Sunday, January 29, 2006

Knitting Projects: New, Old and Interminable

Here is my magnum opus: a top-down sweater knit in single stranded Koigu and using at least 25 different hand-dyed colorways.

Most of the yarn was bought as mill ends at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, an annual truffle hunt/gorge-fest for knitters and spinners. I designed the pattern myself, with copious problem solving from my friend and knitting's National Living Treasure (even though she's only 24 years old), The Magnificent Grace. For non-knitters, a top-down sweater is knit in one piece starting at the neck and then knitting around and around. That way you can try it on as you go to make sure you don't end up with a beautifully knit potato sack.

The colors are even richer than this; the camera flash bleaches them out. There's also some ever present construction dust on the lens. Yes, the construction IS STILL GOING ON.

A little Fair Isle on the sleeve. All the edges will be turned under and hemmed.

The trick with this sweater is that it is never, ever going to be finished. I keep ripping out, perfecting, reknitting ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I have only one more sleeve to go. But now I'm wondering if hemming the edges is really what I want...

Pause to wind a skein.

This is going to be a large wrap to use as a shawl at my freezing desk (where a pane of glass blew out last week). Or I can bundle it around and around over my coat as I stand waiting for the bus.

The yarn is Estelle cashmere, hand-dyed fabulousness. I'm making the design up as I go along, which will keep me interested until it's 7 x 4 feet.

I've got a long way to go.

Pause to cast on.

One of the main reasons for having a baby is the clothes. This baby adorableness will be put aside until one of my 4 god-daughters, currently aged 16 to 30, produces an offspring. I had originally knit it for a friend's baby, but decided after Christmas with the 4 girls and much boyfriend discussion, that I better start building up the baby knitwear stash NOW.

I got the greatest woven labels, surprisingly inexpensive and beautifully made. I live in terror that one of my painfully knitted garments will get lost and end up on an anonymous, unappreciative person, or worse, get left in the gutter to become increasingly filthy and then tossed in a city dumpster. So if any of you ever find a knitted object with this label, EMAIL ME!

Pause to count stitches.

This scarf design is by Mac & Me, a worthy design team of mother and young daughter (young daughter aspires to brain surgeon, or maybe Poet Laureate). The yarn is by Alchemy, 50/50% wool & silk, with no pills and a hand like cashmere.

I think of Alchemy as a couple of pantheistic, Northern California ageing hippies maintaining a religious fidelity to materials. Their hand-dyed yarn colors are out of this world.


Resume knitting.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


First cup of coffee.

Monday, January 23, 2006


First flowers at the kitchen window.

Friday, January 20, 2006


First night back in our own bed, in the new bedroom.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Move In Day

The original old pine floors have been refinished and mopped to remove the construction dust that continues to settle every day. The bookshelves are uncovered and the windows washed; you can even see the peaks of the little triangular evergreens I planted in the windowbox over a year ago. The 7am light shines into the front room, calm and pristine.

6 hours later: it's good to have our stuff around us again after a 10 month absence.

There's lots more work ahead--note all the kitchen boxes stacked with the unfinished cabinets behind--but it feels more fun than drudgery. Like playing house.

Monday, January 16, 2006


A first meal in the sort-of-finished kitchen.
Standing up at the counter.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Two weeks of vacation to work on the house. Wahoo!! The furniture comes out of storage! I get my life back!

The first thing I did was come down with a cold.

But pretty soon I'll be able to find the Kleenex.


Monday, January 09, 2006

Mirror, mirror