Summer is taking its leave of us soon, but I have held on to what I can. My kitchen window sill has a way of summarizing the life that goes on around us. Just enough light, just enough of a glimpse to the outside world. To me, the windowsill over the kitchen sink was the view into the outside world over which my mother, and later my stepmother, presided. It was here our moms watched us, here they saw us doing something good — or bad:). When I met and fell in love with the proverbial Boy Next Door, we wanted to stay well away from prying eyes keeping tabs on us from either direction. And yet, now it feels like home because I am the mother, the grandmother. Thank goodness, I don’t need to keep tabs on anyone anymore – or perhaps better stated, I never could, really, but I still want to do it.
So, what’s been going on in the past couple of months? Well, let’s see. We’ve had our share of Sunday dinners and visits from our adult kids and not-adult grandkids:). And last weekend, we had a visit from our daughter J. and her fiancee, L. It was lovely. They helped us with a major task or two. Our son, D., is in the middle of rehearsals and is again playing at Ford’s Theatre in a week – he’s going to be re-imagining his role as the younger son in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. John and I are going to see him this coming Friday evening. This may sound strange, but I have become quite a big fan of his. Yep, I know, I’m his mom, but he really is quite good. You should see him act. It’s quite amazing.:)
What else? July 30th, there was a lovely (Xian) ecumenical service to commemorate the anniversary of the terrible flood in Old Ellicott City at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Ellicott City. I was privileged to be among the choir members as were others from my beloved St. John’s. How much better would it have been to include all religions in this service? Just saying…
At the end of August, the DH helped me with hotel accommodations and rental transportation to go visit a client in southern VA.
Soon, I will be going to NC to visit 3 other clients and, thanks to the Marriott employee in my family, I will be able to stay overnight there as well. Thank you, DH.
Finally, the last week of August, bell and choir practices started. We welcome a new Rector who seems to be wonderful.
Work keeps on keeping on and, despite lower client tallies, seems to be more labor-intensive and that’s Oh Kay.
Today there were only those of us in the home crowd for dinner, so I had a bit of time to write this.
On the knitting front, our local Sip n Knit had its semi-annual Yarn Swap. I went in with a big bag of yarn to give away, swearing I would not take any yarn back home with me.
Then I said, I wouldn’t take as much as I had brought.
Then I said, I wouldn’t take more than I brought.
And yet, there’s not one bit of yarn I regret:)! In fact, I cast on two new projects:
One will be a wrap; the other will be the scarf version of the wrap. I am thinking of starting with my own kind of Feather and Fan/Old Shale pattern and then merging the decreases and increases into a Gull Lace pattern (think February Baby/February Lady Sweater). Both of these lace patterns are very easy to memorize. I decided to add a few tweaks to the F & F pattern. In the wrap, I cast on 126 stitches. I slipped the first stitch of every row in case I wanted to add a lace edging – or to create a smooth side.
2 strands of fingering weight wool knitted together on US 8 needles. I used a silk/wool blend of unlabeled yarn and a strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I know it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it;)
Cast on 126 sts.
R1: sl 1, yo, (K1, yo) 5 more times, k2tog 3 times, SSK 3 times, * (K1, yo) 6 times, k2tog 3 times, SSK 3 times. Repeat from * to last 6 sts. Knit 6.
R2 and 4: P all sts
R3: K all sts
R5: sl 1, yo, (K1, yo) 5 more times, k2tog 3 times, SSK 3 times, * (K1, yo) 6 times, k2tog 3 times, SSK 3 times
Rs 6-8: Repeat Rs 2-4
Repeat the last 4 rows until you get sick of it. Then I will let you know what I do next!
For the scarf version, I did something a little different with the F & F pattern – even more anal-retentive, LOL!
2 strands fingering weight wool knitted together on US 8 needles. Again, unlabeled yarn that was clearly wool or alpaca and a delight to knit!
Cast on 72 sts.
R 1: (K1, yo) 3 times; (K2tog) 3 times, SSK 3 times, (yo, K1) 3 times. Repeat to end
R2 and all even rows: P all sts
R3: K all sts
Repeat these 4 rows until you are sick of them and then I will figure out how to transition to the Gull Lace pattern for both versions of this. Likely there will be some sort of transitional rows to get us to the next pattern.
Watch this space – as Rachel Maddow says.
So included in the beautiful yarn I managed to appropriate was a sweater or vest’s worth of DK weight teal wool, three skeins each of two colorways of Mini Mochi yarn, a cone of black fingering weight wool, two cones of fingering weight acrylic red yarn, a skein of lavender bulky Lopi yarn, two wheels of unspun Icelandic “Plötulopi” wool which will go very well with an ongoing project of mine, three skeins of fingering weight wool that I think will together make a lovely shawl, 4 skeins of alpaca fingering weight yarn that will be an amazing shawl also, and finally 3 skeins of self-striping sock yarn. Yes, I am a fingering weight junkie. I admit it. I think that’s why I pick up all this amazing lovely stuff at yarn swaps. The less experienced knitters don’t want it because it means a lot of knitting for a small area and the more experienced ones have already used up the other skeins in a project they’ve finished. So I didn’t take anything anyone else would have wanted and everything I got was in a color I love. A good haul and therefore not a wasteful one.
Currently, I am working on the two new projects above and the Afmaeli yoke sweater – created for the occasion of Istex’s 25th-anniversary celebration. Istex is an Icelandic yarn company, I believe. I’ve heard their yarn is really lovely, but the chances of getting it here in the US is fairly slim. I get my unspun Icelandic wool from School House Press in Wisconsin, thanks to Meg Swansen who found some back in the early 1960s and had her mom (Elizabeth Zimmermann) import it for us. It makes for a lightweight, cushy, yet warm garment. I tend to get that yarn above all others at SHP.
My Afmaeli is a product of a number of yarns, none of which, sadly, are Plötulopi, but they are lovely too:)! I am using a charcoal black Paton’s Classic wool and Rowan superwash wool in various colors for the yoke.There are 9 colors in my version of the sweater. I have finished the main body of the sweater to the armholes and am working on the first sleeve. When I’m done with the sleeves, the fun part begins:)!
The wrap project from the unlabeled yarn and the Rowan Kidsilk Haze is on the fourth repeat of the Feather and Fan/Old Shale (as modified by moi) pattern:
The scarf version is only halfway through the second repeat and has even longer to go:
so I think that makes Project numbers 65 and 66 on Ravelry when I get around to posting them.
Not that I’m complaining:)
I did finish something recently: the Flax sweater by Tincanknits for my young client, BS:)
Just have to get it to him so he can use it as the weather starts to get cooler.
Finally, I would like to make three video podcast recommendations (on YouTube):
The Grocery Girls
The Gentle Knitter
They are my current favorites!
Do you have any you would recommend?
Well, my friends, that’s all I have for now. Until next time, God be with you ’til we meet again+