About Me

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I live in Marblehead, MA and love to knit and spin!  I host the Knitting by the Sea podcast on YouTube.  I am Saratogaknitting on Ravelry and Instagram!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all! Here are some pictures of our Christmas - we go to my parents for the exchange of kid gifts! The niece and nephews are sporting their Christmas gifts knit by Aunt Lisa!

I'm looking forward to lots of spinning and knitting in 2009! (Maybe a little less snow would be appreciated . . .;-)

Oh yes - The Rowing Cat completed her writing challenge - over 16,000 words! Woo Hoo!








Sunday, November 09, 2008

NaNoWriMo


It's National Novel Writing Month! The Rowing Cat has joined the Young Writers portion! She has pledged to write at least 15,000 words in November. The kids are told to just write and not be concerned with spelling or grammar. They'll go back and edit in December. She has been faithfully writing every day and she is having a blast! I'm so proud!!

Want to see what she's written so far?? Leave me a comment or email me and I'll forward a copy!

llenz57843@aol.com

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fall Activities

It is definitely fall here in upstate New York. The leaves are beautiful shades of red and gold and are completely covering our yard . . . Thankfully, my doctor has banned me from raking due to some allergy issues! Couldn't have asked for a better prescription!

Here's our little kitty Annabelle trying to get in on the knitting video . . . Why is it that they always always always want to be right on top of whatever it is you are doing???


I've started the Queen Anne's Lace Scarf. It is a very easy crochet pattern, but you don't have to tell anyone that! It works up crazy fast - great for tv watching or last minute gifts.



Here is some wool that I just drafted slightly and let go into the wheel any old which way. So it's thick and thin, bulky and fine! I don't have all that much of it, so I'm not sure what it will become - maybe a small hat for one of the "little dudes" living next door.

This turned out exactly the way I wanted it! It's a combination of Merino and Romney and I really love how the colors came together. I always find myself spinning on colored roving trying to think of what to ply it with. It goes so much further if I ply it with another yarn rather than just plying it with itself. And the possibilities are endless. I could easily have gone for black on this instead of the white Romney. I also love to choose a commercial yarn to ply with. Even more possibilities!



The Rowing Cat and I went up to Camp Chingachgook last night for a Sailebration Dinner for the YKnot Sailing group. Mark was working, so we went as his "representatives". It was fun! The Camp Director offered the Rowing Cat a job next summer working with the 4 - 7 year old day campers. They really really really want to get her involved in the camp and she refuses to be a camper any more. Hopefully this will work for her! I also signed her up for NaNoWriMo! She has to write a 15,000 word novel in the month of November! It's my job to keep her motivated!

Oh, and we're also in WAITING MODE for the TWILIGHT MOVIE . . . ;-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Rhinebeck Report

What a great weekend! We had a wonderful bus trip down sponsored by Saratoga Needle Arts.
The weather was cool but the sun was bright! I had my Ravelry button on and I was ready to go. Tracey and I started to wander through the displays and within 10 minutes I was stopped by someone wanting to know if I was Lisa! She is a fellow Raveler on the She Knits Board and recognized my name. How fun is that??

We continued on from there and went in search of fiber goodness. Tracey was looking for some specific yarn so that was our first task. She found the vendor, but not the exact same shade of yarn. She had to settle for a different color. But it is beautiful!

We saw lots and lots of sheep.




How cute are they???

I was on the hunt for fiber and I found some beautiful roving at the Weston Hill booth. It's a local New York State family farm and the blended roving is wonderful. They were having a special sale - buy 4 "bumps" and get 1 free! Perfect. The blue colors I chose are lovely! I also picked up three bags of silk hankies in some beautiful colors. I'm not totally sold on spinning hankies - your hands need to be very very well moisturized or the silk catches, but I couldn't resist the colors!

We also really enjoyed the displays of knitted items and yarn as well as the demonstrations of rug hooking and weaving. Rug hooking seemed to be the up and coming craft this year. We were utterly exhausted by the end of the day!





