Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I did it...almost!

Another shawl designed and almost finished. I took the candle flame triangle shawl found on the net as an inspiration, but instead of only knitting the triangle, I decreased the pattern and made a square for the inner portion of a square shawl. I then added an inner border inspired by and based on a vintage design from Sarah Bradbury's site http://www.knitting-and.com/. Now, "all" I have left to do is come up with a border and knit it. As all of us shawl knitters know the border is usually an excercise of endurance since it will take 1624 rows to knit all the way around. Oh boy, I'm sure glad winter is coming. The yarn is 100% Merino, amethyst, fingering weight from Brown Sheep Company. I bought a one-pound cone from http://www.paradisefibers.com/. This was my first purchase from this company and their service was excellent. The balance of the pictures are in the photo section under works in progress. Constructive criticism and comments are welcomed.
Peace, Frieden, pax. paix

Monday, October 30, 2006

Something had a delicious dinner last night...

...but it wasn't me. While I was dining yesterday evening on the humble lentil and Spaetzle (German Black Forest egg noodles), something ate one of my beautiful Buff Orpingtons. And "the thing" didn't even have the decency to clean up after itself. It left behind the skeleton, the feet and a few back feathers. And, to top it off, "the thing" seems to be health conscious, since it left also a whole lot of fat on the bones. The photo shows the Buffs when they were about three months old. As hens, they are a beautiful buff (almost rust) color and have been prolific layers until the recent molting season. So, it's back to putting up the barrier at night, so it'll be more difficult to get "at them." I can hear my dear departed mother saying "Renate du, bist faul gewesen." (Renate, you were lazy.)
Frieden (peace), Renate

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dreary Weather

The dreary weather outside was made more bearable by the picture of deer outside my living room window. I counted a total of six, but only five made it into the picture. Even the little ones had their winter coats on.

Angie's Mittens

My daughter wanted a pair of mittens, so here they are. Made from her homespun yarn and Muench Mohair. Thick and warm, they will hopefully help her cope with our Michigan winters.

Stash Enhancement Expedition

I did it! I went and spent money on commercial yarn at a most unlikely place: Michaels! (For those outside of the U.S., Michaels is one of those mass retailers where you can buy anything to do with arts and crafts.) I bought 17 balls of Paton's SWS (soy silk and wool) at $5 each. I feel a little bit as if I cheated my LYS, but at a cost of $5 vs. $8.25 there really is little contest.
The cone is Brown Sheep's Homespun fingering weight, color amethyst, from Paradise Fibers. What a pleasure to order from them. Their service is fast and courteous, and I will order from them again.

Friday, October 13, 2006

October 13, 2006

October 12, 2006

What a difference a day makes. On Thursday, October 12, we had beautiful fall weather, with lots of sun and fall colors. On Friday, October 13, the weather turned ugly and we had about 3 inches of snow. Jeff Foxworthy was right when he said, "You know you live in Michigan if you use air conditioning and heat in the same day."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Cats

Since they are so darn cute, I thought I'd share a bit of "my life with the critters." The critters come in many shapes and sizes. The chipmunks were very prolific this year, so were the Japanese beetles. This past summer brought Cedar Wax Wings, Baltimore Orioles, Finches, Hummingbirds, and a myriad of other birds. We've had wild turkeys, grouse and a wide assortment of ants. And of course deer. But, the cats are indoor creatures and the mice are getting awfully fresh. In fact, as I am writing this, a mouse just ambled towards the refrigerator while the cats are lolling some place in the house. Sam is a Persian/Siamese mix and Tommy has Main Coon and who knows what else in him. Unfortunately, the two of them think mice are playmates. They are too well fed to think of them as sustenance. Reminder to self: Put "mieces" poisoning on the "to-buy list."
Besides chasing mice (we live in the woods and it's getting cold outside since we live in northern Michigan.), the cats also like to take balls of wool and bat them around. One of them, Sam-I-Am, loves, and I mean looooves, camel roving.
I have started another knit-along. But more of that tomorrow.
(Peace, Frieden, Pax)

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Just Knitting

Here are pictures of my interpretation of the Dutch Sampler M. This is a Yahoo group called KnitalongSamplerM. This is a reproduction of a Dutch Sampler by someone, perhaps a young girl, with the initial "M". Carla Meijsen of the Netherlands received this antique sampler as a gift from her husband and she has graciously shared the patterns with us.
This is the ultimate of "just knitting around." No particular use since we now have myriads of patterns, all written or graphed out for us, only the joy of having simple stitches of knit, purl, yarn overs, and knitting stitches together making a pattern.
If you want to knit along, just click on the group and join. It's never too late.
Peace (Frieden), Renate

And another Shawl in the Works

A new shawl in progress. Let's see that would make it shawl no. three on needles. This pattern is a triangular shawl--well maybe. I'm mulling over the final shape. It may also look nice as a square one. So the shawl is a design in progress. I can't give you a link to the pattern. My daughter says she got the pattern of one of her knitting groups, but the link apparently was broken. While it is called a candlelight pattern, the pattern looks to me like many of the leaf patterns one can find in lace pattern books. The shawl is being knit with Nature Spun fingering weight; color is amethyst.
Peace (Frieden), Renate

Of Peace and War

As I was walking out of my backdoor this morning, I saw our chickens and two fawns, with almost all of the spots gone, peacefully at the edge of the woods. The chickens were pecking for bugs and the deer were eating other green delicacies. Such a simple picture. And yet, the world, as always, is at war, whether in organized conflicts or individuals just at war with each other. As I watch television, I see the children of the world suffering unimaginable hardships and horrors. My soul is saddened by their suffering and my mind wanders back to my own childhood. You see I grew up in Germany during WWII. While I was protected psychologically by a loving family, I nevertheless experienced the horrors of war without really understanding them at the time. This was everyday life for me. It was only one day when the church bells started ringing that I was confused. After all the church bells never rang. I remember asking my aunt what the sound was and why the bells were ringing. She answered me with a simple, "we have peace." My five-year-old vocabulary was not familiar with that concept, and I asked "what is peace (Frieden)?" I can't remember my aunt's explanation, I only remember my puzzlement over the word. And I wonder what is going to become of the children of the world?
A few weeks ago, I became aware of the Afghans4Afghans charity. They are in desperate need of sweaters for children. I've finished one and have started another. They are due by November 2. So if you come by this post and know how to use two sticks and string, please knit one.
Peace, Renate