Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Isn’t she lovely?

(And yes, I will be singing that song in my head for the rest of the day, thank you very much.)

Anyway, here is the third and final installment of "Fun with Bronze Knitwear Models." This gorgeous lady is Sara the Sauratown Woman. She is one of the three statues that greet visitors at the front door of the North Carolina History Museum. She is the forensic reconstruction of how anthropologists believe a seventeenth-century Native American woman from the Saura tribe would have appeared.
I thought that it would be appropriate to feature a Native American in a posting so close on the heels of Earth Day and at the end of Earth Week. Native Americans have a direct and spiritual connection with nature and the earth. Sometimes I think all of our efforts to be more "green" are, in some ways, an effort to recapture something that Native Americans understood deeply. If only we could regain just a small portion of their perception, understanding and respect for our natural environment.

Speaking of green, Sara is holding in her hand the triangle kerchief that I knit in a sport weight 100% silk yarn from Sundara in the "Evergreen over Lime" colorway. The pattern is from Last Minute Knitted Gifts . Easy peasy. I love this little kerchief. I used just about every bit of yarn in the skein. Here it is in progress:

I did not like the rough edges of the triangle, so I added a little crocheted picot edge on two sides.

It feels lovely. The colors are brilliant. I will be looking for any excuse to wrap it around my neck or head. And I like to think that Sara blessed it for me.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where did I go?

This photo has absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the subject of this post.

I’m in the middle of stealth gift knitting for the moment. Hence the lack of yarn blogging. But I thought today I would pop in and say a few words about . . . well . . . hmmmm. I guess I really don’t have much to talk about in the yarn world. I could discuss why I have too much yarn and not enough time to play with it. But that dead horse might come alive and kick me if I beat it again.

Oh, I know! I could talk about the UFOs (Unfinished Objects) that are gathering cobwebs in my knitting baskets. Perhaps we could all do a little psychoanalysis on why I cannot seem to pick them up. That could be fun. Here’s one:

It’s my first sweater project. I have been working on this for WAY too long. It’s for the hubster. I think he’s given up hope that I will ever finish it. It’s about 85% done. I only lack a little more of the back panel and then the neck and sleeve ribbing.

Theory as to why not done: I think the color BORES ME TO TEARS. I just love color. Lots of color all smooshed and swirled together. I mean look at my sock yarn stash:

There is a veritable feast of color in there. Plain old taupe works like an anesthetic on me.
But this lack of color does not explain why I cannot finish the mate of this sock:

There’s plenty of gorgeous color in there. I love the yarn. I KNOW how to make a sock. I just can’t seem to pick the stupid thing up. Dang.

Finally, we have this lovely little softie:

It’s a crocheted chevron scarf out of Malabrigo lace weight. My lack of progress on this project is quite clear: A big ol’ effin KNOT in the yarn. I wound the skein into a lovely little cake. But as I pulled a little on the working yarn, out popped the worst knot of my knitting career from the center of the cake. (Note: This knot is a result of my winding and not the fault of the yarn maker.) I have tried desperately to untangle this knot. But the way that this yarn is spun makes it felt together the more you handle it. All of my efforts have only made the knot worse. I hate to cut the knot out because it might interrupt the lovely color distribution that’s going on and introduce the pooling virus into the fabric. Dang again.

Okay, that’s all on the UFOs. I hope this post wasn’t too much of a yawner. It was quite liberating for me. I feel a lot less guilty.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Not pouting . . . really.

Okay, so as mentioned previously, my dear hubby got a new lathe. And he was using it to make me things. And he was planning to make me MORE things. Specifically, some lovely shawl pins out of exotic woods that he had purchased for that purpose.

But last night, he used that lovely wood to make these for the boys:

Yes, those are handmade wands. And they each contain a four-leaf clover in their cores to make them magic.

And I’m not jealous . . . much. It was really worth giving up the shawl pins for shawls I have yet to knit to watch the boys wielding various spells at each other. But I did have to scold the youngest one for casting a cruciatus curse on his brother. (That’s an unforgivable one, and I am their mother.)

So, while the lovely wood was hijacked by my boys, at least they will stop using my knitting needles for wands.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eggs of a different sort

Happy Easter! While the past couple of days have been all about eggs (boiled, dyed, chocolate, plastic, etc.), I have a new and exciting kind of egg in my life. Check these out:

My dear, sweet, talented husband made each of these items. Of course, he made them on his new lathe that **ahem** I suggested he buy. Some might accuse me of having an ulterior motive especially since everything he's made so far has been for moi. But I'm above that sort of finger-pointing and eye-rolling.

In case you were wondering what all this woody goodness is about, the two objects on the right are sock darning eggs. With the increased wearing of hand-knit socks around here, they will be put to good use very soon. The forked object on the left is a lucet. It's used to braid cord from yarn. You never know when you might need cord. made of yarn. shut up.

