Monday, May 25, 2009

Beautiful yarn + windfall free time = a cardigan front!

I've had a lovely Swinecation. I knit in the DMV waiting for my license renewal; I knit in the car on the way to Syracuse to pick up Raymond; I knit on the couch watching old episodes of TV shows on Hulu. It's been lovely.

After some other knitters weighed in, I went with my gut and knit a plain cardigan front. I'm pleased with the way it came out -- especially with the fact that it is EXACTLY the size I wanted it to be. My swatch, for once, did not lie. On to the back! Without a pretty lace panel, the back will be easier to knit but much more boring. Undaunted, I forge ahead! This is such beautiful yarn it just begs to be knit!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Guess whose school is canceled because of possible swine flu?

We're supposed to be continuing to "teach" our classes over the internet, but who are we kidding? I'm taking full advantage of the serendipitous free time to knit a swatch with the lovely birthday BFL. Even winding it on my new ball winder has been a treat!

This stuff is even prettier knitted up than in the skein! The color's called "harvest," and it really does remind me of beautiful, warm wheatfields.

I've got an idea in mind for a cardigan with a stripe of Barbara Walker's "Swiss Fan" lace down either side of the button band. I'm trying to decide whether to make it empire-ish waisted with a peplum, or just straight.

Opinions, anyone? I was all for the peplum, but now when I look at these sketches, I wonder if simplicity is better and will show off the lace pattern better.

Other recent activities have included tearing up my windowsill planters and laboriously spraying and washing each plant; I've been dealing with an infestation of mealybugs.

Now each plant is quarantined in its own little pot while I wait and see if the mealybugs come back. So far I've had to throw out about half of them. Poor plants! Stupid mealybugs!

Anyone have any suggestions? Everything I read online makes it sound like this is a really futile effort, but I am loath to throw these guys out because they've been my chance to prove that I'm not a total black thumb. I was seriously considering getting a box of ladybugs to eat the mealybugs, but then my plants are covered with ladybugs, and is that really any better?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Birthday treats

What a lovely boyfriend I have. Witness the delectable birthday fiber present.

By "lovely," I also mean "learning." He's been quite curious about the knitting obsession recently, asking a lot of questions. Though I am of course aware of the fascination knitting should hold for every human, I suspect that some of the curiosity was reconnaissance work for a birthday present. But, as he related a few days before the event, he walked into a yarn store to buy me a present and was totally intimidated and overwhelmed by the array of choices. Apparently he had no idea that both yarn and needles come in so many varieties. So after making a foolhardy attempt to appear suavely as if he belonged there, he made an embarrassed exit.

So, attempting to help him out, I said, "Well, if you are ever in that position again, I think that a few skeins of some really luxurious or unusual yarn that I wouldn't buy myself would be a nice gift. For example, I have been wanting to try some Bluefaced Leicester yarn for a while." Ah, he said, this was very helpful. He would have to remember that name.

Later, we were walking by a yarn shop, and he said, "what was that breed of sheep again? Blue something?"

So that night I decided I'd help him out again. I sent him a link to an online yarn store and wrote, "Here's an example of that kind of yarn I was talking about today. Isn't it pretty? I particularly like that amber color."

Obvious, right?

Later he told me that he read the email and thought, "hm." Then, later the next day, he thought, "Oh! Maybe I could buy her some of THAT yarn!" Then a few hours later, he realized, "Oh! She WANTS me to buy her that yarn!" What a cutie. Just goes to show that hinting around to dudes about what you want or what you are thinking is bootless. You gotta just tell 'em. But it's okay, because they'll probably think it was their idea.

The present arrived today, and it is glorious. Three skeins of Fleece Artist BFL 2/8 in "Harvest," "Twilight," and "Victoria" from coloursong. Each 250 grams and 1000 meters, so easily enough to make three sweaters in my size (though possibly with 3/4 sleeves). And sooo lovely and soft and saturated with jewel-like color! They came with this cute project bag:

Happy Birthday to me! And thanks, sweetie!