3TT: Throwback

For the Olympics in 2006, I knit Williamsro.


That one earned a gold medal, which is still hanging on my fridge! Hm, I haven't worn this sweater in a while...

In 2010, there was a pile o' finishing to do.


I finished a couple of them then, too! They've all been finished now, in one way or another* (though perhaps not until 2017 -- Oblique!), except for the one on topWill it ever??

{I don't remember why, but the 2014 games were skipped altogether.}

This year, I am gearing up to knit during PyeongChang 2018!


Team Rules Schmules... it works whether you're in it to win it, or just in it for the camaraderie & fun! Feel free to join in!! Official cast on is tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. CST.

I think I'm in it to win it this year (so some of the rules apply), but we'll see... traveling for 5 or so days with a not very travel-friendly project may change that! But for now my yarn is wound, I played around with the cast on and 14" DPNs last night (and dug out some shorter ones because those long ones aren't needed right away), and need to find my knitting belt.

*Man, that Peace Fleece (bottom) is gorgeous, isn't it? Coup d'Etat was frogged, but I still like that design...

Of sweaters and quilts

On Friday night, I wore Williamsro to the art opening -- there are fiber artists in that cooperative, they hold the knitting in high esteem -- and yesterday, I wore Fibonacci to the quilt show.  I was a little warm yesterday and am both happy and sad that the days are numbered as far as the woolens are concerned.

Have I mentioned, by the way, how much happier I am with Williamsro since I ripped and re-knit the bottom (Noro Blossom) part of the body?  I had picked up too many stitches the first time -- it was okay at first, but then it began to stretch and I could even see it pulling the other part (Noro Cash Iroha) of the sweater out of shape.  What was once a rhetorical question ("Does this sweater make my butt look big?") was not so rhetorical anymore and I didn't like the answer.  I'm happy I didn't let that one sit for too long.

Fibonacci, having been knit entirely using left-overs from another sweater, seemed appropriate attire for Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond at The Paine Art Center in Oshkosh -- even if the colors are more fall-like than spring.  (It's been on my mind to knit another, in different colors, for the warm seasons -- maybe in cotton?)

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Alison met us (Mom and me) and then we all went to lunch afterwards.  Ali was really more interested in just lunch and could have foregone the quilts, but I made her see the show and I think she was amazed.  We all were.  I knew a little more what to expect, but Mom & Ali had no clue.

"Quilts," I'd say. "We're going to a quilt show, but they're different..."

It's so hard to describe these quilts and their design -- how free and fresh and inspiring and inspired and traditional and artistic and cutting-edge and colorful and resourceful and moving -- without sounding a little more than passionate -- without sounding a little nuts.  And I'm not even a quilter!  They make you passionate, indeed.  The show was quite busy and (not surprised) no cameras were allowed.  One word:  GO!  If you have the opportunity to see this show (or a variation), just go.

We toured the mansion, also (amazing), and there is a children's discovery area in the lower level.  It was so wonderful to see Gee's Bend-inspired quilt designs on the wall, very nicely done (fabric patches glued to paper) by some local 5th graders.  It was a big highlight of the show, for me -- fun to see the fabric of their lives -- lots of sports-minded prints, including the Packers, some Pokemon, lots of denim, but also some glitzy glittery fabrics.  There was one so definitely inspired by the Work Clothes quilts and very meticulously done so that all the frayed edges of the denim were exposed.

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The Paine is also known for their gardens.  This corkscrewy bush (for lack of knowing what it's really called) is right next to the museum entrance.  So intriguing.  There's nothing much blooming yet, except for some snowdrops, but the tulips and daffodils are promising -- soon!  Still, even at this stage, the gardens are beautiful.  I went on a stitcher's retreat to Colonial Williamsburg one December and was amazed at how beautiful the gardens were at the dormant time of year -- truly something to aspire to with my own gardens.  Right now, though, "Baby A" and I would just be happy to see sprouting peas.  Sweater details in the "Completed in 2007" sidebar photo album.

The jolly guy in red

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"St. Nicholas" filled the stockings tied to the stairway last night.  In a very practical mood, she left slippers for the girls and insoles for DH -- he's been complaining of sore feet.  ; )  The girls each get an ornament from St. Nick every year and this year it's the angels above, which are reminiscent of just like our horn-playing tree-top angel, except that it wasn't discovered 'til the very last minute that only one of these ornaments actually has a horn -- the others have cymbals or harp!

