twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Check out my Stash! August 28, 2014

Pssst–c’mere! I got somethin’ to show ya…

IMG_1845So last time, I posted, I got a wonderful suggestion from one of my BFFITW to share what I snagged at The Fold. Unfortunately it was just days before the Bug went back to school (lordy, she’s a sophomore!), and with all the back to school shopping extras and parents’s back to school night to meet the teachers, giving the house a really good cleaning, and finishing my novel “Lore” (insert insane, happy dance here), I haven’t had a chance. So here it is: my wooly goodness from The Fold!

IMG_1936First up–2 heart-stoppingly soft skeins of an indie brand: Rovings, fingering weight in Polwarth and silk. This is slated for a shawl I’ve been craving for ages: Quill, which is a lovely square shawl by Jared Flood with feather and fan edges.IMG_1937

I’m not absolutely certain, however, that I will actually ever make this shawl, as my past experiences with Mr. Flood’s patterns have left me feeling dazed and confused, as well as incapable. I might instead create my own circular shawl pattern using skills I learned last spring at Stitches West and Myra Wood’s way cool class “Crazy as Pi.”

Whatever I do must do it justice, though, as Toni Neil tells me the lady who makes this yarn is not going to be doing so for much longer…sigh.

 

Second–So, I’ve jumped on the “gradient” bandwagon with this purchase, I suppose. IMG_1940Wonderland Yarns “Mad Hatter” (quite apropos colorway name for moi, I must say…)

But I truly couldn’t resist this package of my favorite shades…gorgeous lipstick and bloody magenta to bordeaux and rich cocoa. I think these There and back again socks might be interesting, or perhaps these lovely mitts. I love them except for the ribbed bottom. I generally despise ribbing. I think changing the ribs to seed stitch or a picot edge would have to be done. Anyone have any other suggestions?IMG_1941

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1932Next bit of yarn love is this fuzzy, softy, heavenly blue Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Fingering in an amazing color blue–“The Winter Blues.” It told me it wanted to be Henslowe, and so it shall be.

The final two skeins of my stash pig out are quite simply Malabrigo Finito, which is the most fabulous, buttered kittens superfine merino I’ve ever touched. If you’ve ever rubbed this against your face, you understand. This color is “Mostaza,” and frankly I’ve been searching for it so I can shamelessly copy this: Heart of the Lotus–the “delicate” version. I know the color is unusual, however like the designer, this acid green is a neutral for me.IMG_1934

I think my knitting needles of mine will be busy this winter…;)

If anyone has any other ideas, or would like to share what they’re working on, please share…I’d love to know!

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Have you any wool July 13, 2014

Lovely little piles of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock, Miss Babs Yummy, Cosmic, and Yet, Handmaiden Silk Sock, Sea Sock, and Posh Hannah

Lovely little piles of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock, Miss Babs Yummy, Cosmic, and Yet, Handmaiden Silk Sock, Sea Sock, and Posh Hannah

To me, there is little that is more satisfying than a stack of small cakes of merino (or if I’m very lucky, merino and silk blend, too) just waiting to become a shawl, or some mitts, or a pair of colorful socks. Sort of the equivalent of having a well-stocked pantry. So today, after the house was all tidy, I pulled out a bunch of skeins (some of which have been in my storage tubs for years), my yarn swift and ball winder (now, now), checked out what shows have been languishing on the DVR, and started winding.

After about two and a half hours I was finished; I had 15 lovely skeins of fingering weight and lace weight yarn all neatly wound with, miraculously, not a single tangling disaster. Even with the all the silk I was winding.

Anyway, here’s the result of my little party. Rather an embarrassment of riches, with an obvious penchant for pink. Especially Handmaiden’s Sangria, which I have in nearly every single fingering weight base they dye because I love the color so much. Well, I’ve never hidden the fact I have SABLE (StashAccumulationBeyondLifeExpectancy) issues. But now that these goodies are all wound, it’ll be easy to open a ziploc or a tub and pull one out to make something fabulous.

