I'm on fire!

I finished 2 shawls in week! I finished, washed, blocked and wrote out the pattern for the Miter Shawl I was working on! I am waiting for the weather to clear up a bit for a photoshoot on-location. then I will post pics.

My current WIP? other than Todd's socks, the never ending time suck of stockinette. I am calling it "why don't I own a knitting machine?". It'll be felted and used as the batting/backing of an art quilt inspired by Karen Eckmeier's talk at the last guild meeting.

Still working on quilting "Under the Sea"


Orchid Orchard

The shawl was blocking as I was posting earlier. It is unpinned now and I LOVE it!!! Due to a lack of natural sunlight at this hour - and this lattitude, the color is far more accurate in the first photo. It reads solid, but is slightly mottled in reality. I'll try for a better photo in good light.
I need to go find the perfect yarn and beads for the Spring Things Shawl now...
oh- and Ryan wishes he had a sister...

Catching up...

1. Ryan is getting REALLY good at hockey - fast. this week he did a drill where he had to dive under the coach's stick, get up and shoot a goal. He scored twice. He came home and said "Dad, I scored two girls!" oy!

this was taken toward the end of his second practice - as you can see he was getting pretty tired.

2. the shawl is off the needles and blocking.

3. Todd's socks are past the toes and maybe 1/3 the way up the instep. no new photos..

4. The epic quilt is assembled. I do have pics in it's current state, but FIL took them with his camera and I didn't get digital copies - yet. I had a stroke of creative genius. I added tabs to teh top of the quilt to hang it from. the hanger is a fishing pole... how smart am I???
I'm also crocheting "seaweed" to embelish the quilt.
Once the quilting is done I can add the hemotite beads for the fish eyes. shell beads to the sea bed. the crochet seaweed and I also have some rough peridot beads to add in somewhere in there.

5. Todd got his Blue Belt.


January thaw is not Global Warming

As I said the other day, I finished the mittens and they were immediately put to use - even though we are in the midst of a "January Thaw". I did swipe them for a photo op. I had to use the remains of giganto tree as a backdrop as said thaw has depleated us of snow ice.
I really liked the density of the fabric. The thumb gussets worked up nicely, look good and are appearntly comfortable. I don't like the decreases at the top. it decreases to rapidly and makes it bunch up. I think the next pair will be a little different. I'll make the tops more like sock toes and decrease a little more slowly. I'll also either double strand of use bulky weight on larger needles. I'll still work it in a firm gauge to get a nice dense fabric, but it'll go a little faster and make thicker mittens - which will work out nicely once winter returns to kick us in the arse.

With the mittens off of the needles, I cast on Todd's Safari Socks. I am really liking the LL. I'll be working more with this in the future. I am still working on the toes. Did I mention that he wears a 14EEEE?
yeah.. I'll be knitting these 'til next winter... sigh...

oh- and the whole blocking wire thing - I was looking around on ravelry and learned that I do NOT need wires (which are wicked expensive!) I can use string - or more likely crochet thread. WOO HOO!


The End of a Journey

Author's note: Do not read the following blog post unless you have finished reading all 7 Harry Potter books. If you aren't planning on it, then, well, you should! If you are just waiting for the movies- SHAME ON YOU! read the books because you are missing at least half of the story.

I spent most of the weekend reading, but I made it to the end of Harry's journey. I was quickly sucked in to this boo as well - from Bill and Fleur's wedding to Gimauld Place and the break in at the Minisrty. I was amazed by the doe patronus (and I guessed SO wrong! I thought it was Ginny!) I was enthralled with the battle of Hogwarts.

I was, however a bit disappointed in a few loose ends that weren't tied up. How raised Teddy? I assumed it would have been Harry and Ginny since Harry was his Godfather. I like to think that it was Bill and Fleur since Teddy was part warewolf and Bill had been bitten by one. We know Neville became a teacher, but what about the rest of them? what did they do? I had Hermionie pegged for a teacher. What became of Kreacher fter the secret of Gimauld place got out?

yes, I know it is only a book (or seven), but what seperates a good story from a great epic is the author's ability to spin a yarn that can take the reader on a journey that transcends the line between fact and fiction. JK Rowling can spin wiht the best of them!