Dsc09174Is it pathetic that I fill my own stocking?  I don't give myself a gift because, well, I've actually been quite wild and free of late with the "add to cart" buttons -- nothing huge, but a pamphlet here, a booklet there, a magazine, a book... now I've got to find that Noro book with the Blossom vest pattern that I mentioned yesterday.  It's not yarn that makes my finger twitch, it's the patterns!  So, let's pretend there's a back issue or two of Wool Gathering sticking out the top there.

Coup d'Etat is off the needles!  I short-rowed and did a three-needle bind off at the shoulders and there's just no other way... totally love that technique.  I also did full-fashion decreases and increases throughout and I'm anxious to seam.  My blocking board is already in use at the moment, but perhaps later today I can give all the pieces a bath and pin them out.  It's going to be button time soon!

I saw Katie for the first time yesterday when I came home last night and she noticed that I was wearing Williamsro.  Not only did she notice, she told me how wonderful it looked, that it was her favorite of all the sweaters I've made, why don't I wear it more.  I proceeded to tell her/consult regarding that bottom Blossom part and she confirmed the conclusion I'd come to after wearing it for the whole day.  Yes, there's the whole horizontal stripes can make anyone's anything look big, but I don't think the horizontal-ness is the problem here.  Can't get much more horizontal than Fib, which is also one of my favorite sweaters, so I obviously have no issues with the horizontal.  The biggest thing with Williamsro is that there are too many stitches picked up for that bottom part -- so many that it is actually distorted -- and there's no elasticity to the Cash Iroha so no resistance and it just let's itself be pulled.  There's a bit of a flare, a swing -- even bulbous quality -- to that Blossom section that maybe isn't so evident in the photos, but it'll make a huge overall difference if I can find the magic number.

I think that the rest of my December knitting is going to be devoted to The Fix & Finish.  I've got Shirley Shrugs and Williamsro in need of attention, there's Coup d'Etat seaming in the wings, along with a button band and many buttons to be sewn... there are buttons to be sewn on sweaters that haven't seen the light of day in so long, I'm sure you've forgotten.

Flashback to February

I had a flashback on Friday night when I tuned in to Ice Wars for the visual and auditory accompaniment to my knitting -- right back to February, Williamsro, and the excitement of the Olympics, knitting and otherwise.  ; )  I tuned in late, but may I just say that Brian Boitano is still elegance and perfection on skates; that Kurt Browning is one of the most charismatic, talented and entertaining showmen who ever strapped on a blade; and that I wish that darn way-back machine would work because Scott Hamilton never failed to both amuse and inspire, but he's a pretty good announcer, too.  Dick Button has gotten on a nerve or two of late, but I can't really imagine figure skating without him -- he's been the voice since I began watching as a little girl.

Dsc06655buttIt's been almost 10 months, then, since I asked that age-old question:  Does this sweater make my butt look big?

120506_1038It's very timely, too, that an email from blogless, lurking, fellow Wisconsinite Angie arrived wherein she asked about Williamsro.

Truthfully, after my short-lived (life got in the way), celebratory, post-Olympic party, flushed with victory and wondering what to do next, I became more and more unhappy with Williamsro each time I pulled it on.  I'd been warned about the tendency of Cash Iroha to relax and grow and that certainly did happen.  I'd always been just a little bit unhappy with the number of stitches picked up for that bottom part knit in the Blossom, too.  I've talked about doing it over, possibly even knitting it just a wee bit shorter.  I don't think it made my butt look big in February, but I think it does now (granted, I think my but actually is a little bigger now).

I am wearing it today.  It's the coldest day of the year so far -- wind chill in the single-digit-below-zero area this morning and thank god there wasn't much wind -- and I do believe it's the warmest sweater I have.  (I wore St. Brigid yesterday -- I try to wear it once a week, unless I have an opportunity to wear it more where I won't be running into the same people.  I wear it as much as I can, would wear it everyday if I could, and I may need to knit myself another Aran soon.)  It's not as bad as I remembered.  It may be that more than just my butt are a little bigger, despite the months-long dalliance with Weight Watchers.  Whatever.  That's obviously not bothering me enough to do anything about it except for the occasional whine.

