Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Fully Baked Weekend

Ok - let me just get this out - It was DAMN HOT this weekend!! And then Sunday was even HOTTER! Tying the all time record for the Month of April HOT! Where I was Sunday it got to 100 degrees F at 10:55 am and then stuck at that temperature the rest of the day. (I left at 4pm and it was still 100 degrees.)

This was the weekend we had Celia Quinn here to give her two-day Silk Workshop. Once again we were at Karalyn's home over looking Lake Murray.
Silk spinning and dyeing
Celia lives in Alaska and the heat was really getting to her. Saturday was very warm - put you to sleep after lunch warm but Sunday it was so hot it hurt, and we were in the shade.

We learned more about the history and biology of silk than I ever imagined. We dyed silk caps
Silk Caps drying
and silk hankies
dyeing silk hankies

We spun silk in more than a dozen forms while Celia explained all the ways to spin each type, what each is used for and where it came from.
Celia Quinn and drafting triangle demo

We played with cocoons and did reeled silk and make silk mawata or hankies from cocoons. Celia gave us so much information in a very fun but hectic weekend. Luckily with all that heat it was very dry so our hands weren't too sweaty to spin the silk. Sunday with trying to pay attention and ignore the heat I forgot to take any pictures but it looked at lot like Saturday's picture except with different and lighter clothes, oh yeah, we looked even hotter too.

These three days of heat have cooked all the Spring flowers but The Photographer has pictures to help remember them. My potted wisteria gave the best blooms so far. I severely wacked it back - the plant must have liked the pruning.
Wisteria 1wisteria 2wisteria 3

And just to prove how special my dog Annie is, here's a picture of her reading.
my dog can to read

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Forest Canopy Shawl

First we have a winner, DJ won the 5 Minutes a Day Bread Book - Congratulations. Hope you enjoy the recipes.

Forest Canopy Shawl

Second - I finished the Forest Canopy Shawl pattern by Susan Pierce Lawrence.
(Rav link) The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool in an olive green color. None of my pictures capture the color exactly. The Label says color 008.

Forest Canopy Shawl

Funny about this pattern, a friend was looking for a particular shawl pattern and I suggested that it was this one. Talking about the Forest Canopy Shawl reminded me that I'd purchased the pattern and even had the yarn to make it. So I just let every other project sit for the week it took to make this easy lace shawl. (It's really more of a shoulderette or kerchief than a shawl or scarf.) I enjoyed knitting this pattern - it's very clear and well written.

And the blocking pictures
Forest Canopy Shawl

Forest Canopy Shawl

I'm still working on InkSpot another of Susan's patterns. There's no speeding when I'm working with such a dark lace weight.

Last night I attended a Bobmas Party at Two Sister's and Ewe. It was fun to visit with so many talented knitters. I saw some lovely things - wish I'd remember to take some pictures. I was bleary eyed last night and not the sharpest pencil in the box! I'm blaming it on not enough sleep the night before - that's my story. I know Jessica was busy taking pictures so I'll link to her pictures when she puts them up.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Lace, Bib and Bread

Very slowly I've been knitting Ink Spot the scarf version of Fountain Pen Shawl in the current issue of Interweave Knits. I find it difficult to keep working on such dark stitches. I usually sit in direct sunlight in the morning and knit a dozen rows before I start the rest of my day.
Inkspot 2

The yarn is Knit Picks Shadow in Midnight. The picture looks like a solid black yarn but it has touches of blue-green in it. (Think Black Watch Plaid in the blender - those colors) One more picture - yeah, I know, unblocked lace looks like a blob.


I completely flaked out on SockMadness. My yarn was picked out and I was right there that Thurday morning when the pattern was released but Ink Spot was calling to me and when I cast-on it was lace weight in my hand rather than sock yarn. I feel so wicked.

Lace yarn has a tendency to either stick to itself or the whole ball falls apart, especially if it has a high silk content. Here's a picture of have I keep my yarn safe and secure.

CD yarn saver

I store it in an empty CD spindle package. The yarn is secure on the spindle; safe from dust, falling onto the floor and nosey cats. My family of Photographers kindly keep me supplied with empty DVD cases.

CD yarn saver 2

I finished a bib in cotton dishcloth yarn. (I'm not sure which brand as there was no label on this ball. I'm thinking it's Peaches & Creme because I bought a grab bag of yarn from them several years ago and none of them came with labels.)

yellow bib

The pattern is here. Overall it's a very good pattern and lends itself to what ever you can imagine. You could adapt this pattern to any dishcloth pattern for the first six inches. I would try a few things differently next time; I'd use an I-cord bind-off across the front neck, I'd taper a bit the bands that go around the neck and I did enlarge the button hole. (Trying to get tiny buttons done on a squirmy baby isn't fun.)

I've been trying the recipes in the book "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day." It really is an extremely simple recipe with no kneading. I've gotten some very good bread and they look every bit as good as the loaf on the cover. And the Smell when it's baking is just heaven!

Bread book

My problem is my refrigerator - I HATE my side-by-side! I just don't have room to store the bread dough container. Since I won't be keeping the book because of my "stupidly designed refrig" I thought I'd give it away here. Anyone that's interested leave me a comment (be sure and leave an email address so I can let you know you won.) I'll mail it to anyone in the US or Canada - sorry everywhere else USPS is just too expensive.

So if you have a decent refrigerator and like to bake this book is for you. Leave me a comment by next Thursday April 9 at 9 p.m. PDT.

Do you read the Rainey Sister's Blog? The last two days Susan has been showing a method for keeping count of rows, increases and decreases as you knit. Sure makes sense to me.