Monday, February 26, 2007


I had a miserable day at work today. All I could think about on the el ride home was going to Nina to buy some yarn. Some people eat chocolate, some people drink. Me? I buy yarn. Unfortunately (fortunately), I don't get paid until Wednesday, so I didn't get off until my own stop. So far, I've resisted shopping online, too.

I don't have much to report, since the projects I'm working on are pretty much secret. I'll be three nights in a hotel this week, so I plan on making major progress on the something for Jen. I may also take along the sweater for Joseph to provide a break from the something for Jen. If I work on that, I may have photos for the next post. Here's hoping.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Open Season

The thrummed hunter's mittens are complete. Thrums are fun. I thought, at first, that the interruption of putting in the thrums would annoy me, but it didn't. I enjoyed pulling each piece from the alpaca fiber (what is it called? Roving? Top? What is top?) and then rolling it between my hands. It was like rolling Play-Dough into snakes when I was a kid. The only thing I found frustrating was knitting into the thrums on the next round. Often, one end would come out and I'd have to thread it back through. And I still don't like fingers, even just one. Thumbs I could knit all day, but fingers? Nope.

I was a little worried I'd run out of yarn and have to use a bit of a different color to finish the last inch or so. I got lucky. This is all I have left from 190 yards of Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb.

(I got this Nantucket basket for 15% of its original price--definitely for yarn storage and display)

Friday, February 16, 2007


I have completed the first thrummed hunter's mitten.
I adapted three different patterns to come up with this. I started with the instructions from the winter Interweave Knits. I double checked with Wool Tyme's instructions, though that's done on two straight needles. I followed the thumb and finger instructions from Spun Magazine's Bad Habit Mittens. I finished everything off following the IK instructions. I'm pretty happy with it. I've got to start on the left mitten soon, since everyone (but me) is leaving for Alaska soon.

Inside the mitten.

I don't have much to report. I haven't been finding the time to knit as I'd like. The list is still long. Every time I finish something, I add at least two. I'm headed for a visit with Jen and family, so I can't take the something for Jen. I should focus on the mitten, but I'm not sure about taking along the fleece. It will be such a hassle with the kids around. It is not an easy to pick up, easy to put down kind of project. Maybe I'll take Joseph's sweater. I think he'd like to see me making something that will be for him. We could check the size then, too. I'll post about it when I'm back in Chicago.

Monday, February 12, 2007


It's a good thing I don't need any project ideas right now.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fingers and Toes

The problem with gift knitting is that you can't show pictures. I hope this picture doesn't give away the surprise. I finished a gift for my gracious host in Elko. She's moving into her own house, so these are both a thank you and a housewarming. I hope she likes them. They'll be in the mail this week.

I had a chance to try out the Knitpicks Options needles on this project. I like them. At first, they were a little bit scratchy, but that wore off with use. They are much pointier than Addis, which was great for cabling (I usually cable without a cable needle). The cord is pretty flexible, which is good, because I move my needles a lot. Which leads me to one of my three complaints: the needles kept coming untwisted from the cord. It didn't bother me too much. I'm patient about those kinds of things. The other two complaints are minor. The needles clink somewhat loudly when dangling (I use two circular needles for small-diameter knitting), and I'd like a shorter cord option.

I am now going to work on the thrummed mittens. These are on a deadline, too. I'm excited to try this technique, though I'm going to try and adapt a thrummed mitten pattern to be thrummed hunter's mittens. I'm making these so a friend can operate his video camera in very cold weather--Alaska weather (it's been colder in Chicago than Fairbanks, but just in case). We'll see how good I am at adapting a pattern while learning a new technique. I'll have the wrist and hand to figure out how the thrums work, so I should understand it all by the time I reach the finger, right? Right?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


First, to set the record straight, I did not meet any cowboys.* I did however, fall in love. I bought my first pair of cowboy boots (the cognac/mint--the cognac looks more like cherry wood than in the picture). Boy, are they pretty.

You can see some videos from the Gathering at the Western Folklife Center's website. There are links to the videos that were filmed during the day and then edited at night. There are also some videos and audio of some of the sessions. It will give you an idea of all the fun I had over the week. I haven't had this much fun in a long time. Plus, it's always revitalizing for me to be around folklorists.

I made the Dream Swatch head wrap from a ball of Madil Eden, which is 100% bamboo. It wasn't as long as I'd have liked, but it was a fun pattern and easy enough to carry around. I didn't get too many looks while knitting, but DG did when he pulled out the napkin he's making. We were waiting for a session to start, so he started knitting (like the good knitter he is). This started a conversation with the couple who sat next to us. Everyone out West is so nice. We could tell they thought it was strange, but they didn't think it was wrong or anything. Our conversation turned out to be pretty pleasant. The session was incredible (DG put away the knitting during the session).

I'm working on the something for Jen, which takes more concentration, so I didn't work on it as much as I'd have liked. I'm also going to start something for our host at the Gathering. She provided a bed and a very warm eiderdown for us. She's moving this weekend so the gift will be both a thank you and a housewarming.

I got my Options needles! I can't wait to start. It is so cold today that I can barely type. Time to curl up with some knitting, I think.

*I met cowboys, and a lot of ranchers, and sheep shearers, and cityfolk who dressed the part, but I did not go to the gathering to find one to date, in spite of everyone's suggestions.