31 August 2011

A ripping time of it

I was flying along on Muse 2, really I was. I loved the cable down the middle back (you can see it below across the bottom of the picture). What I didn't love was the shoulder cable detail. I had mirrored the mock cable that edges the shawl, but I surrounded it with yarn overs. And I was not loving the look. So I decided to do a little test; my favorite swatch on the shawl move.
At the bottom, you can see the original treatment. It looked too messy. So I tried knitting the increased sts through the back loop. A little better, but still not perfect. I then moved to M1 increase using a twisted lifted bar. Better, but didn't pop enough. The mock cable stitch I used has a yarn over on one side and I really wanted to set off the other side to make the cable pop without losing the asymmetry. So I tried M1 purl increases. Yes. That was it!
You know what's next. Right?
And yes. I may be just a tad obsessive, now that you ask.

And in other news? Kleio - Muse #1 - is out! I will be having a little bit of a tutorial here soon, so watch for it!
Happy knitting, everyone!


29 August 2011

Monday's Musing

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston Churchill

This is one of my very very favorite quotes, and one I have been thinking a lot about lately!

Have a wonderful week, everyone, and enjoy your opportunities. :)


25 August 2011

Where did it all go?

The year, I mean. Wow, has it ever flown by! And I am joined in that opinion by the two youngest members of the household. The ones for whom time generally passes very slowly.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you the July shipment from my Pins & Lace Club! (btw, things will be changing a little for the club in the coming year and I think you'll love the new format!) The July theme was summertime, and the shawl is designed to echo the shape and color of a slice of watermelon, complete with seeds (beads).
Meet Katanya, a variety of heirloom watermelon.
She is a generous semi circle.
And she is knit with Lisa Souza's lovely merino lace yarn, in a shade she dyed up especially for me: Ripe Watermelon.
I really love the way she wraps around the shoulders.
One of my intrepid and blindingly fast test knitters has some great full pictures of her here.

I also dreamed up a new type of pin (for me, at least) that is based on a twisting vine.
I really love this design, and I think you will be seeing more of this type of pin in my shop soon! I am really loving the one piece pins lately. This one twists in,
and around,
and the ends sit flat with the center curly part gripping the knitted piece.
{The fine print: pin and pattern are not available to the the public yet.}

I get to reveal my secret project soon. I can't wait to show you! All I can say is this: I am thrilled that I will be getting this one back. Stay tuned!


22 August 2011

Monday's Musing

“The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings." - Eric Hoffer

I'm busy counting my blessings today. And you? :)

Have a terrific week!


19 August 2011


There once was a mama so fried.
To clothe her kids well she had tried.
But the malls she did hate,
and it was getting too late,
so back to the web she did fly.

I know it's pathetic, but really. After a day at the malls, what do you expect? I am so not a shopper. Give me the interwebs any day. Today, we braved the craziness to find the boys clothes for a semi formal party. Thank heavens for Old Navy uniform clothes!

Heading off to relax now, because, frankly, I deserve it. Don't you? :D


16 August 2011


On my little drop spindle found at that estate sale....
And on the next muse!
It is high time for some cables and lace, don't you think? The yarn is my lovely Dream in Color Smooshy Sock with Cashmere. Yum! The color is one of their new ones: Sundown Orchid. I would love to link to somewhere that you could purchase it, but everyone seems to be out. :( But perhaps I can convince Sheri from the Loopy Ewe to order extra. It is luscious and wonderful stuff.

School has been going pretty well this week, and there's a break in swimming, so I'm off to play with my cables and lace!

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15 August 2011

Monday's Musing

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” - Eric Hoffer

It's the first day of school here, even for our online home school program. Feeling a little odd that it isn't starting after Labor Day....

Have a fabulous week!


14 August 2011

Spinning, knitting and musing

You've all waited to patiently! So here I am; back to tell you the name of the Muse and the winner of the orifice hook! (As an aside, can I just mention how much I love my MacBook Pro? Here I am, sitting on the couch watching Robin Hood - for the 20th time - with the boys, but I can be blogging and knitting at the same time! Multi-taskers R Us.) :)

The winner - from random.org - the 43rd commenter: Jasmin! Oh, Jasmin, you have won a copper orifice hook!
And the name of the first Muse?
Kleio! The muse of history.

I know. I chose the more difficult spelling. But there is already a pattern called Clio, and so I have named my muse after the Greek rather than Latin form of her name. I absolutely cannot wait for you to get your hands on her. I was told at my Saturday knitting group that she looks even better in person.

