on the needles

Monday, November 28, 2005

Multi Directional Scarf Madness & other knitting news...

Yarn: Kureyon 159 and Kureyon 134 (two skeins each) with about a half skein of each leftover
Needles: Pony Pearls size 9
I liked the Kureyon knit up on the Pony Pearls. I hardly ever use them but they were great for this project. They are super light weight and don't get cold in your hands like metal needles - so they are great for travel knitting in this cold weather! I usually don't like the blunt tips but they worked perfectly well for this project. Using a slightly bigger needle size than normal for the Kureyon also produced a nice spongey fabric that I really liked the feel of - especially for anything around the neck!

Yarn: Manos # 110 (two skeins)
Needles: Pony Pearls # 9
Ditto for all of my comments on the above scarf. :)

Yarn: KFI Kureopatora Plus (4 skiens that I had in my stash for literally ten years)
Needles: Susan Bates Straights # 4
Ok - I got a bit sick of knitting this scarf. It seemed to take forever on the tiny nedles. But I was determined to do some stash busting! Didn't like the yarn much either - not something I would buy nowadays! But I think it looks fairly nice.

Fair Isle Hairband knit in the round
Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK in Shade 346 & 350 (1 skein each)
Needles: # 5 16 inch Addi Turbos
Love the Yorkshire Tweed! And wow! Who knew Fair Isle was this easy??? Especially knit in the round. It would be nice to do somethin gon bigger needles though - the size 5's in the 16 inch length seemed small and cramped up my hands a bit. I found that doing Fair Isle with one color in each hand was the best method for me. I knit Continental so it was really a cool novelty to be able to "throw" the yarn that I was carrying in my right hand, English style. :) Maybe after the holiday madness is over I will start the Fair Isle hat kit I bought a few months back....

Spiral Shell by Deborah Newton from Wrap Style
Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Silk in Cranberry (4 skeins)
Needles: Addi Turbo Circs # 8
This was a super easy and very fast knit. I am definitely loving knitting lace in the round - no pearling back every other row and also, this went SO much faster because I wasn't increasing every round and watching the thing grow into a huge beast! I admit I didn't like the Andean Silk too much. It was just too slippery and stretchy. I think it would be difficult to keep gauge on a sweater or something like that. I wouldn't want to try it. I'm not sure how even the stitches would look either. It was fine for lace though, where gauge isn't so critical & you can block out any uneveness. I'm not knocking Knit Picks yarn though - I plan on trying out more of their yarns in the future.

Pictures to follow....

In reading news - I am taking a break from the Romanovs and all of their problems :) and re-reading Persuasion. It is a VERY speedy read though. It only took me three days and I am almost to the end. It's a nice brain break! I will probably not write TOO much on the novel this month but I will be doing plenty of research. I have to fill in some areas before I go any farther in the writing.

Woohoo! I did it!

NaNoWriMo is finally over!

Brain. So. Dead.

No more writing for me....

for a few days at least. :)

My mother asked me yesterday what I was going to write about next....

that's the same thing as asking a woman who has just given birth when she is going to have another one. Whew! Slow down folks. Give me some breathing room.

Besides the novel isn't finished - I've just managed to get to the 50,000 word mark in the 30 day time limit. I'm estimating at least another 200,000 words to actually finish off this beast....Yikes!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Merry Knitted Christmas!

Check this out - a huge knitted Christmas Tree:

Saturday, November 19, 2005

My Favorite Classic Book Swap

I arranged a My Favorite Classic book swap over at Knit the Classics recently... Please believe me - I didn't purposely assign myself the best buddy for the gift exchange - it was merely a coincidence that I got Alice F. ! And what a great buddy she was/is! I was having a bit of a grouchy day yesterday so it was a nice surprise to get a package in the mail. I had so much fun running the gift swap that I forgot I would be getting one as well.

