Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fun with Sheep

by Kathleen

I've seen this on two other blogs now... absolutely brilliant! Crazy Welshmen and their sheep. And, of course, their dogs...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Welcome to the House of Doom!

by Caroline

cue ominous music

I kill plants. It's not like I run down the street with pruning shears, laughing maniacally as I slice plants to bits. And it's not like I buy plants with the intent to kill them. But, I kill plants. I was given some kind of low maintainance plant as a house warming gift. You know the kind: medium sun, water when soil is dry, and ignore. It made it, maybe, a month. I kill plants.

Ericka gave me a clipping the other day, from a plant she swears is indestructible. Her claim is that this is from a plant that revived time and again from the icy grip of death. It is a Swedish Ivy (and yes, that is a badly done, fake, faux-Swedish accent I hear in my head). I will call her Ivy (say it with the above accent, but only in your head). The most ironic part of this plant is that Ericka put it in a big happy face mug (as in, facing death with a . . .). Now I'll just feel guilty as I kill it. Also, because the mug has a face and not the plant, I find myself talking more to the mug.

OK, the plan is not to kill the plant. Therefore, I will give weekly updates on Ivy's health. Of course, since I am working up in Vermont, Ivy must come with me. Now I have to confess that, distracted by the weather this morning, I left Ivy behind. Not off to a good start. Maureen will do her best to keep Ivy going till I return Friday. Say hello to Ivy (remember the accent).

On the knitting front, I've been busy. I had finished several projects some time back that needed blocking before gifting. I took care of that this weekend and 2 scarves and a pair of socks will be out of the house by next weekend. Yay!

I joined my first sock club. From The Unique Sheep comes The Lord of the Strings! The first kit arrived; pattern, Hobbiton by LoBug Designs and yarn, Footprints by The Unique Sheep. They are awesome, both pattern and yarn! The first pair goes to Lora and here she is modeling the first one:

I will be making this sock for myself later. I really enjoyed the pattern.

The Lisha Lace Scarf from Sleepy Eyes Knitting continues to grow, but slowly. I do a repeat or two and take a break. This is another pattern I am enjoying, but it takes concentration.

I took a class this weekend at Yarn & Fiber. Double Knitting, taught by Alasdair Post-Quinn. Sorry, I have no link for you. It's too bad because this guy's work is amazing! Here is my unfinished swatch (I had issues, but I'm not giving up):

Well, that's about it. I've got some children's socks lined up but I haven't started them yet. I've frogged the Sleepwalker socks I had started. There wasn't enough yarn for this pattern. I'll probably make fingerless mitts with the yarn.

Click to make big the small pictures.

Caroline and I are quite honored to have been given this blog award and I'd like to thank all the little people... except that there aren't any little people. You guys are all BIG people to us!

Seriously, it's always nice to know people enjoy our ramblings. This blog was started so that two sisters could share a common interest from miles apart (623 to be exact). And though you couldn't tell it from our infrequent postings we love the give and take, the sharing and the reactions.

There was a bit of discussion with this last run of "blog awards". If you've been in the blogosphere (love that word... seriously, fun saying it... try it... blooooogospherrrrre. Cool huh?) for any length of time you'll see several awards making the rounds. Sometimes it can make folks feel like they're not part of the cool kids and that's unfortunate. 'Cause award or no there are a LOT of cool kids out there!
So this is what we want to do...
1) Express our thanks for Beverly's noting her enjoyment of our blog.
2) And suggest some really cool blogs you might want to give a looksee to.
My bloglines reader has almost 200 feeds. Needless to say I couldn't name them all. And some of them have plenty of readers and others nominating them. I thought about what these awards do offer to all... and they offer, in the listing of other "nominees" the chance to find new sites. So my suggestions are smaller, or less well read, for the most part... but seriously interesting sites you should explore sometime. A few aren't so small, but they're still fabulous eye candy. And a couple are just plain fun.

