Friday, May 09, 2008

Playing Catch-Up (Trying to Get Current)



















It's been awhile since I was last able to post. I've had some unusually stressful things happening lately so I've been spinning more than knitting. Stress was one of the reasons I first learned to spin and the relaxing yet productive nature of this activity never fails me. If I didn't have my crafts to keep me relaxed I'd be a quivering mess of "whips and jingles" as my friend Louise would say. That said, you can see that I did manage to knit a colorful little baby hat out of Lorna's Laces "Angel" in 70/30 Angora and Lambswool, colorway "Lorikeet". One 50 yard ball makes this hat with very little left over. It's for my niece who is expecting.

Since nothing helps me more when I'm stressed than a bout of shopping, I also had to have yet another Japanese knitting book. "Vintage Knitting in Tradition" which I picked up at the Kinokuniya Bookstore in "J" town in SF. Of course, I got it for the lace but it has some very lovely cable sweaters and Fair Isle type sweaters as well. Yeah. I know I have a heck of a lot of books on lace, but I really do think I will get to some of these. In particular I like the simple stole with the "birds eye lace" center and the pretty leaves on the ends. That one looks like it would be relaxing!

The next few pictures are of yarn I bought, put away and proceeded to forget I ever had. The blue Claudia Hand painted lace weight yarn was from Communknity, the cone of Habu 2/48 superfine merino in green and the two cones of Louet Lace Linen 20/2 in Speckled Salmon are from Article Pract. The skein of Whisper (merino wool laceweight) in oranes/greens and yellows was an impulse buy at Imagiknit and the Suri Elegance from the Alpaca Company (colorway Misty Morning) is once again from Article Pract.

I managed to spin up the pretty green batts from Spritely Goods and I'm using part of it for a Knit-A-Long on Ravelry with a group called "One Shawl To Rule Them All". Their group Icon is the Eye Of Sauron. You can't beat that with a stick! They voted on different free patterns to knit or crochet for this group. I am knitting the Woodland Shawl as an Elven pattern. A little on the simple side but hey, it's a knit-a-long so it has to be something most people could actually finish. I think I will have enough yarn left over to make something else. I also bought several batts of fiber from Enchanted Knoll Farm (thank you very much Opal for infecting me) They are black superwash merino with Sari Silk mixed in. The batt with the red and pink silk is called "Raven" and the one with the green is " Araucuna". I have a particular lace project in mind for these if they come out well.

I am going to start back in on the International Shawl and I'm going to "wing it" ie knit whatever I can, however I can do it. I need to do this because I have yet another co-worker who is to retire and I would like this shawl to be for her. So if you see me screaming and ripping out my hair in the future, it will mostly likely be my failure to make this shawl as pretty as I would like it to be. Don't blame fleegle if it sucks since I'm not as elegant as she is with the blending of the lace styles. Hers will be polished. Mine will be...well let's just say it will be finished! We also serve who sing in the chorus :-)

24 comments:

LittleBerry said...

The Japanese book looks great... I love the tank top on the front but I can see why you bought the book for the lace, I love that last shot from the book is that the shawl you were talking about?

The green batts you've spun up are beautiful and looks lovely in that pattern the colour really lends itself to the pattern if that makes sense????? I must admit I tend to spend more time on the spinning forums than I do on the lace forums

As always I'm looking forward to seeing the international shawl and I'm sure it will be somewaht polished rather than finished.... I hope the stress levels stay down....

fleegle said...

The hat is adorable, the yarn is mouthwatering, and the spinning, enviable.

Go ahead and make me feel guilty about the International shawl. Sigh.

I hope your stressful times are at an end and things are getting better for you. Wondered why you have been so quiet :(

Opal said...

Gorgeous booty from your retail therapy. I especially love the Claudia Hand Paint.

I hope your life gets a little bit less interesting so you can get back to knitting the lace you love. But I have to admit I love seeing your spinning projects. :)

Laritza said...

The little hat is so cute! I love the patterns in that book but most of all the mint green yarn in the pictures.
"knit at all times"
I am not sure if this is a quote from someone or my own, just in case it is in quotes. I have been spinning too. Just because the thinking part of the activity is less.

domesticshorthair said...

I have Vintage Knitting in Tradition, too. That is a heart-pounding kind of book! I saw it a couple of months ago, didn't buy it, but I obsessed about the lace in it so much (particularly the stole), and the Fair Isle and Aran stuff just made it worse, that I went back a week later and bought it. It's wonderful too look at!

Anonymous said...

I have to! agree with your taste in Japanese books - buyable for such gorgeous lace patterns. I feel like a doggie panting at all this beautiful yarn and fiber you have - I think i's wonderful how you've thoughtfully planned for them all. And because you planted a big seed in my mind to get some A Verb... fiber I just finished an order on their updated site - gotta "blame" you :) And I'll betcha a few of your fans are thinking like me - we're going to work w. you so that when we retire you'll spin and knit a gorgeous shawl for us. Your co-workers are sooooooooooo lucky! Terry

Judith said...

hi -thanks for sharing "Vintage Knits" with us - I *really* need another Japanese pattern book! Is the shawl that is the 5th from the top (simple squares, in brown) in that book? I"leafed" through the book at YesAsia but that particular shawl didn't seem to be in it. And I *really* need to knit another shawl! I loved this one. Your spinning, BTW is quite good!

