Thursday, September 20

Ummm.... Misc? Orts? Olio? Smorgasbord?

After reading that, you should have gathered that I don't really have anything major to show or tell.

There will be no pictures of progress or completion of needleworks for a while - not long, though. I managed to screw up my left shoulder, and it's rendered useless for a time. I can't lift my arm more than from hanging to about table/desk height. I tried knitting yesterday, and made it through a mere four rows before I had to quit. Even holding the needle stationary, and doing all the work with the right needle (and YOU try doing a psso that way!) was more than I could handle. I can't even wash dishes! Thank heaven I have the dishwasher for backup, even though I hate putting my good pots n pans in it, and my flatware says specifically NOT to.

I did not drown on Monday, nor yesterday. In fact, yesterday, while the rain was pretty steady, wasn't the overwhelming mess that Monday was. This nor'easter has been bringing these narrow, long bands of rain across the area. Monday, the airport registered 1/3" of rain for the same twelve hour period that dumped over EIGHT inches on my head, some 20 miles south of said airport. I live on a bit of a slope, and it was amusing to sit here in my office/studio and watch everything that wasn't tied down further up the street come racing past on the breast of the flow of water. It pretty well stayed in the street, though, and didn't even get close to the house. I have the cleanest gutters you ever saw! Tuesday brought little spits and spats of drops from time to time, but hardly noticeable here, though 20 miles south of here had my Monday. Yesterday was just a soggy mess - alternating between heavy and light rain, and the monsoon levels were further south yet. Today the sun is shining, and the whole world is 15 to 20 degrees cooler, and sparkley clean! The five day forecast shows temps remaining in the upper 70's, maybe making it to 81 at the max. Every year, usually a few days after the Equinox, we have a big nasty storm that breaks the summer heat, and ushers in the heavenly fall that starts the paradisiacal half of the year, and it would seem that it just arrived a bit early this year. Hooray! 'Course, there's still another month and a half of whirley season to go...

If you have somehow missed it, go now to the Yarn Harlot's tale of her adventures in the Big Easy. Some good writing there.

And finally, take Two Lumps.

Monday, September 17

Who's Kidding Who?

The Weather people, in all their wisdom, declared that there was a 40% chance of rain last night and today. Ha ha ha!

Shortly before midnight last night, I took out the trash and recycles to the curb, in readiness for the early morning (6:30 AM) pickups. Shortly afterward, it commenced to rain. It has been doing so with short breaks ever since, it now being 1PM Monday afternoon. The weather radar shows a band of bright red bordered by yellow not quite 20 miles thick, but a couple of hundred miles long, stretching east to west, moving east, and right over the heart of Jax. Looks like the projected nor'easter is developing well, lol!

Right around noon, the trash haulers finally arrived, and collected an extremely sodden mass of paper and cardboard, which didn't even go into the recycle truck; they just pitched everything, trash and recycles, into the landfill truck. At least it no longer decorates my curb - there are just the empties out there now, and there they will stay until this rain stops! I really wonder, though, why I bothered separating out the recycles, and sorting the recycles into paper, plastic, and glass. I can understand trashing the paper, but surely a bit of rainwater doesn't obviate the recyclability of plastic and glass!

So what did I do this weekend besides watch a lot of football and golf? Well, I spent a lot of time frogging and cussing at MS3, before putting it away until another, more propitious, day. I frogged and restitched on the Historic Country mystery sampler - and didn't quite finish the first motif, but I do love, love, love stitching on linen with the Dinky Dyes silk. Even if three of the four colors in this motif ARE variegated, and therefore must be done one stitch at a time, it's still a pleasure!

HCS - Progress #1

And I swatched away with the Tupelo Gold - and got 8.5 sts & 9 rows/inch on relaxed stockinette with 3.75mm needles. Close enough!

Tupelo Gold Pretty Swatch

Friday, September 14

Oh, My Achin' Hand

Here is the (almost) before picture of the Wooly Wonka Fibers 100% merino laceweight, in the Tupelo Gold colorway. There's 1400 yds of it there, between the skein and the ball. I *almost* remembered to take the before picture - which is why the ball is still so small - that's the point at which I *did* remember.

