Unbroken bough

April 16, 2014

I’ve wanted for a long time to actually knit with Shelter from BrooklynTweed.  It’s my kind of yarn for a certain kind of knitting.  It’s ~ sheepy.  Some call it a little “crunchy.”  I don’t judge wool by its softness.  I find that an utterly subjective yardstick that’s rarely relevant in my world: I’m able to wear any kind of wool next to skin.

BrooklynTweed Shelter ~ Tent

BrooklynTweed Shelter ~ Tent

That said, I’m also stuck in the realm of accessory knitting for the present.  Too much happening around this Owl’s nest to dream of executing a garment.  And with a lot of my time spent at a construction site, I needed a second really warm hat since I kept misplacing my favorite Rosebud.

It was high time to pull out some Shelter in the colorway Tent (somewhere between the 1st and 2nd photos) and get it on the needles.  But which needles?  Frankly, I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time swatching for a hat.  I did the next best thing: I asked Jane about her experience with Shelter.  She indicated that it did relax with a bath, so she suggested that a US 7 needle and I’d be off and running.

I knew the pattern I wanted to make was Leila Raabe’s Bough.  Cables and texture for a nice woolly yarn, sure to keep my ears warm.  I did

Bough hat blocking

Bough hat blocking

spend some significant time searching the “Helpful notes” on the projects in Ravelry.  Several people indicated the hat was very large.  I do have a large noggin and a lot of hair.  But if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a hat that won’t. stay. on.  Hmmmm.   Time for some fiddling.

Some knitters indicated trouble with Shelter and breakage.  I had experienced that with Shelter’s skinny sister, Loft, but I knew how to work around that, cables or no cables.  (And no, I do not use a cable needle, just some nice slick Addi Turbo Rockets.)

Frankly, it worked up like a dream.  I used the Magic Loop technique and experienced neither breakage nor laddering.  The yarn performed perfectly.

Pattern:  Bough Cabled Hat & Cowl Set by Leila Raabe

Yarn:  1 sk BrooklynTweed Shelter in Tent ~ about 4 yards left without making pompom

Modifications:  C/O 91 stitches, then increased to 105.  Also added one row to the end of the pattern, using k2tog or p2tog as needed to close the hat more, as I did not intend to add a pompom.

See the tree?  Bough?  Get it?

See the tree? Bough? Get it?

Unblocked: Ribbing unstretched measured 15 inches

Blocked:  After soaking in lukewarm water and drying over an inverted vase (as you see here), ribbing relaxed to 19 inches unstretched.

Project marriage: 10  These were indeed made for each other.

Ruby

January 30, 2014

Newsflash:  The shoemaker’s child is no longer barefoot.  But I’m not quite ready to tell you about that, because it involves actually committing knitting to a form another human could decipher and reproduce.  No sense telling you about it if I can’t tell you how to make it.

Daisy Hat turned ruby

Daisy Hat turned ruby

In the meantime, I have made good on my promise and followed up the Daisy Hat with another for L., this time in the most scrumptious cashmere it could only be called Elysium.  The colorway is Ruby, from the Spirit Trail Fiberworks 2012 Knitting Club. It is the warmest, most beautiful glowing red; it could easily be a bouquet of roses, given where we are on the calendar.

The specs are virtually identical to its predecessor, with only the yarn changing.

Detail - faux cable and lace

Detail – faux cable and lace

Pattern:  Daisy Hat by Irina Dmitrieva

Size: Large, but knitted with DK weight instead of worsted

Needles:  Addi Turbo US 2 and US 1

Yarn: Spirit Trail Fiberworks Elysium, a special yarn for its 2012 Knitting Club, 100% cashmere, 1 skein

The finished hat weighed 39 g with 15 g remaining.

Project marriage score: 9, based on delight of the recipient

My campaign to establish something approximating order in our shoebox house is spreading to my knitting.  However, everything in my world cannot, in fact, be cured with a basket.

