twinset.us

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

Archive for January, 2010


And now for some birds and other Sanibel sights.

Dear Jan,

75.jpgWhat a difference a week makes.  The view from the window over last weekend was way different from the week before.  Both lovely, but I took the recent photo from the outside!

.

24.jpg33.jpg115.jpgThe hotel we stayed in, the West Wind Inn, was not modern, though recently remodeled.  That meant that instead of glitz we got friendly staff, a screened balcony facing the gulf, and even towel and toilet paper fanciness.  And it came with humid air to create a curly Florida hairstyle.

43.jpg162.jpg172.jpgBut the real fun (or at least the fun we can write about on a family blog) happened outside the hotel.  We walked on the beach and saw many birds, some of which I can identify, some of which I will have to consult with Mrs. Dr. Yarn to be sure of.   I am sure that last one is a dolphin.

29.jpg78.jpgWe road bikes through the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, and later hiked at the Bailey Tract of the same refuge, where we saw a wild gator.  See that bumpy water just above where the shadow starts?  Honest, that is a gator.

431.jpg47.jpg241.jpgWe kayaked in the refuge, too, and saw lots of swell birds and critters, too.  This anhinga was barely a kayak’s length away yet showed no concern.  The gopher tortoise, on the other hand, hurried away.  Luckily, hurry for a gopher tortoise allows plenty of time for photography.

68.jpg66.jpgWe took advantage of the warm weather to get a non-treadmill run in.  We stopped at a bridge for a bout of Pooh-sticking and were lucky enough to see a nice turtle.  And along the way, a lovely butterfly.

.

49.jpg26.jpg50.jpgWe were constantly amazed at the numbers of non-skittish birds we got to see.

I won’t take you through all of them - if you want to see more photos you can go to my Flickr set from the vacation - but I can’t leave without posting a few ibises, a heron and an egret.

321.jpgAnd some key lime pie.  The food on the island isn’t really fabulous, but this one piece of pie made up for the fairly mediocre offerings at the touristy restaurants.  Look closely at that crust - pecans, not graham crackers.  It made a nice end to best meal we had on the trip311.jpg (and that wasn’t influenced by the way it started, I’m pretty sure).

512.jpgNow it is your tern to post.

Love,

Ellen

Knitting before birds…

Hi, Jan,

I have about a billion pictures of birds from our brief trip to Sanibel Island.  I’ll spare you most of them, but it will take another day or so before I sort through and find the best to share, along with a travel journal of that lovely escape.

In the meantime,  on the knitting front…

23.jpgBody done of Norwegian hugs.  I’m on to the sleeves, doing both at once, and only slightly regretting the tangle it makes to have both ends on two balls of yarn going at once.  This is the body pre-steeking, hence the funny bunching at the neck and lack of armholes.  Once I cut it open, it will look like a sweater.

114.jpgMy Springtime Sugarplums are really fun.  I’m designing them on the fly.  I believe I have a perfectly fit thumbtip, but have just decided the gusset is too wide at the base of the thumb and also that it is too tight around the hand, so I guess that means a reknit of most of what you see here.  First I’ll take notes on that thumbtip!

32.jpgAnd finally, because yet another baby is on the way amongst friends at work (and also I needed something to knit on our trip that was totally mindless for those moments when pulling out charts and multiple balls of yarn would not do) - Bambinoo, my bamboo blanket for that nascent bambino.   This will be a simple garter square, edged in a deeper teal in some sort of lace pattern, TBD.

I hope you are getting some knitting in on your travels, too.

Love,

Ellen

A January visit from Dr. Yarn

Dear Misses Twinsetellen and Twinsetjan,
It is hard to believe it has been almost a month since the last question. Time flies when you are having fun knitting. From the many cards and letters received with questions, I have chosen this one from an alert reader in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

.
Question 2: Does having your boyfriend hold the yarn while you wind the ball really result in his keeping his hands to himself?

.
picture-24.pngAnswer 2: All this started in Holland years ago when a boy named Hans Brinker was dating a pretty 24-year-old lady obsessed with knitting. Whenever he would get a little “forward” she would get out a big bunch of yarn (history says it was called a “bunch” in those days) and have him hold it. Some times this would slow him down a little. His name was later mistranslated to English as “Hands.” To this day, when ladies get back to their dorm rooms and discuss dates they often refer to their second best boy friends as “Hands.” So you see, the answer to your question is “No.” However, if it weren’t for what the ladies call “the old yarn trick,” Case Western Reserve Medical School would have to expand their OB-GYN graduates by a multiple of ten.

