Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Antidote to Punky

Punky was the word the doctor used to describe how I've been feeling; I wasn't so polite. Her antidote is lots of liquids, especially unsweetened cranberry juice, and a 10-day course of cephalosporins (10 days, that's Punky with a capital P!). My antidote is much more colorful and fun.

Fleece Artist Merino in Parrot

What do you knit when you need something easy and cheerful (and you don't have your husband around to do swift duty with the STR yarn)? Fleece Artist Merino socks in an easy (4x4) rib with an Eye of the Patridge heel flap. This photo is pretty punky, and really doesn't show the vivacity of the colors, but FA merino is perfectly dyed for the Eye of the Partridge heel flap. I've said that before (also with a punky photo), and I'm sure I'll say it again. There is nothing better than knitting a cheerful sock when the microbiological world wreaks its havoc within one's person.

And when the fingers need a little rest there is always a good mystery to pick up and enjoy.


This is the third Masie Dobbs mystery. This is a series that really benefits from being read in order. The first book is Masie Dobbs and the second is Bird's of a Feather. Masie is a psychologist/investigator in post-WWI London. She served as a nurse in France during the war. The stories are very well written, and the character of Masie is pretty engaging. The pace is a little slow and methodical, but since Masie takes "inquiries" that have a psychological bent, the pace fits the stories. Sometimes Masie seems too perfect to be real, but then she is supposed to be something of a genius at psychology and empathy, so that isn't a major criticism. She's a pretty good antidote to punky.

As soon as I am feeling better, it will be back to finishing the Landscape Shawl and swatching for the periwinkle pullover. And when I am feeling miraculously good, I'll get that final gingerbread cable sock done.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Where Sweater Envy Leads

It seems to me that everyone, everyone is knitting a super cool, gorgeous, must-wear it sweater. The Central Park Hoodie is very popular right now. Brigitte knit a CPH in a stunning pink. Margaux is almost done in a lovely grey Skye Tweed. Have I mentioned I love pink and grey? And Fearless Cara's will be beautiful now that she knows how to cut open a mis-crossed cable and re-do the cross. Now I don't actually want a CPH, but I do want a sweater. Faithful readers will recall that I have over a mile of Lamb's Pride Worsted in Periwinkle (I should send it to Grumperina, but I'm afraid of repercussions). I want to knit a pullover and preferably one with cables. When I saw that Julia's friend had knit the Marseilles Pullover from IK Summer 2006 in an aran weight yarn, I knew what I wanted to do for a first swatch.

1x4 Ribbing! WooHoo! Color is really periwinkle!

OK, so 1x4 ribbing isn't cably excitement, but it is the gauge swatch for the Marseilles Pullover. And the gauge is all off, but I must do the math to see if I could make it possible. I would also try the cable motif. The cables look hard to me, but then I've lately been choosing projects that I thought were my skill level and I have been bored to tears. It's time to up the ante. I like the LP worsted in the 1x4, although I really should put the yarn I ripped in a skein and get it wet to work out all the little kinks (the sweater back was knit for a couple of years before I ripped a few weeks ago).

I have several other swatches in mind to knit for a cabled sweater of my own design, but I thought I would start here. Green may be the official color of generic envy, but sweater envy is obviously periwinkle.

I must now be good and knit on an official WIP.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Finally, a FO!

This weekend has not been the most conducive to knitting. I spent yesterday with a couple of friends attending a diocesan congress on the Liturgy of the Word. It was very good, but it cut out some knitting time. Nevertheless, I do finally have a FO for 2007.

Mitts for Karen in LL Swirl DK Purple Club

Karen arrives on Friday, so I wanted these done in time. They are not a big project, but they are a complete project, and I did manage to adjust the pattern from bulky to DK weight yarn. I will see on Friday if Karen will consent to a modeling shot for the blog. I didn't put them on my hands, as I was recently told that I certainly didn't have a "model's hands." Don't you just love nice, elderly ladies who feel free to speak their minds? As M is fond of saying, age often thins the filter, and the thought cloud is spoken.

