24 November 2007

I'm still here!

But we have no internet access in New York (and it's difficult to shlep your child and laptop to an internet cafe - she's just not that into lattes) thanks to the brilliant contractors who renovated the apartment. They neglected to connect the inside wiring to the building wiring.

Anyway, things are going well so far. It's actually been somewhat freeing to be internet-less for a few weeks, though it's put a hitch in the job search. I've been knitting a bit, though I must ask *the* question: If a knitblogger knits when she is temporarily blogless, does it count? Hehe. Of course!

I finished up another one of those Alpaca Silk berets by the lovely Kat Coyle from Greetings from Knit Cafe. My only issue is that I used up every scrap of that skein to make the hat and had to increase the rate of decrease at the top, and I used a smaller needle for the cast-on and ribbing. Guess I should recheck my gauge on that. But it came out nicely in a rich chocolate brown. And I wear the one I made for myself in blue leftover from the Mermaid Hourglass Sweater this spring all the time (partly because I haven't knit myself a new winter hat yet, which I need to do).

I also knit up another of those adorable cabled baby sweaters from Knitting for Baby in grey Encore Worsted for my best friend's baby boy, Christopher Matthew, who joined the world on 12 November. There will be pictures at some point, though I made the six-month size, so it may be a little while before he sports it. He slept the entire time I held him (over an hour), so we got along like gangbusters. We'll see how things go next time.

I'm about halfway through the first of Eunny's Endpaper Mitts with leftover Clapotis yarn (Koigu) and a skein of brown Koigu. I did a long-tail cast-on because I didn't have the instructions with me for the better Tubular version. Seems fine, so far. I'm wrangling the two yarns fairly well, I think, though my Continental knitting needs some work. Tensioning the yarn in my left hand is the challenge.

And before we moved to New York I whipped up some mittens and a beret for Isobel in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino with help from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns. She looks very cute, if I do say so myself, and I'll have to snap some shots of her. She'll need a warmer hat and mittens for real winter, but I'll wait until we get her a new parka to decide on yarn for that. She says she's keen for me to make her a new sweater for Christmas, so we'll have to survey the stash in Manhattan when we return on Monday.

In my NYC adventures I've been to Purl Soho, which is much smaller than I would have thought, though very cute, and the staff were young and cool and interesting to chat with - they were putting out the new Manos del Uruguay wool/silk DK yarn, and we all fondled it and compared it to Sheep 3 from Sheep Shop Yarn Company. The main difference (besides colorways) is that the Manos is a single ply, while I believe Sheep 3 is three-ply. I may have bought some Blue Sky Alpacas Royal to possibly make something like a scarf for someone special. Maybe. Ahem. I believe the color is Cafe au Lait, but this skein didn't have a tag. As Isobel often says "That's O.K. Things happen."

I also checked out The Yarn Co., which was very busy when I was there on a weekday afternoon (my sweetie pretty much kicked me out of the apartment for the afternoon). Somehow I came home without five sale skeins of Noro Cash Iroha in a pretty pool color because I couldn't figure out what to do with it and didn't want to have to go on the hunt for dyelot matches. They had a huge selection of Manos and a good variety of yarn, there were quite a few staff members helping people out and a busy communal work table, but I didn't quite feel at home.

You know where I did feel at home? Yarns in the Farms, when I stopped by for a few minutes the weekend before Thanksgiving. Nick had a conference in Providence, so we drove up on Sunday to get kitty Riley and some of Isobel's toys (and my toys: YARN) from the house. Even though it was past Isobel's naptime, and we still hadn't eaten lunch, I couldn't be in the 'hood without stopping my MY LYS. There is another yarn shop I need to check out near Columbia that may work. It's not far from the apartment and has a knit night. I'll let you all know how Yarntopia works out. Well, once we have internet access or Isobel expresses an interest in hanging out at a cafe.

25 October 2007

The Cliffs of Insanity!

I only have ten yards of yarn left for the Slouchy Cardi after casting off the hood. I am nuts. And I still have to seam it up. But I have laceweight (2/8) in the same yarn and colorway, so I can use that for seaming. For those playing along at home, this is 4/8 Jaggerspun Zephyr ("DK" weight according to those good people, more like Light Worsted to my mind). I am thrilled to have completed miles and miles of stockinette because I know (if it fits) that this will be one of those go-to sweaters in my wardrobe. That's the thing, isn't it. We moan about miles of stockinette, but it makes for eminently wearable sweaters.

So, what's next for Purly? I'm glad you asked.

For the needles I'm not quite sure, though I've got a ton of stuff queued up on Ravelry and other ideas in my head.

For real life, we have a real move.

Yes, Isobel and I are moving to Manhattan on 1 November. Which means that the post should be titled "The Skyscrapers of Insanity", no? And it also means that I am leaving the Suburbs of Insanity. Not really, but really. I love my family and friends here in the Midwest, but I've become an East Coast girl and long to get back. Watching the Red Sox kick tuchus is not the same here, you know?

And Riley is going to come live with us, too, as I told Bridget the other day (her Garden Kitty looks a lot like Riley-kins). Spenser has gone back to live with his breeder until she can find him a new home, which is for the best. Now, if we could just find someone to buy the house and get my soon-to-be-ex-husband to get his act together enough to participate in divorce proceedings, we'd be all set. Until then my darling Intended and I will have to wait to make things official.

But it's all for real. Someone pinch me. Yet if I wake up I might have to deal with R.O.U.S.es. Eep. They probably have those in New York.

And, no, I haven't seen The Princess Bride lately. Maybe I should.

FO: Log Cabin Socks

Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays for my brother in Berrocco Pure Merino shade 8522 Aubergine (3.5 skeins) on US6s
I made the Men's size and they fit his US 12 feet! I made them a little longer than the pattern called for after consulting a shoe size to inches chart somewhere on the 'net. Very nice yarn - soft and squishy, only snagged a few times with it's multi-multi-ply construction. I may consider this yarn for Norah Gaughan's Capecho from last year's Vogue Knitting (the yarn called for in the pattern). It's also washable, which makes it more viable for a winter white accessory. And certainly makes it more viable for a brother, even if he is married (they have a small person and both work full-time, so they don't have a lot of time to coddle handknits). Each sock took me a couple of days to knit, and I didn't work on them 'round the clock. I might need a pair for myself - we'll see.

So, NaKniSweMo is November, and I'm thinking of participating (I should do NaNoBloMo and post every day). Perhaps it's time to knit Eunny's Venezia? I still have to do the Endpaper Mitts to go along with my Clapotis (and have to post over at Second-Wave Clapotis about my lovely shawl that I wear almost daily now that we've got seasonable weather) to get started on stranded knitting. And Isobel needs a hat and mittens (I have some cherry-colored Debbie Bliss Cashmerino for those). And I want a little vest out of the Alpaca with a Twist I bought last month. And I want a Razor Shell Cami out of some of my burgeoning stash of sock yarn (I can't wait for my Rockin' Sock Club yarn to arrive, hopefully, today). And I really want to buy some of the Webs Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere cloeseout yarn, though I scoffed at the Cocktail Capelet from Spring's IK when I first saw it ($90 worth of cashmere seems a little crazy for a little capelet, but $45 to play with pure cashmere seems slightly less crazy - slightly). And and and...

