Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gone To Seed

This is a photo from earlier in the fall. I'm pretty sure it's the dill by the back step: it looks like dill to me. But there are some other things around that look similar in the seedy stage.

I spent the whole day in the basement lair wrestling many yards of moss colored fabric into the shape of a long hooded robe/cape kind of garment for Owen's Halloween costume. It really ought not to have taken so long, but my serger is giving me all kinds of grief, which really slowed things down. Bah. And it was a glorious day here. I did get out of the house, to the supermarket, but somehow, that didn't really count. I planned to get out and take pictures, but somehow, never got to that. Tomorrow, the knitting updates and the costume, for certain. And maybe some more scenes from a late autumn garden.

I'm in some kind of strange funk the last couple of days. When I was in college and tried to run with a cool crowd, there were times when I had a sense that everyone else was at the party without me. It's like that. That vaguely dissatisfied sense that my whole lot in life is not quite what I planned on, and not really in a good way. Which is a lot of hogwash. Yes, not what I planned on, but really, that's good. What I planned on was dying young from the fallout of my extreme lifestyle, not living to be fat, middle-aged, and a mom. So, I'm suffering from what my sane self thinks of as high-class problems. This is kind of a late autumn thing for me. My birthday approaches and I get that melancholy reflection on time and mortality and all that angsty stuff. It seems a little worse this year, maybe because 46 is the entry point to the Late 40s. Really, still the Mid 40s. and really, still pretty young in the scheme of things. But knowing 50 is just around the corner kind of freaks me out.

I'm becoming vaguely anxious about my parents as they get older. They're in great health, but they're starting to talk about the end times of their lives. I still think of my mom as about the age that I am now: how can she be 21 years older than that?

When you're 25 and have all those infinite years stretching out ahead of you, it's hard to imagine how quickly they start to pass, how soon they start to seem finite.

So, enough of all that. Good thing Thanksgiving comes soon and I can be prodded toward gratitude.

Friday, October 26, 2007


It's been a busy time here lately. I've been doing a bit of knitting on the Fair Isle cardigan, making headway on that second sleeve, but mostly been doing other stuff that involves making blocks of text and pictures fit together in pleasing ways.

I spent Tuesday morning with my friend Cindy, taking pictures of a lot of her FOs, which was great fun. While we were out at the park doing that I got the picture of the sumac above. It's one of my favorite autumn trees.

There's going to be a new TGB newsletter coming out in mid-November, so make sure you sign up for it! Lots of stuff going on that you won't want to miss. We're all excited about what's to come

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Morgan Cardigan Pattern Available

Autumn's in the air and you need a warm cardigan to chase away the chill. Morgan features an easy-to-wear zipper front, raglan sleeves, generous collar, and traditional fit. The color pattern was found on a sweater in the Shetland Museum's online photo archive. Made in a rustic, worsted wt. yarn, with a cut steek, Morgan is an excellent choice for the knitter who has done some stranded work and would like try something a bit more challenging. Click to enlarge pictures.

Difficulty: Experienced

Finished measurements:34, 38, 42[46, 50, 54] inches

Yardage: worsted wt. wool,
MC 800, 800, 1000[1000, 1200, 1200] yards
CC 400, 400, 600[600, 600, 600] yards

Gauge: 20 st and 24 rows = 4" or 10 cm in Fair Isle stockinette st.

Price $6

Add to Cart View Cart

Monday, October 15, 2007

Fair Isle Progress, Again

Never one for patience, I had to sew in the one sleeve I have done and get a peek at how the shoulder/armscye shaping worked out.

Two front views:

and a back view:

I think it looks pretty good. I had to introduce the cardigan to my good friends June Tailor (she's such a ham!) and Mr. Steam. After a nice blast of Mr. Steam while June supported the shoulder area, it looks very professional, if I do say so myself.

I cast on for the next sleeve yesterday. Then bands and a collar. Maybe I'll be done by Halloween.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

This Week's Knitting

Fair Isle Cardigan

I've been working on the sleeve cap area of my first sleeve. This is new for me, because I've always done Fair Isle sweaters in the traditional way, with a drop or modified drop sleeve and picking up stitches from the cut steek to work down to the cuff. I think I'll like the result, even though I'm not someone who ever minded the drop-sleeve look.

Here's a detail of how it's working out.

I plan to continue the sleeve cap decreases until the top of the next red band, then cast off straight across the remaining couple inches of stitches.

Scott's Tweedy Pullover
This is one of my longest-standing WIPs. It's been in progress about 2 years. It's not a UFO because I still plan to finish it and I do work on it from time to time.

