Moose with dandelion
Wednesday August 21st 2019, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Knit,Knitting a Gift

Not blocked, no daylight for the photo to help the moose show better, and I cast off too loosely in my hurry to finish it tonight and need to go back and tighten that up.

But yes, basically, it’s done and a small part of me cannot comprehend how that could be possible.

It’s either snowing or it’s coming down with chicken pox but I think it’ll do quite nicely.

Don’t worry be ready
Saturday August 17th 2019, 10:43 pm
Filed under: Knit

Does anybody else do this?

I’m not one to cast on lots of projects at once. Yarn may be the boss of me but I don’t like it to nag; a hat in the purse and a kids-only-try-this-at-home project is all I want going.

And yet, when something the scope of that afghan is almost done, I scatter those last few days into winding and scouring coned yarn, admiring stuff in my stash for why I bought it in the first place, making no commitments but getting the most likely contenders that needed that bit of prep work in view and drying for the final winding, dreaming away at what they could be as I go and grateful for mill-end stores that help me afford my habit.

Pre-shrunk deep teal baby alpaca/wool and plum purple cashmere are drying as I type.

Thank you everybody for the wonderful words on my Anchorage afghan.

On a 99F day
Wednesday August 14th 2019, 10:48 pm
Filed under: Knit

I at long last got to the overpass (mannn…) and with hardly anybody moving had time to look down and see what turned out to be an upside-down sewage truck on both sides of the freeway, looking impaled by the divider.

I was sure that one was fatal.

Found out later, nobody was hurt. Not even the guy it hit while trying to avoid the one at fault. Yay safety regulations and sheer great luck.

I made it to Cottage Yarns and showed off the Rios afghan and bought my first Dos Tierras skeins in the most gorgeous Solis bluegreens.

I took the other freeway home. Clearly, quite a few other people had diverted, too. But hey, I got to see Katherine for the first time since May, and that was my biggest reason for going: keeping tabs on how my friends are doing. I’m glad I went.

Figs are supposed to be sweetest in the morning. Yeah yeah yeah whatever, I wanted a homegrown fig and I wanted that bit of affirmation of good things created and nurtured and forget the sewer truck effects and I wanted my fig now and I went out and picked a couple and shared with my sweetheart who enjoys them but doesn’t adore them quite like I do.

Well who knew. Figs like super-hot days. They’re their native territory. Could not have asked for better.

I have a bit of very pretty new yarn calling to me.

I need to finish that cream afghan.

Edited to add, I forgot to write what I sat down to say in the first place: I got a surprise in the mail. From Afton. Who’d just been to Peru. It was fingerpuppets she’d bought there. The most perfect souvenir–thank you, Afton!

And it’s the week the Kit Donnells are in. Woot!
Saturday August 10th 2019, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Knit

Hey, Mom, wanna go to Andy’s Orchard with my friend and me?


I sat in the back as they caught up in the front seat (her dear friend just moved here a week ago) and just about finished the back of the baby sweater a mile from home.

Kit Donnells are some of the best peaches out there–and one of Andy’s creations.

On a total non sequitur, I was mentioning to Holly a few minutes ago about a message Richard got in the early days of DARPAnet, the precursor to the internet.

So I had to go find it: the fractured fairy tale Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. Enjoy.

Friday August 09th 2019, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Knit

Today was a day spent knowing I’ll feel better tomorrow–I’m already starting to–and that it was worth it.

Anchorage on the needles
Wednesday August 07th 2019, 9:53 pm
Filed under: Knit

The antlers aren’t quite *that* big–the fabric needs smoothing out.

Added two rows’ uplift on the wings vs the swatch (cue the “uh, I meant to do that”) and decided to keep it.

Am debating adding an edging afterwards to make sure the thing can shrink all it wants and still be useful. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done that if I do but it’ll be the first time (remembering a certain unforgettable ruffly edge that with all its extra stitches took forever to do–but the kid liked it) that I’ll have done it like I want it to come out.

One hopes.

Pick up three of every five up the sides this time. Right?

Why yes he does caribou that
Friday August 02nd 2019, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Knit

I had just picked him up from work.

I reminded him of that time at that reindeer farm in Alaska several years ago, where I asked the guy what they do with the downy undercoat of their animals in the spring and he kind of held out his hands to show it going away poof on the wind, explaining that they’d been told the fiber was too short to spin. He added wistfully that it *was* marvelously soft, though.

I was agog. I promised him that handspinners would card it with merino to anchor it and pay a small fortune for it–after all, look at the price of qiviut!

He was convinced it could not be.

I pled my case. I told him that come next spring if he sent me some I would very happily demonstrate.

I almost had him. So close. Enough that I knew that after I left he would at least make inquiries–I mean, why turn down a revenue source that could help support his farm?

Today, not looking for any such thing, I stumbled across this:

These merino skeins are softened and enhanced with 20 percent reindeer.
To our knowledge, Coyote Trail Farm and Fiber Mill, is the only mill in the country—probably the world—that processes reindeer. 

