Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Days 2 and 3 - Knit and Crochet Blog Week

I am nothing if not disorganized and distracted...

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know I have a sweet senior dog who has been having some health issues.  I skipped out on Day 2 yesterday to do some extensive research on these issues.  He's doing well, we're doing well, and I'm feeling relieved and heartened at the things I learned.  Now, to catch up!!!

An Inspirational Pattern
Hmmm...the quick and easy answer to this one is every pattern is an inspiration to me.  If it weren't, I wouldn't take the time to knit it.  However, the deeper answer is that I am living my inspirational patterns right now.  I have always wanted to knit lace.  When I started knitting in the late 70s, it was hard, if not impossible to find laceweight yarn or small needles.  I remember trying to knit lace with crochet was pitiful.  

Fast forward to today - laceweight yarn and lovely patterns are everywhere!!!  A couple months ago, I took the plunge and signed up for the Evenstar Mystery Shawl KAL on Ravelry.  Yeah...not only am I knitting a major lace shawl...I'm doing this sucker sight unseen.  It is a 50% chance of inspiration and a 50% chance of crash and burn on my shiny new blog.  Well...I'm a little behind the group on this one (they're all on Clue #6, I'm halfway through Clue #4), but that's because I'm working on several other projects at the same time.  Here's my progress:
This is my "Woo-HOOOO!!!  I can do it!!!!" project.  I am working on two other lace shawls, but this is the "big scary one"...and the inspirational one.

Future inspirations?  I aspire to learning to spin and to dye yarn.  I want to knit every project in the world (fat chance...).  Most of all, I want to knit Eugen Beugler's Frost Flowers and Leaves Shawl.  It goes along with my lifelong love of the frost flowers pattern which is what inspired me to learn to knit.  I'm scouting out the's only a matter of time...

One Great Knitter
 There are so many great knitters today.  I'm inspired by virtually every pattern I see.  I love Elizabeth Zimmerman, though I only own one of her books and haven't read it yet.  I remember seeing a picture of her sitting on the back of her husband's motorcycle knitting happily, and I knew this was my kind of woman.

I think, however, the woman who had the greatest influence on me as a knitter and crafter in general was a woman named Pearl Rowe.  Mrs. Rowe was born in 1897 in West Virginia, however, when I knew her she was in her sixties, and I was a very young girl.  We moved into the house next to Mrs. Rowe's, the little bungalow in the alley of a blue-collar neighborhood, when I was two and moved out shortly before my seventh birthday.

Mrs. Rowe's house was smaller than ours and dark in color...brown? never was sure what color it was.  She had beautiful flower beds all around the house growing peonies and huge Shasta daisies.  I remember her showing me how the ants would crawl over the peony buds and tell me that the buds couldn't open without help from the ants.

Mrs. Rowe had a boyfriend named Barney.  Barney always had bags of candy, and all the kids in the neighborhood knew his car and would flock to the alley when they saw him coming.  He would throw huge handfuls of candy in the air for us to catch.
The best part, though, was when I was invited inside Mrs. Rowe's house.  For as dark and nondescript as the outside was, the inside was a wonderland.  There were china cupboards with lovely dishes, cup and saucer sets and the salt and pepper shakers she collected.  There were crocheted doilies and tablecloths, beautiful embroidered pictures on the walls and, best of all, bed dolls.  These weren't the crocheted bed dolls I'd seen patterns for.  They were real dolls with plastic faces and huge taffeta dresses in pastel shades.  One doll would cover the entire pillow of a twin bed.
I loved to go to Mrs. Rowe's house.  I would sit on her sofa, not moving, and try to memorize every detail:  doily, check...tablecloth, check...china cupboard, check.  Lace, flowers, ruffles, gotta have 'em...  Even though my mother and grandmothers knitted and crocheted, I don't think I would have caught the bug if it had not been for Mrs. Rowe and how much I wanted my house to look like hers.

