Saturday, February 24, 2007

Snowflake hat details

Howdy on Saturday night after a prime rib dinner at the Moose Hall - a fundraiser for a pre-school that somebody gave us tickets for (us being me and a fellow library worker.) Let's see if I can answer your questions about the snowflake hat.

Yes, it has a hem. The pattern calls for you to cast on using a waste yarn - a smooth cotton is what the pattern says - I used hemp at Aimee's suggestion. You then knit on with the main color and do the rows for the inside, do a purl row for a fold, then start knitting the snowflake pattern. When the pattern rows equal the rows before the purl row, you knit two together - the one on your needle knit with a matching bump you can see sticking out of the contrasting cast on. It's easy as pie and you've probably done it before.
The only sticking point on this pattern was the rows that had the lice - three color rows. But the pattern was such that it was easily mastered by keeping the white and dark purple in my left hand, and throwing the blue with my right. The purple and white could be tacked together under the blue, thus keeping the floats a manageable length.

Then I added a kicky tassel that I saw on Aimee's version of the hat, with the strands unplied at the end, as Kendra suggested. Nothing is really created just by one person, is it?

It was fun to make and turned out so well that I wore it today at work while I checked people's
books out for them. I pretended my head was cold. What a show-off! Ok, it's time for
you to show us some knitting!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I LOVE that hat!

I do, I really do. I would wear it to bed too. Golly gee whillikers but it is beautiful. Is that white edge at the bottom part of an inner lining or just a hem like area? You better keep it away from the kitty. He will love that Alpaca too. He might drool on it.
That swatch is from a sweater that ( I am pretty sure) came from a Vogue knitting in about 1992. Or abouts. It was a black and white two color sweater but I liked it better with three colors so it would look more woven and yes it does/did make me think of Barbara Walker. I was going through a mosaic phase then so that is why this one appealed to me I think.
I tried to get the correct number of balls to make the sweater but it was discontinued yarn even back then. Now I see it would have been like wearing armor it is so heavy and thick. But it is a great swatch eh?
PS We are supposed to get 16 inches of snow this weekend. If we do it will be more snow than the last two years put together. So far nothing has started, but I will keep you posted.
More love,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

And here's Dad

Thanks for the picture of Mom. Har! How did she get her hair like that? So for equal time, here's Dad:

It was the first time he ever left home. Dad told me that the reason he and a friend enlisted was because they were doing poorly in a class, and heard that if they enlisted, they would get incompletes instead of failing grades. Such is the mind of a 19-year-old.

Besides that, I've been messing about with this: Aimee's snowflake hat pattern that I just took a
class in at Knit 'N Needle. It's so beautiful that I've been wearing it inside all evening, except when I took it off to put a tassel on. I've been told it will be even better when I block it, but I might not take it off until spring (real spring, not the March 21st spring.) I love this yarn - Berroco's ultra alpaca. It was very nice to work with - soft, springy, exactly what I like. I wonder what I shall do with what's left...I'm thinking about a Dancing Grannies hat....

And, speaking of patterns and stitches and stitch patterns, I wonder where you found the pattern for the swatch you posted a couple days past. It might have been from one of BW's books. And speaking of Barbara Walker, have you seen this awe-inspiring Walker Treasury blog? You'd best check it out! Signing out with a very warm head (I wonder if I shall wear it to bed?) Love, Mary

P.S. That reminds me, Dr. Seuss' birthday is coming up. md

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mom in 1945

Hi Mary,

I just thought I would like to put Mom in the blog. And since you made me scan in her WAC photo here she is.

I fed her and Dad Quesadillas tonight. I think it was the first time they had eaten them. They liked them so we might have that extemely difficult to cook food more often.



Sunday, February 18, 2007

Weekend plans go awry


Darn it.

I did not get to Linden Hills Yarn this weekend. I had it all planned. Chanhassan Dinner Theater Friday night, knit on Saturday afternoon, Bluegrass concert with Jim Saturday night and chick flik with E on Sunday afternoon. But E screwed it up. Her planning was Chick flick with Nancy on Saturday and some stupid (my word) thing with friends on Sunday afternoon. So Saturday was spent watching Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant instead of knitting.

Hopefully next week.

