Monday, April 30, 2007

Where I distract you with pictures of irises...

* hopes you'll temporarily forget about the promised finished object picture.

Oh, and did you see the moon tonight?

Latest finished object picture & specs coming Tuesday afternoon.

I promise.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sneak Peak... my current project:

Any guesses?

Full disclosure tomorrow, after it's finished.

But right now, I must go herb shopping....

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007




...No word I know of, in the English language.

But they are letters of the alphabet, and there will be 24 more of them, plus a few other squares, and thankfully, the rest are being knit by other folks in our knitting group, to make an alphabet baby blanket for someone we know who is having a boy. (Fear not, I don't think she reads my blog, so I don't think the surprise is spoiled.)

  • Yarn: Linie 12 Clip 100% cotton, color #190, purchased from Unraveled
  • Gauge: 5 stitches per inch
  • Needles: U.S. size 5 (3.75 mm) Clover Bamboo circulars
  • Pattern: Alphabet squares from Knitting Knonsense
  • Size: ~7" square, although I didn't measure, and right now, unblocked, they appear taller than they are wide.

All the letter blocks will be the same color, and Issy has agreed to sew them all together, for which I am most grateful. I can't wait to see how it looks after it's all sewn together. And I will insist on taking pictures of the finished object, when we give it to its recipient. So stay tuned here for that, hopefully within a few weeks.

Moving on to a different, but still knitting-related topic, did anyone catch these socks on Antiques Roadshow (Salt Lake City part 1) last week?

They look like they were just made yesterday. Amazing. You can watch a little video of the appraisal here.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Workin' in the garden all weekend...

...and here are a few of my pretties:

Azalea 'Tradition'

wild Oxalis


And this last one is for Sheddy:

Scilla campanulata
wood hyacinth


Better get back to it....

Friday, April 20, 2007

Day of Mourning

Actually, it's been a whole week of mourning, but today was the Governor's officially declared Day of Mourning. I debated as to whether to go down to Monroe Park and attend the service there, but opted to watch it on television, instead.

I've wept all week as I watch the news accounts, was angry after NBC's aired that lunatic's rantings, and was then proud of our local NBC station for agreeing not to show his picture anymore. Like everyone else, I'd much rather focus on the 32 victims, the survivors, their families, and the suffering folks at Virginia Tech who have ties and connections all over the Commonwealth.

The Richmond area has lost two shining Tech students, and I know of at least two other Richmonders who were wounded but are recovering, and I'm so grateful for that. One of the survivors is the daughter son of the President of the Christian Children's Fund, based here in town. Another is the daughter of a girl with whom I went to high school.

Another high school friend who now works in Tech's vet school was shown weeping on television Tuesday, during the Convocation. She's since received a flood of emails and phone calls, expressing love and concern. She wrote us back, saying:

...Prior to my position at the Vet College, I was the Director of Undergraduate Recruiting for the College of Engineering. Norris Hall was a fixture in my life. I’ve also taught for VT, so from a faculty perspective, I now think back on what would have been my own reaction to all that happened that morning to protect my students.

...These are just some of the emotions that the last few days have brought to mind. Your thoughts mean more to me than this note can possibly share. Thank you for taking the time to share them. As the week progresses, the reality of everything continues to find new ways to hit home. We have all tried so hard to be strong for one another on campus that our ability to let what happened sink in personally has been the hardest. That’s where your personal thoughts, prayers, and love have meant the most. You’ve given me what I have spent the week trying to give to students, colleagues, and friends who have endured Monday’s tragedies at a variety of levels.

... I speak for all Virginia Tech alumni, students, faculty/staff and friends when I say that your words and thoughts HAVE made a difference....

I find encouragement in her words, and in seeing people of different races, faiths and cultures uniting together to share their grief and comfort. I'm so proud of the students I've seen interviewed, proud of their poise through all of the madness and sadness. I take joy and comfort in learning about the wonderful lives of each of those 32 beautiful people. I dread and loathe the copycat activities, but am thankful that at least everyone's awareness level has been significantly heightened, so that perhaps future tragedies might be averted. I pray for the victims families, and hold out hope that this incident might help change some laws, in this state and this country, to help prevent future tragedies.

God Bless Virginia Tech.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More Birthday Knitting....

(...but at least it's not mine...).

(Feedblitz subscribers go here to view embedded video)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sedalia Spring Fiber Festival, 2007

I left Richmond Friday afternoon and drove west, to the sweet land of Liberty...
...(Lynchburg, VA), where my sister and her family live.

Saturday morning we drove another 14 miles northwest, over hill and dale:

Until we reached Big Island, VA, home of the Sedalia Center:

to attend the Spring Fiber Festival.

While there, we saw lots of cute animals: (click any picture to make bigger)

Here's that little guy crying for his mother:
(Feedblitz subscribers click here to watch embedded video)

We also spied a few knit-bloggers in their natural habitat:

Emmy, Pam & Robin H.