Today?  No doilies in my house...fifty or so packed carefully away in the basement, but none on display.  About an equal number of needlepoint and cross-stitched pictures packed away.  It's no longer my goal to live like Mrs. Rowe, but her influence pops up whenever I see a lovely lace shawl or coverlet I want to knit.
And that little house?  After my mother died, I was sifting through old photos and found a picture taken in our front yard with Mrs. Rowe's house in the was little more than a tarpaper shack.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 1 - Knit and Crochet Blog Week!! Woo-hoo!!!

Starting Out
How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time?

Welcome to Knit and Crochet Blog Week, and for those of you who are reading for the first time, Welcome to my (usually) happy little corner of the blogosphere!  For those of you who have been with me thus far on my short adventure into blogland, you'll recognize this post from back on February 17 (with some minor editing) and don't need to read further unless you want a recap (or you want to look at all those funny old pictures of me...).  I promise my future posts for Knit and Crochet Blog Week will be more original and not a repost.

Although I don't know the exact date, I know it was just around Valentine's Day 1979 that I locked myself in my apartment for the weekend, vowing never to emerge until I had learned to knit.

My path to knitting actually started when I was in elementary school.

I come from a long line of knitters, crocheters, and seamstresses, so it was naturally assumed I would fall in line. I'm not a good line faller-inner... I was a tomboy. My best friends were Rick and Daniel, and we roamed the fields around our houses, catching bugs and snakes and not doing anything even remotely domestic. Okay, there was that one time when I was about ten and told Rick I would teach him to cook Swiss Steak from my mother's recipe. I can still see him lying on my garage floor, laughing helplessly with tears pouring down his cheeks after I held up a big pink sponge and said, "Step One - pretend this is a piece of steak!" So much for domesticity...  I did get better at the cooking part.

Although my childhood summers were fairly idyllic by 1960s standards, I waited in dread each summer for my mother to spring one of the Four Nightmares on me. Not content to allow her only child to run wild in the fields, skinning her knees and bringing home whatever wildlife she could catch, my mother had goals for me. Every summer, my mother set out to teach me to knit, to crochet, to sew, and to read "Gone With the Wind" with her. Hell hath no fury like a mother on a mission.

That's my mom. She was about 21 in that picture, five years before I came along. It is one of my favorite pictures of her because it captures her spirit. Mom was a creative tour de force. There was nothing she couldn't do. She was a professional steamstress who could sew anything, even wedding gowns. She could knit and crochet beautiful sweaters and afghans. She could draw and paint. She could play guitar and organ. She should have been on the road with some R&B band instead of living in a small town raising a daughter. Whenever I hear Booker T or Jimmy Smith, I hear my mother playing her B3 in the dining room. She was that good. And she wanted her only daughter to be that good, too. Here's a pic of an afghan my mother crocheted behind a sewing table that my father made for her (he was a pretty talented guy, too!):

Sewing lessons were the worst. I was good at pinning and cutting out the patterns, but after that, I was lost. What? I have to put these pieces TOGETHER????? I'm good at jigsaws, but I could never figure out pattern pieces. I'm the same way with knitted sweaters. I'll stare at a front, back and two sleeves for hours trying to figure out how they go together. I've probably made fifty sweaters in my life and I go through the same routine every Sewing lessons usually ended with me in tears, throwing fabric and thread and stomping off to my room.

Knitting lessons were much the same. Like all beginners, my work was tight...and that throwing the yarn just did not work. More than once I considered committing harikari on the needles...but they were weird flexible plastic, and they just bent.

Crocheting was easier, though I never worked on it past that one day each summer, so it was always like starting from scratch. The crochet bug finally bit me the summer I turned 12, and I decided I liked it enough to stick with it. for GWTW...I still haven't made it past the first chapter...or the first 30 minutes of the movie either.

