Friday, April 20, 2007

My roof didn't leak

For those of you who asked, yes we had those rain storms and floods, but I was fine. My roof didn’t leak, (My roof didn’t leak! My roof didn’t leak!) but my barn did. That will be the next big project that I will have to save for.

I have been enjoying my sock-making, and have some results to show you! I still don’t have a way to actually take digital pictures for you, but have found examples of each of the pairs that I’ve made on the net, made by someone else, so can at least give you an idea of what is hopping off the needles like enamored bunnies!

This first pair is of Knot stitch socks and the pattern was designed by an ordinary person like myself which she posted on her Blog. Here is her picture of them:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Mine are deep, midnight sky blue in wool and angora, so they have a little halo of bunny fur around them, just like hers do in the photo. Not very practical for wearing in shoes, but will be good for clogs and around the house..

The next pair is of lace stitch socks in the Embossed-Leaves pattern of "Favorite Socks”:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Mine are light blue just like this photo, except that I made them from two skeins of Pear Tree Australian Merino wool. The heels are reinforced with a fine nylon thread so that they won’t wear through. These are going to Mingbutterfly to encourage her during her grueling law exams, once I can take photos of them to save in my portfolio!

The third pair are the “Evening Socks for a Young Lady” from Knitting Vintage Socks

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My pair are not white like these, but are done in a self-patterning sock yarn of light green, teal, and tan that looks like a rainy day. I’m finding this a challenging pattern because the sizing is so big. I always thought Victorian ladies were smaller than we are today, but I guess they had sturdy legs, because I’ve had to decrease several times to make these fit me and I done a pretty messy job with it! But the mistakes are on the back, so I’m hoping no one will much notice once I’m actually wearing them!

My boyfriend was over to watch the Red Sox game last night and of course, I showed off my sock knitting to him. For the first time he asked to have something knitted for himself! He chose a medium blue alpaca yarn that I got in Seattle (its from Honey Tree Farms I think, and spun and dyed right in Washington State). I’ll definitely have to use reinforcing thread with his pair so he can wear them with shoes. This is progress – a man who appreciates hand knitting and actually wants to wear it! See me smile.

Next week I’ll be off from work, so don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up with lj, unless I can borrow a computer. I’m having the final, and most important, surgery. I have to stay in for a week afterwards so as not to challenge my immune system by coming into contact with anybody’s germs but my own. Yesterday I ordered yarn from Colorsong & Naturesong Yarns (a mother-daughter internet company in Canada) and asked them to send the package next week so I would have some “cheer-up” yarn after my surgery. The nice lady called me last night. People are so incredible, aren’t they?

She called because they didn’t have a colour I had ordered and wanted me to choose a second choice because, she said, “since this is your “cheer-up” box, I want to you to get everything you wanted.” I asked her to choose a colour for me, so it could be a surprise and she is happy to do that. She asked, “are there any colours you absolutely don’t like?” and I said “stark orange and stark yellow.” Most of my friends love orange and yellow so its odd that I don’t, but I guess I balance them out. Living in a state known for its beautiful Fall colours, I’m an anomaly. I love ocean colours and sky colours and forest colours and purples, and any shade of green is my favorite colour. But I love flower colours too, so I’ve been making friends with red and mellow oranges. Personally, I think this shows psychological progress, because the warm colours are “happier” and more “hopeful” than my usual choices…

I will be making socks For Ever will all the yarn I now have - plus the big box of sock yarn Nadine sent me last year ina yarn swap! Not that making socks for ever is a bad thing. not at all. Everyone needs socks, don't they???

I am listening to Hayley Westenra Celtic Treasure this morning. Its very beautiful and calming. Beside me is some white tea, and some preparation-for-a-meeting work. In spite of the petty competitions and jealousies of this job in academic life that erupt almost daily, I’m content.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Severus Snape is my boyfriend

I don't have anything to say, except that is raining, I don't feel well, I'm lonely, and I'm hungry. Or, to put it another way.....
Next week will be warm and sunny,
I will never be sick again in my life,
Soon I will be doing fun things with friends and I love my lj friends,
I think I will make my favorite food: baked potato, for supper tonight!

speaking of being wonderful, Marky from Oz sent me the most incredible belated birthday presents!!! A Yarn magazine, - the latest edition, a Needlecraft magazine - which, if the clothing of the ladies in the ads is anything to go by (and I think it is), is from the early 1900's and includes a pattern for a tea cosy(!!!), and some incredibly cool knitting needles made from Australian Oak and with little carved round balls on the top that are artistically painted Aqua with WHITE POLKA DOTS!!!! (sorry, just lost my mind for a moment)...

A Whole Box of vintage/antique bakelite knitting needles - A Whole Box - off all rainbow colours and they are ALL matching pairs!!!!! {dies} {faints} {swoons} {revives}.

Unless you are a knitter and collector afflicted with obsession - especially obsession with the 30's and 40's - you cannot know the thrill of having your dearest desires appear on your doorstep with a Sydney postmark.