There will be frogging.  Widespread frogging.  A few are projects that I do intend to make at some point, but not right now.  At least one has been in time out for awhile because I lack the brain power to focus properly.  Time to rip that out, too.  It’s not the yarn’s fault or the designer’s.  Just knitterly distraction.  Little things, those I can handle right now. I feel a hat obsession coming on, largely owing to spending too much time outdoors with only one properly warm hand-knitted chapeau.

And in spite of having created something special just for her, Darling Girl is already clamoring for Maman to make something else.  Immediately.  She is relentless.  (Wonder where she gets that from?)

Time to reclaim some needles.

Daisy chain

January 8, 2014

I am blessed to know fantastic women.  Smart women.  Funny women.  Talented women.  Above all, generous women.

I don’t know all of them as well as I would like.  In some cases, I simply know they are wonderful.

This story starts with L.  We have moved in parallel circles for many years, but we are barely acquainted.  Nonetheless, her recent cancer diagnosis caused me great sadness.  Word that she was leaving nothing to time and toxic medication, and instead, shaving her head clean of her long dark hair added to the shock.  I wanted to do something for this woman I hardly know, but it needed to be something worth doing.

Which brings me to Jane.  She is one of those very special women.  Being around Jane is like finding instant calm ~ instant transportation to a warm hearth somewhere you’ve not been to, but know you like very much to sit ’round.  Jane fought cancer and won.  She is comfortable discussing it on her blog and with others.  So I asked her, “What can I make?  What did you get, or wish you had, that made things one bit better?”

Jane told me of a cashmere cap knitted for her by Jennifer.  “It’s something no one thinks of – when you go to sleep at night, your head is exposed, and it’s cold.  I wore it to sleep, and around the house.  I still wear it.”  That cashmere hat is one of Jane’s most prized possessions, made for her with love from one of nature’s warmest and softest fibers by the hands of a friend who dyed it, too.

Of course, there was perfect symmetry in Jennifer having made it.  My good friend always overwhelms me by simply thinking of me, not to mention the unexpected gestures, big and small, that come my way from her Virginia home where Spirit Trail Fiberworks is located.  She does this while managing her business and raising two outstanding young people.  (Small wonder I stay up into the owl hours to finish booth samples for her.)

So I knew what to make.  Next, what yarn to use?

A harder question than it might seem, given that there are many colors one would not choose for a person who is not well.  Of course, one of the advantages of having a *cough cough* virtual yarn shop in your

Great Northern Yarns Chamonix - mink + cashmere

Great Northern Yarns Chamonix – mink + cashmere

house is that there’s plenty to shop from.  Which is where Luann comes in.  The skein of Great Northern Yarn Chamonix (color is true in project photo, not skein) was my “sherpa reward” for driving some of her stash to the Knitter’s Review Retreat last year.  Using yarn from the older sister I never had whose life and mine have been intertwined in more ways than coincidence could explain just fit.

Daisy Hat

Daisy Hat

The pattern marriage was simple: Daisy Hat by Irina Dmitrieva.  The pattern is written for a worsted-weight yarn on small needles.  I was knitting for a not-petite person, but one with no hair.  A head with no hair is far smaller than one with hair.

So I improvised.

Crowning the daisy chain

Crowning the daisy chain

The Chamonix – 70% mink, 30% cashmere – lacked much of anything in the way of natural elasticity.  It is a DK weight.  So I made the large size using this finer yarn and took the needles down to a US 1 and US 2 Addi Turbo.  It pretty much knitted itself while I got out of the way.  And after a bath, it softened and fluffed up just like Clara said it would.

Within a week of receiving her hat, L. was wearing it to work.  In addition to the most lovely note, she called me.  She talked about how good it felt.  The Yarn Goddess apparently smiled on the endeavor: my improvisation fit as if it was bespoken.

STF Elysium 100% cashmere in Ruby

STF Elysium 100% cashmere in Ruby

I asked if she’d like another.

It’ll be finished in the next day or so.

All because I know fantastic women.