Tupelo Gold before

And here, many, *many* tiresome hours of hand winding later, is the completely wound yarn, all 1400 yds of it. I really did try to get it all onto one ball, but the thing became so unwieldy that I couldn't manage it properly. And OH, does my hand hurt! So, there are two balls, and I will undoubtedly have to join yarn at some point during the knitting of Bee Field. Ratz!

Tupelo Gold after

A ball winder is looming larger and larger on my wish list. Thank you, whatever drug company manufactured my generic ibuprofen.

Thursday, September 13

Belated Progress Reports

I know, it's not tomorrow. In fact, it's two days after tomorrow. I've really been meaning to join the Procrastinator's Club, but...

I confess I haven't been doing a great deal of stitching, being otherwise occupied with MS3, of which I am now on row 100 of Part Deux. It is going considerably faster, though, as I am not spending *nearly* the same amount of time frogging and tinking as I did the first time through. I'm getting good at 'reading' my knitting!

Back to the point - item the first, the hardanger piece. I have finished the Kloster blocks, and have only one pair of the satin stitch 'ships' to complete. Then it's time to switch to the #8 pearl, for the eyelets and the buttonhole border.
Here it is, without the annoying moire effect:

Hardanger progress

The "White Musings" band sampler. The first band is star stitch, done in all three fibers. The upright cross is in #8 Perle cotton, the wide saltire cross is 2 strands of DMC cotton floss, and the narrow saltire is fuzzy looking because it's fuzzy thread - Rainbow gallery 'Whisper', to be precise. All are white, and the fabric is 32 ct. Amsterdam Blue Lugana. The second band is the booooring three-sided "Two sided Italian" stitch, in the DMC cotton. It strikes me as being a great deal of unnecessary fussiness to do something that is indistinguishable from ordinary cross-stitch with backstitching on three sides. The band is completed with a second row of the same stitch done under the gaps in the first row. Very dull. The bands get better, though. Here it is:

White Musings #1

I'd show you the Historic Countries start, but...

I should have paid more attention to the chart, as I made an incorrect assumption regarding the motif I started on, a grouping of three styleized flowers on one stem, with leaves. I assumed that the three flowers were identical, and that each flower was symmetrical. Wrong. So I frogged the whole mess, and once again have a blank piece of fabric. I would have worked on it today, but...

Yesterday, the post person delivered a nice envelope from Wooly Wonka Fibers, which contained 1400 yards of lace-weight 100% merino in the Tupelo Gold colorway (which is mostly spring green, with odd lengths of yellow and aqua in it. Gorgeous stuff! I put it on the swift and plomped down in front of the TV at 1:30 this afternoon. After I wound off the first couple of hundred yards, (by *hand*, I'll have you know, as I don't yet have a winder) it occurred to me that I hadn't taken a picture of it for you, so I took it off the swift, retwisted it into a skein, and took a picture of skein and ball. Then I put it back on the swift, and started back on winding the ball. And I wound, and wound, and wound, and stopped to fix a quick dinner (cube steak sandwich), and wound and wound and wound some more. I gave up part of the way through Letterman (but did catch Viggo the Handsome in his marvy VanDyke and Handlebar!), and still have maybe 200 yds to do. I must say, though, that after this marathon, a measley 400 yds of sock yarn is going to be childs' play. And to think I was dreading it!

I think I'd rather have my teeth drilled sans novocaine.

Saturday, September 8

Fiberlicious Friday on Saturday

OK, I finally got my act together and took some pictures, helped enormously by the generosity of the post office delivery this week. All KINDS of goodies hit my mailbox! In no particular order:

From the magical dye pots of the Yarn Fairy - I almost don't want to show this yet, as the picture doesn't begin to do it justice, and I want to play around with different lighting to see if I can't get it better. The yarn is light worsted weight 100% wool, and we have named the color "Arterial Blood", which it is, even though this picture makes it look pink. Trust me, it's not.

