Friday, July 29, 2011


We Had planned to tackle Mt. Marcy today, but the weather conspired against us. Tomorrow promises to be clearer, so we changed our plans a bit.

We spent the day wandering around a soggy Lake Placid. One highlight was the Winter Olympics museum -- I was fascinated by all the examples of medals and relay torches they have there. Plus, they had a hand-knit stranded warm-up sweater that used to belong to figure skater Sonjia Henie -- cream with red and gold yolk and cuffs. I took a picture with my "real" camera, so it will have to wait for later.

I also dragged Jeff into Adirondack Yarns on the north end of town. It was a very warm and welcoming place, with coffee and some of the best store samples I've ever seen. Ah, to be able to dress oneself in garments like that for 9 months out of the year!

I thought the be-mittened bear out front was a nice touch. Here's to not running into any tomorrow, mittens or no.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Knitting on the Road

Not much knitting happening while on our Northeast Holiday. We've seen yarn shops from time to time -- Bee's Yarn, Sweaters & Candy in Bar Harbor, ME, for instance -- but they've all been closed.

Today, I got lost trying to find a laundromat in Stowe, VT, and looked up to see I was in front of Stowe Fabric & Yarn. The nice proprietor pointed me in the right direction, and after I got my load started, I went back to visit before closing. They had a nice selection of yarns, including some locally grown alpaca and Romney wool. I could sit on that porch and knit all day...

Oops. The dryer beckons.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


One hundred and seven. It’s the 28th prime number, the element number for Bohrium, and darn close to what the temperature around here has been lately.

It also has other magical properties. Turns out, it’s exactly what one of my new placemats weighs in grams. And, after making three in one color with brand new balls of yarn, the three small leftover balls add up to…..107 grams. So I should just be able to squeeze out a fourth placemat in both of the colors. If it gets close, I can always cheat the final placemats by a few rows. We’ll see.

In a few days, Jeff and I are going on a trip out of town for a few weeks. I imagine I’ll stumble upon a yarn store or two. If so, I’ll post reports. I don’t know how much (or if much) knitting (or posting) will happen on the road, but I plan to take a few sock projects along just in case the opportunity arises.

I’m so looking forward to climes with temperatures below 107.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


At my men’s knitting group on Sunday at the Knitting Nest, we had a surprise (and delightful) visitor. I just have to share.

We had noticed some people sitting and talking at the big table, and thought it looked awfully like an interview. Afterwards, one of the group, came by to ask us what we were all knitting. The topic of stranded knitting came up, and she pulled out The Sweater.

The maker of this fine garment was Adrienne Martini, author of Sweater Quest: My Year of Knitting Dangerously, which outlines her crusade to complete an Alice Starmore fair isle sweater in a year. The pattern she chose was Mary Tudor. It’s gorgeous – all the more amazing to realize it was her first big stranded knitting project. Talk about go big or go home!

I’d first heard about this book and this project when Adrienne was interviewed on Brenda Dayne’s Cast On Podcast (Episode 77). And there it was in front of us – we got to put our grubby paws all over it. So amazing to see an actual artifact that’s been documented so fully. Kind of like all the sock samples I saw from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks at the sock summit a few years back.

It was great meeting Adrienne. She had been in Houston giving a talk, and decided to come by Austin to see old friends and grab a bite at Threadgills.  She was witty, knowledgeable, and friendly – like most excellent knitters. Now I really need to read her book .

Oh, and last night, when we were deciding where to go for dinner with Jeff’s parents, the first thing I thought was, “Threadgills.” It was de-lish.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Perfect Fourth

Not much to report knitting-wise this week. In between reading classic science fiction, preparing for an upcoming trip, and working on de-cluttering the office, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few moments of knitting on the Twill Stitch Placemats.

This week, I managed to crank out two more. Placemats seem to be the “it” project in these parts. Check out the nice granny circle placemats that Meg is making. Nice – nobody takes better pictures of her craftiness than Meg. And those colors she picked for the edges are perfect. They remind me of a set of anodized aluminum tumblers my grandmother used to have.

Back to my vivid brown masterpieces. I have four complete, two in each color. I’m trying for eight, at which point, I’ll need to get a card table, pick up some canapĂ© recipes, and learn how to play contract bridge.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

A Place for Everything

So far, the placemats are turning out great. They’re fast to knit, easy to pick up and put down without losing one’s place, and, being cotton, they’re not causing my thighs to break out into a heat rash while knitting in this horrific heat. Which is probably more detail than you wanted, but there you go. The Espresso color look especially good with our Silver Pine china. I can’t quite get the pale turquoise color to come out right with my camera, but it looks especially nice against the dark brown.

Now that I’ve got the system down, it’s just knit, knit, knit. Actually, this pattern actually has a lot more purling in it than knitting, now that I think of it. I bought a ball for each placemat that I planned to knit, three of each color for a total of six. But I think that with the leftovers from the first three, I may have enough to knit a fourth in each color. That way I can set the table with alternating placemat colors, or go all in with or the other. We’ll see if I’m still as gung-ho after knitting six of these things. But two done so far!