Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday - what can I say?

I haven't even picked up my needles today.

Laundry, cleaning, trips to the compost and brush sites - it's all eaten the day away.

After posting this, I may weed some more. Or I may take a nap. Stay tuned!

I realized that I never put up a photo of my Pagewood Farms Hand-dyed sock yarn in the Bird of Paradise colorway. I didn't even put it up on my Ravelry stash page. Spread out into a shawl, the yarn is much lighter than this picture would indicate. Still lovely, though!

I think I was trying to pretend I didn't buy it at Wolf Creek Yarns this past Christmas vacation. If I don't put up photos, it didn't happen.

My Saturday Seven also appeared out of the blue.

I was simply trying to pull out my spring clothes from my "under the bed" storage and three pairs of sweatpants, two heavy knit nightgowns, 1/2 of a set of pajamas and a light-up pen from Carnegie-Mellon University jumped into the Give-a-way Box.

Time to go avoid doing any more work for at least 1/2 hour.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Just because it's spring

I'm not sure if I can get some asparagus this weekend at the opening day of the Saint Paul Farmers' Market but I sure have a hankering . . .

This Friday Film helped a bit!

In the meantime, I'm working on a Swallowtail Lace Shawl for a friend. I know, I know, I said I wouldn't start something new. I blame Susan Rainey. I ran into her at Yarnover and she seduced me by placing her Swallowtail Shawl on my shoulders. I was lost.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blue skies ahead!

It is very chilly in Minnesota right now (I've heard it was snowing in Grand Marais but that's pretty far north of here!) but the grass has definitely turned green and the sky is blue, blue and more blue.

Remember this?

And this?

. . . which is now this?

Well, I've found another blue fiber here. I must restrain myself. I have about three old projects and two possible new projects right now.

I am lucky that WC Mercantile is located in Texas because I like everything in their shop. The Blue Belle Corridale, however, just really appeals to me. For me, blue isn't a sad color but a happy one. Now if it would just get a bit warmer so I could enjoy our blue skies!

(And I need to say thanks to the folks over at Phat Fiber for spreading the word about this fiber shop. I'd actually just heard about the Phat Fiber Sampler (a box of spinning fiber from different producers) on the podcast "Stash and Burn" and now I am really glad I took a further look.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Better late than never!

After a full day of knitting fun over at Yarnover, I finally buckled down to face this:

The Sven Svetter on Saturday night.

Here's the Svetter on Sunday afternoon. Notice the difference? Realizing that I would see Mother of Sven on Monday night and it would be the perfect time to deliver the goods, I finally added the collar and blocked it.

Here's another shot. I've heard that there will be a "Digital Photography class for the Fiber Addict" at next year's Yarnover and, dear God, I need it.

I took a class on "Entry Level Entrelac" from Joan Schrouder and thoroughly enjoyed it. She explained it simply yet thoroughly (I am the student who is always one step behind) and brought lots of real-life examples. I'm thinking of using it in a purse - or perhaps a scarf.

Just a F.Y.I - Joan is going to be at the Sock Summit this year as well. Sigh.

I had this Saturday Seven photographed several days ago but since I was way behind of the knitting, I thought I would save it for today. Six shirts from Youngest Boy and one race car driver outfit. He is way bummed that it doesn't fit anymore!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Films minuscules de vendredi!

I like to think that I am used to knitting on small needles: I've always had a problem with loose knitting gauge and so I usually go down two or three needle sizes from what's called for in a pattern.

Althea Crome of Bugknits is a knitting designer (she calls it extreme knitting) specializing in very, very small items. 1:12 scale gloves, hats, sweaters and even baby booties. These are truly amazing

Most recently, if you have seen the movie "Coraline," you have seen her knitting. This week's Friday Film is a short film about her work and the knit wear used in the film:

As for the real knitting going on around here (Child's Aran Sweater: knit on size 4 & 5 needles), I am hoping to finish it today and get it sewn up. This may or may not happen. The sun is shining, I have air in my bike tires and I really need to prune those roses before they grab another innocent passerby. Also, TOMORROW IS Yarnover!

Yes, I am excited. I am taking Entry Level Entrelac and volunteering at the lunch table. Need to know if there are nuts in that cookie? I'm the girl to see. Ask GF Melissa about my skills at this job!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Robots on the go

I can't believe I missed this site while I was ramping up for Robot Lab Birthday. This is interesting and cute:

Kacie Kinzer at finds the most intersting part was that "ad-hoc crowdsourcing was driven primarily by human empathy for an anthropomorphized object." Now, if I could only get my amigurumi on wheels . . .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Oh, how quick they forget!

Since my family was busy celebrating Easter, I forgot to include Bobmas Greetings to you all!

If I haven't whetted your appetite yet for Shepherd's Harvest Lamb and Wool Festival in May, let me just mention that there are plans for a Ravelry meet-up. And it appears that the sign-in station will be the Minnesota Knitters' Guild knitting help table. More on that later . . .

Happy Bobmas! from Ravelry on Vimeo.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pleased to meet you, Spring!

This morning, Oldest Daughter, Mr. Daisy and I went biking on the Cannon Falls Trail. It was chilly but lovely and a fine introduction to spring.

By the time we stopped to take this picture, we were giddy with laughter over Oldest Daughter's attempt to take our photo. She can take a computer apart and put it together again but this thing called "centering" took several tries.

Easter Week started with Hot Cross Buns for the household. The recipe from the newspaper was wretched - poorly written and lumpy. So I doctored it up and came up with an edible product. As a former reporter, I should have known how easily a line or two of a recipe can get cut from an article.

The party continued with egg dyeing - using food dye this year.

I loved the results - jewel tone eggs.

With all the Daughters home for Easter break, finding seven items to give away was too easy. A skirt, five tee shirts and a polo shirt were practically tossed at me. Spring fever must have infected the Saturday Seven as well.

I'm still on that second sleeve of the Child's Aran Sweater. I took it to the park this afternoon but even sitting in the sun, it was a little chilly to be knitting.

Happy Easter to you all!

He takes men out of time and makes them feel eternity.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 10, 2009

Inappropriate Tweeting led to her downfall

I am a little hesitant to post this photo since the last time I tried to show off the Blackberry Stitch portion of my Child's Aran Sweater, I discovered that I had sent it only to author Neil Gaiman's Twitter feed instead of out into the general ether.

And the title? Red Light Knitting. Which, if you are a knitter, is a funny title. The knitting was on my lap and the photo taken in my car. I had been knitting at on ramps again.

If you are an author, it is probably a red flag that someone is sending you an inappropriate photographic advertisement for their evening job.

I've worked my way a few inches into the second sleeve and I'm hoping to be able to sew it together next week. It's finally nice in here in Minnesota and the good weather plus the Easter holiday will be cutting into my knitting time. Maybe I'll have some photographs of the egg dyeing and Hot Cross Bun making going on here at Chez Daisy.

In the meantime, enjoy this Friday Film: A True Paean to Sock Knitting

Watch more cool animation and creative cartoons at aniBoom

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Cute crochet cherries for spring

♥ Happy cherries ♥ free crochet pattern
Originally uploaded by la fée crochette

La Fee Crochette has the cutest things - she just put up this free pattern. She is also the author of the Crobots book.

See! See! What did I say?

I found this on YouTube (oddly enough - right after watching a friend's cover video of "White Wedding!") and now I feel vindicated.

I'm pretty sure Mr. Daisy thinks i just knit so I don't have to hand out with the family - but I'm actually watching my health and keeping my blood pressure down.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Getting ready for May Madness!

Since we've established that I like to sit on ideas for awhile, I thought I should point out some wonderful events going on in Minnesota this May.

And since they are both on Mother's Day Weekend, perhaps you can turn them into family outings!

First off, plant lovers shouldn't miss

The 2009 Friends School Plant Sale
May 8, 9 and 10 at the
State Fair’s Grandstand Building
Midway Parkway & Snelling Avenue, Saint Paul

Friday, May 8, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, May 10, from 12 noon-4 pm. Sunday is half price.

This really cool plant sale is a fundraiser for the scholarship fund at the Friends School Minnesota. They say that this year there will be 2,200 varieties of plants are offered for sale! There is no admission fee and the plant costs are similar to what you'd pay elsewhere.

