While the hawk flew by
Thursday April 19th 2018, 10:06 pm
Filed under: Garden,Knit,Knitting a Gift

Done and drying: I do like that Anniversario colorway.

As the English Morello tree holds up a sign to the honeybee highway: Will Bloom For Cherries.

 



The widows might
Sunday April 15th 2018, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

I laughed. I told Jean, You wore that quiet green last week, and so (I held up the sage-green cowl) but it doesn’t go with that sweater at all!

Then to her delight I offered her not just the green but (reaching into the bag again) the purple and the purpley-brown to choose from.

For me?!

She complimented them all. But that purple! Oh, she loved that purple, all the more once she touched it. (That was the Chateau cowl, the braided baby alpaca.)

Then she explained the sweater: her husband had bought it for her years ago; she had felt him close to her all week, and so she’d wanted to bring it to church today.

(And him along with it, I thought. He was a good one. I could just picture him looking on in delight.)

It was in neon shades of brightness, varying colors in diamonds and angles, a cheerful piece of clothing straight out of a modern art museum (said the daughter of the modern art dealer, debating between Piet Mondrian and some of his contemporaries.)

Mona Jo, sitting next to her, when offered a To Be Continued if she preferred something else, happily chose the brown-almost-purple knit from Woolfolk, also extraordinarily soft.

A little later, Gail, a knitter in her younger days, was wearing a skirt in a sage green plaid. That sage green cowl went exactly with her strawberry blonde hair, too. Wool and mink? Mink?! She laughed and held it to her as if to say, Ta Daah! I got mink! It went right on and it stayed on. It wasn’t very big because I didn’t have very much of that mink left, but she told me how warm that bit around her neck would keep her on our cold mornings.

And so these three widows, lifelong friends who had raised their children here (some of whom are now grandparents themselves) all came away on the same day with a handknit cowl in a color they liked. I thought I was just planning for Jean and letting the rest play out as it might and it all came out absolutely perfect.



Spring leaves, once the stitches were flattened out
Saturday April 14th 2018, 10:37 pm
Filed under: Garden,Knitting a Gift

(It’s greener than this. Photo taken before blocking.)

I would have preferred to have used just the Arroyo dk weight but that would have taken more hours than I had left–so when I found two half-ball remnants of fir-green mink laceweight that matched it and that would smooth out the other’s color changes, I grabbed my size 7s and cast on.

A day later, it’s done. If it’s still damp in the morning it’ll get hairdryered.
Meantime, the still-squirrel-free Stella cherry and the Yellow Transparent apple trees.

A honeybee was happily climbing in and out of those apple flowers.

Tiny baby peaches had shown up overnight on the Indian Free and I thanked those bees for keeping close tabs on the place.



Building its house
Thursday April 12th 2018, 10:58 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift

I was hoping to be able to show this off finished, but I’ve simply run out of day. This is about 150 yards into two 98-yard skeins of Chateau on size US 9s. The long-tail end is being used to mark the end of the rows. (I pull it out and move it up every now and then.)



I’ll add some sunlight to that picture in the morning
Tuesday April 10th 2018, 11:38 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

That Woolfolk leaped out of the stash today and demanded to be done right now. Right. Now. I’d forgotten I even still had a skein, and I was actually in the middle of looking for something else. It quite took me by surprise.

But who was I to argue? (2 grams left. It was close.)



While humming Cat Stevens’ “Into White”
Friday April 06th 2018, 10:12 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

I was bored with white, I was bored with that pattern, but white was what she wanted and I’d promised. It’s not about me, I reminded myself.

I finally started to cast on once I had a tight enough deadline: a waiting room wait, coming up in about an hour minus driving time.

Which is how that pattern happened after all. It was something I could do blindfolded, which is certainly a plus in a carry-around project–and I knew the recipient would love it and that’s the part that mattered. All I had to do was keep pushing away at it till it got done.

And now it’s done!



A son of goodly parents
Saturday March 31st 2018, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Garden,Knitting a Gift,Life,Wildlife

Not a single squirrel so much as ran down that fence line, as far as I saw today. Several times they came down the side fence, stopped, sniffed in the direction of the cherry tree–nuh UH, and turned the other way and disappeared into the yard behind instead. Two new cherry flowers today and they were left alone. Unsweetened grape Kool-aid solution for the win!

