Thursday, July 10, 2014

So, Kitten - How'd That Tuf Luv Thing Work Out For You?

Better than expectd, despite two very unexpected deaths. I really didn't think I'd make it thru all that yarn in June, but I came a lot closer than I thought I would. The deaths were Mom's sister, who was two years older than her, and my landlady, who was about a year or two younger. Mom wasn't really close to her sister, trading phone calls only two or three times a year, but it is still a big loss for her. I'd only met my aunt once, so my concern for Mom is the only effect I feel. As for my landlady, aside from being another reminder of Mom's age, well ... enough about that for now, this is about the knitting.

Here's another look at the yarn:
4 1/2 Lu Amming Knitting Yarn, yellow
355 gr. Roving type yarn, brown/tan
8 Amor by Giovanni - 3 Shifting Sands, 5 Shimmering Lilac
10 Bouquet Superwash - 6 Dk brown, 3 rust, 1 mustard
1 Plymouth Encore - avocado

And here is the status as of July 5th, the end of the Attack:

The Lu Amming became 4 slippers for Mom, with the half ball unused. The roving became a hot pad for Mom, and the second is on the needles.

The Giovanni Amor was slated to become a sleeveless sweater for me, but the colorways just didn't thrill me when worked up together. Instead, the three gold/tan Shifting Sands are the start of a raglan, a nice shade for Mom. The Shimmering Lilac raglan is going to be MINE ALL MINE! So far I've only used two of the five skeins. Twice I've spent an entire evening tinking just a few rows due to dropped stitches. It's a fuzzy yarn and almost every stitch has to be teased out. What takes an hour to knit takes four to tink. The same fuzziness prevents me from just picking up the dropped stitch and working it up the ladder - there's just no slide to the yarn to allow the stitches to form. I didn't have a problem with the lighter yarn for some reason, perhaps it was just easier to see what I was doing. I have no idea what yarn I'll use to complete either sweater.

This post was written on 7/5, but delayed in favor of my last post. Since writing this I've started another skein of Lilac. For the first time I came up with a matted clot of yarf when I started the skein. The first five pull skeins were perfectly smooth in feeding the yarn out, but once I wrote the above, WHAM!, one big fuzzy knot! The yarn knows when you speak ill of it, right?

Finally, the Bouquet Superwash and Plymouth Encore has become my first cardi. OK, my first unfinished card. Also my first knitted raglan. I enjoyed this so much, it's why the two pulls are also raglans. Running short of yarn is the reason for the narrowing stripes of green and the solid brown arm, but fortunately I loves me some asymmetry. I used a provisional cast-on, as I thought I'd add a hood if I had enough yarn left, but the bands/collar/hem are a knit/purl textured pattern that turned out very limp and stretchy, so I'm just glad to have enough left over to pick up and knit facings. And yes, that lime green zipper will be another first for me!

Technically speaking, by the rules I set up I suppose the unused roving, three Amors and two Bouquets should be in the OUTTA HERE! pile, but I'm the guy who likes to change the rules, so the only yarn that didn't make the cut is the half skein of yellow.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Playing "What If?" With Sandra Singh

If you think this striking cowl is pretty special - you're in darn good company, starting with me. This is the Sieden Prairie Cowl from Sandra Singh, the pattern and kits are available at her website. You may already know Sandra's design work from Ravelry, where she has her own group. I was lucky enough to win this pattern AND 4 skeins of yarn in Sandra's recent giveaway. I had a tough time choosing from the 40-50 (this changes with availability) wonderful colors of her own line of 1 Ply Merino Worsted

Although the pattern calls for 3 colors (2 skeins of MC and 1 each of 2 CCs), I could only narrow my choices down to 4. Sandra was so helpful, we traded a few emails in which I took advantage of her excellent color sense to play "What if...?", and she agreed with my choices:
Mediterranean ....... Seedling ........ Pumpkin ........ Charcoal
Summer ........................................ Spice

You know that little moment of nervous anticipation when opening a package of hand or small batch dyed yarn ordered over the internet? It won't be exactly what you saw on the monitor, but will it be what you expected? These are so much more than I expected!

