Thursday, December 27, 2007

This and that...

In my November 28th post I talked about the giant egg one of our chickens gave us. I did have that egg for breakfast and when I opened it up it contained two fully developed eggs. No wonder the egg was so large. Well, in order to show balance in life, another chicken, or even the same one, gave us the smallest egg since we started to have chickens. And here is a picture of it. This egg look more like breakfast for Thumbelina.

As you can see it's just a little bigger than a quarter. Our chickens have been laying diligently, anything between 12 to about 15 eggs a day. There is no way we can eat all of them, so yesterday we dropped off over 100 eggs to the local food bank. Hopefully someone besides us can benefit from the overabundance of eggs we have.

Knitting wise, I've been slowly progressing on the Secret of Chrysopolis shawl. I am on the last part of the shawl, so it should be finished by the time the new KAL starts. I've also been using up the scrap yarn for socks and caps for newborns for Afghans for Afghanistan.

Moving: It seems that many people are abandoning their 360 blogs and setting up shop somewhere else. I've tried Multiply but found it somewhat intimidating. I liked 360; it was so user friendly and intuitive. It allowed me to learn as I went. Angie believes that Multiply is set up similar to Dreamweaver and, thus, is more technical. On top of that I am unable to transfer it over automatically. So it's cut and paste. Well, last night she surprised me big time; she's been transferring the blog, post by post, to Multiply for me. Hopefully, I'll be able to learn how to post to it eventually. I know, you've heard the same complaint over and over again -- you'd think Yahoo would be interested enough in our business to keep us up-to-date on what will replace the 360 blog format, but alas they do not seem to be interested in their 360 blog customers. Could that have something to do with ageism? Are they going after a younger audience that is more programming savvy? Then they ought to just say so.

So, you ask, are you moving your blog or not? I am continuing with 360 for now, but will duplicate posts on Multiply. May be that will allow me to learn Multiply to the point where I might actually like it. In the meantime, against all odds, Yahoo may just actually come up with a proper solution for the dilemma they have created.

So "Knit on!"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Ein frohes Weihnachtsfest und ein glueckliches Neues Jahr!

Photo by Stan Honda - Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, USA
From Renate and Angie

Saturday, December 15, 2007


A few links which were of interest to me or were just plain fun. Angie's sweater will be blocking over night and so will my son-in-laws socks.
Here is a link to create your own snow globe. If I remember correctly the site is sponsored by Johnson and Johnson.

Here you'll find a marvelous scarf. It's knit in a cabled brioche stitch and is reversible.

Berroco Yarns has a group of special free patterns for little sweater ornaments.

And most important, if you have odds and ends of wool sock yarn laying around and have a little time after the holidays, Afghans for Afghans are looking for newborn socks, not preemies, just regular newborns for a shipment next year. Due date right now is February 2, 2008. They are also looking for hats and blankets, but ask that those who knit make socks and hats while those who crochet make blankets. They have certain stipulations. You'll find all the information in the link below. If you do not have a sock pattern for newborns, let me know or just "Google" for "baby socks". The first few links gave me plenty of patterns.

** Focus on Newborns Continues Through February ** Good news that CURE Hospital has asked us to continue sending wool blankets, hats, and socks for newborns! We are more than happy to fulfill this request -- knowing that knitters and crocheters love making these small gifts that are greatly needed by the most vulnerable. CURE Hospital delivers newborns every day -- more than 300 babies each month. Specific newborn campaign details are here for reference:

Our general guidelines and mailing addresses are here:

Our next due date is sometime in February. We'll announce a specific day a little bit later. (You may send in your newborn items as soon as you are ready.)

So, let us "Knit on!"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Of Bookburnings and other mishaps

I said yesterday that living with my Aunt Emma was a story in itself. So here is one story worthy of her memory. It must have been just before the war ended, and it was obvious to everyone except "the Fuehrer" that the war was lost. Somehow Tante Emma got it into her head that she had to destroy all the books she had gotten during the Nazi regime because they all had the Swastika stamped on the inside cover. I don't know what she thought would happen if the allies came through our little Spa village, but I can assure you this symbol was not placed in the books by my aunt or her husband. There was a quiet resistance to the Nazis in our family which was never spoken about. But you knew instinctively that "Sieg Heil" was not welcome.