Also cutting into my knitting time is my need to finish this:

The fourth Matthew Bartholomew Chronicle

Deadly Brew is the fourth book in this mystery series. They are very good both in terms of writing and mystery. The series takes place in Cambridge starting in 1348, the year the Plague arrives in England. In the first book, A Plague on Both Your Houses someone feels that they can slip a body in with all the plague dead and get away with murder. Physician and University Fellow Matthew Bartholomew, though, sees through the sinister plot and ensures that justice is done. I highly recommend the series to any who enjoy medieval or historical mysteries.

Tonight, I hope to cajole my swift, none other than M, to hold some yarn for winding into balls. He has agreed to help, the question now is how many skeins?

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sock Futures Rock!

After hearing about all the banking angst Blue Moon Fiber Arts went through, I decided to do a little shopping there, especially since I have never knit socks with Socks that Rock yarn. Shocking, I know. I was delighted to find a color scheme that reminded me of my new blueberry tea-for-one.

Socks that Rock in Nodding Violet and Henpecked.

The Nodding Violet doesn't have any white, but I think the blue-violets and greens are a great match. Yay! The Henpecked results from blog envy. I saw Kristi's marvelous wool/silk fiber from BMFA in Henpecked, and I had to have the color. Now I do. The only question is which one to knit first. I think I may reward myself by knitting a pair of these socks right away to help drive away sock ennui. I think these yarns deserve a whole skein shot.


In further knitting news, the Landscape Shawl is now over 50% complete! To celebrate here is a close up of the moss stitch chevron.


In 24 more rows I get to start the final chevron in reversed stockinette. I know I have complained a lot about how boring this shawl is to knit, but the CTH yarn is really working out nicely. Alison left me such a nice comment about the LS that I felt very encouraged to continue. She is knitting up an amazing Hidcote. You should go check it out.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This and That

I've been feeling rather antsy. It's January 24th, and I don't have a FO for 2007! The knitting has thwarted every attempt at completion, but I have a deadline on the horizon, so a FO must be born. Karen is arriving a week earlier than I thought she would be, so I need to finish her mitts. Good thing: mitts are small. Bad thing: I didn't write anything down when I made the first mitt. Why didn't I write it down? I have no idea. Before this, I would have said it was inconceivable that I wouldn't write down how I had modified a pattern to work with DK rather than chunky weight yarn. Apparently, I don't know what "inconceivable" means, because I didn't write it down. So, now I have to figure it out again by counting everything on the first mitt. Sometimes I really annoy myself.

All other knitting progress is added length. The Landscape Shawl is now 49% completed. It is beautiful but oh-so-boring to knit. I want it done. Bad. The Sea Silk berry scarf from VLT is about 14 inches long. It is lovely, but a total snoozer to knit. I have decided to give it to my Grandma Adeline who needs a new scarf. She is at best five feet tall, so a 48-inch scarf works very well for her. That would be far too short for me, and I don't have it in me to make it longer.

I want to knit lace socks, like Grumperina's Roza's Socks, Sundara's petal's collection Lenten Rose socks, and Child's First Sock from Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. I want to knit more complicated lace scarves and shawls from Victorian Lace Today in pretty spring-like, feminine colors. I want to knit nifty cables into sweaters. I've decided that I have to finish the Landscape Shawl, the Gingerbread cable socks, Grandma's scarf, and the mitts. Then all other bets are off. The Aran Pocket Shawl, the Jaywalkers in the Trekking Yarn (my friend Elsie, who is a sock knitting fiend, has had bad laundry and yarn breakage problems with her Trekking socks, and I find the yarn pretty scratchy), they may be put on hold until I think about Fall again.

Today we put to use a little helper that arrived at Molecular Knitting yesterday.

M and I are very pleased. Scooba is such a good little worker. The water in the dirty water tank was really dirty, and it is hard at work on a second run tonight while I blog and knit. Now, if it only did windows...

Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 22, 2007

More Plans than Progress

Due to errant, painful sinuses, a busy social schedule, and a misbehaving sock, I didn't have a big weekend in terms of knitting progress. While the gingerbread cable sock sat in time-out until Sunday evening (all is back now on track with it), I did restart the ice cream sundae socks on smaller needles in a broken, lightly twisted 2x2 rib, and I finished the first border of the berry sea silk scarf from Victorian Lace Today (page 80 "scarf with wide striped border").


I did have some time to do some planning, thinking and perusing. I had asked for suggestions for a sweater pattern to knit using Lamb's Pride worsted, and I looked up all the suggestions. Thanks to everyone who answered my questions! Rogue and Samus were my two favorite choices, but Rogue seemed a bit beyond my current abilities, and Samus, although very beautiful with its wide horizontal celtic braid, would put that braid right where I wouldn't want it. I generally try to pretend that my hips do not exist, and the horizontal braid of Samus would destroy that self-delusion. Several people assured me I could design my own if I chose a drop shoulder style, and I think they may be right. I also remembered a pattern from Knitters (Fall 2001) that I liked.


And then I started perusing some of my stitch pattern books, which leaves me with some serious swatching to do.


It would be nice if I could fit some swatches in among my other knitting, so that when I get the Landscape Shawl done, I could be ready for the sweater. I'd cross my fingers that this will all work out, but I don't know how to knit with my fingers crossed.

So, I have a bit of a plan. Now it's time for some more progress. Happy Knitting!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Good and the Bad

The good news is that I have one mitt done of the pair for Karen. I successfully adapted the pattern from chunky to DK weight yarn.


The bad news:


I had a "little" sock knitting mishap.

Note to self: don't knit with a headache.

At least I found all 60 stitches after ripping a third of the gusset and the entire heel (I mis-centered the heel flap by 3 stitches--quite noticeable in a cable-rib pattern, at least noticeable after knitting the entire heel and a third of the gusset).

I'm going to bed.

In the words of the immortal Scarlett O'Hara, "Tomorrow is another day."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


While thinking of various projects and possibilities, I have come up with some questions for which I have no answers. As I puzzled and puzzed about who could help me, I thought to ask you, my readers, if any of you have the answers. So, here are my questions, and if you know an answer or have an idea, please leave a comment. Thanks!

Question 1: Can a felted piece of knitting be cut with a scissors into pieces without unraveling? Could I knit a big rectangle, felt it to its felting limit, and then cut it like I would a piece of fabric before sewing? I would think this is possible, but I am unsure. I really, really want this to be possible.

Question 2: M gave me this lovely tea-for-one with blueberries on it.

blueberry tea for one

As I was drinking herbal blueberry tea from it (yeah, yeah, nauseatingly cute, deal with it) yesterday evening while knitting the second gingerbread cable sock, I thought how much I would like a sock yarn with the colors in my tea-for-one. I don't know of any company that makes a blue-white-green variegated sock yarn. Do you?

Question 3: You may remember from the official 2007 Molecular Knitting State of the Stash post that I have over 2000 yards of Lamb's Pride worsted in Periwinkle. I want to knit a sweater with it, most likely cabled, and I am on the search for patterns. Many that I have found use either a regular worsted or a bulky weight yarn, and swatching has yielded unfavorable results. Why can't I find any patterns in a heavy worsted/aran weight? Where are they? Please, please, let me know! I don't want to have to try to knit Victorian Lace Today in heavy worsted. I also don't yet feel up to designing a whole sweater (I've only knit 2: a patterned gansey-like sweater and a cable-rib cardigan).

These are my current questions. If you have an answer, please let me know! Tomorrow: one mitt down, one to go.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Victorian Lace Cast-on and a Sock's Disgust

Last night I taught myself the crochet cast-on and started the first striped, wide border of the "Scarf with wide striped border" from Victorian Lace Today. I knit two repeats before I needed to switch to more mindless knitting so M and I could watch Inside Man on DVD (I really liked the movie BTW).


I started with the specified size 7 needles; the yarn is Sea Silk in Berry. The Sea Silk is working pretty well for me on these Clover bamboo needles. Grumperina found Sea Silk sticky and used addi turbos, and others have found it slick and used bamboo. Well, it's neither sticky nor slick to me. I don't remember who the slick-finding people are, but I wonder if it is all climate based. It's dry here but not arid dry. However, I am wondering if I should use size 6 needles instead. I've decided to finish this first border before making a conclusion. Any readers opinions are quite welcome!

