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Archive for April, 2005

Toe Up Footie Pattern and Other Knitting

Friday, April 15th, 2005

First-Time Toe-Up Sock by LynnHThursday night when I was talking with Eric, I got a lot done on my ribbed tank top. I’m pleased with how it looks so far. I changed the back (it was supposed to be a deep V with yet a deeper slit and a ribbon to hold it together in a keyhole). My back is not my best feature and I get cold/sunburned enough that making the back fairly solid is a smart move for me. Never mind that the straps will be less likely to fall down.

First-Time Toe-Up Sock by LynnHSo I knit straight across on the back until I was done decreasing on the sides for armholes, then I bound off the center stitches and prepared to make straps. But I don’t like it enough, and I’m going to rip back the one strap I finished and the bind off. I want it even higher, maybe another three inches of rib. Then maybe I’ll bind of a little more gradually so there is not an abrupt corner. We’ll see how that goes, I haven’t thought it out much yet.

First-Time Toe-Up Sock by LynnHThis means that for about 12 hours I did not have any “brainless” knitting, the stuff I crank out like crazy when running errands and waiting in line. Ack! I do have two pair of socks in process but they were not with me at dinner with Eric. I will want to cast on the front of this tank top sometime in the next few days so I can crank again for many stitches of K2P2 ribbing. I’ll get you photos of this project soon… but I have even more exciting news to illustrate today.

The news is that I did finally finish my First-Time Toe-Up Sock pattern! WooHoo! (No thanks to Microsoft Word 2002/XP, which kept crashing my computer over and over when trying to spell check the nine-page pattern… aargh.) It looks good and includes all the information I really wanted my students to have at their disposal. I’m subtitling this pattern “A Gentle Guide through a No-Swatch Design” which really feels just right.

I am really pleased with this, as a teaching guide. It has really good photos (according to my students at Little Red Schoolhouse who are taking this class right now) showing exactly how to do the toe up process successfully. There is a two-page appendix with photos for unusual techniques (even hints on using Double Pointed Needles) and a sock sizing grid for making toe up socks for other folks besides yourself. It’s a winner. These three photos are all variations on the pattern as written, but you can make any cuff you like on top of the instructions I include.

Those who pre-ordered this pattern will see it in the mail very soon. Thanks for your enthusiasm! For those interested now, you can visit my LynnH Patterns page for information on this pattern and others I’ve written. Remember, I am currently paying shipping (First Class postage) in the USA for purchases of two or more patterns at one time. I’d love to hear from you that you learned of the pattern here (as opposed to Socknitters Email group, for example) if you’d be so kind as to make that note when you write me.

Now the Tea Cosy pattern is very soon to follow. That is what I’m working on this very minute. Busy, busy, busy!!!

Dinner with Eric!

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Thursday was great. Knitting with kids, a bit of knitting for myself, darning a hole in a pair of fave purple handknit socks so I can wear them more, and then dinner with Eric. My brother. My best friend in the world.

He lives over an hour from me. We sometimes drive to a town something like halfway between us, and meet up at a Wendy’s there. They let us talk for hours in the corner. Eric eats their food, I get hot tea and bring food I can eat (I honestly don’t know anywhere in this town where I can eat the food on the menu). They don’t mind, they leave us peacefully alone to talk forever.

Then they close at 10pm. So we go to the car and sit and talk until we’re too tired to talk more. This time I left at 11:45. Home after midnight. I’d do it again in a second. My brother is the best friend I could ever have, and I don’t get time with him nearly enough.

A wonderful day.

Tuesday Heaven

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

two small soft block prints of dancersOh, my… what a wonderful Tuesday I had!

Dance Morning
First I went to my new dance class at Happendance Studio. This is the school run by the Happendance Modern Dance troupes (they have one company that goes into schools, another that does concerts). Diane Newman founded Happendance about 27 years ago and still is a leader there, although she shares the lead with other excellent talented folk.

Right after my divorce in 1991, I learned about Diane. At that time she had a private studio in DeWitt, a town just north of Lansing. I started to take adult ballet from her and I had not danced in about 16 years.

