clarelight-ly knitting

Knit lightly, it makes it easier to take the mistakes out.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


So, I go to the LYS, just to "look around". I get a skein of dark red Lamb's pride for a sweater project, a skein of Trekking XXL in a colorway I don't have, and two skeins of Dale Hauk in dark grey, to knit myself some fingerless mitts. All is well, and all is in budget and planned for. And then I walk by this basket on the way to the cash register...and I see this:

See that fat skein in the left corner? Glowing in it's delicious multi-colored-ness? That, dear reader, is The Yarn Clarelight Can't Live Without. I want to enshrine it in a crystal case for eveyone to admire (but not touch with their grubby, acquisitive claws). Its a bit heavier than laceweight 50/50 merino/silk hand-dyed yarn from Great Adirondak, and now that I have seen and purchased this skein of lovely stuff, I finally understand what all the fuss over "hand-dyed" is about. There is purple, and cobalt blue, and green and gold, and even a little orange, and it is spectacular. Too spectacular to hide, much as I want to.

Lightening struck again, because I also purchased the book "Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls" by Martha Waterman, and in the back is a stole pattern called "Lir's Children" that is a balance of openwork and solid sections that will show off this loveliness beautifully. I'm stoked.

But first I need a swift and ball winder. I have hand-wound lace weight ONCE (1050 yards of Morehouse Farms Merino) and I will never do that again.

Finally, a picture of my boss, Purrsis. She's a tortie with long hair in some places and short in the others, with green-yellow eyes and a sweet face. She has been very patient in training this dog person in the Way of Cat, and I adore her.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cast of Characters

Hi all. I don't have much to say about my knitting right now, so I will distract you with a picture of my favorite child, Teds.

Teddy is a West Highland White Terrier, a breed once described as a white dog determined to be brown. In my boys case, that is spot-on. He came into my life as a shy 11 month old puppy, frightened of cars, loud noises, and my dad. He's still nervy about loud noises (jet planes, fireworks, thunder) but he walks along busy streets on his lead with aplomb, and aggravates dad because as far as Teds is concerned, if I'm around, no one else matters. Teds is my dog, and I am his human.

We have other dogs, and I have a cat, and I love all of my animals dearly. But Teds is my baby, my darling, and I am extremely lucky to have him.

Coming up tomorrow: pictures of recently acquired yarn! (Oooooh!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Inside the bag

Well, life is settling into the ordinary routine, except for my aunt, who is having to make up a new one as she goes along. Thank you so much to all of your support and well wishes. I am so excited to see that people are reading my little blog and leaving comments, thank you.
Last week Imbrium tagged the readers of her blog to show the contents of their knitting bag. I am only slightly embarassed to say that I currently have five bags/baskets going. I like to keep the yarn, pattern, and frustration for each project in it's own space. But I do have only one little bag that I keep my tools in, so here's a picture of that. Discerning readers will notice that there are two categories I tend to hoard: stitch markers and Chibis. Beaded stitch markers can be kind of spendy (like ten bucks apiece, hello? You can buy some really nice yarn for ten bucks.) but my favorite LYS always has a bunch right at the counter at reasonable prices (2.50 each), and I can't ring up a purchase without adding one or two new markers into the pile. (I also have this thing for sock yarn, but that's for another day.) As for the Chibis, I just like the little container things, I guess. They're cute, and useful, and the right size. Perfect little gadgets. You're going to laugh, but I was reading Zeneedle (hi, Margene!) and she's having a little contest, and one of the prizes is a green translucent Chibi, and I really wanted to email her and ask Where did you find that? because I haven't seen any here in Portland. I don't need another Chibi, but its in a color I don't have, and well...I guess I'm a little obsessed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


I know I promised you pictures, but my week is not going as planned.

My uncle died very suddenly of a massive bacterial infection yesterday morning. My aunt is ill herself with pneumonia, and valiantly struggling through the process of making all the arrangements and her grieving. Since they live several hours north of us, we will be on the road for most of the weekend. That means I'm busy arranging for animal care, packing, finding hotel rooms, etc.

No more Knitting Olympics for me, I'm afraid. I'll still be knitting (I do want to retain my sanity) but it's all no pressure stuff, while my family supports my aunt through this loss.

I'll be back next week.


Monday, February 13, 2006


I really, really hate Valentines Day. I do.

There are many reasons to shun this celebration of erotic love, beginning with the popularity contest Valentines Day becomes in grade school. And I was never popular, so the first year that the class was not required to give little paper slips to each classmate, I got nothing. This lasted all the way through high school.

I don't know why this mattered, since these same kids are now adults I wouldn't associate with willingly anyway, but there you are.

Now that I am (apparently) an adult, I hate it even more. This is entirely because I am a bitter single person, I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Except for a year-long marriage in my very early twenties, I have been single and unattatched my entire adult life. I don't want to be single, I don't like being single, and the longer it goes on, the more likely I am to stay single. So it hurts when the whole Valentines push glorifying love, romance, and consumerism comes around every year.

I'm tired of it. It makes me cranky, when I'm not trying to squelch the inevitable self-pity.

I don't expect the world to be fair; I want it to be unfair in my favor for once.

Knitting content tomorrow, I promise.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Let the Games begin!

It was a bright and sunny day. Spirits were high as the project was cast on.
Progress was being made, in true Olympic times.
Erm...maybe not.

This is the Olympics, and a big deal, right? So less than the best I can do isn't going to cut it.

Besides, it was going to be too small. I re-cast on this morning, and I am satisfied with the result. More pictures tomorrow, when I'll have something pretty to show you!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Ok, I lied

I was planning to go to Knit Nite at The Naked Sheep (they sell bumper stickers that say "knit naked". How cool is that?) but I have been informed by The Powers That Be that I must instead go to Hell's Half Acre, otherwise know as Costco.

