Monday, June 30, 2008

Clue 3, Finis!

Here is Clue 3, D!

So, to recap, Clue 1 - A, Clue 2 - B, Clue 3 -D.
Phew! Time to get some rest. Next weeks clue is going to be huge!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Clue 3 Spoiler!

Here's my Clue 3 up to where I am just starting Row 33. The yarn looks awfully bright on my screen. It's more muted in person. It's not stretched out to its fullest potential, but can you see the little leaf shapes, complete with stems? There are what look like to be flower shapes, too. These pictures are not the greatest.

Here's another one. Can you guess which Clue it is?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Clue 3 Is Up!

Got it printed off. See ya!

Still Life While Waiting

It was a lovely gray day, yesterday. We got a nice bit of rain, but we could use some more.

The Heere Be Dragones shawl went from this....

To this.

Hey, I just realised that in the first photo, it's backwards. Doesn't look like much progress, does it? Just a little more belly and wings.

I've been knitting on my wrap cardigan this morning while waiting for Clue 3 to appear on the Anniversary Shawl Yahoo page. I've also been vacuuming, listening to a Librivox reading of Robinson Crusoe and closely observing PH for more hobbitlike tendencies. I noticed that, both yesterday and today, he asked for elevensies.

PH has not forgiven me for the scary photo of him in yesterday's blog entry.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I've got the button!

Here's the button I bought at the yarn shop. It was the absurd little bird head that compelled me to buy it. There is a definate Asian influence, don't you think? I'll have to find the perfect project for this little guy. He is resting on the inside of my Wrap cardi, which is coming along famously. Soon, I'll be ready to start the sleeves.

Here is one of those skirts that I made. It's a bit wrinkled in front because had been wearing it and driving in it. See the serging at the bottom? I wore it like that! I still haven't hemmed them!
But see, the white t-shirt balanced it out....

Tomorrow, the Anniversary Shawl Clue 3 is coming out, so today, besides some mundane chores, I am going to either work on the Green Dragon shawl or my lavender cardi. Somehow, I don't feel like snowflakes.

I've had hobbits on the brain this morning. I told my friend Linda that PH was having his second breakfast, and she thought that he sounded very hobbit-like. Well, come to think of it, he is short and has hairy toes. But, curly hair?

"Hobbitses? I'll show you hobbitses! My puuuuuuurrrrrecious!"

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Where's Keety?

There he is! After searching all over for PH this evening, we found him in a wire sliding shelf, in our closet. A cosy nest made of boxers!

New yarn! We went to Knoxville, yesterday, where I happily ended up at The Yarn Haven. It happened to be Sandy, the owner's, birthday and she gave everyone a birthday discount! She had a great party crown on that made her look a bit like the Statue of Liberty, and come to think of it, she was knitting an American flag! She, and Diane, who works there, were very nice. I got to hear a bit about the Yarn Marke at TNNA, and the trends in knitting fashion. They are also bringing in some new yarns. Louisa Harding and Mountain Colors are the two that stuck in my brain. I had a hard time making up my mind what to bring home with me, but I finally settled on just a few things. I bought another skein of Jojoland Harmony in a bright orange/yellow combination. Not for me (not my color), but to make something for a good friend here that loves bright colors. Then, since I have never knit with Malabrigo before, I decided on a single skein of their silk/wool blend in the color Azul Azul. Now, that is my color! There were some gorgeous blues at The Yarn Haven. Oh, shucks, I forgot to photograph a button that I bought. I had to have it. It made me chuckle. I put it up here tomorrow.

EEK! A Jojoland Jellyfish attacking a skein of yarn!

Well. I guess the bed is still more comfy than boxers. Look at those back feet. He always curls his toes!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Clue 2, I adore U!

Here's my finished Clue 2! My laptop is still out of commission, so I am still looking at these photos on a dim pc monitor. I had to call my sister to look at them on Flickr and Ravelry, and had her choose which ones she thought looked best. Thanks, Amy!

Clue 1A Clue 2B

Here's another shot in different lighting.

