A perfect day

Yesterday I was bound and determined to have a relaxing day.  I had planned a bike ride with O’Kathy in the morning, and then a day of relaxing on Sarah’s back deck while Bug ran through the sprinkler.

Since Minnie’s son came over to mow the back area (due to my fear of snakes), I had the courage to go back there and cut down all the junk trees which were growing out of control.  I did have Bug run around the entire house a few times just to ensure that any relaxing snake was either going to hide or stay where he was.  But I saw no snakes and felt pretty safe and confident in my duties.  I managed to get that done even before my morning bike ride.

Went on a 15 mile bike ride in my new bike skort, which is full of win!  Much more comfortable riding!  Then we went grocery shopping, came home to unload bike and get a shower and make hummus, and headed to Sarah’s.  Sarah’s new house is just about perfect.  The trees in the back yard are so mature that even though it is hot out, if there is a decent breeze blowing, sitting under the trees feels cool and comfortable.  Bug did run through the sprinkler for a long time, and made herself downright cold.  I spun.  I don’t really like to knit in the heat, so spinning seemed ideal.  What did I spin?  Well, I finished what I could of the lovely turquoise batts, plyed them with the silk that I had on hand, and made 173 yards of laceweight yarn.  I still have more than 3 oz. of spun batts left and need to find more silk to turn turquoise to match.  Once I was done with that, I spun another 2 oz. of BFL, in order to get a good worsted to bulky weight yarn in the next couple of days.

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I find I love these colors because they remind me of noro!

We left Sarah’s at 8:30 PM, and Bug was fast asleep by the time we got home.  All I had to do was carry her inside and tuck her in bed.  It was such an easy relaxing wonderful day that I am positive I need more of them!

Once a day

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I am trying to spin once a day.  A little each day.  It has been tough because I never feel like I am getting anywhere on a project.  And yes, it would be a lot easier if I would just stop spinning laceweight, but I love laceweight yarns, how can I resist!

You may remember my elation at receiving the above fiber in my swap club.  I’ve been spinning at it bit by bit.  One more batt to go, and I did start the silk.  I can’t wait to ply them together!  The best part?  The gal who sent these lovelies is running a little contest, we can possibly win more of her batts by posting pictures of spun yarns from our swap packages.  What more motivation would I need to spin a little every day?!

I am dumb

New car dumb, that is.

I’ve not been driving the pretty new car because…well because it is pretty.  Too pretty to drive.

But last night I wanted to spend some time with friends, so I loaded Bug into the car and went over to see them.  It was a little late when we returned home, it was the first time I’d driven my car in the dark.

For the last 10 years I’ve driven my little subaru where the lights come on when I turn the car on, and the lights shut off when I turn the car off.

My new little car has some fog lights that are always on when the car is on.

I drove all the way home without turning on my lights. I complained that I could not see the radio to change the channel, and why was it so dark in the car, and when it is that dark in the car, the digital dashboard seemed so painfully bright!  I pulled in my driveway and sat there for a moment thinking “There has to be a way to see the radio at night!”  And I started fiddling with things.  Then all of a sudden “AAAhhh!  Lights!  Inside AND outside the car!”

New car dumb, thats me!

Wahnananah BAT SHAWL!

I’ve got Sarah’s bat shawl to feature tonight, she did a really nice job on it.  And….Bug blocked it!  Dead serious.  I put the top wires in, and pulled the point to the bottom, and Bug put the rest of the pins in and blocked it out.  She was intense!  She’d pull a side out, and then the other side to match, then she would determine if it was good enough or if it had to be redone.  I’d hear her say “That was a really good one!” or “Let me try that one again.”  It was so cool!  Then this morning she pulled all the pins out, put them away, put the wires away, and folded up the shawl neatly “like a peanut butter sandwich.”  She got nervous because there was a little spring back to the yarn, but once I told her it was fine, she stopped worrying.

Isn’t this a perfect color for a bat shawl?

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Show off!