Many ballet instructors are downright mean. They yell at you and tell you how bad that was and how much you need to improve. Diane is just as loving as they are mean. I am not good at ballet, but it is good for me so I took it. I would fall over on many occasions. Once I was on my way to falling again, and Diane told me how lovely my foot was. This is the kind of teacher I want to study with. She always finds something you did right, and reinforces that. What a woman.

Well, I figured Diane was too busy directing a school and two dance companies, to be teaching people who were not destined to be a prima ballerina someday. Imagine my surprise when I get to the school, and Diane is my teacher. I am so happy!!!

The moves in the class are mostly based on modern dance, which I studied in high school. It’s all familiar stuff though unpracticed. This is another form of dance that I love but am not particularly good at. It stretches different muscles than middle-eastern dance does, which is what I need.

There were seven students, a nice class… a few probably younger than me and most older than me. I think this will be very good for rounding me out in a nice balanced way. I’m just delighted to study with Diane again!

Knitting Afternoon
After dance class, I headed over to the Sheraton where I took a half-day class with Lucy Neatby on finishing techniques (sponsored by Threadbear Fiberarts). My goodness! How wonderful it was!

We worked basically on a few pockets to learn several techniques. It’s amazing how familiar some of this was, considering it was mostly about sweaters and I mostly do socks. We did some grafting, and an afterthought pocket. I do kitchener toes (and grafted a new top on my bag last weekend) and afterthought heels. Gotta love it. A sweater class that relates to socks. I was pleased.

We also did a wonderful knitted picot bind off, a new modified bind off technique that is stretchy (very helpful for toe up socks) and an I-cord bind off that just looks wonderful, but will require a little more practice on my part.

I didn’t take any pictures, and my swatch from class has at least 60 ends on it, it looks like a wig rather than knitting. Just trust me, I loved my class. If you ever get a chance to study with Lucy, do! She is so very creative. She won’t shy away from anything that inspires her, she dives in headfirst. Amazingly creative, focused, grounded, centered, gentle, good at explaining. It was a wonderful time.

The image today is two soft block prints I made on small erasers a number of years ago when visiting my mother in Florida. My computer says the image was created in January 2001 and modified in March 2000. Go figure. Go Microsoft. But that gives us a general ballpark for these images. They were inspired by a ballroom dance book my mother had. The first one is the tango, I can’t remember what dance the second one was.

Busy Monday

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

postcardLunch with Tony
I did sleep in on Monday, but then I had a busy one! Tony and I went to lunch for an (east) Indian buffet at the restaurant named Taj, and stuffed ourselves silly. I knit and he talked and it was wonderful.

New Yarn Shop Location
We tried to go to the new yarn shop near Foster Center (and near where we had lunch) but it is closed Sunday/Monday. Irene A. told me that it was re-opening on Vine Street last week (near Wallace Optical and Thompson Jewelers, close to Frandor).

Sarah Peasley has been teaching for this shop, I believe, since it was at its old location which I think was in an antique mall or craft mall on the north side of Lansing. I never went there at the old spot. It is tiny but it seemed to have a good selection of sock yarn so I will check it out sometime on a lunch hour.

Toe-Up Sock Class and Pattern
Anyway, after that I got some groceries and went home to work again on my toe-up pattern. I have the great fortune to be teaching the toe-up class right now at Little Red Schoolhouse. This means I have five students who can tell me how they like my new pattern.

I’ve been teaching the class for the last year or two, with a three-page handout sans photographs (and me in the room to explain things). This new version has 14 photographs so far. It is intended to be a novice pattern (and for people I may not be teaching in person), so I really felt that the photos would help people who were learning new techniques. Even an experienced top-down socknitter might appreciate the photos of the toe-up procedures, I figure.

The students tonight were really happy with the photos so far. They are big enough and clear enough to really illustrate things well. The photos and accompanying text have expanded my text from 3 pages to nine. I don’t mind. Some of it is in an appendix so only those who need help need look up that procedure, and it doesn’t slow the pattern for the rest of the folks.

I teach in a conversational style, and my patterns are the same way. I get good feedback on this, so I will continue being myself and hope that folks who like this style will find me.

