Saturday, August 30, 2008

A whole post without mittens

This has been a very un-mitteny month for me. Just one pair of mittens for the whole month? Let's just say the month went fast.

You could also say I've been knitting other things.

Celestine Btoroj (just pretend like it's Cyrillic, and it'll sound better) used up another 36 grams of leftover sock yarn. It's almost like a sock Memory Keeper ... these socks were for Vicki, these went to mom, these went to mom, these went to mom ... and these are 'pre-socks' from Lene!

Here are more socks. From left to right, they are in Risata, Essential, and Essential Kettle-dyed. This is probably why I've not been up to much mitten-wise. Socks just *are* easier to knit in social situations than Latvian mittens are. Something about colors, and yarns, and patterns, and thumbs. Plain socks really just need attention at the increase, heels, and cast off.
Tea Cozy! I'm working on a pair of slippers (that are going to be true destashing slippers ... there's WOTA Bulky, Alafoss Lopi, Reynolds Bulky Lopi, WOTA worsted, Cascade 220, and 100% mohair in my grab bag) to felt along with the cozy. I do hope that I don't felt them too small for use in this household. Although if the slippers end up scary, that might work out.
And the legwarmers. These have been on hold for a while, as I'm waiting for more yarn. Four skeins wasn't quite enough. I have one cable row, and then some ribbing to go and all will be done. There's something in me that objects to putting down a project almost done, and not picking it up for a week or two. It's like a cold draft in the winter. But I only have 3" of yarn left. It's not in my power to finish these without introducing a new color of yarn. And I *like* this color. I thought about making my slippers in this color as well, but decided to destash for the slippers.

School ... is still far off. We're postponing the start of school until Sept 22nd this year. It's ridiculously late, but when you have a 2-3 day hospital stay with surgery in the second week of September, it seems reasonable. We are tucking in a World History course into our post-family-camp/pre-official-school-start times, and the week before the official start will be a time of gearing up for school so we can hit the ground running.

At least, that's the theory.

Didn't they used to teach knitting in school? Now THAT is one subject I can see doing every day. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back from the Fair

The past few weeks have been so busy for our household, I wasn't sure if we'd make it to the state fair or not. I mailed some entries off (cheaper than driving up) and arranged to have the helpful clerks at the fair mail my things back after the fair (ditto previous reason.) There's so much to see and do at the fair, one can't really go up and do everything in a day ... so should one even try?

Mom decided that yes, we would go to the fair. And no, we wouldn't try and do everything. The goal for us is to make it from the gate where the buses drop you off to the Creative Activities building, and back to the gate, without killing her. Her knee doesn't always cooperate with walking, but she survived today quite well and is home recuperating for Thursday's shopping trip.

One of our first main stops (after the fish pond) was the Butterfly House. The butterflies loved Filia. She's only got 9 on her in this photo, but had 11 at one point. The butterflies are gorgeous, and do a nice job of tickling the fingers and wrists when they land. I was wearing blue, and only had two butterflies at any one time. Filius enjoyed watching them, but one on a finger was plenty for him.

After the Butterfly House, we meandered up to the Creative Activities building. The amount of gorgeous knitting in that building is amazing. Rachel and her camera had a better time of it than I did, so I'm going to use some of her photos (with permission.) There was a gorgeous Intarsia sweater (which you can see on her blog), and a gorgeous modular blanket made by Shelly and right in front of the blanket, there was even a person who looked like Shelly! (It's amazing what you can learn from reading about the fair in the MN Knitters group on Ravlery) I inquired if she were indeed that Famous Shelly, and she replied that she was. I introduced myself as the not-so-famous Carolyn

and we proceeded to have a lovely chat. The pdf of fair results really makes for a smaller knitting world. It's not just the garments, the glass cases, and you ... there are NAMES that go with the items (even if you generally have no idea what name goes with which piece of gorgeosity) and so you can put 'tags' on at leas three or four people who have entered the same category you have, and you realize that if you have four categories in common with someone else (who has to place in those categories for her to cross your long-distance 'pdf radar') you probably have some good common knitting ground.

And whoever met knitters that weren't delighted to chat with other knitters? (Yes, you in the back. Save your story for later.) Anyways, I had a nice chat with Shelly, and then the back of my mind remembered reading something about the Yarn Harlot asking people to bury a certain knitter in leftover sock yarn for a blanket ... and yes, that was Shelly. Wow. I shook hands with a Really Famous Person. I think I have enough sock yarn to knit the blanket on my own ... but it wouldn't have so many pretty colors. Maybe.

Dangling from mid-air, a display case away, was a familiar looking pair of gloves. In all, I found 8 of my 9 entries. The first one we saw, the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole, was being heartily admired by a friendly woman. I told her it belonged to my mom, and we had a nice chat with her. My twisted mittens were the next to be spotted, with a pretty pink 4th place ribbon on them. The twisted hat merited a 1st place ribbon. Next on our route was the white stole, and then? Then began the hunt. There were four more items to find, and one of them had a ribbon on it. Somewhere, somehow, it had to be displayed. Right?

Almost. I found my Latvian mittens in a case far remote from the front wall, and my Rovaniemi mittens not that far from them. But I just could Not Spot two scarves. And one of them had a ribbon on it. So, I went back to the front to see what I could see.

I saw .... a Mystery. I had entered a scarf of Rowan KidSilk Haze in the mediumweight scarf category, and placed 3rd. I had entered a scarf of purple handspun in the lightweight scarf category, and didn't place. But what did my eyes see? A very familiar purple handspun scarf, with a 3rd place ribbon on it!

My best guess is the judges decided my handspun was more medium than lightweight, and moved it from a fingering-weight into a sport-weight category. The full tale will have to wait until I get my box back. But wow ... I placed, in a Very Competitive Category, with my wimpy handspun!!!

But in real life: I need to get some pictures taken of what I've been up to. Celestine Btoroj is done, the cable legwarmers have nearly every inch of 4 skeins used up and are waiting for me to order a 5th so I can finish the last 3 inches, and I'm working on another pair of Christmas socks. Mom and I are starting to plan next year's knitting. It's a good time to do that when you're inspired by gorgeous fair entries. Her sweater is going to be an Icelandic Yoke type, but in a fingering/sport weight yarn. Light blueish, with ??? for the yoke. And me? I need to get some more mittens going before I decide to start in on the Knit From Your Shelf a few months early.

Knitting in America is now on the shelf. Yum!!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vacation Tally

We're back from vacation, and the tally is 1.1 legwarmers and two complete pairs of socks. One sock is going to get some remedial work - it's been so long since I've made a sock, I did a standard bind-off and it's a bit tight for comfort. Wearable, definitely. But snug. Probably when I finish .9 legwarmers, I'll tackle the refinishing of the sock. Guaranteed not to involve hazardous fumes.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Latvian Dreams: the second pattern

This is what I was up to! (Cast on Friday afternoon, finished Saturday night. Complete with sleeping, laundry, meals, book releases, and other normal miscellany of life.)

I've decided that, rather than agonizing over which mittens to make from the book, I will work through them in sequence. There are over 50 graphs, so I will be busy for a while. And there are no colors, or photos, or bottom edge treatments given... so there is lots of room for the imagination.

I used to wonder what kind of insanity it took to do a three-color fringe. Why didn't anyone tell me what fun they were?

Friday, August 01, 2008

I love these moments

Any guesses what I'm up to?