 

 

Ah, Fraternity July 7, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kathy @ 12:55 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

IMG_1759Yes, those who know me well probably know that I have a thing about symmetry. Problem is, I’m fickle about which things I like to have sporting symmetry, and which things I’d like to have stand out because of the asymmetry. Like when I make jewelry, for instance…I like the necklaces and bracelets to have a random sort of feeling; there might be a little bit of a pattern on the sides that go around the neck, however, the center area of a necklace is nearly always very mixed. Earrings, on the other hand, really need to be symmetrical, unless of course you’re in a mood to channel the 80s. Been there, done that. On the other hand, maybe I should rethink that. Hmm.

Knitting, for me, is nearly the complete opposite of that reasoning. I like my sleeves to be the same length, thank you very much. I like my shawls to be balanced (sorry Stephen West–I just can’t pull off your brand of cool, though I admire it), and although I’m intrigued by the many pullovers I’ve seen lately with a longer tail in the back, socks must match. Until now.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Feet!

Happy Feet!

I found these mismatched, fraternal socks to be an exercise in letting go. I am such a control freak sometimes (Yes, I admit it. Not proud of it, but there it is.) that I miss seeing the artistic freedom asymmetry creates. I really like them, though (here I go) I do wish I would’ve been able to get more red into the second sock. And also, I’m a little bummed that I read over the comments about the yarn’s yardage being misrepresented (not true in my case) on Ravelry. I was afraid I’d run out for the second sock so I skimped on length and have nearly an ounce of leftover yarn to show for it. Boobies. On the upside, they only took 7 days of actual knitting. Well, a few hours over each of 7 days, but you probably know what I mean.

I think I’ll use it up with 1/2 skein of plain black fingering I have floating around here to make a crazy stripety pair of mitts with little black antique buttons on the sides that’ve been floating about in my ole noggin’ for awhile.

Fraternity is a good thing, I think.

IMG_1760                                 Just ask the cats. 😉IMG_1761

 

 

What I wish I were doing instead of finishing this d**n sock December 26, 2013

D**n Sock

D**n Sock

1. Finishing my Ollalieberry Girl sweater

2. Starting a couple of knitted baby girl gifties

3. Eating (more) homemade fruitcake

4. Sorting through my manymanymany skeins of fingering weight yarn for 7 skeins to use on the Albers Cowl in my queue

5. Starting the Darling Emma I swatched for this past July

6. Tidying/organizing the pit of hell the studio/office, yet again

7. Taking a walk

8. Taking a nap

9. Laundry

10. Having a beer with the most interesting man in the world—wait I married him 😉

I know I said I’d never knit another sock for a size 13 foot, but what can I say, I love him. And this pattern from Tin Can Knits, Rye, is quick, fun, and free. Except for the d**m heel flap, but those are both done now, so even that’s a non-issue. So okay, that does it. Staying up until this sucker is finished. Period.

A lovely old ornament from my BFF Meggie, on my vintage tinsel tree

A lovely old ornament from my BFF Meggie, on my vintage tinsel tree

Anyway, I hope you all had a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

And if I could please ask also, for a prayer or healing thought for a friend who’s suffering through some heavy duty cancer treatments. The cancer, which was serious to begin with, has spread from his brain through to his lungs and lymph nodes, and although I know the doctors are doing all they can, any extra prayers or healing thoughts wouldn’t hurt…at least in my mind. I’m sure his wife and two boys would be grateful as well.

 

Weaving in Loose Ends August 27, 2013

Well, it’s been awhile, but I promise, I’ve been so busy I’m lucky to have clean clothes and a fed family most days. Thank God for the “quick cycle” and the CrockPot.

Since we’ve last met:

Only in San Francisco Airport. I mean, it's a good idea. Still, where else...

Only in San Francisco Airport. I mean, it’s a good idea. Still, where else…

Bug and I ran out to Chi-town for a lightning-quick summer trip.

