Thursday, May 29, 2008

Planning Ahead to Summer

Last year I organized an alternative knitting camp at a state park in Wisconsin. Six of us converged to knit, eat, chat, swap stash, eat, knit, burn stuff, etc. for a couple days. This year, we're doing it again!

The Other Knitting Camp in Wisconsin
July 22-24
Devil's Lake State Park, Baraboo
(about 35 miles NNW of Madison)

We have room for a total of 12 people. Four spaces are spoken for.

The cost runs about $25 per person for the share of campsite expenses and food.

Let me know if you want to come. It's a ton of fun. Devil's Lake is a beautiful park. I'll bring my canoe and the water there is very clean and clear.

This knitting camp features NO classes! NO workshops! NO famous Knitting Personalities! But you can't beat the price!

Edited to add the following details:
Official check-in/out time at Wisconsin State Parks is 3 p.m. I hope to be up there pretty close to that on the 22cnd. I'm not sure how long I'll stay on the 24th. It's pretty flexible.

Also, for those who aren't able to commit to camping for two nights, you can certainly come for a day visit and hang out. Show up with snacks in hand and you'll be welcome with open arms. ;)

Anyone who wants details should email me (address in my profile).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Finished Objects and a Meme

My friend Sarah aka Teleknitter is expecting her first baby in July. Now that she's received the gift, I can show you what I made for the baby.

and the detail:

and a matching hat:

I made the main part of the blanket on a knitting machine, which was very fast, then crocheted a shell stitch border around until it seemed like it would lay flat.

The yarn is Plymouth Encore I turned up in my stash one day while looking for something else. My original plan for this yarn had been long abandoned and I realized it would be a perfect quick gift for the baby.

As for the meme...
I was tagged by Cristiana/Knitaly.


* Answer at least three of the questions. Yes, I know a few look time-consuming and there are several of them. That's why I only ask for three. See? I'm nice!
* Post them and the rules on your blog, and please link back to me here. Pretty please?
* Comment here telling me and the rest of our little party where you're at and link to yourself.
That's all!
* Oh yeah, don't forget to tag others!

What's the last book you read that you thought was really super, inspiring, you'd recommend it to most anyone?

Maybe not the last one that fits the definition, but one book I think every educated person should read: Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

What food totally grosses you out, you'd never be able to touch it? Ew. Gag. *hurl*

Tongue. Brain.

Did you ever watch a scary movie that frightened you so much you were afraid of the dark afterward? I mean like you're lying in bed trying to sleep, but you have to pee, but you're scared to get up. It doesn't have to be recently; could be when you were a kid. So what movie was it?

I saw Hitchcock's Psycho for the first time when I was about 12. It was hard to shower for a long time after that. Jaws pretty much ruined swimming for me throughout the late '70s, even in a small fresh water lake in NH.

Is there a song that makes you dance every time you hear it? Would you tap you feet and sing along to it in public?

Can't think of any particular one right now.

Tattoos: yes or no? Do you have any? Tell us! Do you think they're gross? TELL US!

I don't have any. I'm not interested in ever getting one. I can't imagine any image or message that I'm sure I'd feel that strongly about my whole life. If others want them, it's fine with me.

When's the last time you laughed so hard your ribs ached and/or you nearly peed yourself? What made you do it?

My mom and I laugh that hard when we're together.

Draw or doodle a picture of your pet(s) and post it if possible. Nothing fancy, don't be shy!

This one sounds like too much hassle. You can find photos of the cats a little bit back in the blog.

Go through a stack or box of your old music. Stuff that you may not have heard in years. Pick one and tell us about it. Is it as good (or as bad) as you remember?

How old does it have to be? I still love all the Grateful Dead music I loved in college. And Talking Heads. And a bunch of others.

Do you still sleep with a stuffed animal? We won't laugh!

I don't unless my younger son leaves one of his "friends" in my bed. Our female cat Hailey often crawls under the covers and snuggles up against my belly on cold winter nights. And I have a Heater Hubby.

I often skip memes because they seem like they require more thought than I want to give them, but I liked this one when I saw it on Cristiana's blog because the questions are fairly precise and limited in scope. Highlighting and bolding the titles of 100 books? No thanks. Even Seven Weird Things About Me gets me in a tizzy, defining what's weird and what's not.

