Thursday, June 30, 2005

Flowers and Frazzled

Gazania is such a lovely annual. I absolutely adore the striping in the flowers.

Gazania Again....

On the technology front I have been frazzled to death with my email. Apparently Cox is having server problems. My inbox is going crazy with thousands of emails ...%#$##$%^ I spent this morning on the damn phone trying to find out what the problem was.

At least I finished cleaning out my closet. I took out at least 5 bags of clothes for the Salvation Army. Now I can see my clothes for the first time in years.

On the knitting front I started a new pair of socks with Sue's Trekking Sock yarn. I'll have to post a pic soon.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

This is the kind of Knitting Needles I am.

"You are interchangeable. Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!"

What kind of knitting needles are you?

Backyard Delights

What a surprise finding some mulberries ripening on our tree.I plan to have some today with my breakfast!

My astilbe are in bloom and leaning across the foliage instead of standing upright. They are still beautiful.

Yesterday and the day before were so humid...I guess summer is here to stay. At least I can knit and read in the AC. Marisa's stole is starting to move along. I have about 18 inches done and will have to ply some more yarns to continue. I also need to decide on a new sock yarn and pattern. Judy and Sue are working on old shale like patterns, but I don't know yet whether I will do one of those or another. Of course, there is the vine stitch....hmmm. Any suggestions out there for a sock pattern?

Reading: I finished The Time Traveler's Wife. It is a great summer read. Check it out if you have time. I began The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky last night and couldn't put it down...very readable.

If you get a chance check out Kim's Smoke is so beautiful!

Free Patterns at Sevia Harding's site.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Finished Skein and Cardi Front

I promised you a pic of the skein I finished plying.I love its sheen. This is the fiber called Copper Beech (from Barn 31 in Rhinebeck) that I plyed with a singles of dyed silk also from Rhinebeck. See I'm using up my fiber stash!Back to the wheel to spin up some more....

Today I'm off to Sue's Spin In ....shall I take my Joy, Louet or Schacht....hmmmm

Hey...check out this pattern at Spun magazine for summer socks! Perfect use for leftover sock yarns. I think these are in my future.

N.B. I know you'll want to knit a pair of these. Now doesn't it pay to read my blog :)?

Left front of Slip Stitch cardigan is finished. I've begun the right front. Also I'm still working on Marisa's stole. Last night I knitted about two inches of it.

I can't seem to put done another good read: The Time Traveler's Wife. This idea of time travel intrigues me and the author does a fine job of drawing you into the story even though suspension of belief is needed. It's interfering with my kntting and spinning :)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Warning! This method produces a twisted stitch!

Well....take a looksee!!! I just learned that the purl stitch I've been doing ever since Richard M taught me is called combined purling. It's so wonderful to see that Richard and I aren't the only ones who purl this way. I was feeling lonely out there in the knitting...errrr purling world.Much the same as my feeling about the dreaded KITCHENER stitch. Of course, we must remember when using this purl technique to untwist the stitch on the next row. I think it's all worth it given the speed at which I can purl especially when doing seed stitch of my favorite stitch patterns.

I have some knitting to report...I finished one of the fronts on the Slip Stitch Cardi. The latest news on it is that it may be too small. Not to worry says Judy to the can put in a zipper. I have to decide...should I put in the zipper? If I want buttons I must add the buttonholes on the second front piece and must do it as I go along because the buttonband is formed as you knit up the piece...oh...decisions, decisions.

Tomorrow is the monthly Spin In at RI Handspun. Hope all you knitters, spinners and crocheters out there can make it!!!

BTW....check out the Knitting Help web site it is a joy....a five star Joy.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Container gardening is so much fun!
I love this annual...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

They're Finished!

My Opal socks are finished. Yes thanks to Sue's Tuesday night Knit In I knit up the last toe. If you recall,these were the socks that had a difficult birth...the dreaded tangling of yarn that I started with from the center of the ball. Also they are not perfectly identical, but close enough to satisfy me.