I had another angle, but for some reason I am having problems uploading that one. It's been on my Ravelry page since last night, though. I'm Bereni on Ravelry. MaryAnne, you were right! I really like how the Jojoland Harmony looks. The color changes just melt into one another. I'm happy with my chart choices, as well. You just can't go wrong with this pattern. Every one that I've seen on Ravelry is more beautiful than the next.

So, the UPS man did come. He brought me the cord for my laptop, but it turns out that the cord is not the problem. Grrrr. Now, I have to take it to a computer repair guy. I did some research on the internet, and the most likely cause of the problem is supposed to be a quick repair. I sure hope it is. Sigh.

PH had a bad morning. He didn't keep it to himself. He had to share it with the rest of us. It being DH's day off, we tried to sleep in a little bit. This didn't sit well with 'ol Furpants. He wanted us up, and front and center, at his food dish. He tried everything. He huffed and puffed, he stomped on us, he yelled at the top of his kittylungs.

When he finally dragged me into the kitchen, I confronted him with a terrible truth. There was only a teaspoonful of canned food left in the fridge. He had to eat his dry food, but there were some treats, and he could have some of them, too.

The little, stubborn, stripey guy refused to believe me. He thought I was holding out on him, and he told me so in strident tones. I offered him salsa and some red beans and rice. He was insulted. I showed him my empty hands. The empty can. He just knew I was trying to pull the proverbial wool over his amber eyes. I tried reasoning with him. Heh. I reminded him that there was a time when he only ate dry food. No use.

Finally, not being able to stand the sight of me any longer, he demanded to be let outside. I imagined him looking for an unsuspecting skink to smack around, or worse, packing his cat toys into a little handkerchief, tying it to a stick and hitting the road.

When DH left to fill the Jeep up with gas, he announced that he would be bringing home some Brat Food, not cat food, and true to his word, he returned with the much prized Chicken and Gravy.

As soon as that lid was peeled away, I could feel peace seeping back into the household. The world was, again, spinning smoothly on its axis. PH was once again a charming and likeable fellow.

Here's proof.


Can you buy Chicken and Gravy by the case?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Oh Goddess Knits, My Brain is Torn Asunder!

I think I've gone insane. This Anniversary Shawl is making me do crazy things. Clue 2 came out yesterday and, wham, bang, I printed it out. Now, here's where something inside my brain started to come loose. Instead of just looking at the four charts and saying, "Oh, that one looks nice, I think I'll go with B," or "I'll just close my eyes and point to one," or even "I'll just draw from a hat or flip a coin,"......I said, "Hmmm....I just can't choose from looking at these charts. I'll just put on some Jane Austen films and make a little swatch from each one." So I did. Here's the proof.

B and A

D and C

But it didn't stop there, because you can't really see what happens between the 12 stitches, you can imagine it, but you can't really see it! Heh heh, unless you hold a mirror up to them....

I am ashamed to say it got worse. I had to take pictures of them and put them on my computer and crop and cut and paste with the photo of my Clue 1 and change colors and grayscale, oh, it was awful, awful! You see, all of this, it made it so much worse. I found out that the patterns are all so beautiful that now I want to make them all! I want to try different combinations, different clue 1's and clue 2's, in different yarns and colors. Now, I am starting to dread clue 3! It's madness, I tell you, madness!

I had to stop to go sing at the radio station last night (which was so much fun) and came back too late to torture my brain anymore with decisions, so the whole thing started again this morning. I looked on Ravelry and saw some people had already chosen and finished their Clue 2's. They are all gorgeous. I think that no matter which charts you decide on, you are going to end up with an amazing looking shawl. Thank you Renee for such a great experience and pattern.....oh, mental anguish and well....yep. No, just kidding about that last part, that's entirely my fault. I've always had problems with decisions.

I will tell you, though, I have narrowed it down to two charts. B and D. When combined with my swirl center, one chart increases the "blazing sun" look and the other reminds me more of mineral patterns or snowflake, maybe. Hot or cold? Organic growing things or crystalline metallicness? I think I am obsessed.

Okay, I am without vehicle today and am unable to get to church. I will make a pot of tea and choose. Yes, I...will...choose. Errgh! I think that right now, (Right now, I tell you!) I am going to get out my A-D stitch markers for Cat Bordhi socks and put them in a hat for next Saturday's clue! Let's see, B or D. B or D....B.....D.....B.....D.....bee...dee...beedee....beedee beedee beedee beedee...........

