Saturday, September 27, 2008

Meeting the Alpacas & A Special Stash Enhancement

This afternoon I went with two women with whom I knit on Saturday mornings to the Six Paca Farm in Bozrah ( to meet alpacas up close and personal. Even though it was a very rainy day, there were quite a number of them in the field and over a half dozen in a smaller enclave which we could enter. The little guys were about two weeks old and there were several older ones as well. I couldn't leave without getting something; so I bought 6 skeins of a gorgeous natural grey DK weight alpaca. The fleece from which it was spun was Nuthatch's, one of the 45+ herd at the farm. I am going to make the Stonington shawl and two pair of socks from this yarn, which is very soft and wonderful.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Think I've Got It, Finally!

I was having a number of difficulties when I first started the Faroese shawl. The first was a major error by the designer on row 5. However, I fixed that by going on the forum site and found corrected instructions. Then, I was a bit confused about the use of the two separate charts and how they went together. Re-reading the instructions was the most important thing I did, finally ("duh" moment of course). Even though I am still very much at the beginning, things are making sense at last. When I finish section 1 I'll take a photo and post it here.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lace Knitting

Well, I have placed the sweater in my KIP pile and am turning to my new fascination: lace knitting! I am casting the Goddess Knits MS9 shawl which will be a Faroese design. The yarn I am using is Yarn Chef's merino lace weight (Buttercream) in a colourway called Turning Leaf (it looks like a maple leaf, soft yellow and red, probably an over-dye). She does not repeat colourways; however, over time there are always a few that do look similar. As always, I buy more than enough for any project because I can always use the extra for other projects. I think I will also make her a pair of fingerless mitts to go with the shawl. (Yarn Chef has a shop on ETSY, please see my list of yarn artisans on the right for the link.) This is going to be a gift for my best friend, who happens to live in NE Ohio (Yarn Chef is in Columbus). I am also going to do the same shawl for me. Right now I am torn between several lace weight yarns that I have in my stash for this one.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'll Probably Never Buy From Her

This is crazy!!! People wait for days and days for the glorious Sundara to post her new yarns -- and there were only three today which sold out almost immediately! I couldn't even get a second look at them. A person cannot even special order from her highness. Let me tell you, there are many talented yarn dyers out there who do gorgeous work and don't have the ego.

Troubles with a Sweater

Well, I still really love the pattern; however, I am virtually re-writing the thing! (I'll edit this tomorrow to give the URL of the original sweater.) Anyway, the sweater is a lovely dolman-sleeved pullover which can probably either be worn with the V-neck in the front or back (it is pictured on the model on the back). In addition, there is a band of eyelets done every 9 rows on the vertical plane. Anyway, looking at the original pattern, I figured it would actually be fairly easy to do this as a virtual one-piece, rather than separate front and back with applied ribbing. It is knit side-to-side in the original pattern! However, I was about 3 inches into it when I had to walk to the frog pond and rip-it all out. The stupid wrist band was too small -- on a size XL! I had to add 6 stitches in order so that it would fit. Then, I had to proportionally increase the stitches for the beginning of the sleeve proper. I'm still swearing at countless other little things that have been popping up. GRRRR!!! However, I did buy some gorgeous Ellyn Cooper cotton boucle yarn (sport weight) in the Thai Amber colourway that I will make another. This one is in Classic Elite Flash.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Enchantress -- Playing With Leopards

This is a painting from the early 20th century by Arthur Wardle. Can you all tell I love kitty-cats (especially the big ones)!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lady With The Leopards

I fell in love with this painting by Sara Stilwell Weber. As we ALL know, all kitties, whatever size, are still kittens to us and to them we are Mother.

Monday, June 30, 2008

"Who Knows Where The Time Goes?"

It is very appropriate that the first song on my list is "Who Knows Where The Time Goes?" by Judy Collins. Time does seem to slip through my fingers much too fast. I have sooo much to do!!! Right now I am working on a really pretty summer pullover in Flash, a cotton yarn in a pink, lavendar, and pale yellow colourway. Early in the process (had about 3-4 inches knit) I had to frog the whole thing because the da%^&n designer did not have the right number of stitches for the arms, which would never have fit inspite of the so-called XL designation. Don't you just hate that!!! I still need to cast on for three-shawls (OY!). However, I do have a partial alibi for that -- I have to go to a bead show coming soon in July in order to get the Swarovski crystal beads that I am going to use in them. Don't even ask about all the other works-in-progress!!

