Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Road to the Williamson Shawl

The road to the shawl has been entered upon.  I give you advance notice that this is the road TO the shawl ... it's not the road OF the shawl.  Here's what's been up since my last post:

  • The yarn for the shawl arrived.  
  • I knit a cabled, reversible cowl for my LYS and perhaps invented a new seaming technique.  
  • Skrå-trøje has grown a lot.  There are only 32 rows or so left on the back, and then it's sleeves and finishing!  (Finishing includes plackets at neck and cuffs, plus regrouping on the entire bottom hem.  It's nothing simple like mattress stitch.)  I'm getting pretty decent at purling with 2 colors, too.  
  • The yarn for Filius' Gotland Sohljul has been ordered.
  • Tea has been ordered.  I usually order from Adagio, but this time I decided to order from Harney and Sons.  
  • The downstairs has been rearranged (as of this morning) into a 'post-homeschooling', two computer set-up.  It's in flux, and will be in flux for quite some time.  I'm using a temporary desk found on Craigslist while I look for the Perfect Desk -- something more writing desky (but with a keyboard tray) than Huge Executive Hutch, but not so writing-desky that I can't run the house from it. 
  • The weather has been atrocious.  Last weekend, it was so chilly on the paper route that Filius asked for a pair of gloves.  Monday afternoon, I gave him the finished gloves.  Yesterday, it was 87 degrees.  Bleagh.  We seem to be heading into normal fall weather now, though.  (The gloves were a modification of a WWII glove pattern.  A fun knit which came out beautifully, thanks to swapping the pattern-specified size 1 needles and fingering-weight yarn for size 2 needles and sport-weight yarn.  I just don't DO 7.5 stitches/" with Brown Sheep Fingering unless I'm going for gauzy.  And who wants gauzy gloves for a Minnesota winter?
  • I made Spiced Chai Honey.  The recipe originated with Irene Wolansky and was published in the latest Mary Jane's Farm.  My mom was kind enough to flag it for me, and mmmmm, is it good!  Here's the recipe:

16 oz organic, raw, local honey
1 t cinnamon powder
¼ t clove powder
½ t cardamom powder
1 t ginger powder
Small pinch of ground black pepper

Mix everything together, and enjoy!  It's delicious on oatmeal, wheat berries, granola, yogurt, in tea, and probably many more places.  Good for sore throats, too, mixed with warm water and a squeeze of lemon juice.

I'm going to try to keep up with the weekly updates.  See you next week!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Posting and running ...

Picking up stitches that are going to become free

Ready to start reknitting!

A partial Skråtrøje, uncurled thanks to steaming. 

The Queen Susan, dangling in front of a fake fireplace

This is going to be a 'post and run'.  I uploaded the photos a few days ago, but haven't made the time to write and publish the blog.  Before this runs into next week, I want to hit that 'publish' button.  There are, after all, pretty photos. 

Sunday, I mended the cashmere hap shawl.  I think this is the 3rd time something in the edging has needed reknitting?  And that's only if you don't count reknitting the entire border AND edging due to an insufficienty of stitches.  Cashmere is a lovely yarn to work with, but it doesn't agree with household chores.  I need to make myself a normal hap shawl, I suppose. 

My Skråtrøje was in time out for a while, since it had an incredible amount of curl.  The nice, flat sweater bottom you see curled up so much that the right side of the fabric wasn't even visible.  Having to uncurl the sweater from the needles just to find the stitches to knit got annoying, so I stuck it aside.  Then I ran out of reasonable knitting (Sorry, Molly's Fault!) and decided to take the plunge and steam it.  The drawback would be that I'd have some REALLY lively yarn if I frogged it after steaming.  However, it behaved itself, so I'm knitting onwards.  The next row has the underarm bindoff.

Today, I received the yarn for the Williamson Shawl.  Ahhhhh.  Pictures next week, if I'm good.  Pictures of the Gotland Solhjul hats, too.  And maybe even the cowl I'm working on for my LYS. 

Time to run!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dusting off the blog

The Queen Susan, Minnesota State Fair 2013
It's been a long time since I wrote here, and much has changed.  I finished Fili'i first Christmas present, deemed it too short (despite making it longer than the pattern called for), and knit a second Christmas present, which he's not worn yet.  He likes the first one better, although it barely reaches his belt loops.  Filia has graduated from high school, worked her first job, and moved into the college dorms last month.  Filius has switched from being taught by me, and only me, to taking 15 credits at a local Christian college.

Wait ... does that mean I'm not homeschooling any more?  I think it might.

For two years, homeschooling has been a challenging mix of taking Filia to HER classes (at a local Christian college), while homeschooling Filius  Now, I still have taxi duty, but nothing to juggle.  The dawning gleam of delight in my eyes when I began to realize the implications of that fact would have caused my dear mum some concern, had she seen it.  But wait ... she did see it, and she knows me.  Three hours with no dishes, cooking, cleaning, e-mail, tidying, errands, yardwork, fitness endeavours ... it's a small slice of daily paradise.  Although, I suppose I could run errands in town, or walk/bike in town.  But why?!  Filius likes to run errands with me after his classes, and I can do fitness stuff at other times.  Like when I'm avoiding yardwork and tidying.

My library days have settled into a pattern. The first hour, I listen to an audiobook and knit on something boring - lately, the Swiss Cheese Scarf.  The second hour, I read.  I'm in a college library ... I can read anything!  Bonhoeffer's biography by Metaxas has finally been read in its entirety, and I finished The Once and Future King by TH White this week as well.  Next up is Murder on the Orient Express, because Filius requested I read that.  The third hour, I knit more.  Currently, I'm swatch-hatting (swatching hats?) for this year's Christmas sweater.  My circular gauge changes with diameter, so I need to make something at least hat-sized in order to get an accurate gauge ... and I end up with a hat!

My knitting has been somewhat humdrum of late.  I was all set to dive into a sweater and relish it, but the gauge and the yarn and the me didn't quite agree, so it went to Time Out while I cast about desperately for something that wasn't Molly's Fault.  After a long run of uninspired projects (ending with this Swiss Cheese scarf, I'm happy to say, and that may be done tomorrow), I resolved to listen to the siren call of The Williamson Stole.  And, after an e-mail exchange with Fleegle, and a poll on Facebook, I've decided to knit it in Soft Black, using redyed yarn leftover from The Queen Susan.  Ahhhhh.

Also on order are yarns for a replica of The Gotland Soljhul (you might need to be a Ravelry member to see that one.)  I'm not sure if replica is the right word.  I don't have the pattern, but am going to knit it from pictures, in a size to fit Filius.  And I'll make it three inches longer than the longest I think it needs to be, because it won't be as easy to lengthen as the ganseys were.  We've decided on dark blue and natural for the colors, but to complicate things I've ordered six skeins -- 3 dark blues and 3 naturals.

Thus much, the knitting.  (There is another article that I need to be writing about knitting, too ... due next month.  I *will* work on it tomorrow.)

And thus much, the first dusting off of the blog.  I'll definitely revive the tradition of weekly updates once I get going on The Williamson Stole, but that might not be until the sweater is done, and I don't even have the yarn samples to choose from to order the yarn for that yet.  It could be a while.  (Or maybe, I'll get the stole yarn and dive in, and knit the Christmas sweater second.  Couldn't possibly have them both going at the same time, could I?)