stitch & hitch

six months

Six months ago today, we stood here:
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and promised each other a lot of good things.

Then, when we were done gettin' hitched, we asked our friends and family to plant a lot of bulbs around the garden to remind us of our great day come spring.

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They rolled up their sleeves and did just that, the lot of 'em:
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Now that the seasons have tipped over again, we're at another Equinox –
and you're all back here with us again:

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Here comes the sun, everyone.

Just remember: in life as in planting, keep Pointy Side Up!

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honeymoon statistics

Days away from home: 6
Trains taken: 4
Cookies eaten: 29
Bottles of wine consumed: 1
Tasty liqueurs: 2
Wurst eaten: 4

Earliest Glühwein drinker spotted: 11 a.m. (there's a booth right below our windows)

A little BB gun with which we could out the fake police siren on the kiddy carousel in the square right below our windows: priceless.

two halves make a stole

Threadingwater was so kind as to indulge my vanity and ask for more details on the wedding stole.

Happy to oblige.

 stolen.JPG

 Yarn: Handmaiden "Sea Silk," silk/seaweed fiber. One and a half skeins' worth.

Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) Addi Turbo Lace needles, 24" circular.

Stitch Pattern: "Traveling Vines," as written up and charted in Amy Singer's excellent book, No Sheep for You.

Cast on: 76 stitches and work 2 edge stitches as presented at right of chart repeat, then work through repeat 9? times, end with 2 edge stitches as presented at left of chart repeat.

Work even on these sts, repeating 12 rows of chart, until piece measures 1/2 as long as finished length of stole (remember, it will grow a bit in length when you block it) AND you are ready for a row 12. Do not bind off, but leave sts on a smaller holding needle or on waste yarn for later grafting.

Repeat all of the above for the second half of the stole, but end second piece ready for a Row 6 of chart.

Block both your pieces DRY: first stretch and pin to size and desired length, THEN mist lightly with water from a spray bottle and allow to dry. (Thanks Amy, for the tips on blocking silk!) 

Count your way across both pieces, putting locking stitch markers through the 2 sts that would be decreased in that next WS row (these would be P2togtbls for the piece ready for Row 6, and P2togs for the piece ready for Row 12).

Graft live sts of both pieces together using Kitchener stitch AND working 2 sts together where marked.

The Kitchener grafting is a PITA IMHO, but it does make for a glorious join. Be careful not to pull the Kitchenered stitches too tight- they need to match the tension of the other rows!

Beads are (what else?) faaaahbulous Swarofskis, sewn on after the fact with sewing thread, attaching each drop and 2 flanking #10 seed beads to the points on each edge.

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Aaah. 

suggestions for wedding survival

Okay, it's been over a week now, so you'd think the wedding-related posts would stop... But no!
Just a few scattered thoughts about the whole process before we get back to our regularly scheduled, primo knitting content.

Folks, if you're planning your nuptials, allow me to contribute the following simple suggestions to your process.

1. If at all possible, pack the stage with Ph.D.s (we had two! count 'em - two!)
vowed.JPG [Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature on the left; Doctor of Geoducks on the right. Don't ask - it has nothing to do with the tie.]

2. Timing.
Ladies, leave yourself time during the Big Day to not only get your hair done, but also for spontaneous, frivolous shopping junkets. Only purchase random, silly things such as:
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...some wear white!

and:
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Enlightened.

Yes siree, folks, nothin' says 'Nirvana' like a light-em-up Buddha.
('Specially when it's a gift from Madam Herself, she of the Doctorate in Comparative Literature and Doyenne of High and Low Tastes.)
If possible, also make sure to run into good friends at the shop of your choice. Remark upon the quirks of fate which make it possible for you to meet up between your beauty appointments and their rounds of Texas Hold 'Em.

3. And should you need further calm and reassurance on your big day,
look no further than:
1499159-1065093-thumbnail.jpg The Eyes of Love.

4. When you've had all the fun and folks you think you can possibly handle, head off to-- Heaven, rev.IIb:
HoneymoonHeaven1.JPG A glass of wine, a new project, and Thou.

Complete with View!
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perfect.

There really are no words for how perfect the day turned out.
I'll let the pictures do the talking.

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Even the Hound got gussied up:

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And in a Truly Port Townsend moment, we had a parade to the restaurant downtown:

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Of course, there was some behind-the-scenes (and in-the-salon) hilarity to share...
More on that next time.
Now, it's time for laundry! (How blessedly mundane.)

6:30 am

When it starts like this, you know it's going to be a good day:

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and like this:

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Construction T-Shirt: sexy!

(How sweet of him to wear a construction-site-orange T-shirt today, to make sure I don't lose him!)

Launch

... 3
... 2
... 1

and they're off!

