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Archive for January, 2008


We got through Monday!

Hi, Jan,

Knitting group was last night, and though we dearly missed some of our gang, we had a rollicking good time. Christina and Peggy were there. 51.jpgCheck out the needles that Christina convinced her mom she needed to try. 6.jpgYes, they are that big (but isn’t it true that it’s not how big your needles are, it’s what you do with them?). These babies require lots of energy to wield - Peggy was breaking out in a sweat with the effort, I think. 31.jpgChristina’s sweater which was a ribbing a couple of months ago is now looking very much like a sweater indeed. The colors are fabulous, yes?22.jpg

41.jpgLisa has finished her holiday shrug (on the couch next to her) and is starting on her next project. I thought it was the waist of a sweater that matched a new year’s resolution, but she tells us it is the neckband to a stash-busting poncho.

111.jpgKim is really getting close to the finish of a sweater for sweet Rylie. 12.jpgAnd I’m close to the finish of the EZ sweater for donation, but I am about out of yarn. Kathy frowns at how close but yet how far I am.

10.jpgKathy was visual aid queen. Not only did she bring lovely silk mitts, 7.jpg121.jpga sweater for which Carolyn is anxiously awaiting (it is lovely, and Carolyn will be lovely in it. Will she get to wear it this year?), and, via Macbook, a lovely shawl that she already gave to a friend.

13.jpgOscar was checking to see if I had anything delightful in my knitting bag. 14.jpgTurns out, I did!

I hope your Monday was at least half as good.

Love,

Ellen

Silver Linings for Head Cold Weekends

On the one hand the weekend was kinda lousy — I was dealing with chills and fever most of the day Friday and a crushing headache both Friday and Saturday. On the other hand, that’s a perfect excuse to stay in and knit. And it let me finish the guild knit-along vest that we’re supposed to show off tomorrow night.

Knitalong Vest I’m reasonably happy with it. It is too loose…as usual I am too fearful of negative ease, but this time also because the measurements to which I worked were last year’s measurements. Yes, I’ve lost some inches — and I think I’ve learned the negative ease thing, so if I were making it now it would have narrower stripes of the various stitches. It would also be longer as I could use more yarn on length than I did on width in this version. Will I remake it? No…just not a pattern I’d choose for myself, but it will be fun to wear to guild events like knit outs and such…or at least to take along to show the Vest Sitch Varietyvariety of stitches.

I also started to design a shrug to wear to Marie’s wedding. I’m going for very simple — rectangle stitched up on each end for sleeves with ribbing around the opening and the cuffs. Looking for it to hit elbow length with slack. The object is to cover the upper arms in the MOB dress with something a bit fun, but classy. I’ve fooled around with swatches and settled on Shrug Swatchthis combination of lace weight yarn and stitch providing when I do the math it doesn’t equate to a one hundred hour project. The swatch took just under an hour, so I think I’ll be okay.

Speaking of the wedding, the shawl center panel is very nearly finished…hope to be working on border next weekend and I’ll have lots of car time as we’ll be driving to DC for two parties — one is Marie’s bridal shower. I didn’t think to invite you as I was focused on people in DC. If by some stroke of luck you’ll be in DC on the 13th, let me know. I’ve got to write Karen and let her know the same thing. So, I should be able to nearly finish the shawl by mid-month. Then on to finish Heidi’s socks — a perfect travel project for the trip I’ll be on that week, and then the remaining 5 weeks to crank out my shrug.

It’s amazing how long it can take to sew on clasps…

Hi, Jan,

11.jpgI actually finished knitting this vest at the end of last winter, I believe. No motivation to sew on the clasps when the snow was melting, and then when I started to do so this fall, it was late evening and the light was low and let me tell you, the black alpaca yarn absorbs all light in the vicinity so I kept waiting to do it during daylight. Finally finished in 2008!

21.jpgThe pattern is Cheryl Oberle’s Celtic Lattice from her Folk Vests book. That is one excellent book - I have a couple of other items I want to knit from it. The yarn is Noro Silk Garden Lite No. 2023 and Blue Sky Alpaca sportweight color 100. I bought it at Coldwater Collaborative, where Jenny used to work. Carri, the owner and a designer in her own right, convinced me to try the Noro. Man, she was dead on.

