What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours. Here was Eris yesterday:


And today:


Both Marguerite and I were not happy with the way Eris was turning out. So by mutual agreement, we frogged (or at least I frogged – haven’t seen proof of hers, but I know it’s coming). Although this was a truly ingenious project with the short row shaping, we just weren’t happy with the cables. Maybe it’s the yarn (we’re both using Peruvian Highland Wool) that just wasn’t right for the project, but we decided that we didn’t want to invest all that time on a project that we weren’t truly crazy about.

We cast about for another KAL project, and the plan now is for me to play catch up on FLAK. I swatched and this pattern fits the yarn so well. As cables go, it’s fairly simple, but looks very complex. And I’ve been wanting to do a top down Aran. Here’s my progress so far:


Still a long way to go before I catch up with her and don’t know how much knitting time I’ll get in this week. I really want to finish my one class by the end of April and then I’ll be free for the summer! I’m getting down the home stretch on my classes. If I really concentrate I can be done in four more semesters. That probably seems like forever, but when you’ve been going to school for almost 10 years, it’s no time at all!

This next Friday my husband and I are going over to the mainlaind to a place called Dinners Ready. The idea is that you order meals ahead of time and when you arrive, they have the kitchen set up for you to put your meals together into freezer-ready parcels. The theory is that then you have ready to go meals for those days when you’re too busy to cook. It’s a little pricey, but nowhere near as expensive as ordering out, which is what we tend to do when things get busy. It sounds kind of fun and their menus change every month. We need some variety – we have gotten into such a rut with cooking! And I’m hoping that once we’ve done it there we can come up with our own ideas to do at home.

F is for Fabric. Here’s a picture of my fabric stash:


Most of my friends and acquaintances know me as a quilter rather than a knitter. Although I’ve knitted longer, for years quilting was my obsession and I achieved a moderate amount of success with it. I have had two quilts juried into the AQS show in Paducah, Kentucky, which is probably one of the most prestigious quilt shows in the world. Thousands of quilts are submitted every year and they only take a few hundred. It’s kind of like going to the quilting Olympics. Didn’t win a medal, but I went twice! Well, I actually didn’t go, but my quilts did. Here is one of them:


I haven’t completely given up on quilting, but with school and work, knitting fits into my schedule a little better. It’s easier to pick up and put down. And yes, I usually have way too many quilting projects going as well. I’m looking forward to the day I graduate and/or retire so I can get back to it.

In the meantime, progress is being made on Eris. Voila! A collar:


Neither Marguerite nor I are especially thrilled with the way our collars look. But in looking at pictures of other Eris collars, they seem to look as good as any. This pattern is quite ingenious, but I have to admit to not loving it as much as I loved Rogue. I will definitely do another Rogue someday, but unless this comes out far better than I think, it may be the one and only. Since the picture I have picked up stitches around the collar and have finished the short rows. On to the body!

The Girl from Auntie has not disappointed. Eris is an intriguing and fun knit that leaves you scratching your head and wondering, “How did she figure that one out?” I’ve been a little disappointed that she hasn’t come out with more patterns, but considering the work that must have gone into this one, it’s no wonder. Marguerite and I are doing our own little mini KAL. No buttons or pressure, but just two friends embarking on the same project and supporting each other. Go on over and check out her beautiful teal colored version. Here is the almost-finished right half collar of mine:


My goal today is to finish the left half collar and then that will probably be it for the week. Alas, today is the last day of my vacation. It’s times like this that I yearn for retirement. In addition to work, I need to get cracking on my studies again. I see the light at the end of the tunnel there, but still lots of hard work ahead.

Under the heading of “I’ve got to clean things out more often” – behold:


I was up in the attic looking for something the other day and found a box labeled “Yarn”. I had entirely forgotten about this. As I vaguely recall, it was given to me by someone cleaning out their stash years ago. It’s all wool and will keep me in CIC knitting for years! Plus there is one lonely little skein of Zephyr laceweight, about 620 yards that will make a lovely scarf or small shawl or stole. Considering all I have on the needles plus in my life right now, I won’t even look for something suitable. Did I mention I’m looking forward to retirement? Working sure does cut into your knitting time!

As I mentioned in my last post, knitting was accomplished while on vacation. However, the most impressive knitting was accomplished before the vacation. When we arrived, Abby presented me with this:


This is only her second project, and I am so honored that she gifted me! The yarn is Knit Picks Panache, alpaca and cashmere and is SOOOO soft. Isn’t it beautiful? I have never, ever received a knitted gift from anyone and I am so thankful.

