Friday, November 30, 2007

Guess we've all seen the glass glob figures for sale at many gift shops and at truckstops. Several years ago as I was waiting for DH, I saw this nativity. Yes, that's a dime in front of it for scale. I couldn't believe the detail at such a minuscule scale and 'for cheap'. It definitely is my smallest nativity. But it's a major reminder for many of 'the reason for the season'.

We have been taught to give gifts to mirror the Gift given to/for us. And I want to share a picture of "Yarn Elf" knitting Christmas stockings for members of his family. Yarn Elf shares his expertise at World Wide Hobbies in Willcox, AZ. He's been telling me of the progress on these, but reading about them is nothing like the amazement of seeing them! Thanks to Lupe who took pictures on her cell phone and forwarded some of them to me last night.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hurry Up, Already!

Barbar says, "Hurry up, already" and that he's not going to look at the camera until he's posed with a FO!

This is the progress on the stocking for Meg's KAL as of a few minutes ago. I'm on the afterthought heel.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

As Promised

Christmas 2005 found not only Blake here a week and having Christmas early, not only the Shetland handspun scarf for his mother, Beth, but also a scarf each for Blake's father Thomas and his sister Shelby.

For Thomas, who is manages a cattle ranch, I chose the Irish Hiking Scarf pattern from Hello Yarn. It's a simple but classic cable. For a ranch manager who has to spend many cold nights during calving season in the damp cold, I thought it would guard against a touch of bronchitis.

Shelby is a lively teen who loves bright colors, specifically red and bright Autumn colors. Having found some Red Heart Acrylic in autumnal variegation, this simple rib pattern was perfect.

Both of these scarves can take harsh treatment, washing machines and dryers and getting dropped in the dirt without casualty. Ta Da! Perfect for their lifestyles!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Something I learned in college

My Freshman year in college I learned two vital life skills. One was to use either baking soda and water or Coke on my car's battery to get rid of all corrosion. The other was to knit bell ornaments.

About the first of November we had a hall meeting for the sole purpose of deciding how to decorate our Christmas tree on the second floor right wing of Conestoga Hall. Everyone knew how to make paper chains and gum wrapper chains and popcorn chains. But we didn't want to use just chains. We wanted something a bit different. One of the girls knew how to knit these bells and everyone had to knit at least one. (This didn't preclude non-knitters! Everyone had to learn to knit, if only for the bell! This was when "we were women and could do anything!" (Helen Reddy....) Throughout the years I've knit many. They're fine for the tree but can also be a pin or earrings or package decoration -- imagination is the limit!

This particular bell is knit on size 2 straights. (You can use any size you want and any yarn you want as well as knitting on circulars -- "knitter's choice", as Meg Swansen says!) Cast on 16. Knit 4, Purl 12. Second row Purl 4, Knit 12. Keep going until it's as long as you want. The trickiest part is in the cast off. You want the cast off to end on the stockinette 4 stitches so you can use the yarn end to seam up the bell, create a hanger and have enough to hang a bell or miniature ball from it!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Knitting has lost a great personage

Mary Walker Phillips has died of complications from Alzheimer's. We have lost another Great in the Knitting World. Her obituary may be seen in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times online.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


This Sunday was taken up with decorating the big tree and such. We have a small tree on the television cabinet and a 6 1/2 foot tree on an antique table in the living room. Yes, high Arnstrong accoustical ceilings here and they were even dropped in the 1940's!

But to show that there really is some progress in the Meg's KAL stocking, I'm working on the toe now.

Put in your ear plugs... Pennsylvania Rifle Buck Season starts tomorrow, one half hour before sunrise. The hills will reverberate with the racket of rifles....

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Sky

Skiffs of snow covered by heavy jeweled frost, jet trails criss-crossing the pre-sunrise sky. If it looks like it might be cold, it is! 21 degrees.

What a good day to decorate for the upcoming holidays and to knit! I'm on the toe of Meg's KAL stocking!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Seasonal reprieve

Predicted grey and snow went North and East for just a dusting of snow only on rooftops and no frost anywhere!

