Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fly Away

This butterfly is free. In spite of the nuppiness, this is easily one of my favorite patterns. Evelyn Clark is a genius! Her patterns are always so well put together. Take an easy to knit inner section and pair it with beautiful borders.

The Lily of the Valley borders mesh perfectly. They were easy to execute, previous problems excluded, and took very little time. I will knit this again as more are already planned. I'm also fairly certain that I will never attempt a p5tog with a Holz & Stein needle again.

Lily of the Valley Borders and Peaked Edging

The tail of the shawl is another gorgeous detail. I will never cease to be amazed at the wonder of blocked lace. Even when you think you have the perfect idea of what it will look like, watching it bloom and spread from a barely recognizable blob is magic.

Swallowtail Shawl Tail

This shawl is for our next door neighbor of over 40+ years. The Kearses have looked out for and checked on us since we were kids. From the early days of shuffling 3 houses of kids back and forth in the big blue Buick to the swimming pool for lessons to the present. She's suffered heart problems in the past few years but this hasn't stopped her from looking out for and taking care of others. She's in her 70's and I enjoy her spunkiness, wisdom and wit.


Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark, Interweave Knits Fall '06
Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr in *Garnet (50% wool, 50% silk)
Needles: 4 mm Holz & Stein circular
Size: 48' x 21.5'
Started: July 31, 2006 Finished: August 30, 2006

Going on up the WIP list is Pumpkin from A Treasury of Rowan Knits. It will be for Isaiah and at this time I'm stumped as to what size to make. He'll be 2 in October and is already moving to a size 4T! I started the size 4-5 but it looks to be way too big. It will be more than one color so I have to work the color scheme out also. Any and all tips are more than welcome. I'm used to knitting sweaters for the nieces, mom and sis. The poor nephews and brothers have been missing out on the fun for years.

*Edited 9/7/06 to correct color reference from Cinnabar to Garnet

Monday, August 28, 2006


Sometimes I look at the WIP list and feel more than a slight tinge of guilt. An ever increasing list of future projects, more and more yarn and patterns to choose from add to this feeling. Today another one got knocked off the list. The butterfly is free.

After conquering the "nuppiness" Saturday evening I was on a roll. Sunday I awoke with great plans to finish the shawl that afternoon. That was until I received a phone call from DBB (Dear Baby Brother) letting me know that he was on the way with Isaiah! The afternoon was spent entertaining Isaiah and preparing homemade Baked Rigatoni and garlic bread which he loved. All we could hear was "mmmmm" fully explaining why he's such a chunk.

As soon as I settled down in the stillness of the evening and the empty house to knit the wild bunch arrived. DMB (Dear Middle Brother)and his family arrived at 9:00 PM to eat dinner!!! Dinner that was served 3 hours earlier. It never ceases to amaze me how different people change the whole atmosphere of a place. The level of noise in the house immediately increased by several decibels and the house was turned into a rocking, rapping, laughing fun house. I'm glad Grandma is on "vacation". (Mom's retired so technically every day is vacation.) The neighbors were probably wondering what the hell was going on. Needless to say it was a great day.

I soaked Swallowtail but the old neck is aching so I'll re-soak and pin tomorrow. Meanwhile, I'll begin a swatch for a sweater out of the Rowan Treasury for Isaiah and start planning the Xmas list. How did the time get away?

***To answer a question from the previous post, we are adding a den, bedroom with bath, consolidated laundry area, pantry and workroom and on the back entrance a nice little deck.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Brick House

Done, finis, finito. We have enough bricks to build a pit, pathways and who knows what else. The bricks pretty much match the house under the dark coating that's on them so we're hoping that most of comes off when they wash them.

The back yard is a jungle and a trash bin. There isn't any room to haul in one of those huge trash bins to pile everything in. They still have steps and a deck to build and painting before the exterior is complete.

Next month I take over the duties of president of the Palmetto Purlers Knitting Guild. It looks to be a challenging, but interesting year. Today I've been working on getting organized for the September meeting and going through the embarassing door prize bins.

Not much knitting today. I am not making very good friends with "her nuppiness" also known as Swallowtail. Note to self: Do not knit nupps with a Holz & Stein, between the fear of breakage and aggravation the fun is over. It will be finished this weekend.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

And the wheel goes round ...

In place of the neon green splotchiness is a neon green spiral traveling up and around the sock. I'm going to knit the foot plain and pattern the calf in Corded Rib.

I finally figured out the problem with the Swallowtail Shawl. The shifting double decrease was throwing me off! Brain farts, brain cramps and brain drain, I couldn't keep the freaking chart straight. I got rid of the markers for the repeats and it has been smooth sailing today.

Fresh on the needles is Tilia. I'm not liking the Hempathy so much at the moment. Every now and then I miss knitting one of the plies. It's not so bad now that I'm on the stockinette portion. I'm loving the border design.

The color is more of a dusty rose and the body has many more repeats of the rib and lace portion. This sweater shouldn't take long to knit (unless I get bored with miles of ss). The fact that it has long sleeves will postpone its debut for a while.