The blueberries might need some of that soon.

And over at the needles, beaded silk. It’s Conference weekend, and two two-hour online sessions of watching the leaders of the Mormon Church helped get a lot of knitting done, with an occasional glance over at squirrel antics.

The stunner/not-surprised-in-hindsight was the announcement that someone who grew up in our ward, whose family we know well, was called to be one of the twelve apostles. I cannot think of a better man in every way that they could have asked to represent and offer Christ’s love and compassion to the world. I’m so glad his 91-year-old mom got to live to see the day.

There are two more sessions tomorrow, starting at 9 am and 1 pm Pacific time.  Wishing a joyful Easter to all who celebrate it and every good thing to all.



Celestial lights
Thursday March 29th 2018, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift


Knitting-wise, it’s been a fairly slow week, but I finally finished the beaded silk.

I thought it was nice enough. Even if the dye left my fingertips slightly smudgy–I was definitely going to have to wash this. (I just did.)

I broke the 4 gram remnant off at the last and put the cowl on and went to go take a look.

And in that moment I knew why I’d put up with that snaggy little strand the glass beads were strung along on, the loose dye, the beads, the taking more time than I’d intended. It looks like the constellations. It is exactly her sort of thing. It was so worth every minute.

I can’t wait.



It sparkles!
Monday March 26th 2018, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden,Knitting a Gift

Figs!

The woman at Stitches who’d beaded her yarns herself, when I told her I loved that her glass beads were so small, told me that they kind of had to be or they’d run together in the strand.

Knowing she wasn’t going to be selling me any more (not online anyway) till her show season was over, I went looking for what I could find. I bought some beaded silk yarn from this lady and in talking to her, found out she had some in black, too, and in a bit of a leap of faith ordered a skein of that as well.

I’m so glad I did.

The beads on these are a bit bigger (but not big) and heavier and do tend to come in the occasional clump. Alright then. I just take them as they come and keep on going–part of the pattern of the thing, I figure, and it’s coming out soft and sparkly and absolutely gorgeous. Altogether the most perfect thing I could have found for the person I’m knitting it for.



So he got to look forward to making her happy, too
Sunday March 25th 2018, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Knitting a Gift,Lupus

My thanks to all those who participated in the March for our Lives yesterday–I would have given anything to join in. But lupus. And sun.

But wow those kids! They are the courage and the conscience of the nation.

Knitting stuff: my friend Karen’s son told me his wife was home with a cold. You should have seen his face light up when I gave him the butter-yellow cowl to take to her–and then the matching hat for their baby on the way. The joy and the love for both of them and the anticipation… I came away feeling how fortunate they were to have each other. That baby is going to grow up in a happy home.



Creamed
Saturday March 24th 2018, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

After the afghan, I did a cowl in Malabrigo’s Solis blue/green colorway Thursday and Friday and wondered what to start and for whom. So I said a little prayer: You know who most needs the next thing the soonest.

And out of all my new Stitches stash and all my older stash, you know what answered that? What demanded to be next?

That same cream cashmere/cotton, (mine was a heavier weight) of which there was just enough (that was already scoured) left from that afghan to make a hat.

Again?!

It’s like I can’t get away from that yarn. (Two afghans in six months and another cone waiting to be a third.) I confess I had to let the thought percolate a bit and left it for the morning, and then left it for the afternoon till I finally decided both that I was being ridiculous and needed to get to it–and till it had come to me what pattern to use. Till I knew, and I did, exactly what pattern it had to be. Maybe not for the recipient’s sake but for mine.

A cream, almost white hat with cotton.

Like the one that was my mother-in-law’s… (Where did I post that story?) Only this time it would not vanish into the wild.

I had gotten my late mother-in-law’s chemo caps sent back to me after her death, and on impulse I had grabbed one to wear out to dinner with friends on a chilly evening. None of us ever saw it again. I retraced my steps, I called the restaurant, but it was gone.

