YO! ZMK Knits!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Yesterday, was WWKIP (World Wide Knit in Public Day), and, for the first time, I took part in some group activities.

ZMrK and I got up really early to arrive in the South End by 9 a.m. See, I recently started meeting on Thursday nights with a group called the South End Knitters. They have been responsible for a few pieces of knitted graffiti around the South End. They were underway with a special tag to hang outside of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. I didn't contribute to the tag, but I was happy to help (and offer Mike's -- hey, let's get rid of this ZMrK stuff, he blogs as Mike and that's his name! -- height to the cause).


(That's Tara, not me! Although my hair has been that color before, you weren't fooled, were you?)


There I am! Concentrating!


Looking a little worried here -- I was working along for a while, sewing away, and then it was pointed out that the sides weren't properly lined up and it was going on crooked. I noticed that it was more of less happening since I took over the sewing. Oops! How embarrassing! It was a really fixable error, though, so it wasn't the end of the world.


I love these black cats (of course!!!). It's a free chart on Ravelry, and I'm hoping to use it for just about everything.


Beth and Amy help me get things straightened out.


Group shot with the finished product!

We also gave them a group donation of over $250. The ARL has an anonymous donor who will match any donation over $250, so that's great news since they are a privately funded organization.

Afterwards, a bunch of us went to Copley Square to participate in WWKIP Day. I saw a few familar faces there, and sat and knit for a while:


Around noon, I was getting hungry and antsy, so Mike and I went to get lunch and ice cream, and got home around 3 p.m. It was a good day.

Now, for an abrupt change of topic, here are some kitty pictures.







Yup, they're getting along.

I don't know what it is about the ribbon on the end of our backscratcher, but it has made almost every cat we have had go insane:




After all that hard playing (all of the above pictures were taken within the same 60 minutes), both cats had a nap attack:



Funny how that works!

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sick Day

Well, I'm home sick today, but am getting better. We went hiking over the weekend, and something in the woods had a strong, herby smell that made me start sneezing quite a bit after a little while. I was sneezing on Monday, and snuffling, but thought it was just allergies. On Tuesday, I left work around noon because I was also feeling weak and achy. I came home and relaxed, watched a couple of movies (Lust for a Vampire and Witchfinder General, if you must know) and fell asleep. ZMrK was able to capture the moment:


Yes, that is both cats sleeping with me! They're getting along well. They don't cuddle, but they do rassle a whole lot.



They both slept in with me this morning as well, until Luciano decided it was playtime. Everything is a toy to him, you know.



Then he passes out.



Ellie joins in the playing as well:


I'd love to say she has lost weight, but she hasn't, yet. It's difficult to feed her the restricted diet food she is supposed to have, and feed him the high-fat, high-protein kitten food he is supposed to have, and not have them eat each other's food. I try to remember to pick the food up when I leave for work in the morning, so she doesn't graze all day, but that doesn't always happen. She is running around and moving a bit more lately, which is good. I wish we had some stairs. That would probably help her a bit.

I have been knitting, though not as much lately. Or maybe it's just that I'm knitting more slowly.


I'm still working on the Lacy Waves Top. I finished the front and back. I had a little breakdown a couple of weeks ago when I screwed up the front, which resulted in it being thrown across the room and then frogged part of the way, but I recovered from it. I'm working on the insert panel, and started it for the third time yesterday.


Um, hello? Either it's a good argument for using the recommended yarn, it will all work out through the magic of blocking, or I am one crappy knitter, because I think it looks like a mess of tangles. I really hope I can work this one out.

I'm doing much better with the Floral Lace Anklets from the same book:


Granted, those were started and frogged, due to the fact that I was following the wrong chart for a while, but now it's coming along nicely. I am using the recommended yarn (Regia Silk) and I really love working with it. I may use the Regia Silk I have in red to make the Long Long Lacy Gloves from the same book (hm, Lace Style is getting some mileage from me).

I've been trying to get some spinning done lately:


This is from 4 oz of Colonial from CJ Kopec Creations. I received it in a secret pal swap package on the Knittyboard from my fabulous partner Maiziemama, a couple of summers ago. I have a few blends from CJ Kopec, and they're all gorgeous.


I love the colors on this. I'm tempted to not ply it, but don't trust my spinning enough for my singles to work out. I have no clue what the yardage would be, but with plying, it should be around a fingering weight. There wouldn't be enough for socks, so it would need to be a nice little pretty like a neckerchief or a pair of pretty mitts.

This is what it looked like, pre-spinning:


Here's another spinning project I've been working on:


It's roughly 145 yards, pure merino (allegedly) with about 3/4 of a bobbin left to spin. I'll probably Andean ply the rest. The end result is nice and soft, and I think it will be nice knitted up (I'm thinking about the neckwarmer in the latest issue of SpinOff). I haven't been thrilled to spin in though. Merino is still a little too soft and slippery for my inexperienced spinning mitts, and the preparation on this fiber sucked.


From the outside of the bag, it looked blended, but inside the bag there were clumps of each color just sitting in there. I used the handcarders I bought at the last Rhinebeck to blend some of it, and did one bobbin blended by me, and one bobbin of the pre-blended. For this final bobbin I said "fuck it" and just spun what was left.

I definitely prefer to spin coarser fibers. That Colonial I showed above was a dream to spin. Falklands, BFL, Corriedale -- that is all great stuff to spin. Merino is very soft and slippery, and give me superwash or something with tencel and you may as well put the razor to my wrist. My only success with alpaca has been on a spindle, spun super fine, so I won't curse it yet. I'm sure I'll get better, with experience. Sometimes I see people who have only been spinning a short time and are producing lovely yarns, and I want to wave my fist in the air at them. Of course, they spin more often than I do, and everyone has a different learning curve.

I have a few new purchases too.


I had a $100 gift certificate to Newbury Yarns, thanks to the attorneys I support, so I used it to purchase some Manos Silk Blend and still have some $$ left over! No, I'm not taking it out of the ziploc bag until I'm ready to use or pat it. It was tough to get the 6 skiens of a brick color and 1 skien of black in there. There was an adorable fitted t-shirt in the spring Interweave Knits made from this yarn, and I want to make it with some slight mods to the flowers on the top (I don't want flowers, I want cat heads). This should do the trick.


This blurry photo is of 200 yards of sportweight cashmere I purchased at the NH Sheep and Wool for about $13. I figured I'd give it a try at that price.


I figured I would finally purchase some sock yarn from Dorchester Farms! The guy is at every sheep and wool fest I've ever been to, and his stuff comes highly recommended. It's also inexpensive and he had Mardi Gras colored sock yarn. I couldn't go wrong!

I realized that I never did a blog post for the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Fest. Oh, hai, blogger fail. Well, it was a gorgeous day, there was sheep, there was wool, there was a cute widdle 10 day old goat, and I stuck my photos in the "Sheep and Wool Fests 2009" set on Flickr. I don't think there's much more to say.

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