you get to the end, then do a DC. Then go back to DC every stitch, remembering to DC in the Chain stitches too. Then after another 10 rows of DC, do the fancy stitch row again. Keep going this way, with a fancy row after every 10 rows of DC. End the scarf with five rows of DC like the start.

For the triangle scarf, start with a chain of 4 (meaning 3 plus one on the hook). Single crochet (SC) in the second ch from hook (meaning the one directly after the one on the hook) and on the next one. Then chain one, and then SC in the chain on the end. You now have five stitches (if you count the loop around the hook). Chain one (your turning chain), Turn and Repeat this pattern: SC in each stitch (including the chain stitch you made, which will be the second stitch you crochet into) until you get to the last stitch at which point you chain one, then SC into the last stitch. Remember that you have to chain one at the end of every row to make a turning stitch, but this turning stitch doesn't get used. Your crocheting should make the same gradual triangle as in the knit pattern. The beauty of this pattern is that you can continue until you get to the size of scarf you want, from neckerchief to shawl, and you can use this when you don't know how much yarn you have on a skein because going from the point up means there is no left-over yarn.

Well, now I've told you more than you ever cared to know so I will stop. I need to box up some cookies and a little knitted hat ornament…

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Today is not such a good day and its only 7:30....

I just received an email that my design couldn't be fit into the knitting book that's currently being put together... Its my own fault. I spent 30 hours on the prototype, but when I sent the photos, I knew it wasn't exactly the way I wanted it to be. I should have continued working on it, and sent more photos. Would that have made a difference? I don't know. "Couldn't be fit in" means couldn't be fit in. It could have had nothing to do with the merit of the design itself and everything to do with the theme direction the editors finally chose. Perhaps they received so many designs that they didn't need or want anything as basic as a shawl.

sad. sad.....

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oh, I know that these are the chances you take when you send something out - whether writing or design, and I hope I'll bounce back and try again, but right now I feel emotionally exhausted by it all. I guess I hoped more than was realistic to do. The first acceptance was so postive, that I allowed myself to feel 3/4 confident and I shouldn't have - I should have realised that its not done till its done.

well...the colours are nice.

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I will complete this design, and it will either be sent elsewhere, or given to someone who will like it, I don't know.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

All done, then?

Here it is... what I've been working on today:

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J, I'll send it out in the mail tomorrow. Hope it keeps you nice and warm.

I'm knitting a hat

This is it, the hat from Rebecca magazine #32:

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Ignore the beads, please. They do look cute in the picture, but I won't be adding beads or embroidery or anything like that. It is a cute hat, with ribbing to the top and a pompom. I'm doing it in black Debbie Bliss alpaca-silk (80% alpalca and 20% silk, very soft).

It should be finished today, but will need to be blocked to get it into the right shape for head-wearing. Right now, the ribbing is pulling it in so that it looks like a lampshade!

Friday, November 10, 2006

all about knitting

Life is certainly fast and furious these days! its been only four days since I updated my journal, but it seems like a week's worth of events have gone by... no wonder I'm so exhausted!

I am designing another pair of socks, using the Esprit yarn from This yarn has a minute amount of elastic in it, and is otherwise cotton. It is half the price of Cascade fixation, which is the same composition, but I think the Esprit colours are nicer! This colour is, I think, called Rose Garden. The photo turned it into a kind of bright red and pink, but it is actually a beautiful rose colour and the what looks pink in the photo is a subtler rose-grey. It really looks like a rose garden in the fall, doesn't it, when the greens are muted to silver and sable?

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Since today was payday, I did splurge a bit on this new knitting book:

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Let me just say, if you're going to buy this book, do it through Amazon - its much less expensive! Its all lace. And much of it is Vintage lace patterns, which as you know is my greatest knitting passion... for my knitting friends who want to see what's inside, here are a couple of shawl patterns that fall in the category of desirable...

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The patterns are very well described and have charts, and there are so many! And there are sections on knitting patterns from the 1800's and Weldon's Practical Knitter (a newspaper type knitting magazine that I've always wanted but never found).

