Thursday, January 31, 2008

J&S "Discontinued" Yarn Sale

Connie at Jamieson and Smith started a Ravelry group a few days ago. J&S is having a discontinued yarn colors sale starting February 1st (tomorrow) and Connie posted those colors on Ravelry. She has given permission for anyone to use her picture on his/her blog.

More colors have been added to the discontinued list.

There has been a great deal of discussion and hand-wringing over the color discontinuation. In the process, other possibilities are being worked out for those of us who do love Shetland wool. J&S is also coming out with some new products to (hopefully) extend their company's viability.

In the short term, I offer the discontinued shade card provided through Connie for perusal.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Weak Wednesday

After the storm passed through overnight, weakness, tiredness, grainy eyes, upset tummies all ensue.

At 2 AM it was 52 degrees. By daybreak it was 20 with a minus 4 windchill. We were lucky in that we only lost one section of downspout. We were lucky not to have had the rain 'flash freeze' to ice as predicted. We were lucky not to lose power. We have been blessed. But tired.

Here are the pictures of the amaryllis this morning! That is the cheeriest thing about not going back to sleep at 5:15 --- seeing amaryllis in her glory!

'Pools' is ready for the underarm.... since I can't steek this yarn, I have to go back to other construction techniques. Hmmm. Might just visit SOTS....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SOTSii and such

Poor baby SOTSii has been sitting in this position for over a week now. I was so excited to get going on it and then felt pressed to spend time on the aran, so SOTSii has been in 'time out' without being bad or anything.

Last night while watching the State of the Union address, I was searching through the WG#60 and several Elizabeth Zimmermann books to make some decisions about the aran. Which ones? Decisions like, how many more repeats do I do before arm scythes and how long should I make Pools and will I,indeed, use a crew neck. Answers for now are that two more repeats should work and a crew should work well, also.

And then this morning I saw an email which led me to yet another Ravelry group
which seemed entirely appropriate, given my collection of J&S yarns. More time to be spent on Ravelry. Sigh.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Aran update

I've been knitting solely on "Pools in the River".

Pools is about 11" long, stretched, so it's time to decide how and when I will be working the arm scythes. The thought brushed by last night long enough for me to remember it as I stretched Pools out for the photo this morning.

It's a beautiful January day...sunny and just a bit hazy as fog develops over the melting snow. At 22 degrees right now, the crispness is welcome only because of the sun. It's finally to reach the mid-40's, so that yields an attitude adjustment and seems to be helping my back.

I still have back twinges from last May's fall...DH tells me that when he was 30 and broke his clavicle it took over a year for everything to feel truly healed; so, being a tad past that age, I have a bit of time yet to still be 'normal'. (Me? Normal? There is some question of that...) The doctors said I'd probably develop arthritis because of this and whether it's that or my attitude, I do feel much better in sunshine and the promise of more Spring-like temps.

Let's be honest, I have Always felt better with sunshine and temps over 70....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Circle's Unbroken: UK Sheep Story

---This I found on the Foxnews site and couldn't pass it by:

100 Sheep Baffle Farmer by Forming Circle in English Field

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Holy sheep.

About 100 woolly sheep formed a perfect ring while grazing in a field in England on Friday, baffling the farmer and other witnesses, the Daily Mail reports.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Russell Bird, who photographed the bizarre occurrence.

He continued: "I did see a dog worrying sheep nearby beforehand and the dog ran off round the hedge in a different field, so I don't know if they were discussing that."

As the farmer’s tractor approached, however, the sheep scattered, but another circle was formed three fields away. Both formations lasted about 10 minutes, the Daily Mail reports.

Farm manager at Herefordshire College of Technology, Dan Seaborne, said: "I just think they've been fed with dry feed in that shape; you can get snacker feeders now and you tow behind a quad and it drops pellets on the ground."

----Granted the whole thing could be a hoax. But on this cloudy day, it triggers contemplation.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Beauty of Friday

Gazing upon this sky almost makes the morning's minus 7 degree windchill bearable.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I've been fairly quiet because these have been my 'frienz', as the clogged passages complain...the national winter crud has been attacking me.

