I sent the Medea stole pattern off to my test knitters today. It was harder than sending my first born off to kindergarten!
Some of you may remember that when my old cat died last year, we buried him in the yard and planted a rose bush on top of him. It flowered all summer. And yesterday, the first buds of the season opened, and Guido flowers again. The rose is Chicago Peace, but we like to think of it as that wonderful cat, Guido.
A coupe of people emailed me to say they would like the pattern for the Dayflower scarf, so I wrote it up and cleaned up the chart for it.
Here is the design pinned out a bit --
My only claim on this pattern is that I charted it and added beads. The rest of the credit goes to Barbara Walker. Please let me know if you find any errors or you think more detailed instructions would help. Feedback is much appreciated.
Someone asked me how small are the beads I am using in the scarf I started yesterday. So here is a picture to show you --
The bead on the far right is an 8/0 seed bead, the size I used for the beaded cast-on and throughout the Medea stole. The teeny one next to it is an 11/0 seed bead and is what I am using within the design of the dayflower scarf. It's a much more subtle effect that I like with this fine yarn. I have a bunch of cobweb weight yarn and I will be using the 11/0s with it.
I FINISHED writing the Medea pattern. I am having a friend proofread it and then it's off to the test knitters. I feel more anxious about this than when I sent my firstborn off to school for the first time!
Spike says all of this excitement wears him out --
It's never easy for me -- I knit two repeats of my dayflowers scarf pattern and found an error. Frog. Knit one repeat -- decided beads are too big. Frog. Try smaller beads and success -- I like it.
This is the yellow Yubina cashmere that I started another project in. It is finer than Zephyr. I like the 8/0 seed beads for the cast on, but I think the 11/0 beads are better in the body of the scarf. They don't jump out but twinkle a bit instead.
I have finished 2 repeats and it looks fine so now to put together the pattern. If you're interested, I'll post it in the next day or so. It is easy enough for someone with only a little experience doing lace to manage.
The Medea pattern will go out to my test knitters on July 1. So I will be working on the text for it in the next few days.
Yeah, well, the sun on Saturday was a fleeting thing. The last two mornings this is what I've seen from my window --
I have started a pattern for a lace scarf using the dayflower motif from BW second volume. It is never easy for me to get from book to pattern but I did it yesterday, midst some foul language and ranting. I'll post pictures tomorrow -- not enough to show yet. And if the pattern proves to be accurate and good, I'll post it too, for free.
I had a dream last week that felt pretty important. We Jungians place a good bit of stock in dreams, you know. And I decided I wanted to make an assemblage of an element of the dream. In the dream, someone important to me tells me it is important now and then to visit the temple of the green god. So, I knew I wanted first a really nice box. I haven't the skills to make one. So I went to look on Etsy. I searched for a wooden box and ran across the shop of The Happy Woodman. The boxes are lovely. So I ordered one. And it arrived today --
See, this morning when I got up it was just beginning to break through --
And by noon, we had sun in earnest. So I thought I'd show you a little bit of what it looks like around the house -- just a little bit.
I planted 3 different cherry tomato varieties in some of the *many* plastic cat litter buckets we have --
They're looking pretty happy, especially now that it is sunny again.
In front we have some rose rugosa that we have been nurturing -- I love these roses which grow wild here. Ours are a pretty double flowered variety and are the fisrt roses to bloom
We've got some scarlet runner beans too, which were slow to get started, then were attacked by slugs but which are coming along now --
And some hollyhocks--
The vegetable garden is slow -- the tomatoes are fine but we were only recently able to plant the seeds and the peppers -- not much to see now but soon --
Our neighbors' lupines look lovely --
You may be asking yourself, or at least I imagine you are, "Where is Cheryl? And where is Medea?"
It has been foggy the last three mornings when I got up -- like this
-- because that is what it is often like in June on the coast. And weather like that is really conducive to doing fiddly things like wresting with charts. Which is what I have been doing. I have come to see that when I knit just for myself, I wing it a lot rather than being precise. Which is fine when it's only me involved. But this pattern writing thing just doesn't make allowances for winging it -- I can't say make this work out in any way that makes sense to you, not if I want anyone to knit it. So I have to work with a precision that is entirely alien to me. Be really glad that I am not a neurosurgeon folks!
So anyway, I have been working and working on the charts. I would get one done and think it was right and then -- oops -- a mistake. And then KnitVisuaizer and I had to learn to talk to each other, or rather I had to learn to obey KV. That took a while.
The big deal in Belfast this weekend was the finish line of the Trek Across Maine bicycle race, which was right in front of my house yesterday.
But I had other things to do -- like get the second half of Medea started so that I could get photos of the different stages to include in the pattern.
Just so you know, it is not easy to photograph your own hands knitting. I won't tell you how many shots I had to take in order to get these, which show how to do the beaded cast on --
And they still need work!
One of the many delights of summer here is the Farmer's Market held every Friday morning. Our area has many small organic farms and growers and the Market has grown this year. This year is the first in a new and larger location down by the water. Just behind it is this--
Not too shabby, eh?
So let's walk through the market while I pick up a few things.
First stop is for amazing organic bacon from heritage pigs -- oh this stuff is heavenly and has ruined us for commercial bacon. I want to get a ham from them one week.