Intentions

January 1, 2014
Shiny and new

Shiny and new

I knew one thing heading into 2013: this would be a different year from any other.  That there would be nothing routine about it would prove to be an understatement.  To focus on rebuilding Owl Manor, I left my full-time job.  Just as I was getting into a routine, my freelance client needed a growing number of hours.  Simultaneously, as befits the cosmic sitcom that is my life, disaster befell us with the rebuild, requiring us to halt the project and start anew.

Somewhat surprisingly (to me at least), this time knitting did not fail me ~ if blogging about it did.  Looking back at my “output,” it’s clear that while my head was wrestling with knots, my hands stayed busy.

Projects completed in 2013:  13

What were they?  5 cowls, 4 shawls, 3 hats and a pair of fancy gloves

Yards of yarn used:  4,115, almost .8 miles

One-skein projects: 5

Projects never posted on ravelry but worked on: 3 (yes, I will get them up there)

Projects waiting to be blocked:  4 or more.  Sigh.

So many WIPs, so little time

So many WIPs, so little time

WIPs OTN:  Oooh, shudder.  Off the top of my head, 12.  I’m sure there are more.  Yikes.  But I pick up and put down what feels good to me.  That’s okay.

Goals I wanted to achieve in 2013:  Wisely, I didn’t really set a bar, per se.  There is a pair of colorwork mittens I would have loved to make, but I just didn’t get to them.  I did achieve something on my knitting “bucket list” though I failed to tell you about it yet.  (I’ll get to it, I promise.)  Because looking at the baker’s dozen projects I did complete, I note that only 3 stayed at my house.  The rest were either gifts, charity projects or samples.  The shoemaker’s barefoot children come to mind.  Which is why all four of the projects you see here are staying chez Owl, especially the ball of beautiful bulky Morehouse Merino, which will become a cowl for Darling Girl as soon as I unearth my graph paper.  Or just buy more …

The recent posts on Amy Herzog’s design blog put a word in my head that’s been ricocheting about for the past couple of days as I considered next year.  It talked about knitting intention.

My fingers are itching to knit more.  And there is one gaping hole in my knitting over the past yew years.  I haven’t knit a sweater for myself in quite awhile.  I had one I really liked on the needles but it got

Destined for frogging and a new project

Destined for frogging and a new project

so darned complicated to rejigger it for the gauge I got with the yarn I was using that I just got stuck.  It is going to the frog pond immediately so the sweater’s worth of Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna can be repurposed.

Now armed with my CustomFit measurements from taking Amy’s class at the Knitter’s Review Retreat, I will be swatching some Sunna and purchasing my CustomFit version of Afterlight.  No need to think.  Just knitting a pattern that is written for me.

That’s my knitting intention for 2014.  That and getting some woolies done for Darling Girl, because there are constantly growing fingers and ears to warm and there is no excuse for allowing Jack Frost to nip at those.

Thanks for hanging with me this long.  I will try to connect more in the months ahead.  My absences here are largely due to activity over at the other blog.  In the meantime, happy 2014!

Deceptive

December 3, 2013

Oh, the blogger guilt hangs heavy around my neck.  So many FOs to tell you about, and so little time to actually write about them.

I’m going to dust off the old soapbox and talk about one of my favorite techniques.  It gives maximum effect for minimum effort, and if you haven’t tried it ~ well, shame on you.  Let’s talk about colorwork.  I’ll do you one better, though: let’s talk colorwork without stranding.  Let’s talk mosaic knitting.

Sofya Cowl

Sofya Cowl

Simply explained, mosaic knitting, also called “slip-stitch knitting,” allows you to work one color at a time in each row you knit with results that look like you positively slaved. Often, depending on the colorways involved, mosaic knitting has a distinctive look that mimics stained glass.