I had a sort of funny “hiccup” when I was trying to get the new version ready for my students tonight (definitely in a sort of time crunch). Somehow I did a Find/Replace command that replaced all my K1 instructions with a K2 instruction, aaargh! It was a silly multiple typo that really made a mess of things. Fortunately we found it during class and did a bunch of corrections in pen.

I’ll keep working on the pattern this week, I’ve already corrected the K2 issue. Actually, I think the pattern is really, really close to done. I do need to print it out and look at it on paper rather than on my computer screen. Some things are just not clear on screen.

My Knitting
In other knitting news, I am ready to felt my Watercolor Bag that I made for myself. Well, not the I-cord handle, but the bag itself.

I have also knit a total of about 9 inches on my ribbed tank top since Friday. I also took the new purple Garden Capelet to Little Red Schoolhouse today so she can show it off and hopefully get some students for that class. This weekend I’m teaching the tea cosy at Little Red Schoolhouse so I’ll be putting the finishing touches on that pattern as well. Nothing like a deadline to make sure I get things done!!!

Yarn Garden/FFFooties
And somewhere in here, I’ll be knitting a Fast Florida Footie for Yarn Garden. She has one already there, in Fixation, and she gave me some other DK yarn in a wool blend so people can see more than one version of the socklet. We are planning a Saturday class probably, I think in July, to do the Footies. It should be fun.

Tuesday Plans: Lucy Neatby for Starters!
Tomorrow/Tuesday I start a new dance class around noon (something like modern dance, just for fun/no performances). And then I go study with Lucy Neatby, thanks to the boyz at Threadbear. It is another thing where I just want to be there, it’s not really “my subject.” But I studied socks with her last year and it was fabulous, and I just want to be in the room learning more. Even if it *is* mostly for sweaters.

And then if I am lucky, I get to drive to Ann Arbor again and have a late dinner with my brother. I hope. Catch you Wednesday!

Please forgive no photos. I’m still catching up from the too-busy weekend, and preparing for a too-busy Tuesday. Here’s a postcard I made with rubberstamps I made myself (it’s called eraser carving, or soft-block printing). There were five different print blocks used in this image, and five different ink pads. My computer is confused, because it says the image was created in January 2001 but then it was edited in November 1999? How it can be edited before it was created I don’t know, but clearly I made this image a good long while ago.

Habibi Annual Show

Monday, April 11th, 2005

Saturday was the big dance show of the year for Habibi Dancers. It went very well, we all were pleased.

Sword/Veil danceI was lucky enough that I was done dancing in the first act, so that I got to put on civilian clothes and sit in the balcony for the second act. It was wonderful.

Here are three photos from the show. First is a large group number, eight dancers. Four were working with swords (yes, they are real but they are not sharpened) and four with veils. Halfway through the dance, they trade, and the sword dancers become the veil dancers and vice-versa. That point is what you are seeing in this photo. It’s a very impressive dance (there were two choreographers working together, one on veilwork and one on sword work) and was very well received.

Scrim danceThe second photo is a “scrim” dance. A scrim is a fabric screen. A dancer is placed between a bright directional light and the scrim, and her shadow shows to the audience. In this dance she was the “shadow” of the dancer in front of the scrim. It’s very difficult to do this sort of dance, since the performers can not see one another. We had two excellent dancers and they did a wonderful job.

Yasmina AmalThe last photo is Yasmina Amal, the creative director of the Habibi Dancers and my outstanding dance teacher. She is absolutely electric on stage, she really keeps the attention of the audience. Isn’t she beautiful?

Repeat Travelogue Today/Sunday

Sunday, April 10th, 2005

boy in Bahar Dar EthiopiaPardon me, I’ve been so distracted by my Habibi Dancers’ show (pictures to come probably on Monday) that I forgot something. I’m repeating my travelogue… photos and stories from my trip with Altu to three countries in Africa. It is Today. Today, Sunday April 10. At 6pm to about 8pm. Maybe some local folks might like to attend.

It’s at Bare Bone Studios, 1236 Turner Street in old town (Lansing, Michigan, USA, that is). That is the first block north of Grand River… most of a block down from Creole Gallery, and approximately across the street from the visitors’ center. It’s a red brick building just before the parking lot, same/east side of street as Creole. Go in the right hand door and walk straight back to the far back room.

The event is sponsored by Working Women Artists, but all are welcome.