Now, both on my father's and my mother's side were voracious readers. Emma loved reading romance novels and collected new stacks of them after the war. On my father's side the reading was more learned and high brow which was wonderful for me; I got to read a wide spectrum of literature which was alright with me.

Anyways getting back to the books which my aunt decided to burn. I can still see the picture: My aunt and my mother standing by the coal burning kitchen stove, bickering over the strength of the fire my aunt managed to build up. The oldest telling the youngest she didn't know what she was talking about and the youngest (my mother) telling the oldest there was going to be an imminent catastrophe of an unknown nature.

And then the door bell rang:

The door was opened to welcome the visitor, and there stood the woman from the upstairs apartment, covered with soot. There had indeed been a catastrophe; my aunt had created such a fire that the kitchen stove pipe in the upstairs apartment blew out and covered the dear lady and her kitchen with soot. I think I heard later on that my aunt and mother went upstairs and helped the dear lady with the clean up.

An example of an old coal burning kitchen stove. See those round rings and the steel plate on top of it? That was split in half.

Eventually peace came and my mother and I moved back to where she and my Dad had lived before the war started. And that leads me to the second story of mishaps with coal burning kitchen stoves.
I must have been seven years old by then. I came home from school one afternoon and found my mother sitting outside the old farm house we lived in with three other families, declaring we were not going into the room which was big enough to hold the kitchen, living room and bedroom furniture since an explosion had occurred, and she was waiting for the neighbor's husband to come home from work.

Mother had picked up small wood shavings, etc. which were laying around the chopping block in the yard and started a fire to cook dinner. She was so proud of herself that she was able to scrounge up some potatoes, a little ring bologna and an egg and had made a dish called "farmer's breakfast."

But alas, after she had put the frying pan on the stove, there was a small explosion inside the stove. She apparently went towards the stove to see what was going on when a bigger explosion occurred and the frying pan landed on the ceiling and the stove top split in half. This caused her to head for the exit and then the third explosion occurred. No sirree, she was not going to go inside our living quarters even though nothing had happened in over an hour and the fire was out by then.

Well, my pal's, Seppl, dad came home and cleaned out the stove. Along with the wood scraps my mother had also picked up three empty shell casings which apparently had enough gun powder residue on them to cause the explosions. We lived with the grease ring on the ceiling and the split stove top till she finally decided that the place was not fit for a mother and her child to live in and finagled a real apartment in the city out of the city bureaucracy.

Ah childhood's adventures.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hppy Belated Birthda!

No knitting content today. I still have one sleeve left on my daughter's "Plain Jane" sweater. I tried to jazz it up a bit on the sleeves, but she didn't go for it. I'm also attempting to finish up the Secret of Chrysopolis shawl before the New Year.

Since it's December, and after reading Joansie's blog about her aunt, I decided it's time to honor one of my aunts. She was the oldest of seven; my mother was the youngest, and one of the brothers died at Soisonne at the beginning of WWI. But Emma outlived all her siblings, and she could heal anything from a skinned knee to boyfriend trouble by simply looking at me and saying "Oh Menschle" (Oh little human). Her birthday was on Nickolaus day, December 6. She would have been 107 this December. Emma had one living daughter, whom I adored.

While we never talked about it, I once found a photo of a child who obviously had Downs Syndrome. The only time, I ever saw her flustered and angry was when I asked her who the girl was. She half yelled "Hitler took her" and there was no doubt that that was the end of the conversation for ever.

Her husband, Emil, was an inveterate, seven-days-a-week, "Spaetzle" (noodles, pasta) eater, and her home made Spaetzle were to die for. During the War (II), we lived with her for a while since we had been evacuated from the town we lived in. And that's a whole story by itself.

The building with "Cafe - Konditorei" was the family home in which my mother and all her siblings were born.

After the end of the War, Emma would get care packages from her husband's relatives who lived in the US. She would share her stash with my mother and me, by repackaging some of the food and sending it to us. That's how I learned about chocolate chips, except by the time the package arrived, someone or something had eaten most of them. When my mother complained to the Post Master, she was informed to be glad that the package arrived at all. I guess lots of people were hungry that year.

