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September 2012
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November 2012

Baby Blankets

I was randomly looking through my virtual stash, taking stock of what I have for baby blankets. 

I have some white cotton/acrylic that would be good, some brightly colored cotton baby yarn that would be good for crochet, some Baby Ull from Dale of Norway in oranges and greens. What to make? 

I culd go simple:


That's the Swan's Island blanket from Michele Rose Orne.

But I kind of want to make up my own pattern. 


Three New Books

There are three new books on Amazon that sound really good! 


Unfortunately, I can't use this, because I can't use circular needles, but you can bet I would have it on my shelf  if I could: The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges, by Ann Budd. Her other 'Handy Books' are wonderful, and I've used them several times, so I know that this one will be good, too. Anyone who likes knitting seamless sweaters that require little finishing will love this book. She offers five different styles: circular yoke, raglan, modified-drop shoulder, set-in sleeve, and saddle shoulder, and they are available in different sizes and gauges. I think it's a good springboard for designing your own sweaters! It's available now!


I was intrigued by Knitting Hats and Mittens from Around the World: 34 Heirloom Patterns in a Variety of Styles and Techniques, edited by Kari Cornell. The designs feature well-known names such as Beth Brown-Riensel, Donna Druchunas and Lily Chin, and they're from all over the world: Scandinavia, Europe, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, China, Peru, and the United States. It has found its way onto my wish list! It's available to buy now.


I know I haven't done much reading lately, but I do like to read, so this book is my kind of book: Literary Knits: 30 Patterns Inspired by Favorite Books by N. Lohr. The designs are inspired by characters in books such as The Chronicles of Narnia, The Great Gatsby, and Moby Dick. These types of things fascinate me. I can picture a dress from Holly Golightly  of Breakfast at Tiffany's, or a cloche from Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, but I marvel at what N. Lohr has come up with for Moby Dick, or the Chronicles of Narnia. A guernsey swweater for Ishmael in Moby Dick? A scarf for Mr. Tumnus in The Chronicles of Narnia? You'll have to guess for now, because this book won't be out til November 27!


My Knitting

Mouse 44 is done; shown here on Nicky, who was asleep when I finished it:

Mouse 44

Nice Halloween-y colors, pictured on a black cat. It's that time of year :)

I blocked my gray marl silk-and-wool socks:


A few minutes after taking the picture, Nicky was on them, taking a nap on wet wool being his favoritest thing to do:

Nicky on Socks

Needless to say, the socks dried in half the time with 10+ pounds of hot cat pressing them. Gotta love it.

Now I'm knitting a brown hat using my own pattern:


Hats look pretty funny, until you finish and block them. I'm using some more of that Naturally Aran; it's good, squishy wool with some heft to it, and the hat is going fast. I'm considering knitting hats next year, instead of mice, and selling them, instead of giving them away at Christmas. Or, I could just read more! :)

Designed by Beth: Two Watch Caps

It's time to start the Christmas knitting, so here are two little watch caps for the men in your life. They fit women, too! 


Fingering Weight Ribbed Watch Cap

1 Size: Men's medium          

Yarn: 1 skein Trekking XXL or other sock/fingering/baby yarn
Needles: 16" circular and double pointed needles, size 2
Gauge: 15 sts = 1" in unstretched knit 2, purl 2 ribbing
Cast on 168 sts. Join, being careful not to twist. Work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing until piece measures 9 1/2". 
Decrease for top:
Work 1 rnd in ribbing, placing markers as follows: work 20, pm, k 2, pm, work 42, pm, k 2, pm, work 38, pm, k 2, pm, work 42, pm, k 2, pm, work 18.
Rnd 1: Keeping ribbing intact, *work to within 2 sts of marker, work 2 sts tog, slip marker, k 2, slip marker, work 2 sts together, repeat from * around, end knitting the remaining sts.
Rnd 2: Work 1 round even.
Repeat these two rnds until you have 56 sts remaining. K2tog around.
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Run tail through the stitches and draw them up tight. Weave end in on inside. Weave in the tail.



Worsted Weight Watch Cap


5.5 stitches per inch, 7.5 rows per inch


Adult Medium 


215  yards yards worsted weight yarn

Size 6 douple pointed or 16-in. circular needles

Cast on 108 sts. Place marker, join. 


