Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Am No Longer Big Tuna

I shall now be known as Big Haircut.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random Wednesday

It’s been a bit of a nothing week here in Texas.

  1. - I spent more time than I would like to admit admiring the Witch’s Stockings Kit on Sanguine Gryphon before they ran out. I adore striped stockings, and when you add Bugga to the mix I become almost obsessive in my admiration. I’ve bought too much yarn in the last two months though, so no Witch’s Stockings for me. Being Responsible is stupid.

- I tried to wrangle my office into a neater version of itself so I would be able to work in there, but it’s still a mess. Now I’m focused on wanting these shelves from IKEA. I would be so neat and tidy if I only had those shelves.

  1. - Doing the final seaming on a baby gift for a friend whose new lady arrived a few weeks ahead of schedule, and I’m disappointed in myself for not altering the pattern the way I considered. I said to myself, “Self, there’s no reason NOT to knit it the way the pattern was written, and it will look just as good when you’re finished!”

    - Nope. Once again I should have listened to the slightly snotty overconfident voice in my head who told me that my way was better. Now I’m just debating pulling the whole thing out and starting over. But am I that much of a perfectionist? I strive to avoid perfectionism in my life - that way lies madness.

    1. - Have not finished a single thing yet this month, i.e. nothing to turn in for the HPKCHC, which is ridiculous because it is quite possibly the best set of classes I’ve ever seen.

    1. - At least I am working on a pattern and liking what I’m getting. I’ve also had two other ideas spring to life while I’ve been knitting.

    1. - I wish the whole process was faster. Is it me or do other designers have patterns coming out every other week? Or does it seem that way to me because they are all one Internet Entity and their new pattern launches all fill in each other’s gaps?

    1. - I really need to go buy some buttons.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Unintentional Rainbow

I finally got my latest shipment of Socks that Rock yesterday. It was a long time coming, but honestly, I’m happy to wait, and I’ve ordered enough from them to know that you want to go ahead and order the yarn about 3 weeks before you want to have it.

And of course, it’s always worth the wait.

The five skeins on the right are all heavyweight and are presents for my two best girls (who are both expecting and are due 3 weeks apart!) The Cozy, Fierce, and Dirty Orange and the What’s Up, Buttercup? are for this giraffe from Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Toys. I’m going to follow all of the shaping instructions (because there is not a cuter giraffe out there) but change the construction order, and I’m planning on picking up stitches and connecting things as I go, a la Ysolda’s Sophie. The three skeins of Nodding Violet are for a baby blanket for a wee gentleman who should be making an appearance in January.

At the far left we have True Blood Red and Princess Plummy, and at the top, Downpour, which was the only skein that didn’t fit in the rainbow. All are lightweight. They represent me trying to open up my horizons a little and knit with more solid colored sock yarns. As I’m working on designing, I’m realizing that if you’re going to do any kind of patterning it’s important to have solid colors so that people can see what the heck you are knitting.

In all honesty, from the second that True Blood Red came out I deeply coveted it, and there is still a better than even chance that I shall order it in Gaea or Woobu to knit my Traveling Sweater. I have the pattern, just . . . no time.

Sigh. Don’t you just love new yarn?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Some Things Stay the Same

Well, I’ve been back in Texas for nearly a week, but have to admit I’m still thinking of home. I had a truly wonderful visit; it turned out to be the perfect time of year and I’m so glad I got to see so many people and do so many things.

After the Waterford Fair, (during which I got to meet my new little cousin from the previous post) my family went down to Lake Anna, VA. When I was a kid my Grandmother and Grandaddy had a house on the lake there, and we used to go all of the time. They both died a long time ago, and I hadn’t been to the house, (which is now my aunt and uncle’s) in probably 15 years.

It was pretty great. It was a little bittersweet, of course, to see the changes in the place since I was little, but really it was great to see that it was in such good shape and so well loved by my aunt and uncle and their kids and grandkids.

They took us out on the boat, and it turned out to be a very quiet weekend with very few other people on the lake at all. In the afternoon we mostly sad on the porch and talked. It was pretty great.

Something that was especially wonderful was seeing the old dock next door. This was on the property next to Grandaddy’s, but we had the permission of the owners to use it and we used to fish and jump off the end of the dock. We liked this place the best because it had a sandy beach for swimming. I can’t tell you how strange it felt to see it again. This dock was a huge part of my childhood, but I hadn’t seen it in over 15 years and I never expected to see it again. But it was still there. Had been there, the whole time.

The next morning when I woke up it was just barely light out and there was all kinds of mist sitting on top of the lake in the cold morning air. Mom and I went for a walk and took photos. It was absolutely beautiful.

One of us got sunburned out on the boat. Me, of course. My pale Northern European forebears trying to tell me that just because it was cool out didn’t mean the sun wasn’t shining and for pity’s sake to put on a hat!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Babies Babies Babies

I am surrounded by small humans these days, or those who are about to produce small humans. Much of my free knitting time is taken up by knitting for the wee ones. Fortunately I love small humans with their little alien heads, big eyes, and perfect fingers.

My latest finished project includes the Baby Surprise Jacket, Stella's Pixie Hat, and Christine's Baby Booties.

My new little cousin Emma was unimpressed, but her mom seemed to like them, so I call it a win!


I know I'm a dork for not blogging sooner, but the truth is that I've been running around like crazy and swatching, swatching, swatching. I don't understand why when I want to make something off the cuff it happens so effortlessly, but when I start thinking about making it reproducible and fun for other people to knit, it gets all complex and time consuming.

The good news is that I'm swatching with a delicious yarn with some cashmere in it, so I'm happy to keep it up. Also, all of the Castle is helping.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Waterford Fair 2010

Oh, how I hope that 2010 becomes a necessary entry for this title.

Even before we moved to Waterford our family came to the fair. It’s always the first full weekend in October, and it’s one of the biggest craft fairs on the East Coast. I think it’s also one of the best.

One of the things that makes it so special is the high calibre of crafts sold here - beautiful white oak baskets, delicate sterling silver jewelry, handwoven shawls, and gorgeous original Primitive style art work. It was only with this visit I traced the origins of my love of Primitive.

Of course, the Fair wouldn’t be the Fair if it weren’t in Waterford.

Waterford is an 18th century village which has been surprisingly well preserved, due in large part to their draconian Association. They are the recipients of much criticism - some of which is merited - but no one can deny that without them the village would be much different than it is today.

It’s filled with beautiful old houses:

The Historic Old Mill:

The Old School:

And the Country Store:

On Fair Day there are performers:

Craftsmen demonstrating their wares:

And Fair Food:

As always I had a nose for the fiber and bought about 550 yards of this beautiful handspun and hand-dyed yarn:

It's 70/30 wool/angora. The bunny's name was Marilla, and I might be just thinking about that apple above, but I think it wants to be some beautiful, lofty, appley scarf for modern day Anne Shirleys to wrap around their throats on the way to the orchard, or the metro.

I also bought a beautiful handmade leather journal with graph(!) paper inside. I will be getting a lot of mileage out of that.

I'm so glad I got ot come home - it's my first fair in 9 years. Now if I could just come home for Maryland Sheep & Wool in May, I really would be the girl who had everything!