Sunday, October 30, 2011

snow in October

It's so exciting to live in the northeast where we have WEATHER!  What could be more boring than to live in a place where the weather never changes?  It's been snowing for a few hours and the roads are lethal.  I've been outdoors with a broom, attempting to beat the heavy snow from my tender trees and such.  It may be a losing battle.
An image taken through the screen.  Here's another - the bird feeder, which seems very popular with our feathered friends.
And the trusty flamingo is disappearing under a veil of white ...
But there has been knitting - all kinds of knitting!  First up - a headband for my daughter who cannot tolerate these nor'easters!
I love the cables on this piece.  And I have a cashmere cowl for my mom-
So pretty - wrapped in the last lavender of the season -
It's indescribable - a whisper, a floating warmth - my friend Becky says that wearing cashmere feels like a hug.
The Miss Babs Yowser arrived in this delicious shade called Dahlia.  Cowls.  Mitts.  Hats.  Gorgeous when paired with grey or black or cream.  I'm involved in a serious affair with these fibers from Miss Babs.  Have I mentioned that they remind me of the early Rowen DK's?  That's right.

The Halloween quilt didn't slide under the deadline that I set for myself.  I've decided to keep plugging away until it's finished.  I especially like these two blocks in the left corner... the background fabric is precious to me.
Scott brought cottons back from his Australian trip several years ago, and I've not been able to bring myself to cut into them. They are so beautiful and unique, but wasting away in the cupboard!  Stashing fabric has lost its appeal for me.  
This ladybug and the elephant below are the beginnings of a baby quilt.  More to come ...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

old and new

Sometimes I forget that I have a second camera.  My children gave to me and it's a dandy, a Sony Cybershot.  It takes really clear images and it's very portable.  There were some nice shots in its memory that I'd forgotten to unload.  Socks that were completed in June -
One of the last photos taken of our dearly departed Jack -
His sister, Bella-the-Terrible -
My sheep - the all-time favorite gift from Scott, hands down.  Seriously.  And the story behind the sheep is very entertaining as well.  I promise to share it with you soon.
This is Pamela Tan - the best boss and friend that our office has ever had the good fortune to know.  She left us too soon, but we understand.  The forces that ushered her away are in for some bad karma.  We love and miss her terribly.  All the time!
The seasons are changing; fall is handing the baton over to winter.  We are expecting snow this evening which means that I need to round up the outdoor plants and bring them in.  There were turkeys on the front lawn this morning- a huge gaggle of them, perhaps 18 or 19 strong.  I couldn't get to the camera in time.
Leaves - everywhere.
One final image of the gigantic castor bean plant before harvest.  I've never seen one reach these proportions.
The final scallion and swiss chard - 
Sauted in good olive oil with garlic slivers and sprinkled with balsamic vinegar ... YUM!
It was a good year for all of my peppers.  I can honestly say that not one was wasted or left behind!

Here is the new - the first completed set of mitts for my coworker with the coldest hands - little "Butterbean".
 Cupcake Mittlets.  So sweet.  I think that my friend likes them a lot.  She's always cold - maybe she needs an eternity scarf to accompany her mitts.  (I am always looking for a reason to try out a new yarn, a new pattern ...)
I like this simplistic lace design so well that I am trying out a design that will incorporate it.  And the yarn - Miss Babs' DK is my newest favorite.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

rhinebeck 2011

Sheep and Wool is over and I, for all intents and purposes, nearly missed the party.  My dear friend Chrissy drove us there early Saturday morning, as I had been up all night drowning in my, well, cold.  I was in no shape to drive, let alone walk around the fairgrounds.  Chrissy was her sweet patient and tolerant self.  She made me laugh (which may have resembled the sound of a beluga whale snorting) and didn't seem to mind that I had to stop every few feet to honk and pant.  Enough about me.  I just want to warn you - there will be no adorable animal shots.  I saw the joey in his momma's pouch, and along with thousands of other knitters, I swooned.  But the camera was too much effort.  I had to save myself for the yarn.

