Monday, December 26, 2011

Beautiful Thing

I'm feeling sad these days. As I mentioned, things are changing in the knittingbrow household and it's taking time for me to adjust. This is natural.

One of the things I like to do when I'm sad is to watch comfort movies. One of my favorite comfort movies is Beautiful Thing. Follow the link for the standard summary. Or just watch the trailer.

The movie stirs many emotions for me. There is a certain scene in the movie I call "going on 17." The tenderness shared between two friend is represented wonderfully in the writing and acting. It's honest and awkward, just like any teenager trying to become comfortable in their own skin.

I love Sandra, the mother of one of the boys. She obviously loves her son and struggles with understanding what she doesn't understand. Fortunately, her love for her son wins.

The soundtrack features Mama Cass and The Mamas and the Papas.

What are your comfort movies?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Year Without a Sothia Pattern?

I remember watching The Year Without A Santa Claus and wonder which character would make the perfect Halloween costume. I must have been very good because I "found" my copy of Robin Ulrich's Sothia shawl pattern. (rav link) Which yarn colors should I use?

My test knit of the Katriel.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


I started a Daybreak last night using yarn from Ram Club. Yarn base is Verve in color ways Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

La Cage Aux Folles

A couple of Saturdays ago, I went to Cleveland with Songferret, StageManagerChrissy and knitBS to see the touring company of La Cage aux Folles

It was a delightful show and we had great seats thanks to our theater social calendar coordinator, Songferret. The actor playing Albin, (Christopher Seiber) was full of joy on stage and really brought the house down during the act 1 finale, "I am what I am."

George Hamilton seems tired as he played Albin's partner, Georges. He didn't look comfortable in the role. He was certainly tan. :)

Albin belted out his songs with full gusto, bringing me along for the ride. If you have an opportunity to see the show, I recommend it. It is different than the movie The Birdcage so don't expect the exact storyline. Expect a story of a family who loves one another as another family is starting their life together.

I brought sock knitting with me and snapped this photo. It's the best I could get without a flash and after trying to photoshop it on my iPhone.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Rose

A Rose by knittingbrow
A Rose, a photo by knittingbrow on Flickr.

This rose sticker from the lapel on the lapel of my jacket has special meaning. On Wednesday, I had the honor of being a pall bearer at my BFF's mother's funeral. He asked me if I would help the family.

I said "Yes" without hesitation.

The funeral was small and heart-felt, just as I expected. I was happy Songferret took us up our offer to drive him the to his hometown. Lady Julie, PhotoSteve & I were able to attend the services.

My BFF, Songferret, has a lot of people who care about him. He knows this from the comments left on his Facebook wall when he announced his mother passed away. He knows this from the people who called during calling hours. He knows this from the comments on the virtual guest book on the funeral home website.

I want him to remember that people love him. Thank you for asking me to help. I love you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Rainbow by knittingbrow
Rainbow, a photo by knittingbrow on Flickr.

Yesterday was a long day for me. Stress caught up with me. I was driving to an appointment and saw this rainbow. It was exactly what I needed to see.

I've not knit in the last two days so I don't have an update on the lace. I want to post an update on the current UFO progress this weekend.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A View From the Upstairs Window

My sister blogged about my chainsaw adventure on her blog. She posted a couple of pictures.

BTW: We were talking about how long it would take to cut up all this wood. So there. :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Learning to Use a Chainsaw

My BIL Jack taught me how to use my chainsaw this morning. I brought the manual with me so he could look at it just in case it has significant problems. It didn't. We (he) took it apart and tightened the chain, added chain and gasoline and it started up after a few pulls. This is impressive because I haven't used the chainsaw in almost 10 years (if not longer) and did no preparation for such long storage. Jack did a cut with it and found the chain was very dull so he let me do some cutting with his chainsaw.

After I get the saw started, it worked out pretty well. I cut two of the trees into 18" lengths. I'm looking forward to going home and being able to use my saw on my own. I'm confident I can do the cutting I need. Notice the flannel shirt my sister bought for me. I think it's nice.

After the morning, we went to Planktown Country Market. It's a bulk food store that has spices, cooking ingrediants and an incredible deli. I picked up spices, bread flour and cheese to name a few things. The horshradish cheese is quite tasty. We headed to my niece's house for a nice lunch. I got to hear about her wedding plans. She's almost done and the wedding is almost 11 months away. w00t.