Finally, on the yarn front, a dear friend wanted to give me a cheer-up gift because of the minor surgery I went through recently, and asked what I wanted. I said "Habu!" Habu is a Japanese art fiber company in New York city. You can walk in and view their marvelous silk and exotic yarns and purchase right there, but you can't get it anywhere else. My friend found that two online companies are starting to sell Habu - and I thought this gift would be at most, maybe one or two balls of their silk and mohair, (and it should have been - my friends are way, way too generous! I'm very grateful.) but this is what came in the mail yesterday!!!!

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Its just amazing. Its a couple of sample packs that contain a ball or two of each of the different yarns. Aren't the colours beautiful? The cones are laceweight baby alpaca in a natural camel colour. There is 100% silk in shiny and matt, and silk boucle, and something called Paper, which is actually linen and alpaca, and a wine-coloured cashmere lace-weight. Two of the silk and mohair balls are hand-dyed with brown, tan, and black and the other is green, dark and light... each is enough for a lace scarf in one ball! Good thing I have that new Victorian Lace book, no?

Monday, November 6, 2006

It arrives when you really need it!

Look what showed up on my doorstep today!!!

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The first bundle that looks very much like the bundle of wool it is, is from Headwater Farm in Ontario. Look at this lovely yarn!

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The dark green lace weight is called Ilga, the light green is a DK weight, and of course some self-striping sock yarn. The sock colours are really in autumn colours – I thought they were green and grey and gold from the monitor picture, but they are brown and orange!

But the un-spun batts! OMG! Look at these beautiful yarns of unspun wool for making the true traditional feather and fan shawls. There are some patterns for this traditional yarn in the book Folk Shawls. I tried to make one a year ago, but was using some big cone of some mystery yarn I got at the thrift shop and it didn’t look the way it was supposed to. Now I have the real thing – and in the incredible natural colours, too! That big batt of natural white? $3.50 Canadian for the whole batt! And I got 2 of them!

Canada, O Canada! How I love thee for thy incredible yarns!

Now the next one, is the mysterious much-anticipated package from Nadine, that traveled across the ocean! It is dated August 29 on the customs slip! Well 6 wks isn’t unexpected but when you are waiting for Nadine’s surprises...each week seems like a year!

OOOOOooooo on the customs slip it says something else, too! Schokolade! I think this is chocolate in German!

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What beautiful things… now this is the sock yarn colour that I really love – a lovely soft blue in very gradual colour changes… And this chocolate! I am eating a Sarotti Stille Affel-Vanille feinste vollmilch schokolade right now this very minute. Mmmmm hmmmm mffffh…. (yum) Oh my, this is incredible! The apple is all spicy and melty in the middle of the chocolate. But look at these: tiny, tiny glass apple and pewter teapot! I will make them into stitch markers, which is what Nadine intended, I think.

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But I can’t show the rest of the contents of the box or even what category it is in, because they are intended as Christmas presents for someone who might read it here…

Thank you Nad – this is a very inspiring box!

Sunday, November 5, 2006


A couple of days ago, I finished the scarf I designed to commemorate Sausage.

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The ends are Louisa Harding Kimono Angora, and the lace section is Louisa Harding Impressions. The angora part is a wide hem stitch, so its double-sided, and then there is a lace section of his little paw prints. The main body of the scarf is a lace pattern called "Willow Leaf" and along the edges of the willow leaves, I have little white pearls (these represent my tears). It turned out the way I was hoping, but the Impressions yarn isn't as soft as I would like. I'd like to try this pattern again with a different yarn. I was planning to submit this pattern to one of the online knitting mags, but I think it needs refining, so will hold off on that this season.

Now, I am going to eat cherry pie and read and knit! Sunday. Such a good day of the week!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Eat slugs, Malfoy!"

ahhhhhh.....this is a picture of me, tonight:

comfy robe, slippers, ginger ale, and Pepto Bismol.