I hope you can come.

Photo is a boy playing flute in Bahar Dar, Ethiopia.

Knitting Fool, That is Me

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

Watercolor Bag half-knitI have had to be away from my home/office a lot in the last few days. Fortunately for me, I’ve had a few projects I could knit while on the road.

First, I did re-knit the top garter edge for my Watercolor bag that I will be using as a class demo piece on Sunday, at Yarn Garden. I started grafting the new edge to the top of the bag and got almost half done, while waiting for dress rehearsal to start Friday night.

On Thursday I worked on two sets of toe-up socks for my Monday class (and also, consequently, for photos in the almost-ready First-Time Toe-Up Sock pattern I expect to finish early this week). One is in sportweight Reggio (not Regia) which is 80% Wool, and thus feels much better to me than the 75% Wool standard sockyarns. I think part of it is that it’s a little fatter yarn also, but I love this stuff. Cushy. I’m also doing a sample sock in bulky Lamb’s Pride, a sort of slipper socklet. The bulky one is a photo sample for the pattern. I will cry if I can’t keep that pair, though… turquoise and warm is my favorite combination!

Ribbed Swatch in Kelly yarnAND… I verified that the K2P2 rib swatch I made in cotton/acrylic i-cord tube yarn called Kelly, is to gauge for the tank top I want to knit. So I cast on the 90 required stitches for the back and I have already knit about 3″ on that piece.

I pray I will finish this in my lifetime, but I really love the yarn and the pattern, and it seems like it will knit fast enough on this somewhat fat yarn for me to actually finish. The last sweater I made took me a year, and I did try to start a Sigma Tank a year ago but my gauge changed so much between my figuring moments and my knitting moments, that I had to abandon ship.

However, I just love this swatch after I threw it in the washing machine and dryer, so it seems worth the money for the yarn and the time to knit it. This piece looks pretty wearable to me for summertime. It’s more subtle in person, not as stripey, more like a whole bunch of pinks almost alike. Isn’t the swatch beautiful?

I’m not much of a garment knitter (that is, sweaters/tops), but I think this will work for me. Since I’m very focused on finishing things, I do not like to start if I am not convinced I can finish happily. This pattern is K2P2 rib which I am much more happy knitting, than 90 stitches in knit followed by 90 stitches of purl. Ugh. More than about 4 purls in a row makes me crazy. So far I’m liking this tank just fine, however. So far, so good!

Photos: 1) Watercolor Bag… the too-blue turquoise yarn at top, the too-light/aqua yarn at bottom, and the ball of yarn I finally settled upon, sitting on top waiting its turn. They don’t call me ColorJoy for nothing… color is ultimately important and worth extra effort and time, even for fun projects like this bag. 2) Swatch (4.5″ tall by 6″ wide) of Rosina Kelly yarn, color 101. I love how it’s slightly variegated but very subtle. This thing I should be able to wear with every single thing in my closet!

Spring Dance Show, Spring Flowers, Spring Break

Friday, April 8th, 2005

DancersHere are the long-delayed spring inspirations!

DancerFirst, I’d be remiss if I did not mention that the Habibi Dancers Show is surely the first harbinger of spring activities, at least in my book. I took these two small photos at rehearsal on Wednesday. This is only the tip of the iceberg… wonderful dances inspired by many cultures, beautiful costumes, wonderful music. Don’t miss it. Hannah Center Auditorium, Saturday, 8pm show, East Lansing.

Second… Here are photos of the daffodils in my yard. First, the two I mentioned two days ago. You can see that the only green in the photo is the daffodil itself. In fact, on Sunday as we drove to our concert in Ann Arbor, I noticed that the grass was not green… it was sort of hinting it wanted to become green but it was still the color of straw as far as the eye could see.

DaffodilsSo the next photo here shows how far we have come in four days. This second flower shot is my side yard. Not only is the grass green, but we are just bursting with healthy and happy wild violets. You can see some daffodils on the far left, next to the house, just before the flamingos. We had two really warm and sunny days in a row and they just popped! Even though today was cooler, the flowers were not deterred at all. It was wonderful!

