Wednesday, May 20, 2009

This Blog has moved

I've moved the blog to Wordpress. Please click here to get there.

I would transfer you automatically, but I don't know how and Dani and I haven't gotten together for her to hold my hand yet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Yesterday the ATT guy showed up to connect the new TV service. Imagine my surprise to find out we were also getting the new internet service as well. Wasn't ready for that. Actually, I supposedly have both at the moment. I can receive email, but not send it. So much for notifying the multitude who have my email address that it might change.

My computer skills are just good enough to mess things up even more and fix nothing. I can feel my blood pressure rising even as I sit here.

Knitting related--Riverbed sock number 3 is dead. Sorry, Cristi. It didn't fit and I wasn't having any fun. I frogged it and cast on a top down sock. I designed a simple cuff of K6, (yo, k2tog)3X over 60 stitches. Even number rounds are straight knit. Row 3 is K6, (k2tog, yo)3x. So why am I telling you? To explain my ah--ha!

I was knitting during DD#1's chamber singers concert and was having trouble remembering which row I was on. Finally, I did what I tell my students. I really looked at the knitting. Then I realized that when alternating yo, k2tog and k2tog, yo, all you must remember is to place the yarnover one stitch away from the old yarnover. Pictures would make this much clearer, but I have no camera at the moment.

I am enjoying my new sock.

The linen skirt is coming along. I hope the extra yarn will arrive early this week. The two tone shell will be finished soon and I will need to focus on a special project for the Greek trip coming up.

I've destashed two garbage bags of yarn. More to do.

Now to try to fix this darn email.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Local Art

Remember Hieronymous Bosch.

This sculpture is a public piece in Athens, Georgia. I couldn't get any info on it. It looked up close as if it had been sculpted out of duct tape---but it was metallic hard. It is amazing. My favorite moment was watching two 8 year old boys in baseball uniforms looking at it. They were mesmerized. Art and athletics. Nice combo.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On the needles--too much

This is from my top down class. I've done most of the short rows for the bustline. The quasi-sweetheart neckline is a new one for me. I simply increase two sts every other row instead of one. I wanted a slightly higher neckline so my necklace would not get lost.

The center is created by alternating the center st with navy and lavendar. Neck edging is crab stitch (backwards single crochet). I added the edging as soon as I finished the neckline so I could prevent it from stretching as I threw in in bag after bag to cart it around.
This is a sock. The third attempt at the Cat Bordhi Riverbed architecture. Turtlegirl76 is mentoring me through this. Problem is, I don't seek her help until I've gotten in too far.
This is the increase for the ankle/gusset area. I know I could have kept it in pattern (the big deal about this design is the ability to knit the whole thing in a pattern), but I really want to clearly see how this shaping works. Hold your breath that this one works. It's in Sockotta by Plymouth.
My skirt!!!! This is Louet Euroflax and I am adapting the Sasha skirt pattern. I've figured out a way to chain stitch through the fabric to create a row of stitches which will allow me to knit my ruffles as assymetrical, sloped lace pieces. Anything to avoid horizontal lines on this body.

Also knitting another Curvaceous scarf, a new lace scarf pattern. Enjoying all.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Athens Art show

$30 for this really cool ring. It's some kind of glass in a sterling setting. Heavy and big and in your face. I just love it. Of course it goes with every thing I own.
This is a shibori scarf in great shades of blue. Honestly I don't (didn't) own a blue scarf.
Erica and I played in the booth and tried several on. Then she reminded me that Mother's Day was not far off. Hence, the gift was chosen. She even picked out one for her Grandmother.
Susan Ellis designed and dyed the scarf. Here's here info. Check out her etsy site.

Last look. Color is best in second pic. Loved the wrinkles. They match my cotton and linen clothes.
I have such great children.
Tomorrow, some real art from this site of the art show.

Friday, May 08, 2009

My guy

Getting a hit in your ballgame . . .
and getting a second hit . . .
fielding the ball and getting some outs . . . .
checking that Nana is watching carefully . . .
tucking in and looking good.

It is all priceless. No wonder he gets handknit sweaters.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Not my best day

Trying to do the right thing, even when it feels a bit wrong, can be costly. $800. That's costly.

Last night was my final responsibility to the knitting guild on whose board I have served forever. I needed to be there to present the awards for the annual guild show. And I did try.

Dear close friend's mom went to hospital late afternoon; very serious and I wanted to be more help to her. DSIL were to her home to get the dog to bring here. Couldn't reach anyone from guild to help, so had to go to take the entries.

Huge rain--no, HUGE rain started as dog arrived. By the time I got to my car, the lower end of my street was flooded.

Headed out the top end of the street. Traffic lights out, radio warning of tornadoes. Why did I not turn around and go home? Stupidity, sense of duty, general insanity? I'm putting my money on the insanity thing.