One of the forest paths I used to roam with my cousin Walter.
But, most of all, I remember my summer vacations with her. We only had a six week summer vacation, not the three months kids get in the US. But the first day of the break, I was either on the train to what I called "home" aka Aunt Emma's place when I was old enough to travel alone which was about age 8 or 9. (Talk about "child neglect"; my mother would have been locked up if I was a child today.) Before age eight, Emma's husband, Emil, would somehow engineer a trip delivering soda to a nearby distributor, so he could pick me up. Now that was an adventure, traveling in the company semi with my uncle. You see, he was working for the soda and bottled water (ala Perrier) manufacturer in Bad Teinach. Emma's one mission in life was to fatten me up during vacations. And she always succeeded.
View of Bad Teinach, Black Forest, Germany
The last time I saw Emma was at my mother's funeral. Her husband Emil had died and she was living near her daughter Lisa in an extended care facility. She was still going strong, outliving all her siblings.
Happy belated Birthday Tante Emma!
Your Menschle

Monday, December 3, 2007

Disasters...or just daily life?

I am so far behind that I'm not even catching up with myself. Today was one of those days were life "400 miles from anywhere" is trying enough that I wish for the big city. We've had our first snow fall this past weekend, including sleet, ice, rain and 6" of snow. Now I know that isn't much in comparison to New England, but when the guy with the snow plow decides not to show up, it's an awful long way to the road with just the right slant upwards at the end of the drive for the car to get stuck. And it did! Then the AAA customer rep decided that they no longer pay for such things as pulling out cars from snowdrifts. Oy weh. Luckily the tow truck operator decided that the car was stuck according to AAA rules, and they could charge them rather than me. On top of that, I need to buy four new tires for the car and Angie's car needs a new motor mount. Another "Ouch!"

And another "on top of that" is another bout of clinical depression; usually I don't have these episodes in the winter time. No Seasonal Affective Disorder for me. I came by it honestly; it was pervasive on my mother's side of the family. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't inherit my father's genes. He had lots of "happy-go-lucky" ones; enough for the two of us.

But this too shall pass.

I have been busy knitting a pair of socks for my son-in-law. It's a Gansey-type design by Monika Eckert from Klabauterwolle and the Christmas Surprise Yahoo Group (Weihnachtsgeheimnis). Unfortunately this dear man wears 11 size shoes and the 100 grams of sock yarn I had on hand aren't quite enough. The yarn is from Switzerland and the company no longer manufacturers the sock yarn. So I called the LYS owner from whom I had originally bought the yarn to see if she didn't have 50 grams hiding in her basement; alas, she hadn't. But she called the distributor and they actually had one 50 gram skein left. Whoopee! Now I am just waiting until it's delivered to the LYS. I have like 3 rows and the toes to go on the second sock.
On the needles is a sweater for Angie. It's the "Perfect Sweater from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I found it on the Internet. The back is finished and it looks like it will fit. Besides it's my kind of sweater, a back, a front and two sleeves that can be sown together. I am not the biggest fan of knitting sweaters in one piece from the top down. My personal opinion is that sewn together sweaters fit better. But that's me. I've put the shawl aside for now, so I can finish the sweater for Angie.
Let's "Knit On!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I can't make up my mind whether I was "absent without leave" or "missing in action" from the blog world for the last two weeks or so. I haven't even taken the time to read the blogs I normally follow and still have some 600 e-mail messages to read, most of them from one group. It's not that I've had a hot date or anything. However, I've been knitting diligently, even went to the doctor and had my blood tests done and they were all normal even my long-term test for diabetes was normal and that without medication. Yippee! Amazing what less stress will do for your health. So here is what I've been up to:

I finished my Undulating Rib socks and as proof here is a picture of both socks:

They are fraternal twins rather than identical. But they are waaaaarm and so soft since they are made from 100% Merino. This is not a sock to wear in regular shoes. The Merino would wear out too quickly, but in my Birkenstocks they are just right.
I've also knit a scarf for my son for Christmas. Since he never reads my blog, I can talk about it and show a picture. The yarn came from the basement of the mother of one of Angie's friends. It is also a very soft yarn, and seems to be hand spun, Navajo plied -- one strand of brown and one strand of gray plied together. The yarn had no label, but looked as if the colors were "natural sheep". It's just a simple scarf made with the Brioche stitch. I've been using up old stash, and it looks like a mouse feasted on this part of the stash since one skein was almost chewed through. Nevertheless a darning needle was all that I needed. The Navajo ply lends itself beautifully to pulling one end of the yarn through the other end. The reason he gets a new scarf for Christmas is that his sister and I took him out for his birthday dinner. He had a nice scarf on, but when I felt it to see what it was made of, there was a hole on the underside. Now, I just can't let my son walk around with a hole in his scarf, can I? (Leave it up to a mother to turn the scarf right at the point where the hole was.