Violets in YardThird, here is a group of my CityKidz Knit! children. It is spring break this week, so I got a few back who have not knit with me in a while. It was great to have them back. The girl at right is holding some new yarn that was donated from a person on one of my email lists, just this week. The color was electric and my girl was thrilled!!! Notice I had three boys and two girls. One boy spent the time casting on and taking the stitches off the needle, then casting on again. The girl at left just learned to knit again recently and was going to town on a wristband.

The girl at right I’ve had for four years now. Her grandma taught her to crochet, so she first crocheted a little and then started a project with knitting and the wild yarns. The other two boys have the same grandma and they decided to crochet today as well. They have a toddler in their life so wanted to make blankets. I am not sure if they will ever finish, but it’s not my job to discourage them (I have tons of yarn, it’s needles I’m constantly short on). So they started crocheted blankets, the two of them. Why not?

CityKidz Knit!In my own knitting news, I bound off the purple Garden Capelet today. I need to string it with its ribbon tie and deliver it to Little Red Schoolhouse. I may wait until Monday so I can show the piece to Kim at Yarn Garden when I’m there on Sunday.

Of course, I feel practically on vacation to have that done. I’ve worked on that far too long somehow. So I didn’t go back to any unfinished projects… of course not. I’m swatching like a crazy girl. I’m playing with some crochet, not sure if that will go anywhere.

However, I finished a K2P2 swatch of a yarn called Kelly, a tube/I-Cord of cotton/acrylic which has a subtle color change in it, mostly a soft raspberry. I measured gauge before blocking by hand, after blocking by hand, then I washed it in the regular laundry and measured again. It looks nice laundered, but definitely has a shorter row measurement. I’m thinking of a tank top, don’t faint. I even have a pattern that works with the gauge I got, the first time out. Woohoo! I’ll take a picture of the swatch another day.

But for now I’m working on things for my Sunday Watercolor Bag class at Yarn Garden in Charlotte, Michigan, and my Monday Toe-Up sock class at Little Red Schoolhouse.

The bag which I am making for myself (I hope), I started with a very bold blue-turquoise solid color. It looked good with the first skein of Kureyon but not the second. So when I got to the end I thought I wanted an aqua, like a color in all 3 skeins. Rob of Threadbear gave me a ball of Cascade 220 in the color I thought I wanted, from stash, and I was sure that would be the right choice. Nope. It’s too pastel, and the bag is bold. So I knit 8 rounds of 144 stitches and I will take that out. It’s worth it, to like the bag better.

So I went back today to Threadbear, and my friend Luann and Rob and I worked at finding the right thing. Rob found it, of course. It’s a sort of darker turqoise/teal on the blue side but not as blue as the first yarn and not quite as green as the second. I think it will be just the thing. So now I’m off to re-knit the border four rows, graft them on the bag, and then knit the bottom of the bag in preparation for my Sunday class. I want to have it ready for me to demo how to complete the bottom of the bag.

That’s all. Nothing new in Lake Wobegon, right? Quiet week and all that. Well, quieter than some times, not as quiet as others. And if it’s too quiet I get bored. But I sure am happy to have that purple capelet done. It’s gorgeous, but I just somehow didn’t enjoy the yarns I picked, thinking they would be easy and fun to work with. Live and learn.

Watercolor Bag Party/Class on Sunday

Thursday, April 7th, 2005

Watercolor Bag copyright LynnHI have to just put in a word for the fun we are going to be having at the Yarn Garden in Charlotte, MI this upcoming Sunday.

Watercolor Bag copyright LynnHKim and Pat really pull out the stops to make a fun party experience on these weekend classes I have been doing for them since fall. You can bring food if you choose, or just indulge in all the goodies other people bring. You will be full either way. And she has done door prizes for every one of my Sunday class/parties so far, so I would guess there will be more of that as well.

We will be doing the Watercolor Bag this time. You get a pattern included in the class. It takes only 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon and about half a skein of a coordinating solid yarn (I use Cascade 220, you might choose something else that felts). It’s a nice size bag, lightweight for a knitted bag, and it stays closed as you wear the thing around town, which I really like.

