Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Picots, Please

When I first became aware of the Landscape pattern I only knew it as a huge shawl, not a scarf. As a shawl, I had zero interest in the pattern...endless stockinette, endless seed and moss stitch... ick. Then Marissa the Marvelous started knitting the scarf version. She was using lots of Koigu millends, some of which I had enabled the purchasing. I'm a good friend like that.

We were having coffee one afternoon and she was knitting away on it. I had never done picots before and was a little fascinated by them.
The pattern calls for picots on every other row. Marissa, who thinks that more embellishment is always better, was putting them on every row. I too became a little obsessed.

She kindly and trustingly let me wear her scarf one afternoon. I loved it. She pried it out of my hands before we parted company. And I began planning my own.

I dug into my cache of millends and selected a bunch to mix together. I started knitting, randomly switching yarn and using a Russian join for the transitions. Love that Russian join!!
Mine also had to have a bazillion picots. Knitting them is so much fun! Particularly in Koigu, because you are always looking to see what color they are going to be. This is one time where surprise in knitting is a wonderful thing.
I love my little insouciant! My friend, Suzanne, thought it was pretty cool, so I made on for her too. I cannot wait for her birthday! This time I upped the needle size a smidge and hers has better drape.
You would think that after all these picots that I would be done. You would be wrong...Bring'em on! I have been eyeballing the Boneyard Shawl's (Rav Link) picot edged version for some beautiful alpaca lace weight that I scored at Rhinebeck. Now I just need to be disciplined enough to get my Christmas knitting done before I cast on. I'll let you know how that goes...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A First Time....

...some good, some questionable, some weird.

Many, many thanks to my dear friend Anj, who invited me to drive up to Rhinebeck with her and stay with her delightful Aunt Judy and Uncle Wynn at Herron Farm. I got to pet the llamas, feed the alpacas, check out the chickens and threaten to make soup from the rooster who woke me up every half hour both mornings. Who knew that roosters come with a doze function?

The weather report for the weekend was grim and it looked like the Nor'easter was targeting Rhinebeck. Amazingly the rain skirted the festival...not a drop landed. The sky was overcast, but the lack of sunshine meant it was cool enough for all of us to show off our hand knits!

Not all of the hand knits were equal. Dude, I hope your friends don't see my blog. How could you let her do that to you? Guess we know who wears the pants in that family.

I spent a lot more time with the animals then I ever have at MDS&W. There were tons of cute sheep, goats, alpacas and llamas. I got in some serious heavy petting...met a new boy friend, Buster Brown. I was too busy petting him to take his picture.

A couple of us made out with this llama, Biscotti Chips. She was pretty promiscuous and doling out kisses to everyone. I think Judy was trying to figure out how to get this cutie into her car. First time I have ever had llama kisses or seen one so affectionate and everyone.

I fondled a lot of yarn, but bought very little, just enough to not feel deprived and not too much, so no feelings of guilt. I try very hard not to mix guilt and yarn.
Now, on to the downright weird. Have you ever seen an egg that didn't have a shell?

It was a little old by the time I got to see it. It was shriveling up and drying out. The membrane felt like really fine grit sandpaper.
They have had other egg anomalies at the farm. One of the eggs had three yolks. Does that mean it has triple the cholesterol?
I am already looking forward to returning to Rhinebeck!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Pattern: James Dean Hat (Ravelry link) - designed by Lisa R. Myers

Yarn: Noro Kureyon ( one gallon ziplock bag full of scraps leftover from the huge Hexagon Blanket....yup, a lot of spit-splicing in these babies! God knows how many colorways are in the mix.)

Needles: US7 24" circulars

I whipped these hats up in a few days for donation to charity. It was the perfect use for my ziplock of scraps...some only slightly longer than a yard. As I said above there was a lot of spit involved. When I was all finished I had about a yard left over.

This is a great pattern, and my first time knitting it in the intended gage. I have knit tons of these using Koigu and giving them away as baby gifts. Those are always a hit.

Its a fast knit, but not entirely mindless. The skills needed for the project are a provisional cast-on, short rows and a 51 stitch Kitchnered finish. The good news is that you jump into the kitchner groove at about 7 stiches and cruise from there.

A huge thanks to my oh-so-fabulous models that I met in Rittenhouse Square. BTW, they lovvvvved my hats!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


The girls who knit, know that I haunt the window at Rittenhouse Pet Supply. They use their window for kitty adoptions and I love me some kittehs. When I was working and having a horrible day, I would stop by and hold a kitten. Purring kittens make all evils go away.

There have been many close calls, when I thought yes this is the one I want to add to my family. And many times that I talked myself out of it...wrong sex...bad timing...whatever. Then I saw this little man in the window. Adopted yet? No- Check! I asked, boy or girl, with my fingers crossed. Little boy- Check! And the second I picked him up he started purring loudly. He was totally at ease and content to hang out in my arms, staring up at me. I was smitten.

The night I brought him home, he went to knitting circle first and met his knitting aunties. He got passed around the room and everyone got a chance to hold him. Everyone approved my choice.

Coincidently my mother and I both hit on the same name, Ajax. Think hero of the Iliad, not the cleanser. Its hard finding a good boy name...pull out Bullfinch's Mythology and give it a try.

Here he is checking out my fathers mustache for leftover dinner morsels. that mushroom soup? Maybe a little au poivre sauce? Delish!

Ajax was the only boy left in his litter when they were in foster care. They would all curl up in a kitty pile to sleep and he was missing his sisters. Artemis is not the snuggling type, but he has high hopes for Toscabelle. This is Ajax in the middle of a yawn and roll--his goal is spooning with Toscabelle. On his next roll she bopped him on the head with a mighty hiss and sent him running.

She still will not snuggle with him- poor lad. But they do have a fabulous time chasing each other around the apartment. Its pretty funny. Now that he is completely at home he has also found the voice that no one heard at the pet store. He talks more than Artemis and Tosca combined...nonstop. Its such a funny little voice for a kitty with so much swagger.

I love my little man!