There I happily spent time with my dear parents, my adorable Sista and kiddos, my Bro and darling SIL, and (squee!) a wee bit (never enough though!) of time together with my BFFs Darling Cuz, and Meggie, knitting and gabbing. Oh yes, and there was that super delightful “cousin road trip” my Darling Cuz and I take every summer to my all time favorite yarn store on the planet, The Fold in far off Marengo, Illinois. Toni is an absolute gem–the best purveyor of fiber-related goods on this planet. She carries a wonderful collection of Blue Moon Fiber, Madelintosh, and Mountain Colors, along with some of the usual yarny brands. And if you spin, then baby, this is the place for you! OMG, the lovely bags of roving, including many many unique and rare kinds of fleece. Fabulous. But it’s not just what she carries,  but it’s her delightful personality and winning customer service. While we were there, not only did she let us shop the Blue Moon she had in her garage ready to be loaded into her van for Stitches Midwest (which we weren’t going to go to), but she tracked down a new shawl knitting book for my mother, even though I didn’t recall the name. Like I said, she’s a doll. Well worth the trip to Marengo. And to me the drive out’s a special treat, since I love roaring down the road with fields of corn on either side of me.

Here's just a wee taste. I just love the instant gratification of buying BMF Socks that Rock at the Fold. If you order it from their website, it takes up to a month to get it. :(

Here’s just a wee taste. I just love the instant gratification of buying BMF Socks that Rock at the Fold. If you order it from their website, it takes up to a month to get it. 😦

Here’s a little peek at one of the souvenirs I picked up there.

 

 

 

 

The Jaunty Cowl, as modeled by Bug

The Jaunty Cowl, as modeled by Bug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished and entered my “jaunty cowl” to the Uncommon Goods winter accessory competition.

This is the hand-felted, "corsage" pin, removable so the cowl can be washed. Made of Dream in Color Yarn

This is the hand-felted, “corsage” pin, removable so the cowl can be washed. Made of Dream in Color Yarn

 

They didn’t want it, but I thought it was adorable anyway. Ah well. If I get ambitious, I may turn it into a free pattern for here and Ravelry. Here’s what they did like.

 

 

 

 

 

Standing in line to register...

Standing in line to register…

 

 

 

 

Bug started High School. I can say no more. Except that I whipped up this guy for the inside of her first-ever locker.

Meet LaLa McHappypants the Locker Pixie...

Meet LaLa McHappypants the Locker Pixie…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finished my second shawl for the “Through the Loops” Summer Shawl Knitalong. Meet Hecate. I am very happy with her, ‘specially since I used stash yarn, namely ElsaWool Cormo fingering for the darker oatmeal-grey bits, some scrumptious handspun alpaca silk from another delightful Illinois country LYS called “Esther’s Place” (:)), and some Madtosh Tosh merino light in a color called “grasshopper.” I have a love/hate thing going with this colorway. In this case I’m happy with it as a pop of color on this purposely rustic-looking shawl.

Hecate by Through the Loops Kirsten Kapur

Hecate by Through the Loops Kirsten KapurThe yarn I won arrived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malabrigo sock in "Aguas." Yum.

Malabrigo sock in “Aguas.” Yum.

The yarn I won arrived.

 

 

 

 

Oh yes, I started photographing (finally) some of my hand-dyed goodies for my new “Absinthe Yarn” Etsy website.

DSC_0039This is some lovely Blue-faced Leceister fingering. More to come on that.

Started another pair of socks…I had to hit the snooze button on that pair of Jaywalkers, especially a shame since I am one measly inch from the toe on the first sock. But I really abhor the pattern. There, I said it. Love the yarn, though. I was thinking of possibly finishing the first, then doing the second in a similar, yet different pattern: Broadripple. This one also has a stinkin’ heel flap, but they fit me better. I know I should just rip them both and try something else, but… 😦

To make up for that, though, and to have as airplane/road trip knitting, I started another pair of “lace panel” socks of my own design. Using Miss Babs 2ply fingering in the delicious, summery shade of “Frog Belly.”

Little Leafies socks. Cast on while waiting to board.

Little Leafies socks. Cast on while waiting to board.

I love saying that, even. This will be “purse knitting” for the upcoming month.

