Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Phoenix Shawl Flies Again

Find the Phoenix Shawl on Ravelry

A pattern two years in the making. That is when I began to knit the sample, create the charts, and work on the written directions. Then, the Memorial Day before last, our house burned. The boys were out with me, Hubby was in the pool, and the dog came when called. We were (and are) fine.
However, we lost almost everything. Much of what did not burn, was deemed “toxic waste” by the fire marshall. Up in smoke (literally & figuratively) went my computer (No, I did not back up regularly. Yes, I do now.), and, I believed, the first sample.
My written notes and the printed charts survived. So being a good little soldier, I used those to start over. Eventually, I even found the sample (in a grocery bag in my trunk. Don’t ask. I just don’t know.).
So here we are, almost a year after the restart, and it is finally done and for sale on Ravelry.   The Phoenix Shawl, a pattern that rose out of the ashes.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So long and thanks for all the fish...

Happy Chanukah,  Kwanza, Christmas & New Year.   Merry any holiday not coming to my mind (even Festivus, which I think is just plain silly).

You need only look at the last date I posted to see that I have been taking a blogging break.   I am here to tell you that I do not know when (or if) I will be back.   I really do not know how to explain why, except to say that I seem to have run out of blogging gas.

From the beginning blogging has come easily for me.  It has been my habit to blog my joys, and journal my sorrows (I have not been journaling much either, so I guess that is good).     It just seemed a natural consequence of my knitting/designing/ teaching enthusiasm.   It is that, I think, that I am missing; enthusiasm.

So for now, I am taking a break.   Emotionally & physically, I will be sticking close to home.   Reaching out certainly has it's rewards, but so can tucking in.   I am going to try that for a while.   Hopefully, I will be back to let you know how that works for me.

If you want to know what I am up to, you can find me on RavelryFacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest. I am not a frequent contributor but when I do share, this is where I will be.

Thank you all for sticking with me.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mommy Knitting...

US 6/4mm 24" Circs

I thought I knew what I was making for my mother.   She is moving back up North just before Christmas and I thought a nice warm cowl (Gaptastic? Pretty Thing?) would be just the thing. Then while perusing an LYS closeout sale, I found a few balls of  Fibranatura Heaven in the Autumn Leaves color way.    My mother is all about earth tones and these colors are just perfectly her.   I quickly grabbed the six remaining balls and started searching for the perfect pattern.  

After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided on the Wingspan scarf/shawl.  It is fast easy and is really shows off variegated yarns beautifully.  I cast on the Sunday before last (while watching "Captain Phillips", an excellent movie) and finished this past Tuesday.   Including the time it took me to cast on and knit the first two wedges twice (once with a US 7/4.5mm needles, and then again with US 6/4mm needles), it took 9 days to finish.  I worked on it everywhere, home, church, the movies, and even, as you can see,  Medieval Times (where we celebrated T1's 21st birthday).

This means that my two most important Christmas presents (Sis and Mom) are done, done, done and it is only just mid-November.    This is me feeling very accomplished.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Let The Holiday Knitting Begin...

Little Witches
Simply Worsted
US 6/4mm DPNs
It is that time of year again.   Time to get started on holiday knitting.   My first contribution to the season are these lovely Little Witches.   When I saw these ladies on Facebook, I knew I had to hunt down the patten and make one (or three) for my kitchen (kitchen witches are good luck).   Then I realized that a friend with an upcoming birthday might like one (or three), and maybe another friend would really appreciate one (or three).   What can I tell you?   They are a lot of fun to make.

Still, Halloween is only the beginning of the season.   There is of course a Thanksgiving wreath to be made (not done yet) and Christmas/Hanukkah gifts to whip up.   My sister's gift is done (Yes, I said done).   I love, love, love it and I hope she does too.   No pictures yet because she reads the blog and I want it to be a surprise.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Almost there...

Phoenix Shawl

Check out the Phoenix Shawl in all its glory.   This baby has been in the works for years (literally).   There was the idea, which became the charts, which became what you see above.    Then came the fire, the loss of the shawl, the laptop with the charts (backup, backup, backup!), and the preliminary pattern.  