DH took advantage of this to mow/blow fallen leaves into the gardens. Here, he's finished with the fenced yard and now to be heading 'up on the hill'. (He's come in now and says he looks funny headless...)

Leaves are basically off the hedge rose by the house with sparrow(s) attracted to the rose hips. least for the moment...we aren't joining the throngs in creating "Black Friday" for retailers to come out of the red and into the black for their financial year.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

And Give Thanks...

Yesterday while I was baking pies following the American tradition, the neighbors were putting up their Christmas decorations and had them lit last night. And as the bread was rising last night, Ravelry was producing a Giving Thanks project of their own. This is one of the Raveltars and you'll recognize Jimmy Stewart, the Indiana, PA native who came back home to visit parents at the family hardware store and to speak at my Master's commencement.

I daily give thanks for my many blessings and appreciate that the country is doing so today en masse.

Today knitting steps back to blessings and friends and family and turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie and thanks.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good Night, Sweet Girl and Happy Birthday

"Good night, Sweet Girl" I said every night for 11 years and three months to my darling Nilla. Today would be her 12th birthday. It's her very first birthday across the Rainbow Bridge.

Vanilla was a gangly 10 month old papered Great Pyrenees I adopted from an ostrich farm outside of Willcox, AZ. She had been born in Ohio, taken to Arizona;then, her family couldn't understand how she'd get over the three foot cyclone yard fence at night to join other neighborhood dogs in nightly forays. (She could step over that fence!)

Great Pyrenees are gentle giants, well known for their sheep-tending abilities. When I got her, I didn't yet have sheep, but I did have an old collie, Chess, whose hat was posted earlier. I'd told Chess that he had a sister coming home. He met us at the gate. They sniffed each other, he showed her the yard. Then I opened the door;and I couldn't believe it! Chess took Nilla into every room. He jumped up on the couch. She jumped up on the couch. He took her into the bedroom and jumped up on the bed. She jumped up on the bed. (He wasn't really allowed either place.) He took her into the second bedroom, then the bathroom, then the dining room, then into the kitchen and showed her the food and water. I was laughing so hard I could hardly hold it in. At dinner the first night I showed her she had to sit during grace. She not only sat, but crossed her front paws...and did for the rest of her life. It is said that Great Pyrs have long backs and cannot sit up to beg, but Nilla did.

Two years later we got Sugar and Sweetheart, the Jacob x Cormo twins and Nilla was their hero. She would run along the fence line to chase the cattle trucks that went by and would run another fence line to chase the coyotes that would walk the streets at night. She mourned for weeks when Chess died at 14.

Great Pyrs 'blow' their coat, and Nilla was no different. Nilla fur everywhere. I brushed her a lot and she loved it. Her fur I spun, too, and knit this hat from it.
In the picture along with her hat is her collar and tags. When I got it out of the drawer, Tawny our collie came running and sniffed at the collar intensely.

When we had to move back East, Nilla came, too, of course. Everyone we knew came by to say goodbye to Nilla, saying she had the sweetest face. She did. She rode in the cab of the UHaul with us. When we'd stop for meals at Cracker Barrels, we'd see people pointing and laughing at the truck. The first time, we wondered...what? Then we knew. She'd moved into the driver's seat and turned on the turn signal. She did it the whole trip.

Arriving in Pennsylvania she was just happy to have more friends. She was now retired from guarding her sheep and became a couch potato the last three years of her life. But she did perk up and run through the yard when an occasional cattle truck drove the Four Way. And got really excited several times an Eastern Coyote howled in the distance.

She crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this past February 13th. Nilla's having a wonderful time with Chess and will greet us and show us around someday when we cross.

Good Night, Sweet Girl and Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oatmeal and Ribwarmer weather...not!

Since the temperature has gone up overnight from the 40's to almost 60, and the air smells like Spring, it doesn't seem like it's two days before Thanksgiving. It doesn't seem like it's oatmeal weather (what we have for brekky during the week.) It doesn't seem like vest or sweater weather as I sit here in a tshirt! It does seem like rhubarb weather...and we did have that with the oatmeal for breakfast! During rhubarb season I cut up and blanch rhubarb, put it in containers and freeze it. That wonderful perennial is too good for just a Spring tonic! (Ah, the joys of rhubarb custard pie!)