Anyway, I'm not big on tagging people for memes. I would enjoy reading how Bezzie, Sarah, and MollyBee answer these questions, but I'll leave it up to them to decide if that rises to the level of a tag. ;)

Friday, May 23, 2008


Mr. SABLE has gotten into making creatures out of beads. He made two hummingbirds and a couple of fish in the last several weeks. This is the first hummingbird.

(My guys all like it when I blog about their accomplishments. Every time they make or do something new,they ask me if I'm going to put it on the blog. I think their feelings get hurt if I don't get to it fast enough.)

As for me, well, here's what I was just puttering away on, out on the porch, in the sunshine:

I'll tell you that it's made out of Hempathy. And that there will be a pattern from it later this summer.

And that I attended a meeting this morning of talented women who are working on making a go of a new print knitting 'zine. More will be revealed!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Amazing Son

Owen's had an urge to try his hand at making sushi for a while now. We finally bought the necessary stuff and set him to it.

And the results?


I'm impressed!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Frustrations of Modern Life

You don't realize how much you live by the internet until it isn't working as it ought to! My carrier has been having major problems the last day or two and it's getting on my nerves. Nevertheless, I will try to carry on with this blog post and hope it all goes ok. (Turns out there was a big cut in internet cables near Chicago, causing widespread disruptions around the country. So it's bigger than just Wisconsin.)

The Kauni Update

I bet you all are getting pretty darn sick of this sweater, eh? I'm back in my stride again with it, fully recovered from the frogging episode. Just a few more inches on this main body part, then on to the sleeves.

My focus is all over the place these days. Last night I got myself situated on the couch to work on the Kauni and I promptly got displaced by Owen wanting that one perfect knitting spot in our living room so he could play Wii. It also happens to be the one most optimal TV watching and playing spot.

So, I went down to my lair, where it's kind of cold, and poked around trying to decide what to work on. I started a hat from the same blue and purple handspun I used for the garter stitch scarf a few posts back. Right now it's just a few rounds of ribbing for the band, so not much to show. After a while, I heard the sounds of Owen and Mr SABLE heading upstairs toward bed, so I thought about reclaiming the couch, but by then, I was yawning.

Today is just about the most glorious spring weather a person could ask for. I saw one little white puffy cloud in an otherwise empty blue sky. It's the color of blue you think you only see in postcards and tourism calendars. When I went out to take the picture of the cardigan progress, I felt like some cave-dwelling creature emerging and blinking in the sunlight.

I have a few stealth projects coming along, so pictures may be scarce. Or at least, project photos may be scarce. I'll try to make up for it with other pictures. I hope the stealth mode won't last too long! Stay tuned.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Updates and Acquisitions

The Kauni Comeback

I haven't given this a lot of attention lately, so little to show you.

As you've probably noticed, I've been working on getting my patterns reformatted and available through the blog. Sorry to dump so much on at once, but the end is in sight. I have a couple more old patterns to get up here and then I'll be focusing on new stuff.

The Next Spinning Project

This merino/tencel fiber was very densely compacted. I was a little dismayed when I took the band off the bundle and started tugging at it a bit. It took real muscle to get it to budge. I worked my way down the entire rope of roving predrafting, breaking it a few times because I needed so much force to get it to loosen that it was hard to control when it began to slide apart. Under the pink stuff on the bobbin is a lot of the blue. I think I'll make a nice fine two ply out of it.

Playing with ideas

Here's little idea for what to do with the Mossy Merino. I have enough of this to make a rather substantial shawl kind of thing. Trouble is, I'm just not the shawl type. I can't see myself putting in all that effort just for the art of it, when I know it'll never see any action in my life. Hmmm.


I went on a mini thrift shop crawl today. I have a plan for something crafty, not knitting, that I'll have to wait to reveal, and it needed Cheap-A$$ supplies as can be best had from thrift shops. One of our local St. Vincent's shops has a pattern file cabinet with three large drawers full of patterns. They are completely unsorted by size, type of garment, or anything. I went through all of them and found these six which I thought maybe I can use. Total cost for the six: 60 cents!

I'm working on a big new plan, which is pretty exciting for me. I'll let you know more about that next week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hyde Park Pullover Pattern

The Hyde Park Pullover is an easy fitting turtleneck. It is knit top-down in one piece with raglan sleeves and a simple knit and purl texture from worsted weight yarn.

Written for 7 sizes, from 32-57 inches finished chest measurement.

Available for immediate pdf download $5 US
Add to Cart View Cart

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A day at the playground...

