Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It’s Still Wednesday …

Since the cottage was going to be empty for more than a few days between my departure today and when the next human arrives, I had lots of little stuff to take care of today and ran out of time to blog. But I have authentic “as I started this Wednesday” footage of my knitting, so here you go.

My Manos möbius is excruciatingly close to finished. I’d say 60-65% of the attached I-cord bind-off is finished. But take a look at the bottom edge of the möbius in this picture:


Yeah. I’m out of yarn. Thankfully, the generous and talented CelticQueen has some of this very same yarn and is going to let me mooch what I need. Thanks, birthday girl! (her b-day is Thursday)

In other news, the Musique socks are getting some knitting time


Sock #2 is nearly to the point where I’ll begin arch increases. Yay!

I did manage to wedge a 90-minute walk into my day, and once again the pickings were pretty darn good. As cruddy as the weather was this week, it’s tempting to stay because there was so much good glass to find on the beach. Even with the Lake pretty high today, I still got some really good stuff


Some of the cooler pieces, quarter for scale



Yes, that's a badly-focused neck of a bottle. Probably a Coke bottle. Cool!

So that’s it for 2010 at Van Buren Point. Here’s hoping I get more time up there next year.

Fake-ation For the Win!

It’s been a good final stay at the Lake for 2010.


As you know, I got here Sunday night shortly after sunset.

On Monday, it rained for a good chunk of the day, and it was relatively cold out. I took a walk anyway.

I think it was “Top Gun” where Tom Cruise described a “target-rich environment,” just before she lost that lovin’ feelin’. That has pretty much described both of my walks on this trip as it pertains to beach glass.


Some of the highlights:



And a marble!


I woke up to some pretty heavy rain this morning, but it cleared up a bit this morning, and I zipped down to the beach for a few minutes. I finally remembered to take a couple pictures of the where I walk when I’m up here. I walk to Lake Erie State Park, which is where the tiny green patch and white dot are in the following photo


Can’t see it? I don’t know why not. But I’ll help you out a bit


Yeah. It takes me between 60-90 minutes to get there and about the same to get back. I’m guessing it’s about three miles one-way.

We had rain for good chunks of the morning, but things finished up around lunchtime. I went out and walked the whole way to the park and back. The weather was getting crazy on the walk back. Major wind and the Lake was getting much higher (rougher) as I walked. No matter. I still got an impressive amount of glass today.


The plan tomorrow is to wake up, take a walk then head down for Hurricane Knitters. Here’s hoping for good weather in the A of M.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

So Far, So Good

As planned, I left for the Lake shortly after the Steelers victory in Tampa Bay this afternoon. I didn’t make it in time for the “official” sunset, but as I was bringing stuff into the house from the car and getting settled, there were some great colors going on from the “afterglow” of the sunset.

Oh, and I remembered ALL of my power cord. Like I said. Progress.

Enjoy the photos.



And, about 10-15 minutes later …




As I was snapping away from a neighbor’s seawall, I kept noticing the beautiful reflection in the picture window. My shutter had to be open for so long, it was difficult to capture the image. This was the best I got.


I hate how early sunset is now (thank you, autumnal equinox!) but all in all it’s OK. Now I’m looking forward to a nice relaxing 2.5 days up here, finishing with Hurricane Knitters down in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Then it’s back to reality. Can’t wait for that, either!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Best Laid Plans …

Hi there!

I had all kinds of stuff I was going to share with you last week. Beach glass, a finished project, a great rainy day at the Lake, sunsets …


But first this happened


I left half of the power cord for my laptop right there, plugged in next to the loom. Oops.

My mom’s laptop was available for some basic internet usage while I was there Monday AM-Wednesday early afternoon, but any photo editing or downloading just wasn’t going to happen. I figured I’d catch up on Wednesday evening when I got home from the Lake.


I got home shortly after sunset. And this had happened


Wide view:


That’s parallel to our back fence, over the hill in our gully. We’ve called for estimates to get it cleaned up. Fortunately, if it falls between now and then, the worst thing it could take out is the actual fence. No biggie.

But the bigger deal was this


Don’t see the problem? How ‘bout this view of the same tree


Yeah, those are our power lines (and the power lines for Sydney's humans). Just below the large branch that's horizontal to the ground.

Our power was out when I got home on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (storm had gone through around 4:30 p.m.). We were still dark on Friday afternoon when the power company made it to our neighborhood and started chipping away at our problems. The second tree I showed you was taken care of by these guys


And we had power by around 8:45 p.m. on Friday night. Hooray!

