31 December 2012
The blocking was done easily enough and in time for me to pack it for travel. Very light, very warm, and to non-knitters it's somewhat unusual. That's fine by me.
Pattern - Color Affection
Yarn - Madelinetosh Tosh Light in Graphite, Tart, and Wicked
(PS. Started this while it was still Eve, 2012. Lost half of it and felt compelled to regroup and clean it up before calling it a night.)(It is of course 2013 and really very early morning.)
(PPS. Dinner parties start late in France. On this New Year's at the fabulous dinner party I was privileged to attend, the welcoming of the New Year fell between courses, just past the fourth of seven stunning courses.)
(PPPS. More on that story in the morning.)
Tonight I was graciously added to the guest list for a New Year's Eve dinner. Should be delightful!
I will not be taking the sock. However, it does look nice on this table.
Enjoy your New Year's Eve as it finds you.
Fair photos. Not a priority!
Good knitting time on hostess socks. Had felt I was slipping behind my self-imposed schedule. Better progress and with the drive back even advanced to the second half of the short row well.
Best? A delightful "meet-up" event of informed and instructive champagne tasting, complete with excellent champagnes and scrumptious hors d'ouevres and pleasant conversations.
28 December 2012
25 December 2012
Pardon the grey scale. It was not quite this gloomy!
Happy Christmas! I'm heading out on a bit of a journey over the next weeks.
Have to finish packing - and editing the packing - so I can decide what knitting to pack!
21 December 2012
Artsy temperament? Rebellion?
La Vie Fixated, more like...
Yarn is Spud & Chloe's Outer, a bulky wool and cotton blend.
Needles were 11 & 15, as prescribed.
Pattern is Boheme, from French Girl Knits Accessories.
13 December 2012
06 December 2012
Finished these late Tuesday night, complete with all two dozen ends woven in and a quick wet blocking. The drying has not been quick, as these things go. It's been unseasonably warm here, so it was still cool in my apartment, what with the heating system having had a little vacation.
Yarn: 2-ply wool from the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake, Maine. Bought that back when I worked in Maine. This yarn has been in the stash for at LEAST 15 years.
Needles: size 5 dpns
Pattern: Men's Fingerless Gloves, by. J. Campbell, via Ravelry link.
Pattern mods: Gauge, natch. I pared down the cast-on count by four and factored that in along the way. Also I am learning to ignore the minimal suggestions like the half inch from the top of the thum gusset to the start of the fingers. That's just WAY too short for the palm of a hand. I also added the stripe because at one point I worried I would run out of wool. When I reknit and sized them down, I was still worried.... forgetting that sizing that down would perhaps use less wool. You know I have leftover.
Need a box. In fact, I think I'm going to take a walk to the post office RIGHT NOW and see about a couple of boxes. That task has been on my list at home for a few days, and it needs to get done.
03 December 2012
20 November 2012
I am binding off the color affection shawl I'd been working on this fall. Doing a slim i-cord bind-ff. If it were here, I'd show you a picture, but it's in the car.
I am casting off. Tomorrow I head out of town for some small Thanksgiving. A little family, a little down-time, and a LOT of driving. I won't get to knit in the car until the second and third legs of the trip. I'm on my own for the first and last, me and a lengthy list of podcasts. Will be done with weekend road tripping early enough to have one bit of weekend At Home. Looking forward also to some playing hooky At Home on Sunday morning, knitting with coffee and pyjamas before heading out, at the end of that day, for a work call.
Tomorrow at 3:00, though, and traffic notwithstanding, I'm leaving the work behind. NOT packing it. I'm taking one book, the historical novel Wolf Hall - don't know if it's frivolous or not, but it'll serve its purpose. And the knitting. I am packing knitting. TONIGHT. In fact, most of it is already in the car - the shawl and the green gloves are ready to go.
I need to be ready to go. Not binding off. Casting off.
Happy Thanksgiving. (I don't pretend anyone reading this lives beyond the middle part of North America, or minds the myopia, US expats notwithstanding..... )
13 November 2012
I just looked at the blog. I had been in a habit of marking my knitting year with the start of a summer. Got away from me this summer. I don't think there's an interesting story in any of that.
