Monday, July 31, 2006

Colinette Jacket is Finished

It's Texas, it's hot, so I found a summer knit. I bought this Colinette two summers ago, and it was high time to knit it up. Here's the complete jacket (don't look at the hair--it was early):

Colinette Jacket
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Colinette Jacket
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Colinette Jacket
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

You probably have spotted the issue that I have with this knit. The yarn is thick thin and ribbon like--and so slippy. The gauge was difficult to maintain and you can see that in the sleeves. Plus, it tends to slip and flop when on, making it look uneven, though it isn't. The design is clever in that the addition of the mercury borders around all ends pulls the enigma out a big--stretching it in a way you couldn't otherwise. But I think this is it for the ribbon types in the stash, and I have no plans on replacing them with another batch. I'm all about heading for wool.

Speaking of wool, I dug out my Peace Fleece hand dyed wool for the Electric Combo Beret from the Spring Twists and Turns newsletter. Given the situation in the Middle East, I couldn't think of a better wool to use than Peace Fleece. It is a knitterly ray of hope in the middle of all of the horrible daily news. Here's what the beret pattern looks like:

I love the hand dyed Peace Fleece--it is a blue/green color. This is an interesting cable pattern, and I've learned a new technique--provisional cast on.

Cabled Beret
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Another personal item: Here's my anniversary gift--sapphires and diamonds in platinum! I had it custom made at a local jewelers and love it!

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Friday, July 28, 2006


I've been really interested in pushing my knitting techniques forward and lately I've been fascinated with colorwork. You might remember these mittens:

Almost Complete Mittens
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Do you see what happened? I am half way up the last thumb and ran out of the cranberry color. I have to order one more skein, but can't find the ball band. So, I decided I needed to get the color card to be sure that I had the right color shade...

But it gets better! My Mom bought this kit from Nordic Fiber Arts as part of my 2005 b-day present. The online store is local to my Mom, so she asked around to see who owned the town. One of the women in her church choir group is the owner's daughter, so when I was last in NH, I visited. This is a mail order only catalog, but as a favor to my Mom, I was able to look through the store and working area to pick a few items. Just a few:

I have wanted to purchase these for a long time, and Deb, the owner, thinks it may become more difficult to buy these in the US, so order now before they go out of print!

I purchased Poetry in Stitches by Solveig Hisdal, Norsk Strikkedesign, and Lativian Dremas by Joyce Williams. These are all amazing books, but the Poetry in Stitches has to be my favorite. Every time I look at it, I can find another design that I want to make.

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Debbie also carries the yarn packs for Poetry in Stitches, so I purchased two very expensive kits as well as another mitten kit.

Yarn Packs
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Here's the mitten kit--Rosebord. These yarns are a little finer gauge than the first pair. The first pair was so much fun to knit, that I needed another.

Mitten Kit
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

This is a square necked cardigan, based on a traditional Norweigan wedding cardigan. All the kits are in the original Hifa 2 Yarns. This yarn is just so soft and lovely.

Sweater Kit
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I first saw this pattern in an Interweave Knits issue. At first I thought the orange was just too much, but I kept returning to the pattern. I looked at the actual yarn pack and realized the orange was not nearly as bright as I suspected. This is far more subtle than one would think. This one should be great fun to knit!

Sweater Kit
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I really love these kits and can't wait to get started. Of course, there's that list of summer knits--but when it hits fall, look out!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Riverslea Farms

I'm behind on my stash photos, so here you go! When I was at my Mom's house in New Hampshire we went to the local Riverslea Farms. The farm is in Epping, NH.

We stopped to see if there was any wool for sale and Liz, the owner, gave us a fabulous tour of the barns and animals. There were the cutest little ones.

A mama goat with triplets!

Riverslea Farms Goats
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Here are goats and merino sheep! I love their super curly wool. They were very friendly and the farm was well maintained. Each animal had a name and was obviously well cared for.

Riverslea Farms Lamb
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

This little lamb is a Cotswold, apparently very sweet and gentle sheep. She was enjoying a snooze, but let us scratch her ears.

Riverslea Farms Lamb
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Of course, how could I not buy some yarn after that great tour? Liz told me that this is a natural wool, twisted. They send their wool to a local mill (Maine), where it is processed. This is entirely from their flock and should make a gorgeous pullover. Plus, the yarn is very reasonable. Each skein is around 250 yards and was 7.00 US.

Riverslea Farms Marled Yarn
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I highly recommend Riverslea Farms and their yarns. Hope you might visit!

Monday, July 24, 2006

There's Knitting Here

Really. I'm not joking. There's a finished object:

Rowan Tank Top
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

This is the fine gauge cotton tank Arabella from Rowan magazine 35. I started this last summer and hated the cotton, so it sat and sat. I am determined to clear out my knitting basket before the cooler weather hits, since I want to get back to wool, so this one is finished! I made the straps a bit wider than called for so I might be able to wear a bra with it. It fits perfectly!

