Thursday, May 31, 2012


Yesterday, all the yarn from Knit Picks arrived! That's not totally true. The post office delivered it on Tuesday, but because of the apartment building I live in, I couldn't pick it up until Wednesday. There are things I love about this place, but that's not one of them.

Anyway, I picked up a box full of about $100 worth of yarn! Absolutely free! Well, I've agreed to do a lot of work with it, but it won't cost any actual money.

I had requested Wool of the Andes in either Baltic Heather or Marine Tweed, and gave them a choice which they sent. I was secretly hoping to get the tweed, but they sent Baltic Heather.

Here's the Marine Tweed:

When I went to look for what the Marine Tweed looks like, I realized that they're discontinuing the color and it's on sale! That's probably why I didn't get it. So, if you're looking for something like this, Knit Picks is the place to look. There are some other colors of Wool of the Andes Tweed that are on sale. Check it out.

Isn't it pretty, though?

Anyway, the Baltic Heather yarn is just beautiful! If you look at it closely, you can see so many colors in it, but from a distance, it looks more like a tonal color. I'm really pleased with it. . .

It's every bit as beautiful as the photo shows it to be. In real life, it's even more beautiful.

That's the yarn for the scarf.

The shawl is going to be knit in City Tweed DK, in Porpoise.

It's hard to decide to call this blue or grey, but it's truly beautiful. The Wool of the Andes feels good, but this stuff feels more like an angora rabbit!

I'm really looking forward to knitting with this stuff! It's true luxury fiber!

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the Wool of the Andes. It's knitting up so nice. I finished the first short section of the scarf, and have finished most of the section for the woven knot and will try what I think will be an easier way to weave it. I'll be on to the long straight stretch to the second knot later on this evening.

I've been bored to death with all the Spring TV shows that have finished up last week and left a wasteland in their wake.

Tonight, however, I have pizza, some good stuff on TV, and a scarf that is an easy knit, but looks so great that it's a real joy to knit! I'm planning to kick back and just enjoy the whole thing! I'm going to try to rest my elbow at least several times during the evening.

I wish you an evening as fun as mine is going to be!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fabulous News and Bad News

Monday, I got an email from Knit Picks telling me that two of my designs had been accepted for their independent designer program!

The first of the two is a scarf with a woven knot in it. I've already done a sample in Wool of the Andes sport weight, and have some really bad photos of both projects.

The wonderful, fabulous camera my sister gave me seemed to be malfunctioning, and the wonderful camera I bought before that seemed to be doing the same thing. Luckily, the problem was with the batteries, but it took me a little while to figure that out, so these photos were taken with my tablet computer.

Here's a view of the overall scarf:

As mentioned, that's in sport weight, and I'm also going to do one in worsted weight.

One of the ladies (Beth) at my knitting group (Flying Fingers) started knitting it. I was there for the meeting yesterday. Beth came in a little late, and when she saw me, her mouth opened, and before she could say anything, I said, "You want to talk to me!" She asked how I knew that, and I told her that she was close enough to weaving the knot last week that I was sure she'd be up to it by now, and I suspected she couldn't figure out how to do it.

So, we sat there, and wove a section of her scarf together. It really is a job for four hands. It was kind of fun working with another person so closely. There were cheers and words of encouragement, and everybody had fun. Afterward, every once in a while, she murmured, "I'm so pleased!" It gave me some ideas on how to adapt the job so it can be done with just two hands.

The other pattern that was accepted was the triangular shawl with the Saint John's cross on it.

You can't see it too well in the photo, but it really is spectacular! The fringe around the two sides is finished, in other words, there are no cut ends to fray! And you can't really see it too well in the photo but there's a picot bind-off across the top. I made it for a friend, who bought the yarn, and I'll have to knit it again for the pattern in Knit Picks yarn.

I'm so excited about this opportunity!


The bad news is that about a week or so ago, a big, soft lump came up on my right elbow. I ignored it for a while, hoping it would go away, but it hasn't gotten any better so far.

So, today, I looked it up on the internet, and it says that the bursa in my elbow is inflamed. It says to take ibuprofen, use a compression bandage, try to keep my elbow elevated, and stop doing stuff that irritates it!