8 minutes to spare:
Shawl grafted;
beads sewn on (did I mention the Swarovskis? remind me later.);
ends sewn in on the top ...

all systems go.

Let the games begin!

... we return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Today's scheduled nervous breakdown was pre-empted by my massage session.

Ladies and gentlement, for those of you anticipating a major life event, I can only recommend a major pummeling by a petite, feisty Croatian woman.

Now I know what a Sunday roast feels like.

I've been pummeled, prodded, and yanked into submission.
Ready for a brand new day.

Thanks to everyone for walking on this path with me-
I hope to have some time in the next 2 days to post a slideshow and some more details about the big day, but forgive me if I don't-

I can honestly say that I'm thrilled and happy and more or less relaxed.
Friends and family have really been coming through for us to support and surround us with love and fun,
for which we are infinitely grateful!

words to live by

In case y'all don't get a chance to read the comments, I just had to share KarenJo's words of wisdom with you:

"I find hysterics much easier to fit in when I plan for them."

Bridget Jones couldn't have said it better.

Apparently, according to KarenJo, I'm entitled to one meltdown on Thursday morning, and one on Friday morning, so stay tuned.

Friday morning I'll be on a massage table, having my toxins purged, so that should work out nicely.

must. remember. to breathe.

ohgodohgodohgod
I just looked at the countdown counter.

THREE days? THREE?! THREE???!!!

wtf?

I just shouldn't look.

Though Kit at Churchmouse reassured me last night, "Oh, it's not last minute yet..."

Somebody let me know when that is, and I'll panic then.

Meanwhile, the yard looks great!
I'll snap pix tomorrow, when it's not raining.

surprise!

Sometimes the Universe throws you a bone...

Turns out I'll only need 36 repeats instead of the 40+ I'd feared, so-

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Halfway there!

Now, if I can manage to knit lace while splitting my sides during the Harlot's talk tonight,
we'll be golden! (pun intended)

weesh!

You get your arse in gear and finally pull together a blog,
and next thing you know, your lovely friends start quoting you back to yourself?

Never should have used that gym metaphor.

And KarenJo - I got three repeats done on the ride home last night, thankyouverymuch!

Niener niener.

Today's goals (and there are many):
1. Block Pastaza Cardigan (known around here as the Curry Cardigan - it's a a great color.):
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Blocked Curry

2. Re-start the THIRD attempt at a Fair-Isle Beret design for Churchmouse;
3. Perform my daily allotment of THREE (yes, count'em - 3) repeats on the stole;
4. Sew together Curry Cardigan, work buttonbands and neckband.

And other general hilarity, such as getting my hair color done (to match the gold of the stole! how's that for geeky), cook dinner...

And hell - it's already almost noon.

i sense a theme...

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ThreadingBubbly!

It's a lovely, golden month indeed-
But we'll have to rename
ThreadingWater's
blog if she keeps this up!

(She's the gal behind the FABULOUS photo of us we're putting on our thank-you cards...
You see it here in the foreground, embellished and done up as only TW can.)

Thanks again, Missy -
The trailer misses you!

stole(n) moments

It's official: I have reached sophomore status on the stole.

As in "my brain has turned completely sophomoric."

I had to rip back three rows to retrieve a dropped stitch during my bus ride yesterday, and all the fog was on the OUTSIDE of the bus, thankyouverymuch...
and after ripping out at least 2 rows per repeat this morning,
I am forced to admit that I've gotten to that nasty place in a complex project when I think I know enough of what I am doing to relax a little bit....
And then my brain runs off on a tangent (gee, I have a few of those these days, now don't I?)...

Leading to P2togs where there should be P2togtbls, YOs where they don't belong either-
you get the idea.

Sheesh.

Between the Addi Turbo Lace needles - which I love to distraction, but damn are they slippery! - and the Sea Silk - ditto - and a bumpy bus ride, it was all I could do yesterday morning to get my bespoke 2 repeats done.

Tackled 2 more mid-morning today, while Madam sewed herself up a snazzy hoody from a Goodwill sweatshirt and T-shirt. We were able to determine, through scientific observation and monitoring of the kitchen clock, that it takes me an average of 35 minutes per 12-row repeat.

Thirteen repeats down-
Thirty or so to go?

See you in 18 hours.

meet the team: 2

Meet The Stole:
Makings%20of%20a%20Stole.JPG Yarn: Handmaiden "Sea Silk"
70% silk, 30% "Seacell®"= seaweed!
(Naturally antibacterial!)
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace needles, size US 5 (3.75 mm)

Some of you might notice that I am not, in fact, working this up in Eunny Jang's fabulous "Print o' the Wave" pattern that's featured in the photo.
Many, many were the ideas I had for this stole, and many were the ones I rejected for various reasons.