Monday, January 21, 2008

At least there's sunshine...

20 degrees is pretty cold here, but it's the warmest we've been in over 40 hours. With beautiful sunshine all day, it's a perfect day to show an update on my 'Pools in the River'. That's about 7" worth and am on the second ball of yarn. I'd wound the first one with my ball winder, but it was so messy-loose that I thought I'd try knitting it right from the ball.

(click on any photo to enlarge, as always....)

Here's a current image of me in Mimbres that DH took on Saturday right before we left for dinner at some friends'. Tawny Tornado was guarding the steps and wondering what in the world we were doing. (shakes head) He's quite a fella and often lies at either the top or bottom of the stairs to make sure he knows exactly where his people are at any given moment.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Taken through a dining room window this morning, this picture shows the Banana Belt low of 11 here this morning, though we also had minus 16 degree windchill. It was officially 5 above at Pittsburgh International this morning. No Lake Effect snow arrived as was previously predicted.

When it gets cold, we get designs 'painted' on the storm windows, as can be seen here.

Yes, that's a 'working' well. The well pump in the basement is switched on manually, should we lose 'city water'. Luckily enough, we are partially doubly plumbed and can use the well water for outside watering or in the powder room. It is one of the very smart things my father did when this house got city water and the owner was permitted to do own plumbing as long as it was done to code. And, one cannot trust others to do the quality of work one can learn to do one's self.

Being raised with that philosophy is one of the reasons I am the way I am....

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Storm A-Comin'

29 on the way down to single digits with inch of snow to come overnight.

Excellent knitting weather.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Eye Candy Plant Update

Just thought I'd update how the Christmas plants are doing this sunny but falling temperature day. They are both growing and pleased with where they're setting --- this is where the Norfolk pine tree lives, below an East window, low light. The amaryllis is in a Southeast window where it gets morning sun.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Slow Wednesday

Slow Wednesday today...a bit of carpet cleaning, cleaning my finch feeder and refilling it (for the cold weekend ahead and everyone likes fresh food in a clean 'dish'), household daily fiber yet.

However! Michelle started a msknittingcamp thread about camp apps online February 1st. That gets a few of us motivated!

Meg and Cristie, Camp 1, 2005

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pools in the River

Persimmon did arrive in Monday's mail! I couldn't believe the Post Office was so efficient! This is the yarn for Yarn Elf's display project. It is Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends, color 93430 Persimmon. I am using a #6 26" bamboo circular needle from Crystal Palace. After having been using Addi Turbos for recent projects, this needle, which had been one of my favorites, may be retired. The 'drag' of the bamboo isn't thrilling me with this alpaca mix.

These pictures were taken outside by our pond this morning where the skiff of snow is throwing off the true color.

I wanted to knit an aran and had considered the aran in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitters Almanac, January chapter. However, there are at least two different online groups working a KAL on this. Being true to my nature, I had to use a different pattern. So, looking through my Schoolhouse Press notebook of "Spun Out"s and "Wool Gathering"s, I came upon "Wool Gathering" #60, March 1999, 'Pools in the River.'

Meg writes in the publication that the original 'Pools in the River' appeared in Woman's Day magazine in 1965 but without designer credit, which was frequently done then much to the consternation of the designers. Meg's version has been changed considerably from the original. She shows a cardigan in both interpretations but mentions a pullover.

I am knitting on in that direction.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Claude, my maternal grandfather, always liked gadgets. When we'd go grocery shopping, he'd spend his time at the gadget/hardware aisle. He'd always say, "If you need me or when you're ready to go, I'll be here." This was a very good thing;for, he was a jokester and one never knew what prank he'd pull if he were wandering the grocery aisles. This compass was one of his mechanical miracles of modern life.

Why a compass today? Blogland has been filled with fibery plans; 2007 retros; 2008 wishes, dreams and promises. Even though it's the third week of January, there seems to be discomfort in the air. A lot of people are suffering through a 'bug' (which they seem to be sending my way) and many mechanical miracles like laundry helpers are breaking. We're seeking our compass to find a comfortable yet edgy and inspiring pathway.

