Thursday, July 20, 2006

There has been a recent discussion about "the stash" on the EZasPi list. I have not been able to post. Personally I feel that "stash" is a sign of weakness. I battle with clutter and the idea of purposly hoarding gobs of yarn with no intended project in mind seems boderline sinful. This is not to say that I don't have a stash, it's just that my stash weights on me like a bag of sentimentaly treasured and gendered baby clothes that have a 50% chance of suiting a baby who has not even been concieved.

Which brings me to a little ball of inexpensive carrier yarn- impulse buy at Hobby Lobby from last winter. This super silky Yarn Bee appealed to the nature lover in me and it reminded me of lichen, flecks of green and yellow with grey and bits of pink tossed in. I tried knitting it alone. I tried knitting it with other yarns. I don't know how many swatches I made with it, and none pleased me.

I had some girl color Wildfoote sock yarn scraps left over from a baby surprise jacket (also seen in the My little pony coats) but not enough to make a Fiona sized sweater. So I decided to purchase more Wildfoote in order to have enough to use up the other scraps in the stash... knitter logic right?

A friend (she knows who she is) was working on a cardigan with a folded picot edge and I was dying to try it- so I thought up this little fuzzy fake fair isle design- inspired by a hummingbird nest.

hummingbird nest picture

...which is made of lichen and spiderwebs among other things.

I used the EZ percentage system to knit this from the bottom up- it was quickly obvious that the percentages start to slip at the child size- so instead of 20% for a sleeve- I used 24% and even that is still a little snug at the cuffs.

I also had a design change after doing the lower torso picot edge- I knit the seam together before I began the section with the carrier yarn- which made a flimsy row to support the wayward hem. I hoped that it would sort itself out in blocking which it did- but for the sleeve cuffs I made the inner hem deeper so that the joining would happen where the carrier yarn was already employed and the fabric more stable.

The rest of the construction was very straightforward with several color changes of the Wildfoote yarn. The change from grey base to muted green is almost invisible above the arm join.

The last design detail was a row of k2m1 all the way around before casting off- this mirrored the last row of decreases in the yoke and left a very elastic edge for sewing down the folded picot.

The result is that I almost prefectly consumed the entire ball of yarn bee ... I used up a lot of the remaining pink and almost all of the lilac... and I now have a lot of grey and green left over- and if I did the math I would know that in completing this project I made my stash grow.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


The kids dressed the baby in this adorable costume this morning. I can hardly call it a costume- they just strapped a pillow to his back- but the transformation was one of the most effective I have ever seen. The baby is recently mobile and gets around very well- but he still does not support himself on his knees- so his movements are perfect turtle pushes. I didn't know what they were doing and I had such a laugh when the little guy came poking around the corner.

This mower seat has been Willa's favorite spot since she was a wee little thing. I missed my chance to photograph her when she could lay all curled up in the seat like a kitten... but she is still mighty cute. I wonder when or if she will ever grow out of it. I guess I could try to fabricate a better "raised bed" for her.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The weather at the Kentucky Horse Park could not have been more beautiful today. The parade of carriages was amazing- I actually began to get nervous that I would run out of digital memory before the beautiful turnouts stopped cresting the hill.

My only regret was that I did not get to enjoy the review with my husband by my side- he was at the arena with the kids listening to the commentary and I had ventured out onto the lane by the steeplechase barn to get some more scenic shots.

I know that he must have learned all sorts of tasty tidbits about the historic vehicles I was hoping that he could tell me about everything while we went over my photos- but he'll probably save his newly aquired trivia to surprise me at another event.

The Carriage Association workers/volunteers were wonderful, helpful at every turn. I got to see the beautiful new office and browse the gift shop which was well stocked with books and videos. I treated myself to a pair of Driving Essentials Gloves and a Video of Micheal Muir's Journey across America- I just could not resist the Stonewall Sporthorses, and I am hoping that I can somehow manage to arrange a video night with some Amish friends who have MD. I think they will find the drive to be very inspirational.

We got to meet Kathleen and John Henry- the butcher cart AND Mr. Mule were both much larger than I had imagined.

The black barn in this photo is the Steeplechase Barn where John and I were married in May of 1995. I'm half tempted to photoshop this awesome turnout into our wedding pictures.. who would know?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Linen Stitch- How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I just finished this little dishcloth (Is it obvious that I am needing to decompress after the Pi shawl?) The picture is rotated 90 degrees from how it was produced- the front side is at the top.

Look what happened- the tiny front stripes go one way, and on the flip side of the cloth the stripes go the other direction! Neato right?

Each row knit only produces 0.5 rows of progress- so knitting alternating colors gives you some itty bitty horizontal stripes that would be impossible in plain stickinette. Another fun aspect of this cloth is that the solid yellow border was possible to produce as the piece was knit- no picking up after- that's because out and back for four stitches of seed stich- is the perfect bridge for when you are not knitting blue out to the edges.

A very satisfying little knit... and by the way Superman was a wonderful comic book summer blockbuster.