Closing in on the end of the hood for my Slouchy Cardi clearly means it's time to find the next project, if only to constructively avoid seaming. Hehe. I made a deal with myself that I couldn't knit anything else until I finished Michael's sock, and I ended up spending a lot of time on Ravelry looking for next projects. I'm good at avoidance, eh? I still remember alphabetizing my books freshman year of college at American University (I transferred to Washington University in St. Louis after that first year) to procrastinate studying for finals. I do a little better now.

16 October 2007

SSS = 1/2 FO?

Ooh, advanced math. Does Second Sock Syndrome equal one half a finished object? I now know why I don't knit socks. I hate knitting the second one! Even when using lovely Merino Pure on reasonably sized needles. Even when it's a gift for my dear (and only) brother. Even when it's a really nice pattern like the Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays. Sigh. I finished the first one in two days, even after casting on the wrong number of stitches and not noticing until I switched from ribbing to the cable chart. Yup, that's me, Swifty. I'd like to blame this on the head-cold-with-sore-throat I have from la belle, but it's not nice to blame your little one for such things.

I did give my brother the first sock, which is why there is no photo in today's post. Again, Swifty McSwift forgot to snap a pic before wrapping. So, I do have to knit up the second sock here soon. And I'm sure I'll feel much better once I do. And, to be honest, it's nippy here in the mornings some days and I would like some handknit socks of my own, so I may yet get my sock knitting act together and do something other than ogle my Rockin' Sock Club stash.

Still working on the Slouchy Cardi, closing in on the armhole shaping of the second front. Then there's a sleeve and the hood if I have enough yarn. Shouldn't be a problem, but I decided to leave it for last just in case. I am NOT looking forward to the seaming, but it will give me some practice I guess. I AM looking forward to wearing this cardigan, though, so it will be worth it.

I've spent a lot of time on Ravelry the last couple of days, finally logging in my Wilmette stash and queueing up a bunch of things I'd like to make. I wish they would allow you to add magazines to your bookshelf. And I'm a little anxious about adding in the Gloucester stash - there is a fair bit more I think. I was supposed to go to Boston tomorrow with the wee one for visiting, packing, and a meeting with lawyers and ex-husband-to-be, but he's not doing well, so the trip has been postponed. I'm sad to miss Knit Night, but with the dueling colds and all the other stuff going on, it's for the best.

11 October 2007


Some of you may have noticed things on the blog over the past few months: flowers, yarn from the East Coast, the knitting of a man's sweater, a visit to New York. [You didn't notice? Too distracted by my scintillating prose, gorgeous knitting, and brilliant photography? Just busy with your own life? That's OK.]

Yes, I'm seeing someone. And not to be melodramatic, but he is the love of my life and has been since I was ... sixteen? seventeen? a very long time. Sometimes a crush isn't just about shoes, sometimes it turns into a full-blown love affair.

How did this happen? you might ask, and Why did you marry someone else? You'll have to wait for the movie for the complete story. But the blame for some of this falls squarely on the cicadas. Remember this post? Well, Nicholas and I started to correspond, first about children and divorces then life and everything. After a four-hour telephone conversation it was clear that we had both matured, having been put through the emotional wringer, and still had an intense connection, even after a twelve-year separation. Suffice it to say that things are going very well, and the puzzle pieces are falling into place, albeit slowly (why does it take almost three months to retain a lawyer, soon-to-be ex-husband? Sigh). Happiness is here and growing every day.

More later, but Isobel needs attention.

08 October 2007


So, the folks at Outblush just highlighted the shoes I've been crushing on for months, ordered and returned (too big), then ordered again (just right), and wore to a charity event on Friday. Does that make me cool? I don't really care. And I don't really care that the shoes are way too high for me to wear for more than a few hours. They are seriously cute. See?

OK, since this is a knitting blog I should discuss the knitting...

Clapotis is so old it's new again, thanks to the cool kids knitting Second Wave. I finished Clapotis on Saturday (I have more pics up on Ravelry - username Purly)

The Koigu is lovely. I really like the drape and sproingy-ness of the yarn. I ended up dipping into the fifth skein but should have enough for the endpaper mitts I have yet to cast on for the other KAL I'm down with. Knitting this in sock yarn is much better than laceweight. I bet worsted would go even faster.

I'm back at work on the slouchy cardi, which suddenly seems boring (so not cool): all that stockinette, and the armhole shaping on the front is a little confusing, which probably has more to do with putting the sweater down to knit Clapotis than the pattern. I should have finished the front before switching gears. Lesson learned? Probably not. It will be a nice sweater when it's finished.

More yarn was acquired over the weekend: some Encore Worsted in grey for a baby sweater and a skein of Alpaca with a Twist's Baby Twist - last skein, darnit, but I think it will be enough for the cool Secretary style vest from Blue Sky Alpacas once I acquire some Brushed Suri in Fudgesicle.

I know, Encore doesn't make me cool. But that vest might.

02 October 2007

And we're back...

New York was wonderful - perfect weather, good food and company, a foray to The Age of Rembrandt at the Met - even if I didn't visit a single yarn shop and missed Spin Out in the Park. I did get a fair bit of Clapotis knit up, especially as Bravo had a 30 Rock marathon during my return flight (love DirecTV on JetBlue!). Tina Fey is awesome! Most of the episodes I'd seen, but there were a few that were new to me. Anyway, I giggled my way back to Chicago and the leetle lady, who had a great "bacation" with Grandma and Grandpa while I had mine back East.

So, this show at the Met. What a ridiculous way to organize - by robber baron donor! Never mind that there are five Vermeers and 20 Rembrandts, it's all about who donated the paintings to the museum and when the pieces entered the collection. The show did crystalize for me that I prefer Dutch floral still life painting, as well as other still life works (table scenes, mostly) to portraits and plein air pieces. Frans Hals leaves me cold. And the Vermeers were not as stunning as I had hoped. Well, actually Young Woman with a Water Pitcher is gorgeous, and A Maid Asleep is a tour de force of light, which is what I realized I respond to in Dutch painting. Maybe that's a "duh" for everyone else, but it was a little revelation for me. The show was crowded (we went Saturday early evening before dinner in Soho), but it is fun to experience the New York crowd.

I'll try to get a progress shot of Clapotis this afternoon (it's incredibly misty here this morning). The yarn is great, and the drops are fun. The first one I made was for my mom in handpaintedyarn.com's wool laceweight, a single-ply, sticky yarn that made the drops a bit of a chore. I'm on the third skein and think I will end up using four of the five, leaving the last skein of Koigu for Endpaper Mitts.

In knits in New York news, I did wear my Reading-in-bed Shrug Saturday morning out to brunch.

28 September 2007

Off to New York City!

