Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sad news silent needles

Sadly, tonight I begin by offering my condolences to my good friend Nancy B. and her family. Nancy's father passed away on Saturday morning. Nancy, you and your family will all be in my prayers as you go through the difficult process of adjusting to life without your dear loved one. It is a blessing to know he is with the Lord, but the walk without him will often seem to have an empty place. Your faith is strong and will carry you through.

Among the f/o's is a dish/washcloth I've been fiddling with for a couple weeks or more, trying to get the pattern just perfect. Now that it's done I'm wondering why my brain had such a difficult time trying to figure it out. I call it the Berry Basket cloth because it reminds me of the wooden berrry baskets we used as kids which had fairly good sized holes between the slats of wood. The pattern was inspired by a sweater pattern called Basket Weave in the book "Nursery Knits" by Tessa Watts-Russell. I like the stitch pattern so well I may do some other things in the same stitch pattern.

The next f/0's are these hats which will be donated to "Save the Children" when I get a few more done. The flower is from Nicky Epstein's "Knitting on the Edge" and I think it was called the spikey flower, but it looked too large so I curled each spike and stitched it to the adjacent petal.

Today I haven't picked up my needles at all. I've just felt kind of funky and out of sorts. But I'll be back at it soon.

Until then . . . keep those needles clicking.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Yarn or Yarn? Hmmmm . . .

For weeks I've been planning to go to the Lambtown USA festival in Dixon, CA this weekend . . . but our weather here has been hot, hot, hot. Knowing that hubby wouldn't be able to tolerate spending time at the festival in the heat, earlier this week while it was still miserably hot he offered me a trip to the yarn store in exchange for letting him out of going to the festival . . . I caved. I just couldn't help it, my love of instant gratification just can't be controlled. Now I could say I did it to support our LYS, yep that's it (want to buy a bridge?) but the truth is, I wasn't looking forward to dealing with the heat either. Turns out it's supposed to be in the high 80's tomorrow, but I don't regret my decision.

I've been wanting wool to make another purse for a pattern that's been floating around in my head since I made the short rows purse. I chose Noro Kureyon in colorway #156. They were one skein short of what I expected to use so I picked up a skein of Berroco's Ultra Alpaca in a brown (#6205) that I can use as trim if necessary. I haven't started it yet because I have a lot of things OTN right now. Among them, a bowl which I also purchased the yarn to finish. I used the yarn I got in June from my One Skein Secret Pal for the main part, (still in progress in this photo) and I found a lovely green to do the edging and base which really picks up the green in the variegated yarn. It's Iceland by Crystal Palace Yarns. I really like their yarns.

From the half off selection I found Laines Du Nord Ombre #53 which I just couldn't resist. I'm thinking it wants to be a shawl, but it may tell me different before I get around to working with it. It's just such beautiful colors, though I had a hard time choosing a color as I liked most of their color ranges.

I also picked up the "Knitters', Crocheters', Weavers' & Spinners' Travel Guide 2006", some needles with the bent tip, and point protectors (my favorite kind). In this picture it's the ones that aren't cone shaped. They're like a tube with two holes side by side (it really shows up on the pink one between the two green cone ones on the left of the picture. Each color is a different size. I've lost a few, shared a few, and they seem to just disappear so I bought 2 or 3 of each size.

Other UFO's are a baby hat for Save the Children (2 done), a dish cloth in an open basket weave pattern, a baby blanket which I've just cast on, a potato chip scarf which I've become bored with and the Bella Cardigan sleeves. On Tuesday mornings I'll be working with the Women's Auxiliary of one of our local hospitals knitting and doing other crafts for them to sell at their bazaars to raise money for the hospital (which is a non-profit). I'm looking forward to it.

Today I finally got something from the doctor to help with my insomnia and I think it's about time I took it and went to bed . . . 'til next time . . . may all your yarns be luxurious, and all your frogging be done in creeks.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Generosity is the word of the day!!

