Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yarn, Glorious Yarn!

Guess what I found on my favorite chair this morning? Four skeins of yarn, glorious yarn, hand-dyed by my daughter Angie. She bought a one pound cone of machine washable Blue Face Leicester at our local LYS which is going out of business (again and a saga in itself) and did her magic. The photo does not do justice to the dye job, but it's the best I could get. The colors are darker and richer than the photo shows. So here's the unveiling of Angie's newest project:

What a talented daughter I've got. Does that mean I need to knit a pair of socks?

"Knit On!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


There is a thief in this house, and he must be identified. So hear ye all, Sam I Am, aka Sammir, aka Sammy, aka Sam is a thief. His fetish is stealing pony tail elastic bands from anywhere his owners lay them down and then stashing them in his food dish. Today was the last straw. He stole it right off my night stand. This must stop! Therefore, I am posting an APB for this thief.

You have been found out. Your rap sheet is quite lengthy. Turn yourself in. Your owners.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dem-Fischer-sin-Fru (The Fisherman's Wife)

We had a nice weekend. My middle daughter and her husband ventured out yesterday and came from the Detroit area to the west side of the State to visit with John's Dad and us. We gathered at my daughter's father-in-law. I brought Johnny Marzetti (known in Michigan as Goulash) and a Salad. (Johnny Marzetti is basically Macaroni mixed with browned hamburger in a tomato sauce with Oregano and salt and pepper, baked with American Cheese slices on top.) Heide brought the garlic bread and one of John's sisters brought desert. We exchanged Christmas gifts. It was a nice and relaxing afternoon although I lost my Clapotis right from around my neck. Heide looked at it, and said "Oh that's really nice." What is a mother to do but to say, "here, you may have it." I suppose, I'll have to knit myself another one. In case you don't remember what it looked like and want a second peak, my August 20, 2007 post contains a picture of the Clapotis.

I have started swatching for the new German KAL, dem-fischer-sin-fru (the fisherman's wife). The yarn is from Knit Picks and contains 70% Alpaca and 30% silk. It is the usual weight of 880 yards (ca. 805 meters) to 100 grams. The yarn is a little thicker than the yarn recommended by the designer, Monica Eckert, which is 870 meters per 100 grams. But I think it will be OK. I changed needles from the recommended 3.5 mm to 2.0 mm which gives me the appropriate width of the swatch at 11 cm.

The photo does not show the pattern too well. (I think I fiddled with editing a little bit too much.) The left swatch was knit with 3 mm needles and came out at 13 cm wide and 15 cm long. I used 2.0 mm needles on the right swatch and that swatch came out to about 11 cm by 13 cm which is what the pattern calls for. So unless, I keep seeking a different yarn, I'll have to knit the shawl with 2.0 mm needles instead of 3.5 mm ones. The variegation of the yarn will be diminished somewhat by the width of the shawl; the light blue won't pool quite as much. All I have to do now is wait until Friday for the first part of the pattern to be published.

"Knit on!"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Queen Anne's Lace Shawl finished!

It's finished! the Queen Ann Lace Shawl designed by MMario. It was a fun and easy knit, and the first time I used larger needles for a lace project. I started out the first few rows with double pointed needles of about 3.5 mm needles and then went to the smallest 5mm (US8) needles and finally went up to a 5.5mm (US9) needle. The change in size of needles was purely out of necessity rather than design. The 5mm circular needle got too small and I was too cheap to spend the money for another Addi.

Amazingly, there is no discernible difference in the knitting between different-sized needles. The cast off used in the design was the Norwegian cast-off which consists of: k1, put back on left needle, knit same stitch again and return to left needle, k2tog. That's quite a bit of knitting when you have 700+ stitches on the needle.
I used Knitpicks lace yarn at 440 yds per 50 grams. The yarn was hand dyed by a friend, the owner of a nearby LYS. Since she decided not to carry this particular dye job any longer, she gave them to me free of charge. Thanks Jane, but you're not getting the shawl despite your generosity.
Blocking of the shawl has to wait until I devise a way of being able to block at a height comfortable for me since I'm presently having difficulty bending over.

"Knit on!"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No further words needed

Since, I was tired of casting off the Queen Ann's Lace shawl, I started goofing around on the internet and found this photo on Yahoo's most viewed photos page:

Now that I've had my fun back to casting off. Only 300 stitches or so to go.

