Saturday, June 28, 2008

what's your favorite?

If anyone is out there...I'd like your opinion!

I'm currently suffering from my favorite internet site ennui and eagerly looking for new fodder, knitting-related and otherwise. Just leave a comment noting what your favorite site is, and I'll go check it out.

Of course, I'll try not to get more depressed if there are no comments...

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Yesterday, BH and I made the trek west to attend the Graduation Open House for our twin nieces. Of course, being anywhere near Madison means a trip to Lakeside Fibers.

If I had my own shop, I'd want it to be just like Lakeside...well, with a few changes (not into the whole weaving thing, more sock yarn, and I'd probably want my staff to be a bit more engaging). It's lovely, though - Rowan, Dale of Norway, beautiful decor and fixtures, fantastic natural light, and - gasp! - a coffee shop built right in with comfy chairs and tables that offer this view:

ah...Lake Monona in June. Can't tell you how much I miss living in Madison. It's always been my kind of town and I've never felt more at home anywhere.

It has always been a dream of mine to 1) actually bring knitting with me on a visit to Lakeside and 2) have the time and inclination to savor a cuppa whilst knitting. My wishes came true yesterday. After poking around for a bit while BH made his way to another Madison institution for his particular brand of geekdom, I reposed blissfully in mine. With a fine brew, a lovely lake breeze and peace of mind, I whipped out On-Your-Toe sock #2 and knit.

What do they say...imitation is the best form of flattery? Well, to imitate a knitter and writer who I admire very much (and secretly wished she were my neighbor...I mean neighbour), I snapped a photo of the sock à la the Yarn Harlot:

Sock #1 is complete and on display, hopefully drumming up some interest in my upcoming class!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What I meant was...

My oh-so-dreamy Dream In Color is actually Cloud Jungle! No matter the color, this yarn is divine and all the hype is well-deserved.

I started the On-Your-Toes socks by Ann Budd from last summer's Interweave Knits this week. Don't get me wrong, Interweave Knits is by far my most favorite knitting mag and I think Ann Budd is wonderful. However, the directions for the cast-on seem to be missing a few critical points. I even turned to the Innernets to see what other knitters did...there was no shortage of similar complaints, but very little in the way of clarification! I had to futz and putz with it to actually make it work and - after a few choice words during several failed attempts - I got it. When I cast on for the second sock, I think I'm actually going to photograph it and post it so there will be something out there.

I was so tempted to just chuck the indicated cast on and use a trusty provisional one I've used for toe-up socks before. But, as this is for a class I'm teaching later this summer, I thought it best to work out all the kinks in the pattern beforehand. Glad I did - the results were well worth the fleeting frustration!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fork report

Another opportunity to stick a fork in a project 'cause it's done. Introducing the Striped Raglan Pullover, aka Design #1:

Cripe, even without my mug in the shot, I am the most unphotogenic person on this planet...

Most surprisingly, I'm actually thrilled with it. I didn't like it much to begin with, but it really did grow on me. I adore the colors and the neckline, plus it fits like a dream! And it was fast with a capital "f"! I'm usually on size 3 needles lately and this one, with 4.5 spi just seemed to fly by. I did some modifications by the seat of my pants including changing the edging from a 2x1 rib to seed stitch (and the needle size change, etc. that goes along with that) as well as making it longer. Originally, I had planned a sweater that landed at the top of the hip but since I had a lot of this yarn and it would have been more than a little awkward to return it, I decided to use more of it and make it tunic-length, replete with side slits:

Of course, as soon as it was completed, I decided to putz with it and, naturally, add some length to the sleeves. But, since this is knit top down, there was no need to break out the scissors. All that needed to be done was to un-do the cast off edge (the cuff), rip back, add another stripe and re-knit the seed stitch edge. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

I can definitely tell that it is going to be a warm weather favorite. All that remains is a light block and Design #1 will have successfully emerged from the pile-o-worsted weight-stash!

Friday, June 6, 2008

What a haul!

I celebrated another birthday last weekend and, if I do say so myself (and despite me saying repeatedly that I really didn't want anything other than a nice day), I made out like a bandit. In addition to a multi-year renewal to Interweave Knits, I scored some PDC (pretty darn cute) stuff from Little Miss Matched (the tights that I wore this winter were always good for total strangers starting a conversation). BH ordered some over-the-knee socks plus this too-cute-for-words sock coin purse:

Little did I know the whole story behind these 2 gifts :-) Just another reason that I love him so.

Then there was a tin of Alterra's Starfire Anise Tea. I first had a cuppa this a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. With many of my most favorite tea ingredients, it sure is a wonderful treat with dinner.
Mark & Nancy, Washie & Maddie's original People, sent me this print. If you have read their blog, you'll know how perfect this is, beyond the fact that one deer is knitting and the other is reading. I pretty much bawled when I opened up the package. Where the heck did they find such a thing?!?

In cycling news, our pre-dawn commutes to the gym and back have begun. I had forgotten how lovely it is to be pedaling up Lake Drive as the sun rises and the birds chirping madly away. It does, in so many ways, get the day started out on a high note, especially being able to cruise up the big hill at a good clip and barely breathing hard. It's just over 11 miles round trip so it is pretty easy to incorporate the ride into our workouts when we do get there (even this morning's 60 minute spinning class). I finally cashed in my Wheel & Sprocket gift card from Christmas to get a new bike computer so I can start getting an accurate read on the mileage (nearing 200 already). This new model also has a thermometer and, as we passed through several micro-climates lakeside today, it was interesting to note how just a few degrees' fluctuation really feels like much more.

Knitting-wise, I'm just doing the very last bits of finishing on the Striped Raglan and I like it quite a bit. I'll have a photo of it this weekend as well as a picture of a new sock in Dream In Color Smooshy in the Dusky Aurora colorway for a class I'll be teaching this summer!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A piece of cake

Ravelry puts a cute little birthday cake on your avatar:

Photos of the birthday haul (got wonderful gifts!) and the nearly completed striped raglan coming soon...