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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Loving the Socks

Hey y'all! Remember I mentioned I got Cat Bordhi's (www.catbordhi.com) newest book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters? Well, very interesting constructions going on in that book. I showed you photos of the two learning baby socks. Now I'm into a full sized pair for myself using the Simple Master Coriolis pattern and I just LOVE it. Here's the first sock so far, done with all of the major construction and ready to knit up the leg.

I decided on a self striping yarn so the coriolis "jog" would be visible and I like it. Using Cat's directions and master numbers, this sock fits perfectly through the foot. I'm going to try the leg in stockinette so the yarn's pattern is more evident, but I really like the fit of a ribbed leg better, so I may change my mind. This is the first toe-up sock I've knitted where I actually like the toe, and the increases didn't make me cringe. Some people hate Kitchner (not me), and I normally hate increasing on a sock toe just about as much. But I tried Cat's method (La-rink and La-link) and actually enjoyed it.

It's going to be a while before it's finished, though. It's 9.5" stitches to the inch, and I have some ribwarmer models to get done, among other things!

But while you're here, I want to mention that Aimee is fundraising for the Alliance for Lupus Research. Visit her blog to find out more and see some of the great prizes she's offering in return for your support: www.fairieknits.blogspot.com

Personally, I'm hoping I get that set of Wendy's patterns! Between those and the Cat Bordhi book, I could make a big dent in my sock yarn stash!

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 24, 2007


Click to make the pictures bigger. I found ONE Monarch chrysalis! But since the caterpillars wandered off without telling me where they were going, I count myself lucky.

This thing is beautiful - like a little piece of jade jewelry with gold trim. Looks like a pretty safe place to hang out and turn into a butterfly if you ask me! I understand it will become more transparent the closer it gets to emerging, so I'll be keeping my watch. I'm excited. This is way more cool (and elegant) than watching caterpillars devour leaves and poop.

OK, second ta-da!

A ribwarmer almost complete. (It's not brown and blue, it's green and turquoise - strange colors and the camera will NOT get them right. At least not in this light. I'll try again when I've finished it.) I knitted most of this on our drive to and from West Virginia and over our weekend there. My LYS has asked me to conduct a workshop on making this garment, so I figured having a model knitted from yarn that they sell would be a good thing. I think we'll be ordering the Spun Out (see http://www.schoolhousepress.com/) as soon as we have an idea how many people are interested. In the meantime, my little finger will be knitting ribwarmers!

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 14, 2007

Caterpillar Watch

I have Monarch caterpillars! Six at last count, and I'm so pleased. I've been trying to get them for a couple of years. Not the greatest photos, but if you click on them, you can make them bigger and see at least two caterpillars in each photo. In the first photo, there's one on a butterfly weed plant, and one on a dead piece of vegetation.

A couple of years ago I ordered some milkweed seeds and planted them in our stone flower bed. But it's too shady there and while they would feebly sprout and grow a little, they were never very happy. This year I successfully transplanted some of those sprouts. Last year I noticed one "wild" butterfly weed plant along the semi-wooded area on the edge of our fence. It produced one seed pod, and I harvested those. After sharing with a friend, I ended up with 26 seeds, about 7 of which actually sprouted this year. Those were added to the transplants. The sprouts and transplants were placed in the ground on the non-wooded sunny side of our driveway fence after we got back from Idaho, and they took off!

In addition, last year I only had one seed pod on the wild plant, and this year there are seven! Here's a photo of some of them:
So with luck I'll have more sprouts to add to the patch next year. Why do I care? Well, Monarch butterflies are, I believe, the only breed that makes a round trip migration of thousands of miles. They're pretty amazing insects. These caterpillars will leave rural Tennessee in a couple of weeks as adult Monarchs, and they'll fly all the way to Mexico or Southern California. And next spring they'll fly back to breed.
These beautiful butterflies need conservation help, because of loss of habitat and the food sources that grow in those habitats. The caterpillars, you see, only eat species of milkweed (of which butterfly weed is one). I've noticed several places here in my little corner of rural Tennessee where the bright orange butterfly weed is plentiful along the roadsides. But our roadsides get mowed. So I'm planting the stuff where it won't get mowed.
And after two years of trying, I might be able to send 6 Monarch butterflies to Mexico. And maybe they'll come back to see me in the spring!
If you'd like to read more, and find out how you can help with Monarch conservation, see these websites:
Knitting? Oh yeah. One cool tip I got from the new Cat Bordhi sock book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters, is a better way to swatch in the round. I HATE swatching in the round, especially for Fair Isle work. Or rather, I DID hate it. Piece of cake after reading Cat's helpful tip (hint: it involves Judy's Magic Cast On( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhBIS0AhhQY). My swatching in progress:

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wedding Dress and other endeavors

Well, I didn't MAKE a wedding dress, I un-made one. And then made keepsake cushions. My friend, Jean Ann, was married in a lovely silk, tulle and lace gown, probably early-mid 50's. One daughter wore the dress at HER wedding, and the second daughter isn't married and not likely to wear the dress should she change her status. So, Jean Ann asked if I could make cushions for her and her daughters. That way they'd have a keepsake of the dress, but she wouldn't have to keep the whole thing around. So it's done.

In other fibery pursuits, I've dyed some white Koigu sock yarn in the copper jar. Dark to light: 20 minutes in the jar, then about 6, then about 2 (it's really a dusty sage green, not gray, even though it's a gray-ish green).

And if you've seen or read about the new sock book by Cat Bordhi

you'll probably realize that I've been exploring some of the new "sockitectures" therein. Really cool stuff. Here's are the first and second little learning socks from the book.

Now I'm having a hard time deciding which one to try for full size!

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Catching On

Double occupancy of the bird seat, that is.

Terry and Baby Kitty:

BC and Baby Kitty:

That't it for the available combinations. Summer, aka "The Grouch" doesn't use the bird seat very often, and she has a very large personal space into which she allows no other animals. If I ever catch her sharing it, I'm likely to be so surprised I'll forget to document.

Back to regularly scheduled knitting content tomorrow or so!

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, September 08, 2007


My cats enjoy sitting in the window and watching the activity at my bird feeders. Lately Terry has taken to joining BC there. But with the original setup, there was really only room for one cat. Terry, being the smart cookie that she is, probably realized she was crowding BC, who doesn't like that. Thus BC would leave the "bird seat" to Terry.

I asked David to expand the bird seat so it would have room for two. Once done, the above scenario repeated itself a few times. Then BC realized, I think, that she wouldn't be crowded. My objective was achieved!

Another activity that BC is enjoying these days is watching something else at night:

This is a recent photo of our deck. Hmmmm, wonder what's making the little droppings?
Here's what's above those droppings:
David suspected, and finally decided to look. Definitely bats!! He unscrewed a corner of the sign and peeked. One flew out, and another barred it's little teeth at him! He's let them be for now. We have two perfectly good bat houses high up on the siding, but this is home near an easy food source, because night insects flutter around our windows and doors at night. The sign's occupants don't have far to go for a meal.
We also suspect we have bats in the attic. But with the temperatures being what they have, David has no intention of investigating and remedying the situation until the weather is cooler. In the meantime, David is sweeping up bat poop and we're leaving them alone. They do entertain BC, that's for sure!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I've Been Knitting - Honest!

You don't need yet another inside-out photo of the green vest in progress. But be assured I'm making progress. In the meantime, I finished these:

This is a little cotton/silk top made from STASH yarn!! Whee, I used some of it up. Yarn is Misti Cotton, pattern is Jaunty Jane by Carolyn White.

This is a PAIR of socks. Dobby socks for sure. Although the same color and dyelot of Twin Twist from Wool in the Woods, it's hand dyed. As usually suggested when working with yarn like this, one should alternate the skeins every couple of rows. But for socks I won't do that. It interrupts the flow of the colors for one thing, and it's just plain annoying to me. But then, I don't mind the "fraternal twins" nature of the socks. And unlike a lot of people, I really like color pooling. I think these pooled quite nicely on the 2x2 ribbed legs.

Kari asked about what I was holding in front of the Bison sign, so here's a better photo. It's "Loopy" mascot for The Loopy Ewe. Sheri asked her customers to take Loopy on vacation and send in photos. So Loopy went to Idaho and back with me.

Labels: , , , ,