Monday, June 30, 2008

Finally, a little knitting content!

I recently finished this hat! It was loosely inspired by one in the book Hip Knit Hats, but with my own numbers and variations. I like the way it can be worn in a variety of different ways, with differing degrees of jauntiness!

The lighter yarn is some of the handspun that the wonderful Lady Bean of House of Wool Repute sent me a while ago. This only used a small amount of it, but I have enough to make something else with what's left. The darker green was an odd ball of something I took to be Manos that I got in a big grab bag from the thrift shop several years ago. The Manos is heftier than the handspun, but it doesn't really matter for this use.

For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, I'm kind of a hat fiend. I feel that fun hats are one of the places a woman of size can really go to town without worrying too much about accentuating the wrong place. I mean, really, who can go wrong accentuating her head?

As for the 'zine, Knitcircus, we press the big SEND button tomorrow and off it goes to the printer. I'll be hitting up my faithful readers for a bit of a favor. Well, a favor with a sweetener for you. To receive your free copy of Knitcircus #3, all you need to do is agree to drop off one issue at your LYS, along with a cover letter explaining a bit about us. (No sales pitch: just drop and leave.) Of course, we're hoping that yarn shops will agree to carry us, but they have to know about us first! If you're interested, send me an email (in my blogger profile) and include your mailing address. As soon as we get the issues in our sweaty little hands, you'll get a copy, plus one for your LYS. It's that simple.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Here we are, sailing headlong into July. The news Chez SABLE is both dull and exciting.

First the exciting:
Issue #3 of Knitcircus is very nearly ready to send off to the printer. We hope to get it dispatched by July 1, with issues ready about a week after that. Putting a magazine together really is like solving a puzzle. Once you get all the component parts roughed in, you still have to find a way to make them squeeze into the allotted space without looking like they're being squeezed. I'm grateful that I was able to hit the ground running with InDesign because of all the stuff about layout and design that I already learned in Word or Pages. I'm grateful, too, that ultimately it's not my project, so I do what I can and hand it off to Jaala. It's nice not being the one who needs to keep track of every detail.

I'm a bit at odds with knitting lately. I have some projects in the pipeline that need some thinking time, like the Kauni cardigan. And some ideas waiting to be turned into projects, too, but they need even more thinking time. I definitely need to get my kids into some more structured activities for some of the remaining summer. Then maybe I could focus on what to knit!

Now the dull:
The summer's been whacky because of weather and mosquitos. We were supposed to spend 4 nights camping at Devils Lake, but our reservation was canceled because the park closed due to flooding. We spent two nights at Mirror Lake, instead, which is just not as nice a park in several ways. It would have been ok, except that the mosquitos were just about as bad as I've ever had on a camping trip. In fairness to the park, this is a bad situation all over the area. It's been too awful to even stand out on the sidewalk and chat with a neighbor in broad daylight for the last 10 days or so. I do think Mirror Lake would be nice for a visit in the fall, except for the drone of the Interstate, which is a more fundamental problem. Because Devils Lake had been closed, one of our great favorite boredom-busters has been unavailable. The park is about 35 miles from our house, so a bit of a distance with gas prices as they are, still, we could go a couple times a week without breaking the bank. The park just reopened on Thursday, so I think we'll have to plan a visit soon. The lakes right in Madison tend toward algae and often close several times a summer due to high bacteria counts. Lately, they've been closed because of potentially dangerous stuff running into them as a result of flooding.

Yesterday I took the boys to see Wall-E, a new Pixar Studios movie. The Little Emperor has been waiting for months for this release. It was a fun movie for the whole family. There aren't a lot of G rated movies that I genuinely say that about. I wish there were more, but it seems like there tends to be a gulf between the really dippy pablum they release for very young kids (i.e. Barney) and the violent stuff that slides by for PG audiences because people don't hold animation to the same standards as live-action movies. So, I'd give Wall-E two thumbs up for the four and up set. And the teen liked it, too!

That's the news for now. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Summer Madness Starts

(Suppressing a long rant here about my kids. Just wondering, those of you who talk about how great your kids are at amusing themselves, at what age did you have to get really harsh to make that happen? Because I obviously failed in this aspect of parenting and I would love to get back on track now.)

Anyway, in the last month I've had a crash course, mostly self-taught in the ways of InDesign. This has been a lot of fun and part of the reason my kids are so put out. They expect that they should be the center of my world all day, every day. I kind of think that by ages 13 and very-nearly-7, they should be able to something, anything, without my constant presence. Bah. But, Issue #3 of Knitcircus is well under way and should be available within the next couple of weeks.

What is Knitcircus? It's a new 'zine about knitting and other crafts, produced in Madison, but certainly not Madison-specific in content. We have knitting and sewing patterns, book and yarn reviews, articles on craft-related stuff, recipes. Three rings of knitting and crafting fun! Issue #3 will be the first one professionally printed and bound. It's a smaller issue, but we hope the fall one will have a larger page size and more pages, too. Knitcircus is the brainchild of Jaala Spiro, a fellow Madisonian. She needed a bit of help to continue producing it and a few of us answered the call. Stay tuned...

So, all that activity leaves me without much knitting content to show you right now. When the issue is in print, I'll have new knitting to show you.

Meanwhile, here are some recent garden pictures:

Monday, June 09, 2008

June 9, 2008

After all this wild and dramatic and sometimes destructive weather has cleared out, it's not a bad day here.

Fancy Ferns

Fluff Storm

Friday, June 06, 2008

More of the Merino/Tencel

Or The Boasting Goes On!

But first, a peony bud:

Ours are taking forever to open this year. The anticipation is driving me nuts.

Now on to the yarnography:

A little 11 gram/88 yard mini-skein. I intend to use this for a swatch. Right now, I'm leaning toward Muir from Knitty Fall 07. If I like the swatch, I'll make it more like a scarf than a stole by taking out one repeat of the pattern.

The next few get a bit bigger when you click them.

We're having very dramatic weather here today and I missed a window of sunshine. When I use the flash on this yarn, the tencel puts on a highly reflective sheen, which I find a bit distracting and not an accurate representation of how the yarn really looks.

In Other News
We are rapidly crashing into the end of the school year. This tends to lead to a dramatic decrease in anything that requires sustained thought from me. I have a lot of writing to do for KnitCircus as well, so please understand if posts become somewhat infrequent for a while. Of course, there's always lots of quick, easy post fillers in the summer with garden photos, right?

I also wanted to mention that I edited the Knitting Camp post to answer Helen's question. Helen, I don't have your email for a direct response, but I hope you'll be able to come! It would be great to meet you. JP, you too!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Unreasonably Boastful Post Ahead

Alternate post title: The Longest Four Ounces of My Life
To say I am quite pleased with myself wouldn't go nearly far enough. I've finished up with most of the 4.1 ounces of 70% merino/30% tencel roving, dyed by Sandy of Sandy's Palette, that I got at the Alpaca Festival. I haven't measured yet, but I think this qualifies as lace weight.
edited to add: measured approx 720 yards in about 100 grams. Skinny!

On the Niddy Noddy

The Money Shot

This was a very slow spinning project. The fiber needs constant vigilance because the moment I let down my guard, the strands would slip on through my fingers. It was definitely a learning project.

The plying alone took hours last night. I took these photos before-bath. I'll do more on a brighter day, once the skein is washed and ready to pose.

Meanwhile, here's an iris:

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bridal Wreath

Knitting soon. And spinning. Meanwhile, the bridal wreath is in bloom, so enjoy it!