7 June 11


Sock: text of opening lines of beowulf I’ve been really good about keeping the number of knitting works-in-progress (WIPS) down to a manageable level. I finished a shawl this weekend that had been on the needles for a while.

I cast on another shawl (need my lace fix) almost immediately and then, last night, I cast on my Beowulf socks (the first lines of the poem are carried through one sock then pick up on the next where you left off. The yellow yarn I bought is a little lurid compared to the recommended yarn, whose name is “South Side Chicago.” Since this was (still is?) a notorious slaughterhouse district, I can only assume the inspiration for the colorway was soiled straw. I can probably mimic this effect if I throw the socks in some walnut ink when I’ve finished.

I can think of at least eight people I’d make very happy with some socks like these, but full stranding all the way down is slow. It’s very fun, though, but it’s a high-concentration activity. Hwaet!

Posted by at 08:27 AM in Knitting | Link | Comment [1]

7 April 11

A Wooly Weekend

Jacobs sheep at open house On Saturday I left Numenius at the Let’s Draw Davis event so I could go to the Meridian Jacobs Open House. Lots of lambs — over 60 — and spinning, felting, a festival atmosphere. One group from Elk Grove brought their picnic and their Chardonnay and had a rare old time.

Photo: Plum Island Wensleydale spun March 2011 I’ve been spinning some Wensleydale and took my wheel along so I could spin with a small group. It’s a lovely fiber to spin and I was able to get this one much finer than my first couple of attempts. The luster is astonishing and knitting with it is reminiscent of mohair (don’t make mistakes because ripping it out is a pain).

Socks for nancy On Sunday, after a trip up to Cold Canyon, I attended the memorial service for a friend and fellow knitter, “Nancy Seyden.” She was an amazing person and a fantastic advocate for disability rights in our region. She was a kickass knitter. She was also a docent at the Yolo Wildlife Area and I have donated my Delta socks (framed by my sister and with a generous donation from 100 Acre Wood in Norway, Maine) to the Foundation in her honor.

Baseball’s back. It’s fabulous. Spinning and baseball on the radio, how can you go wrong?

Posted by at 05:32 PM in Spinning | Link | Comment [1]

8 December 10

Lace and Pirates

lace scarf phschitt happens I must be out of my mind, because I’ve taken on a lace scarf designed by a knitter in Germany. It’s knit in 24 sections, each one divulged on a new day — an advent calendar; the last section will be released on December 24. Like I had nothing else to do in December…

Nupps are not a traditional German knitting technique, having been perfected in Estonia — but with YouTube and Ravelry, everyone’s tradition is now up for grabs. So this sampler scarf has as one of its sections a version of the Estonian lily of the valley pattern. No doubt we’ll get Brazilian frog patterns at some point next week.

I was working on this (I find nupps fiddly but not impossible as many of my co-knitalongers seem to have found) on Friday when I heard giggling in the other room. Numenius had found a pirate radio station which was playing big band swing music, and whose frequency he tracked down to a pirate known as Wolverine. The music changed to songs from across the 20th century with a moon theme.

We have rain, and more rain, yet Cold Creek was still not running on Sunday when we went up there for a short hike. Hoping this changes soon. I’m thinking about newts and where they are going to be able to spawn.

Posted by at 07:38 AM in Knitting | Link | Comment [1]

7 October 10

Around the Baseball this Weekend

I did this
knitting with size 50 needles
and this
Radio cowgirl princess


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9 July 10

Wayfarers From The Land Of Knitting

We’re in Corvallis, Oregon this weekend for a wedding. The wedding is tomorrow late afternoon; today there was a mixer for the guests. We were talking to the bride’s parents for a bit, and Pica was certain she recognized one of the guests. She got into a conversation with him, and he turned out to be the rabbi who is officiating the wedding. Pica tried about everywhere in her past where she might have run into him — nothing seemed likely. “Ravelry?” he suggested, thinking of his online social networks. We were awestruck — never in a million years would Pica have thought of a connection through that most famous of knitting social websites. His username on Ravelry is RabbiDave; Pica was pretty sure she had seen his name there. But Pica was still convinced she had run across him in person. They eventually solved the mystery. When Pica was traveling to Maine back in March, she got stuck in Portland, Oregon for a day. Having a free afternoon there, she wandered into the store The Yarn Garden on Hawthorne Blvd. and got into an animated conversation with the clerk about her trip to Maine. Behind them entered a guy who was very intent on looking at the sock yarn. That was, it turned out, our rabbi, who lives up in Portland. The bride is also on Ravelry; conversation strayed little from the Land of Knitting hence.

