What a great weekend! My incentive for finishing my Sociology class was to treat myself to a trip to Seattle and The Acorn Street Yarn Shop . My friend was supposed to go with me, but she bailed at the last minute, so I invited my sister. She is not a knitter, but she is so patient about joining me on these outings. Of course, she is often the recipient of my labors, so maybe she has an ulterior motive? But she is definitely knitworthy and one of the few people that I knit for. We had a great day poking around University Village and then the yarn shop. I treated myself to a great book on Orenburg lace shawls and this lovely blush pink lace yarn:

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I’m afraid the picture doesn’t do it justice. So far I’ve changed my mind about three times on what I want to do with it. First a scarf, then a stole, then a shawl and back again. so I think I may let it percolate a bit while I decide what to do. And also because I received this:


Eight skeins of Knit Picks new Alpaca Cloud. I am very impressed with this yarn so far. It is soft and lovely and the colors are heathery and beautiful. And the price can’t be beat. The whole lot was about $30 with free shipping! At that price I need to go back and look again. Wouldn’t it be fun to have one of every color? My first project will be with the “Tide Pool” – the darker teal. I’ll be making the Pacific Northwest Shawl from Fiber Trends.

And Rogue hasn’t been forgotten. Our knitting group meets this Wednesday and the subject is knitted on I-cord edgings. I’m going to take Rogue with me to get some advice. With any luck I can start picking up around the edge and have something rather mindless to work on this Saturday. It’s the first car show of the season, which means lots of sitting around. And, of course, I really need to get studying. I got so spoiled last week with most of the week off. That meant I could study during the day and knit at night. I got my new study plan from my advisor and she confirmed that by the end of the semester I will be a senior. I thought the day would never come – the light at the end of the tunnel!

I was very remiss in my last post in not crediting the designer of the Mediterranean Shawl. The shawl was designed by Maureen Egan Emlet and is featured in A Gathering of Shawls (see sidebar). In restrospect this was a very challenging knit and not for the fainthearted. But would I do it again? You betcha!

And I can’t resist introducing you to the newest member of our family. Here’s Hester:


We had been considering getting a puppy and were investigating the King Charles Spaniel. Unfortunately, we found ourselves priced out of the market. They were so expensive and hard to find. After perusing the AKC site, we decided to investigate the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and really liked what we found. We did give some consideration to getting a “pound puppy”, but in our area it is very rare to find a small dog – they are all lab mixes. We found a very reputable breeder right here on the island. She has been breeding and showing for almost 30 years and has quite a few champions. She has even shown at Westminster (impressed me!). She was very excited about Hester and felt that she had great championship potential. But just before embarking on the dog show circuit, Hester failed her OFA hip exam – she has displaysia in one hip and so cannot be bred or shown. Kathi said she cried for two days. She really considered keeping her as a pet, but they are very committed to the show dogs (they have 10 or 12), so they are placing her with a good home. And because they cannot guarantee that there might not be some problems later on with the hip, they are only charging for the cost of the spay.

So, we hope Hester will come to live with us in about a month, after she is spayed. We passed preliminary approval yesterday and Kathi said barring any unexpected circumstances, she is ours! The owner may want to come out and inspect our house, but she will like what she finds. Hester has the sweetest disposition. She crawls up in you lap and looks at you with adoring eyes as if you are the most special person in the world. And this only five minutes after meeting her. Corgis do SHED like crazy, but generally only twice a year. Then you have to brush every day, but we’re used to that with the Lhasa Apso. We told Kirby he was getting a little sister and he seemed excited, but that may have been all the great smells on us when we got back home.

And here is a picture of Bill and me with a lap full of Corgis. Actually, a couple more jumped down just before the picture was taken.


On the knitting front, I am up to the armhole on the second sleeve of Rogue! That should be done today. I didn’t start on the I-cord trim yet. I wanted to consult with a friend since I’ve never done it before. I cannot believe what a quick knit this has been! But that may have been because I worked on this exclusively – something I don’t normally do. No pictures because I’ve been having way too much fun taking pictures of little dogs!