It is a very simple project to knit, doesn’t take much time to make up, and looks great. It would be fun for an experienced person looking for a little pick-me-up fun knitting project, and also for a friend who is just learning the basics. There is no purling in this bag, and only a few decreases on the bottom, otherwise it’s straight knitting that doesn’t get boring because of the color changes in the yarn.

I would love to see some of you at the class! You can contact Kim at kim AT yarngardencharlotte DOT com or 517/541-9323. Please join the fun, it’s a wonderful crowd there at the shop. And the pies at the diner across the street… mmmm… Brian always looks forward to that artform when I return from classes in Charlotte. The best!

Ushers for Habibi Show?

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

Does anyone in the Lansing area want to usher for the Habibi Dancers’ Show this coming Saturday? You get a free ticket to the show, which promises to be a treat.

Contact me at Lynn AT ColorJoy DOT Com if you are interested. (If I don’t reply within 8 hours, something went wrong… so resend your email.)


Gorgeous Spring, Dinner with Eric

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

Yesterday I saw my own mini-daffodils blooming. Two of them, they are beautiful. The weather is unbelievable here right now. Sunshine, slight breeze, no need for even a windbreaker at least while the sun shine. I’m in love with life today!

Late last night, this morning and early afternoon I worked on a new pattern… well, actually, I’m changing some class handouts into a real pattern format. Somehow when I started adding photos to the instructions around noon today, the Microsoft Word file corrupted. It thought the pattern was something like 9,000 pages! Ack! Fortunately, I’m a stickler for making backup copies of everything, every single night while I sleep.

Therefore, I’m back to where I was when I went to bed last night, other than having edited ten how-to photographs. (It is a toe-up pattern for new toe-up socknitters, and I want them to succeed. The best way I know to help knitters when I can not be with them, is to give a lot of photographs of the most unusual parts of the process.) So I just will have to re-start on that pattern tonight when I get home.

Because… right now it’s time to drive to Ann Arbor! Today I have dinner with my brother, Eric. I adore him, he’s my best friend. We do not get much time together any more, and I will savor every minute. He can not stay long but I’ll enjoy him while I can.

Then I go to Borders’ Books in Arborland (Ann Arbor, Michigan) for a knit in. I’ve missed the last 3 times this group has come together. I miss them. I’m happy to go back.

Pictures of daffodils tomorrow.

The Concert was Wonderful

Monday, April 4th, 2005

The Fabulous Heftones at AACTMAD ConcertWe had a wonderful time in Ann Arbor last night. I can not think of something I would rather do.

Gerald Ross started the concert. He is a talent par excellance, and he shared the stage with a few friends (Paul on fiddle and Kathy on ukulele) and a big handful of different instruments. He plays them all beautifully.

Gerald Ross is well-loved and well-respected in traditional music circles and ukulele circles. He has an amazing lack of ego, considering his wonderful talent.

After he played, we had our turn. We had a wonderful time. The audience was right there with us the whole show. You just can not buy such a fine evening!

And then today, Gerald Ross wrote a review on EZ-Folk, of our portion of the concert. It’s glowing with high regard, and from such a fabulous musician, I got a little choked up reading it. After all, this is what I always wanted to do… since I was a very little girl (just ask my Mom).

Thanks go to Gerald for taking the time and energy, and putting such beautiful words together on our behalf. Perhaps you would take a minute and go read it yourself.

Thanks to everyone who made the concert happen. Kathy, Joan, Richard (the three volunteers we met), Gerald, Paul and the rest at AACTMAD, thank you. We had a wonderful time.

This photo was taken by Kathy Gravlin with my camera, during the show. Thanks, Kathy!

Happy Anniversary, Mom

Sunday, April 3rd, 2005

Mom wearing stole knit by DianaJust a small note… today would be my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Dad died after they were only married 18 years if I remember right.

I did write mom earlier today to wish her a good day, and it sounds like she did have one. But it’s worth sending public good wishes to this very special lady… who had to raise two teenagers herself for about 5 years, something out of the blue. And who taught me by being strong and independent, how to be strong and independent.

Happy Anniversary, Mom!

Much Better!

