Stasia's Place Of Grace


Friday, January 07, 2005


'Piphany Present!

Oh look, oh look! I got an Epiphany Present from Kary!

She made this scarf for me - isn't it beautiful? It's my favorite color! See how my eyes look all teary from gratitude? Thank you, Miss Kary - it arrived just in time for Russian Christmas!

And so did the snow:

In Fibery News...

Jeff's nightcap in sage Rowan "Calmer" is coming along well. Once again, my calculations were off, but that is part of the experimental process. I had the circumference of the top figured out correctly, but when I started down the sides in my K2P2 ribbing, my gauge changed, and I didn't take into account the actual thickness of the yarn, so the hat was once again too big around, despite the top being correct.

I switched, about 2" down, to K2P1 ribbing, and that has tightened it up a bit, without making too noticeable a difference in the appearance. Phew!

Then, my needles started stabbing me! I love using two circulars for in-the-round projects, but I abhor metal ones - especially sharp and pointy Inox needles. Unfortunatly, that was what I had on hand and had been using. I finally had enough of sore fingers, and went to the LYS today and got some fabulous Skacel 8" bamboo DPNs.

I'd never seen these before (and a quick search doesn't turn up much on these online) but they are wonderful! Nice and smooth and somewhat "grippy" (not slippery is what I mean, but easier to slide stitches on than some of my beloved Brittanys - their indented size markings on the shafts slow things down a bit.) I would compare these to Clover bamboos except that the tips on these are somewhat scoopy, like the Balene needles! And the finish seems a bit smoother. I've never seen scooped tips on a wood or bamboo DPN, and because of that lovely scoopiness, the needles are really easy to use and definitely worth the price ($11.50).

The LYS is strangely organized, to say the least... piles and piles of everything, everywhere, and things tucked waaaay high on precarious shelves, or stuck into cubbyholes (an old library card catalog is what comes to mind - I bet it really is one!) All of the DPNs were in those cubbies, and you had to ask for them - so I don't know if these are some ancient, discontinued models or what... but if you find some in your area, be sure to snap them up!

Some very badly-behaved Noro Silk Garden jumped into my bag as well. I gave it a firm, "NO!" and pointed back to the shelf, but it obviously hadn't been trained very well and would not obey. It kept staring at me with its big, soft, brown/gray/blue shininess, and I couldn't resist. "Oh, fine! You can come home with me. But you had better behave and not make me frog you!" It sat happily on the passenger seat of the car for the long drive home, and has now taken up residence in the - sigh! - giant in-progress pile on the piano. I have a hat and cowl in mind...

Will these things ever stop following me home? I swear, they can always sense the one who's a pushover in the family...

And I'm not even going to tell you about the Fiber Trends crochet and knit patterns that tagged along.

Let me know you've been here, and have a GOOD weekend. Be sure to just sit and BE for a while... that's what January's for - contemplation.

Animal Breed Zip Code

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Mission Impossible?

I cannot find, anywhere, a fabric similar to the one on Samantha's dress:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: if you can find a simple, white, rosebud-sprigged, cotton length of fabric, let me know - you just might win a prize!

(While we're at it, anyone got a good source for Swallow Casein size US2 DPNs?)

A Better Way To Help...

Have you seen how much your siblings-in-knitting have donated to Doctors Without Borders (who actually DO need your money, no matter what the US news media have incorrectly reported!) at Yarn Harlot's blog?

And if you donate, you have a chance to win the awesome Latvian mittens Stephanie is working on!

Stephanie mentioned Abby's blog, and I see she's instigated a Charity Yarn Diet 2005 - check it out. What a good way to use up some of your stash and help others - win/win all the way!

In Fibery Pursuits...

We have the first fiasco of 2005!

So much for Jeff's Koigu "KPPPM" nightcap. Actually, maybe this would be good for him to take on his overseas flights... he can forego the KLM sleep mask.

While I think of it, would someone please tell me - though I am hesitant to appear such a knitting knitwit as to have to ask... how does one pronounce Koigu?

Ribbing would have been a better choice, but there were so many colors in this yarn (how do they do that?) that I couldn't stand to take the focus away by using any stitch other than stockinette.

I will just have to rip back to where the increases stopped and knit it smaller. Actually, I'll rip a bit farther, as I initially miscalculated: I thought a negative 5% fit would work - negative 10% would be much better... I hope.

Jeff is rolling his eyes at my latest attempt:

The Koigu "KPPPM" hat was done top-down, increasing one stitch in each of eight sections every other round, which made a domed top. This "Calmer" hat started with six sections, and I increased one stitch in each section every round, which made a flat top. So far so good. I then did four rounds of purls to make a curled border, and now am working down in 2x2 ribbing.