And finally, Mark turned 50 yesterday! We had a fun cake!

Friday, October 17, 2008

RHINEBECK RHINEBECK RHINEBECK!!!

It's that time of year once again! Going to Rhinebeck tomorrow!!! Taking the bus put together by Saratoga Needle Arts! Planning on lots of fiber goodness, watching the sheep dog trials, good food, and lots of beautiful animals!

I've been spending a lot of time over on Ravelry at the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary Swap group - what a crazy bunch of ladies - and some terrific swap opportunities!

The spinning is coming along nicely. This is a picture of the final bobbin of Louet merino that I've been spinning on and off for about a year. It's pencil roving, so no prep needed. Just pull it out and start spinning. This is going to be my first Pi Shawl. I think.



This is just a fun little hank that I put together. I plied the remainder of some Hill Country Yarn (the yellow) from a pair of socks with the remainder of a skein of burgundy handspun. Just to see what it looked like! Maybe this will turn into a little striped scarf . . .


Now - where did I put my Ravelry pin - got to find it before tomorrow morning!!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

An Exercise in Cableing

I've been wanting to try the cableling technique I read about in Spin Off magazine. My partner Ingrid from the Hush Hush Handspun Hootenany Ravelry swap sent me two wonderful and colorful skeins of handspun yarn. I thought I might use some of it to try something new!

Cableing is a spinning technique that creates a very strong and sturdy yarn. The process has several steps. First you spin four bobbins of singles. Then you ply the yarn into two bobbins of plied yarn. Then you reply the plied bobbins to increase the twist. Then you take the two replied bobbins and cable them together in the direction of the original singles twist.

Ingrid had already done the first two steps for my with her handspun. So I sent the two skeins of yarn back through the wheel to tighten the twist.





Then I cabled the two bobbins together to create a bobbin of cabled yarn!





I'm really pleased with the result! And it was fun to experiment! Thank you Ingrid! And I still have plenty of the uncabled yarn to make a pair of socks! I've also tried branching out on another pair of socks this weekend.

I purchased the new book by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, 2-at-a-time Socks, and I thought I'd give it a try! It's a little strange at first and it looks like a tangled mess, but it actually works! I'm going to keep on going with the pattern!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year . . .

Ahhhhhh . . . School . . . . It begins . . . . The Rowing Cat begins High School next week. I can't really believe it! Volleyball started this week, scrimmages and practices! My little girl is a setter for the JV Team!

I participated in Ravelympics! I was a member of Team Tardis and participated in the Handspun Heptathalon! I used some luscious fiber from Spunky Eclectic - a beautiful blend of merino and mohair. I started spinning during the Opening Ceremonies and was able to finish my scarf before the Closing Ceremonies! The Rowing Cat has already claimed this as her own . . . The pattern is Mabel's Scarf.






Here is a picture of my "haul" from the Hush Hush Hand Spun Hootenanny! My swap partner Ingrid put together a great package! Two skeins of handspun, beautiful fiber hand dyed by Ingrid and silk hankies, also hand dyed by Ingrid! She also included a bar of her own handmade soap with a wonderful Mango scent.


Here is the bobbin with the silk. This has been interesting to spin. I've only tried silk hankies once before using a spindle. So I was really interested to try this on the wheel. It's pretty neat! The silk does get stuck on every little dry spot on your hands or on the chair or on your glasses . . . but it's a fun process! I'm thinking of plying the silk with some laceweight black alpaca from the stash. Hmmmm . . . I'll have to see what it looks like. I'm also thinking of experimenting with the handspun Ingrid sent me. I just might try cabling some of each skein together. It's a technique I've been reading about in Spin Off magazine.


Here's a picture of my Seafoam Scarf. I'm very happy with this one! The yarn is spun from Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club roving. I think this pattern really pops with the color transitions. It's a fun pattern to knit with a series of yarnovers that are dropped.