I am finding myself with the same sense of let down that I was after finishing the Dark Tower. I know what is at the top of the Tower. I know how Roland got there. I thuroughly enjoyed both journeys so much that I was sad to see each of them end. Fortunately, Stephen King is such a prolific and talented writer, that we can still read the tales of those who cross their paths with Roland along the way. King, in fact, is so talented that his tales not only transcend that line between reality and fantasy, he blurs it. how many novleists put a fictionalized version of them selves into their work? genius! I sincerely hope Rowling plans on telling us more about some of the people we've met along Harry's journey. What about the House Elves' version of the story? I'd love to read the last story from the perspective of the students who did show up for school at Hogwarts that last year. or what about a prequel? about James, Lily, Sirius, Lupin and even Snape at Hogwarts - or the original Order who fought Voldemort ending with his failed attempt at murdering Harry. Or was she setting us up for "the next generation" by sending the kids off to Hogwarts at the end.

While I was doing all of this reading, I knocked off a lot of stockinette in the round and finished Ryan's mittens. I went to take an FO picture this morning and realized that the mittens are on his hands on the way to school - D'oh!


Yarn Over

In yesterday's comments, Cynthia asked:
"How do you like the yarn? I was looking at some the other day and lusting over it. Is it as yummy to knit with as it looks?"

First off, the yarn in question is 100% baby merino lace weight in Orchid, by Malabrigo. It is SO soft and lucious. It isn't spun very tightly, so it has a lot of bounce and a little "fuzz" to it, which made frogging a little challenging. Certainly nothing like a mohair, but adds an element of softness to the knitting- and the fabric! So far I am LOVING working with this wool. I am anxious to see how it blocks out as well.

It is a far cry from baby merino to LB WoolEase... but I am liking the finished fabric of these mittens. I am also liking that they will keep my kid's hands warm and dry and Mr. Mom can throw them in the wash (yes, Todd really does all our laundry. Yes, that includes diapers.). They are knit in WW weight on US2s.. yeah... I'm thinking I might go up to the bulky and maybe US5s. It'll still be a nice firm fabric, but a thicker - and a faster knit!

Progress Pics comming soon... if I remember...


Unraveled Under the Canopy

I've been adding my projects and what stash I do have to my notebook on Ravlery and exploring the site a bit. I added my "Twisted" shorties pattern to the Ravelry library. I was a little surprised to see already listed was my S3 pattern! Other people have made it. Other people have put it in their faves and in their queues! I don't know why this is a surprise to me. It was published in a book. It is available on Amazon (among other places). I was just thrilled to see that someone took the time to put the info up on Ravelry.

I took the confidence boost and ran with it - stright to my lace!

This was attempt #2. On my first attempt, my center ended up off-center in the middle of the second repeat. But, this being my first lace and a special ME knit (I dont get those often, I usually give away what I make) I frogged it all back and started over. I am MUCH happier with it now! Notice the lifeline? I learned my lesson! Of course, now that I am using a lifeline, I haven't had to rip back. this was taken at about the same point I frogged the first go-round. I am now up to the 6th repeat and already starting to worry about blocking*!

My original plan was to pin & block on my cutting table, but my cat seems to be confusing it for his bed lately. Plan B is now to block at my Mom's house. Her sewing room is well barricaded against intruders (aka Jimmy), is pet free, and is home to a spare bed perfect for blocking. my next dilema is blocking wires. I don't own any. I don't even know where to get them. I should check my LYS for some. Do I really need them? can I improvise? use something around the house? I suppose I should just suck it up and go buy some since I am already plotting my next lace project.

what is your opinion of blcking wires? cast your vote?

*I do block other knits, but the real estate required for hats, socks, mittens and longies is significantly smaller than what this shawl will require.