There is a down side to this. Some young men have vowed never to date any ladies belonging to a knitting club. It is a little known fact that one young man went home in a huff after his girlfriend started knitting on a third sweater.

Thanks for this timely and important question.

Dr. Yarn

Editor’s note:  Yes, I have purchased a swift for my daughter and her husband.  —TE

We’re goin’ to Florida!

Dear Jan,

The picture says it all.

113.jpgI’ll check in when we return next week.

Love,

Ellen

…rinse, repeat…

Dear Jan,

71.jpgNot a whole lot new since last post.  In fact, you could just about repeat it with the addition of a few more inches on the Dale baby sweater

.

51.jpgand adding a gusset to the gloves.

.

.

.

61.jpgSwitch the pussy willow with my just-in-bloom amaryllis,

.

.

.42.jpg

add a wintry scene, and you about have it.

.

.

.

112.jpg22.jpgI did have the good fortune to spend Friday evening and Saturday at Peggy’s cabin (wintry scene above is the view from the dining table), knitting with Peggy, Karen, and Annie, and making my muscles sore with a lovely cross country ski outing to Lake Carlos State Park.  Steve made us yummy eggs.

Today was all housekeeping, getting the holidays finally put away (maybe some day we will send out holiday cards, it almost happened today) and thinking about what to pack for our 3.5 day weekend to Sanibel Island.  We leave on Friday evening.  I am hoping that will result in much more blog-worthy material.

Have a good week,

Love,

Ellen

Itty bitty knitty update…

Dear Jan,

31.jpgI’m making steady progress on Norwegian Hugs.  Have I mentioned how much I love stranded colorwork?  It is equally asentertaining as is gansey pattern knitting, now with more color!  And the extra yarn makes everything squishy - just like a grandma hug.

41.jpgThe Springtime Sugarplums are getting a very tiny amount of work - they are my on-the-go project and I guess I have been somewhat stationery.  Still, I can tell that frogging was correct.  (It would have been difficult to convince myself otherwise, as pre-frogging it was impossible to draw the cuff over my hand.  Not a good feature in a glove.)

110.jpgOn the wildlife front - Wilson got a new waffle maker for his birthday (his wife gave it to him).  The first waffle was a sacrifice to the squirrel gods, but it seems they have rejected it.  This makes me quake in fear - the apocalypse must be near.

21.jpgAnd yet hope springs eternal.  Trader Joe’s was selling these adorable weeping pussy willows.  The price was excellent, and they were grown in Canada.  What’s not to love?  I will do my best to protect it from the squirrels, even after it is planted outside this spring.

Love,

Ellen

The Long and The Short of It

Dear Ellen,

dscn2263.JPGdscn2270.JPGdscn2269.JPGI had been mulling it over, and then when you cut your hair, I knew I had to take the plunge.  Let me say I feel liberated!  I will be sending the shorn locks (which the stylist curled up on the shelf for the duration of the haircut — looked like a small animal sleeping) off to Locks of Love…excepting the few for Joan’s capote and Cricket’s fly tying.  (We did get the signed agreements not to include in any voo doo activities, right?)  I am saving at least 20 minutes a day now…it takes about 45 seconds to wash and rinse and when I step out of the shower a quick towel-dry and finger comb are all that stand between me and being fully styled.  Yay!

dscn2277.JPGThis freed up sufficient time for me to finish the knitting and seaming on A Stitch Away from Genius.  If you read the Ravelry notes, you’ll see I botched up some ends-weaving.  (A real D’OH!!! moment!)  As a result I’ve been inspired to extend the project to include some embroidery.  I’m going to get a nice rich red and chain stitch a pattern on the two front pieces…maybe add some accents to the hem areas as well.  Then I’m going to find some great red and purple buttons.  I think it will not only solve the problem, but will make it that much better.  I do love red and purple together.

