Friday, March 31, 2006

Wip It Out!

Wip it Out

Today is the First Annual Wip It Out, so here are my wip's - click on each picture for details:

CTH Sugar Maple

Embossed Leaves Socks

Opal Baby Sweater

Elfine's socks

Debbie Bliss Simple Jacket with Collar



Escher Blankets

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Project Spectrum Update

I finished Fragola and I forgot to take a photo.

That's it for my red and pink projects. The other two, the Stahsbuster Shawl and the Embossed Leaves Socks are faithfully waiting for needles (my long circular #8 are missing and my Brittany #0 snapped).

But I am getting ready for Project Spectrum April, more to come on that.

Oh, and to the people who end up here googling "naked person" or "naked mom" - sorry!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A free pattern

A while ago I bought a skein of Schaefer Helene from FTA, in the Elena Piscopia colorway.

Lacy Scarf

I made this scarf with it, my original pattern.

Lacy Scarf

It is just a two rows pattern, very easy, that I made up as a mistake - I was trying to use a stitch from the 365 stitch calendar, and I did not read the instruction right. But I really like my stitch better!

Lacy Scarf

Click on the link on the right bar to get the pattern.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The circular needles and I

Several people asked what's the story between circulars and me, so I thought of answering publicly.

I do not like them.

I admit that "despise" and "hate" are too much strong words for my feeling about those wirely objects, but I do not like them. They kill my wrist and if I work with them too much I get a pain in my left shoulder.

I learned how to knit as a child, and I had never seen a circular needle before moving to this country about 10 years ago. Even then, I looked at them, could not figure out how to use them, and never tried again until last year.

So part of it is finger memory, I can knit on my straight needles in my sleep, part of it is how I knit. Weird, someone would say, but almost everybody I knew before moving here knits like me, so I could argue, this is a weird country. Well, for bigger reasons that how people knit, but I believe in "whatever float your bloat", so I knit like I knit, and so everybody else.

I hold the yarn with my right hand and I flick my right index to wrap it around the needle. I do not "throw", I think that throwing is the American variation of English style. Now, to knit like I knit, I need to anchor my needle to something, if I don't anchor it, them I become a "thrower" too. The way I anchor my needle is sticking it under my right arm - I always use 14" long needles. My grandmother liked shorter needles, so she used to anchor them against her tummy, like she was wearing a knitting belt.

So, when I use my long straight needles, my knitting is weightless, because my right needle is under my arm, my left needle is lower on my lap, I have no weight whatsoever on my needles. I believe that that is the reason why I get a pain in my left shoulder when I knit too much with circular needles - the weight of the knitting. I agree when people say that you can "balance" your knitting with circulars, but it still weights on your hands. The way I knit, it's weightless.

I am not saying that my way of knitting is better - there is no better or worse in knitting. I am just saying that it works for me. But I have to admit that sometimes I get irked when people say, "With circular needles, you can balance your knitting, while you can't with straights". It all depends on how you hold them. There are a gazillion different ways to hold the needles, even if a lot of knitters seems to know only two.

The turning point in my relationship with circular needles was when I learned to hold the yarn in my left hand. I taught myself to knit combination and to purl Norwegian because holding the yarn with my right and circulars needles just can't be for me. Too unnatural.

Holding the yarn with my left hand is tougher on my wrists, so I do it only when I use circular or dpn's. And I like English knitting better anyway.

So, circulars needles are growing on me, like American food. Can't have French fries and hamburger everyday, not even once a week. But hey, once a month? I am all for it.

But I am not eating peanut butter.

Monday, March 27, 2006

They stink!

Hidden Villa

That is Principessa's opinion on the subject of sheep. Nice of them to give us wool, but I'll take it when I can spin it:

Hidden Villa

weave it:

Hidden Villa

or felt it:

Hidden Villa

leaving the nasty stuff to someone else.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Wip it Out

Wip It Out on March 31st!

Whip it Out

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Secret Pals

It have been quite a week, between lot of work and internet not working right at my place, so I have many things to blog about, but today is all about Secret Pal. I received the reveal package from my SP7 and she held up her reputation of super extra special pal. You may remember the loot I got with her first package. Well, last week I got this:

Slide your mouse over to see what was inside.

See how creative she is? She put a star sticky note on each gift to give me a hint! And see how many things she sent me? I felt like x-mas!