So, I began crocheting little potholders and doily-ish things. True confession: I LOVE to crochet doilies! A couple years later, I found a needlepoint book in the library written by former NFL-player, Rosie Greer. The tomboy in me rejoiced - if HE could do needlepoint, surely I could too! Dad took me to Woolworth's and bought me a needlepoint kit which I finished in about two canvas-obsessed days. Now I could crochet AND do needlepoint! Stamped cross stitch was next on my list of crafts. I started looking at the drug stores for McCall's Needlework and Crafts magazine. Sometimes they had a crochet pattern or two, sometimes (though rarely) needlepoint. Mostly all they had were those lovely knitting patterns...patterns I couldn't make to save my soul. I will toss in here that the summer lessons ceased when I began crocheting obsessively. That was also about the time adolescence kicked in, and I figure my mother knew she had enough problems without trying to push the sewing, knitting, and GWTW on me anymore.

My mother and I survived (barely...) my teen years, and I moved an hour away to the "big city" and began working. One of the things she gave me when I left was a crochet hook holder with a nice little double-crocheted cover and many of her duplicate crochet hooks. I cherished this - it was something that had been around the house my entire life - a family heirloom!!! It was my ex-husband who finally one day asked why I kept my crochet hooks in an old Carling Black Label beer bottle with a fancy cover...

On and on I went, needlepointing, crocheting mass quantities of doilies...until that one day in 1978 when I went to a bookstore during my lunch hour and saw it: A Treasury of Knitting Patterns I pored over the book, anguished over the price and my inability to make one darn thing in it. But for months, every payday I would go to that bookstore, buy a few magazines, and lust over Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  I was particularly in love with the Frost Flowers pattern - it's on the cover of the reprinted edition above, but I stumbled across it on page 204 and was (still am!) totally enamored.  I wanted to learn to knit if for no other reason than to knit the Frost Flowers pattern.

It took an ugly breakup right before Christmas, a horrific blind date shortly thereafter, and being alone on Valentine's Day to spur me into knitting action. One Friday, I bit the bullet and bought that Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  It cost over $30 in 1978 - a lot of moola for yer average secretarial-type gal!!! On the way home from work, I stopped at a department store and bought some yarn (Red Heart, no doubt...) and a pair of #8 needles, then went to the grocery and bought the ingredients for a big pot of chili. Yup, I was locking myself in and not coming out till I could knit!!!  I also knew I'd be eating chili for a long time since I'd spent a goodly chunk of my grocery money on that pattern book...

Me, about two months before knitting entered my life...really...I am a VERY unhappy woman at this point.

Amazingly, it went well. I could remember how to do the knitted cast-on that my mother showed me so many years before. Then I was stumped...what to do next? I knew there was something about throwing the yarn around the needle with my right hand, but no matter how I tried, I could not do it right. I took a break and ate some chili, then spent the rest of the evening drooling over the patterns that I dreamed I would one day be able to make. The disco music was blaring from the club across the street, where I was usually a Friday night regular...but I had bigger fish to fry - I was learning to knit!!!

The next morning, after a breakfast of chili (I was 22, remember...), I sat down with my supplies and began to cast on again. This time, for some reason I will never know (Intuition? My Inner Knitter?), I held the yarn in my left hand, the way I did when crocheting. My cast-on was even, and...holy guacamole!!...I WAS KNITTING!!!!! Purling took a few more hours to figure out and, truth be told, I twisted my purl stitches for several years before I figured out what I was doing wrong and corrected it. I made tons of twisted-purl stitch little baby sweaters for all my friends. Six years later, I designed and knit a gorgeous Aran sweater for my ex-husband...and all the purl stitches were twisted.

Fast forward thirty years, and knitting is as natural to me as breathing. I've taken on other craft challenges, such as bobbin lace and while I love a lot of different crafts, I always come back to knitting. It's my home base, my heart in knit and purl.

My first (and so far only Fair Isle Sweater, knit in 1992. You can tell from the hair, right?).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wanna see a butterfly???

Wanna see another butterfly???
So what's up with the butterflies?  Well...they're part of...
Drum roll, trumpet fanfare and confetti...MY FIRST SOCK IS FINISHED!!!!  Wooooo-hooooo!!!!!
Here are a couple more pics...I'm so proud!
Oh, and here's my favorite part!
I love that cute little edging!