Here you see it in the Sofya Cowl, knit in Spirit

Corrugated rib up close

Corrugated rib up close

Trail Fiberworks Verdande.*  The background color (green) is Crete; the brown is one of my perennial favorites, Kestrel. This was a really quick knit other than the 40-odd rows of corrugated ribbing (Knit the knits in one color; purl stitches are worked in the other color, see?)  Even with the ribbing, I was able to knit the larger size  in less than a week.

Here is the 411:

Mosaic up close in Sofya Cowl

Mosaic up close in Sofya Cowl

Pattern:  Sofya Cowl by Jennifer Dassau, size Large

Yarn:  Spirit Trail Fiberworks Verdande,* one skein each in Crete and Kestrel

Needles:  US 7 Signature Needle Arts circs because I know Verdande will grow when it meets water and I tend to knit colorwork (of every kind) a little loosely.

Mods:  None.  I had enough of both colors left to have made a 2nd one reversing the colors.  (Putting the brown in the background and the green on top.)  Maybe even enough to repeat the whole thing if I felt adventurous.

Project Marriage Score:  9  ~ I just wanted to squoosh this around my stubby neck.

++++++++++

Bubble Wrap Cowl on display

Bubble Wrap Cowl on display

Similarly, I used Verdande’s thinner DK sister, Birte, to make the Bubble Wrap Cowl, with Winter Solstice in the background and Sorbet in the “bubbles.”  This is another mosaic pattern where you’re working one color per row.  Period.  That’s all she wrote.

I’ve had a couple of people ask me about executing Row 5 – which is what creates the “bubbles.”  If I get a lot of requests, I’ll haul out the camera for some new snaps, but I would explain it thus:

  • Insert the tip of your right needle in the 5th loop down ~ the last one you knitted in the background color you are now working (the blue, in this case)
  • Using your fingers, unpick the four “bubble” loops, leaving them laying across your right needle, behind the loop you are holding.
  • Now insert your right needle the rest of the way through the stitch and knit with the background color, catching the loose strands behind the new stitch you made.
Bubbles of sorbet

Bubbles of sorbet

Sanity check: these dropped stitches always occur over the middle stitch of the bubble in the sequence below.  If you’re not aligned there, something’s gone awry.

Pattern:  Bubble Wrap Cowl by madelinetosh

Yarn: Spirit Trail Fiberworks Birte,* 2 skeins Sorbet (bubble color), 1 sk Winter Solstice

Needles:  US 6 Signature circs for this booth sample.  I am making one for myself now, and I’ve gone down one needle to a US 5 very comfortably.  It is making the bubbles “pop” more.

Pattern marriage score:  9.5. This is both drapey and smooshy in Birte.  In my own iteration, I’ve removed a few pattern repeats to make it a single loop about 37 inches around that I will work a full 12 or more inches deep.  The original finished size (44 inches) sort of fell between the easy-around twice /or not size for my liking.

There’s more blocking to do, more cowls, more shawls ~ oh, and the holidays and Owl Manor and … you get the general idea.  But do yourself a favor and pick up a mosaic knitting pattern and give it a test-drive.  You’ll be pleased that you did; I won’t tell a soul it isn’t stranded.

* If you’re reading this before Dec. 18, check the home page for a 25% discount on these yarns at Spirit Trail Fiberworks, and tell Jennifer that Nutmeg Owl sent you!

 

Season’s change

September 6, 2013

I never intended for this to become a quarterly blog.  Really, I didn’t.

The thing is, the one thing that has been a constant in this still developing new life of mine is my knitting.  I just have been hard-pressed to find time to photograph and write about it amid all the other chronicling, organizing, decision-making and traveling that over-fill my days, not to mention the owl-hours.

I think about this owl box with guilt even as I post over on Owl Manor.

I won’t claim that I have made one iota of progress clearing the blocking runway.  That will have to change soon, as my Rhinebeck projects will need to jump the queue to be shipped off to Spirit Trail Fiberworks for display.  Maybe then I will take advantage of a cleared guest room to address the rest.  Maybe not.  You’ll want to bet the “under” on that one, to be sure.