These are for Marguerite.



I wore my shawl to church today and am so very happy with it! I got several compliments on the shawl itself, but the compliments that pleased me most were “My, don’t you look pretty today”. Don’t you think that’s the ultimate test of any wardrobe item – that it makes you look and feel good instead of drawing attention to itself?

The big day has arrived! No, not the birth of my new grandchild, although you might think this is right up there (not really kids!). However, it did take a lot longer than 9 months and there was indeed a great deal of labor involved – some of it painful (remember the frogging of over 6 months knitting?). The delivery of the Mediterranean Shawl is now accomplished (ta da!) I had set aside a whole morning for blocking this puppy, but it actually only took about half an hour. I used blocking wires for the first time and all I can say is, if you don’t have them, run, don’t walk to your nearest retailer and invest in some. It is SO much easier, especially if you do a lot of lace. So without further ado – first the shawl in unblocked form:


And then in blocked form:


Kirby not only approves, he helped (well, kinda):


You will, however, have to wait for a modeling picture. I really can’t do it justice wearing jeans and my LLBean shirt, which would entail changing into something dressy, so you’ll just have to bide your time for THAT to occur. I have the whole next week off and dressing up will not be in my vocabulary!

There is something about blocking lace that is akin to magic. The beginning article is pretty, but kind of crumpled and just okay. Once blocked, it becomes something almost ethereal – light and floaty and drapey and just exquisite. If I had to choose only one type of knitting for the rest of my life it would be lace, without a doubt. Now that this is done, I need to start looking at a new lace project. I think it will be the Pacific Northwest Shawl. I am dying to try out the new Knit Picks yarns. I’m excited about their offerings and especially the prices. I could certainly indulge my habit a lot more with those price ranges – hope the quality is there. They seem to emphasize alpaca pretty heavily – a good thing in my judgment since alpaca is just about my mostest favorite fiber to knit with (and wear)!

And no, Rogue has not been abandoned or forgotten. I actually finished the hood (except for grafting the center section) last night. I think I will pick up around the front edges for an attached I-cord before I start on the sleeves. I’m posting a photo, but just don’t seem to be able to get a good true color. And it certainly doesn’t do it justice to have it crumpled up on the floor. I wish I had a lovely mannequin like Ei – her’s is looking lovely!


Don’t you just love a good makeover?



And After:


The change is actually more dramatic, but it’s hard to catch a moving target!
On the knitting front, I have continued to work on Rogue. I know – I said I needed to work on some other projects, but since when have you believed anything I had to say on that score? I just have the right front to finish from the armhole to the shoulder and the body will be done. I am really anxious to get to the hood – that’s what drew me to the pattern in the first place.

On the school front I finished the last paper for my sociology class (do I hear a few strains of the Hallelujah Chorus?). Just the final and I will be done. Then I start on the Sociology of Aging. I think this will be an interesting class. One required reading is “Tuesdays with Morrie”. Finally, something fun to read! My prize for finally finishing the sociology class is a trip to the Acorn Street Yarn Shop in Seattle. My friend and I will probably go Feb. 26th.

Good news – My kids called this week and they are moving back to the States!!! They’re not sure exactly when – probably after the baby is born. It makes a lot more sense to have Izzy in England since they are covered under National Health. I am so excited about having them closer. And my daughter-in-law is becoming a true knitter. My son complained that every time he asks her to do something she says, “Just one more row!” Way to go, Abby! She finished her first scarf and is now working on a poncho. She even offered to knit me one! No one has ever offered to knit me anything. I may have to wait awhile because her life is going to very, very busy in about two and half months. But I shall be patient.