In the end, I gave up on that 9" HiyaHiya circ and went back to the dpns.  There just wasn't enough room to maneuver, especially when I was using the cable needle, too.  I have an 11" circ on order and will try it with the second sock (the toe of which is finished - trying to finish the "April" sock in...well...April).

It fits great and feels so comfy...can't wait to have an actual pair.  LOL!!!  Oh...and in the two pics, the sock is on my hand.  I am a yogi, and I am pretty flexible, but even I couldn't get into whatever position would be necessary to accomplish what it looks like I'm doing in the bottom picture.

Now, off to knock off a bunch of rows on the Evenstar Shawl...I'm dreadfully behind on it, and Clue #6 comes out tomorrow.  Yikes!!!

Happy Earth Day - get yerself out there and give the planet a big sloppy smooch!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What could be more random than a Monday?

Bear with me as a I bounce around a bit here.  It was an eventful weekend (except for yesterday, when it was nothing more than a in "I am moving at roughly the velocity of your average garden slug").  But let's hop back to the beginning of the weekend and...yummy food!
This is Spicy Chicken Fried Rice from Cooking Light magazine.  I couldn't find the recipe on their website, but I found it on Laine's cool blog, here.  I actually made it Thursday, but this is what was left over for Friday dinner.  Yes, those little round, beany-looking things are peanuts.  My mouth is watering just looking at this picture and remembering, so I'd better move on to the next random topic... a new project Friday afternoon.  Yup, that even dozen now?  I've lost count.  But you must understand, it was one of those things that just jumped out at me and I had to do it.  I was trying to dejunk the living room, see, and I noticed this ball of sock yarn lying on my little TV table/supply table - it's the yarn I used to practice my toe-up knitting a month or so back. 

I also noticed a set of #1 dpns lying there that needed to be filed away, so I picked them up and headed into my room to put them both away.  Once there, I noticed a couple books sticking out of yarn bags...and I knew I wasn't going to use the yarn in those bags for any of the patterns in those books, so I decided to put them away, too.  When I picked up one of the books, a loose pattern that I'd printed off the internet fluttered out.  I picked it up.  It was the Sunday Swing  sock pattern from the Summer 2009 Knitty.  So...I have the pattern...I look at it and realize it calls for #1 needles, which I have in my hand...and sock yarn...which I have in my other hand...I'm thinkin' this is a sign from the universe that I need to knit these socks, right?  So...I cast on.  They're top down, I'm about 2" into them (ribbing and one pattern repeat).  So far, so good.  Will post pics later in the week when I've hopefully made more progress.

We went to Cincinnati on Saturday to attend the wedding of a friend's son.  I shall evermore be known as the Glitter Queen.  Think PigPen from Charlie brown, only with glitter...

You must understand, I don't dress up often.  There are few occasions in my life that call for formality.  I wore suede cowboy boots at my own wedding.  However, Ukranian Jewish evening weddings are occasions that require bling.  The last time I needed formal clothes was when my stepdaughter got married in 2005...and I had to borrow a beaded jacket from a friend (she threw in some diamond jewelry, bless her heart!).  After that occasion, I knew I needed ONE formal outfit.  I had "concert wear", plenty of long, black velvet skirts and such, but nothing sparkly.  So, about a month after that wedding, I spent $17 and got a big dose of sparkle off the clearance rack at Kohl's.  It looks like this...
I love it, and I don't feel too much like a little girl playing dress up when I wear it.  I wore it for the first time this weekend...and I shed glitter wherever I went.  I hugged the groom's brother before the ceremony and noticed my glitter on his shoulder as he walked down the aisle.  I coated the car seat with glitter.  I coated the seat of my chair at the reception dinner with glitter.  Sunday morning, when I went to my friend's house to pick up Wilbur, they laughed at the glitter still on my face...I am the Glitter Queen, the Great Goddess of Glitter...

So...we went to the wedding.  I worked on the Boneyard Shawl during the drive down, mingling little brown tweedies with my glitter and velvet.  I am so excited about this shawl - only a few pattern repeats in and I'm already rubbing the soft fabric against my cheek and sighing blissfully...