Traveling down Runnymeade, at the light at Colony, there was serious flooding. I got through it and was exhaling with relief when---going uphill--- the road just disappeared and I was floating. Scary. Pulled out of it and drove on. Heading down Sharon Amity, the yellow Check Engine light came on, then all the lights came on and the engine quit.

Why is it that when you lose your power steering you are left with no steering? Can't you just be left with non-power steering like cars used to have? I got off the road and into the driveway of one of the BIG houses. Didn't think I'd be welcome there. Called Steve who said Hmmm.

Sat for a while and tried to crank the car. Eventually it did catch and I went home at a slow speed, constantly vigilant for a place to pull off if it quit again. The yellow Check Engine message flashed the entire way.

Steve took it to the dealer this morning and I'll be without it for a few days. Drowned some major electronic computer thing. It is an $800 computer thing.

Time to dust off the bike.

Friday, May 01, 2009

New Purchases

The last Stitches post, I promise. I thought you'd be interested in what I bought. The above is something from Universal Yarns. When I made my first trip through the market, Jean was busily working on the computer and phone. Hal was sitting peacefully knitting on a really funky scarf. I couldn't resist and the pattern is free on the Universal website. The "cocoons' of cotton really look like silk cocoons. You only knit the small string between. Takes two balls. I think Jean designed this pattern.

Can you spinners guess who dyed this?

Yep, it's Gale's Art. It is luminous. I just hope I can do it justice on the wheel.

I bought Habu because I don't have a clue when I'll be near some again in the future. The darker purple is silk with a rustic texture. The lighter is the silk and stainless steel stuff. They may work together or I may do something separate. Don't know.
This was my totally out of control buy. These plus a bag of Louet Euroflax solid in a violet will be a skirt. I saw the Sasha pattern made up and fell in love. I bought this from Yarn Paradise from Asheville, NC. Jan and Lisa were working there. Jan loves my Curvaceous pattern. Nuf said, I was suckered in.
The colors and a bit more intense than this. Too much light in my photo. I have no intention of doing the pattern as written. Horizontal ruffles on my BgBt. I don't think so. I've been drawing and I think I can put the ruffles at an angle and get a better effect. I'd better. This skirt will cost a fortune.
Yes, the yarn is Claudia Hand Paint.
Speaking of great dyers. I bought sock yarn from Ellen of Ellen's Half Pint yarn. I think I mentioned it earlier, but here's a picture.

This was my book buy. I want to knit an amulet necklace. I don't care that the fad has passed; I'm still here. There is a sweet bracelet in here that I might try too.

That's it. Lots of projects, more than I have time for. Nothing new there.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stitches Prizes

We went to the student banquet. I do hope you saw the flowers in yesterday's blog. akabini has even better pics on her blog.

Each ticket to the banquet had a number, so I had two chances to win at the beginning. Then Bill found a ticket on the floor and couldn't find the owner, so I got that one. As the drawing started, we looked around and saw that a tablemate eligible for a prize had left early, but left her ticket for us. By then, I was the only one at the table not employed by XRX, so I got that one. Surely I would win something --- and I did.
First I won Margaret Fisher's new book about detailed techniques to make or break a sweater.
She has taught this course for years, so I will be interested to read for any tricks or tips I might not know.

A LYS from Dalton, Ga., gave away a $25 gift certificate so I went by the booth on Sunday morning and Steve (who sneaked in with a Staff nametag that said his name was Gay) picked out a pair of socks. Louet Gem Merino.

After all the drawings at the banquet, each table was given a bag of goodies. Instructions were given as to how to hand them out, ex, Give to the third person on your right. Gay and I were the only ones left at our table. I made her take some Malabrigo and some ArtYarn and she made me take the rest.

1. The Guy Knits book in the first picture. Since I already have these patterns in my Knitter's mag archive, I will be giving this to the guild for a door prize.

2. A sock kit from Cascade to make some summer socks.

3. A handmade shawl pin--don't know who created this.

4. A pattern book and the Mission Fall 1824 cotton to make the cute hat on the front. The guild may get this one also. Yarn is not my or my daughter's color.

5. And my favorite gift--a kit from ArtFelt. We stopped by the booth on Sunday and Marcy gave me a very detailed lesson. You don't use a washing machine!!!!!! It's all done in the dryer. I can't wait to try this. One of the big secrets is the base paper to hold the fiber until it is felted . . . . .

Potato Starch Paper----available through their distributors.

I have all kinds of new things to try now. Just need some time.