Hanami stole, with hematite beads throughout.  I love this asymmetrical stole, it is just the prettiest thing!

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It has been raining all day, which made me worry that I wouldn’t be able to get decent pictures.  I couldn’t hang the stole, but this will do.

A dye day of our own

O’Kathy, Mary, and I decided awhile back that we needed to have a dye day where we experiment with different dyes and fibers and yarns and just have fun.  We’ve been trying to plan this for so long now, but getting 3 very busy women together for one day is almost impossible.  We finally came up with a day that O’kathy and I could do it, and Mary told us to go ahead and get started without her.

So Saturday was our day!  We ran errands in the morning, going to goodwill to pick up some equipment, and then over to a restaurant supply store for a few supplies.  My big score at goodwill was a huge dark roasting pan with lid, and a crock pot with a slightly broken lid.  The crock pot was one of these large ones with a removable insert, and for kettle dyeing, I didn’t figure I needed a lid all that much.

We then grabbed lunch, got back to my house, and began our day of dyeing.  We also had a friend, Becky, around as an extra set of hands and a bit of a distraction for the Bug.  Who really wanted to be in the middle of everything, when we really wanted her to be out of the kitchen.  LOL.

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Blank yarn, O’kathy chose bamboo/wool blend for her sock weights

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You can just see it, she wrote “Pedal” across this sock yarn in orange dye.

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Then she finished dyeing it.

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My blank merino fiber.  I have a lot of fiber left, but worked predominately with merino and merino/tencel on saturday.

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Yarns soaking. I dyed laceweight.

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Kettle dyeing in my new (to me) crock pot.

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Which made this…2 gray tones linen/silk laceweight colorway Seattle Sky. Can’t wait to see how this knits up!

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“Pedal” yarn soaking after its trip in the oven.

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My 2 goodwill finds…I’ve discovered that the large dark roasting pan works well for solar dyeing in the heat of the sun, no need to turn on the oven!

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Kettle dye in process, you can see some merino draining in the corner.

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This picture shows us the insanity that is our dear O’Kathy.  She knit this sock blank holding 2 strands of yarn together, so she could dye it, and then reknit it into socks.  Nuts!

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Yarn hanging on the porch, this is early on in the day.

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Candid shot of Bug and Becky, Becky brought her dog, which amused the Bug greatly.

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Candid of Bug and me, as I look terribly hot and gross.

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Yarn hanging on the porch later in the day

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Yarn everywhere!

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Bug everywhere!

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Some finished objects, this is merino/tencel colorway Georgia Arbor

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Merino/tencel colorway The Monica

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Linen/silk laceweight, kettle dyed. Colorway…heath?


O’Kathy’s yarns!  Even the mistakes came out beautifully.

I actually have more to post, but they need to be reskeined before I take pictures.  Some of these will go up in the etsy shop as soon as we get ourselves organized, but if you see a colorway you just have to have, let me know!  We will be doing this again, we had a ton of fun even if we were exhausted, and we learned so much!

Another hobby

When we were kids, one of our favorite family outings was to go biking on the Erie Canal.  We grew up doing this and biking long distances at a fairly young age, and some of my best memories are of long days biking through small towns, and stopping to shop here and there.

When I grew up, I found that typical bikes hurt my already injured wrists, and I needed a very upright bike.  I invested in a very expensive (for me) bike and it has traveled with me ever since.  But, since I’ve had Bug, it has been rather neglected.

Enter O’Kathy, whom I knit with.  You see, we met during the winter, so we knit together frequently. But I kept hearing stories about how she would not be knitting as often in the summer because she would have to be biking.  And while it was to be expected, I couldn’t imagine how someone would want to bike instead of knit.

But, I underestimated the O’Kathy power of persuasion.  All it took was one Thursday evening bike ride and I was again hooked.  So now I find myself biking instead of knitting!

J was supposed to come home this evening and I was going down to the airport to pick him up.  Of course I was really excited about this, as I haven’t seen him in 3 weeks. But, I got a message on Saturday that his mother was too sad about his leaving and wanted him to stay another 2 weeks.  And of course while I understand his mothers heartbreak over having a son so far away, I myself felt a bit bereft because my plans were completely changed.

