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Archive for February 7th, 2006

Happy Birthday, Rae!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

RaeI am not great about remembering birthdays. I somehow had Rae’s birthday on my calendar (we have not known each other a whole year) but then didn’t look at my calendar today because I knew I had no appointments. (Imagine that!)

RaeI did go out to run a few errands, though… allergy shot, post office… and while waiting 30 minutes in line to mail one envelope, I almost ran out of yarn for the hat I’m making for Brian. I was about 4 blocks from Rae’s shop, where I got the yarn in the first place.

So as I was coming in, someone else was going out and she had a birthday card in her hands. Oh, yeah! I saw that on my calendar a few days back, was going to remember, all that stuff… (remember, she gave me some very warm and yummy yarn for my own birthday back in late November)…

All you folks out there who know Rae, perhaps you’d like to send her a birthday greeting. Go on over to her blog, Extravayarnza, and leave her a birthday message, if you will.

Photos: Rae in skirt she knit from Sally Melville color book, Rae in my new “Button, Button, Who’s Got the Hat?” pattern sample. You embarrassed yet, Rae???

Hat Sample Finished, Color Personalities

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Guitar Herringbone HatI just finished knitting a sample Guitar Herringbone Hat for my friends at Heritage Spinning. The yarn was Heirloom Cashmino 8ply (that’s right, CashMINO, not CashMERINO). Heirloom yarns are from Australia and I’ve not seen them in Lansing-area shops, but I really like them. One of my favorites is Easy-Care 8ply, a washable springy cabled wool DK, more like old-fashioned wooly yarns than most washable wools.

This Cashmino yarn is a DK weight (the same as my Cushy Colorsport and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino). It’s spun into a nice little springy tube, very shiny. The fiber content is 10% Cashmere, 55% Ultrafine Merino, 35% Microfibre (doesn’t say which kind). Because of the tube construction and the fiber content, the yarn actually nearly shines. It’s very nice stuff.

socksockJoan and Deb at Heritage both like (and look great wearing) colors I don’t wear. Joan picked the yarns for my Heritage Heirloom sock, which are earthtones (harvest gold, avocado, red and brown).

Deb picked the colors for the hat I just finished. Though Deb and I agree on a few colors including hot yellow-green and teals/turquoises, we diverge from that center point for other favorite colors. For example, I picked berry and black for my Barberpole sock. When she knit my pattern, she knit two pair in Cascade Fixation… both with a variegated purple/turquoise/white background, one with hot yellow-green and one with cobalt blue.

sockSo yesterday and today I found myself knitting a hat in lilac, periwinkle and gold (Deb’s picks)… loving how the yarn felt but not too happy with the colors. I must admit, though, now that it is all together I can see why she thought it would work. All three colors are subtle and muted, and it will look good on someone with very different coloring than my own.

(For the record, I do admit I wear combinations others would not be caught dead near… magenta and hot yellow-green, for an example. I like colors that are bright and hot and contain no gray at all, and prefer cool undertones to warm. In my personal color vocabulary, beige and brown don’t really exist, though I’ll knit a few varieties of neutral for other folks on special occasions. Almost anything in my closet looks good next to anything else in my closet; people comment all the time that I look coordinated, but it’s just that I tend to only buy the same colors so everything I own goes together.)

Some people would not have so much trouble knitting in colors they didn’t wear. I am so affected by color, I found myself racing to finish the hat. I guess that’s not all bad!

sockI did one day of proving I was a good sport, which surely did not hurt me at all. Interestingly, I have two other hats on the needles… one in charcoal for Brian and another Guitar Hat in brown/black/beige to simulate woodtones. Ack! Where’s my pink/purple sock??? LOL!

Photos: 1) New Guitar Herringbone Hat sample for Heritage Spinning. 2) Two Barberpole socks knit by Deb Harowitz/Scarlet Zebra, my friend who works at Heritage Spinning. 3) Same sock pattern (my design) knit by me. 4) Heritage Heirloom Sock in yarns chosen by Joan at Heritage. It’s so interesting how colors really do identify us in some ways! Interesting… when I look at this entry, you could imagine I chose the hat colors… but the lilac is subtly too pale and muted, the periwinkle I do like but it looks bad on me (too much gray in it I think) yet the giveaway is the gold… I just can’t do gold!