PS--Thanks to all the vendors who supported this event. I've read some griping on line about some, but I just met with genuine helpfulness everywhere I stopped. I am looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stitches Photos

This is Candace Eisner Strick and you should know who she is. Why? Because she is a great teacher, a marvelous designer, an inventor of the concept of merging colors yarn, and the funniest person I know. She's also wise--and I say that not only because she says I am good enough to teach on a national level--but because she just is. She graciously spent time with me this weekend and gave me such encouraging advice about my knitting career. Anyway--go to her site and the yarn is so cool.

Natalie who works for XRX took this and my great, good friend Gay e-mailed it to everyone who attends the Colorado Knitting Camp. Turns out that Natalie is the one who draws all the graphics for the website and brochures. She's marvelous. Her work is so energetic and fun. So is she. Everyone I've met from Sioux Falls is so clever. Must be the water.

Gay and I had so much fun together. I finally got to meet Bill who does all the facilities management at the Stitches events. All the designers think he is wonderful and I agree.

At the Student Banquet on Saturday night, we sat with Bill and Gay. Also at the table was Anne Claxton who does the KnitU at the Knitters website and Susan Lazear who truly knows the international knitting scene. Both were very nice.

The Atlanta Knitting Guild had knitted flowers---giant flowers---as centerpieces for this event. A local artist wired them. They were huge and clever and beautiful. Alexis Xenakis, the first X in XRX, announced that they had purchased the flowers and were going to drive them back to South Dakota. I suspect they will appear at some future Stitches events.

Sorry about the poor photograpy. These were taken after the cocktail hour, and Meghan will tell you I never took a photo without moving the camera.

These flowers make me more determined than ever to organize a public knitting project for Charlotte.

Tomorrow I'll show you the prizes I won at the banquet. Circumstances came together in such a way that I wound up with quite a haul.

Monday, April 27, 2009


The hotel found my camera cable, along with Steve's pants and shirt, and are shipping them, so yarn pics are coming.

Victoria--awesome fiber woman--was at Stitches on Saturday and told me she had knit my Curvaceous pattern. I shamelessly begged for pics and she sent them.

This is what she did:

Here are pictures of Curvaceous, knitted on maybe #15 needles with some handspun that a friend of mine spun from some Rambouillet fleece she had dyed. I had been keeping an eye out for some yarn with that "rustic" quality that I thought would look particularly nice with this pattern. The yarn was so springy I had to bump the needle size up several times (and of course, I wasn't simply trying a small swatch each time). I hope these are big enough for you to see.

It was fun to knit!

Just like having someone tell you your baby is pretty. Puffed with pride.
Thanks so much Victoria.

Stitches South

So this was supposed to be a tasteful report on the weekend with pics for those who could not be there. I'd like to blame the lack of photos on the fact that I think I left my camera cable in the hotel, but the truth is I only took a few pictures. Too excited to think. Anyway, here's a brief, photoless, report which I wrote Friday night.

We’re here. Quickly saw Karen (akabini) for a brief hug while her workshop was taking a break. Hope to talk more tomorrow. Steve unloaded the bike and toured the neighborhood.

The hotel is lovely and we have a huge room. I dumped some stuff, checked in at registration and headed for the market. Not many people hanging out. Of course classes were going on when we arrived, but still seemed smaller than I expected. Same with the market.

Stephani Quattrini has a booth. Briefly talked with her and hubby Marc. Hope to have a drink later and here some stories. She’s led a really interesting life and has a bunch to tell. They lived in Tahiti for ten years, then New Zealand, and now northern Mecklenburg. Doesn’t really have a ring to it, does it.

Also spoke with Judy Ditmore of Interlacements for Colorado Springs. She helped teach my first Colorado Knitting Camp in the 90’s. Of course, it was about color. Love her yarns.

Talked with some nice folks from the North Georgia Knitting Guild. They have only been in operation a bit over a year, but seem to have their act together. I picked up a brochure and a needle guide that they use to advertise themselves to other knitters.

Ellen of Ellen’s Half Pint Farm in Vermont is here. I’ve bought from her for years and I love her colorways. I bought two lovely skeins of sock yarn (Yes, Meghan, more sock yarn) and some markers to use for my OTN Cat Bordhi socks.

Candace Eisner Strick spent some time advising me about my knitting workshops and cheering me on. I feel really good about her sweet comments and will put them to use. Her yarn company (Merging Colors) has a new colorway which sounds like me. I’ll search it out when I get online.

Speaking of online. Why is it that the fancier, more pricey hotels nickel and dime you to death. We noticed this when we stayed at the fancy Fairmont hotels in Canada. At the Hampton Inn or Best Western, you get free parking, reasonably priced vending machines, and free internet. Here at the Renaissance Waverly the parking is free, but a Coke costs $2.00 and internet is $14.95 a day. That’s why you are not getting this the day I am typing it. Breakfast? I’ll be at the Starbucks.

