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November 2010
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January 2011

Gadget Mania!

Lynne just gave me this:

I love it! I can crochet again. That's one more step towards full functionality. This little clamp holds more than crochet hooks, though. It can also hold any size of knitting needles, my glasses when I want to wipe them and Joe is not there, a nail file. Tons of stuff. Thank you Lynn!

She also gave me this:


That, my friends, is a bottle of St. Germain Elderflower liquor under that sweater and hat. You use it to make and Elderflower Martini, along with Absolut Mandairin vodka and some other choice ingredients. It is quite yummy and I won't have more than one.

Progress -- Scarf, Fluff, and Socks

I've made progress. I have been working on the lacey scarf, in a rather desultorily fashion:

It's so beautiful. I don't want it to stop! But the yarn will run out, or it will get too long, and then I'll have to stop. It's so pretty.

I have been spinning. Here's the latest bunch of pre-drafted fiber, and one full bobbin and one quarter-full bobbin on the spinning wheel:

Wheel       Fluff

And lastly, I've been making a sock. Casting on and grafting the stitches together at the toe are still pretty shaky, but the sock itself is knit okay. I am using a great jig for holding a needle, which I got from rehab! The husband of my OT is very talented, and someday I hope to be good enough at socks to make a pair for him and his remarkable wife. Right now, of course, not so much, but I will get better. This sock uses size 3 needles and 4 oz. of Done Roving's Fundy Footies in color Hazy Harbor. I plan to make a pair with size 2 needles next -- oh joy! I get to use my sock yarn!!

Wooohooo!     Sock1done
The flat part goes under my left leg and anchors it. As you can see, it is fully adjustable; it moves left and right, there are 6 options for the height, and the tip can move easily 180˚ so I can Kitchener Stitch the toe ... theoretically. I need to work on that. There is a patent pending on it (the needle holder, not the Kitchener Stitch), and hopefully you'll be able to buy one yourself. I was thinking, it would be great for people who have had strokes (it can easily be made for right handed people), but also for anyone. I can go really fast on it! Just as fast as I did before, using two hands. If I can do it one-handed, it would be a piece of double-layer chocolate cake with fluffy white frosting for people with two hands.

You can do anything on it with double pointed needles. Here's what I got for Christmas:

I see a hat and a pair of mittens there....


Nora says:

"All your sweaters are belong to me!"

Silly cat.

Half of My Edna Order Is Done, and Lacy Scarf

Pity, really.

This is the blackberry Edna that I loved using:


It's the Cat's Eye scarf from A Fine Fleece, unblocked and ends dangling, but even in this state, I love it. I didn't follow the pattern exactly; it's supposed to be all garter stitch, but I liked the lace border better in stockinette. 

This is the second half of my Edna order, in Raspberry Sherbet Sparkle:


I love this color. I loved the Blackberry too, the way you love a brother, but this .... it makes me weak in the knees.

I'm making the Lacey Scarf from Unique One, from several years ago. It was a store sample of Douceur et Soie, and one ball made a little scarf. Here's the pattern:



Materials: 1 skein Douceur et Soie, or Edna from Good Karma Farm, or any fingering weight, about 225 - 500 yards

size 6 needles, or whatever gives you a lacy fabric

 Gauge: I don't remember what the gauge was for Douceur et Soie, but it doesn't really matter. For you purists out there, I'm getting 6 sts per inch measured over stockinette stitch using Edna. 

Finished measurement: 8 inches wide x 48 inches long or whatever length you want it

Directions: Cast on 52 stitches. Work in lace pattern until you have just enough yarn to bind off with (if possible, end with row 8 of the lace pattern). Bind off loosely knitwise.

 This will make a scarf that is scalloped on one end and flat across the bound off end. To make both ends scalloped, knit two halves and graft them together, or do a three-needle bind off, if you don't mind the little seam-like thing on the back of your neck.

Lace pattern: 

Row 1: K1, *yo, k3, sl1, k2tog, psso, k3, yo, k1; repeat from * to last st, k1. (the first and last stitches are selvage stitches)

Row 2 and every even-numbered row: K1, purl to last stitch, k1.

Row 3: K1, *k1, yo, k2, sl1, k2tog, psso, k2, yo, k2; repeat from * to last st, k1. 

Row 5: K1, *k2, yo, k1, sl1, k2tog, psso, k1, yo, k3; repeat from * to last st, k1. 