We found our way to Sanguine Gryphon moments after the show opened.  The line was formidable.  We moved on.
The koi pond outside of the horticultural building was deep and serene.  We really enjoyed magnificent weather - the kind that you pray for when visiting this event.

  Chrissy is the kind of person who totally ABSORBS her surroundings.  She takes in small details that others (myself included) miss.  I know that I hurried her in and out of the buildings.  I'm sure that I made her a little crazy in my mad pursuit of one vendor. . . to say that I DRAGGED her to bldg C might be an understatement.  But in my defense, bldg C housed both Miss Babs AND Signature Needle Arts!
Northumbria DK - Luna, in granite.  
Skeined and ready to be gauged ... this may become my new go-to yarn.  The Buddha approves -
There was a lengthy wait at Signature.  I used the time to mentally balance my check book... another purchase was possible ...
The maiden voyage of my brand new Signature DPN's!!!!!!  OMG.  I am so stoked about these needles that I haven't got the language.  They. Are. Brilliant.  
The completed Wishbone cap by Carol Sunday - the weather was so fine that I didn't have to use it.  But I discovered that Chrissy loved it, so I ordered some of Carol's gorgeous Eden yarn to make one for my friend.  After all, it's the least I can do for someone who endured my nose-blowing crabbiness.  And listen to this - she went back to the show on Sunday with some friends and picked up SIgnature DPN's in size 5!!!!  OMG OMG OMG.  Just what I need for this hat.    I cannot understand why Carol Sunday has not been invited to participate in Sheep and Wool at Rhinebeck.  Can anyone explain to me how the jury process works for this event?  

One little postscript... I usually make haste and visit Chris at the Briar Rose booth FIRST.  It's the only way to see her before the mob moves in.  I got there a bit late on Saturday morning (what, with the nose-blowing and all) and I could SEE her, but I couldn't get inside the booth.  I turned to walk away and bumped into Anne Hanson.  I was wearing my Hillflowers shawl knitted in Chris's Briar Rose fiber.  The Designer, the Fiber Magician and the Knitter.  This is what it is all about.  I wanted to jump up and down and point and twirl.  I somehow contained myself.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

an untimely cold bug

Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool cometh (tomorrow) and I have a cold, sore throat, misery.
But I refuse to be kept down.  Tonight I will put aside my non-pharmaceutical convictions and take the night time cold remedy.  I'll be good and ready to walk the fairway by tomorrow morning.  I'm not missing the sheep and the goats and the alpacas and the fiber!  Today is a low profile day, filled with honey lemon tea and knitting.  I have a new bag.  It makes me smile.
It's a great size for a sock project or maybe a hat -
Not just any old hat - a Carol Sunday hat - Wishbones.  I started this project last winter.  It MIGHT be ready to tuck into my pocket tomorrow.
I am a dedicated Sunday Knits fan.  All of Carol's patterns are so beautifully designed - it's clear that she understands garment construction.  And she knows her fibers!  I like her line very much.  You should go take a look ...

Meanwhile, I'll get out the VapoRub and knit on.  OH!  The monkey cuteness is from Three Bags Full.  They'll be at Rhinebeck too - Bldg C, booth 42.  I've got my eye on some elephants ...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