But I will offer some proof of knitting, and my own fallibility.  Here is a half-completed Arbutus in Spirit Trail Birte, having just come off

Arbutus - let 'er riiiiipppp

Arbutus – let ‘er riiiiipppp

the needles in the car, about to be frogged.  The colorway is Autumn Aurora, lovely deep blue violets.  Arbutus is a terrific pattern for a single skein of Birte, and it has a really nifty design for those of us who lack swanlike necks.  Through the magic of short rows, the cowl is divided into three joined rings of graduated size.  This allows for the back to not get too bulky on the neck, and the front to drape nicely.

So why the frogging?  It was just too dense for my liking.  Generally speaking, gauge doesn’t matter a lot with cowls ~ as long as you can get them over your head, that is.  Birte is a little lighter than the original yarn the pattern was written for, and I was playing around with needle size.  In doing so, it was clear that while the US 6 produced a nice springy fabric, it wasn’t the one I was trying to achieve.

When in doubt, rip it out.  No harm, no foul.  We’ll try again on my Signature circs in US 7, which I tend to knit a little looser with than the Addi lace-tips I had handy the first time around.

Because it has been so very long, I owe you all a look at my greatest, and lifelong WIP, too.  Here is Darling Girl last week, on

The Baker in all her frosting glory

The Baker in all her frosting glory

the eve of her last day in preschool, decorating every single one of the cupcakes she baked.  She grew almost three inches and two shoe sizes over the summer.  (This resulted in much unscheduled shopping since she outgrew fall clothing without ever wearing it!  Another reason for my blogging fail.)  She does love to bake, and to watch Jacques Pepin.  Go figure.  Must be Owl’s genes.  I can’t wait until we have a real kitchen to work in.

DG started kindergarten this week ~ and what a grown-up she became overnight.  I am not sure I can handle this.

All the more reason to keep the needles ~ and the camera ~ at hand.

On the Road: A Verb for Keeping Warm

July 6, 2013

My apologies for my absence.  These days, Owl Manor owns me from sunrise past sunset.  Yes, I knit.  At times, rather frantically, trying to find my “center” again.  The needles are always beside me, and I often fall asleep with them in mid-stitch.

A recent trip to the Left Coast gave me the opportunity to visit multiple LYS in that part of the world.

First, a stop at the much-talked-about A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, Calif.

A Verb ... and a cafe

A Verb … and a cafe

I am fortunate to have a spouse who builds LYS visits into vacations.  He is a foodie ~ and since food is a requirement, we always “manage” to visit places he wants to go.  He makes mine a priority, too.  The presence of a terrific cafe on one side and a cupcake shop on the other on San Pablo Avenue didn’t hurt, either.

I should not have been surprised to find owner Kristine in the light-filled front window at the big work table.  Somehow, after reading so much about her, it seemed a little too-good-to-be-true.    But in a day and age where so much trash seems to get more than its requisite 15 minutes, this shop was exactly as advertised.

Pioneer from AVFKW

Pioneer from AVFKW

If you have wanted to test-knit Quince & Co. yarns, this is the place to find them.  So, too, for some Spirit Trail Fiberworks yarns (very hard to find in a brick and mortar shop) and Kristine’s own ever-changing lines.  This stop could have easily been a bank-breaker.  Only the limited quantities of yarn in each dyelot and the knowledge of limited suitcase space provoked restraint.  If you are looking for a West Coast version of Webs, that’s not what you find here:  This is a carefully curated shop catering to knitters who care about what they use ~ and where it came from.

The kit in its souvenir bag

The kit in its souvenir bag

Which brings me to Pioneer, Kristine’s foray into limited-batch organic merino raised in California and dyed naturally.  I relished the opportunity to pick my own colorway for the San Pablo Cowl Kit, which will be some good late night knitting chez Owl.  I don’t expect one of you to be the least bit surprised by my choices (in order): Grizzly Peak, Bonfire and Harvest.