Arterial blood

From the shelves of 1-2-3-Stitch, the home of all good things for the cross-stitch maniac, a fat half of Edinburgh linen, color Ivory, 36 ct.

Edinburgh 36 ct. linen

for use with...

DD1 and DD2

which are 29 skeins of Dinky-Dyes 6-strand silk. For those of you who count these things, you'll notice there are 30 skeins pictured. The 30th one is on the far right of the second picture, and is a 'limited edition' release to celebrate the 5th birthday of Dinky-Dyes as a commercial enterprise. It won't be used in the project using the other 29, which is the 12 months Historical Countries sampler being published in 'The Gift of Stitching' eMag. Just as a bit of lagniappe, there is a 'companion piece', one per month, which add up to a 12-piece stitcher's chatelaine.

And the final goodie, from the good folk at Amazon -

VLT book

I've only had time to skim the first quarter of this so far, but it's a fantastic book, I know already. It's in the same genre as those marvelous little volumes once written by English country vicars on the most abtruse of subjects, but in exhaustive and loving detail. Only this one has PICTURES, lots and lots of PRETTY pictures, and even charts and patterns, though they're almost an afterthought. Anything you wanted to know about the knitting of lace in Victorian England is in here, as far as I can tell.

This is now quite long enough, so I'll save the progress reports and pictures for tomorrow.

PS: Revenge is oh, so very sweet! Go Sooners! Oklahoma 44, Miami 13. PHFFFFTH!

Thursday, September 6

Goin' Mo-bile

This afternoon I went to the grocery store and bought bread and cereal. I went all by myself. I know, Big F****** Deal, I can hear you thinking. Well, it IS a big deal, because... I once again have a POWERCHAIR!

The lack thereof was really beginning to wear on me, making me more than somewhat depressed, which is why there has been no blogging. Until you've been there, you have no idea what being dependent on someone else, particularly when that someone else isn't too terribly enthusiastic about giving up what little free time he has in order to fetch and carry for Mom, does to a previously independent spirit. I have been trapped in the house for most of the past month, and am/was going stir-crazy.

This chair, however, is not the chair I've had for the past four years. That one has died - or at least its extremely expensive control "computer" chips have done, or that's what the repair guy thinks is maybe going on. He spent almost three weeks trying to figure it out, and finally confessed that it was beyond him. He felt so bad about it that he's selling me a new (to me, anyway, it's actually used) chair for a ridiculously low price, and he's taking it in small payments with no interest.

I am FREE! Cue the Who in the background...

On the needlework front - I have finished the first half of the symmetrical version of MS3, and am on row 91 of the second iteration of the first four clues. When I finish the second, it gets married to the first with a vertical panel of the doubled border. I will also knit a second one, with the symmetrical wings, which are utterly beautiful, but just can't be joined well with the abstract geometry of the rest of the stole.

I am also eagerly awaiting the delivery of the Tupelo Gold yarn and the pattern for Anne Hansen's "Bee Fields" stole. This is a yummy design, and the yarn is gorgeous. We're doing an informal Knit-Along for this one, on The Lacey Shawl group at Yahoo, and I'm already behind, as it started Monday and I'm still waiting for the yarn and pattern. Not the Other Anne's fault, as I couldn't pay for it until last Friday.

I'm also awaiting the arrival of a serious quantity of a yarn from Jennifer which we have dubbed the "Arterial Blood" yarn, as that is the color we were aiming for. This is for a Secret Project, about which you will learn more in due course.

I've also started the first couple of rows of a band sampler, and am currently working a band of something called "2-sided Italian stitch" which is both extremely boring and somewhat mis-named, as it actually has three stitched sides. There are two bands of this, one over 4 threads and one over 2. The over-4 band is first on the chart, and I just might somehow overlook the second band, I'm already so bored with this stitch, and I'm only about a quarter finished with the first band.

I've gotten more done on the Hardanger piece, as well - but haven't worked on it a great deal as the MS3 stole has been in the forefront.

Tomorrow, with a little bit of luck, there will be pictures.