Finally, I've also been working on my Shawl KAL. I have two more parts to knit before I am finished--just in time before the next KAL starts. The next KAL is called "den-Fischer-sin-Fru" or "The Fisherman and his wife." I bet you didn't know what happened after the fisherman's castle was returned back into a shabby hovel. Well let me tell you: His wife was cold in the old hovel and thus frogged her husband's nets and made a shawl for herself. He finally had enough of her needles clicking away and not having any nets for fishing and he goes back and tells the flounder all about how miserable he is. The flounder takes pity on him and transports the poor miserable creature to a deserted island where he finally found peace. But the fisherman's wife is.... still knitting. I can't wait to see what the shawl she is knitting looks like.

Not the best picture to show off this section, but it does show some details. This is the middle of the shawl.

Another view up to the 6th installment. Only two to go.
And this is what the edging looks like, including the short stubby hair of Sir Rat aka Pepe Le Pew aka the rat terrier. The dog does not leave my side. I think he's an outgrowth of my left hip. No the right hip; it has to be the left hip.

And finally look what I found in the chicken coop today. This egg is just over 3" long, has a 6" circumference and weighs 3.3 oz. or 96 grams. I bet you the chicken who laid this egg said "Ouch."

So now you know why I hadn't gotten around to blogging. I was too busy knitting.
So let's all "Knit on!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

Interlude on a Sunday Afternoon!

I was knitting merrily away at my Secret of Chrysopolis Mystery Shawl when I noticed that eight rows or so down I had knitted about 10 stitches when I should have purled. Wonder what got into me? I am usually pretty good at correcting mistakes, but not this time around. Too many stitches and too many rows down with yarn overs and knitting stitches together. And since it was a really dreary Sunday and I didn't have enough sunshine to undo the rows.

I decided to put the shawl aside and knit something fun. So I made these three washcloths. All the patterns are from:
If you haven't seen the site yet, it's a veritable treasure trove of patterns. And they all are free.

Flickering Flame
Little Shetland Leaf

Tuscan Tiled Roof

I love the pattern in the Tuscany Tiled Roof. Now back to undoing eight rows of lace knitting. We are supposed to have sunshine tomorrow.
Knit on!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Further Stash Enhancement and Knitting Updates

I did it again. I enhanced my stash of sock yarn. The skeins were hand-dyed by a nearby LYS. Unfortunately, the dyer no longer works at the LYS, and thus the line has been discontinued. But who can resist a bargain? Not me. If Al Qaeida or some other terrorists attack, I have sock needles with which to defend myself and yarn with which to keep warm. So without further ado here is my newest stash:

I really have to do something with that waste basket in the backyard, like pick it up and that little white blob in the upper left hand corner is one of the new chickens.

I also acquired from my daughter a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn. She was playing "dye-me" with the LYS owner and this is what she came up with:

And then, of course, two more skeins of 50% off Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn also jumped into my shopping basket.

If you're wondering what is under the yarn, it's the Miss Crazy scarf. I still have to make the tassels for the other side before I show it off.
And now to knitting projects. I finished the snowflake scarf. The yarn used was Regia Sock yarn, I used about 2-1/2 balls (50 gram balls). If I knit the scarf again, I will make the edging a two stitch garter edging rather than the stockinette edging. With the stockinette edging it wants to curl a little too much. The pattern came from the Yahoo Group Weihnachtsgeheimnis (Christmas Secret).

And finally, I am finished with part three on the Secret of Chrysopolis Shawl, only 4 behind the most productive knitters in the group, but it's starting to look really good and as more rows are added, it seems easier to knit.

So now you know why I've not been posting as frequently. I've been busy.

"Knit on!"

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gettinng side tracked...

...again. In between knitting on the shawl "Secret of Chrysopolis," I made three dish cloths and half of a narrow shawl from the German Christmas secret (Weihnachtsgeheimniss) Yahoo KAL. I have decided that whenever I get frustrated and/or make mistakes on the shawl, I just pick up something different and then get back to the shawl and whatever I thought was a problem usually has solved itself.

And now the more mundane things, i.e. dishcloths.