The Knit In included Patty, Sue, CarolR, Paula and me. Patty looks as though she is on the home stretch with her lovely shawl done in a green jumperweight yarn. We are looking forward to the final cast off from circular needles to truly enjoy it. Paula brought another of her cockleshell scarves...this time in a wonderful purple. She also worked on her Seawater sweater which is proving to be stunning. Carol R worked on her famous sock...the sock that employed at least 7 knitters to untangle it. Sue...that talented woman displayed her Iris cards. She even created her own sail boat pattern. I just loved her hummingbird card. Sue is incredible!!! She starts a new craft and takes off with it to produce such a lovely result.

Judy, who is now gardening in Vermont, knit with us in spirit. It appears she also spent the day dyeing and gardening and surveying her property for heifer damage :)

Bennie sits proudly for this shot.

Ruth relaxes on her favorite couch.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What a Surprise!!!

Thank You Secret Pal!!!!Am I a happy knitter or what! My secret pal sent me a lovely surprise in yesterday's mail. As you can see she has given me the most wonderful Jawoll sock yarn in a dark red colorway. Add to this a handknitted face cloth and a Chibi case with two needles. SP do you know these needle cases are hard to come by!!! She also sent me a Lantern Moon Sheep tape did she know I wanted one of these. At Christmas I gave one to my daughter and she loved it, too. What a great way to brighten up my day :).

Last night I continued working on the wedding stole. My slip stitch cardigan and Opal socks are waiting in the wings for attention. Hopefully I will get them going again. Perhaps tomorrow I will show you my latest skein of handspun yarn.

Lastly I was a good doobie and exercised in the morning...let's hope I can do so again this morning. oh...and yes I've decided to go on the knitting cruise on Aug 7th. I'm looking forward to that!!!

If you get a chance check out Knitagarden who tells tales and reviews "The Goat Lady". Also visit Smatterings for a sock eye view of the world!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Father's Day Picnic

It's the annual Father's Day trek to our favorite picnic area.John and Marisa carry the bulk of the food while Ralph carries the traditional wicker picnic basket. I carried my sock knittting...LOL.

For those of you who remember the last picnic, this year's weather was superb!!! John had no trouble placing the tablecloth. The al fresco lunch was delicious and M and I even were able to stay on our diets.

Gwen is upset with us because she's discussing a private and weighty matter with her pals Ben and Abby. Gwen also needed a bath since she had decided to roll in the mud before we arrived. I snapped this pic between the the electric fence ribbons of the paddock. Luckily I didn't touch the fence or know what would have happened.

Marisa coaxes the new baby foal named Bea while I get this pic. After petting the foal myself we visited the rest of the horses including Marisa's, Gwen. Mama is in the background. At one point she was upset with us for playing with her baby.

John's catch is too small so he returned it to its home. Marisa also caught fish....four sun fish which she and John put back in the reservoir because they were too small. Ralph and I knit and read in the sunshine. We had a lovely day in the delightfully cool temperatures of Connecticut.

Good news...I think Marisa and I finally settled on a pattern and a yarn for her wedding stole. This was accomplished when I toted her wedding gown in the trunk of our car so we could determine if the color and yarn of the swatch work well with her gown. I think we have a winner :).

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Emptying Bobbins

I plyed some yarn this week....this was all due to the workshop I attended last week. It forced me to ply some singles. This yarn is very colorful. It consists of some fiber I bought in barn 31 at the NYS&W festival a few years ago. I plyed it with some silk a spun that had similar colors.

Now that I have bobbins galore I can choose some new fibers from my stash to experiment. One thing Alden Amos said about spinning that is that we should spin for a project instead of spinning aimlessly. What do you think about that idea? The purists out there may disagree....

On to knitting...I'm still experimenting with swatching for Marisa's wedding stole....drat I can't show you pics because John reads this blog and it's bad luck for the groom- to- be to see the bride's wedding day ensemble.

On the reading front I can't say enough about Kite Runner. It is a must read! It opens up the world of Afghanistan in the context of a very engrossing father-son relationship that creates a universality for the reader.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Knit In at Sue's and Visit to Patty's Perennials

This is Paula's Cockle Shell Scarf made with Sue's mohair and silk hand dyed yarn.It is to die for. Talk about luxurious! Marie, Judy, Barbara, Sue and I were in attendance at the weekly knit in at RI Handspun. We were dully inspired by her scarf and Barbara's poncho seen below.