All this Victorian lace knitting has made the Gingerbread Cable Sock quite peeved. When I said I planned to make its mate my exclusive sock knitting project, it thought I meant exclusive knitting project period. It was very annoyed to find me with the VLT scarf and knitting on the Landscape Shawl (that I can knit while watching a movie). I have passed the 200-stitch row on the LS, so now that seems all down hill as 308 is the number of stitches in the final row before binding off (even though I'm only 44% done).

I did make, what I thought, was significant progress on the second GCS. Here you can see the first sock checking out my progress (8 repeats of 11 done in the cuff).

The GCS was so disgruntled that I was going to work on the LS, that I decided it couldn't stay in my open sock knitting basket. Rather, it needed a "time-out" in my sock travel bag. Here it is trying to get out before I could zip the bag closed.


I really like the bag. It's from Target (purchased many moons ago), and it is really a make-up bag. But for sock knitting, it's perfect. The length is exactly right for my dpns, and they fit in the pocketed top compartment quite nicely.


Finally, I got the bag all zipped up and the GCS into time out.


Perhaps this evening I could take it out and finish the cuff, if it behaves.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The State of the Stash

Wendy and her friend L-B have christened 2007 the year of "Knitting from Stash." They have set up some very flexible ground rules, and they have invited anyone who wishes to thin out their own stash to join them. I won't officially join the Knitting from Stash movement, because unlike Wendy, who writes about a "stash room," I have a stash tupperware crate. But in the interests of record keeping, and because it is an article of the Molecular Knitting Constitution, I present, The State of the Stash. Don't laugh.

Since sock yarn doesn't count toward Wendy and L-B's stashes, I won't show you that. Instead, let us survey the yarns I have purchased with lace in mind. I took this photo in natural light, and I thought my camera was set for that, but all the reds/fuschias are WRONG. But, anyway, it's dark now, so we shall make do.

The green, conspicuous by being the only yarn not red, purple or blue, is Sea Silk in Sunlit Glade. That was a special color in a kit from Colorsong Yarn. I have 2 skeins of it and no intention of actually knitting the pattern from the kit, I just liked the color. Above is Frog Tree fingering weight suri alpaca in bright red, which I bought because I am a sucker for red yarn. I have about 1000 yds. Nestled next to it is a cake of Jaegerspun Zephyr in Admiral (1100 yds) and a skein of Schaefer Anne in Blue Violets (560 yds). The big Merino Lace skein in the middle is actually fuschia in color and not red (1000 yds). Next to it are two skeins of Knitpicks Shimmer in Happy Dance and Morning Fog (5 skeins total--I can knit a shawl for California) and a skein of Knitpicks Shadow in Vineyard. The ball at the bottom is Sea Silk in Berry. I think we can safely say that I am primed to knit lace. I've told myself that I have to start a lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today this week, as I joined the VLT KAL when it first started. The berry Sea Silk is heading for the needles! I mean that, really.

For yarns that I have in sweater amount quantities, you may start to see a color theme in my yarn purchaing.
Upper left is Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Cardinal, a Christmas gift, so it must get knit up this year. It is for a seed stitch jacket that I may start to knit as soon as I finish the Landscape Shawl. All WIPs and no FOs makes Brenda an anxious knitter. To the right of that is a skein of Cascade 220 for a brocade jacket that very faithful readers may remember me mentioning back in the dawn of time (the color is better in the link back). Next is the evil Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Cottonball that completely failed to maintain gauge back in November. All is now frogged. And on the delicate subject of frogging, the Lamb's Pride Bulky in Raspberry and Worsted in Periwinkle saw significant frogging today. Gone are two sweater backs and one front. I have about 2000 yds of each, so I'm thinking big and probably cables, but I haven't gotten any farther than that. I love the raspberry color, it's such a deep red. Finally, I found 1400 yds of Bryspun Kid 'n' Ewe, which I bought about 5 years ago cause I liked it. I need a project for it. It really is a lovely dark red-purple that looks like total garbage in the photo (sigh).