And what would a blog post from me be without a pair of socks? This colorway is called TOTM - can you guess what that means???? Time of the Month! Perfect - don't you think??? They've gone into the Rowing Cat's sock drawer!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

100th Post: Hibiscus for Hope

I simply cannot believe that this is my 100th post! And too celebrate that fact, I'm delighted to introduce you to Hibiscus for Hope!

Ramona has once again put together a beautiful pattern that can be yours for sponsoring her in the 2008 Weekend to End Breast Cancer. I was a test knitter for this pattern and I can attest that it is beautiful! Mine are the lime green socks! Here is Ramona's post on the new sock - read it and get on over and sponsor her! Happy Knitting!



This is an elegant sock inspired by ThatLoganChick’s Agatha shawl
designed for the fight to end breast cancer

Starting from a toe-up construction (magic loop or 2 circular needles recommended), the sinuous lace motif (a variant of a lace design found in Leili Riemann’s Pitsilised Koekirjad) begins from a point somewhat above the toe-box, expands across the instep and ultimately wraps gracefully around the ankles after the heel to meet itself in the back and continue up around the leg. The comfortable arch-hugging heel combines the under-heel gusset increases from Cat Bordhi’s Riverbed architecture with Wendy Johnson’s short-rowed heels to accommodate a high or wide instep.

A few tantalizing images from my intrepid testknitters:
















To get the pattern, all you have to do is sponsor me for the upcoming 2008 Weekend to End Breast Cancer, and put HIBISCUS in the message.

Crazy4Dyeing Etsy Shop Announcement: 15% of sales of Crazy4Dyeing yarn destined for Hibiscus for Hope socks will be donated to Toronto Weekend to End Breast Cancer to sponsor the designer of the patternwalking 60-km over two days. Please make a comment when you check out that you’ll be making these socks.

Knitters for Knockers:
knitting together to make cancer history!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Fun

I'm off for vacation today but I thought I'd post a few pictures this morning. This is a beautiful cowl called Veronique by Carrie Strine. I knit it up in some fantastic yarn from Mama Llama that I won in a contest. The yarn is so soft and squishy and the pattern is an easy lace knit. I almost want it to be cold enough out to wear it. Almost.

Are you my downstream Hush Hush Handspun Hootenany pal? If so, this luscious fiber will be coming your way! It's a beautiful superwash merino from The Dyeing Arts called Goblin Elbow Blue. It is a joy to spin!

Shhhhh! This is a small teaser for a sock pattern that I've been test knitting! It's done in some fabulous Posh Yarn in a crazy lime green colorway! More on the pattern once it's posted!

And I've finally succumbed to the lure of the washcloth. This is done in basic cotton in some not so basic colors! I love it! I plan on knitting at least 7 so I can have one available for every day of the week!


That's all for now! I'm off to mail my Magic Yarn Ball Swap package and then to pack for the Lake! Have a great week! Now what knitting project should I pack . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hush Hush Handspun Hootenanny Questionnaire

1. How long have you been spinning? What skill level do you consider yourself?

I've been spinning for about a year and a half and would consider myself intermediate.

2. What kinds of yarn do you create (singles/2-ply/3-ply/art yarn)?

I usually create 2-ply or singles yarn.

3. What do you spin with (spindle/wheel/both)?

Just my wheel - A Louet 75

4. What are your favorite fibers to spin with? Anything you don't like?

I love to spin Merino and Romney. I'm not so hot on silk and tencel, but I probably just need more practice. I'm also very allergic to Angora bunnies, so that's off my list.

5. Who are your favorite crack dealers fiber sources (etsy or otherwise)?

Spunky Eclectic, Hello Yarn

6. What kind of fiber do you want to try?

I should really try some silk blends.

7. Is there any techniques you would like to learn?

Navaho plying

8. Do you dye fiber? If not, would you like to learn?

I'm not really interested in dying right now. That may change!

