Stasia's Place Of Grace


Friday, December 19, 2003

Happy Hanukkah!

We had an unusual visitor to the feeders today - a red squirrel:

The sun shone sporadically today and the outdoor colors were lovely:

The blues, grays, and tans of a sunny winter afternoon remind me of Noro's Kureyon #55. This isn't the best photo of it, as it usually has a streak of blue in it:

I have some on the way from Carodan Farm, inspired by Wendy's modular-knit scarf. I'm thinking of making a big, modular-knit moebius with it.

I made another mitten for my friend Dianna - it's her birthday tomorrow - from Lana Grossa's Caldo in a blue colorway:

Of to listen to some Klezmer music (see the sidebar, and tell me your favorites)!

Too bad I'm doing Atkins and can't have any latkes...

Have a good night!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


Here are the Caldo mittens (pattern in entry from a couple of days ago). This is what I meant by putting the fringe around the cuffs - below the two purl rounds, I took 3" sections of yarn, and looped them around knit stitches with a crochet hook. Then I sort of fuzzed out the loose ends. Fun!

Even I can do one of these mittens in less than an hour, so if you have access to some Lana Grossa Caldo, or some thick handspun, or some pencil roving, try them out!

I don't think there's anything as cute or fun in my life as Valentine. How can this not make you smile?

Not a day goes by that I don't give thanks for having him in my life. I think he feels the same way about us!

Off to try to finish up more holiday knitting and try to fix a problem spinning wheel...

I hope we all remember not to get so caught up in holiday preparations that we don't take time to enjoy our loved ones and each day!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

More On Russian Socks And Cottontots And Color

Please see previous entry for more info.

Melinda S. asked for a photo of the tops of the mystery socks, and here is one for her:

Thank you all for your help and opinions!

Kary asked where I got the seeds for my cottontots. They came inside a cotton boll that was from Cotton Clouds. I believe it was in a "learn to spin cotton" sampler kit, but I'd bet they'd be willing to sell you a boll or two. You might also contact New World Textiles which is a wonderful company selling organic cotton.

I separated my seeds from the cotton fiber and stuck them in little peat pots, inside a plastic greenhouse which included an electric heating pad in the base. (It wasn't expensive and came from the hardware store.) I had read that keeping seedlings warm is very important, and, truly, it made a difference in all of the sprouts for my herbs this year.

I kept a flourescent light above the seedlings and left it on for 14 hours a day, which I'd read would also help them grow.

When the seedlings were big enough, I transferred them to pots. When it got warm enough outside, I put the pots on my deck, and my honeybees fertilized the cotton flowers as they bloomed, turning from cream, to white, to pink as they faded.

Then I brought the plants in before the first frost. They are quite large, and I think I'm going to have to re-pot them into a giant container.

There are two more semi-developed bolls, but I don't think they're going to actually pop.

It took soooo long for the bolls to develop, but now that this one has popped, it's opening and drying really fast - look at the difference after just one day! It still looks like some kind of Martian plant, doesn't it?

I picked up these three balls of soft, soft, soft Rowan Wool Cotton at Ruhama's yesterday. I think I'll just put them in a bowl and look at them - I have no project in mind, but just liked the colors.

Pastels in winter make me think of the Swedish artist, Carl Larsson, whose work I really enjoy. Some of his paintings feature knitting needles and balls of yarn, or his wife's beautiful weavings. The modern illustrator Jan Brett's artwork is similar, but brighter. Her work features lots of detailed images of mittens, socks, and sweaters of Scandinavian inspiration.

There was no secret as to what had inspired me with this color choice and the "yarn as display art" idea - it was an old clipping I'd pasted into my "inspiration notebook":

Maybe I should send the balls to Clara Parkes to be photographed for some note cards - her work is always so beautiful!

By the way, that's Miss Kary with her dogs, wearing her Dance As Ever Auction Peace Jacket, in the photo on my desk. Hi, Kary!