New Music

I have changed my music players on the blogs. My knitting blog now has The Music of My Life, which is a collection of my favourite songs. There are a few which pre-date my birth (1950); however, most of them are from the last half of the 20th century. I have moved my classical music player to my review/rant blog (Peacock Plumes Reviews). It is already on my religion blog, The Leopard's Labyrinth.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Addis Are The Best!

I finally took the plunge and "gifted" myself with several pair of Addi circular needles (bamboo and lace needles). Why did I wait so long!!!! I had been using INOX, Clover and Susan Bates. The only way I'll use them now is for non-circular uses. I could never keep them from curling up inside themselves, so I was always frustrated. This was probably why I was keeping away from circulars for socks. That will not be true anymore. Yes, they are expensive (around twice what a regular pair of circs will run); however, they are more than worth it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Exciting New Yarn!!!! Yummmmm

I have chosen the yarn for the Casablanca KAL Stole (Yes, I did sign-up for yet another knit-a-long.). I chose a yarn from Hand Maiden, Sea Silk, in the Sangria colourway. The yarn is 70% silk and 30% sea cell fiber. It has such a wonderful sheen, especially with the scarlets and purples! The hot colours remind me of a Moroccan bazaar. Now, what to choose for beads? Decisions, decisions....

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another Week -- More to Do

Time is something that is in short supply. I am going to have to schedule my day somehow in order to get to work on everything I need to do. At least I have my yarn for the Mystic Meadows stole. I still have to purchase the yarn for the three Tree of Life afghans. My friend prefers acrylic; however, I still have to find a wonderful acrylic, since I don't want this to be just another RHS* (Red Heart special). This is going to be harder to find than a lovely wool blend. I have decided to do my sampler throws in one piece rather than in individual squares -- so, I'll be re-starting those. In addition to all this, I have signed up for another shawl KAL!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Shawl/Stole/Afghan KALs

I have signed up for a lace stole KAL (Knit-A-Long). This is a mystery at the present time as I only know the name: Mystic Meadows (check out the link on my side-bar). I am also on a Ravelry group which is doing Peacock Feathers, another lacy shawl which is really a cape. The yarn I have purchased so far is in a greyish/bluish colourway, very misty in feel. I have also seen something in beautiful shades of green which I might also get, as I can never decide until almost the last minute which colour to use. I am also going to do the Tree-Of-Life afghan as well. Right now I am contemplating what colours I will want as I will probably knit three: one for my Father, one for my best-friend Keri, and one for me. However, bit-by-bit I am becoming more finicky with the yarn I buy. I am finding real differences in quality; and, as it does take time, which is precious, I want to use the best yarn I can get. In fact, I am finickier than my kitties!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Stash Enhancement

Well, now I've done it. I've bought my first skeins of hand-dyed yarn. It's in a beautiful blue and green colourway and reminds me of a painting by Waterhouse. I am planning to make a pair of Potamus socks from this. In addition, I bought around 18 skeins of Flash (a 100% mercerized cotton) which has strands of pink, lavendar, and a light yellow. I'm going to make a dolman-sleeved summer sweater which has eyelets from this.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I've Got Too Much Stuff!!!

I can't believe it!! Some of the stuff on my side-bar isn't showing up, especially the new Web Ring link I joined and my music link! I don't want to take anything down (mumble, mumble, rant, rant, pout, pout, whine, whine). I really had a lot of fun finding the items I post, hoping that other people might find them interesting or amusing. Of course, I could probably take my mainly religious blog off LJ and move it over here (I hardly ever go to LJ anymore). Oh, well, I hope the new 3-column look will take care of this problem.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Am I in the Wrong Universe or Something?

I have a wonderful quote in my side-bar from Adlai Stevenson. Since last week I have been sitting and thinking: is it just me; or, is there suddenly more stupidity than usual out there? The glaring case, aber naturlich, has been the Wright Debacle, which he put on for his own ego. (Now I'm upset that I can't do umlauts!) Of course, the press didn't show off any sapience at all. The only news program which keeps me sane is Keith Olbermann's CountDown.
Now, all of a sudden, I have to come up with every project I would like to teach. I really wanted a student to be able to pick out a pattern out of several on a theme. I was always a little advanced in my choices of materials when I took classes -- so, I didn't want to limit anyone. Anyway, now the earliest I can start teaching is July because they don't take pictures. And, I'm sure if you are a knitter you know how large some projects are. I'll only be doing swatches of a rippled afghan and a fan-lace afghan; however, I'll have to complete the cotton tank as well as a kitchen suite. Oh, well, off to unpaid work -- there's no rest for the mildly wicked.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Easy Scarf

I can't believe that I forgot to post the pattern for a scarf that I created for one of my beginner knitting classes! Anyway, it's never too late....

