Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cleaning for Christmas

Thank goodness I am able to pass these on to good home, via a rummage sale. I was thinking I should keep them but I don't need the "early wedding" candlesticks and picture frames anymore, the vases are from florists and the wine glass stem rings and brass plate were both gifts that just weren't my style. I suppose I should start holding things on for my daughters' first apartments but I don't think these were their style either!

We had a lovely weekend - I would be happy to post some pictures but Blogger is having some problems right now - and I ended up buying the fleece I need for the annual mitten tree mitten dash. I know, I am only racing myself, but I am iching to be done with them! We also had a stop at the Yarnery for some bulky Big Wool to make a gift purse for one of my daughters.

I also finished Tudora Mark III - the blue one. I'll be putting that aside for a holiday gift for someone as well. Back to the February Lady Sweater!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Button, Buttton

My Tudora with its button. Still roomy but at least I'm not dropping shawl pins all over the floor.

Here's Tudora Mark II - with its button as well. I thought I should shop for several buttons at once. This time, I'm following the pattern and getting pretty close to gauge. This is using leftover Malabrigo yarn bought several years ago for a "learn to knit aran sweaters" class at Stitches Midwest. Beth Brown-Reinsel was the teacher and it was a great boost to my "knitting comfort" zone. It was a doll sized stitch sampler - all different cables and techniques - so it looked a little odd and I never had a use for it.

As you can see, I never finished the sweater! Youngest Daughter says it would be a good fit for her Dollfie Doll so I am going to finish it for Christmas this year. Probably the quickest knit I ever could produce!

For this Friday, you might enjoy this offering from Snag Films:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tudor Ta-Da!

A quick little project - originally meant as a holiday gift - but, now it's for me. I didn't quite get the gauge I wanted so I don't think it's good for gifting. I am going to make another one out of some scrap malabrigo as a present.

The Tudora pattern is meant to evoke an Elizabethan neck ruff and it's also asymmetrical. This fuzzy phone photo really shows that off. It tucks into the neck of a coat very nicely. At some point, I'll replace the shawl pin with a button.

I am also spending time on my February Lady's sweater - I really want to power knit some this Thanksgiving. I got a little done today watching "Persuasion" - the recent BBC version - and boy, now I need to have a stiff drink. Or, maybe it's an allergic reaction to the new chlorine mixture at my local pool. Either way, I'm tired, cranky and have a rotten headache. Or, maybe it's just pre-birthday jitters.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Must be nice!

Yes, indeedy, it must be nice to have so many pairs of jeans that you can get rid of four pairs at one time! Middle Daughter must have cleaned her room (although it didn't look much different to me!) because I found a stack of denimn, two pairs of shorts and a teeshirt on the counter in the laundry room. She's at the mall right now - hopefully, not buying four more pairs of jeans - so I can make fun of her behind her back.

As for me, my knitting is mostly Christmas related so I can't post many photos. I thought I'd turn this into a wish list of sorts. As in, "Must be nice to get some of these for Christmas!"

Kate Gilbert's cool Bird in Hand knitting pattern.

How about . . .

Evelyn Clark's Heart Lace Socks pattern?

The ever-popular Elizabeth Zimmermann's Ribwarmer DVD with Meg Swansen?

Or the epitome of sock knitting, some Socks that Rock sock yarn? Let's just say, some Socks that Rock® mediumweight - in Spinel. Yes, Spinel.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ignore these tips at your peril!

I first saw this clip on "urban unease" author Christopher Fowler's website. Do you sense an upcoming crime? Perhaps the seventh secret is spilled human blood . . .

Hope I haven't spoiled your cuppa with this Friday Film.

Perhaps (in view of yesterday's post), I should say, "Orange you glad?" Oh, that was bad . . . it must be my lack of sleep catching up with me. Youngest Daughter went to see the midnight showing of "Twilight" last night which means I was the one who woke up at 2:30 a.m. to make sure she was locked the door when she came home. She had a lovely time. I was having a lovely time as well - sleeping.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not kidding about the orange!

Silly Guinifer! I really meant it about the orange. Take your pick - I've got Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Carrot, Alchemy Yarns' Synchronicity in Persimmon and Twisted Sisters' Avarice in Brick.

Also, Lana Grossa Royal Tweed in color #25/orange.

All Things Heather in Pumpkin.

And Rowan Big Wool in Pumpkin.

And remember this day?

I could legitimately call this "Pumpkin" as well.