The area where I work is always cold and sometimes dank.  The administrators like to call it the "Garden Level", which is code for Freakin' Basement.  Ok?  (sigh)  I have been listening to my coworkers complain about their hands and feet being cold for many years.  This year I've decided to go on a MITT CAMPAIGN!  Everyone with cold hands is getting a pair of mitts.  First up - Punta Space Dyed ... 
This is an extraordinary fiber from Uruguay.  Knitted on size 6 dpns, one would think that the end result might be bulky and coarse.  Oh no.  Oh, HELL no!  Light - like a butterfly!  And so beautifully colored.  Akin to wearing q-tips on one's hands.. just that soft.  And ever so warm.
This is a beautiful little pattern called Fetching by Cheryl Niamath.  SO much fun to knit!  
My plan is to score a great huge VAT of aran weight fiber at Sheep & Wool this weekend.  In grey.  And then, everyone in my office will receive a pair of mitts - different patterns, same wool.  I'll be on a mission.
He's given me his paw - he approves of these pretty mitts.
It's so curious - Sheep & Wool is a really big deal for me.  I wait all year long for this event to roll around - right into my backyard.  I think about what I need, what I want, what I will see.  This year I downloaded a map of the fairgrounds and carefully plotted out the vendors that I MUST visit!  I have the location and booth numbers and I'm ready to roll!  I am not the kind of person who usually plans this carefully, but last year found me floundering!  I was unable to get close to several of the booths that I wanted to see.
Miss Babs.  Sanguine Gryphon.  Signature Needle Arts.  Briar Rose Fibers.  Spirit Trail.  Into The Whirled.  Foxfire Fiber.  The Wool Room.  The Rams Horn.  Green Mt Spinnery.  Crippenworks. Go Monkey.  Jennie The Potter.  
Once I get my new sneakers, I'll be ready.  See you there.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

heat wave - still knitting

These are the golden days - when it's almost 75 degrees by mid afternoon.  It won't last, but we are outdoors as much as possible to savour every moment!
This guy is always ready for a game!  When he tires he will sit under a tree and keep an eye on me while I knit.  He doesn't realize that it works the other way around!
To some, the cleome may seem weed-like.  To me, it's particular devotion for late flowering is perfection.  There are only a handful of autumn blooms lingering in the garden now, and they are cherished.
The perennial geranium - early up, late down.  And here's a surprising discovery-
The pumpkins are not ready to say good night!  I wonder if the chipmunks and skunks are keeping these tender meals on their radar.   There has been knitting!  A much awaited book arrived last week -
That's right -  it's the new Starmore book of charts and it was worth waiting for.  I highly recommend this one.
When I first started knitting 20-something years ago, I was fascinated by stranded color work.  Back then, the selection of available fibers was bleak.  Today we have a virtual potpourri to choose from and I am inspired to return to this knit-form!  
New mittens.  Does anyone have any ideas about lining these?  I've never lined a mitten, but this yarn seems to be asking for some additional warmth.  The lace cuff poses a few problems, yes?  Help.
I'm also working on a design of my own!  I had a good amount of Classic Elite Dutchess in (my signature color -ballet slipper pink), and it was calling to me.  I wanted something chunky, yet soft.  There will be pom-poms.
Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool commences next weekend.  I've started a list of the vendors that I absolutely cannot miss this year - Sanguine Gryphon, Miss Babs, Briar Rose ... which reminds me that I MUST buy a new pair of sneakers!  I plan to be on my feet for many hours.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Do you remember Clementine?  She is the sweetest little girl and she lives in Connecticut with my sister.  Her world recently changed.  Introducing - PIPPA!
A new addition to the Cavalier clan.  OMG cuteness abounds!
There is something about spaniels that just reduces me to fluff.  It's in the blood - being the granddaughter of a spaniel breeder and all.  Growing up - we always had one or two springer spaniels to love.  But these Cavaliers - they are in a category all by themselves.  My sister seems to think that Harley would love to have a spaniel brother or sister.  How can I argue this?
On the knitting front - I jumped ahead in my East/West socks book.  Sometimes I just HAVE to cast on before I finish an original project.  This explains why my UFO list never dwindles.
'Chouwa', or Harmony sock - number two project in the I'll-knit-my-way-through-this-book project.  I cast on and couldn't put it down.  Now I have to go back to Sock One before I can continue through the book.  I'm in trouble here.  Sheep and Wool is right around the corner and I don't have a sweater to wear.  Have spent too many hours on socks.  I CANNOT get away with wearing my new Gap questionable- blend sweater (even though I LOVE it!).  Wearing a commercially knit sweater to Rhinebeck is akin to taking a baloney sandwich to a banquet!