Monday, March 29, 2010

New Yarn

Let's's been a good long time since I showed you new yarns. I have a few in the works but these three I've finished up over the last six or eight weeks.

First up from a small batt purchased at Rhinebeck, last fall. It's 2-ply, about 96 yards, 12 wpi; from 1.75 oz of hand dyed, hand carded Dorset Sheep's wool from Amondale Farms in Stow MA.
I have no specific plan for this yarn. It represents a step in learning a new technique. In this case, an attempt at long draw yarn, though the truth is, it's closer to a supported long draw.

Amondale Farms Dorset Sheep 2 Ply Yarn 7

There's a Handspun Revolution exhibit coming up and a call for entries. This little 40 yard skein came from a teeny little batt handed out as a Holiday party favor. Donna made these on her drum carder after dyeing the fiber with Kool Aid. I need to send this off soon, if they will accept my entry, since I somehow missed the deadline. It's supposed to be part of a huge yarn art installation this May, in Norway.

Spin City batt 2 ply 3

Last but not least, a lovely plumpy skein of Superfine Merino, 2 ply, 350 yards, 12 wpi - Sport Weight yarn. Always on the lookout for some Funky Carolina fibers, I snagged this bump through a massive Ravely destash last December. This is one of Carrie's club offerings, called "What Light". Very nice colors, the turquoise shots make me happy.

FC What Light 1

The yarn was spun with a recipient in mind, a friend and knitter recovering from surgery. I thought a little handspun might cheer her up. I'd never spun a superfine Merino and it was good to give it a go, though I feel like I need to practice with this fiber. Lucky for me I have plenty in my stash for that.

The yarns I'm working on now are more representative of my 2010 spinning goals - Navajo ply and Long Draw. I'll be focusing more attention to these techniques, particularly the Long Draw throughout the year.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Mom with Orchids

This Sunday morning I took Mom up to the New York Botanical Garden to see the Orchid show. A nice break from the routine for both of us.



It's been a rough couple of months as we've come to the place in our lives where the role of caretaker transfers from the parent to the child. She's fighting it every step of the way and while I admire the struggle to hold on to independence, it became evident that I needed to take over paying bills, scheduling doctor appointments and arranging day to day tasks.


The level of involvement will only increase in the months to come and at some point I'll need to call in some help. For now we achieved a plateau which I hope will remain stable for the near term.



Our adventure gave her a chance to marvel at how amazing this universe is; how abundant and varied, how intensely colorful and lush. Best of all she forgot her troubles for a bit which was a relief.



I'm going to try to inject more of these little events into her life, while she can still enjoy them. Who knows if she really remembers them a week later, but at least she enjoyed the moment.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I Love A Parade

Fabulous Regalia

Every year on the Sunday following St Patrick's Day, Park Slope Brooklyn has its own little St. Patrick's Day parade. This year's was bigger than any I've seen in the last 8 years.

DSNY Bagpipers

NYC Sanitation Bagpipers

My favorite part is the Irish Setters and the horses. Only this year there were no horses. The Irish Setters always make me smile.

Irish Setter

Irish Setter 2

And the O'Malley Irish Dancing School girls were fun what with the Marie Antoinette hair styles and the costumes.

Irish Dancers with Mop Curls

Irish Dancers with Mop Curls 2

Aran Sweaters and Curls

The parade travels down the main shopping drag and then turns onto our street and marches right past our house. It always brings out the neighbors and today's sunny weather drew a little crowd.

Watching the Parade

This parade is one of three held each year. It's the most formal of the three, with all the Parochial Schools and Irish organizations, Scout troops and marching bands from NYPD, DSNY, etc.

Knights of Columbus bagpipers

Cub Scouts

Car 54 Where Are You

James Madison High School Marching Band

The other parades are the Halloween parade - a loosely organized affair consisting mostly of a rag tag bunch of kids in their costumes, strolling down 7th Ave. with their parents (also in costume), their dogs (also in costume!!) and a small kazoo style band. That parade is hilarious and adorable at the same time.

Old Timer in Aran Knit

Finally there's the Little League Baseball Season Opener parade. It's held on a Saturday morning and the Pee Wees are so cute you want to cry. That parade takes about 10 minutes and then all the kids go into Prospect Park to play ball!

Lucky Charm

You Lookin' At Me?

It's a slice of small town America, right in the heart of Big City Brooklyn NY.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Potholder Swap!

Finito! Potholders in an array of bright crayon box colors. Definitely scratching some deeply rooted itch that never got scratched when I was a kid.