1 Pair Socks
Sunrise Blender Sock
1 Pair Gloves
Gorky Rustic Gloves
Baby Kimono - finished and gifted, though knit forever ago
Dragon Lady Pogona Scarf
British Breakfront: a Frangiflutti scarf
Silver Square Scarf for nephew
A Sorta-Sontag (T.Y. Godey)
2 Hats for Minneapolis Swatch Team 2011
Grey Bulky Hat
Many Manly Hats, 6 actually
That cleans up the list on the side. It also leaves it pretty empty. I did a lot of sewing this summer instead, even if it was quick stuff. I'm not going to bother to add in all the links. If you stop by the blog often, you saw it and it's old news. Nothing very illuminating last year. The knitting was functional, and it did what I needed it to do, product and process.
No bias was used this time, as the fabric had a perfect stretch of on-grain already built into the leftovers from the first quilt.
That's right. There were two of these. One was done, 20 blocks worth, and well over twenty years ago. This one got to 12 blocks done and stalled.
This summer I framed and sashed the miserable set of twelve to get it DONE.
I cobbled together a proper leftovers backing and sent it off to be machine quilted.
It came back this fall.
A forgotten piece of fabric used in the first quilt was in the box where the scraps went - surprise!
Binding was prepped. One step to go.
10 November 2012
07 November 2012
We have this great big cold hallway at work.
If I leave my office to go to class, I have to go to the next building. If I want to go to the shop, I have to go outside to a different door in the first building. If I am in the shop and want to find rest facilities, back out to go into the second building or into the front part of the first building. Lunch at the desk? Go next door for the fridge or microwave.
I am not complaining. We see the sun through the course of a day. And I look forward to wearing all the hand knit wool socks.
Here's to beautifully chilly autumn weather for sock wearing! Ooh, and yummy cabbage soup to heat up for lunch!
01 November 2012
You know your housekeeping is suffering when you try to take a photo of a sock and have to do strange tricks to keep the worst of the floor out of the frame.
You know you are busy when you aren't posting a photo of a sock you've just but are taking a hasty shot of an old sock.
You know you are fortunate when this is the trouble of your day. Not water. Not power. Not shelter.
I know. Quite a turn there. Was thinking about the contrasts and the revelations a lot this past week. You know how it goes: smack up against successful plays and nice kids come funerals and heart breaking stories of PTSD. Angsty house hunting with silly self-doubt and self-recrimination stopped in their tracks to watch the devastation of Sandy. Watched houses topple, water surge, and fires burn. Breathed sighs to hear of friends out East that they were okay.
You know you are blessed with even a silly pair of socks.
You know you have thanks to give, and not just one day later this month.
You know you will find time and energy to get some important things done. Sock knitting will keep.
23 October 2012
So today, cobra practice, to ease back in.
The cat decided I was there to give him head butting. When I stopped he followed me everywhere, complaining I had stopped too soon.
Meet my yoga coach. Every day, he says. Every evening.
I have permission to hit the shower, he says.
16 October 2012
I found the pattern in the right place.
I had green wool, purchased in Maine years ago, for mittens, even.
I DID record the needle size I had used - and on the blog, no less.
My uncle placed a request for a second pair. Green.
When I am not crazy busy with the hurly-burly of my work year, I am steadily working at keeping less stuff. In this case, I kept the right stuff, found it, and will now get it moved on. Twice the win.
I should hurry. It already snowed up north.
09 October 2012
I remembered this fancy and simple little tool. Six links and twelve alternating rows on straight needles make a happy match. Happy to remember knitting knitty board friend thomasina, too.
Online time is mostly work time, so not forgetting blog or rav or knitty or knitting friends .... Just busy with everything else remembered and tackle or yet to do.
Not to busy to say once again: Congrats to mittenfarce on the JOB!!
23 September 2012
And a beer. Evidently, I needed to shop for beer.
Socks are finished. Ready to go into the holiday gift box.
Socks are Finnish. The pattern is the lovely Vellamo - trackable on Ravelry.
