Wednesday, January 31, 2007

mongol warrior

Howdy Nancy,
There's lots going on.
First, here's what my haircut looks like:
Next, here's what the haircut looks like under the Elizabeth Zimmerman Maltese Fisherman's Hat:

I love lots of things about the hat and will probably hardly ever wear it.
LOVE: the tassel. It's the best. It's got a little tassel hard-on, that's what I like about it.
LOVE: the fabric: thick, warm, soft, three strands - two of the ancient Reynolds "St. Tropez" silk mohair and one of a Noro wool/silk blend (where did that ball band go?). Five to six stitches every 2 inches. Fat.
LOVE: the complete weirdness of it. You start with the flap in the back, and as I did the short rows, it turned into the perfect shape for the front of a cute tank top I could design for Christy some day. Tuck that away for future reference. It's just an odd Elizabeth Zimmerman unvention and that's why I love it.
LOVE: it's WARM.

HATE: that it makes me look like a mongol warrior.
HATE: that it tends to ride up on my head a little and the flaps bag out and let the wind in. I discovered this when I tried to wear it ice skating.

(Check out Flathead Lake.
It is frozen at Somers Bay so thick and clear straight through. In a shallow area I watched tiny fish dart about as they heard me on the ice above.)

HATE: that the two strands of St. Tropez are the wrong color for the Noro and the Noro gets lost in there. Too bad, and that was my poor judgment.

So, well, the hat is a good learning experience, and I might wear it someday. Can you think of anyone who would appreciate it? Would the dude with the tiny tripod wear it?

But I do like the fabric that I made on this project, and since there is a lot of that Reynolds St. Tropez hanging around in my stash, and I got some Lamb's Pride wool/mohair at the last yarn swap, I've been swatching:

Remember when Cheryl Oberle showed us how to make multicolored yarn at that Knitter's Camp way back when? Heh heh heh. I think I'm going to make a nice warm hat - with earflaps but not a mongol flap - and a pair of mittens that I can wear ice skating. So I'd better start cutting and knotting my yarn.
And by the way, how's Jim's scarf coming along? Is it keeping him warm yet? Love you, Mary

Saturday, January 27, 2007

But that wasn't the dare...

Wait wait wait a second, hold on now. I commented that I would like to see you looking like Woody Woodpecker. But the picture you posted is not like that, it's pretty much your usual haircut. And you look a little coy, a la Princess Di, but that's another story.

And for some reason my compose toolbar has disappeared and I can't get it back. I've checked all the usual suspects (got the right browser, the "compose tools" button is "ON" in the settings menu.) I am at a loss and don't know the code to insert pictures etc. as blogger usually makes it very easy to do this. RATS! I'll keep working on it and soon I'll be posting pictures again.

Meanwhile, yes you posted a picture, but it's not a ROOSTER picture. Was Woody a rooster or what? luv, Mary

Thursday, January 25, 2007

High Hair


I take your dare.

And this in spite of the lovely case of pink eye that I claim I caught from the cutest little girl in our office the other day.

Yes I am taking drops for it.

The hair is higher in the morning. The first day everyone talked about it but I toned it down and now no one notices.

All I do is wash it and then comb it backwards from its normal flop down in front attitude and I can make it stand up straight. This is the way I usually wear it now. Not up straight. Too embarassing for a 58 year old.

OK, Now show me yours.



Wednesday, January 24, 2007

O Brother Where Art Thou OR Dude with a Tiny Tripod

Dear Sibling (you know who you are),

It was during the Thanksgiving visit that you ooo'ed and ahh'ed over the miniscule tripod I'd snagged for a mere $2.95 at the Amish store in St. Ignatius. And I listened to you when you begged, pleaded, and cajoled, saying you needed that tiny tripod when you went running and brought your camera along to take pictures. And how many pictures you would then send me, if only you had the tiny tripod! And I believed you, just as I believed you in third grade when you said you were going home from the Audubon School Carnival early and you'd carry the cake I won in the cake walk home for me. The last I saw of that cake were the tell-tale crumbs on your face.