Be good, kiddos. I'm off for a real vacation for the weekend. Who knows how much knitting I'll get done without a toddler to manage in the air! I'll report back on my adventures on Monday.

26 September 2007

Clapotis, take two

For those of you who haven't knit Clapotis, why not join us on the Second Wave KAL? And for those of you who've been with me for a while, yes, I did knit one before, but I couldn't resist when my friend Bridget started this one.

Isn't my yarn pretty? I wanted to wait to take a picture until I'd dropped at least one stitch (the big exciting part of this pattern, you know). And now I have my new fall bag to show with it. I didn't even realize when I chose the brown over the red that it would look so nice with my shawl-to-be. And the skein of brown Koigu is to make a pair of Endpaper Mitts for my friend Keri's Fingerless Mitts for Fall KAL with the leftovers from Clapotis. I think I'll pause on the Clap, knit the mitts, and then finish the shawl with the rest of the yarn. What do you think? But then I also think I should go with a slightly more solid and light-colored yarn for the contrast. The Endpapers I've really liked in Ravelry have been high-contrast.

Something to think about, anyway.

Happy Blogiversary, Keri!

19 September 2007

Belated Blogiversary

Purly is one! And six days. Wow, I can't even tell you how much has happened in the last year. It's kind of insane. Thank you for coming along with me; there are more adventures to come.

For now, of course, there is knitting. I'm working on my first BSJ for my ... niece once removed (my sister-in-law's brother's baby). It's a lovely, squishy garter-stitch adventure. I'm using the 100purewool worsted yarn in Pasionaria (rose and lilac) on US5s. So far, so good. I'm nearing the end of the first skein and have started the increase portion, so I should make it with only the other skein.

I'll have to get the camera out and snap some pics, especially as I received some lovely birthday presents: four skeins of Misti Alpaca Worsted Handpaint in blues and greys from my bro, sis-in-law, and sis (mmm, alpaca); a two-year subscription to Interweave Knits from my BFF (yippee!); and a Jane Austen action figure from my dear former roomies (squee!).

ETA: I also had a lovely birthday breakfast today with Miss Isobel and my dear friend Nicole (hi!) who almost fell out of her chair when I mixed it up by ordering a Pecan Waffle instead of my usual Dutch Baby and Hashbrowns at Walker Bros. The benefit of being back in Wilmette is that I get to indulge in such goodies more than once or twice a year so don't have to order the same things I've been getting since childhood.

All in all a good turn of the year for me and the blog I'd say.

Oh, almost forgot, since I took a break from it, but the back of the Slouchy Cardi is complete, and I cast on for the right front. It is going well, but the surprise hot weather (90 degrees on Monday and again tomorrow they say) makes smaller projects more palatable.

13 September 2007

Feathers and Fans

Crazy feather yarn I purchased at Whitefish Bay Farm. The Turkey Feather Yarn was crafted by Fiber Artist Laurie Boyer in Wisconsin and consists of turkey feathers, Salish x English Leicester wool, and cotton thread. I have ten yards and am thinking of some sort of scarf/necklace thing to wear to a charity fashion show next month with a grey wrap dress.

And here is some 100purewool yarn for Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter in Pasionaria for my brother-in-law-in-law's new baby girl (that would be my brother's wife's brother's baby). I haven't done one of these yet, but the yarn has been sitting in my stash for a while and needs knitting, and I think the variegated yarn should look lovely in this pattern.

And here is the Zephyr DK (which I consider more of an aran or knitting worsted) at the start of my Slouchy Cardi. First sleeve is complete, and I cast on for the back last night. I've come to the conclusion that for me, now, knitting stockinette back and forth is sometimes easier on my wrists than in the round a la Cobblestone. Knitting in one piece means you have the weight of all the yarn on your needles, even though it's distributed along the circular needle. Some knit-bloggers extol the virtues of top-down raglan knitting, but with Cobblestone I realized that I like knitting the sleeves and then attaching them to the body, rather than knitting the sleeves once the body is complete.

Loving the yarn! The sheen! The texture! I foresee more Zephyr in my future.

As for fandom, the new Knitty is up! Neiman would give me an outlet for the two skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in Turquoise sitting in the stash. And it's a bottom-up seamless raglan. How apropros! And I haven't done any stranded colorwork yet, so this would be good. The other appealing pattern at first blush is Cinderella. I started a pair of socks recently using the Yankee Knitter family sock pattern (#29 at the bottom of the page) and some nice sock yarn from Laughing Rat Studio. I started out OK but got bored (sorry, sock knitters of the world!). But Cinderella may kindle an interest in socks again. I really like that heraldic pattern and had tagged it in my copy of BW's Second Treasury. Plus these are knit on US4s!

Happy Birthday to me!

Make a wish...

Off to storytime with my girl, but not before receiving a beautiful bouquet of roses from a dear friend for my birthday.

And tonight we've got a pizza party with my BFF's family. The Wilson Family dinner is tomorrow night.

I'll post a picture of the crazy feather yarn during naptime. Promise!

12 September 2007


OK, I just popped Cobblestone into a lavender bath. I hope it fits the intended recipient. There will be pictures after it's been gifted.

In the meantime, how about some "live" shots of Icarus?

10 September 2007


Just a quickie today, peeps. I have more knitting to do! Jeepers, garter stitch just eats yarn, doesn't it? I'm about to start the second set of short-rows, which means we're near the top of the yoke. Thank goodness! The deadline approacheth.

There will be bloggable knitting soon, I promise, as well as pics including a crazy skein of feather yarn.

Anyway, I've been thinking more about fashion lately. Perhaps it's the crisp fall air, perhaps it's starting the job search, which means I'll need some grown-up clothes, perhaps it's Tim Gunn upon whom I have quite a crush. So, I bought the September issue of Vogue. And I have to ask myself "WHY!?!" Out of 840 pages, on first flip-through, I dog-eared five pages, four of which were ads, and the fifth was a brief profile of a woman wearing Twinkle's Shopping Tunic. The cover is awful, as is the spread that goes with it. Ugh. I may have to give you a page-by-page review here in the future.

American fashion magazines are rubbish, aren't they? As far as the serious business of fashion goes, anyway. I read Lucky occasionally. It's my airport go-to, since there aren't really articles, just lots of fun things to look at. But I don't fly much these days and when I do I usually have a very mobile tot in tow.

Ever since Liz Tilberis passed away and Harper's Bazaar was Marie Claire-ed by Glenda Bailey, Anna Wintour has no goad to make Vogue all it could/should be. I still remember the first cover of Bazaar after Ms. T. took over: white studio background and Linda Evangelista looking gorgeous. Check it here (#9). What I'd forgotten about the Tilberis era was the fantastic typography. Check out that last "A"! Clean, gorgeous, one headline, not the junked up covers we see today.

I read the September issue of Harper's Bazaar over Labor Day weekend, and it was crap, too. At least Vogue has Jeffrey Steingarten's food writing, which I quite enjoy. But I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to read Ms. Wintour's editor's letter. For more opinions on the issue, be sure to check out Cathy Horyn's blog entry and don't miss the comments.

