Monday, August 29, 2005


This has not been one of my better weeks. I've developed shingles. Feels as if the skin has sustained a burn, and is seriously annoyed with me. ANYTHING touching it hurts. Sleep is difficult, don't move or I wake myself up. The trip this weekend to Bloomington IN is off as well.

D^ora's sweater is in the mail to her, hopefully Larry can get a good picture of her wearing it (thus admitting _I_ didn't get a good shot of it before it left here!) that I can put here. I'm somewhat amazed that despite heavy pain meds I was able to knit on it. Howard says he isn't, there is such a thing as being stubborn. Whatever, it was finished this morning, and as he was going to the post office this afternoon, I popped it in a box to mail off. THEN I thought about pictures.

Our nephew is being posted to Iraq. To support him, and the guys he will be working with, Serena and I are going to start knitting helmet liners. A box of yarn arrived today, and some of it promptly went on to Serena's. Each stitch will carry a prayer for safety. Sometimes, in the face of big events, we feel helpless. This is our way of seeking to find a way to harness our worry.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Warning: Shameless Bragging Ahead!

Some things I've never had much of a forum to show off! So, I'm doing it here!

These are the wedding stockings I designed and knit for Antina's US Civil War Wedding Serena's Senior Year at Beloit. The lace pattern is period for the time, the yarn is a wool/silk (Zephyr). I used 4/0 needles for the sole of the foot, and 0s for the legs and the top of the foot. Many adventures were had, knitting these! Do NOT knit in your nightgown with needles that are sharp enough to be considered weapons, drop one needle in your lap, and then stand up! Grievous bodily harm will result! Ask me how I know! And Howard laughed.

This is a Christening Gown for my friend Julie's grand-daughter Rachael. I used the finer than cobweb weight silk/wool that Jaggerspun produced as an experiment, unfortunately discontinued. The BUTTONS weigh more than the gown itself! The pattern is from "Shetland Lace" by Gladys Amedro.

One of my rare forays into Fair Isle knitting, Lucy Neatby's pattern, Shelridge Farms kit, I fell in love with this at Maryland Sheep and Wool several years ago. I bought it, and then it sat in my stash, daring me to knit it. In the process, I decided that I did NOT like the Philosopher's Wool method of knitting Fair Isle. I prefer stranding the other way.

Dianne's Sleeves in Your Pi. This is the first one I did. I think. Dianne is my knit buddy from way back. She had the yarn spun up from some of the fleeces she had purchased. It doesn't block as large as I'd like, but it looks really good on her, I think!

And finally, a really good (if bad color representation) of Serena's graduation sweater. Now you can really see what I'm making again.

Monday, August 22, 2005

When the going gets tough, I get knitting

So, Dora's jacket body is still in time out. But, the sleeves are growing. I know you can't tell from the picture, but they are actually at about 8 inches. Growing nicely, is one way to look at it. Enough to ease my mind about the blasted edging. Of course, I'll probably finish the sleeves just about in time to need a project to take to the wedding next week. The jacket might be a good project for that, as it won't require notes, but there is a lot of bulk involved, so it isn't the best for knitting in a plane. More thinking required.

Just for fun, I started Karis, from Rowan 36, designed by Sharon Miller. Of course, I'm not using the yarn called for. This is a mohair/wool that Belinda Daniel sent me from Australia. Wow, is it wonderful to knit with! I wanted to block the edging before I picked up the stitches for the body, so here you can see what it blocked out to look like. Nice, eh?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Camera Shows All -- Darn it!

Took a picture of Dora's Seville Jacket body today, and realized I'm going to have to frog (rip-it) the edging and do it again on smaller needles. Sigh. I'd suspected, but sometimes the camera gives you a better perspective. Yes, Mary, the edging is too big. Damn. That means the sleeve cuffs are going to be too big as well too. I sure hope the BODY fits her! LOL!

The edging is ruffling, which would be fine if that were the intent, but this is supposed to be a smooth, close design. I need to drop two needle sizes, I suspect.

I think I'm going to knit a pair of socks in the meantime. Or something simple. I don't know what. Something to ground me and let me get back to this.

We found out yesterday that our nephew Derek is being deployed to Iraq next month. One of my first reactions was "what can I knit for him so he knows I care?"

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

still here

I'm still here, the body of the sweater is done, and the sleeves are started. Barely. The cuffs are done.

Still trying to find out if we are going to be moving, where (in town), and all those "minor" details. Will update as I find out. Things have just been harried. Which is why I've not written. Sorry.

Will post pictures of the jacket body tomorrow or tonight.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Goodbye Aunt Martha Louise

My Mom's sister Martha Louise was buried today. That feels really final to write that. We've known since last fall that she had a fatal illness -- Myelodysplasia, but she fought it a lot longer than any of us expected. It turned into acute leukemia, though, and her body couldn't fight any longer.

An obituary is an odd thing. It distills a life into a dry paragraphs, that don't really say much about the person. No mention of the sweater she knit for me when I was in high school (it was of bulky yarn, royal blue wool with red and white accents -- a ski sweater which was great while skiing!) I think she knit Annette one too that year, but I don't remember for certain. No mention of how she loved to have people stop by the house and spend the night/weekend/whatever. No mention of how she loved to shop. Or eat out, many places which recognized her by name.