9. Do you have fiber prep tools (and like to use them) or would you prefer ready to spin fiber?

I usually prefer ready to spin although I do have a pair of small combs that I have used with mohair locks.

10. What do you do with your handspun? What projects have you completed?

Socks, socks and more socks, scarves, hats, felted bags

11. Are you in need of any spinning gadgets (WPI Gauge, threading hook, etc)?

Not really.

12. What colors "fall into your shopping basket"? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love bright colors! Anything will do!

13. What is on your wheel/spindle right now?

Mohair locks

14. What other crafts/hobbies do you have?

Knitting

15. Other than crafts, what are you passionate about?

I love to read and I love to bake when I have the time.

16. Do you have an online wishlist?

No

17. Is there anything that you collect?

Not besides yarn and fiber!

18. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What magazine subscriptions do you have?

I'd love to get Cat Bordhi's new pathways sock book. I have subscriptions to Interweave Knits, Vogue Knitting and Spin.

19. When is your birthday?

October 30

20. What book or movie character do you most resemble in personality?

Hmmmm. I'll have to think about this. Check back for any update!

21. What is the climate like where you live around this time (need to know for careful shipments of anything meltable)?

It's summer.

22. Tell us one weird fact about yourself!

I broke my left ring finger this year and now it veers off to the left of center.

Favorites
favorite painting/picture(link): I'll have to think about this one too.

Candy: Anything chocolate - dark is good!

Food: Italian and Thai

Drink: Jack Daniels Manhattan

Movie(s): Pirates of the Caribbean, Local Hero, Waking Ned Devine

TV Show(s): Lost, Rome, The Tudors, Dr. Who

Book(s): The Lymond series by Dorothy Dunnet

Guilty Pleasure(s): chocolate chip cookies

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Have I Been Up To?

The weather has been fine - warm and summer like - even though we've been through a few storms . . . So I've been knitting!

Here's a little hat designed by Jen. It's so cute and easy! It's destined for a former co-worker who has moved away who has a baby due at the end of the summer! Hope she likes it!



Here's the May offering from the Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club. I love love love the colors!

And here's the completed Smoke Ring - I'm very pleased with the way this turned out!

And here's the beginning of the Print O' The Wave Shawl. I'm enjoying the pattern!



I'll be back this weekend with my Questionnaire for the Hush Hush Handspun Hootenany Swap!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Another Winner!

It was a beautiful morning on Lake George for the Milford Lester Memorial Race. The rowers started at Million Dollar Beach and rowed 6 miles around one of the islands barely visible in the photo. The race took about an hour, leaving me with knitting time!


As you can see, Mark won another medal! He came in second in his class. He was beat by his coach, so that's not too shabby! We all spent some time in a rustic pub having drinks, lunch and awards after the race. A good time was had by all! No more races until the fall - just practice, practice, practice.


Now onto some knitting. This is a smoke ring that I've been knitting out of the handspun fiber I bought at Rhinebeck. It's actually a burgundy color, not the purple that it looks in the photo. This poor yarn has been through the ringer. I first started out making the Sarcelle shawl, which is a lovely pattern. However, I soon realized that I did not have enough yarn. So off to the frog pond it went. I pulled out my saved patterns folder and decided to knit the smoke ring. I spent a whole afternoon on this, completing 2 repeats of the pattern before realizing that something was wrong. The lace just didn't look right. So I looked at the knitting, back to the chart, back to the knitting, back to the chart. And then it clicked. The pattern had a mistake in it. So back to the frog pond it went. One more time I started the smoke ring and finally hit the nail on the head! Although this has been a crazy project, I do feel confident enough as a knitter to be able to look at the knitting and the pattern and figure out the problem!

Now here is my spinning. I've been working on this for awhile. This is Romney wool from a work friend. She owns a small flock of Romney sheep and finally brought me in a pound of her fiber! It has become a beautiful lace weight singles yarn. I'm planning to make a modified version of the Print of the Wave Stole. It's going to be my summer lace project!