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October 2007
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December 2007

November 2007

Zak in charge

It's a good thing someone is keeping a watchful (sometimes sleepy) eye.  Nothing is the same around here. 

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Zak's in charge. 

Just because, and so that those who really don't want to spend the time seeing the non fiber parts, Clapotis comes first.  In "real" life, she is the last part of the day, when I collapse in my chair in front of the TV, she is my pick up and knit project for the season.  I've decided to add a few extra repeats to the straight section.  It was looking to be a tad short if I wanted to use it as a shawl.  The pattern calls for an overall length of 55".  I want 60 plus or more.  Anyone weigh in on this?   

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But before I sit down, there's this.....

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two more weeks!


flocking turkeys

Did you hear that the White House turkey was flown to Disney World after the ceremonies?  I thought that there were two turkeys this year.  They asked for two names and picked the winners, not winner, "May" and "Flower".  I searched around, as I do every year for the best shots of the occasion.  He (she, her name is "May")  looks like a winner, ready to take charge, wouldn't you say?

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and....
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Obviously, I didn't take the pictures.. they are API or Something Herald that I copied over, apologies and thanks.  I'd love to be there, but am really busy this time of year with my own shenanigans.

Wishing You a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! 

a "me" weekend

And a wonderful one, too!  Saturday and Sunday, ALL day, BOTH days, I sat spinning with seven women in a workshop taught by Celia Quinn.  It was a Comprehensive Spinning Workshop.  We were given nearly 6 dozen different fiber samples to spin.  Some familiar, some not.  Some carded, some raw.  Some in roving.  Natural and man made, animal and vegetable.  We spun each sample using different techniques, discovering what worked best for that fiber and what felt right.  From the end and the fold, long draw and short.  Sometime Saturday afternoon, I discovered something I didn't know about myself.  I found that I had been using the long draw with my left hand for some fibers and always with my spindle and my right hand for others.  If I hadn't sat next to a lefty, joking about handedness and space needed to keep from whacking one another, I might not have noticed.  Interesting the way we learn to accommodate and do what comes natural.  Celia passed out little taklis (tiny metal spindles).  Fast little buggers for spinning the cotton samples.  I hadn't used a supported spindle before.  I will now.  She demonstrated the chakra. We used two different types of distaffs with flax, then spun it from the fold without.  The two days went fast, a whirlwind tour of fiber possibilities. And,  I have a bunch of new tools. 

In the evenings, I've knitted on Clapotis.   Time for knitting is short now.  By the middle of the week I'll be on elf duty.  At last count, I have more than a hundred assorted sized wreath bows to tie next week.  It'll cramp my knitting time and my hands. 

I can't seem to get the color right in these pictures. 

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The yarn sitting on Clapotis isn't the Artisan 2 ply that I'm using, it is the sock yarn I dyed in the same color way.  I don't know what I was thinking when I took the shot.  Here's the yarn.

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walk with me wednesday

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Overnight the ice thickens, melting out just a bit during the sunniest days.  The patches of open water have completely disappeared.  The pond can be traversed by the lighter animals.  I watched a mink skittering on the ice, making it's way to the island.  A mink weighs only a few pounds.  We worry about the heavier animals.  Ice is deceiving.  One spring we found a heifer floating.  Poor thing must have fallen through unnoticed during one of the first snow storms, the hole quickly covered over.   

I found this trail leading onto the ice.  There will be many more soon.

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The palette has changed.

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Stick a fork in it.

For now, until spring when I can do the perimeter plantings, this is a finished project. 

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OK, and a balsam wreath for the holidays.  Soon.

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I think it blends right in.  You have to pay attention to see where the new meets the old.  I'm pleased. See the little bump out?  That's where the water barrels are.  Couldn't give those up. I bet you think it looks pretty big, huh?  We've been working hard putting things away for the winter.  FULL!


Clapotis

Am I the only one out there who has not knitted Clapotis?  Am I?  It has been on the list, almost forever.  Last Thursday's guild meeting bumped it to the top.  No exaggeration, there must have been six new Clapotis on display that night.  All beautiful.  I went home thinking about what yarn to use, what colors to dye, what.. what!  I pictured knitting one in a more or less monochromatic colorway.  That was before.  In the morning, I walked outside (as I do) and saw this.  The clincher.