Swing Shift from Knit 1, Purl 1

Block Party from Knit 1, Purl 1

Brickwork Lace, from Knit 1, Purl 1

I really should quit knitting and get some housework done.
Nevertheless, "Knit on!"

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Peek.... the Secret of Chrysopolis shawl. With clue 2 finished, I am only 3 clues behind. Oh well, as the saying goes: a day late and a dollar short. We've had wonderful weather these past two days, sunny but windy. Both solar and wind energy would have worked beautifully. I feel for the folks out East who use heating oil. The price of a barrel of crude won't go down soon. We've been looking at alternatives to Propane, but haven't found anything. I love corn stoves; they burn clean and permeate the house with a freshly baked corn bread aroma. But corn (maize) has become quite expensive due to the increased production of Ethanol and a wood burning stove is out with Angie's asthma and my breathing problems. It's a pity; we have plenty of wood on the back nine. But that's the price for living in the country. On to more pleasant topics -- like a picture of the shawl. Yarn is Knit Picks Shadow lace yarn; color is grapevine and I think I'm using 3.5 mm Addis.

The shawl is unblocked in the photos. I think it will be stunning when it is finished and properly blocked. One of these days, I'll figure out how to get the colors on the photos come out the same.

Besides this shawl, I have still the second sock, the crazy shawl and the Dale of Norway sweater.

"Knit on!"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Honeycomb Scarf

Hurray, it's finished. I must have some attention deficit traits since I usually get tired of knitting something that has the same pattern throughout. About halfway through I want to cast off, but scarves are never long enough at that point. The scarf is approximately 12" (30 cm) wide and 75" (190 cm) long. It was actually to be 80" (2 meters) long. The yarn used was 100 grams of Knit Picks' Shadow lace yarn, color is Campfire, and it has 440 yds/50 grams. Of course, I had enough left to have finished the last 5 inches, but I gave myself permission to cast off. The color reminds me of the marvelous dark honey one could get in the Blackforest. Since bees feed on pine pollen, the honey was always a dark honey color with an almost greenish tint to it. Oh how I miss that honey. The taste is totally different from any other honey. The design is from the German Yahoo Group Weihnachtsgeheimnisse (Christmas Secrets) and the designer is Monika Eckert at

Works still on the needles are: the Secret of Chrysopolis, heel and foot of the second sock which will be for Moi!, Crazy Scarf, and a Dale of Norway sweater which I think I started last year.

So let us "Knit on!"

Friday, October 26, 2007

Calling one and all... identify these paw prints. I found them the other evening on my front screen door. They are about 55" off the ground. Is it a dog, cougar, small bear, or something else? Does anyone know? Please speak up before I get the window cleaner out and wipe them off.

On the knitting front, I've finished the Honeycomb Scarf; it is being blocked right now. Pictures of the scarf will appear tomorrow. I've also finished the bluish socks and have started the second sock from Angie's home spun, home dyed yarn. Then it's on to the German Mystery Shawl and the Dale of Norway sweater I started last year.

"Knit On!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

We are getting ready for the Fiber Expo in Ann Arbor, Michigan this coming weekend. Unfortunately it's the same weekend as the University of Michigan football game at home. Nary a room to be had in Ann Arbor or within 25 miles of it. So we are going to have to reserve a motel room a little bit further away. I've been busy sewing in ends and making one more pair of socks.

Our "local" LYS had a 50% off sale on their in-house hand-dyed sock yarn, so, of course, I had to get some. In order to keep prices reasonable one cannot knit a pair of socks with yarn that costs $20+ for 100 grams of sock yarn. That's why I am always looking for a bargain. I found the pattern on ; it's called Ripple Socks. The yarn is a multi-colored yarn, dyed so that for a “normal” sized sock, the colors change after each round of knitting. I think the yarn and pattern complement each other quite nicely.

These socks are going to be for me and me alone. The yarn was hand-spun and hand-dyed by my daughter specifically for me. (In other words, she was tired of my asking “what are you going to do with that yarn” and “ooh, that’s nice.”) The yarn had been sitting on my coffee table (what no coffee on the coffee table?) just waiting for the right pattern. I am finally starting to understand her way of dyeing. Each skein she spins and dyes is actually a work of art. Others paint on canvas, sculpt, or build. Angela expresses her artistic talent in dyeing roving and spinning it. Putting an order in for such and such a dye job just doesn’t do it. She needs to create her own colors and combinations. If someone likes it, that person will buy the yarn. Well, I had bought two new sock books, More Sensational Knitted Socks and Favorite Socks: 25 Timeless Designs from Interweave. The pattern came out of the 25 Timeless Designs and is called "Undulating Rib." The fun thing in knitting this sock was that the stripes in the yarn almost fit perfectly with the pattern repeats. How lucky can you get?