I have a beer to finish. I need more than five minutes for that.
I am not easily rushed in some things.
25 August 2012
It is about time to start the fall, whatever true seasonal calendars or temps may say. Some local schools started up this past week or a few days earlier. It's going to be Monday for me.
My past week was full of meetings and arrivals and prep and more meetings. Tomorrow I have a different set of quarterly board meetings. (who'dathunk? grown-up sounding, innit?) Today I have nothing on my calendar. Google said so.
So I made mint tea (hello, allergy season), spent a little desk time blog reading, tumblr turning, and hardly any pin peering. Here is what i observed, on the morning of a day with nothing scheduled:
I see that there is time for late summer picnics. My house neighbors across the way must agree, as they start setting up for their block party. I may have to make a cup of coffee shortly and go a-visiting. They actually put invitation on the apartment building doors this year, not just move your car notices.
I see that waistlines are starting to sport belts. I will need to take mine out for a walk. I don't want to look like a belted Weeble when the look returns in earnest.
I may have to make pancakes or muffins or pie, waistline remarks notwithstanding. End of summer fruit draws near. I am sure I am not alone in feeling the lure of good food bloggy photoggy.
I see my method of posting yesterday's blog post - right on the computer at the blogger site - may have eradicated all paragraph returns. I see my quick post wanted a proofread viewing. I see I must get batteries for the camera, as phone photoblogging is not very glam.
(Ugh. I see my day of nothing is already generating a to-do list. Visit and coffee, ok, pancakes, on, but batteries?? Really?)
My no events day needs a little summer. I would like to knit some, read some, walk a while today. Blueberries at the farmers market may be required.
Unscheduledness aside, I do really need to do some to-do-list somethings for Monday, because I would like a nice Monday and not a panicky start.
24 August 2012
04 August 2012
Traveling for work is what I have been up to. I have some knitting with me. However, I'm only clever enough to email posts one photo at a time.
That's okay. I'm trying to relearn some focus. It suits. I have only a little knitting with me, only a bit of reading and work I can do on the road. I will not finish up any of these, so glad I focused and did not bring more. I may yet in the end have made progress on what I did bring, so that too will be progress.
I may have to go to a national gallery today, just to focus.
I might take my knitting.
29 July 2012
10 July 2012
08 July 2012
07 July 2012
05 July 2012
If I had to choose, I'd be in a cool spot.
However, I'm fortunate. I don't have power outage in my living space. My work space was shut down for a bit with power outage. Today I'm using my office as my personal cooling center.
In other news, my sewing machine has been the hot spot for hopping activity lately. Made a graduation quilt for my niece*, finished at my mom's on the way to the event. Nothing fancy - had a perky bundle of flannel purchased from a quilt shop in Iowa. I had another plan for it, but the idea was only an idea for several years. In the end I made nearly the same quick, big piece quilt I think they'd featured. Tied, not quilted, but quickly loved and put to use on a very chilly graduation weekend.
Following that, I have been sewing some quilt tops to help with the grade school charity quilting project at the school where I volunteer. I don't usually help with that project - designed for the upper grade kids to do with the nearby senior center, the project involves the kids learning to sew, making large block quilt tops, and tying them. The upper grade classes are currently pretty small - and the kids were kind of disappointed they didn't get many made. New strategy, the project coordinator thought: get some tops sewn up in advance so the kids can start tying, make progress in terms of quantity, and then start some to do beginning to end. I totally get the excitement of having a LOT of quilts to donate. The project coordinator was pretty clever, and she made up some quilt top "kits" to have ready at the volunteer luncheon. I took one home, zipped it back the next week, and she promptly gave me three more. I'm game.
And I don't mind some sewing to do while I plan the next sewing. Witness the quilt of guilt that came out for finishing. I knew one reason it stalled out, but I'd forgotten the other reason - I still had blocks to build. Found a few stray triangles and squares cut out amidst the rest of the fabric. And the fabric was AWFUL for triangles. Way too much biasing, I had one of the cardboard templates. Who knows what kind of miscalculations there were in the math. I don't know how many more I planned - probably another eight blocks, and those eight blocks inadvertently put this project on pause for YEARS.