Friday, June 20, 2008

What a Hoot

I'm waiting for the UPS man. The UPS man should be bringing me a box. In that box, should be a cord. That cord should, and it better, fit into the back of my laptop. We have been sans laptop for just a few days, but it seems like an eternity. You see, I usually use the laptop to update this blog, because the monitor on our pc is old and getting dim. In fact, I can't really tell how the photos (taken by a camera whose batteries are threatening to die at any moment, by the way) on the last several posts actually look on a non-old, dim, crusty monitor. So, I am waiting for the UPS man.

The Honda Hoot came to town yesterday. What is that, you ask? It's an annual event that the Honda company organizes for people who own Honda motorcycles. They've been coming to the Smokies for several years now, and stay in Knoxville. They come, by the thousands, from all over the country, to ride in this truly gorgeous area. They get to choose from several different activities over the course of four days. We're on the list. Around seven or eight hundred of them descended on our town at around 11:00 yesterday morning. They got to sight-see and partake of a big 'ol country dinner catered by the only "real" restaurant in town, which has the best food for miles around here. The town makes it into a mini festival for them, complete with local vendors, speakers from historic state and national parks, and demonstraters. That's me!

I had a good time, I met some very nice people, and got to share something I love with other people who were actually interested in what I was doing. I've heard other spinners say that they get more interest from men when they spin out in public. It's funny, but somwhat true. Though I had plenty of women stopping by, the men seemed to linger longer. They were interested in the mechanics of the wheel, what made what happen and each step it took to get from sheep to finished product. The women commented more about the softness of different fibers and how they wished they could spin or knit. I met a very nice father/daughter combo from California who were riding together on one bike. The daughter was a pretty, elfin-like girl, with pixie-like, dark hair and big eyes. She has leukemia and taught herself to knit from a book during a lengthy hospital stay. Some folks came back a couple of times to check on my progress (how full my bobbin was). One man came back and asked if I sold any of my skeins, because he thought handspun would make a nice gift for his mother back home, who is a knitter. I hadn't planned on it, but I managed to find a couple I could part with. It was really nice. I was set up next to a high school lad who was drawing caricatures. I didn't realize that they still made teenaged boys so nice! What a great kid. We helped each other out, and when I wasn't looking, he had drawn a caricature of me and hung it up behind him to advertise his business! Lucky for him it was cute and not unflattering.

So today, though I was thinking about dyeing some silk,I think the most I'm going to do is knit, spin and think about what to make for dinner, before I have to sing tonight. Yesterday, was leftovers of the totally countrified supper I made the night before. Soup beans, cornbread, cole slaw, fried chicken and fried green tomatoes! Yumm-ay! Tomorrow I have a leeetle gig at a leetle local radio station.

Oh, have you seen this? I saw it awhile back and thought it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It's a glass spinning wheel, in motion, on YouTube! Incredible!

Do kitties get the blues?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ready for Clue Two!

Here are the two different versions of Clue 1, Chart A, for the Anniversary Shawl. This is the one I am going with. This one is knit with size 4 needles.

This is the first one, which I frogged. It's knit with size 3 needles.

I believe that the frogged version is the way the designer actually meant it to be knit, but some folks, including me, are knitting it the other, more spirally, way. I think they are both pretty, but the spiral looks better in this ultra thin laceweight. I've seen some knit up in the orginal way using a slightly heavier laceweight and it looks really nice, like a chrysanthemum. Makes me want to knit them both! My spyrograph center reminds me of the sun. I can't wait to see what the Jojoland looks like when it starts to change colors. The colors just fade into each other. Very cool.

I forgot to mention that I did knit in public last Saturday. I took a sock to the Fireman's BBQ and knit after we sang. I have a GoKnit pouch in camoflauge for just such occasions as these! It even has a "don't shoot me orange" cord! Tomorrow, I'll be spinning and weaving in public. I'll be doing some demonstrations here in the Gap. Perhaps, I'd better get some sleep. ZZZzzz...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Into the Jojoland Mystery

I stayed up too late re-knitting Clue 1 of the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl. Oh, but I like it much better. At least, that is what I think tonight. I'll look at it by the morning's light and see if it actually looks as good as I think it does. I'll post pictures of both my first and second attempt tomorrow. I used the circular crochet cast on that you can see performed here. It worked great with the extremely thin Jojoland Harmony. G'night!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Can't We All Just Knit-A-Long?