I am almost finished with the second part of the Secret of Chrysopolis shawl and am still working on the honeycomb scarf. Now to make one more sock of each and I’ll be ready for the show this weekend; although I am not ready for a bunch of rabid University of Michigan football fans.
Knit on!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The first frost of the season!

We had our first frost of the season this morning and there are still so many outside projects left to do. From clean-up to getting the hen house ready for winter, to getting the snow blower ready, putting gardening tools and watering hoses away and putting up plastic on windows and caulking. I'm tired already and haven't done a thing yet. I continue to drag my tail, so to speak, trying to get over whatever it is that I had. So, in order not to get overwhelmed it's time to make lists and scratch off each chore as it is done. And I think I'll use this blog to keep me honest. So tomorrow a trip to the hardware store to buy plastic, a hammer and an extra 2x4 to put up another roost. And if I still have the energy, put a fresh light bulb in the chicken coop.

I've finally gotten onto some antibiotics for my chest and the doctor has also prescribed an inhaler for me. I refused to believe that I have COPD, but after thinking it over, I'm of that generation that had smokers around them from all directions. In fact when I first started working at the prison, we still had cigarette machines in the vending machine room. It wasn't till the last two to three years of working that smoking by staff was banned "within the walls." However, the inmates could still smoke in their cells and on the yard. In case you think it would have been good to take tobacco away from the prisoners as well, I ask you to keep staff in mind. Riots by prisoners are not appreciated and generate too much paperwork, besides being hazardous to one's health and well-being.

And that brings me to another memory of the years right after the War, the big one to end all wars. (I told you yesterday that my mind makes strange associations. Wouldn't Freud have had a field day?) Several years ago, I watched a movie in German about the years after the war and the moral corruption of the Wirtschaftswunder. (Germans and Ingmar Bergman had something in common: their bleak outlook on life.) The movie, however, started out with the last few days of the War and then switched to 1946. I was bothered by the opening without knowing exactly why. And then one day it came to me, all the men were bending over to pick up cigarette butts (before filters) and I had observed those actions as a child. Tobacco was hard to find and any bits of tobacco left in a discarded cigarette butt were, of course, recycled. In 1946, we searched for food the same way as men searched for tobacco: Nettles from the side of the road, beech nuts from the forests for oil, gleaning small potatoes from the fields of farmers after the harvest was over, and if you were lucky enough to know a farmer, showing up "accidentally" at butchering time. And picking up horse manure; no, not for eating, but letting it dry out and then using it for fuel in the stove. My adult children have absolutely no idea what it was like to be really poor, hungry and without adequate shelter. Although I am sure they felt quite deprived as youngsters. There really is no way of imparting these life experiences onto another person. Those years made me tough, ready to face challenges and also to marvel at the possessions and privileges I have today. For example:

We had a wonderful day. Friends of my daughter, my daughter and me went to visit the Marketplace at SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) which was held at a Michigan Ski Resort north of us. It was a beautiful drive and we did see a little bit of color, although the autumn splendor won't be quite so "splendorous" this year due to the drought this summer and the wind blowing a little bit too hard the last few days. But we had wonderful company, good conversation and spent some money.

I limited myself to one pound of roving, merino/silk mix which will make a beautiful shawl and Angela bought a couple of drop spindles. Oh and I paid for a book, a Maggie Sefton knitting mystery, but walked away from the booth without the book. Of course, I didn't realize what I had done until we were sitting in a Big Boy's having a piece of pie. So on Monday, I'll have to call the vendor who of course is from far away, Colorado, ask them if they remember the ditsy lady that gave them a hundred dollar bill, accepted the change back, but didn't take the book with her. The moral of the story is, you don't have to be blond to have a bad hair moment.

Here,then, is a picture of the roving I bought for Angela to spin for me and a couple of more projects I have finished, albeit it small ones. The dishcloths are from the monthly KALs to which I belong, and I finally finished the second green sock. They turned out well, if I say so myself.

