On a Saturday, M and I can often be found with friends touring around Amador County here in California wine tasting. Many times I drove us (I’m almost always one of the designated drivers) by the Amador Flower Farm with over 1000 (!) varieties of…
In late 2006 I knit a Landscape shawl by Evelyn A. Clark out of fingering weight Cherry Tree Hill Yarn Supersock Merino. It turned out really well, but I didn’t wear it much. I work in a lab not a office, so full size shawls are not really work friendly, and I live in an increasingly warm climate. But I’ve worn it out when in San Francisco, and I almost always get a compliment on it.
So, when I had quite a bit of Classic Elite Classic Silk to make a summer wrap for chilly evenings on the patio, I turned to this pattern again. Classic Silk has great stitch definition, so I thought the different texture stitches of the pattern would work well. So far, I am pleased with the result.
I hustled up and got to the start of the stockinette section today.
And speaking of landscapes, here’s how our front lawn “landscape” is changing from thirsty grass to more drought tolerant plants. Mom wants to see!
The vast majority were put in last autumn, which is the perfect time to plant here, but some are blooming at the wrong time, so I think they haven’t quite gotten the hang of the seasons yet.
Well, I am off to knit another row.
First, WordPress offered an update to my theme, so M had me install it, and then I couldn’t find the yarn picture, so I put in the pretty photo of blooming Ceanothus you see above, as it is one of my favorite native California plants. It’s called California lilac, but it isn’t related to real lilacs at all; the flowers are just blue and purple. We put a small shrub of Ceanothus in our yard. It’s about 10 inches tall and wide. It’ll be a while until I get blooms like the photo.
In knitting news, after months of mostly monogamous knitting, I finished the Manaan cowl (still waiting to be blocked and photographed), and then I went a little berserk casting on. Back in November, Kym, of Stepping Away from the Edge, showed off her progress on her Tinder cardigan, and I was smitten. Jared Flood designed Tinder, and I’ve knit a couple of his other patterns with great enjoyment and success, so I took a look at it on Ravelry. When I saw it had a stand-up collar (my hair is very short, so my neck is bare), I knew I had to knit it. Much as I want to do some knitting with Shelter, Jared’s yarn and the yarn the pattern calls for, I want even more to use up some of my stash. So I cast on in some midnight blue Cascade 220 heather, after getting gauge, and I’m almost done with the back.
Part of my plan, to keep the WIPs from getting out of hand, is to have this sweater, at least the knitting of the five main pieces, done by the end of April. That sounds like a long time, but I seldom have time to get more than three large projects done a year, so 4 months is about right.
Another part of my plan is to knit quite a few hats this year for myself, my brother Thomas and M. I thought I had 1-2 skeins of Lamb’s Pride Bulky left over in raspberry from knitting a vest. So I thought I’d knit a hat. I have 8 skeins left. More than a hat. A chill in the room, a determination to use up some yarn that has been sitting around for ages, and the opportunity to start right in without a swatch, had me casting on for a Unique Melody wrap by Rose Beck.
It’s knit on the bias, and I stopped expanding the candle flame motif at four. Now I can knit until I have a little over one skein left and then decrease back down to a point. It’s an easy knit, the single ply yarn works well in the candle flame pattern, and it will be snuggly. We’ll see how long it gets, but I should at least be able to wrap it around my shoulders and pin it in front.
Then, when going out, I put on a loden green Geiger (Austrian boiled wool) jacket my mom had given me. Her mom had given it to her years ago, and my mom didn’t really wear it. It appears new. For our winter climate here, it is the perfect weight for a sunny, winter day. And I happened to have some very old, beautiful, but hard to knit with, multi-colored, single-ply, thick-and-thin yarn (basically all the characteristics of yarn that attract a newbie knitter but drive an experienced knitter crazy). The green in the yarn was a good match with the jacket, being just a shade lighter “on the paint chip.” I cast on a feather and fan scarf using the recipe by Jo Sharp in Scarf Style for Misty Garden. It’s going to be a keeper because I refuse to rip this yarn ever again. I have 300 yd, and then I’m done. And I shall never buy a multi-colored, thick-and-thin, single-ply yarn again. You can quote me on that.
Finally, I cast on a failure. I love the Pinctada cowl by Angela Button of stringkitty, but it absolutely does not work in this Wagtail 100% mohair yarn (the green is part of a provisional cast-on).
The yarn has NO bounce or elasticity–not surprising being mohair. It’s so soft and pretty-shiny even-but hell to knit with. But I’m determined I’ll find a way to use it. I have an idea, but that will be another post.
So there you have it. Three new WIPs to become FOs, and one to be ripped. But I do plan to knit at least three large projects this year, AND to use up some of my smaller amounts of stashed yarn, especially knitting hats.
Stay tuned and happy knitting.
Saturday, November 10, was my birthday. I had a great day! M and I went on an excursion so I could buy this red wool coat. I love the red, however, almost none of my hand knitted accessories coordinated, as my other jackets are all in the fuchsia-plum color family. So I cast-on some Impressionist Sky Malabrigo sock yarn to knit the Cherry Lane Cowl. They also had the coat in black, and then all my current accessories would have worked, but what would be the fun in that?
One of the birthday presents M gave me is two skeins of Elsa Wool woolen spun fingering weight. It’s 100% Cormo wool (a first for me). For these two skeins the sheep lived in Montana (some of her sheep live in Colorado). It is the natural white wool color, and I think it will make a smashing wrap. M said he had a great shopping experience with Elsa; she seemed like a “very nice lady.”
Attached to the yarn is a copper shawl pin given to me by my friend Elsie. Elsie knows I have a copper bracelet I love to wear, and I think the maple leaf is so delicate and pretty. She bought it at Sterling Simplicity on Etsy. Luckily I have other shawls the copper will look good with, so I don’t have to wait until I get this yarn knit up to use it.
On our shopping expedition to buy the coat, while I was driving, M spied what looked like a place that sells pots for plantings. On the way back, we managed to exit the interstate at the right exit to get there without trouble, and the number of pots was huge! Standing in the middle of the place, looking one way there was this:
And then turning 180 degrees, there was this:
Not to mention what was in the other two directions. There had to be 2-3 acres of pots. We picked out one in a gorgeous green glaze with a hexagonal opening. The photo with me shows the pot’s color best, but I look like a vampire about to burst into flames in the sunlight. With M you can see it’s a pretty sizable pot. We didn’t realize that until we got home. Although it was mid-size there, it’s the biggest pot we have, and we thought it would be smaller than several of our containers. Ooops! But it will work out fine.
I think this photo illustrates why ladies at the Clinique counters I’ve visited over the years always say, “You are very pale.” And then they tell me I can’t wear any interesting colors of make-up without looking like a clown. *sigh*
Anyway, M made his famous French onion soup for my birthday dinner followed by hot fudge sundaes with home made hot fudge sauce and Spanish peanuts. Much tastier than the peanut buster parfait. It was a great day, and I got yarn!