Monday, February 7, 2011

Time for some knitting

Much of the knitting I do now is stealth knitting I'm not at liberty to share until it is published, but I did finish some pretty things recently and thought I'd trot them out.

 This is a pair (technically, one glove) made with Malabrigo sock yarn. My riff on Selbouvettor patterning.
           Gauge: 9 1/2 sts to the inch (perhaps a PR)
I love this glove and hoped to finish the second before the end of winter, because they are for me. I think a knitwear designer should have a pair of fancy pants hand knit gloves. Just seems right.

Now this is a hat I designed to keep DD#1 warm in chilly VA. I had some leftovers from this pretty and I love working with this yarn so wasn't too much of an hardship. So she got a hat which is lined with alpaca and a pair
of pop up mittens for walking the grandpuppy.

She received them and loves them.

Also I have been absent so much that there haven't been any winter pictures of Touchstone Farm. I know you were wondering how much snow we got this winter. This isn't even the worst if it. Just what we had laying around after a particularly snowy evening. I love this last shot. The whole mountain looked like it was dusted with powdered sugar.

We have had a few days of above freezing temps so much of this snow has melted, but I hear more is on the way.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Major Surgery

I had a great day teaching at Knit One today. All my students were exceptional and I enjoyed everyone. But the end of the afternoon was special. (Unfortunately, I have no photos, don't usually photograph my students) Elizabeth was a lovely woman who brought in a beautiful, simple mens crew neck sweater she had knit five years ago and was unhappy with. She also brought in her husband, Joe, the intended recipient. He was a wonderful fellow. Turns out the sweater never fit him, it was just too short. She had knit the sweater from the hem up and wanted to lengthen the body but didn't want to tear out all her hard work. We tried it on Joe and determined the exact length he wanted. He left the shop and we scrubbed for surgery.

I have done this procedure in the past but it still takes your breathe away when you take scissors to knitting, especially someone else's knitting. Yes, I cut the ribbing off the bottom of her sweater and then we pulled out all the little pieces of wool and gently found all the stitches and slowly placed them on a new needle. I did run a lifeline about 2" up from the cut edge, which luckily was not really necessary, but made me feel more confident. It worked and she was thrilled.

This is knitting mojo at the Phd. level, and it looked great when we were finished.

But what was astounding were all the life connections we discovered while I cut her sweater apart. She worked with Fred Rogers for 30 years. Mr. Rogers is considered a saint in our town, where he grew up, graduating with my husband's uncle. His presence is felt every day by the students in our schools and everyone in our community. We swim at the McFeeley-Rogers Pool. The high school includes an unparalleled art collection funded with significant donations from the McFeeley-Rogers Foundation. Many good works. His sister "Lady Elaine" still lives here.

Elizabeth grew up in the town in Massachusetts where I went to boarding school, just down the street to be exact. Her brother and sister went to the same small college as our youngest. Her sister owns a house on Martha's Vineyard, arch rivals and next door neighbors of Nantucket, my home. We decided we were destined to meet one day as we seemed to have zero degrees of separation.

Elizabeth is a true lady, full of calm and grace. It was a treat to spend this afternoon with her.

Wish I had pictures of the surgery, you would have been impressed.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Here We Go

I have been scolded by both daughters to write a new post, so here we go. (The fact that the Steelers are in the Superbowl and everywhere in Steeler Nation you hear refrains of "Here We Go Steelers, Here we Go" maybe on my mind).

I have been knitting, but many are stealth projects which must not be spoken of. Makes the blog sooo boring. And we have had mountains of snow so the garden is a little laconic and equally boring.

Christmas seems ages ago but there was a little knitting for DD#1.

 The first two shots were taken by my architect daughter and her well instructed fiance. Notice the arty pose. And yes, she worked on the lighting.

 These last two were taken by me Christmas morning. Let's just say there was bed head and low lighting, but you get the idea.

Needles; #7 circs.
Worked top down. Mods: None. Love this pattern and worked it exactly as written. She loves it and  shares the many compliments she receives at work. A complete success.

I loved this one so much I made one for myself. I made mine a little longer and changed up the cable patterns. I ran a Saxony Cable down the back book-ended between symmetrical 4 st snake cables on either side. On the front I added a more complex A-symmetrical cable with the snake cables on either side of the front button bands. I would show mine, but because I lengthened it I ran out of yarn. I have ordered more. It is in MadelineTosh Vintange, Well Water. another gorgeous color of MadelineTosh.

Before Christmas I knit a pair of cashmere socks(Sorry, looks like Carol at Black Bunny Fibers is out of the Cashmere/wool blend. But there many other yummy yarns in her shop. Go ahead, have a look, I'll wait.) for my biking buddy and a ski cap for her husband out of the new Jared Flood Shelter yarn. The socks have not had their close-up yet, but the hat saw a little camera action.

Pattern: My own design
Yarn: Shelter, various colors. Lined with alpaca from stash.

I ride all summer with Kelly and her husband George does all our bike mechanics. It is important to keep George happy and warm. He wears this hat all the time so I think it is a hit. Always warms the cockles of a knitters heart to see her woolies worn.

It is very late and I have a running date early tomorrow morning, so this will have to do for now...