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1 March 10

Done (Housework's Next)

Delta socks, twined knit Ravelympics 2010
Knitting for the finish line, Feb 28 2010
Delta socks in landscape

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24 February 10

Lost in Socks

twined socks Handspun. Trying to knit a pair of twined socks during the winter olympics. Today’s discovery: they are going to be VERY SNUG around the ankle and I don’t know if I can block twined knitting enough to make a difference… Project here on Ravelry. Nearly finished one sock, the second will need the entire foot done before Sunday night…

Socks of doom

Posted by at 06:54 AM in Knitting | Link | Comment [4]

17 December 09

Knitting Away

Pretty thing cowl I don’t blog much about the fact that I now spend a good deal of time, mostly in the early morning, with a cat on my lap under a pair of knitting needles. I took a break from knitting for about 20 years but am back with a vengeance, which means all kinds of other things don’t get done.

hat for horace This time, though, I knit socially too. This means I know that I’m not alone in my obsession. My social knitting revolves around a weekly group that meets, improbably, in a video store owned by a Salvadorean couple, he a master baker who used to work at the Austrian pastry shop in town, Konditorei. (This is bad for the waistline along with all this time I’m sitting on my rear so I usually restrict myself to Mayan hot chocolate.) My online social knitting group is much more vast, knowledgeable, and distracting than this. Knitting problems are shared and answered instantly by people with varying levels of authority.

vest for mum in chemo There are reportedly millions of knitters in the United States. Many of them are under 30, rewriting stereotypes and sharing their design skills for free with the knitting community.

And then there’s Knitty . When this goes live every three months, servers tremble. The new one came out earlier this week; there are at least three things I’d like to make on there, two of them with my own handspun. Which is now piling up….

Posted by at 07:18 AM in Knitting | Link | Comment [5]

14 August 09

Spinning Away

handspun yarn I’ve been renting a wheel from Meridian Jacobs and also spinning on my spindle, which is getting easier. The key is consistency. The last yarn I plied was acceptable weight for socks, but I think it wasn’t spun or plied tightly enough for sock yarn.

Numenius has also tried his hand at spindle spinning.

Researching wheels to buy. I’m narrowing down the criteria. Currently they include ease of use, price, beauty, silence, treadle action and how smooth it is. There will be compromises to be made here: you can’t have all of this in one package, it seems. It’s like buying binoculars.

In other news, and very good news, mum got an all-clear from the doctor this morning and has opted to go for the recommended 4-month chemo treatment. The doc provided some great stats on why this was a good idea. We all agreed, though would have supported her no matter what. Celebration, tonight!

Posted by at 07:38 PM in Knitting | Link | Comment [9]

18 July 09


Ali at spinning wheel I spent the day at Meridian Jacobs farm near Dixon today, learning how to spin on a wheel. I had a blast and spun lots of yarn and even plied some. Hoping to do a lot more tomorrow. The instructor lent me a wheel to bring home but I haven’t done much tonight, I’m tired.

Charlie Cat and spinning wheel Charlie’s tired too.

Yarn I spun today We carded, learned to draw out the fibers from the roving or batt, learned how to spin them tightly and let the spin travel up the drawing-out. I tried two different wheels and hope to try a third tomorrow. The hardest part is to spin a consistent width, and especially to keep that small. I am doing better with this next round and will try and post a photo of the finished product tomorrow. At right is the first attempt. I know it looks like a giant squid. Hoping for better…

Posted by at 09:17 PM in Knitting | Link | Comment [2]