Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

More scenes from Portland... an idyllic drive around the coast while knitting...

This is the lovely Portland Head Light. I had a hard time getting this picture, because a goofy guy kept walking back and forth in front of my camera after he saw me trying to take a picture. But I held out, and eventually he wandered out of the line of sight. He's there on the edge, though, lurking just outside the crop-line.


A beautiful high-masted sailboat came around from behind the lighthouse, headed for the bay off the city of Portland:


It passed behind this second little light, traveling very fast... This light is across from the several little islands just off the coast. You can see an old fort on one of these little islands to the left...


The sailboat finally headed for the cove that edges Portland's curved waterline. I was able to follow its progress all the way in...


Meanwhile, I knitted on my Puck's Scarf with Quince & Co Osprey in Honey:


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ocean Yarn

We went on a field trip to find the beautiful Quince Yarn in it's natural habitat, and arrived here (This is the moon over the ocean...):


We rose just as the sun did, and of course, the first thing we did was walk on the ocean and look for sand dollars...


By full morning, our vista looked like this, the bright moon a ghostly echo of it's bold evening presence:



But, soon we were off to find KnitWit, the LYS that carries Quince in all it's yarny glory, in person, where we could peruse all the colours and touch the squishy fibers. There was a fair in town, called PICNIC that distracted us, and lots of beautiful town buildings:


and even an old cemetery that captured our curiosity. KnitWit is right across the street from this cemetery full of intriguing ancient headstones, each with its own sad story, like this one of Mr. Clark Hall, who died in 1827 at the age of 23:


But finally we passed under the door lintel and spent a long time on the yarn wall. KnitWit was sorting a new shipment of Quince that included a new natural linen yarn that was very lovely.

I almost came away with one of every colour of their current line! But I restrained myself to projects that are percolating in my ocean mind...


(from the top) Glacier, Apricot, Bird's Egg, Winesap, Marsh, and Storm...

Time for me to head to the beach with my knitting bag and start making inroads on my beautiful new stash!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A New Company - Quince


I've been much enamoured of a new company that started recently, Quince & Co, in Maine. This company comes from the creative genius of Pam Allen, who has written so many patterns and books that we love, knitting designer Carrie Bostick Hoge and the mill owner, Bob Rice.. As soon as I saw their colour palette and marvelously unique pattern line, I felt that urge to dive in!

Here are my yarns (not quite all of them):

This is the one-ply bulky yarn called Puffin in "Honey", with their fingeringweight Chickadee and another Puffin in the colourway "Pomegranate".


I also have the incredibly soft Lark yarn in "Dogwood", an Osprey in "Honey", and a Chickadee in "Dogwood".


The aesthetic of this company is so in tune with my dreams of days on the ocean in winter.


The scarf pattern in the top left is the garter-stitch Puck's Scarf. Then, (going clockwise) I have the Effie Beret, by Melissa LaBarre, the Belle Ascot, by Carrie Bostick Hoge, and - my personal favorite - the Medieval-looking Kelpie Cap, by Pam Allen.

I am currently working on the Kelpie Cap, and the Puck's Scarf, both in Quince's "Honey" colourway. I also have a skein of Peacock, to make the beret as pictured. The ascot will be in the Pomegranate, and I'll use the Puffin Pomegranate for an Ysolda's Urchin - a pattern I love.

I'm bringing my knitting to a Red Sox game at Fenway today, so four hours of Puck's Scarf Baseball Knitting! Hooray!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Good Snow Storm

It's never the wrong time to prepare for a good snow storm, right? Somewhere in the world, it's winter (I think it's the midst of winter for my friends in Australia)! And soon enough, our short summer will be packing up the picnic basket and trundling southward. So I have begun preparing already!

Last winter, we had such desperately icy temperatures that dog-walking was actually painful. So I've started with Balaclavas.


I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts mediumweight Socks That Rock in the colourway, Manly, But I Like it Too. It turned out nice and squishy and stretchy and fits the recipient perfectly!

This is the pattern that I was following, Balaclava by Nanette Blanchard:


and even though my own balaclava photo looks somewhat unprepossessing, I can assure you that it looks just as neatly snug, and fits just right over the chin and nose, when it's worn!

I'm now going to make one for myself and am trying to decide what colourway to use. I'm seriously considering this one, a STR Rare gem acquired in a trade...


or this one, with its little bit of green (my favorite colour):


Or perhaps I should really break out and make something that can be seen in the dark, like orange or red! No, I'll probably stick with my muted colour palette, but maybe I should make colourful hats for the dogs!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

On the Needles

It seems like a good time to talk about the current WIPs! It happened this way:

I have a certain kind of summer socks that I really like. They're not, I'm sorry to say, hand knit socks. They are a cotton and elastic combination that are very soft and stretchy and good with my Merrell summer sandals. I found a store when I was in Bar Harbour that had several pairs of these in their sale basket and I stocked up. Recently, as I had my ankles crossed and propped on the hassock, my bf remarked "why is the Knitter wearing holey socks?" Yes, they had split at the gusset seam and my entire heel was un-socked! I switched to the next pair - same problem; and the next - same thing happened within a week!

Finally I awakened to the ultimate truth: I should knit some summer socks for myself.

So here they are:

It's A Fish, in Crystal Palace Panda Silk, my own pattern:


and Kaibashira, in Tofutsies (I thought it was ironic and funny that the yarn has an element of Chitin - a fiber made from shrimp and crab shells - in it, and the pattern is styled after the scallop used in sushi):


I have to say that I rarely knit for myself so I'm having trouble finishing these. One of my tricks on myself is to knit two patterns at the same time, alternating socks, so that I don't get bored. Consequently, I have two different finished socks and two different half finished second socks. At the same time, I'm knitting a winter hat, a summer sweater, a lovely silk scarf, and a long, high-investment shawl (vintage pattern).

Have any of you started your Holiday knitting yet? I have plans - oh yes, I have plans. But my plans are always much bigger than my time, so we'll see what happens.