Thursday, August 30, 2007

FO: 'Krim'

My Krim Tomato is done! I will give it a light blocking. And, now that I see the picture, I think I might pick out and re-weave in the yarn end that shows up at the back of the neck. I can hide it off to one side.

I'm feeling a little under the weather today, so just a short post. I think it's mainly the heat and humidity getting to me. I'm looking forward to a cool day so I can wear my new sweater!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mags, Yarn Mail, KALs, Tomato Update

Jeff and I went to Barnes and Noble Tuesday night for coffee and browsing. I look forward to getting my copy of Simply Knitting each month, so I was glad there was a new one! I think it might be nice to make the blue top shown on the cover sometime. It would be good to wear next summer. If I knew how to crochet, I'd make the purple shrug!

I also got the September In Style. The big fall issues of the fashion magazines are my favorites as I love the range of colors and textures you can wear in cooler weather and there is much more knitting pictured.

Part of my gift certificate order from The Irish Ewe arrived yesterday! Yarn mail makes me so happy! It's the Cascade Sierra for the shaped lace tee from Knitting Lingerie Style. The Cascade Fixation was backordered, but I will wait for it since I have plenty of projects OTNs for the time being!

I wound this into balls last night when I was too tired to do anything requiring much mental effort! It cooperated very well, no tangling, so I think it's going to be very pleasant to knit with.

In anticipation of working with the Cascade Sierra and Fixation, I have joined two KALs:
Knitting Lingerie Style Along

Romantic Hand Knits Along (cover of book for now, suspect a proper button will be available soon!)

Here is a progress picture of Krim knit to the waist and ready to begin the increases for the hips.

I've actually done a few rounds of increases since this pic! When I was two or three green rows below the pattern band, I transferred the live stitches onto scrap yarn and tried it on. The top part fits! As long as the rest fits as well, I'll be thrilled!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An Award

Woohoo! I’ve been nominated for a Rockin’ Girl Blogger award! Thanks, Christina! It’s funny, because Sunday on my way to the yarn shop I had the radio turned up playing lots of ‘80s rock, 'danced' in my seat and, yes, even sang a bit. Thank goodness no one was there to hear =)

I’ll nominate Debby. (This pink button is perfect for you!)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Yarn Shopping and Tomato Progress

Sunday afternoon, I visited Sakonnet Purls to see if they had any more Classic Elite Wings and to browse the fall pattern books.

Since Classic Elite Wings is discontinued, there wasn't much choice left of colors for a contrasting band in my Green Tomato top. I finally chose a shade of purple. I'm not sure I love it as I was looking for a light, off white shade, but it is growing on me as I work on Tomato. It helps meet the purple requirement for Project Spectrum too!

As I'm having such a good time working with Wings, I selected 10 skeins in brown. That's fitting for Project Spectrum too, though I probably won't get it knitted up very soon. I have no idea what pattern I'll use it for, but I'm sure something will come to me. I could always make another Tomato!

There were a few new fall knitting books, but not the one I'd been hoping to buy (RYC Classic Tweed). I did enjoy looking at the beautiful photographs in Accessories, AM to PM and Travel (all from the RYC Classic Series), but those aren't top on my list at the moment! Even without buying any pattern books, I think 12 skeins of 1/2 price yarn was a pretty nice haul.

Having a contrast shade of yarn, I was able to continue to work on Tomato! Here is where I'm up to, or should I say down to?

This is my first ever stranding project. I found it very fun! Even though I know my stitches aren't totally even, I think I can cope with how it came out. Here is a detail of the pattern, but please don't look too closely at the uneven bits! Perhaps blocking will help?

I'll even let you have a peek at the reverse side showing my stranding!

What do you think of the color? It keeps changing on me. In some light the purple is darker and looks a little red, like burgundy, and I think of Christmas. Other light makes it look more like in these pictures, very grape. Maybe instead of Green Tomato I should be calling my version something relating to wine! Although, I've just thought, there are a few purple tomatoes, so perhaps I should call it Krim, after my favorite purple heirloom variety.