I calculated the circumference of the hat by measuring the diameter of the six-section-circle, and multiplying that number by Pi. That total is now negative 10% of Jeff's actual head size. We'll see if that smaller measurement, plus the tightening ribbing, makes this thing wearable.

I swear, I'm about set to go to the Vermont Country Store and just order him a flannel nightcap.

At least we had one success today:

This is "Nine Grain Bread" from More Breaking Bread by Father Dominic Garramone, who had a show on PBS. It uses a multi-grain cereal mix (like Bob's Red Mill kind - it's like porridge, not like cold cereal), millet seeds (which pop like caviar when you chew them!), flax seeds (which are full of Omega-something-or-other and which lower your cholesterol) and sunflower kernels (my own addition).

It is the most fantastic bread and a loaf rarely lasts a day here.

I love the Father Dom books, but Jeff recently got me this, the Bible of bread baking books. As with my knitting, I want to understand the whys of baking artisan bread, and not just follow patterns... er, I mean, recipes. This book explains how everything works, using percentages (the Elizabeth Zimmermann system of baking!) so that you can develop an understanding of how to make up your own breads.

But judging by my made-up nightcap, perhaps made-up breads are not something I should attempt!

Finally Comin' Down

After apocalyptic predictions of snowfall all day, with nary a flake in sight (though we did, believe it or not, have an escaped kangaroo on the loose, which has since been captured), snow has finally begun to come down. They're predicting 7" by morning, but I think they'd do better to watch the juncos at the birdfeeder (they flock there before a snowstorm) than rely on Live Doppler Radar. I don't know what Live Doppler Radar is - I just know it is always wrong! (Right, Kary?)

Tori and Fiona are hunkered down for the night. That would be my felted "Welcome Back, Old Friend" wool and silk tunic they're using for a coverlet.

I found Mr. Valentine looking for bread in the kitchen:

Who, me? I had enough flour last week!

May you be snug and warm tonight, and may your needles be clicking away, merrily or soothingly, as required.

Animal Breed Zip Code

Monday, January 03, 2005


How You Can Help

From Needlework Unlimited yarn shop:

We have all been shocked by the tsunami disaster that has destroyed an entire region of the world. This tragedy has been brought home to us here at Needlework Unlimited in a personal way. One of our needlepoint finishers and expert seamstresses, Rina Sands, is from Sumatra and her parents and extended family live in the center of the devasted area. We have set up a donation box at the store and you may read more about Rina at the following links:

Minnesota Public Radio

Needlework Unlimited and its staff will match the contributions put in our donation box. Checks may be made out to the Minnesota Indonesia Society.

I suggest you go to their website, get a little treat for yourself, and at the same time make a little donation to help a sister-in-fiber help the victims. Everybody wins, and this helps put a personal face on your philanthropy.

Animal Breed Zip Code

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Papa Bear's Cold Care

"Hack-hack-hack. Cough. Groan. Moan. Whine." [Pout. Sigh.]

I fear, Gentle Reader, that I am not good company just now. Woke up with a chest cough and stuffed sinuses. No holiday trip to the natural history museum for me today. [Pout again.]

At least Jeff is playing nurse for me. He's been busy concocting natural remedies that are, in fact, working!

The vitamin C in oranges never hurts. But what is really helping is the essential oil concoctions.

In the candle diffusers placed throughout the home, he has an anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-septic blend of tea tree (5 drops), lavender (2 drops) and thyme (2 drops).

In the dish is a homemade Vick's vapor rub: a 1 tsp. base of grapeseed oil in which he's placed lemon (1 drop), eucalyptus (2 drops) and rosemary (3 drops). It is to be massaged around the chest, neck, and sinus area and works great.

And on the hankie* we have an inhalation blend of thyme (1 drop), peppermint (1 drop), eucalyptus (1 drop) and clove (1 drop). I'm supposed to inhale deeply whenever possible, and so am carrying this around as I shuffle about in my fuzzy yellow robe with sheep on it. (There is something comforting to a fiber artist about having PJs and a robe with sheep emblazoned on them. I will spare you a pic of me in my sheep slippers.)

If you've been lucky enough to avoid colds or influenza (and believe me, if you have ever had influenza, you know that it is not just a bad cold - it irritates me no end when people with colds say they have the flu, and then take anti-bacterial antibiotics which wouldn't help a viral flu, anyway! Sorry, I told you I was grumpy today...), then get thee out to get some essential oils so you are prepared should the worst happen and you be unlucky enough to succumb to that sneeze from the checkout person at your grocery store! Blech! (And don't forget to wash your hands often - the very best prevention of all!)

