Knitting

Coming soon...


                       


I ended up with less time to knit yesterday than I expected, so I have the last few rows to knit tonight. Now grafting and blocking might well take more time than I have between now and Friday so....

Tomorrow I will block, take lots of pictures, assemble the pattern and bright and early Friday she will be available, assuming all of the stars align just right!


How my garden grows

I am within 30 rows of finishing Medea -- so hopefully tomorrow will be grafting and blocking to make ready for release on Thursday!

On a break this morning, I wandered out to take a look at my garden. We have tomatoes ripening --

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That's Jaune Flamme, which we will certainly plant again next year. Lots of big clusters of fruit ranging around 2 inches in diameter.

And the scarlet runner beans are putting out their cheery red flowers --


I put all of my amaryllis plants outside for the summer. Usually they send up additional leaves and the bulbs become nice and fat again. This one seems not to have gotten the message about what summer is for -- look, it is about to bloom again!


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And I have become enamored miniature roses. My husband gave me this one over a year ago. We put it outside in the ground last year and this year, it has been full of blooms. Pretty perfect little red roses!

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It's my birthday today, but because my husband is u to his eyeballs in work on Carousel, I agreed we could celebrate it next week. I can be so gracious now that I am grown up -- though I admit that inside my little kid self is pouting a bit.

Getting it done

I am a procrastinator. No doubt about it. I am the one who gets it all done right at the deadline. And when there is no deadline, why sometimes things linger on and on.

A case in point -- I wrote a fairy tale. I started it in 1992 and in the perfect fairy tale time span of seven years, finished it in 1999. In the nine years since a few people have read it and said nice things about it. And I thought about submitting it to The Fairy Tale Review. But you know, I didn't have a deadline and somehow it just didn't get sent. But today I did it -- I clicked SEND and off it went. I really doubt that it will be accepted but that's not the point. I submitted it. Yay me! Courtesy of Wordle, here is a cloud version of it --

                         cloud_l

If it isn't accepted, and honestly, I think the chances are slim, I will make it available for download here.

So I am on a roll here, getting things done. And I have decided that I will publish the Medea Stole pattern on August 1. I am knitting the center motif now, so I don't think that goal is too ambitious. Of course I have t figure out what to charge and get the whole Paypal button thing worked out. But right now, I figure if I could get that fairy tale submitted -- finally -- I can do this.

Progress

The promised progress report --

This wonderful red remains as tough to photograph as ever but here she is -- I am within 45 rows of the center motif on this half and if I make myself stick just with Medea, I'll finish in a week or so --

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If you look back, you can see that the coor is much deeper and richer than this shows.

And the Spring Mystery Stole --

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These are the two I have been giving the most attention to. But in my mind, oh my, I have several others started!

Last night the Celtic Festival brought us fireworks. People started gathering on the Common in early evening -- couldn't ask for a more lovely place to sit out on the grass on a warm summer evening. 

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Kids rolling down the hill

     

Beautiful boats in the harbor 

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Big billowy clouds 

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And finally the fireworks --

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So if I have to listen to hours of Celtic music in order to have an evening like that, well, it's worth it.

The Celts are back!

It's Celtic Festival weekend in Belfast again. Which for those of us living on the Common is a mixed blessing -- because while Celtic music is lovely, hours and hours of it gets a little crazy making. It would not do for me to run screaming out of the house that Loch Lomond* has already been performed 6 previous times in the last 3 hours, now would it? 

You may remember that the true Celtic food vendors last year included pizza and fried dough. This year, this is right across from my front door --


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because nothing says Celtic like pit bbq! Of course, we will get our supper from there.

Just below our house is the stage from whence all the Celtic music flows --

           

It's not really as bad as I make it sound -- well, maybe almost because Celtic music really isn't my thing -- but it is fun to see all the people an the fireworks tonight will be terrific.

Out in the garden, the tomatoes are really taking off. Not signs of red yet but look at these --


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Patterns

Just a quick post to let you know I have added a section ot the sidebar for patterns. Right now there is a link to the free Dayflower Scarf pattern which is available as a PDF. 

Coming soon -- the Medea Stole!

Beads on floss

It's not easy to photograph my own hands placing beads in lace -- I need another hand! But I got a series that is good enough for now so I thought I would share them with you --

I use OralB's Super Floss.


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            floss3_m


                          floss4_m


Teaching

The first class went pretty well, I think. Eight eager knitters, none with experience with beads in knitting and most with no lace experience. That's all good. Step by step. I had the foresight to create a swatch pattern this morning before the class. Some things I learned teaching this for the first time --

Class one -- learn to place beads

Class two -- read chart and knit swatch

Class three -- cast on for the scarf.

Catching on to how to place the bead was harder for some than I expected. So this afternoon I will take some photos to use in an additional hand-out I can give them next week. But by the end of he class everyone knew how to place the bead so that is a good start.

I think I have a second group on Thursday evening. The first time through on any course is always a learning experience for all concerned!

The sky this morning was wonderful -- the swirl of clouds looked almost painted on the sky.

