Friday, May 25, 2007

Catching up

I'm on vacation this week and we got back from visiting DH's family in southern Oregon on Wednesday afternoon, tired but happy for lots of reasons. First, he got to spend time with his Mom, sister and BIL, daughter and youngest grandson.

Then, I had an incredible shopping spree at Webster's! I went in looking for a couple of skeins of the color I had subbed in for Cinnamon in my Erin cardigan my Mara_class group on yahoo is currently making. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they still had some original Alice Starmore Scottish Campion yarns in stock! They have a whole lot fewer skeins now, I can assure you, as I brought home 32 of them to build up my stash. I did bring home two skeins close to the color I'm using for Cinnamon, but they're not quite a match. However, I also brought home a skein of Jamiesons Cinnamon and the funny thing is that it's almost a match for the J & S color I subbed in when I left the original subbed color home last weekend! So I guess I have a pretty good eye for color after all.

I'm just finishing the back of my St. Brigid, need to do the cast off rows and it will be done. Then I'll cast on and knit the first sleeve from the top down, attaching it to the body as I go ala FLAK. I took it along and got a lot of knitting done on it while traveling. I also got a bit of work done on my second Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Sock Tuscany pair, turning the heel gusset at this point. I didn't take Erin along to work on as she's in a big basket that is awkward to hold on my lap in the car. I'll get back to working on her tonight, I think.

Wednesday night and yesterday I started going through my books looking for FI patterns I want to make and deciding in what order. With J & S discontinuing so many colors that are used heavily in AS and 'Sweaters From Camp' patterns, I'm giving priority to those patterns right now. I'm going to set up 4 baskets with labels showing which pattern is in it, which source the pattern is in, what colors and quantities are needed and check off the yarns as I put them in the baskets. Four baskets, in addition to the one for Erin already set up and getting moved around the house, is about all my DH can handle being in use and out in public. The vest for his daughter is sitting on the game table by the fireplace in the living room at the moment. I'm not pushing on it as it's for Christmas but I promised him I'd do some knitting on it while I'm on vacation. Of course, I didn't say which vacation and I do have another one in October, but I don't want to wait that long to get her vest done. St. Brigid is sitting on the desk next to me and usually travels in my blue knitting bag, so she stays neat.

Yesterday I went to my local yarn shop and bought every skein of discontinued J & S color they had in stock (all 17 of them!) to add to my stash. My DH and my friend Terri think it's so funny I'm building a stash of FI yarns, after all the years when I refused to accumulate a stash. I still don't buy any other yarns without a specific pattern in mind, no buying a bag of this and a bag of that because I like them and then having them hang around waiting to be used or eaten by moths. The FI yarns have a good, valid reason for being stashed, namely, J & S discontinuing so many colors (70!!!!). I've put my Lovely Leftovers Vest on hold indefinitely while I deal with the pending color losses. I don't want to knit any more colors into it that I might need for a sp
ecific pattern. I've already learned that the Shaela/White I was using is a color I need for the Quartz vest I want to make so I won't be using any more of that color. I'm not going to tink the vest at this point, just leave it pending until I set up kits for the other projects and see where I'm at then.

Last Saturday was the Sheep to Shawl at Mission Mill Museum and I had a blast. I taught two people to spin on drop spindles, a woman and an 8 year old boy, who wants to volunteer there next year. So cool!

These are a few of the pics I took, so you can see some of the fun we had there! The sheep being sheared and also in her pen with her lamb is a Tunis sheep, from Tunisia. Not a common breed around here but I had spun some Tunis years ago when I was learning to spin. I ended up getting the shepherd and a spinner together with the shearer and the shepherd sold her first Tunis fleece, the shearer made a few bucks, and the spinner has a nice fresh fleece she watched being sheared to play with - happy folks all around!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


DH's Forest vest is done! Well, almost, he still needs to sew the buttons on it, but the knitting, washing, and blocking are finished! And he likes it! And I like it! Definitely a challenge to knit this pattern, as after a while it was hard to remember where I was in the chart. It's two repeats of the same 10 stitches, set half a repeat off, so after a while you're not sure which repeat you're in. The colors are leftovers he picked out from the pile I made on the coffee table to give the impression of being in a forest, hence the name. Now I'm not making any more left overs projects until I finish going through my pattern books and making a list of the ones I want to make and setting aside the yarns.

I got the light yellow J & S yarn I had bought on Ebay yesterday and it turns out to be one of the discontinued colors, yea! The ad said 1200 yards but I'm not sure of that. It could be, as the balls are wound pretty firmly, but since they are all different sizes, clearly leftovers from projects, I don't know. But the price of $4.99 plus $4.50 shipping is well worth the quantity I got, so I feel like I got a good deal. Hmm, I didn't check the color I got the other day to see if it's a discontinued color as well. Nope, it's 1280, about 3 balls of it, but it's one that I've seen in several designs, including Oregon, by AS. So that's a good buy.

This is DH last Sunday wearing his new St. Enda sweater, with matching red and white striped shirt and red and black hand knit socks (I know, you can't see the socks in the picture but I wanted you to know he coordinates his outfits that well). As you can see, he's well pleased with it, even with it going a bit beyond his birthday to finish. And he actually wore it, but since the weather is now warming up, it will go into the cedar chest until it cools down again.

So now I am back working on my St. Brigid, on row 16 of the 24 row pattern in the front decrease section. I'm working the left and right fronts at the same time, with both ends of the same ball (that had DH puzzled for a while, until I explained about making sure the number of rows matched, lol). I've modified this pattern also, into a knit in the round style. After I finish the front, I'll knit the back from the armholes up to the shoulder straps, then pick up the straps and knit the sleeves down to the cuffs. The last thing is to knit the collar, which I haven't read too closely but it seems to be knit flat and then sewn on. Hmm, have to see how I can change that to knit it onto the garment at the same time and avoid the sewing part. Before I started the front decreases I held the sweater up to me, to make sure the length was good. On the St. Brigid KAL list, several folks have written that they have added repeats to the sleeves to make them long enough. I will most likely have to do that as well, with my longer arms and knitting with a worsted weight yarn instead of Aran weight, so the sweater fits snugger. But, again, working from the top down allows me to try it on as I go for a better fit.

And tonight I am thinking about working some time on Erin. I now have all the colors I need for her, although I need to get one more skein of one color that was also used in the Forest vest so it's almost gone. But I can do that this weekend.

Happy Mother's Day all!