***If you have time read the post "My Prayer" on Neglecting My Kids.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Rip-it, Rip-it

Friday I had a slowdown on the Swallowtail Shawl. The first row of the Lily of the Border Chart 1 gave me fits. The nupps and repeats were off several stitches each time. Four times I ripped back the row and tried to get it right only to realize that the problem was 2 rows down. All is well once again and I've taken a brief hiatus.

The second sleeve of Rachel was completed on Monday. Woo hoo!! I'm putting off blocking until the week mom goes to Reno. With all the dust and stuff going on at the moment it's best to wait until they take a break for that week.

Today I ripped the Corded Rib socks back to the toe. Hard as I tried, I couldn't stand the neon green traveling stripe that developed. The more it moved the less I liked it. When I started the gusset shaping things got even uglier.

Since I haven't been able to knit much for the past few days, exacerbation of the shoulder and neck issues again, I turned this .....

Lace Cardigan from VK Spring or Summer 2004

into this.

Even though it was a first prize winner at our State Fair in 2004, I'd outgrown it and was never really pleased with the fit. I'm not sure how many skeins of Silky Wool was used. It'll go in the stash for now while I figure out what to do with it. My next sweater project is Tilia by Elsebeth Lavold in Hempathy.

In the meantime, the drywall, mudding and ceiling are finished. They'll put in the doors and moulding next week. I think I've decided on a shade of gold for the craft room. I don't want a color that is too bright or too dark. We won't be using it anytime soon, it's going to be part of our living quarters while we have work done in the original part of the house, so I still have a few months to plan the set-up for the space.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Mom was standing in the front door grinning from ear to ear when I pulled into the driveway from work. The old and new are connected, the brick masons have begun their work and dry wall was delivered. All in the same day!!!

A view from the inside.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


10 down, 4 repeats remaining on the Bud Lace section of the Swallowtail Shawl. I'm still adjusting to knitting with lace weight yarn. It's becoming much easier to make corrections versus frogging. (Somewhere along the line I've got to learn to use a lifeline.)

This week I slowed down on the knitting regimen to give my hands a rest, especially the left one. Between being on the computer all day at work and knitting all evening at home plus using the computer, I realized that my wrists and hands were sending signals, mainly in the form of pain and tingling, that I wasn't listening to and that I need to stop working constantly on small gauge projects given that I had to sleep in support braces last year after they kept falling asleep during the night. When I knit I tend to zone out and knit continously for hours which is a very, very bad habit and an extremely hard one to break.

It's been over six months since I stopped smoking! Last week I joined a wellness center as part of the effort to increase my overall physical and mental well-being. My neck, left shoulder and arm may have reached it's maximum improvement so I need to make sure that I take care of the rest me to reduce the strain and the pain. I've been walking some in the building at work but not as much I should. There's always too much to do and before I realize it the day is over.

On Saturday I took a water aerobics class and today my calves are killing me. Tomorrow I'll be back at it again and for the moment will alternate walking with water aerobics. Working out feels great and I'm looking forward to increasing my stamina and joint mobility.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

We Are Family

When my youngest niece visited us during the week of the 4th of July, I learned that her favorite song is "We Are Family". She sang a beautiful variation taught to her by her mother loudly and often. Last week we learned that she is not the youngest of the grands. Today we met Isaiah.

The moment he got of my youngest brother's car he walked up to me, reached out to hold my hand and into our hearts.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My Supermodel Mom

You betta work! [cova gurl]
Work it gurl! [give a twirl]
Do your thing . . . On the runway.
(Lyrics from Supermodel)

Supermodels work under some pretty adverse conditions. Mom took time in the oppressive heat yesterday to pose for photos thus, in my book, reaching Supermodel status. It was dusk by the time we got around to snapping the pictures so the colors are a little washed out by the flash.(By 11:00 PM the temp had finally dropped to 85 degrees.)

She carried it with her when she went next door to the neighbors and reports that it kept her shoulders nice and warm.

Pattern: Jill's Koigu Lace Shawl
Yarn: 5 skeins Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM)
Needles: 4 mm Ebony Holz & Stein circular
Size: 64" wide, 31" deep at midpoint
Started: July 18, 2006 Finished: July 31, 2006

Modifications: None to the shawl, numerous corrections to the instructions as written. While gauge may be subjective in lace knitting, there is no indication that the pattern is for a very small shawl. I blocked the fart out of it!!!

The Swallowtail Shawl is on the needles. cast-on last night and started the lace repeats today. The Corded Ribs are almost to the point where I have to decide if I'm going to use a gusset. Picking the toe was such an easy task that I'm tempted to use my usual toe-up heel. I wrote a list of heels to try the majority of which are suitable for top-down not toe-up patterns. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

This evening I attended the neighborhood "Night Out". I live in a neighborhood where most of the people have children that either me or one my siblings grew up knowing or attended school with. Most of them are now retired or semi-retired and have grands and/or great-grands. There were a few that I hadn't seen in years. It was great evening. Heat, skeeters and all.