Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Day in the Life

What a difference a day makes to a mushroom. Remember this little beauty?

 A day later it was this:

Mushrooms--you just can't help lichen 'em!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Plain Sailing

Just plain stockinette on the Sixareen Cape from here on out. All the fair isle is done, and it looks pretty good even in its unblocked state. The moss stitch border looks a bit frilly and flip-uppy, but I'll have to wait for the blocking magic to see if it's really going to be a problem.

And I think I promised you a look at the dark Fassett stripe sweater.

This was the best approximation of the color that I could get with the light available. The pattern is this one, in the prescribed yarns, but with less contrast than you see in the woman's model. I used Regia Hand Dye Effect Night Tones and Random Stripe 2903. The yarns look very much alike at first, but they have slightly different textures and one has long gradual color changes, while the other has shorter color shifts. It makes for fascinating if subtle color play that you really have to appreciate up close and in person. Maybe before I'm done I'll find the right light and setting. And no, that's not the shape. It's not blocked, so the sides are curled up. In places you can see the light through it, so you see what a light layer it will be, and a good friend of many of my turtlenecks this winter.

And just for fun, here's what's happening all over the Alaska woods right now--mushrooms!

There are many others, but the most numerous and photogenic are the amanita/fly agaric/fairy toadstools/call-them-what-you-will cartoon 'shrooms. They're the most colorful, bright red when they're young, and covered in mad white dots. They're also poisonous, so nothing eats them. Once in a while a bird or a squirrel will take one up in a tree and then leave it there when it figures out it's no good.

Almost cool enough to make you believe in gnomes, isn't it?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Rowing Along in My Sixareen*

The Alaska summer has turned a corner, folks. the sunshine and relative heat are no more. Birch leaves are starting to turn yellow and the intermittent rain is greening up the forest moss. Time to realize that the cold is coming and that there will be a time when I will want the warmth of my Sixareen Cape. I've now got two of the three fair isle pattern repeats done, which feels like a big accomplishment when there are 414 stitches in each round.

The dark Fassett stripe sweater is coming along, too--the back is almost done--but not very photo-worthy yet. Good thing I also have a new pair of booties on the go:

A really sweet colorway of a cotton/wool/elastic sock yarn called Cherry Sours. It's even more charming in Spanish: Caramelos Cereza Agria. Isn't it funny how they can take two colors I'm not all that crazy about, pink (I really get tired of all the pinky stuff they make nowdays. It's like pink is the flag of the double X chromosome.) and green (because green is so, well, green.) And put together with a strange pinky muddy light brown in little baby footies I can't help sighing awwwwwww every time I look at them. I even find myself thinking this yarn would make a really darling baby surprise jacket, and I don't even know anybody offhand who is expecting a person who could wear it.

You may also have noticed a particular vegetable theme in the photos. That's because I'm capital-T-Thrilled that I am going to have tomatoes this year! For the past 2 summers it has not been warm enough for my tomato plants to set fruit. Two years! Big plants, lots of blossoms, but it has to be at least 70 degrees or so for the flowers to set fruit, and even up next to the south-facing house wall, they weren't able to manage more than a couple of wee green marbles. I'm counting on the fruit being all the sweeter for the long wait.

*A Sixareen is a Shetland boat. Look it up here. And video of an authentic re-creation is here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

F.O. Fashion Show

There hasn't been much blog fodder around here lately.  I've been busy but boring. My apologies. Just knitting back and forth, back and forth in the case of the red stripe sweater, and round and round and round in the case of the aqua Trigere.

And now, at last, lookee here:

The red stripes are an actual sweater, one that fits nicely and that I think I am going to like very much. It's quite soft and light, which makes me even more glad that I changed the neckline from the big cowl to a turtle. The only reason the cowl is standing up in the pattern picture is because it's stuffed full of scarf. On its own, the cowl would just sigh and flop down. An even sloppier look than the soup-stained standup in the picture. (No, there are no soup spots on the model in the picture. She doubtless is a much tidier soup-slurper than I.)

And the aqua Trigere is done. I like the way the beaded lace inserts turned out. The fit's a little closer than I would like, but I think time and more hard work will take care of that.

 Finished Objects mean an opportunity to get a new Object started. And I do believe, posing coyly in the pansy patch, you can discern the beginning of another Fassett stripe sweater, one in more solemn and subtle tones: