A place for me to share photos, trips and projects with my friends, mostly about knitting,kayaking, and quilting.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Bardot is blocking. Once assembled, there's a very deep ribbed cowl type collar, so I'm not done by a long shot. But I'm making progress.

An FO!! The multidirectional scarf is done. Approximately 4" x 56", knit with Alchemy's Synchronicity (50% wool, 50% silk) at a gauge of 4.3 stitches per inch in diagonal garter stitch. I used 2 skeins, and had about half a triangle's worth of yarn left over. This was more fun and interesting to knit than a plain garter stitch scarf. More on multidirectional modular knitting at www.artyarns.com, and the Yahoo Group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/multidirectional/.

A second FO in the same day - I amaze myself. Of course, never mind how long this number has been in the UFO pile! I was a bit more um... svelte of the upper arms when I strated this thing, if that says anything. Still, for a casual summer garment I'm pleased with how it turned out. The yarn is Sirdar "Silky Look" - acrylic and nylon. It has a nice drape and feels good. I'm glad I didn't opt to make the matching cardigan, though.

After darning in the gazillion ends, I think I'll do something fun for the rest of the evening. Start a new book maybe?

PS - Kari asked if I made the quilt where the cats are hanging out. No, that gorgeous item was made by David. I'm so lucky he has great color sense, and that he makes beautiful quilts!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Good, The Bad, and the Unfinished

First, equal time for two more of the felines who share their home with me. Their take: just because I know approximately when BC was born doesn't mean she should get more photo ops than they do. All my girls were strays, and they don't think being a kitten makes BC any better than they are. Missing is Summer, aka "The Grouch" because she really prefers not to associate with any of these three! Cali (obviously the calico and my geriatric lady at approximately 16), Baby Kitty, who until BC's apperance really WAS the baby around here; she's approximately 4 or maybe 5. And BC, the birthday kid.

Hello, who, or what, are you?? A UFO you say? You've been stashed in a drawer with others like yourself for how long? In this condition? Good grief, you're right. At this stage of the game why didn't she just go ahead and finish you? But you're hopeful, now that you're out of the drawer, right?

Now for the geese. As in flying geese, being prepared for a quilted wall hanging in my guest quarters. There are good geese:

These are not-so-good geese. See the tip of the point, and how the right white triangle doesn't quite line up with the left one? And how it just might not give me a 1/4" seam allowance? I can use not-so-good geese if I want to, but I don't - too much trouble. I've finally figured out how to keep the not-so-good geese from happening.

I'm using a method from a book called Taking Off With Flying Geese by Carolyn R. Johnson, published in 1990. There are other good methods for making these things. But this is the one I like. If I will only be careful!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Miscellaneous Stuff

BC is a year old!! The kitten child is physically fully grown, though she's still a kitten at heart. She's maturing slowly; she still likes her lap time, but doesn't knead and suck nearly as much as she used to. And her birthday is sort of unofficially May 15th, since we found her on July 15th last year and they said she was about 8 weeks old. Here's a Baby BC photo for comparison.

More irises. I'm so thrilled with these, as they're unusual for my location. Thanks again to my generous friend Nancy in West Virginia for giving me these gorgeous plants.

And finally, some knitting. I've been working on the multidirectional tutorials from the Multidirectional Yahoo Group (and website for Art Yarns). I experimented with decreases, slipping first stitches vs. not slipping, and things were going well until the end! I think I need to try that bind off section again! More fun with techniques.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Back from OK

Oklahoma is truly "OK." I especially like the eastern part of the state, which is where we spend most of our time. And it was greener than I ever remember seeing it!

The kids live in Oklahoma City and we went there first. Then to David's home town of Bartlesville to visit his parents. Finally Tulsa, where David lived and worked most of his adult life, and where friends are still.

Of course, here's the "grandma's brag photo" of Gillian and Annabelle. As expected, Annabelle has grown quite a bit since February. She scoots rather than crawls, and is pulling up and stepping with support. Maybe this kid will never crawl!

I did not escape without visits to local quilt and yarn shops. Part of that (but only part) is that I like to give David and his daughter time alone together, so I do at least one shopping trip by myself. Where else would I go except the yarn and quilt stores? We wanted to visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in OK City, but weren't able to squeeze it in. Next time...

In Tulsa we spent an absorbling afternoon at the Philbrook Museum, where an exhibit of Pre-Raphaelite work accompanied the resident collections. The garden was artwork of another kind, and our walk there ended a perfect afternoon. Before that, we stopped at our usual places, Material Girls and Naturally Needlepoint and Knitting in London Square. And there's a new yarn store in Utica Square called Loops. Tulsa knitters have at least two fabulous shops - I'm jealous! I didn't come home empty handed. Dinner was a nice leisurly evening at On The Border (my favorite Mexican restaurant and it turns out to be Di's as well) with Varian and Di.

David drove the entire trip, so I knitted (big surprise, huh?). The multidirectional scarf was knitted and tinked (to retrieve a dropped stitch 3 triangles down) and looks much like it did before I left, only with a bit more length. No more pictures of that until it's done. I did not knit socks. Instead, I did this:

Green blobs, right? Actually, it's a front, back and one sleeve of "Bardot" from Debbie Bliss Number 5. I saw the sweater in Nashville when I went to see The Yarn Harlot, and decided I should make it. It was a perfect trip project: stockinette so no charts to worry about, but enough shaping to keep me interested. It is NOT perfect yarn. I used the Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere called for, and it's soft and knits up nicely. But it's composed, like many cotton yarns, of a zillion plies and splits easily, even for someone who, like me, is used to knitting cotton and enjoys it. But that wasn't so bad. What is less than perfect about this yarn are these:

KNOTS!! And more than a couple. I understand they're inevitable sometimes. But so far I've used 9 balls, and I've had 8 knots and one section of yarn that was damaged and had to be cut out. I really think that's excessive. Actually 3 balls were knot-free, and one had 3 spaced just far enough apart that I'd knit part of the row, tink and cut the knot, knit part of the row AGAIN, tink and cut the knot. Three times!! Can you tell I won't buy this yarn again?

The jury is out on the sweater, since I haven't even begun to block and finish. Stay tuned.

And Mara? Waiting patiently for me to complete my travel knitting and get back to business! And I'm looking forward to it as well.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Settling Down

OK, I'm settling down from last week's high of the visit to Nashville to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Things are blooming around here. My lovely irises were a gift from my friend Nancy, and they're even more beautiful than I had hoped. As you can see, many more to come! I'm excited about that.

This is green Euroflax Linen. No, it's not the Mason-Dixon After Dark Nighty. I figured I'm make some hand towels first. Sort of test drive the yarn - see how we get along together before I commit to a garment.

And here's the multi-directional scarf after one skein of Alchemy's Syn-chronicity. I frogged the first attempt, which at 5 inches was eating up the yarn too fast. I only have two skeins and I was not going to get a decently long scarf. It's 4 inches now and about 29 inches long. I am enjoying this technique (being the garter stitch fan that I am), so I ordered Modular Knits by Iris Schreier to explore it further.

We're going to Oklahoma soon to visit David's family. That should mean lots of time to finish the scarf and work on the Koigu socks. I'll take an extra project or two, just to be sure I won't run out of knitting. I will try to stay out of the yarn shops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa and Guthrie. We plan to visit a couple of museums this trip, and spend more than a quick evening in Tulsa.

Of course, I can't wait to see the grand-daughters again. Gillian, at age 5, is just fun. And Annabelle will be almost 9 months old and certainly grown a lot since we saw them in February.