In conclusion:  I am warm and toasty today; the Cash Iroha pills a bit more than I think an expensive yarn should; I'd still like to re-knit the bottom Blossom part (that'll be a big pain in my big ol' butt to frog); I think Williamsro would be wonderful in a 100% wool yarn; I have the rejected, redder Blossom that I bought in NYC that would love to must knit into the vest I saw at Julia's yesterday that I can't believe I never, ever saw anywhere before!

You can see in today's (in the bathroom) picture that there's still a bandaged finger -- a different one than yesterday.  I can still knit, though sometimes clumsy, and it's due to nothing other than our recent, sudden, but not unexpected cold, dry weather.  Cracking, peeling, splitting, ouch.  I can knit well enough that I should have all the pieces to Coup d'Etat set to block tomorrow.  ; )

Sorority & Celebration(s)

Dsc06745My sister made this pin for me to commemorate the one-year quit -- she's got a year in (plus a day), too.  Iota Delta Sigma -- I Don't Smoke.  That was something that our brother-in-law said to us and it stuck with us both -- that was the mindset.  'I can't go out for a cigarette because I don't smoke.'  There were days when that's all that ran through our minds, "I don't smoke.  I don't smoke.  I don't smoke."  Like writing it on the blackboard 500 times.

Can't believe it's been a year.  I am still trying to decide what I'd like to do for myself to celebrate -- I am juggling the idea of a make-over type thing or more of a spa-type thing (hot stone massage, a facial, reflexology).  It's the kind of thing that I can easily talk myself out of -- that even though I've saved over $1000 by not smoking this past year, I won't want to spend the money.  I should, though...

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The Olympic Quilter, having taken up the challenge, brought her finished block over the weekend!  Isn't it gorgeous?  I awarded her a gold medal, of course.  I hope I live long enough to see it as an actual, finished quilt.  ; )

March is a busy month -- and this one has been like no other.  Today, the first day of spring, is my 2nd blogiversary.  Incredible.  What a lot of fun -- more than I ever imagined.  The people I've met and challenges undertaken -- both personally and as concerns knitting -- kind of blow my mind.  Thanks for reading and commenting and offering support and advice and just being there.  It all kind of blows my mind sometimes.  In a good way, a very good way.  ; )


Finally, three weeks into the new year, I'm able to post a picture in the "Completed in 2006" photo album!  It's the Simply Garter Shapely Shawlette that I knit with the Lana Grossa Luna that my employer gave me for Christmas.  It blocked beautifully and the extra four inches from neckline to point that I coaxed in the blocking remained after the unpinning.  I'm wearing it today.  It's definitely short, but is perfectly fine for an ette.  During some recent rearranging and organizing, I stashed the lovely shawl pin that Yvette sent me and I couldn't come up with it last night -- I think it might look great with this shawl!  In the meantime, it's held closed with the aid of an old belt buckle.

Dsc06373Dsc06374Green Ramen!  These are from Sunday afternoon, during the ripping of Williamsro.  The new swatches are still steeping in my knitting bag, and I haven't started the new calculations yet, but soon.  Maybe today.

Go say Happy Birthday to my favorite, be-pearled, Purling Swine.


What do you think might happen if you had a beverage called a "Snakebite" (a combo of lager and cider) -- preceded by one or two Strongbows and followed by a Smirnoff and intermingled with a Chinese buffet and karaoke?  There's a young, international studies student in London who can tell you that she "...became for the first time actually DRUNK" and, a little later, kinda sick.  My daughter tells me that the staff at the house where she's staying "...loves when the Wisconsin groups come because 'we know how to party'."  Look what happens when they leave you!!!

Uscableteam_1 EddiejumpingenjoyI've found my team -- did you know there were teams?  Jenifleur has provided some great buttons.  She is on the Fair Isle Team and is making that gorgeous Fair Isle Bag from Summer '04 Interweave Knits -- I forgot how much I like that bag (thanks for the reminder!).  I love these Olympics and all the fun and buzz it's generated.  Margene has her Tribute to Eddie The Eagle (I remember Eddie!). I wonder who's going to adopt the Jamaican Bobsled Team.  ; )

I'm kind of stalled in the middle of the street, dodging cars; progress has been
s-l-o-w on the Petrified Jaywalkers, though I have worked on them a little this week.  The Red Scarf was completed last night, so the Jaywalkers ought to see more action over the weekend.  And Shirley Shrugs... oh, I had pangs as I read Celia's post about her failing the Olympics Trials (aka, Christmas knitting) and, combined with the echo of Mom's recent query about my progress on her gift, they hurt -- like a snakebite!!  Am I worthy of participation in the Olympics?  I will do what I must do, and train hard; my regimen shall include nothing but Jaywalkers, Shirley Shrugs, and Williamsro prep from now 'til Opening Ceremonies!