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and I'm watching the Chamber of Secrets. So when Ron said "Eat slugs, Malfoy!" my insides heaved along....yikes. I do have the tummywumbles... up all last night {sigh}... and on a diet, as you see, of ginger and pep.

a friend did a little errand for me though, to the LYS and came back with this!

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My LYS, thinking their order of Koigu would never come (its been 6 months), ordered a similar hand-dyed yarn based on Louet Gems Merino Pearl from Claudia Co ( I got Black Walnut - a very bloody red and black - and Jungle, a verdant shade, as you can see. Also new for me today is One Skein Wonders, a new book that will help me use those single skeins I've been hoarding... {grin}.

All day I've been resting and knitting, knitting and resting, (ok, I've watched TV too and am dying to tell you who won Project Runway, but I won't in case you haven't seen it. But I did cry throughout the last episode!) and have some fine results! Here are two secret surprises that I won't reveal until later! But both are my own original designs... (sorry, deliberately fuzzy to protect the suspense!)

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Next knitting project for me: Christmas Stockings a la Dr. Suess!

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...along with the Professor's Shawl and Holly's gloves of course, and the Hedwig Owl Gloves for the Leaky Crafts....I've already done all the designing and planning for each of these projects, and have the just takes a while to actually knit them...

oh dear. more slugs. must go and lie down playing on the computer tonight, I'm afraid.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

doing the bills...

How To Do The Bills
An Instructive and Amusing Tale

“To calculate your routine household finances, you must set up a regular time and a regular place. It is imperative that you will not be interrupted. This place should be congenial and, if possible, have a window with good light and a pleasing aspect. Morning is more beneficial than afternoon or evening.”
~from A Gentlewoman’s Guide to an Orderly Household, 1865

Sounds like good advice. I will try this and perhaps it will help me through my bill-paying-block this morning!

Set up special place:
Check out bill-paying desk especially set up for this purpose; hmmmm, Over-flowing with old bills and receipts.

Coffee table in front room will have to do – is only surface not covered by knitting projects & artwork.

Set up coffee table with checkbook, pen, calculator.

Oops – forgot bills. Go sort current bills from old bills on bill-paying desk.

Check for pleasing aspect in window…. Ooooo the neighbours are adding a second storey screened porch! That’s interesting – I wonder where they are; they’re obviously not at home while all this building is going on…what’s that? Is the workman not wearing a shirt? In this weather? Hmmm, wonder if the view is better from upstairs window?

Oops. Go back to coffee table and bills. Sit down.

Must have tea.

Set up tea things on coffee table.

Put tea kettle on to boil.

Notice cat has no food (by tripping over cat as she frantically tried to call attention to empty bowl).

Fill cat bowl.

Settle back at coffee table.

Hmmm decide on International Decaf Coffee instead of tea. French Vanilla. No, Hazelnut. No Vanilla, No Mocha. No, definitely Vanilla.

Go get special cup for International French coffee, Oui! Oui!

Sit down at table.

Open checkbook.

Remember that checkbook hasn’t been balanced since March. Is there enough money in there for the bills? It seems so, but… what about all those debits that haven’t been recorded?

Must have congenial music.


No, Steve Halpern.

No, Sting.

No, definitely Enya.

Where's my Enya CD? Go look in pile of CDs. Find Enya under wing chair.

Go rescue huffy tea kettle and fill cup.

Sit down at coffee table.

Get up and look for un-recorded debit slips. Find pile on kitchen table. Find another pile on dining room table. Search through purse. Yup – more there. Oh, there’s one squished into pocket of rain coat. Search through purse used before this purse. Find third pile.

Gather all debit slips and bring to coffee table.

Sip coffee. Listen to music.

Decide to write witty story of bill paying for amusement of lj friends.

Set up typewriter in front of window.

Look out window. Watch workmen. What? 30 minutes have passed? Must go back to hard work of paying bills.

Go back to coffee table. Sort debit slips by month.