I also learned that our very own Judy of Smatterings fame is mentioned on WendyKnits!!! Wendy purchased some of her hand dyed wool in silk aptly called Mallard.

Sue another dye maven is working her magic on other hand dyed yarns in purple, green and rust that she displayed last night. Their work is so inspiring!

Patty's Iris

Barbara's Special Poncho

Patty's Potted Plants

Patty's False Indigo

Patty's poppy at the edge of bursting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Secret Pals Appear

Today I received an email from my secret pal! I think that this will be fun. I like getting to know another virtual knitter! I also contacted my secret pal as well and look forward to reading her blog on a daily basis.

Here is the required question and answer information we are asked to post for Secret Pals:

  1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I love natural fibers like wool, silk and alpaca. I also use acrylics particularly for fearful wool wearers or washers.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

Yes,I spin quite a bit. I crochet as well, but knittting is my forte.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

I have no allergies.

4. How long have you been knitting?

35 years

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

No, I don’t.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I love vanilla and fruit- like scents for candles. I like olive oil bath products.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Yes, but I’m on a sugarfree diet so I’m not indulging at the moment on my favorite dark chocolate.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

Quilting, Rug Hooking and Needlepoint.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I have an eclectic range of tastes: Classic Rock, Classical, Gregorian Chant, New Age…Kitaro. Opera:Wagner’s Ring. I love Below the Salt by Steeleye Span.
Jazz: Diana Krall

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love burgandy, dark purple, a range of blues and black.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have a husband and daughter. I have two cats.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?


14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Nothing to add here.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Shawls, shawls, shawls…..

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Shawls, socks and sweaters.

17. What are you knitting right now?

Shawls, socks and sweaters.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

I like ponchos, but find they are difficult to wear while driving.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

I prefer circulars, but do use straights.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I like bamboo and other woods.

21. Are you a sock knitter?

Yes…I always have socks in the works.

22. How did you learn to knit?

My mom taught me to knit a scarf for my doll when I was ten.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

At least 10 years old…..

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

I love Wallace and Grommit especially the penguin. I love Cardinals and cats.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

I have no favorite holiday.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Teapots and fiber.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

IK and Inknitters

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Myrna Stahlman 's scarf book…she has a new one due out soon.


The Opinionated Knitter

3-Cornered and Long Shawls by Sigrídur Halldórsdóttir

Monday, June 13, 2005

Alden Amos Workshop & Spin Guild Meeting

Here's a look at a third of the workshop class participants given by Alden Amos. We were taught how to do production spinning. What a joy to see and spin on so many beautiful wheels.Judy and I headed to Amherst,Ma early Sunday morning to attend this workshop. The sad part was Sue was not able to be there :( . We sorely missed her presence.

The workshop was set in a textile arts gallery. It was delightful to see the art work....vegetable bowls, quilts, bowls, vases, dolls and jewelry. We also had a lovely lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

Max at the Spin Guild meeting in the park Saturday.Paula will love this pic!

Richard, David, Harriet, Jean, Marie, Carol F., Sharon and I met at the park across from St John's for the June guild meeting. We chatted and shared projects while some of us were seated on a quilt and the local park bench. As you can see Max had a great time as well!

Love this annual.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Knitting and Gardens

The left front of SSC is almost done. I also worked the second Opal sock to the turning the heel point.I managed to knit even though it was quite warm. Judy and Sue came to visit and we knit and read knitting books and magazines for a pleasant afternoon. Ahhhhhh..... Friday's should always be like this. Lest you think I frittered away the day, you should know I actually did my housework and exercised all before 9:30am :)

More Garden Delight

Garden Delight

Friday, June 10, 2005

Floral Bounty or The Three Sisters

This spring has brought forth the most lovely rhododendrons!!! They are charming :)

Knitting has been slow because of the muggy weather,but I did manage to do some sock knitting.I have begun a new novel, Kite Runner. I've heard good reviews of this novel.