Here's a video to lighten the mood a bit, especially after seeing me using a chainsaw and wearing flannel is too much for you. Enjoy!

Chop Wood, Knit Lace

Chop Wood, Knit Lace by knittingbrow
Chop Wood, Knit Lace, a photo by knittingbrow on Flickr.

I'm visiting my sister and BIL, Jack. Jack has generously agreed to help me learn to use a chainsaw (properly). I've had this chainsaw over 10 year and last used it during the Clinton administration. I need help to adjust the chain, lubricate it and ensure it works. Jack's going to help me take it apart, put it back together and use it to cut some of the logs you see in this picture. I think this is very cool.

I brought a lace project with me that needs completed and worked a bit on it last night. I'll snap a photo of it today.

My sister picked me up a flannel shirt so I can be lumberjack-like. There will be video of the adventure.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mom Update

A while back I shared that my Mom was in the hospital. Thanks for your kind thougths and well-wishes. She was release from the hospital and has been spending time in a nursing, rehap facility. She's expected to go home on Monday.

We still don't know what exactly they are going to do in the long run.

I'm looking forward to our annual "Thanksmas" celebration. There will be family in from out of town and I'll be seeing a niece and nephew I've never met before.

BTW: I'm finished with my holiday knitting. Are you?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Happy!

Today is my 45th birthday and I opted to go to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams for my work birthday lunch. I got a trio of Milkiest chocolate in the world, Ugandan vanilla bean, and Cherry lambic sorbet.

It tasted as good as it looks. So good in fact, this is what it looked like about 15 minutes after I got it.

I had a nice dinner with DH and went knitting. Tomorrow, I head to my sister's so my BIL can teach me how to use a chainsaw this weekend. Yes, this event will be vlogged. I also will balance the event by taking a lace knitting project. I figure if I'm going to butch it up, I might as well go way over the top. Lace knitters can't be fearful, neither can lumberjacks.

I don't have a flannel shirt for the lumberjack event but I'm bringing my how chainsaw. Each time I think about using the chainsaw, I think of the Lumberjack song by Monty Python. Have you heard it? Enjoy.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lavender Shawl Completed!

All done.

I learned a few things knitting this shawl.

Here is a picture of the completed shawl.
Lavender shawl completed
And a picture of the center stitch.
Center Stitch detail

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Backstage Lavender Shawl Update

I'm backstage before the first performance Saturday with an update on the lavender shawl. I made a mistake by not keeping the center back stitch plain. I involved it in the YO, k2tog lace pattern. 

Here's a close-up of the error. I'm trying to fix this while I have time duringyoday's performances. I'm not sure it will work but I'm going to try.

Lavender Shawl progress
I tried and I didn't work. Lavender Shawl progress It looks like extra stitches will be added. I'm going to pull out the fishnet lace pattern and start this section over with a bit more attention on what the lace should be doing.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lavender Shawl

A friend of mine has recently been diagnosed with cancer and I'm knitting her a shawl.
It's based on the Boneyard Shawl (rav link) by Stephen West but I'll be adding a fishnet lace as one of the last sections.

She wanted lavender. Here are the color options I gave her:

She has very good taste and selected #3 (going from the left). It's cashmere.

This is the first cast-on attempt. I was not happy so I pulled it out.

Here's the progress by Sunday's second show at the theatre.  I made good progress.

I don't think I'll get it finished by Friday. I don't want to shorten the shawl simply because I'm out of time. I know I'll have it finished by Monday.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Moms are Knitworthy

Moms are Knitworthy by knittingbrow
Moms are Knitworthy, a photo by knittingbrow on Flickr.

My Mom was in the hospital and is still under medical supervision. I won't go into details on the blog but we're waiting for her skilled team of doctors to get together and discuss the options. (Thanks for the good thoughts to her and those caring for her.)

Last week, my sister sent me this photo of Mom wearing a shrug I designed (& knit) for her 5 or 6 years ago. It was my first knitting using my own pattern. She wanted something to keep her arms and shoulders warm. I could do that! So I bought 10 balls of Noro Silk Garden in a blue color way I knew Mom would like. I basically knit a long scarf with a ribbing at each end and seamed closed some of the arm. (Why I didn't knit more of it in a tube is beyond me.) I finished it to the measurements and gave it to her.