I did the only reasonable thing. I went for the finish line: frames around the squares. wide sashing with contrasting blocks at the intersections, and a pair of wide borders. I'm still contemplating one extra round of border, but I may call it quits.
On to the back. I have nothing suitable. I don't want to go shopping, when I have an embarassment of fabric to use. Or at least that's what I thought until yesterday when I melted in the heat.
Looked at some of my fall purchase of blue quilt plaids I'd left here in my shop. Not enough of them to substitute for a whole back. I'm back to the first plan. I smell some kind of artsy finish.
I hope it isn't too odd. It's hot. My senses may short circuit.
*a quilt which is NOT the quilt begun when said niece was an infant..... that one went back to the back burner
02 July 2012
Why does a flaw in the fabric surface after cutting and stitching. Why?
On to the reverse manual.
And on to piecing a section of the border, as naturally, not enough for a full piece.
That ugh also signals the path for machine quilting. Easier to camouflage that new seam....
The blocks have been languishing for decades. Blocks are imperfect - fabric not all pure for quilt sources, and there's a bit of bias wobble and iron shrinking. (Golly, there's fuel for ignoring quilt finishing....)
Blocks were framed up with navy print two weeks ago. Sashing done this weekend. On to the borders and the backing!
Can't decide if I will tie it as was my circa late 80's plan and custom, or if I will ship it off to my former local quilt shop for machine quilting.
They may mock me. Some of those prints are lightly brushed, and there's a whack of polyester along with the cotton in those fabric blends.
Oh - the guilt part. I checked in with the friend. She'd be pleased to have it.
Some UFO's I can dispense with. This one I'll finish. The space opened up in the fabric drawer AND in the guilt pack will be amazingly free!
30 June 2012
That was only winter. What? I didn't look until today. Bag of thrift headed out, so one quick look today.
First Blast - Soup cookery!! Remember? Casseroles with creamed anything. Meatball stew. Stuff we kids could make on Saturdays when mom was working.
Things I didn't remember:
A whole chapter on surprising cakes and breads with the undefinable something and rosy glow of tomato soup. Eep.
Second blast: Altrusa's Favorites
What, who was Altrusa, we asked. Mother has no idea where it came from. Front leaf : Altrusa Club Objectives reflected a focus on supporting women in business and the professions as well as an array of educational outreach, public service, and nonpartisan political engagement.
A little Internet snooping showed that the history of the organization goes back to 1917, initially formed (in Tennessee?) by/for women to support the progress of women entering the profession during World War I. It has expanded in gender and in location, international perspectives and humanitarian concerns, including literacy projects.
Cookbook is decidedly still from a women's group, based on the printed objectives, and decidedly about the same vintage as the soup cookbook. Recipes with cake mix, canned soup, a taco dip to serve with taco flavored Doritos.
Blast three: a church cookbook from 1987, on Belmont in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. I am copying out a recipe or two - see the notecards sticking out?
Then it will go away.
What I am not (NOT) doing: taking the centennial cookbook to the local church in case someone wants their own blast from the past, nor the Altrusa one to the international headquarters located downtown.
There's only so much blast left in paper ephemera and cooking nostalgia.
27 June 2012
Took it home to finish it up. Months more it sat.
Took it back to my mother's for a brief summer visit, along with supplies.
Happily, it will be staying. Her decor can still carry a curiously gold, Lydia's Rug Yarn pillow, made by her daughter. What a hoot.
Pardon the photo. ElizabethSable would despair of the photo aesthetic.
It took about two hours, with distractions, to sew and stuff a pillow form, stitch in a zipper by hand, and stitch ip the remaining seams.
Take note, UFO's. I'm rocking some finishing, kicking it old school.
