Tuesday, October 31

Jack in Black

Happy Halloween!...pumpkin pics for Knitty people.

cat-o-lanterncat-o-lantern pm
Neko at night.

sideshow clownsideshow clown pm
I hate clowns. Really, I can't stand them except for rodeo clowns where they actually perform a public service.

frida kahlofrida kahlo pmFrida Kahlo looking more like a Sid&Marty Krofft creation.

wait-o-lanternRetro Italian waiter from "Lady and the Tramp."

Thursday, October 26

YPF

Sox Populi

Sox Populi
Sundara Petals Sock Yarn, Fall Foliage

I'm a Lineman for the County...
And the Wichita lineman is still on the line.....

Wednesday, October 25

FO: Bow Tie Wrap

Debbie Bliss Alpaca/Silk + Noro Lotus, 10 skeins = Bow Tie Wrap

Debbie Bliss Alpaca/Silk with Noro Lotus

I wanted something girly to throw on my shoulders that wouldn't fall off and didn't have sleeves, so I came up with the idea of a giant bow ponchette/wrap thingy. I simply knitted up the alpaca/silk in a long 18x42 inch rectangle, working short rows at the ends so I could flap my elbows. Seamed the ends together to make the body. I then crocheted the top edge with the Noro to tighten up the shoulders a bit before knitting another rectangle for the center. I seamed that rectangle over the center body seam and voila!
Bow Tie Wrap, close-up
Bow Tie wrap, detailThanks, Entrelac, for the photography!


Day of the Dead skirtAnd here's a close-up of my Day of the Dead skirt that I made last year. "Dem bones, dem bones......."

Friday, October 20

Wool Britannia

Here are the yarns and woolly bits I picked up at the K&S show in London last week.
Colinette Jitterbug Sock Yarn with wine gum
Colinette jitterbug sock yarn, superwash wool, Fire
Carded merino sliver
Touch Yarns, NZ, carded merino sliver and fine kid mohair/merino gilled sliverCarded merino sliver/fine kid mohair&merino gilled sliverMerino RovingThe Handweavers Studio&Gallery, London, merino roving

Wensleydale Aran, Wens;eydale hand-dyed fleeceWensleydale Longwool Sheepshop, wensleydale aran and fleece

Touch 4 Ply woolTouch yarns, NZ, 4-ply wool

Touch Handpainted Yarns wool boucle and 2 plyTouch Handpainted YarnsTouch Handpainted Yarns, NZ, wool boucle and 2-ply
Wensleydale FleeceWensleydale Longwool Sheepshop, fleece

Tuesday, October 17

Knitting&Stitching Show in London

Wooo Doggies! Talk about a whirlwind trip! Complete with Airborne and The Blogger's Curse--a dead camera good for about 5 shots and then pfffft.
(Thanks to HPNY and GaleGarmen for a helluva good time. Next year, ladies?)

Thursday

I arrived in London and hooked up with HPNY and GarnGarmen at Liberty. Knitter's Night at Liberty--how cool is that? The perfect place for some middle-aged yarn-obsessed broads from New York City, Stockholm and Texas to unwind their brains and skeins. They had just spent all day at the show and we promptly sat down to tea, sandwiches and wine to fondle their newfound treasures. Being surrounded by like-minded souls, we were welcomed warmly as the other tables cast covetous glances at HPNY and GG's stash enhancements. Our accents may have marked us as foreigners, but we knew the secret handshake--just pull a skein or two or ten out of a shopping bag and watch the room grow silent. Works every time.
Knitting at Liberty
(Knitter's night at Liberty)
Please check out their blogs for pics of the beautiful natural alpaca, hand-dyed sock yarn, Colinette mohair and other goodies they bought. This was a great preview for me as I was going the next day. Thus fortified, we marched upstairs to check out the Rowan yarns and GG kept up her fierce reputation as Sweden's Prime Stasher by picking up about 10 skeins of wool in blues and greens for some colorwork. I nabbed a couple of skeins of wool/silk in a lovely pale green, 'porcelain.' We laughed, we bonded, we rocked....and then we pooped out.
(Knitted Ferrari)
Friday:Knitting&Stitching Show