Cast on 41 stitches (long-tail method)
Row 1: K1 P1 *repeat
Row 2: K1 P1 *repeat
Repeat these 2 Rows Twice (Total: 6 rows)
Row A of Pattern: K1 P1 K1 P1 K3 P3 K3 P3 K3 P3 K3 P3 K3 P3 K3 P1 K1 P1 K1
Row B of Pattern: K1 P1 K1 P1 P3 K3 P3 K3 P3 K3 P3 K3 P3 K3 P3 P1 K1 P1 K1
Repeat Rows A and B until scarf is 47" (or 1" shorter than desired length)
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for a total of 6 rows
Cast Off
Finishing: Tassel Ends: cut yarn into length desired (approx. 6 strands per tassel); scarf will take approx. 5 tassels per edge

I recommend using a worsted weight or sport weight yarn.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I am approximately half-way done with my first square/dishcloth design. In my opinion, the design process is working out better with knitting along as I chart out the rows. This way I can catch small mistakes before they become huge.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Book Quiz: What Book Are You?

If I could be a book, which book would I be? I am a book lover, so when I saw this quiz (see my answer at the bottom of my blog with the link) on another blog I had to try it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Working On My First Original Square

Yes, I have finally taken the plunge! Yesterday I started graphing out a design for a block/dishcloth. I am also going to test it as I design because I need to decide if I want to leave a blank row between each row of design or not. I may not have a picture by the time I post the directions, however. As soon as I am able I will post that as well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Revisions Ahead For My Layout

I can't believe how many links and other things I've collected in my sidebar! I think it is time to revise the layout to three columns. I've asked for help, since I am not an expert in this area.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I am frustrated because, even though I have my knitting classes on April's schedule at the local AC Moore, no one has yet signed up for them! I've picked out some really beautiful projects (fingerless mitts, spring sweater, lace scarf, felted bag, etc.) as well as generic knitting workshops. I've emphasized that I have chosen the projects so that beginners could also do them. Everyone tells me that knitting is experiencing a boom. When is it going to start for me?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yes, I Am a Sci-Fi Addict

I took the test to find out my Nerd Quotient. Even though one would think that someone who was not a complete computer nut/scientist/mathematician could be a nerd, this is not the case. Ever since I was a child (way back in the 50s and 60s) I have always been fascinated by science -- and sci-fi. I have been a Trekkie since 1966, the year Star Trek first appeared on television. Deep down inside I think it would have been terrific if I had gone into astronomy or paleontology -- and I keep up with advances in these fields to this day. However, I am also a frustrated Classicist who is trying to learn Homeric and Attic Greek on my own. There are just so many things that I wish to learn! I really believe that this drive is the key that is keeping me young at heart.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Translation For Helix Panel

This pattern can be adapted for use as a square for people who like to knit dishcloths. One complete pattern with the recommended border will be 60 rows (38 + 12) in length and 40 stitches in width. I have used seed stitch for my border rather than the indicated garter stitch. In addition, I have not used the selvedge direction for the sides. The sides can always be made a little wider by adding additional mock cables, etc. -- be creative!

Now, as I promised, here is the written translation of the Helix Chart:


CN = Cable Needle; ST/S = Stitch/es

Row 1 P2, K13, P5
Row 2 K5, P13, K2

Row 3 P2, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P1, K2 from CN, P8,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P2, K2 from CN, P3
Row 4 K3, P2, K10, P2, K3

Row 5 P3, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P2, K2 from CN, K8,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), K1, K2 from CN, P2
Row 6 K2, P13, K5

Row 7 P5, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P2, K2 from CN, P7,
Skip next ST, Knit 2nd ST (leave on needle), Then K the Skipped
ST and slip both stitches from needle together, P2
Row 8 K2, P2, K7, P2, K7

Row 9 P7, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P2, K2 from CN, K4,
Slide 1 ST onto CN (hold in back), K2, P1 from CN, P2
Row 10 K3, P8, K9

Row 11 P9, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P2, K2 from CN,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, P2 from CN, P3
Row 12 K5, P4, K11

Row 13 P11, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, K2 from CN, P5
Row 14 K5, P4, K11

Row 15 P9, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, K2 from CN,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), K2, K2 from CN, P3
Row 16 K3, P8, K9

Row 17 P7, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, P2 from CN, P4,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P1, K2 from CN, P2
Row 18 K2, P2, K7, P2, K7

Row 19 P5, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, K2 from CN, K7,
Skip next ST, Knit 2nd ST (leave on needle), Then K the Skipped
ST and slip both stitches from needle together, P2
Row 20 K2, P13, K5