People Write Again!

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006

Debra Chinn writes that she’s knitting socks from my new Tip-Toe sockyarn, in the Seaside colorway. She says:

Such pretty colors!! I cast on 68 sts on 2.5m dps and getting 8spi, will knit to 7.5″ and dec to 60 sts and start the heel flap. After heel flap, I switch to 2.25m dps for tighter gauge.

Socks from Tip-Toe Yarn, knit by Debra ChinnDebra just plain cranks out gorgeous socks, and I’m thrilled she’s knitting with my yarn this time.

I created the Seaside colorway several years ago for a retreat put on by Annie Modesitt. I became too ill to go to that retreat, so sent my yarn along by mail… and the colorway has become my best seller by far. I did have to manipulate the photo a little, it looked blue without turquoise or purple. Now it looks turquoise and purple and you can’t see the blue. Sigh… computers do have their limitations when it comes to color. Debra, the socks are looking lovely. (I notice she, too, knits two socks at a time using DPN’s… there are more of us all the time.)

Kristi writes regarding knitting olympics:

Regarding knitting olympics – go for it even if you don’t finish – I figure silver and bronze medalists aren’t perfect, right? – either way, you leave with something!

I love Kristi for her level head. She is the one who wrote about embracing imperfections not that long ago on her blog. Here she goes again, suggesting that an effort is its own reward, deadline or no deadline. Isn’t she a breath of fresh air?

Teresa and Sue R. (both local knitfriends) wrote with giggles about the yarn-draped car escapade. Teresa and I knew one another when we were still school-aged, though it took us a while to figure that out. We both agree it’s such a relief to be at a place in life where we don’t worry about what other people think. Who would have imagined that being less cool could somehow turn into being more cool, in a way.

I’m certainly softer than I once was… I still worry, I’m still passionate, but I can dress myself in the morning mostly based on my mood and the temperature, rather than worrying about who would see me dressed this or that way. I still do worry some (as when I go to knit guild and can’t say hi to everyone I care about) but I’m much happier and more grounded than I once was. (No, Rob, grounded does not mean inanimate, it just means that while I’m chattering I know who I am.)

OK, back to those who wrote. ColorJoy Stole Knit by Karen E.My cousin, Karen, writes from Texas:

A cold snap before a corporate cocktail party sent me scurrying to my yarn stash, to whip something up to wear with a new violet and black brocade jacket… and voila! A new take on your ColorJoy stole…

Didn’t she do a lovely job? The stole and jacket do really enhance one another. Go, Karen!

By the way, some folks don’t write but I do run into them all over town. I can’t go to any yarn shop or even Altu’s without seeing people I know either from this blog or a class they took from me somewhere. Just in the last five days or so, I ran into Terese (Therese?) at Altu’s, and Priscilla and Yvonne and Lindsey and Nancy S. (and I think someone else but it was Friday, please forgive me) at Rae’s… Irene B. and Teresa and Sheila and a handful more at Threadbear… Elise and Marilyn at Little Red Schoolhouse. And of course, I got to see all my friends who work at these shops as well.

This is a wonderful town for creative folks, you know? We have this wealth of yarn shops (besides the ones mentioned above, we have Yarn for Ewe and Woven Art, and then Yarn Garden just down the road a bit), each with their own personality, each with their own style and size and unique yarns they offer… we have a great knitting guild with lots of members. Lucky us. For a city this size, we’re brimming with abundance in the fiber realm!

By the way, last I saw Nancy S. she had just bound off for the cutest Tempting sweater from Knitty, as a gift. She used the Louisa Harding aran weight yarn with cashmere in it (very washable, incredible yarn) which she got from Rae’s. It was just gorgeous. The sweater was in a sort of charcoal/pewter gray, and that makes it perfect to have bows (ribbon, woven through eyelets at the neckline) of many colors, depending on the wearer’s mood. Very cool!!! Good job, Nancy.