04 September 2007

Birthday/Blogiversary Pending

Where does the time go? My birthday is coming up on the thirteenth (lucky girl!), and my first blog post was one year ago on the fourteenth. I should probably have some sort of contest to get my dear lurking readers to join the conversation. What do you think?

Happily, Jill was finally able to comment today. I may have to join the Knitini trip to Belize in February. Wouldn't that be nice?

In knitting knews (hehe) I've joined the sleeves and started the garter section of the yoke on Cobblestone. Yeehaw, short rows. This is going very quickly! Now, watch, I'll hit a snag. Hope not, as there are other things I'd like to knit soon (the danger of Ravelry).

Sorry this is a dull post. I have to get my pics off the camera...

03 September 2007

Likey Zephyr

That Zephyr DK is seriously yummy. The silk just gleams. I'm almost through the first sleeve, and then I'll be able to block it to be super-sure I've gotten the gauge I want (on US6s). There will be more projects in this yarn in the future. But I'm back from a weekend in Door County so need to get back to the Cobblestone - thank goodness for air-conditioning in Wilmette as a lap-ful of alpaca is a bit much, even in the balmy weather up nort'.

And I've just joined another KAL. When did I turn into such a joiner? Who knows. Anyway, Keri started a new gang for knitted mitts and wristers Fingerless Mitts for Fall, and I've decided it's time to do some colorwork so am going to knit up Eunny's Endpaper Mitts. Maybe once I accomplish those I'll feel up to doing her Anemois, which are so pretty.

Some Douceur et Soie may have come home with me in a stormy teal colorway from Easy Stitchin' in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. Just reporting the facts.

29 August 2007

Back from Hiatus

Yes, chickens, I'm back and may have acquired three pounds of yarn somewhere en route. Ahem. There is a one-pound cone of Zephyr DK, which is really more of a light worsted as far as my needles go, in Steel (same as the color Keri and I split for the MS3 that has yet to be cast on) waiting to become that slouchy cardi from Greetings from Knit Cafe - the one shown in lavender, the one with the hood. Look, people, my scanner is in a different time zone, so you'll have to use your imagination or go check your own copy.

And the other two pounds are two cones of Jagger Spun's Maine Line 2/8 (fingering weight) yarn in Pewter and French Blue to do Eunny's Venezia in two colors (there's a post somewhere around here with links to a lovely one done in black and cream). That will be my first fairisle/steeked project. And is on smallish needles. Eep. And, yes, two cones is probably enough yarn to make two sweaters, but it was much more fun to acquire two cones than a bunch of mini-cones. Don't you think?

But I have the intended project to complete before then. My first idea (cabled vest of my own design) ended up being a bit too hard to read in the dark yarn. Well, the cables looked good when I didn't miscross them, but I was following written out patterns for four different cables (Lobster Claw, OXOX, Twin Waves, and Ensign's Braid) in two different books (Barbara Walker's first and second Treasuries) and had trouble charting them I don't have BW's charting book so had trouble drawing something to indicate the more complicated crosses), so I was going crazy. I've tabled the idea for now and reclaimed the yarn. There may be a Cobblestone in the works, and I'm not linking to it here because the intended recipient might be clicking around here. If you don't know about Cobblestone, check me on Ravelry or drop me a note. Progress is good. I just hope it will fit my friend.

I'll try to get some pics of the pounds of yarn. BTW, it came from the amazing Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine. Very helpful folks there.

10 August 2007


I have a stockinette swatch I'm happy with for the Intended project. And I have enough yarn for the sort of project I'm thinking of (and the LYS has 20 more skeins in the same color/dyelot). So, the question is do I create my own pattern with some help from Saint Elizabeth or do I use one that already exists? I have one (written by another Zimmerman) that looks pretty good, though I may have to tweak slightly based on my gauge.

The question is, really, do I go with something verified by pattern testers and the knitting public or do I wing it in a semi-educated way? Particularly for someone special? And there may be a deadline of, say, a month from now. Um, you, you know who you are, forget you read any of this, ok?

In knitting I can talk about more openly, I wound my three skeins of Koigu last night while watching the Cubs spank the Rockies (thank goodness; the Houston series was just painful). I also spent far too much time on Ravelry browsing other KPPPM projects. I'm pretty sure the Koigu is about to become a three-skein Clapotis (I'm not linking it; if you haven't seen the pattern by now, well, just go to Knitty and find it yourself), but perhaps I should just do a simple stole in a pattern from one of Barbara Walker's Treasuries. But the stockinette nature of Clapotis would really highlight the variegated yarn. I just know that knitting the straight section of Clapotis gets pretty tedious. Of course, last time I made one it was in laceweight yarn, which can make anything tedious without a lot of lace action. I'll keep you posted.

We're off to the lake this afternoon and won't be back for a week. And even though I'm just getting back into the swing of blogging, I plan to take next week off and just be. There will be knitting on display when I'm back, though. While I'm gone, make up your minds on my planning question and don't start any unspun Icelandic sweater projects, kids! It's August, for knitting's sake.

08 August 2007


I've been swatching while coming down from the Icarus high.

First up is some Euroflax in, surprise!, blue. Unfortunately, my Bryspun US3 snapped about halfway through. Worn out from Icarus, I guess. I finished the swatch on US4. Clearly, the smaller needle size is better, but it's still a somewhat sheer fabric. Washing and drying it completely in the machine helped the hand. I don't have a US2 at hand, so I can't swatch it on twos, but I'm not sure I'd want to do a lot of stockinette on a two anyway for an entire skirt. Oh, right, I bought the yarn (on sale) to make the lacey skirt from Greetings from Knit Cafe. Jody beat me to it on doing the skirt in linen, and it's very cute. Love the variegated colorway! Anyway, here are the swatches. I think this project is going into a timeout until I can figure things out (get a US2 needle to swatch). Perhaps this will end up as something other than the skirt.

And here we have the love child of Cheryl Niamanth's Wisp and Jared's Scholar Collar in BMFA's Bliss (70% angora/30% wool blend) in the Periwinkle colorway. Sorry they don't have it on the site, except in the Angora Boot Sock kit; I bought the yarn at The Fold. As you can see I blocked the heck out of it (and really need to get my hands on some blocking wires). This is a garter stitch (Scholar Collar influence) cowl, essentially, and I'm going to complete the circle with some ribbon through the yarn-overs on the short edges (Wisp touch).

This yarn is divine, though it does shed. I tried to get a picture of the fluff on my t-shirt, but it's not easy to snap a pic of your tum. Hehe. I used the whole skein (100 yds.), and it only took me a few days of distracted knitting to finish this up on US9s (Bryspun, natch).

And here is my first Koigu. Isn't the colorway (P33231 - fuchsia, ballet, mocha, and lilac) beautiful! I think I may make a Clapotis with it. Someone on the Knitlist mentioned gifting three skeins to a friend, so when I was at Three Bags Full yesterday with a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket, I thought "why not?". I also bought some yummy yarn for a surpirse project, but the intended recipient reads the blog, so it will stay sooper secret until it's been gifted.