And as a tip of the hat to your unfinished knitting I have a neat mosaic swatch from 1988. I will never make it. It is three strands on each row and is heavy as a brick. Probably wonderfully warm no matter how windy though. It is made with a discontinued yarn. Aarlen's Cristal. It is a very soft twist, almost roving. And of course there is not enough of one color to make the pattern. A good thing now, I know, although I was seduced by the color pattern. Sometimes not rushing to finish something lets you make the right decision.

knitting around the house

Howdy Nancy,
I wonder if you made it to LH Yarns to knit again, yesterday? And how's the tax season going?
I've gone through my stuff to inventory the UFOs that I have lying around the house. I think that if I post them, somehow I'll become more accountable and perhaps even finish them. Of course I will finish them, won't I?
S0 this page will have lots of pictures. First - this is not a real project - it's an exploratory knit- up of a Barbara Walker lace pattern: candlelight. I hope to make a shawl with it someday.
Of course, this is as far as I got. I didn't even know that the pattern had been sitting on the coffee table at Mom's and Dad's until you found it for me at Thanksgiving! NEXT!

This is my set-up to make knotted yarn, using my music stand and the knitting noddy you gave me. This is the sequel to the mongol warrior hat yarn - that ancient silk/mohair paired with an old soft brown sheep. Fat and soft and really warm. Hat and mittens planned.

Oooooo, the hat I'm making in knitting class with Berocco alpaca is below. (I'm farther along thanthis shows.) This is what I've been spending most of my time on lately.

My Sally Melville Not-So-Warm coat, from this book. My god, it's only garter stitch, you'd think I'd get it over with but, no....

And below, Zeke's scarf. I bring this when I don't have something else to knit on that's mindless. He'll get it for Christmas some year....

Okay, here is the bane of my existence. No, that's not what I should call it. It's the project with the most guilt attached. Ol' Bear's gansey. I'm only showing the most interesting part, the aran-type cables that don't really belong on a gansey, but there they are. Because my loving husband doesn't know the difference between an aran and a gansey (and I didn't appreciate this either when he was telling me what he wanted, or else I would have convinced him otherwise), this is what we have. And as I'm designing this hybrid as we go along...and as I've never done this seems to happen in fits and starts. Now, wouldn't it be nice if I finished this up in time for his birthday in May? I've actually got the body to the upper chest done, but now there's the sleeves to figure out and...I enjoy working on this so I think it's really going to be next...
...after the socks I have stashed away in the
mud room amongst the skate and ski gear.

And the snowflake hat, of course. Egad. May 23rd - well, I've got three months to work on that sweater. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Breaking In

Howdy there Mare,
I started my infiltration of the Linden Hills Yarn Shop yesterday. I went there about 2 o'clock and the place was packed. Jan got me a chair and I pulled up to a 6 inch space at the table and started working on Jim's scarf. People were knitting and talking and after a while the lady next to me asked everyone to help her choose yarn for a blanket sized throw. She wanted calm colors and had in hand a sage green that she liked.
We all gave her many opinions and she couldn't decide so eventually we had about every color out. She was looking at that greek cotton ( I don't know the name) that is cabled not spun. It has a red paper label. Jan has about 20 colors in it.
Eventually 4 o'clock came and as we were all tired of trying to get her to make up her mind I left. Four is officially closing time.
I know the names of two people there. Michael and a woman named Shawn or Sean. Hard to know how people spell that one.
I will continue my infiltration efforts next weekend.
I only got a few more inches done on the scarf, but that is secondary to my main purpose; finding a knitting home in Minneapolis.
Yr sister,

PS Junice has reported to Mom that her blue cap it too big. So I am swatching for a smaller one with cables. That woman thinks she has a head the size of a softball. Well, maybe an Indian River grapefruit.
Love again,

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Giant knitting & Teeny knitting

Howdy Woody Woodpecker,
Omigosh, you have got to read about these two knitters. I found out about them in different ways at different times, even though they're in the same art show in NY right now. Check out giant knitting, and teeny-weeny knitting. Which do you think would be more fun? mare

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


Hi Nancy,
For some reason, when I do the taxes, I become enraged no completely unreasonable no totally pissed off how about a little tense. So…er…tense, that when my loving husband called to check in with me last night I curtly told him that I was too busy to talk to the likes of him! My god, I’m doing the freaking taxes for godsakes didn’t he know better than to call then?????

And this morning I was not much better. No, I was not better. Because while I was doing this:

PJ the cat was doing this:

And the toilet was doing…well I won’t show a picture of that. But the toilet was not being nice. And I was not nice either. And I couldn’t find lots of tax stuff that I can always find, like, for instance last year’s taxes. Ai yi yi.

