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Twins bound by a love of knitting talk about knitting and more.

Archive for May, 2009


Dessert first, but now it’s time to eat my veggies.

Hiya,

Actually, I kind of like vegetables as much or more than dessert now, but the analogy fits our approach to this weekend –  play Friday and Saturday, but today we both need to do some work catch up with fiscal year end craziness.

Friday play mostly involved knitting.  Some of it was while watching “Burn After Reading”.  We nearly wept we laughed so hard at the very last scene.  I think it has to hit you the right way.  This is a very dark comedy, so be forewarned.

The knitting content was not so dark:

110.jpgFirst helmet liner for the year.  Each year, our work knitting group undertakes making 100 of these. During the movie I knit up the face ribbing and reknit the crown so it would fit a normal human vs. someone from Remulak.  I immediately cast on for another – unlike the following project, I’ve knit enough of these that they are truly brainless and it’s nice to have one going for those spare but distracted knittable moments.

25.jpgI am progressing on Brainless, moving into the cable section that runs along the side of the foot.  I actually got sore finger tips – the yarn is not soft, even though it feels soft, and I am trying those square cross section needles at a very tight gauge.  Jury is still out on these.  I like their strength, they don’t slip, but are the corners a bit sharp for a size 0 needle?

35.jpg55.jpgI took a break from knitting yesterday afternoon to attend Neha’s welcome to Minnesota party.  It is clear that Venkat and Vani are wonderful parents.  I’m sure Venkat gets some of it from us – you can see the family resemblance between us and our “son” so clearly, can’t you?    44.jpgNeha is getting so big.

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63.jpgAnd because I suddenly noted that all I had on the needles were small projects, plus I’ve really loved used every shell I’ve ever knit, I pulled out some stash yarn and swatched for a little shell, Rowan’s Tune.  The yarn is a real mish-mash of cottons that I picked up for a song in Germany – one skein of this, two of that.  I think the line of brick running through the icy cool blues and greens makes an interesting colorway and adds strong visual rhythm, hence the name of this project – Rhythm and Blues(Um, I may have accidentally used some yarn I had given to Jenny for this.  But why was it in my stash instead of hers?  Some of you may think that as all I’ve used is a couple of feet of each color at this point, why can’t I give it back?  I’m afraid it has grabbed me and that isn’t an option.  She will likely benefit from this in the long run.)

I hope you had some time for play in your weekend, amid all your move planning and playing with our baby girl.

Love,

Ellen

What was I thinking?

Hi, Jan,

Just a quick update on the mad rush that was Sock Summit registration.  I’d carefully laid out my plans to fill all the class slots – 1st, 2nd, on down to 5th and 6th choices.  I was ready – I was certain I’d fill my dance card completely.

Hah!  I couldn’t log on till about 10:45 PDT – strategy meeting and I just couldn’t explain to the other managers why I needed to step out early.  In a way, this was lucky, because I avoided the complete system crash when thousands of knitters logged on simultaneously at 10:00 PDT, but it did mean my favorite classes were long gone.

Still, I got two that were on my list – one on pattern writing and a lecture on ethnic socks.  I think these are really perfect  for me – I want to be a better pattern writer and there aren’t really any books on that, and I am really into ethnic knitting (can you say Bohus?).  I also got a spot in the luminaries panel.  That is a piece of history I sure didn’t want to miss.

Now my travel schedule is much more flexible, I’ll have plenty of time to browse the museum and market, I’ll have about $280 more to spend on yarn (please tell Wilson that, yes, it does work that way), and if I want to meet up with other knitters I won’t have to work it in around class time. I might even work in a quick day trip up to Seattle and see Marty and Paula, or maybe I can fly through there and catch them that way.

And as I think about this, I guess I really need to stop questioning  the sanity of people who spend a couple of hundred dollars going to major league sporting events.  We all have our own passions.

