Monday, November 30, 2009

Faithless blogger

I wanted to let all you nice folks here at RTY know that I've deserted you temporarily and am guest-blogging at Heidi Betts' blog Must Love Yarn on Tuesday, December 1st. Here's the link:

There will be a PRIZE giveaway so you might want to come on over and take a peek. You'll also get to see my current very large WIP. Oh, and did I mention there will be a PRIZE?

Hope to "see" you there!

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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The other scarf

I'm not sure the close-up photo is good enough to show the effect of that same lace stitch worked in such a different yarn, but here it is. I only worked it in the center of the rows because otherwise it resulted in this pronounced dip in the edges of the scarf. It mostly lends texture in this incarnation, but still, a fun experiment!

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Finished the gift scarf and one for me!

Yay! Finished the gift scarf but not sure you can see the beads in the pic below--I kept them in the same color palette so they just add a little shimmer but don't stand out. I like the lace stitch I learned well enough to try it on a mongo big velour yarn scarf for me--fascinating how different the results were. Only used it a little bit for interesting emphasis. Here's a photo of the gift scarf but haven't taken one yet of mine.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ah, the Editing

I'm heading into round one of serious edits, folks, and that also means round one of the serious edits on the sweater pattern that goes with my book.

And that means new yarn.

It's hard see how luscious this color is here on the screen, but this is a brown with a ruddy undertone:

It's Lorna Lace's Shepherd Worsted, color Echo, and it's the second prototype for this sweater. Book Two of the Cypress Hollow Yarns Series needs a little more internal conflict on the heroine's part, and Book Two's sweater needs a better neckline, I think. I need to write it more clearly. So I'll be working on both of those things over the holiday season. I like it a lot when my knitting and my book writing parallel each other, when my hands and my mind are working together.

I think in the future, even when my books don't have knitting in them, I think I might keep this tradition. It's nice to be working problems out in the yarn.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I might be cheating, but...

Okay, so I mentioned this gift scarf...

I wanted to do lace, but Barbara and I were having trouble getting me back on the blog, so I couldn't come to you all and ask for an easy starter lace pattern, and time was of the essence, so I went online looking. The first three or four looked a little scary for a first-timer on a tight schedule...and then I found this one called Cheater's Lace. I grabbed it and cast on. (Had to create my own needles from bamboo dps with a cap on the end because I didn't have the right size on hand.) Yarn is Linie 135 Goby in red, a cotton and viscose mix.

Here's a photo of the beginning. I'm much further along now, but I don't have a photo yet. I'm winging a little with the pattern (my Waterloo...I really prefer making things up on my own, but this behavior is not without peril. My whole family laughs when I say I found a new recipe, for instance, because I just about never follow them. The problem being that it might turn out a disaster, but even if it's a huge hit, I can never remember exactly what I did and so can't repeat it. Living life hanging on the edge does exact a toll. ;) And knitting is much less forgiving than cooking, IMO. Or maybe I'm just a better cook than knitter.)

The improvisation is that I created this diamond pattern of purling several rows in, only it's not crisp due to both the yarn and the lace pattern and I'm liking it less and less, but I'm way too far past to rip out (plus the aforementioned tight schedule) so my next idea is to bead this area after I finish. Yep...story of my life: improvise, pay a price, rush like the dickens to salvage...I'm pretty sure life would be simpler if I'd just stick to the directions, but this little demon on my shoulder...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dropped stitches...SCARYVILLE!!!

Okay, so here's the next step in my (gulp) sock journey--a whole needle full (okay, so that's only 15 st, but it took years off my life) of stitches dropped and picked up wrong and had to unravel seven rows down and...sob.

BUT the good news is that I'm back in business. Except, of course, for one scarf I decided to start and then a second one (in my first attempt at lace--what is WRONG with me?!?) I have decided to do as a gift that has to be done the socks, well...I'm still working. but not very fast.

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Therapy knitting -- again

Many years ago, my grandmother tried to teach me to knit. After a tortuous month, she gave up, repossessed the knitting needles, and pulled out the embroidery supplies. My daydreaming childhood self was much better at embroidery. One needle, no dropped stitches. You understand, don't you?

In the early 1990s, I picked up the knitting needles again at the urging of my physical therapist. I'd lost much of the use of my hands due to repetitive motion injuries. It was therapy, so I concentrated on doing it right. It took some time and effort, but my hands gradually got better and so did my stitches. That time, the knitting habit stuck. As my knitting skills grew, I graduated to lace knit wool shawls, socks, and sweaters.

Then, this summer, along came the big, black steer that refused to get into the stock trailer. While that might seem to be completely unrelated to knitting, it's the steer's fault I haven't knitted in months. Sort of. The short version of the story is I wasn't careful enough, a rope slipped, and three fingers on my left hand were pinched so badly I thought I might suffer permanent nerve damage. I still have some small numb spots, but I can type normally again and do all sorts of things that require moderate finger agility. But knit? Not so much. I'm back where I started, knitting dishcloths for physical therapy and gradually recovering my fine motor skills.

And the steer? He's gone on to a better place.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm baaaaaaack!

Hey girlies! Long time no see! My wrist problems aren't over, sadly, but when I saw Nancy at RWA this summer, she made me reeeeeally want to try to come back. Life got in the way for awhile, and I still have to be careful how much knitting I do after writing all day, but....

Okay...deep breath...I'm trying to overcome the dreaded

FEAR OF SOCKS eeeeeeeeeek!

I tried Magic Loop last year or so when I was on here and fell flat on my face. Then I was visiting with Deb Dixon about a new book I have coming out with Bell Bridge Books (Belle Books' womens fiction imprint...the book is called THE GODDESS OF FRIED OKRA--you wanted to know that, right?;))

Anyway, somehow we got off on talking knitting, and I brought up the aforementioned FOS. Deb assured me she had a sock pattern ANYONE could knit, so I said "Show me!" She sent it...I started hyperventilating...I exchanged 483 emails (okay, 2) and I pulled out the set of 2.5 mm bamboo dps I had on hand plus some gorgeous Brown Sheep Wildfoote Symphony I'd optimistically bought in the Magic Loop days and....

I cast on 15 st each on 4 needles, tried to knit a row...had to lie down and breathe deeply.

Then I got on and saw a video where all were cast onto one and divided I did that, started working on the first row...and had to lie down and breathe deeply. :) (You see how much I love you guys and want to be Barbara or Fran when I grow up?)

Another email or two with DD, and after about five rows, I started feeling like, hey! Maybe I can do this! So here's a couple of pictures of my oh-so-humble beginnings!


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