There are a few single skeins in my stash and a couple of specialty yarns I've shown you earlier, but otherwise, the above is pretty much it. I look best in cooler rather than warmer colors, but I think I may be a little heavy into the red-blue-purple yarn. I may need to buy some pale yellow yarn as an antidote. No, I won't be limiting myself to just stash, but I will be knitting a lot of red.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

First WIPs of 2007

2006 was my most knittingest year so far. I completed 14 projects, including one sweater. However, not everything I started in 2006 I finished, and I am carrying some things over. As I have a lot of knitting I want to do this year, I have been knitting furiously the last several days to turn some of these WIPs into FOs.

First, I have made it to the moss stitch chevron of the Landscape shawl. 37% done! I really like how the yarn variegation looks in the different stitches. At the very top, you can see the green stitch marker sticking up indicating the start of the moss stitch chevron. I'm on row 188, and on row 244, I get to start the final chevron of reverse stockinette. When I get to row 308 I get to bind off.

As I mentioned in my last post, I had to wear store bought grey socks earlier this week, and I think my lone gingerbread cable sock noticed. I decided I better get its mate started before it rose up in rebellion. I really, really like how this cable pattern is working out on the socks. I will have to use it again.
I would have finished this pair much earlier, but I am using metal needles and I didn't want to risk having them taken away by airport security when M and I traveled over the holidays. So, over the holidays, I started a pair of Jaywalkers in Trekking XXL (color 159) on my new 6-inch Crystal Palace bamboo double points. I love these needles!! They are by far my dpn favorites: slick, pointy and warm to hold. The sock isn't bad either, but it will have to wait for the gingerbread cable sock.

Finally, I am knitting a pair of mitts for Michael's college friend Karen, who with another friend, will be coming out to California from Chicago to visit us next month. Karen saw my screaming red mitts on the blog and wanted a pair in blues and purples. M promised her a very soft, warm pair of mitts and totally vetoed! fingering weight yarn, which the fine cabled mitt pattern calls for. I was a bit disgruntled at first until I realized I needed to go to my LYS, and then I perked right up. I found a skein of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb Swirl DK in purple club. The merino/silk blend is really soft, and the DK weight should make a warm pair of mitts. My only problem was a complete lack of pattern. I am adapting the twisted cable mitts pattern I used in a chunky weight alpaca on the fly. So far, it seems to be working.

Once these become FOs, there's a second sock to knit for my mom, a new scarf for my Grandma Adeline (she confessed over Christmas that she lost the scarf I knit her a couple years ago, which she loved), the Aran Pocket Shawl, a scarf for the Victorian Lace Today KAL, the ice cream sundae socks...Why am I still blogging? Back to knitting!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Alice Starmore and Citrus

First up, if you have always wanted a like-new copy of Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting, I am selling my copy through my parents on ebay. They are mingmags37, and the auction ends Thursday at 10 pm PDT. I bought the book new, looked at it a few times, and that's pretty much it. Just thought you might like to know.

Second, Sunday afternoon was glorious here in Molecular Knitting's little corner of California. I took myself outside for a tromp around the neighborhood to admire all the citrus trees heavy with ripe fruit.

Grapefruit tree

Lemons! Sidecar anyone?

Fabulous oranges

Many people don't pick the fruit from their trees, which I think is a shame. I was very tempted to knock on a couple of neighbor's doors and ask if they wanted to fork over a dozen or two lemons, but I feared that would be considered too rude. So, I just coveted them.

After my walk, I put in some heavy knitting on the Landscape shawl. 34% done! 4 rows from starting the next chevron, which is moss stitch. Once I get my chuck roast braising in the oven this evening (I'm still rendering some bacon to brown the roast in the bacon fat--evil, but oh, so yummy), I'll get to that next chevron (and pretend the Christmas tree still isn't up). So pictures of progress soon. I was very relieved to make the 34% mark with some of my first of three balls of yarn left. I bought what should be 200 extra yards, but the first ball seemed to be shrinking fast and I was stuck in the 20 -something percentage-complete for a long time.