Not a chance my family will be blending into the snowbanks this winter!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Warm necks make for warm hearts.

CSM Tudora
Originally uploaded by asimple yarn

I need a few quick holiday knits (yes, I've been infected by the Christmas music.) and this free pattern from Knitty looks good. It's called Tudora and it's supposed to remind you of Elizabethan ruffs. Only, not so scrachy!

I don't have the lovely red shown in this photo but i do have some suitable orange. I am a firm believer in bright winter colors. I don't want to be one of those people who falls into a snow bank and their body isn't found until the spring thaw!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not so Lazy weekends

Well, I finally finished my "Winter Warmer" crochet hat for Youngest Child. It never really took on the shape it had in the Lucinda Guy book but it is still cute. I skipped the ear flaps - they looked extremely odd - and just kept the hat.

I think the problems came from the rectangular start - it looks neat but it played hell with the "round head" shaping. Mr. Daisy has already put in an order for one - Christmas present, maybe?

Just a quick note to mention that - while I did take pictures of the Saturday Seven - the photos were terrible. Half were my items - a pair of brown Dockers that I managed to shrink, a long sleeved tee shirt and two turtlenecks that I just never liked - and three came from Dear Husband - three 4x8 sheets to drywall. The clothing are going to the charity drop off box at my church and the drywall already went to some neighbors. That makes it much easier to park in the garage!

Yesterday, after all the usual family stuff, GFMelissa and I ducked into the the Christmas Fair over at the Swedish American Institute in Minneapolis. This was a fabulous start to their holiday shopping season and I highly recommend visiting their gift shop.

You'll want to get on their mailing list anyway because of the upcoming "Radiant Knits: The Bohus Tradition" exhibit and workshops from January 23 – March 29, 2009. I am going to the opening weekend and can't wait to hear the speakers and watch the film that is part of the exhibit. I took a class in Bohus style knitting - it's very fine two-color knitting - and the SAI gift shop is going to stock Bohus knitting kits. It appears that they will have both sweater and hat/scarf sets.

Today wasn't quite so relaxing. I was swimming in my first individual - non relay events - Minnesota Masters Swim meet in Northfield, Minnesota at the St. Olaf College pool. It was a Pentathlon meet where you swim five events. I did very well in my age group with the exception of breast stroke and even that wasn't bad. So, now I'll know what to expect in the future!

Now, I'll be able to settle down with some knitting by the fire.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The REAL Friday posting - and an anniversary

Well, a long, long time ago (but NOT in a galaxy far, far away!), I decided to put together a knitting blog.

Someone very famous once wrote, "It is but a small thing but it is mine own." And this is! It's been a lot of fun to put up all kinds of knitting related stuff - from drivel to Diogenes - and just have me to answer to it. Can you tell I've been on the phone and emailing about an event that four sets of people are trying to plan? It is driving me nuts!

So, look past the silliness and "Happy 3rd Blogiversary to me!"

Today, I did get a chance to stop by the Weavers Guild of Minnesota's 34th Annual Fiber Fair. They have absolutely great stuff - I always buy some Christmas stuff there - and it was hard not to stock up on gifts for me.

Stop by Today (November 14: 12 pm to 9 pm) and the rest of the weekend:

November 15: 10 am to 5 pm
November 16: 12 pm to 4 pm

Choose from an assortment of handmade items such as scarves, bags, rugs, table linens, hand spun yarn and much, much more.
And what is very good - all proceeds from the Fiber Fair support local artists and the Weavers Guild.

Here's a little peek at the takings:

That's fleece and fiber on the left and woven goodies on the right.

And for me - I'll try and add another photo tonight - I am up to the ear flap of the re-knitted Winter Warmer. Who says Crochet is easy? Hmm, Miss GFM? It's even been in my dreams lately.

Last and not least: The Friday Film. In honor of Minnesota - check out:

Having a go at it - a new Hufflepuff motto?

Nah, just for those silly Quidditch fans! This is the last one of the term so - go ME!