She liked the colors. But I didn't see her wear it. A year ago, I saw it in the top of her closet and asked if she ever wore it. She had but it didn't fit her right. After a short discussion, I knew I could fix it. A bit of alteration later, we have a garment that could be worn comfortably.

Seeing Mom in this after being in the hospital makes me very happy.

Honestly, I think some of my sisters told Mom I didn't think she was knit-worthy because I never saw her wear the shrug even after I fixed it. So she pulls it out of the closet to wear every once in awhile when I visit. That could be true. Regardless, I think Moms are knit-worthy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sleepy H Socks

I'm working on another show. I'm Props Master (and floor manager) during the run of the show. The props have turned out nicely (with an emphasis on keeping it simple).
Here's the tavern sign I created:

Sleepy Hollow opens tonight and I have a little time between scene changes to knit. I'm working on toe-up socks using yarn I bought from Susan Yarns in Cleveland. It is a three-ply wool yarn that has a lot of colors.

Yes, I took this picture during tonight's performance with light from my head lamp. I like the way it looks. It am having trouble finding the best gauge. I started with size 1's and that was very tight but I thought it would be okay for the toe. I switched to size 2's and like it better but the toe is too big.

I can get my thumb inside the toe. Too big. *sigh*
I stopped knitting on the socks tonight and will frog them tonight.

I might switch my knitting. I need a black or dark watch cap to keep my head warm while backstage. It gets chilly. It would be cool if I could design something to work with my headlamp. Hmmmmm.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dalia's Blanket Buddy

I knit a Bunny Blanket Buddy for my first niece-in-law. I used Mirasol Hap'i cotton yarn. I think it turned out cute.
Bunny Buddy full view I didn't do such a great job embroidering the face but you get the idea.
Bunny Buddy Face
But this is the money shot that makes it all worthwhile:

Dalia & her Bunny Buddy

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Knit on in times of....

I was under a great deal of stress Sunday as I traveled to visit my Mom in the hospital. I packed my current knitting project, the Nutkin socks as well as the repair job I posted about yesterday. Before I left, I wound up two skeins of Claudia Handpaints Chunky Weight wool so I could knit on something fast and not brain taxing.

I cast-on both socks Sunday. See how far I've gone in a short amount of time?

I'm pleased with how quickly these are knitting up. I'm using Brittany US size 6 DPNs. I cast-on 8 STD on a size 3 needle because I think the toe-up cast-on is far too loose when I use DPNs.

I'll be doing the Sweet Tomato Heel by Cat Bordhi. I've opted to do 2X2 rib in the instep for a bit of variety.

I must say I'm glad I took a few minutes to get this yarn ready so I could knit with it. It was very pleasing to have this type of knitting to keep my hands busy and my focus on the here and now with Mom.

Tests are still being run so an informed decision can be made. Thank you for your kind thoughts and words.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mending Takes Time

I went to visit my Mom in the hospital today. The news is not good and waiting can be a pain but I have knitting to keep me occupied. I didn't drive so I used the time to repair a sweater that knitSB picked up at a thrift store for me. It's a perfectly fine J Crew sweater except the hole on the right sleeve forearm. It looks like the sweater was damaged when the box was cut open. See?

I needed something to take my mind off the reason for my traveling and opted to repair this hole. Mending takes time and I wanted (needed) to get this finished. I have some lace-weight light great alpaca I wanted to use. I was simply going to create a basket weave structure to prevent further stitches from unraveling.

It's not a perfect job beyond securing the garment and it pleases me. I was relieved there was something to take my mind off the reason for the trip.

I took another project to cast-on, toe-up socks out of Claudia's Handpainted Yarns worsted weight yarn (in the color: shark) on US size 6 DPNS. They are very fast and knitting up to a nice fabric. Pictures tomorrow.

Now, if I could just find a toe-up sock pattern with a great heel that I can knit without thinking too much.

Sleepy Hollow Props

I am doing Props and set dressing for the Columbus Children's Theatre production of Sleepy Hollow which opens on October 20. I spent 12 hours at the shop today finalizing the props so I can take them to the theatre for Sunday evening's rehearsal. I want to spend the rest of the week figuring out scene changes.

This sign is to distinguish the Tavern. I'm pleased.

I got to make up the tavern's name. Do you get it?