Today I'm sharing a picture from Knitting Camp last summer during my show-and-tell in which I'm explaining the 'frogs' on my ribwarmer, my 'not my show and tell' since the Russian Prime was my official show and tell. You can see Amy in the background (Hi, Amy!)as she hosts the production!

Last Spring the Knitbabysurprise group was talking about knitting an Adult Surprise Jacket as a knitalong. I thought I'd really enjoy that, then I looked around my stash for possibilities. Hmmm. That's going to take a lot of yarn. Hmmm. I do have a lot of yarn, but not the combination that will work for this ASJ. Then thought about the J&S chunky weight 2 ply Soft Spun I had gotten on eBay. It didn't have a specific project and it was Spring-like colors (color#64) which is mostly a Spring green with cream.

So, instead of making the ASJ with the group, I got out all my references to Elizabeth Zimmermann's ribwarmer. There was Spun Out #17 (originally Wool Gathering #7), Knitters' magazine #5 Fall/Winter 1986, Knitting Workshop pp 104-105 and the Knitting Workshop video/now DVD. The Knitters magazine I'd found a while back on eBay but the others are available from Schoolhouse Press. I read through the materials and checked the section on the VHS, then cast on. I kept checking the sources throughout...just because. The Knitters' magazine was really good in that it showed options that Elizabeth and others had utilized to personalize the ribwarmer.

I used the Ribwarmer as my news and porch-sitting project. When the days are warm and long, we sit out on the front porch after DH comes back from his activity run. Antsy Nancy that I am, I need to have something to do with my hands...I can not just 'sit there and relax'. Not relaxing. Drives me crazy. So, I get a lot of knitting done then.

By June 1st was my planned finishing date, as I'd mentioned in the Russian Prime post. I had the ribwarmer all knit with the surrounding I-Cord and just had to do the closures. I'd found the perfect buttons in Austin at Hill Country Weavers one year. So, how was I going to fasten them? Had found some hair elastics at the grocery and my hair was currently short and permed with the worst permanent ever, so I wouldn't be using them for awhile. I crocheted around two hairbands. Then, criss-crossed them to fasten the buttons. (DH's idea, actually, to criss-cross them!) Right before camp, the week before, it took me an hour to be able to sew the buttons on. That tells you how sore I still was at that point five weeks after the flight. But on they were!

I really do believe that the desire for attending 2.75 was what speeded my recovery. And, I certainly know that tips from Jaya and from Lucy really helped, too, as most everyone recognized that I certainly was not in 'top form'. Thank you so very, very much.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Look! It's a goose!

A goose?
Where's a goose?

This scarf is the first one I knit! It's handspun brown and cream Jacob. Also, it qualifies as the first jacob I'd spun. I loved it! Before spinning the jacob I'd spun mystery wool, polypay, corriedale and alpaca. The scarf is knit in the flying geese pattern. (Since when would I ever start out with something 'simple'?)

Come to think of it, I really haven't found a sheep I didn't like!

I'm afraid I don't remember the year, but I do remember being on vacation and sitting on the floor of our room, knitting it while telling DH, 'Let me finish just this one row!'

There's another goose in the picture -- a wooden flying goose under the scarf mounted on the back porch wall with two of its friends....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thanksgiving countdown;or, Seasonal colors of the Russian Prime variety

Before church this morning, I asked DH to take this shot. The only other pictures I have of the Russian Prime I finished last June are, well, worse than this, I think. No, I'm not really happy with this picture but, there are few pictures taken of me that I ever liked, so this will have to do for the moment! (Click for bigger if you dare!)

Last Fall, there started to be talk about a KAL for Meg Swansen's Russian Prime sweater. The problem was the pattern's accessibility. The videos were all gone, Wool Gathering #49 was sold out. The DVD wasn't due until Spring. What's a 'grrl' to do?