Well I made it down to my tax preparer (Elaine I love you) and to calm myself down so that I wouldn’t babble while she was making sense of my pile of paper, I knitted on this:

It’s just a cotton swath with some twisted stitches that is going to be a headband. It took me awhile to figure out exactly how I wanted it to go, but that doesn’t matter because I’ve cleverly decided to keep the mixed up part in the back, under my hair, heh heh. When I think about my new headband, I feel much nicer. So I’d better go call the ol’ bear and not be such an old dog, if you know what I mean. I'll let you know how the tax thing goes. Ugh. Love you, Mary

Sunday, February 4, 2007

More Cranes and Junice's hat


Today they found crane #615 alive and hanging out with two Sandhill Cranes. They hadn't found his body at the pen and just thought he was buried in the mud. Then they heard the transmitter he was wearing. How wonderful that somehow he escaped and lived.
I am so glad that he did. I wonder how. I suppose we will never know.
This is a much better night than yesterday.

I read it on their website when we got back from visiting Junice. She seemed good to me but told us she was not good today. But she liked her hat so hopefully that made her day happier. God almighty I hope someone kills me off before I have to live in a home. Although that home is not nearly as depressing as Jim's mom. But of course she was so paralysed that she couldn't even feed herself.

Anyway here is a picture of the hat. Simple round with a K2together decrease to make a spiral on the top. Junice asked what color it was about 8 times.

More About Cranes

Hi Mary,
Yes, Now more than ever I will go to Necedah to watch them. Hopefully anyway. There is no guarantee that they will be able to fly during the time I am there, but I will try.
You ask how the cranes learn to fly behind the ultralight. They go to 'flight school'. From before they are hatched at Pawtuxent in Maryland they hear the sound of the ultralight. As soon as they are able to walk they are led around an ultralight to become familiar with it. And they are trained to follow it in a circle at first and then later on, in Wisconsin, they learn to fly behind it. It is a fascinating story and you can see the basic training idea if you watch the movie 'Fly Away Home'. Operation Migration people helped with that part of the movie. Also if you go to this link you can see their photo and written journals of each years migration.

Well, I finished a cap for Junice this morning so I am going to give it to her this afternoon. Hopefully it won't be too big. It is of a very light fluffy Scheepjes wool acrylic and mohair blend called Voluma. One of my ancient yarns. Junice thinks she has a tiny head so we will see if this fits. If it doesn't I am going to measure her and make the next one all cables so it will really look small because of the stretch.

Mom and I are going to see her as soon as I get ready. I have been dilly-dallying here at the computer instead. I will send a photo later. I seem to be bad at photos lately.


Because of your last post, Nancy, I spent time browsing the Operation Migration website. On the field notes page, they have some great videos of the birds flying behind the ultralight, learning how to migrate. But how do the birds figure out that they should follow the ultralight aircraft? Anyway, it's fascinating, and so sad that they all died.

Last time I looked at pictures of cranes like that, I was struck by how beautiful their spread wings were, and ever since have thought about how to make a shawl like that. I found this picture on National Geo's website (although it's credited to Operation Migration). Do you think we could design a shawl like that?

Will you visit the Whooping Crane place in Wisconsin this year? Love, Mary

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Whooping Crane disaster

Dear Mary,
It is really sad here today. I went to as I usally do each morning to see if something new was posted and found out that all 18 of the young whooping cranes that flew down behind the ultralights last fall were dead. They were lost in the bad tornados that hit central Florida two days ago.
I find it horribly hard to believe that they all died.
I thought that it might make me feel better to get out and so I went to three knitting stores today. NU was having a sale, like always, so I went there. That wasn't enough so I went to Creative Fibers and to Linden Hills Yarns. I see what you meant about Linden Hills Yarns when you talked about them last fall. It has sure changed from when I used to go there 15 years ago. The same lady, Jan, owns it but the whole feeling of the store has changed. It used to be very high toned and snooty with only the most expensive yarns. Now it was the only one of the three I went to that had a table with people sitting around it knitting. They just come there and knit. Some were experienced and some were terrified beginners. They were all eating and talking and knitting. Another knitter came in with her young daughter to just touch base. She had been sick. It was like home. I think I might have to go there for Saturday knitting myself. I need my hand held for a while.
Anyway I came home and decided that I need to donate another mile to Operation Migration in honor of the '06 cranes. Yarn didn't do it for me. Although I did buy some.
Soon I will let you see what I got.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


Isn't that what Charlie Brown says when Lucy removes the football and he falls on the ground? Well I am at my point here when I say it. I had to get up at 6 today! SIX!
It has happened (we knew it would) and 'peak' is upon us. The office started to ZOO yesterday and will only get zooier today. I only spent 11 hours there yesterday.
I really love your posts with its pictures of hair and caps and lakes. And I needed it to start the day. Gotta go make breakfast and lunch and LOVE YA'
What scarf?