I have several other items that needed created rather than just repurposed I'll snap a few pictures this week and post if you're interested in seeing my work.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nutkin Sock progress

Nutkin Sock progress by knittingbrow
Nutkin Sock progress, a photo by knittingbrow on Flickr.

Nutkin sock progress. I flipped the chart so the design would be opposite on each sock. Can you see the slight difference between the socks?
I'm enjoying the yarn, Cobblestone. I am a bit worried that the sicks might be a smidge too tight because when I tried them on they were rather tight going over the heel. But there is more fabric because of the heel, right so I should be ok?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

What is seven letters...

I've been playing Words with Friends on my smartphone recently and enjoy putting letters together to make up words I didn't even know I knew. It is extra exciting if I can use all seven tiles. I just started a game and got seven letters to place on the board making a word. I like to use all the tiles and get the reward of feeling smart.

When I saw the letters O F R S E E A, I thought I recognized a word related to knitting. sure enough, and it was seven letters. With (too much) glee, I played the word.

Apparently, faroese is not an appropriate word for a game involving putting tiles on a board and earning the most points. To prove it, the game tells me so.

You hear the tone of voice in this pop-up message, don't you?

Sigh. It's a proper noun describing someone from the Faerose Islands.

Are you playing Words with Friends? I'm knittingbrow. Who are you?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Arch-enemy Sock Pattern Beta

Yarmando gave me the privilege to test knit the Beta version of his Arch-enemy sock pattern It is a toe-up pattern with interesting arch shaping and ribbing to snug the fit. The pattern has some improvements to be done to it but the result is a nice sock. so nice in fact that want to knit another pair.

He gave me permission to blog about the test-knit. I hope he is willing to go back and revise the pattern. The world needs interesting sock patterns.

I'm planning a video post after I wash them to give the full review.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

August at Otterbein

Songferret and I attended August: Osage County Saturday evening at Otterbein College. Info here.

I thought it a compelling performance with some very talented actors making me experience a wide range of emotions. If you've never seen August, I encourage you to take advantage of a great version of the show.
Dispatch review.
Grossberg commentary.
My San Francisco review.

The show is three acts so be ready for a 3 hour experience. I was engaged throughout the performance as the playwrite does an exceptional job unfolding details of this family in a way that pulls me in to learn more and more. I remember thinking "what could happen next?" There is a next (and a next and a next.)

I was frustrated a few times because actors were speaking over the (nervous) laughter and I was frustrated by not hearing all of the lines. I did have problems hearing lines but this is an issue I have with my hearing in theaters & during performances that are not mic'd.
The set was well-done and fit the stage nicely, taking advantage of levels to convey the 3-story home. I snapped this picture for you.

There is still time to go see this show! It isn't a "happy" show but offers a great theatrical experience.

I sat next to a lady who was interested in my knitting. I was casting-on for my Nutkin socks using the cobblestone yarn. You can see the yarn at the bottom of this picture. :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Available Light Theatre's current show is Falsettos. Songferret and I saw the show on Saturday night.
I thought this production was well-done and took advantage of the cast's wonderful voices and effective staging. It is a show worth seeing, especially in a more intimate venue.

I didn't get to knit much but I did get a little knitting done before the show started.

I just finished knitting the gusset decreases on Yarmando's test knit. Tomorrow I'll work on the second sock's gusset decreases and then it's just knit until I run out of yarn. I need to finish these socks so I can gauge swatch for the fronkenshteek sock.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sweater Find

I've recently started going to thrift stores again. I've been losing weight and need some new clothes and have found some wonderful clothes that fit me now. Today's adventure was no different. I found two pairs of brown shoes (that look great after they were polished), two jackets, and a hand-knit Aran sweater. I spotted the sweater and wasn't sure if it was hand-knitted. I could see no tags and there was that special quality about it. I tried it on. It was scratchy and slightly large on me and should fit DH. Here's the sweater:

And the back:

I think this is an amazing find for $5.99. :)
Look at the front details:

And the back details:

I'm washing it a couple of times today and putting conditioner on it to soften it. DH has sensitive skin (*giggle*). If he won't wear it, I'll use it as a jacket.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Josh Learns to Spin

I enjoyed Sunday at Wool Gathering with friends. Josh was there and picked upside roving and a free CD drop spindle. Laura gave him a five-minute drop spindle lesson. Five- minutes.
He spun on the way home.

He sent me a picture on Tuesday morning of his first two-ply yarn.

