Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year-End Wrap Up 2008

I guess my year was a fairly productive one. Not so many socks this year, only two pair for myself. I did finish an albatross that had been hanging around for a couple of years. I love my Hex Coat now that it's finished, but it will be a while before I do that much moss or seed stitch again. I also finished only 4 shawls this year, two really small, but 2 were pretty much the biggest I've done. I also got a new toy and I hope to have lots of lovely projects to show in 2009. Here's the grand total:

Husband Socks
Husband Socks, pair 2
Trekking Socks
Upstream Socks

Frost Magickal Earth
Frost Flowers and Leaves If you happen to see that I list the size as 70 X 70, I don't know how I came up with that figure because it is very incorrect. It's more like 55" square.
Pink and Blue Swallowtail Shawls

Hex Coat

Mini Relic Purse

Sampler Towels
Weaving Sampler


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Magickal Earth Shawl

Wow, she's finished and blocked and HUGE! Here she is in all her glory:

The color's a bit more accurate on this one, though the grey may even be a little lighter; it's showing up a bit too dark on my monitor:

(Click on the pictures for close-ups!)
Started: March 1, 2008
Finished: December 26, 2008
Size: about 60 inches square
Needle size: Size 2 (3.00mm)
Yarn: Zephyr in Pewter
Pattern: Magickal Earth by Sandy Terp in Gathering of Lace

This shawl is probably the one I've most wanted to do since I started knitting lace. Gathering of Lace was the first lace book I purchased, and Frost Flowers and Leaves (finished earlier this year) and Magickal Earth immediately caught my eye. (I love unicorns and Celtic Knots.) I had to build the confidence to tackle this one though. Having done this one now, I'm pretty confident in most lace projects now (well, except for the Raku Suri Stole, but I was stupid enough to immediately try another lace project when I'm pretty sure I need a little bit of a lace break). Anyway, I think I'm going to try and finish up a couple of small projects, then maybe tackle the Raku Suri. Meanwhile, I'm going to show off my new shawl tonight at my Sit 'N' Knit and guild next week. New shawls make me very happy.

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Friday, December 26, 2008


The Magickal Earth Shawl is finished!! All that's left now is to block her out, but here's a preview:

More pictures and specs later! I will tell you that I'm already sure that I'll love this shawl.


Monday, December 22, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, I won a blog contest over at Sarah's blog. It was one of her beautiful mugs:

Do I even need to say that pictures don't do it justice? It came on Wednesday as a well-needed "good" part of the day after Julie's eye problems. It holds a nice-sized cup of tea (with a little milk and honey).

Speaking of Julie's eye, I took her in to the vet today and he was flabbergasted at how much better the eye looked. Now remember this eye had ruptured and was deflated like a balloon. It did not look good, she was in pain and his recommendation had been to either remove the eye or pain management, but it was not very likely to recover. I'm really glad I trusted my instincts on this one because the eye does, in fact, look almost completely recovered. He didn't know how to explain it; he had never seen an eye recover like that. He said maybe we caught it early enough and it healed over in time for the fluid to reinflate it, but other than that, he just had never seen an eye heal like that. It was nice to see that he was very happy for us as we are; he was in veterinary medicine for stories like this one.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poor Puppy

My puppy isn't exactly a puppy anymore. She's fifteen years old, a breast cancer survivor, and she is part of the family. Anyone who has pets knows that they are family members and we hate when our furry children are in pain. My furry child is in pain. She's had cataracts for a while and she had an eye infection on top of that. This morning when I was going to put the antibiotic drop in, she wouldn't let me near it. (She had seemed fine until then.) I finally got enough of a look to see that her eye seemed deflated and took her in. The vet said the eye had ruptured. Our options were to let them remove the eye under anaesthesia or to keep with eyedrops and pain meds and let the eye continue to shrivel on its own (extremely small chance that it will get better). It's a hard choice, but her age kept me from letting them put her under. I thought that she'd probably be in pain after surgery as well.

She doesn't like having her picture taken; she can actually hear the camera (not much else) and goes running before the flash (which she thinks is lightning) can catch her. So, it's been a while since I've gotten a really good picture of her. This one is from around this time a couple of years ago.

I have some stuff to show on another day. For now, please keep my furry girl in your thoughts.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Hand Towels

I finished weaving some hand towels the other day and finally got around to cutting them apart. The first ones are done in pastels and all different treadlings (you can click to see a close-up of the different patterns):

The other two are Christmas colors. The one on the left is a basket weave and the other is a 3/1 twill (again you can click).

The pattern is a Sampler Towel pattern from Weavecraft (I'm afraid I can't tell you the issue at this exact moment as I can't find it).
e.p.i. 20, I think
yarn: 5/2 cotton

I have a sample on the loom right now, but I as I think I'm going to make it into a full-fledged scarf, I might wait on that. I'm also on the Celtic Knots on my Magickal Earth Shawl and it's going much faster now. It's in the home-stretch!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Lovely Unicorn

While kung fu movies don't seem to be conducive for lace knitting (see this post), The Lord of the Rings trilogy seems to be quite productive. I rewatched all three of the extended movies over the past three nights, staying up much later than I really should have. And while watching, I worked on my Magickal Earth. LOTR and ME seemed to fit very well together as I'm now a mere 2-1/2 rounds from finishing the unicorn chart.