Round 1: *K2, p2. Repeat from * to end of the round.

Repeat Round 1 until piece measures 5" or desired length from the cast-on edge (watch cap has a turned up ribbing).


Work in stockinette stitch until piece measures 10" or desired length from the cast-on edge.


On the next round (work 11 sts, k2tog) 4 times. Then (work 12 sts, k2tog) 4 times. [100 sts]

Work one round even.

Round 1: *Work 8, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [90 sts remain]

Round 2: Work even

Round 3: *Work 7, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [80 sts remain]

Round 4: Work even

Round 5: *Work 6, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [70 sts remain]

Round 6: Work even

Round 7: *Work 5, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [60 sts remain]

Round 8: Work even

Round 9: *Work 4, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [50 sts remain]

Round 10: Work even

Round 11: *Work 3, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [40 sts remain]

Round 12: Work even

Round 13: *Work 2, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [30 sts remain]

Round 14: Work even

Round 15: *Work 1, k2tog. Repeat from * around. [20 sts remain]

Round 16: Work even

Round 17: *K2tog. Repeat from * around. [10 sts remain]



Cut yarn, a generous tail. Draw tail through remaining stitches on the needle. Pull gently to close hole. Weave in tail.

Weave in ends.



It's that time of year again! National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, will be here in seven days. I completed it successfully once, with a story about a suicidal heroine who is haunted by ghosts and finds love (not a ghost; a forest ranger). This year I am fresh out of ideas. My unsuccessful attempts were a murder mystery in a yarn shop, and a fantasy story where every day involved a different room in an old house (I thought that would make the thirty days go by fast), but this year I'm coming up with nothing. I have seven days to  come up with the elusive Something.

Anybody up to NaNoWriMo-ing with me? C'mon ... it'll be fun!


My Spinning

When I was at Sharon's, I wanted her to critique my spinning and help me in any way she could. She thought spinning from the fold would be good for me, but I just couldn't get the hang of it, so I was going to keep spinning my lumpy, bumpy yarn.

It was when she had me try some combed Corriedale top that everything clicked. What a difference! It was like the difference between mashed potatoes and luscious chocolate pudding with whipped cream topping (not that there's anything wrong with mashed potatoes, but honestly, which would you rather eat??). I am in spinning heaven now. 

Of course we started out with orange, because who doesn't need more orange yarn?


I could feel the difference as soon as I started.


I'm a happy spinner now!


My yarn is about the same as it was before I had my stroke, and it makes me happy:


I got four more colors of Corriedale combed top, 8 ounces each:


Some Blue Faced Leicester (8 ounces):


And last but not least, I got some of Sharon's beautiful alpaca, from when she had her farm. This is from an alpaca named Rudolph Valentino, known for his bedroom eyes; I spun a little Rudy once before, and feel lucky to be able to have the chance to spin more of his caramel-colored  fleece:

There's nothing quite like spinning fiber from an animal you have petted!

Yarn in Nova Scotia

I'm home! Thank you Lynne for being a fantastic person! Thank you Sharon and Richard for being wonderful hosts! I had such a good time :)

I thought you might like to see what I bought for yarn when I was in Nova Scotia. As you know, I like to buy local products when I travel. We went to the Lunenburg Farmer's Market (which is completely wonderful by the way, and it operates year round; they even provide you with live entertainment!) where I bought some hand dyed yarn by Felicia Knock:

Felicia Knock

FK yarn
I love that sheep on her tag! Felicia is a young, full-of-energy fiber artist. She's also friends of Richard and Sharon, which is a big plus, in my book. 

This 4 ounce skein is a 2-ply, made in Canada; Felicia's web site is Most of what she does is rug hooking, and she has fabulous designs as well as kits and supplies. If I hooked rugs, this would be a real find!!

Then I went to Gaspereau Valley Fibres.

Gaspereau Valley Fibres
This is an outstanding yarn and fiber shop. There is so much to see here! It's all arranged very neatly, but with character -- and they had a cat. Brenda Gilmore is the owner and she is a wonderful person, who is also a friend of Sharon's. Sharon knows the best people :) You can go to Gaspereau Valley Fibres online at

I bought a skein of Fleece Artist Goldiehair, which is hand dyed in Nova Scotia:

Fleece Artist label

Fleece Artist Goldiehair

And I bought some stitch markers, which are also hand made in Nova Scotia:

Stitch markers

They're made by Pherem Fibres, which has a lovely Etsy store online.