I can't say enough good things about this pattern so far. I keep staying up late at night to work on it! I'm probably about the last person in blogland to try it, but if you still haven't you must download your free pattern and knit =)

Dirt Roads and Double Track

After a weekend of doing overtime at work, Jeff was raring to get out on the bikes with me Sunday evening and we were both in the mood for some mountain biking!

We packed up the mountain bikes and gear and went to the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area for our first mountain biking of the year. There is a nice variety of terrain there. A lot is easy, but some areas are deep sand, some downhills have washed out cobbles, some of the double track is deeply rutted and overgrown, so you don't really know what you are about to hit!

The route starts out with some lovely packed gravel roads like this one.

It felt a little strange getting used to it again, especially the flat pedals. On the first bit of bumpy downhill, I 'bear trapped' myself. That's some mountain biking slang for you =) It's when you slip off a pedal, causing it to slam you in the shin. Ow! On the first deep sand, I again acted like I was road biking and eased up the pedaling preparing to 'glide' through the sand. Wrong! On a mountain bike, that's when you pedal fast and furiously to get on through it! After those two experiences, it seemed to all came back to me and I felt good and kept up a steady cadence the whole way. We did two times around the trail.

The best part was making it up the fairly big hill that was so hard for me last year. I'd never gotten up it without dabbing a foot down a couple of times in the middle to keep my balance, but I made it up twice this time without trouble. The hill is long and is one that goes around bends, so just when you think you are getting to the top, you corner and see it continuing upward! It has a 10.2% grade and the surface is littered with fist-sized stones with occasional sandy/gravelly parts where you sink in a bit.

I stopped a few times for pictures. This is Jeff pausing along a stretch of double track that follows the edge of the swamp.

Here is a view of the swamp. Osprey have a nest on one of the posts that I didn't include in this shot. We saw one osprey perched on a dead tree.

A little logging is going on in one part of the swamp and we passed the yard.

We finished off our ride with 8 miles on the paved South County Bike Path which is conveniently nearby the swamp trail. We saw some ducks and a Great Blue Heron in the wetlands.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Scenic Saturday Biking

Saturday, Debby and Chris met me in Tiverton (Jeff had to do overtime at work =( ) and we went for a ride around the picturesque, historic towns of Tiverton and Little Compton, Rhode Island.

At the point, we paused to enjoy the view across the Sakonnet of Aquidneck Island. You can just see the Gothic belltower at St. George’s School and at the far left of the picture are the towers of the Newport Bridge.

We circled The Commons in Little Compton to admire the old meeting house and burying ground there. One of the graves is the resting place of the first European girl born in New England, Elizabeth Alden.

I snapped this picture of Debby and Chris while they looked at the burying ground and took pictures as well.

There are many old slate stones decorated with interesting carvings of skulls and inscriptions using some unique spellings. Here are two examples in pictures I took several years ago.

It was a beautiful day, really quite fall-like with cool breezes. We didn’t make it to Sakonnet Purls before closing time, but we did go to Gray’s for ice cream!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I can't stop casting on!

Thursday evening, I had plenty of choice of current knitting to work on, but I couldn't stop myself: I cast on another project! Since a trip to Sakonnet Purls in June, I've had this Classic Elite Wings in a basket in my living room and I've been so eager to work with it. When I got the free pattern for Tomato, there was no stopping me!

Here's what I've knit since Thursday night on my 'Green Tomato'. I have to go to the yarn store this weekend to look for a contrasting yarn for the 'hounds tooth' pattern, but if they don't have any, I should have enough yarn to complete it in solid green.

I did the neckline after getting the body to where I should change over to the contrast color. I guess I picked up more stitches than some examples I've seen, but I think it will fit me fine. I did skip every 4th stitch on each side of the neck, so a little blocking will open up that ribbing. Actually, it's such a fitted top that just wearing it will essentially block it! The loft of the yarn helped prevent any gaps from forming at the line of picked up stitches. Here is a detail pic.