Oh! I didn’t know I spent so much on yarn this summer. Go find yarn in question. Oh, yes, lovely yarn! Sort yarn. Put in plastic bags (where are those bags?) Label each one with name and description of project I might make with said yarn. Hmmmm. Can’t remember what I wanted this one for. May just thumb quickly though a couple of knitting magazines to refresh my memory. Will just put this yarn in order.

Oh. Coffee is cold.

Will just heat up water and warm cup.

There ready now. Sit back at coffee table.

Write out bills due this week. There must be enough money in there for these, at least!

Remember Project Runway marathon starts at 10 am.

Check watch. 9:45.

Must get this done!

Feel very virtuous about new determination.

Start on debit slips with marvelous new plan.

Add all debit slips up on calculator to obtain one grand sum.

Record this in checkbook as “Past Debits – March thru Sept.

Subtract grand sum from current balance.

There! That job’s done!

This book was right – a special time and place makes all the difference!

Saturday, October 7, 2006

pretty visions

My online friend, Carina, sent me a gift of beauty. These are precious: her grandmother’s knitting needles, wrapped with ribbon and roses. Look how wonderful! See the tips? Her grandmother knit so much that the tips are lighter than the rest…that’s so unbelievably great! I’m honored beyond belief to be the recipient of such a family treasure, and will cherish these and remember their story every time I use them. And, as you can see, Catherine also approved and tried to claim them as her own….

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I had another gift this week: my friend Marky sent me some Australian knitting mags! Four of them! Look at the inspiration:

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Now here is something interesting – even the ads in these magazines have must-knit projects in them! like this Little yarn monkey:

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Isn’t he cute? I think I could make him, just from looking at the picture…

And the articles: this one on Op Shops (Charity or thrift shops to us Yanks) – its right up my street! And I got a particular kick out of the bluebird picture, because I think I’ve found most of the items in it right in our own Goodwill shop!

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Lots of projects to keep me busy here…one of the mags is all sock patterns! Marky – you’re the best!


The Vet’s called me yesterday to pick up Sausage’s ashes. I cried all the way up and all the way back. They are in a big flowered tin, like a tea tin, and I think they weigh as much as he did in life. I am trying to decide whether to keep them or to scatter them around the peach tree in the back yard… maybe I need to let some time pass to decide.

Monday, September 25, 2006

dear friends...

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I just got home from the vets...Sausage died on the operating table at 9:15. This photo was taken at 8:00 am this morning. He will be so missed.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rainy Shaker day...

9/24 5 34 pm

It was wool day at the local Shaker village, so I went with a couple of friends yesterday while Sausage, who is not very well and is having surgery on Monday, was having his afternoon sleep. It was so beautiful, I thought you'd like to see....

It was a rainy day - dark with intermittent heavy showers. We started out at the entrance, where the green house is:

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and where the purple house is:

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At first, all the Shaker Houses were painted white, but then, a few years ago, when they were excavating one of the houses they hadn't fixed up yet, they found something that showed them that the Shakers had used colours in their paints - both inside and outside - and some of the colours were quite vivid: yellows, golds, lavender, and greens... I don't know what they found, but it might have been paint samples, or plans...

Next we went to the Farm Stand, and I bought some chrysanthemums to put by my door.

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The Farmstand was watched by a young girl about the age of my sister, and since the barn was open-sided, she was shivering in a red hoodie. I asked her if she was going to be there all afternoon, and she said yes, she was the only one and wouldn't even get a break. I thought, "I wouldn't want my sister to sit for 5 hours in the cold and rain without a break", so I went to the Summer Kitchen cafe and bought her a big Orange Spice Tea and chocolate cookie. When I brought it back to her, she got tears in her eyes, and said "that's the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me!" (which is pretty sad when you think about it). It made me think how much I love my little sister, that I would be kind to strangers because of her... She's such a wonderful person who inspires goodness in others.

Across the street and up the hill were the sheep and wool exhibits! Here is the lovely red storage bin where you can see the huge sunflowers drying... a very autumn scene:

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At the top of the hill was a pen for the sheep dog exhibition. The sheep dog was young and frisky but so obedient. When the shepherd wanted to call him away from the ducks, he said gently "that's all good now" and the dog would run and lay at his feet. It was so gentle and kind. The ducks were pretty too! Here in this picture are the shepherd's children walking the sheep on leads...

