Thursday, September 30, 2010

February in September

It was finally cool enough to wear my recently finished February Lady Cardigan. Great pattern + great yarn = FAB-U-LOUS!

I purchased the yarn at Knitch in Atlanta at Stitches South 2009. Liana and Martha, my traveling companions for the weekend, wouldn't let me buy any more green yarn, so I chose a heathered lavender. I was a little aprehensive about the color (it's a lot of lavender) but now that's it's finished, I really like it.

The yarn: Stonehenge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool. This yarn is wonderful on several levels. First of all, it's a USA product designed and spun in East Jordan, Michigan. The yarn is wonderfully soft--100% Merino wool. Not a bit scratchy when worn next to the skin--very soft and squishy. It's also extremely affordable at about $10-11 per 250-yard skein. The yarn is very smooth and gives great stitch definition.


The pattern: February Lady Sweater by Flint Knits. It's knit from the top down with raglan sleeves. The lace pattern is pretty easy to remember after you get a few rows into it. The only tough part is calculating the eyelet increases, but someone much more "mathy" than myself worked up this awesome calculator. Way too cool! The only thing I'm not particularly happy with is the bind off. It's just too tight. I went up two needle sizes, but it's not as flexible as the garter edge. It bugs me, so I'm going to pull it out and redo. I may use a sewn bind off. I used a Channel Island cast on to add a little interest. However, it's a pretty stretchy cast-on so I ran a row of single crochet along the back of the neck for stabilization.

If you're contemplating knitting the sweater, I suggest you cast on right now! You'll love it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Celebrate Livestrong Day, October 2nd. Show your support and help fight to improve the lives of people affected by cancer!

My dad's story. Please send prayers!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why I didn't knit at lunch today

What a day. I need to share, but I have to go back a few days.

Last Thursday I noticed a weird bump on my lower rib cage. I'm not sure how long it has been there because it's not an area I can see easily. I just happened to see my reflection in the mirror (that was a treat...must get rid of mirror) and noticed the bump. Considering the family cancer history, I called the doctor.

Come to find out, my doctor is out on medical leave and will be for some time. I had to get “worked in” with another doctor. The only way to get worked in is to call that morning and get an appointment that day. No scheduling in advance if you want a specific doctor, and I wanted a specific doctor, as in female. I called Friday and no female doctors were available. Called Monday, same thing. Called Tuesday, same thing, but the nurse took pity on me and post-dated my call so it would show up in the system as Wednesday morning with an appointment time the same day at 8:30am. So sneaky.

Now we're to today.

I showed up at the doctor's office and she looked at everything, poked, prodded, squeezed, pushed. She couldn't figure it out so she sent me to get a CT scan. I had about an hour to kill between appointments so I drove to Centennial Park to read and drink that indescribable "smoothie" crap you have to drink before a scan. I found a shady spot with a good view of the ducks and geese, opened my book and popped the top off the smoothie. Yuck. Less than a half hour later the lawn crew showed up and started mowing the little piece of lawn I was occupying. Dust and grass was flying everywhere…so I packed up. I could just as easily finish the smoothie in the waiting area of the imaging center.

My car wouldn't start. The battery was dead. Lovely. Ok, fine, I’ll walk. See Walk 1:

View My Day in a larger map

While walking I called a friend who works nearby and asked her if I could buy her a Thai lunch if she'd come rescue me. We met at Royal Thai (see Walk 2). It was 96 degrees, I was in heels and a lightweight cashmere shell. It's not supposed to be 96 degrees and I'm supposed to be able to wear transitional sweaters in September. Have I mentioned I walked 1.18 miles total? I was hot and pissed, but I looked nice.

We went back to deal with the car. I was pretty sure about where I left it, but I didn't see it there. Oh how lovely. Could it have gotten towed? Stolen? We turned around and then I saw the car. Whew! It was blocked from view by a big handicap accessible bus. Then came the trick of wriggling Becky's monsterous F150 into jumping position. The F150, close friends call her Eddie, is big boned and it was no easy feat to jockey her into position. We popped the hood and the freaking battery was on the wrong side. Seriously. So she had to drive around in the grass (newly mowed, I might add) to get to a spot where the cables would reach. The folks on the handicapped accessible bus were just watching us with a strange sort of dazed curiousity. It only added to the weirdness.

I popped the hood on my car and as I walked around to open it up, I stepped over a curb and into a muddy, goose-crap filled hole. Down I went, lacking all grace and poise. Grass stains on my slacks, dirt, mud and who knows what else in my shoe, hurt my wrist, injured my pride. I swore. Loudly. The dazed and curious were still watching and it was still weird.