At $65 a skein I didn’t buy any, I quickly assured my husband in the passenger seat. With a grin: Yet.

He immediately exclaimed, with the eagerness of a small grandchild, But does it fly?!

On the back of an envelope
Thursday August 01st 2019, 10:25 pm
Filed under: Knit
Because that was the heaviest paper around.

That one little puffball in front of the moose is for the above-the-knees single dandelion flower outside the front door that so transfixed me on our first visit to Alaska.

So: this is how I draw. This is how my little sister draws.

You know that old insult, Stick to your knitting? Well yeah. Makes perfect sense to me, I think I will, thanks.

A good set
Saturday July 27th 2019, 11:01 pm
Filed under: Knit

The conching was to the point where you could stop any time now.

This has always been a two-person project. It’s one of the things we like about it.

He had a migraine and I was avoiding the chocolate: usually it’s one watching and stirring as it cools and eventually adding the cocoa butter at the right temp while the other cleans up the equipment, and then one pouring, one smoothing the bars over, but none of that is something you can do in the dark holding still holding your head.

Which is how the big cherry tree that’s needed pruning got pruned. Avoidance is a productive thing.

And then I came inside, washed up, dried my hands exactingly–no water near chocolate–and with a few check-ins with him to make sure I was remembering the right temps for each stage, I did it.

I didn’t get the cookie sheets under the molds shaken to help get air bubbles out, the amounts aren’t perfectly even from mold to mold, and the tempering? Yeah well. I did my best. But I did it, and now I know I can.

Not just a plain beanie
Friday July 26th 2019, 8:32 pm
Filed under: Knit

Run the ends in, tighten up that little open circle at the top, call it done.

Ed. to add so I’ll be able to reference it later when I can’t remember which variety is which: Guatamalan-Cahabon cacao nibs, roasted 12 minutes at 350, in the melanger now. It had been awhile and we’d been missing the homemade stuff so after writing the earlier part of this post I got a batch going.

Chocolate gets smoother in scent as well as texture the longer it conches. A few kind of smack you in the nose with CHOCOLATE!!! almost burning your nostrils at this stage. Not this one. It smells great but high acidity it is not.

We’ll see just how mellow it actually turns out to be tomorrow when it’s done.

The worsted thing that could happen
Thursday July 25th 2019, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Knit

The plan was to work on the afghan.

But that brown Malabrigo insisted I go get it, insisted I wind it, and then when I said okay did that and picked up the afghan, I found myself putting it back down and giving myself over to the urge to not just cast on a hat but actually make that hat.

It felt important.

I guess I’ll find out why soon enough.

If you give a moose a stitch count
Wednesday July 24th 2019, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Knit

The bottom half of a gansey moose (if I can get the picture into the post–the update really scrambled things.) To my eyes it looks more like one of those Star Wars mechanical Trojan horses but we’ll see how it turns out.

How big?
Tuesday July 23rd 2019, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Knit

We played a bit of a game tonight: trying to guess the size and type of the critter just outside by the sounds it was making.

Big sounds.

I turned on the porch light. No sign, but a moment or two later, more sounds, light or no light–to use an old expression from back home, it didn’t pay it no never mind.

I opened the door so as to hear better and the tiny skittery sound off to the right was probably the target of the I don’t care that you know that I’m here sound off to the left.

“Close the door, you don’t want to get sprayed.”

Well that’s a better thought than a mountain lion. Did I hear that awning bounce a minute ago? Skunks don’t climb nor do they jump down.

I closed the door.

testing testing 1 2 3
Monday July 22nd 2019, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Knit

Trying to see if the blog is fixed.

Edit: It is! Yay for the resident computer scientist!

Totally buffaloed
Saturday July 20th 2019, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knit

Buffalo Wool Co is moving to a new mill and dyer and cleaning out old stock. They held a mystery offer: for $20 you would get…yarn. What color or blend or how big a skein would be random and unrefundable, but given the warmth and rarity (not to mention natural machine-washability) of bison fiber that $20 was going to be well spent no matter what you got.

My husband has some of their socks and admitted that he didn’t want to wear any other kind anymore, only theirs, preferably their bison/silk ones.

I splurged and he has six new pair of the bison/silks, despite my knowing that “Mom got me socks for Father’s Day” was a line that could live in infamy–except that he really did want them. And he really did appreciate them.

So here I am, I’m seeing that mystery yarn thing, I passed on the chance so that other people could have what few skeins those might be at this point because hey, I have more than my share of good things.

And then, closer to moving time, my friends Ron and Theresa from Stitches and whom I adore ran that offer again.

This time my greed got the better of me before the day was over.

The package came.

It seemed…dense.

You guys!!!!!

It’s the bison silk. Nearly two thirds of a pound in laceweight.

I feel like I just won the yarn lottery.