Row 7: K1, *k3, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo, k4; repeat from * to last st, k1. 

Row 8: K1, purl to last stitch, k1.


Repeat rows 1 through 8 for Lace pattern.



Friday, I had visitors. Susan, Mae and Sally came by to visit and help set up my spinning wheel. It needed a lot of help. When it was moved, somehow the footman got disengaged from the wheel, a not altogether disastrous thing, since it does fold up for traveling, but the problem was, we couldn't get it back in. Susan finally did it! And her mom set out to help me spin. When they left, I felt reasonably sure I could do it. I dug out some hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester in color "Aegean" (Sereknity Yarn & Fiber, good stuff, check 'em out) and set to work. At first I got the big slubs and teeny bits that I got the first time I learned to spin, but then it settled right down, though I'm not the spinner I used to be, not by a long shot. I have the attitude that I'd rather spin badly than not spin at all, and I'm going to work on it. It takes time to pre-draft the fiber so it will spin properly, a lot more time than it used to take. Imagine if you hand to pre-draft with only one hand ... what would you pull against? I take my paralyzed hand, figuring I may as well make it useful, and place it on my thigh, with one end of fiber in between. Then I lean on it with my upper body, and draft with the other. Probably I should get a vise someday. Until the time comes though, this works out well.

Once the fiber is pre-drafted, it is but the work of a moment to spin it up. And then you have to pre-draft again. Perhaps they should call it "pre-drafting" and not "spinning", because that is mostly what I'm doing! Anyway, here are a couple pictures:

Spinng       Spinning2

The Cat's Eye Scarf s coming right along. I'm about a foot over halfway now. Here's some pictures I took yesterday afternoon:

Scarf        ScarfClose

See the little safety pin I attached to the scarf? That's the halfway point. Now instead of endless measuring, which involves battling the tape measure with my teeth (you know those things are spring-loaded, don't you?), I just fold it in half. When it's long enough measured like this, I start the other end and bind off. Easy peasy.


Nora's still hibernating :)

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Here's how far I've gotten on the Cat's Eye scarf:

Nicky's still hibernating.

I posted a picture of Sunday's progress, about two and a half inches. Monday I got up to five inches or so, and looked at it; it wasn't what I wanted. It needed to go up a needle size. I ripped it out and started over with bigger needles. Somehow I messed up the pattern after the first inch or so, knit another inch trying to decide what to do about it, then ripped it out again. By the time I was on the third attempt I had the pattern down and could go straight ahead; I did eight inches or so and stopped.

Tuesday I didn't feel much like knitting, and I only did about five inches. And that's where I am now.

My shoulder hurts all the time. It is never comfortable, but sometimes -- for days at a stretch -- it just hurts. I wish it would stop! Or I wish it would show signs of improvement, making the pain seem useful, but it doesn't. It just hurts and sits there. I hate my useless arm!

I'm going to go knit, eat chocolate, play some music and hope it gets better. I'll feel better, anyway.

Good Karma Knitting

Jim delivered two of the Edna skeins yesterday, blackberry and peach sherbet, all balled up & ready to knit. I didn't plan on starting on them until after the Pioneer Scarf was done though. My, they were gorgeous! I thought, well.... I could look through my patterns. A Fine Fleece by Lisa Lloyd seemed a good place to start. There was a darling Cat's Eye pattern, nearly at the end ... I succumbed:


This is a beautiful handpainted yarn. Both colors are beautiful. The blackberry I'm using has a good bit of green, too:


And not to worry, the Pioneer Braid scarf is nearly done:


Grace is not interested.



I got about 2 inches up my scarf, and stopped to look at it. I love the Autumn Days pattern....but I had to admit that I couldn't see it in the variegated yarn I was using. The Cherries Jubilee from Done Roving just looked like a knobby mess and the beautiful Autumn Days lace pattern was lost. I decided to wait and do it when I have a solid color yarn, which I probably have in my stash somewhere, but it's upstairs, and I can't go upstairs without help yet. Sigh.

I went back to the drawing board and found the pattern for the Pioneer Braid scarf by Cathy Ryan. It's a modular knit (knit in pieces which are joined as you go) and has the grain of the fabric going in various directions, and it's really pretty. And it's all garter stitch, which is a plus. Here's a picture of it so far:


This will be fun to knit :)