Friday, March 27, 2009

New Lace Scarf; New Photostylist

This is the Fountain Lace pattern from Barbara Walker's The Craft of Lace Knitting, which I'm sure was rolled into one of the re-releases of her stitch dictionaries. I just don't know which one. I am loving this so far for several reasons.
1. I like a knitting pattern that gives a pretty good effect for minimal mental outlay.
2. This stitch pattern has only four "action rows."
3. I'm using some yarn from a sweater I got at the Digger's Outlet last week. So, my cost for this project will amount to about 25 cents when it's all done. If that. The sweater was a wide-ribbed cowl neck with the biggest cowl I've seen in a while. Seriously, that cowl could almost double as an afghan. (OK, I'm exaggerating. But just a bit.)
4. The yarn is proving to be very lace-friendly. The manufacturer's tag says that it's 43% rayon, 39% nylon, 10% angora rabbit, and 8% cotton. I'm honestly not feeling the synthetic content at all.

So, I was barely out there, taking my pictures, when my "helper" arrived.

All Your Lace Are Belong To Me

It's a nice sunny day for a roll on the bricks, eh? Don't you just want to rub that belly?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Sewing FO

I made this very pink tote bag for a woman who worked with Mr. SABLE at his previous job. It has two zipped pockets on the inside and it's very pink.

While I was out taking photos, my neighbor came over to see what I was up to, so I got her to model it for me. Isn't she the cutest girl in the world?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

An FO!

I started these socks a long time ago: not sure when. Maybe early last year? Anyway, I finally finished them just in time to send to my dad for his birthday, which is on the 27th.

Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Color 4-ply /4-f├Ądig, 1 100 gram ball, with a bit of leftovers.

US 1 / 2.25 mm dbl pts

Pattern: just the totally generic 2 x 2 ribbed cuff on 68 sts. Why mess with success?

The yarn is actually much darker, more black/dark grey dominant than it appears in these photos. I don't feel like fussing around trying to get accurate colors for a project I just need to mail right away.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Some Secret Spinning

I made this yarn for my friend Jaala. She loves bright colors. When I saw this roving at the Sow's Ear last week, I knew it would be perfect for her.


You can see in the detail shot that it's not perfect. I have some very thin areas and some thicker areas. But it's pretty nice.

This is from Mountain Colors Targhee Top. The color was Ruby River. It was four ounces to begin with and there was very little lost along the way: maybe couple of grams at most. I Navajo-plied it to keep the color areas mostly together. Approximately 380 yards: my guess is it would be a nice sport weight yarn.

It was a fun burst of color to work up.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Sure Sign of Spring...

In Other News
I've been working on some Top Secret spinning (it's a gift for someone) which I'll show you in a week or so. It's coming out very nicely.

My Lair is such a disaster area that I go down there and I'm overwhelmed with possibilities. I read an article a while back on various working styles. Some of us (frequently the ones accused of being messy) need the visual reminders of what needs doing, what we're working on, what's possible. So we leave our stuff out because if it's all put away, we don't see it and we forget that we're supposed to be doing anything. But I've been dragging so much stuff out lately that I've overwhelmed my brain with possibilities. Too much yarn. Too much fiber. Too much fabric. Alas, I think I need to spend a few weeks making things worse before they can get better. That is, I need to open up all the various boxes, purge, resort, relabel, and then put away. But that's such a daunting task that I just sit at my desk and make little swatches. If I start to seriously start organizing, usually Owen appears and demands attention when I'm about 15 minutes in, so I have learned helplessness about the whole thing. But maybe this week I can at least put away about half the distractions so I can focus on getting a few things done.

I've also been working on some socks that go in and out of dormancy, depending on what else gets bumped to Priority One. One of these is the Charade Socks I started a few months back. I finished the first, cast on for the second, got about 2 inches in and stopped. Last night I got a couple more inches done, so maybe that'll get done before barefeet season is really and truly here. Also, I'm hoping to finish some socks that I'll send to my dad for his birthday later this month. The first one is done and the second over half done, so just the home stretch there.

I have a little rant about the time change to get out of my system, too. I always thought the time change was a minor inconvenience until I had kids. But ever since I became a parent, I've come to despise the time change. When I'm in charge of the universe, we will just have one time all year round. We'll split the difference between so-called Standard Time and Daylight Savings Time. I know there are nice, easy, flexible children out there somewhere. Children who fall asleep when put to bed, and wake up cheerful when it's time to get up, but not before it's time to get up. Well, those are not my kids. I am not exaggerating when I say that it takes my kids at least a week to really make the time change. The Little Emperor has been awake until 11 p.m. several times in the past week and we wake him about 7:30 on weekday mornings. Yeah, this is not a good sleep pattern. Honest-to-Maude, we start him moving toward bed at 7:30. This is a kid who had night and day reversed his first 4 months of life, so no real surprise that he's still bent that way.

So until someone appoints me Time Czar, I have a plan that could be put into place quickly and effectively and would improve school behavior and learning in every community that adopts it. Schedule Spring Break for the week following the time change! Is that just too darn logical for any modern bureaucracy? The kids would have a week to adjust. They would not have this week of rampant tardiness and tired, fidgety kids. The teachers might even enjoy it, too.

So, there you go, a rant and a solution! How often does that happen?

Enjoy the approach of spring.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Fiber Reveiw and Weather Report

One of the perks of producing a magazine is that people send us stuff to review. At Knitcircus, we recently received a box from PhatFiber with samples of yarns and fibers from small-scale producers. One of the fiber samples was Merino Wool Top from Sweet Pea Fibers Etsy Shop. This sample (colorway Sea Otter Play) was about 1 ounce: enough to make a small skein and get a feel for the quality of the fiber and the dye job. I noticed lately that I have several long-term spinning projects stacked up and I wanted a short fun little project. This sample was perfect.

It was a joy to spin. The fiber maintained the nice crimp merino is known for. A gentle tug here and there was enough to make the fiber flow through my fingers.

I made this sample skein yesterday afternoon and evening. It's about a sport-DK weight, weighs in at 25 grams, Navajo-plied to keep the colors pure.

I'm sure I could think of a lot of creative ways to use an ongoing supply of sample-size skeins. But more importantly, by getting a sample I was exposed to a new source of hand-dyed spinning fibers and was able to experience first-hand the quality of the fiber. I'm definitely going to cruise the Sweet Pea shop for future offerings.

And Now The Weather Report

In spite of a trend toward spring-like conditions, and the premature switch to Daylight Savings Time, winter has not entirely surrendered its grip. This connect-the-dots scene was taken under the giant silver maple tree in my front yard. Drips of melting snow and ice are landing in the thin coating of snow we got last night. As a rule, I don't believe in complaining about the weather: it's not as if I can do anything about it. And, in general, I would rather be too cold than too hot any day of the year. But Chez SABLE we are all well and truly ready for spring.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

An Orchid

Mr SABLE got this plant from his old work place back in September. Whatever he's doing, that plant really seems to approve.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Picture!

This is the Jayne Hat I made for Owen a few weeks ago. I followed this pattern, mostly, though I was sorely tempted to give it a good editing. Not that there are any errors; it's just that it could be expressed quite completely in about one-fourth the space. Owen truly loves this hat.

Edited to add:
Those of you who were at Last Saturday Knitting and are dreading the photo that might appear: rest easy. None of them are flattering enough to most of us to print. I'll try again another day.