sick, again

The whole house is down w/a virus. Last time I was sick was New Years’ Day, when I finished those lovely red mittens.

Why do I always knit red stuff when I’m sick?

For your viewing pleasure, my most active wip, the Haruha scarf in Malabrigo laceweight, in unblocked messy-tude.

haruha scarf

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they’re done!

Finished my swap mittens for the No More Humdrum mittens swap this week and sent them off to my pal.  Hooray!

white witch

This has been a great swap (though I have no reference point, since this is my first); a hearty thank you to Deb, our swap organizer, for her efforts and encouragement.  Thanks Deb!

pattern inspiration: the Walker Treasury Project

Today Interweave Knits’ Knitting Daily store released their Wheat-Ear Cable Yoke sweater for purchase – came right to my emailbox, it did. Being a giant fan of cables I remember running across this pattern and thinking that particular cable would be a great cuff treatment for my now waiting-patiently Wheat Frost mitten pattern. So I decided to Google the motif just to see what else our universe’s clever knitters have done with it. The result was an incredible treasure: I stumbled across the Walker Treasury Project, a volunteer-run visual swatch library of Barbara Walker’s published motifs and stitch patterns.

And such was my luck, it included the Wheat Ear Cable.

Wheat Ear Cable

Walker’s books have always been a treasure-trove of lace, cable, and color inspiration for me.

What a joy to see some of the graphs knit up and shared for posterity.

The photography is great – this is sure to be a source of inspiration for many knitters.

Vine Lace

Just look at this sample of vine lace.

Makes you want to go knit, doesn’t it?

What wonderful, generous people knitters are.

So to the folks at the Walker Treasury Project get my hat tip o’ the day. Thanks!

guess I’ll make another pair

OK I guess this is cosmic karma telling me I should have planned to knit two pair of these right from the start. I had thought about it. Or maybe the mittens really wanted to be two pair. Or maybe it’s just a testament to my own stupidity. Anyhow, the anti-humdrum mittens I had planned to knit somehow, in the thick of knitting, turned out to be two right-hand mittens.

white witch purple mittswhite witch purple mitts inside

Ack.

I suppose it should give me some comfort to know that the yarn harlot herself has done something like this. She sums up the choices rather well, I thought:

After sitting in stunned silence for the required amount of time, I have, after careful consideration accepted these three choices. You may choose.

1. Unravel the thumb on one of the mittens, graft the thumbhole closed in some sort of insane fair-isle grafting feat that will certainly involve hard liquor and curse words, then snip the threads where the thumb *should* be, unravel that part of the row, pick up the stitches and re-knit the thumb in it’s new and exciting location.

2. Knit a third mitten…one for the left hand.

or

3. Go into the backyard and begin heaping up snow until I have a pile at least 4 feet tall. Compact this snow into a firm heap and begin the tedious process of digging out a wee channel that will lead to a small interior room in the snow mountain. Then I will retrieve the mittens from the living room and take them out to the snow house, where I will remain until spring, lighting a small fire to warm myself while I drink myself stupid on screech, eat chocolate and use my very sharpest black handled scissors to snip the mittens into a thousand tiny little pieces that I will feed to the fire while aggressively and incoherently cursing my stupidity , sucking on icicles and trying to think of a reason to go on.

It should comfort me, right? But I’m still kicking myself. Eh well, plenty of winter left. Off to knit another. That cardi, and the mother of all mittens I was planning, are just going to have to wait.

welcome little one

Roary

My nephew Roary is finally here. What a cutie.

Welcome Roary!

Woolies united

Had a lovely time at the LYS (Wool and Company) last evening. They said it was the largest gathering of Woolies they’d had for knitting with company. There were probably 15 of us, including several men. One guy was doing a black/white double-knitted argyle scarf that was just, well, gorgeous. Another yarnie bewitched my friend Kaylyn with some Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo – one she saw it I could tell all was lost. I escaped the lovely drape, glittering sheen and even stitch definition of it’s siren song only by knowing that if I took some home, I’d end up with yet another UFO.

Egyptian mittens
My current project, gyp mitts, are coming along nicely. Can’t wait to finish, tho. I’ve gotten my No More Humdrum Mittens swap partner assignment, and I’m anxious to get started on a pattern for her. I think I know just the thing…

a good year for baltic mittens

I’m doing pattern research today for some mittens I’d like to knit. One source of inspiration: the Riga NATO Summit mitten catalog, which includes 4,500 pairs of mittens knit by two Latvian organizations for the summit.

Women from the rural association called “Akorande” will knit mittens with the ornamentation of the Kurzeme and Latgale regions, and the handiwork company “Ramid” will knit mittens from the regions of Vidzeme and Zemgale.

Many fans of baltic mittens have been looking at these. I downloaded and unpacked the complete photo file, which they conveniently provided, and will be trying to put these into a searchable, taggable catalog for easier reference. They’re such a great source of inspiration.

I’ve always been fond of beautiful, practical works of art. Textiles, especially knitting, hold a special place in my heart for this reason. You can enjoy working it, and then someone else can enjoy wearing it.

For beautiful design combined with practicality I love Baltic regional mittens, and the pattern and color variations just inspire me. Their braiding, gauntlets, scallops, and fringe add wonderful design elements that make them fun to work and fun to wear.

Donna Druchunas sez she’s going to work on a Lithuanian knitting book this year (her own blog is here) – I’m looking forward to its release. Some other Ravelers have purchased the Vilnius book Donna mentions in her blog: Gloves of Lithuania Minor off eBay; I’m considering doing the same. It looks like a good pattern resource.