Joyknits!

Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


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A Miscellany …

The 2nd definition, according to Webster, is “a mixture of various things.” I think this qualifies 😉

Steamed

Steam blocked.

The red scarf (still not named) is done, or at least the knitting part. There are still 4 ends [done], blocking and pattern writing waiting in the wings. I think it also has definite stole possibilities. You can see what a difference a little steam blocking makes! (The lower photo is closer to the correct color.)

Half steam-blocked, half just off the needles.

Half steam-blocked, half just off the needles.

I was surprised to see this the other day: amber_maggieAmber and Maggie don’t usually hang out this close together, but they spent quite a while snoozing like this. The smaller bed belonged to a former, smaller cat, but Amber has always preferred cramming herself into it (and literally hanging out – one or more legs and/or a tail), rather than use the new larger bed, which Maggie finally adopted, when she’s not appropriating one of Toby’s dog beds.

While spring isn’t here yet, it may be on the way. I’m ready!

Hoping for spring!

Hoping for spring!


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More lace

The first lace scarf was so much fun, I’ve started another one with more sock weight yarn from my stash. I’m already thinking about another one with beads… 🙂

More Lace

More Lace

After a traumatic afternoon (the phone and internet were out for several hours – talk about feeling cut off!), Himself called my attention to an evening sky which was simply gorgeous. You can see the duck weather vane in the photos.
sky1 sky2


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On Ravelry!

The pattern for Bellflower Lace Scarf (Rav link) is done, and it’s now up for sale on Ravelry. I was amazed/gratified to see that someone bought a copy almost as soon as I posted it.

I don’t have a problem writing patterns, but have to admit that writing “ad copy” (blurbs) for them is another matter entirely! Thanks to Rachel of Dyeabolical Yarns, who gave me a big assist with this—she also dyes some awesome yarns and fiber – be sure to check them out.

If you don’t have cats or need an oversized cat pan, you can skip this part 😉 Our Amber is a large girl (tall and long, ~13#), and most covered cat pans just aren’t big enough to suit her. I decided to make a custom pan from a covered storage container. V.1 worked pretty well, but the bottom of the opening was just a bit lower than was optimal.

V.2 is another, taller 35 gallon Sterilite container than V.1 (the smoothest bottom I could find), so the bottom of the opening is 8 1/2″ off the floor, and the opening is also 8 1/2″ high (container is 18 3/4″ high). I drew around the cardboard template, then very carefully cut the opening with a utility knife/box cutter. Her Highness has approved it (phew!).


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Not much happening …

but the knitting is done on the shawl! There are still ends and plenty of blocking to do. I’m having a hard time with the round-tuit, given that other yarns and other projects are whispering to me, including another fit attack of scarf lust involving some red yarn and a new idea. Stay tuned.

Knitting is done!

Knitting is done!

Check out The Panopticon – Franklin’s writeup of the Redress exhibit (there’s knitting!) in Chicago is very interesting and thought-provoking. 🙂

With Mardi Gras almost upon us, Cindy mentioned King Cake the other day, but even with no personal ethnic connection whatsoever, what we look forward to is Paczki (punch-key). I don’t even remember how we learned about them, but basically, it’s a jelly donut with lots of filling (we like the raspberry jelly filling best), and I-don’t-want-to-know how many calories/grams of cholesterol each. It’s probably best that the season is very short, but they’re so good 😉

Oh and I don’ t know who to thank (blog cruising again), but our George Foreman grill has come out of the cabinet and embarked on a whole new life, turning out very nicely grilled sandwiches – yum!


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It’s done

Bellflower Lace Scarf

Bellflower Lace Scarf

… and it’s finally got a name (which was almost harder than knitting it). The pattern is being checked by someone else (who will see what I did say, rather than what I meant to say). I plan to put it up on Ravelry, once those formalities have been taken care of.

The knitting is also completed on Samantha’s Shawl, but there are still ends and blocking to go on that — I guess it’s time to cast on something else. The shawl only used 2 skeins and part of a 3rd of the 4 skeins I purchased for it, so Saturday I returned the unopened skein, and a skein of very red Jitterbug might have followed me home.

