Summer Knitting

Photographing lace in a dark, hot, humid apartment full of boxes is a challenge. See below.

Yesterday was the hottest day in Seattle history, and it felt like it. It hit 107F (41.7C) in Bothell yesterday! In the evening, 90F felt almost comfortable! So I haven't been knitting much. I wanted to cast on for an Aeolian Shawl, since I spun some yarn for it in the Tour de Fleece challenge.
wensleydale 4
I dyed the 6 oz (170g) Wensleydale top using the block method, and spun the top directly from braid into 1100 yards (1100 m) of laceweight singles.
wensleydale 5
My inspiration for this was a project I saw on ravelry, and I think I did a pretty good job with it.
wensleydale 2
But it has been so hot, and the idea of knitting hairy, slightly coarse wool was not very appealing, so the the skein is sitting in my basket while I work on my unfinished projects.
wensleydale 1

So I have been knitting some cotton. I finally finished my lace cardigan!
black widow 5

I call this project the Black Widow (spiders, y'know!) :D This is another one of my top-down seamless concoctions, and I absolutely loved every minute of knitting this. It has no seams, so when I cast off it was done! And I added some short rows and side shaping to make it fit better.
black widow 4

And the cherry on top - the set-in sleeves.
black widow 6

The yarn is Mandarin Petit, and I had 6 balls of it. (I think Terhi from Mustaa villaa sent it to me years and years ago.) The original idea was to knit a short bolero to go with a summer dress I bought, and I wanted to use all of the yarn. By the time I reached the bolero length, I still had 3 balls left, so I kept going and ended up with a full-length cardigan.
black widow 3

I'm sure this will be a summer favorite! I've worn it a few times and I like it a lot. The cotton yarn feels cool and soft and comfortable, and the simple arrowhead lace makes it rather girly. And the vintage buttons my MIL gave me, they give it a touch of elegance.
black widow 7

Needless to say, I am extremely happy with this project.
black widow 9

Now, the moving business is getting more and more hectic every day, and it hit me I should probably dig out my UFO bin and finish my projects. Don't want movers accidentally poking themselves with stray needles sticking out of half-finished sweaters, you see. So I dug out my Hyrna Herborgar Shawl.
hyrna 2
I cast on for this shawl in the plane, over Greenland, on our way to Finland last summer. I needed a simple project for the trip, and this pattern is really very easy to knit. Fast too, unless you forget it in your UFO bin.
hyrna 1
I grew so fond of the middle stitch pattern that I accidentally knit too many repeats. I didn't want to tink back (lifelines, bah!) so I kept going until I was ready to knit the border.
hyrna 5

I am glad I made the little mistake, since finished, this measures some 66" x 33" (168 cm x 83 cm) and I used maybe 3 oz of KnitPicks Bare lace-weight. It is just the right size for wearing around your neck with a winter coat.
hyrna 6
Before blocking, I dyed the shawl in light blue, because since it was begun over Greenland, it needed to be glacier blue. It's a little too warm blue for my taste, but it is still light blue so it'll do. I think the color is closest to truth in this picture.
hyrna 4
All in all, a nice project then. I may knit another one of these, in Icelandic yarn, as I liked working the pattern and it turned out very nice. But that will have to wait until winter!

No pictures of the finished T-shirt yet. We're expecting cooler weather this weekend so maybe I'll shanghai MrHairyFeet to photographing again! Until then, stay cool everyone!

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

I'm not a fan of summer, necessarily. Sometimes it's so hot, and it feels sticky and stuffy and there are bugs. And knitting with wool is not a good idea, unless it is a rainy summer day. But there is sun and warm evenings and flowers and spiders and everything smells fresh. And you get to knit with cotton!
favorite tee 3

Of course, one can knit cotton whenever one feels like it. But for some reason, I often find myself knitting with cotton in the summer. I like the way it feels, the way it knits up, how heavy and yet light the fabric feels. And the stitch definition is just heavenly.
favorite tee

I just finished a T-shirt for myself, out of Nashua's new ecological cotton. It really feels nice and fits like a glove. Due to a tripod-related mishap at the balcony, I will post pictures of me wearing the T-shirt a little later.

