Saturday, May 31, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
Things I Forgot To Tell You
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
OT: Images of Memorial Day
Monday, May 26, 2008
EZ Garter Stitch Blanket - Day #1
1. The pattern is in Elizabeth Zimmermann's THE OPINIONATED KNITTER, a book I love with a passion usually reserved for Szechuan food and creme brulee.
2. Knit Picks Options, size 9.
3. Single strand of CASCADE Ecological Wool. (It's supposed to be double-stranded but that would mean a significant jump in needle size and my hands balked.)
4. I picked two very pale oatmeal/cafe au lait shades but zipped back to WEBS to order two of the darker shades as well. I'm thinking I'll want a little more contrast. Or maybe to knit more blankets.
5. EZ doesn't specify wrapping stitches in the pattern but I wrapped anyway. I just didn't pick up the wraps. Why, you ask? Well, mainly because I hate picking up wraps but also I just liked the way it looked this way. (The holes are part of EZ's pattern design.)
6. I take crappy photos of my knitting. The blanket in progress looks much niftier in person -- edges are crisper, fabric not at all lumpy.
Wait! I forgot to tell you: I'm knitting again!
I'm surprised trumpets didn't blare and marching bands start parading up and down the street. I cast on yesterday afternoon for the first time since January and it felt great! Okay, so maybe I over did it (I'm the original all-or-nothing kid) but what a joy, what a thrill it was to feel needles in my hands again, fondle yarn with an actual purpose, watch as those beautiful utilitarian spare and lovely garter stitch ridges began to stack up one on top of the other.
How did I live so long without this?
I can hear you laughing. You'd think I'd actually embarked on an Orenburg or a Wedding Shawl or something equally mind-blowing and not a simple garter stitch blanket. But I am a knitter who is easily pleased by the Simple and the Easy. (Although I could probably screw up Simple and Easy if I put my mind to it.)
Definitely doing the Happy Dance here in central NJ.
Knit N Style April 2007
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Happy to be here!
I do live in New Hampshire, for the past three years, and I absolutely love it. I was born in Massachusetts, so I'm a New England girl. But life, and my husband's career, sent us from one end of the country to another. I'm delighted to be back here and just soaking up the lovely mountains, beautiful homes and churches, stone walls, and gorgeous foliage.
I live here with my husband, one dog and one cat. My two adult daughters live nearby, with my two grandchildren. My son and his wife live in Kansas, so we don't see them much but we stay in touch.
As Barbara said, I have two blogs. I had one, a knitting one, but found more often than not I was posting about knitting instead of writing. Bad Liz! So I started a knitting blog, and now I can keep the two parts of my personality separate.
Well, almost! Because now I'm writing a novel called KNIT A SPELL, which is a paranormal romance set in...you guessed it...a yarn store! Woo hoo! Finally I found a way to combine my two loves.
So, I'll pop in here now and then, to see what's happening and to give you info on my latest books and knitting adventures. I'm thrilled to be here!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Welcome ELIZABETH DELISI!
Friday, May 23, 2008
My Memorial Day Halloween Yarn Contest
There's no yarn store where I live, so I live for out-of-town shopping extravaganzas to yarn shops. And I do have a full-blown Malabrigo thing going, which creates a supply-demand problem. No supply, but I demand. So I travel. For yarn. Ah. I knew you'd understand.
I was checking the Malabrigo site last night and found the totally coolest thing ever. First some background: I go by the name Jaen on some writing sites, mainly because I'm a klutzoid typist and I tend to type my name as either Jaent or Jaen, so I just went with Jaen.
Then I saw a copy of my geneology and found out I have an ancestor named Jaen!
That's cool, but not nearly as cool as this: Malabrigo Yarn
I can't get the picture to paste in here, but if you scroll down to the "Variegated" section.... YES! YES! They named a yarn after me! YES!
Okay, maybe it's not named after me, but it could be. My living room is decorated in baskets filled with Malabrigo, some on needles, some just waiting.
I hope to meet many of you in San Francisco this year at RWA!
Thank you so much for letting me part of this group!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Please welcome JANET SPAETH
I am delighted that Janet Spaeth has agreed to join us here at Romancing the Yarn. She'll be along soon to introduce herself but let me give you a preview.
Some of you may recall that one of my New Year's resolutions (in addition to knitting a top-down sweater, which I've done) was to learn to knit socks on circular needles. Ta-Dah! I did it.
This is actually the second pair I made. Here is the finished product: (One of these days I'm going to get some nifty sock forms like Barbara to show off my socks.)