Yesterday I was emailing with a friend in the SW who had problems deciding what to put on a blog that would be public since the skipping and dancing and singing with new found joy was private. But I see that joy spreading into all phases of life. Although exact details might not be shared through blogland, it can be shown in the glory around us --- seen when our vision clears and the joy returns.

This past Autumn was spent clearing out most of my fibery UFO's for which I'm pleased and grateful. It did get a bit boring not to really start a new project when along came Meg's KAL for the Christmas stocking. I had great joy in that. A new KAL with her coming soon I look forward to with great anticipation. I've joined the SOTSii which has clues starting this Friday.Wild Apple Bohus is coming along slowly due to gauge only, certainly isn't because I'm not enjoying it! A new project will be arriving this week, too, for a display for Yarn Elf's establishment. EZ's ribwarmer DVD will be available shortly. And, the Armenian Knitting Ravelry group is working on a KAL. There will be more... Spring is on the horizon (honestly, it is) and more projects will awaken my spirit. I will come out of hibernation like my bear totem and Punxsutawny Phil.

Just need to keep that compass within reach.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


After having frogged the neckline of Wild Apple Bohus,I reknit it with a larger Addi Turbo 16" needle (a "1"). Halfway through the neck I picoted...and hopefully that is fairly visible in the photo. A coiless pin was placed into the neckline so it looked like more than eyelets!

I am on row 8 of the colorwork right now. And with two increases behind me, bohus is now on a 24" Addi Turbo.

Each color is wound on my ballwinder from Schoolhouse Press and placed in its own baggie. The color code which is originally on each skein is taped onto the baggie for the least amount of color confusion.

Bohussing away....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Jan. 12 Sky

Horribly cold wind and inch plus of rain (thank goodness not snowpack!) has mellowed to no wind and mostly cloudy sky this morning.

Bohus update: Previously frogged neck has reappeared in entirety and colorwork has begun.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

It's All boxed up....

It's all boxed up till next Thanksgiving. Christmas decorations and trees and linens. How they could possibly all fit into these containers is beyond me, but everything does. There's even one fewer garbage bags going down than came up... garbage bags are excellent for afghans and pillows and such. (And, yes, DH helped carry down and arrange boxes and containers in the coal cellar before he left for his activity run.) Uh...'coal cellar' is the partitioned room in the basement which held coal for the coal burning furnace from 1936 to 1950 when my father installed the gas furnace and boiler.

The turkey and dumplings, the last of the Christmas leftovers, 'wandered' to the dinner table tonight, too. Guess we were really wrapping up Christmas all at once!

On the knitting front, last night I knit the bohus neckline to a trying on place and it just really didn't work. Frog pond. Then recast on with a slightly larger needle and instead of knitting the neckline to itself, I will lightly whip stitch it together later in the process. That should take care of the problem!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


No pics. No knitting. It's been record breaking warm temps the last two days. That kind of weather turns a grrl's heart to cleaning... and putting away Christmas decorations.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

EZ's Fairisle Yoke sweater

After I'd had DH take the shot of me in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Fair Isle Yoke Sweater from The Opinionated Knitter, page 11, I realized that I had not yet blogged about this project.

The pic of the sweater by the pond and the 4 o'clock flowers was taken when the sweater was finished in September 2006.

There is a similar Fair Isle in Knitting Around, but my notes tell me the fair isle patterning is from TOK.

When Knit Picks first came online, they were giving away a $100. gift certificate to a lucky monthly winner if you signed up to get their emails. I really didn't think that I'd have a chance to win, but I signed up. The very next month, I won! I just was happy dancing all over the place! Then the question was what would I use my gift certificate on? I had been wanting to do a fair isle;so, without one in mind, I ordered the yarn you see in this sweater. Picked out some other things, too, of course.