Finished Swap Potholders 2010

I longed for the giant box of Crayolas and it never arrived. Playing with this cotton yarn is my compensating measure. And the green/orange/chartreuse one on the left? Started on St Patrick's Day, while listening to my newest iPod download - The Chieftans, "San Patricio". An album destined to win a Grammy. Go get it. You won't be sorry.

Finished Swap Potholders 2010 B side

So, there are actually six potholders in the group shots above, and that's because one of these didn't meet my quality standards and shall remain at home. The other five are on their way to a small town in Western MA, where they will join hundreds of other potholders arriving from around the world (yes, this is a global swap!!). In return, I will get five swapped potholders in the near future. I've been following along on flickr and Ravelry and all of the creations are simply stunning. I can't wait to see what comes back.

Making these potholders taught me the basics. I'm still a beginner, and want to dig a bit deeper. There are a few projects in mind that will expand on the new skills. For me, that's the most rewarding part - learning something new while participating in a virtual community event!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Zoe the Heart Thief

In late January an Important Friend celebrated a rite of passage by becoming a Grandparent. I learned of the upcoming event last Fall when he expressed his joy at the prospect of spoiling a little girl. Having only sons, I knew this made Zoe's arrival even more special.

The obscenely large yarn stash comes in super handy for events like this and a quick dive into the storage bins unearthed three perfect skeins of Berrocco Pure Merino Heathers in a lovely Cinnabar Lacquer. This yarn was begging to become a Zoe-baby knit because you see, I knew in my bones this kid would be born with black hair, given her half Korean genetics.

But what I didn't plan on was just how completely adorable she would be, that's for sure! Even when not wearing Knithound-made garments, this is one drop dead gorgeous baby! No wonder her Daddy is proud!

There was just enough yarn to make up a little shrug and a little pair of socks - both patterns came from Debbie Bliss's "Simple Baby Knits". And while the shrug took less than a week of effortless and thoroughly enjoyable knitting, I spent another two or three weeks in a sort of mad frenzy of thrifty frugality becoming all-hell bent on making an "extra something" that would round out the gift and use up every inch of that yarn.

Isn't Zoe devastatingly adorable in her color coordinated outfit? And the knits fit! For now anyway, with just enough room to get some more use before she outgrows it all.

I squealed in delight upon receiving these pics. She knows how to steal hearts, gazing right into the camera the way she does. Well, she stole mine, so I imagine she succeeded in stealing Grandpa's heart the minute he laid eyes on her. Welcome to the world, Zoe!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Comments and Replies

Hi everyone,

I love getting comments to my blog posts - it's great feedback and it makes me feel like I am engaging in more of a dialog than just talking into the wind.

I try to reply, even to just say 'thank you' for commenting. Blogger is frustrating in that sometimes I cannot locate an email to reply to.

I've taken to saving the email addresses that I do have, so I am building up the contact list in my gmail account. This is time consuming, as I haven't found a simple way to do it.

So if you don't hear from me, please don't think I am being rude. I simply cannot find a way to respond on a more personal level.

Thanks, have a great day!

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Cathy, Dawn, Lynn and I headed up to Loop yesterday, to spin and play with fiber. It was a FUN and FUNNY day!

What started out as this,

got some juice and blingy goodness added to it...

Loop Custom Blended Cloud 3

And was blended into this:

Loop Custom Blended Cloud 6

On the ride home, Dawn gave us her baby knitting prescription. Let's just say color coordinating for purple babies...might be a key ingredient! Speaking of key ingredients, sausages served in Parisian brasseries contain some sensitive Donkey parts, especially if you are an American tourist! Ask me how I know.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Circles and Circles

Last week was completely devoted to learning a new skill - crochet. For some reason, all previous attempts to figure out this craft eluded me and I struggled to 'read' the stitches. Well, I hunkered down and hooked and ripped and hooked and ripped. But I finally banged out a potholder.

Potholder #1 A side

The thing is, being able to see the mistakes meant I was learning to read the stitches and that makes all the difference.

Potholder #1 B side

I've got four more of these to make in the next two weeks, and I now think it's an achievable goal. And I'm glad I took the time to finally learn this one, because I have a few home-based projects in mind that would really be suitable in crochet.

Witch Hazel

I've also been thinking about people with a tendency to feign an air of mystery. When taken to the extreme, maybe it's a ruse to hide the fact there's nothing there! Intent without action is merely wishful thinking. Lack of action is simply this: nothing. And I've been putting way too much energy into something that is nothing. Better to focus on what's right in front of me, it's real and I always bet on real.