August 2008



olympic colors

Friday snuck up on me this week! These pictures are all from last Saturday evening, as the illuminated buildings replaced the sunlight.

1. Go read this. And this. And then e-mail or write to the HHS.

2. I went up to NYC this past weekend, to hang out with my parents. And I finally managed to get myself to the Yarn Tree. (This requires being in Brooklyn on a not-Friday with some extra time.) I have to say, that was perhaps the second-nicest yarn/fiber store I’ve been to so far (after Shuttles in Boulderish, though I may be shorting NEFA a bit because I didn’t really know what I was doing when I went there). So many kinds of fiber I hadn’t seen (or noticed, at least) yet! Lots of colors of basic wools! And, not least, a table and chairs in the middle of the fiber/spinning room, so my parents didn’t get impatient. They actually seemed interested in some of the things with odder names or appearances, like the silk cocoons and silk hankies, and they agreed with me that the Kundert spindles were very pretty.

I had planned to buy very little–maybe an ounce or two of some unusual fiber that I hadn’t tried before, but nothing much. Instead, I, um, bought a lot. Including a spindle.

recent acquisitions

I had been thinking I wanted a new spindle that was heavier than the two Bosworth Midis that I’ve had for three years. This isn’t that (it’s 1.2 oz, between the 1.0 and 1.3 of the Midis), but I love it.

The fiber that’s already on it is the targhee I bought.  (Also YUM.)  I haven’t yet tried the silver baby alpaca or the merino/yak or the masham, but I’m looking forward to them. And that beautiful merino/tencel on the left is from JulieSpins (jsandell on Ravelry); it just happened to show up on my desk yesterday.




You’ve probably noticed this already, but I love bright, saturated reds, yellows, and oranges. These are from Locust Street, when I took a field trip to Rosie’s on Wednesday in search of buttons.



In South Philly last night.

finished MWSI socks aurora headband #2

IMG_0332.JPG DSCN7619

DSCN5904.JPG swallowtail, Saturday morning

An awful lot of what I knit is lace.  The knitted objects that see the most use are lace (the green headband, the flower basket shawl, and the diamond fantasy shawl).  More than half of my (ridiculously long) queue on Ravelry is tagged with ‘lace’.

Nothing wrong with that.

The socks that ate June and July (knitting-wise) are not only done, they’ve arrived at their new home.  (Yippee!) These are the finished-object pictures I took before I packed them up.

finished MWSI socks

mwsi socks with audience

(Mel wanted to know what on earth I was doing.)

The yarn I used is Henry’s Attic’s merino/bamboo (Zahar Fingering), which is on the skinny side of fingering weight. I dyed it for these socks, and I picked the yarn because my swap partner lives in Baton Rouge–I figured she’d get more use out of socks that weren’t quite as warm as 100% wool. I was all panicky about whether I’d be able to get a pair of socks out of 4oz of yarn, but it turned out that I had a lot left over, possibly enough for a third sock. Plenty for darning, I suppose, since I sent it on with the socks. I mostly used the Baudelaire pattern, but I skipped the cables up the sides, since the socks were on the snug side, and I added an extra pair of stitches to the gusset/heel/back leg of the second sock, to deepen the heel and make the leg less tight. I also knit the back leg plain after the heel until I’d gotten through a pattern repeat on the front.

Things I have learned: If I’m going to sign myself up for deadline knitting, I should try to pick something faster than a pair of patterned socks with really skinny yarn.  (I should point out that I like knitting socks for me in sport-weight yarn, on 3.25mm needles rather than 2.5mm.)  I should also try to do my deadline knitting when I don’t have big work deadlines.  And, well, I should remember that I usually spread out the knitting of a pair of socks over several months, with lots of other things interspersed.

I’m just lucky that my swap partner doesn’t seem to have minded the extra month she had to wait to get her socks.  I think it helped that it was a non-anonymous, reciprocal swap; we’ve been chatting back and forth about music and cats and sock progress, so she knew I wasn’t going to disappear.  And she seems to really like the socks, so all is well.  I’m enjoying the freedom to knit other things without feeling guilty.

My local library needs to have more weekend hours. 

I dropped off three books this morning, and the book drop was really more of a book ‘fling to the back of the pile’, since the stack of books and DVDs and things reached the level of the slot.

Still, I’m extremely glad they installed the book drop (like a giant mailbox, across the sidewalk from the library) a few months ago.

(The books I returned: The White Dog Cafe Cookbook, which did not include the one recipe I really wanted; Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, and Jack of Fables, vol. 1.)



From my walk home on Wednesday.


I have finished the swap socks and will post pictures once they’ve been received. (*gigantic sigh of relief*) Now, because I am insane, I need to start planning the yarn and fiber for a spinning swap.

I had enough downtime (and enough let’s-hang-out-and-chat time) over the weekend, both in airports and in Bloomington, that I accomplished rather a lot.  I’m so glad I’ve found ways to make fidgeting into beautiful things.

This is a Swallowtail Shawl, for which I’m using my handspun corriedale/silk.

swallowtail, Saturday morning


The sparkle doesn’t quite show up in these pictures, but this is a wonderful project to work on in the sun–I found myself leaning forward so that my knitting was in the sun while I was sitting on a shady bench.  I’m glad the main pattern is so simple–having it memorized made it much easier to knit on the shuttle and in various parks.

And this is my weekend’s (even more) mindless knitting: another headband, knit out of the yarn left from the first one.

aurora headband #2

It’s sort of shocking how fast I can knit through each repeat with such narrow rows.

I might’ve finished the headband by now, but I spent a fair amount of time spinning:


I bought a couple of Abby‘s batts from Amy a while ago, and had been waiting until I cleared off one of my spindles to start them.  I started this in the airport on the way out, and spun all over the place (nearly any place where I spent more than a few minutes awake, except the train platforms, saw at least a bit of spinning).  A couple of people seemed to think I was weaving, a few people were simply fascinated and wanted to know what on earth I was doing, and a few people recognized spinning as such.  (Mostly, those latter were people who knew other spinners and had maybe attempted to learn, themselves.)  Mmm, Abby batts.

The fibery (and flowery, as in the last post) bits were by no means the only good bits of my weekend, but good they definitely were.



(Okay, so these are pre-Bloomington. Still, clouds are scenic.)





Near the hotel where I stayed, there’s a median strip area that’s been turned into a water-purifying park that’s planted with native species.  It’s probably the prettiest median I’ve ever seen, and I loved having a park that close to the hotel, since I didn’t have a car.  There were other parks with nice benches convenient to the farmers’ market, where I ate brunch on Saturday and spun and knit in the sun.  I’d say Bloomington seemed like a more bikeable city than a walkable one, but it was pretty walkable, nonetheless.)

quite the decoration

I got a kick out of the school loyalty implied here.

Sunday morning

This is from Sunday morning, while I was sitting in the park by the hotels, waiting to carpool farther than I felt like walking.

I did a bunch of knitting and spinning, both in Bloomington and in transit; I’ll post about that tomorrow.

Combination of Eye Candy Friday and One Local Summer, since I’m on my way to a wedding in Indiana, that is.

my new favorite sandwich

and a variation

It’s sorta borderline as a local meal, since I doubt Metropolitan buys its flour locally, but the bread as an object is local, as are the chevre, the cucumber, and the pepper, and the hot sauce is semi-local, courtesy of my dad. And it’s my new favorite sandwich, especially when eaten at home so I can toast the bread before topping it. Yum.

Happy, weekend, everyone!