GF Melissa turned me on this sale and we've been meeting there since Youngest Child was a baby. It's a "bring-your-own-wagon" kind of event which is why I still have my double Burley stroller! I recommend their herbs and their heirloom tomatoes. Oh, and the tye-dye teeshirt guy is great, too.

Fiber fans should check out the . . .

Sheep and Wool Festival

May 9 and 10, 2009
9:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. Saturday
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Sunday

The 12th annual Shepherd's Harvest is at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo, MN. Admission is free. Fiber vendors and vendors of fiber related products as well as animal demos, live entertainment and classes makes for a really fun weekend.

I'm taking a specialty spinning class on Sunday afternoon and I'll also helping out at the Minnesota Knitters' Guild's Knitting Help table on Saturday. Dress warmly and in layers - sometimes it's warm and sometimes it's nearly snowing!

This week's Saturday Seven was assembled item by item:

Three turtlenecks (I know I'll regret giving these away next fall but change is a good thing!), two child-sized aprons, a window curtain topper and a book. I did learn a lesson about keeping things in my laundry room when we had the "water event" this week - but I can't drop things off until Monday. Ah well, they'll be dry by then.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Letting things ferment

Like a lot of people, I have some UFOs (unfinished objects) lurking in my house. What? You never start more than one project at a time? You never leave something unfinished? If that's really you, I'll tell you right now - move along. We ferment here.

How do I know this? Well, Middle Daughter was filling the sink in my upstairs laundry room and left the water running - for a while. Luckily, she did catch the "raining inside the house" thing pretty quickly and the water ran to the outside wall and ran out windows. Not much damage but many things stored in The Knitting Baskets behind my Knitting Chair got wet.

While setting things out to dry, I realized that I had forgotten why I had set these projects aside. Boredom with a particular yarn or knitting style, probably. But they are not boring now! A quick review -

Item #1: Husband's brown sweater: The River Grass Gansey - I think I thought it seemed to have a lot of boring stockinette between patterns but it really doesn't. I think my experience with the Child's Aran Sweater has whetted my appetite.

Item #2: Road not taken scarf: While I still love the pattern and the yarn - I ripped it back and restarted it as a garter stitch lace project. In other words, I am working the back (even numbered rows) in garter stitch instead of stockinette. That was just taking me forever! It will still be a thin scarf so I'm not sure who it will be for.

Item #3: Gentleman's socks: My husband's birthday present - maybe I can finish them by Father's Day? My, oh, my.

Item #4: The Interlocking Balloons scarf from "Scarf Style." This is from my hand-dyed indigo experiment from a few years ago. The yarn is still so soft ("Berroco Ultra Alpaca again?" you say.) At the time, it was taking me forever to complete each repeat. Now, it just doesn't look so hard. And I love the mottled effect.

Diana over at Streets and Yarnovershas an excellent finished project

(Photo is from Streets and Yarnovers.)

- and she just completed some wicked shawls for Christmas so stop by and take a look.

I'm still chugging along with the Child's Aran Sweater. This was the final day of Spring Break around here and my un-interrupted knitting time has gotten even shorter. Despite this, I'm finishing up the shoulders.

To continue with the fermentation theme, I thought you might like to hear all about making your own sauerkraut. I've just requested Sandor Ellix Katz' book "Wild Fermentation" and this looks like a lot of fun.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Robot Day Smiles!

Yep - it was a busy two hours but Birthday Boy loved his Robot Birthday Party. Look at that smile! He is wearing a name tag made from a full-page sticker sheet. The opening activity was coloring name tags - we had their names already printed.

After getting in a quick game of "Feed the Robot" - clothespins in the bottle - we made robots out of art supplies.

Youngest Daughter drew the cute robot for "Pin the part on the Robot" and then the whole gang broke out the moves for some "robot dancing." You haven't laughed until you watched 10 six year olds dance and sing along with "Yellow Submarine!"

Knitting-wise, I'm getting ready to start binding off at the arms. I think I've spotted one faulty cable - perhaps some severe blocking will help?