"Knit On!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another tale of eggs, and some yarn

I just stomped through the snow to feed the chickens and found another tiny egg. So I decided it was once again time to tell a couple of egg or chicken stories from my childhood.

It was early Spring or Winter and my aunt Agnes with whom we lived for a time during WWII had not been to the chicken/geese coop in a couple of days. I can't remember whether it was due to the weather or due to too much fighting around us, but there was snow on the ground. When she finally was able to go to the chicken coop again, I played shadow and trundled along behind her. ( I was probably between four and five years old.) Well, the chickens and the geese had had it with being cooped up and had invaded each others territory so that by the time we opened the door they quickly flew the coop, so to speak. When it came time to lock them up again, my aunt was walking behind her chickens, trying to shoo them into the coop, while I, with my hair braids bobbing in the air and my arms waving wildly, tried to be a big girl and help my aunt. Of course, the opposite was accomplished, I managed to scatter all the chickens again.

The second story is from after the war. My mother and I walked several miles to the next village to visit a farming family she knew. Of course, now I realize that such visits were always timed perfectly with some farm activity that would gain us food. My mother had a sixth sense for such occasions. This time the farmer's wife also gave my mother an egg which she laid carefully on the top of whatever else she had gleaned. On the way home, I must have gotten too warm and took off my cardigan which my mother laid neatly on top of the egg in her shopping bag. Well, I think you can guess the end result. When we got home, I grabbed my cardigan from her bag and with it came flying out the egg which, of course, broke as it landed on the wooden floor. Disaster had struck! But we ate the egg anyways; it was carefully scraped off the floor and mother used it in some dish or another.

Now that I've told a couple of yarns about my childhood, comes some real yarn. I bought the roving at SOAR which was held this past Fall in Michigan and my daughter, Angie, spun it up for me. It is a silk/merino mix and spun up into a kind of light grayish, purplish blue blend. It will make a beautiful shawl, I think.

Knit on!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christmas Beauty

I have been amiss in posting photos of my Christmas goodies from Angie. I got some really nice hand spun and hand dyed yarn and one of those small tote bags in which one can carry a knitting project such as socks. But I think, if I try real hard I can stuff a shawl project into it too. And I am really racking my brain to come up with an appropriate project for the yarn. It'll come one of these days. So here without further ado, provided Flickr will cooperate, are the pics.

As you can see some of the yarn is a Wool/Alpaca mixture. The beginning of a felting project is starting to percolate in my mind.

Oh, winter also has returned. After a couple of days of warm weather and just about every snow flake having melted, we got dumped on, albeit only a smallish dump. The sun is even peaking through the clouds, an oddity on the Western side of the State due to Lake Michigan being near. So for those who are not familiar with Michigan weather here are a couple of obligatory photos of snow around the property.

See, how heavy the snow is?

And here comes the sun! Yeah!

Knitting is continuing at my house. I am about 2/3 done with the Queen Ann's Lace shawl. I'm trying real hard not to start another project because the last Friday of January the new KAL dem-fischer-un-sin-frau (the fisherman and his wife) will begin. By the way the name of the shawl is in a northern German dialect.

So, let us all "Knit on!"; some of us will get into less trouble that way.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Scorpion Logic

I just found the November 2007 issue of The Atlantic Times. Atlantic Times is a monthly newspaper from Germany that is published in English. Once upon a time, I subscribed to it through a free offer by the German Embassy. Sometimes, it is interesting to read the European viewpoint.

Since I don't want to bore folks, I'll only copy the parable of the Scorpion and the Tortoise. If you are interested in reading the whole article, it can be found at http://www.atlantic-times.com/ . The article is written by a fellow named Seligman. So without further ado, here is the excerpt:

Scorpion Logic

Potential stingers in the Middle East peace process:

A scorpion asks a tortoise to carry it to the other side of the Jordan River. The tortoise refuses and tries to flee in fear of being stung. "Where's the logic in that," the scorpion argues. "I need you to carry me to the other side of the river." "Yes," says the tortoise, "but once I've served that purpose, you'll kill me." "Tortoise! You don't understand anything, that's not logical," the scorpion cried. "If you take me across to the other bank, I'm going to want to get back to this side again. So I need you and I'll protect you. Isn't that logical?" "Yes that's logical," the tortoise is forced to admit. He allows the scorpion to climb onto his back and crawls toward the Jordan. As soon as they enter the water, the scorpion calls out "a victory for logic!" But just as they get to midstream, the scorpion stings the tortoise.
The tortoise gasps, "I'm dying. I'm going to go under and take you down with me. Where's the logic in that?"