After that, Sharon got my wheel fixed and I bought some roving, but that will wait until tomorrow!


My Knitting

I did a lot of knitting this week. Mouse 43 is done:

Mouse 43

I blocked my peony baby sweater (sans the buttons):

Blocked peony


I blocked my purple Bohemian scarf and I gave it to Sharon, because she used to spin with me all the time:

Blocked bohemian

We're actually spinning together tomorrow; I brought my spinning wheel with me to Nova Scotia. Sharon told me that Louet is going to make the S-90 again this fall, in blonde wood this time instead of the black walnut (the black walnut ones were an anniversary edition). I somehow want one. Sigh.

I finished knitting my Lettuce Knit Armwarmers:

Lettuce knit armwarmers

And then I blocked them:

Blocked mitts

I knit a hat:


When I left, it was charcoal gray. I have since gotten a picture from my husband, who blocked it for me while I was gone, and now it's blue, apparently:

Blue hat
.... or it could be the camera. I'll see when I get back.

I started knitting a sock on the ride up to Nova Scotia, and the first one has a heel now:


I'll finish the first sock before heading back into Maine. I think I'll have three-quarters of the pair done by the time I get home. I'm using sport weight wool and size 3 needles, which goes pretty fast and it's good car knitting.

I got some really pretty yarn and some stitch markers today at the Lunenburg Farmer's Market and Gaspereau Valley Fibers, and I'll tell you about it later. Lynne and I are having a great time over here! Tomorrow, I'm going to go spinning with Sharon, and Lynne and Richard are going rowing in Richard's boat that he built. It's gonna be a great day!

In Nova Scotia

Lynne and I are in Nova Scotia! It is so beautiful. I think they make the fall foliage a little brighter up here. 

We are going to a Farmer's Market today, then we're going to Wolfville to Gaspereau Valley Fibers, then I don't what. I might have to buy yarn or something.

Sharon had an interesting problem; anyone know how this was made??

IMG_6682x    IMG_6681x    IMG_6680x

I was thinking it was made with a hand-held loom of some kind, like those little daisy looms from the seventies. It was made by a man on a fishing voyage in the 1920's.

My Spinning

I've been getting ahead on my spinning. I got the second bobbin filled:


Then I plied and I plied and I plied, and made this yarn:


It's pretty fine yarn, but still lumpy bumpy, which may be the roving and it may be me. The roving is pretty hard to draft evenly, because it's so sticky and because I don't think it was combed; there's little noils of wool in it, and I have to be more patient and draft it more evenly and spin more slowly. It is not merino or alpaca, it is regular old wool.

This yarn is better than the purple yarn, which anded up worsted to light worsted in weight. This yarn is a fingering to DK in weight, but I haven't set the twist yet, and it swells or puffs up some when  I do that, so it'll probably be a heavy fingering to light worsted weight when it is done.

I still have a ball of roving left to spin. I like the yarn quite a bit, though I have no idea what I'll do with it when I'm done. What would you do with it?

Lynne and I are going up to Nova Scotia today, where I'll see Sharon and Richard, my good friends who used to own alpacas before they moved to Canada. Sharon is still into spinning big time, and I'm sure I will find something to spin while I'm there! I'm taking my spinning wheel just in case :)


I was driven in the fall of 2007 to knit a long, brown scarf that would wind around my neck twice and hang down long enough to play with the ends when I was bored, or wipe up spilled drinks in the bar, or whatever. I loved that scarf. I wore it all the time that winter, whether I was cold or not. Then after that winter, I couldn't find it and went onto other scarf things.

Long brown scarf

I'm glad I wrote down the particulars; it's 70 stitches on size 4 needles with four skeins of Dale of Norway Baby Ull yarn (that's fingering weight), and I did knit 2, purl 2 forever until all four skeins were used up. Any 700 yards of fingering weight yarn would do it, I'm sure. I did not write down the measurements of the scarf, and I wish I had; you can tell it's about 6 or 7 inches wide from the photo, and probably 6 feet long or so. It was long enough, but not too long; wide enough, but not too wide. It was just right.

