Thursday, September 18, 2008

Woo-Hoo...New Toys!

Well, looky, looky! Guess who has taken the plunge into lace knitting? I've started my first shawl, and it's a bit of a cliffhanger. Can you see the two (count 'em...TWO!) lifelines I've put in there? Who's a bit of a wuss when it comes to lace? I'm hanging in there, but at this point it's not looking like knitting lace is going to be my first love. Fun, but rather fiddly. There isn't much positive tension on the needles when you're working with such fine yarn and such relatively fat needles, which makes the stitches rather floppy and unstable. Still, I'm hanging in there, and it's looking good so far. Oh, and did you notice the very cool pattern holder with the magnetic line-finders I got from Knit Picks? This is a real boon for lace knitting, or any chart knitting. Don't know how I ever lived without it! The shawl is unblocked for the moment, of course, so don't be put off by the fact that it looks rather like an amoeba... In an abundance of enthusiasm, I bought this gorgeous laceweight yarn from KnitPicks, too, and started out on Eunny Jang's Print O' the Waves Shawl, but ripped it out after several rows. Don't think I'm up yet to the challenge of repeats that cross over my stitch markers. I'll try this one again after I've completed the "easy" lace shawl above!
And when I get too overwhelmed with the teeny yarn and fiddly stitches, I've been working on some baby things for a new baby that will have arrived by the time we return to Australia. These are from the Mason-Dixon knitting book: two bibs and a kimono, knit from Peaches and Cream. Also a learning experience: found out I really don't care for knitting with cotton, but I do think the patterns are very cute, don't you?
And here's another score from this trip. Haven't started knitting anything from it yet, but I'm feeling the urge to knit with sport weight yarn and smaller needles for awhile, and there are some really cute things in this book.
And finally, I HAVE to report on my 50th high school reunion a couple of weeks ago. It was such a fun time. As you see, we gathered in the new gymnasium for a group shot. I think there were 49 students in my graduating class, and as you can see from the pic, quite a few of us turned out for the reunion. We had dinner together the night before at our favorite local Mexican restaurant, then had a tour of the high school (which is looking really great these buildings, enthusiastic principal, great students), and a buffet dinner that evening. On the next day, Sunday, we gathered at the gorgeous home of one of our classmates for lunch and more catching up and sharing our experiences. What an incredible gift to see these people after so many years! Can you spot me in the second row, white t-shirt?

Now only a week left here before the long flight back to Oz, where I am hoping Spring is springing!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ooops...Forgot A Couple

Senior moment...forgot to post pics of my two February Lady Sweaters, knitted as part of the KAL on Ravelry. First one was knit with Queensland Rustic in a taupe blend, on 4.5mm needles. Don't you love the coconut shell buttons that are assymetrical in shape? This is my current go-to sweater for running around in...three quarter sleeves, slightly flared shape, gull wing lace for sleeves and, fun, fun! So then, I thought "What if I made the same sweater, with long sleeves, using just a ribbed sleeve and body below the garter stitch yoke...and wonder if I could make a ruffled edge with a dark contrast." Remembering I had a ton of Snickerdoodle Wool of the Andes from my last Knitpicks buy, I decided to launch. Turned out cute, I think, and enough different from the other one so I won't get bored with it. Used 4.5s on this one, too. I do need to restitch the buttons...must have been tipsy when I sewed them on! They don't quite line up with their buttonholes. And forgive the wrinkles. Didn't fold this sweater up properly when I put it away last time.

These February Lady Sweaters are really fun to make...I think there's a fuschia one in my future!

Alive and Well, and a Knittin' Fool...

As you can see from this shot, Alfonse is looking like himself again...he's even managed to get his nemesis, Cloudy, to snuggle up in the Quilting Studio for a photo op! And yes, that is one of my quilts they've managed to co-opt for their pose. So, I thought for those of you who are still dropping in from time to time, you might enjoy seeing my recent progress...a friend asked for a knitted hat in "pink tones"...and since I'm nothing if not obsessive (but haven't got a lot of pink yarn in my stash), I made four versions in different combinations of the pinks I have. You can also see my first attempt at a Gansey Sweater (the purple pile on the left), and a deep red cabled scarf that is languishing for the moment.
And lest you think I have forsaken quilting entirely, here's evidence that the pastel quilt remake is nearing the final stages. Only a few lines of quilting left before I get a binding on and put it on the guest bed. However, since we're off to California tomorrow, I won't get this finished till we're back at the end of September.
And here's how the window seat is looking...almost buried under piles of my junk. Still no nice neat cushion for the window seat. That will require a trip to Sydney to locate a piece of foam large enough (window seat is 91" wide). Or, I may get lazy (or rich!) and decide to have a cushion professionally made. Then it might have a chance of actually getting completed.
So, off to La La Land tomorrow to attend my 50th high school reunion...just unbelievable! Should be a really fun time catching up with people I haven't seen in nearly that many years. Then up to the condo in the Bay Area for a couple of weeks of retail therapy and catching up with family and friends.

Will try to post while I'm away...and will be reading everyone else's posts, too!