dscn2276.jpgI also made good progress on both Not So Naive and Sea Glass.  In fact, this picture of Not So Naive is out-of-date as there is now about 4 inches of yoke added to that collar.  The collar will fold down to the inside and be sewn in place.  This gives it some firmness and it will stand up nicely.  I’ve tried it on (I’m avery-and-narcissus.jpgloving that about the top-down approach) and it gives me just the right amount of freedom for my neck.  As I mentioned before, the yarn is from Narcissus, pictured here with his owner’s daughter Avery.  I checked with my source at Table Rock Llamas and Fiber Arts to verify and she pointed out that although they had produced the yarn, Narcissus was not one of theirs.  He was one of their friends’.  Sadly, she also shared that Narcissus was older and is now deceased.  He was much loved and is missed.  I thank him for his fiber as I knit in tribute.

dscn2271.JPGdscn2272.JPGI’m pleased with Sea Glass, though it is definitely a knit to save for moments of alert knitting.  It’s not that the pattern is so difficult…it’s not…but for some reason I am finding myself wanting to reverse the directions of the decreases.  Maybe this was a phase.  With one completion of the basketwork pattern (62 rows…really??!) it is hopefully out of my system and I can stop the tinking.  I go on travel this week…this project will stay home for sure!

Sock Wars V starts up this week, so all my projects will go on temporary hold while I knock out a pair of socks for competition.  The pattern releases while I’m on travel.  Hopefully I can find access to a printer so I can work on it in transit home.  Wish me luck!

Love, Jan

P.S.  I’m glad we hired that Dr. Yarn guy…he’s not bad!

The Gift of Knitting

Dear Ellen,

radm-dussault.jpgI had to share this photo of one of my friends…and students!  I taught her to knit a few years ago and she has progressed to “obsession” stage.  Dale ran into her at the commissary yesterday and she proudly modeled some of her recent work.  It makes me smile to see that smile on her face!  Her husband may not have been so pleased with the chance meeting as she started comparing notes with Dale regarding the various knitter’s tools and gadgets that I own versus her own collection.  Would you be surprised to know that I have many things that she has yet to acquire?  I was actually impressed with Dale’s level of awareness in things knitterly.  That made me smile too!

Love, Jan

New year, new knitting…

Dear Jan,

None of my resolutions involved not starting new knitting projects.  I hate to set myself up for failure.

171.jpgI’m a few days into a sweater I’m calling Norwegian Hugs, a bit more romantic than Dale Geilo 1022, which is the pattern name.  It’s a Dale of Norway pattern and I’m knitting it in Dalegarn Baby Ul.  This is the same yarn as W’s Skull Cap.  I know that it is a little slippy for colorwork, but it is also washable and soft, and that counts a lot for baby things.  The baby I’m knitting it for will be born mid-February to a dear friend at work - we went through some tough projects and had a lot of fun together in my last assignment, and I couldn’t be happier to be knitting a lot of love into this one.

161.jpgAnd I’m one frogging into this - Springtime Sugarplums, an original glove design.  Well, design-to-be.  I’ve already discovered that cabling will draw the wrist in nicely, but cabling in every rib will make it impossible to draw over my hand.  The yarn is Socks That Rock, medium weight, I think.  I’ve already lost the band so need to go check against some that is in my stash.

Paula gave me the yarn as a holiday gift.  She was worried that I’d be disappointed that she was giving me yarn after she saw the basket of about a dozen skeins in my living room.  Ha!  Good thing she didn’t see the stash room, or she never would have given the yarn to me and that would have been so sad.  I am loving the mixture of these colors - the colorway is Sugarplums, which is appropriate, but I see springtime tulips, hence the name.  I think I’m back on track with an additional pair of ribs and alternating cables.  We’ll see.

151.jpgOne resolution I am aiming to keep is to eat more legumes.  Tonight - split pea soup so thick you could literally cut it (at least before reheating).

I hope you are keeping your resolutions.

Love,

Ellen

My daughter is a Bohus knitter…

Dear Jan,

18.jpgI have half a mind to make a bumper sticker up with the above post title.  I’m that proud.  Jenny turned her holiday Bohus gift into wristers in less than a week, and did a lovely job.

Then she said, “Now all I need is a sweater.”  Maybe her aunt can spoil her with that one.  Heh!

Love,

Ellen

P.S.  How are yours coming?