Monday, December 21, 2009

A merry Christmas
a peaceful New Year to all my readers.
Ein frohes Weihnachtsfest
einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Socks No. 29 and 30

Well, the last two pair of Christmas assignment socks are done and with their owner. They are not much to look at, just plain old socks, but the Noro sock yarn brought up all kinds of feelings. The reminder of my grandmother's scratchy hand knit stockings was only the beginning. Deep down it brought up memories of utter desperation. Of being habitually cold. Of being so hungry that my tummy hurt. Of my mother crying because she couldn't provide enough food for me. Of being scared that she was going to die and leave me alone because then we mistook panic attacks for heart problems. So much misery for so many, and it is still going on throughout the world.

Despite all, knit on merrily.

Friday, December 18, 2009

I hate those meeces to pieces

This is for those of us who are old enough to remember Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks the cat. The cartoon was part of the Huckleberry Hound series. (Thanks Wikipedia.) Mr. Jinks was headstrong but too dense to pose any real harm to Pixie and Dixie, two enterprising mice. Well, I am just as ineffectual with our house guests, aka mice, and I'm often heard to mutter Mr. Jinx's nonsensical saying, "I hate those meeces to pieces." Of course, our two mouse hunters in residence are no better than I am in catching the little rascals. And here is the result of their latest handiwork. Did they attack items knitted from Acrylic yarn? Of course not; the miscreants feathered their beds with the most expensive items knitted with hand-spun, hand-dyed yarns.

This also reminds me of another tale from about thirty years ago when I worked in a camp in Northern New Jersey. While camp management did not believe in chemical warfare against four legged critters, we did put up poison in small bags in the infirmary to control the mice population. But again humanity was totally ineffectual. The resident mice decided to take the little bags and literally shove them off the beams and bombard sick children with them. So we protected the kids with mosquito nets and left the mice alone.

Yes, "I hate these meeces to pieces" but they are part of living in the woods. And I found a use for those socks where the mice left the leg portion ungnawed. Felt lightly, cut off foot and use as wrist warmers.

Knit on merrily!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finally lace again

A foot of snow, heavy snow, not the fluffy lake effect snow, is what we've ended up with today. It's still snowing outside, some of the trees are bent over from the heavy snow, but the snow plow guy finally showed up. Around here, finding a reliable snow removal service is as rare as finding sunshine between October and April. The joy of backwoods living. But enough griping and onto knitting.

I have finally picked up lace again. (Okay, so I still have to finish one pair of consignment men's socks with the dreaded Noro yarn.) Each year there is a Swedish knit-along for a scarf/shawl with a new pattern given from December 1 through December 24. This is the first year I have actually knitted the scarf instead of just storing the pattern. The pattern is both in Swedish and English. I won't attempt to copy the knit shops name, but if you are interested click on the link here. The original scarf is knit with Musk ox. I am using Poems Sock Yarn and 3.75 mm needles. I picked up the yarn at a going out of business sale. The original price was US $18.75 per 100 grams. I got it for either 50% or 60% off. I would not pay the full price for the yarn. The yarn is similar to Noro sock yarn, but is a little bit softer and the thin spots aren't quite as thin as in Noro. It does have a "few" thick spots, but hasn't detracted from the scarf. So far, I have not detected any pattern in the striping. It seems to change randomly from beginning to the end of the ball. I would not knit socks with this yarn, ever. First of all, one could never get two matching socks and second, like the Noro, I don't think the yarn would wear well if knit up into socks. So here are a sampling of the photos I was able to take. Again, the weather is not cooperating for good photos. But since this is Michigan after all, what I have will have to do.

Clues 1 - 9

Clue 4 Detail

Clue 9 detail

Clue 5 Detail
Knit on merrily!