Tuesday! Sigh.
I have four drop spindles, a spinning wheel, and four (or eight) pounds of fiber in my stash and I've not come up with any yarn worth mentioning.

Did I mention he just started knitting in January 2011? He was already a skilled crocheter.
I think Josh is an amazing crafty person. He needs to start a blog to share his fiber adventures.

Our knitting group likes to show him off.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Incognito KnitSB

Incognito KnitSB by knittingbrow
Incognito KnitSB, a photo by knittingbrow on Flickr.

knitSB wanted in on the Kariel action and was modeling the shawl in a variety of methods. This was the silliest from this posing session.

I think he is trying to get me to give him the finished shawl bit that's not going to work. ;)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rainbow Katriel

I was privileged to test knit Robin Ulrich's newest pattern, The Katriel Shawl.  Find details of the pattern here on Robin's Blog.
My finished shawl looks like this:
I think it turned out beautifully.
Here are a few other photos.

Yarmando is modeling the Katriel while we were at Wool Gathering today.

I used 64 grams of Schoppel Wolle Zauberball no: 1153 1564 bedr lot: 319684 (less than one ball).
I used 74 grams of Baby Ull superwash farge 810 lot 25528 (1 full ball and most of the second).
My gauge was looser than desired pattern stitch gauge. My gauge was 20 sts X 10 cm on size 6 circular needles (before blocking). 5 sts/in. I am pleased with the resulting fabric

This was a very pleasant knit and only took about 24-32 hours to knit. I really liked the long color repeat of the Zauberball with the solid navy. I think the effect is quite beautiful.

Now, if I knew who should receive the shawl or perhaps I'll just wear it myself.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Next To Normal

I saw Next To Normal on Saturday afternoon.

To say the least, the Theatre is eye-catching from the street.

I thought the show very well done and deserving of the standing ovation it received. I enjoyed the performance and time with friends. A big thanks to Songferret who was "planful" so we could attend. I drove and missed 4 hours of test knitting time but I did get a few rows done while waiting for the show to begin. Here's a picture of the set (and my knitting).

It was a sold-out Saturday matinee. They have added two more performances to the run because the show has sold very well. if you have an opportunity to see the show, I would recommend it.

Today, I'm going into work to clear the piles of work that have accumulated over the last two weeks and then coming home to get my test knitting done. I'm almost to the exciting edging part and hope to be finished knitting Monday so I can get the pieced blocked and pattern notes to the designer. I can't believe I've been so tired after work that I can't even knit.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I Wore the Tahoe Vest

Wednesday, I wore the Tahoe Vest I completed on the Boys Fishing Trip (or is that Boy's...I need a little help on this, N-cubed).
Here's the front:

Here's the back:

I'm very happy with the end result. I heard compliments on the vest and they felt great (as did the sweater).

I used the EPS basics for the sweater and the Alberta pattern by Jared Flood for assistance with the finishing.

I'll be knitting more vests. I currently have the Dr Memory Vest on the needles. Yarmando is currently knitting a version of that vest. we both have adjusted the pattern to be in-the-round with steeks (not steaks with BBQ sauce).

I'm currently doing a shawlette test knit that needs completed by Wednesday. I'm a little worried that I'm going to miss the deadline because I'm losing 4 hours of knitting time tomorrow. I hope to vlog about the test knit this weekend. Here's a peek of the garter center section. I am pleased with the colors.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Dressed for stage and screen

Saturday I traveled to see the Katharine Hepburn "Dressed for Stage and Screen" exhibit at Kent State's Museum. My BFF Songferret suggested we see the exhibit and I was glad we went.

I have forgotten how much i enjoy fashion design, especially those details that make a garment extra special. The waistband back that is open at the top:

Securing a pocket with extra stitching details so they don't pull:

Selecting the perfect button to sew on the outside of a quilted waistband:

and the practicality of two smaller buttons so the waistband lays flat:

Katharine had a small waist She wore a lot of plants/slacks/trousers How they displayed some of these slacks were pleasing to me and I snapped this picture.

Those are all made of wool.

There were a few other exhibits on display that we viewed. We had lunch at a local greek place, shopped (I bought another knitting bag & 2 knitting tackle bags...don't tell DH) and drove casually home (via the lodi outlet mall.)

Overall, it was a long drive for a smaller exhibits than I expected but still an enjoyable day. Spending BFF time is always fun!