I am such an idiot! I know, there are probably those out there (my siblings?) who are saying, “It took you this long to figure that one out?” Actually, I’m probably not an idiot, but there are some nights when you should just throw in the towel and figure out sooner, rather than later, that knitting is just not in the stars for you. I was so tired last night (first clue), and was ahead on my studies, so I decided to treat myself to a relaxing (?!) night of knitting. I started working on the little baby sweater that I am test knitting for a friend. I’m at the point where you start knitting the shoulders together. Ok, simple enough, right? Except that at the same time, you are doing short rows, kind of like rubbing your tummy and patting yourself on the head at the same time. The first time through I got about half done and realized that I was knitting from the outside rather than inside edge on one piece (or is it the other way around?). So I frogged. Second time around, again about halfway through, I realized that I had the sweater twisted, with one side outside in, the other side inside out (or is it the other way around?). I didn’t even have the heart to frog, just threw it in my knitting basket, where it still resides.

Now, at this point, a perfectly sane person would have seen the light. But oh no, not this girl. I picked up Rogue for a little relaxing knitting. Right. I ended up twisting cables the wrong way, not once, but TWICE!! Long story short – I knit for about 2 hours and ended up frogging every stitch I made. I realize I probably could just drop down the cables and pick them up correctly (and still may do so), but I knew better than to try it last night.

So, no knitting content. But Ann at Purling Swine has started a new web ring – Knitters with Minis. So for anyone logging on from the ring (see new button on the sidebar), I introduce Limey (1973) and Agatha (2004).


My husband says that my mini (Agatha) is larger and more luxurious, but his mini (Limey) is smaller and cuter. That’s up for debate – well, the cuter part anyway. Plus, Agatha has a really cool license plate:


Although my husband has been obsessed with cars for years, I have never been much of a car person – until now. This is the first time I’ve ever had a car that I thought deserved a name. It’s fun to see the reactions you get from all kinds of people – older couples, hippies, bikers and even high school boys. The other day a whole gaggle of teenage boys gave me a thumbs up. Not bad for a 55 year old grandma, huh?

What week! My husband and I both came down with a bad bug, although he got it worse than I did. The worst part is that the doc told us we were to stay away from my mother-in-law since her health is so fragile. This was kind of upsetting because she just moved to an adult group home and we wanted so badly to be there for her to help make the transition. We kept in touch by phone, though, and the good news is that the transition has been a very good thing for her. She is dealing well with her husband’s death and is actually making tremendous progress, healthwise. As long as she stays away from us! I think that we’re on the road to recovery at last, though.

One thing about being sick is that it gives you an excuse to just sit on the couch and knit. Which I did!


The color is not real true, but this shows the detail well. I find knitting on this to be almost hypnotic. Must be why everyone gets hooked on it. I have to admit that this was my second start on it. I have no idea what I was thinking, but I initially started the 48″ size. Only in my husband’s dreams am I that busty!! I got as far as starting the pocket and realized the error of my ways, frogged and started over. I’m glad I did – I probably could have worn the larger size, but it would have been pretty baggy.

I really do need to put it aside for awhile, though (hmmm – have I said that before?) because I have some other projects that really do need to take precedence. I really, really need to finish the baby quilt so I’m not stressing at the last minute, I need to get cracking on my toddler socks for CIC (finished one, but will wait to post pictures until both are done) and, of course, school. I did manage to get a lot done this week. The tough thing is that my class on Child Abuse is really, really depressing. The Sociology class is almost done, though! One paper left on: 1. Compare the theories of Durkheim, Simmel, Gans and some other guy whose name I can’t remember (yeah, you’re waiting with baited breath on that one, aren’t you?) 2. What should the government do about obesity (ban Big Macs?) and 3. Is civil obedience ever justified (the American revolution, the underground railroad, Gentiles who hid Jews from the Nazis – need we say more?). So there, once again, you have subjects on which I have to expound for nine pages. Then a final exam and I’m done! Well, at least for that class. I’m really have to give myself some pep talks to keep going. I should have done this when I was younger!