19.jpgHere is a bit of knitting – the very start of Brainless  by Yarnissima.  I am knitting in quite a smaller gauge and so am increasing to quite a few more stitches around.  It will be interesting to see how this works out.  The yarn is Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock yarn – wool and nylon – colorway Aiden. It is a bit splitty and squeaky, perhaps from too much nylon, but it looks nice knit up in stockinette and should suit this fairly plain sock pattern quite well.

Love,

Ellen

Done, done, and done!

Hi, Jan,

Technically, the work week has started as the alarm just went off, but I’m still trying to hold on to the glow of the weekend.  I am so satisfied with what I accomplished.

24.jpg34.jpgVegetables planted – done.  I’ve covered the bottom half of the tomato supports with plastic sheeting to protect the plants from the wind as they are established.  When I take the effort to do this I see  impressive results.

18.jpgAll 23 wedding centerpieces planted into various and sundry spots in the garden – done.   Some went into the bed by the mailbox, some into the flower bed by the cherry tree, some marked rows in the veggie beds, and some went into planters with a couple more veggies – can you spot the peppers (2) and tomato (1) in this planter?  (Yes, it is very heavily planted – I will water and feed heavily.)

54.jpgAnd Snappy – done.  Still needs a block, in which I intend to massage well to get a margin of fulling to improve wind protection and size her down a hair, but wearable now.  I hope I don’t need to, but if I do…

43.jpgI’m sure the close supervision I had this weekend contributed to my achievements.

Now, off to get ready for work.  I’m taking a little sun glow in to work with me as a souvenir (not a burn, just a slight rosiness, which isn’t bad for the hours I spent in the sun this weekend).

I have an important meeting today – as soon as I can get out of a strategy meeting at noon, I’ve got a half hour blocked to register for Sock Summit.  Yep, I’ve decided to go.  How about you?

Love,

Ellen

Wanna Come Up and See My String Collection?

Dear Ellen,

I loved that “Far Side” cartoon where the cat is hitting on the kitty in the bar and asking her to come “view his string.”  This post made me think of it as I’m not going to be showing you much in the way of actual knitting.  Rather, I’ve got some good projects in concept.

dscn1577.JPGBut, first…our own columbine is producing many more flowers than last year, but as I said in the comments, it was pretty well drowned yesterday.  I ran out during a break in showers to snap this shot.  Amazing how the delicate petals can stand up to so much. You can see a bit of the wear and tear, but really not bad considering how hard it was pelted yesterday.  I was quite pleased with myself for managing not to step in soggy dog poo while snapping this photo — Ruby had left a few very strategically placed landmines!

dscn1572.JPGWith my course finished I have some time to put into knitting and up first are the socks I’m working on for Sock Wars IV.  Yeah, yeah, I know…I said I was really in this for a pair of handknit socks.  I expected to be killed by now.  Since I’m still alive, I’m feeling obligated to knit.  It would help if I followed the pattern…I’m sure you can see the frogging where I’m going to be fixing some cables.  I like the yarn, but I seem to be hung up on splitty stuff lately.  That’s not really a problem till you’re reworking it and it becomes REALLY splitty!

dscn1576.JPGdscn1574.JPGdscn1575.JPGMy Ravely projects page was looking poorly with blanks in the places of 3 projects, so I decided I could at least post pictures of the yarn.  Here it is — It happens all to be Elann product.  There’s the gorgeous teal Soie Bambou for Midnight Moth, a pretty bronze Nilo for Cinnamon Tee, and a saturated purple Superwash Chunky for A Stitch Away from Genius.  I’ve not cast on any of these yet because I still have to narrow down a project for Vanessa before moving on any of them.  I’m thinking a capelet or fichu…something to keep her shoulders warm that won’t easily slide off and without looking like a bed jacket.   I’ve also considered designing something of a cowl with a broad spread out base….hmmm.  More thought will yield an answer.

Happy Memorial Day!  Needless to say, I’m thinking of Gib.