Green is for Hope Socks, Opal Yarn

The picture does not give justice to the true color of the roving. It is a merino/silk mix

Oak Leaf

I like the execution of this dishcloth better than some of the others. The pattern on this cloth is knit in garter stitch while the pattern in the dishcloth below is made with reverse stockinette stitch.

Fire Fighter's Hat and Axe.
I am still working on the honeycomb scarf, the crazy shawl and have started a new pair of socks (these are for me). I finally found the pattern which will bring out the beautiful patterning of Angie's hand spun yarn which she gave to me a few weeks ago. It was a conversation starter, even at Big Boy's. But tomorrow is another day for pics.

"Knit on!" and don't let those bed bugs bite you. I am going to bed. So, good night.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I am back from the frog pond...

...and from being sick. You know you are sick when you can't knit tuppence worth (2 cents). They no longer mint farthings and tuppence in England, I think. A farthing was a quarter of a penny.

I have finished the Wabenschal (honeycomb shawl) designed by Birgit Freyer from It's a free design we received by belonging to the Yahoo group "Knitting Delight." This is not to be confused with the Honeycomb shawl designed by Monika Eckert of who is hosting the Yahoo Group secret-of-chrysopolis for which she has designed a rectangular shawl and which I am currently knitting.

So here is a picture of the long-ago finished Honeycomb (Wabenschal) scarf. I finally blocked it. Blocking has become literally a pain-in-the-back. I thought I had found someone to block shawls for me, but I haven't heard yet from her. Therefore, I need to put my thinking cap on a design of a tear-down blocking station, large enough to block 7' in diameter shawls, in sections so it can be easily stored and high enough that my back has not to bend more than 1mm, zero tolerance would be even better.

I've also blocked the Icelandic Shawl from a 1999 Piecework issue which the site made so generously available after a number of us whined about not being able to get the pattern without paying an arm and a leg on E-Bay. The shawl is also known as the Thordis Shawl. The yarn came from a yarn shop from Brooklyn, NY. and is JaggerSpun Maine Line 2/8 weight, which is about fingering weight. It's a wonderfully soft yarn and is spun in Southern Maine. I am not 100% sure, but I think the fleece are also from local sheep farms. If you ever need this type of yarn, Sarah is friendly, efficient, and her yarns are reasonably priced. She also sells coned yarns.

And here is Mrs. Bear all warmly tucked into the shawl

Unfortunately, the size of the shawl as presented in Piecework is for a slimmer person than I am, so it will need to find a different home. I might just have to make another shawl, using either a heavier yarn and larger needles, or increasing the number of stitches when casting on. This is entirely within my mathematical capabilities which aren't exactly outstanding.
The teachers lost my interest when at the tender age of 10, a=b was introduced. It wasn't the teacher's fault but was entirely due to the fact that I was two years younger than any of my other classmates. My excuse, therefore, is that I was not developmentally ready for Algebra. Of course, other science subjects, such as Biology or Chemistry didn't interest me either, other than poking a hole in the ox eye during Biology and thus, letting all the gelatinous material ooze out of the eyeball to the delight of my classmates. No one ever ratted on me either. We put all very innocent faces on, and the poor teacher was unable to figure out which one of us had done it. After all what do you do with a class of precocious, curious girls? On top of that the poor teacher was a refugee from East Germany and spoke "funny." Never mind that our dialect was strange to him as well. Poor fellow he did last through the rest of the school year, but then taught in one of the two all boys schools. Bright, precocious boys were probably a heck of a lot easier to teach than us.

But I've digressed once again. Amazing how my thoughts can wander from knitting an Icelandic shawl to math, to biology and poking an ox's eyeball. Luckily it wasn't on the ox any longer.

The green socks are finished. I have to wash them yet and block them. I've wound the skein of sock yarn my daughter gifted me into a ball and now have to decide what kind of pattern to use. I have one too many sock books from which to choose a pattern. I am half-way through the honey-comb shawl, and about 1/3 through the crazy shawl also designed by Birgit Freyer. And this Saturday, my daughter and I are going to S.O.A.R, (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) just to see if we can spend money we don't have. It's being held in Michigan this year and is only about a two-hour drive from here. Besides the leaves should just be about the right color, now that Fall has arrived with a vengeance. Air conditioning to heating in one day. That's Michigan.

So, "Knit on!"