this 'n that

You would think that finishing up a major work project and being done with overtime (for the time being) would lead to a  major spurt of knitting….but then you’d be wrong.

Unfortunately, hanging over my head was still the dreaded spring cleaning. Dreaded, mostly because it takes so darn long. I don’t feel like I have a lot of “stuff”…but there’s still more than enough to go through. And of course, I’m one of those people who feels the need to alphabetize their CD collection. (I’m also one of only two people at work who can find a contact’s business card in less than 30 minutes. No, I don’t think it’s a coincidence.) I seem to have two extremes – either I’m chronically organized with everything in its place or I’m nose-deep in piles that I haven’t taken time to work through and put away. Which makes cleaning oh-so-fun. High standards and a year’s worth of failing to meet them….

So, anyway, knitting has been sparse. But the spring cleaning is finished (yea!) and I’m on vacation all of next week (double yea!), so I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things. I do have some knitting I haven’t shared yet.

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This is a very scrunched up and almost finished Artichaut, in Briar Rose Angel Face. Earlier this year Anne asked me to knit a sample for her booth with Chris at Sock Summit later this summer. Since the pattern wasn’t released until June 1 (in the Summer Twist Collective), I couldn’t share it until then…by which point I was inundated with the rest of my life, of course! It’s another lovely Knitspot pattern, although trickier than most, as there is patterning on both sides. (My simplification solution has been stich markers between repeats. Lots of stitch markers.)  The yarn is also very lovely, an alpaca laceweight. It’s actually much nicer on the hands to work with than the yarn I used for my Alhambra. But then again, I’ve yet to have any complaints about any of Chris’ yarns.

Moving from challenging to even more challenging, I’ve finally started the Lerwick Lace Shawl from Heirloom knitting.

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I’m using a cobweb weight cashmere-silk blend (from Colourmart) which is absolutely lovely to work with. Even though I’m using 1.5mm (US 000) needles. (Eek!) I have so far about 8 points finished on the edging, out of 152. I think I’ll be working on this one a while… It will make good summer knitting though – it’s very lightweight and I don’t think the fine yarn will stick to my hands quite as much as heavier, woolier yarns do in the heat of summer. I may have to find a somewhat easier project to work on for breaks from this, however. At least I have plenty of yarn to choose from!

Finally, I’ll leave you with the strawberries…

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I had to go around to the side of the house over the weekend to check if the phones not working was a result of in-the-house or out-of-the-house issues (Answer: out-of-the-house. A very naughty squirrel chewed through the lines.) I don’t usually venture to this side as it’s just a narrow strip between our house and the neighbors, so I usually miss these. However, this year the timing was just right to stumble upon these bright little beauties. I believe they are alpine strawberries, and they’re not very edible (at least, not compared to the local farm berries my mom picks every year – I’m not sure anything beats those), but they are really a cheery little spot of color.

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catch-up

Wow, thank you for the kind compliments on my Morning Glory. My new wrap and I are both blushing! Of course, no sooner did I finish it, than the weather warmed up…I guess I’ll have to wait until next fall to use it.

I really should make an effort to post more frequently – I have so many things I want to share. However, overtime has again reared its ugly head (non-mandatory – but if we don’t work it now, it’ll be two weeks of 12 hour days to finish the project in the end – working a little extra now to avoid that is worth it), not to mention there just seem to be so many things I want to be doing. Of course, overtime means more money, which means I feel completely less guilty about all the money I spent on stash enhancement last weekend!

My mom and I went to our first ever Great Lakes Fiber Show (of course, I can no longer find the website…) last Saturday (May 24) and had way too much fun. We were so busy looking at all the pretty yarns and knits, that I didn’t get any pictures there (not even the cute alpaca or bunnies!), but I did manage to find my billfold a few times…opps…

From Briar Rose:
Legend, a sportweight merino, 1300 yards
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Sea Pearl, a fingering weight merino/tencel blend, 1000 yards
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From Knitting Notions:
A hand turned shawl pin
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Classic Merino Supersock, Dusk, 3 skeins (1260 yards)
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Classic Merino Supersock, Ruby, 1 skein (420 yards)
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Afterward, we stopped at the Secrest Arboretum, part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University. It’s free and open to the general public, and a lovely place to stop and visit. There are plenty of trees, of course, but we stopped for the flowers.

As far as my actual knitting goes, I finished the front of my sweater last week and have started on the sleeves. I’m working both at the same time, so I make sure I increase and decrease at the same rate. I also felt like the added challenge of two balls of yarn to tangle, of course…

Pear and Trellis is also coming along nicely:

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I’ve managed to finish four repeats. Once I finish the sweater, I’ll spend more time on this, but it’s mostly hit-or-miss at the moment. I plan to work pretty exclusively on lace this summer (aforementioned sweater aside). To that end, I decided I might as well sign up for the Seasons of Lace knit-along. Usually, I’m absolutely terrible at KALs, but I knit so much lace anyways, I thought I might as well. As it doesn’t start officially until June 21, I suppose this scarf counts as my “warm-up” project. I’m hoping to (finally) get going on Bee Fields, and work on the Alpine Knit Scarf (Ravelry link) from Victorian Lace Today for the summer. Given the overtime situation at work, I think that will be plenty of challenge!

spring beauties

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Spring Beauty

Spring is still here! Which, to the best of my memory, is rather unusual for northeast Ohio. More typically, we go straight from winter to summer, with maybe a few pleasant spring-like days interspersed. However, it’s been pleasant, mostly sunny, daytime temperatures in the 60’s and lower 70’s (Fahrenheit). It is supposed to turn a bit…unpleasant…this week, however, so maybe I’ll have the opportunity to actually wrap up in my new shawl, for which I owe thanks for the compliments!

The problem with finishing up such a major project, and in such a heavy push at the end, is that I found myself a bit tired of knitting! I know, impossible. I’ve actually kept on knitting, but not as much as I had been. I think there may have even been a day or two when I actually didn’t touch the needles. I can’t say the same thing for yarn, however. It’s been fondled and wound (and unwound and knotted…I think I may have a slight tangling issue) and admired. So I think I’m safe.

I’m actually really close to finishing a long languishing, UFO. But of course, I don’t have any pictures. I’ve been too busy taking pictures of our seasonal visitors – both in the backyard, and last Sunday on an outing to the woods (on a real trail!).

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Trillium

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Red Trillium

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Dutchman’s Breeches

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Trout Lily

And a backyard beauty:

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Bleeding Heart

Hopefully, I’ll have a finished project by my next post…and hopefully I’ll even have knitting pictures!

Spring Snow

So…..I dropped off the blog for a while there. I’d blame it on overtime and that really big really pink shawl that didn’t allow for much other knitting, and well really there’s only so much you can say about a giant pink shawl, but the truth is – I’ve just plain been lazy. Pure and simple. Really must try to work on that!

In the meantime – spring has happened! (Warning! Photo heavy post!)

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Crocus

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Bloodroot

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Bloodroot – open

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Tete-a-tete Daffodils

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Myrtle

But more importantly, the giant pink snow shawl is complete! (Enormous, really – the largest lace project I’ve undertaken–of course if I hadn’t gone UP half a needle size after getting gauge, things would have been a bit better…but I like it this size…I think.)

Of course, if you read Anne‘s website, you know this already. I finished Sunday night, we blocked Monday, and yesterday she got her pictures and released the pattern. It took me an extra day to get sunny pictures (darn work!) but I now present my test knit of Anne’s Whispering Pines shawl:

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Details at Ravelry. And many more pictures over at Anne’s.