Sunday, September 6, 2009
Aquila, she is done, re-blocked, and ready for her photo-op. While the locale is a little less grand than she deserves, I think she is lovely enough to dress up any occasion. I am infatuated with this shawl. I have worn it on dozens of occasions since I finished it in England and blocked it on the ugly carpet of my dorm room. She is the perfect size (except for blocking, which was difficult in our little hardwood cottage), weight and color. I humbly believe she is the best thing I have ever produced. In order to keep the needles clicking I have begun (and nearly finished) a pair of Pomatomus...see my Rav page for comments on these. I LOVE them, mostly because they fit my calves without mods; which is a pretty rare thing for all sock patterns and especially for Cookie A's.
Yarn: Plymouth Happy Feet
Needles: US 2 circs
Knit using magic loop method
I also fell pretty hard for some incredible yarn at the Arden Fair yesterday. Gorgeous colors dyed by "Ewe Started It", who has a fantastic eye. I will show you the bounty that is the full haul later, but for now...feast your eyes on a very simple seafoam pattern scarf that (IMHO) shows off the yarn to its best advantage. It's peacocky goodness! Yarn: DK weight 50/50 silk/Rayon. Needles: US 7 circs.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Back in the states and hard at work again, but that doesn't mean that I can't show you some more photographs. The last days of our trip were spent at the Gladstone Pottery Museum and at Chatsworth (the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire) in the Peak District. The first is a preserved and restored historic pottery manufactory in the city of Stoke-on-Trent. Bottle ovens, so named for their distinctive shape, filled the 19th-century Staffordshire skies with belches of black smoke while, ironically, producing sparkling white bone china and decorated earthenware. You can see several in the photograph at left. Most of the manufacturers that remained in Stoke pulled down their bottle ovens in the first half of the twentieth century. While the skies are now much cleaner, I must admit to a small desire to see Staffordshire as it once was. Historic films can get you close....and a walk through Gladstone can put you right inside an oven or a startlingly noisy slip-making room, which may be as good as it gets. I loved this place with abandon and shot a ridiculous number of photographs. Above is the color mixing room in the decorating shop, with the bottle ovens in the courtyard just visible through the window. Below is a slip-casting mold for jug handles. It beguiled me.
Such images were for research and future teaching, of course! I also threw a pot..on a modern wheel, but in the same room where pots had been thrown for more than 100 years. It actually made it home with me, the poor ugly little thing. I can't fire it because I haven't a kiln, but it squats on my desk and murmurs to me of all thinks kaolin. A hollow imp. An inclaybus....ok, I'll stop now.
Saturday, which dawned rainy and cool but quickly became gloriously sunny, found us taking a series of buses and trains from Stoke up to the Peak District. We began at Buxton, where we were so early I actually managed to take photographs of architecture without mobs of people in the way. Witness: The Buxton Opera House. I have never seen anything to approximate the brilliant emerald of English fields. American grass and sunlight just can't achieve the same glory as a jewel-bright meadow encrusted with pearly sheep set in a granite bezel and nestled into the hill's bosom. There I have waxed poetic and it has removed the worst of my writerly stubble. What a lovely image. Moving right along....Once we arrived in yet another impossibly perfect small town, Chatsworth was only about a 20 minute walk from the bus stop. In some ways the journey proved more satisfying than the destination, as this stately matron of an English home was aswarm with rather shockingly rude tourists who threw themselves down staircases, into sacred spaces and across historic architecture in search of the perfect vacation snap. It infuriated me. This was someone's home! But once we moved outside into the soothing grounds I relaxed a bit. And managed to get the second sunburn of my trip. Quite a feat in England, or so I am told. The pond below was in the rock garden up the hill and to the right of the famous waterfall gravity-fed fountain.
The GF and I could not decide if we liked the modern silver balls that made up an installation sculpture floating in the pond. We thought the ducks weren't sure either. We shall not speak of our "last" day in the country, as it entailed much drama, tears, a bit of hair-pulling and unexpectedly large quantities of cash in order to make it on a plane home. But I'm here, I have Rowan yarn purchased in England, and I'm knitting something from Jane Sowerby...just for the symmetry of the thing. Next week my life changes as I begin the new fellowship and my dissertation becomes my job for the next nine months. While I'm sure I will be knitting on the train to and from Philly, that will be the extent of it for awhile, so my production will probably decrease rather sharply. But stay tuned, as I have the finished Aquila shawl to unveil (I finished her in England but need to block properly for her photoshoot);I'm hard at work on a pair of Pomatomus, and the aforementioned Sowerby in kidsilk haze. Tasty.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Hiya all! I thought you might enjoy seeing some shots of where I (and later we) have been for the past two weeks....so enjoy!