Here is a shot of the yarn:

Cherry Tree Hill Glitter Alpaca

Cherry Tree Hill Glitter Alpaca in the Java colorway - really yummy!

Thank you so much, Tracey!

And I have nominated you for the best SP7 award, you truly deserve it!

I revealed myself to the person I was spoiling too, Wannietta. She is the fastest knitter in North America, and by the pace she cranks up projects on her blog, I think she could hold the Europe title as well.

East but not last, I owe my Knitty SP6 a public thank you for a gift she sent me a while ago:

Yarns 2 dye 4

She is feeding my addiction to yarn dyeing!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Knit for Peace, March 21, 2006

Knitting is a peaceful activity. Sheep are archetypically placid. When they cross a road that you are driving down, there is nothing to do but wait. It never crosses your mind to honk the horn or try to drive around—where I live the sheep graze in fields so rocky that you’d pierce your muffler if you tried—you just turn off your engine and admire the ungainly woolly lumps brushing past your front bumper. Knitting starts with the sheep.

I like natural yarns that are full of lanolin. That way I can feel the life of this animal that needn’t give its life to yield up this wonderful product that I use to knit. I fondle the yarn and start to rack my brains and my library for inspiration. My knitted things have no borders. I use a Swedish wool to knit mittens using a twisted Eastern stitch. The mittens turn out not to be warm enough, so I knit mitten liners out of Chilean alpaca. The hat on my head is of Japanese yarn, knitted from a Norwegian pattern. I knit my hat in the round from the top down, and once I passed the awkward double point stage and worked onto a circular needle, I slipped into the meditative state that arises when I knit stocking stitch in the round. My mind wanders, first to my work day then, eventually, to the private part of my day, my family, my friends, the wild thyme that the sheep graze on in the rocky fields up the road. I become part of a world bigger than that enclosed by the ends of the sofa where I sit knitting. My mind wanders through the world that has led to the knitting in my hands and because I am knitting, engaged in this quiet, peaceful activity that starts with the placid sheep, my mind wanders through a peaceful world.

Knitters radiate peace. When I see a stranger moving a pre-natal sock around and around a ring of double points, he is engaged in creating warmth for someone he cares about, an expression of peace. When I see a friend with a lap full of grey alpaca, lovingly being worked in moss stitch for her new baby, her quiet handiwork sings peace.

I would like to channel this peacefulness. On March 21, every stitch that I knit will be dedicated to peace. I would like to invite everyone who knits to join me on that day. Will it stop people from hurting and threatening and frightening each other, the antithesis of peace? Who knows. When I knit on March 21, I will be saying with each stitch that peace is possible, that human intelligence and compassion can triumph over fear and greed, that terror and war can give way to discussion and peace.

Knit for peace.
Randy Sklaver Visby, Sweden
Peace Fleece

Sunday, March 19, 2006


It's up on Chiagu.

Library - 1600

My friend Susanna is the beautiful model.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What I have been up to

LuLu's Yarns

Bye-bye Kool-aid, welcome Gaywool and Jacquard. Most of the yarn I have been dyeing is up on my Etsy shop, link on the right bar. As you can see, we are having a red and blue period.


This pink pile is Fragola for FTA - I need to put the pieces together and block it a little. It has been in this state for a while now, I am professional in finding excuses when it comes to sewing.

Opal Baby Sweater

This is a Baby Sweater I am making for, again, FTA, in Opal DK. Circular needles, no sewing, but circular needles indeed. The jury is still out on what I despite more, sewing or circulars.
But the sweater is darling, don't you think?

Right after I finished my Jaywalkers, I casted for Go with the Flow Socks (by Evelyn A. Clark in Interweave Knits Summer 2005) with Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn, but there was no love among the pattern, the yarn and me. I don't know whose fault was, but yuck, it looked horrible, the yarn kept splitting, so I frogged them and last night I casted for Embossed Leaves Socks (by Mona Schmidt in Interweave Knits Winter 2005), and look:

Embossed Leaves Socks

Love at first sight! Such a passionate affair that I snapped one of my Brittany US#0, right after I took that photo. Elspeth told me that if I email them, they'll send me a new set, so I did it, but while I wait, I can't work on my sock!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Dear SP7

Dear SP7,
thank you so much for the lovely e-card.
I have tried to reply to you, but my email came back "undeliverable".
I wanted you to know I really appreciate the card.