My sister came with me, (although she's essentially a non-knitter), along with her 13-year-old daughter (a beginner knitter), and the kid was eager to see the animals and take lots and lots of pictures of them. I love animals as much as the next person, but I had to remind them both that there were also people there selling things I was particularly interested in -- you know -- the YARN! Hello?! ;-)

(Does this hat look familiar?)

The weather was similar to last year's event, although quite a bit colder, I think. And me, caught without my mittens. So I ended up buying some felted woven mittens from Kim Harrison's booth.

Here is my modest haul from the day:

mittens and yarn

woven, felted mittens
from weaver Kim Harrison (no web presence)

440 yards handpainted sock yarn (75%/25% wool/nylon)
from The Flock Bransonas (no web presence)
colorway: "Olivia"


120 yards wool/mohair
from Kid Hollow Farm
colorway: "Kiwi" (above)
colorway: "Chico" (below):

(being wrestled by Ali the cat)

The niece picked out that last yarn for a hat to be knit by yours truly. (The gift knitting never ends!) (But I don't really mind.)

I took more pictures than are shown here, (no! really?), so if you're interested, you can see more of them on Flickr, here.

I was very thankful that this fiber festival wasn't the mudbowl of last fall's, and had a lovely time, as expected. Fiber festivals are my favorite thing to do, and so I'm eagerly looking forward to the next one in just a few weeks! I hope to see you there!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Happy Friday!

Something pretty for your weekend pleasure:

Scilla campanulata
wood hyacinth


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Once Upon a Time...

...long, long ago, I knit this scarf for my sister-in-law's Autumn birthday:
That variegated orange/green/yellow yarn is Online Linie 149 Rush, (color #02), and I therefore called it my "Autumn Rush" scarf. I gave it to her at our family's early Thanksgiving, and life was good.

About a year later, I knit her this hat:

using Misti Alpaca Chunky (color # 1380) for the main color and leftover yarn from the "Autumn Rush" scarf for the wide stripe. I gave it to her for Christmas. Life was good.

More recently, at a knit night back in February, I admired this beautiful sweater knit by fellow TNK'er Patsy B.:

which she later offered at her recent yarn sale:

The sweater's main yarn is Berocco Foliage, carried along with a mohair boucle, and is remarkably similar, if not identical, to Linie Rush. I wouldn't be surprised if both yarns came from the same mill, although Rush is slightly bulkier and has a slightly higher percentage of acrylic.

Anyway, after a few emails with my sister-in-law, (recipient of the Autumn Rush scarf & hat set), she agreed with me that she needed to become the new owner of Patsy's sweater, and so the purchase was made last week, and the hand-off occurred last night:

It fits perfectly!

Patsy - you did a wonderful job, and Mary is very happy with her new sweater! Life is good!

Another knitted-item-hand-off occurred last night, as we celebrated my niece's 10th birthday, and I was finally able to see how well (or badly) her gift hat fit:

It's a little big, but she tells me she loves it, so I'm a happy knitter. I think it looks really cute on her, too. And, unless it gets accidentally felted in the wash, it should last her a good long time. Life is good.

The birthday knitting never ends, though, when there are 25 people in one's family, including a dozen kids.

I've already had requests for:
  • flip-flop socks for sister T.'s late April birthday (need to get crackin' on these)
  • a solid black beanie for nephew B.T.'s late May birthday
  • yellow & white legwarmers for dancing niece L.E.'s late June birthday
  • black & white legwarmers for dancing niece L.K.'s early October birthday
Plus, I have at least two squares to knit for a baby blanket our knitting group is making for a pregnant member. They should go fast, though, once I get the yarn.

No wonder I never finish any knitted item I start for myself!

I already have yarn for the flip-flop socks and the black beanie. Just need to find the legwarmer yarn, including white eyelash (eek). (Kids.) Perhaps I'll find some of the legwarmer yarn this weekend at the Sedalia Spring Fiber Festival.

According to my sister, (the dancers' mother), the legwarmers must be machine-washable (& preferably machine-dryable, as well), which means acrylic yarn may have to be considered (double-eek!). Oh, say it isn't so!

If anyone can recommend a decent, (preferably worsted, heavy-worsted or chunky weight) superwash wool that can tolerate machine washing AND drying, I'm open to suggestions.

Tomorrow I hit a huge used book sale at the library (making a bee-line for the craft books), before I head west for the fiber festival.

Life is good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


A few images from yesterday's trip to the Metro Richmond Zoo:

The zoo's best feature -- giraffe slobber!

Five little monkeys

Homo sapiens subsp. geriatricus
(my mom & dad)


As much fun as last year's visit!

(Many) more pictures have been uploaded to and can be viewed on Flickr here. Enjoy!