This heat has made me think about finding a cooler fiber with which to work. I still do want to work on the slip stitch cardi though. Speaking of which: Carrie....did you get any special mail?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Sock Links

Yesterday I knit very little. I worked on the second Opal sock, of course. Since we all love socks I thought that it would be nice to look at all the worthwhile sock links that are available on the Internet. Enjoy!

Socks 101

Sock Knitting Tips

Sock Knitting!

Free Sock Patterns

Wool Works: Hints and tips for sock knitters

Sock knitting pattern for a child.

Non Sock Knitting

Sock Knitting Ring

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


What happened to having spring before summer??? Guess that's not going to happen....

Last night I enjoyed knitting with some knit buds at Sue's. Sue had an argument with her would be sock that had us in stitches (pardon the pun). She decided she wasn't going to win. I know how that feels. Paula showed us her swatch of wool/silk knitted in an aran pattern. It was wonderful...great stitch definition. Paula you have to post a pic of it on your blog. Barbara is coming to the end of her feather and fan poncho. It is lovely. Judy was back from VT. and brought her Ribbed Cardi in Noro Silk is so colorful and the yarn is scrumptious. I continue with slip stitch cardi then moved to the second Opal sock due to the warm weather. Marie appears to be close to finishing the back or front of her sweater in a dark blue.

Well I'm off to work.....

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Sock Draped Wheel

I finished the first Opal sock. In order to avoid SSS I cast on the second sock immediately. Yup....that's the trick....don't wait or that second sock will just be another UFO.

I then moved on to continue spinning a creamy white singles on my Countrycraftman wheel.I love the way this wheel spins and how a saxony wheel makes it easy to angle it in toward me wherever I sit. When this bobbin is full, it will mean I'll have three skeins of yarn.... plenty to have at the ready when I want to knit an aran sweater.

Today... I'm off to my mom's birthday cookout. I made her a lusicous strawbery and cream cake, her favorite. I'm looking forward to seeing Marisa and John as well. Wonder what knitting goodies they'll bring along.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Daisies,Kitty Eyes and the Slip Stitch Cardi

I love Marguerite daisies.... They are a great combination of feathery foilage ( say that three times quickly) and floating flowers. Not to mention they bloom continuously throughout the summer, but you must deadhead them.

A great picture of Ruth....Notice she doesn't have Kitty eyes ( the equivalent of people red eye :)). Wonder if it can be removed in graphic software. Has anyone gotten rid of yellow eyes?

The back is done!I began the left front as well speeding halfway through the ribbing. I can do it. I can do it. If I can make socks that are 17,000 sts I can make a sweater as quickly.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Spring Planting

I've been busy filling my planters with annuals. I just love planters that contain a mix of flowers. Here you see the geranium, licorice plant, lobelia, angel and others.

On to knitting: I continue to work on the back of STC. I hope to finish the back this evening. I've sadly abandoned several other projects, but I will return to them soon.

Well I must be off to work.....

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Slip Stitch Cardi,John's Latest and Marisa's First Bin

For she is! Last night I had a *&*%$### of a time because I screwed up the pattern. An easy know how it is you get talking and you mess it all up. But....I think I've got her back on the track thanks to Patty's encouragement :)

Oh I forgot to say....Last night we assembled at Sue's for the weekly knit in. Paula was working on a luscious scarf made of of Sue's hand dyed mohair and silk. It's so striking!!! Marie worked on her crocheted afghan. Barbara started her feather and fan poncho that is very sweet. Patty worked on her shetland shawl in a lovely shade of green jumper weight yarn. Sue continued her spiral sock in Red-White Opal. It never ceases to thrill me to knit with other like- minded knitters. It is such a joy!We missed the other regulars like Carrie, Carol R., Gail and Judy....

If you get a chance check out Kristen's experience with her honeybees. Also be on the lookout for Judith's blog. She says she's going to join the blogosphere. Way to go Judith!!!

John is almost finished with the back of Marisa's sweater.

Puddy cuddling M's Handpainted Yarn from MSW.

Marisa's first stash bin....