Thursday, July 31, 2008

I'm not a slacker, I'm just boring. My days have been filled with things, but little that's blog-worthy.


Here is my tea - Dragon of Fire green tea - Tears, tightly wounds, that blossom onto this beautiful tea flower.

And here is my book - Friends, Lovers, Chocolate, an Isobel Dalhousie gentle, philosophical mystery...

Other than that, the only thing I have done is sign onto the Ravelry Ravelympics,
where I promise to cast on a project on the 8th of August, and finish it by the 24th....I am entered in the Laceweight Longjump with The Shetland Triangle



I'm using my Blue Moon skein, Smokey Topaz, a soothing combination of light blue, charcoal black, and gold-ish beige:


and a size 6 circular needle, and the one you see in the picture above is from Grafton Fibers and is beautiful!

Other than that, I've neglected my friends, ignored my house and garden, and frittered away my time. I guess last week was just way too exciting and full of "stuff" and I'm still in recovery mode....

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Sensitive Man

I'm nearing the finish of my new design, The Sensitive Man socks. This is more of the Panda Silk yarn - it just feels so good, both to knit and to wear.


The picture shows this big man's sock on my little sock blocker, so it's not really stretched neatly or anything, but you can begin to see where I'm headed with this. In addition to using a yarn that's amazingly soft on the foot, I've creating a shape that hugs the arch of the foot so there won't be any shifting around that could cause blisters. There's a simple smooth stitch for both the foot and the heel and a calf-hugging rib on the leg. All in all, I think this will keep Brodie's sensitive feet feeling nice and cosy!

In other news, I received my July shipment of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club yarn...Goody Goody.













Ta Da!!!! "Goody Goody" (It looks like Sweet Tarts to me, or Sherbert Fizz, or Gumdrops, or those Candy Necklaces...)




There is a fair amount of controversy about this month's colourway. Some people are calling it "pastel" and some don't like pastels....others see it as a sweet progression from light to darker shades and have fallen in love with it. I'm wondering how it would stripe if I used a plain stockinette stitch with it? The colours in my particular skein are clear and bright and would look lovely as a rainbow bright kind of stripe...

Only Time will tell. I have so many designs on the needles and hooks right now, I can't keep up! :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Habu and other pleasures

Today was my day to go to the Knit & Crochet Show at the Center of New Hampshire. I took the day off from work and my friend Lori and I got an early start. You already know that I like to arrive early and wait for the doors to open!

We were very excited, even though we hadn't been able to get into any of the classes we wanted. It is still a fun adventure to wander the vendor booths viewing yarn and accessories that you've only read about...


While we were waiting, we ran into CrochetKim (right) and her friend, both sporting her original designs:


There seemed to be fewer vendors this year - at least on Friday. I have a feeling that all of them will be showing on Saturday; they probably figure that's when the hordes will arive. And they may be right, because - after all - the Ravelry meet-up is Saturday! So why did I go on Friday? I am a quiet person, much happier in small groups than in crowds. The slower day suits me much better!

The Elegant Ewe was there, with Marci in a lovely crochet t-shirt doing her part! They were so mobbed with people, I never got to go back and say goodbye.


I also found a Yarn Dyer from Derry, Sereknity Sock Yarns, who had a line of Green Monster yarns honoring the Boston Red Socks and their monster green wall behind the open-air ball field!


We spent a good hour at the Russian Lace Knitting booth, chatting with the globe-trotting proprieter and admiring the delicate yarns and lace models. They had Quivit and Buffalo down, and cashmere cobweb-weight in a rainbow of natural colours. I didn't splurge on any of those, but didn't leave the booth empty-handed either!


We saw some interesting sights that I didn't capture on my camera, like the fashion show, but I did manage to snap the lady who was trying out the giant needles!


After that, I had to settle down with some Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn - in Butter Peeps and Lipstick Lava. This yarn really is as soft and smooshy as people say! Of course it is, it's Australian Merino!!!!


The next booth that claimed an hour of our time was the Habu vendor!


I can't help it, I love Habu. I love the teensy little folded balls that bloom into full size skeins in a myriad of harmonious shades. I love the natural and amazingly not-so-natural fibers and materials that are somehow spun into knitable threads. I love the surprising unexpectedness of it - the stainless steel mixed with silk, the pineapple fiber dyed dark blood red, the slubby silk with bits of cocoon interspersed at odd intervals... I didn't escape without major budget-breakage:


from left to right, top row:
Rosey copper Pure linen, a crinkly natural paper thin pure silk, pineapple plant fiber - blood red

from left to right, bottom row:
Light green cashmere, mid-green cashmere, red-red 100% stiff cotton (unmercerized), turquoise 100% softest cotton; goldish bamboo, gold very fine silk

My plans are to put the rosey copper linen and the crinkly natural silk together, the blood red pineapple fiber and the stiff red-red cotton together (washy towels), the gold bamboo and the gold silk with go together, and the two colours of cashmere will be opposite ends of the same lace scarf. The soft cotton will be on its own and I hope that I have enough for a little something sweet.

