Sunday, March 28, 2010

F is for. . .

my first knitted item.

A million years ago, my Mom taught me how to knit--but I never really made anything. About six years ago, at a Christmas gathering, a niece was knitting. She had taken lessons and was making herself a shawl.

A SIL and I were quite fascinated by this. My SIL also knew how to knit--but hadn't done a thing in years.

The following day, my SIL went to a local fabric / yarn store and bought beige yarn, gold metallic yarn, needles and she began to make herself a scarf. Later that day, I saw what she was doing and wanted to do it also. So I went to the store and explained what my SIL was using. As chance would have it, I spoke with the same saleswoman who had helped my SIL and so she pointed me in the right direction.

I chose black yarn -- I'm not sure what it is, but it has some elasticity to it--and a silver-colored metallic ladder yarn. The needles were big ones--9s or 10s. Straight needles.

I cast on using the long-tail cast on. I have no memory of ever learning how to cast on this way--but somehow my fingers remembered. The scarf is done in garter stitch and it only took a few hours to knit. How proud I was when I finished it! And that's how this knitting adventure started.

I wore the scarf for a while that winter. But then I discovered the wonderful world of fabulous yarns and the finer points of knitting. I put the simple little scarf away. And forgot about it.

The other day, I was rooting through my scarf drawer looking for some suitable spring silk scarves to wear with a new coat. Way down on the bottom of the drawer, I came across the black and silver scarf. Despite some mistakes, it really isn't that bad-looking. And there's something kind of funky about it. (It reminds me of a sparkly bowling ball!)

Recently our weather has been quite fickle. Not cold enough to be wearing heavy woolen scarves--but too chilly and rainy to wear fine silk scarves. This black and silver scarf has just enough heft for these days and I think it looks great with the coat!

A found object and a memory of that first flush of knitting excitement!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Hat on the Bus

I saw this hat on a bus today. The woman wearing it didn't make it--but it is a handknit.

I think somebody had a lot of fun making this hat! It really wasn't as fugly as it looks in the photo. And a patchwork hat is sort of an interesting idea.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Signs of Spring

Daffodils beginning to bloom

and wooly socks--freshly washed so they can be put away till next fall.

Over the weekend, I'll be washing the wintery handknit scarves and putting them away also. As much as I welcome the warmer weather, it's a little sad to say good-bye.

HOWEVER, when we go on vacation to the mountains this summer, I'll dig out a pair of wool socks and bring a shawl with me. And maybe the sweater I'm knitting will be done by then and I'll need it. Long-time readers, remember this vacation? That week in July was colder than some winter weeks in NYC!

So I guess a sign of summer will be a photo of me pulling out some woolens for vacation. Can't wait!

Monday, March 15, 2010

E is for

Embroidered tablecloths.

I have two embroidered tablecloths. I've used this sweet one for girly luncheons.

The other is quite dramatic and draped the New Year's Eve buffet table.

Both are beauties and I'm always amazed by the handwork that went into them.

As much as I admire embroidery, it's something I have no interest in doing myself. However, check out the multi-talented Sonja's embroidery project.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Status Quo

Nothing new here. All the projects that were on the needles are still on the needles.

Startitis fever has passed.

However, over the past few days, I've discovered that in my aunt's needle box are some needles that some people covet.

Besides these three circlon needles, I have two more. When I get the time, I'll play around with them and see for myself how they compare to these new-fangled needles. Stay tuned!

Has anybody used the old Susan Bates circlon needles? What do you think of them?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Summer Knitting

During the summer, when my mind turns to ricotta cheese, I like to work on something easy-peasy when we go away. When I was knitting the lacy baktus, I kept thinking that I'd like to make a striped baktus during this summer.

Yesterday, I found the perfect yarn for it:

Road to China in the colors Grey Pearl and Light Hematite Baby alpaca, cashmere, camel and silk. Can you imagine the lusciousness of this yarn?!

The original plan was to cast on when we're away in the mountains in August. Summer vacation project. But then I thought that I should start on the 4th of July. However the Summer Solstice is on June 21st--that will the date for casting on. But that's the apex of summer. Summer really begins on Memorial Day. And if the striped baktus is going to be a summer project, I should start it then.

But I do like something big needle/easy to work on when we travel and we'll be on the road in mid-April, I'll get a jump-start on summer knitting by beginning then. Then I thought about the new life symbolism of Easter. New life = starting new knitting project? However, don't we switch to Daylight Saving Time on March 14th? And since that's the time we observe in the summer--perhaps a summer knitting project should be cast on then.

But isn't my imagination larger than my physical state? Can't it be summer in the middle of a snowstorm if I think of the warm sunny days? Right now it's 39 degrees out. But I feel like it's 79.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Brooklyn Adventure

Yesterday, I crossed the river to Brooklyn and checked out a yarn store there.

Brooklyn General--how cute is this store?

They carry fabrics--modern and vintage.

and wonderful yarns!

I kept walking around and around the store because just when I thought I had seen everything--I found something else!

I'd love to sit in this rocker and knit for a while.

But the best part of this Brooklyn adventure was getting to meet and hang out with two visiting from out-West, very-talented sisters: Becky and Jan.

Becky and I have been reading each other's blogs for a while. It was no surprise that, in person, she's just as warm, smart and engaging as she in my computer. And, Jan, I didn't know you had a blog! You've got a new reader now!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another March Mystery

It was warmer today. But not that warm--40ish degrees. We still had to wear winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves. Many people were also wearing boots.

Except this guy.

I see plenty of guys wearing shorts in the winter. But those winter-short-wearers look like they're going to or from the gym. And they're running--not strolling.

This guy was strolling in shorts. With sandals. And black knee socks. This was a planned outfit--not something he threw on to go to the gym.

What's his story?

Did he see some sun and think it was 75 degrees out? Is he visiting from the tropics and the airline lost his luggage containing his long pants? Did he have some sort of winter clothes meltdown and now he can't bear to wear wool and layers? Is he a knee exhibitionist?

It's a mystery to me.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March Mystery

Seen on March 1st on my block:

Could this have been somebody's Christmas tree? Being tossed now? Why?