Good Wool for All

Musings on knitting and life.

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Location: 6 Miles from Lost City, On Clear Creek, in Oklahoma, United States

I'm a quiet soul living in the foothills of the Ozarks in rural Oklahoma. I am not of the plains - I am of the hills, valleys, water and wind.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Final posting

Not like anyone's reading this drivel but all future postings will be on my new blog.
Lost City Knits

Come visit.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

This week began with three finished socks without mates. Three? Three.

Written last week but since high speed internet hasn't made it down our dirt road I'm finally posting!

It’s greenhouse time on our farm. Twelve hundred baby lavender plants, roughly as tall as my pinky finger, line the floor of the hoop Quonset style greenhouse. Because of the fluctuating temperature in Oklahoma during the late winter the greenhouse must be monitored for temps and even humidity. A few hours span of time can swing the outside temperature from 65 to 32 degrees – like Sunday night.
Expecting cold winter weather I headed to the farm as Christopher’s father returned to the city Sunday afternoon. I was loaded with groceries and lots of knitting. In my bag were all three socks plus the Huck Lace Shawl, which I planned to frog and begin again. One of the last things I did before leaving Tulsa was to check iTunes for podcast downloads. The little whirling arrow began to download the new offering from Lime and Violet, and Cast On as well. I smiled as Chris looked over my shoulder at my laptop as I slightly delayed my departure. He knows. He teases. Thank the gods he tolerates my insanity about knitting.
Nearly 48 hours of alone time to knit by the fire. I’m a lucky woman. I know.
Shortly after dark the winds began. Then the rain arrived. As I watched the red and yellow band of storms nudge across the radar screen on the television I re-cast on the Huck Lace Shawl. Instead of the indicated 36 rows of garter stitch I opted for 24. Call it impatience or an attempt to make up for past mistakes. The Malabrigo Baby Lace doesn’t like to be frogged. It had already felted or fulled onto itself, so the stitches fought their release from each other. I decided to let them win the tussle and snipped the working yarn and tossed the whole four inches of knitted shawl into the trash - with a small pang of regret.
The wind howled and I stepped out to the porch for firewood to feed the Wood King. It’s an ancient mammoth pot bellied beast of a stove. Not efficient I’m told but I’ll take character over efficiency. It pops and crackles and keeps us warm and happy, inside and out.
Lime and Violet (or Violet and Carin as the case may be) entertained me as I kept the TV on mute and watched for occasional storm updates. After several hours of increasing wind and trips to the porch for wood, stepping over Martha, our not-so-bright farm mut, I gave up the endless bouts of Dish searching for the satellite. The storm would continue its path eastward from Tulsa toward Lost City regardless of what info or security the radar offered.
My eyes were tired so I put the shawl down and crawled into bed with Tolstoy. Over a thousand pages into War and Peace and I’m still happy to pick up the tome. It wasn’t long before I caught my head nodding and thought it best to flip off the bedside light.
Around 4am I woke to feed the beast. Only a few red coals remained so I stoked the fire and flipped on the TV to see if there were any alerts. The storm had passed and satellite access was possible again. Finding nothing new going on the weather world I flipped over to DIY to see if I could actually catch Knitty Gritty. In our area the Dish Network people have the audacity to line most of the daytime programming with home improvement how-to shows and anything regarding sewing on during the wee hours. Unfortunately Knitty Gritty doesn’t air on Mondays at 4:30 am as it does on the other days. Thwarted! Tonight, maybe I’ll set the alarm.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Socks, socks, socks. And some thumb sucking.

I’ve been busy knitting not posting.

My first Rockin’ Sock Club shipment arrived and the first sock is finished. The yarn is lovely and bright but in all honesty the yarn doesn’t show off the pattern. I like both, the orangey-red Dragon yarn and the Serendipity pattern. I’m considering frogging the first sock and reknitting it in my simple toe-up sock pattern to show off the color and striping. Then maybe use a solid yarn to show off the Serendipity pattern.
I frequently see waste in ankle down sock patterns. My foot is small (size 5 on a really good day) so there is always left over yarn, especially if the sock is a shortie. So the first RSC sock is composting on the couch until I decide.