This is my first top down sweater project and I love it! Wings is also fantastic to work with. I should have more progress pics of this very soon. I just need to make a decision on whether I'll be using a contrast color and knitting the pattern part or not.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Some Shopping and Project Planning

Just after my birthday post, I got another present: a gift certificate to The Irish Ewe! (Thank you B!) So, after some deliberation, I am ordering the suggested yarns for two patterns.

First, I picked Cascade Sierra in ivory for the ‘shaped lace tee’ from Knitting Lingerie Style. (I assume I can wear this over a light tank or cami as otherwise it's a little too risque for me!) This will be my first pattern from the book. I am thinking of joining the Lingerie Style-Along to help keep me motivated through my predictable midway slump!

I don’t actually have the book yet, but I liked seeing a new book called Romantic Hand Knits at the bookstore recently and plan to get it and make the long gloves. They are knitted with a stretchy yarn which I think will be comfortable to wear, but I haven’t ever tried knitting with an elastic yarn before, so I hope it isn’t too tricky! (It will certainly be a change from the Summer Tweed I have on the needles now!) The yarn is Cascade Fixation in black. I’m not sure if there is a KAL for this book yet? Btw, there is a free pattern available from this book, but it's not the gloves.

I know I’m not being adventurous with color on these two upcoming projects, but I like the way they look in the books and since I am going with mail order and I can’t see the yarn colors in person, I think that’s the best way to choose this time.

It seems like there are quite a few new knitting books due to come out at the bookstore soon. In addition to those, there are all the yarn company fall pattern books to peruse! My must have so far is by RYC. I've become such a fan of their patterns and yarn this year. This is new for fall: RYC Tweed. I can't resist!

So pretty:

Sweet, don't you think?:

You can see more pictures from this book at The Knitting Garden. I think Jeff would actually like the men's 'Ross' sweater from this book.

I think I will get to Sakonnet Purls this weekend to get my copy. I got an email yesterday that the books are IN!

It is so fun to plan my knitting for another season, though I'll be working on my summer projects for awhile longer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I stayed up late last night to finish these sleeves. I always make the mistake of thinking I am basically done when I get to the underarm and then realize all over again that the sleeve caps are bigger than they look!

My fingers are tired from handling the summer tweed, so I'll probably wait a few days before casting on for the body pieces. The sleeves will need some pressing, but I'll wait to do that to all the pieces together before seaming.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fun Summer Saturday

I just love long summer days. Isn’t it great how much you can fit into one day in summertime?

Jeff and I drove over to Caster's to their bike sale and met up with Debby and Chris. We browsed for bargains for quite awhile. Jeff and I found new sunglasses. Mine are blue and match my bike! We saw a cycling friend from work and met a guy we see biking a lot on one of our regular routes. It was funny to actually talk with him after just waving in passing for the last few months!

After shopping at Caster’s, we drove to the start of a bike ride that follows route 1A in Narragansett, RI. The route passes historic Casey Farm where they are working at raising crops and livestock including these free-range chickens!

Much of the route passes the beaches and along one stretch of beach, we went under the arch of The Towers!

People in that part of the world seem to have been into towers in general as you see different ones all along the ride including this one at The Dunes, a private club.

As well as towers, there are pretty stone walls. I get sort of used to seeing stone walls everywhere around here, but I remind myself that they aren't always common elsewhere, so I should remember to appreciate them!

These next two are my favorite pictures from yesterday. This one is Debby and Chris. Aren’t they are great couple? Awww... ;-)

And here is Debby, smiling, on a hill climb!

We always work up quite an appetite on bike rides and a trip to Aunt Carrie’s was a great way to wrap up the day. The best part was dessert: blueberry pie a la mode. Now, that I’ve had blueberry pie, it officially feels like August! There was a bit of a wait for a table, but that was no problem with a rocky beach to enjoy and views like this one of the Point Judith lighthouse we had biked to earlier.