I'm getting the urge again to knit another long, ribbed scarf, maybe out of brown, but maybe out of another color I like from my stash. That'll be a good winter project!

Herd Boy and Weaving-Girl

I found this tale while researching something else, and thought, what a great story! It's from about 6th century BC, and tells how a herd boy captured the heart of a celestial maiden who wove for the king and queen of heaven. Look up into the sky on the seventh day of the seventh moon, to see the stars Vega and Altair, Weaver Girl and Herd Boy, and hear their story:


"The seventh day of the seventh lunar month is the Double Seventh Festival in China. The folklore goes that it is the day when Herd-boy and Weaving-girl reunite with each other. The beautiful love story about the origin of this festival is still popular today.

"It is said that a long time ago, a clever and honest man named Niu Lang (Herd-boy) was living in the Niu village at the west of Nanyang city. Niu Lang's parents died when he was very young and he had to live with his brother and sister-in-law. The latter was very cruel and mean to Niu and always forced him to do some hard work. Finally she even drove Niu out of her family. Poor Niu only had an old cow with him. One day the old cow suddenly told Niu, "Tomorrow is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month; the seven daughters of Yuhuang Dadi will come to earth and have a bathe. The youngest one that named Zhi Nv (Weaving-girl) is the cleverest. Hide her clothes and she will be your wife." Niu Lang was aroused by what the cow had said and decided to have a try.

"When it came to that day, Niu Lang hided himself in the reed by the river beforehand. Soon seven fairies descended from the heaven. They took off their clothes and jumped into the river. Right then Niu Lang bounced up from the reed, grabbed Zhi Nv's clothes and dashed backwards immediately. This had terrified the seven fairies and the six of them flew to the heaven with their clothes on, leaving only the youngest Zhi Nv startled in the river. Niu Lang stumbled that he would return the clothes as lang as she promised to marry him. Zhi Nv found that Niu Lang was the kind of man that she loved, so she nodded bashfully. After the marriage Herd-boy and Weaving-girl lead a happy life and they loved each other very much. Later they gave birth to a son and a daughter. How perfect the life was! How ever, the Queen Mother of the Western Heavens was irritated by their behavior and forced Zhi Nv to return to the heaven.

"Niu Lang put on his cowhide shoes and brought his kids with him to chase Zhi Nv back. When it came to the edge of success, the Queen Mother of the Western heavens pulled out a hairpin from her hair. With just one wave of the hairpin, she brought about a billowing river, which separated the two lovers at each bank. They could do nothing but weep with each other. Fortunately, the magpies were moved by their sincere love. That's said to be the origin of the Milky Way, Altair and Vega. Hundreds of thousands of them flew there and they formed a magpie bridge so that Herd-boy and Weaving-girl can get together again on the bridge. Not being able to make any change to this, the Queen Mother of the Western Heavens had to permit them to reunite with each oter every seventh day of the seventh lunar month.

"From then on, whenever it comes to that day, young girls will dress themselves in new clothes and tried to find the Herd-boy and the Weaving-girl stars in the sky at night, expecting to see their yearly reunion and praying to gods that they can be as intelligent and talented as Zhi Nv and can have a happy marriage. That's how the Praying-for-Cleverness Ceremony Originated.

"The Praying-for-Cleverness Ceremony is a very exciting day in the Chinese countryside. Young girls wear new clthes, worship the two stars and "pray to Zhi Nv for cleverness." There are many kinds of prays, the most common one of which is the pray for the talent of threading needles. Young women bring out colorful threads and seven needles. The girl who can pull a thread through these needles will be regarded as 'talented lady.' 

"The Double Seventh Festival is considered as the Chinese Valentine's Day. The story that Herd-boy and Weaving-girl reunited on the Magpie Bridge casts a romantic light on this festival. It is said that you can even hear the sweet whispers between these two lovers if you sit under the grape vine on that day."




My Knitting

Mouse 42 is done:

Mouse 42

I still can't believe that there are only ten more mice.

I worked on my Bohemian scarf. Aren't these needles lovely? 



And the yarn, equally lovely:

The scarf in the making:

Half done

Close up

I finished the knitting on Monday. It still needs to be blocked.