At this point, a Nice Man came by to help us. This was after SEVERAL had walked by doing their best to ignore two women in nice work clothes wielding jumper cables. In a snap, he got the car started. I thanked him profusely and then the bus driver asked to borrow the cables and Becky’s truck because he too had a dead battery from using the wheelchair lift while the engine wasn’t running. Really. Well that explains why there was a guy in a wheelchair half-way up the lift.

The Nice Man jump started the bus. The wheelchair lift continued its ascent. The Nice Man was thanked by all involved. Everyone went about their business.

While all this was going on my doctor was trying to call. Everything is normal, nothing looks bad/cancerous/suspicious, it’s just a build-up of tissue. Nothing to worry about. And all this before 1pm. Whew!

Next Wednesday I'm going to knit instead.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shameless Plug

I taught my first knitting class of the season tonight--a garterlac spa cloth. Did you miss the class? Well, dry those tears and stop the pity party! I'll be teaching it again in next month at Haus of Yarn. Check out the schedule for more knitting and learning opportunities.

Wouldn't these make a great Christmas gift paired with a bar of hand crafted soap?
I'm also teaching a tiny Christmas sock. These little guys are just adorable and can be easily knit up in an evening. If you've never knit a sock and want to give it a go, sign up for this class and you'll be turning a heel before you know it.

Here's a complete list of all my classes for the fall:

Some Assembly Required
Experience: Must be able to knit, purl, cast on, bind off, follow a simple pattern
Quick and painless finishing techniques! Invisible side and shoulder seams, picking up stitches for button bands and necklines, button holes, weaving in ends. If you have a finishing problem, bring your project and we’ll figure it out.
Materials: Swatch yarns in worsted weight preferably wool or wool blend, 24” or longer circular needle 2 sizes smaller than the needles used for swatches, tapestry needle, scissors
Homework required (instructions will be given when student signs-up)
Class Cost: $45 for two 2-hour sessions
Scheduled Dates:
Monday September 13, 20 time: 5:30 - 7:30pm
Saturday October 30 time: 4:00 – 7:30pm

Great Beginnings (Ways to Cast On)
Experience: Must be able to knit and purl
Expand your knitting repertoire with more ways to cast on! We’ll explore knitted and cable cast-on, continental or “long-tail” cast-on, Norwegian cast-on, tubular (extra stretchy) cast-on, decorative Channel Island cast-on, crochet chain provisional cast-on.
Materials: Two or three contrasting colors of worsted weight wool or wool blend yarn in light, solid colors. Straight or circular needles and crochet hook in size appropriate for yarn. Additional needles in various sizes (slightly smaller or larger) may be helpful for experimenting.
Class Cost: $25 for 1 two-hour session
Scheduled Dates:
Monday September 27 time: 5:30 - 7:30pm
Monday October 11 time: 5:30 - 7:30pm
Monday November 8 time: 5:30 – 7:30pm

Garterlac Spa Cloth
Experience: cast on, knit and purl
Entrelac simplified! Learn the basics of entrelac while making a cotton spa cloth.
Materials: Cotton yarn *(we recommend Mission Falls 1824 cotton), appropriate needles.
Class cost: $25 for 1 two-hour class
Scheduled Dates:
Tuesday September 7 time: 5:30 – 7:30pm
Monday October 4 time: 5:30 – 7:30pm
Saturday November 6 time: 4:00 – 6:00pm
Tuesday December 7 time: 5:30 – 7:30pm

Tiny Christmas Sock
Experience: Knit and purl
Make a super cute tiny sock, perfect for a Christmas ornament or gift tag. Very simple construction makes this class a good introduction to sock knitting without committing to a large project.
Materials: DK yarn and DPNs, stitch marker
Class cost: $30 for 1 three-hour session
Scheduled Dates:
Sunday November 14 time: 1:00 – 4:00pm
Saturday December 4 time: 4:00 – 7:00pm
Call Haus of Yarn to sign up! 615-354-1007

Monday, September 6, 2010

I Present the Domestic Goddess

This afternoon I sacrificed some precious knitting/spinning time and dusted off the canning equipment. Yes, canning. As in glass jars, lids, big pot of boiling water...and a basket of peaches. The outcome? Peach marmalade, and it's tasty (if I do say so myself.)

We spent this past long weekend at a fishing camp in Kentucky. As is typically the tradition over a holiday weekend, we made peach ice cream. I don't know what I was thinking, but I bought an entire basket of peaches from the Farmer's Market. We used some for the ice cream, ate about as much as we could stand and the rest turned into marmalade. I had to work fast before the fruit flies smelled the heavenly ripeness.

Isn't it pretty?

The fish camp is in the middle of nowhere. Literally. There is nothing else around. To get there we had to take the Turkey Neck Bend Ferry across the Cumberland River. That was pretty cool.

This is the view of the cabin from the boat launch. It's a cozy 2-bedroom cabin with a great view of the river.
We did a lot of fishing, but no catching
The view from the porch this morning.
What a great place to relax! We will definitely go back.