After my Camp 2 in 2006, I knew I wanted to attempt my fair isle. It took me a total of 6 weeks from planning to finish. I looked through all my books, including Knitting Around, but I really liked the patterning in The Opinionated Knitter better. Out came my colored pencils and graph paper. Then I read all suggestions in both KA and TOK plus the Fair Isle video (now part of the DVD). Cast on with joy and anticipation! It was so very much easier than I thought it would be and the plain cinnamon stockinette just flew off the needles.

This is one of my favorite sweaters. Soft. Comfy. And not at all scratchy like that red cardigan with fair isle/nordic yoke patterning from my youth.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Clouds are Parting

Taken just a few minutes ago.... it was cloudy earlier and then my friend the Yarn Vixen called from Arizona...and Look! The clouds parted to this beautiful sky. There's still about an inch of snow on the ground, but we're to have highs in the 50's and 60's Monday and Tuesday. Then, the super storm from the West Coast will be moving our way to herald Winter's return.

The following was sent to us from another friend in Arizona with some advice I think I probably need:

Tips for an Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life

* Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate antidepressant.

* Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

* Buy a Tivo (DVR), tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

* When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, "My purpose is to __________ today."

* Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.

* Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did last year.

* Make time to exercise, practice meditation, yoga, Tai chi, etc.

* Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of six
(not just people who ACT like they are over 70 or under the age of 6).

* Dream more while you are awake.

* Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

* Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

* Try to make at least three people smile each day.

* Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

* Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.

* Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class.....but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

* Eat breakfast like a king or queen, lunch like a prince or princess, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed-out charge card (who doesn't have parents paying the bills).

* Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

* Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

* Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

* Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

* You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

* Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

* Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

* Ladies - Go on and burn those "special" scented candles, use the 600 thread count sheets, the good china and wear your fancy lingerie now. Stop waiting for a special occasion. Everyday is special.

* No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

* Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"

* Forgive everyone for everything.

* What other people think of you is none of your business.

* Hug at least one person per day! ...

Friday, January 04, 2008

Eye Candy Friday: Hope

This is the Amaryllis bulb DH's daughter Robyn sent me for Christmas.

I have great hope in it bountifully flowering for many holiday seasons.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Secret of the Stole

This is the new Secret of the Stole yahoo group...there's still time to join, especially if you have laceweight crying out to Become!

Thanks, Linda, you grabbed me on this one!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Winter Cozy

Today was a reprieve after yesterday when we had 30+ mph wind and snow flurries from 11 a.m. on. The official snow measurement is two inches, but all bets are off because of the drifting. There was a 2 hour school delay all over this morning due to windchill.

The predicted lake effect snow bands never set up. We had nearly all day sunshine and a high of 24. It's already 19. Sheba,the miniature schnauzer, believes this is just excellent weather to cozy onto the couch. On the back of the couch is DH's Christmas afghan one year --- handspun collie fur and polypay lambswool with a cotton blue denim stripe as well. He dearly loved our collie Chess and this is his special project including Chess' fur.

This is the swatch for Wild Apple bohus on 2.50mm Addi turbo circ. I worked on it with hope that somehow I'd be close to gauge. I don't know how it happened, but I am 'right on' with the gauge -- 34 stitches = 4".

Cast On!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

What're We Doin' NY ...Day?

What're we doin' New Year's Day?

Well, some of us is polishing his boots for the new year.

And, some of us is starting to wind her Wild Apple Bohus skeins.

She's also dreaming of more than enough projects to fill her queue this year but knowing that KAL's and books and internet doin's and 'wild hares' will skew the queue...and that's all right, too!

A year ago I had no idea that I would actually finish all these projects I had planned, like the Russian Prime and the Gansey. I really had hopes to finish my Mimbres that had had spurts of knitting but still had a long way to the finish line. I had plans, but it seemed so unlikely to actually do it.

They are finished and being worn. Other projects were planned throughout the year and others came through opportunity. I love my Giant Santa Sock and Taz was such fun! And the socks, mostly for traveling/boredom/sleepy-time? They're happily being worn and enjoyed with more pairs on the way!