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November 2008
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January 2009

December 2008

beechwood beginnings

I'm enjoying this simple knit. What a perfect pattern for pick up, travel or knitting with friends, something to knit without concentration.   I dyed a merino cashmere blend in shades of teal with undertones of blues and fir green, colors that remind me of shadows on snow in the softwoods.




If mitts were the new socks, are cowls the new mitts?

These snowy days have been spent working and shoveling and bringing in wood.  Nights have been for knitting.  My wrist has been bothersome so I switched from sweater knitting to something a bit lighter in weight.  There were so many things to choose from.  Waiting in the basket next to my chair were a stack of patterns that I've been meaning to try.  I sorted through and came up with a trio of cowls.  The first one knit was the Forest Canopy Cowl by Susan Lawrence.  I wanted a yarn that was very light and very soft.  Kashmir fit the bill. 


I wish finding a model were as easy as finding the yarn.  Mirror shots are dreadful, and getting the color right is nearly impossible.  This was a fast knit.  Very cozy and very flattering.  It won't be the only one I knit.

The second cowl was Anne Hanson's Spiraluscious.  I wanted to use a yarn that had good stitch definition and would knit up on a #4 needle.  I chose a soft 100% merino with a high twist.  I have been doing color tests on this yarn and had one in red that I was calling HollyBerry.  What could be more seasonal. I loved, loved, loved knitting the edging.  The whole project was great fun.  This picture shows it unblocked. 


The color is off here, way to much blue.  I'll try for some better shots when I can find either a photographer or a model.

The third cowl is under construction.  It's Beechwood, by Ilga Leja. 

chiles en nogada

Last week, my friend Maria, invited me into the kitchen of her very excellent restaurant to see the chiles poblanos that she was preparing.  There, piled high on a tray, were row upon row of beautiful roasted and stuffed chiles.  Each one was tied like a sweet package with cotton string.  I reached for my camera, and wouldn't you know, I'd left it behind.  No problem, Maria told me, I'll make them for the holidays, come next week. There will be Chiles en Nogada.  Last night, I did.  Once again, no camera.  I'd left it home while the battery recharged.  I've searched the internet for pictures of this beautiful dish.  None were as beautiful as Maria's.  Served cold, Chiles en Nogada, is the perfect dish for the holidays in a land where it is warm.  For the rest of us, it is a wonderful treat.  The chile is stuffed with pork (or beef),raisins and other fruit.  Maybe a bit of cornmeal.  It is covered with a walnut cream sauce, then topped with parsley and pomegranates.  It is as beautiful to see as it is delicious. 

Garter Yoke Cardigan


The beginning:
I have dyed up 1250 yds of worsted wt. wool.  Shades of green, lots of khaki and olive with a touch of blue.  Not as blue as it looks in the picture.  Already I've made two changes to the pattern.  I wanted my neck to be a bit smaller so I went down three needle sizes for the first 5 rows.  The button holes will be bigger, instead of a k2tog, yo, one stitch version, I've changed it to a two stitch buttonhole.  There will be five buttons, and they will be bigger.  I think I have my buttons.  Wouldn't that be nice.

saturday (a sweater)

The Rhinebeck Cardigan


Approximately 1000 yds. of 2 ply handspun worsted wt.  I spun as I knit. 
Needles #7US
Mods: I lengthened the sleeves and body by a couple inches.  The button band is wider.  Cuffs, collar and button band were knitted on needles 3 sizes smaller than the body. 

I'd like some better pictures.  The color was so far off that even photoshop couldn't make it right.

Next up

A quick trip to Barnes & Noble and I have a copy of the winter Knit.1 magazine.  I've been waiting for Melissa LaBarre's Garter Yoke Cardi pattern to be published.  There was a month or so between the time that I first saw it and the time when the pattern would be made available, plenty of time to dye some worsted wool in shades of green.  


Check it out on Ravelry.   I'm thinking not so many buttons. 


spindled silk

1 = 200

This dismal weather has affected the quality and color of my pictures.  I need some good, dry, natural light.  Every available horizontal flat surface is presently in use.  There are no set-ups, only hand held shots.  These taken at 1/6 sec.  The Rhinebeck sweater will have to wait for the weekend.  The spindled silk, well.. we'll make pretend the color is right.  In real life it is a lovely soft pastel of peach and olive.  Very light.  The spinning isn't as even as I'd like, but given the conditions, I'm pleased.   This was my first project spindling silk from the fold and it was a carry around, 10 minutes a day, or whenever project, so the conditions where more or less all over the place.  Restaurants, nursing home, TV, meetings, doctor's offices, you get the picture.  I kept the spindle in my bag and worked when I could.  When you see the skein it looks pretty even.  Close up, you can see the variation.


one ounce 100% silk
200 yds. 
spindle: Forrester "Granny" style
purchased from: Little Barn


plying from the cop

P1050618a Last night the second lovely half ounce of silk was finished.  This time, it was spindles long draw and from the fold.  Sara told me that she uses this method for silk.  What a pleasure.  It drafts so smoothly that the silk feels like it flows from your fingers onto the spindle.  For me, spindling silk this way faster than spinning it on my wheel.  It certainly is more enjoyable. 

I plied it directly from the cops onto my Schacht using  a lazy kate.   There were no messy tangles.  Very fast.


The pictures are what they are.  Not perfectly sharp, but pretty good if you consider I hand held my little camera at 1/2 second using available light.  After dark.


dark and rainy night

As I left the Tuesday night knitting group, a friend called after me.  "Be careful driving home.  The deer are everywhere."   Less than ten minutes later I was slamming on the brakes, sending my knitting bag and its contents flying onto the front floor boards as one of the chubbiest little deer I've ever seen jumped out into the road in front of me.  The road was wet.  I was afraid I'd slide.  The tires held and the deer and I avoided a messy confrontation. I think that next time I drive home on a dark and rainy night, I just might seat belt my knitting bag.  The deer are crazy out there.