Row 21 P3, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, P2 from CN, P8,
Slide 1 ST onto CN (hold in back), K2, P1 from CN, P2
Row 22 K3, P2, K10, P2, K3

Row 23 P2, Slide 1 ST onto CN (hold in back), K2, K1 from CN, K8,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, P2 from CN, P3
Row 24 K5, P13, K2

Row 25 P2, Take right-hand needle behind left-needle, Skip 1st ST,
K 2nd ST in back loop, K Skipped ST in front loop, Slip both
STS from needle together, P7,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, P2 from CN, P5
Row 26 K7, P2, K7, P2, K2

Row 27 P2, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P1, K2 from CN, K4,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, P2 from CN, P7
Row 28 K9. P8, K3

Row 29 P3, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), P2, K2 from CN,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, P2 from CN, P9
Row 30 K11, P4, K5

Row 31 P5, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, K2 from CN, P11
Row 32 K11, P4, K5

Row 33 P3, Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in back), K2, K2 from CN,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), K2, K2 from CN, P9
Row 34 K9, P8, K3

Row 35 P2, Slide 1 ST onto CN (hold in back), K2, P1 from CN, P4,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), K2, K2 from CN, P7
Row 36 K7, P2, K7, P2, K2

Row 37 P2, Take right-hand needle behind left-needle, Skip 1st ST,
K 2nd ST in back loop, K Skipped ST in front loop, Slip both
STS from needle together, K7,
Slide 2 STS onto CN (hold in front), K2, K2 from CN, P5
Row 38 K5, P13, K2

Row 39 = Row 3

Monday, April 7, 2008


Charts are NOT my preferred way of following a pattern while I am knitting. I much prefer my patterns in words/traditional symbols. The helix pattern I posted about below will need to be "translated." Watch this space as I will post the translation of rows 3-38 for those of you who like to knit the way I do.

Worsted Weight Yarns

I have a gripe about medium/#4/worsted weight yarns: not all of them knit up the same way with the same needles. The reason I am having this trouble is because not one brand of yarn has all the colours I would like to use for my friend's afghan. Therefore, I have decided to make it a little bit like a "crazy quilt" and really go with some really different size "blocks" (rectangles etc.). One of the new items will be a long "stripe" that will use the DNA pattern I found on the internet. This is the URL Of course, I am going to have to come up with an interesting way to put all of this together. Any ideas?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Have Graph Paper -- Will Start Patterns!

I have finally got my hands on graph paper that more clearly indicates the proper ratios of knitting stitches while designing patterns. So, over the next few days I'll be starting on a large-size Greek alphabet along with some of the honorary and social fraternities and sororities (Phi Beta Kappa; Alpha Psi Omega; Lambda Chi Alpha; etc.). For the time-being, however, I will only be posting the directions in this blog -- the pictures will come later as I still need to obtain a digital camera.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Small Confession

In addition to knitting I read a lot. Even though I still read "heavy-duty" books in history, philosophy, theology, et al., I also read "jello." In fact, a number of my "jello" books have concerned the subject from "The da Vinci Code". Now, why would an old-fashioned Hellenic polytheist like myself read this type of book? Am I looking for ways to put-down Christian theology? The answer to those questions is, "NO." And though I do find the mythology that has grown around Magdalene does make a lot of sense in many ways, I am not the one who decides what the guiding mythologies for the various Chrisitian sects are. In fact, I find, as a former history major, that there is quite a bit of pseudo-history in these books, ie. Jewish priestesses -- you've got to be kidding! (this was from "The Expected One"). However, most of them are fun to read -- and some are better than others.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Keri's Afghan

I have finally started my best friend's afghan. We have been friends for forty years, since we started our freshman year at Muhlenberg College in 1968. The first square is finished (whee!!!) and I have cast-on the second. Sometimes I don't realize how fast time flies. I have so many other important projects this year to do: a set of 3 Christmas stockings for friends; designing wedding and baby samplers for them (the same family); finishing my blueberry hill sweater; designing an Aran knit sweater pattern for my husband (he's mostly Irish in heritage); finishing the heart-motif sampler afghan I started, socks, etc.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Rant About China -- OT

I am old enough to remember when the US recognized the Beijing government; however, I never approved of the idea that "China" was one nation because Taiwan was - and still is - a de facto nation. Needless to say, I also believe that Tibet is and should be totally independent from the Beijing. Now, coming to the current fiasco about the Olympics, why oh why did anyone believe that China would change its stripes if it was chosen as a host site? I certainly did not, though it would have been nice to have been proved wrong. I think that the ONLY proper course would be to CANCEL THE OLYMPIC GAMES! If this does not happen, this is the final straw for any moral authority we may think we have on the rest of the world.
(added on 3/27) Of course I can rant about the Peoples Republic on most days (toxic products; slave labour; etc). I will not buy bone beads made there because of the real possibility that the material comes from human beings -- and I refuse to sell anything that I have made which has questionable content. We each have a MORAL and ETHICAL duty to stand up and say, "NO. I will NOT buy products made in the Peoples Republic of China!"

