Thursday, December 29, 2005

Just Two of My Favorite Gifts!!

I am so lucky!!!! I received a wonderful cardinal from Marisa and red polka dot sheep ornament from John for Christmas. They are so special.....

Ralph bought another catfish. He's enjoying this hobby all over again!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

T'was a Knitter's day Before Christmas

T'was a knitter's day before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a knitted gift was stirring not even a mouse;

The knitted gifts were wrapped by the tree with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.....

Ahhhhh..... the gifts are all knitted, the packages all wrapped, the cookies all baked and I need a long winter's nap....zzzzzzzzz!

Happy holidays to one and all !!!! My apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Chullo Surprise

Look what I found at a local resale shop. I must admit that I can't pass up a handknitted find, and this is a treasure for three dollars. It is on the small side, but nonetheless beautiful. It appears to be a chullo made of wool and alpaca as far as I can tell. It was probably bought for very little money from some seller of chullo hats or just maybe some local knitter created this lovely hat. It was in need of repair.The lower back edge of the hat was a bit unraveled and as Carol R knows I love to repair handknitted items.....particularly those that might be consigned to the rag bag.

I've repaired many a handknitted sweater or sock for friends and family. A good friend of mine wore an aran sweater so often it developed holes. He sadly thought that he would have to get rid of the charcoal aran that another friend had knit him years ago. Then came Cindy to the rescue;that sweater can be mended! I located some like colored sewing thread and very carefully picked up the loose loops and secured them in such a way to render the fabric whole. It just delights me to resurrect these knits. I suppose this delight is akin to the many behind the scenes technical people who restore antique carpets, old paintings and what not. It's my way of ordering the chaos in a world where entropy is the natural course.

Chullo Patterns can be found here and here and here.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Tree and Shawl

Marisa sent me a pic of her tree all decorated and with presents wrapped. This caused me to think I'd better get going with my tree. Yesterday R headed out to Twin River Road and found us a great little tree, and we didn't even have our annual Christmas tree fight to boot. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was not there when he set up the tree :). The tree now stands in a corner of the room near the window because the fish occupy the traditional tree corner. Last night it drank up a whole gallon of water. The tree smell is heavenly!!!

Marisa's Adagio shawl is coming along beautifully as you can see. She is using hand dyed yarn from our very own Sue. I may have to start another of these shawls soon.

I've been plugging away at my Regia socks and pointed hat which will be finished soon.

Here's a nifty site to knit a hat of any gauge.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Need Gift Ideas?

As Judy reminds IT happens. We only have so much time before the holiday to figure out those gift ideas.Here is a Knit Human Digestive System from tongue to guess where with
many color photos. Be sure to check out the pattern for it, so you can make one, too!
And there's a knit-along project, if anyone wants to join in...

Or perhaps you want to buy shoes......
Here is a printer friendly version ......

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Much to Tell

Much has been happening this week in addition
to holiday madness that can be witnessed here
and there. Thursday provided much entertainment at our Oceanstate Knitting and Crochet Guild Holiday party held at Fina's home and hosted by both Fina and Dottie. Fina's husband nicely agreed to take our picture.

Holiday games provided us with much fun. We participated in a good old fashioned Yankee Swap and I must say it brings out our ruthless side. I kept my choosen gift which I've posted below...a lovely set of festive markers made by our very own blogland buddy, Judy. I love them and I'm sure she has more.

The last below was taken after attending our monthly R I Spinning Guild meeting. The sky was so stunning I had to run in the house to grab my camera.A number of us braved the snowy roads Saturday to share our wares this weekend. Judy continued spinning her bubble gum pink barbie fiber that is wonderfully soft. Harriet with Judy's help knitted an I-Cord edge on her sweater. Carol R. spun her purple merino while telling the sock untangling story that originated at Sue's RI Handspun one cold night.

Marie D helped a new addition to our gang, Paula( of The Black Olive fame) spin some merino on her Golding spindle. Paula told us about her use of PDA software to aid in row counting and project listing. Palmsource provides some neat tools. I have downloaded a trial version of Knitable to my PDA in the past and may explore it a bit more. Paula also worked on a lovely sock. It is always fun to meet other bloggers out there.

Surfing for Knit Content on the Web.....
I typed in " Bloggers who Knit" in Google and came of with a list of many of us! It's uncanny how we, bloggers, have added to the cyberuniverse these past few years. Keep on blogging, baby!!!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Woof Sweater is Done

Luckily the Mia's small sweater moved along swiftly! I like the pattern which can easily be adapted for a larger dog. I really like the idea of using any stitch pattern for the top of the sweater. A great experimental aspect for the creative knitter much like sock legs.I hope Mom doesn't see this sweater before Christmas!

I'm also plugging away at another mystery project for the holiday, but I can't post pics. As a matter of fact Blogger is giving me a hard time with posting any pics lately with Hello. Anyone else out there in Blogger land having this issue? This morning I received a network error message.

This morning I enjoyed taking pics of R's fish; I love the black Angels!!!

If you get a chance check out Judy's Flora
and Cathy's Grayce.
Judith's Scarf is lovely and Laurie's Requiem for a Squirrel for the not-so -squeamish.

More Fish

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Woof Holiday Knitting

Last night I started a sweater for my mom's dog, Mia. She's a Shitz Su/Poodle and needs a small
coat for cold days. The gallery shows all the different variations you can knit. I'm sure the pattern can be adapted for larger dogs. I'm using my dyed wool to make this sweater for a Christmas present. I'm enjoying making this sweater with its mindless garter stitch, but you can substitute all manner of pattern stitches to suit your tastes.

Pattern Alert
While reading one of the many fiber related listservs,I discovered this site by Garnstudio with 630 free patterns. Be sure to scroll down to read the pattern and click on the diagram link to see all related charts.This sweater is wonderful. The Internet is such a treasure trove of patterns!!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Winter's Here

Snow has arrived on the birdhouse roof. The summer and fall seasons are over. The gardens have been put to sleep and nature hibernates. Luckily, we have fiber to keep us warm and happily occupied. As much as I like to knit and spin year round, nothing beats these activities when it is cold outside. It gives more meaning to what we do. Who would wear our wooly creations if it were 60-90 degrees? That's why I sometimes feel for our southerly neighbors who must knit in cotton or other cooler fibers. Nothing beats the warmth of an aran sweater or colorful fairisle mittens not to mention handknitted socks. This reminds me of Neruda in "Ode to My Socks"

The moral
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
and what is good is doubly
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool
in winter.

Here is another pic of my cat Bennie seated upon three of my handknit shawls. He knows where to park on a cold winter's day :)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Cats and Fish Oh My!

What a lovely sight at our house.

No knitting news to report other than......the music of Les Tricoteurs (The Knitters). According to the website: "It is a portrayal of clicking needles and miles of yarn. Things proceed at a fast clip until the ending, when a series of diminished chords depicts mailles-lachées (crossed stitches)."

Free Download

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Saturday Spin In

Much to show from yesterday's Spin In. Marisa knitted up a storm using a pastel yarn for a baby blanket.She also wore her handknitted Noro sweater and hat!

Judy spun some wonderful fiber from Rhinebeck that is composed of wool, alpaca, silk and angelina.....

Carol M is making some socks from Vintage Sock Knitting....

Sue began her tea cozy in Plymouth Galway wool.....

Carol R spun a lovely purplish merino.......

And on the homefront, Ralph filled his tank with wonderful Angelfish and Gourami....

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Fishing for Compliments

Friday was spent shopping for a 38 gallon fish tank for Ralph. For those of you who know him he lives up to his Aquarian sign when it comes to tropical fish. He has been the fish master of both large and small aquaria. We had at one time six aquaria. One was 125 gallons which held a wide assortment of African Cichlids. In one of his 55 gallon tanks he had two long African Pike. In another some Talapia. Of course he's also had many Angel fish, Clown Loaches and Gourami and many others that shall remain nameless.

It was quite a day...buying the tank and setting it up. R and I had to lug the tank and stand into the house.Perhaps by Sunday the fish will be placed in the tank. The water still is undergoing conditioning for the fish. We can't wait to see our angel fish moved from their 20 gallon home to their new digs!!

Did I knit? You know it....I worked on a scarf.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Baking Day

I'm sure that many of us are readying ourselves for Thanksgiving today. Perhaps we are traveling, food shopping, decorating or baking. I am baking this morning. I just finished making an apple crumb pie and have assembled the ingredients for cranberry bread with a cream cheese frosting. Later today I will make a cornbread stuffing to stuff my turkey tomorrow morning.

Here's the hot pie:

It will be a relaxing Thanksgiving at home with family.Hope you enjoy your day!

Yesterday I blocked Marisa's silk scarf made with my hand dyed silk. She knitted it in feather and fan stitch from this pattern. What a lovely and light decorative scarf, Marisa!

If you have the on Frapper on my side bar and let me know where you live.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Sunday Spinning and Knitting

Who says that meetings in Cyberspace are cold and lacking in human warmth? Yesterday's gathering at Judy's proved that statement wrong. Several bloggers and friends and family met to spin, knit and eat. Laurie drove in from Massachusetts to join Judy, Marisa, Sue and myself to have a quiet afternoon spinning and knitting in the fall sunshine pouring into Judy's home. Marisa and Judy modeled their Ribby Cardigans for us to ohh and ahhh over. Notice the wonderful Lorna's Laces socks that Laurie is wearing while she sips some tea.

After checking out Judy's wonderful orchids and other unpronounceable plants we settled down to our spinning wheels and knitting. Sue worked on her Adagio Shawl in a lovely dk weight blue wool. Marisa spun on her CD Spindle that Sue made for her recently. She created some designer yarn that was thick and thin, but yarn nonetheless. Laurie spun some reddish-purple heavenly fiber that is so soft to the touch. Judy spun some of the Bess fleece that she's been processing. I continued to spin up some laceweight Icelandic wool for a future shawl.

We also discussed why we began blogging and what an interesting world it has opened for us.What a great afternoon!

Last evening I stayed up beyond my bedtime!!! I had to watch part two of The Virgin Queen on PBS. It's a must see. Check out your listings for's worth your time!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Unfinished Business

I've had so many pics this week I forgot to post these. I'm loving this sock yarn by Regia which is called Stretchy. The colors are so much fun to knit. As you know the process of knitting is as much fun as the finished product. I'm very happy with the texture of these socks as well. Knitting them on size 0 needles really makes them last longer and feel warmer.

This wrister is made out of Lorna's Laces bulky weight yarn so I could knit these in an evening.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Compassion Knits Us Together

We never know where each day will lead. Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of seeing one of the most humble men on the planet, the Dalai Lama a 70-year-old Buddhist monk, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his steadfast nonviolent campaign to free Tibet of Chinese tyranny.

It all began when Judy called me Tuesday morning asking if I wanted to see him. Luckily, there were tickets enough for Judy, Josh and myself. We left for Newport at 10 am so we could get good seats at his presentation. We pulled into the parking lot on Easton beach , boarded a Viking bus to be shuttled to Salve Regina University and ate our bagged lunches. I met a lovely graduate student with whom I shared my almonds and strawberries all the while chatting about our exciting chance to see and hear the Dalai Lama. We made sure to leave all purses, cell phones and even our lunch drinks behind. We submitted to electronic checks before being allowed in the huge white tent to find our seats more than two hours before his arrival.

After our long wait we were thrilled to discover that he chose to enter the very tent door where we were seated. What a joy to catch a glimpse of this man who was no more than 30 feet from us. As he entered and touched some young students, I was deeply affected by his presence. He walked up through the crowd of 4,000 to the podium where he spoke about World Peace. The Providence Journal describes his speech here. I was touched by his simplicity. He was so very human in his mannerisms and his comments. He reminded us to be patient and compassionate. He told us he sensed our human warmth as he encountered our faces when he walked through the crowd. He received a Pell Award from Salve commemorating his 55 years in exile.

The sublime experience of the day ended with a walk along the cliff by the sea to our car on Easton Beach.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Knitting Gene

I can safely say that there is a knitting gene in the human genome!!! My daughter is living testimony to that claim. I'm so proud of the beautiful knitting she has done in the past two years!!! Here she is wearing her lovely ribby cardigan hot off the needles. Below is a slipper sock she made recently as well. I love the pink color.

Of course, we had to have a pic of her cat Puddy, aka, Prince of the Center of the Universe perched atop her shawl which she knit for the shawl ministry. John looks on in the background.

Last, but not least her is her first attempt at lace using feather and fan stitch and my hand dyed silk.

Today I'm off to a special event.....I'm going to be fortunate enough to see the Dalai Lama at Salve Regina University. I am so thrillled to be able to see him in person and listen to his speech. Click here and here for information about him and the Tibetan government in exile.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Shawlly I'll Finish This Soon

I'm loving this Adagio shawl's easy on the mind. I photographed only one side to give you a better view of the shawl pattern and its coloring. I'm trying to take advantage of the color changes I created through dyeing the yarn.I hope to end the ruffle with the darkest colors.

