Tuesday, April 01, 2008


That was so funny yesterday evening when I headed over to my friend, neighbour and fellow Raveler Lauren’s house to bring her some of my sprouting rhubarb roots for her garden and she met me halfway with a cutting from her orange Thanksgiving cactus which I had admired. We hadn’t planned the time at all but we both left the house at the same moment! Synchronicity.

Speaking of rhubarb, I’m planning to spend some time this afternoon chopping up more of my roots. They’re starting to ferment a bit which makes them rather squelchy and unpleasant to work with. I think I’ll put some of these in a pot and soak them for dyeing perhaps tomorrow. I’m doing the regular laundry in the Dye Studio today so I prefer not to have both things going at once. You never know when something colourful might happen by accident! The chopped bits that I’ve been drying are doing very well. I think they’re nearly dry enough to put away in a container until I need them. No mould or anything which I was a bit concerned about drying the roots indoors.

I have seedlings that need replanting which I still haven’t done yet. They need to get outside in the greenhouse during to day. I also need to get my peas planted. It’s still been a bit frosty in the mornings though so I don’t feel like I’m running too late or anything. There’s still a nip in the wind even with the sunshine. I swear it was warmer in February.

In crafty news, I’m heading down the feet on the Sea ‘n’ Sky Socks which are going well. I’ve done a few more inches on the fronts of the Hepburn Cardi. I haven’t touched the Red Fields Shawl. And I’m almost finished one leg of the Unmentionables already. Told you I’m faster with plain knitting when I don’t have to look at it! The organic cotton yarn is quite soft and the fabric knit from it is stretchy and comfortable. Since the very independent Princess KiKi has been reported to have finally used her potty on her own for most of this week, the Unmentionables might be a nice “grown-up” gift for when she is finally out of disposable pull-ups. I don’t want to have to wait until her August birthday to give them to her! I want a good excuse for the minute they’re done.

I just discovered this new online magazine from the UK: http://www.theinsideloop.com/ It seems to have some nice patterns and articles, similar to Knitty only with a British flavour. Only one issue so far but I hope all goes well for its future. I love magazines that I don’t have to pick up at the store or try to find shelf space for it when I get it home.

That doesn’t stop me from buying printed paper magazines, but you knew that. I hit the jackpot recently when I got a bunch that had just come out including Spin-Off, Interweave Crochet and Vogue Knitting. This issue of Spin-Off had some really good articles in it. I especially enjoyed the several articles on plying: cabled plying by Judith MacKenzie McCuin, the effects of twist in plying by Abby Franquemont, and one on fancy wrap-and-roll plying by Bonnie Rose and Sarah Anderson. The latter has online videos clarifying the her unique technique of using a spindle to untwist the core thread while at the same time using a spinning wheel to apply the wrap. Whew! There’s also a handspun shawl gallery and an article on the Danish wrap shawls by Dorothea Fischer whose patterns I had already purchased online with PayPal from one of the collaborators, Friedl Ballaban. The website address given in the magazine is incorrect. It’s http://www.lustauffarben.de/

Vogue Knitting has several quite wearable garments in among the usual trendy and avant-garde. I loved the article by Meg Swansen on Latvian mittens which includes the technique for the fringed cuffs. The second part of Shirley Paden’s lace shaping article is really complex and made even my patient eyes glaze over. Would’ve helped if the charts you’re supposed to refer to were actually in the magazine and the repeated injunction to “see page 6 for chart information” is incorrect since that’s just a full-page ad. They’re frustratingly not yet available on the website either! I checked. Doh.

As always there’s some great crocheted garment patterns in Interweave Crochet. The Ripple Lace V-neck top is calling my name, but with a shallower V. The shaping article by Doris Chan fared a lot better than it’s knitting equivalent in Vogue Knitting! Much more understandable. The article on Kathy Merrick was interesting since her Boteh Scarf was the last thing I’ve crocheted lately. BTW the model on the cover gave me a double-take — in several of her poses she looks so much like my lovely daughter-in-law. I’m sure she doesn’t know she has a twin.

OK my ham and red rice soup is cooking and I have to get chopping some more rhubarb roots before the afternoon is over. Happy April!

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