Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Falling Off the Wagon

Well, I had a little yarn incident. Nothing serious, just a minor detour from the diet.

This actually goes back to my trip to North Carolina in January - I tend to drive with a lead foot, and I was driving my mother's van which unlike my trusty Subaru does not vibrate dramatically at speeds above 65 mph, and I sailed past an unmarked police car going, oops, 84 mph. I didn't mean to go so fast. I was just trying to get in front of a poky pack of cars, which in retrospect I recognize as a group of law abiding citizens with far keener powers of observation than I.

So I got a ticket for reckless driving, and I had to go to court in Woodstock, Virginia on February 20th. I was somewhat apprehensive, but my plan was to be polite, contrite and apologetic.

When the judge came in he gave a serious lecture about what the state can do to you when you do not follow the rules of the road, like take away your driving privileges and put you in jail. This was little scary. The first person called up had three charges, all relating to substance abuse while driving, and one was a felony. I thought that I might look fairly innocent compared to this poor soul.

I was called up next. The judge was very nice and told me that I must slow down and warned me against depending on cruise control as it can surge on hills, and he reduced my speed to 79mph, which took it out of the reckless driving category and back to simple speeding. I paid a hefty fine and walked out into the February sunshine, relieved and repentant.

And what should I spy with my little eye? A yarn store, right next to the courthouse, Yarns for Ewe on the Square. It was illuminated by a ray of sunlight that shone down to guide my way. It was providential.

A nice little yarn store, where I happily browsed and found inspiration. I decided I deserved a small yarn purchase, and I bought 2 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Sport and a pair of Inox #2 16" circs to make a hat for my honey, and a skein of Claudia Handpaint fingering in Ingrid Blue - because I really liked the colors and I met Ms. Claudia in January at On the Lamb in Staunton. I started the hat that very day - it is my current movie knitting.

And I haven't bought any more yarn since then - a whole week!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

In the Knitting Bag

In my knitting bag, I have some socks! I always have one or two pairs of socks going. The first photo is Waving Lace socks from and the Spring 2004 issue of Interweave Knits, with a new Chinese sock yarn - Jojoland Melody, 100% wool fingering weight- I really like the slow, subtle color change and the way the stitch pattern shows. I bought 4 colorways and sent one to my friend Norman for Xmas. It was really difficult to choose which color to give away...

The next photo is our old friend Jaywalker - this is my first pair, or rather it will be when they are finally done. I started these last summer, and made good progress on the first sock until after the heel and then it stalled until the New Year. But I picked them back up and took them to the Campbell Folk School in January, finished one and moved right into the second sock. It's not exactly movie knitting - I need good light to work with these size 1 needles - but they should be done with plenty of winter left for the wearing. These are in Opal Handpaint that was well aged in my stash.

I also have a long term project - Hanne Falkenberg's Dacapo cardigan in blues & greens. I cast on for Dacapo on Christmas night, after all the fuss and excitement of the day was over and the race of the holiday knitting was won. It's an interesting design with fine Shetland wool and small needles, and all in garter stitch. What you see here is the center back. There are increases at each edge and on either side of the center stitch, and it will continue to grow until the bottom edges come around beyond the side seam point. I have to knit about 5 more pairs of green & turquoise rows before I change color and shaping.

I knit mostly by feel - I can knit while I read or knit in the dark if there is no complex patterning. And I have discovered that I don't really like knitting garter stitch, because of having to knit into a purl stitch over and over again. Some part of my mind says - no, no, no - because usually a purl should be purled. It just doesn't feel right. But I guess it's good to work your brain.

I'll probably put this aside soon for some new small projects in Peace Fleece and/or Fleece Artist yarn. I have a booth at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival - my business is called Peace Weavers - and I want to have a few new models for the booth this year. Holly & Angela are working on some larger items - they are my knitting elves. I send them yarn and they send me beautiful finished items! Then I send them more yarn in payment. It's like Christmas when new things arrive!

Peace Fleece has two new colors and one of them is a lovely orangey brown that I'm going to try to knit up in a stuffed corgi. That's Rupert at the top of the page. He's my Buddha-dog. We also have Miss Wiley. Both are Pembroke Welsh Corgis and both are about 8 years old. We've had Rupert since he was maybe 6 months old - someone left him at the local shelter - and Wiley was a giveaway in the local Valley Trader a few years ago. They are great dogs.

Snow! and The Yarn Diet

This is what we woke up to on Wednesday morning. Our first real snow - lovely, but not enough to keep us home. Ruby got a snow day, and I slept in a little and worked a half day. The view is out our back door, looking east at the Blue Ridge mountains. There are big white clouds scudding along the ridge, so you can't see the full height of the ridge.

We live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, just a few miles from the West Virginia panhandle. It's a beautiful part of the world.

I am theoretically posting to my blog instead of buying yarn online. The not buying yarn part is working pretty well - so far I've been looking but not purchasing - my last yarn or fiber purchase was on December 8th! So that's 2 months of abstinence. Damn, that's pretty good!

But I think I could blog more. My schedule has been so inconsistent lately and there's so much that needs my attention - taxes, financial aid applications for the 3 girls we'll have in college next year, planning tartan setts and the yarn order for the 11 students I'll be working with in Ohio next month... not to mention my job and the house and so on...

So, I am going to post my current knitting projects and then get back to work on those tartan drafts. Then I'll work on the taxes. My priorities are clear!