1. Who was Tom Riddle Sr.'s girlfriend before Merope gave him the love potion?
b. Cecilia

2. What does Luna say floated into Harry's ear when he was in the train car that supposedly caused him to lose focus?
c. Wrackspurt

3. How much do the primary Apparition lessons cost?
d. 12 galleons

4. What is Professor Merrythought's first name?
b. Galatea

5. What Hogwarts club was Eileen Prince captain of?
b. Gobstones Club

6. Who is head of the Goblin Liaison office?
b. Dirk Cresswell

7. Mrs. Weasley offers Fleur a goblin-made tiara for the wedding with Bill. What family member is currently in possession of the tiara?
a. Aunt Muriel

8. How many points does Snape take from Gryffindor for Harry's late arrival and muggle attire?
b. 70

9. When Profressory Slughorn first meets Hermione, he asks her whether she is related to Hector Dagworth-Granger. What society did Dgworth-Granger found?
d. The Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers

10. Which of these describes Golpalott's Third Law?
d. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components.

Thank goodness I have study partners.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My little project

I've been working on a pattern for a "afghan block of the month" project the Minnesota Knitters' Guild is putting together. It was fun but I took it to a concert on Saturday night and the pattern ran extremely astray. The fact that the block is supposed to be 8 inches by 8 inches, NOT the 7 by 9 inches that I designed did not improve the design. Back to the design board!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The day the bananas went rogue . . .

Never taunt a banana. It can only lead to tears.

Poor Mr. Daisy.

The Saturday Seven was discovered on a field trip to my basement. I have no idea why we have even more belts for vacumn cleaners that we no longer own but here are two belts, four grilling utensils - cleverly disguised as screwdrivers - and yet another ice cube tray. Hopefully, someone will be looking for these at rummage sales in the Twin Cities.

Hope you enjoying the snow! We have a fire going in the fireplace . . .

P.S. I do not own a sock knitting machine but I do covet one. Birthday ideas, anyone? Buehler?

Friday, November 07, 2008

This is making you sleepy, very sleepy!

A 1924 Gearhart Sock Knitting Machine is shown here making heels, toes and ribbing. It is fascinating - and oh, so stupefying. Think of this Friday Film as a little dose of sleeping powder!

My Winter Warmer Hat? A little more exciting as I am having to add short rows to even out the oval shape into a round, head-shaped object.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A HSKS 6 Package for Me!!

A lovely little UPS owl dropped this off today - straight from Aurora Curlyfur in Gryffindor! It is just chock full of handmade goodies - hand dyed yarn, a knitted purse and a cute felted zip bag for needles and such. The tea was delicious, the sock yarn is soft (and a muted shade for Hufflepuffs - not the curse of lurid House colors for me!) and the sock needles are short. I also got a great stitch pattern directory. Really, you couldn't ask for a nicer package! Let's hope it helps me get ready for Hogwarts finals!

Knitting wise - I've moved below the neckline on the February Lady Sweater and made a cute little beginning of the Winter Woolie hat from Lucinda Guy's Crochet Designs for Kids.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Now for something completely non-political!

And completely non-knitting related. I'm learning how to do this and can only say - I wish I could go back in a time machine and make my teen-aged self work harder on this stroke! It's fun but - oh, so hard for my middle-aged self!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Saturday that kept on giving

Let's get this out of the way:

Saturday Seven this week came courtesy of Youngest Child - six nice outgrown teeshirts and one really nice designer polo shirt. This was a hand-me-down from a friend and it got pushed to the back of the closet. So, it was never used and still has it's tags. Off to the rummage sale!

I was delayed in my blogging because we went to the Minnesota Opera on Saturday night. It was a lovely production of "The Abduction From the Seraglio" set on the Orient Express train. A very cool 1920s kind of production.

This week I can finally talk about my HSKS 6 swap package - my spoilee was Chrysta the Cursed - because I sent out the package and she received it. It was lots of fun to follow her interests and pick out some lovely yarn. I used as my theme "What Santa brings to Good Knitters" and I enjoyed exploring Christmas before it was even Halloween!

I made the little bag for Chysta and liked it so much that I made one for Good Friend Melissa - Happy Birthday Missy! - now, I need to make one for me.

As for knitting, I am just past the yoke of the February Lady Sweater and about halfway through one of the Gentleman Socks. I took them to the opera but forgot the pattern and needed a little more light to figure out my place in the repeat. The man sitting in front of me did exclaim, "She's knitting!" to his date. I was just glad he knew the difference from crochet.

Which brings us to today and the "Great Crochet Date." Some of the ladies in my book group and their kids got together today and learned to crochet. I really needed a review and thanks to Mel and Anna, I think I turned the corner on flat crochet. I am working on a winter hat pattern from Lucinda Guy's "Crochet Designs for Kids: 20 Projects to Make for Girls & Boys."