Sunday, April 29, 2012

Finally Fenna

 Fenna is finally finished.  All ends are woven in, she's blocked and dry.  This is it for the photo shoot and tomorrow she flies off to her new forever home in Idaho.  I wish I could say I will miss her.

 The peony opened a little more today - this might be all the way, not sure.  It's fragrant, but not as fragrant as I remember them being - the smell is the same, but not as strong.  The bloom was too heavy for the stem and it fell over so I had to tie it to stakes to keep it upright.  It's so pretty.

This is the Jacqui vest I started for myself.  I am working on it while I wait for the yarn for Mom's Olivia shawl to dry.  I had to wash the yarn because the ball apparently got dirty in my suitcase on the way home from Idaho.  It's dry now so I'm casting on this evening!!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Catch up

First, a little more Stitches South Stuff.  This was a coaster that we knit in a market session (a one hour class).  The interesting thing about this is that the cables are knit one at a time but all end up joined together without sewing.  First you knit the one on the right, then the center one and last the one on the left.  The top coaster is the finished item . . . the bottom has the first two cables knit and the stitches for the third are on the lavender waste yarn.  It's a very cool technique.

 These are Dena's bits and bobs from her Tips and Tricks with Lily Chin class.  She learned how not to have that jog in the cast off on a sleeve, how to knit a button into a sweater, and how to get perfectly spaced buttonholes among other things.

 One more example from the Join as You Go crochet class.  Dena did this one . . . I guess I will never be a prolific crocheter.

And Dena's colors from the Color Without Theory class - only they weren't nearly this dull in person.

 A picture of Dena because I have it.  I had so much fun when she visited and now it's just me, sitting here knitting alone.  Sad.

 This is the yarn we got for the second Smell the Roses club installment from The Unique Sheep.  I loved the shawl pattern from the first one and the yarn too.  The yarn was a gorgeous pale pink and soft and lovely with a tiny bit of shine.  There were three installments in this club and we had both hoped that the colors would vary as much as roses do.  This is the second yarn we got - pale pink.  My shipment was the yarn on the right in the picture - a little more peach and a little less pink.

The folks at The Unique Sheep tried to tell us that these weren't both pale pink shipments but you be the judge.  The shawl that's finished and blocked is mine - it's very pale pink with just a hint of peach.  The unblocked shawl is Dena's and I would call that a pale strawberry pink, brighter than mine but still sort of pale.  However, as far as I can see, all four yarns would be classified as pale pink.  And sadly, the pattern that came with the second installment has issues so we'll be knitting something else with that lovely soft, pale pink yarn.

 This is my poor sad miniature rose.  It got black spot on the leaves and when DH treated them, they all fell off.  There are actually four roses in the pot - two or three are yellow and one or two is/are yellow with red/orange edges.  I love these roses.  They bloomed like mad for me last year.  I can only see leaves coming back on two plants so I'm worried about them.

One of the plants - not one with leaf buds - is blooming.  What a brave little plant.  I sure hope they all survive.

 And my one last, lonely peony bud is starting to open.  It's smaller than a lot of peonies but I'll take what I can get.

Gratuitous cute dog pic.  Casey decidedly does not like it when Dena comes so we can go to Stitches.  She hates being left home alone and that's what happens when Dena comes to visit.  Poor baby.

The garter stitch shawl that never ends is finally finished.  It's gorgeous.  You can't see the colors here because the shawl is wet.  You can see that the wing span is about 5 feet across.  I have a fan blowing on it so hopefully it will dry fairly quickly.  Then I will take better pictures of it and mail it off to it's new home.

And last, but not least, here is a shot of That Other Girl doing lots and lots and lots of homework.  When she finishes that, she's going to have lots and lots and lots more.  


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stitches South

Dena came to visit me last week - she arrived late Tuesday evening.  The plan was for the two of us to attend various knitting and crochet classes.  The classes are offered mostly by teachers who have written and published books, so it's fun to meet them.  

The first class we were both in together Thursday afternoon was Fiendishly Difficult Stitches offered by Merike Saarniit.  We were taught about five different, mostly Estonian, stitch patterns.  I had taken the class before, but Dena hadn't and there wasn't anything else that I was really excited about so I joined her.

