Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sahara Beginnings

This is the beginnings of Sahara:

The color is actually fairly accurate for once (at least on my computer screen).

The Sahara is worked from neck down. The back is worked first back and forth, then the provisional cast-on (in pink) is picked up for the two fronts which are worked back and forth at once (while the back is on a stitch holder), then the fronts and back are joined up and worked in the round to the end. Stitches are picked up for the neck and armholes (or sleeves). Very little seaming involved! And you can try on as you go. It's going pretty quickly.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Finished Bonsai

Here she is all finished:

I actually had modeled shots, but the shirt I was wearing underneath was way too white and just looked too odd in the pictures. I think I need something slightly off white. Other than that, the fit is perfect though I haven't decided whether to make the i-cord belt yet or not. I hate making i-cord and it's always not just right, so I'll decide later. For now, the specs:
Pattern: Bonsai Tunic from IK Spring 2007
Yarn: Berroco Bonsai color 4148 (this has to be the first time ever that I've actually used the suggested yarn, except for the color)
Needles: Size 8s and 6s
Modifications: None; I might have made the armholes just a tiny bit bigger, but other than that, I love the fit.

I plan to wear it out today. I wore my Regia skirt over the weekend and it is still in good shape. The only weirdness is where it's sewn together at the lace insert. It's sort of wonky because of the way the lace biases. The blocking didn't quite hold for that. It doesn't make the skirt look weird or anything because the bias on the other side balances it out. Does that even make sense? Anyway, hope everyone had a good, long weekend. I might have a swatch and new project to show soon. As for now, I have to tink a whole diamond pattern on the diamond stole because I forgot a row at the beginning of the diamond. *Sigh*


Monday, May 28, 2007


I didn't quite finish Bonsai. I still have one side to finish sewing up. Hopefully, I'll finish today and get some pictures. Meanwhile, I have goodies to show.

Margene's blog was one of the first that I began reading on a regular basis. I've always enjoyed her nature pictures (especially the gorgeous mountains) as well as all her knitting and lately spinning. I'm very happy to have won her 27,000th commenter contest and I got my goodies Saturday.

There's a skein of laceweight that doesn't have a name, but should really be called "Sherbet". It truly reminds me of the rainbow sherbet I used to get as a kid. I'm thinking it needs a simple triangular shawl to show off. The fiber is two ounces of "Geisha" merino from Wooly Wonka Fibers. There are also mints, hand salve, and some wonderful chocolate that only remained intact long enough for the photo. That lavender chocolate is really good. I haven't tried the others yet. And the fabric that it's all lying on is actually a little bag just perfect for fiber and spindles. I'm so happy with everything! Thank you so much, Margene!


Friday, May 25, 2007

New Yarn

Not much knitting going on as I've been under the weather the last week or so. Seems to be going around Blogland, but I'm feeling better now. Just in time for new yarn. From Webs, I got this beautiful Cascade Cloud 9:

The pink and lavender are discontinued colors, so they were almost half-off. It's a merino/angora blend and heaven to the touch. These colors are for the long-sleeved versions of Sahara and Simple Knitted Bodice. And for a couple of no-sleeved versions of Sahara:

That's Pima Silk from Misti Alpaca. I was thinking about doing two of the no-sleeve Sahara. The pink might have a white neck for accent and the dark purple might have the lighter lavender for the neck. I'm not sure yet. I'm planning on maybe sewing some Swarovski crystals along the neck though either way.

Note that I've given up all pretense of not liking pink and purple. I just plain like the colors and I might as well go with it.

Anyway, Monday I hope to have Bonsai finished and put together, so stay tuned.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Singularly Focused No More

I think Debi put my recent one-project devotion best - I am "singularly focused". And I do think that is a more accurate description. I occasionally do get very focused on one of my many WIPs and decide it needs to be finished. And occasionally, I decide that working on just one thing at a time really isn't me at all and I pick up something else.