Alice gets an A for presentation. She even went to the trouble of wrapping the books in snowman paper! :) She sent me some Dove bars (in dark chocolate because somehow she knew I am a dark choclate kind of gal!) and some lovely tea - some Earl Grey (which my hubby will hog!) and some Strawberry Green tea which I can't wait to try because I love green tea. I also got one of those tea ball infuser thingys because somehow Alice knew I had been thinking I wished I had one lately. Seriously - Alice - are you psychic? :) I also got some nice smelly candles which went straight into my candle stash (not just a yarn stash around here!) for the power losses I'm sure will be coming my way this winter. I will be knitting comfortably by candlelight. :)

All of this and I hadn't even unwrapped my book yet! And when I did - what did I find? Not one, but two books! Alice sent Persuasion by Jane Austen (which I have read a few times & LOVE & yes I do already have a copy but it is paperback & dog-eared & I was VERY excited to get a hardback copy!) and also Tea with Jane Austen. How I wish I could have tea with Jane Austen...! Alice also marked her favorite passages in Persuasion which I thought was very cool. :)

But wait! There's more! Alice sent me...Knit The Classics STAMPS! Actual postage stamps!! How cool is that?! I can't believe she went to all that trouble! They are so cool I am having trouble thinking of someone worthy of a letter with a KTC stamp on it - there certainly won't be going on the bills!

Thanks so much Alice - my grouchy day was made sunshiney by your thoughtfulness. I am going to love reading Persuasion again. :)

Just because it's there...

...and it's wierd. Around here we like a little wierd every now and again.

It's the Kitty Dance.

Friday, November 18, 2005

NaNoWriMo Update

Well - not much blogging going on since I have been working seemingly non-stop on my novel for NaNoWriMo - trying to meet the 50,000 word count by Nov 30. So far I am at 33,000+ not too bad but not enough to sit back and relax either. I hope I can make it!

It has been the all-Romanovs-all-the-time channel around here. When I am not actually writing about them, I am reading about them. Unfortunately, I have realized that I have bitten off a subject that is absolutely enormous with literally a cast of thousands. Writing a historical novel in diary format means that I have to have a level of knowledge about the subject that must be so detailed that I am able to include minute details in the writing in an offhand manner - just as some one who actually lived that life would.

For instance, Tatiana (Alexandra's second daughter) has a dog, it is a French Bulldog named Ortino. I need to know what he looked like, what his personality was like, what family stories there are about him, did the rest of the family like or dislike the dog, how long did she have him, who gave him to her, what happened to him after the Revolution, etc. All in order to be able to mention the dog once or twice in a convincing way.

The problem is that the more research I do - the more I have to do. Every question has an answer and also leads me to four more questions. The more I learn about the Romanovs, the less I feel like I know.

Ideally, I am writing this novel for people like me who probably have a pretty high amount of general knowledge about the subject. They are reading the novel because they already know the story, already have a lot of interest in the Romanovs themselves. I guess you could say they are "fans". In order to be convincing to those people, I need to achieve a VERY high level of detailed knowledge. That is totally not possible for the period of NaNoWriMo. So I was feeling a bit discouraged - being a perfectionist, I want to get everything just right.

I'm trying to remember that perfection is the opposite of what NaNoWriMo is about. I'm trying to embrace volume and speed and worry about accuracy and intelligibility later! :)

For inspiration, (and because there is SOME knitting in the book) here is a photograph of Anastasia knitting on the piano bench in Alexandra's famous Mauve Room.

Aren't these old photographs so fabulous? There is such an aura of romance about them - especially given the sad, harsh fate that met this poor little girl...

As a mini break from the novel, I took a one day class at the LYS in entrelac. Who knew it was so easy? I love it so far. I just continued on with my sample piece and am making it into a scarf - half in Cash Iroha and half in Silk Garden. It is my first time working with Cash Iroha and I love it! I love the plumpy feel of it & of course, the softness. The plan is to make another scarf with the mirror image entrelac design on it and knit the sides of the two scarves together to make a double sided entrelac scarf. The only thing I am going to dislike is weaving in ALL THOSE ENDS. Entrelac is the King of loose ends!

I am also attending a lace knitting class taught by Anne Modesitt this weekend & I have a one day Fair Isle class coming up as well. With all of this knitting distracting me I have given no thought at all to Thanksgiving - I sure hope someone else is planning on cooking for the guests I have invited & entertaining them as well since I will be holled up in my room writing and knitting. :)