I’ve finally picked up my version of Cinnamon Girl, “Ollalieberry Girl” with an eye toward finishing it sooooooon. I also have another cardi to finish, and then,  onto Darling Emma which has been waiting patiently for me to start on it.

And then…ah well…you know how I am about the beginning of the school year. My mind is swirling through ideas of things to start and finish.

Happy New (School) Year to you, too!

 

I wish my day had an elastic waistband June 12, 2013

Filed under: knitting,life — kathy @ 9:02 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Every morning I get up bright and early, a list of things I’d like accomplish in hand. On the face of it, everything I put on that list the night before seems to be doable. But in reality, time rarely cooperates with my plans.

Okay, so I should know that this is how it goes, and that I’m not the only one who struggles with fitting everything into my day. Still, I try. Call me Pollyanna, but I try.

So at the risk of sounding like a big whiner, this is what happens:

This:

Two lovely PurlSoho Bandana Cowls in squooshy Malabrigo Rios, fell off my needles in about 4 to 5 days of knitting. One's a B-day pressie for Captain Romance, the other, a Father's Day pressie for Poppa.

Two lovely PurlSoho Bandana Cowls in squooshy Malabrigo Rios, fell off my needles in about 4 to 5 days of knitting. One’s a B-day pressie for Captain Romance, the other, a Father’s Day pressie for Poppa.

But NOT this:

That Dang Jaywalker sock. Slowly but surely coming along. Good thing I love the yarn

That Dang Jaywalker sock. Slowly but surely coming along. Good thing I love the yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This:

A cool old chair found at the end of someone's driveway in NJ (Yes, I've had it that llong) painted a wild color and filled up with bright flowers. Okay, CR hates the color. But it makes me and the Bug smile.

A cool old chair found at the end of someone’s driveway in NJ (Yes, I’ve had it that llong) painted a wild color and filled up with bright flowers. Okay, CR hates the color. But it makes me and the Bug smile.

But NOT this:

This is supposed to be my heavenly little patch of tomatoes, basil, and zucchini. There is nothing I can say...

This is supposed to be my heavenly little patch of tomatoes, basil, and zucchini. There is nothing I can say…

But then, I’m sure you all know what I mean. 😉

I’d love to know your “this, but not this” choices.

 

Heel Flaps are Buggers May 22, 2013

Filed under: knitting — kathy @ 11:16 am
Tags: , ,

Yes, yes. I realize a statement like that is akin to saying “magic loop kicks double-pointed’s butt,” or, “Kitchener stinks…toe-up socks are the only way to go.” However IMO, from now on when the socks are for moi, short row heels will be my choice.

There it sits...

There it sits…

I think the columns of slipped stitches on flap heels look cool–especially the “eye of partridge” heel flap in which you adjust where you slip the stitches as you construct the heel flap, giving it a lattice-like appearance. Here’s a good example/explanation. And I know that people like heel flaps because they give the back of the sock some cushioning and help stop holes from forming.

My thing is, I never wear out the backs of my socks. Instead I wear out the heel and ball of foot areas on the soles of my socks. I’ve found that going down a needle size helps this problem a bit by firming up the stitches a bit and making a tighter fabric.

What gets to me, is 1) it seems to take longer for me to get all the way around the heels (why do the 3 steps of flap, turn, and gusset seem to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r for me?), and 2) heels with flaps always seem to bag on me. Indeed, currently the narrowest parts of this old body are my heels, which have been narrow for as long as I can remember. Short row heels fit my “curves” in all the right places.

Therefore, I’ll be placing the blame for my currently somewhat stalled pair of “Spring Break, Jaywalker” socks, also #3 in my 6 pairs in a year personal challenge, on the buggery old heel flaps. While the last 2 pairs of socks virtually flew off the needles (well, for me, anyway), this pair is just dragging.

Of course being behind in finishing my socks has nothing to do with that adorable “Cinnamon Girl” I just had to start making, does it? 😉

A true attention-grabber of a pattern.

A true attention-grabber of a pattern.

I’m such a naughty girl, sometimes…

 

 

 

 
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