There's nothing especially difficult or even time-consuming about the pattern. Just a simple slip stitch pattern using 3 fine-gauge yarns and #3 needles. I think it's the purling back that gets to me. I don't mind purling, but my left hand does. I feel like all my knitting progress has been a bit slow lately because my hand is hovering on the edge of mutiny.
Here's a detail of the stitch:

I'm coming to the conclusion that spinning really seem to aggravate the CTS. I hate to think about that. I'll try playing with my posture and holding my fiber differently, but I wonder if my body's telling me I'm not meant to spin.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


The spinning of the last few days

This is 3 ply from the Brown Sheep mill ends; wool and mohair. I didn't ply the earlier yarn I made from this as tightly as I did this, so not sure how well it will all work together in one project. You can see some of the earlier effort in the upper left of this picture. I'm considering running the older skeins back through the wheel for a bit more twist, as I've come to realize that I'd been under-plying my yarn up until about 3 weeks ago. Of course, there's so much fiber waiting to be spun, maybe I should just move forward from here and not try to go back and fix earlier efforts.

Last night I went to the knit night party at The Sow's Ear. They had a big turnout and I saw a couple of my favorite local blogger/knitters, Molly B (whom I'll never manage to call by her correct name), and Dale-Harriet. I met Dale's delightful daughter, Mary, and chatted a bit with Heather B. Also bought the Interweave Gifts issue (LOVE the cover hat!), the new Spin Off, and a couple big balls of locally made roving in wonderful subtle shades of grey, black, blues, and purples.

Today, I'm happy to report, The Little Emperor seems well! Hallelujah! His voice is almost normal, fever is gone, and appetite and energy levels are returning to normal. I hope we don't get any more bugs like that one this school year.

Also today, I went to the supermarket and stocked up on everything. Spent $175! That ought to hold us a little while.

While I was out getting pictures of the handspun yarn, I noticed a monarch working the butterfly bush flowers:

I got about 6 good images before she flew away.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Friday 5 October 2007

Sick Kid
Wow, where did that week go? Little Emperor has been out of school all week, running a fever, croaking like a frog and occasionally, barking like a seal. We went to see our buddy Dr. Claire yesterday, who confirmed that it's just a nasty virus. Lungs, ear, and throat are all ok. So, whatever great ambitions I may have had for the week are gone. I can't even remember what they might have been.

His teacher phoned Wednesday afternoon to find out what was up. She asked, "What did they think it was?" implying a trip to the doctor had already taken place. I thought she might write me up to Child Protection when I told her I hadn't taken him yet. And you know, with the first child, I would have been to the doctor on Tuesday, probably. But having been around the block a few times on this stuff, I know when I'm going to hear, "Just a virus; wait it out," and when I'm going to be leaving with a prescription for antibiotics. And Claire confirmed that they sometimes have a better idea of what's going on when it's been going on several days.

So, we're living mostly on shelf-stable stuff, like pasta, that's around, augmented by a take-out meal or two. I miss the supermarket.

Fiber News
I did a little spinning this week. More of the Brown Sheep mill ends 3 ply: two dark plies and one light one. I'll try to get pictures later today, but I have another skein's worth of singles to ply up, so will probably do that first.

Now, off to do a little laundry and see where the LE's at in his video. Those old Garfield DVDs run forever.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Random String of Sentences Posing as a Post

a random photo apropos nothing in particular

This is a special kind of milkweed that is not winter hardy in our zone. It's growing in a big pot near the front door. We were talking about finding a winter home for it, but Mr. SABLE's workplace now forbids plants not provided by the official plant service. It's that German top-down management style in action again. Bah. And we don't really have a good bright window in our house where it can winter over.

So, this seems to be the week of the plans that come to naught. Yesterday morning, the LE awoke with a cough like a barking seal: not a lot, but a bit worrisome. Being the overly-conscientious mom that I am, I kept him home. By 9:30 a.m. I was regretting the decision, because he seemed quite well and perky. No cough unless I happened to ask how he was doing. Then, he produced a feeble and somewhat theatrical little cough for me.

This morning, when I went to get him up for school he again had the seal-barking cough. And he felt hot. And was running a small fever, about 100.7 F, or 38.7 C. So he stayed home again today. Today he seems like a sick kid: lying around, not eating much, not demanding as much, kind of losing his voice. I keep sneaking off to get other stuff done, but my windows of opportunity are about 15 minutes each, max. The good thing about keeping him home yesterday is that I probably avoided exposing more children to whatever he has, at a time when he probably would have been more contagious. Small consolation. I have to remind myself that part of the reason I don't want to work outside the home now that both kids are in school, is so that I can be available on a moment's notice when one or both of them are not at school, for whatever reason. But it's boring for me, being On Duty for a sick kid.

I finished some socks a couple days ago. They were supposed to be for Mr. SABLE, but when I finished the first one, even though I made it really really big, it was clear that it wasn't big enough. It did fit Owen, though, so I made the matching one for him and he's got a new pair of handknit socks. Mr. SABLE will get the next pair.

I've been working on various UFOs and WIPs, too. The Fair Isle cardigan and Mr. SABLE's Tweedy Sweater (LONG overdue!) being the two main ones.

Off to serve more soup to the sick kid.