By February I was able to get Wool Gathering #49 and the video. The KAL was to start February 1st. I was going to use red and white J&S shetland 2 ply jumperweight. The swatch told me this was not a good choice. (Yes, I swatched! Pardon my swearing....) Back to the drawing boards. So, one phone call to Schoolhouse Press later, I had ordered orange and brown quebecoise. Tami and Eleanor at the Schoolhouse are great! I did get the DVD as soon as it came out. It's so very, very helpful.

The best new inventions I have discovered are opaque colored tape and enlarging the chart on my printer! The tape I use on charts that can be pulled off each line and changed for the next one. It can be reused about 30 times or more! Thanks, Amy, for having it at Camp!

The KAL was a lot of fun. My plan was to have my Russian Prime finished by June 1st along with the ribwarmer so that I could also have my Mimbres finished for camp. The flight stopped that, but I was able to finish this Russian Prime and the ribwarmer! I was determined my flight would not stop me from going to Retreat 2.75. It didn't, but I surely wasn't myself. (I am grateful to be alive. If you would only see the path I took into an antique glass door handle and thrown by the antique door over the basement stairs to land on cement covered brick, you'd understand....). Surely do hope to be accepted for this coming summer.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Saturday Sky and More

As of mid-afternoon Saturday, it still hasn't exactly cleared from solid greyness, but the sun is attempting some light through the cloud deck. At least there isn't any precipitation yet. Right now at 42 degrees, it would be rain. Rain turning to snow is predicted for tonight.

It is definitely handwarmer weather and I wanted to share this pair of sideways garter stitch fingerless mitts. Again, they are handspun heather jacob from 'the grrls'. These are a little longer than most of the pairs I've knit...long enough to cuff.

After grocery shopping this morning, DH and I were able to get some yardwork done. The rest of the garden was cleared, the compost pile spread onto the garden. The leaves are still falling in abundance, so they get spread on the garden then all of it tilled in for winter. The last two stages of the production are expected to occur over next weekend, our 5 day Thanksgiving weekend. Why five days? Here, the first day of (rifle, as opposed to archery) buck season is Monday and the schools always get the first day of buck season off.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Freezing (?) Flaky Friday

Waking this morning after hearing North by Northwest winds buffeting our bedroom all night, I expected to see the predicted inch of snow. I was pleased to see only flakes and 32 degrees. The sky looked halfway promising of the storm breaking up. Yesterday we had most every kind of weather -- clouds, wind, sun, rain, rain/sleet, sleet/hail, rain, sun and snow.

The very last Shasta daisy of the season is wilting. There are also Purple Coneflowers and Nearly Wild roses that believe the blooming season has been extended this year.

With the seasonal weather (as we expect snow around here the week before Thanksgiving), it was time to break out the winter 2005 "Homespun Poncho" crocheted from a "Crochet Fantasy" Oct. 2004 magazine pattern. Crocheted with handspun white heather Jacob from "the grrls", I have a fondness for it even though I haven't made the best of friends with its unflattering boxeyness.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Gonna Be Lookin' A Lot Like...

It's gonna be lookin' a lot like the holiday season here 'real soon' with predicted accumulation by morning;so, thought I'd share my Sheep Tree.(Click picture to enlarge in separate window.)

Sheep Tree stays up all year now on the gossip bench in the upstairs hallway.

It all started about 23 years ago when on a trip back East to visit family, I found a redware sheep (lower left on tree). Ever since, I grabbed up sheep ornaments anywhere I spied them, practically. A few have been given to me as gifts, like one big Suffolk from Sylvia when she visited the Shaker settlement in Kentucky. And Peta brought me Scottish sheep from Scotland. Dawn gave me the Santa bell with a sheep clanger for Christmas last year.

There's a ram as a tree topper from Mt. Rushmore and a blue spongeware one from Shipshewana, IN. The teal and terra cotta lamb was thrown by a New Mexico potter showing at Willcox' Apple Festival one year. One found at Fleet Farm in Wausaw, WI. Yes, there's even a sheep cookie cutter found in Kidron, OH.

There are more there...

I've had fun collecting these through the years and people remembering me in their travels...sometimes a card, sometimes yarn, sometimes an ornament, sometimes a stuffed sheep....

It's gonna be lookin' a lot like... Friendship.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Talkin' About Christmas Stockings...