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And here is a closeup of Miss Ellie the sheep:

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My favorite views were at the top of the hill; when you stand beside this house, overlooking the pond, you can see a swan pair glided serenely.

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And of course,
here is the herb and flower garden. Both are used for natural dying of the yarns:

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Yes...I confess. I did buy yarn - just a little handspun and dyed from the lovely flowers. But I can't show it to you, because its going to go in a special package to Nad, in Germany!

Sausage is not very well today and not very happy. I spent a long time sitting with him outdoors at noontime, while he lay in the sun. His white muzzle and squinting eyes scanned the neighbourhood - always watchful and protective of his beloved Mum (me). Now he is sleeping. I want to get a photo of him in the flowers tomorrow morning before he goes to his surgery.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

walking on water

This morning I went outdoors with the dog while it was still half dark and was enchanted by the dew on the grass:

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I thought it looked like I could walk across it on the top of the blades of grass, like walking on water... the drops of dew so shiney they looked like they would support me! :-)

Oddly enough, someone sent me this in e-mail this morning:

Walking on water

~Hazrat Inayat Khan

Very often it is one's outlook which changes a person's whole life. It can turn hell into heaven; it can turn sorrow into joy. When a person looks from a certain point of view, every little pin-prick feels like the point of a sword piercing his heart. If he looks at the same thing from a different point of view, the heart becomes sting-proof. Nothing can touch it. All things which are sent forth at that person as bullets drop down without every having touched him.

What is the meaning of walking upon the water? Life is symbolized as water. There is one person who drowns in the water, there is another who swims in the water, but there is still another who walks upon it. The one who is so sensitive that, after one little pin prick he is unhappy throughout the day and night is the man of the first category. The one who takes and gives back and makes a game of life is the swimmer. He does not mind if he receives one knock, for he derives satisfaction from being able to give two knocks in return. But the one whom nothing can touch is in the world and yet is above the world. He is the one who walks upon the water; life is under his feet, both its joy and its sorrow.

Well, I don't mean to be superficial, but knitting lace is like walking on water....very, very carefully...

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This is the Swallowtail Shawl in its inception. I've made a million mistakes already and have tinked as much as I've knitted (tink - to carefully un-knit, stitch by stitch, as opposed to frogging, in which large sections are pulled out at once. If you look closely, you can see my "lifeline", a smooth black yarn that I thread through with a needle, every six rows, so if I mess up the pattern too badly to tink, I don't have to frog back to the beginning, just back to the lifeline... I think the pattern is worth the work and concentration though. The colour and lace design Kicks. Serious. Butt!

I'm not a water-walker yet. Not only do the vicissitudes of life cast me down on a regular basis, but the lace knitting is still a serious and painstaking venture. Maybe when I conquer one, the other will fall into place too.

What I'd love today: I wish I was sitting in the Burdick's Choclate cafe in Harvard square, sipping a dark iced chocolate from a tall glass...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

tea and marmalade

I have been so very busy these first two weeks of classes... one of my freshman classes is over its enrollment limit, but the senior class is more manageable. So far, both seem pretty good - no students going nuts so far!

The weather here is so crisp and cold at night and all the stars are out. In the morning, the grass is wet and the birds are singing and Canadian Geese are on their way to wherever they winter. The daytime sun is beautifully clear and bright, and with just a slight breeze to ruffle the trees, these are the best days of fall. An instinct rises inside me for fires in the fireplace, pancakes in the morning, and tea - with toast and jelly - in the afternoon. Deep garnet red raspberry jelly is my favorite, but recently I was enchanted by a different type of jelly.....