This is what we made - it's not really anything but a sample of the stitches but they are fun stitches to knit.

And the teacher is really great - Merike has a terrific sense of humor and her classes are always fun!

Then on Friday we split up - we couldn't both take all of the classes we wanted to because there were a lot of them.  So Dena took some of the classes we both wanted to take and I took others.  I took Twisted Traveling Stitches from Anna Zilboorg and another class that wasn't worth mentioning.  Dena took Cowl Sampler from Merike which was an all day class where she learned a bunch more Estonian Stitches.

These are my twisted traveling stitches.  Anna embroiders the knitting between the stitches and it's just gorgeous.

On Saturday, Dena took Anna's Embroidering your Knitting class (to learn how to embroider my twisted traveling stitches) in the morning and Lily Chin's Tips, Tricks and Techniques class in the afternoon.  I took Merike's all day Lace Knitting Estonian Style and learned the history of Estonian Lace and some of the patterns.  

Anna uses strips of the twisted traveling stitches that have been embroidered and embellished to make the most beautiful sweaters and vests.  I am going to start working on one as soon as I finish what's in my knitting bag.

One of the great things about Merike's class is that you actually walk out with a pattern that you can make something out of more often than not.  This will become a scarf - except that I think I want to start over on a larger needle so that it's lacier.  

On Sunday we were both back together - first in Anna's Color without Theory class where we learned great ways to combine multiple colors into something that we liked.  That sounds so easy, but it's always been something that I've been insecure about.  

After we learned a few ways to tell how the colors were going to look together, we learned some stitch patterns that let us use those colors together.



Of course each night we went home and played with what we had learned:

Also we had lots of homework, like making all these granny squares, circles and hexagons for our Join as You Go crochet class with Edie Eckman Sunday afternoon.

Yes, I really did crochet a lot of that and I really did join some of it too.  I can crochet a little, just don't like to.

And of course there was the market!  Oh the Market!!  What an explosion of fun stuff and good stash enhancement was to be found there!

We visited with Lindsey and Lisa of Erin Lane Bags.  (You should check them out at - their mini's, socks and smalls make terrific tatting bags!)  That's their pet Hank doing photo ops with his admirers!

And yes, I bought yarn . . . lovely yarn.  I know I have lots already, but I really NEEDED it!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lion Mitts

At the last minute, it was decided that the two Lion's (one at a time) in The Wiz needed something on their hands and wrists.  So I knit two pair of fingerless mitts really quick.  I hope the actors weren't too warm on stage!


Monday, April 16, 2012

I like wine, it's so fine . . .

 Remember all this wine that I have in my garage?  There are 24 bottles of red and about another dozen bottles of white or pink.  I have no place to put it.

Worse yet, another case was delivered on Friday.  This is the stuff DH was waiting to arrive.

This stuff has pretty fishy labels that he likes.

The wine has been stored in the garage so far, in the shipping cartons it was in when it arrived.  It cannot stay in the garage - well it shouldn't.  It's going to get hot in there - really hot.  When it's over 100 degrees here in the summer, the garage gets very hot too.  It's not air conditioned.  That kind of heat cannot be good for wine.  So I talked to hubby and suggested he find a better place for it.  All my wine (the whites and pinks) will fit in a fridge and it will be fine as long as the fridge doesn't break.  That's because when a fridge breaks it quits being a fridge and becomes an oven.  

Don't even ask me how I know that.  I don't want to talk about it.

Anyway, Hubby decided he wanted to move the wine to the basement and he thought storing it in the utility closet where the furnace and water heater are was a good idea.  Once again, I said no because that closet get hot too and I don't want my nice wine ruined.  Mine will fit in the fridge and be mostly safe.

He went to Costco the other day and found this put it together yourself wine rack - they are made to be stackable - and we really should have two cuz we have that much wine.  But one is better than none and my wine will fit in the fridge so it doesn't need to take up space on the rack.  Hubby started to put it together and fortunately the battery on the electric drill died.  I say fortunately because he was putting it together backwards and I had to take it apart and fix it.  If the drill hadn't died so quickly, I would have had a lot more work taking it apart than putting it back together.

Someone needs to haul more wine down to the basement from the garage  . . .  not me because my wine fits in the fridge.