Monday, December 22, 2008

Some Traditions Endure

My favorite tradition being Paula's Christmas Cookie Party. Yes, she made all of those lovely cookies and the hostess with the most-ess had all the perfect everything to go-with. With the snow the way it was, it was just the three of us, Liz and Gaby were snow-bound. We figure the cookies will still be there by next Sunday do there may be party #2!
This is the view from my window right now.
This is a mystery picture, but I think I'll tell you the answer straight away and not hold out because I don't think you'll guess it. It was taken last night from my bedroom window. It's the edge of my brick window ledge. It's illuminated by the lights below and it slightly melting to ice on the edge.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The House Has Me

Well, the house always has me in it's grips of comfort. I love this kind of weather. I should probably just go out for a walk but I feel so compelled by my projects right now.
I will tempt fate and share one because the giftee will most likely read this before I give it to her. Heck, who reads my blog? If you don't comment folks, I have no idea who you are!
Okay, I'll share some projects...

The hat above is one for me.

This is the French Press Cosey from KnitAlong.

This is the mohair shawl I crocheted in two days with some Blue Moon discontinued Kid Mo in the Christmas Rock colorway.
This is the hat from the latest IK that other friends of mine have done a much nicer job on than moi, but it's for me so...

These are a gift with a matching Headband...

These are Dashing from Knitty, very tightly knit in bulky merino for moi, because they won't fit the original person I was knitting them for!

Dare I post these??? I knit one of them last year and just finished the second one this week.

And, lastly I have to finish the second one of these.
I'm posting all these projects because I can't seem to blog without actual knitting progress content and it's been too long!
So, here I am at a quarter to 10PM, still in the warm apartment with the kittens and the Holiday tree and lots of tea.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Things I Can Blog About

Of course, at this time of year there are things I simply cannot blog about. Yes, gift knitting of course. So, let's have a brief re-cap of recent events. Like...Nana's birthday. Above we have Paula waiting to cut her lovely cake creation. If there's one thing you can always count on Paula for, it's a fabulous cake.
Look that that lusciousness!

Nana doesn't want her picture taken, she wants the CAKE.
After that there was thanksgiving, but I really didn't take many pictures. I was saved the job of cooking, compliments of Zupan's. All I had to do was do the table, heating and serving. Good thing because just getting my place clean and presentable for guests can be quite daunting these days.
And now I am knitting stuff. Lots of stuff. Wish I could spin at the same time, but it seems like a physical impossibility until I grow a bigger brain and two more hands.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Said I Wouldn't

When I was going through my stash this week I just couldn't figure out what to do about this old aran yarn that was just sitting there. It was bought on Ebay and had been getting dirty and stretched out from being caked. So, at the very least, to just use it I would have to put it in hanks and wash it. Heck, if I'm gonna do that I may as well do, that thing I said I wouldn't do. Dye it.
And, then I found two skeins of Knitpicks sock yarn in Bare and some handspun yarn of unknown origin (a whole 200 grams worth.)
There is still one place I have said that I will not go and I'll be darned if I will: Processing wool. You can keep me true to that one.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Somehow I missed the Oct 23rd 2004 anniversary of this blog!
I suppose that means that the time just goes by effortlessly and somehow I'm managed to make so many years into words and pictures just blend together.
Never once did I think of giving up or quitting this process. It's been like a child I birthed and now it's here and I need to feed it. It doesn't cry out too often, must mostly nudges me from time to time. I don't keep a journal regularly, and although this blog often lacks a certain personal confessional quality, it does keep me connected to the process of connecting the dots.
In thinking about these years of knitting I have a couple of thoughts. Mainly that it amazes me that I find the art and craft of knitting to be inexhaustable in its richness and expanse for me. The next is that I remember going to a fiber arts show before I had this blog and I thought, "Hmm....cashmere lace. Now, that's something that I'll do sometime after 60 rolls around!" Truth be told, I haven't knit cashmere lace yet but it's way closer than 11 years away. It's more like 6 months away at this point. I mean, heck I'm spinning cashmere now! I didn't even think I'd go the way of spinning.
Yes, there are days when the simplest knitting project is just riddled with the errors from my lack of attention. And then there are those days, those wonderous days when I do something miraculous with the piles of yarn here, and I just feel stunned (and probably tired) but satisfied that I made something beautiful.

