Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Prairie Rose Petals

After listening to me wax idiotic about The Knitter's Book of Wool and how enthralled I was with information about different breeds of sheep, you might think that my first knit from the book would be from an exotic yarn, spun from the wool of a rare sheep. Instead, I went to the stash for the yarn to knit the Prairie Rose Shawl. Since this is a gift, I went for the color I thought would be best for the recipient, and came up with Knit Picks Palette in Petal. Still, the information from the book flitted through my mind as I knit the lace. I considered the different characteristics the author urges us to look for when we examine a new skein of yarn. It gave me a different perspective as I formed PrairieRoseModeledBackeach stitch.

Actually, that makes the process of this shawl sound much slower than it was. This was a quick knit. The lace has such a lovely rhythm. The stitches danced by as the rows fairly flew off the needles. While I have plenty more of this yarn in this color, (Hi, Lizzie!) I did not knit any additional repeats of the main chart. Still, with this fingering weight yarn, I knit a nice-sized shawl. Now, I only need to get an address and pop it in the mail.

Pattern: Prairie Rose Lace Shawl
Source: Knitter's Book of Wool
Designer: Evelyn A. Clark
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Petal
Yarn Total: 114g/526.7yds
Needle: US 6 Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeable

Friday, January 22, 2010

Random--Not Just for Wednesdays

This has not been an ordinary week. It has not been my favorite week, but it has not been completely horrible. However, when I type it out, it seems much worse.

There was a close encounter of the aviation kind. On Monday, a plane crashed very close to my brother's house. The news vans were stationed at the end of their driveway for a couple of days.

There were close encounters of the wildlife varieties. This included two skunks (one in our yard), a coyote, and a possum (not the cat).

We had extended family sadness. This roused a sleeping, ancient, family drama llama, but it will probably drift back into slumberland soon. It is just sad. Slowly backing away is probably the best answer, although far from being a good one. Some things cannot be fixed, and some things are not ours to fix.
There was a surprise tornado. It was not near our home. We had eerie, shining sun combined with rain and a bit of hail.

There were good things that happened, too. There was a birthday. My nephew turned eight. The party included plenty of bowling, silliness, and chocolate cake.

JojolandMelodyThere was a good time with a friend. While my camnesia leaves one item undocumented, I can show yarn that I received. I have never worked with Jojoland Melody sock yarn, and Hoobody Fibers sock yarn is new to me, too.HoobodyFibersSockYarn

I have also been knitting the Prairie Rose Shawl. I only have about sixteen more rows to go, so I will wait to take photos.

Oh, and I had an amazing shopping trip, bargain-wise. You need toilet paper and caffeine-free Diet Pepsi? We have it here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Hooray! It's Cookie's Day! Happy Birthday, Cookie!

Resolutions :: Declarations
Page :: Turner
Narrow :: Minded
Refuse :: Deny
Fountain :: Pen
Grunt :: Groan
Construct :: Build
Nightmare :: Mind
Inch :: Along
Instant :: Pudding

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Slow Starts

The fiber adventure I felt coming on has taken a different path than I would have guessed. Mostly, it has involved curling up with a book. So far, I am quite liking The Knitter's Book of Wool. Slowly taking in a paragraph or two at a time, I am ready to begin the second chapter. Oh, yeah. You did not realize I was operating at that speed, eh? I like thinking about the wools in the context of spinning and knitting, and wondering how the new knowledge might help me. I even took a quiz online, and learned what kind of sheep I am. Who knew? I just know there is never any reason to doubt the results of a quiz from the innerwebz.

The book is more than just talk. When I wanted a break from reading, I skipped to the pattern section, where part of its introduction reads:
William Shakespeare wrote, "Joy's soul lies in the doing." Those words ring especially true in knitting, where the fun is truly in the doing. The real pleasure comes when we pick up our needles, choose a yarn, and cast on--which is how we arrived at this chapter.
While I know this was not written solely for me, the message certainly resonated with me. There is a nice selection of patterns, there are more than a couple that I would like to knit now, and getting something new on the needles might currently rank as a necessity. In that light, selecting amongst the knits that first jumped out at me is easy--lace. This is not just any lace; it is an Evelyn A. Clark triangular shawl (Prairie Rose Lace Shawl--just in case you were curious). I love that I can just dive right into one of her patterns, confident that it will be well written, easy to follow, give wonderful results, and have a just right start to finish time. Mmmm...comfort lace.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