In December 2005, Grandson Blake came up to visit right before Christmas. He hoped to see snow since that was something he'd only seen in pictures. There was a little snow while he was here. He even got to take pictures of it falling as well as to learn how to push and shovel the white stuff!

I was pretty excited to have a kid during the Christmas season, though sad that he wouldn't be here for Christmas itself. Even if a kid's a teenager and not believing in Santa, per se; still, it's fun! We decided we'd celebrate a Christmas for him right before he left to go back home, even down to the meals! And, presents! We had to have presents (all of which had to be able to pass through the xray at the airport). The most fun to unwrap are all the smaller things that go into a Christmas stocking, so I designed a stocking in his favorite colors and knit it up for him.

I had never knit a Christmas stocking, much less designed one. I used a 'wonky' letter design for his name and a standard block lettering for the "HOHOHO". Actually had all the yarn here in the yarn stash. So, that was really fun! The two pictures above are of the stocking on its own and filled with wrapped goodies leaning against the fireplace. It couldn't hang -- too many goodies!

I've shown a scarf for Beth and there were two other scarves that year, one for sister and one for Blake's dad...hold your breath for those in another post!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sugar and Sweetheart socks

When we lived in Southeastern Arizona I was very fortunate to have raised sheep. My first two were twins, Sugar and Sweetheart. They were Jacob x Cormo. I do still have some of their fleece to process and I just love the white heather yarn I spin from their white sections.

The second pair of handspun socks I knit (about 1999, I think) was a Judy Sumners pattern from the web in handspun white heather jacob. They have held up pretty well, and get worn every year. They have felted some, but that's probably a washing problem! (As always, click on picture to "embiggen" and you can see the detail in the socks!)

The fleece from 'my girls' is just luscious. The white heather acts like cormo but almost feels like cotton! Soft. Comfy. I'll be posting more projects from 'my girls' in future posts.

Oh, and as a follow-up to yesterday's post -- today is a warm, Spring-like 50 degrees on the way to 60 or so. It's been lightly cloudy all morning, but there's a clearing line to the north and west!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rainy Days and Mondays....

It's Day #3 of grey skies, dampness and yuck! So thought I'd post my STR Rare Gems socks finished last March.

I always take two projects to knit when we're traveling. This was the sock pair I used as traveling knitting to Texas last Spring. The second sock became a FO outside Austin while visiting daughter Beth and family. They're photographed in Blake's blooming pear tree the first week of March. Beth really liked the pair, so they were gifted to her.

The STR Rare Gems colorway is not really a colorway....Rare Gems are the BMFA's 'mistakes', so no two skeins are necessarily alike. I knit a 2x2 rib at the top, the legs are knit 4 purl 2 rib all on 0 dpn's.

We'll just skip over yucky winter weather and go straight to Spring happy dances, OK?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cuddle into warmth

The sky doesn't look any better today than it did yesterday and it's in the low 40's. At least the fog cleared, even if not too high!

Nikki's idea of cuddling under a handspun/handknit thrums scarf is a very good idea. The thrums were won on eBay in 2004 and I spun them 2 ply. Pretty, but there seemed to be some mohair in the thrums. Still, I used some of the yarn for this scarf as a project in Liz Lovick's online Shetland Lace Workshop in 2005. Beth was gifted the scarf for Christmas that year.

Think I'll go cuddle under an afghan and knit....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday Sky

Saturday sky, taken a few moments ago. 38 degrees and heading nowhere fast...

Maybe I can get some knitting in, though...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Doggie Day

The first collie DH and I had was a fella who just didn't want to grow up named Windy Valley Winchester or Chess (because he was the color of Southern Chess Pie) or Chester. We'd gotten him on a trip to the Valley of the Sun when my DH was delivering a studio tape to be cut into a 45. We lived in the Sulphur Springs Valley (about 210 miles from where Chess was born) and one of the mountain ranges was the Winchesters. That was about 6 years before I learned to spin.

The second year I was spinning, there was this collie fur getting blended in with my yarn..."Self," says I, "why not spin Chess?" And from there on out, Chess was harvested for wonderful spinning fiber! And although Chess was "pet quality", he won a blue ribbon on everything made from his fur!