I took a class at my LYS to learn to do this. Five women, all of us incredibly frustrated for the first two classes until suddenly we 'got it.' Here are my thoughts on the process: Pros: It seems faster than knitting one sock at a time on double points. It's great for self-striping yarns like this or simple patterns.
Cons: The yarn is constantly getting tangled. You must have two balls of yarn instead of one big ball. I can't imagine doing it with a lace pattern.
I think I will knit simpler socks on circulars and stick to my trusty double points for lace, cables, and other fancy patterns.
Have any of you knit socks this way? What do you think of the process?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Mary: reader, knitter, and friend
My wonderful friend Mary Preisinger died a few weeks ago, just a month short of her ninety-first birthday and my world is definitely poorer for it.
Mary was my very first not-related-to-me reader. She sent me my very first fan letter back in March 1983. (You'll have to excuse the number of times I use the word "first" in this post but there's no way around it. It was a time of firsts for me.)
Let me set the stage. LOVE CHANGES was one of the launch books for Harlequin American and had come out in Reader Service but was still a few weeks from hitting the book stores. I was published . . . but not really. Somewhere out there I hoped people were reading me but if they were they were being very quiet about it.
We were living in North Babylon on Long Island at the time and every morning I would drop my husband off at the LIRR station in Babylon then stop by the post office at Sunset City (a strip mall on Deer Park Avenue with, among other delights, a video store and the wonderful Italian Food World) and check my PO box for mail. I don't really know what I was expecting but I was a brand new author and hope truly springs eternal. So can you imagine my absolute shock when I unlocked the box that morning in late March of '83 and found one small letter waiting for me!
It was from Mary Preisinger who was living in West Islip at the time, written in bright green ink, and her words made me cry. "I loved your book," she wrote. "Reading it took me back to the time when my husband was still alive and we would drive out to Montauk and walk the beach. Thank you for giving me back those memories."
I'm telling you winning the Pulitzer Prize (For romance? Not likely!) or hitting the New York Times could not have made me happier than that one small letter did. My words had touched a stranger's heart! It was the most amazing, wonderful, powerful, exhilarating experience of my life.
Now here's where it gets a wee bit weird. I turned into a stalker. Not in a bad way (don't all stalkers say that?) but West Islip was just one town over and I was really, really thrilled about my fan letter so I ran home, looked Mary's phone number up in the directory and called her. I know I should be embarrassed but I'm not. I didn't know a thing about author etiquette back then. I definitely didn't have a clue about how to be cool. I just did what my heart told me to do and thank God! That impulsive phone call resulted in a twenty-five year friendship that enriched my life in ways I can't begin to count. She knitted some gorgeous afghans for me. I fumbled my way through shawls and lap robes for her.
Mary and I talked like old friends. She invited me to visit her one day for lunch and I did. Over the years we shared books and laughter, secrets and tears. I moved to central NJ. She moved to Salem, Massachusetts, then back to Long Island and then finally to Ohio. But we never lost touch. Not for a minute.
I'm sitting here by the front window, watching the rain. I have a cup of tea on the table next to me and Mary's pale celery green, soft yellow, and ivory afghan draped across my shoulders like a hug. She's there in every stitch and always will be.
The Prodigal Knitter
See that book cover? That's what I've been up to. It took longer than I expected and took me to places I never thought I'd go but I finally reached the end a few weeks ago and am now feeling my way through chapter one of the sequel. The unnamed sequel. Right now I'm calling it CASTING SPELLS 2 which, all things considered, is a pretty crappy title. Let's hope I come up with something better soon!
CASTING SPELLS will be on the stands around Halloween and I'll be posting an excerpt on my website in June so please stick around.
Why are you looking at me like that? Don't you trust me? Just wait. I promise I'll make it up to you.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Trouble with the end
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
How long should a scarf be?
Ginny and I are crying in our cheer towels: the Devils got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The good news: I got a lot of scarf knitting done as I watched my team go down in defeat.
In fact, I got so much knitting done (I needed to soothe my nerves as the Rangers harried Brodeur) that I'm pretty close to finished with my commissioned scarf. However, here's my question--and I always have this issue with scarves: how long should a scarf be?
Currently, this one is 63 inches long (unblocked). If I make it any longer, I will have to start a new skein of very expensive Mongolian cashmere (which I have in my possession but it's returnable). So what do the pros on RTY think?
How long do you make your scarves?
(Ginny, there's always next season, right?)