Yesterday I visited a college in the northwest of the state, a small and early-founded town with beautiful 1800's mansions behind miles of New England stone walls. This little college town has a lovely little yarn shop...and here I found my jelly:

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Haha! This yarn is "Jelly" Kidsilk Haze from Rowan. It goes well with my green koigu sock yarn, so I may have jelly socks soon. The silk in the Haze makes everything softer! I couldn't stop there, though. I also bought "Marmalade":

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As you can see, I'm planning to pair it with an autumn gold in the same yarn and make the Swallowtail Shawl from the recent Interweave Knits magazine.

While I was in the store, the postman delivered the big box of new colours from Manos Yarns, and I got to be the first person to have one of the new fall dyes. I chose a blend that looks like Brambleberry Jelly, (but it is really called Mulled Wine - another nice autumn tradition on these cool evenings) and I plan to pair it with yet another silk Haze for a scarf...

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Saturday, September 2, 2006

across the wide ocean!

Another mysterious box was waiting on my doorstep this afternoon - the one I have been waiting for, that my friend Nad in Germany sent so many weeks ago! How exciting! This box was nicely intact, no crushing, no big holes in the a grand lady, it had been treated delicately during its long boat ride!

The Contents:

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This is the marvelous sock yarn that creates its own pattern when its knit up: stripes, or fair isle, or subtle blending from one colour to another. Many of these skeins will make two long socks (or gloves) or even a short-sleeved blouse!

The green and yellow yarn in the upper right is a lace weight - and will be just right for the Swallowtail Shawl in this season's Interweave Knits; next to it, the light intense blue one, is Silk! Silk sock yarn! You can't imagine how soft it feels!

There is just so much! Tibet colour, Treking in a gorgeous hue, cotton-wool, skeins that are limited edition colours designed by Frederic Zwerger (the two in the front row leftm - you can only get these in Germany, they aren't exported), and all the other colours that I love so much: dark amd mellow greens, blacks and creams...and one that looks like Zebra (Opal makes a line with the colours of various wild animals that I've been absolutely craving: Owl, Zebra, Tiger, etc...).

I'm over the moon with all these yarns. They represent not only a paycheck's worth of premium yarn, but many many weeks of joyous, satisfying knitting!!

I'm in love with all of them.... and especially this one:

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See the little chestnut on the label? That says that the yarn has been infused with Chestnut Oil, so that it is antiseptic and healing! Isn't that marvelous? I can't wait to make these socks!!

(You can see the swap box I sent Nad, here - - by clicking on her August 2 archive. If you click on the photo, the image enlarges!)

Thank you, Nad, for the most wonderful swap box!

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Recovering from being sick is good for one thing: doing little things while lying on the couch and watching old movies. Here is what I have been doing to be productive while being sick:

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These are the silk and (a little bit of) cashmere comfy spiral socks... they fit surprisingly well and I could definitely wear them with a clog or a croc!

I also Made this 1918 shawl pattern:
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Here I am wearing it in the mirror, you can see...(or not see) the flash is in the way:
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SO...another picture, so you can see the colour and stitch pattern, which is so vintage...
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Here is the Original 1918 pattern, if you want to try it. Its crochet, not knit... I used an old yarn from my stash that isn't available anymore, but it was similar in feel to Nashua yarns wool, which is so soft with vibrant colours. Vicuna is actually closer to alpaca wool than sheep wool.. The border yarn had angora in it, which is what makes the little bit of yarn 'halo' around the edges...Its so comforting and soft.


7 balls Fleisher vicuna yarn
9 balls Fleisher superfine angora yarn
amber crochet hook, size 6 (our current size G)

Gauge: 7 stitches = 2 inches; 4 rows = 1 3/4 inches

Stitch pattern:
1st row - single crochet
2nd row - Put hook in the front loop from the back and make a single crochet. Turn, chain 1 at the end of every row.

Directions -

With Vicuna yarn chain 61 stitches
Repeat 2nd row until scarf measures 1 1/4 yards long
Then work single crochet around scarf, making three stitches in each corner.
Fasten off.

With angora yarn work across each end, work 9 rows of single crochet
Continue the 8th row of last end around scarf.
Join and turn at the corner.

Work 7 rows even. Fasten off.

Okay, now I really have to go have an English muffin and a pot of tea!