Archive for February, 2008|Monthly archive page


As I get older (and as of last week I’m now nearer to thirty than to twenty, as the years on my face begin to catch up with those in my crotchety heart), I come to define luxury in different ways. For example, luxury is now being home long enough to see an entire load of laundry through from start to finish. Luxury is not having to iron that laundry. Luxury is a pretty yellow teapot for a hot cuppa in the evening. Luxury is the necessity of cleaning out my office every week to accommodate the many books I bring home from the library. Luxury is homemade NY style cheesecake. Luxury is the joy of a few hours of face-to-face chat with my brother (and Dad on speaker phone). Luxury is driving home on a snowy evening listening to the Hilliard ensemble sing Josquin’s “Ave Maria, virgo serena(I’m quite sorry to link to Amazon for the 30 sec. sample, but I can’t find a good version for free online and it is too good a piece to link to a less than stellar performance. I’ll just buy you all this CD and have it shipped to you instead, mmmkay?). Luxury is being missed, and then being greeted accordingly upon a return.

Lady E

Luxury is having a great scarf.

Lady E

Lady E

Lady Eleanor, modified (less two repeats and less a few layers of fringing) from 4 skeins of Debbie Mum’s Traditions, which presented no problems whatsoever after the initial 4-knotted skein.

Lady E



I do too do stuff, and oh, opinions needed


First, something unexpected…a Christmas present I’ve been waiting to share until I had something to show for it. That’s right, a WooLee Winder! This post put the idea in my head a long while ago, and thanks to some good elfing by DH, my MIL caught wind of it, and that woman can put anyone to shame when it comes to buying for her children.

I love it. There it is. My bobbins always used to be awkwardly wound, and I never fit 4 oz. plied onto one bobbin before. Even though I spun this yarn in ten minutes increments over the course of almost 3 months (I am aware how pathetic that is, and I’m ok with it), I feel like I did achieve more consistency both in the spinning and plying

(Here’s the best part of this story: being a handmade product, it takes a little time for the WooLee Winder to arrive, not long as I understand it but long enough for my MIL to forget about it. My FIL happened to be the one to open the box when it finally arrived, and he called MIL at work to ask her why she’d ordered a bunch of miniature dumbbells!!!)

this kind of even bobbin distribution has never been seen around these parts

posed – it’s a navajo worsted-ish, and by now you know me well enough to know that I don’t do coins. Never can remember, plus I’d have to break into Hampton, the resident piggy bank.

In its natural habitat. I love winding yarn by hand. I have some special plans for this yarn, I hope.


Lately I’ve been in a mood to just enjoy yarn that I have. So when I got the inkling to dye, I had some perfect candidates–leftover K’picks Wool of the Andes (yellow and tan) and Patons Merino Wool (papRRRRIka!). Combine that with a crockpot, some Kr*ger brand food coloring, and BAM! (am I allowed to say BAM!, or do I have to ask Martha now???)

soaking in the sink


The colors were chosen for a friend who loves jewel tones, purples and blues. These were all dyed with only purple, blue, and a bit of green. Quick strike leads to pink, I reckon, and yet I’m rather pleased with the result. The above are the yellow & tan, below are the paprika skeins. Which I’m keeping for myself because, as affiknitty (how are you, doll?) would say, I luff them.



Ok, studio audience! Here’s where you get a chance to participate!

Serpentine mitts: Cool or boring?*
I started these for my new SIL, and was intensely annoyed that the cables aren’t centered (I knew they wouldn’t be because of the size I made, but I kept trusting the designer. Why, why, why?). I almost ripped, but now looking at the picture, it’s really not so bad. Should I ditch ’em, or keep going? Love the color.(PS Success story- this is my first time with Louet Gems Pearl When I first pulled the yarn out in December, there were no less than six knots in the skein. Unacceptable, says me! I took the yarn back to my LYS, and just when I was beginning to lose hope, Sally took it all the way to TNNA to get a replacement for me. Hurray for the Merc!)

Dropped stitch spring scarf- Cool or boring?
Bamboo yarn leftover from my Lotus Blossom Tank (what?? Two patterns in a row that used the recommended yarn? Unfathomable!). It’s been hanging around for awhile, and I thought dropped stitches would get me more bang for my buck. Now I’m thinking it is less bang, and needs to be bucketed.
Ok, opine away! Thanks all!
*unfortunately I can only explain the options of “cool or boring” in person, but WHEN we meet, I’ll be happy to explain such a strange dichotomy, and do my best imitation of the question as originally posed.

How to care for your DH in the off-season*




It’s simple, really:

1) Make him socks (but then don’t undo all the good you’ve done by waking him up to model said socks “for the blog.” Learn from my mistakes).

2) Make him pie.


I love apple pie, and this is quite possibly the most amazing pie I’ve ever had.
(Homemade crust, of course, and drizzled with a sugary concoction instead of the usual cinnamon fare. It is good enough to take one’s breath away. Dangerous, I suppose, when one’s mouth is full of delicious steaming hot pie).

3) Squeal with glee when he’s already one-upped you with tickets to see The Cleveland Orchestra for your birthday (and gave ’em to you a week early)!!!!! Mahler, Das Lied von der Erde!!!! We may not do Valentine’s, but we shur-as-shootin’ do live good.

*designated hitter, or, of course, dear husband.

If I had a hammer…



This is kaleidoscope (at least inspired by kaleidoscope, you know how it goes). It came about as a fortuitous coincidence of pattern publication and yarn acquisition. Said yarn–Aracuania Ranco Multi–was originally intended to be a wrap of some sort, but if we all know how readily I am inclined to flights of fancy.


The even-more-fun part: Somewhere along the way of knitting this I got it in my head that it would only work with little purly snaps. I lined the hole-less button bands with ribbon first, which I think would could have been better executed on a machine with double feeds because it stretched out the knitting, leading to the dreaded bulging of the button bands.


ribbon lining

(Oh, and lessons learned for next time: I should have done the button bands in vertical rib to hide the stitching, readily apparent in the picture below but not enough to upset my general state of existence.)

“All purpose” — no joke! This spool served to cushion the hammer strokes. Kudos to the snap manufacturers for making it work without buying additional tools!

The snaps were quite simple and fun. Two parts and a few hammer blows for each side, and I’m wearing it!


This little sweater’s got some weirdness going on, what with the ribbon and loose gauge, but happily upon its first wearing the ribbon relaxed a bit–or perhaps I did because it did not bother me in the least.