Pumpkin Spice and Mediterranean Summer are very complementary. I plan to blend them by doing one row of each (you may recall this worked well for me once before), and maybe I'll use seed st. rather than st st, to help blend them more completely. With this in mind, these Autumm shades are my MC:

Seedling and Charcoal are high contrast for the two-color sections, but the lovely fresh greens, while bright and vibrant, do not look "neon" against the deep grey. The Seedling adds a fresh note of early Spring, while the Charcoal will carry the cowl into Winter:

And here's the mash-up shot of all four together, with every shade touching every other at some point:

The way there are small areas where the Pumpkin Spice and Mediterranean Summer skeins share one color.

The way the brown of the Mediterranean Summer is slightly greyish, pulling it in with the Charcoal.

The Seedling is much more alive and fresh than it could ever look on a monitor, and will provide a wonderful POP.

Sandra, I really appreciate your input on my choices, and with your confirmation, I knew they would look great together. But these so completely surpass what I pictured ... Thank You! I'm so happy and thrilled with these gorgeous yarns. The next time you visit Sieden Prairie, I hope it is in full bloom, covered with Sandra Singh flowers:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 35: Denouement à Trois, Roll Credits- Attack Of The Son Of KiWiAWhi'sWoJuIncPa'OJuFloPiBloPoMo

Screen Left - The Farmhouse: M'Lord Sir Basil Poufy-Hiney is curled in The Nice Lady's Lap. Just before drifting into sleep, he looks straight at the camera - his eyes are large, jet black orbs with flaming pupils. We hear his thoughts: "I hate rain. Except, of course, for the way it washes away the blood. Yes, The Nice Lady must never see the blood. After all, it wasn't she who named me. As for those who did, just one more storm should settle that score." One last lick of his chops, and he falls asleep, purring.

Screen Top - The Castle: With a great deal of happy chatter, the guests settle in around the table. Clinking his glass, Vlad stands and says "My friends, I was to have a happy task this evening ... announcing the engagement of my daughter, Elvira, and her fiance, Roger. However, Roger seems to have developed cold feet, and has broken the engagement. Still, we won't let a little thing like that ruin our evening, will we? So, please be upstanding, and raise your glasses to our Guest Of Honor, Roger." Pan to the fireplace, where Roger writhes and struggles vainly against unbreakable bonds, tears running from his eyes. His screams are effectively gagged by the large golden apple in his mouth, as Igor slowly turns the spit. Roger's feet are no longer cold.

Screen Right - The Desert: It's dawn, and there's no sign of an enormous, many-legged, glowing, hovering, supernaturally fast yet preternaturally quiet, pulsing, mummified, blade wielding, time travelling SOMETHING. But, I wouldn't turn my back on those pods over there, if I were you ...

Roll Credits:

First Things First:
Endless Thanks to the Muralists of San Francisco, who have provided both scenery and characters to our production. You make The City a better place!

Appearing as themselves, through the courtesy of their respective YouTube Posters:

Day 2: Daniel Menendez
Day 3: Gale Storm
Day 5: Milt Buckner
Day 6: Some Cows
Day 7: Nicholas Cage
Day 15: Kody Montana Haskins
Day 16: Blossom Dearie
Day 22: Vocal Sampling
Day 23: The Diamonds
Day 24: Expression Crew
Day 27: Hexbug Scarab
Day 28: The Animals
Day 29: Planet Earth & The ISS
Day 31: Jim Morrison & The Doors, Debbie Harry & Blondie

Independence Day
Ella Woodward of Deliciously Emma blog and Youtube Channel
Ella Fitzgerald & The Chick Webb Orchestra
Ella Mae Morse & Freddie Slack
Peter Palmer & Stubby Kaye & Cast

Thanks also to Chris of Stumbling Over Chaos for the inspiration provided by her Misadventures In Stock Photography series, and to Rod Serling for the Night Gallery classic TV series, which each week prresented a trilogy of horror stories based on/represented by the paintings in the gallery.