Since this one is finished, I dug into the stash for another summer project. I completely forgot about this Colinette Enigma/Mercury Granada jacket that I had bought at the Garden District Needlework shop in New Orleans during a trip in 2004. I thought this would be great for summer, but the first time I started to work on the jacket the slippery ribbon yarn made me crazy, so I stuffed it back into the closet.

With a bit more knitting experience and bamboo needles, I have finished the big pieces and am now adding the trim. The colour is popsicle--perfect for a hot day in Texas.

Colinette Jacket
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Paris Highlights

Paris was fabulous, but I'm going to hit the highlights:

1. St. Chappelle

I think that this is probably the most gorgeous chapel that I have evern visited. St. Chappelle was built in the 1240s by Louis IX. The king believed that he had found the real Crown of Thorns and commissioned this beautiful church to house the relic. Here's the elevated podium that the crown sat upon.

St. Chappelle
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

The stained glass was amazing. The glass at the back of the church started with creation and told a progressive story through the book of revelations.

St. Chappelle
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

2. The Orsay

I went to both the Louvre and the Orsay. Both were impressive, but the 19th century work in the Orsay was stunning. Van Gogh is far more interesting that one would suspect from prints. I wasn't about to try to take pictures, but the gift shop contained this nifty little bobble:

French I Cord doll
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Becassine was an early French comic book character. She apprently worked as a housemaid in Paris--hence not surprising that she is pictured knitting. This reminds me of my Mom's little penguin i cord maker from the 40s. How cute!

3. The Mosque Hammam

A fascinating break on my trip was my visit to the Paris Mosque Hammann or the bathhouse. I went on a woman's day and bought the big package--58 euros for entry, special olive oil soap, buff, massage, and mint tea. After a bit of negotiation in my pitiful French I figured out that you strip to your undie bottoms and head to the back baths. After a soak and sweat you scrubbed and washed off, then were buffed by one of the attendants. After a shower and another sweat, you went to have a massage in the main room followed by a sit and tea drinking session. It was interesting to see who wanted to wear bathing suits, who went topless, who wore undies--one would think the French wouldn't be modest, but apparently so. It was fascinating to see behind the veil--to the women's community that we don't often get to see in the US. After my bath I had a lovely meal in the restaurant. People were pleasant and helpful, and I highly recommend this experience. Take a look at this info to find out more.

4. Knitting?

Apparently knitting is not that interesting to most Parisians. It is difficult to locate knitting materials, and I saw no one knitting in public. I did go to La Droguerie --easy to find near the Louvre. The store clearly states--no pictures, so you will have to look at the website. It was actually a bit disappointing. There were great store samples, some hanks of wall for purchase, lots of buttons and ribbons, a few patterns, and a few needles. I needed a new set of 5 points and couldn't find them anywere--the store clerk had them stashed in a lower drawer. Guess they aren't very popular, particularly as there didn't appear to be any sock yarn in the place. I didn't buy anything but the needles as I couldn't conceptualize what I might do with the yarn. But, it was an interesting view in French knitting practice.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Paris Visit

I'm happy to report that my jet lag is subsiding, and our family is beginning to recognize a familiar routine that was briefly mared by a neck strain for the child. I suppose if you never had a cramped neck, waking up on morning with such a thing might freak you out. We spent two days trying to convince that child that stretching her neck would help. The doctor tried, I tried, the hubby tried, and finally the massage therapist/friend was able to rub out those kinks.

Paris was wonderful, though much too hot for a city that has very infrequent AC. Texas may be hot as hades, but we have AC everywhere, making only that dash between car and building unbearable.

I had a great B&B location:

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

With a lovely courtyard that was quiet and pleasant--and delivered a cooling breeze.

Courtyard in Paris
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

My conference was at the Sorbonne, so I stayed very close to the Luxembourg Garden and Pantheon area.

Luxembourg Gardens
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I love that there are French writers buried in this church of the people.

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I have additional pictures and some knitting stories, but they will have to wait until my next post.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Back from France

I'm back from France. It was a good trip. I'm jet lagged, the family is out of sorts. How come familes fall apart when the Mom is gone? We split lots of tasks, but there is still that reliance on the Mom to keep all the pieces from imploding. Hmm.

I'll post more on Monday!

Gallery of Finished Objects

Gallery 2007
Gallery 2006
Gallery 2005
Gallery 2004

On the Needles

Cable Cardigan

Faroe Island Sweater

Rowan Denim Seahorse


Future Knits

Lisette from Rowan

Lorna's Laces Socks

Backyard Leaves Scarf

Eloise from Jane Ellison


The WeatherPixie


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