Next up -
Goat cheese! Yumm!
for the very best olive bread ever -- packed with juicy kalamata olives
Local honey -- mmmm
He has pictures of the chickens they come from!
Radishes from here --
And if I had a dog, she'd get biscuits from here
The past two days it has been foggy when I got up --
the kind of fog that shrinks the world down to just a few feet around you and everything is quiet. And that kind of reflects on an outer level some of my inner state too.
I completed clues on both SlowBee and the Spring Mystery stole -- here is the latter as she looked yesterday --
I've mentioned before how much I like this linen/cashmere yarn. I think it will drape beautifully once washed.
The next couple of days belong to Medea and finishing her charts. Then to test knitters and I will knit along doing the second half as they knit.
Already ideas for Aphrodite are bubbling -- pearls, soft sea colors, shells. And Demeter and Persephone lurk in the background.
Oh, and I am glad the campaign for the nomination is over. I fell in love early on and now I am ready to fall in line behind the nominee. And I am delighted Elizabeth Edwards is to have a hand in shaping health care policy -- that goes a long way with me.
See how still the water is --
well, it's clouding up and the wind has gone dead calm so maybe we are going to have a thunderstorm. Which would be fine. Because sweaty hands and getting beads onto extrafine merino just don't go together.
So now I will do that meme that is going around --
1. What was I doing 10 years ago...
* I was contemplating returning to graduate school to complete my doctorate.
* My son was home for the first summer in college -- need I say more?
2. What are 5 things on my to-do list for today (not in any particular order):
* Write responses to emails from prospective test knitters.
* Get tomato seedlings into the ground now that it isn't raining
* Do some billing
* Work on charts for Medea
3. Snacks I enjoy:
* Peanut M&Ms
* fresh tomatoes with a little salt
4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
* Pay off my student loans
* Buy a house on the water here in Belfast -- make an offer on the house we live in now because it is the best location in town
* Pay off my children's mortgages/student loans
* Buy a Prius
5. Places I have lived:
* Mystic, CT until I was 5
* Kyushu, Japan until I was 8
* Albuquerque, NM until I was 11
* Heidelberg, Germany until I was 14
* Chambersburg, PA until I was 18
Now if you have been reading here for any length of time you know I am a promiscuous knitter. And this time is no exception. I have had both the Spring Mystery stole from Goddess Knits and the Slow Bee on the needles since they began. I am woefully way behind on both so I decided to put in some work on each of them in the past couple of days. I'm still only nearing the end of the first clues, but progress is progress after all.
First, the Spring Mystery stole :
The yarn is from Colourmart, 50/50 cashmere/linen. It has a crisp feeling to it now but I am guessing when I wash it the linen will become soft and te cashmere will bloom and make a really nice soft drapey stole.
And the Slow Bee --
This is the extra-fine merino from Colourmart which Richard says is Baruffa CashWool. Again, really wonderfully soft stuff that s a pleasure to knit with.
I don't have lots of knitting to show you because I have been working on the charts for Medea.
That's one of the ones that isn't right. So I keep working on it. I even dream of charts! And this morning, I woke up and I think I solved my problem so after knitting group this afternoon, I'll get back to work on it and see if it works.
I am also planning to move my office into a different room in my house. Which requires some deep thinking about things like what color to paint the walls and what furniture I want in it and how to arrange the furniture and also obtaining a new door. So the moving won't happen until early July. But I think I found the color for the walls --
If you didn't see it last night, do watch Kristen Schaal's terrific piece on sexism in the campaign from The Daily Show.
A little break from knitting to make some bread, this time a terrific cheesy bread from Baker's Banter. It starts with making a sponge, which grows overnight to this
The dough is made, allowed to rise, the loaves filled with cheese and we have these --
And let me tell you -- this bread is fantastic!
Moe and Spike ignored the baking and pretended to be best friends --
I did it! I finished the first half of Medea!!
If I never got the other half knit, I would still be delighted with this -- my first effort at designing.
Red beads and gold beads -- I just love beads!
She isn't blocked, but will block out to around 30 inches x 90 inches.
Now if only I could conquer to difficulty in accurately capturing this red.
I am going to play with other projects for a little while -- I want to get some work done on SlowBee because it is intended as a gift to my best friend.
And I need to work on the written pattern, which is what I will use to knt he second half -- I need to do things like count how many beads I used and make sure the number of rows is correct and that the charts are clear and readable. Then on to a test knitter.
When in doubt, post pictures -- I think that will be my motto.
I spent most of yesterday wrestling with the charts for Medea. It would be easy except for one little thing -- the crown of glory is a pattern with decreasing, then increasing stitches, which means those "no stitch" squares in the chart. But I have to enter them by hand because otherwise, the software will put them on the sides. And, you know, I suppose it doesn't matter really, because the total number of stitches does vary in those rows, but it just bugs me. And it would be easy if it weren't for the nice diagonals that mark the boundary between the two motifs. And it would certainly be easier if I had the kind of mind that does these things easily, but I don't -- on the MBTI, I have next to no sensation function and boy does it show in these kinds of things! But I will get it eventually -- the charts will get done.
So, in place of amazing progress to report, here are some pictures from my neighborhood today --
This morning the fog was just lifting when I got up-