Thursday, February 09, 2006

Doldrum Days and Sock Pals

The weather around here has been quite capricious lately. Some days get sunny, even warm, then the next day it rains. The taste of sun makes me long for spring, more than anyother year, I think. Spring colors and projects are constantly on my mind, now.

Something else that is on my mind is the project for my sockapaloooza pal. I really want to do something that she'll love, and I am also consistently indecisive. I'm pretty sure I want to use a pattern from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. I'm torn between Conwy, Canal du Midi, and Friday Harbor. She said she'd like something with a pattern, but nothing "too lacy" which is fine with me (I've never done a lace sock). Is the Friday Harbor sock too lacy? I'm not sure. I have to try it sometime, because I love Friday Harbor and that whole area (I used to live somewhat near there). As for yarn, she loves Socks that Rock and likes blues, greens, reds, and neutrals. One possibility is sweetgeorgia's sock yarn in the River colorway:

I also might have a chance to go into Seattle next weekend and look at some Socks that Rock and Mountain Colors in person. I might wait until then to make a final decision. I am eager to start on these socks, and am also brainstorming goodies to send along. I'm glad I got to participate in this!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Flower Basket Shawl!

First I gave her a bath.

I had to block it on my boyfriend's bed because mine is only a twin and the shawl wouldn't fit!

In the above picture, you see how purple the yarn can look. Below, you see the electric blue sheen. This is not a trick of the camera; the yarn does look very different in different lighting!

And finally, a bit of detail of the lace:


Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl by Evelyn Clark

Yarn: Jaggerspun Zephyr in Iris

Needles: US 5

Begun: 10/05 Finished: 01/31/06

Number of Repeats: 17

I had this blocked in time to wear it for a performance on baroque flute on Saturday. I was very pleased with the results! I would probably do this pattern again (with fewer repeats), and I've certainly fallen in love with the Zephyr. Like I said above, this color ranges from warm purple to electric blue depending on the lighting. The sheen, softness and drape is exquisite! I've been wearing my new shawl as much as possible!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Purple Peek

Here is a sneak peek at my completed Flower Basket the needles on Tuesday, January 31. She gets blocked tomorrow and worn on Sunday, hopefully! She is shown here on one of the opulent red chairs of the music education building.

Today smelled like spring, and I was inspired to seriously consider doing Clapotis at last. I know, I'm about two years behind the times, but I think I may finally be able to afford it (though not in Lion and Lamb, unfortunately). I want to do it in a springy colorway, so I have something soft to cuddle in and shield me from the wind we get here.

I really need to find something more original to knit! However, part of what gets me excited about a pattern is seeing all the different renditions on people's blogs, and knowing there are plenty of places to get help from. I don't mind following trends so much because I am knitting for me, and what counts is that I get something I'm pleased with.

Poetry Reading

Whether you celebrate Imbolc, Candlemas, or Groundhog's Day, I hope you enjoy a couple of my favorite poems. Thanks to Enchanting Juno for alerting me to this!

Here dwell together still two men of note
Who never lived and so can never die:
How very near they seem, yet how remote
That age before the world went all awry.
But still the game's afoot for those with ears
Attuned to catch the distant view-halloo:
England is England yet, for all our fears--
Only those things the heart believes are true.
A yellow fog swirls past the window-pane
As night descends upon this fabled street:
A lonely hansom splashes through the rain,
The ghostly gas lamps fail at twenty feet.
Here, though the world explode, these two survive,
And it is always eighteen ninety-five.
-- Vincent Starrett

When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,
and when we escape like squirrels turning in the cages of our personality
and get into the forests again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don’t know ourselves.
Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like burnt paper.
-D.H. Lawrence

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Peacocks and Embroidery

After the new year I started a pair of socks out of Cherry Tree Hill's Supersock Merino in Peacock (how could I resist?). Here is the first sock:

I'm very happy with this colorway, especially since it was bought sight-unseen. The colors imitate a peacock pretty well. The striping effect is almost Monet- or Missoni-like. I have another skein of CTH in Old Rose, which I'm considering using next. Since I'm currently doing a thesis on Eco's The Name of the Rose, I think I need Name of the Rose socks. I need to find a pattern that has something to do with medievalism, Doyle, or detectives...hmm.

Sock pals were assigned today, and I'm excited to start working on mine! I just got Nancy Bush's book Knitting on the Road, and hope to use a pattern from it. My tastes and those of my pal are somewhat similar, so I hope I'll be able to please her!

Though I'm very happy with knitting and spinning, lately I've been thinking a lot about embroidery. I did some embroidery when I was quite young, and enjoyed it. I have been reading a fun book called The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Creation of the Feminine by Roszika Parker. It outlines the history of embroidery and how it came to be almost a symbol of femininity. I'd love to start dabbling in this again. Embroidery appeals to me more than fair isle as a way to "paint" with thread. Some of the designs I've been liking include Remember the Ladies, Merry Cox's designs, and Carolyn Wells' designs. I like the simple, colonial looking patterns and the beautiful colors that are available. I may just have to dive in headfirst!

A couple of words about the title of this blog: it is partly an allusion to Sean O'Casey's play, "Juno and the Paycock" as well as the combination of one of my favorite names and my favorite symbol/color combination. Both my mom and I have loved peacock colors forever, and she even wants to have one someday. I have a beautiful velvet hat adorned with peacock feathers and beads that she made me. Currently my peacock obsession is manifesting in the socks I'm working on and the Peacock Feathers Shawl, stuck in my closet but soon to be unearthed and completed.