Our current collie, Tawny, is modeling my "Chess hat". DH was very helpful in arranging this photoshoot...goodness knows Tawny is too curious to wear a hat for too long (like a nanosecond!) The second picture shows the hat in a closeup with only a ceramic collie behind! But, no! The hat does not smell like a dog. Ever.

The collie fur hat is 2 ply collie fur knit on #7 and #9 circs and is based upon a hat in "Homespun, Handknit", edited by Linda Ligon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Taz Time

Or, "This is for Linda"!

A couple days ago on the msknittingcamp list, Linda said she hadn't seen Taz on my blog. True. I said he hadn't made that guest appearance yet. Today's his day!

At Meg's Knitting Retreat 2.75, there is a theme around which those campers who want to participate create contest entries. Each entry is explained and then they're all put out to vote on. Votes are counted and then since all entries are winners, everyone wins something! This past year's theme was "The Devil Wears Zimmermann". (Think: the movie "The Devil Wears Prada".)

Taz was my entry this year. (Linda's was "George Dubbya" and won the contest!)

I was so thrilled to be included in this year's 2.75 and even though I definitely was far from healed from my flight/crash-and-burn, 2.75 felt like a good fit to me. And, yes, I am so anticipating being back for the anniversary summer 2008, 50 years of Schoolhouse Press and 35 years of Knitting Camp! Happy Dance acceptance to Retreat arrived and then I just had to come up with a contest entry. I thought and thought...devil...hmmm..really don't want to do anything with the traditional devil. A neighboring school district has a Blue Devil as its mascot. Nah... I know! The Tasmanian devil! Love that cartoon character! I googled Tazmanian Devil and found that there were stuffed animals of both the real creature and the cartoon character. eBay to the rescue. I found and won a stuffed animal....and there was a Chicago Bears patch (no Steeler patch with him on; or, I would have bid on that one!)

Now these arrived...the patch can be put on a lanyard as his knitting camp name tag. I had my 'devil' and now he had to wear Zimmermann! I found Chicago Bear colors in my yarn stash. I double checked for EZ patterns, coming up with the Snail or Dairy Queen hat, a miniature baby bear (double entendre on bear)ribwarmer, lumber jack socks, came up with one way of making an EZ pennant (Taz is, after all, 'totally EZ'), and had Taz knitting a mitten. I had no knitting needles that small and toothpicks would be too small...I know! Bamboo skewers....found at my local grocery store! Wonderful DH got out his trusty pocket knife and whittled me doublepoint needles!

How did I decide upon needle size and how to adapt a larger pattern to Taz's size? I choose my bamboo needles that felt comfortable with the yarn (#4's, I think) and knitted a bit to see what kind of gauge I had...then measured around whatever part of Taz I was making the piece of clothing for, translated # of stitches per inch to number of inches of 'critter' and just merrily knit away!

...and I present (da-da-da-DA!) Taz!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Whatever happened with Hopeful?

This blog started out with a post that Jenna Adorno's pattern for "Hopeful" had not been finished...and "Hopeful" was indeed finished in June 2006 and shown as a show-and-tell at Meg's Knitting Camp 2 in 2006. I'd also found a lace shawl pattern from "Katie Knits" blog (Melbourne, Australia, posted August 22, 2005) that works really well with the shiny cotton yarn (Classic Elite Provence) because it glistens in the stitches' shadows. The pattern for "Snakes and Ladders Stole" that Katie posted was one of those apparitions when I needed it!

I did make the neckline somewhat higher than Jenna's original pattern, though it's still low-cut. The neckline and the tie are really nice, though, to knit. I can't say the same for the yarn...I was very unhappy with it because it was splitty, splitty, splitty!

The "set" is really nice to wear in summer and works with jeans or slacks...probably would work with a skirt...i don't wear many of those so I can't say....

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Color play

Here are color selections for the fair isle vest I've been playing around with designing in J&S 2 ply Shetland. The swatch has color attempts both usable and unusable. The decisions of the physical scene, the cartoon colors and the actual yarn shades provided an intriguing education.

