Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Over the holiday weekend, which included Thanksgiving and the start of Advent, I saw Deathly Hallows and, like Ebenezer Scrooge, changed my mind. The hats I've been knitting are nice, but they're not what's in the movie. Guess I was humbugged.

Not Hermione's hats

Sigh. Ah well, they'll still look well on the Mitten Tree.
Vast Taos vest
With all the Overt Christmas Knitting going on, when the Vestvember vest achieved the vast expanse o' stockinette stage, I stowed it to get it out from underfoot keep my precious handspun pristine. This time of year it's FO or stow!

In that spirit, I finally finished the cuff down I Heart Toe Up cycling socks started during Summer of Socks. I'm pleased with the socks, even though the designer made a newbie mistake in the knit-purl heart motif. As a rule knit stitches are wider than they are tall, so a motif that is well-proportioned on standard graph paper will be vertically compressed when knit up or when charted on knitter's graph paper, as these hearts are. To my eyes they look like sharrows, not a bad motif for cycling socks.

I Heart Toe Up cycling socks

In between contemplating recipes for leftovers (edible) I selected leftovers (fibery) to use in Grumperina's recipe for Helical Stripe Socks. It'll be my December Sockdown project. Should the knitting police inquire, the yarns are true leftovers from Tropical Mer-tini, and green and red cycling anklets.

Fibery leftovers

Lastly, I signed on to Stephanie van der Linden's Advent calendar KAL. I've seen humbuggery in some mystery KALs, but Steffi's looks very promising – the Advent calendar even chides those who try to peek ahead (guess how I know that)!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shawl Ministry Pins

Thanks to a timely prod from Pat and Jane Ann, I finally wrote down and uploaded a ::cough:: long-promised PDF pattern for these whimsical little Shawl Ministry Pins.

Shawl ministry pins

The pin depicts a miniature prayer shawl in progress. The pattern includes a pictorial tutorial for the miniature knitting needles as well as the miniature shawl. For gentle readers wondering about the scale of things, here's a pin with a NJ quarter.

Shawl ministry pin with NJ quarter for scale

The pins were designed for shawl ministry groups, although perhaps other groups and individuals will also enjoy making, giving, and wearing them. In keeping with the spirit of shawl ministry, the pattern is free for personal, non-commercial use. I think the pins are best shared freely and widely – I hope they bring happiness wherever they are bestowed and maybe, just maybe, do a little bit to sparking lovingkindness (or hesed, agape, metta, mohabbat, etc as gentle readers may prefer).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Of Two Minds

After pondering the merits (and pitfalls) of Mitten Tree mittens, I turned to ruminating on Mitten Tree hats. I wanted the sort of gift hat that would make the recipient feel happy and NOT as if dressed from the bottom of the charity bin. Then I saw a publicity still from Deathly Hallows I and thought, "I could un-vent something like that."

Hermione and Harry

I channeled the spirit of EZ and knit up a child-sized reasonable likeness, and was happy.

Reasonable likeness

Then I saw another photo of Emma Watson, presumably in character (albeit blonde), sporting a hat that looks rather different. The color isn't the issue – it's the texture.

Knowing how persnickety Potterheads can be about verisimilitude, now I'm stricken with renewed indecision. Which hat is in the movie? Either? Neither?? Both??? Could this be – gasp! – a continuity error? Guess I'll have to wait 'til I see the movie – I'm sure I'll be very distracted whenever knitwear is on the screen.

Monday, November 8, 2010


My weekend in fiber had a certain narrative arc. I wasn't feeling the love for the S/KAL pullover with the inutterably stupid name, so away to the frog pond it went. Ave atque vale.

S/KAL pullover frogged

NEFF was enjoyably low-key. The exhibits were indoors in one of the many buildings on the Eastern States Exposition grounds, the most magnificent and the most handicapped accessible permanent fairgrounds I've ever seen. (The fine facilities made me interested in returning next September for The Big E, the annual all-New England interstate fair.) I picked up a few items small in size but high on my desiderata list: a few skeins of solid Opal sock yarn, some wee skeins of Opal Harry Potter sock yarn, and some small bundles of Pagewood Farm roving.

NEFF loot

Out in the parking lot, I saw remarkably brilliant sundogs over West Springfield. It's hard to tell from the photo, but they were beautifully colored and gracefully curved. I'd read about sundogs (parhelia for book learned types), but had never seen any before. It's a pity my digicam could not capture more of the horizon – there were a pair, bracketing the setting sun like rainbow-colored parentheses.

Setting sun, altocumulus clouds, and sundog

While walking around Rhinebeck it occurred to me that I could use a vest or two, a thought that recurred while walking around NEFF. I reconditioned the handspun and started a Vestvember vest. I've had commercial-spun behave less well (yay handspun).

Vest in progress

A bit later, JessaLu asked if I'm participating in NaKniSweMo. Previous year's efforts have tended to end ingloriously, but... ::cough::... I blame the NEFFy wool fumes. Ave Caesar, nodaturae te salutamos!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Show of Hands

Tomorrow is General Election Day in the U.S. and I'm grappling with indecision. I don't mean about voting – those who have the right to vote should exercise it. (Click to find your polling place.) In NJ, the polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. – be sure to vote on Question 1, which amends the state constitution.

Green ombre mittens

My quandary is of the fibery sort: although I regularly wear fraternal twin mitts and socks, I'm hesitant to add this child's pair to a charity Mitten Tree. I may like esthetic asymmetry, but I worry about how mismatched mittens would make the recipient feel. Gentle readers, What say you?