But then I started to think, what would I do?  Why, one of my favorite things.  I asked O’Kathy if she would be around and up for a bike ride and she, of course, said yes.  So 3 of us did 20 miles today, ending up with a leisurely lunch at my favorite bistro.  To be honest, I felt like I could go another 20 miles.  So, we’ve another ride planned tomorrow!

Conclusion, if you don’t see me knitting, I am probably biking.  LOL

Now, the event which O’Kathy pulled me in with is called the Taco Ride, which takes place around here every single Thursday evening.  I had no idea what I was getting myself in to!  I didn’t realize that this event would have 1000-4000 people on it during the peak points of the year.  Imagine tons of people, all smiling, happy, and having fun!  You can’t beat it!

This Thursday she took some pictures, so I stole them off her camera (again!)

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Old hat, New hat

I know I’ve been somewhat absentee this week.  I have literally not been home in the evening since last Saturday, so my blogging time has been very limited.  As has my picture taking time.

And the reason?  Well, for the last 10 years, I’ve been driving this:
My 10 yrs old Subaru

And, I’ve been happy about it!  My old hat has served me well, and I’ve loved it most of the time I’ve had it.  But I also knew that it was getting to be time to think about buying a new one.  This gave me fits of anxiety at first and I took my dad with me to search and test drive cars when I was last visiting them.  I was looking at subaru’s again, and then also at the honda fit and the honda civic.

I ended up choosing the civic for its gas mileage and its ability to still feel like a car when driving.  But then you know that the fun begins.  Now I’ve actually got to negotiate a price.  So I sat on my decision for at least a month.  After all, I was in no huge hurry to get a new car, I wasn’t desperate, I just knew it was about time.

Once I decided that now was a good time (indicated by the burning fluids now causing large puddles underneath my car AND the smoke from them feeding back into my air circulation system in my car, causing visible smoke) I contact 7 dealers.  One was in PA, and the rest in 3 states within a 3 hour radius.  My goal was to get them well below invoice price.

To do this, I decided I would get my quotes online.  I asked them for their lowest quotes and did not bring up that I might have a trade in at all.  I got one dealership on a low and firm quote by Monday afternoon.  Then I went in to check on my trade in.  I got a price they were willing to give me on that as well.  I then refused to put a deposit on the car to hold the car and went home.

The next day, I asked him a few more questions about the car, still feeling that his price was the best I’d be able to get.  By Tuesday afternoon I had almost put a deposit on the car and called up dealership #2 whom I had a trade in appointment with and told them the deal was done and I wasn’t coming in.  But then I asked myself what I was gaining by rushing this?  Not a thing.

I got a message from dealership #3, she told me they would make it worth my while if I’d just come in and let them talk to me.  I realized that dealership # 3 was the only one that had my truly desired color.  But, color was not of first importance.  So I decided to keep my appointment with dealership #2, and then visit dealership #3 later on that evening.

I went to dealership #2 where they were really scrambling for my business.  I got them to agree to $250 more on my trade in than the first dealership, and in the end I got them to drop the price of the car another $500, which was less than I ever imagined I’d spend on that car!  But of course, I had to agree to it that very moment.  Which I refused to do.  I did tell her I would call her on her cell later that night.

Then Bug and I grabbed a bite to eat and headed to dealer #3.  I told them that I was informed that they would beat the lowest price I brought in, and that the lowest price had changed.  I had them look at my trade in.  And then they started throwing numbers at me.  Now, math is not really my strong point, but I am not dumb either.  I know that I can work out the numbers given time and a piece of paper.  Which is when the following conversation took place:

Me:  I am not understanding where you are getting these numbers from, and they don’t look right to me.

Salesguy explains again.

Me: Something is still not sitting right with this.  Let me get my notebook.

I then proceed to write numbers down and do the math.