Scarf 2

Now I'm onto the Evernote Knit-Along. You may remember that I am doing the Lettuce Knit Finerless Gloves/Armwarmers by Grace Alexander, but I am doing it in the round with no seam, instead of back and forth with a seam. I had to rewrite the pattern, which you will find here, size small only. I am using size 6 needles and Naturally Aran 10-ply.

Lettuce  Knit

This is how far I got Wednesday:


One mitten is done now:

Lettuce Knit 1

I'll probably finish it tomorrow, and then I'll make a few hats. I like making things that are done in a few days!! I feel like I'm getting so much accomplished!


Finding new music you like is really hard. Too bad there's not an app that would pick out music I really like and store it in a music folder to be listened to later. (The same thing applies for new books I would like to read, but that's another blog post.)

Usually I spend an inordinate amount of time listening to snippets of Amazon's blues and alternative latest releases, cull out the truly awful, keep the good, then listen to them. That's the first cut. Then, while listening, I make the decision whether to keep it or not (or whether to buy it or not). Luckily, I pay for Spotify so I can just keep my playlists in the mysterious ether and never have to actually buy them, since I kinda actually paid for them, as long as I have Spotify, anyway.

I always worry that I'll miss something, discover the artist when they've gone out of print, just have a song or two to tell me what a sorry dumb-ass I was to miss them. I have some like that, songs that were perfect in the 90's, but I discovered them in 2011 when the band was long since gone, buh-bye, wish I gotten to know ya...oh well.

Anyway. Here are some artists you should listen to if you like blues and alternative like me:

Guy Forsyth, The Freedom to Fall - has a little country slant to it, but I like it. It's blues. Guy has a good voice and the guitar is excellent.


Simon McBride, Crossing the Line - this is more electric blues, with a killer guitar and a great voice. He writes good songs, or someone does (this is what I miss not getting the CD).


The No Refund Band, self-titled album - this is blues, and it's covers, and I think this is the only album they have out, but dang, their cover of Eleanor Rigby is worth it. I know what you're thinking, Eleanor Rigby is not a blues song ... until now.


Master Thieves, Nature of Gravity - this is alternative, with little playful guitar that pulls out riffs that tug at your heart. The lyrics are wonderful. You know when you hear a song and think, man, it's great how they said that? Yeah.


Beth Orton, Sugaring Season - Beth Orton has a new CD out after a long wait. She seems a little sad, not much is upbeat in this album, but her voice is distinctive and good. This album takes some getting used to, and I think I'll like it more after I listen to it a few times. The problem may be more with me than with her, actually.


Micah Brown, The Isle of Her - Micah Brown is the new Jack Johnson in my opinion, but nobody seems to have made that connection but me. He's got a voice like John Mayer, songs like Jack Johnson, plays a good guitar, has a little bit tropical flair like Jimmy Buffet, but he is definitely Micah Brown. I'll listen to this new album a lot.


I've already gone a week and a half into October. This is the time of year when time just starts flying. Pretty soon it will be Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then the hoopla that is the Christmas season, then a little New Years, and then I can relax. It will go by just as fast as that sentence did, too. 

When I put "Mouse 42" up on my blog, it hit me -- ten more weeks left in the year! Only ten! Ten more mice to knit, only ten. I wonder at people who start knitting now for Christmas; they only have nine -- eight and a half, now -- weeks before Christmas. No wonder they are rushed! 

Next year I'm not going to knit gifts for Christmas. People can only take so much of that, after all. How many scarves do people need, really? How many pairs of socks? People have so much stuff already. I think next year will be a food year, you just can't have enough to eat or drink, and after a while it goes away!

Also, I'm not going to knit mice, either. Next year I'm going to knit and crochet lovely things from my stash, spin lovely yarn, read interesting books, and maybe do a little writing, we'll see. It was fun to see if I could do something, and writing in my blog daily and knitting a mouse-a-week was what I chose to do, but now I have done that. Probably I'll continue writing my blog nearly daily. Maybe instead of knitting a mouse a week, I will switch to a square to knit or a granny square to crochet or something. Maybe I'll knit mittens or socks or hat to sell on Etsy. Maybe I'll write patterns. It will be something fun, anyway!