As if I didn't have enough to knit, I've joined up with the Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl KAL. The first clue came out on Friday and I've just knit it up today. I'm using the Jojoland Harmony that I posted about here. I think the ombre color changes will work well with the circular construction of the shawl. The unique thing about the Anniversary Shawl pattern is that you get to pick from several different charts as you knit, so all of the shawls won't look alike when they are completed. My camera batteries have died. Photos will have to wait until tomorrow.

This is a picture of PH when he was very young. I think he is almost one year in this photo. Oh, yes, he's always been devastatingly handsome...and orange.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Knittin' in a Winter Wonderland

I made the skirt from the pattern I bought with no help from PH, as you can see. I'm not taking a photo of the skirt until I find a white slip to wear under it. I didn't realize how sheer the fabric is. I still haven't hemmed the other two. But, I might hem one in the morning so I can wear it tomorrow. I'm singing at a Firemans' BBQ. It'll be bluegrass and Patsy Cline tomorrow. Hee hee.

Here's another snowflake. Are you sick of them yet?

I reknitted the one that had that big hole in it. This one looks right.

I got to visit with my friend, Linda, this evening! She's a talented spinner and weaver, and, she has the added distinction of being the first one to give Punkinhead, aka Kittysperk, the distinguished moniker of, PH. She knew him when he was just a little tyke.

Other than the snowflakes, I knitted a bit more on the wrap cardi today. It's a bit longer, that's all. I am finished increasing for the wrapped fronts and am into the home stretch for the body of the sweater. Then it will be onto the sleeves.

Boy, I'm tired. I guess I better take one of my unfinished socks to the BBQ tomorrow so I can knit in public. Snowflakes aren't suited for that kind of thing. I've been living dangerously and not using the point protectors that are recommended for knitting the flake backgrounds with 7 dpn's. I've been working them with four wooden and three metal needles. The metal ones have only slipped out a few times....

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Post With No Name

More snowflakes! Here's one.

Here's another...

and all three with backgrounds!

The top snowflake in the pyramid is one that I thought I might have to reknit because I thought it might have been a little smaller, but after I realized how forgiving the backgrounds are (stretchy!) I decided to try with that flake, and it worked! I may try one of the biggest flakes next to see if they aren't too big!

Here is how far along I am with the Knitting Pure and Simple Wrap Cardigan. I'm adding a little waist shaping to make it nice and huggy.

I still haven't hemmed the two skirts that I made so I haven't taken any photos of them, yet. I did, however manage to find a skirt and dress pattern that I like, along with more fabric, when I went out shopping with my friend, Madge, yesterday. The skirt is a big, simple, circular one with NO zippers! Yay! I think I'll make that today. The dress is a pullover one with NO zippers! Yay!

I have been listening to knitting podcasts all morning, so I'm itching to work on something! I'll leave you with an embarassing picture of PH to get him back for the last post. It's a bit dark, but I think his face looks so funny!

Heh heh heh.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cartoon Life

PH: So, um, what's going on here?

Me: It's a photo shoot. I'm blocking a snowflake. Stay off the sheet, okay? No cats allowed.

PH: Cats? I see no cats. I am the world famous photo stylist and knitwear photographer, PH, and you are in desperate need of my help and expertise.

Me: Oh, brother!

PH: Look. Wrinkles! These must go. Holey sheet!

Me: What?!

PH: Those holes! What are they doing there?

Me: Well, there's this story that goes along with the holes, see. I thought it might make a cute entry for my blog.

PH: Cute, is for puppies and squirrels. Well, maybe not puppies. Here, give me that.

Me: Whoa! Whoa! Wait a minute! You can't just take my camera! Wait! You don't have thumbs!

PH: Oh, yeah? Who needs thumbs.


PH: Now hold me up.

Me: Sigh...okay.

Me: Why does my life feel like a Garfield cartoon?

