Sunday, December 13, 2009

Current Knitting (and Spinning)

The Queen Susan shawl seriously impinged on my knitting and spinning time over the last few months. Fortunately, the pattern booklet is now off my desk and onto that of Laura, a most wonderful copy editor. I am hoping she will have time this week to work her magic, so I can upload the pattern shortly thereafter. I promise to announce availability when it's off everyone's desk and into the Ravelry pattern database.

Despite Queen Susan, I managed to complete a few small items for Christmas gifts.

I made two hats, one of which I cannot post about, because Kyoko-san is not allowed to open her present before December 25 and I don't want to spoil the surprise. However, the hat I made for Jun is not under any secrecy doctrine.


Jun's family owns Rhubarb, one of the few non-Japanese eateries in Togane City, Japan--the Nepalese chicken curry is especially good. We love Rhubarb's desserts: the lemon pound cake is particularly delicious.

I am sure you guys remember the Friendship Cake Plague? Every few weeks someone would drop in bearing a wad of Friendship cake starter. The idea was that you used to it make your own cake batter, reserving a blob to foist on someone else. We actually made one cake from the stuff and pronounced it Worse Than Grandma Tillie's Matzoh Balls, and frankly, I didn't think anything--foodstuff or otherwise--could earn that distinction.
 
After five of these batter bits had been charmingly received  and surreptitiously handed off to the increasingly resentful neighborhood wildlife, we escaped to Japan, a country renowned for green tea and sashimi, but not for Americanisms such as Friendship cake.

So of course, the first thing we spotted, to our horror, in Rhubarb's dessert case a few days after arrival was--wait for it--Friendship cake. Clearly, a batter glob had somehow stowed away on a jetliner and slithered from Narita to Togane.

Regardless of this lamentable gastronomical lapse, Jun remains a good friend and deserves a warm hat. I used two skeins of Noro Silk Garden, removing the weird green yarn in the middle of the skeins, reserving it for future knitted frog toys. The little 2x2 cable pattern was spontaneous and I took no notes.

 


Tonya's son is now old enough to appreciate the fact that his older sister has something he doesn't, so I now knit them pseudo-matching gifts. This year, Nina receives Douglas, The Extremely Happy Giraffe, while Kai gets Horatio, The Happy Hippo. Both patterns are free, from Bobbie Padgett.




 Horatio is proportionately smaller than Douglas (to match the size of the children), but equally squashy and adorable:




As for spinning, well, there is a drawer full of singles waiting for an appropriate plying device. I hate, loathe, detest plying. It's boring. It's dull. It's frightful. But! There's a beautifully wrapped package sitting on our Gift Slab that may address the Plying Problem. In the meantime, the myriad little copps sit quietly, waiting for Plyness. But I am not idle.

The Spindlewoods pink ivory spindle in the top photo holds gloriously silky Suri alpaca from The Critter Ranch, and the spindle in the lower two images is clearly enjoying luxurious 50/50 silk/merino roving from The Fiber Denn. It might be the only smiling spindle ever made!










17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those two are seriously adorable toys.

yarnlot said...

Lovely hat with the flower as an indispensable accent. The green must have been particularly vicious for you to leave it out!
Douglas and Horatio are too cute, really kawaii...

larascreations said...

Adorable toys, cozy hat and gorgeous spindles! How did you find the time??? Is that ebony with the pink ivory? And some sort of burlwood......gorgeous!

I have spindle plans for January.....I've decided I need more, lol.

Christy said...

I have spindle envy! The pink ivory is gorgeous. :-)

Dave said...

Nice hat, cute animals, purpley singles, yeah, but !ZOMG!, is that buckeye burl and ebony!?!?!?

Jane said...

Fantastic hat, adorable animals and the colour of that fibre is to die for!

KPiep said...

Lovely...two more cute knits to tempt me away from my Christmas knitting.

I absolutely adore your smiling spindle! Of course, I'm in a rather spindle-obsessed mood lately, and tend to get a bit giddy whenever I see pretty spindles.

Nope, I'm ignoring the Green Woman and am going back to my Christmas Knits.

gayle said...

That giraffe was love at first sight. I've got the pattern bookmarked somewhere - now to carve out knitting time...
I don't know which I envy more - the spindles or the fiber.

Bekky said...

sigh - I wish my spinning was as beautiful as yours, so fine and even.

Bluebird49 said...

Wow--I wish you'd taken notes on the beautiful hat! I love the animals, too---someone is going to love them so much! I'm thinking of looking up the giraffe pattern to do for my little granddaughter.

By the way, I left you a comment the other day about your sock pattern from 2007--I think. It turned out SO well---no muss, no fuss, and NO WRAPS!! YAY for no wraps. It was the easiest heel and gusset I've ever tried and I thank you for thinking of it. I may never to top-down socks again...I found a lot of Rav. sock-makers who had spoken of Fleegle's sock! So, thanks again for posting it for free. It really made sense, and it was , even for me, easy!

TracyKM said...

Adorable toys!
I have been making various Friendship bread recipes since the summer, and some of them are really good! If your starter is at the right age, you don't get the 'fermented' smell/taste. My current favourite is cranberry with lemon or orange. I make one loaf and 12 muffins at a time and it is usually gone within 3 days!
I did make some recipes in the summer that were odd--especially the ones with instant pudding mixes added. They tasted chemically.

Bekky said...

yes please! a tutorial would be lovely. (Thank you for your comments too)

Jane said...

I love the toys and the hat!Too cute and snuggly. As for the spindles I think they are heavenly as is your spinning. You must have alot of singles you need to ply. I wonder if Santa has left you something to help with that? Hmmmm.

Batty said...

I love the hat! And oh, the cuteness! Those toys are fabulous.

What's the first spindle? The reddish one? I just love the colors.

Opal said...

awwww. the toys are darling!

madonnaearth said...

Oh my goodness! Love the spindle pics!

If you were to write a book on spinning, or if you just want to blog this, how do you avoid the hand cramps when spindle spinning? I can only do it for about 10 minutes at a time without breaks.

Romi said...

Ooooh. Love the gratuitous shots of fiber pr0n. :)