Diamonds In The Rough

Finding it hard to resist starting a new project, I’ve launched Frost Diamonds by Stefanie Japel.  Using Dream In Color Classy in Gothic Rose, I’ve dubbed the project Rose Diamonds. One week into it, it’s progressing rapidly.  What’s not to like about a fast-moving project?

Lest you think I’ve started yet another project in purple, fear not, it is not purple, but rather it’s predominantly a deep, dark burgundy.

On the domestic front, I don’t know what’s come over me, but I’m getting all sorts of things done. Our paper towel roll holder fell down from where it was affixed, or so I thought, to the inside of a cabinet, and paper towel roll was lolling about on the countertop, making itself a nuisance by generally adding to counter clutter. We have those MDF-type cabinets that are so common in newer homes now, and it’s nothing more than a wood fiber cardboard. I detest the stuff because if it gets wet, it swells and anything that is drilled into it is bound to come out. This is the second time this paper towel holder came off, and after thinking about for a few weeks, I came up with this solution: affix the paper towel holder to a piece of wood and, in turn, affix that to the cabinet with four screws.

I think that will hold it.

Other projects at home have included new towels (red) for one bathroom from Target; hanging things on the kitchen wall that I can’t find cabinet space for, like the wok and the pizza stone; getting a wicker-style seat-cushion storage chest for the deck, on sale at Target; and just general, all-around tidying and where there was once clutter. If I keep it up, our home might actually look like a place to relax in, and that would be nice.


Tokyu Wisp

The very first photo taken by my five year old son. I'm so proud!

Tokyu Wisp is done and I’m relieved! The stitch pattern is easy, but slow going, making it rather tedious after a while. Even so, it makes a pretty scarf.

Pattern: Wisp by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: acrylic, mohair blend from Tokyu Hands, Tokyo, Japan
Needles: 5.0 mm / US 8

Finishing two projects in a week has to be a new personal best, and definitely a rare event. Now that Abrazo and Wisp are done, the tendency is to start more projects, and I may still do that, but I’d like to finish some long languishing projects and bring them out of hibernation. If I do start something new, it might be Frost Diamonds Shawl by Stefanie Japel.

Mom Loves Hugs

I finished Abrazo (Spanish for hug) at the eleventh-hour and was able to give it to my mother when I took her to the airport this morning.  At this writing, it is with her somewhere over England on the flight to Turkey.  She was delighted, and she gasped when she saw it, which I found oddly embarrassing.  Embarrassing, because it seemed funny to have someone gasp over something that was so easy.  I’m just relieved to have it done in time.

I put in the last few rows yesterday, washed it last night and steam-blocked this morning just minutes before taking her to the airport.  I steam-blocked it because my handy interlocking carpet squares that I’d bought at Daiso Japan (Japanese $1.50-store) have disappeared (at the hands of my dear, fastidious husband, no doubt), so I was up late last night creeping around all the closets and such while everyone else slept, looking for the blasted things, but came up empty-handed, and right when I needed them most. They’re around here somewhere.  Steam-blocking worked fine, though.

As I went over a given section, I used a T-pin to pull each point under the iron and steam it into place so that it would remain pointed.

I managed to snap a few photos before it was unceremoniously rolled up and thrust into my purse on the way out the door.

I thought it was a good idea to take time to photograph it, because last time she went overseas, the fingerless gloves I’d made for her mysteriously disappeared while she slept on the flight.  This time she swore up and down that it would stay in her purse (in a plastic bag) during the flight.  It never hurts to take a few photos, just in case.

Pattern: Abrazo by Susanna IC in Twist Collective Spring 2010
Yarn: Lace Solids by Misti Alpaca (one skein, colorway 9311)
Needles: 0.5 mm/ US 8

The pattern is easy and well-written, the only thing I did different was that I used a very loose long-tail cast-on.  The yarn is nice and soft, but so soft it gets tangled on itself easily.  My lesson learned about Misti Alpaca lace-weight?  Do not attempt to pull from the inside of the skein, because it comes out in one big massive snarl (yarn vomit) and continues to get tangled as the project progresses.  It would be good for me to remember this because I have one skein of this colorway and two of another in my stash.  I didn’t make a stitch gauge, but I suppose I could have gone down a needle size or two, because it looks a bit looser than I’d like.


Abrazo is suddenly coming along nicely and I’m on the home stretch.  Of course, part of my progress was helped by the fact that I stubbed my toe so hard on Wednesday that I seriously thought I broke it, and spent that afternoon and evening with the foot elevated, so I made use of the down time knitting.  I can’t recommend this method of get knitting time in, not to mention a much needed rest, but it’s funny how things work out.  Abrazo should be done in time to give to my mother for her trip on Sunday.

Back To Reality

room with a view in Po'ipu

pretty plumeria

It’s hard to believe we’ve been back from Kaua’i for two weeks; I miss it.  Everywhere I looked there was something beautiful to marvel at and it’s a great place to kick back and just relax.

luscious green in Hanapepe

just plain colorful

The weather at home has been typical of a Pacific Northwest spring: cold, cloudy and rainy.  To ease back into normal everyday life, I went right out and gathered a bit of Paradise for our home by buying Hawaii-grown pineapple and papayas. I also went to Trader Joe’s and bought an Oncidium orchid with tons of pretty orange flowers.

paradise in the kitchen

Knitting projects that accompanied me on the trip were Tokyu Wisp and Red Melon.

red melon at rest

I was hoping to get Red Melon done for my mother’s trip to Turkey in a week, but while on our trip to Kaua’i, it became apparent that that would not happen; the pace hasn’t been fast enough.  So, once home I put down Red Melon and started Abrazo.

Perusing Ravelry, I saw that people have been able to finish Abrazo in a week, so with a few weeks to go before my mother leaves, I thought it was a sure thing to get done to give her for the trip.  I started right away, but didn’t get out of the starting gate, so to speak, until a week later, because the yarn I’m using, Misti Alpaca Lace, keeps vomiting all over the place.  I have spent much of my rare and precious knitting (and blogging) time undoing huge rats’ nests of yarn snarls—HUGE.  I only get about 1-2 hours of knitting in a night, and maybe an hour during the day, and that often gets spent on yarn snarls.  I’ve finally begun breaking-off impossible knots and tossing them.  I had two skeins, which was more than enough to make Abrazo, but at the rate I’m going, I might not have enough.  The snarls are becoming fewer, and I’m at the 13th row, with only 13 more lace rows to go, and then the body of the shawl is stockinette.  The deadline is still within reach, don’t you think?  I dunno know….