FO: A Thousand Splendid Moons Cowl

I have Julie of Knitted Bliss to thank (or is it blame?) for my introduction to Tanis Fiber Arts. I’ve long had my eye on the Dove colorway and decided to splurge on this wool-cashmere-silk blend. So when it came time to cast on for the January TFA knitalong, I grabbed this heavenly skein for a little selfish knitting. What better way to kick off the new year?

And now I have my first FO of 2012.


Today was an uncharacteristically overcast day in New Mexico, but I think it helped capture the yarn’s mix of colors with a little less gleam.  There’s something very lunar about this combination of yarn and pattern — not that I could bring myself to include “craters” in the name.


Knitting all those little moons/craters was a challenge… Not because it was a difficult pattern, but because trying to keep my tension consistent was driving me mad. With help from my wise sister, I decided to relax and start honoring the imperfect. All in all, a good practice to start a new year.

FO: Deep Waters Clockwork

You know life is a little too bustling when the kid asks to stay home and chill on a three-day weekend.

So after our back-to-back Saturday commitments and the usual weekend chores, we spent the rest of Labor Day weekend watching movies — Rio (meh) and Rango (fun) — and hanging out at the pool.

And, no surprise, there was lots of knitting. With “Deep Waters” and “Mermaid Lagoon” as the yarn color names, this third in my West Knits collection just begged for a poolside shot. And since it was such a relaxing knit, a shot in the Zen Garden.

Pattern: Clockwork by Stephen West
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal and Imagination Hand Painted


And, as you’ve no doubt come to expect, there needed to be a few Izzy modeling shots as well.

2011 FOs: Sugar and Spice

How can it be February already? This year the calendar seems as caffeinated as I’ve been to keep up with everyday life. To start, an FO that’s a first and old hat all at once. It’s the first FO that’s been worn multiple times before getting documented here. (It was photographed back in mid-January, though.) It’s also the third of the back-to-back Saroyans I’ve knit. This one for me, using yarn purchased during the trip to Taos. I’m pretty sure I’m done with this pattern … for now, at least.

Pattern: Saroyan 

After those multiple leafy, lacy scarfs, is it any wonder I was craving something bolder and faster to knit? When my friend Chris posted a Craft It Forward invitation on Facebook, I jumped right on board. And when I found this stunning handspun in the inoxia studios Etsy shop, I snapped it up for Jane, who has signed on as one of the five people I’m passing the the crafting on to. The hardest part about this project was finding a stitch “pattern” that let the yarn shine. I settled on a simple K1P1, which also gives the cowl plenty of stretch.

And, yes, that is snow. And, no, this wasn’t taken in MN. That’s NM snow you see.

FO: Deep Peace + New Project: Fresh Chaos

Let me begin with the knitting, for a change. After much ado (and I do mean much ado), I have survived my knitting kryptonite and completed Deep Peace. All told, I knit this wrap nearly three times. My problems had nothing to do with the pattern, which fulfills its promise of two straight-forward lace repeats, but had everything to do with being new to lace. And did I mention, irrationally afraid of lace?



When I first started knitting Deep Peace, I flashed back to those early knitting days — the half-holding your breath when working through a pattern for fear of making a mistake with no idea of how to correct it. I went in with the low, low goal of knitting something *close* to the pattern. Hey, this was a “lace experiment.” Even then, the center section is what nearly did me in. Each unmistakable mistake meant ripping it back to the garter-stitch divider. After a half-dozen starts, I got smart and hunted down some tips … and (cue choir of angels) discovered lifelines.



Once I knew that sustained perfection was no longer a requirement, I exhaled. And relaxed. Started feeling that deep peace. And then frogged the whole thing to start over. Because why not aim for something close to perfection when it’s within reach? (And being the knitter my grandmother raised, really there is no other choice.)


So, feeling all ridiculously “hear me roar,” I decided to tackle another aspiration.

Meet Violet, our 10-week-old puppy.


Real Women Eat Quiche

And sometimes they even make it. Guess who insisted on having a picture taken with her specialty creation, “Isabel’s Fruit Salad”? (At the risk of blowing her secret recipe, it’s bananas, blackberries, and strawberries with a pinch of sugar and a few sprinkles of cinnamon.)


This Spinach & Pine Nut Quiche, which has lots of garlic and sage, is so good that the kiddo periodically craves it, which she did today — after waking up from the late-morning nap she asked to take rather than go to ice skating lessons. (Yeah, it’s been that kind of week.) After getting in lots of knitting time while she napped, I was so agreeable that I said yes even though it meant a trip to the grocery store.

In Praise of Constant Companions

Smiles have been in short supply this week, ever since a nasty, never-ending stomach virus took hold. But Lily, bless her sweet kitty soul, has willingly spent those days in some variation of this pose.


Just as the Moderne Log Cabin has been there for me, each evening taking the edge off a week of single motherhood crashing headlong into career. And while much progress has been made, it’s good to know yards of garter stitch comfort remain.


Bronzed Green and Block 8 await…

Things to do in Denver…

As I said last night in my Facebook status, “That’ll teach me to besmirch Florida!”

Yesterday was, all in all, a bad travel day. The sister and brother-in-law arrived at the Mpls. airport only to find that their plane to Orlando was canceled. They were sent home, having been given an afternoon flight for today. (Terrible weather out East to blame.)

Since we were traveling from the other side of the country, all was well weather wise. (Which, being the extra cautious soul I am, I confirmed online before we headed to the airport.) All was going well — fastest trip through security ever. But then our plane to Denver had a mechanical problem. And we waited. And waited. Talked with some fellow knitters headed home to Chicago via Denver. Put in a Herculean effort at keeping the over-excited kid busy while we waited 3 extra hours to board the plane. By then, all hopes of Orlando on Saturday had been quashed by the gate agent.

Finally we left ABQ and arrived in Denver, where United put us up for the night at a Marriott. No luggage = no swim suit for the kid (and, of course, the hotel has a pool). My little carnivore’s mood improved vastly, though, when she discovered she could use the meal voucher to order a steak sandwich via room service. And, better yet, eat it while watching TV. (No parental judgment please, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do!)


Headed to Orlando today (god willing) but first plane they could get us on leaves at 5:35 tonight. At least they booked us in first class.

On the knitting front, yesterday was also a bust. Started back in on Deep Peace, my first foray into lace knitting. Or should I say, my first foray that wasn’t quickly abandoned? Here’s where it stood when I set it aside for the Ravelympics:

Even though it’s not a complicated pattern, it proved too challenging with continual conversation from my spirited kid. Think I got about 8 rows done before I realized I had lost a stitch in the process. Going to cast on the other project I brought (thankfully in my carry-on) — the Geodesic Cardigan, which is much better suited to multi-tasking. It’s going to be a trying day; no need to handicap my patience!

TGIF: Spring Break Edition

Have you ever been so in need of a vacation that you don’t even care where you’re going?

Let’s just say, it’s been quite the week month year around here, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be headed out … even if the destination is one of my least favorite places on the planet. Orlando, Florida. Home to hellacious humidity and crowds. (And, yes, I realize that bemoaning a FL vacation in mid-March separates me from about 99.5% of the human race. Then again, what’s new?)

Izzy, on the other hand, couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of Disney World and beach time with Auntie and Uncle. Evidence: Caught sleeping in her new sun hat this evening.


And you could say my excitement is building, as well. Evidence: Two knitting projects and a book I’ve been waiting to savor.