October 31, 2008

halloween nostalgia

alice and max in makeup, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

The dry days ended this morning and when the weather man forecast a trash bag halloween, I instantly became nostaligic for halloweens past. Can you believe that I even dressed Max as a trash bag one year?

Here are some shots from other memorable halloweens and costumes:

Here's hoping that little goblins stay dry tonight.

Happy Halloween!

October 25, 2008

fall colors

I love this time of year.

It’s dry – I can’t even remember the last time it rained.

It’s warm – that’s relative of course.

And the colors this time of year are simply stunning.
I love Fall colors. For some people it’s the leaves. For me it’s the yarn.

Yes I splurged. But the colors, oh my gawd, the colors…see for yourself.

jitterBug, originally uploaded by alicethelma.
We start with jitterBug a truly fabulous merino wool from scotland. This luscious color is called ginger cinnabar and will be knee socks eventually for splurge upon splurge I bought two hanks! The last time I used jitterBug was back in May for my first embossed leaves. First of many.

Next we have a beautiful and smooth merino from Lana Grossa which will be a hat to replace the loss of my beloved hat (boo-hoo), a pattern of my own devising or possibly this little gem.

Picked up some bargain sock yarn at Jo Ann's for $3 each utilizing their 50% off coupons to make up for the earlier splurges. This being October it seems to be national crafting month, with deals and steals everywhere you look.

And then there is blue heron silk merino given to me by the folks at Close Knit to knit a store sample with. I'm honored but also a little stressed out. Can I knit them in time? WIll they be up to snuff? See? Even a knitter of 28 years can still feel insecure. Check out the progress so far on the royal knee socks:

October 21, 2008

spiral yoke sweater

spiral yoke sweater, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

I finished the sys several weeks ago but wasn't very happy with it (am I ever?) It was intended as a christmas gift for Max but turned out way too small (sorry Max!). The gals at knitting night tried to convince me that it looked great on me but I didn't believe them. It felt much too tight and the sleeves were too short.

It did, however, look great on Julie and I convinced her to model it when we were at the beach earlier this month. It was a spectacular day for sweater modeling as you can see.

I followed the pattern in Handknitting with Meg Swansen exactly as written using a size 7 needle and I later realized my mistake. I should have used the dimensions written for the cobblestone sweater which I made for max last year and then I would have [probably] gotten the correct size for him.

The sweater is starting to grow on me now although I would definitely choose a different yarn if I made it again. The left and right pattern twists in the yoke were not easy - but they look nice don't they?

October 14, 2008

yet another book signing at Powell's

In a state a high anticipation and fearing a repeat of the yarn harlot mob scene of June 2007, I arrived at the Mason-Dixon book signing early…very early…much too early. It was 6pm and there wasn’t even a chair set up yet and I was the only one in the Pearl room. The only one knitting anyway.

Into the room a lone woman walked. I looked up from my knitting and I asked her “Do I know you?” I thought I might know her from, you know, the Internet…ravelry or something. Well when she mentioned her blog, persistent illusion, I immediately knew it was Judy Becker, the inventor of Judy’s Magic Cast On. I was in the presence of true knitting royalty. And I’m here to tell you that Judy is just such a lovely lady. She is extremely friendly and helpful and informative not to mention a gifted knitter. I immediately felt like I had known her all my life.

judy's magic cast on, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

As we chatted away, the room began to fill and more knitting royalty arrived. Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne, the authors of Mason Dixon Knitting, who arrived with everyone else, are two of the funniest, most down to earth and approachable knitting authors I have ever met.

Ann and Kay brought most of the yummy projects from the new book and talked about the book's genesis and creation. Great stories and tales of Famolares. Didn't know they still made them.

It’s hard to believe that these innocent looking women are the same ladies who sang the following country hit:

October 13, 2008


rockaway beach, oregon, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Two roads diverged in a wood
and I took the one less traveled by
and that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

October 9, 2008

grün ist die Hoffnung

grün ist die Hoffnung, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Inspired by The Easiest Way to do a Short Row Heel (link provided by Walrus) I finished the first sock last night. Due to car trouble, I was unable to attend my regular Wed night knitting group *anyway* so I just hunkered down and pressed on and finished the heel.

It wasn’t so bad.

The sock is baggy – even on my size 10 feet – but I’m hoping that a run through the wash should fix that. Pretty good progress, I think, as I’ve also been working on an urban aran cardigan among other things.

Well I’m off the to the beach for the weekend. I'll start the second sock when I get back. Bye!

October 6, 2008

progress not perfection

grün ist die Hoffnung, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

For those of you who are not following this sock's progress on Ravelry (and that might mean most of you), here's a quick update before the sock goes on hiatus:

Ok I have now switched to magic loop after finishing the lace-motif-to-sole join and I’m ready to knit the heel (1.5 rows of knit just past this join). The sock is plenty big but I have to confess that I’m not super-duper happy with the results - please don’t look too close. Not sure if I’ll knit the second one, even if I have promised the pair to Marlene.

The whole short row toe and joining of motif to sole is really choppy - you can’t really tell from the photo because I’ve cleverly hidden all the ugly stitches. But right where my bunion is…well that whole intersection is not very pretty.

And I have to confess, for as long as I’ve been knitting…um …well I didn’t do a gauge swatch and I can’t really tell you what it is…maybe 8 stitches to the inch (I’ll go measure exactly and get back to you). I just had the yarn and I had the 0 dpns so I cast it on. Now I’m down to 3 needles, two have disappeared.

Also, I got sidetracked on a new sock project which I’ll post shortly.

October 3, 2008

october sockdown

grün ist die hoffnung, originally uploaded by alicethelma.

Everyone needs a little challenge right?

The pattern is called grün ist die Hoffnung and the designer is Steffi Linden of Frankfurt. The challenge for October is to knit one of Steffi's designs or a holiday stocking. Since I have plenty of holiday stockings, I opted for this design. I'm not exactly sure why it popped out at me. It's a tricky sock there's no doubt about that. But I'm always looking for ways to stretch and grow as a knitter.

Follow my progress on Ravelry...if you dare.