Me: I understand the price I want to be paying for the car, and the price I am getting for my trade in, so why does this extra $154 keep popping up and being added on to the total price?

Salesguy: That is for the price of the splashguards. We put splashguards on all our cars here, and we need to charge you for that.

Me: (fuming) Wait a second, you’ve got me all the way down here because you want to beat any other deal I’ve gotten, and you promised to make it worth my while, but now you want to dicker about splash guards?!?!  Which are already on the car?  When I can walk out of here right now, go back to dealership #2 and get this price?  The price I want to pay?  You’ve GOT to be kidding me! We are hot, tired and annoyed, don’t waste our time!

Salesguy: (looking sheepish) Let me go talk to my manager.

That little outburst got the splashguard price taken off my total and the price dropped another $100.  At which point I was just about ready to sign.  But…I thought I’d call the other dealerships first.  I gave them a call and they were pretty angry and would not match my price.  One of them sarcastically commented “It is great when you can find a dealer that will give a car away for free.)

So, in the end, I got the car I wanted, for a price I never imagined, in the exact color I loved.  And, I had fun in the process!  When I pulled out the paperwork for my old subaru, I realized that the cost of the new car was significantly less than I paid for my subaru 10 years ago.  But now I have a car with bells and whistles!

Let me tell you about the firsts!  This is my first new car.  First car with a moonroof.  First car with a CD player.  First car with cruise control.  First car with intermittent adjustable windshield wipers.  There are a lot of firsts with this car!

And now for your pictures….
Side view at home
The color is urban titanium metallic. The interior is beige, which will be nice after looking at gray for the last 10 yrs.
Front view at home
It is a very pretty little car, but roomier in the back than the subaru, and plenty of room in the front even for my dad.
Dashboard looks pretty cool too!
I had a little trouble putting it in my garage because it is a little bigger than the subaru, but the real problem is that I cannot see the end of the nose of the car. So there was a lot of stopping and looking to see if I had pulled forward enough. I am sure I will get used to it.

I loved my subaru, and really had trouble deciding not to buy another. It took a lot to move over to a honda. But in the end, the leg room in the back combined with the better gas mileage, honda won out. We will see if I become as thrilled with Honda as I was with Subaru.

I mean it, really!

I need to steal a little from Margaret and Helen blog for a moment, since Helen has managed to sum up quickly what concerns me so much and what weighs heavily on my heart.

From this post:

“As Americans, many of us just can’t understand why terrorists from the Middle East would want to destroy us.  The very idea of their hating us so much is almost unfathomable.  Never mind that we have been occupying their homelands for more than 60 years.   Never mind that today we have dozens of “enduring” military bases just in Iraq and dozens more in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar…  Is that really so terrible? We’re just there looking to send back a little oil to help run our cars and our factories back home.   Why do they hate us so much?  I don’t know, but I wish it was a problem we could finally solve.

Speaking of problems I wish we could solve…  What are we going to do with all these illegal immigrants coming into our country uninvited?  The nerve, I tell you.  The very nerve of it just gets to me.   The  idea that those Mexicans would come here in hopes of earning money to send to their families back home is just too much to bear.  Before you know it, they’ll want to build a military base.  I mean can you imagine if those Mexicans were to start arriving inside tanks rather than inside trunks.  Imagine if they start taking our land rather than our landscaping jobs.  The very thought just makes me want to blow something up…

Is the whole situation becoming a little more clear?  People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  It ruins the view and makes for a lot of sharp edges.

We need to educate ourselves if we are to finally understand our problems and how to solve them.  Did you know that  the US operates and/or controls between 700 and  800 military bases worldwide.   These facilities include more than 850,000 different buildings and equipment.  The underlying land surface is about 30 million acres – almost a third the size of California.  (Interestingly enough, the Hispanic population in California is about a third of the state’s population.) The total land area occupied by US military bases domestically and internationally is about 2,202,735 hectares, which makes the Pentagon one of the largest landowners worldwide.