So, guys and dolls, that's where I am. It's pouring here, and Miss Isobel is still napping, so I'm catching up on Top Chefs.

07 August 2007

FO: Icarus Shawl

Off the needles


Action shot (I'll try to get one of these soon)

Pattern: Icarus by Miriam Felton from Interweave Knits, errata (also available from Miriam directly)
Yarn: Laughing Rat merino laceweight in Robin's Egg, 875 yds.
Needle: Bryspun US3 29" circular

Yes! Fin! Whoohoo!

As I thought this is one of the few moderately complex shawl patterns that can show off a hand-dyed yarn well, since it has the large stockinette and lace rib section. I did the optional errata, so I can't say what it would look like without. I'm very happy with it, which you will see when I can wangle someone else into taking my picture with it.

26 July 2007

Love, Actually

Marissa, you were totally right! What a sweet movie. I definitely recommend Love, Actually. My mom objected to the nudity and some of the language, but I didn't really mind. And I'm quite fond of just about everyone in the movie.

And I actually love Icarus. I'm halfway through the last chart (yay!) and hope to be blocking this baby by the weekend. It is a great pattern. And working it reinforced my idea that lace isn't as hard as some people fear, especially if you concentrate on the row at hand. I know I was kvetching about the knit stitches in the purl-back rows (evens), but they really ensure that you've done everything properly on the knit side. If you have a copy of Interweave Knits, be sure to check out the errata on Miriam's blog - it's not on IK's site, as Miriam says it's optional. I have a few rows to get to the errata, so I can't say how it makes a difference, but I'm sure it does.

And love plays a prominent role in the last Harry Potter book, which I bought on Saturday and finished on Monday. I enjoyed it immensely.

Love you all, actually!

19 July 2007

I hate it when they disappear

You know, those bloggers who go missing and when they do deign to publish a post are all "Sorry sorry, I've been busy and can't tell you about what I've been up to"? Yeah, well...

Sorry sorry! I've been busy and can't tell you what I've been up to.

Actually, if you leave me a comment or drop me an email, I can share a smidge, but things are far from ready for the wide distribution of the blog. If you've never commented, make sure your email address is in your profile, so I can write you back. Blogger is great most of the time, but it's bollocks on commenter contact as far as I'm concerned.

In knitting news chez Purly, I've made more progress on Icarus. I'm on chart two, which is going well, as it flows nicely from the YO columns in the hundreds of rows of chart one. Only difficulty is that you have to knit every so often on the purl side, so it requires counting. I really enjoy just purling back, as it gives me a chance to think. But I'll survive. The yarn is just lovely. And it looks like charts two through four are only one repeat of each. While I enjoyed the semi-mindless nature of chart one, I think I'm up for some more complicated lacework here, just not for hundreds of rows.

I had a little debate with myself whether to pause on Icarus after finishing chart one to start Mystery Stole 3 but I'm coming to realize that I'm a one-project-at-a-time girl, and I'm OK with that. However, I am not a one-yarn-purchase-at-a-time girl! I'll try to snap some pics today if the grey skies lift.

I'm really looking forward to diving into MS3, though, and the shade card Keri included with my half of the Zephyr is putting me in mind of all sorts of new projects. Danger danger!

09 July 2007

Almost ready to start MS3

The yarn was waiting for me when I got back from the lake. Thanks, Keri! I'll try to snap a pic of it (and Icarus) tomorrow, as it is very yummy yarn and much more substantial than the stuff we swatched with. And, oh, the silk! Just gives the yarn a lovely gleam. I did have to go Special Notices on the MS3 Yahoo! group because, man, those people are chatty! The connection up North is not terribly fast, and it took forever to download messages last week. I hope I don't miss anything fun, but the inbox was out of control.

As for Icarus progress. I have one more repeat of the "straight" chart before moving on to the exciting charts. Hopefully, I can get my counting under control by then! The yarn is very nice on this project, too. I'm curious to see how the variegation works in the lacier borders.

Since two picture-less posts in a row are just boring now that I have constant access to pics from the blog (I used to post from work, in case you've joined me recently), here are some snaps of our adventure at The Farm (there were sheep, so it's knitting related):

Mommy and Isobel

Peacock in full strut - I'd never seen one put on a display in person.

Isobel got to feed a Jacob lamb, as well as goat kids and a piglet.

07 July 2007


I'm sorry to have gone AWOL for the past week! Vacation has been fun, though how I can be on vacation when I don't have a job... Well, the rest of the family is on vacation, and I'm with them, so that's how.

Knitting on Icarus continues but is still is the pretty boring stage. I did hit a snag earlier in the week when it turned out I couldn't count to seven. I was distracted. So I ended up having to tink back two full rows, and there are quite a few stitches OTN. I know "tink" is just "knit" backwards, though I didn't learn that when I first heard the term. I've always found it somewhat onomatopoetic, as if there were a little "tink" sound for each unplucked stitch. The good thing is that the crisis was averted. This portion of the pattern is so tightly structured that you will know you've made a mistake when you get to the next right side row. And if I could just count to seven, no more, no less, we'd be all set for the next two pattern repeats. Keep your fingers crossed!

In other knitting news, the LYS in Sister Bay is having a 20% off everything sale through next week. I broke down and bought two skeins of Euroflax in a beautiful blue (Neptune, I think, though it could be Aqua or French Blue - it's got the old bands on it, and I can't figure out the numeric code) to make the lace-edged skirt from Greetings from Knit Cafe. I was going to hold off on even thinking about that project for a while, but who can resist a sale? Should I go back and get the third skein? The small size calls for 580 yds.; I have 540 and have gotten a bit smaller the past few months. I should just get it, shouldn't I?

On movies, thanks for the comments! I'll have to check out Love, Actually, Marissa, as well as 13 Going on 30, Cheryl. Jenn, how can you choose Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? I mean, he goes to Venice in The Last Crusade. And there's that wonderful scene in Raiders where they're on the ship and she says "Dammit, where doesn't it hurt?!" which leads to kisses on forehead, elbow, and lips before he falls dead asleep.

I thought of some other guilty pleasure romantic comedies (in no particular order, and I'm too lazy to link 'em today): Legally Blonde, Sweet Home Alabama, When Harry Met Sally, Bridget Jones' Diary (in spite of Renee Zellweger - should there be another "g" in there? And does this fall under the any Jane Austen heading?)... I know there are a few more, but it's a glorious day, and Isobel is in her tutu and Cubs hat, so we should get out there and enjoy ourselves.

Hope you had a happy Fourth!

P.S. Sorry if this is a little disjointed. Life is moving in some unusual ways for me of late, which I'll tell you about in due time. And this morning I found out my father has been making decaf accidentally for us the last few days. That has been rectified. Today I'm wired. Hehee.