The wedding was equally blissful.  It was held at The Phoenix in downtown Cincy and was very elaborate, yet very simple and tasteful.  Since the groom is not Jewish, they had a modified Jewish ceremony, topped off by both the bride and groom breaking the wine glass (equality - gotta love it!).

After the ceremony, there was a cocktail hour, followed by a huge dinner.  OMG...we ate from 8pm till after 11:30pm!!!  Appetizers...then dancing (work off all that food!)...entree...MORE cake and other yummy desserts...STILL more dancing...  The wedding band was the best I've ever heard (they did a version of "It's Raining Men" that rivaled the original - and I don't take lightly to people who think they can outsing Martha Wash), and they alternated with a deejay who played what must be the Ukranian Top 40 - lots of Russian pop and dance music.  Lovely, fun evening...but the best part was the overall tone of love and respect between the bridal couple, their friends and families.  There were no bawdy toasts, no cheesy garter antics, no smooshing in the face with wedding cake, and the wine, champagne, vodka and cognac were flowing freely, but no rowdy drunkenness.  We paced ourselves carefully, with only a cocktail before dinner and some wine and a few sips of champagne with dinner...and lots of black coffee afterward.  If ever there were a perfect wedding, I think this must have been it.

And then, road warriors that we are, at the end of the evening, we hopped into our car and drove the two hours back to Columbus, getting home at around 2:00am.  Silly, people..we were both tired, cranky, irritable zombies all day yesterday.  Nothing got done, and we alternated napping and snarking at each other the entire day.  I tried to knit a little on the Brandywine shawl, but found I wasn't able to even minimally concentrate, so not much knitting got done. 

And that was my weekend...whew!

But since this is a knitting blog and not a wedding blog, let's get back on topic.  There's something very cool going in in the knitting blog world next week!  Eskimimi has organized Knitting and Crochet Blog Week starting next Monday, April 26.  She has picked out some very cool blogging topics for each day of the week.  I've peeked at them - they're way cool!  This also goes along with The Blog Hub group on Ravelry.  Check it out and join in on the fun!!!

And in one last jolt of randomness, here's my first attempt at a "stocking", knit about five years ago.  Romeo bought me a pattern booklet which I think were stockings for each month of the year.  I can't find the booklet and can't remember the name right now.  This one was a Halloweeny theme in black and orange, however, I had dark green and ecru sock yarn on hand, so this is what I came up with.  The heel and toe are really loose and floppy, but I really was pleased with the colorwork.  And it's big?  I have a 17" laptop...that's how big!

Got this great pic of Wilbur, my little furry soulmate, this morning.  He'd just finished breakfast and was contemplating dessert.  He's wishing y'all a great Monday...and so am I!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

What's in your knitting basket?

Mega-post might want to grab a sammich and a cold drink, pour another cup of coffee, or whatever.  If you're popping open a't it a little early for that?

It's been one of those weeks around here...muffler and tailpipe on the old car decided to separate ("irreconcilable differences?"), which led to a day-long fiasco with the muffler place down the street.  A place that must be in a different time dimension since and hour and a half of "Laurie time" equals four hours of "Midas time".  Had to cancel my voice lesson and ended up with a migraine.

Yesterday, I started the day with a dental exam.  My philosophy is if you go to the dentist first thing in the morning, nothing worse can happen to you the rest of the day.  I am cavity-free for another six months (YAY!), but was more than a little grogged out after being in the chair at 7:30am, foodless and (more importantly) coffeeless.

After that start to the day, I was ready to treat myself a bit, so I took myself out to lunch.  No big deal...Bob's right down the street.  My original plan was to have breakfast, but I like their pot roast sandwich, and yesterday I had the Pot Roast Sandwich of the Gods.  That roast must have been right out of the oven...omg...delicious...moist, lean, tender...