So. Guess what?! Remember when I found that Reeves castle wheel last weekend? And it was missing its distaff? And I was going to try to find it at phase 2 of the estate sale? Look!
I went back on Saturday morning and one of the daughters of the woman who had owned the wheels had found bobbins and set them aside for me! Also, a lazy Kate for the Elizabeth. Yay! And then, the search for the distaff began in earnest. At first when I looked at the collection of boxes, bags, and baskets filled with an old jumble of crafting tools and yarn, my heart fell. I saw nothing that looked like a distaff. But then I began going through one by one, and in the second box, I found a piece of distaff at the bottom. A few more and I found another piece and a lazy Kate that I believe was made to fit on the top. And then...in a box of grotty wool, I found the last piece, completely wrapped in flax. Joy! Here she is, all assembled.
And the odd little lazy Kate.
I am guessing this is how it is meant to be used.
Cool, eh? I can't wait to try it!
I also found a Schacht bobbin winder.
A small and light drop spindle.
And some hand carders and small niddy noddies.
I cannot believe my good fortune! I am absolutely thrilled, to put it mildly.

I also had a good mail day. The lovely ladies of Dye for Wool and Dye for Yarn sent me a stunning camel/silk mixture. Their colors are absolutely incredible. The only trouble is wanting one of each and not being able to choose! Their shops are like a candy store for lace lovers. Just wait until you see!
Isn't this interesting? It looks curly!
And now? I am knitting on Muse 2. I designed her while meditating. :)

She's going to be beautiful.

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11 August 2011

Another angle on the muse

My kind next door neighbor walked by while I was taking pictures of my muse, and I convinced her to stay and model a shot.
I love this. And just for the record: she and her family are the best neighbors ever.

That is all...just a drive-by post!


10 August 2011

Play date

Thanks so much to everyone who has been leaving comments on yesterday's post! Keep it up!

Monday was one of those lovely days to remember. I drove from my home in wine country to the Larkspur ferry and rode into San Francisco around lunch time. It was a perfect day - a little fog in the distance, curled around the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge. I grew up riding the ferry, but I hadn't been for a few years, and I took along my favorite mohair shawl
to wrap around my head, neck and shoulders so that I could ride out on the deck.

Here's the view coming into the City. It never fails to please!
At the Ferry Building I met up with Kristine and her mother Michelle, Anne and Adrienne.
This person might look a little familiar too. No? :) I had to take a picture of Cookie's fabulous haircut, perm and color!
We ended up at the Slanted Door, and Vietnamese fusion restaurant, for lunch. Anne ordered the seafood over crispy noodles, and I snapped this one pristine picture. By the time the rest of the food came, I was more interested in eating the food than photographing it. It was delicious!
After we ate (and removed all the napkin lint with the handy dandy lint brush the waitress provided), we window shopped through the Ferry Building. Here's Mushroom Queen Adrienne outside the fungi stall. She had us tasting Candy Cap Mushroom ice cream. It was incredible!
This was next door; I thought it was hilarious.
Here's Anne checking out all the amazing varieties of gourmet mushrooms.
Cookie found her cheese and was sooooooo happy!
Kristine and Adrienne had arranged for us to take a tour of the quilt exhibition at the Museum of the African Diaspora. This is Shiree with Adrienne. The museum was closed on Monday, but we got the red carpet treatment (Kristine taught Shiree how to knit, you see). :)
Quilts made up the current exhibition, and we all ooooohed and ahhhhhed at the immense amount of care, love and work that went into these. Shiree let me snap a little close up of this quilt because of the interesting English language patch. Third world countries receive huge bags of used clothes from the US, and this quilt shows at least one of the bits of material.
After the MoAD, we moved on to SFMoMA for the Stein collection exhibit. And again, another treat! Wow.
I had to snap this little bit of yarn bombing out front!
Connie Chang Chinchio and family joined us MoMA, as they were in town for a wedding. This is Connie's little cutie-pie. She and I are friends now and I think I have convinced Connie that she needs another auntie. Because babies always need lots of aunties! Especially adorable little smiley babies. :)
I love this picture of Connie and baby (who, btw, has the same birthday as my younger son).
We sat at the MoMA cafe, drank beautiful cappuccino,
and ate beautiful Mondrian cake.
And when we closed down the place, we wandered across the street to Yerba Buena Gardens. I hadn't been there for many many years. My mother was the executive director for PR there (Yerba Buena Alliance as it was then called), and it had been a very painful place since her death. I wish she could have seen how much the trees have grown. It's funny how, no matter how much you think you are over something, it can all come rushing back so quickly. I kept expecting her to come down the walkway from her old office and say hello.
I've always loved this fountain; there is a walkway around behind the water with MLK Jr. quotes. It's my favorite part of the Gardens.
After relaxing in the sun for a bit we headed out to Bourbon & Branch, a fantastic period speakeasy. On the way, we saw a felted managerie. There was a sheep,
a giraffe,
a dragon,
and a zebra.
The speakeasy didn't allow photos inside and I'm afraid none of us had the presence of mind to take any outside. The door, a plain wooden one, was locked. We knocked three times and the hostess emerged and asked for the password. She was dressed as a flapper. Terrific! They served designer cocktails - very herby and fragrant. I didn't end up ordering one, as I was expecting to dash out to the ferry any moment. But way led onto way and I didn't want to leave, so I stayed, chatted, and laughed a little longer.

I did end up making it to the 8:10 ferry, and I was the last one they allowed on. I ran halfway there - down Market Street. A complete trip down memory lane!