Friday, September 10, 2010

Not Mariah--but . . .

The great guru of dyeing (NOT dying) is coming to Billings: the lady from Lorna's Lace, of course (remember: names do not roll easily from my tongue--I am not a knitting name dropper.) All the somebodies will join for a dip into dye on next Saturday, and of course, they will wax eloquently about all the colorway possibilities before they do so.

Design a yarn that will rival Bear-n-Berries--and certainly take its place as the "oohoo" and "ahhh" skein in the bags and baskets of the lucky few? I can, and now all alliteratives aside, I will speak the word "chinook" and all the color memories it evokes. I will remember a tattered Montana history book where I learned that the chinook tugs and wrestles the ice from the frozen earth in only two places: Iceland and Montana. I will remember the frost blue of ice, polished by the summery gusts. I will remember the hints of chocolate, of earth however briefly reborn. I will remember the soft gold of the January sun (a whole season away from its meridian) and the winter white and storm grey of the clouds that promise that this installation of spring is, alas, but a temporary respite. These are the colors of Montana in true sock season.

So. . . Lorna's Lace lady, take the palest blue from your Edgewater as well as its brown, search out your gold, white, and grey, and mix them in goodly quantities; stand back in awe and breathe the name--Chinook.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The cock crewth ;-(

I have learned the danger of too much posturing, preening, etc.: the tam that I made with Shetland, that WAS faved, has now been "unfaved." What a strange thing we are doing to our language; where word transformation was once restricted to the likes of Shakespeare and Poe, the common man can now add a affix to any word that is in the ballpark, change its usage from noun to whatever (or vice versa), and deliver such among standard speakers of the English language with impunity and intrepidation (;-)). I used to grit my teeth at "enthused" and "reverenced": I now have a entire catalogue of "uns" and "ins" with which to deal.

Niece-in-law wrote back with second card: it was a case of mistaken identity. Spencer therefore has a slate-blue Baby Surprise (made of Baby Bunny for summer comfort) on the needles. I'm also toying with a baby gansey pattern that came out of the January 1988 McCall's Needlework: it is a pattern I knitted for my younger son, but now I've become more particular to gauge (especially since it is not to be draped around my own unwilling offspring). I tried some Alexandrie and some Dolly last night (and the Baby Bunny was what the clerk sold me, reassuring me that it would be perfect): I usually am guilty of knitting too tightly, but that 7 1/2 stitches per inch on Size 4's is beyond me (fingering does NOT accept that looseness). I already have tinkered a bit with the pattern, but can only do so much because of the aran patterns in the yoke. I have a feeling that this is going to end up a total redesign (sorry for that corruption of the King's English) or . . . !

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Babies coming!

I remember reading Robert Lawson's classic, Rabbit Hill, as a child: a rabbit named Georgie, young and excitable, goes on an errand--to fetch his crumudgeon uncle. On the way, Georgie sing-songs, "New folks coming, New folks coming."

That's what I feel like: the next generation is coming with eclat. Spencer was born on the 13th of January; who-sit in early May. My needles haven't cooled--although I'm not really sure of the effects. Spencer's mom sent me a thank-you note for overalls, when what the tyke really got was another of the Alice Starmore wee bonnets: I don't know if she is sleep-deprived or not so subtlely telling me that something larger and not so old-fashioned would have been more appreciated. Forewarned, I face-booked Carrie, my niece, and asked her if she wanted to forego the bonnet/sweater routine as done by her slightly old, slightly eccentric aunt: she responded with a responding, "Let the bonnets begin!" Sooooo.... Spencer may end up with store-bought while who-sit toasts in fine wool. I went through my stash and found some Nomotta that was made in the United States sector of Germany!!! This stuff must be older than I am, but it's beautiful: I think it came from my aunt Connie's stash originally. I found a Piecework cardigan (Summer 2007) that uses a combination of stockinette and reverse (sleeves are done on the bias) with ribbon roses: simple but elegant. And then there's the Peer Gynt sweater for Christmas :-)!

I thought to make socks for sale but no one bought into my "see 'um, buy 'um" on-approval plan, so I donated one pair (Socketta) to the school carnival, gave a pair to sister-in-law (humpf! don't read too many blogs back), and have a pair sitting on the shelf for the next gift. I got some lovely merino, though, from Bristol Dyeworks, that I am definitely keeping: it's in a colorway called "Autumn" that reminds me of camouflage! It's nice enough to make me endure the tedium of the squiggle cable pattern.

Sweater tonight, socks this weekend . . . and then maybe the mystery shawl for which I have been saving patterns?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I CAN frog!

This is like true confessions: I did it--ripped out an entire collar and sleeve to resurrect a few misguided stitches at the neck of my sweater. And--since I'm feeling good about it, I definitely did the right thing. I haven't been feeling up to snuff since that move, however; some sort of drag-myself-to-work, drag-myself-to-bed bug has set in pretty hard. I managed to move to the couch last night and work on Susan's entrelac afghan (and watch an episode of "Hawaii Five O"). Thank goodness for mindless drama. Maybe I'll be back to the sweater tonight . . . on the other hand, maybe not.

A first! I got a fave comment on my shetland Alice Starmore tam from an editor (albeit volunteer) at Ravelry. Maybe I should stick with small and stranded. I do have her (Alice's, not the editor's) Mara vest started from years ago--trivia question: where was the Mara vest pattern first published? Clue: you probably have to be as old as I am (and as much of a packrat . . . excuse me, saver) to know this answer:-).

Ah, and before the crud set in, I rewarded myself (for who knows what--the edge of a first semester, the courage to frog?) by starting Stricken. I am in love: they look so good! Why can't big things be as simple?

Is anyone out there? (plaintive sniff)

Sunday, January 3, 2010


The sweater I've worked on for so long (and more so these past four months) is done, but I hate it. I noticed that one of the cables leading up to the neck was two rows too long, so I raveled just the few stitches that the cable involves. I carefully knitted them correctly--oh, let's be honest--I tried to be careful but was left with too much yarn here, and not enough there, and it's really hard, at least for me, to pull stitches in a cable and get it right. THEN, I knitted the collar AND it's TOO wide. The angle from the picked-stitches to the top of the band is too sharp and the top of the band looks like an overgrown fungus. This is, of course, a pattern where everything has been knit into everything else and unraveling means unraveling everything: 36 ounces of yarn. I'll take it to the shop for suggestions, but right now I am thinking of sewing steek lines down the front and binding off in I-cord. Argh!

And--Turbo is no more! He grew into a very large, very opinionated Manx, and when my son took him down to the barn this past Wednesday (to work off some opinion and to catch a few mice, which he was good at) something else--perhaps a coon, perhaps something larger--cooled my Turbo's opinionated self forever. I'm lonely at the apartment where I live during the workweek: hubby says that it is good not to have a cat (the litter box was his bone of contention) but I think after years of catlessness I disagree. I would even sacrifice more yarn (maybe the sweater!) to have a warm spot on my bed at night and a comedian to laugh at.