Moving on the the Lesser Talents:

Written, Directed, Produced by and Starring
The Son Of KiWiAWhi'sWoJuIncPa'OJuFloPiBloPoMo

Director Of Photography
Kitten With A Whiplash

Friday, July 4, 2014

Day 34: We Pause Our Movie To C-ELLA-brate Independence Day

Now would be a good time to catch up on any episodes you've missed:

Day 1: The Usher Directs Us To Our Seats
Day 2: Dim The Lights, Cue The Ominous Music
Day 3: A Dark And Stormy Night
Day 4: A Flash Of Lightning
Day 5: Something Slinks Through The Woods
Day 6: A Secluded Farm, The Cattle Are Restless
Day 7: Something Scratching At The Door
Day 8: The Creak Of Rusty Hinges
Day 9: Light Pierces The Stygian Night
Day 10: A Sleepy Eye Peers Into The Dark
Day 11 "You've come back, M'Lord. You look ... hungry."
Day 12 Fade To Black
Day 13: The Haunted Castle, Friday The 13th, Full Moon
Day 14: Portrait Of A Veiled Woman Above The Fireplace
Day 15: A Large Golden Apple On The Mantel
Day 16: A Haunting Refrain Of Love Gone Wrong
Day 17: An Enormous Table, Set For A Lavish Feast
Day 18: A Gust Of Wind Blows Out The Candles
Day 19: Villagers Approach, Carrying Torches
Day 20: Ripples In The Inky Water Of The Moat
Day 21: A Shot, A Scream, A Howl ... Dissolve
Day 22: Lonely Road, Dark Desert, Should We Stop For The Night?
Day 23: What's Down This Abandoned Shaft?
Day 24: Strange, Pulsing Glow ... Did They Test Atomic Weapons Here?
Day 25: A Shadow With Too Many Legs, Shall We Investigate?
Day 26: The Silence Is Deafening, Can You Hear Me Now?
Day 27: Nothing In Nature Moves That Fast! Mom, Can We Keep It? PLEASE!?
Day 28: The Birds Hide, The Animals Flee, Do You Know Why?
Day 29: Something Enormous Hovers Overhead, Should We Signal It?
Day 30: Was That A Flash Of Moonlight On A Bloody, Steel Blade?
Day 31: Without The Chains Of Time To Bind Us, What Mightn't We Achieve?
Day 32: Meanwhile, Back On The Farm ...
Day 33: Meanwhile, Back At The Castle ...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day 33: Meanwhile, Back At The Castle ... - Attack Of The Son Of KiWiAWhi'sWoJuIncPa'OJuFloPiBloPoMo

The villagers hurriedly enter the darkened Castle. Approaching the banquet hall, the leader calls out "Hey, Vlad, what's all the noise?" Vlad enters the foyer, carrying a bottle and grinning sheepishly at his neighbors. "Oh, I was just opening some champagne when the candles blew out. The "pop" startled Elvira, and she screamed. Of course, her scream got Igor all excited, so he started howling. He's really just a big, overgrown puppy. Come along and join the party. And thanks for bringing those torches. We just can't keep candles lit in this draughty old ruin."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day 32: Meanwhile, Back On The Farm ... - Attack Of The Son Of KiWiAWhi'sWoJuIncPa'OJuFloPiBloPoMo

The Kind Lady opens the door to admit her midnight visitor. With an imperious meow, M'Lord Sir Basil Poufy-Hiney parades into the farmhouse with all the pompous dignity a drenched cat can muster. After suffering a thorough drying with a fluffy towel, he is given a bowl of cream by the fire, which he greedily laps up. As always, the best way to celebrate a full tummy is with a nap in The Nice Lady's lap.