Jane said...

Dear littleberry,

I love the Japanese books and just can't help buying them when I see them. The last shot of lace in the book is not a shawl. it is a close-up detail of a childs sweater.However, there is no reason it could not be made into a stole if you really wanted it. That's why I included the picture. I think it would make a lovely stole. I love the International Shawl but the more I look at it, the more I doubt I could finish it in time. I may have to go with "Plan B", whatever that is.

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

No guilt! Knitting is so not about guilt! Actually, I now think I will not be able to finish this shawl for the person who is going to retire so I may go with something else that is faster to knit. As for the stress, it's just one of those things that happens to everyone sometimes. I'm lucky to have activtys that help me out in that department :-)

Jane said...

Dear Opal,

I loved the Claudia Handpaint too. Until I had to go shop for yarn for the baby sweaters, I had not really paid any attention to that yarn. I also hope life will become a little less "interesting" in the future so my knitting can get back on track!

Jane said...

Dear Laraitiza,

The hat really is cute.When I first saw the skein of yarn for it I said "No Way!" would it make a hat but my friend Louise had already proved it could be done by making one and she was totally correct! I love this green yarn and it sparkles if you take it out into the sunshine. It's a very simple pattern they selected for the knit-a-long but I think I will add edging to it to make it a little more interesting :-) Spinning really puts me into "the zone" and I'm less likely to mess up spinning than I am knitting when I'm distracted.

Jane said...

Dear domesticshorthair,

I have to agree with you on this one. I love the production values of the Japanese books even if I can't read them. I kept trying to convince myself I didn't need this book but I still walked out with it :-) I'm not one bit sorry either!

Jane said...

Dear Terry,

I think everyone should have yarn and fiber. Lots and lots of yarn and fiber! I must say I really do like the fiber from A Verb For Keeping Warm but then, I just like fiber in general! As for knitting, I can't keep up with all of the people who are going to retire. I wish I knit faster!

Jane said...

Dear Judith,

That last picture is a detail from a baby sweater in the book, not a stole. It could easily be made into a stole though which is what I would do rather than making it as a sweater. I love the Japanese craft books in general. I almost bought one on crochet, and I don't even crochet! It was just so beautiful though, sigh. Just call me addicted.

Stephanie said...

your Palo Verde yarn looks fantastic - looking forward to seeing the completed shawl! I've actually shopped at Commuknity before when I was in San Jose for work :D I have to say all the other goodies look very tempting too...perhaps its time for me to go shopping as well!

BadCatDesigns said...

I am sorry you are so stressed, but it looks like you are doing intensive fiber therapy, and that always works for me! Playing with your stash is also healing...

I have the new Japanese book too, and I also love the piece with that lovely leaf pattern. Feel better!

Jane said...

Dear Stephanie,

I really like Communknitty but I don't live that close to it. I get there when I visit my younger brother and his family and it's always a treat to shp there and meet the lovely people who run the shop and who just sit and knit or spin. It has a great warm feeling and I wish I could make it out there more frequently :-) As for the Paolo Verde. I love the yarn but this pattern for the knit-a-long not holding my attention. I'm not sure I can keep knitting this stole. I tought it would be relaxing but it's become close to a "brain death" kind of experience for me here.LOL. I may have to frog it (sigh) Oh well... I can use the yarn for something else and maybe just do the knit-a-long as a scarf in a big yarn so it will end sooner.!

Jane said...

Dear badcatdesigns,

Yep! Spinning and knitting therapy. You can't beat that combination for relaxing.That and trash romance novels:-) I really like the Japanese book and for some reason I really like that stole with the leaves a lot. If I frog the Woodland Shawl, I may use the Palo Verde for that one instead!

missalicefaye said...

So many pretty things to look at here! I hope you're feeling a bit less stressed these days...

Add me to the list of people who had to buy something from A Verb For Keeping Warm because of all the lovelies you've shown here. :) I picked some up at Maryland Sheep and Wool--beautiful stuff! I'm such a sucker for natural dyes...

Soo said...

wow! What a great post. I love a good picture fest - and this was certainly a good picture fest. And all such beautiful stuff. I haven't ventured into Japanese knitting books yet - but I think I might have to now....

Romi said...

Wow! What a feast for the eyes! It is inspiring. :)

I also spin (spindle) when I am stressed. There is really nothing like it! It is a zenlike experience. :)

Hope things are less stressful these days!

Jane said...

Dear missalicefaye,

I hope the fiber from Verb spins up well. It's next on my list of things to spin and I am also a sucker for natural dyes. Nice to know I'm not the only one who can't resist. Besides. You have to feed that spinning habit of yours :-)

Jane said...

Dear Soo.

I love the Japanese books and owned a few even before I could figure out what all the stitch keys ment. If you do pick up a few, make sure you check out fleegle's blog on the subject of Japanese symbols etc. It's wonderful as usual!

Jane said...

Dear Romi,

I like to have pictures of things in the blog so even if I bore people they can at least see something pretty or interesting (If I'm lucky). My sister is the spindle spinner in the family, I stick to wheels but I also get into a Zen type state. Nice to hear from you!