Tuesday, April 26, 2005

stash reduction

i'm on a roll now with stash reduction! moved lots of stuff to new homes yesterday.... beads, rubber stamps, quillting fabric, and of course, yarn. i just love it that Kate and my dear niece, Jen and her dear wife Maggie, are all very creatively inclined, and 2 of the 3 knit! Kate is doing some spinning and has my Louet at her house, and one of these days i'm sure Maggie will get interested in spinning! after the big giveaway, i still have enough to last me a couple of lifetimes and probably need to go back through everything again for more reduction. but first, i need to go through a ton of books and purge there, too, and finish going through that closet that yielded this first round.

Kate and the kids came down from Duvall on friday while i was at the opening night of the play Jim is in, Much Ado About Nothing, at the local community theater. Kate went to play in a LaCrosse tournament on saturday and the kids stayed with us. sadly, it was raining so we didnt get any outside time. we had fun playing with them and Alex has taught/showed me everything i ever want to know about transformer robot things. he loves them and is really good at manipulating all their little parts and pieces. and Zylie, little Sweetness, is a delight! she always "helps" my pantry by stacking up the cat food cans with all the kitty faces looking out and the different colors lined up together.... scorpio trait? Kate had more games on sunday and the kids went to the other grandparents' for the major part of the day. we had a bd dinner for Pop at his new place, (he's 89 now!)and Sweetness and The Boy had a marvelous time running in the hall and chasing their cousin. and then monday a.m. Jen, Maggie and their 2 girls came for lunch and the stash reduction. chaos reined and i think fun was had by all. and let me tell ya, i am tired as a ole wooden dawg!

Little Sweetness and The Boy

the great grandpa, Sweetness, The Boy and their uncle Bud

did a bit of dyeing today and carded a few batts, but am not real interested in doing anything but taking a nap.... zzzzzzz

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Moja Monda

Lynne has received her moja monda, so i can put a photo here. (yes,i know it's mojO and mondO, but this being feminine power i just used "a" instead.... it seemed to fit.)

(it's not clear from the photo, moja monda is about 2 inches long)
and the reason for the gift is that Lynne needs some heavy duty mojo to keep the rattle snake in line. it is said to live on the property where Lynne's studio is. over the past few years i've collected Zuni fetishes, some of them i was able to find in New Mexico. this little snake was the first fetish i bought (got her in San Francisco) and the time seemed right for her to be with Lynne. i knitted the wee little bag with handspun silk, wool and sari silk waste threads.

finally, the rains have stopped and spring is here again... and it feels so glorious. i spent most of the day digging around in the dirt trying to reclaim some flower beds from the rampant weed invasion... not so easy when some of them are 2 feet tall and have roots that go half way to hell. out of "roundup", but a new supply is on the way. it's starting to look good out there by the gazebo. i planted some of the goodies i got at Hardy Plant sale: a flowering quice bush (will be2 to 3 ft. high) that will have a pale salmon colored flower, a heleborus with red stems which will have pale green blooms, orange scented thyme, moved greek oregano from the pot in the green house and planted it in the holes of a cinder block in hopes of curbing its tendency to become a wandering thug, did more weeding, spread around some compost, tripped on a stake and fell on my butt into a flower bed. the fall was followed closely by an hour lie-down on the ice pack, which seems to have helped cause i can still walk! will do more ice tonight as i do not want or have time for an achey back (oh dear goddess, i just remembered Billy Ray Cyrus and Achey Breaky Heart..... i loved that song. no accounting for some people's taste!

gotta stop now and watch Jon Stewart.

Monday, April 18, 2005

progress on back of cardi

update: got the upper part of the back started and like it so far. about 6 or so inches to go and not sure yet what it will be like. this photo isnt the best so will be replaced later (camera ran out of juice)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

a week later

I did survive the Hardy Plant sale, tho was only able to tolerate the mayhem and noise level for about 45 minutes. kept feeling like i was swimming upstream no matter which aisle i tried. there were many wonderful plants there and i probably
would have done more serious damage to my bank account if the shopping hadnt been so painful. havent had a chance to
plant any of the new goodies yet due to too wet ground on sunday, then leaving monday a.m. on amtrak to visit the kids in
Duvall. Kate's plantings from last year are looking great and survived the winter well. I got Alex a snapdragon plant last
summer and the bloody thing looks like a small shrub now. We played at home on tuesday. and had a fine time spreading playdoh and finger paints all over the place in the 2 hour time period between Kate leaving for la crosse practice and Chris getting home from work. On wednesday, we went to the Children's Science Museum, after a marathon struggle to "convince"
Zylie that she really couldnt go nekkid, this not being a clothing optional event... plus, it was a chilly and breezy day. it is really a grand museum and i know we all would have enjoyed it even more if we'd gone on a day when all kids in the metro seattle area werent also there. it was spring break, we discovered! hope to go again when it is not so mobbed. (there seems to be a theme here about my dislike of big crowds of people!!) Came home thursday, Pam met my train and then we had a wonderful Greek dinner at Dimitri's. we're talking about Pam staying here with us for possibly 2 or 3 months before she moves to Thailand, depending on when her house sells. she cant leave before sept. because she needs to come to Crete to
visit us before going to Thailand, and we wont be there til sept. 7. On saturday, Beckie and Monty came to take away the Pat
Green carder, which wasnt the ordeal i thought it would be... moving a 400 pound machine with the power of 2 men, 2 women and a wheelie thing to roll it on. they backed their pickup up to the basement door, Jim built a ramp from the doorway to the truck bed, which made an *almost* level runway for the machine. so ends that phase of my fiber life. Goddess knows i put in my time standing on the concrete in front of that thing, shoving fiber into it. i did enhance my fiber
stash by carding several pounds of BLF and some other wools into some lovely blends of roving. got a whole bunch stashed of my favorite white wool with many bright colors of cut silk and silk noil!! sigh. and now it is sunday, my dad's 89th birthday. we had planned a party, but he's having neck and shoulder muscle spasms and is flat in bed trying to make it feel
better. so, we'll postpone to next weekend. Kate and the kids will be here, so they can join in on the partying, too. and now
i need to go do some dyeing, so i can put some dyed rovings up for sale. the only knitting i've done in a week has been on the current in progress fluffy-top socks and a wee little bag to hold the "moja monda" for Lynne, which will help keep the snakes away from her studio!! it's a surprise, or i'd put up a photo... dont want her to see it!!

