Sunday, October 21

Stitches: Chapter 1

I've been avoiding posting about Stitches East. Four days of classes, browsing, shopping, and meeting local knitting and Ravelry friends was quite exhausting. Oh, and throw my great-niece's birthday into that mix. Through the week it's been physical therapy, doctor appointment, Thursday night knitting, a bazillion phone calls . . . I think I'm finally caught up on sleep now though. I've fondled my yarn and re-arranged it several times. I've looked over my other purchases and been very pleased with them. I've realized I took two, exactly two, yes two pictures that didn't even turn out. I hit Ravelry only once since last weekend I believe, and then it was briefly.

What's wrong with me?

Okay! Shake it off!

I didn't knit Thursday night although I did manage to ball up my kusakizome mohair loop from habu. Dang! I wish I had taken a picture before I balled them. All that yarn was compacted into two little yarn bricks
1"x1"x3". What a space saver for the vendors. The yarn fluffed right up too. One thing I didn't know until I looked it up on their website was that kusakizome is a Japanese natural dye technique. I had worried about the yarn when my fingers had a bit of pink dye on them after I finished winding it up on my nostepinne. It looked like I had eaten just a few pistachios. Good grief! Now I have to completely test my swatch to check the color fastness. After my hat is finished I use hot water to finish it by hand fulling.

habu has the most amazing yarns. Did I say yarns? I should say fibers. Heck, some of their materials don't even classify as such with stainless steel wire, silver(sold at market price!), copper, pine, paper, bamboo, pineapple, and for the very adventurous - silk cocoons from Indonesia. You can buy cashmere for 26.95 per ounce or as little as 1/2 ounce for the pricier items. For instance:

$19.4o will get you 1/2 oz (311 yards) of 31% stainless steel core wrapped in 69% silk. It's a lace weight yarn that is recommended for two strand knitting on US 2-3 needles. This stuff had its humble origins as the guts of oil filters (makes me want to pry one open). It has memory they say, and will hold it's shape unless reshaped or smoothed out.

Gee, I just had my oil changed. But when I was gawking at all the bizarre fibers at habu, I thought of my most recent obsession - Stirling Cloche by Cirilia Rose. I was looking for a little boucle to use as a hat band. I think a knit-in band will look great and avoid the problems of many flexible hats with bands - the smash factor. habu had the sweetest boucle building blocks in four colors. One spoke to me and into the bag it went.

I'll catch up with more Stitches East adventures another day. Lately I'd rather tell a good tale than scroll you to death.

Thursday, October 11


Need I say more?

Tuesday, October 2

Charity Begins at Home

To quote the old Bartles & Jaymes commercials, “Thank you, for your support.” The messages from you guys when I got home just THREE days after my brain surgery meant so much to me. My knitting community and desire to return to it was, for some reason, something to focus on in the midst of so much fear surrounding this thing in my head.

I‘m home. The surgery went better than expected and I’m physically capable of more than when I went into the hospital six days ago. I was knitting in ICU the day after brain surgery expected to give me more paralysis of my right arm than I started with. My whole rhythm has changed and I can knit faster. Smoother.

Life is good.


I’ve been remiss about posting my F.O. because life got busy. This I can fix as easily. I’ve had several charity items finished and now it’s time for the Second Annual Knit-A-Thon at the Lakeside CafĂ© in Columbia, Maryland this Saturday. Since I’ll be saying goodbye to them, I finally got my camera out today and went out on the deck for a photo shoot.

Up there is the Jimmie Johnson preemie hat I made at the NASCAR race in September. It is a lot stiffer than I thought, but I had a lot of fun with it. Even if a baby gets a picture and it hits the floor, it was fun. I’ll do more in soft sweet colors and cushy yarns, I promise. The little model is the Taco Bell Chihuahua. It was from the Godzilla promo commercial and says “Heeeeeeer leezard, leezard, leezard!” In the commercial he sees Godzilla and followed that with “I think I need a bigger box”. That used to crack me UP.

Next is the oldest Warm Up America block in the history of the charity. I wonder if I could get some kind of award. It’s been in the car forever. It’s been ripped out, re-knitted, put on the back burner, lost, forgotten, and pattern-changed. And I’m rid of it. Bwwwaaaaa haaa haaa haaaaaaaaaa!

After that is the Nemo II preemie hat. I actually started this little guy on the way to Richmond and finished him during the Busch race of the event. I decided to make a tail on the top and improvised some short rows to give it a scaled effect. It isn’t perfect, but again, a lot of fun. I like the creative outlet. Could be worth a pattern thing if I put my mind to it, but I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet. I still haven’t written Rainbow up yet.

It’s gonna look like a fish swallowing a baby’s head, eh?

When straightening out my knitting basket last week, I came across some leftover cotton. Knowing the Knit-A-Thon was coming fast, I used it for a face cloth for a knitting buddy’s pet charity in Pittsburgh. The name escapes me, but they give hand knitted cloths to battered women in shelters so they have something feminine and personal of their own. I used the same simple blanket pattern I’ve been using for a pet blanket I hope to have finish for the same event.

The simple rhythm of this cloth gave me someone other than myself to focus on for a while.

So yes. I’ve been busy. I’m gonna BE busy. But it’s so good to look at the little collection up there with pride.

Or simply choose a WIP and pick up where I left off.