29 June 2007


Friday night: Left to my own devices I will choose the sappiest movies to watch. Well, perhaps not sappy. But I just watched Never Been Kissed. I quite like Drew Barrymore despite her talking out the side of her mouth. I've always wondered if she had a minor stroke or something. And the male lead (oh, Michael Vartan - guess I should have watched Alias) is cute. But why do I put myself through such things? The little misunderstandings. The romance. The kissing. I've come to realize that life is full of little landmines for those of us who don't have ... standard lives. The mention of any New England town. Happy families. The aforementioned kissing. I know most of us aren't standard. We all have our problems, our losses. But the world is constructed for happy families, whether they are the norm or no. Luckily, we all have our happinesses, I hope, and our gains, too. Some of us are lucky enough to have darling little people in our lives, and dear friends and family.

OK, to redeem myself I've just popped in the new Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightley. I think I prefer the BBC adaptation (come on, Colin Firth as Darcy), but the interiors in this new one remind me of my home, so back to sappy. Why didn't I pop it in sooner?

So, what are your top ten movies?

Mine would be (there are some copouts, I confess):
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • any Jane Austen adaptation - I know, a copout, but what can I do?
  • Casablanca
  • Rear Window
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
  • La Belle et la Bete - oh, Jean Cocteau, such delightful flights of fancy
  • the sci-fi fantasy series movies of the age: Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings/Star Wars (at heart I am a geeky girl - hope you're not surprised)
  • So, I Married an Axe Murderer
  • From Russia with Love - my favorite Bond, and there is no one like Sean Connery
  • Xanadu - duh
  • FO: Wisp

    First, the cute pictures...

    Then, the scary one where I ran out of yarn five stitches from the end of my bindoff. Eep!

    Luckily, I had a looong tail on my cast on, so I used some of that. What a nail-biter! I still need buttons and ribbon to properly finish off Wisp, but I am very happy with it in plain stole form.

    See, I told you there would be FOs.

    28 June 2007

    OK, look for the last time (yeah, right)

    Yesyes, that is a bag from The Fold. And we also have a lovely English Ash Nostepinne. Of course, it's difficult to leave without some Blue Moon yarn, though their selection was on the skimpy side for sock yarn, as I'd just missed the Summer Solstice Sale. Now, I'm on the mailing list, so that won't happen again. The Seduction yarn is in the Shale colorway. Very moi, no? I'm thinking arm warmers. Not quite sure why, but that's the current notion.

    And here is Icarus, or at least the start of it. I'm really enjoying the yarn and the color.

    With the nostepinne purchase, I should be set for a while, as I have quite a bit of yarn to wind. Icarus and MS3 should keep me busy, so I won't have new toys to show, just WIPs and, hopefully, FOs.

    With many thanks to the Fug Girls, I have discovered the end-of-days musical: Xanadu!

    26 June 2007


    Keri is saving our collective bacon for MS3 by ordering a cone of Zephyr in Steel for us to share. Thank you, Keri (my enabler)! We both agreed that our original chosen yarns, which were quite similar, were too fine. Zephyr usually clocks in around 30wpi (wraps/inch), and ours were closer to 40. And I think my beads will still work with the new yarn. Unfortunately, I'll be up at the lake for the week, so I'll be a bit behind on the clues, but that will give me time to finish the Icarus I cast on last night with Jennifer's laceweight merino (lovely yarn, BTW). I know, Emily, "Another shawl!?" But this has been on my to-do list for some time, and it's a fairly simple pattern so far. I know the borders will be more complex, which will be fun, too, but sometimes a girl needs something interesting but not too, you know. I also think this is one of the few laceweight shawls that can handle a somewhat variegated yarn, since it has the expanse of stockinette panels. It's beautiful in plain yarn, but you'll be able to judge for yourself shortly. I haven't taken any pictures of my progress yet, as I'm only about fifty rows in, since I just cast on last night.

    In the world just keeps getting weirder files, I received an email from the guy I dated through college and on to Boston. He's in the Chicago area visiting his family for the Fourth, and hearing that shimmer of sound from the cicadas made him think back seventeen years, when we were together. He's teaching at Columbia University, has a young son, and is also in the process of a divorce. Life is so strange. It was a nice email, very him, even after all these years.

    25 June 2007

    Look, again!

    What's that? It's a Nifty Swift, just like the ones I've been stalking online. Only I found it at one of my LYSes. Squee! I used the rest of my Mother's Day gift certificate from Isobel and my parents to buy it. Perfect!

    And here's the potential yarn for MS3 ready to be wound. Even with the swift, laceweight is a night's worth of work when wound by hand (and an empty toilet paper roll - thanks, Island Girl!).

    Here are the beads I found at the only local bead store I could find. It's across the street from "new park" (Isobel's term for any park outside the usual route) on Central Street in Evanston. No website. I thought the smoky glass ones would work best, but they're too small for the crochet hook I bought (size 12, I think). The hematite-style ones could work, though they wouldn't have that dewdrop quality.

    But it doesn't really matter about the beads as I am very displeased with the swatch. I know, I know, the blocking is apalling, but my cast-on edge was a little too firm, and it doesn't matter. You could drive a truck through those YOs! And the stockinette portion is just too open. This is on US3s, and I don't think I'm up for knitting this project on US2s. I'm also very keen on everyone's Zephyr (you know what a sucker I am for silk content in yarn!), so I may have to go that route, but I'm worried that the other 3000+ knitters (yes, you read that correctly, three thousand plus - how cool is that!) have bought up all the Zephyr out there. Someone posted something to that effect on the group over the weekend. Besides, if I go down to a US2, I'm going to be knitting a very fancy scarf rather than a stole. Argh. I do like the dark grey, though, so that's something, as there are only two Zephyr colors that qualify (no way am I doing this with black yarn!).

    20 June 2007


    Chapters of my life yadda yadda yadda. Look what arrived in the mail today!

    Gawd, I love yarny packages. The only thing that would have made it better is if it also contained a Nifty Swift. Or, at the very least, a nostepinne (oh, my, they look a little ... ahem), so I can wind center-pull yarn cakes. Oh, in case you don't know, this is the third installment of the Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

    I might even consider making the sock pattern this time, though the yarn would make a lovely shawl for my Grandma. The colorway is called Firebird, and the theme of rebirth/rising from the ashes is quite apropros, no? Well, I think so. Very pretty, cheery, and summery.

    In other delivery news, the papers have been served.

    Oh, and I must share this awesome horoscope from today's Trib (not sure what made me read it): "Virgo. When queried, let people know the intricacies of your craft. If they don't ask, just behave regally, with pride." Um, can do. I do have a post half-written on Craft that I guess I should get back to. Watch this space...

    Starting a New Chapter?

    I'm starting to feel more like a member of the human race.

    Is it due to talking to Emily, Annie, and Ben for absurdly long periods of time yesterday (hi, guys)?

    Is it due to meeting a mom at the park yesterday who moved here with her two-year-old twin boys last year from, yes, Boston? She seemed really nice, and it was great to talk with someone who understands the differences between here and there.