* What, you don't have a hankie? And you, a craftsperson? You deserve to have a nice hankie or two, and not those horrendous, skin-irritating and wasteful paper tissues!

Simply buy inexpensive cotton hankies at your local discount store, or get some cotton yardage from the fabric store and cut a square. Then, take a tiny, metal crochet hook and some fine crochet cotton, and a handy book of crochet edgings from the library, and just poke the hook right through the fabric to crochet some lovely border lace (a good project for an at-home, in-bed, not-feeling-well-at-all day! Imagine you are indisposed a la Jane Austen. Play it up, and have people pity you and bring you Earl Grey tea.)

Roll the edge of the fabric tightly as you go, to make a hem enclosed by your foundation row of crochet stitches. Heck, if you don't want to make lace, you can stop with one round of colorful stitches just to secure the fabric. For an elegant hankie, use crochet thread in the same shade as the fabric - white on white or cream on cream are lovely.

If you're feeling especially creative, you can take a needle and the crochet cotton and stitch your initials onto one corner using simple embroidery techniques.

Voila - a gorgeous, soft, washable hankie you'll be proud to take out of your pocket... especially when infused with your favorite perfurme, or some essential oils, to sniff when you need a mood-lifter or sinus-clearer!

All recipes are from The Complete Book Of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood.

The Blunders Of 2004

I promised I'd share my 2004 fibery boo-boos with you, and here they are.

I knew, when I wove these cotton dishtowels, that they would shrink a lot because of the fiber and the waffle weave pattern I'd chosen. (Thanks again for the help on that, Pamela!) I did not, however, realize they would shrink down to washcloth size!

I tried warping my rigid heddle loom in an unfamiliar way, and ended up having to re-tension the warp a couple of times. That goofed up my length estimates, which is why one towel is so much shorter than the others.

Well, I learned a lot from the project, and had fun doing it, and got over some more loom-a-phobia, and still have some useful... washcloths for my troubles, so that wasn't as bad as this:

That would be my silk/wool cabled tunic from the Fall, 2002 issue of Interweave Knits. The pattern is called "Welcome Back, Old Friend" and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it.

It was my first big cable project, and took me ages to knit and seam. But I finally finished it, and loved wearing it. And then... it grew.

And despite (or, perhaps, because of) washing and blocking several times, it grew and it grew and it grew and it grew.

It got longer. It got wider. The sleeves lengthened and began to look like elephants' trunks. What on Earth?

I made Jeff try it on. Wow, he is 6'3", and it was too big for him!

What to do, what to do? (If I had asked Jeff first, he would have wisely told me to take it apart and re-use the yarn. I did not, unfortunately, ask Jeff first.)

I tried to felt it. It took three trips through the washer and dryer to begin to felt. And then I remembered: cable-knit items will not felt in width! In fact, if anything, it actually got wider!

I now have a sweater with a 60" bust measurement (I am a 38-40), and a tunic which is now 19" in length (I am 5'7" so that goes about to my waist.

Well, what I actually have now is a very expensive and time-consuming dog bed/blanket for Fiona. And at least I didn't have the heartbreak of poor Julia - I had gotten some use out of the sweater.

What did I learn from this? That not every pattern published in a magazine has been road-tested. That heavy yarns are not good to use for big sweaters knit at relatively loose gauges. To trust my instincts and take inspiration from other designers but continue to design my own projects using techniques from Elizabeth Zimmermann, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and Barbara G. Walker. (Claudia, they are great for those of us who are gauge-challenged!)

And to ask Jeff's advice once in a while. I always think I have more common sense than he, but... that is just a wifely superiority complex. There is a reason, after all, that he had a high-school project accepted by NASA, to go aboard the space shuttle. There is a reason, after all, that he just got a great review and a raise (go, Jeff!) There is a reason, after all, that he knows how to make a lovely Christmas dinner and a wicked vapor rub. Why, that man, despite being a man , might just have a brain or two in that skull! Knitting, for him, should be child's play... if I can just get over my pride and admit he might actually be able to help!

Good Wishes For You

May your 2005 bring you the best of luck in your fibery pursuits, the best of health, and an open attitude of willingness to accept help from others. Have a fantastic day!

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!

Mini Me

Recent Comments

Fab Fiberarts Rings

Knitting Bloggers
Previous | Next

List | Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Previous | Next

Buds' Blogs

Need To Mellow Out?

Daily Zen

Light A Candle

Need An Excuse?

