Friday, October 28, 2011

Shakespeare Had It Right

The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together. -- All's Well that Ends Well, Act IV, sc. 3

Well, except for the "ill" part. Though my opinion about that may change when I get my credit card bill. My sister-in-law and I had a grand time at Webs. It was her first visit and I must say, I think she was suitably impressed. We had a good time shoving yarn at each other and saying things like "Look at this color!" "Feel this one!" and the ever-popular "Ooooh....."

And what did I bring home?

From Grandpa's Garage Sale section of the warehouse (where the absolutely cheapest stuff is), 10 skeins of this Louisa Harding Grace in Silk and Wool. Such a pretty color.

From the warehouse proper:

This pretty blue Noro Shirakaba. Also 10 skeins.

There were some lovely colors of this yarn. An intense deep bright pink. A gorgeous cobalt (but only 2 skeins of that one). A subtle and sea-like gray-green. But I thought this denim blue one would be the color I would get the most use out of as a shawl (at least, at the moment I'm thinking shawl).

Another Noro...this one is Aya. Again, 10 skeins.

I mean, look at these colors!!


And 12 skeins of some Jojoland Rhythm, probably for another shawl (at the moment I'm thinking entrelac stole sort of thing).

They had this in a number of different color combos. Including two variations (one brighter than the other) of combos of blues and yellows. But yellow can be a tough color to wear, so I went with the blue and tan/brown combo.

And then, from the full price part of the shop, this skein of Kangaroo Dyer's sock yarn in the Gerbera colorway.

Love those bright colors.

I also picked up one circular needle from their new line of Dreamz needles. Just for fun. And a Stephen West pattern, Spectra.

Ah...such fun.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Penny For Your Thoughts

So apparently there is some sort of wedding tradition that gives the bride a shiny new penny to put in her shoe. From a wedding trivia site:

"Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue, And a silver sixpence in your shoe".

This well known little rhyme originated during Victorian times and is still commonly practiced for good luck. Traditionally, the "old" would have been the garter of a happily married woman, with the thought being that her good fortune would be passed down along with it. The "new" stood for the couple's new bright and happy future together. "Something borrowed" was usually a much valued item from the bride's family. It symbolized prosperity within the new union, but would bring that good fortune only if it was returned to the family. "Something blue" came from an ancient tradition in which the bride would wear a blue ribbon in her hair as a symbol for fidelity. Placing a silver sixpence in the bride's shoe was to ensure wealth in the couple's life. Today brides often slip a penny inside their shoe before the ceremony in place of the difficult to acquire silver sixpence. As such, the rhyme is often adapted to "....And a lucky penny in your shoe".

I'd never heard of this before. But we have a young woman in our office (let's call her Dana) whose wedding is approaching. We will be having a little party for her. And this afternoon one of the women (let's call her Dena) who is planning the party came up to me.

"Do you think," she asked, "you would be able to knit a little penny bag for Dana?"

Now I had heard of dime bags but not penny bags, so Dena had to explain the tradition to me. "We'd like to have it for the wedding shower."

"Well, sure," I said, "I think I could do that. When's the party for her?"

"Tomorrow," said Dena.


But I came home and sat myself down and within about 45 minutes....

A little bag for the bride's lucky penny. (Her wedding colors are autumnal, so it's not a totally inappropriate color choice. I don't have any white sock yarn.)

I think it looks like something an absent-minded fairy might have left behind her when out gathering herbs one day.

We are back from a trip to Massachusetts where I got to see my baby. And my sister-in-law came to visit and we took her to Webs. We had quite a nice time there.

In fact, I may have had a little too good a time. Pictures tomorrow, perhaps.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Look Who Showed Up At Our House

We got home from work this afternoon and there was someone lurking in the plants on our front porch.

When he saw up walking up the front walk he jumped down and introduced himself. His name is Baldwin, though that seems somewhat ironic.

He has awfully pointy little teeth, but seems friendly enough.

Tomorrow he's going to work with me to meet Toothy Joe. I think they'll have lots in common.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I Think They Need To Revoke My Knitting Badge

It's been a week fraught with knitting disappointment. I mentioned that I had to rip out 18 rows or so of Mara? Well, last Tuesday I was off work and spent the afternoon at The Black Sheep. Too dispirited to pick up Mara, I decided to start a from a pretty pattern by Ann Kelly, who works at the shop. I had the first fews rows of plain knit done and started working the pattern stitch.'s a good thing Ann was at the shop because I worked at it and worked at it and worked at it. We finally figured out that I was looking at each of the ten repeats of the pattern separately and Ann had written the pattern to address the whole 100 stitches. That helped and I got the first eleven rows or so of the pattern done. Even worked a little on Mara.

The next day at work I pulled out the cowl at lunch time and headed into row 12, confident that I was on the right track. And it didn't work out. When I went to back out of the row, I dropped a bunch of stitches, including various decreases and yarn overs. It was a mess and there was nothing to do but rip it out. In disgust I put it aside and worked some more on Mara.

Over the next couple of days I tried the cowl again...about four times...and kept having problems. And each time I would set it aside and work on Mara.

Then, one day, when I was just about back to where I had been when I ripped out, I looked at Mara and saw....the same mistake that made me rip her out in the first place. I think what happened was that when I ripped out before I didn't got back quite far enough and didn't remove the error. So, after a day of taking deep breaths, I ripped her out again. And started knitting only to discover, a day and about 6 rows later, that I had miscentered the spine. Man, the language was blue.

Either I'm an idiot, or this pattern is just so simple that I'm going into auto-pilot and not paying enough attention. I prefer the second explanation.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Oh...Are You Still Here?

I'm still here...busily knitting away. Unfortunately, one of the things I'm knitting I want to be a surprise. So no progress photos. I just want to spring it on everyone as a finished object.

The other thing I'm working on is a shawl. And at the moment it's just miles and miles of garter stitch.

Row after row after row after row. But the yarn is yummy -- Madelinetosh Vintage in Cherry. It's a lovely purple-y red with the purple showing through now and then, as though the yarn is slightly rubbed. The shawl pattern is a simple one...all garter stitch with a border of two different ribbings. I think the finished project will be very Sundance-cataloguey.

It's a good thing the yarn is so nice because I had to rip out 18 rows this evening...that's over 2000 stitches. Ouch. But I couldn't live with the mistake and I think I would have screwed it up dropping the stitches down to fix it. Probably would have ended up ripping out anyway.

Have had a nice weekend so far. Today Mr. Pointy Sticks and I went over to Columbia to visit Daedalus and I managed to find some books to bring home. (Quelle étonnement!) And we stopped by my dad's and visited for a while, which was nice. We don't get over to that side of town often (well, except to go to work every day -- but that's a little late to visit) so it was fun to just drop in.

We came home and stopped at Bertucci's for dinner. We were relatively good and both just got salads with grilled chicken for dinner. Very yummy. And then we were not quite so good and split the dessert plate. To celebrate their 30th birthday, Bertucci's is offering this special dessert...a slice of lemon cake in a little pool of raspberry sauce, a slab of tiramisu sprinkled with cocoa and a piece of amazing chocolate cake topped with whipped cream. Oh my!! Incredibly good that it magically wiped out all the guilt as I ate it. The guilt came back later, but I biked extra hard to burn a few extra calories.

And since Mr. Pointy Sticks and I are taking Tuesday off, I look into the future this evening and it's like there's a whole 'nother weekend ahead of us. Don't know what we're going to do tomorrow...perhaps some yard work. But on Tuesday I plan to spend the day at the Black Sheep.

Now this is a weekend!!