Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater

I am weak. I am a ---

Cheater Cheater
Pumpkin Eater

Yes, I should have been a monogamous knitter to get this baby gift done. I tried to be a good little knitter, but I am a CHEATER.
It is one cast on for the CONCERTO SCARF. That doesn't count, does it?

Here is my cheating paramour:

I cast on for the Concerto scarf -- pattern available free from Ravely, but you have to join a Yahoo group. De De from Ohio is hosting a Knit Along (KAL) for this free lace scarf or shawl pattern. She is also offering free tutorials.

I need all the help I can get knitting lace (actually, with everything) so I happily signed up.

I am knitting it on size 8 with Miss Babs Yummy in Light Turquoise.
You can see that I wound it up the traditional way (not center pull). So shoot me. Or please post and tell me why I need to do center pull and why it is better. Here it is:

You can also see that this was not a MEANINGFUL CHEAT, as all I did was wind the yarn and cast on. I may have a tryst tonight though.

Also daydreaming about that sock. Does that count?

Knitlark Lane Podcast
Starting with Episodes #20
A = Old-fashioned Fairy Tales
B = The Hunchback of Notre Dame
C = Moonlight Madness (medley of knitting, travel, books and Life Flavor -- What is Life Flavor?
You have to listen to find out. This month it is BUTTERSCOTCH.)

I Need to Knit Like the Wind

What am I Needling?

I love that term. My niece used to ask me that instead of asking What are you knitting?

I am working on a Baby Afghan -- Basketweave Pattern from Our Best Knit Baby Afghans by Leisure Arts. This is for a dear couple who are over the moon expecting their first grandchild. I am doing it in acrylic (so it is easy to wash) Loops and Threads Seaside Ombre colorway worsted on size 11 needles.

First I was going to knit a cupcake hat from the Itty Bitty Nursery book ... Pink cupcake, white frosting, cherry on top. Found out it is a boy. Ok. Next idea: Yellow cupcake, brown frosting, cherry.
Then I remembered kid-to-be lives in Florida. Probably not too many hats -- cupcake or otherwise -- in his future.

Have lots of fabric from quilting days. Why not a baby quilt? Cut out some squares, but I was not NOT FEELING IT. I wanted to knit. I found this book and pattern at Michael's (used my coupons) and off I went. I have to KNIT LIKE THE WIND, as Baby Conner is due next week.

Here is a picture of it about 3/4 of the way through.

I have to CONCENTRATE only on this project. No more sidetracks to other things. Sure.

Knitlark Lane Podcast
Starting with Episodes #20
A = Old-fashioned Fairy Tales
B = The Hunchback of Notre Dame
C = Moonlight Madness (medley of knitting, travel, books and Life Flavor -- What is Life Flavor?
You have to listen to find out. This month it is BUTTERSCOTCH.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Secrets of a Sock Jock Wannabe - Part 1

This episode adds to Knitlark Lane Podcast Number 20C, but you don't need to listen to the podcast to read the blog. See the link on the right of this page if you decide you cannot go any longer without hearing my voice.

And NOW... what you have all been waiting for ...


For all the time I have been knitting (not sure what that adds up to, but it is a better beginnining than Once Upon a Time --- see my fairy tale podcast reading for that) I have not been interested in knitting socks.

Why, you ask? Because I am a philistine. Yes, I admit it. I did not see the point of knitting socks that I could buy for 2 bucks.

Plus it looked really hard --
Four or even five (!) needles at once?
Turning a heel?
Eyes of partridges?

But, holy mackerel! The knitting world is in SOCK FRENZY! Sock podcasts, sock blogs, sock patterns, sock books and then Sock Summit, the ultimate sock dreamland con(ference). (I learned that word con from the Brass Needles Podcast -- check her out)

Other knitters say you will start and get addicted. Did I need an(other) addiction? Hardly.
But was I missing out on the best thing since circular needles?

My downfall was when I started looking at the sock yarn. It wouldn't hurt, right? I could always make a scarf or mitt with it. And it is SO GORGEOUS, espeicially the indie (independent) dyers.
So I started collecting. Every trip I went on, I stopped at a shop and picked up some cool sock yarn. I have a luscious stash now. (more on that in a later podcast)

The yarn was the gateway. I was falling fast. I started printing and reading patterns. I loved the names ... Monkey Socks by Cookie A; Cabletini by Wendy Johnson.

