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

Archive for June, 2010


Almost as cute as kittens…Dr. Yarn!

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Wield powerful deterrents and knit this delightful baby ensemble simultaneously.  Find out how in this month’s Dr. Yarn!

Dear Jan,

Dr. Yarn is highly reliable and sent his monthly missive in several days ago.  Kittens, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how much you like kittens), displaced him for a few days.  But there is no stopping Dr. Yarn.  Here is his June installment.

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This sincere question came from an alert reader in Walla-Walla, Washington.
Q. Why are some needles pointy on both ends?
A.  The consequences of this question should have a little disclaimer, but here it goes anyway.

A lot of times you are at a particular key point in the garment you are knitting and a well meaning (but not true knitter) comes up and tries to engage you in some nonsensical or trivial discussion—definitely not on knitting—and you have to take drastic action. Just jab them in the butt bum with the non-working pointy end of one or both needles. If you are using four needles, just give them the entire load of two needles in each cheek. I know it is drastic, but hey; we are talking about saving an important part of our American Heritage.

Thank you for this “Save America for Americans” question. Get the point?
Dr. Yarn

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 Note: Fancy restaurants have taken note of this knitting defense technique, providing diners with multiple forks, some to with which to eat, some with which to defend one’s plate.

Just kitten…

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…or, more accurately, kittens.  We visited Carol and Chuck today, or, more accurately, their kittens.  It is looking pretty likely that come late June or early July two of these furballs will be making their homes with us.

111.jpg26.jpg24.jpgEach face was cuter than the next.

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22.jpg  Grey hair and blue eyes – such a dreamy combination!

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401.jpgHolding an armful of kitties is almost as therapeutic as holding a baby.

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31.jpg451.jpgMousy, the mama, was so patient with us, but eventually the sleepy kitties needed to return to her to nurse and nap.

I will abuse you with many pictures of them as they grow.

Love,

Ellen

Like breathing…

Dear Jan,

First, I must admit.  I am not a linguist.  I should not be playing with things I don’t know.

But it has to have a meaning, it is so potent. Since I couldn’t find one, I cobbled one together.

Halifax – like breathing, from halare (Greek, to breathe) and fax (short for facsimile). (How did they know about facsimiles when Halifax was founded?)

11.jpg28.jpgFirst, NYC in a New York minute.  After arriving at Jenny’s and scarfing down her very delicious vegan mac ‘n’ cheez, we set out for an afternoon of meandering the Natural History Museum and strolling along Central Park.   Jenny escaped the clutches of some very large disembodied (and terrible) hands, then we visited Bouchon Bakery where they treated us like queen and princess.     We followed that up with dinner with Dylan, Jenny’s buddy.  A great day.

72.jpg70.jpgOn to Halifax, a delicious blend of nature and city, old and new.  The view from my room pulled me back into history.  But from the water, looking towards the hotel, a very modern vibe.

40.jpg42.jpgAnd, hidden behind those buildings, great fiber!  Some friends and I lightened the shelves at LK Yarns (oodles of Fleece Artist and Handmaiden – it’s smart to buy local, eh?).   But my favorite shop was The Loop Craft Cafe.  Their selection was smaller, but the shop was open and friendly and carried unique and local yarns.  And it was maybe 5 or 6 blocks from my hotel – I visited 3 times!

45.jpgI brought home a sweater’s worth of a two ply, rich in lanolin, spun from local Cotswold sheep wool from Lange’s Rock Farm, milled at MacAusland’s in PEI.  Your hands soften just picking up the skein for a moment.

83.jpgResistance was futile when faced with a supply of vintage singles from Sweden.  I plan to ply it for use in Norwegian style knitting – think ski sweaters that like a nice hard wool.  I had to get at least one of each marvelous color – they aren’t making any more.

99.jpg100.jpgAfter fitting these purchases (and a few more, as Birthday Season* is approaching) into my suitcase, I headed back to Minneapolis where I got to enjoy an evening out with Erica and Marika.  We took in the current exhibit at the Textile Center, then over to Steven‘s where  we had the place, and your and my favorite Glitter Knitter to ourselves.  Steven managed to convince Erica to model (she looked so sweet!) and then showed off the very male sweater he is knitting out of hardware store findings.  Yes, that is actual chain, not chain stitch, at the bottom.  (Because it is Steven, there is a little cashmere in there, too.) The big news is there is a big photo shoot tonight.  I’m not saying any more in public, but you might want to make a Habit of checking out knitting advertisements.

101.jpgA couple more Birthday Season** purchases came home with me from our outing, but the best treat of all was a hand painted merino roving, dyed by Erica herself.  I was floored that she brought me such a treat.  There are  spots in it where the dye eluted into its constituent colors, reminding me of the bond of science Erica and I share.  Even Wilson said it was really pretty – wow, that is high praise!

I inhaled all the adventures of the last week or so, but there is yet more fun in the offing.  Carol (Wilson’s cousin, my dear friend) emailed to say she had something for us – family treasures that last about 15 years and come in pairs.  We are going to visit them tomorrow.  If we click, they will come home to live with us in about 5 weeks.  How will I ever get to sleep tonight???

Love,

Ellen

*officially runs from June 18 to July 19, encompassing Karen, Jenny, then my (our, but you knew that) birthdays.  I made purchases for the other celebrants, not myself.

** ditto