I am a very tired and happy knitter. <3

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

more than once in a blue moon...

It seems like all I'm doing is flashing my stash enhancement, but I can state most definitely that I am designing and knitting! I've just caught the Blue Moon Fiber Arts bug and want every single colourway they have!


From left to right, they are: Calico, Smokey Topaz, Socktopus, and Rocky Horror.

These skeins came from Purlescense, a yarn shop in California. I heard (the wonders of Ravelry) that they had some colours that aren't currently on the BMFA website, and had to call them. They were very very very nice, and beforeyou know it these lovely yarns were right beside me, all the way across the country!

I've joined the Ravelympics for Team Blue Moon and plan to use the Smokey Topaz for a little lace shoulder triangle or scarf.

As for actual knitting, I'm designing another pair of silk socks, this time for a man, called Sensitive Man Socks. My sister's bf has really sensitive feet and I'm making these socks to deal with all those things that can make sock-wearing a comfy experience, rather than the opposite: a soft yarn, a stitch without bumps, a clingy arch, and a snug cuff. There're almost ready to photograph, so you'll see them very soon! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whacha got in the brown bag??

Once again, I have succumbed to the Stash Enhancement gods.... they do their enticing dance, and my will-power seeps away like the trickle of a roadside stream in mid-summer....

Still, at least I'm buying yarn, and not instruction manuals on how to poison people without leaving a so many of the people you meet nowadays.

Me: Hi there! Whacha got in that big brown bag?!

Them: Nothin to see here, just move along.


Them: Hey ya! Whatcha got in that big brown bag?!

Me: Oooooooh! My new Single Silk from Blue Moon Fiber Arts!

See? much better.


I have here Mossay, Kaw Kaw, and Thraven...

Single Silk is 500 yarns of 50% silk, 50% merino wool. The wool will give it some spring and elasticity so that it doesn't stretch out and stay stretched out. It will have some "give" in other words. I plan to use these for small shrug-type sweaters - for gifts.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Put the Yarn in the Basket....

....and no one gets hurt!

Today I had to travel to the coast for a meeting, and of course this meant a little time before and after to indulge in yarn and tea. I've been feeling a little sad lately, and melancholy and credit cards is a very dangerous combination! LOL

It was a beautiful, warm day today - full of sun. I wore a sleeveless embroidered sundress and I was still too hot. But early, early in the morning not many shops were open, so I started my day at a cafe called Popovers. I spent a lovely hour at a little table in the window with a crusty (soft inside) popover the size of my head and cup of Irish Breakfast tea from The Portsmouth Tea Company and my iphone tuned to Ravelry. There was a little tempest on a nice friendly group that had been visited by "the phantom disagreer" so I enjoyed giving the group a lot of "love" and "agree" to restore the balance of the universe!

My real reason for wandering these ocean-front brick lanes was to find a certain locally produced hand-painted yarn for my swap partner in Iceland! For years this coastal town has had a little tiny yarn shop tucked into a little tiny side street... but when I got there, the shop was empty! Luckily, there was a sign in the window with a map, that showed they had moved to the corner of High Street and Hanover, right across the street from the parking garage...

The Yarn Basket -


Inside it was spacious, light, and friendly -


And I did way too much damage to the budget! I found the perfect yarn for the swap box, and of course I had to get one for myself too!

The owner was a most wonderful and kind lady who sold me her copy of Yarn Forward magazine in which she has a beautiful sock pattern of her own design!! She is going to be carrying Yarn Forward from now on. And when I told her that I had done some sample knitting for knitonthenet's upcoming book Stitches in Time, she wrote it down and said that she would get some copies in when it's published in September.


I spent such a happy hour here, and was actually sorry to leave to make the trip across the state and go back to work....


But when I got home from work, there was a very intriguing box on my doorstep from a very dear friend in Germany. Nad is a kind and generous person. I have known her for years and we have shared a passion for both tea and knitting. We've both "grown up" in our professions over that decade, too!

BR, (before Ravelry) we were each other's swap partners. Now we swap with so many all over the world. But we still exchange special treats and celebrate special occasions and birthdays and such... She knows that, as a Pisces, I am a goldfish lover and so she sent me.....
This: (!)


KOI!! and RED KOI!! And a Beautiful Mystery Colour!!! Tausendschon!! Isn't it the most beautiful yarn you've ever seen??? I can't wait to discover what I'll make with this. (she also sent me some gorgeous Noro cashmere and two huge skeins that I think are locally spun natural yarns - perfect for a fall sweater)

Do you covet these gorgeous German yarns from far across the sea? I'd bet that Nad could be bribed to trade with you for some Socks That Rock... hee hee (even though her current collection is as big as mine right now!!)