October whirl

Slow Spinning

I spun yesterday, so I only spun two out of seven days this week. Still, that's better than zero out of seven. I'm about two-thirds done my second bobbin:


The good news is, I've found the card that says where Tracy bought the roving! It's from Jehovah Jireh Farm, in Paw-Paw, Michigan. (I always wanted to make a connection with Paw-Paw, because I love the name.) The farm is owned by Amy and Greg Francisco. This black and dark brown (it's probably supposed to be black) roving is pretty, but I like a few other colors they have, too. This color would be fun to spin in the winter:

Smiles 4

It's called "Smile". Great name!


Cat Obsession

Nick & Nora    Nick snoozes    Nora washing    Grace   Nick and fangs

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

A poet's cat, sedate and grave,
as poet would wish to have,
was much addicted to enquire,
for nooks to which she might retire,
and where, secure as mouse in chink,
she might repose, or sit and think.
I know not where she caught her trick,
nature perhaps herself had cast her,
in such a mold philosophique,
or else she learn'd it of her master.
Sometimes ascending, debonair,
an apple tree or lofty pear,
lodg'd with convenience in the fork,
she watched the gard'ner at his work;
sometimes her ease and solace sought,
in an old empty wat'ring pot,
there wanting nothing, save a fan,
to seem some nymph in her sedan,
apparell'd in exactest sort,
and ready to be borne in court.

William Cowper (1731 - 1800)

Books Not Burned

On this last day of Banned Books Week, I'd like to spotlight some books that weren't burned as was intended, so we can reflect on the good that comes out of keeping literature. 

Virgil Reading the Aeneid

1) Virgil's Aeneid -- Virgil wanted his Aeneid to be burned when he died, because he felt it was unfinished, and as such, not as great as it should be. Luckily, the emperor Augustus Caesar ordered his two literary executors, Lucius Varius Rufus and Plotius Tucca, not to have it destroyed, and instead ordered the Aeneid to be published with as few editotial changes as possible. Yay Augustus!!

Emily Dickinson

2) Emily Dickson did the same thing, but she gave instructions in her will to her sister Lavinia "to burn all her papers." Can you imagine? Putting pressure like that on poor Lavinia? Well, Lavinia did burn some correspondence ... probably to appease Emily's ghost; she did not burn her notebooks and loose sheets, which contained nearly 1800 poems. If Lavinia had burned everything, Emily Dickinson would probably be known only as a minor character in literature, a footnote at best.

Franz Kafka

3) Franz Kafka also wrote to his literary executor Max Brod that he wanted all his "diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, to be burned unread." Good thing Emily wasn't as specific in her request to Lavinia!  But Brod told Kafka he wouldn't honor it when he died; silly boy for writing it in a letter to Max before his death. Brod published the whole thing. If he hadn't, we would only have a few short stories published during his lifetime.

Monte Cassino Abbey and Monastery

4) Two German officers, Lt. Col. Julius Schlegel (a Catholic) and Capt. Maximillian Becker (a Protestant) sent the Monte Cassino archives to the Vatican at the beginning of the Battle of Monte Cassino in World War II. Because of the fourteen-centuries of Benedictine abbey there, the German commander ordered troops not to use the abbey for defensive positions, and told both the Vatican and the Allies of that decision. Allied reconnaissance spotted German troops in the Abbey, which had a beautiful view of the surrounding area, and on February 15, 1944, the abbey was destroyed by 1,400 tons of bombs dropped by American bombers. Thank goodness for those two German officers, who saved all 1500 years of the abbey's records, 1400 irreplaceable manuscript codices, as well as saving the collections of the Keats-Shelly Memorial House, which had ironically been sent to the Abbey for safe-keeping in December, 1942.

Burning banned books is bad. Saving books from burning is good.

My Knitting

:::Drum Roll Please:::

Mice 39, 40, and 41 are done, and pleased to be caught up:

Mice 39, 40, & 41

(Nicky included for scale.)