The shop also left me

Hootiful fabric

Hootiful fabric

wishing I knew the first thing about sewing ~ or that I had made enough decisions about Owl Manor to know where in the world I could use bright, bold, graphic prints like this one from Cloud 9.  (Again, organic cotton.)  It was too pricey to pick up without knowing how much I would need or for what sort of project, but I have it bookmarked for when I have figured it out.

If I lived in the area, I would spend a great deal of time at this studio and shop.  As it was, I am glad it was on our itinerary, and I look forward to putting Pioneer and its siblings on the needles … eventually.

In the meantime, one more skein of Kristine’s dyeing has arrived at my house: a skein from The Great White Bale dyed with madder.  Find out more about our adventure here.

One behind, another ahead

May 2, 2013

The 2013 festival season is officially open with the 104th Connecticut Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend kicking things off.

And what adorable faces KnittingKittens, Patshere and I found as we

Nellie was a little lamb ...

Nellie was a little lamb …

wandered through!  This was, it seemed, the year of the nursery.  Kids (the kind with hooves), bunnies, and of course, lambs like little Nellie, here.  She is a Romney; by unscientific observation Romney was one of the most visible breeds of this show.

We were pleased to see one of the

Olympia Farm Romney yarns

Olympia Farm Romney yarns

newer farms in Connecticut bringing lovely Romney fiber and yarn to market.  Anne McIntyre-Lahner and Mark Lahner’s Olympia Farm of Guilford first appeared on my radar a couple of years ago.  This year, their booth was well-stocked with natural-colored Romney in cream and grays at various weights and extremely reasonable prices.   The lighter shade you see here comes from Maggie, Bonnie, Coco and Cookie.

Sadly, in spite of victories like that, overall there appeared to be fewer vendors than in previous years.  Some of our favorites were not to be found in the barns and tents, perhaps reflecting just how hard it is to keep a small

Slinky Mink ... an understatement

Slinky Mink … an understatement

independent business afloat.  However, others, like Still River Mill, continue to work at distinguishing themselves with their own unique yarns.  Take, for example, Slinky Mink, pointed out by Clara at Rhinebeck last fall.  It was heavenly to touch.  Find it.  Knit it.  Love it.  Repeat.

As a non-lamb-eater, I did appreciate that the lamb stew and other lamb entrees were not on the menu ~ or infusing an entire indoor area.  I always found it a little jarring (if not downright creepy) to have lamb served up a mere twenty yards from barns with live sheep.

Making knots with a purpose: tatting

Making knots with a purpose: tatting

Every year festival organizers bring great demonstrations to this show.  It is easy to be mesmerized by the bobbin lace makers. I found the tatting equally hypnotic.  It’s kind of like macrame using cobwebs that ultimately produces its own special lace. All those teensy knots and they were just flying by.  It was something to behold.

Since I have been

Fripperies so beautifully displayed ...

Fripperies so beautifully displayed …

somewhat preoccupied planning my new knitting space, I confess to being completely taken by everything about this display from Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods.  It had more trims than I would ever begin to know what to do with … and everything in the booth was just pretty.  (I am ignoring the fact that everything here requires use of a sewing needle and thread, where I

How many owls can YOU spot?

How many owls can YOU spot?

possess no talent whatsoever and generally provoke sympathy from those who see my infantile attempts … )  Then again, maybe if I amassed enough antique spools with enough different ribbons like these, I might be motivated to change that.

Nahhhh.  They’re better just to look at and enjoy.

Now that “the season” is underway, if you are heading out to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend, I hope to see you there.  I will be reprising my role as a Booth Babe at Spirit Trail Fiberworks ~ that’s at A30 of the Main Exhibition Hall.  Do come by to see what Jennifer has been cooking up in her dyepots and give me a hoot!

TINK-erbell’s candles

April 29, 2013
Forsythia

Forsythia

Happy blogiversary to me … four years that we have visited here in this virtual owl box.  Seems a lot longer, then I look at my extremely erratic posting over the past eight months and drop my head in some shame.  But life happens, and it’s happened to me in spades.  And while many of my blogging brethren have no problem sitting down and dashing out a post, I spend time thinking about I want to say and how I want it represented, visually and otherwise.

