Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Miscellaneous Catch Up

A lot has happened, alot is still happening, and it will continue to happen. 
Here are some photos of miscellaneous events, etc.
I have had this red J. Crew sweater for ages, but the sleeves were too long and too bulky to just roll up. It's been on my list to undo and reknit down for ages.
Here it is in progress. It is now done, but I have no photos of the finished piece. Oh, well. Yay, it is much more wearable now.

Circus boy and I went to see Circus in the Parks by Midnight Circus. Look at their beautiful new tent!

Even more awesome inside the tent!
I saw Don Quixote by the Joffrey Ballet. I love the Joffrey, and they dance at the Auditorium Theater, my favorite theater.
My circus friends at MSA & Circus Arts forced me to try the aerial silks. It was HARD!

Circus boy makes it look so easy!

In position for the big drop finale...

...and there he goes!
more updates later

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I have some secret knitting that is nearly completed, and I made a pie for Thanksgiving. 
I can show you the pie, fresh out of the oven. It fell a bit when it cooled.

I made turkey stock and then some Swiss chard and lentil soup. 
It was tasty. It is from the book Twelve Months of Monastery Soups.

I know, I know, but look, at least I posted something.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Okay, where was I?

Oh yeah, The Windy City Knitting Guild and I went to Yarn Con
What? Never heard of Yarn Con? It is an awesome local indie dyer/producer fiber fest.
Did I mention that it is really awesome?
Natalia, one of the amazing masterminds of Yarn Con, and me

The Windy City Knitting Guild had a great spot for our table, and of course we brought our lovely "spokesmodel" Maureen O'Wool.
How do you like our new banner?

The main room with a lot of vendors, isn't it a lovely room?
Another view of the main room.
Maureen continues to develop...
Hanging out with the guild.       

We had a visitor stop by, our new friend Mr. Nubbins and his friend, the very talented Stefanie.

Mr. Nubbins got up close and personal with Maureen.

Mr. Nubbins checking out our table.
Jackpot! He found the candy bowl!
 It was a great year at Yarn Con, we had a lot of visitors and we are really looking forward to next year.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Kimono, obi, obi age and obi jime for recital, option #1.

Kimono, obi and obi age for recital, option #2. Will wear with gold/silver obi jime.
This time of year is very busy. The dance recital is Columbus day weekend, so I am catching up a bit here. There is a lot of prep work, and scenery and prop making that happens beforehand.

These are the kimono I selected to wear, I couldn't decide and since it's recital my sensei gets the final say. The kimono I wear for dance events tend to be on the dark side because I often have to be a koken (assistant on stage), and you cannot upstage the dancer. In Japan they wear all black, but I don't have everything in all black. I also MC as well as koken, so for that I need a bit more color.

So which one did I wear?

What on earth was I looking at?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Congratulations to Annemor Sundbo!

Congratulations to Annemor Sundbø!!!
This is an incredible recognition of Annemor's contribution to the preservation of Norway's knitting history and culture. She will now receive a state stipend, one of two stipends awarded this year.
(via Google Translate)
Annemor Sundbø is today considered one of the nation's foremost experts work in this country. The textile designer from Setesdal was actually the led to the Minister's office in Oslo under the pretext of showing a foreign state guest Norwegian knitting traditions, writes
Instead, she was given the news that she was in Thursday's budget as the first knitting awarded state grant.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some Unfinished Business

Why is it that some projects, 95 - 99% complete just languish? Finishing them is just too much effort. There is nothing wrong witht he knitted item, and there is nothing herculean to complete or do, 
yet they sit there and are sometimes forgotten.
Everynow and then I decide to attack those items.

My Fairly Easy Fair Isle has been sitting for nearly 2 years.
This sweater only needed some sleeve seaming and a new button band. 
Now it just needs buttons, but I don't want to talk about that.

These little mittens? Don't know anything about them. I suspect that someone snuck in and stuck them in my stash at some point - leaving the poor unfinished dears to languish.

They needed some love.
 Our knitting guild, the Windy City Knitting Guild, is having a charity program and that is where these will go.

I feel like I have accomplished something, and no I don't want to discuss any other UFOs.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hat Done.

... but I was too late.

I hope to never have to knit my friends or loved ones chemo caps again, but if I do I will always ask them to let me know if they ever need more or if they want something specific - and not hesitate to ask.

Thanks for teaching me something else T., you were an amazing woman and I will miss you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

More Mittens

More knitting for my cousin's children. 
This is the last pair of mittens, my cousin is next and his knitted item will be top secret.

The yarn is from the now defunct Dye Dreams. The colors are so rich and the yarn is a perfect combination of wool, soft fluff and luxury. The pattern and yarn came from a Dye Dreams mitten club kit, by Beth Brown Reinsel, but I was having a hard time with the morning glory design. It was just not doing it for me for some reason, so I tweaked it, and this is the result.
I wasn't sure about these at all, but as I progressed and the mitten grew I liked them even more. I was on a tight deadline, but I missed it anyhow because of all my fiddling and making changes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kimono from the Weekend

So this is what I chose to wear. 
I forgot my camera Friday and Saturday, so the photos are from my phone and not so great.