Sunday, April 3rd, 2005

The Fabulous HeftonesFirst, a message from our sponsor: If you are in Ann Arbor or near Ann Arbor, Michigan today, please consider coming to our concert tonight. We are sharing the stage with the great Gerald Ross. Concert is at Pittsfield Grange, off 94. Concert information on the AACTMAD website. Now, we return to our previously-scheduled broadcast…

What a difference a day makes! I rested, knit, and took a leisurely 1.5 hour nap on Saturday. No more headache, no more tummy ache. I must have had a small gut bug, and sleeping (plus the magical properties of the ginger Altu gave me) made it go away.

Brian brought me dinner from Altus, total comfort food in every way. I had lima bean stew (her lima beans are to die for, really… Americans have no idea how good this food can be if seasoned properly) on rice. With extra cabbage (yum) on the side. My favorite food on the planet! Healing food.

After my nap and dinner, I felt energetic enough to have a pretty excellent practice with Brian on our music. Then I even took the time to make some Coconut-Brown Sugar Tapioca Pudding, which takes only a few minutes but will be a very nice breakfast for me tomorrow.

Watercolor Bag:
I knit almost all of my Noro Kureyon for my Watercolor Bag. I have perhaps one inch of knitting left before I change to solid-colored yarn and knit the base of the bag. Except I really want a different solid turquoise than I started with. (Note: Three hours after I posted this entry, I added a picture of most of one side of the bag, showing the edge color.)

unfinished Watercolor BagThis happened on my last bag experiment (a smaller as-yet unpublished bag)… I realized I wanted a lighter purple trim than I’d started with, so I cast on again, knit 4 rows/2 ridges of garter stitch, then I hand-grafted the new bag rim onto the Kureyon. I’m doing it again… I just need the right turquoise. The one I started with is very blue, and I really need a greener version to make this bag pull together the way I want.

I used two skeins of a Kureyon colorway that is mostly magenta/pink, with a little blue and green. Then the middle skein is mostly greens with blue and a little of everything, but mostly greens. There is a very bluish turquoise in the magenta skeins, but the middle has none of that color at all. I want to find a greenish turquoise, almost an aqua, and reknit the edge, and graft it on.

It’s 120 stitches of grafting, but I don’t mind at all when it’s flat. I don’t like doing kitchener/grafting on toes of socks very much because I can not lay the stitches flat on a table, and it is more distracting for me. But flat, that is a piece of cake, and I really love working with a sewing needle.

The only problem will be finding the right color of yarn in the right weight/fiber. I guess I will take a Sunday trip to either Threadbear or Little Red Schoolhouse, both stores which carry many colors of Cascade 220 (the yarn I specified in my pattern) and are open on Sundays. Lucky me.

Garden Capelet:
But I can’t spend all day knitting, because it’s concert day! I had really hoped to wear this Garden Capelet in sparkly purples, over my wedding dress (the turquoise silk dress I wear in our promotional photo). It would be gorgeous, but it will not be ready Sunday night.

In fact, I did do almost my quota for Friday and Saturday (that would be 16 rows), but then I realized I’d used a yarn out of order (I miss my random yarn thing that I use in ColorJoy Stoles, I just don’t do regular rotations very well). I had to unknit, one stitch at a time, about 175 stitches. So I’m two rows, or 200 stitches, behind my 4-rows in the morning, 4-rows at night, goal for the last 2 days.

I made my mistake when trying to read and knit. Drat. I truly need to just sit on the couch and knit this thing, without taking my eyes off it. This might be a perfect knit-in project, where folks chat while knitting, but lately I’m so busy with dance rehearsals at night that I’ve missed a month’s worth of knit-in’s, even my beloved Ann Arbor Borders group.

But my Watercolor Bag will be ready for phase 2 on Monday, and my class is not until Thursday. I guess I can start knitting my I-cord handles while I wait for class time to arrive.

Wowie, did I need a quick-knit project! I thought the capelet would be fast, but this particular set of three yarns is just fiddly… and I’m on bamboo needles when I really prefer the plastic ones I used for the first capelet (and the second, which is not even half-knit and on hold because it’s for my closet and not a yarn shop).

I like fast projects. That’s why I’ve done 111 pairs of socks, infinite hats/wristwarmers/legwarmers/scarves, but only 2 sweaters. I have a real need to FINISH. So I’m very happy that I could get so far so fast on the bag, while cranking away slowly on the other slower project.