Complicated wrong-side rows? Outta here.
Crazy-huge repeats using charts larger than my lap? No thanks.
Triangular shawls with shaping and different stitch patterns for main panel and edgings? Not on your life, buster.

To make matters even more complicated, I was hoping for a stitch pattern which had some meaning for the two of us. ('Razor Shell' was right out, as was 'Broken Acre'). 'Ocean Waves' was thus perfect for the skirt edging, given where we live - right near the water in the glorious Pacific Northwest.

Enter "Traveling Vine" lace, to be found in many stitch dictionaries. I found it in
Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls
(page 39), wherein one can find 'Ocean Waves' as well (page 75).
The twining and traveling motif is just perfect for us - given that we want to spend a lot of time during our married life over in zee old country.

A few notes for posterity:
* The Addi Turbo lace needles are the bomb. 'Nuff said.
(Well, not quite - you'll hear more raves when you meet The Top.)
* Number of days to wedding: 17.
Number of repeats of chart completed: 9.
Number of repeats required: 42 or 44, depending on how hard I've reefed on it before measuring (!).
Ergo: Number of repeats per day required to make deadline = 2.
* Thanks to Amy Singer and her fabulous presentation at Churchmouse a few weeks ago, I actually know how to block this successfully! Before hearing her speak on her recent book, No Sheep for You, I might have soaked it in water and then blocked it - with potentially disastrous results. Instead, I threaded blocking wires through the selvage stitches, pinned out the points at the bottom edge, and then spritzed lightly with a spray bottle. A few hours later…
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Voilà!

Gotta run! Haven't done any repeats yet, and it's time to make dinner!

meet the team: 1

Since some of y'all may be new to my story, I thought I should introduce you to the current players in my little knitting drama.
You know, The Team.

I'll try to post about one piece each day this week, as I look at the counter at right and try not to hyperventilate. (WHEN did it get to be less than TWENTY DAYS?) (Oh yeah. Yesterday.)

Meet The Skirt:
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Book: Rowan #41 Spring/Summer 2007
Pattern: "Wisteria Skirt"
Yarn: Jo Sharp "Soho Summer DK Cotton" in color #228, 'Calico' (more of an ecru, really)
Needle size used: US 4 / 3.5 mm

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I don't think I'd be exaggerating if I said that this photo set off the crazy notion of knitting my wedding ensemble. What can I say? It was spring, and Boyhood and I had just discussed the possibility of getting hitched in some low-key fashion. I go to work, start flipping through the latest yummy new Rowan book, and poof! Next thing I know, I'm hunting down yarn and it's off we go!

A few notes on this project:
• this skirt is knit sideways, with the cast-on and cast-off edges forming the seam lines down either side. The short row shaping that makes the skirt flare at the bottom was really fun. I didn't bother to wrap-and-turn my short rows, since the turning points make up one of the design features (you can even see them in the book photo).
• this is one of the few cotton yarns that I truly LOVE. I have knit at least three projects from it, and would be happy to do more. It is notoriously splitty, being made up of a bajillion little tiny plys; but it is precisely its multi-ply nature that makes it enjoyable to knit despite its cotton-ness.
• I did NOT, repeat NOT, attempt the crocheted lace edging originally called for in this pattern. I can crochet my way out of a paper bag, but only just... and the thought of attempting a lace edging - on a Capital-D-Deadline - just made me want to go all Southern and have a little lie-down with a shot of something fortifying. So it was off to the stitch dictionaries for lil'ol' me, and I came up trumps with "Ocean Waves," an 11-stitch simple lace edging, knit sideways, with plain purl rows. Hallelujiah and pass the chips.
• I also added an elastic waistband under a stockinette hem. The original pattern called for a row of buttons up the side, and although I'm a fan of lots of little buttons, I thought they would interfere with the lines of the top worn over it.
• This is one of the pieces Boyhood has seen knit up, so I'm not spoiling anything here. He just hasn't seen it on yet (and won't, for another 18 days!).

Next up: The Golden Stole

a golden month.

Cold air rushes in when I open the door first thing in the morning.
The spiders are showing up on the doorstep (and in the sink!) with their little valises.
The neighborhood kids are slumping down the street.

All this can mean only one thing:
September is at hand.

We launched the Golden Month with a bang last night, in part thanks to MomFace...
She arrived yesterday afternoon, with lots of goodies. Here are just a few, posing with two wedding knitting projects:
GoldenMonth.JPG 1. My shawl, out of HandMaiden Sea Silk (30% silk, 70% seaweed!)
2. Boyhood's wedding tie (in Linen Stitch, of course)...
Knit from the same skein.

How's that for an adorable metaphor?

Well, this month sure has started off right!
Let the celebrations begin.