Thursday, September 28, 2006

How swift is this?

I finally purchased a yarn swift, the exceedingly clever Mama Bear from the Oregon Woodworker. It's perfect for my needs and it packs up for neat storage. If you ever played with Tinker Toys, you'll know just how this works. The pieces:

The set-up:

Friday, September 22, 2006

Beginning knitters

Two women I know recently started knitting. One is my friend and work colleague Debbie. The other is my cousin Sarah. Both are intelligent, talented, vivacious electrical engineers. Coincidence? I think not. It will be interesting to watch them learn to knit.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I have knit the Fiber Trends Landscape Scarf more than any other pattern. I like everything about it.
  • I like being able to make it in any yarn — especially variegated, handpainted and multicolored yarn — for any season, in any size.
  • I like that it doesn't take much yarn. Most of the Landscapes below used between 200 and 350 yards.
  • I like the way it fits. It doesn't bunch up on the back of the neck.
  • I like the way the selection of yarn and adornments can make a dress-up scarf, a work scarf or a casual scarf.
  • I like that you can tie the ties in front, fasten them with a pin or just let them hang.
  • I like being able to adapt the stitches used. I usually alternate between garter and stockinette in the sections; the original is garter, moss, stockinette, seed and reverse stockinette.
  • I like the variations: I have made it with and without picots, with beads along the edges, with beads on the points, with tassles on the points and with tassels and beads.
  • I like that it's easy enough to be good travel knitting or when you need a project that doesn't take a lifetime to finish.
A few examples from the past two or three years include:

Vintage Villawool Tivoli, cotton-linen-viscose, about sport weight.

Socks that Rock lightweight, color Carbon Dating, with picots. I love this yarn .

Willow Creeek Farm in Roy Washington, Lincoln wool, worsted weight, with tassles wrapped with wire and with a leaf-shaped bead, thanks to the helpful folks at the Bead Factory in Tacoma. Selecting beads can be as mesmerizing and selecting yarn.

And, finally, a laceweight merino-tencel blend from Spor Farm in The Dalles, Oregon. Perfect for summer.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


This is doily number 7 in "Lavori artistici a calza 11," knit in Cebelia 30 on US0 needles. The book is in Italian but the charts are very clear and a little online research can decode most of the symbols. The objet d'art next to the doily is a painted glass piece that our friend Daniela from Romania gave us last year. (Sorry about the flash; without the flash the color of doily faded from the light sage it is supposed to be to gray.)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Not Our Cat

This is Coco. Or Cocoa. Or Koko. She is not our cat so we don't know how she spells her name. She lives next door but she visits regularly, mostly to roll around on the concrete patio and collect dust, leaves and twigs in her fur.

Some people think they should have an emergency backup cat. We are Coco's emergency backup people. (We'll call her Coco just to pick one.)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Do the Puyallup

The Western Washington Fair in Puyallup was good to me this year – Grand Champion! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!

The pattern is the Heartstrings (Jackie E-S) Triangles within Triangles shawl. I knit it on US6 needles with Heritage Yarns tencel: one strand of a color called Days of Wine and Roses (black, purple, red) and one strand of solid black. I did extra repeats to make the shawl bigger. I estimate that I used about 1,100 yards of each color.

But wait! There's more! I won a blue ribbon for a vest for my husband. It's made with Cascade 220. The cable is 16.8 in Harmony Volume 5, "220 Aran Stitches and Patterns."

I also won two more ribbons: a second place for a doily and a third place for a scarf. The doily is Christine Duchrow 87-3, found in the third volume of the Lacis collection of Duchrow patterns. What's interesting about this doily is that is has a cable in it! A cable! Thanks to the talented René for charting this doily. I knit it with Cebelia size 30 on US0 needles.

The scarf, if you could actually see it, is Fiddlesticks Knitting's Rippling Waters Scarf knit in Habu tsumugi silk.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Finally! Some knitting!

It has taken some time to find the right time and light and location to take some pictures of recent finished objects. One is the Icarus shawl from the summer 2006 Interweave Knits. The yarn is 2/18 New Zealand wool in a color called Santorini, knit on US4 needles. I finished the points with small clear beads to add a little sparkle and to keep the points pointed.

This picture doesn't really show off the shawl but I like the way it looks in front the the Dale Chihuly glass at the University of Puget Sound.

This is the Kaleidoscope doily from the Coats Patons (Canada) publication "Dazzling Doilies." Kaleidoscope also appears in Coasts & Clark's Book No. 111, "Priscilla Doilies to Crochet, Knit and Tat," published in 1959 by Coats & Clark, New York. Knit on US0 needle with Cebelia size 30, sage green, 12+ inches across.

One of the pleasures of Labor Day weekend is tomatoes from the garden. The little gold Sunspot tomatoes are the best for eating just like candy.