it's what i do

2nd Nature patterns available now!

... Unpatterns, too!

on the needles

• super-secret design commission for anonymous yarn company

Doux by Julie Hoover
with Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend and Shibui Silk Cloud

Simple Straight Skirt
with Cascade 220

Featherweight Cardigan
with Regia Angora Merino 

in my ears
  • A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
    A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
    by George R.R. Martin
under my nose
  • An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs Book 5)
    An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs Book 5)
    by Jacqueline Winspear
fueled by
go find it!
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suddenly, fall

and - we're back!

I don't think I'm alone in feeling like Fall is the true beginning of the year. It may seem perverse on the surface to mark new beginnings as the trees lose their leaves and the garden beats a full retreat, but the general drawing-in after a busy summer feels right (especially after the spectacularly sunny summer we enjoyed up here in the NW corner!).

So I'm feeling a bit more bloggish these days - there are some neat new developments around here, like our little guest house next door and its big space for sewing and blocking, my renewed interest in gardening and cooking, and an emerging resolve to learn two new skills: guitar and sewing. These would all be fun to document and share... can you teach a 45-year-old knitting dog new tricks?

Stay tuned.


an FO-Filled Weekend

What a weekend! Boyhood and I did some chores, and some more last moving-out of bits from the house... and I finished not one, but TWO sweaters!

I finished my second Bailey, out of Rowan Lima, and wore it all day yesterday, and didn't get too hot at the office!

I also got around to weaving in the dozens of ends (from all those stripes!) on my Maine-Cruise Tempest Cardi!

That got worn to the shop today - and good thing, too, because both of the dear friends I went on the cruise with were there for my knitting circle. They were just as as excited as I was to see this one done!

Of course, all this finishing left me feeling so virtuous that I was hell-bent to start something new (ahem), but the yarn gods decided to reinforce my better leanings and ensured that the ONE color I wanted in the new yarn was out of stock at the shop. So it's back to the rosy glow of virtue for me -- I've resumed my Tilda, and with just the fronts to do, I should be nearly done with that in a week or two!



The year is starting off well!

I have TWO FOs to report:

1. A linen-stitch scarf (loosely based on Jo Sharp's "Umbra Scarf" [of sainted memory]):

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, in 3 colors
Needles: Um... US 11? (been knitted for so long, I can't remember!)

This one was knitted, and then stalled at the fringing stage... perhaps because I'm not at heart a fringe-y person, and I dislike untidy edges.

I resisted finishing up the fringe, and it got stuffed in a bag for the last 4 years or so.

When I pulled it out the day before yesterday, all I had to do was tidy up some existing knots, cut a few new lengths of fringe to supplement its natural complement, and give the fringe a haircut!

Ta-da: a great cozy scarf, suitable for gifting this year (that is, if Boyhood doesn't snag it first). 

2) A snuggly alpaca cowl!: 

Yarn: Cascade Eco Duo (1 skein)
Needles: US9, I think

This was the silliest little non-pattern: provisional cast-on X sts (enough to make it wide enough for a cozy cowl); work in garter stitch for 28", or until it's long enough to wrap well around the neck and make a good cowl; graft the live sts to the loops from the provisional cast-on with Kitchener stitch to make a loop. Done. The End.

Which doesn't explain why that last bit took me a year to get around to!

•  •  •  •  •

The cowl was my first official FO at a 'UFO party' my friend Renae threw for The Knitting Ladies of Bainbridge last week. Here's the basic recipe:

1 excellent hostess and 1 fantastic home;
Add 10 or so dedicated knitters;
Marinate for a few hours in a delirious mixture of spinach dip, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, lemon bars, brownies, and champagne;
Roll in yarn and needles and chat and laughter.

Later, bake in a lasagna pan with two kinds of lasagna and finish off with some lovely salad.

But be aware: this recipe does require a little clean-up!



poof! a new design

I'm happy to report that a sweet little design I did last year for Tina over at Blue Moon is now live!

"Sea of Tranquility," a scarf done in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Worthy - a yarn deserving of that name, if ever there was one.

I was playing with the different stitch and row tensions of 1x1 ribbing and garter stitch - I love how the columns of the different textures cause the little undulations at the ends of the scarf:

And the eyelet details stagger like wee footsteps, tracking up towards your neck.

In a sweet ironic moment, I named the scarf after one of the features of the moon … and then as I was finishing the knitting, the news came through that Neil Armstrong had passed.

So this one's for all the crazy dreams we have, all the things we think might not be possible - until we actually try.


Rogues' Gallery #3 and 3

Now, where were we?

Ah yes - Sweater #3. 
This one is a Habu kit from the last time Takako came to Churchmouse...
Kit #119? 135? oh dear.
Anyway, it's a luscious combination of mohair, merino, and silk! 

This is probably the one garment I am DYING to finish. I remember putting on the piece from the trunk show, and just walking around in a little cloud.

And while we're on the topic of mohair, here's a Crocheted Moebius Loop, in a luscious orange shade of Shibui Silk Cloud! 

[now, where the heck is that photo?]


It's just too bad that Pantone has shifted the Color of the Year from Tangerine to Emerald.
I'm a little bit in mourning. Just sayin'.