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the beach cobbles and our long evening shadows. We liked listening to the rumble of the rocks tumbling in the waves.

Debby and Chris were so sweet to bring me birthday pressies: a knitting book I’ve been wishing for called Wrap Style, a lovely bar of seaside soap with sea salt added in for a bit of exfoliation and a pretty, sparkly butterfly card all packaged in a cute bag!

And, here we are at the end of the day, at Aunt Carrie's.

(Thanks you two for the great gifts and awesome day!)

Friday, August 10, 2007

My Favorite Purple...

...has to be the color of black raspberry ice cream! It’s pretty to look at and delicious to eat!

This is Rowan Summer Tweed in lilac (discontinued), but it will always be black raspberry to me. I have formed an association between yarn and ice cream since my favorite yarn shop is right by my favorite ice cream stand. I have cast on for a v-neck top from the Rowan Summer Tweed pattern book.

I was a little worried about working with Summer Tweed because of the stiffness and lack of elasticity, but I'm doing ok with it as long as I take breaks to rest my fingers. I do find it a nuisance to have to stop to pick out the splinters of plant material spun into the yarn!

And you probably thought I’d forgotten about Project Spectrum! Not so! I am right on schedule starting a purple project. Of course, I’m still working on pink in the form of Tea Time! I’m good at starting...I’ll have to work on finishing!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Lonely Wrist Warmer...

I’ve knit the left one in the past couple of days. Will I suffer from second sock, umm, wrist warmer syndrome? I hope not! I really like this and think it would be fun to have a pair for fall. Btw, these are my first ever bobbles!

The pattern is free from the pattern treasure trove on the Garnstudio site. I’ve knit it in the suggested Drops Alpaca I had leftover. I didn't block it, but I plan to wet/air dry it as that fluffs the stitches up a little.

Progress is being made on Tea Time as well as a new top! Pictures coming soon!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Good Birthday!

It’s that day again, my birthday! As always, the weather is hot and humid, so I had to hurry to eat up my chocolate cupcake and vanilla ice cream before it melted!

I got some nice presents. Jeff got me new bike tires. Every woman wants tires for her birthday, right?! Well, this one does! They will replace my worn looking ones just in time. I knew my tires were worn down, but I didn't realize quite how bad they were until I saw the new ones! He also got me some new cycling gloves. It’s not all about the biking, so he picked out the DVD box set of Miss Marple Series 1 starring Geraldine McEwan. I really enjoy these sorts of shows! Also, a book by Iain Pears called The Portrait that I’ve been interested in reading for some time (I’ve read all his other books) and the Fall Vogue Knitting magazine came out just in time to be a birthday present too!

My parents sent me candies and things along with a book called, The Snoring Bird. (I once got to hear the author speak about ravens which was fascinating!)

I got a little cash too which will be useful for buying more yarn!

It was the year of slightly gross, but humorous cards, apparently. After the first two, I was slightly nervous opening the others! They aren’t anything too unseemly really, just pictures/cartoons of animals being, well, animals!

Jeff took the day off and we went to the town beach with the dogs. It was so much fun playing with them in the water! We went to the rocky section of the beach to avoid annoying people with our wet dogs! When they shake, the water sprays an amazing distance and we didn’t want to get dog water on sun bathers! Saffy likes to go in briefly and then immediately go up on the beach to roll after each dip! Silas would swim out to sea if we let him, he doesn’t seem to know any better. He loves to fetch sticks and look for things under the water. Here are a bunch of photos:

After all the fun on the beach, the dogs napped while Jeff and I went out to some shops, had a late lunch at Vinny T's and lattes at Starbucks.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

July Total Miles Biked

For those of you following my biking and attempt to hit 500 miles for the month of July, I did it! 508.63 miles to be exact ;-) It was not easy in the hot, humid weather.

I *thought* I was exhausted after all that riding, but today I went out and did this to kick off the month of August:

That blue line represents speed and stays pretty close to the 20 mph line most of the way! The green line is elevation.