I worked on the front of Bonsai and am about halfway done and I picked the purple stole back up and worked a couple of patterns on that. (It's overcast today and I couldn't get a better picture, but you can click on the Purple Diamond Stole label at the end of the post and scroll down for a better one.) I took both to my weekly Sit 'N' Knit and switched between the two during the evening. Now, that's more like me, isn't it?

I also ordered more yarn for a couple (okay, maybe more than a couple) more projects. I ordered a couple of patterns from Stitch Diva - Sahara and Simple Knitted Bodice.

A lot of you seemed to be impressed that I'm reading Harrius Potter (and that I want to read the Greek version), but I want to emphasize that I'm not exactly cruising through it. I am going very slowly and I have the English version right there for occasional help. I've read the books in English so many times and know the story so well that it really is helping my Latin reading a lot more than something like Cicero. I do hope to read more original Latin authors someday, but for now, I'm enjoying Harry Potter.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

One-Project Knitter? and a Meme

Bonsai's back is finished and I've begun the front. It's been pointed out to me recently that I'm a one-project knitter and I was sort of taken by surprise because that's not how I would ever describe myself. I mean just look at the sidebar; that's hardly one project there. But my friend is sort of right. Lately, though I have lots on the needles, I've been working on just one project at a time. I worked on the Shapely tank front, then the skirt front, then I finished the tank, then I finished the skirt, but I did work each piece one at a time, not simultaneously. To be quite honest, it's weirding me out because it's not at all like me. I usually jump from one project to the next, usually a pair of socks, maybe a bit of lace, and some sort of sweater/tank. I almost always have at least two projects in my knitting bag and will work on both in the space of ten minutes. But right now all my focus is on Bonsai. Though thoughts have occasionally entered my head of my poor languishing Forest Path Stole and the Purple Diamond Stole (and maybe a couple of other things), I just want to finish Bonsai before picking them back up. Maybe I've just been choosing quick projects; the tank didn't take long and Bonsai isn't going to either. Maybe I just really want some stuff to wear for the summer quickly.

Brenda tagged me, so here goes:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog.

The 7 Facts:
1. I've never lived outside of the South - Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.
2. I had never been out of the country before college. I've now been to three continents besides North America - Australia, Asia and Europe.
3. I'm reading the first Harry Potter book translated into Latin. I plan to start Harrius Potter Et Camera Secretorum when I'm done. I'm also teaching myself Ancient Greek and plan to someday read the Ancient Greek translation of the first HP. (They are currently planning on translating all the books into both languages. And I'm excited about it.)
4. I'm very cynical about almost everything - politics, our country's educational system, celebrities, people in general.
5. I homeschool.
6. I hate making phone calls to strangers. I avoid it like the plague.
7. I've yet to meet a craft that I didn't like - tatting, crocheting, embroidery, sewing, cross-stitch, polymer clay, miniatures, beading, temari, and probably a few others. Someday, I hope to extend the list to bobbin lace and maybe weaving.

If you want to do the meme and haven't been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

WIP Wednesday - Bonsai Edition

The back of the Bonsai Tunic is just about finished:

I'm to the armholes. It's been a rough week, so I haven't gotten too much done on it, but things are looking better much now. I've been drawn to Norah Gaughan's designs ever since I took knitting back up a couple of years ago because she always does something unusual or unexpected. The first sweater I ever made was her Ballet Wrap from IK because it had such an interesting construction. I have the Hex Coat from Knitting Nature in the works (but probably on hold until end of summer/fall). This particular design has a reverse stockinette back as well as just looking different on the front. She's just definitely one of my favorite clothing designers.

Another good thing: I was Margene's 27,000th commenter on Monday. (That's a lot of comments!) She's going to be sending me a package next week to celebrate and I'm looking forward to it! I really did time it perfectly because I had gone to her site, looked up something else, and borrowed her meme before finally going back to leave my comment, fully expecting that she would have already had the magic number. A few minutes later, I got an email telling me that it was me. Happy, happy!