That's the logic of the Middle East," answers the scorpion before drowning.

I'll spare you the rest of the article since it's rather lengthy except for one more sentence by the author:

That variation on the old fable, told with great relish in both Israel and the Arab world, should be in the primer of anyone dealing with the politics of the region.

Maybe this will entice you to read the rest of the article and see the European point of view.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Look what I've been knitting!

I haven't been blogging as often as I used to. If you wonder what has taken up my time, here are some pictures.

First, I have knit another matching set of socks and hat for afghansforAfghans. This set is knit with Knit Picks Lace yarn I used for the Clapotis, colorway is Sweat Pea.

Angie also knit a couple of pairs of socks for the same group. I'll brag for her.

The left pair is made from leftover Cherry Tree Hill yarn while the right pair is knit with Opal yarn.
And then I was gifted 1600+ yds. of hand-dyed Merino Lace yarn. The owner of our LYS has come out with her own yarn label, Arbor Yarns, but has decided to limit herself to sock yarn rather than continuing to offer her own private label lace yarn. Actually, I think, she's decided to dye what she wants to, rather than what she thinks the market wants. Her website is:
But I digress. I've joined another lace knitting group. Can you believe it? This one is an American Designer and he has started a Yahoo group called:
The group mainly exists to test knit his designs so all the bugs can be worked out. But you can also wait until the design has been test knitted and all the bugs have been worked out. So I am using the yarn to knit his Queen Ann's Lace Shawl. It is a circular shawl, a fairly easy knit, but looks oh so good. And the pink yarn Jane gave me was just the ticket for it. So here is a copy of the shawl in progress. I don't have big enough needles to really stretch it as I should and was too lazy to put it on several needles. But, I think you'll get an idea of what it will look like with these two shots:

Isn't it purty? The color chases away the winter blahs quite effectively. We've had our January thaw and now everything looks dirty. And most importantly, I should be able to have it done before the next German Lace Shawl KAL starts.

"Knit on!" my friends.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A New Year full of knitting adventures!

The Secret of Chrysopolis is finished, but not blocked as yet so I have no photos to show of things made by moi, but there are a couple of things I have come upon on the Internet that I'd like to share.

I receive a newsletter from Berreco every so often although I have never bought any of their yarn. Until today I was unaware that Norah Gaughan has her own blog at Berreco. If you are not aware of it here is the URL: http://blog.berroco.com/ . She was talking about designing a hexagonal sweater and fulling it. Well, one of the experiments eventually ended up in a chair cover and the pattern is free. You can find it here:

http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/situate/situate.html .

And here is a photo of it. I think if you don't have a chair to recover, it might also make a fine pillow.

I think this is kind of nifty. I may make it into a pad for my rocker.

And with all the ugliness going on in the world, such as Kenya and Pakistan, you may want to feast your eye on this art work. Angie made me aware of it. The link contains photographs of an underground temple that a Northern Italian carved out underneath his house and then decorated. After first condemning it, the Italian Government has now changed it's mind and calls it the Eighth Wonder in the World. Here is the URL. (I haven't figured out yet how to do "just click here.")


Knitting wise, I have to undo the second sleeve of Angela's sweater once again. That second sleeve after knitting it over again is exactly the same as the first sleeve, but alas it is still about an inch too short. The only thing I can think of is that one of her arms is a little longer than the other. The armholes are the same, the sleeve caps are the same, the length of the sleeves after the cap is the same, so it can only be her arms. At least that is my excuse. I am so glad that I knit my sleeves from the top down. I have never liked knitting sleeves from the bottom up. My mother taught me that it's easier to lengthen kids sleeves if their arms outgrow the rest of their body by starting at the top and knitting down. I've found out it's also a benefit when you mess up more than once.

I promise by Sunday, I'll have pictures of finished items.

May you all have a blessed New Year and lots of fun knitting projects.

"Knit on!"