and just because they are SO cute, here are photos of Zylie, Tiki (the 5 month old Chinook puppy with broken toe and headgear), and Alex!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

perennial plants

I'm off this morning for my spring plant expedition... the plant sale of Hardy Plant Society... hooboy! must make a list before
i go in there or i'll just wander around in an overwhelmed, dazed and stupefied trance. this is a huge event, with a wonderful
variety from tiny herb plant seedlings to exotic (and exotically priced) trees. it always looks like it must have taken the vendors a week to get everything moved in and set up... what a pig show it must be in that parking lot with all those people
trying to get trucks unloaded and moved into the building. this sale ranks higher with me than the amazing orchid society
sale a month ago. now to get that second cup of coffee, make list and go!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

more sweater

Have finished the bottom panel and picked up stitches along one edge (180), did 4 rows of garter st., then 3/4 inch of
stockinette and put the 2 fronts on holders. now to figure out what design will go on the back. I bet i'll have this done
before BSG. that's what i'm aiming for anyway. maybe even have it done before i go to Tennessee June 10 to be Lynne's
assistant for her 5-day workshop. i'm so excited i'm going to do that! and it would be fun to have a new sweater to wear!!

We (bro. Bud and I... and 2 big burly rental guys to move the heavy stuff) got Pop moved back into assisted living at
Avamere yesterday.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

to steek or not to steek....

I am still pondering how i will knit the rest of this sweater. one approach is to pick up stitches around one edge of the bottom panel and knit up, with decreases for a square neckline, then cut steeks for the armholes. I like to pick up stitches for the sleeves and knit down to the cuff. Lynne's question, tho, was could i pick up stitches from a steeked edge. i wonder
if i did 2 rows of machine stitching at the cutting place, would that be stable enough for picking up stitches? on the other
hand, would it be any less strain on the fabric to attach sleeves to those armholes after they are knitted? Lynne is helping me
ponder this question and here's what she emailed me:

+++ for your armhole steeks...you can carry a pattern around the entire top of your sweater uninterrupted. This is a great advantage with handspun variegateds because when you knit back and forth the color goes back and forth and the colors that end up on the front two halves and the back half of the bodice are never the same. With your steek idea the colors would flow. In fact, it would look very flowy if you did steeks for the armholes AND the front...in other words did the whole thing in the round. The colors will still shift around as they always do, but there would be a natural flow.
Now I'm looking at your yarns again and they are more solid than usual because they are from carded blends, not variegated rovings...so the above is not totally necessary.

===the disadvantage...you will have an end to deal with for every single row. Some people just put tape over them...like gross grain. This works for the front of a cardi, but would be bulky for an armhole seam. you can have all the ends just waving around in there...after all,who's going to look? If you wash the sweater to block it the yarns will barely felt and stay put a bit better...but if it's superwash , there they be. I think that needle felting would be a great way to get them to stay put...you would have to poke each thread a couple of times...not too much as that would show on the front. I would do a test swatch...sound like a lot of trouble?

So, still pondering. what i think i want to do is use the Jo Sharp "Berry" as a background color and do something in fairisle and/or intarsia in 2 or 3 of the other colors. i have a LOT of the "Berry", so it could be the predominant color in the sleeves,
too. i have a few designs that i've graphed... a spiral, some flowers, a stylized hand, etc, and i love the spindle that Sarah
Swett did for the Spin-Off sweater a while back. (it's legal to use that, isnt it?)

i'd love to have any comments or ponderings that anyone has...... meanwhile, i have about 1 inch left to do on the bottom,
and will get that done tonight.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Cardi update

The bottom panel is coming along well and i really like how it's looking! decided i'd better measure it, so pressed and
measured, and while i was at it took a couple of photos -

the front of the bottom panel

and the back...
still a couple more inches to go....

later, i'll post some comments from Lynne on the question "to steek or not to steek" at the armholes and the front.