Margaret, I don’t even know what a hectare is.  Do you?  So what does all this mean? To most of us – probably nothing.  And that’s the problem.  I mean it.  Really.”

Are you sick of this yet?

I’ve been working so exclusively on my stole that I have gotten carried away with it and fail to remember I have anything else on the needles at all! I’ve begun the cherry blossom section, which has gone quite quickly.  But, I rather overdid it tonight and haven’t got any knitting time in.  Therefore, I can honestly say that having it done this weekend is…well….ambitious at best.

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Hanami basketweave

As you can see, I’ve completed the basketweave portion of the stole.  I now start on the cherry blossom section.  I expect that this side will go a bit faster than the basketweave portion as that required so much concentration!

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It is not readily visible on the picture, but each diamond section has a hematite bead in the very middle.  I am really looking forward to seeing this blocked out.

Bug in the car

Bug has taken to playing in the car when she gets the chance.  She came inside today to have lunch, and I smelled something strange.  I kept thinking that maybe J came home early or something, because it smelled like him suddenly in the house.  I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.  Then I realized that it was Bug.  So I asked her if she put on JJ’s cologne while she was in the car.  She said “Yes!  Because I love my JJ, he smells SOOO good!”

If you want to destroy my sweater…

I had a very froggy day.  I asked Beltway to bring an extra ball winder so I could frog in style.  And just so I could share my shame, I took pictures.


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Became this:

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One was a mystery shawl in a design I never quite liked.  I stopped knitting on it to see if the design would improve, but it didn’t, so I quit entirely.  I just hadn’t frogged it yet, but I wanted to repurpose the yarn.  The other is my kauni attempt.  I never did like the colors running into each other, so I’ve decided I am going to do the typical squares cardigan that everyone has already done.  At least I’ll be happy with it!

I’d left these on the needles so long that I didn’t even have a hesitation towards frogging them.  I am excited to restart them as something else!

Big fat thanks to Beltway for bringing me the second winder and to Minnie for helping!

A black hanami

I’ve begun the latest lace piece, the hanami stole.  I am adding black hematite beads to the body of the stole.  Pictured is 2 out of the 7 basket weave repeats.  I am hoping to work a chart a day on this stole, which would have me finish in around 2 weeks.  But, knowing me I’ll get somewhat bored and have to move on to other projects.

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Blue fingers

I needed to dye some fiber over the weekend for a swap partner.  I’d seen that she likes blues and browns (some of my personal favorites as well!) Now, back in September I dyed up some merino.  I was rather fond of the December Skies colorway I had done, but I wanted to try to get it a bit more saturated.  I might have gone overboard, had to rinse this one over and over, and my fingers turned blue during the rinse cycles.  But….I do like the way it turned out!

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The elusive “W”

In the yarn world, if you don’t have it, you are desperately trying to get it.

If you do have it, you are being harassed or you’ve been secretive about having it.

When you try to buy it, you find that all sorts of rules have been placed upon it.  No more than 1 or 2 skeins in each colorway, cannot combine shipping, etc.

That is, if you can ever find a way to buy it in the first place.

I happened upon 2 “sneak ups” of this fantastic yarn.  This was late last year.  I bought a bunch of it, and due to the difficult to find nature of it, I was pretty indiscriminate about what I purchased.

When I got the yarn, I then went through it to see which I’d like to trade, and which I’d like to keep as is.  Personally, I’d prefer to knit lace over socks with it, so I immediately put some up for trade in order to find more of the colorways I liked so that I could knit lace.

Through a couple of trades, I did managed to get enough for a sweater in one color, and enough for lace in another color.  And then the rest of the trade items just sat there on my trade page, looking beautiful but lonely.

Meanwhile, every day I was getting offers from people who wanted to purchase my yarn which was listed as for trade only.  Or, they would offer trades that had nothing to do with what I had asked for in the first place.  Here I am inundated with email about this yarn when I don’t even really want to rid myself of it.