There’s not a lot happening in the garden in February, but recently I noticed sumac silhouetted against the sky, and this thimbleweed. Looking at the picture makes me wonder if anemone fuzz is spinnable 😉

sumac

Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)


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An award & a nearly FO!

Thanks to Judy at Under Sask Skies who nominated me for this award.kreativ-blogger3 She posted a funny, funny acceptance speech on her blog that I won’t even try to match, but she also sent a nice note that definitely made my day 🙂

Following her excellent example, I’m nominating just a few of the blogs I read regularly. They’re not all frequent posters, but I enjoy them when they do!

Chronicles of a Country Girl (great photos and a dog named George)

Knitting in the Shadows

Knitwonpurltoo

Purling Oaks

Rhymes With Fuchsia – check out the lyrics 😉

Zen Needle

Housekeeping:  Apparently there are rules to this award.

1.  Copy the award to your site.

2.  Link to the person from whom you received the award.  (Gotta love the good grammar.)

3.  Nominate 8 several other bloggers.

4.  Link to those on your blog.

5.  Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

(Shamelessly copied from Judy) If you want to play along, that’s great!  If you prefer to incur the wrath of the chain letter gods just bask in the glory, that’s fine too.  Thanks again for making my days brighter!

Hooray – the scarf is off the needles!

All wet!

It went from this last night ...

to this today.

to this today.

(Note to self: Next time you block [80+ pins] something blue, put another color over the darned mat!) Pattern to follow soon.

Toby went to visit the groomer today, and came back looking very handsome indeed. Of course I wanted to take a photo of his nice trim, but he’s got serious camera issues. There was some bribery involved (he was licking liver treat crumbs off my fingers – we’re going to have to work on this camera thing). Maggie, as you can see, has no such problems – I was lucky not to get a noseprint on the lens!mosaic3802192


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Lace Scarf — Plan B

The second half of the lace scarf I started a couple of weeks ago is coming along, but it just underwent an on-the-fly revision. The original plan was to undo the crochet cast on, put the stitches on the needle and knit the 2nd half from there. After working a few rows, I found I simply couldn’t stand the resulting jog in the pattern alignment. Rrrrrip! Plan B is to work the 2nd half almost like the first, then undo the crochet cast ons and bind off the 2 halves together at the center. I’m hoping I’ve left a long enough end for the bind off 😉

Scarf - Part 2

Scarf - Part 2

In the latest installment of “what’s in the fridge,” I sautéd a large shallot, sweet red pepper, a few fresh shiitake mushrooms, and broccoli crowns, mixed with some orecchiette pasta, and topped with a little shredded white cheese.

Pasta, broccoli & peppers

Pasta, broccoli & peppers

Most of the frozen stuff was gone by this morning, though there was still a ridge where it had been piled up along the road. The pond still had ice on it, with neat reflections in the water on top of the ice.

reflections_1

reflections_2


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More shawl

Samantha’s Shawl is getting to the point where each round takes a pretty long time to complete – I’m nearly at the end of the 10th repeat of the 12-round pattern [a Feather and Fan/Old Shale variation], but I think it needs a couple more repeats, and then I may call it done. It will be finished off with a fairly narrow garter stitch border to allow the the pattern to ripple/do its thing. I wound the 3rd skein of Alpaca Sox last night. I haven’t quite run out of the 2nd skein yet, but it’s getting close, and I’m still really lovin’ the yarn!  A small amount of progress has also been made on a certain sweater sleeve.

9 reps done.

Yesterday afternoon, the driveway looked like this:

Driveway 2/05

Driveway 2/05

This afternoon, after 2 days without freezing temps, and 50’s and even 60’s, while most of the snow along and across the road was gone, an awful lot of that ice is still there in the driveway. Admittedly it’s getting mushier (and messier) but I sure wish it would Just.Go.Away!!!

I need to take food to an event tomorrow, and decided to try a shortcut. I bought some Nestlé Toll House cookie dough (Valentine Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Fudgy Brownies), and you know what? It’s not bad – not quite the same as homemade, but a pretty good shortcut.

I just happened to look out in time to see this earlier …

sky0206