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Monday, May 14, 2007


Thank you, everyone, for all the wonderful comments about the skirt. I still haven't had the chance to wear it out anywhere, but I will. If I didn't respond to you personally, I don't have your email address, but I do appreciate every one of your comments. I don't have much for today's post, so I borrowed this knitting meme from Margene:

Bold for stuff you've done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you're not planning on doing.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up

Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns

Knitting with bananafiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing

Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn

Graffitti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit

American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money

Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
Olympic knitting

Knitting with someone elses handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting

Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn

Knitting art (because Beth said so)
Knitting two socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO

Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Entrelac Knitting and purling backwards

Machine knitting
Knitting with selfpatterning/selfstriping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere

Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets

Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Regia Silk Skirt

Here's the skirt:

It fits perfectly. You can click on the picture for a bigger picture of the detail.
Pattern: A-Line Skirt from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2006
Yarn: Regia Silk (purchased from The Loopy Ewe); the pattern called for Koigu, but I got dead-on gauge using Regia Silk and I thought it would make a lighter skirt that Koigu. It doesn't pull down weight-wise or anything. I love it. I would recommend 2 balls of cream Regia though just to be on the safe side because I had about 3 yards leftover and I didn't do the stem stitch embroidery along the striping. Of the pink, I used 4 balls and I think I just started the 5th. I made the smallest size.
Needles: Size 3
Modifications: Other than the yarn substitution, none.

This is actually the first pattern I've done from Vogue Knitting and I'm very pleased with the results.

A few of you commented on how pretty the purple/red/black corriedale batt is and I have to be honest. It called to me so much that I had to start spinning it on Tuesday. Yes, I know I have way too many spinning/knitting projects as it is, but really how can one resist?

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

ABCs of Maryland Sheep and Wool




(For the record, this picture is nowhere near accurate. I took lots of pictures and tried to color correct, but this is such a rich roving that I just couldn't get anywhere near. Purples, red and blacks all blended together. Absolutely gorgeous stuff.)

Day trip
Enabling (yes, I did help enable a few random strangers as well as my friend)
Fibery goodness:

This fibery goodness is from Carolina Homespun. The ones on the left are merino and the two on the right are merino and silk.


(La Fleur in Purpleheart at a mere .5 oz)
Hay - lots of the stuff around for the animals
Interweave Press - since they are always there and I subscribe to several of their magazines (Piecework, Knits, Beadwork, and Spin-Off)
Joy, Ashford
Kettle corn and kids
Lambs, llamas,
Merino, Maryland
Navajo plying
Overwhelming as always. Tons of people, tons of fiber.
Purples and pinks! I decided to give up this year after last year swearing I wouldn't come home with anything pink and ending up with EVERYTHING being either pink and/or purple. Why fight a good thing?
Qiviut - okay, I didn't actually see any of this fiber there, but there had to be, right?
Socks that Rock:

Yes, I joined in the madness that is STR (it was our first stop and there was already a line at 8:30) and scored my first two skeins of the stuff in "Romancing the Stone" and "Chapman Springs". So soft - I think I'll be ordering more :-)
Ultimate spinner's heaven
Wheels and weaving
X (I'm stumped. Just can't come up with anything for X)
Yarn (believe it or not, it actually took me a while to come up with that one. Sad, I know.)
Zzzz - I was tired after all that!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Pictures Tomorrow, I Promise

I know, you want to see the goodies purchased at the fiber fest this weekend and I promise pictures tomorrow! I went with a friend and we braved the insanity that is Socks that Rock and I got my very first skeins of the stuff (though my friend had already shown me several skeins). Heaven. I also got a bit of fibery goodness (like I've actually used what I got last year). And we saw lots of fibery livestock. But all that's tomorrow, I promise. (The reason I can't show you today is my friend accidentally grabbed one of my bags when I dropped her off. I called her when I got home panicked and she told me yes, she had my bag. Pretty easy to do with the back seat full of bags and all. I'm telling you the panic that accompanied finding a bunch of stuff missing was unpleasant, but she'll be bringing the stuff to our monthly guild meeting tonight, so pictures tomorrow.)

