Friday, September 15, 2006

Nearly identical twins

From Knitty with love!

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My first completed Christmas gift (never mind that it was meant for last Christmas). And my first lecture knitting project for this academic year.

I used the left overs from the Tumbling Blocks Cushion kit, 3 of the 6 colors, feeling very smug for stopping little balls of yarn from messing up my desk, and getting something nice out of it. Too smug to realize that I did not have enough yarn, and too stubborn to stop. So: orange ran out midway through the second mittens, red run out 3 rows and a thumb before the end, dark red 1 row and a thumb before the end.

And that's when having China Clouds laying pitifully in a basket around the house turned out to be useful: while it is a mistery to me why Rowan made Rowanspun DK and Rowanspun 4-ply in different shades of orange, red, green etc., the two were still close enough to be matched. Or at least, I did not let that stop me.

Nearly identical is good enough for me. And hopefully for the recipient too.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Colorful knitting

With all that was going on this summer, an urge for some bright pretty colors pushed me to finally knit this cushion kit from Rowan, a membership gift from 3 years ago.

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The colors are much brighter in real life. Not quite a cushion yet, I am still in the process of weaving in the ends. And while doing just that, in class, I received very enthusiastic comments from people that usually could not care less about knitting. Ah, the magic of pretty colors and Kaffee's immortal tumbling blocks!

For all you people afraid of intarsia, I have to say this: it is not that difficult, and it is extremely rewarding! Really!

I also made this other colorful item, for the "Home and Hearth" Rowan exchange.

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While I can see a million imperfections, especially in the finishing, (boy, did that take forever!), both the yarn store lady who sold me the needles to fill it up, and the recipient, raved about it. So maybe it's not too bad, is it?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Thank you...and something else

Thank you all very much for your love and support. It really means a lot to me.

Tomorrow it will be just one month since my mother's death; it feels like something far and unreal, and something close and intimate, all at the same time. A time far out of mind, to quote a line I was just reading yesterday.

Tomorrow we'll say a special prayer for her.

In the meantime, life goes on in its usual hectic fashion. Vet School has restarted, kids school has started, both rented and owned houses were neglected over the summer and now need to be sorted out somehow.

Finally, knitting goodies had gathered themselves on the doorstep; some were unexpected and very welcome presents, some were exchange gifts, also very welcome, most were magazines and books that had been ordered before leaving for Italy.

At first sight, my absolute favorite pattern from the new crop was the hexagon coat in Knitting Nature. So much so that I had even a dream of being trapped under a flood of yarn, while searching for the right shade for it. Anyway, on my way to retrieve my pet turtle Sam, I happened to pass a yarn store with a big SALE sign on the window. This store, to be specific (the one with no chairs). I wandered in, looking for the Lite Lopi for my coat, I saw no mark downs anywhere, so I stuck to my plan to have a look at the Lopi color cards, and possibly order some.

For the record, my yarn shopping in the last couple of years has been very limited, since my stash, accumulated over many years, feels already a bit overwhelming, and I would rather use it up little by little, then accumulate some more. My LYS on the South Shore sees me only when I need a pair of needles, usually. But I felt I could derange a bit for something that even haunted my dreams.

However, I was quibbling about the Lite Lopi, the shade was not entirely convincing, I said I'd recheck the book and call them. At that point the yarn store lady said very casually: "Sure! By the way, today all the summer yarns are 50% off" My eyes went big:"Even the Rowan yarns?" "Yes, all that has some cotton in it, basically these three walls of stuff".

And guess what? I did end up trapped under a flood of yarn! And some of it even came home with me...

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Manos Cotton, Jaeger Trinity and Classic Elite Star, pinks, greens, blues. All lovely. (Yes, I know, no Rowan, it was a test for the sales lady more than anything else).

I am not proud, but I am happy-er.