This is the center of Chester...lovely on the surface but it's a bit Disneyfied..the black and whites are all 19th century and there actually is a Disney store in Chester Center. But the Roman walls were a blast to walk...
Yes, I know, that's a later addition and the entire wall was created in the 18th century, but there are some nifty Roman ruins about town....the garden, the amphitheater...
After Chester (where I was for a week-long marvelous course on Staffordshire Pots and Potters) I headed to Stoke-on-Trent for some research. The GF is with me this week, so while I'm working, she's off having fun...Tamworth Castle.....The Trentham Gardens....
and (of course)....Monkeys (The Trentham Monkey Garden...who knew?) We're headed to the Gladstone Pottery Museum and the Potteries Museum tomorrow and the Peak District (hello Chatsworth!!!) on Saturday...since, you know, the archives are closed then.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
If there's enough interest (please comment if you are interested!!!), I'll publish the pattern. Those of you who have knit a top down cardi and done basic lace can complete this sweater with no problem. It's quite easy and quick. Big needles are good for that!!
Friday, July 31, 2009
Oh, 4 rows away from end of chart 2 on Aquila. With any luck it will be done next week. The same cannot be said for either of the two talks I'm working on, nor the chapter I'm writing. But....BSG 4.5 in mail soon!!!! Priorities, after all.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I thought you might like to see some quick pics of the shawl in progress...
The pattern is here, but it's not translated.
The designer does provide charts, however, and they are really easy to follow if you’ve ever done a lace triangle from charts before. I cast on three stitches and built from there rather than the garter stitch tab method. The symbols follow the standardized system, so / is k2tog (or however you do a right-leaning decrease..I’m a combo knitter so mine are different from most folks) and \ is ssk (or left-leaning decrease) /\ is s1 k2tog bring slipped stitch over the k2tog. I like the look of that better than k3 tog, it has more of a pyramid appearance. I interpreted the * at the beginning as knit every row so it has a 2 stitch garter border. Purl on even numbered rows. I did 15 repeats of chart 1, since my needle size is probably smaller than the pattern calls for; then single repeats of the other charts.
Can’t remember name of yarn but it’s soooo gorgeous and a cross between mulberry and amethyst in color. 50/50 merino/silk…lustrous with just a little halo. perfect.
Thanks for the fantastic pattern Sari!!!
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
oh, I have actually been knitting. really. Since I've last checked in with you, I have completed my brown cotton sweater (my own design...images soon), half a pair of socks, and am a good 2/3 of the way through the aquila shawl in my reward yarn...gorgeous 50/50 wool/silk laceweight purchased at Loopy Yarns in Chicago. Greatest yarn store (outside of my wonderful LYS Stitches with Style in Newark, DE) I have ever visited. Truth be told I have not yet been to Mecca (ie WEBS) as yet, so I may be lacking in perspective, but they were lovely people and their stock is every bit as good as Franklin says it is. This pattern is available only in Finnish, but there are charts, so it's totally possible. And gorgeous. The photos I took in my rental apt. in Chicago last week do not do it justice. Right now I'm 2 repeats away from chart #2. I can't wait to see this shawl blocked. I won't jinx it by saying any more.
And I got great material in Chicago....chapter 1 is golden now!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Surface by the fabulous Norah Gaughan, knitty winter 2008. Yarn: berroco ultra alpaca lite. Needles: 5
love x 1,000,000,000. I have received so many compliments on this sweater already it's ridonkulous. and I adore it. I can't stop petting it. I find myself preening when I walk by mirrors. Which is exactly what clothing should do for us. Make us proud, happy, confident beings. Thanks Norah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next up: another pair of Monkeys, but rehabbed yarn from the forest canopy shoulderette I finished last year and never wore. This is much better. Yarn: Plymouth Happy Feet. Needles: 0
I'm also working on several projects, most of which are so boring to photograph you might cry. But here's a taste of a pair of plain socks I'm working on for the gf, who has demanded them. She should get them sometime in June....perfect weather for wool...I call them "Urban Camo"
Yarn: Auracania. Needles: 0
Doesn't it look like the stitch marker is a little tongue? I love this photo.