I knew she and my uncle had students stay in their home because they loved to have people around, but the fact that 30 of them from around the world stayed over the years is amazing! Two of their sons found their wives from this group!

Memories of them going to San Francisco when we were in Marin County -- Mom and Martha shopping (Macys!)then watching Godspell with us in live theater.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

thoughts on knitting a jacket edging

I was asked how I'm knitting the edging on my jacket. Easiest way to show that, of course, is to show with pictures. There is this small detail that the jacket I'm working on is a really deep rich brown, but let's try.

First of all, I started knitting the jacket with a provisional cast-on. I used a cotton yarn that contrasted with the jacket yarn. This is one of the places where my minimal crochet skills comes into play. I did a long crochet chain. Usually I ask Howard to do it, but his right hand was still in a sling, and he just stared at me when I asked. So, I did it. sigh. It doesn't matter if the chain stitches aren't of equal size (mine aren't) they just give a "home" for the knit stitches.

Once the body is knit, pick up the stitches around the body. At this point, I pick up about half of body's worth of stitches (about all that fit comfortably on my circular -- I REALLY don't want to be fighting them!) The same way that you do at any other time -- for the areas where you are picking up horizontally (along the bottom of the jacket or the neck edge), pick up one stitch for every stitch. Where you are pickin up vertically or along a curve, a good solution is your gauge. For example, on my jacket, my gauge is 5 sts and 6.5 rows per inch. Right now, I'm picking up a stitch for 5 rows and then skipping a row. If my gauge had been 7 rows, I would have probably gone 2 rows skip 1, 3 rows skip one, as I wouldn't want a 2 row gap.

Now it is time to start knitting the edging. I used some more of my waste edging (I had lots left over) and cast on the required number of stitches. That way, when I'm finished, I can kitchener the start and finish together, for a clean look. It would also be possible to do a 3 needle bindoff. Just because the instructions tell you to do a regular cast-on, doesn't mean you have to do it that way!

As you can see, although I've started, it is going to be a long time before I'm done on this! Mentally, I refer to it as miles of edging. A good time to settle down with a good book on tape and relax into it!

When I get to the corners, I'll do 2-4 suspended rows on each side of the corner without knitting 2 together from the body stitches. That will give the edging some shape, and not distort the jacket. I may very well do a k3tog instead of a k2tog at the corners of the neck, to help shape the edging there.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Wierd Day

Migraine Hangover and it still won't go all the way away today. Is it olive oil, or the fact that it wasn't organic olive oil. Or -- gee -- the fact that perhaps it was slightly stale? We did isolate the olive oil, though. Whatever, it sure has done a number on my thought processes! Hit with a bang last night, and I've slogged through molasses all day today to think. Whatever pretense of that I've done today. Sorry all of you who have come in contact with me! I know it is bad when I don't make sense to ME!

Tomorrow the parsonage is being checked for needed repairs. Should be interesting, as some of the last minute things I had planned to do today didn't get done. Oh well. My fiber room looks as if an explosion hit it, according to someone who dropped by Friday. I didn't tell him that it looks a lot better than it did earlier in the week, BEFORE I did a major clear-out of a lot of papers! Many magazines and books are now back in their places too. It is now down to those odd things that just don't know where they belong.

We have fresh tomatoes on our plants outside. They have started producing just enough that we each get a few cherry tomatoes for dinner each night. Yum! Some of the big ones should ripen this week. That will be a big treat! Tabouleh!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Rejoice with Us!

Look and see! No SLING! After almost 7 weeks with his right arm in his sling, he's been liberated! WOW! He still has a long way to go, but what a wonderful gift that was for both of us! Probably a lot more for him than for me, but still!

Amazing how quickly he adapted to life without the sling, giggle. He promptly started eating with his right hand again, and doing things with that hand that the sling had restricted.

On the knitting front, Dora's sweater is to the shoulders. I'll bind them off first thing in the morning, then start the sleeves. Of course, then it is on to the edging, which will take a while. But, it is moving along quite nicely! Realized to my surprise (Doh! moment!) that I'd forgotten to ask Gerra about her knitted request, so will have to be calling her. I refuse to leave family members out!

"Poor" son Nathan is going fishing at 2:30 in the morning. If I wake up at that time, I'll think of him. Otherwise, I'll call Sunday and find out how he did. I don't get up that early for fishing. LOL

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's DONE!

The Sleeves in Your Pi for Caroline is DONE! Sadly, it didn't take that much to finish it. I just needed to sit my tush down and apply myself. I'll take it to the post office tomorrow, and it will be on its way back to her, ready for her to wear it this fall. She had done the body, but came to a mental block on the sleeves. I'd started them in January, but then had all the problems with the migraines, and just couldn't bring myself to pick it back up again. So the poor thing sat there in the living room, reproaching me. Sunday, I picked it up with the understanding I was going to keep at it until done. Sure didn't take too long! mental blocks sure are a pain!

Two knitters came over this evening for just a bit, and stayed 3 hours. In that time, one divided her sweater for the underarms and v-neck, and learned to do a SSK while the other kept working at her scarf. Both are getting so much better at reading their knitting. Dora's sweater has divided for the underarms and is moving on up. So progress on that as well!