The Peony Cardigan is done, but seriously unblocked. The picot edges are curling up like mad, and it was a real struggle to get it to lie as flat as I did in this photograph:


I do hope the curling blocks out of it. This was a cute cardigan and I guess it was an easy knit, but I will not knit it again. Well, maybe I would, but definitely not in this yarn. I sold a lot of Shibui over the years, but this and the yellow Wanida socks were the first time I actually knit with it. It's great in socks! They are lovely. On size 4 needles for a baby cardigan, it was like trying to knit an octopus. Yarn twisted everywhere; it was like it had a mind of its own. My needles kept splitting the yarn, very maddening. It came out beautiful in the end, and I'm very happy with it, but wrestling that octopus was why I ripped it out (my own stupidity hepled with that, though) and why it took like four weeks to complete a baby sweater that should have taken only one week.

Speaking of repeating something I've knit before, you may recall that I knit A Little Bit Bohemian, the scarf that I knit from the handspun that I got in St. John, NB last fall. It came out great, so great that I wanted to knit it again, this time using my own handspun from the purple batts I got from Indigo Moon:

Purple yarn

The blue/green handspun from St. John is much finer than the purple yarn that I spun, and it's a great part mohair, where my purple yarn is a solid wool and spun by a person with one arm, so it feels -- and is -- much thicker and thinner, more lumpy amd bumpy than the nice, smooth, slick little mohair spun by someone with two hands, but all in all, I am very happy with the yarn I spun. When I wound it up into this cake I just gazed at it in wonder, I was so amazed that it actually came out looking like yarn at all!


I'm using it to knit A Little Bit Bohemian by Rebecca Stromgren, but I'm using size 9 needles rather than size 8's because of the lumps. I've only done a bit, but I think it is coming out well:


It's actually a richer, deeper purple than this. My camera doesn't do colors well. Hopefully I will be done this in five days, if not sooner!

The Universe with No Knitting

Capt Kirk: Bones, what would happen if that thing entered a tranquilized body? 
Dr McCoy: Well, it might take up knitting, nothing more violent than that. 

That's the only quote I could find from Star Trek that references knitting. You'd think that in all the years of the Star Trek original series, Star Trek the Next Generation, all of the movies, that show with the woman captain, Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Enterprise, someone on Star Trek might have been a knitter, but no.

Deanna Troi, played by Marina Sirtis, even really knit, but it never made it into the show, even as a prop, for Heaven's sake. You'd think over the years in all the shots of people's personal space, in their private quarters, you'd see in the background a ball of yarn, some knitting or crocheting or sewing, or even a loom set up, but you would look in vain. I guess that says how little-valued "women's work" is -- even though men did it too. During the Middle Ages, men did a lot of it! But times change.

Given the nerdiness of certain knitters, and I mean that only in the kindest way, as I am one of them, seems to me someone would have been a knitter on the show, or worn knitting, or something. Data kept a cat; couldn't he knit as well? Don't having a cat and knitting go together well?

Could be I'm wrong, I hope so, so if anyone has any knitting-related quotes or images from the Star Trek universe, send 'em my way! 

Another Knit-Along!

Announcing the First Evernote-Knitalong! I joined; have you??

Evernote is an app you download to your computer, iPhone or iPod or iPad, or Android. It's a way of collecting all those documents, images, little bits of paper you've got cluttering your house, sticky notes stuck on your display, images, and organizing them in one place. So instead of saying, "Now where did I put that Kangaroo Bunting pattern??", you can just go to Evernote, search for it or look in the appropriate folder, and wham! there it is. You can put .pdf files, images,  snap photos with your computer or device, create a sound file, add an . mp3 or a video file to a note, add tags to it, add a URL to it . . .  I don't think there's anything you can't add to Evernote. I love it!

I use my Evernote for tracking my yarn and fiber stash, and organizing my patterns, and I have done a bit of word processing in it, too.  The best thing is, you can take it anywhere, it's so portable, so you have your virtual yarn stash, needle inventory, and patterns available to you whenever you need to check if you have something or not! How great is that!

The Evernote knitalong is a really fun thing to do, and I plan to knit the Lettuce Knit Arm Warmers, but in the round, not flat. I should be able to get them done in four weeks!



Yesterday I spun a little. I got one bobbin full:

One bobbin

I started another one:

Other bobbin

I'll get that one about half full, and that will be all for the first half of my red and brown fluff; then I'll spin the other half, ply them together, and dance a merry dance.

I could finish it in a week, if I spin a little every day. Then again, it might be three years, the way I'm going, hehe.