I get the feeling a day at the playground with me is a bit different than it is for other moms and kids.

To see what this image looked like before I messed with it, click here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Alishar Hat

The Alishar Hat is a great introduction to stranded color work.
Worked in light worsted weight yarn with simple motifs, the knitting is fun and quick.

Beret styling suits many face shapes.

Immediate pdf download $4 US

A Little Bragging...

Go look at Knitaly/Cristiana's blog post for today!

She finished a beautiful version of Sloane and used some unknown stash yarn in the process.

Great work!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mothers' Work?

I've never been too impressed with Mothers Day. I'm enough of a cynic that I mostly think it's a big marketing gimmick designed to extract money from the pockets of those who feel guilty about their relationships with their mothers.

The Sandy's Palette BFL

Friday night I finished plying the BFL from Sandy's Palette.

I ended up with about 765 yards and 240 grams of yarn. I don't have a clue what it'll become. Right now, it's just pretty yarn.

In Other News

Yesterday Mr. SABLE and I were able to do a little long-deferred work in our yard. I tackled the job of removing all the compost from the patio. We didn't plan to make compost on our patio, but that's what you get if you don't remove leaves and stuff for a couple of years! Along the left side of the patio, as seen in the picture, there's an area that's a bit brighter. That's the part that was covered. Including the timber that runs along the edge there. It took about 5 wheelbarrow loads to cart it all down to the compost pile (the real one). Every time I look out the kitchen window and catch a glimpse of it, I pat myself on the back one more time. It just looks so much better now!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Garden pics

These are just about being pretty, not particularly interesting.



Bleeding Hearts

Monday, May 05, 2008


More of the same

The Blue Faced Leicester from Sandy's Palette continues. I'm really really really loving the results I'm getting. Two 70 gram skeins so far, the first has about 205 yards; the second, about 220. This makes a nice sport weight kind of yarn. I'm a bit over half way through the batch.

More of the same, again

The basic garter stitch scarf from early handspun. It's about 45 inches long at this point. I think I'll be able to make a smallish hat out of the same yarn when the scarf is a good length. Either that, or keep on with the scarf until ridiculous proportions, a là Tom Baker/Dr. Who. Well, not quite. Getting a 20 ft scarf out of 7 ounces of fingering weight yarn would be a feat worthy of the TARDIS, which I don't possess.

A Problem

I'm cruising along last night, thinking I'm making such great progress. And I count stitches on one half of the front, to see how many more neckline decreases until the shoulder.

Hmm, seems a bit off.

Count the other side.

Uh Oh! I have a couple extra repeats of the design on one side than the other. Which means I've placed one of the steeks for the armholes in the wrong place.

Having pondered the Fix-It options, I know I have to frog.

I think I'll just let that project be for a few days. The weather is nice. The weeds are over-taking all the flowerbeds. The lawn is getting long. More baby buckthorns are springing up under shrubs. (I do like the thrill of pulling the small ones. It's nice knowing that's one less pain-in-the-butt weed tree in the world.)

And my family needs me to go to the supermarket today.

Here are two recent pictures of my cats enjoying the spring!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

By George, I Think She's Got It!

Blue-face Leicester from Sandy's Palette

I spun it fine and Navajo-plied.

I'm excited because this is my first real effort at Navajo-plying. While spinning the singles for this, I knew I wanted to keep the color areas separate for long runs, rather than barber pole them in a two- or three-ply. One previous attempt at Navajo plying resulted in a tangled mess. Then I did a small test run a few months back with some fiber I didn't really care if I messed up, just to get the hang of it.

And now, I've managed to make the yarn I want from the fiber, actually planning how I would get what I want.

I think I'm a spinner now.

So, for Molly Bee's benefit, I'll offer up what I learned.
1. It helps to grow an extra hand or two.
2. Try to keep everything under a bit of tension. I did get a few little blips when I relaxed my tension on the singles coming off the bobbin. I call them dingleberries, which I know is something really yucky, but whatever. (Those ugly little tags where the singles want to take a detour and ply with themselves, instead of merging with their intended mate(s).)
3. Don't try to take the biggest loop you can at first.
4. Use a nice slow ratio and treadle slowly, to give yourself a lot of time before it gets too much twist.

I'm very pleased with how this is looking. This is about a third of the fiber I bought in this batch. I'll get more specifics when I've washed, hung dry, etc. Oh, and spun the rest of the batch.