I. Hate. Costco.

I know that everyone is now going to tell me how wonderful the place is. That must mean that a) you've never been there; of b) you take drugs and/or drink in order to forget the horror of it all.

So, go to Knit Nite for me, or knit for me at home, while I sacrifice myself to the lesser deities of shopping. Please. Thanks.


First of all, the opera was amazing. I saw Portland Opera's production of Verdi's MacBeth, and it was pretty damn cool. The stage settings were all projected images onto the stage and scrims, and it was really, really well done. The costumes were fabulous, and the music divine. My only issue was with Lady MacBeth, her mid-range was a little spotty. But wow, what a show.

The camera figuring-out is coming along. I haven't had time to load the software onto my laptop, so that is on the list for this weekend (between my Olympic knitting stunt). I also plan to do some time on making the blog look like someone is using it and knows what she's doing. Look for buttons and links in the near future. Plus pictures of yarn, and cute animals. With three dogs and a cat, there is cuteness galore at my place.

Tonight is Knit Nite at The Naked Sheep in North Portland, on Killingsworth. I'll be there, won't you? The shop is open 'til 9pm tonight. There will be yarn, cool knitters, and shop dog Riley, who I'll try to get a picture of for you.

In the meantime, take care and get all warmed up for the upcoming Knitting for the Gold! I have all my supplies in a tote bag to take with me, and a camera to capture the action, what more do I need?

Well, since you're asking, coffee and chocolate!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


I got a digital camera yesterday. It's a Nikon Coolpix, and it's tiny! I am going to figure out how to use it this week and Friday I will post pictures!

In knitting news, I am almost half-finished with my mobius. I cast it on last Friday, when I was so sick, and I can say that mobius knitting is great when you're high on cold medications, once you get past the first half-round. The yarn is this fuzzy stuff in shades of pale green and white, and I bought a solid green cotton/angora blend to do the i-cord trim around the edge. Very soft, and very green!

I'm going to the opera MacBeth tonight, so I'll catch up with y'all later!

Sunday, February 05, 2006


I have reached an interesting milestone in my knitting obsession. I realized this week that I have more projects on the needles than ever, and more projects-in-waiting than I could accomplish in the next six months.

My knitting plans began as very short term, minor time investment items. A scarf, a hat, mittens for children, socks on a deadline. But somewhere in the last year, I have been accumulating yarn I know I won't be able to knit anytime soon, and I keep buying more. It doesn't make any sense.

I blame this on knitting books. So many worthy designs, so many great ideas or starting points or inspiration, that my dreamlist gets longer and longer. I dream sweaters and shawls and socks now, awake or asleep. The yarn manufacturers are to blame too. When one comes across a great yarn, don't leave it lonely in the store! Bring it into the enfolding welcome of your stash, where it can wait in peace and security until you know what it wants to be knit into. Right?

The projects I tried and ripped out have grown too. I used to be a faithful knitter, staying with the project to the bitter end, only to hate the result. (I know that you, too, have done this. I saw that awful scarf hidden in your closet.) But as my competency has increased, I am more discriminating about what I will complete and what I will rip. Ripping can be very theraputic. With ripping your misbehaving knitting, you get a sense of really resolving the issue, something that never happens in romantic relationships. I can only hope that my so-far failed love life can benefit from this maturity.

So here, for your amusement, is a list of my projects-in-process as of today:

Socks for myself, second of the pair
Socks for myself, the first of the pair
Socks for my father, the first of the pair
Cardigan, the back in the middle of the armhole decreases
Mobius, somewherebefore half done
Shawl, less than half
Shawl, less than an eighth

Projects I have yarn, needles, and pattern for:
cabled vest
lace scarf for a friend
baby surprise jacket
lace scarf for me
lace shawl for me
another lace shawl
philosopher's wool sweater kit
any number of socks (I love to knit socks, and I love love love sock yarn)

And last and not least
Fair Isle hat and mittens for my Olympic Knitting

So, anyone else out there have more yarn than they can knit?

Friday, February 03, 2006


Why is it that the day the Harlot's interview with PRI is being aired, my public radio station has a pledge drive? OPB, you are on my sh*t list until I can download that segment of The World and listen to it, you hear?

Why is it that I have to catch a cold every time a stray virus floats by my nostrils? I am sick to death of Halls cough drops, Kleenex, Alka-Seltzer Cold Non- Drowsy, and the evil Robitussin. I want to be better NOW.

What's worse, this particular virus has given me a case of knitting doldrums. I have several lovely projects I could work on, and the Knitting Olympics are coming up (go Team DPN! Poke the competition!) but all I do when I get home is lay on my bed, and wish for something...different.

I have no idea what I want to knit that I haven't got, but I just got a bonus check that I wasn't expecting, and well...I can't even get excited about buying new yarn. This is one fierce virus. Perhaps I'm coming down with an even worse disease: startitis.

It is true that I have reached a point where I have a lot of projects on the needles. Two shawls, three different pairs of socks, a sweater, a scarf (that will probably frogged, its Berocco Optik, and it feels NASTY), and what else? A Baby Surprise Jacket I need to start soon, a lace scarf for a friend who's moving, oh goodness, what else might there on the needles, hiding in my plastic tubs?

Oh, and the strongest storm of the season is about to hit the coast, meaning high winds, rain (as if we haven't gotten enough already) and the possibility of flooding, landslides, and power outages. What makes me think in August that I like winter?

Oh yeah, I hate the heat.

Sorry I'm so grumpy, darlings, I blame the cold medications.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

bloggers' (silent) poetry reading

Nature's first green is gold
her hardest hue to hold.
It's early leaf's a flower
but only so for an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
So dawn turns to day
Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Frost