Yours truly,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Yarn Hunt

My sister just sent an email to thank me for a package I sent her, with something I can't show you yet (sorry, Elspeth, but it is going up on Chiagu soon), and these:

Baby Sweater

Holly Hat

She found out a couple of weeks ago that she is having a baby girl and that sent me out in a crazy hunt for yarns and patterns. Among the excuses to buy more yarn, my baby sister having a baby girl is a a really good one.

Starting with my stash, I have Katia Jamaica, Bernat Cotton Tots, Karabella Aurora 8, and Tess Designer Yarn. BTW, FTA carries Tess Designer Yarn now. But here is the thing, I have bought Kate Gilbert's Samantha a while ago and it calls for DK weight yarn, all the above are worsted. And none of the DK yarns I have in my stash are suitable. I could try Lana Grossa Point Print, but I am positive I won't get gauge, by the look of it, I think I'll get 20 sts / 4". And yes, I know, I could re-recalculate the pattern, but I hate to do that when I have bought a pattern - I buy something because I do not want to do the math, otherwise I'll just write it myself. So, I went browsing. Bad idea.
And to be completely honest, I need to confess that the Tess Designer Yarn is a recent buy as well; I bought it the day after I heard my sister screaming "it's a girl!" on my answering machine.
So, as I said, I went browsing. And I saw this:

Art Yarns Ultramerino 4

And it was on sale. And I heard it kicks Socks that Rocks' butt. I'll let you know.
Then this on e Bay:

Brown Sheep Burly Spun

that will make a really nice bag with the one that I already have.
Still not suitable yarn for Samantha, but look what coming Tuesday March 28 at 9:00 am Pacific Time: Lana Grossa Toccata 60% off. I made the first original Fragola with that yarn, and it is heaven. You will check the label a thousand times to confirm that it is 100% cotton, because it is so soft and stretchy, I do not know what kind of magic they have done on it.
Problem solved? Well, not quite, the smallest size for Samantha is 3 months, and that will be November. November in Rome? Not cotton. I could use fingering weight yarn, so that I get a newborn size with the 3 months instruction, so off to find fingering weight cotton:

Oh gosh, with all the time I am spending browsing, I could have written the darn pattern!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Another Karaoke Hat

The hat for my dad is done, thanks to Hollis who gifted me with the Karaoke Navy for the top:

Karaoke Hat

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Two for one

One button gone from my sidebar, two more added:

Project Colorway Swap

Mountain Lace Knit Along

Friday, March 10, 2006

Karaoke Hats

I must tell you, Karaoke definitely ranks really up there in the list of my favorite yarns. The colors are stunning, from almost solids to variegated, and has all the characteristics I love in a yarn: it's soft, it is stretchy and bouncy, has great stitch definition. And on top of that, mainly colors:

Karaoke Hats

The brown hat is for my brother-in-law. I knit a scarf for him for x-mas, and since I had two balls left I made him a hat for his birthday. The colorways are Cocoa and Rustica.
The other hat is for my father - same story, scarf for x-mas, hat for his bday, but I ran out of yarn. The challenge will be buy just another ball of it, this Bluezz colorway is so beautiful that I found myself planning a sweater for me in it - and I do not wear blue.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Could it be?

Could it be a Jaywalker sighting?


Well, it really looks like it. I finished them few days ago and they have not left my feet.


Well, they have gone to the washer ....


As you can see they are fraternal twins, and I like them that way.

Pattern by Grumperina on Magknits
Yarn from FurrYarns - MaineBearSOX 1 in Electryc Skyy.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Friday, March 03, 2006

A naked person?

Read here.
A naked person?
For Pete's sake, it's Myron's Discobolus.
People from all over the world go to Rome to visit the Museo Nazionale Romano to see this statue.
It's an icon of classic art.
It represents the passion for the Olympic games, the celebration of the perfection of the human body, and the harmonious balance between body and mind.

But for some people it is just a naked person. Geez.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Life after the Olympics

Life after the Olympics lacks focus, I can knit whatever I want, and this freedom is unsettling.
I made a hat for my sister:


I put a couple of handpainted skeins up for sale on Etsy (I have more, but I need to wind them), a pattern of mine will be on Chiagu soon.

So, I am just wandering, waiting for the muse to strike again.