Last June when I could do nothing but sometimes walk...sometimes sit...barely lie down or sleep after my flight down the stairs breaking my collarbone into three pieces with much soreness everywhere but the collarbone, I stood on the back porch absorbing the crystal sharpness of early morning sunshine in the back yard. The colors, both sharp and muted, cried out to become a fair isle vest. Not much was speaking to me then in my fog. I drew up a cartoon. At Retreat 2.75 in July, Janine wanted to see my Fair Isle notebook, so she perused the notebook and the cartoon. We were both pleased with the extension of the original design and looked forward to color swatching. One week this early Fall I worked on the swatch...everything's been waiting for me since then.

If we do get snow showers this afternoon, it might be a good time to work with June colors!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Update Monday

Update time!

Thought I'd better take advantage of the sun before it hides this week for rain today and chance of snow the rest of the week, per the National Weather Service!

The sock hasn't been worked on for a few days, but the heel is turned and am working on the just-round-and-round foot part for about 3 1/2 inches before the toe. It's pictured on the empty strawberry pot that has made its way to one of the back porch picnic tables on its way to the basment so it won't crack over the winter.

Meg's KAL Christmas stocking is almost ready for the name part and I have to chart that. I think I'm going to knit "God Jul" with the omlauts over the O since that basically means Merry Christmas in Swedish and the stocking isn't for anyone in particular. I am fond of the Swedish half of my heritage!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Yarn Run and Reading

The last twenty-four hours have brought the newest Cast On and Interweave Knits magazines to my mailbox. That, of course, meant that last night was spent in perusing the magazines rather than knitting.

And then I've been concerned that my Christmas reds and greens wouldn't be enough to finish the stocking or any other possible projects. So, after church we stopped at Jo-Ann's. DH wanted to get black velvet to back his "Mr. DJ USA" medal from years ago. No problem with the black velvet. But holiday yarn choices were slim. The personnel were very helpful, and very concerned because they're afraid that store is not getting their holiday yarns this year since they haven't come in yet. The rest of the store is decked out with fabrics and decorations and silk plants, etc. all in the holiday spirit. The two skeins shown above were my only choices. At least I had a choice!

Christmas knitting looks mighty good for Tuesday...The National Weather Service is predicting "Chance of Snow" for Election Day and Chance of rain every other day this week.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday sky

It's almost noon and almost 40 degrees. Just amazing how many clear blue sky days we've had this year here in the land of clouds. Wonderful! Tonight we turn back the clocks. Only in the land of human endeavor, of course...the rest of the physical universe continues its chronometer in 'real time'....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Knitting Around DVD arrives!!!

Knitting Around -- the book -- seems to be the Elizabeth Zimmermann book I use the most. And I love her "Digressions". Now, today, the 3 DVD set arrived in the mail! Just released with the "Digressions" read by Elizabeth and accompanied by pictures, some never released publicly before!

We know what I'm going to do....

November calendar for chappysmom

Happy Birthday Month, Chappysmom!

Deb, over at Chappysmom, is having a contest during this, her birthday month, to celebrate wonderful November calendar pictures since she remembers only dull ones for her birthday month when she was a child!

This year my calendar is from Nancy at Bluff Country Shetlands called "REAL sheep wear SHETLAND wool..." And to Nancy's ewe "Dreamer" -- sorry, Dreamer, I'd have loved to send your picture to Deb;but, you weren't the calendar grrl this month!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saints' Day...time for Christmas

November 1st already! Definitely the 'holiday season' is upon us. To be honest, advertising wants us to believe that every day is preparing for shopping for more presents for more holidays. Heard my first Christmas ad on the radio yesterday.

But it's All Saints' Day and I want to share how far I've gotten on Meg's KAL for a Christmas stocking. She's using J&S shetland 2 ply jumperweight. I'm using worsted on 24" #4 circular. Mine will be humungous, I suspect. But that's OK. DH has a stocking and I have one and none of DH's grandkids with us this holiday. Two years ago Blake came up right before Christmas from Austin and I designed and made him a Christmas stocking and he even got to see his very first snow!