I'm not sure who was more dazed and overwhelmed--the knitters, the quilters, the embroiderers or just everyone there. There were three huge halls crammed with vendors selling yarn, roving, sewing machines, fabric, fat quarters, novelty threads, beads, doodads and wampum with side rooms for quilt, fiber art and knitted exhibits. You had to keep your wits about you as victims would spot a booth, freeze in their tracks and then slowly let the tractor beam pull them into that stall. I nearly mowed down more than one person this way. Clever monkey me had gone over the list of vendors, marked various booths on the map and hit the halls with a clear-eyed sense of purpose. I went by Alpaca Select, Colinette, Loop/London, Sublime at Sheepish and the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop to warm up before my class with Sasha Kagan. I also nabbed the manic "Pub Knitting!" booklet put out by Rowan just for the title.

Sasha Kagan is a small, wiry woman with a noticeable hum of energy about her. We were instructed to pick out 2 skeins of yarn(thanks Rowan), some needles and cast on. She taught us how to knit with 2 colors, wrapping the unused color around the knit stitch thus weaving it into the back while working an intarsia design. This eliminates the need for 2 separate balls of your main color as you can just carry it along the back and it also does away with wrapping your yarns when changing colors. This is not at all like carrying it along the back as a float but creates a fabric with better tension while maintaining the design on the front. It really helps if you can knit with both hands. HPNY and I figured it out fairly quickly and then I turned to help my neighbor. She was a new knitter and had the zippiest green scarf with a leaf fringe around her neck. I'm sorry I didn't get her name as she was a fashion student and I can't wait to see her name in lights. I had an afternoon class with Jean Littlejohn who does pieces with fabric and felting on a machine.

(the Best of Britain takes five)


Later, HPNY and I went to see Tom Stoppard's Rock'n'Roll(Czechoslovakia, 1968, Syd Barrett) which was bit choppy in the first half but really soared in the second. I was most impressed with the group sitting next to me. They not only had cans of gin&tonic and plastic cups, but the foresight to bring a thermos full of ice cubes. All that was missing were the cheese straws and swizzle sticks. Afterwards, HPNY and I had dinner at J. Sheekey where HPNY(partridge) and I(oysters) developed a good cop/bad cop routine with the spotty service--you really don't want to mess around with a pair of women who are determined to get the most out of every waking minute on a 'Me Time' vacation. Don't. Even. Try.

Saturday
I loaded up on Jaffa cakes, Humbugs, wine gums and fruit pastilles for the guys and cookbooks for the DH--Arabesque by Claudia Roden, Biba's Italy by Biba Caggiano, Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey and The Calcutta Kitchen by somebody. Varjak Paw and Outlaw Varjak Paw by SF Said looked like fun for the boys while I got Minette Walters' The Devil's Feather and Chickenfeed for myself. My friend Fanny arrived from Devon and we saw the Holbein in England exhibit at the Tate Britain before taking the boat(such tourists!) over to the Tate Modern to check out the very long slides in the main entrance. We stood there looking up and up at these shiny structures hearing the shouts of terror and glee of the sliders and mulled over whether we would really slide down one of these things or not. I love heights--it was the going down that gave me pause. That and the idea of my handbag becoming a hurling atom in some kind of supercollider, rendering me or someone else completely unconscious. Uh, we went to the gift shop instead.

Sunday
Five minutes to gab with HPNY after wading through the lines at Gatwick.
FYI: The sign says no knitting needles.
I panicked and packed my knitting into my checked bags, keeping a couple of skeins and a crochet hook for the flight. HPNY simply took her knitting off the needles and put a pair of large circulars into her carry-on bag. She got through ok. I just can't freelance crochet so I ended up reading and napping the whole time. Back home and I log on to find that I missed seeing Gisela, a former colleague. She did photography for Rowan 40--pretty nice work, eh? I'll have to see her next year after I finish getting my firstborn out of hock from Visa and American Express. Clean your monitors because here's a teaser for Friday Yarnpr0n:
Yes, there's roving.