As promised, here is a picture of Isobel in her new sweater:


It’s a little large on her, but should fit well once fall/winter arrives. I’m going to have to rethink the floats on my next Dale for children project. There was no float longer than 5 on this, but she’s already gotten her little fingers caught and pulled some. It will probably not be a sweater to pull on every day – it’s too much trouble, but boy, is it cute!

Lots of time for mindless knitting while on the airplane and sitting around talking produced this pair of socks:


They match much better than it appears in the picture. With such a long color run it was impossible to make them identical. The Trekking yarn wasn’t quite as soft as Socks That Rock or Lorna’s Laces, but the colors are gorgeous! I’ll be wearing them today, so we’ll see how they feel on my delicate little feet. My friend and I are taking a field trip to our LYS and I think I will succumb to some Regia silk sock yarn if they still have it.

Nex post – Eris!

Ya gotta love a place that has a castle on every corner:


Truck-eating alligators:


Mary Poppins:


And China dolls:


We found Orlando/Kissimmee to be a very different place from our sleepy little island. It’s very touristy, beautiful in some places and pretty tacky in others (see aforementioned truck-eating alligator). We loved Epcot Center. I have never visited a tourist attraction where the people were so gracious and nice. We loved the animals at Sea World, but it was very, very crowded and seemed more blatantly “touristy” than Epcot. It was hot – up in the 80’s and we had to laugh when the weather forecaster said it was going to be “cold” – 64! That’s summer here in the Pacific Northwest. In all fairness, we only hit the touristy spots this time. And, as Kris reminds me, there are some beautiful spots to visit that are much less “manufactured”.

All said, we will certainly go back again. Why, you ask? Because our children will be staying there. The day after we arrived, the company that Ben had been contracting for offered him a permanent position. It was one of those too-good-to-turn-down offers. They did talk to us before accepting, but we assured them that our first concern was that he have a decent job so they can start building a life instead of traveling from contract to contract. We are greatly relieved that he has such a good job. We will still hope that some day they end up out here, but in the meantime I’m sure we’ll burn up the airways going back and forth. And it’s certainly closer than England!!

So now I need to start thinking of cool, cottony knits instead of woolly Baby Dales:


Well, maybe one Dale a year for the winter months, don’t you think? Stay tuned for more – knitting was accomplished on the trip.

E is for Education


Several years ago (well, 8 to be exact), I began thinking of the things that I wanted to accomplish in my lifetime, but had not yet achieved. I was approaching 50 and knew that I’d better get cracking! Earning a bachelor’s degree was #1 on the list. Over lunch one day I happened to mention it to my best friend, who teaches English at our local community college. After lunch, instead of heading back to drop me off at work, she turned in the opposite direction. I asked her where we were going and she said, “To sign you up for the asset test for admission to college.” The rest, as they say, is history.

I started at square one, or actually less than square one. My English skills were ok, but I had to take several pre-college level algebra classes to get up to speed on math. It took four years of going part-time (and working full-time), but I earned my Associate Degree. I graduated first in my class with a 4.0. Perhaps I’m bragging a little (believe me, I worked hard to earn the right!), but what tickles me is that I was often the oldest student in the class. It did my heart good to show that we women “of a certain age” still have a brain cell or two left.

I’m currently a student at Washington State University. I am officially a senior now (woo hoo!), but my grade point average has dropped to a dismal 3.9. : p Upper level classes are a little harder. Everyone (including my husband) asks me what I’m going to “do” with my degree. The answer is, “Who knows?” I only know that education is never wasted, whatever the age. My classes have broadened my horizons, given me knowledge and proven to me that I can do things that seem very hard, if not impossible (including trigonometry).

On the knitting front, I have experienced a renewed interest in St. Brigid and am halfway through the front.


I’m still saving my Trekking for the airplane trip and have sock patterns downloaded to my Palm so they are readily accessible. Last night I gave in to temptation and wound the Shadow into balls. Peacock Feathers is calling out to me! And (drum roll here!) – I actually swatched (yes, SWATCHED) for Eris!! I never, ever swatch. But seeing how beautifully Marguerite’s Aquave fit her, I knew that I needed to do that in order for Eris to fit well. Stay tuned, we’re starting our own little KAL for Eris on April 1st. You are welcome to join, but there will be no buttons, Yahoo groups or any such thing. We’re much too unorganized for anything of that sort. I’ve appointed Brenda as our unofficial advisor – go take a look at her Eris.

We fly out Monday for Orlando (and ISOBEL!!). Oh, Ben and Abby – I am anxious to see you too! They are a completely wired household, so I’m hoping to blog at least a little, but we’ll see!