Monday, December 21, 2009

What Was I Saying?

There it went, another week I’ll never get back. To tell the truth, I’m not entirely sure what happened to me…

Wait, that’s not precisely true. But a full explanation of what happened to me would inevitably degrade into a long moan about my workload, traffic, over-heated commercialization and a fond dream of running away to Belize with the Yarn Harlot.

I’ll just say that I’ve been busy and leave it at that.

It’s amazing what can happen while I’m too busy to notice, though.

The world will continue spinning around the sun, wine will still make a good evening even better, and narcissus bulbs will sprout in a darkened room.

Week Two

Here in the Northern Hemisphere today is Winter Solstice. The very shortest day, followed by the very longest night of the year. When I get home tonight, I’ll light a candle and leave it in a sheltered corner of the patio overnight.

I do this every year, hoping that the sun will be intrigued by the flickering light and come to see what it is. Perhaps it will find things interesting enough in my part of the world that it decides to come visit for just a little longer every day.

I’ve been doing this for years now, and the results have been consistently good.

While I wait to see if my ploy works again this year, I shall water my narcissi.

Week Three

I wish you all a Happy (belated) Hanukkah, a Blessed Solstice, a Bountiful Yule, a Merry Christmas. Whichever calendar you use to mark this season, may it be filled with joy, with happiness, with laughter, with peace and with love.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Red Thing and Green Thing

Nope, not Christmas knitting, or Christmas decorations. No holly or evergreen wreaths with red ribbons.

There are two things you can be certain of as a reader of this blog.
  1. There will be lace projects, because I can’t seem to keep away from the lovely stuff.
  2. There will be baby knitting, because the women in my life keep reproducing.

And sometimes I will combine the two.

First, for the Red Thing:

The timeless Baby Sweater on Two Needles, also known as the February Baby Sweater, by Elizabeth Zimmerman.


I’ve deviated from the pattern in a few places, but I don’t think that EZ would mind. After all, she was forever discouraging people from being blind followers, wasn't she? I made eyelets for the second set of increases, just to start the lace idea a little sooner and to keep the garter-stitch tedium at bay. I also cast on extra stitches under the arms when I was putting the sleeves on waste yarn. I’ll be picking up into those stitches when I start the arms and knitting them in the round rather than back and forth.

I’m quite pleased with the way this is turning out, and I’m completely in love with the Crystal Palace Merino 5 I’m working with. It’s a super-wash merino, and just about the bounciest stuff you’ve ever seen in your life. Great stitch definition and a lovely hand to the fabric.

And now for the Green Thing:

Helena by Alison Green Will.


Kind of a cardigan, kind of a dress… it may have a bit of an identity crisis, but it sure is pretty!


Even on the inside, with all those long ends to be taken care of.

The yarn is Debbie Bliss Prima and oh goodness is it ever lovely. It’s got this lovely shimmer to it, which simply refuses to photograph properly, and the drape is everything you’d expect from an 80/20 Bamboo/Merino blend.

I’m thinking that if I settle in on the couch for a few evenings I can get both of these done soon… always assuming I can tear myself away from The Big Red Blob.

Monday, December 7, 2009


My husband and I were wandering around in the local home improvement store a couple of weeks ago when I came upon a HUGE display of narcissus-forcing kits. (narcissus… self-absorbed… I crack myself up)

Generally my resistance to store displays is pretty strong (unless we’re talking about piles of yarn), but the clever people at the store obviously had experience with people like me. So, in addition to the artful stacks of boxes were several examples of forcing in various stages. There they were, all laid out before me, a living time-lapse.

I was doing all right until I got to the pot with the fully opened blooms. Now really, how could I be expected to just walk past such beautiful blossoms and such a heady scent on a rainy November afternoon?

At least I only bought one…

Just Add Water

Plunk that brown disk into the pot, add some warm water and come back in 15 minutes.


Then I fluffed up the soil and nestled the bulbs into their new homes.


I stood and stared at the pot for a few minutes… then my husband told me that they weren’t going to actually grow and bloom right before my eyes. That the box said they’d bloom in 30-40 days.

All right then… slow magic is still magic. Let’s watch them together!

Work on The Big Red Blob continues, along with some baby knitting I have been remiss about photographing. I’ll remedy that soon and we’ll have a little show-and-tell.