It said it makes your elbow hurt, and I hadn't noticed that. But then, I'm really good at ignoring things like pain. Once I stopped everything and paid attention to my elbow, I discovered that it really was hurting.

Stuff that irritates it includes knitting!

So, Knit Picks has sent out yarn support for the two projects. It hasn't arrived yet, and I'm going to at least stop knitting until it arrives. I may delay starting it or at least take it easy when I do start.

That not only includes knitting, but also typing, so I'm going to stop now, and you may not hear from me for a while. If you do, it may be very short.

I do have a doctor's appointment, so relax. The internet may be helpful, but doesn't really replace a doctor. I can't see her instantly, though, so I can at least start to treat this before seeing her.

In the meantime, have a wonderful week and the best Memorial Day Weekend ever. I'm going to try to get out at some point to see Rolling Thunder. I don't have to actually go anywhere to see them, they're pretty much everywhere on Memorial Day Weekend, but not in my apartment. I'll have to go out to see them.

Anyway, have fun!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!

If it's Cinco de Mayo and it's Saturday or Sunday, then the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is underway.

Unfortunately, my allergies are keeping me from going. I don't have a car, and I'd like to think that it's the reason that I'm not going. I'd like that, because it's something I could possibly fix and maybe go next year.

But I can't kid myself. I've been having a severe allergic reaction for more than two years straight, and almost constantly for at least 5 years because of the unhealthy conditions in the HUD subsidized apartment in which I live. Going out for the day in the Spring, when the air is filled with tree pollen is nearly suicidal. I don't know. Maybe I can fix the problem with the apartment building and get better, if not well.

But back to the Sheep and Wool Fest! Or rather, back to the subject, but not the Festival.

Here's a photo of a lamb to get you in the mood.

Susan McFarland brought along a little lamb to the show a few years ago, and you can see her sitting in Susan's lap. Isn't she a cutie?

I'm at home, getting in the mood by watching You Lucky Dog on the Hallmark Network. It'll be on later today, too. It's about a woman who comes home from New York to her family's cattle farm and discovers that they've bought some sheep, too. She gets and trains a sheep dog named Lucky, and starts a designer sweater business. There are lots of border collies herding sheep, so at least I don't have to feel like I'm missing the sheepdog trials.

In the meantime, I'm finishing up some knitting projects, doing some light cleaning, and I might even do some spinning later. I might even treat myself to some chicken fried rice from the local Chinese restaurant as consolation.


The Jewelry Project

I used to make and sell sterling silver jewelry, and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed wearing it even more.

Then Steve decided to help me by throwing out all my tools (including a torch) and what was about $300 worth of sterling silver (then). It's probably about $4,500 worth of sterling in today's prices. This, and similar incidents, is a large part of why I'm no longer married to Steve.

I've been collecting silver working tools for the past few months, and this month I splurged and spent all my disposable income on the last few tools I needed, and some nickel silver wire. It should all arrive this coming week.

From Cool Tools, I ordered an anvil that is almost a sculptural work of art in it's own right,
a sandbag,
a mallet, and protective glasses (I'm not showing the glasses).
I found a great shop on ebay called JETS Tools, and I ordered a goldsmith's hammer from them.

 Isn't it pretty?

I plan to get a chasing hammer soon, too.

All of the tools are not only superb tools for the job, but aesthetically pleasing as well. The anvil, mallet, and hammer are beautiful pieces of sculpture, and the sandbag is to deaden the noise of using the hammers and anvil.

And, of course, I ordered some metal, in this case, various gauges of nickel silver wire. Please note that although it's called nickel silver, there is no silver in it. It is, as the name states, nickel. Actually, it's mostly copper, and there's a little bit of zinc in it, too, but no silver.

But it looks great, doesn't tarnish, and it's a tiny fraction of the cost of sterling. I got it partly because I was nearly broke after buying the hammers and anvil and wanted to be able to do something with the tools, and partly because it's a really inexpensive way to experiment before making things in the far more expensive silver. Next month, I may spring for some sterling filled wire.

Oh, and while I was at it, I ordered the crochet hooks I need to make the hats that I ordered the yarn and beads for last month. It'll be so nice to get the sun out of my eyes, and look great while I'm doing it!

I hope you're having a great weekend, and that if you live in my area that you got to go to the sheep and wool fest!