For all of you who are on this journey with me, of self discovery and self expression:
Hello and hello again, my friends.

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Meeting

We had a great time this past Saturday at Portland's Central Library. Great room. I was worried about turnout even though 30 people had RSVP'd yes. We had close to 20 people and we laughed at the fact that there was no duplication of spinning wheel. We also had a fair amount of drop spindles. Long live the drop spindle!
Our next meeting is Dec 7th and we're hoping to get the folks who couldn't make it on a Saturday. One of our treats was to get fiber samples from Susan of Abstract Fiber.
We like presents! And chocolate. Yeah, I made brownies and there was some suger high in addition to fiber fumes...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stuff's Getting Done

The Swallowtail shawl is finished but because of too tight bind off and lack of yarn, I have no points. No points, but little beads where the points should be. This is in Sea Silk.
These make me happy. Knitted in one weekend from half a ball of BMFA Medium sock yarn in a Rare Gems colorway (one of a kind). The pattern is Spirogyra.

This is 80/20 merino/tussah silk from RedRish dyeworks and I'm still workin on it.

This is something I started oh...a few years ago? Yeah, it's the Many Buttoned Vest from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Vests. One of my favorite books. This is the third pattern I'm making from it and that's probably a record for knitting pattern books.
Yeah, just a post to prove I'm not really slacking. Just looks that way.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


NOT a political message:
Today there are no leaves on the trees. These are pictures from two days ago when I last walked up my street to see the last of them piling up on the ground. The picture above is so perfectly Oregon. Moss and rain and fallen leaves...

This reminds me of the snow back in New England, but with leaves.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


We f-king did it.
Every morning and during the day I breathed deeply and said out loud and to myself "President Barack Obama."
For everyone else who did this and voted for this man, thank you.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


As you may have remembered, I started picking these kid mohair locks into clouds at OFFF this year. (The picture above is a different color batch but the same stuff). Last night I started spinning them and then plied them with a silk thread.
Because the silk thread had no twist to counteract the twist in the mohair single, it created a boucle yarn. I tried to just keep the colors blended, bit by bit and not try and control the texture too much because it would have turned to wire...
So, from one ounce I have 109 yds here.

It takes a fair amount of time to play with these techniques. It doesn't really work for me to just do little sample skeins. I need to spend time spinning the fiber to see what it's going to do. The part that was an exciting suprise for me this time was the lovely shine here and the way the color mixed up.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

String Theory or Just Spaghetti?

Just a cute title. Yeah, I know string theory isn't really about
Actually, this is some merino/cashmere that I finally finished spinning. Four ounces and I have to count the yardage and WPI now. I love working with soft luxury fiber, but I'm so drawn to color that I find is hard to get through several ounces of off white fiber. Let's see what this wants to be. Probaly a large lace scarf (as if I need more lace projects right now!)
I went to the thrift shop and got two little tea cups for 50 cents each. This one is nothing spectacular, but this second one is interesting just for the markings.

Perhaps for folks out there who actually collect china, this might not be anything special, but I've never seen this mark and thought it was sad/interesting. History in a teacup. Storm in a teacup. Tempest in a teacup. Taking tea by the fire. Taking tea with your demons...

It's a transformational time of year for me. It's a transformational time for all of us and I feel it in my gut and heart and I wonder what state of mind we're all in these days. Are we waiting? I'm doing a lot of visual manifestation. Anything seems possible, and I don't mean that in a kind of Cinderella way. I love the musical version of Cinderella by Rogers and Hammerstein. Particularly the song, "In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be..."