So I ask, how many pictures has anybody received since then? Huh? Huh? Not one measly one.
This calls for extreme measures. Extortion. Blackmail. A picture of your adopted child indulging in his (or her, I forget) strange habits, taken by the paraparrazzi, perhaps? Nyah ha ha (that's Snidely Whiplash, you fool), then extortion, it is...

Take that, you! Your Loving Sister, Mary

Monday, January 22, 2007

Knitting and one other thing

Dear Nancy

Yess, I want to try the mitten recipe. And right now I'm making a hat that will need mittens to go with it.

I knit at Knit 'N Needle today - here's what the space looks like:

except it was crowded with 3 knitters and Aimee, who owns the shop. One of the knitters was finishing her first-ever project: a hat. And all of us got excited about it.

Anyway, I'm knitting the Maltese Fisherman's Hat from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac. It's a goofy looking hat - maybe that's why I like it. I'm using up some of the silk-mohair stuff you bought eons ago on sale from Lee Ward's, mixed in with some Noro. They're nice and soft and FAT together, between 5 and 6 stitches for every TWO inches. That's fat.

I did a bunch of other errands today, and one other thing. Here's Amanda with a clue:

Lots of love, Mary

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Double Knit mittens

OK, You asked for it.

After I posted about them in December I read my entire Beverly Royce folder on Double Knitting. It is fascinating reading. Then I went and looked to see if it was available as something more than the typewritten pages in a purple folder that I had purchased from her back in the 80's when I was double knitting.

It had been, but was now out of print. (By E. Zimmerman's Schoolhouse Press of course). So I looked it up on eBay. OMG anyone got 70 bucks for it? Guess I will freeze onto my purple folder.

Anyway I found my old pattern from the Knitting Camp days and this is it more or less. I used to teach it at Ram Wools. It is a fast fun mitten. I also found a pair of mittens I made with this pattern (cheap acrylic yarn). I will email you the directions I use. Maybe you can test the pattern for me and we can see if it is understandable as written. I didn't have to worry about that so much when I was there teaching the class.
PS It is also very easy to make gloves by double knitting the fingers and then attaching them to the palm and knitting up to the ribbing and casting off. I can't find those gloves though and I know I made them. Drat!

Whitefish Lake is frozen

Howdy Nancy,
It was so freakin' cold here that not much went on after I got back from Seattle. Except it was so cold and calm, that the lake was able to freeze smoothly -- an event that happens rarely. In fact, I think it was so long ago that Christy was only 12 or 13 or so - ten years ago.

To celebrate the skate-able lake, and that I finally finished Christy's glove/mittens, I took them skating:
So what did I learn from this project? Well, if you start out to make fingerless mitts, then change them into fingerless gloves, then change them into fingerless gloves with a mitten over them, it takes a lot more knitting and tinking to get them finished.

Also, the original pattern (from Knitty's summer '06 issue) had an interesting thumb opening - which didn't work as well when one was knitting a whole thumb instead of just a thumb sort-of-collar-thingie. It worked fine for the right hand, but on the left hand it kept pulling uncomfortably. Anyway, next time I make these, I will knit the standard thumb gusset - on the beginning of the round for the right hand, and at the end of the round for the left hand. That's the way to knit mittens! Hey, by the way Nancy, you said you were going to send a two-needle mitten pattern once. Whatever happened to that?

It's warmed up some, and we got some snow, so I'll have to go check out the state of the lake once more - perhaps after work tomorrow...unless I take the opportunity to go XC skiing, because the Glacier Nordic club has their course up and running. How goes it in Minneapolis? mdp

Monday, January 8, 2007

Travelogue #2 Seattle Cats and Walks

Hey Nancy,
I made it back home to Montana and regular internet access, so I can finish up about my visit to Seattle. We were very busy there. So busy that I did not visit a single yarn store! And I know there are a lot of good ones there, because I've been to some of them. I barely knit - only a little bit on Christy's mittens. But we got all our work done, and now the ol' bear has a nice little den while he's studying.

