A brief update and two book reports (well, maybe three)


Well, even though it’s snowing outside, dear 2.5 readers or however many you are, it looks like we are going to return to business as usual in this corner of Merlin. Tomorrow ends the week-long hiatus from work, school and being on the road for me. Hopefully, the snow we are getting tonight won’t hinder my trip to beautiful downtown Towson tomorrow bright and early:)
During the past week, I have gotten quite a bit of knitting done and did indeed begin two new projects and am about to cast on (again) for a third. The first is the socks you see to the right. The Snowdrop Socks from the Six Sock KAL group on Yahoo. I’ve been having fun with this and should be done soon. It’s a nice lace/cable pattern with a garter stitch short-row heel, all knit from the toe up (my favorite). I like the cuff construction and strongly urge the use of Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off for this also. The second is a hat I am designing from a stitch collection/instruction book – Twisted-Stitch Knitting by Maria Erlbacher – a compilation of three booklets she published a number of years ago. Edited by Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen, it is a superb book for those knitters among us interested in the precise “mini cable” look of the Austrian/Southern German style of knitting. It is slow going at first and the charts are a challenge to learn, but I am really enjoying this project. I’ve even had the hubris to enter it into the Ravelympics under Team Knitmore and the Designer Dance event! What a nerve! In my defense, I did state that the stitch patterns were from the Twisted-Stitch knitting book. Seriously, this book is worth every cent – and last I looked, it cost the same at Schoolhouse Press as it does on Amazon. Just so you know! In terms of real life, we have slowly emerged from our snow-covered cocoon. Friday evening I went to a knit knight at Denise’s home with my “knitting buds” and had a wonderful time! Everyone brought a dish and we ate like royalty:). Denise is such a gracious hostess and made us feel right at home. We watched the opening Olympic ceremonies and then sat around chatting and knitting, admiring each other’s projects – and Denise’s prolific knit creations! We talked so long and had so much fun that it was 12:30 when I got into my car to go home. When I got in the door at 1 a.m., John Was Not Amused, but I was (:)). Yesterday we were finally back to a double header – ringing and singing and we didn’t do half badly for not having had any rehearsals for two weeks. Afterwards, Nancy and I had lunch and caught up and of course it was lovely:)
When I arrived home, John was still asleep from his work the night before, but greeting me on my desk was this lovely sight:
Never let it be said that John isn’t a sweetheart.:)

Later that afternoon I heard that a mutual friend of ours is currently heading for a form of rehab to help with a problem that was turning into an addiction. I am so proud of this person and happy that the person’s family has been there for her. (I’m still waiting for the Betty Crocker clinic to take me in – har har – just kidding, no I’m not….) Other tough news during this past week was that another dear friend and colleague is battling heart disease. She had to have her aortic valve replaced in addition to triple bypass surgery. Then the valve didn’t work, so the surgeons had to go in AGAIN and in that process found a hole in her heart. Last I heard she was in the ICU, so please keep both these dear people in your thoughts and prayers! In good news this Olympian week, I want to send my sincere congratulations to our neighbor Canada, whose own Alexandre Bilodeau won a gold in the men’s moguls – the first Canadian to win a gold medal on Canadian soil. Just hearing O Canada play and every Canadian in the house singing at full lung capacity put us cynical, oh-so-bored-with-ourselves Americans to shame. Good for you, Mssr. Bilodeau! Your family raised you and your brother well and Canada is lucky to have you as one of their own! Plus you really do have a beautiful national anthem. I have been so blessed in the book department lately that I thought I should review two books I really enjoy (in addition to the plug for the Twisted-Stitch Knitting book above). The first I want to tell you about is Vogue Knitting’s Shawls and Wraps. Vogue is of course a Name in the fashion industry. This is a good jumping off point for those interested in knitting this type of garment. Wrap Style, put out by Interweave press is another book that does the same thing. There are all sorts of shawls/scarves shown – from lace to bulky cables to colorwork to beadwork and all are lovely. I’ve pictured some of the beautiful patterns to choose from in this book to give you an idea. There really is something for everyone. Another book I’d like to show you is 99 Yarns and Counting, More Designs from the Green Mountain Spinnery, is another lovely collection from the Green Mountain Spinnery Collective in Putney, Vt (my favorite state in the Union). With patterns for babies to adults, of garments covering you from head to toe, this book shows off the best in the Green Mountain Spinnery’s yarns. The patterns are classics, nothing particularly innovative, but they are all great. Another hearty recommendation from FSK, for what that’s worth:)
I also want to tell those of you who have been waiting for Veronik Avery’s St. Denis line to sprout – it hath sprung. A visit to one of my local yarn shops on Sunday put an end to my wondering. The yarn is lovely – and so is the first design offering – St. Denis Magazine No. 1 – Fall/Winter 2009. With an all-star cast from including (of course) Veronik Avery, Franklin Habit, Jared Flood, Ysolda Teague, Robin Melanson, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Carol Sulcoski, Laura Grutzeck and Pam Allen, how can you go wrong? I have a feeling this one will be a collector’s item and cannot wait to see the next one. Of course this has been around for a while, but what can I say – I don’t get out much:)
To catch up on the balance of my life, some of our kids were over last night along with two of the grandangels. We had a nice dinner and celebrated Valentine’s Day. I was also touched to have received yet more birthday gifts.
Well, that about catches us up, dear readers. Back as soon as I can. Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again.
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Author: fuguestateknits

Wife of one, mother of six, gram of five (so far) and lawyer for many young persons, I love to sing, read, knit and walk. My politics are somewhat left of Marx and I want to hear what you think, too!

3 thoughts on “A brief update and two book reports (well, maybe three)”

  1. Colin – I saw that on the KAL group! Sweaters are like children, don’t you think? Sometimes they want to be something far different from what we could have envisioned for them. (Yes, I know, there’s medication for that, LOL:))
    Take care and thanks for writing,
    Joan

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