Jane Godshall stopped by while I was talking to Candace and we talked a bit. She told Harriet I was here and Harriet joined us for drinks and dinner. She told Stephen stories and updated us about her daughter and her BFF Michael torturing her on Facebook. The woman is a stitch. Friends will be glad to know that no one got “to’e up.”

Haven’t caught up with Gay yet. I’ll hang some with her tomorrow while Steve rides the Silver Comet Trail. I’ll also attend the market again, but I doubt I’ll be buying anymore yarn. I will be looking at books.

Charlotte Knitters arrive on the bus about 11 tomorrow; more friends to play with.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fun and Stitches

I saw this on a blog and wanted to share it. Here. While you're there, read around; she's interesting.

Tomorrow we head to Stitches South to see friends and maybe buy a little yarn. Gay, who runs the Colorado Knitting Camp I go to every year, will be there with her Bill who organizes Stitches events. We are going to attend the Student Banquet with them.

Candace Eisner-Strick of Strickwear has become a great knit buddy after three years of camp. I'm picking her brain about my next teaching challenge. She's not only smart and clever, she's the funniest woman I know.

Karen Alfke, whom I met on the Vogue Canada trip, is teaching and I look forward to catching up with her. Check out her sweater pattern in the new knitty.

Steve plans to ride the Silver Comet Trail all day Saturday, so I will shop the market, catch up with the Charlotte knitters coming in on the guild's bus and just absorb the event. I can't wait to see new yarns. I wish everyone reading this could be there.

I'll take pics and let you know what new things I find.

Always planning something

Of course I'm right! If you can't imagine a project for it, move it out. It's not like you can't or won't buy more yarn, cloth, fiber, etc.

DD2 returned from vacation and caught up on my blog. (I love that she reads it.) The above was her response to the post about my studio/junk pile. I love her spunk, but I also love her wise self. "If you can't imagine a project for it" Those are some serious guiding words.

I may need to add "that you would really love." I'm pretty imaginative, but, let's face it, life is finite; and they keep making wonderful new yarns. I'm going to set aside a morning and give it a try. I can always find a knitter who will take in orphan yarn.

So why a picture of my Esther socks? I just love them. Also I have fallen victim to the words of turtlegirl76 and am ready to reopen my copy of Cat Bordhi's book.

Cristi came for dinner last night and brought beautiful socks and sat me down and measured my foot for the Riverbed method of sock shaping. Lord, that girl is convincing. And she knows her socks. Just like one of my own daughters, she reminded me again of my love of adventure in knitting----I'm picking out the yarn today.

Tomorrow night I start a new sock class and, as is always my favorite part of teaching, I will learn something new myself.

Speaking of learning to knit socks. When you first learned or if you were to learn, would you care which technique was taught---dpns, 2 circs, magic loop? This came up in a discussion with my fearless LYS owner, and I'm just curious.

Are you on the Charlotte Yarn mailing list? The announcement came today that Wendy Johnson is teaching and signing her new book at Charlotte Yarn the weekend of June 6 and 7. There are still some spaces in the class and it is very reasonably priced. Remi is bringing Wendy down as a treat to her customers and Fiber Fans. Don't miss out if you are in the area. You can pre-order a book at Charlotte Yarn if you wish.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On the Needles

Estonian Button Stitch socks (pattern on ravelry and in Plymouth Sockotta that I found in the attic. These are public knitting and are for me. Next socks will be more adventurous.
This is the sweater I'm creating as I teach the Top Down Custom Fit Shell class. I'm using 1824 Cotton (Mission Falls) from the stash. It knits at 4.25 per inch and I wanted something that would knit up fast. Can't fall behind in my homework.

I'm really pleased with how the navy and the lavendar play off each other. More as I go.

The shrug I mentioned last week (Here) seems to be working out nicely. I even like it so far on me, and I don't wear shrugs. More words to eat. I will definitely offer it as a free pattern as soon as the bugs are worked out.

Stitches South is this weekend and I can't wait to meet up with knit friends from across the country. I plan to make some serious knitting plans as I look at the yarn companies new things for this coming year. Yeah, I might buy some yarn.

Backyard Battle

Typical scene at the Prater bird feeder. We have awesome squirrels, but I've been winning the last few weeks. In order to eat at all, the squirrels have to hang upside down, and after a few bites, they fall off. They will regroup a few times and then they give up---or start to attack the metal cable to drop the entire feeder. (Ouch, my teeth)
Then along came the Old Timer. That tale has been stripped by combat. No bushy, bushy. But with age and experience comes wisdom.
The Old Timer sinks his claws into the porch framing and r-e-a-c-h-e-s across space to latch on to the bottom of the feeder and just eats his fill.
He rarely falls. Just look at those claws. I haven't the heart to shoo away such a clever agent.