My Fiber Pusher

The Knotty Sheep

Download Me

Subscribe To This Blog

Subscribe with Bloglines

Subscribe to Stasia's feed

Hear Me

Stasia's Place Podcast

Past Entries

Please come visit my new home at Yarn And A Barn -...
New Address
We Love Our Pets
Random Acts of Kindness Week
Sunday Funnies
Pink Scarves Are Easy
Yes Indeedy, Some Fiber News
All Creatures Great And Small
Holey Moley - Twins!
Visions Of Sugarplums...

July 28, 2002 August 04, 2002 August 11, 2002 August 18, 2002 August 25, 2002 September 01, 2002 September 08, 2002 September 15, 2002 September 22, 2002 September 29, 2002 October 06, 2002 October 13, 2002 October 20, 2002 October 27, 2002 November 03, 2002 November 10, 2002 November 17, 2002 November 24, 2002 December 01, 2002 December 08, 2002 December 22, 2002 December 29, 2002 January 05, 2003 January 12, 2003 January 19, 2003 January 26, 2003 February 16, 2003 February 23, 2003 March 02, 2003 March 09, 2003 March 16, 2003 March 23, 2003 March 30, 2003 April 06, 2003 April 27, 2003 May 04, 2003 May 11, 2003 May 18, 2003 June 01, 2003 June 08, 2003 June 15, 2003 June 22, 2003 June 29, 2003 July 06, 2003 July 13, 2003 July 27, 2003 August 03, 2003 August 10, 2003 August 17, 2003 August 31, 2003 September 14, 2003 September 28, 2003 October 05, 2003 October 12, 2003 October 26, 2003 November 09, 2003 November 16, 2003 November 23, 2003 November 30, 2003 December 07, 2003 December 14, 2003 December 21, 2003 December 28, 2003 January 11, 2004 January 18, 2004 January 25, 2004 February 08, 2004 February 22, 2004 March 07, 2004 March 14, 2004 March 21, 2004 March 28, 2004 April 04, 2004 April 18, 2004 May 09, 2004 May 16, 2004 June 06, 2004 June 13, 2004 June 20, 2004 June 27, 2004 August 01, 2004 August 08, 2004 August 22, 2004 August 29, 2004 September 05, 2004 September 12, 2004 September 19, 2004 November 21, 2004 November 28, 2004 December 05, 2004 December 19, 2004 December 26, 2004 January 02, 2005 January 09, 2005 January 23, 2005 January 30, 2005 March 06, 2005 April 03, 2005 May 08, 2005 May 15, 2005 May 29, 2005 June 05, 2005 June 12, 2005 June 19, 2005 July 03, 2005 July 10, 2005 July 17, 2005 July 31, 2005 August 14, 2005 August 28, 2005 September 04, 2005 September 11, 2005 September 18, 2005 November 06, 2005 November 13, 2005 November 27, 2005 December 04, 2005 December 11, 2005 December 25, 2005 January 01, 2006 January 08, 2006 January 22, 2006 March 26, 2006 April 09, 2006 April 16, 2006 April 23, 2006 April 30, 2006 May 07, 2006 May 14, 2006 June 04, 2006 June 25, 2006 September 03, 2006 November 05, 2006 November 12, 2006 November 19, 2006 November 26, 2006 December 24, 2006 January 07, 2007 January 21, 2007 January 28, 2007 February 11, 2007 February 18, 2007 February 25, 2007 September 30, 2007

About Me

My Home Page - Updating

I Support...

The Tibet Fund
Citizens For A Free Tibet
Monadnock Humane Society
The National Primate Research Exhibition Hall (NPRX)
The Primate Freedom Project

Your Click Helps At...

The Animal Rescue Site

I Believe...

I'm Involved...

I Listen To...

Important Note

We have a new ISP and my web pages are being moved. My old URLs will not work unless you go here and type them in to get an archived copy. As I upload the pages to the new server, the links in my sidebar will become clickable again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

My Patterns

Knit Koigu Kersti Shawl
Gaugeless Toe-Up Socks
Knit Beehive Hat
Knit Fingerless Mitts
Knit PodPocket For iPod Mini

My Websites

Dyeing Experiments and Instructions - Updating
Textile and Fiberarts Pages - Updating
Beekeeping Pages - Updating
Take The Spindle Quiz!

My Amazon Wish List

...Is Here

My Froogle Wish List

...Is Here

My Photos
This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from jeffnstasia. Make your own badge here.

Pet Rats Rule!

To The Ratlist
Image By Ophelia

Send Me E-mail


The Weather In Eau Claire, WI

The WeatherPixie

moon phases

Give My Dog A Bone

Adopt Your Own Virtual Pet!

Hosted By

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Stats By