twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

I haven’t been abducted by aliens… July 16, 2012

The colors of this yarn are amazing! I can’t wait to finish this baby!

…although I feel like I have.

Where the heck has the summer break been going?

Every day since my last post (except for a migraine or two forcing me to shut down for the afternoon), every day has been jam-packed with something (or someone) or another to start, complete, improve, deliver, nurse, sort, tidy, plant, pick, preserve…you name the date, there is sure to be an action verb associated with it. Not that I mind, it’s just that I can’t seem to cram everything I want/need to do into every day (like I’m telling you anything new–surely you know exactly what I mean because you’re doing it all too).

Well, here’s just a few of the “productive” things I’ve been working on:

The Eyelet Puerperium Cardi #1

Puerperium Eyelet Cardi #2

Baby Sweaters! I just lovelovelove knitting baby sweaters. For one thing, they’re fast. For another, you can use lovely (nowadays, washable merino) yarns without breaking the bank, and best of all, babies look adorable in anything you put them in, no matter if the sleeves turned out a wee bit shorter/longer/skinnier than you expected. Ya know?

Case in point: The Puerperium Baby Cardigan. I made 2! And it’s such a simple raglan pattern that I decided to wing it a little and do eyelet edging in both versions just to make it a little more interesting.

Eyelets and vintage buttons, too.

I also made a pair of booties to go with the teal version: I called them “Goody Two-Shoes,” but the pattern name is “Forget-me-not Baby Shoes, by Julia Noskova.”

I’ve made booties before and let me tell you, while they were darling, the experience was not. All those pieces to stitch together.  Sheesh. These were brilliant, however, made in one piece with just one seam from the top of the heel, down the sole to the toe. You pick up stitches along the back edge to make the strap. Made them both in a day, even with daily tidying and dinner-making.

Besides those wooly tidbits, I’ve been working diligently on finishing the UFOs in my stash (actually those might be the aliens responsible for abducting me, in a sense, hahah), most especially I’ve been throwing myself into the amazing “Coat of Many Colors.”

The outside is done, working up the back and across the sleeves. Man, is it heavy, but what a cool, unusual design!

What a project. And at this point, with all the different skeins of yarn and the actual unwieldiness of the thing, hoo-boy. This is a piece that requires the living room couch and a good movie. Perhaps a cup of tea. And definitely Homemade Strawberry Shortcake.

Yes, Bug and I had such fun strawberry picking at Swanton Berry Farm last summer that we headed back there, picked a bunch, and made 3/4 into agave-sweetened jam. That meant we got to make strawberry shortcake with some of the rest. Used Trader Joe’s Multigrain Baking and Pancake mix, swapped the milk with buttermilk, and made 6 drop biscuits instead of 8 traditional rolled and cut out biscuits (mainly because the dough was super wet). Also, I spread the top half of the biscuit with some homemade jam. CR, who doesn’t actually consider anything to be “dessert” unless it’s chocolate (or carrot cake, but that’s for another post), declared these to be amazing and the best strawberry shortcake he’d ever eaten.

I have a bunch of other stuff I wanna tell you about, but instead of making this an e-n-d-le-s-s post, how about I save that for later in the week?

Snoozing in his “tunnel,” Pip has the right idea. Photo by Bug.

By-the way, I just want to thank all of you who’re reading “Legacy of  the Talisman.” I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your time and support, and I welcome your comments.


Shawl We Dance? May 16, 2012

Hello, dear friends.

I’ve been cramming as much life possible into every day, as usual, and knitting’s no exception. So when a crazy cold knocked me on my fanny for a few days, besides starting up with posting my old novel, “Legacy of the Talisman,” online, I went a little nutty knitting.

My Cladonia

Okay, fair enough, I suppose I’d use any excuse to plop down and knit away. But seriously, this was an odd cold that really pooped me out. Usually I can take a some Dayquil, make a pot of chicken soup, and soldier through it all. Not this time. To be honest, I actually would stop knitting to close my eyes, project in my lap, and take a short snooze.

So here are a few things I worked on while nursing this silly cold:  The Dream Coat of Many Colors, The Lala Layering Shrug, My Cladonia, and Eyelet Puerperium Baby Jacket.

The Dream Coat

The Dream Coat of many Colors is the fabulous, warm and fuzzy Swirl Coat by Sandra McGyver, and it’s the perfect mindless knitting: knitting and purling in long boring lazy circles, waiting anxiously for that 5th row when you can decrease and have less stitches to mindlessly knit and purl.

But it became very hot here last week, and after a few days of noodling around with the lovely and very versatile Layering Shrug by Juju Vail, I got a wee restless and surfed my Ravelry que.

For shame, I found myself not only adding Kristen Kapur’s exquisite Cladonia Shawl, but casting it on. Be still my heart.

Ahh, true love!