The black kimono is pretty formal and the fabric is very fine, and sheer. 
It was part of the box of kimono I received a few months ago, as was the obi. 
The fabric is called sharo and is very soft with an amazing drape, but still looks quite crisp. 
I wore this on Friday night, with a cream colored embroidered summer obi that also came from the same box.
In the dressing room
Saturday I wore the leaf patterned kimono and blue obi, we got rained out that night, but it takes us so long to get ready with the makeup and costumes, we had to get ready just in case. We were all dressed and made up, and it was raining pretty hard. We had to cancel. Last time some of the dancers got stuck on the stage during a storm and when we walked back to the dressing room the kimono got water stained, and ruined.

In the dressing room, with Fujima Ikunojo dressed and ready.

Sunday I wore the willow pattern and brought a yellow/gold obi that was a gift from Sensei.

I saw a young couple that wore kimono to the festival, the guy had a ponytail and wore a black kimono and leggings and zori. He had a very definite style, very contemporary and unique. It's good to see the interpretation of tradition with a personal style.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Friend T. and the Need for FIRE!

Hat#1 in Colinette Cadenza, Fire colorway

"T. received a second beautifully and intricately knitted hat from Joan (president of the Chicago knitwits association).  T.’s first one – her favorite amongst all the many knitted hats she received – was swallowed up by the laundry monster, with no trace of remains.  She was too embarrassed to ask for another.  I was not.  She wears it like hair."
This is from T's blog which has chronicled her life since her shocking diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and subsequent treatments and illnesses. She is an amazing woman, and I think so very highly of her, so I knit her a little hat. I hadn't seen a photo in a while, and I wasn't sure if she was still wearing hats (perhaps they were too hot, or uncomfortable). I know her family was completely overwhelmed - her husband and family have been beyond amazing. Recently there was a mention of her baldness and so I sent another hat - and then found out about the first hat I sent!
T. is going through another traumatic process now, and will be on dialysis for life. I would knit the world for her if she asked, and I really wish I could knit her some new kidneys that function without flaw. 
What I can do is knit her a new hat to replace the old one, and knit in all the good thought and hopes that were in the last one, and that I will do gladly.

Anyone know a source for Colinette Cadenza in Fire?

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Kimono

I got some new summer (unlined) kimono. They are the machine washable variety, and that makes it very convenient to deal with them and wash them, but the big drawback is that those suckers are hot! Washing kimono is a huge ordeal. Traditionally the kimono are cut apart along the seams and washed in strips of fabric stretched on bamboo sticks. The fabric is very delicate and is easily stained. The advent of the machine washable kimono makes wearing a kimono much more accessible and inexpensive.
Here are the new kimono. These are fresh out of the washer, pardon, they are a bit wrinkled.
The first one features a pine needle and leaf pattern, in a blue color on white.

The second one has a stylized weeping willow, black on white.

I wanted to determine my obi options since I will be wearing these very soon. We have a 3 day event coming up and I will be helping and announcing for the dance group for all 3 days.

Blue obi from Sensei, with printed obi age, and striped obi jime.

Blue obi from Sensei, with pink shibori obi age, and patterned woven obi jime.
Close up of the shibori and detail of the obi jime.
Blue obi from Sensei, with chartreuse shibori obi age, and summer obi jime.
Close up of the shibori and detail of the obi jime.
Blue obi from Sensei, with chartreuse shibori obi age, and chartreuse and white obi jime. A little too matching for my taste.
Blue obi from Sensei, with pink shibori obi age, and striped obi jime.

I usually bring a few options with me, and then sometimes everything changes anyhow. Color contrast and unexpected color combinations and not totally matched add sophistication to kimono. For your knitters out there, that's why Noro adds in what are considered some weird colors to their skeins.

If I remember I'll get photos of me when I am dressed in the kimono.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Norwegian Sweater

No, I have not knit a sweater in a while.

 Yes, I am knitting my first full size Norwegian sweater, but even them I am cheating since it is for my son. It has not been too challenging so far, I have done colorwork before, and I must say I quite like it.

So far the only thing that has me a bit concerned is gauge. But my son is still growing and I have a feeling that he will be bigger than me at some point so assuming I don’t run out of yarn, I will just keep going and at some point it will fit him – for a while until he outgrows it.

Hmmm. Maybe I should knit it to fit me instead? heh, heh...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Quincy Hat

I fell in love with this Jared Flood design the first time I saw it. My friend M. made it and I tried it on and knew I had to make one. I had a bunch of Lamb's Pride Bulky leftover from a Fairly Easy and nearly finished Fair Isle, and I really wanted to use some of that. 
I wasn't sure about making it striped - even though I do love stripes.
I was at a Windy City Knitting Guild meeting, and our resident "Knit Doctor" Judy Chan was showing some fabulous garter stitch jacket she made and noted that on one side the garter stitch colors striped, but then if you looked at the reverse they were dots of color.

My models were at camp so I had to do a self portait.
Hey, there's a hole there! I hadn't noticed that before! I'll have to fix before winter.
I think it's a bit big. Some of us are a bit fuzzy on the concept of gauge, and swatch sometimes.

Hat origami!

See how the garter stripes and then looks like dots? That is where I added a knit row so that I didn't have it happen on the outside of the hat, and I think it actually worked.
The Quincy hat has a twist in the crown, and hat would pose a problem for garter stripes. Then I realized I could throw in an extra knit row in the twist - halfway - and the stripes would be consistent. Ta daa!
Now I'm not sure how much I like the hat, but it's mine, and I'm happy, I actually made a hat for me!
This has been finished for a while, but I never got around to photographing it and then blogging until now.