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After coffee, I went to work. 

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I dyed eight skeins of the Artisan 2 ply and then a second batch in the sock yarn.  Last night I finally had time to cast on.  I'm waiting to take a picture until I do the first column of dropped stitches.  That's when I'll know.

Meanwhile, ice is setting up on the pond.  Nippy, let me tell you.  Don't let this picture fool you.  That lovely gold is not autumn leaves.  They are a memory.   It is the golden glow, the beautiful end of the day light, of winter.

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moving on

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The trees are bare, leaves down and settled now onto the woods floor.  Light comes through the bare bones of the canopy.  This is the way I love the forest.  Open. Quiet. Linear.  Even the cats are settling in for the season.  Instead of spending their days hunting, they are seeking out the warm, cozy spots.  Zak is taking over my chair. I try to get him to share.   No.  He's an all or nothing kind of guy.  When I push him over he leaves to find the next good spot.

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Even in the house, my hands feel the cold coming in.   I'm working on some halfmits to match the Tashi Crest of the Wave scarf.  It's slow, knit a bit, change my mind, rip back.  There will be a right and a left.  No pattern on the palm.

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I managed to fit in a little bit of a walk today.  The color is nearly gone.  But, what's left is brighter for the comparison. 

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weekend uummm... report.

Getting behind and having so many things piling up on the to do list doesn't make for an orderly mind.  In between doing the company billing and interviewing perspective employees, (on Saturday and Sunday) and laundry and housework and all the other stuff that goes on in a day, I fit in whatever fiber pursuits were in my path as I went from room to room.  In an effort to get the dye pot fired up tomorrow or Tuesday, skeining happened.  It's a good beginning.  Once I get started, I skein on one winder as I re-skein dyed yarn on another.

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Sock yarn and the Merino & Silk 2 ply, ready to go.

Then, there is this.  Carded alpaca / merino / silk.  The alpaca hasn't been washed.  It will be very white.  I only added to this bobbin, and a little bit at that.

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But try walking by this and not wanting to put your hand in it.

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So soft.  It's hard to work with that in the next room.  The Hourglass has nearly 12" on the needles.  I had Jane Eyre, the BBC version on 2 dvds to watch, one per evening.  We're suckers for happy endings.  And then, there is the book.   Work , smirk.   


a good read

More than a decade ago, I read Ken Follett's book, " The Pillars of the Earth".  The story line follows the building of a cathedral.  It has stuck with me all these years and caused me to look with amazement at the near miracle that are these still standing monuments to human strength and endurance.  A week ago, I came across the sequel.  It is hard to put down.  There are over 1000 pages competing with my knitting time.  Good thing that C has the TV on for a time each evening to distract me away from my reading.  I'm a sucker for Follett's books.  I think I've read all of them.  This one's a winner.
World Without End 

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casting on

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When I dyed the yarn for the Cresting Waves Scarf, I also dyed some of my sock yarn in the same "atlantic" colorway.  I had thought that I'd make some wristers to match.  After thinking about the pattern a bit, I decided I wanted it to be a bit more solid, and I wanted a place to add the thumb, and a solid stockinette for the palm.  This will create a left and a right mitt, but that shouldn't be a problem.  Last Friday, while riding the train home,  I cast on. 

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I haven't gotten far.  As I've worked out the stitch, I've had to rip back, rip out and start over and generally punt as I thought about it.  Another project also went onto the needles a day or so later.  It is the Hourglass Pullover from Last Minute Knitted GiftsKelly was wearing hers the first time I met her, and it has stuck in my mind as a must knit.  All stockinette, knit on circular needles, it is a perfect knit for watching TV or taking to meetings. 

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It calls for a turned under hem, to be sewn in after the fact.  I'm a little nervous about it.  Hems often have a way of flipping up or just plain making a thick band around the bottom.  I decided to alter the pattern and make a picot edge.  Then, I basted the hem and started to stitch it, first separating the plies in my sewing yarn to a half thickness in hopes of less bulk.

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My fingers are crossed.   (I think I have a "thing" going with this color.. it's got me everywhere I turn.)