So I thought “Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how much these gals who want to buy it are offering for it?” as no one had actually given me a price they were willing to pay.  I sent out an email asking what the yarn was worth to them.  Mostly as an experiment to see what I would get in return.  After all, if what it is worth to them happened to be in line with what it was worth to me, I might be willing to sell.

And their responses?  Across the board they offered me less than I had paid for it when shipping was included.  Now why on earth would I get rid of the most coveted yarn, which I like, and want to keep, for a price that is less than what I paid?  They acted like somehow they deserved this yarn.  I was appalled.  I failed to respond to anything that was not a reasonable trade offer.  Even as I was reading that various people get irritated because those with the “W” don’t respond to the people who want to purchase it.  I don’t respond because I haven’t listed it to sell.  Why should I take my time to do so?

Then, I decided to do another small social experiment.  I thought I’d list the yarn at a higher price than usual, one that was in line with how much I would like to receive for yarn that I liked and didn’t really want to part with.

I listed one yarn.  Just one.  And I forgot about it.  And the emails stopped.  And the trade offers stopped.  I was no longer harassed over this yarn.  It was lovely.  I had about a 2 month stretch there with no harassment.  (Looking back, that may have more to do with the economy and scared people than it did with listing it at too high a price).  Then, I got “the” email.  The email from someone who was willing to pay that price.  So sadly, I had to part with that skein.  But, as this was a social experiment, I wondered if it would work again.  So I listed another for the same price.

I woke up the next morning with no less than 5 emails.  3 were from people who wanted me to sell it to them for less.  1 was from someone who wanted me to sell it for less OR was willing to provide a reasonable trade.  And 1 person actually was willing to pay what I was asking.  1 of the emails which was asking for a lower price was downright rude.  Again, I fail to understand the attitude when I am the one with the yarn and I don’t really want to sell it! I guess you can figure out who got the yarn.  Sadly, I must part with another skein.

But don’t worry, the story isn’t going to end here.  I am going to continue my social experiment.  Stay tuned.

My Mothers Day

Bug and I spent the day in the garden.  After church we went to pick up the veggies and herbs I wanted to plant, we brought them home, got them in the ground, weeded, watered, and then trimmed hedges.  Now, usually my mom gets to work with Bug on the yard, they get it in shape for me.  But this year is not typical, as mom won’t be out at the usual time.  So I actually have to do this myself.  Now, I really didn’t understand JUST how much Bug loves the garden until yesterday.  She wanted to be the one doing the work and she spent ours out there.  She tended carefully to the mint we had planted a few days before.  She deadheaded the tulips and daffodils.  She weeded like a mad woman.  That kid just loves to plant!

We will have more to do tonight, hopefully the weather will hold.  I needed my yard waste bucket emptied before I could do more.  I find that with her enjoying it, I also tend to enjoy it more.

Because of all the gardening, I did not get a lot of knitting done this weekend.  I did take a shot of the pinwheel sweater though.  I am about 1 inch away from finishing the increases, which is good because I am completely tired of it.

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I’ve had to fudge the colors a bit since I don’t like how small the rings are getting, but all in all it is bright and pretty and should look good when I am done.  I should also have a lot of matsuri left over.

Due to my overwhelming guilt over having mystic waters shawl STILL on the needles after 2.5 yrs, I did pull that out to work on yesterday.  I managed 6 rows.  Then I got a call from an old friend.  She wanted a pair of socks.  I offered her a black beaded stole.  I will be doing the hanami stole, and adding hematite beads to the “cherry blossom” section. To be honest I’ve had trouble with this stole before, but I hope it was the yarn rather than the knitter which was the issue.  This means that mystic waters will go back into hibernation for a time and we will just have to assume that 6 rows was a great deal of progress….comparatively.


122 yards 50% Merino 50% Tencel 3 ply

12 WPI, worsted weight yarn

I spun this from 3 irish girls roving.  I was looking to work for a bit heavier weight yarn rather than the thin stuff I can’t help but create.  I managed, but it was a struggle!  I have to constantly watch myself when trying to create a thicker yarn, it makes for a rather tense spinning experience.