As always, thank you for visiting, and I'd love to hear any comments you have.

Animal Breed Zip Code

I finished Jeff's Paton's Classic Wool (Merino) hat, done top-down in a 2x2 rib. Jeff was less than thrilled with it. He says it looks like a girl's hat because of the band. I think it looks like a standard seaman's hat! I'll take a pic for my next entry, and if you'd be so kind, perhaps you could give me your suggestions on how to fix it. I've still got to get this top-down hat "recipe" perfected... the ones I make always seem to come out too wide at the bottom, despite going down to a smaller needle size for the band. Humpfh!

I've postponed working on my sister's Christmas afghan yet again by starting another new project - some quick mittens from a free pattern given to me by Ruhama's Yarns today.

The pattern calls for Lana Grossa "Caldo Print" - a big, cushy, yarn in lots of color variations. I got the ubiquitous skeins of orange and raspberry, as usual, but this particular colorway in lime and purple is destined for my Tuesday Caribou Coffee Knit Nite buddy, Kate. I think they'll match her lime green fleece jacket.

Ruhama's doesn't have online ordering, by they are helpful and great about answering their e-mail. They had tons of this yarn in stock. The "India" and "Bingo" by Lana Grossa are also lovely (but not for quick mittens!)

Here is the pattern, if you'd like to try it out. These knit up unbelievably quick and would make great last-minute gifts.

The sample mittens in the yarn shop had little 2" snippets of leftover yarn hooked around the wrist to make a sort of fringe. I'll post a pic when I've finished these so you can see what I mean.

You know how I've been finding and buying orange and raspberry yarn lately? I think I found out what has subconsciously inspired my purchases (aside from the colors of my Blog):

Guess the book was on my mind while I was waiting for it to arrive! I love it, by the way. As with "Knitting In America", (also by Melanie Falick) I'll probably never make anything from it, but it's lovely to leaf through... this one even has instructions for a hand massage, some recipes, and of course the standard gorgeous photos. I was completely relaxed after reading it.

The whole subsconscious color thing must've sunk in quite deeply, as I realized when I opened an unrelated (or so I thought!) package from the nice guys at

The guys at ThreadBear were so helpful with color selections and checking stock for me. They charge actual postage only, their offerings are discounted, and I was very pleased with the speed of delivery. No, they don't have instant, online ordering, and no, not all items are illustrated... but they make up for those inconveniences with their discounts and service.

The patterns, by the way, are for Black Sheep Bags' "Lily" and IndiKnits' "Perfect Pouch", both felted. I'll probably make both in Kureyon, but Cascade 220 is an option for the "Lily", also. ("Lily" takes 4 balls of Kureyon or 2 of Cascade 220; "Perfect Pouch" takes 2 balls of Kureyon.)

What's next for me, an orange and raspberry and/or purple sofa? I'd better not go car shopping, that's for sure.

I have some questions for you sock knitters out there. This pair of socks was given to me by a friend in Belarus (Russia - sort of) and I'd really like to know how you think they were made:

Were these made from the toe up? Here is a picture of the toe which looks like a "star" type:

And here is a photo of the heel. I'm not sure how it was constructed.

Toe at top of photo, ankle at bottom.

Ideas, anyone?

My home-grown cotton boll has finally started to open! C'mon, Cottontot! Gotta' make some use of my charkha!

Maybe I'll be able to spin yarn and knit a sock for a mouse. I wish more bolls would have developed, especially from my brown varieties, but I'll save the seeds from this one and try again next year.

Someone appears to be gaining a bit of weight from all the good food he's been getting lately:

Blue Jays are among my favorite birds. This one poked around for a prime peanut...

... and tossed it down his gullet before darting swiftly away through the woods. Jays are incredibly agile flyers. I love to see the flash of their bright backs against the tans, grays, and browns of the winter stalks and branches.

May today be merry and bright for you. Please leave a message in the Tag-Board, and try out my NEW SMILIES!

Animal Breed Zip Code

Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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