The night we arrived, we became reacquainted with Nigel. He's grown up since we last saw him as a kitten. He took a liking to my new jacket, maybe thinking it was a kitty sleeping bag. And Nigel has two brothers: Neo and Al, who are not pictured. Many thanks to their parents, who put us up for the night.

After we moved into the Alki
apartment, we found the public walkway, which all really good communities need. It definitely has the feel of a beach community during the off season. Coming from a tourist town, I believe the off season to always be the best season. People are friendly: many greet you on the streets, just like at home. (I meant to find out what kind of birds those were, Nancy, but I forgot. I think the big ones were sandpipers, but the little whitish ones were so plump and cute.) (I don't mean the gulls in the second picture!) And of course, being a landlubber, I am fascinated by the ocean. Even crappy shells enthrall me, at least until they’ve sat in my sandy pocket for a few hours and start to smell.
Yep, I pulled one out of my pocket in the train station.

And as I said, we found our favorite coffee shop/internet hot spot, the Alki Bakery (I left half of that cinnamon roll in the fridge there and I'm devastated), and our favorite breakfast spot, the Alki Cafe, (really good potatoes, hard to not eat them ALL, but they'll sub fruit instead), and the friendly local pub too. Ol' Bear says the bangers and mash are excellent at the Celtic Swell. I'm sure all these places are crammed during the summer season, but this time of year, they're quiet, pleasant, friendly neighborhood places.

And we also got to visit with nephew Paul and his fiance, Liz, and her son, Dresden, at the Seattle Zoo, where I did not get any pictures. I decided not to be A Disturbing Photo Snapper before Liz and Dresden got used to me. It was a nice first visit. At any rate, that's enough travelogue for now. I expect to show the finished mittens for my next post! Enjoy yourself visiting the farm and your quilting buddies. Love, Mary

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Hi Mary,
Hope your travels are going well. I have been nowhere except the yarn shop.
I was over there on Friday the 5th of January. It was fun. I bought another book. I got the Meg Swanson book called A Gathering of Lace. I do seem to be in a lace mood lately. I found one vest in that book that I am interested in making. It is a purple one and the yarn used is a lace weight silk and wool blend. It is called Jagger Spun Zephyr yarn. They had it at Needlework Unlimited but it was soooo expensive I couldn't bring myself to buy it. Maybe if they had it in the purple shown, but they didn't. All they had were Mary colors.
So then I went looking for any other laceweight yarn that wasn't fuzzy. It is extremely hard for me to not buy fuzzy yarn. I don't know why that is? When I look at my yarn I have many fuzzy yarns.
I found a wonderful pale aqua silk and kid mohair. Just yummy. It was 12.95 a skein and I would need 7 or 8 skeins. Nope. I really don't need to buy an aqua one. Especially when I already have four kid mohairs, pale blue, pale green, teal and an ancient one called Colori that is teal with a violet halo of mohair. (My cat Emily loved the Colori. It is in a plastic bag because she would put her paw through the slot on the end of the box and pull out a ball and kill it. I couldn't keep her away from it. Some of those balls are Nasty!
So I just bought the book and two cable needles. Straight ones. And came home. But I had a wonderful time.
One of these days I am going to have to go to the Linden Hills Yarn Company and also to Creative Fibers. They are both close and it would be fun to look around some more.
By the way, Happy New Year.
Keep on Knitting,

Friday, January 5, 2007

Travelogue: Alki Beach, West Seattle, Washington, USA

In my perfect world, all cinnamon rolls are covered with lemon sour cream icing, all down the sides. And that's how the cinnamon rolls are here in Seattle this morning, complete with a view of Puget Sound.

Last post, I mentioned that we were going to Seattle. The ol’ bear is going to Pacific Marine Institute, so we came over to set him up. And that is how I come to be in West Seattle, Alki Beach neighborhood, looking out at the ol’ bear’s view of Puget Sound.

The apartment ain’t much but the view is spectacular. Of course, a standard digital camera can’t do it justice. And what a nice day. It’s just after 3 pm and three ferries sail by going hither and thither. I'll just add that at night, the Washington State Ferries have their decks lit up just like the icing on a big wedding cake. And with icing at the beginning, and at the end, I'll stop for now. More tomorrow....