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May 29, 2007

Leaning Bellini

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I've been waylaid by high school graduation festivities, but will be back with the drawing soon! Your patience will be rewarded with a few extra goodies added to the drawing -- there will be at least THREE winners.

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers for good health go out to a handful of people I know who are dealing with illness or whose loved ones are facing challenging health issues. Peace.

May 22, 2007

Random Seven

Two people tagged me for this meme -- Jennie and Cheryl. I'm going to TRY be a good sport for a change.

Seven random things about me.

1. I hate matchy-matchy things. I like contrast. I like color, patterns and texture. It's taken me many years to realize this about myself. I especially enjoy colorful accessories against a very basic, neutral palette.

2. Clutter doesn't bother me, but I am intensely aware that it bothers others, so I try to do something about it in my own environment. If I were to visit your home, clutter would be a positive sign that we are likeminded.

3. Almost 4 years ago, a neighbor and I were becoming friends. I invited her over for lunch one day and she mocked me when I shared my excitement about learning to knit. I never spoke with her after that . . . but I did keep knitting.

4. I believe that nothing is more important than sharing somebody's excitement if they've made an effort to let you in on what they're truly passionate about.

5. I abuse adverbs when I write. I often re-read my blog posts and take them out. Even after I edit, there are usually way too many.

6. My biggest pet peeve are bloggers who fail to edit their posts when there are obvious grammatical or spelling errors. If a reader tells me about a spelling or grammar error, I'll correct it and thank them. :-) Strangely, enough, however, I don't think I've ever emailed a blogger about spelling or grammar errors. I leave them alone in their ignorance.

7. I avoid people who overshare, are close talkers, and are one-uppers. Lately I seem to have all three of these annoying qualities myself. Avoid me.

Just about everybody I regularly read has already done the Seven (or Eight) Random Things Meme. I'm supposed to tag seven people and it's proving to be tough to find somebody who hasn't done it already. So I'd like to challenge my readers to answer the Seven Random Things here in my comments (if you don't have a blog) or link to the one you've already done. From those who post a comment, your name will be placed in a drawing for this:

Laceweight Malabrigo
Malabrigo Laceweight Yarn - Sealing Wax

This is the same yarn I used to knit the Dragon Scale Scarf.

May 15, 2007

Discovery

I've figured it out. It's more difficult to write an exciting blog entry about knitting when there is no NEW knitting to show. Could it be that project monogamy influences my blogging habits? I used to be predictable about starting something new whenever the work-in-progress began to be a little less . . . exciting. Now I stick with it through the boring parts and am more blog-silent because of it.

However, the Garter Stitch Prairie Shawl continues to engage me. I'm at the point now where a row is over 170 stitches -- and still growing by 2 stitches every other row. And in spite of the craziness around here, I do have something delightful to share; it's a beautiful project bag made by Olga for an impromptu swap:

CHANEL Fabric Project Bag from Olga

It's large enough to carry at least one skein (but up to three skeins easily) of a sock-in-progress in addition to related supplies (needles, DPNs, even a knitting handbook if you need it). And she sells these cute commuter box bags in her Etsy shop. I love her touch of having the matching Swarovski crystals on the zipper pull. Thank you so much, Olga.

And the upcoming project I hinted at in my last entry? It's not the tank top, but the paper lanterns from Alterknits:

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These have been on my "must-knit-someday" list for a while but until last week, I didn't have the Shosenshi linen paper yarn or the Paper Moire from Habu. But thanks to somebody who graciously ventured into the Habu Textiles showroom for me, I now have exactly what I need to make the lanterns.

And following a theme that Elizabeth discovered a while back, I'm going to bury something important at the bottom of my entry. I decided that undertaking a podcast is too huge of a commitment right now. I don't have the time to listen to them, much less record my own. (Reality has set in). Instead, I'm going to indulge a different creative urge. I can't mention much or show you anything right now, but it involves Etsy, new domain registration and more. I'll give you more details on my birthday. I'm excited about it!

May 08, 2007

Spit Splicing

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

A few years ago, my friend Mariann told me about spit-splicing -- and today, I did it for the first time. Spit-splicing is done in order to create a continuous length of yarn and eliminate the need to join then weave in ends later. For my garter stitch shawl, it's the best method to use because I don't want to have a "wrong" side and I didn't want to join my yarn in the center of the shawl or on the ends if I could "splice" the yarn. I used Nancy Bush's method of actually putting the yarn in my mouth instead of spitting in to my hand -- it sounds gross, but it works.

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And there's been progress too. I'm on Row 138 of about 280 total rows. And it's so tough for me, but I'm going to stick with the one-project-at-a-time thing -- and right now, this is the one project. So forgive me if this is the last in-progress shot you'll see of this shawl. You can't get more boring than a dark, solid-color garter stitch that grows ever so slowly. However, this is also the time where I allow myself to consider what I'm knitting after I finish this, and since I've gotten the needles necessary (Addi Lace, Size 4) to continue another Cheryl Oberle shawl, that's my next "big" project to finish (or in this case, frog and re-knit).

By the way -- In each of the photos above, I've given you a peek at a future knit.

May 04, 2007

Garter Stitch

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Yarn: Cascade 220, Color #8267


After knitting laceweight Malabrigo on Size 3's, the Size 8 Addi Turbos that I'm using now feel like clubs -- but it's a nice change. I've been craving something simple, something that's just garter stitch throughout. It feels comfortable and common -- like this shawl will be when it's finished.

I was inspired by this, which is what I actually started before losing the love for it rather quickly. It was too dense and I wasn't looking forward to knitting the edging (although it's wonderful, I think it's too fiddly for what I wanted this shawl to represent). So I frogged and started the Garter Stitch Prairie Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's book, Folk Shawls. When this shawl is finished, I'll re-visit the other Cheryl Oberle shawl I've been working on.

I'll wear this garter stitch shawl, but ultimately I want to send it to a loved one.

May 01, 2007

Finished Dragon Scale Scarf

Finished Dragon Scale Scarf
Click photo for more details at Flickr