01 June 2012
Office relocating - two of them plus three other rooms - for major renovation project;
Unpacking the office filled with storage moving crates - which resulted in looking like a cross between being in a giant Lego and being in an organized episode of Hoarders;
Graduation preparations, two sets;
Quilt making, one gift from start to finish;
Flower planting at the cemetery for Memorial Day;
Salad making, all sorts;
Road tripping with a couple teenagers, complete with a game of Botticelli and a whole lot of Rihanna;
Knitting on the road, xxx yards into a sweater and half a sock;
Registering for conferences;
Crossing off lists;
Freaking out about house hunting;
Getting ready to decide I can't move this summer;
And getting ready to try catching up on sleep and laundry and cleaning and everything that was abandoned for the last several months.
25 May 2012
20 April 2012
Too much work + too little time = Busy.
(Breakfast at home + two packed meals)x 7 days = Really want to eat dinner at home some day.
9 stitches X 11 rows = a reasonable square.
Wonky squares - blocking = Mystery.
I'm basically very busy right now and have no right to pretend this blog is active or that it is a link to friends.
But basically, I am an optimist.
(Oh, and I did finish this scarf.)
24 March 2012
10 March 2012
Had wrestled my way through the little bump of red wool from mittenfarce over a summer knitting camp weekend or two. (Spindle from adriennec.)
Had begun to tackle the handdyed little bump from adriennec last summer, and even got past a single weekend of camp spinning, working on it during a visit with to my mother's.
Last night I finished AND decided to try to ply.
Next step, mini skein and bath!
Hard to figure, except a change IS almost as good as a rest.
03 March 2012
*(rhymes with dog-years, get it?) (I'll be here all week. Tip the waitstaff.)
Started when my niece was anticipated, blocks completed when I was freelancing, I am revisiting the stashed (long stories, not all mine) quilting project. For graduation. That's right. High school.
The blog absence seems not nearly so extended. Just simmering, waiting for attention.
(Meanwhile, in successful soup simmering, I made for the first time jjigae, a Korean kimchee soup with a recipe featuring tofu and spinach. YUM.)
02 February 2012
22 January 2012
No surprise to me, I subsequently finished this massive loop scarf and discovered it is not for me. The color is nice. (I will find a way to snap a truer tint.). The yarn has merino and silk and was on sale.
Proportionately too big for my needs. It needs a slimmer or younger.
However, I will not hold it for maybe or for another mood or for convincing myself or for frogging or any such nonsense. Universe has spoken: Gift time!
20 January 2012
Playing pantomime games with third graders,
Leftover lunch from lovely dinner with friends yesterday,
Lovely dinner plans tonight, complete with a snow plan,
Tickets for Race at the Goodman Theatre,
And a little time to get things done in between.
I may even knit a little.
16 January 2012
I didn't catch up on posting holiday knitting pictures. Captured a couple for Ravelry. I knit some unassuming and manly hats for all but one of the male adults in my close extended family. I knit a hat for my mother and the previously posted entrelac hat to my newest cousin (she married my cousin, but we're all family).
I put the pause button on the placemats - having made some excellent progress, mind. I will be finishing those in the next month and packing them into the gift box for sending out in November. This of course makes them past and future projects.
I have some ideas of what I'd like to knit this yearI assembled some knitting requests for the coming year. I have vast ideas of some sewing I'd like to do. I also have some graduation quilts I need to get rolling on. The blocks of the first one are done, at least, having been done for some time past. A future and past project, that one.
I am working on a quick bulky scarf loop. Call it what you will, and infinity is high-minded, but it is just a loop. Georgeous warm brown, this wool from Australia is a warm, cozy blend of merino and cashmere, happily a sale, happily also stash that has been sitting around awhile. It is not a gift. It's for me, and it's to wear now, now that we are having some winter for winter. I have knit through half the wool - more than half - and have hopes of finishing this week.
I have leapt from holidays to very busy January. Three road trips already since the holidays, I am feeling a little like I need some down time. However, I'm trying to sleep now, whenever I can, with the earliest bed times and most frequent naps in two weeks than I recall. I am getting a fair bit of work done, besides, and am teaching a class that I love. The class is half a day long, and it calls for being immediate, to be there now. I'm looking forward to resuming it on Tuesday.
Having indulged my at-the-desk-break by posting here, I need to walk a few flights of stairs and stretch so I can get back to some good desk time.