Another project I am working on is still just a lump. A black lump, which photographically yields an interesting challenge. As you can see, I still have a lot to learn.
black widow 1

Photos aside, I love this project. Although the fingering weight cotton feels like it will never end (6 balls of Mandarin Petit will go on forever it seems), and black yarn and lace is a horrible combination for knitting especially in the evenings, but the simplicity of the lace and the drape of the fabric makes me want to finish this quickly so I can wear it with my summer dress.
black widow 2

I haven't entirely abandoned wool. I spun some 100% superwash BFL for socks.
handspun bfl sock yarn

But mostly, I have just enjoyed these beautiful warm evenings and the sounds and smells of the short summer. I hope it doesn't end just yet, I could get used to this.
july evening

Where Did the Month Go?

I just realized it's been over a month since my last update. And I don't know where the month went, it just all disappeared. As some of you know already, we're moving in about a month, so while not blogging (or knitting), we have taken care of some moving business. Our German wonders, the two V-dubs we have, have already begun their journey. Our furniture (and some wool) will follow in a few weeks. This, of course, means that the blog will remain quiet for some time.

In the past few weeks, not a lot has happened except for the moving business. I had my sister and my brother-in-law here for a week, which was fun. We went to pick up some wool Gretchen washed for me (of that later), and we went to the zoo, to Snoqualmie Falls (which fans of Twin Peaks will recognize) and Mt Rainier. No pics of Rainier, it was as it was last year when MrHairyFeet and I drove there. So was the parade on 4th, which we went to see.

But Gretchen's Farm was the most amazing place. I love everything about it, it's so beautiful and serene. And the animals seem very, very happy!
gretchens farm laughing sheep
Some of her sheep were more of the dignified kind. They couldn't be seen fooling around.
gretchens farm sheep
(Aren't her eyes so pretty?)

The young ones were still practising the cute routine, which, as we know, is essential in becoming a full adult sheep.
gretchens farm little ram
Practising teh cute must be taken very seriously.
gretchens farm little ram 2

On Gretchen's Farm lives a very special chicken. Her name is Tuulia. She got her name on the day I took the fleeces to Gretchen, she had escaped and returned while Gretchen and I were fondling some wool. She has stayed on the farm ever since, though.
gretchens farm tuulia
She's the brown one. I'm told she is a Buff Plymouth Rock kind of chicken, and is about 10 weeks old in the picture. She's very pretty, her feathers are almost entirely brown but there are small black specs on the tips. She's a feisty one. She'll keep the other chicks on their toes. They're appalled by her independent behaviour!
gretchens farm chicken

But even Tuulia is not a match for the ducks. They look like they mean business.
gretchens farm ducks
Do not be fooled by their innocent looks. They're downright mean birds. They're the sheriffs of the farm.
gretchens farm duck

After visiting Gretchen, we drove to the Snoqualmie Falls. It was a beautiful, hot summer day.
snoqualmie falls 3

snoqualmie falls 2

snoqualmie falls 1

The wild flowers on the mountains are probably the prettiest kind of wild flowers.
snoqualmie falls 4

The nice weather continued the next day, when we went to the zoo in Seattle. The wolves and wild bald eagles were keeping a keen eye on the visitors.
zoo wolves

zoo wild eagles

In the zoo, the animals practice teh cute on a daily basis. I think this artic fox has just about mastered it.
zoo arctic fox

The penguins are getting close, too.
zoo penguins 2

Very, very close.
zoo penguins

Some practised the menacing look, instead of the cute. Not very successfully, I can say.
zoo monkeys

The lizards, however, seem to have the menacing look without even really practising.
zoo lizards 2

See what I mean?
zoo lizards

Others thought the day too hot for practising the cute. Or anything else.
zoo bears

zoo leopard

The hippos were merely enjoying the day.
zoo hippos

I'd like to be a hippo. They have it made. Nothing better than enjoying the sun in a pool of warm water.
zoo hippos 2

The orangutang thought the sun was a bit too much. He needed a blankie.
zoo orangutang

The snakes didn't have blankets. They had to just hang in there.
zoo green mamba

The spiders sought comfy little lairs caves for themselves.
zoo spiders 2

Or wove cosy hammocks for chilling later in the afternoon. They might have enjoyed some drinks too.
zoo spiders 1

The gorillas had already found the booze, though.
zoo gorilla

At the flamingo pool, the swan found things were getting out of hand.
zoo swan

So he took off.
zoo swan 2

The giraffe found out about the flamingoes' orgy. The smell gave it away.
zoo giraffe head

He did not approve. At all.
zoo giraffe head 2

But in the end, he couldn't be bothered.
zoo giraffe

So that's the daily life of animals in the Woodland Park Zoo! Next post, I promise, will happen sooner than a month and it consist mostly of purdy fibers and yarns. And art!
(This is not art. This is yarn.)

Till then!