Recent excitement is a sock pattern of my own design. It’s currently being test knit by several kind knitters and myself. It’s my hope to submit it somewhere for publication once the kinks are all worked out.
Test knitters are great – they’re like editors. Putting what’s in your noggin on paper in a cohesive fashion takes practice and someone asking, “what did you mean by….” They don’t get paid – other than in yarn – and have to be really good sports if they’re willing to tackle a first time designer’s efforts at pattern writing. I’ve been very lucky. Meredith and Susan have my utmost gratitude.

The Raven Clan/Haida yarn that I gave Chris for Xmas has been transformed into one sock – almost finished. Really – finishing them should be priority since they were a holiday gift but not a stitch has been added in several weeks.

For Valentines Day I knitted Hillarey a pair of the Maine Morning Mitts from Clara Parkes, A Book of Yarn. I love Clara’s Knitter’s Review site. Her book is fabulous too. But really – I don’t get all the raving about this pattern. The thumb sucks.
Admittedly I’ve only made one other pair of fingerless mitts, my own design, that originated when a pair of socks didn’t want to be socks and somehow transformed into mitts. Wished to hell I’d written down those instructions but alas – I didn’t. I managed to create a really good thumb. A thumb that didn’t suck.

In sock avoidance this past week I cast on the Huck Lace Shawl from Morehouse Merino Knits. I’m using Malabrigo Baby Lace in a dusty maroon that I bought at Taos Sunflower. The pattern calls for a size 5 or 6 needle. Because I had a lace needle in 5, I began with that but after the first 36 rows and the first repeat of lace, I just don’t think it shows the pattern very well. So… it’s composting and will probably be frogged this week and cast on with the size 6 needle.

That’s a lot of composting. But as a farmer I know composting is good. It does miraculous things like turn shit into things of beauty.

Hopefully I can get my test knit sock finished this week – and really should – unless all hell breaks lose. Then I can get back to the other socks and shawl.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Small things

When the new baby (my great-niece) arrived in town for a few hours, I flew into action. On the ride to Tulsa Chris suggested, jokingly I believe, that I knit a pair of baby socks. I've been knitting socks all week, his Giftmas socks and my STR socks. More socks??? Of course! We stopped at Loops and I snagged a skein of Koigu in bright pinks and oranges. I made up the pattern as I went along, based on my standard toe-up pattern. At one point Chris asked if the sock weren't too small. "She weighs less than six pounds!" I said as I turned the heel on the first sock. I looked at it and thought - it's huge!
My Hillarey was less than six pounds. Her foot was tiny.
Reassured I knit on. Two baby socks = just under five hours. Continuous knitting, except for two quick phone calls. I finished with 45 minutes to spare before we were due at Hideaway Pizza.
We arrived and before long I got a chance to see Sydney's toes. Yep, the socks are huge! But I think the parents liked them (maybe it was the check below the socks).

Friday, February 01, 2008

In Praise of Purl

In Oklahoma at our farm we had snow yesterday, just a bit, but snow nonetheless. As soon as the ground was white, we put on boots and walked along the bank of the creek while big fluffy flakes fell on us. It was cold, wet, and delightful. I love the cozy feeling I get when we return to the farmhouse and I stand in front of the old Wood King pot-bellied stove. Happy and content - that's the best description.

For days I've been worn out with knitting on the Gray Cable Sweater. Miles and miles of stockinette. But the body is nearly done. The sleeves and gigantic cable neck trim remain. I've been avoiding them though.

Instead I cast on a design-free purse. Just a big rectangle knit on straight needles in yes - stockinette. It'll be a messenger bag when finished and it requires very little thought beyond sewing seams and attaching a shoulder strap. Funny - I was so bored after all the stockinette on the gray sweater on circs that I was leery of starting this bag. But the yarn is bright and purling on the wrong side is actually enough relief that it's going along fine! I'm using Jane Addams, Schaefer Yarn .

My first shipment from the Rockin Sock Club arrived! But I can't show you that now can I??

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Twenty Three Years Ago

I pushed. I moaned. I ate crushed ice and lemon balls. I pushed and moaned some more.
After one good scream from me, I heard one good cry from you.
I knew my life would never be the same.

Now twenty-three years have passed and you still amaze me.

Like last week when you said, "Instead of an ipod, can I have an acetylene torch for my birthday?"

I love artist people.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Missing him...

I've got to say -
the man I love writes the most amazing cards.

It's almost worth being alone for a week to receive one in the mail.