We were fortunate that we had no actual property damage. Just about 52 hours in the dark. We lost the full contents of the fridge and it got a little toasty in the house, but otherwise no actual complaints. As I said to KnitN’at on Friday, the annoyance level was around 12, but the actual danger/damage level was zero. We were pretty fortunate, all things considered.

Meanwhile, we moved some furniture around and are test-driving a different room as our TV room. So far, so good!

I’m headed back up to the Lake Sunday evening. My last trip of the year.

I promise to take all of my power cord this time. You’re welcome.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Friday!

A week ago, I wandered into Bloomin’ Yarns for work and there were two boxes from Manos sitting there on the floor. I immediately saw a bundle of a new Manos base yarn, Maxima, and decided I’d call it George.

I had a class to teach, and while that was going on, a customer found a different color of the Maxima and bought half of it. On Saturday, Celtic Queen came in and bought three skeins of that same color, leaving just two in the store. I couldn’t leave them behind, sad and lonely.

Meet my Maxima


This base yarn is just lovely. It’s a single, and as soon as I touched it, I immediately though “Look out, Malabrigo. There’s a new kid on the block with better colors.”


This particular colorway is called Beehive. It’s 219 yards/skein, worsted weight and listed as 100% extrafine merino wool. As you saw on Wednesday, it jumped onto my needles right away. My möbius is coming along nicely, thanks!


Now I just need to resist the “original” George. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I would have had a nearly finished Imperial Stock Ranch shawl to show you, but when my KnitPicks cable separated last night, I accepted what had been obvious. It was gonna be too small on the needles I had picked. I’ll try it again in the semi-near future.

Meanwhile, after spending two full days last week warping the loom, I have one towel finished


And a second one in progress


And HOLY COW, do I ever need to work on getting a consistent beat. That’s the weaving version of a consistent tension, and it’s why you can see major differences in the fabric. In stripes. Oh well. These towels will still go out the door as gifts, and I’ll improve. They’ll dry dishes just fine even if they don’t look perfect.

When I ditched the Imperial shawl last night, I did what I should have done on Saturday when I started that. I cast on for a möbius.


I’m teaching the möbius cast-on Thursday night. The samples I had last time around went out the door as Christmas presents last December. It won’t be done in time for class, but hopefully it can give the students an idea of how this thing works.

And, on a final note, any ideas on how to make some chipmunks scram?


They make a gigantic mess on the front walk and I’m sick of them digging in this particular spot. And no, I haven’t tried a damn thing to make them go away.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fuzzy Feet!

If I remember correctly, I went through my inaugural Fuzzy Feet Stage prior to our last Christmas in California, which would have been 2006. Yes, I am too lazy to look it up. Why do you ask?

I was brand new to sock knitting and once I made it through the first pair, they were a cinch to churn out in quantity.

But what happens when, 3+ years later, you look across the TV room and see skin through the soles of both Fuzzy Feet being worn by the Hubster?

HOLES!!! (the scary part? He hadn’t noticed …)

Obviously, if he’s worn them enough to walk holes in the soles, he gets a new pair!

So I spent my entire Labor Day stay at the Lake knitting furiously with some Cascade 220 and US 10.5 needles. I finished the second Monster Sock around 11 a.m. on Monday and took them upstairs to felt. Oh, and why the urgency? We have a front-load washer at home, but an old school “standard” washer at the Lake. Labor Day weekend was the last time the ginormous ski feet and felting-friendly washer were going to be in the same place at the same time in 2010.

Pre-felting comparison.

Oh, he has wide feet too, so I cast on some extra stitches (for a count of 52), turned the heel over half of them and muddled through the rest of the numerical stuff without actually having to think about it. Yay, sock knitting experience! And yes, I knit the socks to 14.5” before starting the toe decreases to make sure they’d be long enough for Bigfoot post-felting.


The new ones are on the left. Old on the right. It’s amazing how fuzzy and thick the new ones are. We’ll see how well they wear.

And no, my recipient was unwilling to model, so you get some stunning still shots of slippers. Exciting, no?


Fuzzy Feet, Redux

Pattern: Fuzzy Feet by Theresa Vinson Stenersen
Source:, Winter 2002
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool
Colorway: Light and Medium Gray (#9401)
Yardage: Probably about 1.75 skeins. I used a fresh skein for each foot, so it's a little hard to tell for sure.
Needles: US 10.5/6.5mm 16” KA Switch
Started: 4 September 2010
Finished: 6 September 1010
Mods: I was knitting for Bigfoot, so I used 52 sts and extrapolated the appropriate numbers from there for the heel turn, gusset pick-up, etc. Knit to 14.5” before beginning the toe decreases.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Imperial Stock Ranch

Anybody who talked to me shortly after my field trip to the TNNA marketplace last June in Columbus, Ohio, got an earful about the yarn I was most excited about.