I'm not finished yet with the bowls.  It was very interesting to gather one of my collections in one place for the sole purpose of photographing it – something I’d never have done if it weren't for the ABC-Along.  I viewed these things that I look at and use everyday in an entirely different way – I handled each and every one, I arranged them differently (dare I say even artfully?) and I'm tickled that there's this unexpected, small sense of discovery in this endeavor.  I enjoy thinking about the letters to come and how I will represent.  To borrow a line from Cara that made me laugh out loud this week, "Let's look a few more pictures, shall we?" (when would we ever say to no her pictures?).

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Lastly, I read a blog called Rebecca's Pocket.  Wondering about blogging?  She wrote the book.  She's doing a series of interviews called  Bloggers on Blogging.  I really enjoyed the most recent interview with David Weinburger.  The questions and answers are very interesting; and I like the perspective of a non-knit-blogger.  Blogging and blogging issues and blogging etiquette (among them reading, commenting, emailing, responding as Cara posted about today) seem to be a recurring theme across the blogosphere and they won't be getting any easier.

Oh, and Happy 21st Anniversary to hubby & me!

Red are strawberries

RedscarfbuttonRedder than red roses
La la lalala
Redder than my scarf
Red are strawberries
Redder than red roses
Green the leaves are growing*

I found a skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky, plus the remainders of another, in a nice maroon and Norma said that I could definitely use it for my contribution to the Red Scarf Project.  I tried to find a pattern on Monday night, but I was watching 24 and it was gripping, demanding my full attention, and I could not concentrate on anything!  There are 20 more hours in the next few months, for sure, that I will not be knitting -- you can take bets!  Anyway, Norma mentioned, and I'd noticed, that there were a lot of lacy red scarves being knit and she was concerned about the boys, so I'm knitting a narrow "boy scarf" in mistake rib.

Hey, I got a QuitNet email with numbers today:  306+ days, 6126 cigarettes not smoked, 1-1/2+ months of lifetime (on life support -- or not) saved, $1071 saved.  Yeah, baby, I'm okay with being a turkey among turkeys.

As announced yesterday, my event for the Harlot Olympics -- oooh, that might not be the best nickname, hm? -- I mean The 2006 Knitting Olympics (eh, TKO just doesn't have the oomph) is Williamsro.  I started this sweater a LONG time ago -- I bought the yarn shortly after my quit date, before the funds saved from smoking really equalled such a purchase (I rewarded myself early and often!), but the Cash Iroha was on sale and I just had to. This little splurge was to eventually become a symbol of my success -- why wear it on my sleeve when I can simply wear it?  I had a hell of a time finding the right color of Blossom -- the search even took me to New York City -- but I eventually scored on ebay.  I completed the sleeve/swatches and thought I was on target, so cast on and knit most of the back. It became apparent that it was not going to be the comfortable, maybe even roomy sweater I was after -- gauge was totally off!  So I ripped the back and stuffed the doomed sleeves into a bag and there it's been for quite a while now.  My training over the next few weeks will be concentrated on the ripping, winding, and recalculating.  An entire sweater in two weeks may seem daunting, but Mary Beth just knit this very same sweater in that timeframe, and she wasn't even competing -- she did it because it was FUN!  It wasn't 'til after I'd already thrown my hat into the burning ring of circular knitting needles that I realized I'd made plans to attend the WPT Garden Expo in Madison on opening weekend (my sister will be an exhibitor), also visiting with sisters and babies...  but I'm good.  I'll just have to train hard and concentrate.

Lastly, please give a nice blogland welcome to Chelle.  She's no stranger among us, but we may not recognize her wearing that shiny, new blog!  Now I'm off to shoot my Bs...

*The twins and I used to sing that to our little sister from our beds at night in a round.  I don't know where we learned it, or who wrote it, or whether it's part of a more substantial song, but it's awfully pretty and, apparently, very soothing.  An even bigger favorite was Today -- we can all sing it as if it were only last night.  We all remember the words to our elementary school song, too; I don't know what that says about us.  ; )