With my tummy full and happy, I went on a (short) road trip to Dublin to check out Temptations.  I don't drive out to the 'burbs much, especially in the middle of the day, when the traffic is the most congested, and I'd put off going to this shop for a long time for that reason.  But it was worth was so, so, SO worth it.  If you're ever anywhere near Ohio, you need to visit Temptations!  I was given a quick tour of the shop by Karen, the awesome owner, then left to my own devices.  They have four rooms of yarn, a room of books/magazines, and a small room of...Are you ready for this?...a room of KNITTING NEEDLES!!!  If you remember my knitting needle fiasco of a month or so back, you know I was ready to fall on my knees and start chanting when I saw this.  I've never seen so many knitting needles in one place in my life.  It is the motherlode...

Yes...I shopped.  I bought a cute little petite cable needle, a 40" Addi Turbo Lace for the Luna Moth shawl...and some yarn...sock yarn...lovely sock yarn.  I can't show it to you because it's the beginning of my holiday knitting.  And some of the recipients of the projects to be made with this yarn are readers of this blog.  I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.  Please know it is killing me not to show off this yarn.

Then I went to WonderKnit.  I saw a Facebook post the other week that said they had the really super-short Hiya Hiya circular needles and thought that might be just the thing to help me with the Butterfly Garden Socks.  The socks were coming along quite nicely until I started working on the leg which has a purl background.  I'm very good at avoiding ladders with knit stitches...not so good (not anywhere NEAR good!) when I'm purling.  I also wanted to pick up another skein of the green Cascade Rustic.

As always WonderKnit had beautiful, tempting yarns, but I limited myself to the green Rustic and a 9" Hiya Hiya circ.  I may be back soon to pick up a few skeins of the red Cascade Rustic,'s seriously calling to me.

I'll tell you this about that 9"'s okay, but that's all.  It would help if it was a little pointier.  And I think I'll get a 12" when she gets them in.  The stitches are just a little jammed up.  But it does work, and I'm considerably less laddery now.

Oh, and I got a huge order from Knit Picks yesterday, including six balls of  beloved City Tweed DK and a bunch of notions.  I love Knit Picks.  They're pretty close to perfect.  My only frustration is their shipping.  I live about 20 minutes from their warehouse (Mapquest says 22.9 miles, 28 minutes), and it usually takes about five days to get an order.  I also order a lot from Paradise Fibers.  Yes, I am in their affiliate program - I'm not saying this because I'm in their affiliate program, I'm in their affiliate program because of this.  They are in Spokane, Washington - according to Mapquest, 2,132.18 miles  and 31 hours away.  Last Thursday afternoon, LATE in the afternoon, I placed an order with them.  My order arrived on Saturday!!!

So...while I love, love, LOVE Knit Picks...if something can ship from 2,000 miles away and arrive in two days, something can certainly ship from 23 miles away and arrive in less then five, wouldn't ya think?

And now it's Show & Tell Time!  My title is "What's in Your Knitting Basket?", so I thought I'd give you an update on what's in mine.  This doesn't include the Triangle Scarf, the Ten-Stitch Blanket, or the Christmas Tree Skirt, since they're all repetitive, long-term things.  I'll show them off when they're done.  These are the "sexy projects".

Here's the Luna Moth - I'm well into the green now and out of "mac & cheese territory".  Stouffer's will be sad to see their sales go down, but my jeans and my scale will be much happier now.  Somewhere in the midst of that orange-yellow, I was doubting my fondness for this pattern.  I'm doubting no longer - this pattern rocks!  

Here's the Evenstar Shawl, halfway through Clue #4.  When I got my 60" circ and was able to spread this out a little more and see what I'd done, I almost hyperventilated.  This is my first attempt at serious lace.  I would have been happy if it looked somewhat similar to what it was supposed to look like...I can't believe I knit this.  I can't believe it so much that I'm giving you TWO pictures to ooh and aah over.  I also can't believe that Shimmer striped up so much with this pattern.  I seriously don't like those brown stripes..