Anyway, I've been getting a little bit of knitting done over the holiday. Not as much as I'd like. But one must periodically stop to do things like:

1) decorate bunny cookies with florescent sprinkles.

2) mediate disputes over who gets to eat the head of the ginormous chocolate bunny that my son won in the Easter egg hunting contest. with a broken arm. He's got skills.

"The Professor" is at least 18 inches tall . . . for now.

3) and make black (???) paper chains for an Easter dinner party being planned by the kids.
I hope they are cooking because I've eaten waaaaay too many jelly beans today to be functional. (the violent sugar-induced mood swings have been kinda fun, though)

Well, hope you are having a nice holiday. And check your socks for holes. I can help.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Speaking of favorite colors . . .

Yesterday I revealed that my favorite color, generally speaking, is green. This morning at the breakfast table, my youngest son made a similar revelation. He’s four and LOVES coloring with markers. But he comes home from daycare most days with marker ink in his eyebrows. Yes, eyebrows.

Yesterday he actually came home with clean eyebrows. But this morning, I noticed that he was displaying a lovely shade of blue (probably from his coloring session right before bedtime).

So I asked him:

“Honey, why do you have blue marker in your eyebrows this morning?”

He responded:

“Because blue is my favorite color.”

Well, okay.

So in honor of his favorite, let’s take a little peek-a-loo at some of the blue yarns in my stash.

First up, here’s a recently started crocheted chevron scarf in the drop-dead gorgeous Malabrigo lace yarn. The colorway is “Oceanos”.

I can’t pull my eyes away from this yarn. It’s mesmerizing. And so soft. If you’ve never tried this stuff, you must.

Now, oddly enough, I have almost no completely blue yarns in my stash. Probably because I love lots of different colors in my yarns. But here are a few of my mostly blue yarns.

This is Yarn Pirate merino/tencel in the “Icicle” colorway. It was a club colorway. I’m thinking of making the Montego Bay Scarf out of this.

Next is another skein of Wollmeise in the “Vincent” colorway. I wish the blue were a little deeper in this skein, but it is still gorgeous. Not sure what it will be when it grows up. We shall see.

Finally, here’s another skein of Yarn Priate BFL in the “Solstice” colorway. I love this yarn. I started a pair of socks for my mom with this, but I don’t like how it’s working up. It may become a cowl. It has a lovely feel to it.

Well, hope I didn’t make you too “blue” today. Okay. That was admittedly lame. I need a latte.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pinched by a leprechaun

So yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. It’s usually my favorite, no obligations kinda holiday. And my favorite color is green. But after the last few days, I feel like the leprechauns did a number on me. The past week was filled with those minor annoyances that, standing alone, are easily brushed off. But this week I was dog-piled by the chaos goddesses. I had a week of dead car batteries, sinus infections, missed one year-old birthday parties (my favorite kind), and this:

My son broke his arm in a basketball game. It’s not a bad break and should be healed in time for his piano recital. But still, he’s my baby, and it hurt.

With the true spirit of a nine-year old, he selected a green cast in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. And we were rewarded with a visit from a rowdy group of leprechauns that snuck into our house and made all kinds of mischief. Like this:

Eeewwwww. That’s green leprechaun pee.

They also opened all the cabinet doors and drawers in the kitchen. Luckily, there was no major damage, and they left us a pile of chocolate coins.

So, I'm moving on, hoping for a better week. But I remain stimulated by all the green, and I’m craving something green to knit. Perhaps I’ll cast on with this lovely green silk from Sundara ("Evergreen over Lime"):

Or maybe this Fleece Artist Merino Sock in "Rainforest":

Or even this hurt-your-eyes bright green from Wollmeise ("Lowenzahn").

And then there’s this Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in "Greenlake"?

Nummy. Nothing like a little stash-diving to soothe rustled nerves. I just hope the leprechauns didn’t mess with my knitting needles.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Fred's turn

Ain't he handsome?

This is Colonel Frederick Augustus Olds (1853-1935), the founder of the North Carolina Museum of History. He's another one of the bronze statues that greet me on my walk to and from the office. One of his buddies was the recent model for my alpaca scarf. Fred was hurt by this. I could tell. He just had this look.

So to make it up to him, I let him model my new cowl. It was a spontaneous cast-on. I have been DYING to use this yarn for something. It's sock yarn but there were just too many socks in the queue for me to get to it soon enough.

Pattern: Pasmina Cowl from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Sundara sock yarn, colorway "Teal over Conch"
Needles: US 4 circular

This was a super simple pattern. And sometimes you need a neck warmer that's not as fiddly as a scarf. And I cannot tell you how much I love Sundara's yarn. She has a gift for layering colors that I have yet to find elsewhere. This colorway is one of her limited edition colors meaning it will not be repeated. Shucks.


Now I just need to find something for her to model. She's already pouting.