Now here's a book from the past that's worth seeing!!! Barbara Walker's Cable Stitch Knitting.I borrowed it from the library. I believe it is out of print.It has the most wonderful array of aran stitch patterns some of which are 22-26 inches wide.

Last night I enjoyed knitting at Sue's. Sadly, Paula , Judy and Patty were not there. BarbaraT. Sue, Carol R, Bea and I shared stories and projects as always. It never fails to disappoint me when I attend. Barbara worked on her sheep socks, CarolR brought a special guest, her dog!!! Sue showed us her new patterns from Knitpiks...a wonderful bed jacket which is a fund raiser for breast cancer. Bea was working on her wonderfully colorful felted bags, which she will have available at the Annual Art/Craft Show& Sale (formerly Wearable Art) in West Kingston at the Courthouse Center on Rt 138 just 1.5 miles from URI on December2 and December 3. How wonderful for her to be incluced in this juried show. Way to go Bea!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Has It Been a Week!

What a busy week! It all started with having some routine tests at the know the dreaded kind that involves eating no food in advance. It meant I couldn't go to knitting at Sue's and I missed all the fun there. What's a girl to do? So I started a new project in my Sunset handspun, hand dyed yarn. I decided after the wonderful workshop with Candace Eisner Strick to start the Chill Out Hybrid shawl or Adagio shawl. I love knitting it! Just enough detail to keep it interesting and enough mindless to let you gab and knit.

Even though I missed out at Tuesday night knitting I was able to go to the Oceanstate K&C Guild meeting on Thursday night. We had a ball with show and tell. Carol R took her finished baby sweater and Ugg boots, Kathy W brought her baby sweater. Barbara T brought her wonderful Fair Isle socks and Sheep Socks....too cute with sheep on the toe and heel :)
For great pics go to Kristen's blog for a looksee. She also has a great pic of Anne's Tea Cozy. Naturally, I had to start a tea cozy myself. I don't have enough projects to knit. Here is a list of free tea cozy patterns for you to peruse if you wish to knit one.

This morning I machine carded some of Barbara T's lovely Border Leicester fleece...this local fleece is wonderful! This week I'll spin some up to show you.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Candace Eisner Strick Workshop

What a great day Sue and I had in Connecticut yesterday! We headed out on a foggy Sunday morning for CT at 10 am, and we were treated to a lovely lunch with Marisa, John and Puddy.
You had to witness the Puddy ( alias Prince of the Center of the Universe and the Crown) and Sue finally reunite after some three years. The Pudster leaped to his dear first mama and had a snuggle.

We couldn't stay too long because Sue and I had registered for a workshop at the Windham Textile and History Museum in Willimantic ,CT. Sue was greeted by a woman who was remarking about the knitting book Beyond Wool ; it turned out that she was the author...Candace Eisner Strick.

About eight knitters were treated to a wonderful workshop called making a Chill Out Hybrid Shawl. The shawl can be seen here by the name Adagio Shawl. It is a wonderful shawl!!! She made one with 6 skeins of Koigu that is to die/dye for!!!! Below is the pic of the mini- Adagio we created. I assume she named the shawl Adagio due to the fact she is a professional cellist as well as a popular knitwear designer.My unfinished mini-shawl is below.

Below you see her crocheted cast off.

Of course, I had to buy her book and get her autograph. This was a must do workshop. Candace is a warm and witty teacher. We hope to catch another of her workshops soon.

We just had to capture the Frog quilt for you to see....frogs are important in Willimantic.The Museum has other textiles and antique sewing machines that are worth seeing as well. We also met Michelle Palmer author of the textile book called Toile.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sometimes Things Happen for a Good Reason

What a morning! I got up at 6:30 am and had a boring low carb breakfast. Then my mind began to work on thoughts of fiber fun. Hmmmm.....first I threw in a load of laundry. Next I hauled out the carding machine and decided to process the one third of the Jacob fleece I managed not to felt. As you can see, I had a very productive morning. I even managed to iron several of my shirts for the week.

Here's the Jacob after I teased it to get it ready for the carder for its first pass.

The second pass through the carder went smoothly.

It seemed to come off the roller quite nicely.

Voila.....finished enough fiber to make a few small items! I've decided I'm glad I had only one third of a fleece to process. The Jacob is ready for the wheel.