Love, Jan

‘Tis a gift…

Dear Jan,

This weekend is winding out to be truly delightful. Some of  the simple pleasures of the last few days include:

17.jpgGinger Cubes (great deal at the farmer’s market – I’ll cover with water, freeze, and have ready minced ginger for the next few months).

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33.jpg42.jpg62.jpgPlanting flowers from Karen’s wedding centerpieces.  I’ve added quite a bed of both, edged with alyssum, in the back yard.

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71.jpg53.jpgPhotos of flowers from the backyard.  The wild geranium is a delight, spreading but not aggressively around the garden, and the wild type columbine is another wanderer.  I never know where they’ll show up, but they are always welcome.

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23.jpgAnd Snappy, not quite done yet as there is some fancy braidwork on the edge, but wholly satisfying.

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Tonight we are out with Becky and Michael for Thai food and Star Trek.  More fun than we deserve.

I hope you’re having fun, too.

Love,

Ellen

Oh, Snapp!

Hey, sister,

52.jpgAfter recent knitting marathons, I sorely needed something that would be a quick knit.  I introduce you to Snappy, my version of “Oh Snapp!”, a Black Water Abbey Yarns kit for an very MN appropriate ear flap hat.  I chose this kit so I could experience the new colors of the BWA yarns.  I think I’ve shaken up the color arrangement from what was intended, but I’m happy enough with it, so that’s OK.

I’m keeping this post snappy, too.

Love,

Ellen

Happy, Happy Fishtail Socks

Dear Ellen,

happy-socks.jpgThe Fishtail Fantasy socks seemed to fly off the needles.  I don’t know if it’s because I wanted to get them to Vanessa quickly or because the pattern just works up that quickly or because I’ve spent 20% of my life in airplanes over the last few weeks.  Probably the latter (and yes, there is some exaggeration there, though it surely feels that way!).  At any rate, they are done and I will mail them tomorrow with goodies from Alaska and DC.

dscn1570.JPGDid I mention Vx is a BIG Obama fan?   Since I had to go brief HASC and SASC staffers this week I got the chance to score a nice collection of Obamaniac souveniers at the airport.  I’m sure she’ll especially love the “First Lady” breath mints, though the White House toothbrush will be in hot competition.  She is not well — surgery yesterday to explore why her liver seems to be slowly failing.  They actually hope it’s tumors so they have something to try to fix it.  I will cast on another project for her immediately.  Keep her in your thoughts.

Love, Jan

Knitweet Day – May 21

Hey, all you fellow Twitterers,

Join in the fun and post a tweet with the words “knitting” and “Ravelry” on Thursday May 21.  A gang on Ravelry is trying to see if we can get either word into the top 10.  Why?  Because we can.

E

Back to normal…

Dear Jan,

32.jpgI am still vibrating from the fun of the last two weeks, but I have to admit being satisfied at settling back to a more normal pace.  That includes an evening of knitting with my buds.  Great conversation – native grass permit strategies, bee-keeping permit expense, cheese-making, even a little swatch washing discussion, the latter after we admired Lisa’s VBS (very big swatch).

16.jpg22.jpgKathleen’s Noro entrelac shawl is also getting very big, and Eryka’s shawl was knit with very big yarn.

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Lisa and Eryka are participating in a very big Spence-along (Annie M’s Sideways Spencer Redux), and Kathy’s socks are not very big, but I think you have to have a very big brain to knit them.  51.jpgI am finding it a very big relief to be knitting a fun no-deadline project – a simple ear flap hat out of crunchy and lovely Black Water Abbey yarn.  (go to their website and request a free color card!)

So, I guess even thought the pace has slowed, we still are living very big lives here in Minnesota.  I hope you make it home from the very big state of Alaska safely.

Love,

Ellen

Is there a doctor in the house?

15.jpgNope.  There are TWO doctors in the house.

None of the gowns were handknit.

Cheers,

Ellen