Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ten on Tuesday | Again (and again).

...this week, Carole's asked us to share the knitting patterns we'd choose to knit again (and again). I was just teasing Kym about when she was going to knit a second Color Affection and it got me thinking about the patterns I've knit - and/or hope to knit - more than once:
the sixteen projects featured in these photos are all examples of the eight favorites (#2-10) below
1. February Lady Sweater. I've knit this three times and I have to say it was a great knit...five years ago. Now, not so much. Until I have a granddaughter and I'll knit her Elizabeth Zimmerman's original February Baby Sweater.

2. Clapotis. Also a three-timer. And another one I probably won't make again...because for diagonal lace, I much prefer the

3. Churchmouse Diagonal Lace Scarf. I knit four of these for our trip to Florence in May...and I'm still not sick of the pattern! It works for any yarn and once you get the gist of the lace it's a great social project.

4. Traveling Woman. I've finished four; two for gifts and two for me. The first one was for me and was one of the (or maybe the) first KALs we did at the shop back in spring 2010; I've worn it out. I knit the second one for myself in 2012 to kick off my "Saturday lace" class. I knit the third and fourth this past spring for prayer shawls. Obviously, this is one of my favorite shawl patterns. It's now my go-to for a friend who needs a warm hug...and I totally want to make one for myself in laceweight with the eyelets in the stockinette body section.

5. Color Affection. I've knit this twice, once in fingering and once in laceweight and I still have both...and wear them all the time. Something about all that garter stitch, and choosing the three complementary colors makes me a happy knitter.

6. Churchmouse Easy Folded Poncho. I've made two and the second, in linen, is one of the most favorited projects I have on Ravelry. I can't wait to make another one (next up is definitely going to be for winter. maybe with the cowl neck).

7. Shibui's Mix No. 9. This was another shop KAL. We hosted a Shibui trunk show in early 2012 and that cowl was huge hit. So many people loved it and bought yarn (and it's not a little bit of yarn - if I recall something like 5 skiens of Staccato and 3 of Silk Cloud?) we felt obligated to be sure everyone finished their projects. I loved mine. so I knit a second one for Katie last Christmas with a different mix but the same stitch pattern. I'm sure Sara needs one too (in a cozy mostly alpaca blend :-) 

8. Churchmouse's Basic Socks. I taught a sock class back in 2010 and wrote up my own vanilla recipe; I wish I'd had this pattern then! Marc and Rob have the heavier weight version (knit with worsted weight they are perfect for a man's foot), as does Sara (in the suggested Rowan Felted Tweed...perfect for Madison house socks). Katie has a pair of the fingering weight and Sara will have two...once I finish WIP's. My latest pair incorporates Carole's Picot Edge...and I think it might be my favorite so far.

9. Churchmouse Bias Before & After Scarf. I've knit this twice. Both times for me. and I doubt anyone who wasn't a knitter could tell they were the same pattern. My first attempt mixed a skein of Claudia Handpaint's Linen with 2 skeins of Rowan's Panama and the second (the Traveling Scarf in the top photo) was most of a skein of Juniper Moon Farm's Findley. I love the versatility and the layerability. and the zen of short stockinette rows. I also have the yarn to knit one to layer with that Findley one (soon!)

10. Churchmouse Linen Stitch Scarf. oh man, I'm surprised this is gonna make the list. but it is. I've knit it twice (and just gifted both scarves to a friend who LOVED them...and moved to North Carolina) and when Claudia (the Claudia. Handpaint's Claudia) visited the shop in March, she signed three skeins for my next one. It's a classic. and while it's certainly a pain to knit (and to keep up with the fringing ends!) it's a stunning piece. 

hummmm...almost all accessories and Churchmouse plays the leading role. Shibui - in my mind at least! - plays a close second. There was certainly a time in my knitting life where it was all "life is too short, I can't possibly knit the same thing twice" (let alone three or four or five?? times)...but looking back at this list, and those last eight patterns... I realize my perspective has changed. I love having a short list of go-to great patterns. I'd like to add a hat or two...and a baby item or two...and I'd be set.

Can't wait to see what everyone else shares!

click here to join the Ten on Tuesday fun!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hello Monday!

