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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Porca miseria!

The post title refers to the weather here in Northern Italy, which is still rainy and altogether dreary. If I'm not mistaken, "porca miseria" means something like "what a pain" or something like that. Hopefully, I'm not posting a phrase that's really obscene or offensive. My husband says it quite a bit, but he's been known to be quite, ah shall we say, colorful in his language -- though he's toned it down quite a bit in the years (eight!) that I've known him.

At any rate, it's raining here yet again, confining us to the house. We were supposed to get away on a quick one-night trip to Liguria (the Italian Riviera) and hike along the towns of Cinque Terre. It's a hike I've wanted to do for quite a while and I'm disappointed that the rain has put the kibosh on our plans.

I'll leave you with some strange (to me at least!) Italian cuisine which is another (sick I suppose) reason for the post title (literal translation - pig misery?). It's a link of completely raw sausage. Raw means raw -- no smoking, no curing of any kind. I tried a half link since I'm Chinese and pride myself on trying everything at least once, but I admit that the idea was a bit daunting. Silly I know, since I eat sushi without a second thought, but somehow raw pork seems scarier.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Knitter's debut

My first two print designs are out (sort of...):

I've been checking Knitter's site like a woman obsessed for the past month, waiting for their summer preview to go up online and it looks like it's finally there. I'm not sure when the issue will hit newsstands, but I'm away at the moment anyway.

Here, in Italy, it's been raining on and off the entire day. I hope the weather clears up soon (but doesn't get too hot) in the next few days!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Off to Italy!

I'm off to Italy tonight. Temperatures are in the 90s. Ugh. Hopefully I can convince my husband to take a short mini trip to Liguria, which is by the coast. His family lives very inland, hence the hot temps.

Before I left, I thought I would post about my next next project - a felted coin purse made out of Jamieson & Smith's Spindrift 2 ply. After my glove adventure, I feel eager to dip my toes into the fair isle pool again. And what better way to do it then indulging in my new favorite sub-hobby - felting? I love limes and blues together. I think my knitting bag reflects that. I'm going to attempt to design the coin purse myself and it'll be used for odds and ends (stitch markers, Chibi needle cases, etc) that go into my knitting bag.

This project won't be coming with me to Italy, I have a more pressing knit item that needs attention first.

Happy week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wrinkle in Time Reissue

I just read that one of my favorite books of all time is being re-issued for its 45th anniversary. Of course, A Wrinkle in Time has been in print continuously as far as I know throughout its 45 year life - and justifiably so. As a kid, I hungrily devoured all of the adventures of the Murray and O'Keefe clan - even such peripheral Murray/O'Keefe books like Dragon in the Waters and The Arm of the Starfish. And I'm in awe of Ms. L'Engle's reach over the decades, inspiring and delighting young readers. It's a wonderful, powerful, and lasting legacy.

In other news, Knitter's Review is doing a review of Punta Del Este's yarn. I was lucky enough to knit with Mericash for a sample for Knitting Etc and I have to second Clara's review - it's a really soft yarn. Knitting with it was *so* enjoyable, that I was a little sad when I cast off that last stitch (a little sick, I know...). I don't really know how it holds up since it was 1) a sample and 2) a baby sweater - which tends to wear differently than larger pieces I think. The fabric almost seemed felted already since it was very soft and singly plied. But it made a very pleasant fabric and the subtle color variations are gorgeous. Lucky Ithacans also have access via Knitting Etc to Punta Del Este's linen, cotton, and wool yarns too.

This is getting boring I know...

I finished the 3rd glove and it matches its mate (the 2nd glove) in size perfectly. I'm so impressed with myself for finishing 3 gloves. I'm usually so bad at finishing the 2nd sock, the 2nd glove, the 2nd sleeve, etc. Still, knitting the same glove over and over again doesn't make for very exciting blog posts, sorry... But I'm quite pleased with my fair isle knitting experience and may even tackle a larger project next - maybe one of Nancy Bush's Estonian socks (where the fair isle is confined to the cuff) or even a sweater!

Hopefully soon I'll have a little more to post. I think One Planet Yarn and Fiber is releasing one of my patterns soon. When they do, I'll be able to post some of my own pictures and impressions of the project.

I'm also working on a secret project that I'm really excited about. I don't mean to be coy, but I'm superstitious and don't want to jinx this. Feel free to email me if you're curious, I just don't want to post it in a public place. Suffice it to say that it's something that I've been pursuing for a few months and am thrilled that it's happening.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

3rd glove syndrome

I did finish the second glove. And look how good I was, I made the second glove a left glove too so I wouldn't be tempted to just stop at the second glove and use a mismatched (size-wise) pair.

The second glove is slightly too large, but I prefer a slightly large glove to a slightly small glove. Now, I just need to cast on and knit its mate (easier said than done).

Thoughts on the pattern:

I like the pattern. There's a definite left and right hand which is nice since our hands aren't identical. I also like the amount of fair isle in the gloves - just enough to provide visual interest, but not so much as to be overwhelming for a first time fair isler.

Making the glove a second time was instructive. I always have problems with holes in gloves. I find that I need to pick up more stitches than the miserly number patterns usually prescribe. I then reduce the amount of stitches to the right amount on succeeding rounds. Any remaining gaps, I fill in when weaving in ends.