And yet mixed with that great sense of loss–I had made that for MomH!–was this strong feeling that all was not actually lost, that it had gone to someone who needed it. It was cotton. It was non-allergenic. It was pretty. It was warm, because I had knitted it doubled fingering weight on size 3 needles, an aching task (especially with those cables) that I could only put a couple of rows into a day but I did it for her.

And now for someone else, whoever they were. I might not know them but they were known to G_d, and there was a comfort there that I did not expect and it has stayed with me whenever I’ve thought about that hat.

So. Cream, almost white. Half cotton, half cashmere, bigger needles, easier to work with, so soft. Make it just like Mom’s had been. A cable going sideways around the head, stitches picked up lengthwise to knit straight up from there, curving decreases in a pinwheel at the top.

I knew exactly who it was for and I couldn’t wait to give it to her and now it is done and I can.

This time, since the recipient isn’t a tender-headed woman balded by chemo, it has a tag inside saying who made it for her. If somehow it should get lost, it can make its way back.



For my daughter by another mother
Wednesday March 21st 2018, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Friends,Knitting a Gift

Two rows of 269 stitches–because I wanted it warm and dense since it’s for a home in snowy Maine–that were then scrunched in by two rows of 181 stitches. Repeated seventy times, fifty minutes per repeat.

I just ran past the finish line on a 3500 minute marathon. Add in the casting on and off, and that was a 59 hour project.

I guess it’s not so bad that it took me so long.



Peachy pink
Tuesday March 20th 2018, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Friends,Garden,Knitting a Gift

Seventy inches. That had been the goal all along.

I put down the wedding afghan project to knit my friend Jerry two hats to wear over his brain tumor surgery scar, and since the afghan is heavy and half cotton it’s hard on the hands and it was easy to let it wait some more while I cast on cowl after cowl.

But it was bugging me, and rightfully so. I was so close. I pulled it out of the overstuffed ziploc today and got to it.

When my hands had had enough for now, I laid it out on the floor.

Seventy. I can’t tell you how good that felt.

I have easily enough on that ball for one more pattern repeat, though, and given that cotton tends to shrink vertically, it would be a good idea. So I will.

Meantime, the Baby Crawford peach (above) still has a few new flowers for the Indian Free that is not yet fully in bloom and can’t set fruit alone. Here’s hoping today’s rain didn’t wash all the pollen away? If anyone knows more on that subject than I do, please let me know. Thanks!

 



Love your dear ones
Sunday March 18th 2018, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Knitting a Gift,Life

The friend I knitted the purple for was wearing an outfit today that would look smashing with the butterscotch cowl, and she definitely thought so, too. Got that one right even when I got that one wrong.

Eli loved his new teal-green hat and the vote of thanks and confidence in his mango-tree-caretaking it conveyed.

Which was as far as I got. I was all ready to tell the expectant mom she could shrink the baby hat for a few minutes in the dryer while the baby was small, let it air dry as the baby got bigger and the superwash treatment would shrink or stretch the fit accordingly. But those came home.

Last Tuesday we got a phone call close to dinner time: my friend Karen (this friend), my visiting teacher in Mormon-speak, had a big dinner ready to set out and she was suddenly in need of people to feed it to and would we like to come? There was no way she by herself could plow through all this.

Hey, love to. A few others showed up at her spur of the moment call and a grand time was had by all and we should do this again, definitely. May I just add, and that was the biggest lasagna pan I have ever seen.

Her daughter-in-law is the one I just knitted the butter cowl and baby hat for.

Karen had a heart attack two days ago and her family was not in church. Any protest of mine that she is way too young for this, well… She is recuperating.

Someone definitely needs me to bring them a good dinner. My pans may be smaller but I’ve got two ovens at the ready and all the love in the world.



Plus one
Friday March 16th 2018, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,LYS

Cowl: damp. Hat: not so much, not yet.

I’m going to have to finish this game of yarn chicken in the morning. If I do run out–I don’t think I will, but if I do, then I could make the top of the hat a solid white and run diagonal lines of white weaving down through all the yarnovers. Or rainbow colors. Or something.

(Having typed that, I got up to weigh the remaining yarn: 16 grams.) Yeah, it’ll be close. What would you do with a shortage at the top? Note that there is, or at least was, one last skein of that dye lot at Cottage Yarns this week. (Hey, Kathryn’s website’s back up!)