3.jpgI love the looping lattice pattern. 4.jpgOne change I made was to chart it so that instead of having the collar band just cut through the pattern, I kept continuous loops. 5.jpgI also used clasps (bought online, sorry, can’t recall where) instead of buttons, because I wasn’t happy with the way my sewn down band matched buttonhole fronts with backs. I used yet another EZ trick and just sewed the clasps on over the buttonholes.

In other great knitting news - I tried the RR on and it fits! I still have to do the neck hem and redo the bottom hem, but it may be finished in 2008, too.

We bought our Korea tickets. We managed to use my miles to go to Tokyo business class, which will be fun for Wilson to experience and better for my back. Coming home we have a layover in Portland so my back won’t have to take a straight 13 hours in the seat. All we had to pay for was the flight from Tokyo to Seoul.

Other than that, not much happening here. Of course after the excitement of actually finishing a project, I will need to rest for the remainder of the weekend.

Love,

Ellen

Of MRI’s, football, baby sweaters, and caucuses

Hey, Jan,

I finally got scanned today. No results yet, but at least the process is started. My symptoms grew worse over the holidays, so it will be good to find something out. They let you pick the music played during the ~30 minute procedure. I chose alternative rock. Had I known what a loud and driving rhythm the machine has, I would have gone with techno.

I spent the evening watching the Hokies lose in the Orange Bowl. It was so painful. They ran the ball really well, so of course they spent most of their time passing (and being intercepted). 1.jpgAt least I could knit, and the EZ Best Baby Sweater is coming along nicely. The gull wing pattern that she suggests is so intuitive and fun, and it knits up so softly in the Oh My! yarn.2.jpg

I still haven’t consciously made a choice between Hilary and Barack, but the fact that I feel pleased about Barack’s win is telling. Mostly I’m just glad to have the Iowa caucuses done with - they are so close to us that we hear about them even more endlessly than the rest of the country.

So on to New Hampshire and the Buckeyes in the BCS championship game. And the other sleeve.

A few more holiday memories, and home again.

Hi, Jan,

You have certainly been busy. I haven’t done any baking in the last few days, though I do have some Brussels sprouts in the oven right now - wishing my colon a happy new year, you know. The knitting, however, has been fast and furious as we had a lot of car time and even some basketball time in the last couple of days.

The RR is down to the hems now, except that I may pick up and knit it a bit longer as I have another skein of yarn and I do like a tunic length to my sweaters. I swapped over to another dishcloth as the sweater was too big to bring to the Marshall U v. Lipscomb basketball game. 125.jpgSome people who attended were to intent on the play to watch. 128.jpgEven I watched closely enough that I forgot to switch yarns at one point (do you see the “Lipscomb stripe” I accidentally inserted?). S216.jpgome of the folks were distracted enough to pose for photos. 311.jpgBeing in a photo with Merry makes everyone look better, as does tilting your head with one hand below your chin (just watch Napolean Dynamite if you don’t believe me). (Sorry, Karen, photos of you turned out blurry so your attendance isn’t represented.)

126.jpgKaren worked on her embossed leaf socks from Interweave at the game and finished them that evening, 46.jpgwhile Paula was doing puzzles. 55.jpgAt that point we all took a break for our traditional poetry reading, this time with champagne to make it even more fun. Here Marty is reading “The Night Before Christmas”. Several Billy Collins poems were selected. Wilson and I were both taken with “Flock”. If you don’t know his stuff, I encourage you to find some.

I finished the dishcloth on the airplane and got one of EZ’s Best Baby Sweaters started, this one in Oh, My!, a super soft nylon yarn from Plymouth. 217.jpgIt is rattling right along. I will probably donate it to the Hennepin County Medical Center via the work knitting club, but I was very excited to read in a holiday note that the next baby sweater I knit will be for a dear, dear friend’s baby. Remember Venkat from grad school? He and his lovely wife, Vani, are due in May.

Here is some future knitting - both gifts. One is a lovely mohair/wool/nylon boucle from my buddy, Rachel, and the other is yak down from Karen. Yum.

312.jpg

127.jpg1.jpgAnd here is what we came home to - happily, Caitlin shoveled most of it for us. I’ve included a shot from before we had snowcover so you can see just how much snow there is in the backyard right now. I get an MRI on Thursday to figure out my back, and if it is basically sound, I will be out in this stuff playing this coming weekend!

Love,

Ellen