Monday, March 24, 2008

More Done -- More To Do!

Well, I have finished four (4) heart-patterned squares, two in the light dusty rose and two in the dusty purple. I had to make a minor adjustment in the borders of the last one as I prefer seed stitch (I had to cast-on two extra stitches and make the top and bottom borders six rows). Now, I am going to start on my best friend's sampler which has a complete change of colour way and pattern choices. There are so many things that I will have to include that I know this will be much larger than a traditional throw, some of which I will have to chart out! If anyone is interested in a chart for Lehigh (University), PhD, and M'BERG (Muhlenberg College), please let me know.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Fun Quiz

I just took one of the quizzes on Quizilla: What Is Your Patronus? Check out the bottom of my blog for the answer (Eagle) and a link to the quiz.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Finished Two, Started Third

I have finished my first two squares in Vanna's Choice Dusty Rose and have started a third in Dusty Purple. All three have hearts as the motif, different patterns. I also decided to tie them all together with a seed stitch border (though I really don't remember if any of the patterns called for anything different -- I just prefer seed stitch).
I still need to finish a sweater which I started about 8 weeks ago. The body is almost finished as I did it in the round. I really need to get better circular needles. The ones I used really twisted terribly even though I started off with everything nice and square. GRRR......
I also need to get another set of Size 6 or 7 needles for another sampler afghan I will be doing for my best friend out in Ohio. I guess I have the same complaint: so many projects planned, so little time. ;-)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Corporate Management

Over the years I have seen "Dilbert-ville" becoming the rule and not the exception in management. I am also speaking as someone who obviously learned something in her MPA programme. Anyway, as of right now, it is all's well that ends well since I am taking my knitting classes to a new venue in April. Maybe we'll get a little more support. (HaHaHa)

Monday, March 3, 2008


I am finally getting ready to do up my first charts -- the capital letters of the Greek alphabet! This has been something that I have wanted to do for some time. In addition, I am also going to do one in counted X-stitch. Both will be in various sizes. I am considering using the SP Ionic font as an inspiration for these charts. Maybe in the future I'll do the lower case as well.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Finally Getting Started

I have joined a number of KAL (knitting along) groups on Yahoo. Most of these are concerned with squares which can be used as dish/wash cloths. I am doing most of mine as squares for afghans, however. The designers in these groups are really getting me thinking about creating patterns as well.
My first KAL project is almost finished (Valentine candy box). I did make one change in the pattern: I am using seed stitch for the borders instead of garter. In the next few weeks I will be getting a digital camera so I can show you how everything turns out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Let me intoduce myself to you. This is my second blog on the 'net (my first is on LiveJournal). However, this one will be concerned with the artistic side of my life: knitting and the crafts I do and my first forays into representational art. I will finally have to break down and get a digital camera as my trusty SLR takes much too long!
Anyway, I am in that "certain age"; and, though I do not belong to a club yet, I do wear red hats because I like them. I also love to wear purple; however, I have always loved purple since the time I was a girl.
My maternal Grandmother taught me how to knit when I was around 8 or 9 years old. She had been born in old Tsarist Russia and had immigrated to this country well before the Russian Revolution when she was 16 or 17. In addition, my Mother was very creative as well. She crocheted, quilted, sewed and painted.
However, of all the crafts of my ancestresses, the one that has been the most difficult for me is crochet (sewing machines are also a little bit scary). Maybe some day I will make peace with a crochet hook; but, until then, I have a lot to keep me busy: knitting, needlework (embroidery, x-stitch, etc.), and beading (I make unique jewelry for sale and heirloom-quality prayer beads). Soon I will be adding representational art to my list as I wish to learn to paint with acrylics and oils and draw.
As the title of this blog states, I am a devotee of Athena (Ergane), the Divine Workerwoman. I am a member of Hellenion and Neokori, two religious organizations which are involved with the revival of the religion of the ancient Greeks. In addition to Athena (but not least), I am also especially devoted to Hera Teleia, Hermes, Zeus, and the Muses.