PH: Are you calling me fat?!

Seriously, folks. That is what a snowflake looks like with a background attached. I finished another one since this one and it is blocking right now on the same holey sheet. You know, even the backgrounds are fun to do. It's a little different for each flake, so you have to pay attention, but you don't get bored.

So, why does the sheet have two holes in it? Well, it was just the best costume ever! Okay, maybe not the best, but after PH forced me into giving it a big build up, now I feel a little dumb saying that I went to a party with this sheet over my head, with two holes cut in it for eyes, and declared myself the "Gingham Ghost". Spoooooky! Kind of Charlie Brownish. Hee hee hee! The best part I saved for last. It's a fitted sheet! Har har har! So, I'm cheap. It wasn't even my own sheet. Heh heh.

Well, now that I've cracked myself up, I'm going to sign off and knit another snowflake background and watch, Silverado, with DH. He's big into westerns. I'm getting kinda fond of them myself. Please, come back!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Snow Day in June!

While the rest of the southeast United States is sweltering in the heat, it's snowing at my house!

Blocking snowflakes takes sooooooo many pins! I had to empty several pincushions and then used needles and safety pins, as well. I was eyeing the push pins when I discovered that the last snowflake to be blocked had a mistake in it.

See that big hole in the upper left corner? I'll have to re-knit this one.

There are two more that I am going to re-knit as well. Somehow, when I started knitting these, I made, two, using the wrong size needle. They are smaller than the rest. I hope I haven't overcompensated knitting the rest of them. I seem to always knit a little tighter than the writers of lace patterns. My shawls always end up a little smaller when blocked out. Usually, it's not a problem, but I have been conciously trying to loosen up on these snowflakes. I hope I haven't carried the "binding off loosely" too far. I imagine I'll find out when I start knitting the backgrounds.

They look cool, don't they? Sharon Winsauer is so talented. The flakes go fast and are fun to knit. I might have to make another one of these shawls. Maybe a scarf? We'll see if I change my tune after I begin the backgrounds. I'm going to start one tonight.

On another note, I did make two skirts! They turned out really cute, and they fit, although my zipper sewing skills leave much to be desired. I need to hem them first, and then I'll take some photos. I have fabric to make even more and more skirts. I am determined that this will be skirt summer and I will wear nothing but cute, breezy skirts!

Oh, here is my excuse for not making my bed this morning....

Good kitty.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dropped Stitch Shawl

It's fun to finish things! The Dropped Stitch Shawl is done, but not blocked. It really might not need to be, it's so stretchy and will probably grow on its own, but I think I'll probably do it anyway. It's a fun, free pattern by Knitpicks and you can download it here. I made it on really terrible, old, gray, plastic, size 8, circulars with a stiff cord. Bleah! (Love my Knitpicks Options!) The yarn is called, Twist, in the Broadway Lights colorway, which is a dark navy with lots of other colors running through it. It's the Knitpicks yarn called for in the pattern (on sale for $1.99) and it is made of cotton, viscose, acrylic and nylon.

It is a great, mindless travel project with an easily memorized 6 row repeat. I kept holding it up to look at the shape of it to make certain that I was on the side that I needed to increase a stitch, when I had a "duh" moment. Gee, dummy, if you just use a different stitch marker on each side instead of using two alike, for symmetrical beauty, you will always know where you need to increase or decrease. Thus, the simple project became simpler.

Here is the fun part. At the end, you get to unravel the five stitch border to make fringe! Just slip that needle out and...
tie each unraveled row in an overhand knot!
Oooooh! Unraveling!
See? Fringe! (I did this in the car while waiting for DH.)
Here it is.
I guess I'll get to blocking it sometime, but, right now, I have the urge to finish some skirts I've started making. I went shopping the other day and bought a couple of cute skirts that actually fit me. I managed to draft a pattern off of them and have set to making some more for the summer. I've also pulled out the snowflakes for the Winter Wonderland Shawl by Sharon Winsauer. Someone on Ravelry asked me a question about the construction, which prompted me to want to work on it some more. Oh, and just in the past couple of days I've foregone the wheel to spin a bit on my Kundert drop spindle. It spins so nice. Then, there's that book I just bound in leather as an experiment....