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Best Girl

I don't think words are necessary here...It's just one of those cat picture moments. Brahms says "hi".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Something Finished, More to Go

It didn't take me long to finish this sweater out of Noro Matsuri. It was the last past of getting the colors evenly distributed on the sleeves did take some patience. I'm happy with the results. In fact, I have it on as I write this!
Now that's done, I'm working on finishing up my other UFO's. Thing is, they all take charts of one sort or another. That leads me with the dilemma of needing a more mindless project. That next leads me to the dilemma of taking on YET ANOTHER project. What'a girl to do....
This is my friend Elizabeth's sock that she cobbled together using a long repeat colorchange yarn and a self-striping yarn together. Sock two is on the way....This photo doesn't even begin to do the colors justice.
And, one of those Gotta Have It fall folliage shots taken while I was waiting for the Sunday Knitting gals to arrive this week. The colors seem to have come out just overnight this year. Quite sudden.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It Was an Idea

So, it wasn't MY idea, but that's probably just as well.
Some years ago when I got my copy of Stitch n Bitch I looked at that circular needle holder and thought, "My, how simple and useful!" But it meant taking out the sewing machine and that's been progressively harder to do. No good reason. Just impatient with that particular process.

On Monday I got over myself and gave it a try.
What happened is that they all curled forward making the thing look like some kind of evil sea monster. I walked around my rooms, trying to find a place to hang it and I found I just couldn't bear to look at it.
In a last-ditch effort to make it work, I took some old, large gauge Aluminum, straight knitting needles in the bottoms of several of the slots to make it lie flat. It's all pined in place right now and hanging on my door to see what becomes of its shape in the next few days.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Friday, Does it Matter?

This is fiber that I got in Sweden that was carded into thin sheets...
All of my days closely resemble the others these days.

Turned on the heat and took off the screens.
Went to a Portland Knitter's Guild meeting.
Started working on a new Portland spinning guild, Spinnerati.
Things that are the same?
Taking pictures of yarn
Mailing out yarn
Spinning yarn

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fiber or Not

My first cashmere, plyed with silk
Well, I'm starting a local, downtown Portland spinning guild with buddy, Bobbie. We're not calling it a guild because I think for some new spinners that name can be intimidating. But it's all about trading information, community and teaching, regardless of what you call it.
What we are calling it is Portland Spinnerati!
As I sit here, drinking too much tea, destashing on Ravlery and knitting and spinning like a wild woman, I realize that I'm on quite a role. The job market has tanked even further and this is my version of productivity. Two weekly knitting groups and a spinning guild. Not a bad contribution to society in spite of it all.

Manic? Do I sound manic? ::::::turning off CNN:::::::::switching on the Soundscapes music channel::::::::
As usual, I wake up in the morning and turn on the news, wondering what the hell is already going on. These days I forget, or resist turning it off. What's up with that. The pundits just keep spewing and I am a deer caught in the headlamps, a fish on the hook.
I need to take back my brain. Oh yeah, meditation.
I'm also obsessing about my older cat, Brahms. She quite clearly has dementia, amoung other things. She's cold but can't remember where the heating pad is that's on for her. She can't remember that I moved the bed so that she can hop up from either side. She still comes up the same side and jumps right over my head. One day she's gonna miss. I won't cuss her out though. She's my baby. She gets confused and I just lead her in the right direction.

I love her so much it makes my heart want to burst.

Friday, October 03, 2008

New Destash

10 skeins for $26
4 mohair blend $18
2 Cascade Quatro wool $12
Misc luxury skeins $13

3 skeins $13
6 skeins $18
7 Skeins $28
2 for $7
2 for $7

4 for $21
1 for $5
1 for $5
6 for $23

9.5 for $24

All prices include US postage

My friends joke that when I do a radical destash, you never notice a different in my apartment.

Plus, I still have two big bags of other stuff to distash on Raverly under Knitfemme. Lookie see, will ya? I've got lots of blue and black mohair!

Hmmmm. That said, here we go again. A new level of reality on what I will really use.