It is easy to become bogged down by feelings of helplessness and frustration at what I cannot do, things I cannot fix, pain I cannot take away. I was wearing myself down, just spinning my wheels in the muck, and then I stopped. First, I needed silence and stillness to sit with acceptance. This allowed me to not let what I cannot do stop me from doing what I can. It also showed me more that I can do, and letting go of the rest allowed me to have the energy to do it. I even found a way to translate some of what I am doing into something that can be seen. Well, it cannot be seen right now, and it might not make its way to the blog, but others will see it.

I continue my unintentional tradition of missing the local Roc Day celebration. I really thought I was going to make it this year, but a family something made its way to the schedule, and it is more important. That is not to say that the spinning is being left by itself in a corner to cry. I do not know what fiber adventure is about to begin, but it is definitely time.

365 :: Days
Tombstone :: Pizza
Dumb :: Bag of Hammers
Intrusive :: Loud
Fat :: Lard
Axe :: Grind
Planned :: Idiocy
Spike :: Watermelon
Bleach :: White
Shopkeeper :: Annoyed

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

I'm Covered in Bunnies (and Distractable)

Yes, it is winter, and colder weather is not a surprise. Others scoff and note that it is colder elsewhere, and they are right, but it is cold for this area. We are in the midst of colder-than-average temperatures, and their effects are compounded by what is predicted to be at least a weeklong stretch. However, I do not mind the cold, but rather am enjoying the chance to use more of my warmer handknits. A too-long retail endeavor was a bit less unpleasant as I noticed an increased number of handknit scarves worn by other shoppers. My handspun, handknit Shetland/Angora scarf really makes a difference against the chill. Perhaps I look like one of those fiber festival people attempting to display everything knit since last year, but I am warm.

Casting on for a new something on New Year's Day seems like something of a knitterly tradition, and I decided that was a good enough reason for me. I had been trying to decide between an EZ Spiral/DairyQueen/Snail Hat and Quincy. Then the idea to spin the yarn for the EZ hat came to me, so Quincy automatically won the honor of this year's first knit, and I love it.

I had already selected the yarn I wanted to use for my new hat. It is GGH Lamour (50% Extrafine Wool/33%Angora/17%Nylon), and it is so soft. It had lived in the stash for years, having been given to me by a knitter thinning out the stash before moving to a new home. Several times, I had swatched with the yarn, but nothing was ever right. It was a joy to pet, and the color always pleased me, but each experiment ended with its return to the yarn bin.

I hoped that the yarn would finally find its match with this mostly garter stitch pattern, and as I knit, it appeared to be working. By the time I completed the i-cord and garter portion, I was sold on pairing of yarn and pattern. This was a quick knit, and I love my new hat. If I were to make it again, I would make it a bit larger because my head is big, and so is my hair. The finished hat got a thumbs-up from Brucie. He later told me that he was not too impressed with the picture in the booklet, and that my hat is better. Yep. He's a keeper.


Yes, I need a new staff photographer. If anyone can point me to a tutorial on how to train wild, stray cats in photographing knits, it would be greatly appreciated.

Speaking of New Year's traditions, I did have black-eyed peas. Cookie asked how I planned to prepare them. I was not sure. I have been working these past few months to gain experience and improve my preparation of legumes. I think Nora might have thought I was not being serious when that was my comment on her post about learning, but it really is true. When she asked, I had no answer for Cookie. Also, what is up with this spell of mine having trouble responding to comments? I must be a terrible person. Anyway, a good chunk of the legume-preparation instructions goes something like this:
Pour legumes on counter and sort out rocks and rotten pieces
Rinse legumes and soak in water overnight
Drain off soaking water
Boil legumes and pigs until desired tenderness is reached
Still, that is not all of the information available, and I ended up using this as a jumping off point. It gave enough inspiration to help me throw something together that we enjoyed. I think that along with some cornbread, it might have been all we ate that day. Oh, yeah--Happy New Year!