Tuesday, October 10

London Calling

London Calling
Noro Lotus.
Stay tuned for your regularly scheduled programming.

Friday, October 6

Yarno Friday

Go ahead, I can wait.

Dylan's Blue Depths, Alchemy Synchronicity
Dylan's Blue Depths, Alchemy Synchronicity, 50/50 silk/wool

Dylan's Blue Depths #2, Alchemy Synchronicity
Dylan's Blue Depths, Alchemy Synchronicity, 50/50 silk/wool

In honor of the upcoming Texas/OU game I thought I'd show my team spirit. I have 2 skeins of the Rowanspun that got thrown in with some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece that I scored on eBay. That gives me about 324 yards to play with. It's wool wool which means it's not scratchy but it's not buttah, either. Maybe a felted hat.
Now, the Synchronicity is another matter altogether. When I'm curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb and sobbing quietly, this is the yarn you'll find me clutching. I know it may not be hard wearing but, holy hand-dyed!, it feels good. And, one of these days, I'll stop hoarding it and actually knit something with it. Probably a blankie or, better yet,...a pillowcase!
Go Longhorns!
Rowanspun 4 Ply wool with undyed mohair from Henry's Attic

Those impossibly chirpy weather forecasters on our local news keep bleating, "Wow, July heat in October with no end in sight!" This is getting real old, real quick. While Lobstah is making apple butter and wooly gloves in Maine(sob!) and Hila and Annie are mad about tweed, my summer squash is blooming prolifically. As are the tomatoes. And the beans. And the cannas. We're still in t-shirts, sandals and sunscreen 24/7.

October HeatNeko naps
I'm frantically working on about 3 different projects. I have to finish swatching for the fat cable sweater pattern and then write it up. I'm trying to bang out another design with the Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk and I've got a Dr. Who scarf in the works for a godson in England. I'm scaling down the size of the scarf from 10 feet to 5, 10 inches wide to 6, as the kid is only 5 and knee high to a grasshopper. So, I'm off to knitknitknit!

Tuesday, October 3

Saturday Night Lights on Tuesday


This is the 8 million dollar jumbotron so I-35 can watch replays.

It's not a myth that football is a religion in Texas. And it's not a myth that there is such a thing as burnt orange blood. I'm a fourth generation Longhorn alum and football fan. My mother once told me that I was conceived after the Texas/TCU game in 1962(UT won 14-0). The next year, I was born in Ft. Worth and UT won the national championship, a feat overshadowed by the assasination of JFK next door in Dallas. My oldest brother played for UT along with Earl Campbell in the 70's and we went to every single game in Austin. My reward for this loyalty is that periodically I get his letterman's tickets.

And so, last Saturday I took Bandit to watch UT casually mangle the Sam Houston State Bearcats like my dog rips squeakers out of his toys. Serious fans were occupied with watching our new QB, Colt McCoy(I am not making this up), throw some decent passes.

I was more interested in the swarm of players' girlfriends who sat in front of us. I knew they were The Girlfriends because they wore jerseys and buttons that said stuff like "#27 is my Boyfriend." These girls were petite and lean like whippets, but they did not look sweet. They all looked like they studied sports marketing, accounting, contract arbitration and game tapes in hopes of turning "#27 is my Boyfriend" into "#27 is my 1st-round Draft Pick and multimillion dollar husband." I dare not photograph them because, you know, #27 looks mean.The boyfriend looks like a nice lad.
Here's the band:
And here's Project Runway hot off the sidelines. Let's see: black leggings, belted off-the-shoulder white top, really big hair, huge purse. You can't see the kohl eyeliner or the gold flats, but they're there, believe me. The scary thing is that I think she may have been sporting this look for the past 20 years--that happens a lot to former high school cheerleaders. They get welded into whatever look they had when they were really popular and almost beautiful and two decades later it's "Married to the Slob."
And here I am doing my Matthew McConaughey version of the Hook'Em Horns sign.

So, of course, I'm watching "Friday Night Lights" tonight. It's in my blood.