A Little Yarn on the Side ... Toni made a vow to knit only from her stash and to knit only WIPS for a year each. But here's the crazy thing... she did it! And the finished items are lovely! Check out her projects... and her cat Theo's water physical therapy. Talk about crazy!
Yarn in my Pocket ... knitting and sewing. Check out November's full 1770's Marie Antoinette outfit. From underpinnings to gown... gorgeous!
Knitting on an Island ... Janine is a designer and knitter living on the Isle of Guernsey in the middle of the English Channel... I love how big the world is!
SusinOK ... Susan recently got into dyeing and she's going for it big time. She just opened an etsy store and her colors of sock yarn and roving are gorgeous. She spins lovely yarn and she knits wonderful sweaters!
Stitches of Violet ... wonderful sweater and sock knitting and amazing photos of birds!
Beadknitter Gallery ... Wonderful knitting, but check out her beaded flowers (for her daughter's wedding bouquet) and her beaded beads in (February and March)!
Field Trips in Fiber ... Every week Vicki does a round up post of eye candy and finished objects and tutorials across the blogosphere (blogoooospheeeeeere...heehee). Mostly a quilter her quilts are amazing! And she tie-dyes better than I've ever seen someone do so.
Stitchworks ... a textile artist... her work is intimate in scale and layered with depths of color, texture and meaning.
Tini's World of Fiber Arts ... a knitter and garment maker living in Germany... she had a photo essay of her sock which traveled through Europe recently. It was mostly in German but you could see the joyous grin on the sock's face... er foot...
Yummy Goods ... A fabric designer, artist, store owner living in Cape Cod. She collects and thrifts lots and lots of coolness! shapes! colors! the textures! A feast for the eyes! Her studio is featured in the most recent ClothPaperScissors issue of Studios...
The Textile Blog ... An erudite and witty blog with information about designers, trends, styles (and more) in cloth, interiors, rugs, tiles (and more) through the past hundred years (and more). I learn something every time I read an entry... and I enjoy it as well... every time.
Bent Objects ... okay, not a knitter or sewer or textile person in any way (much) but what a funny sense of humour! Love the... well, bent objects he creates!

Caroline here - My blog reading has been much closer to home, lately. If you look at the left sidebar you'll see the ManchVegas Knitters. That's my group. These were my first blogs (other than the Yarn Harlot) and it was with these people that I first experienced that odd feeling of knowing complete strangers. Happily, they are strangers no longer. I have enjoyed both their knitting content and the bits of their lives they have shared in their blogs. Check them out, they are not all regular posters but they are fun.
A second shout out to Toni. She has a second blog, A Little Off The Beaten Path, in which she is documenting a year of no processed foods. If that doesn't take creativity then I don't know what does.

I suppose I should alert these blogs that Ive mentioned the here. I don't think of this as a nomination really (though if you wish to claim the award... go for it!)... just a recommendation. Surf a few of the photos. Read an entry or two. Explore and discover... there's so much to enjoy and learn!

Friday, March 6, 2009

by Kathleen

My Mother informed me today that "there hasn't been any knitting" being shown on my part.

Well! She asked for it...

Here we have (being modeled by my lovely assistant [hey, I haven't shaved in a while but my legs aren't that hairy! {what's the record for the most parentheses inside a parentheses?}])
Noro socks!

I did a small pattern of purl rows and slipped stitches to make bricks and then squares (I changed my mind after the first one) that run (more or less) along the color change. They're easier to see in real life without a flash...

A new sock!

This is the Leyburn pattern. I loved the version that the Harlot did out of her Eye of Jupiter Sereknity yarn... liking the way the bold color worked with the slipped stitch pattern. Knowing I had some bold colored sock yarn of my own...
This is my skein of the Connery colorway (named for me! Whee!) My Mom has made herself a pair of socks from this colorway, I made a pair for my SIL this Christmas (which I haven't been able to get downloaded off the memory card yet), and now it's Caroline's turn... (Maureen, if she ever puts more of this colorway up I promise to get you some too. Oh, and I guess we'd better plan on making Debbie a pair...)

Closeup of the pattern... Ooh... purty.

And two scarves...
The first is a made up pattern consisting of rows of stockinette alternating with rows of eyelet. This is made in two colorways of Brown Sheep's NatureSpun.

I don't know that I'll keep it as it's really a bit short to wear as a winter scarf and a bit heavy to wear as a decorative scarf. It would be perfect for a child and I know there are a couple of charity drives going on...

And a Manly Scarf for DH.
Made in Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky in pattern of alternating knit and purl, rows and ribs. It's a free pattern on Shifting Stitches website... check it out... she's got some nice free "Manly Scarf " patterns"


I'm still sewing the Lizard Ridge squares together, and adding rows to DH's sweater sleeves. Plus I've started something else. Something for me (besides socks) that knits VERY fast and easy...

Tailored Scallops by Ann Budd, from Lace Style. It's being done in Noro Silver Thaw on big needles and it's fun!

And, finally... I got myself a new bag.
This was a HUGE splurge for me... I've never spent this much on a bag before, but I really needed something big enough to handle my knitting and regular purse items that didn't look like a tote bag!
My LYS had a trunk show of Jordana Paige bags, on a good discount that night, and this one said "Buy. Me. Now." Just like that... most emphatically...

Outside pocket holding keys and cellphone at the ready ( I suppose that those were DPN pockets, but I needed key and cell phone pockets more).

Carrying this bag makes me feel like a real live grownup. It's nicely made and I love the color!

What's that... what does the inside look like? Oh, it's nothing special, it's... no wait... don't touch that don't open up........

AAAHHHHHHHH!!!! knitting explosion!
Well okay it's not that bad, but I have found the limits of this bag... wallet, necessities bag, digital camera, 3 checkbooks, one sock and two sweaters... it is a bit much....