Earlier this week I received my July gift from my One Skein Secret Pal! I have to tell you all that I was blown away by her generosity. I knew she was going to Austria for a few weeks and I wasn't at all jealous (green with envy would be closer to the truth)! She emailed me to tell me it had been mailed early last week, and it seemed like it took forever (what's with the mail lately?). Oh, but it was well worth the wait . . . just look at all the goodies she sent me.

Wherever she traveled she thought of me and chose a gift for me that she thought I would like. It's fun to see the me that she knows only from emails and it's amazing that each gift she has chosen has been absolutely perfect!

The small hand made basket seen in the upper right corner is woven of Honeysuckle stems and fabric. It was purchased at a West Virginia craft fair from the woman who made it. In the upper left are two photos of the woman who makes these wonderful baskets. The photos don't show well, but it's so extra special to know that my secret pal took the time to add that extra information, and sent me copies of the pictures (they were enclosed in the card shown below them and mailed separately and just received today).

In the basket is the a soap called "Bleu Lotus" from Paris that has the most awesome scent!

In the front are three balls of CHOCOLATE (can you believe I was nice enough to give my hubby the first one - he had trouble opening it, and I even gave it back to him after I opened it for him). I wonder if I told her that my motto is "Give me the chocolate and no one gets hurt!"?

The dish towel is sooo soft, and is a perfect compliment to my 50's style kitchen done in red and white! So when it isn't posing for pictures it hangs from a drawer handle so I see it daily and think of my new found friend.

I'm also a cat lover and a reader, so she sent me a 2007 book mark /calendar of cats. Each month's calendar is perforated so it can be removed to be used as a book mark. (I think I'll offer her the job of being my personal shopper if I ever become wealthy!)

Last, but not least by any means, is the yarn which is a beautiful Mohair blend which she purchased in Austria but is made in Italy. It looks black in the photo, but it's the most gorgeous variegation of reddish-purple, blue, green and brown with a halo of black. I'm thinking it wants to be the Cross Over scarf from DIY found here .

OTN this week; I'm down to the last two rows of a potato chip scarf done in multi-colors of TuTu by Moda Dea. Also a bowl which will be felted. It is being made from the yarn my Secret Pal sent in June. It's turning out lovely, and all that remains to be done is to choose a color for the edging and the base, add those and felt it and it will be done. I'll use it by my chair to hold knitting odds and ends such as stitch markers.

In non-knitting news; Tonight we'll attend the retirement party for a friend hubby worked with for many years. It's being held at the Old Spaghetti Factory (good food) and we'll see lots of good friends there so it will be an enjoyable evening.

Next weekend (weather allowing) we'll attend the Dixon (CA) Lambtown festival. I'm hoping to take a class or two, but if not, that's fine. I'll get to buy yarn! and watch the sheep shearing etc.

Maybe I'll meet you there!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Finished Objects

I've been knitting spiral scarves, two down, one still on the needles. The one currently on the needles is done in pink/purple/rose/ and I have no idea what I will do with it. These two were gifted to my great nieces. Of course there was a disagreement as to who should have the pink one, but it was easily settled because the pink one was promised before it was made. The younger one will receive a pink scarf the next time as she told me "But I like pink best". I made a marble bag from some 127 Print Filatura Di Crossa for my great nephew, but it was nothing more than the top of a sock type thing so I didn't bother with pictures.

I've also made two of these red eyelash scarves just to keep my hands busy. The first one of these was a bit wider and it took just about three hours to complete while waiting in the airport a few weeks back. They have both been gifted.

The short rows purse has been re-blocked and came out nicely. I've got to find another button for it as the handmade one I'd planned to use has a chip off the side of it that makes it unuseable.

I'm in the planning stages of another purse to be made with Bryspun Kid-n-ewe, but I don't have enough of it to make the purse I wanted to so now to find an alternate idea that the recipient will like. If I could felt their white yarn I'd have enough, but all that I've heard about felting white yarns leads me to believe that I shouldn't try it.