Did you see the letter Trek's black sweater vest sent her? I hope my gingerbread cable sock didn't see it, or I think it may get some epistolary ideas of its own. It's been a single sock for a long time. I even had to wear grey store bought socks today, and I think it noticed. I know the Harlot's UFOs have also occasionally written her. I hope no one reads our UFOs, A Tale of Two Cities, or they may start a revolution. I'll have to get to its mate soon.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

All About R

I took Cara up on her offer to assign letters for the new meme journeying around the blogosphere. She gave me R. So here are 10 things, ideas, themes, theories that pertain to me that start with R.

1. READING Compared to today's children, I was a late reader. I started first grade two months before my seventh birthday, and I couldn't really read. By the end of third grade, I had finished eighth grade spelling and reading. I started a little late, but I was primed and took flight. I can't imagine life without reading. In addition to all the science reading I do, I read fiction, non-fiction, poetry, blogs, newspapers, food labels, you name it. Usually, I read between 50-70 books in a year. Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are my two favorite novels, but I am also a big fan of the hard-boiled detective mysteries of Raymond Chandler featuring Philip Marlowe. Currently, I am reading several historical series of mysteries including Susanna Gregory's Matthew Bartholomew Chronicles (14th century Cambridge) and the Sugawara Akitada mysteries set in 12th century Japan by I.J. Parker. I am also reading my way through Freya Stark's travel memoirs through the Middle East in the 1930s. My father was an American Literature professor and my mother a high school English teacher, and I have always received books for birthday and Christmas presents. I wouldn't have it any other way.

2. RED Red is best. My sofa is red. I always carry a red purse and wallet. I prefer red wine to white. I tried to eat vegetarian during Lent one year; I ate lots of protein, but I still ended up dreaming of red meat. In my stash, I have red alpaca sport weight to make a cabled scarf, red fingering weight suri alpaca for a shawl, red worsted weight wool/alpaca blend to knit a jacket, dark red bulky weight to knit a sweater, and berry sea silk for a lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today (we won't go into the sock yarn). In high school a snotty male classmate criticized me for wearing red lipstick one day. "Smart girls shouldn't wear red lipstick," he said. I wore red lipstick almost everyday of high school after that. Whenever I wear red, I am guaranteed that someone will tell me that "red is my color." Indeed.

3. RASPBERRIES Perfect fruit. Perfect flavor, texture, shape, juciness, and of course, color. Raspberries are served for breakfast in heaven. Need I say more?

4. RESEARCH We all do research to a certain extent in our lives. We gather and analyze information even when buying toothpaste. We live in an information age. But I get paid to do research. Biochemistry, molecular biology, DNA, proteins, genomes sort of research. I grow cells, isolate DNA molecules and proteins and then mix them together in various combinations under multitudes of conditions, and then I meticulously record what happens. I repeat and repeat experiments until my data are statistically significant. I write my findings up into scientific manuscripts which get published after peer review. I love it.

5. RELAXATION When it comes to relaxation, I flunk. I'm good at doing nothing, but not in a relaxed manner. A couple of years ago my quotidian battle with anxiety got bad enough that I needed pharmaceutical intervention for a while. A couple of weeks after starting the medication while M and I were out grocery shopping together, I noticed that I felt very strange: sort of limp and floppy. However, all my muscles worked just fine. I wondered if I needed to go to the ER. I puzzled and puzzed til my puzzler was sore (ala the Grinch) and then I thought of something I hadn't before. I was actually relaxed. M is the one who helped me reach this conclusion. I was pretty embarrassed; he thought it was hilarious. Now I work pretty regularily to be relaxed. How screwed up is that?

6. RUSSIAN I minored in Russian in college. I took Russian to see if it was hard (German in high school was too easy). Russian was easy too, until I started reading true Russian literature. I don't understand Russian literature at all. I could translate the words and sentences just fine. But what does it mean when a nose is found in a loaf of bread, and then later in the day is seen walking down the street dressed in clothes? I'm stumped. The Nose is a short story by Gogol.