The upshot is a rather absent(minded) Owl of late. I can’t promise I will do better over the next year with the mayhem I expect on the horizon at Owl Manor, but I will try.

‘Course, just blocking a half dozen pieces would help (cough, cough).

That said, I will be honest and tell you today about a new experience in my knitting world:  I blew a deadline.  I didn’t want to or mean to, but ultimately, we agreed it was the best outcome for everyone.

04-12-13 SunnaSurprise

Sunna in Fig with 8/0 Miyuki Delica Hex beads

The project is a lovely little shawl from my friend, Sivia Harding.  Nothing complex, just some beads and my favorite fingering weight yarn, Spirit Train Fiberworks Sunna.  It was supposed to be done for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival later this week.

First, I ran out of beads.  They were from my little bead stash, which is pretty well-organized, so it took very little time to order and receive more, but it did delay me a few days when I really needed to  have those days back.

Everything was going great guns until I had one of those head-slapping, I-should-have-had-a-V-8 moments around 4 in the morning.  You see, even though Sivia clearly told me how to do the increases, I still manipulated them to look like yarn-overs.  After all, this was lace.  Of course increases should be decorative.

What hit me in that predawn haze was the notion that a shawl knit side to side increases halfway, then decreases back again.  So all those increases would be decreases imminently.  Decreases that would NOT need a yarn-over to highlight them.  Ummm.

Oops.

See the lovely dropped stitch at the top just waiting to be picked back up?

See the lovely dropped stitch at the top just waiting to be picked back up?

I am pretty game at fixing mistakes.  I mean, I just had to drop the stitches to each increase, pick it up the right way, and then run the stitch back up to the needles again and Bob’s your uncle.  Yeah, sure.  Tinking down 70 or more rows to reach some of those offending increases.  Then discovering a few times that maybe I didn’t catch every single stitch I needed to on the way back up again …

Am I an 11-year-old who can’t read a pattern, for the love of Mike? Apparently so.

Bottom line:

04-26-13 ready to rip

Ready to rip!

The shawl was about 45% complete.

I ripped it all out and started over again.

You’ll see it at Rhinebeck.

I will have some sanity in the interim.

But blowing a deadline, that’s going to bug me for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for coming by to visit today and every time I post.  I appreciate you taking the time. Now let’s eat some cake, or at least find ice cream.

Everything is a little better with ice cream.

Checking in

April 9, 2013

Goodness, I’d no idea it had been so terribly long since I posted here.  I suppose a life-altering career change will have that unanticipated effect.  Fact is, now that I am no longer in an office, I find myself zooming through days and wondering how they could possibly have ended so fast, before I nod off over my knitting.

In part, this latter bit is directly related to no longer receiving scathing emails at home at night, nor directives demanding I log on and handle some matter from home.  I can say definitively that I am infinitely more relaxed than I have ever been.  There is no way I could have managed rebuilding a house, raising a child and working a full-time job simultaneously.  Period.

And thanks to a friend (I have momentarily wondered whether this was a blessing or not ~ momentarily), I was unexpectedly presented with the opportunity to tick something off my unofficial mental knitting bucket list. I can’t say more than that it involves

So much yarn, so little time ...

So much yarn, so little time …

these massive cones of cobweb yarn, toothpicks to knit on and a tight deadline.  Ach!  At times, it has kicked me in the tailfeathers.  But I will finish it ahead of the deadline.

Then there was the family visit that required frenzied house-cleaning and decluttering.  A good thing, but a time suck.  The upside:  I have a bed to block a half-dozen waiting FOs.  Stay tuned if you haven’t forgotten me.

In between, there will be 247 phone calls to contractors, vendors, inspectors and other assorted folk at Owl Manor.  Because though I no longer have a paying day job, I have something more than a day job at stake.  Feel free to hop over to Owl Manor and follow along.


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