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I’ve been working with fiber this weekend, but barely knitting.  There was just so much else to do.  Additionally, I vowed to read a book while J is overseas.  And, well, since I still haven’t read the last Harry Potter, I borrowed it from Sarah and plowed through half of it this weekend.  Yes, when I read, I read just like I knit.

And finally, if you remember last month I received the most beautiful fiber from my swap partner.  I’ve begun to spin it, and it is spinning like a dream.  I have decided that I just love batts!  I will spin the wool and ply it with the silk.  And then I have plans for it!  No…you can’t have it!  LOL

One more!

This is the final scarf which I blocked for Sarah.  I’ll be sorry to stop featuring knitting done by friends, as I have little to post since I am working quite monogamously on my pinwheel sweater.

This is jojoland melody yarn, which you can see by the gradual and long color changes.  The cable and lace pattern blocked beautifully.  You might remember this scarf, as it was Sarah’s entry into our ravelympics group!

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Noro Stripe Scarf

Noro stripe scarves have been all the rage, but I haven’t managed to knit one yet.  Luckily,  Sarah has, and it was one of the scarves I wanted to block for her.  Which means now I get to feature a noro striped scarf right on my blog!

The idea is to take 2 skeins of Noro yarn, of different colors, and knit a scarf alternating skeins.  2 rows of each yarn.  Since both yarns will gradually change colors, the stripes will change and play on each other in unique and unexpected ways.  I’ve seen many noro striped scarves done in 1×1 rib, but I love what Sarah did with hers!  Take a look:


And a close up of the stripes:


This one was done in noro kureyon sock, isn’t it gorgeous?!?!

Scheherazade Stole

I am done with my stole, and…well…it didn’t exactly turn out as I’d have liked it to.  I am going to start with the pretty shots, and then I’ll give you a rundown on the problems.


The edging:picture-901

It is really nice and long:


Now let’s talk about the issues.  I used malabrigo laceweight.  Malabrigo really is some of my most favorite yarn, so I thought I’d enjoy using it for this stole as well.  If you don’t know malabrigo, you need to know that it felts.  It is a singles yarn, not plied, so in order to make it strong it has to be slightly felted before it is sold.  This makes it difficult to wind into a ball, but the pay off is a fantastically soft laceweight.

Now, as fantastic as it is, when frogging, tinking, or working the stitches more than once, it doesn’t hold up well.  This stole requires a knitted on edging, which basically calls for handling the stitches repeatedly toward the end.  By the time I was getting to the end of the edging, I was dealing with a mass of stitches all felted together.  It presented rather a challenge.

The second issue was more my fault.  The pattern calls for a provisional cast on, and the stole is knit from the middle toward the end, then picking up the cast on and knitting again from the middle to the other end.  Early on I decided rather than use this method,  I would just knit 2 pieces and kitchener them together.  I chose to do this because I wanted to knit both sides at the same time, eliminating my tendency to get bored and not finish my lace projects.  Sounds like a good idea right?

Perhaps, IF one is not using malabrigo laceweight.  Picking up the stitches again was a bear.  Again, I had a felted mess.  Then, when I kitchenered it, one of the sides of a motif wasn’t lining up.  But I couldn’t do a darn thing about it because I couldn’t unravel the kitchener, since all the stitches were felted.  It was extremely frustrating to me, and I spent all weekend fighting with it.  Kind of a sorry end to an enjoyable knitting experience.

Below is a picture of the center motif:


And now a close up of the problem area, left side of the diamond:


The rest looks pretty good, and I have to admit it was really hard for me to post this picture.  I am quite sad about this ending.  Nonetheless, it is a pretty, and long, and wide stole, and for that I am happy.  Considering I wear my malabrigo icarus ALL the time (J and I even fight over it, as it is so soft and scrumptious) this one will probably get plenty of wear too.

My public service announcement?  Malabrigo laceweight is wonderful, but best shied away from when using a pattern which will require handling the same stitches more than once.