7. RAIN Here in the Central Valley of California, it doesn't rain during the summer. Not a drop. Sun, sun, sun from sometime in April until late October at least. Then it's rain, rain, rain in December and January. I used to love rain when I lived in the Midwest and it rained every several days through out the year. Now I pine for rain in the summer (and thunderstorms!) and loath it in the winter. I clearly have rain issues.

8. ROUND Round is probably the best adjective to describe me in so many ways. My face is round and has full cheeks; my body is round like a bosc pear. People have complimented me on being well-rounded intellectually. When I am anxious my mind races round and round in frantic analytical circles. My favorite Christmas tree ornaments are round balls. Green peas are my favorite vegetable. I haven't yet been around the world though. Someday.

9. RISK Anxiety keeps me from being a big risk taker. The fear of devastating failure keeps me pretty prudent. But that is why I like knitting and beading so much. I can always rip, frog, unstring, unweave with usually little risk. It's like a get out of jail free card or being able to beat entropy. As I've grown older I can take more substantive risks without fear, but you won't find me operating M's table saw if I can help it.

10. ROSE The rose is a beautiful flower and I love so many of their attributes. The sweet spicy smell. The velvety petals arrayed in a perfect logarithmic spiral. The tight buds that slowly unfurl to the full blown flower. The funny thing is that the one color of rose I don't really like is red. Yellow roses, white roses, pink roses, all gorgeous. Red roses? Funeral flowers. Go figure.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Where to Go From Here?

M and I returned yesterday to California from visting family in Illinois and Wisconsin. Today I wondered how to get back into the blog. Recap the vacation? Show the holiday knitting loot? Sum up the year in knitting? Look forward to 2007? What to do? What to do? So, here is a bit of everything.

First, I did almost NO knitting over the vacation. I was very tired on the flights to the Midwest (through LAX not Denver, thank God), and so I slept. I did finish the screaming red mitts at my in-laws.
Screaming Red Mitts
The fit is great. I did mess with the pattern a little. I used less repeats of the cables as my fingers are short, and I reversed the cable on the left mitt for symmetry. I'm not into the whole symmetry in socks gig, but I thought I would give it a whirl in the mitts. I plan to knit more! Actually, Anne at Knitspot, where I bought the pattern, has made a lovely lace pair of mitts that I saw today, and as soon as she makes the pattern available, I'll be snatching it up. Anne designs a nice thumb gusset, I must say.

I also started my first foray into the Jaywalker sock pattern from Grumperina. I didn't photograph it yet as I only have pretty nasty artificial light right now (as the mitt pic shows), but soon. I'm using some Trekking XXL, and I like the colors and the patterning, but I'm not enthralled with the yarn. It's a little scratchy and thin.

But on the subject of yarn, I must gloat: M proved himself the absolute best of husbands this Christmas by signing me up for the second sixth months of Sundara's Petals Collection. Yipee!
Future FO
That's Lenten Rose with a lacy sock pattern. I'm so excited! Oh, and the little bauble? That's a sterling cuff from Thailand that he bought me through Novica (he picked it out completely on his own). And to answer a question I've heard often: he's NOT available. I get to keep him.

To finish the 2006 FO list, I finished the Grapevine scarf in Black Purl Shepherd's Sock.
Grapevine Lace Scarf
This scarf was a learning experience. I could not memorize the 12 row pattern, possibly because I knit on it off and on and it was my first lace other than feather and fan. So, the knitting was a bit tedious. The colors were lovely though. I learned a new cast-on (backwards loop), which was elementary. I also used Eunny's IK tutorial on lace cast-ons and bind-offs and used the Lace or Russian bind-off. It was slow to do but easy and really quite fabulous in terms of strength and elasticity. The problem is that the lace curls. I did not include an edging. I knew I could have a problem with that, but I pretended all would work well. It's a stockinette lace, and it curls. Lesson learned.

I could rattle on longer, but M has almost finished cooking dinner (NOT available!), and I am famished.

Happy New Year! May everyone have a wonderful year of knitting!