Now for the Butterfly Garden sock.  I'm about 1/3 of the way done with the leg with the butterfly pattern.  You can also check out that little 9" circ...and my ugly, floppy, laddery purl stitches from using the dpns...sigh...

Next is the Pine and Ivy Shawl.  I'm only five rows into this, but hope to make some major progress on it today.

And the Brandywine.  According to the pattern, I'm a little over halfway finished with this one, but according to my yarn supply, I'm not that far along.  This is such a nice little easy pattern...and so beautiful.  I didn't pin out the edges for the picture because I was afraid of the stitches coming off the needle. 

Here's the Citron Shawl.  I love this pattern so much, and it's perfect for the Mini Mochi yarn that I hated.  I'll need to get another ball or two to finish this one, and I have plans to make several more in other colors.  Some of these may end up being Christmas gifts...ya never know!  I had hoped to have this one finished today to wear to a wedding tomorrow night, but no such luck...

Lastly, is my newest project, the Boneyard Shawl, knit in that brand new City Tweed DK in Tabby.  Oh, I'm only 24 rows into this one, and I know I'm gonna love it when it's done!

We're heading to Cincinnati for a wedding tomorrow.  Can't decide which project to take, so I'll probably just take them all - after all, this is what's in my knitting basket right now.

What's in yours??????

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here's something I haven't seen in a long time

Yup...Wilbur's butt-end when we're out on our walks.  For months now, as we've fought through his tummy problems, his walks were usually short, and he was usually at my side or lagging along behind me.  So nice to see him trotting out ahead again.  You can't see it from the picture, but he has that border collie bounce in his step again!

Saturday was a glorious day, and there were many lovely things to be seen in our little neighborhood.
Sadly, the only thing that is found in our yard is that lonely little red tulip.  Oh, we once had lilacs, but the city came through last year and dug them out when they replaced the sewer lines.  So, I have to walk about a block to bury my face in gorgeous, intoxicating lilacs.  Our yard is a major reclamation project.  Not a pretty sight...

Oh, here's something else we saw a lot of:
Yup...Wilbur checking his pee-mail.

Happy day - so glad it's spring!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

They're laughing at me, you know...

My mother and my grandmothers, those goddesses of all things involving fabric, thread or fiber...they're having a good long chuckle right now.  Can't you hear them????  Listen!!! 

Ok...maybe not, but it wouldn't surprise me.  I think they're playing a colossal cosmic trick on me from beyond the grave.  Why else would every button I choose from the family button box - chosen to honor all of them, mind you - have exactly ONE less button than I need for whatever project I'm working on???  Just look at this:
This is payback for all those years I spent playing army with the guys, chasing down birds and frogs and snakes and bringing them home instead of sitting quietly by the sides of the needlewomen in my life and learning my craft from them.  I am cursed to always have one less button than what I need!

I could just go out and buy buttons, it's true...but I really like to use the buttons handed down to me as much as I can.  And I really had some great button ideas for this project, Mavis Adams' Button-Up Neck Warmer.  In the end, though I couldn't use any of the cool green buttons I wanted, I was able to settle on these...and my quickie Grapevine neck warmer was a success
In other knitterly news, I spent some time on the Luna Moth Shawl and finally got out of that "make me constantly crave mac & cheese orange" shade and into true yellow, soon to be green.  It's hard to see the color change right now, but once I get a little ways into the green, I'll post a pic of my progress.

I also started knitting on the Citron Shawl, and I'm lovin' it!!  I decided to use that Crystal Palace Mini Mochi I had lying around.  Yes...that yarn I hated so much after knitting the Pretty Thing cowl with it.  May I change my mind???  On #7 needles and using the Citron Shawl pattern, the Mini Mochi is an absolute dream!!  I'm already planning two other Citrons using some other colorways of Mini Mochi - I am in love!!!
Tomorrow...or if I have time today...I'll work a little more on Brandywine and try to get my first sock finished.  Now it's off to eat an early dinner, take Wilbur for a walk, then Harmony Project rehearsal (and I really need to tell you about THAT!).  Happy knitting, happy spring!