Imperial Stock Ranch is a 150 year-old family-owned ranch in the Oregon desert. They have all-natural practices and are relatively new to the hand knitting universe (Here’s a link to the ranch site, rather than the yarn branch linked above). Over the years, they have bred a unique type of sheep that thrives in their harsh climate. That’s the wool in the skeins below.


We purchased the ISR pencil roving for the store, along with pattern support for it. But I fell in love with the above yarn, their Columbia 2-ply in Spring Sage. It’s going to be my first Barbara Walker “Knitting from the Top” sweater. I honestly believe this yarn is going to shine in plain ‘ol stockingette.


I also indulged in the above skein to make a plain garter shawl. I can’t find the tag right now, but I’ll edit the colorway name in when I find it.


The yarn has a slightly “natural” feel to it, but is still plenty soft and I’m so excited to clear my needles and get to work with this yarn. I’ve been excited about it since June and there’s no reason to stop now, since it’s finally in my hot little hands.


Oh, and since this is a small family-owned company, there’s no having to buy a full bag of this and a full bag of that. I needed seven skeins (at 4 oz/220 yards/skein of 100% wool) of the green and one for the brown, and that’s all we had to order. Love it!


As soon as I finish a project or two that is currently on my needles, I’ll be knitting with this yarn. You can count on it.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Farmhouse Scarf

As I mentioned in last week’s WiP Wednesday post, I got home from The Mannings and was nearly desperate to get something on my very own loom. I needed to do the whole project process by myself, start to finish, to lock the info into my brain.

I started with a skein of Fannie’s Fingering Weight in Old Glory. It was a sock yarn skein I’d admired for a very long time. Did the same 3 yard warp length that I’d one for my class scarf, but when I had 120 ends measured (10” on-loom width), I looked at the cake of yarn I had left and decided “what the hell.”

I came a lot closer than I really should have to using the entire skein, but what the heck. I have a wide scarf that used the vast majority of the skein. I think that’s a win.


The varying chunks of darker color that you can see come primarily from the weft. I chose two skeins of JoJoLand Melody superwash sock yarn, which is a very subtle self-stripe in colors that complimented the Old Glory nicely.


In the darker chunks of fabric, that’s where the warp was more of a dominant red. Once the loom was warped, this scarf flew by. I tied the knots for the fringe at knit night a mere 72 hours after measuring the warp.


There was a minor fringe fail, which is why this scarf does not have a twisted fringe. I started weaving closer to the front edge of the warp than I thought. Once I trimmed the fringe to the longest possible even length, there wasn’t enough length to twist. So it’s au naturel.

Scarf was wet-finished with the first dollop out of my lifetime supply of Orvus Paste, then a bit of hair conditioner in the rinse. Spun out in the washer and air dryed on a rack at the bottom of my driveway. Took about 10 minutes to dry, since it was about 90 degrees outside at the end of last week.

At the end of the day, I learned stuff and still came away with something useful. Isn’t that what a first solo project should do?

Please pardon my skanky lightpost. Someday, I will re-paint that thing.

Farmhouse Scarf

Warp: Fannie’s Fingering Weight in Old Glory from Farmhouse Yarns
EPI: 12
Width on loom: 12”
Weft: Jojoland Melody
Pattern: plain tabby
Warp measured: 29 August 2010
Loom Warped: 30 August 2010
Weaving finished: 1 September 2010
Project Completed: 2 September 2010

I’m still figuring out what details should go in the “recap” for my weaving projects. Yell if you have questions!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Things in Progress

Yeah, titles for these WiP Wednesday posts are a struggle.

Oh, and keep in mind that the entirety of my weekend knitting time went into a now-finished project that you haven’t seen yet.

Daybreak is almost finished


It would be finished by now. But I ran out of the outer border color (the lavender) with about three rows to go, which meant I had to purchase another skein. It’s not the pattern’s fault. I changed yarn and had a feeling this was going to happen. But since I had to buy the extra yarn, hell if I’m gonna just do three rows and bind off. Stand by for a bigger-than-normal outer border.

Last night, I measured out warp for the next project on the loom.


Enough for probably 10 dishtowels, so this will keep me busy for quite a while. It’s 10/2 unmercerized cotton, 14” wide on the loom and eight yards long at 24 epi (ends per inch). I’m going to thread the loom for a twill pattern and I’ll have three treadling options for the towels. Kinda like these:


It’s actually one of the columns from the twill sampler we did in class. Not particularly creative, but it’ll work and holy warping practice, I’ll be an expert by the time this thing is done!