...and Hello Last Week of July! (yikes, already?!)
(from yesterday's evening walk)

Not to short-change the weekend; except for a bit of car trouble (which has me temporarily driving a sporty red hybrid hatchback), it was filled with all the good stuff. There was a phonecall with Sara (finally) and it was wonderful to hear her voice - and picture her in her apartment. There was knitting. I started three projects...and spent a good bit of time on Ravelry thinking about warm things for Sara and cute things for babies. There was reading. I am just a few pages shy of finishing Orange is the New Black. There were steps; a Saturday morning run with Lauren and a Sunday morning walk with Katie. There was TV; Marc and I caught up on Season 2 of Masters of Sex (I love that show). There were two so-so movies (Gravity and What to Expect When You're Expecting - I'd give them both about 3 out of 5 stars). ...and there was sleep. Two nights in a row.

I've got a long to-do list in my head. Need to get it down on paper. and then get to it. Hello Monday!

Have a great week!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five on Friday.

...whoa, I can't believe it's Friday already. I'm still playing catchup with my life, and feeling oddly disconnected from myself. But I didn't want to let too much time pass without even a brief visit here. And Five on Friday seems like just the thing!

The days are getting noticeably shorter. Sunrise is now closer to 7am than to 6. But it made for a stunning view at the park when Katie and I walked this morning.

That was our second walk of the week and my third workout at the park; Lauren and I ran a good four miles there on Tuesday. Holly and I also made a "forced march" (that's what my friends have taken to calling the long walks I take with Holly; she makes it about a mile on her own and then I carry her the rest of the way) yesterday. And there was a five-plus mile hill run on Monday with my running group. Feeling good about all the fresh air and the time that's allowed for catching up with my friends. My fitbit has had a good week!

My bingo card is filling up; three bingo's so far! I'm midway through two more books that will give me two more, and then I only have four books left to fill my card. Details coming next week, I promise. But in the meantime, one of the four remaining is a "Re-read" and I'm stuck on what to choose. Any recommendations?

I have yet to visit the classroom for the Phone Photography 2 class that began last week. Margene is also taking the class and - unlike me! - has done several of the lessons. Her photographs are amazing! I can't wait to get started.

But first, I've got two knitting projects to start. First up, the new KAL at the shop starts this afternoon. We're knitting Shallows and I'm using Shibui Cima+Silk Cloud... sounds like heaven to knit. And shortly thereafter (as in I hope to swatch this evening), I'm finally succombing to one of the shop newsletter projects. I feel pretty good that I've written half a dozen newsletters and this is the first one I'm unable to resist (or maybe that just means I'm not that good at the newsletter?!) In any event, the pattern is Julie Hoover's Insouciant and I'm completely smitten. Seams and all. I'm going to use the pattern suggested Habu Tsumugi Silk, color still TBD. There's also one more thing in the wings, am I'm excited to tell y'all about it...but it needs a post of its own. Stay tuned.

So there you have it. Reading over what I've just written it seems like there is a bit of normal starting to peek through. That feels good. And it's Friday. Happy Weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Moving to Madison.

...whoa. I never imagined it would be a week before I could post...but the internet was just installed Saturday. and we had things to do ... like make a very last-minute appearance at her company picnic! yep, I got to see her office and the rest of the Epic campus from the inside (2 dots on my fitbit!). Sara's team is located in the lower level of The Barn (part of Farm Campus which is three buildings - the  Barn, the Stables and the Shed). It's decorated in a farm theme on the inside, too. There are sheep that apparently move to new spots each night and a conference room with cowhide upholstery on the chairs. Here's her building

and Sara's office (she shares with another new hire).

and then it was Sunday. I started writing this sitting at the airport (with a glass of wine and a most sympathetic bartender) with the idea I'd post before my flight...and then as soon as we landed. And now it's Monday. I'm back at my kitchen counter. I still haven't written much. So I'm just going to share a few more photos and trust that I'll find my voice soon enough.

Sara's apartment is just off Monroe Street in a neighborhood her company orientation calls "yuppie". fair assessment. and honestly great for this mama to imagine when I'm not there. The building is brand new (hence the delay in internet ... I'm not sure anyone else in the building has internet either). She's on the third floor with a through-the-trees and south-facing lake view. I took these photos yesterday morning. This is the view from Sara's back porch.

And here's the inside. This is the main living room (the kitchen is off to the left).

We hung a few pictures yesterday morning, including these prints of cities Sara's visited. These are on the wall behind the dining table.

Here's the kitchen.

and the bathroom (with another picture we hung yesterday).

(sorry, no photos of the bedroom...Sara hasn't quite gotten everything together there!)

We went out for brunch yesterday...and I'm delighted I have a smiling two-of-us to share.

It was a full week. I'm glad I was there to help her unpack and settle in. even just a little bit. Madison is a great town and Epic seems like a great company. I'm planning another trip back in February. We'll see how I handle the snow!