Using some luscious Madelintosh Tosh Merino Light (a soft single ply), this shawl rapidly gives you lovely little rows of stripes, and finally at the end, you’re rewarded with one single repeat of a magnificent lace.

It makes me so happy of myself…

Once I cast on for it, I did nothing else until I finished. It had it’s slightly harrowing moments, but I love the finished piece so much that without a doubt, I will do another one.

I was actually going to pick up the Shrug to finish it, but then I realized there are a couple of babies due to dear friends this summer, so I decided to get a start on that with the quick and easy baby cardi with the crazy hard name: Puerperium Cardigan, by Kelly Brooker.

Although to spice things up, I decided to put a row of eyelets into sweater in several places: just under the neckband, at the bottom of the cardigan before the bottom band, and at the bottom of each sleeve. Then I think I’ll thread some Hanna ribbon through the eyelets at the bottom of each sleeve.  It should be fun and also a great way to use up some vintage buttons from my stash. If there’s any yarn left over, I might even make matching booties.

Look, little holes, on purpose! 🙂

But we’ll see about that.


Hat Trick March 26, 2012

Please forgive me. Once again, posts have been sidetracked by unavoidable responsibilities, peppered by lots of fun stuff, jewelry-making, and wool-related activities.

When I last checked in with all of you, both Darling Cuz and Stitches West were coming to my part of the world. It was so much fun, and met with so much excitement, that when they finally first opened the doors of the hallowed Market (Bug and I always go to the opening night of the Market as one of our special girlie activities…I head straight for Blue Moon Fiber, she goes for all the roving), a wild cheer went up through the crowd. If only I’d have been taking a video that evening. What a rush!

This is a very cool, wool-wrapped statue at the Lion Brand Yarn Booth!

Of course Cuz and I had a mahvelous time oogling wool, knitting, gabbing, and eating! I wish it’d never ended. But then we’ll always have our summer trek out to the Fold in Marengo, one of the most wonderful places to buy yarn, as well as the fact that we get a few hours of uninterrupted gabbing in on the way. Heaven! Miss you, Cuz!

OMG! This bag was a-dorable! But I couldn't justify the $260 price when I know I could find the materials and make something like it for $50 or so. Watch for details of that...

Then just the other day, I thought it’s be a blast to “surprise” my nephew who’s away at school with a little box of goodies, and what would be better in a box of goodies besides some yummy food treats, but a yummy Malabrigo Hat treat. So I popped over to one of my fab LYSs, Uncommon Threads, because they’re one of the local shops that carries Mmmmalabrigo.

I decided to make “A Hat Fit For a Boyfriend” using some Rios in Azul Profundo. CR said, “Hmm, that’s nice,” so I grabbed another skein of the exact same yarn, while the Bug became entranced by a skein in the “Candobe” colorway for what she wanted: a slouchy hat. Okay, who am I to argue? You want me to knit you guys hats with some Malabrigo? I guess I’ll have to forcemyself… 😉 After perusing all the wonderful slouchy hats on Rav, she picked the loads of fun “Knit Night Hat.”

A super fun pattern!

Not a great picture, but you get the idea...

At any rate, three hats flew off my needles in the past few weeks, along with a great squishy cowl made from (what else?) more Malabrigo: this time Rasta in Garden Gate and I used the LTYC Super Bulky Cowl.

So much fun, and only took one day…and was just the thing she needed for a class ski trip to Tahoe with CR.

!he LTYC Super Bulky Cowl. Super Freaky!

I love covering my loved ones in knitted love. Like Franklin Habit says (okay, I’m paraphrasing), it’s like saying I love you, 12,000 times. Crazytown.

Oh, the colors are magnificent!

And I’ve been trudging along on my beloved “Dreamcoat of Many Colors,” swirl coat by Sandra McIver. Fabulous idea, brain-bending instructions, gobs of purling. Gobs and gobs. But I invested in this project 100%, and intend on finishing it. I’ve finished the outer oval shaping that forms the collar and the lower body, but have spent a few hours stuck at “Welt 14” where (I think) you begin to build the back of the body and the upper sides of the coat, so I’m a little behind where I thought I’d be by now. There are 2, chock full of information, schematics in the book, but honestly, if you don’t understand what the knitting should look like, you’re a little lost. In fact, if the instructions for Welt 14 started with the phrase, “You will now begin to knit flat as you form the back and upper sides of the body,” I honestly believe that it would be a little easier to understand. Luckily, after pouring over all the Ravelry projects for the coat, I found one (in German) that had some great photos that helped make the light go on! Hoorah!

Nonetheless, I will keep going with this project and with any luck, finish it while it’s still cool enough to wear it! Even if I don’t, it’ll be a major accomplishment I’ll be thrilled to wear. The colors of the yarn are amazing.

Well, plenty of other stuff going on, so I’d better get a move on over here. Hope to have a good bit of progress made on the sweater over the next few days.

As always, please feel free to add a comment or two! I love to know what’s happening out there with all of you! 


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