Also, sometime this week, I'll be posting pictures of my skirt. I'm finishing off the crochet border today and putting in the elastic. I know I've said it before, but I'm seriously wondering if I should sacrifice yarn to the knitting gods, because this skirt fits perfectly! That's two actual gauge-important projects in a row that have worked for me. I need to find a half-slip to go underneath and it is on my to-wear this week list.

I mentioned earlier that guild meeting is tonight and I'm going to be helping with a spinning presentation. I think I'm going to find my carders and take along a little raw wool just to show the process, but the wheel and some spindles are also going along. It will be the first time I've used the wheel in a while. Don't know how I'm going to carry all the fibery purchases, FOs and the wheel into the meeting to show off. I need a couple more arms. Of course, that would be useful for everyday, wouldn't it? It might look really odd, but an extra arm to hold a book to read while I knit would be nice.

Until tomorrow...


Friday, May 04, 2007

S&W Tomorrow!

I was hoping to have the skirt finished by today, but the little embroidery is taking a little longer than anticipated. I should still have it finished by Monday even with all the excitement tomorrow. (I hope.) The weather forecast is good and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it stays that way. Not too much progress has been made with the Bonsai Tunic because I was trying to finish the skirt, but as it's on size 8s and 6s, I don't anticipate it taking too long.

I got my Summer IK yesterday (really seems like I just got the Spring edition). There's not too much I feel I have to do for the summer. I did think the Josephine Top was cute and that may be on my summer knit list. Otherwise, for Virginia weather anyway, most of the rest that I liked seems more fall/winter. My eye was definitely caught by the cover sweater and Shirley Paden's Oriel Lace Blouse. And I liked the Little Smocked Cardigan as well. I almost forgot about the Spiral Boot Socks.

I hope to see some bloggers at the S&W tomorrow, but if you are unable to attend this year, I'll be thinking about you with all the fibery goodness and I promise you can live vicariously through me and my pictures next week! Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

WIP Wednesday

The A-line skirt is just about done:

It's now off the blocking board and I've woven ribbon through the lace of one half. Today, I hope to weave the rest and do the embroidery; maybe I'll even get it sewn up today. I hope it's going to fit well. After having the tank fit so perfectly, I'm wondering if I should make a yarn sacrifice to the knitting gods now.

My other project that is actually seeing some progress is the Bonsai Tunic from the current issue of Interweave Knits:

It's overcast, so it's really impossible to capture the yarn well. It has little shiny bits in it and you can't tell that from the picture. And the color should actually have just a smidgen more grey. It's really pretty though.

I actually dreamed about the Sheep and Wool festival the night before last. I was trying to find the Golding booth, as if I didn't know exactly where it is. You think my subconscious is trying to tell me that I really need another Golding?

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Wednesday Madness

I know, it's only Tuesday, but it was last Wednesday when I found Sheri's sneak-up. I say "madness" because apparently I wasn't the only one to come across the sneak-up. The site slowed considerably. Granted, the items I ordered were still up on the site as of yesterday, so I really didn't need to participate in the sneak-up, but she had new laceweight! I'm only so strong. I ended up with another skein of Seacoast in Jewels. I also got this:

Lane Borgosesia Cashwool in Ice for the Frost Flower and Leaves Shawl.

And same wool in Red for the Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. (It's the gorgeous circular one in sort of a pink-red.)

I know, I have a few things to finish first. Well, for the skirt, the knitting is finished! It's currently blocked out and I'll have pictures of that tomorrow. I'll need to sew it together and do the embroidery and crochet hem. I also started the Bonsai Tunic last night. And there's that purple diamond shawl that I started; I need to work on that and the Forest Path Stole. I know that may seem like a lot, but it's really not. Just ignore the rest of the projects on the sidebar, okay? Because I am - until winter calls again for the Hex Coat. And I'll give the socks another try. Sometime. And hmm, well, look, there's a big giant hairy spider behind you!