So next up is the Celtic knot and directions charts.

I decided to actually do a sample before jumping right in to weaving my sock yarn scarf.

I'm not sure I like it. I was actually going for a more warp-faced fabric (the up and down threads), but the pink weft seems to be the most prominent. The warp actually does have more purple along with the greys, but it just happened to be mostly grey where I was working. I might try setting the e.p.i. (ends per inch) just a wee bit closer and just go for it. I think it will be nice anyway, just maybe not exactly what I was going for. But I'm new at this; experimentation is good.

Speaking of experimenting, I do have a new sample going on the warp today. I might chronicle the process for a later entry.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yoga and "Happy"

I try to make it to yoga classes at the gym once or twice a week. I go specific days for two teachers whom I love, but also partly to avoid one particular teacher. Occasionally, I'm unlucky and this woman subs for one of my regular classes. Today was one of those days. I hate to say it, but this woman bugs me. It's not that she tends to have the music a little too loud or that she talks during the final meditation so that it's actually hard to actually meditate. Those things I can overlook and can even ignore. What bugs me about this woman is her insistence that everyone be happy in her class, her insistence that everyone smiles.

I understand that happiness can be contagious. I've been around those people who can just smile and make everyone around them smile. And if you want to create happiness around you by just being happy, then by all means, be happy. But don't tell me that I have to be. I enjoy yoga immensely and some days it does make me happy, some days I feel exhilarated, some just tired, and then there are days when I'm there mostly for pain management. I can't hold downward-facing dog as long as usual; it hurts to hold my arms above my head. It's the most I can do to keep from crying. The last thing I want on those days is to be told that I have to smile and be happy.

I know it sounds like I'm in a bad mood. I'm not really. I'm just neutral right now and it bothered me to be told I have to be happy because I'm in yoga and yoga is happy. Yoga is different things to different people. And it's not "happy" for me. It's about being at peace with my body. And today it was very far from happy, but I do feel better for it. And that's what matters to me, not "happy".

I do have some fiber related stuff to show, but it was rainy today, so no good pictures. Perhaps tomorrow.


Sunday, December 07, 2008


Friday night as I was knitting while watching a movie, I discovered a mistake about 3 rows down on the Magickal Earth. Me and my darned perfectionism streak, because it was a mistake NO ONE would have ever figured out (even my fellow lace friends with a magnifying glass). No one but me, of course. I would have seen it every darn time I looked at it. Perfectionist that I am, even I was not willing to tink 2-3 rounds, each being 500-600 stitches. Hence the surgery:

Let me just say surgery on knitting is not advisable during a Jackie Chan movie. Yes, I was silly enough to attempt it and I might have had to drop down a couple rows more than originally intended. I got smart and decided to watch the kung fu movie sans knitting. I got up refreshed Saturday morning.

Above is actually a special stitch section. It's not just straightforward yarnovers and knit 2 togethers. On one row, you yarn over, on the next row, you slip the yarnover from the previous round while making a yarnover over the first one. The next row, you knit them together. This stitch is a giant hairy pain in the bum to figure out when trying to fix without tinking. After a couple of attempts, I finally figured it out and thought I was done. Then I discovered a stitch that was supposed to remain on the circs had dropped down. ARGH! Had to do more surgery, but I FINALLY got it all fixed and perfected and later was able to fix another mistake very quickly. So now I'm on row 40 of sixty on the unicorn chart and moving right along. I like that the rounds are getting less and less. (I may have mentioned that a few times already.)

Weaving is also moving along. I hope to have my towels finished in the next couple of days. I don't think I'm going to tie another warp on for more towels right now. I need variety, so I'll probably make a scarf or two (with some of my wonderful sock yarn stash), then we'll see how I feel about making more towels. Pictures of the towels later in the week.


Friday, December 05, 2008

I need purple

The maker of this silly quiz has obviously never seen my closet or my yarn/fiber stash:

You Need Some Purple in Your Life

Purple will make you feel ambitious, independent, and creative.

And with a little purple, you will project an aura of individuality.

If you want more extravagance, you've got to get a little purple in your life!

For extra punch: Combine purple with green or orange

The downside of purple: It can evoke sad feelings

The consequences of more purple in your life:

You will feel an increase in your artistic abilities

You will find balance in the most chaotic parts of your life

You will feel calm and will be hard to disturb

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I have been weaving a bit, but I've also been working pretty exclusively (as far as knitting goes) on the Magickal Earth Shawl. I have unicorn legs:

I'm nearly halfway through the unicorn pattern. I really like that this shawl is getting smaller and smaller. The rounds are going much quicker now. I may even finish by the end of the year! (Maybe, unless I get distracted by something else, which is always possible.)

As I said I've also been weaving. This is the beginning of a Christmas towel.

I'm just doing red and green stripes in a 3-1 twill (broken up by white basket weave). I'm still working on keeping my edges neat and even. I'm also trying to work on an even beat. Weaving is pretty fast; it only took me about 20 minutes to do the 3-1/2 long pattern (it's about 12 inches across). There is something to be said for completing whole rows with a single pass of the shuttle and not having to form individual stitches. I'm really wanting to finish off this warp though; I am itching to make a sock yarn scarf or two.