    Perhaps it's the weather, which has finally gotten lovely here for the last couple of days, thanks to a high-pressure system. Think clear, beautiful blue skies and low humidity. Ahhh.

    Perhaps it's randomly reconnecting with an old friend who, gracious me, owns a lighthouse (hi, Ken), thanks to a google-trip to Cape Cod (hi, Susanne).

    It may just be the growing certainty that moving here is the best thing for me and Isobel. But ask me again in January.

    Then again, it may be knitting up Wisp in Laughing Rat's beautiful mohair. Must find some ribbon and buttons!

    It's probably because divorce papers are being served this week (hi, husband). Don't worry. I don't think he reads this.

    Whatever the reason, it's time to start a new chapter in my life, isn't it. I was going to blog about turning a cosmic corner, but I'm a book girl through and through, so chapter it is.

    Now, it's not as if the house has sold or I've found a job or we've agreed on a settlement or anything, but I'm coming to grips with the state of my life. Now, if I could just sleep we'd be all set. Oy.

    And I may even be capable of getting the two boxes of stuff out to my sister in Kabul (hi, Boo). And I will definitely get to the grocery store today - Isobel usually lobbies for Trader Joe's, as they have little carts. Might even wind the Mystery Stole yarn and figure out a bead strategy. Keri, I'll keep you posted - just wish I had a better idea of bead placement in the pattern, but that will be revealed soon enough.

    And, Emily, I'm going to cast on for something not-a-shawl, I promise!

    18 June 2007

    Mystery Stole #3

    I've decided to join the MASSES of cool kids participating in the Mystery Stole 3 Knitalong. Signups are open until 6 July, so what are you waiting for? Don't be scared! Lace isn't hard, though it requires some concentration. If you can do yarnovers and k2togs, you can do lace. If you haven't done any lace knitting before, try something with DK/sport/fingering or worsted weight yarn and big needles. Some folks recommend Branching Out, though the Airy Scarf (or whatever it's called) in Last-Minute Knitted Gifts is easier, I think, and could be adapted to larger yarn/needles.

    So, like I said, what are you waiting for?

    I'm going to use some laceweight merino (Madil Super Due - not much down the google-hole for this one, which is interesting) I picked up on sale a couple of weeks ago. I nabbed a skein of cream and one of charcoal grey.

    Now, which to knit? Melanie, our fearless MS3 leader is doing her stole in white Zephyr with clear beads, so I was leaning towards the cream, though I had intended to knit a shawl of some sorts with it and then try my hand at dip-dying to get a lovely gradation from neck edge to point. But then I thought about how I would get more use out of a grey shawl, though I had bought that with my BFF, who has been my super support through all this crud, in mind, as grey is her thing. I'd really like to use something from the stash, and Melanie says a smooth yarn is better than something with fuzz, so KSH is out. Her white looks so pretty all skeined up with the beads, but I worry about white getting dirty. I suppose I could always dye it later. And I have a skein of Handpainted Yarn's merino laceweight, which is now Malabrigo lace, in black. But there are only 800-some yards, and it's a single-ply, which might cause some anxiety at blocking time.

    I'm going to go with the grey and maybe just gift it to Karen.

    P.S. I can't seem to add pictures right now. Something wonky with Blogger and my "securityToken". Oy. ETA: All better now, apparently.
    P.P.S. The advantage to marrying into a Jewish family, however briefly, is the ability to use "oy" in conversation freely. Before Peter went into rehab this time, I had an entire conversation with my FIL's wife that consisted of "Oy, oy vey." A disconcerting and slightly amusing moment for this shiksa.

    15 June 2007

    Wanna Buy a House?

    My dear house is now MLS #70596343, if you're interested.

    In other news I've started Wisp by Cheryl Niamanth (of Fetching fame for the in-the-know knitterati) with the Laughing Rat mohair. It is going to be sooo pretty, and I've been hankering for something hood-like. I will certainly add the ribbon lacing.

    The Sweet Somethings Little Arrowhead Shawl was packed up and sent to the MIL before I realized I hadn't taken it's picture post-blocking. Shoot. Well, it turned out very nicely, and I may make another one. I did an extra repeat of the body pattern, added a couple more rows to the edging, which did increase the points a little (see Pam Allen's comments in IK - she ran out of time doing the edging and wasn't sure her plan would work out). In the Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, it turned into a decent-sized shawl once blocked. Only other thing to add to this pattern is that Pam's suggested bindoff doesn't work so well. I ended up doing the one from the Flower Basket Shawl.

    I'm planning to do the Faroese-style shawlette from Sweet Somethings with this gorgeous silk-wool, handspun, hand-dyed yarn Mom bought me last weekend.

    13 June 2007

    7 (8) Random Things

    Tanya tagged me with 8 random things. It used to be seven, so let's see what I come up with...

    The Rules:
    1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
    2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.
    3. At the end of your blog you need to tag 8 people and post their names.
    4. Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

    So here are my 8 random things:

    1. I'm allergic to eggplant.

    2. I have scoliosis and wore a back brace through high school.

    3. My minor in college was Ancient Greek. I wanted to read The Odyssey in the original. I never did in its entirety, but I learned enough to read some of The Iliad, as we went in chronological order, and The Iliad came first. Told you I was a geek.

    4. I held Isobel all night when she was born. Just couldn't let her go. I wouldn't get a full night's sleep for the next nine months. But she is worth it.

    5. I was on CNN, standing behind Wolf Blitzer, during the 1992 Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis. I wore a bright red miniskirt suit from Benetton that Naomi Campbell modeled on the cover of Seventeen Magazine (or was it Vogue?). I worked for the school paper and somehow wrangled a press pass (I was the copy editor and co-editor of the arts section - not very political). My parents were very excited when I appeared on television, even if I was in the background.

    6. I re-read Jane Austen's novels every year or two. I find new things in them every time I read them. Sometimes I read them in the order they were written, other times in order of personal preference (and that changes every time).

    7. I took ballet/modern dance from the age of three until I left high school. I also did some acting and studied voice. Ooh, yeah, high school triple threat.

    Oh, OK, eight...

    8. My favorite movie is The Philadelphia Story. Yes, I do appreciate the irony of liking a movie wherein the privileged female lead remarries her recovered alcoholic husband at the end. Not gonna happen here. But my favorite movie from my childhood is on Comcast's On Demand right now: Xanadu! A musical with greek muses (see #3), neon halos (auras?), petticoats and leg warmers, roller skating, disco and big band, an animated love song sequence, Gene Kelly, Olivia Newton-John, that guy who never did anything else (Michael Beck, apparently), ELO, and named for a Coleridge poem (I was an English major). Love it! I wonder if my LP is in the basement (the advantage of moving back in with the folks). I believe the VHS tape of the movie is in a box in Gloucester. OMG I forgot about the country music segment of the finale! Just when you think it can't get any better! Best. Movie. Ever.

    I think I've seen this meme on just about every blog I read, so if you happen to be a reader and haven't been tagged, let me know, and I'll make it official.