Then -- I hate to admit this -- I started knitting socks virtually. That is, when I had to attend a boring meeting, I would knit a sock in my head. (Does anyone else do this? Please post and make me feel better). The advantage to this is that they all come out great. And it is cheap.

You should also understand that knitting in my head was all I can do at these things. Really. If I EVER decided to knit in public there, I would probably be BURNED AS A WITCH.

Time to do it for real. I took a class. Not the Basic Sock Class that I should have taken. No, not for me. I took a Toe-up-MagicLoop- Weird Heel-No Pattern class. We were supposed to increase at the toe until "it fit." I had nice yarn -- Claudia Hand Painted in the Sharks colorway. I cast on ok using Judy's Magic Cast-on (easy to find if you Google it). But the socks were icky. my toes looked like I had bunions the size of golf (or tennis) balls on both sides. And I had a hole at the gusset that my cat could poke a paw through.


I frogged it.

By I was bowed, but not beaten. I bought Ann Budd's book Getting Started Knitting Socks.
Good pictures and explanations. I started again from the cuff down. I found a youtube video by Charlene Schurch on how not to have a hole at gusset. (google Charlene Schurch gusset hole to find this or email me at and I will send you the link).

I am now at Gusset Decreases on Sock #1 Redo.

I am not yet a Sock Jock. I am only a poser wannabe. But I am strong. I am invincible. I will prevail.

Please post or email me if you are a sock jock already or if you are a wannabe like me. I would love to hear your stories. I will put them on the podcast, too, if you give permission.

More to come. Stay tuned.

Knitlark Lane Podcast
Starting with Episodes #20
A = Old-fashioned Fairy Tales
B = The Hunchback of Notre Dame
C = Moonlight Madness (medley of knitting, travel, books and Life Flavor -- What is Life Flavor?
You have to listen to find out. This month it is BUTTERSCOTCH.)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Some Pictures to Accompany Podcast 20B

In the reading from The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Podcast 20B (see link on this page) author Victor Hugo talks about some scenes of Paris.

This is a view from the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral:

This is the Bourse (the stock exchange) that Hugo discusses sarcastically in the chapter.

Knitlark Lane Podcast:
After Number 20:
A Episodes = Old-fashioned Fairy Tales
B Episodes = The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
C Episodes = Moonlight Medley (books, travel, knitting, and other stuff)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pictures for Podcast 20A - Princess Mayblossom

Here are some pictures to go with Knitlark Lane Podcast Episode 20A. You can click on them to make them bigger.

The 20 A podcast was a reading of a Fairy Tale called Princess Mayblossom from The Red Fairy Book.
20B will be a reading from the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Notre Dame de Paris) and 20C will be called Moonlight Medley (it may be about books, or crafts, or travel ... and may include both mystery and mischief).
So now--after number 20 -- you can "pick your poison" -- cafeteria style -- from A, B or C.

Here are the pictures from this week's Fairy Tale.
The first show the Princess Mayblossom and her lover Fanfaronade on the way to Squirrel Island:

The one is where Ambassador Fanfaronade goes over the cliff:

But there is a Happy Ending. Hooray!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pictures of Ireland For the Irish Fairy Tale

Episode 19A of the Knitlark Lane Podcast is an Irish Fairy Tale. Here are some pictures from a recent trip to Ireland. I hope that blog readers and podcast listeners enjoy them. You can click on them to make them bigger.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris: A Symphony in Stone

In the Knitlark Lane Podcast Episode 19 reading of The Hunchback of Notre Dame we read a chapter that tells us a great deal about the novel's author, Victor Hugo, as well as about the Notre Dame Cathedral. He calls it a Symphony in Stone, a majestic and sublime edifice. It is indeed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The 1902 Edition of Notre Dame de Paris (The Hunchback) by Victor Hugo

Part of the Knitlark Lane Podcast is reading from the novel Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo.

I am reading from a book with a copyright 1902. It is part of a series called The French Classical Romances. There are about 15 books that my mom bought at an auction years ago.

The books include The Nabob by Daudet, The Black Tulip by Dumas (pere), Memoirs of Young Brides by Balzac and Madame Bovary by Flaubert. Here is a picture of the title page of the book I am reading in the podcast.

