Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Can it be far away?

In case of the February blahs, add pictures of garden to raise hopes that it won't be long now.

These are all from my garden:

Japanese Painted Fern (before being sqwushed by a bunch of my daughter's friends having a party)

Heuchera - Love those colourful Heuchera (and love to say it too!) - there are 5 more in pots and in my garden (and probably more to come this spring when the garden centres open!)

And my Weeping Cedar which started out as a 50% off discard at the garden centre but is now about 10 feet tall - backed by 2 Japanese Maples that I bought at a Bonsai show for 10.00 bucks each - they are quite happy to be of non- Bonsai size - and the branch peeking into the picture on the left is my Magnolia Stellata which blooms pink and starry on its pretty silver wood and then goes on to present me with beautiful oval leaves.

Yes, I am hungry for Spring!

And becasue this is a knitting blog - weekend knitting:

Finished my Mystery Diamond Shawl in Kid Seta - it is still a blob waiting to be blocked but I will show it to you when done. This is the pattern - done in softest blue :

Started a sock in Melenweith Stretch Cotton in this colour:

And working on (have turned the heel) on this Meilenweit Cotton Fun:

Plus started and almost finished the 2nd chart of this shawl in JaggerSpun Heather - colour Chokecherry:

and back to work

Monday, February 12, 2007

New sock - a bow to Latvian design

My newest sock of the month:

Latvian Wedding Socks.

It is loaded with Latvian symbols and there are both single and double braids - much easier to do than they look - I had avoided tackling them and was delighted when they turned out to be easy!

This isn't a traditional Latvian sock - but is more loosely based on the wonderful Latvian mittens that I talked about a day or so ago.

The yarn is a a self-patterning one (Meilenweit Fantasy) with wider stripes of colour and a few that are what I call ticking stripes - an inch of dark and an inch of white that turn out looking like little columns (if you are lucky) or random splots of colour (if you aren't).

Where are they you might ask - those blobby splotchy lines of alternating colour. Well......

They are in the garbage can - I stopped short about 4 inches when each one came along and mercilessly chopped it off and dumped it - with a white background they just wouldn't have worked. Luckily both the white for the background and the self-striping come in 100g balls so there is lots of yarn to do the trick. Manipulating the yarn like this makes for a few extra dangles to be darned in - but I happily darned them in to get the effect I was after.

I didn't do anything else to engineer the stripes - they just happened to change nicely in the middle of the big motif. Happy coincidence, but I dont' think I would have minded if they didn't.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Call me Crazy

Because of my shop, I have access to lots and lots of yarn and there is no limit to the choices I can make. Because I stick to socks and lace (sort of stick to socks and lace) I can narrow that choice down by a bit but still have many many choices.

But some times, something comes along that is so beautiful, that isn't available through my usual sources, some times I just have to buy it.

This is a case in point:

These are hand dyed by Kirsty of Piece of Beauty

They are so delectable and delicious that I bought 4 skeins for myself. I coulldn't resist and I can't wait to get them - they are truly pieces of beauty!

Crazy? Me? OH yes!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More new Bosco done

I am told, by one who knows that Bosco is Italian for wood as in a walk in the woods or forest. Whoda known (likely someone who is or speaks Italian)

Another Bosco done - this one is # 3519 and is a really rich colour - verra nice and I like it. Must do more - perhaps # 3514 or 3516. Samples required for my next show of course (April 28th - stay tuned for more details):

Then back to my February Sock of the Month - all charted up and ready to go tomorrow when I am fresh. This might be the Latvian Wedding Sock I have had in the back of my head since my dear friend Ilze's (who is Latvian of course) son's wedding.

I have always been intrigued by a ring that Ilze has-

- a rather large silver band with several bell shaped dangles. Each dangle has a symbol etched in it and each symbol represents one of the shapes that we see often represented in Latvian design - mittens, brooches, weaving and such. These symbols have been variously adapted and can be seen in their different permutations and combinations in much of Latvian design.

This makes me instantly think - LATVIAN!

I am not an expert in the historical development of these designs from their symbols but there are several experts who have given us a glimpse into the fine art and textile design that Latvia is rich with:

Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis explores the symbols and includes several beautiful mittens and trim techniques

Latvian Dreams by Joyce Williams presents stunningly beautiful patterns based on traditional Latvian weaving

The 2006 NATO summit was held in Latvia this year and delegates were presented with hand knitted mittens bearing designs from all over Latvia. This link will take you to pages and pages of photographs of hundreds of gorgeous mittens.

Such a rich history with so much to explore.

Friday, February 02, 2007

My next project

I am smitten!

This hit me smack in the face when I checked out the preview of the Spring Interweave Knits

All I can say is WOW

The new Spring issue is out and I should have mine early in the week. My supplier has it already and is shipping it out with Piecework - the one with the gorgeous mitten on the cover in red and green:

Great anticipation!

The Fleece Artist shipment was SEA WOOL and it is gorgeous. I see that 1 colour is sold out already - but there are lots more. My favourite this shipment is Redwood - rich and warm browns and browny red.

Back to my knitting! (Bosco sock sample)