Recognize this?


You may think you’ve seen this before.

In fact, it looks an awful lot like this.

But this one is for me!  I’d intended to get to this sooner, so that Bug and I could wear matching sweaters, but it has taken longer than I expected.  Luckily, Bug’s sweater still fits.  I could increase the length of her sleeves if I chose, to gain time for her to wear it.  But first I need to complete my own.  Since I have been a little more exclusive in my knitting endeavors, I suspect it won’t take too much time to finish.  Except that the icord edging is painfully slow.  LOL.  I am again using noro matsuri, in the same colorway that Bug’s sweater is done in.  But, the second batch has more of a hot pink tone to it, and Bug’s sweater never got a hot pink color section.

Additionally, this week you will be seeing some projects which are not mine!  I’ve decided to do some blocking for my friend Sarah.  Probably against her wishes.  LOL.  She only handed them over for me to block when it looked like I was going to steal them anyhow.  I am the sicko who just loves blocking projects.  The added bonus is that I get to feature a few projects which I did not knit but are lovely and deserve some photography.

But first, I’ve blocked my coatimundi stole, and will be able to take some pictures tonight!  I am excited to show it to you, but I will be explaining in great detail exactly why I am frustrated with it.

Red Shoes

When I was young, perhaps 4th or 5th grade, my feet were around a woman’s size 4.5 or 5.  When Mom took me school shopping that year, we realized that shoes in that size were really inexpensive!  Now, we didn’t really have a lot of extra money for clothing when I was growing up, and that didn’t bother me much as I tended to buck trends anyhow.  But that year, rather than purchasing one pair of dress shoes and one pair of sneakers, I ended up with 8 pairs of shoes!  I will never forget this memorable indulgence, and I am fairly certain that we only spent as much as we would have in previous years.  Do you remember this Mom?

That year I had my first pair of patent leather heels. (Not very high, and chunky, but they were heels!)  I remember my sneakers that year too, a periwinkle color that I was rather fond of.  But the shoes I remember most of all were a pair of red shoes with a stylized strap over the top.  They were flats.  They were the prettiest shoes I’d ever seen.  I really wanted to wear those shoes every single day.  I wore them until they wore out, and no longer fit, and then I tried to keep them even longer.  I often wore them with a denim dress with a zipper running down the front.

That dress had a story of its own, wearing that dress and those shoes, one of my classmates called me a “lesbian.”  I didn’t know what a lesbian was, and when I asked him, he told me it was a very skinny female.  *snerk*  Also this dress was used to harass me by some so called “friends” who would pull the front zipper down as I was leaving the bathroom.  It was a rough year, but at least I had red shoes!

Thus began my red shoe obsession, and as long as I can remember I’ve tried to have a pair of red shoes in my wardrobe.  I had a pair of cloth mary janes that I wore into literal pieces while I was in high school.  For the past 10 yrs I’ve had a pair of red chunk heeled boots which I absolutely love.  Unfortunately, after 10 yrs of wear, the leather is cracking and the heels are peeling.  But, I’ve had a hard time letting them go.

Last weekend, J and I went shoe shopping for his mom.  We were having trouble picking out shoes which we thought she might like.  We wanted comfort, but she is also very specific about a certain style.  We had a lovely shoe saleswoman who was very attentive and patient with us as we explained our conditions.  As we wandered through the born section, I saw a wonderful pair of red shoes!

Now, the trouble with shopping with J is that I have to be careful what I say, lest I end up with whatever it was I pointed out.  I learned within the first few months of our relationship to keep my mouth shut in order that he wouldn’t buy stuff for me that I didn’t care that much about.  But as I walked past these red shoes, headed straight for the pair we were looking at for his mom, I pointed to them and said “I think I’ll have to have a pair just like that some day!”  It was such an instantaneous reaction to a pair of red shoes that I never thought what consequence it would bring.

But, when we got home, in one of the 3 boxes of shoes were a pair in red just my size:


I think I can get rid of the boots now.