Thank you, Marky. I'm sorry. If Severus Snape were not my boyfriend, you would be. But you are next in line. honest.

Now, I never mentioned it, but a few months ago Nad sent me a vintage crochet hook from Germany, from the 40's It is war-time plastic (similar to Bakelite) and is bright red!!! I cherish it.

It is so unfortunate that I still don't have a computer because I can't take photos and show you anything and I'm making such wonderful things. (even if I do say so myself). I know, you think you'll do fine without my knitting photos. But deep down inside.... don't you miss them?

Monday, April 16, 2007

searching...searching.... Nope! Guess I don't have any!

Ah, knitting, 1934.....

You supply the caption: (PS - my caption, above, applies to the second picture)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, April 13, 2007

rain cloud day

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Friday, again…. And Friday the 13th at that! We had snow yesterday and sleet and freezing rain and I curled up on the couch under a down comforter and finished a pair of pretty blue knitted socks with vine leaves in the front – comfort insulation for this day’s dark and sullen mood…
The IT folks have been moody, the inventory folks have been strict and scary, and the bosses have been critical and enigmatic. I want to go home (and I shall, shortly, because I came in very early this morning)!

At lunch time I engaged in some yarn therapy: two skeins of wool and angora in a deep soft blue like a Maxfield Parrish sky, and two skeins of pure silk in a light soothing blue:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The silk could become something like this (if I buy more on subsequent yarn therapy outings):

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

But more likely I will knit up a pair of silk stockings from one of the antique 1800’s patterns that I have for Lady’s Silk Over-the-Knee Stockings. Although I have other larger projects I’m finishing up, (remember the green linen shrug?) my new and comforting goal is to knit a collection of socks and stockings. I want socks for crocs and socks for shoes and socks for summer and socks for skirts and socks that need garters and socks for sandals with no toes or heels! I want wool and alpaca and silk, and angora and bamboo and soy fibers! (lots of wants, I know).

Sock knitting is almost instant gratification. You can knit until you run out of your skein if you want or you can abbreviate your sock to finish faster. You can stop your sock knitting to do something else, and then come back to it and finish it in an evening! The feeling you get when you take a finished object off the needles is …..bliss!. Couple that will a happy recipient (even if that recipient is yourself and your cosy toes) and it’s heaven.

On my way to the yarn store, I stopped at the bakery (an authentic European bakery where the owner/baker doesn’t speak English and everything is made from scratch each morning) and bought a little heart shaped cake for the ladies of the yarn store. It was a tiramisu cake! All three were there today and were very happy to have a treat on a long dark day…. especially my friend Dee who crocheted me the most beautiful green shawl when I was so sick.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

so soft

April 4 07 11:36 AM

Today is a soft kind of day…the sky is indeterminate in colour, and the air is so full of incipient rain that when I look out the window, it looks like I’m underwater gazing across a clear but muted landscape. We are supposed to have several inches of snow tonight.

I have been blessed recently with some kind gifts appearing on my doorstep, the first this beautifully bunny soft baby cashmere yarn in a heather rose colour – four skeins!! That is enough for an intricate lace shawl, which is what I think I will knit with it – something from Victorian lace today. This amazing gift came from Nathalie.…

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Nad sent me such a lovely birthday note and her Mom embroidered a spring sheep for me! (You may remember the wooly pine-cone sheep of this winter). I have definitely decided that I am going to make a four-sided bag with a place on each side for these beautiful embroidered sheep – made with such skill and such kind affection!

Another exciting box, from Julie included an incredible roving yarn in jewel-tone colours, several books that look so intriguing, and the wildest British candy you could ever imagine: flying saucers that are made of tinted wafers (like communion wafers) but filled with tiny round candies, a fizzy stick that bubbles in your mouth, and toffee! And………….a beautiful little bottle from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab that smelled oh, so wonderfully perfect and was named…SOPHIA! It is exquisite. I’ve been using it every day.

Right now, I’m reading a book that she sent me a few weeks ago that I think several of you might like. It’s called The Eyre Affair, and it’s a story about a society that is founded on books – everything is organized around well-know books and authors and everyone takes the name of their favorite book or author, so that there are many, many Shakespeares, for instance, (which causes lots of confusion) and the timeline of people’s lives can be changed by going back in time and re-writing the plot of a novel…. Its funny and quirky and smart and all about the love of literature. I’m not done yet.

The few things I had on the needles are finished, and I was at a loss as to what I should begin now. I’ve settled on a long, long Chevron patterned scarf for my sister out of Barefoot Yarns Ruby River, (finishing) the leaf green linen and silk shrug that I’m making for myself, the Professor’s black shawl which will have a unique design of my own devising (hmmm hmmm), and the lace shawl that I’ll make with my new cashmere. I’m sooooooo surrounded by luxury yarns at this moment! (lucky me!)