You can click on the pictures and make them bigger.
Here is the link to the podcast if you would like to listen to the novel It is also available (free) on Itunes.

This is the spine of the book -- along with the feet of my cat, Sugar.

Across from the title page, there is a picture of the book's author, Victor Hugo.

Let me know if you are interested in more pictures. It is interesting, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Needlepoint in Paris and Oliver the Cat

In the Walk With Me section of the Knitlark Lane Podcast Number 17
I talked about going with my friend Georgette -- it was her first trip to Paris -- to a wonderful needlepoint shop on rue des Moulins, near the Opera Garnier.

Here is the link to the shop
and a picture of the front.

This is a picture of the canvas my friend Georgette bought. It is really lovely.

Here are some pictures of some ribbons from La Droguerie, the yarn, ribbon, bead and button shop that I talked about in Podcast #16 and wrote about in the last blog.

(I am working on my picture-taking skills -- I know what I did wrong here -- sorry if it is not the best it could be).

Coming up next is the really EXPENSIVE ribbon I told you about. Both the right side with the dots and the wrong side.

Since my cat Oliver seems to want to be a part of my podcasts (I know you have heard him howling in the background) I thought you might like to see a picture of him. Here he is:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

La Drouguerie and Jacques Callot

In Episode 16 of Knitlark Lane Podcast, I talk about my visit to the wonderful Yarn, Button, Ribbon and Bead shop in Paris called La Drouguerie. Here is a picture of the front of the shop. I also tried to take a pic of the inside, but they did not allow photos. This was the best I could do from a distance.

It was a fantastic shop. You look around and make your choices, then have a lovely salesperson help you and cut your ribbon, bring out buttons, and show you beads. Very nice service here.
Let me know if you are visiting Paris, and I can give you directions. They also have a smaller shop in Le Bon Marche department store.

Also in the podcast (where the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame one week and a Fairy Tale or Folk Tale the next) the Hunchback of Notre Dame author Victor Hugo tells us that Gringoire the poet had a big come down in his surroundings from that of Michael Angelo to Callot. This was when Gringoire's adventure took him from directing his play in the Palace of Justice to being captured by the King of Thieves. We all know about M's wonderful paintings that touched the highest spirit known to mankind. Callot did not try to paint God. His subjects were a bit more commonplace. Here are a couple of examples of the work of Jacques Callot.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fairy Tale Photo for Knitlark Lane Podcast

Here are some photos to go with Knitlark Lane Podcast Bonus Episode 14A.

Another French Fairy Tale
Prince Hyacinth and the Dear Little Princess

By Madame LePrince de Beaumont

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Yummy New Yarn

This post has pics that add to Episode 13 of Knitlark Lane Podcast

I had a great time at Stitches South, and here are pics of the yarn that I decided needed to be mine.

This first one is the one my DH picked out for his socks. It is hand-dyed Classic Merino Super sock (superwash) from Knitting Notions in Nashville, Tennessee. It is called Stormy Seas.

The next one is also from Knitting Notions -- hand-dyed Classic Merino Bamboo. 65% merino 35% rayon of Bamboo. It is called Atlantic.

The next three are from the wonderful Miss Babs from Mountain City, Tennessee.

First "Bamboo Baby: Superwash Sock and Baby Yar 60% merino, 30% bamboo, 10% nylon
No color or number listed for this. It was called a "dye table special" and was on sale.

Next from Miss Babs --"YummY" Monochrome Sock and Baby Yarn 2-ply Superwash 100% merino Light Turquoise.

And last but not least, another "Bamboo Baby" Dye Table special (as above) in a delciious-looking purple.

I plan on having lots of fun deciding what to knit and working with this lovely stuff.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sugar Reprise and Stitches South

Pictures to supplement Knitlark Lane Podcast #12 (also on I-tunes).


"The picture of me in the last blog post does not show my best side, as I was trying to get my head under her hand while she did something else beside pet me (I really do not like it when the focus is not on me, and I must protest)"

"Now you can see what I really look like -- A Fantastic Feline Fashionista at the top of her game."

Stitches South was a KNITTING EXTRAVAGANZA. Here are some pics. I will talk about the yarn I bought in the next cast and post some pictures here in the next blog posting.