Thursday, September 29, 2011

Baby Gift

Someone in my family had a baby boy last week.  I was smart and started a blankie last summer.  I confess, it's another opportunity for a not-natural fiber.  Young parents don't have time to hand wash and line dry, sorry EZ.  No, it won't be terribly warm...but it's cute and will be warm-ish.   I just finished it last night.  It's all Bernat from Walmart.  

Basic directions:  cast on 3 stitches, work in garter, increase one stitch at beginning of each row, work till yarn is half used up, decrease one stitch at beginning of each row. Bind off last 3 stitches.  This is another loose hap shawl square variant.

There is crocheting involved:  With a crochet hook, with single crochet, pickup  2 stitches in each in between row (ie between the garter bumps).  Please don't ask me how to express that better in crochet lingo, I just don't know.  Go round the whole edge.  On the next row, to make picot edge, sc in 2 stitches, then double crochet x3 in every 3rd stitch/loop.  Contact me if you really wanna do this!  It makes a nice little slightly frilly edge.

OK, gotta get this in the mail soon, to Ohio, for a little baby boy.  It's very exciting to see one's neices and nephews have babies.  Uh oh, guess this means I'm a great aunt or something similar??

In other news, isn't the muted late afternoon autumn light lovely?  

I don't think kitties care, they just want to act like they really have an opportunity to hunt at the feeder visitors...

An azalea I planted is blooming, sometimes they bloom twice a year...

And, in the garden, lettuce, cukes, and broccoli are starting to sprout on the right side of this photo...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Holiday Knitting Begun

I think that part of the discipline of being a lace knitter is being able to put it down to work on something else that perhaps you don't want to work on quite as much.  I find that difficult.  To wit:  holiday gifts. 

I'm not really in the mood this year for holiday knitting, usually it's full steam ahead...but I was good last week and started two items

a pair of socks (two views)

 and a hat (more gray than purple in real life)

I do like starting things, even if they're not lace.

I still have globe basil in the garden and happily stumbled on this recipe for bread machine focaccia with basil.  Why it's in the Southern food section at I haven't a clue.  It was very well received by all.  I used fresh basil in the bread, and before baking it gently spread some marinara sauce and grated parmesan on top. It didn't last long!

Monday, September 12, 2011

This was difficult?

I can be a lazy person.  A good example of something I'm lazy at is replacing my spinning wheel drive band.  OK, I'll make a confession, when it broke 6 months ago, I just retied it tighter and adjusted the wheel to accomodate.  How dopey is that?  So, when it started fraying again, and the little screw thingy under the mother-of-all started pushing in to the wood on the base, I decided it was time to wake up.  Actually, what really helped me to wake up was this article in KnittySpin which was I stumbled on at the right time.

Turns out, the operation was pretty simple.  Thank you, Lee.

I purchased some kitchen cotton at Michael's, appropriate for my single drive Ashford Traditional, put the mother-of-all at the neutral point, slid the yarn through my favorite whorl (reminding me of my favorite road bike gear), snugged it up, cut, and tied.  OK to leave the knot showing, per Lee.

I found something cool in my searching today, an antique rocker made out of spinning wheel parts, check this out:

sorry, it's sold.

On the wheel:  more Shetland for a chunky version of the Shetland Tea Shawl,
yeah, I'm as spin as I knit kinda person...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vermont Roots

My family has roots in Vermont.  The devastation from Hurricane Irene hit close to a house which was in my family since the 1880's, in Northfield Falls. (I no longer have family living there).  I tried to find some photos of the front of our former home on Route 12, but can't quickly, time is of the essence, as you'll read below!

There are three covered bridges over Cox Brook in Northfield Falls.  

 Wikipedia conveniently has an entry about one of the bridges, photo above.

 Here is a youtube video of one of the bridges as I recall walking through many times as a child, an adult, and a parent with my boys

I swam in the cold, clear Cox Brook as a child.  Boy, was it ever cold!

And here, a youtube video of the raging Cox Brook during Irene

Here is a press release on the damage to one of the  bridges, I think the third and last bridge on this dirt road to Moretown, Vermont.

As a younger woman living in the Northeast, I would often drive up to visit my Grandma Helen (the one who taught me how to knit) in "the Falls".  I would often stop at Green Mountain Spinnery, conveniently located at exit 4 off I-89, in Putney.

The Spinnery is donating profits on sales from now until September 11th to Vermonters who have suffered from being in Irene's path.  Paula of Knitting Pipeline mentioned that she had gotten some Simply Fine from the Spinnery, and she had nice things to say about it.  So, I decided to get some, in the natural dark.  I love my colors, but am beginning to be drawn to naturals.  And I do love a mohair blend for some lace!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Flashback: my 70's blue jeans

Between my junior and senior years in college, I went to southern France in the summer to live with a family and, ostensibly, study.  I took a pair of jeans.  I don't recall spending too much time studying.  The foreign language "immersion" concept didn't work at all well on me. 

While there, I remember reading Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain. And Village in the Vaucluse (that was much more interesting, and it's also still in print). I recall sitting in a park and inhaling the lavender.  I recall watching the best fireworks I've ever seen on Bastille Day  at the Pont d'Avignon. (Made me feel a little better about missing the Fourth of July). I recall wearing shorts one day and a woman gasped when she saw me. I then spent most of my time in either skirts or my jeans.

I must've been wearing a skirt as I was embroidering the jeans.  I lived with a family in Avignon, in walking distance of the downtown.  (I recall the Mom of the family did hand sewing for clothing made of that lovely traditional Provencal print fabric; I watched her hand sew a skirt zipper in with incredible tiny, perfect, fast stitches.) I went downtown and found embroidery floss, not like the mercerized Coats and Clark, no shine.

I wore the h---  out of them both there and when I got home.    Last week, in an effort to clean out some stuff,  found them.

Note the lavender on the right rear pocket.

"Coquelicots" is French for "poppies."

On the subject of plants, that really nice guy who I know cleaned out and dug up my garden yesterday.  We left the eggplant, basil, zinneas and bee balm. (The eggplant are the white teardrop shaped things). Today we consulted Clemson for the South Carolina fall planting guide.  I planted broccoli, lettuce, cucumber seeds, and some onions.  It's getting cooler here...ah, end of summer in South Carolina...planting season.