    E.T.A. Tag, Jenn, you're it! And I'd tag Marissa if she would get herself a knitting blog. Come on, woman!

    12 June 2007

    I'm a cool kid, now!

    Yeah, you thought I was cool for learning Magic Loop (pretty much on my own - check me out). But now I'm on Ravelry! Check it, bay-bee. I'm Purly. Woot, to quote Sandy. This thing is huge. I'm not even sure how extensively cool it is yet, but so far I'm totally wowed. Now I just have to get cracking on my Flickr account.

    Anyway, much in the queue and stash to get into Ravelry. I'm going to be a busy bee.

    In personal news, the house is on the market. I'm really sad about this, but it needs to happen. Wanna buy a house? It's a wonderful house, and we did all the crud work, so the new owner will get to do fun stuff like paint and not worry about burning the house down (wiring was knob and tube, and the roof was badly applied cedar shake).

    Laughing Rat Yarn

    It's my yarn, Mommy!

    Lace Merino in Robin's Egg

    Sock in Pacific

    Mohair in Robin's Egg

    Aren't they beautiful!?! I'm tempted to make these stash pets, but I can't wait to start knitting them up. I think I'm going to use the lace for an Icarus, the mohair for a Sheila Cape, and the sock yarn for, perhaps, socks. I know, what a crazy idea.

    Only problem is I'm not keen on hand-winding 1200yds of laceweight, and my swift and ballwinder are in Gloucester. I'm thinking about getting a Nifty Swift, since I don't love the swift I have (it's one of those metal and plastic ones that clamp to the table). Anyone order from Dream Weaver Yarns?

    Be sure to check out Laughing Rat's Etsy shop. Her yarns are beautiful, and her customer service was great.

    I love the smell of mohair!

    FO: Top-Down Raglan Sweater

    Top-Down Raglan Sweater (my first)
    Yarn: 100purewool Merino Worsted in Sky Blue (can't find this color on their site anymore) - 4.5 skeins
    Needles: Bryspun US8 29"
    New Skills: spit splicing, Magic Loop (I've joined the cool kids now on with this one!)
    Pattern: My own based on EPS

    This sweater made for some good, mindless knitting, as it's all Stockinette in the round. I borrowed some of EZ's percentage method, though not all. I did not decrease the sleeves as much as she would have. Well, I did on the first one, did not like it, ripped and made the sleeves straight from the elbow. This made for a modified bell sleeve, which I like. I keep going back and forth on whether to rip back the body and add some shaping at the sides but am not sure I can face that much reknitting in the summer. The other concern is that it's not long enough in the body. It's not the perfect sweater or anything, but I planned for this to be a throw-on-and-go-out-to-get-the-paper kind.

    My mom doesn't like the pooling, flashing, and striping, since she liked the yarn in the ball so much. I could have alternated skeins every couple of rows, but that seemed like too much work for this sweater. I like the crazy things variegated yarn does, so I don't mind this, but the yarn was pretty wound up. And is it ever soft! What a pleasure to work with this yarn. I know it will pill, but that's OK.

    Oh, it is finished now. The picture was taken when I just had a little more to go on the sleeve. I'll get a "model" shot up some time.

    07 June 2007

    I didn't show this to you, did I?

    Ummm, yeah. That's two pounds of merino/cashmere blend. Bulky weight. From School Products. Marissa, some day we're going to make a date to go there in person! But for now, I'll settle for this. I couldn't resist when this showed up on destash. I'm thinking about a coat of some sorts. My only concern is this would not be a mobile project. I don't think lugging a two pound cone o' yarn to the park would work out so well.

    The issue du jour is gauge, since the yarn is full of spinning oil. I knit up a swatch on US10s and washed it, but the stockinette still seems pretty open. I'm not sure whether to wash the swatch more ... um ... forcefully. Or go down to US9s. I'm usually prety close on gauge (and they recommend US10 or 11*), though, so I think I'll give the swatch a roughing up first.

    And then, of course, I'll have to come up with a plan for what exactly to knit. One idea I had over the weekend was something sort of Jack Sparrow-ish. Yes, I did just watch Pirates of the Carribean over the weekend. I didn't have a whole lot to do except finish the Top-Down Raglan. BTW, that 100purewool yarn bleeds like crazy when washed, but the sweater looks good on the drying rack.

    Anyway, some sort of swashbuckling coat with skirts and some cables in place of the braid closures traditionally found on the chest. I'd be all set for Dress Like a Pirate Day. Hmm, I'm not sure.

    I am getting some other bulky yarn ideas from browsing through Loop-de-Loop. Teva Durham has some great ideas in there.

    *"This one goes to eleven." Hehe. I'm such a geek. Just wait until I do my Eight Things. Thanks, Tanya, I feel I've really joined the knitting blogosphere :)

    05 June 2007


    What would you do the day you got out of rehab? Would you call your daughter? Would you apologize to your soon-but-not-soon-enough to be ex-wife? You might. I'd like to think I would. But not that person.

    I know this is a knitting blog, but I'm at this point where I can knit but I'm having trouble thinking about anything much. I go to sleep and wake up thinking about ... crap. (Sorry, I like to keep the blog clean, so insert the euphemism of your choice.)

    The day I spent paying bills for the house that this man hadn't taken care of, I see on the online bank account that he has just ordered $150 worth of flowers from one of the nicest florists in town (Winston's, for Bostonians). Isobel didn't receive any flowers. Neither did I or his mother. So, that leaves that woman. Or as his mother calls her "his friend". Ugh. Double ugh.

    And the realtor we should go with came in with the lowest estimate. I am so sick of all this. I can't wait for it all to be over.

    In happier knitting news, I'm almost finished with the raglan rollneck sweater. Just a couple of inches to go on the second sleeve. And I'm so bored!!! All I want to do is knit something else. And the problem with top-down sweaters is that you have to do the sleeves attached to the body, which makes things a little awkward.

    So, I started a Little Arrowhead Shawl by Pam Allen from the Summer '06 IK ("Sweet Somethings" towards the bottom of the page) with a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Potluck in the Water "colorway". I'm using US6s, having swatched with US7s and felt it was too open with the sock yarn. The yarn is a treat (my third time knitting a shawl with it), and someday I'll have to make some socks with it!

    I also ordered myself some pity yarn from Laughing Rat's etsy shop: some mohair for something and some merino lace for Icarus in a scrumptious Robin's Egg blue color, and sock yarn in lovely Pacific for something else. Her colors are very pretty, and she offers a number of yarn options and roving. I'll let you know what it's like when I have it in hand, probably tomorrow or Friday.

    So, stash growth continues. As does the book stash! The woman who used to own my house dropped some knitting books off, and my MIL sent them on to me. I'll have to take a picture. The one that I am very keen on is Cheryl Potter's Handpaint Country. I wouldn't have bought it on my own. I think I have some issues with XRX book design. But there are a few designs in there I will knit, and I'm looking forward to learning more about dying.