From my written notes came new charts, and new samples, and a rewritten pattern.   I've got three test knitters working on it as we "speak".    One, is three rows from being done.   One has put it aside to work on Xmas gifts, and one is waiting for a meet-up with me.

First known as the Old City Shawl (we live in St. Augustine, FL), then the Simply Exquisite Shawl (thus dubbed by a LYS owner), it is now, finally, the Phoenix Shawl (because it rose out of the ashes).
I used Colinette's Jitterbug for the lost one. Two of the test knitters are using Knit Picks Stroll Tonal (Canopy & Thunderhead).   It occurs to me that I have no idea what my third knitter is using.   I've got three samples on the needles, one of Knit Picks Stroll Tonal  (Pearlescent), one in Malabrigo Lace, and one in Ella Rae Lace Merino.   It is not so much that I don't have a favorite, but that each one is my favorite when I am working on it.

If you would like for me to drop you a line when the pattern is good to go,  just follow the link to Ravelry and leave a comment.   I am hoping (but not promising) to have it up and available for sale before the end of the year.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Not Happening

You may have noticed that I have fallen off the 31 Days wagon.   It's true, I can't come up with 31 things that I like about living in NE Florida.   I started the process with a list of fifteen things, feeling sure that once I got started, other things would occur to me.   Sadly, that did not happen.   Not only did the list come up short, but almost nothing makes up for the cultural differences.    We are most assuredly "Damn Yankees" ("Yankees go home, Damn Yankees stay").   We do not fit, and, likely, we never will.

It's not all bad news though.   Sometime in the last year, T2 told me "I still hate it here, but at least I am not miserable anymore".    As he said that, I realized that he is right.    I do want desperately to go home, but, I have found a place here that makes waking up in the morning much easier.   While some of our neighbors do, unashamedly, fly the Confederate flag, our neighbors to the immediate right and left are also "not from around here" and we can be ourselves around them without being dismissed and/or reviled.   Neighbors that we had not met, came forward to offer help and sympathy in the aftermath of the fire.  There is a community here for us, even if it is a community of "misfits".

In closing here is the rest of my happy list:

  • Unitarian Universalists (I don't think I/we could have made it this far without them.)
  • Kerri & Michelle (The thing is, it took the comfort and safety of the UU for me to feel safe enough to take an emotional chance on outside connections.   I am so glad that I did.    I love and depend on these two lovely ladies.)
  • Starbucks (Don't laugh.   They are nice to me there.)
  • Hubby and sons (Luckily we are not the kind of people who take out our misery on each other.   We really have been in this together.)
  • Good insurance (Post fire, this can not be under-appreciated.)
  • Nancy (An early friend who has stood by me even when my hermit tendencies come to the fore).
  • Teresa/Kelly/New freindships (Again, comfort in one area of my life, left me able to be open to new friendships.   Being open to new friendships has brought some lovely people into my life.) 
  • December (When mid-Dec rolls around and I am still sitting outside at Starbucks, I feel good.) 
  • The Sky (We have the prettiest sky here.   The blue is very blue and the clouds are fluffy and distant.   My mom says the sky is like that in Puerto Rico but that I was too young to appreciate it when we lived there.)
That's it.  That's all I've got.   With two boys in college, we are not going anywhere else anytime soon.   However, once the boys are good to go, so are we.  Until then, we still hate it here, but at least we are not miserable.

Tomorrow this blog goes back to it's regularly scheduled mostly knitting content.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 13: Dinner on the Water

Taken from
Clark's Fish Camp

One of the things I really do like about living in FL is how often we eat outside.  One of my favorite places is Clark's Fish Camp.   The place food is great, the menu is extremely varied, and the mood is casual and fun.

This is number thirteen, in the 31 Days of Where I live blogging challenge.
Each day I will post a thought and/or picture relative to something I like about living in NE Florida.  
You can see the whole list of posts here.