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Monday, October 30, 2006

Shetland Triangle

Here is a completed Shetland Triangle all wrinkled and fresh off the needles. Unfortunately, I don't have blocking pins or wires, so it's going to the yarn shop unblocked. I made an attempt to wet it and spread it on my blocking board, but without being pinned in place, I'm afraid the lace won't stretch to its full beauty. So pictures of the final product will have to wait until the yarn shop owner blocks it and I am next in Ithaca to take a picture. For now, here's a picture of it wet and slightly flattened on the board. I think I almost like the wrinkled looking picture better! It's always amazing, the transformation lace undergoes after a good blocking. It always leaves me in awe of lace knitwear designers - that they can "see" the finished product in their mind's eye tangled in a confusion of YOs, SSKs, etc.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Beginnings of a Shetland Triangle (from Wrap Style):

I'm using the delectable Schaefer Anne. It's so hard to photograph unblocked lace!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

While everyone it seems was out at Rhinebeck, my husband and I spent a quiet weekend close to home. On Saturday, we brought the food of our ancestors to the dinner table. He brought pesto, made by hand in a mortar and pestel with basil leaves, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil. I brought the quintessential girl scout treat, smores! In lieu of an open fire, we roasted our marshmallows on forks over candles.

On Sunday, we went to the Natural History Musuem on the upper west side where I couldn't resist photographing the stash of some long ago weaver from the Inka civilization in Peru. It's nice to see girls have their stashes no matter what time period they live in. The stash here is comprised of cotton which surprised me, perhaps alpaca is a more modern animal?

With the weather turning colder, I even got the chance to wear my Artfibers Mystic cardigan. Mystic, unfortunately long discontinued though I'm told Tsuki held doubled is a good substitute, is a delicious blend of mohair and silk. The light in the photo is too low to show the true colors of the fabric which shimmer from the silk and are a bit dappled due to the different degree with which mohair and silk absorb dyes. I love fall days!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm back from a brief trip to California. Can you believe that I grew up in the bay area, but that I've never been to Big Sur, a mere 3 hour drive from San Francisco? Well, I didn't know what I was missing:

This is a waterfall that strikes directly on the beach at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. There are also some lovely trails in the park with gorgeous cliffside views after a 900 foot ascent.

I guess it's when you're motivated to show someone else your home turf (in this case, my Italian husband) that you're pushed to explore places that are so close and yet so unfamiliar. It was the same with my husband. He grew up in a town near Milan, but it was only when I travelled with him that he finally got to see Rome, Venice, and Florence - the trifecta of touristy Italy. Growing up, his family preferred to go to the tiny resort towns along the southern coast.

Of course, no trip to SF is complete for a knitter without a visit to Artfibers. I managed to leave with only 5 balls of Sherlock in a subtle black with a hint of muted other colors swirled in. It's destined to be a simple slightly fitted cardigan with a modest ballet neck. No pictures, but here's the swatch photo from the website:

And I did do some knitting while on vacation. I visited a pregnant friend of mine and managed to knit her a little newborn ensemble between the 6 hour plane ride and the 3 hour car ride down the coast. The hat is the jelly bean hat from the new Rowan Bambino book (the same book the Daisies cardigan store sample came from). The booties and sweater are from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick.

I decided to knit the smallest size (3-6 months) both because I figured it would be nice to give her something she could use almost right away and because it's the least time intensive option. I love baby knits! Instant gratification here I come.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Finished with pictures. Please excuse the slightly bloodshot eyes and stupid pose. This picture was taken after a long night of weaving in ends.

And a picture of it hanging on a hanger.

It's on its way to the yarn shop today and I've cast on for the next project - the Shetland Triangle from Interweave Knits Wraps.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I have the sweetest husband. Last Saturday was our 29th wedding monthiversary (yes, we celebrate each month, we're such dorks!) and we went out to dinner for it as usual (the only stipulation being that it must be a different restaurant than where we celebrated any previous monthiversary, though it doesn't have to be a new restaurant to us). But on Sunday, my husband wanted to cook a special dinner for me just because (someone is earning his secret Cambridge Jacket ;) ), and this is what he came up with:

Knitting content is in the upper right hand corner - the Rowan Linden sweater is blocking!

He made peanut butter noodles as a first course - yum! And because we were impatient and devoured the next course, I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was peppercorn and lime encrusted tuna seared to perfection on a bed of romaine lettuce seasoned with a rice wine vinagrette.

Speaking of the Linden sweater, I did sew it up last night even though it was still slightly damp from the wet block I gave it. I am very impatient with blocking, it's one of my least favorite parts of knitting. Now, all that's left to do is to weave in the ends, pick up stitches and knit the crew collar, and it's off to the yarn shop!

I tried it on briefly (I'll spare you the picture for now) and it was big on me, but the yarn is very comfortable against the skin and the pattern is very pretty. My husband was surprised at how "professional" it looked. I'm not sure if I should be flattered or insulted by that!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I have projects coming out of my ears! First, there's the sample I'm working on for the store - the cable and lace sweater from the new Rowan Classic Alpaca book. Then, I've taken on yet another sample for the store - the Shetland Triangle using a lovely teal, blue, and green colorway of Schaefer Anne. Pictures of that project will come when I'm finished with the Rowan sweater.

While I was at the store, I picked up a few balls of Plymouth Dreambaby DK to make a hat and booties for my friend's upcoming bundle of joy. The snob in me itched to get the Rowan Cashsoft DK, but the more practical side won out. Given how much baby items need to be washed and dried and given how harried new mothers are, I'm guessing gently handwashing baby clothes and laying them out to dry probably isn't the most reasonable expectation.

In addition, a little deeper dig into my stash box has unearthed a few UFO ghosts. There's the K1C2 Richesse et Soie scarf that I started 2 years ago as a replacement for the first gift I knitted my husband when we were still dating. He accidentally felted it in the wash one day and I promised to make him another.

There's the River Stole from Rowan 37 (?) made out of kidsilk haze. I have one in Pearl already and liked it so much that I immediately went out and bought 4 more skeins of kidsilk in a muted grey to make a longer, wider version.

And finally, there's Handmaiden seasilk in the berry colorway just waiting to be knit up into the woven stole from the Merino Morehouse book.