                   

Now to get photos of me placing beads

Restless

I am a restless knitter. And these days I am so wanting to start something new. I look at the cones of yarn from Colourmart and they sing out to me -- Casablanka! SlowBee2! Unst! But I resist, at least for now, and remain steadfast in my determination finish Medea before beginning anything new. But it is so very hard to resist -- that lilac cashmere is so yummy and I have the perfect beads for it and that midnight blue cashwool would be so wonderful and...

Must       focus        on       Medea!

Maybe thinking about something else will help --

Garlic scapes have been in available at the farmer's market for a while. We tried them for the first time last year and made pesto from them. Scapes are a thick green shoot that comes up from the middle of hard neck garlic. The growers usually cut them off in order to encourage the development of the garlic bulbs. They have a pretty intense garlic flavor with a kind of green note to them. To make the pesto, I cut the scapes, after removing the bud part, into short pieces and puree them with walnuts and lemon juice. Then I add olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. A nice garlicky pesto. Just right for making pizza, with feta and olives, which is what we had for supper last night.

Back to normal

Here on the coast we don't do heat very well. So several days in the mid-80's with high humidity make us wilt and lie about complaining. But today dawned with a nice breeze, temps back down in the low 70's and low humidity so there is life again here.

When it's hot, I don't knit much. I should probaby be ashamed to note that one thing I did do a lot was play Snood. You really don't want me to give you a link to it or you too will spend way too much time with this mindless game.

Once it started to cool off, I started back up on my Medea stole. Word from my test knitters is that all is going well. I am eager for them to get to the center motif which is where I had some trouble making certain the charts were right. Once they can tell me that, we will have crossed the biggest hurdle and I can contemplate publishing it.

I will be teaching a beaded lace class at Heavenly Socks, my LYS, starting next week. Here's a look at the current state of the scarf I am doing for it -- well, giving them a pattern for learning with --

I'm back

Did I enjoy my time in the hammock? Oh yes, I did! But I have to figure out how to knit and lie in it at the same time.

We were busy inside the house a lot of the weekend. I am moving my office from one room in the house to another. Which meant painting. I knew exactly the color I wanted, a barely there lilac and I found it. And my wonderful husband painted it while I gave encouragement. The woodwork needs another coat of white but here is a glimpse


And because I need to be able to change from one project to another, I gave some attention to the Goddess Knits Spring mystery stole again. I have paying attention to how long people are reporting theirs are, and because I like stoles to be at least 90 inches, I added another repeat of the first two charts knowing I can add another if need be. 


The garden grows in leaps and bounds. Time to thin the beets and pumpkins and squash. 

My test knitters seem to be knitting along without difficulty. I'll give you a progress report in a few days.

I'll be in the hammock...

In the Middle

 

of a life that's as complicated as everyone else's,

struggling for balance, juggling time.

The mantle clock that was my grandfather's

has stopped at 9:20; we haven't had time

to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still,

the chimes don't ring. One day you look out the window,

green summer, the next, and the leaves have already fallen,

and a grey sky lowers the horizon. Our children almost grown,

our parents gone, it happened so fast. Each day, we must learn

again how to love, between morning's quick coffee

and evening's slow return. Steam from a pot of soup rises,

mixing with the yeasty smell of baking bread. Our bodies

twine, and the big black dog pushes his great head between;

his tail is a metronome, 3/4 time. We'll never get there,

Time is always ahead of us, running down the beach, urging

us on faster, faster, but sometimes we take off our watches,

sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh

of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up

in love, running out of time.

Yes, Medea is in Progress

Just so you know, I haven't set my own Medea stole aside. Oh no, I am knitting it from the very charts I have challenged my test knitters to use. And last night I discovered an error all by myself. I hope for the rate of progress on my stole to pick up this weekend. Here where I am on the second half--


I have told you about m love for these 11/0 beads and he mixes I have found. And I keep playing with trying to photograph them. I think these turned out reasonably well -- at least they give you an idea --

this is the mix I am using with Dayflower:

shimmerbeads

And this that I got to use with some navy blue cashwool-

                                   mistbeads

Today again started out foggy, even foggier than yesterday --

        JUly 2

so foggy that wisps of fog came in the window! 

But when I went outside 3 hours later, look --

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the sun is out and the fog in retreat. It's a good thing that I love fog!

This will have to do...

I tried and tried and tried to capture the way the little beads twinkle in DayFlower but no luck. You'll have to take my word for it. I have a lot of cobweb yarn so I have been on an 11/0 seed bead buying spree. They are sooo pretty. I'll work tomorrow on capturing some of them.

If you start with knowing I revised my dissertation around 6 times -- not completely of course but at one point I had 7 versions of it on my hard drive. If you start with that, then you won't be surprised that I have already made 5 changes to Medea, thanks to my sharp-eyed test knitters. I keep reminding myself that this is what test knitters are for -- after all it's what I did with Arabian Nights.

So in lieu of sparkly beads, here are photos of roses I picked in my garden today --

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We started off foggy today, as we have for the last several days

                     July 1

 REALLY foggy. But by noon, the sun was out and it has been hot today -- we wilt a little here on the coast when it gets up to 85F. I've been hearing loons down on the water every evening and early morning now for about 3 weeks. One of the delights of living here is that we get to hear that haunting beautiful call so often. They nest in the Goose River just across from us.

© Cheryl Fuller, 2007. All  rights reserved.