Zarzuela Knits and Crochets
My blog about my knitting, crocheting, and anything else I feel like ranting about!

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Lacy Leaf Cocoon


Pattern: Lacy Leaf Cocoon from the Spring 2006 Interweave Crochet
Yarn: Cascade Pima Tencel 5 skeins
Hook: Size G Brittany Birch
Crocheted: 5/9-6/7/06
Modifications: Shortened the sleeves, deciphered the pattern!

This isn't the best pic of the jacket in the world, but you get the idea. Except for the sleeves and a little bit of tightness in the armholes, I really love how this turned out. This pattern was absolutely fraught with mistakes which made making this a bit difficult. Luckily they had some very nice pictures in the magazine or I would have gotten absolutely nowhere with this. As I've said before, I'm not sure who is to blame for that, but there you have it. Along with the bad directions I should have expected that the yarn requirements weren't quite right when they gave the same requirements for each size. So I did, of course, run out of yarn. I had planned on shortening the sleeves anyway since I plan on wearing this to work and I didn't want to be pushing them back all the time, but I didn't expect them to be *quite* this short. I ended up making the sleeves as long as I could with the darker blue color and then just adding a simple single crochet edging to finish it off. Not as nice as I would have liked, but not a bad solution considering the situation. As I said, the armholes are a little tight, but considering the fact that this is a 50% cotton yarn, I think it may stretch a bit anyway. I'll be very interested to see what happens when this hits the water, since I haven't quite gotten it there yet. I'll be sure to report any interesting findings!

My weekend plans involve packing stuff up, cutting stuff off, important acquisitions, a little sleep, a little music, and a big change. Details to follow soon. Have a great weekend!

HWJF Socks #3


Pattern: Generic Toe-up from Queen Kahuna.
Yarn: Opal
Needles: Addi Turbo size 1
Knit: 4/29-6/6/06

Here is pair number three for HWJF. He's holding them up while relaxing on the porch at camp. There were a couple of firsts with this pair of socks for me. This was my first time using Opal yarn and I enjoyed it. It's very springy yet strong and I think it will make a nice wearing sock. Coupled with this is the fact that this was my first time using a size 1 needle for socks. While it did make them seem to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to knit, I can definitely see the difference in the fabric. These will probably be harder wearing just for the gauge difference, never mind the yarn.

In this pic you might be able to tell, if you look *real* closely, that this is this pair of socks stage debut! As soon as they came off the needles they went on HWJF's feet and he happened to be playing in recital hour that day. When he got on stage he introduced himself, "Hi! My name is _(HWJF)_ and these are my new red socks!" I almost died. Luckily most everyone had already seen me working on them so they knew what was going on. Although someone asked him later about his new Fox (a popular brand of bassoon, in this instance).


As for me, I'm slowly settling back into reality. I was fine until this morning when I had to drag myself to work after a very restless night of sleep (i.e. I got none). That and the condition of my apartment (pics coming soon) are making it a little tough, but I've got Stitch 'n Bitch tonight and seeing everyone after a two week lapse always is a pick-me-up. Another FO post to come soon...

Back to reality... (long and photo heavy)

Another bassoon camp is in the books and I am finally back in CT after a short stay in NJ to do laundry and put my stuff away and another short stop in NY to deal with car issues. If you aren't into reading about people's vacations, you can skip this post now.

I started out my vacation by taking Simba to stay with her grandparents in NY. She is not a happy kitty when it comes to car rides, but we managed to make it without much incident and very little crying. I couldn't stay long because I had to be in NJ that night to load the car since we were leaving for camp the next day. I made my first trip to NJ without a problem other than thinking there was going to be a rest area and gas on I-287 when there was none. Luckily I managed to make it to my exit and there was a gas station shortly thereafter. The funniest part of that trip was the fact that I needed directions to my own apartment! I still haven't quite got things in NJ figured out, but I'm getting there.

After HWJF got out of work we packed a few things in the car, got dinner, and then tried to prepare for the arrival of Gail Warnaar who would be staying with us that night. She runs a B&B in Vermont and also a sheet music shop specializing in double reeds which she transports to camp every year. Her drive was significantly longer then ours, so we offered her a place to stay in exchange for staying with her daughter the following night.

Sunday morning we finished packing, got our usual weekend Panera breakfast and it was off to camp! We drove to Gail's daughter's house in Harrisonburg, VA which only turned out to be a 5 hour drive from NJ. It was a pretty easy day and HWJF drove the whole time so I actually got to knit the whole time! We had a very nice evening in VA and we left Monday morning to finish off the trip, about another 7 hours. We arrived at camp around 3pm to find rather hot and muggy weather with very little breeze. Something quite unusual for Little Switzerland, NC. By the time we unloaded our own stuff and then helped Gail with hers, we were more than a bit hot and sticky. We had just enough time to clean up and head off to dinner where camp really begins.

The first night starts with dinner where we get to start catching up with old friends and start meeting new ones. Then we have our first masterclass with Loren Glickman. It was a bit of a funny moment when HWJF and I sat down next to each other and started taking out our bassoons. We both kind of looked at each other and said, "Hey, you play the bassoon TOO?!". We rarely play together and although we both know that we are bassoonists, he thinks of me more as a librarian and I think of him more as a music store manager, so we both had a good laugh. After the first master class is the traditional welcome to camp party. I always find these
events amazing mostly for the fact that after you have been there a few years, it always seems as though you just pick up where you left off last year with people, whether you had any contact with them during the year or not. It's like coming home.

Tuesday we had plans to pick up my friend Marta (whose wedding I was in last fall, check the archives) from the Asheville airport. Since we were going to town and I had already done my research we went straight to Earth Guild first. (You knew the yarn adventures were coming, didn't you?). What an amazing store! This place basically has anything you could possibly want for a very large variety of craft projects including weaving, spinning, soap making, paper making, wood carving, knitting, crocheting and any number of others that I can't possibly remember. HWJF and I walking in a both kind of went "Whoa!". Since we got there not long after Marta got to the airport, he was nice enough to go get her and bring her back to the store so that I could have a good look. There was a great selection of yarns, everything from Noro to acrylic, and also a great selection of spinning wheels. I was able to talk to one of the store workers who explained a lot of the differences between the wheels and I got to treadle them all. It was interesting to see the differences, such as the Lendrum was very smooth but the orifice seemed a bit low for me. I really liked the way my body fit the Kromski but the action was quite a bit rougher than the Lendrum, etc. Unfortunately I'm not ready for a spinning wheel just yet, but when I do I'll definitely be looking back on my experiences at this store. After quite a bit of
looking, I came away with this:

The books is Spin It which has a lot of great info. about hand spinning, an old issue of Spin Off magazine, another size 1 addi turbo for socks, some trekking in a great blue colorway, and some split ring stitch markers that I thought might be good for socks.

There were several other knitters at camp this year and I spent a lot of time with one named Jerri. She is the spouse of one of the campers that comes back year after year. As we knit and chatted I noticed that she had the most interesting knitting accessory that I had seen in a while. It was a hand thrown bowl with a little hole in the side, the purpose of which was to put your yarn in the bottom, run it through the hole and have your project yarn flop around inside the bowl instead of falling all over the place (or having your kitty chase after it in my case). Obviously I had to know more and it turns out that the caretaker of Wildacres, whose daughter is a professional potter made it! So a day or two later Jerri and I went to her studio to check out the knitting bowls and a variety of her other pieces. Needless to say, Sarah is also a knitter and happened to know about a very cool yarn store in the neighboring town of Burnsville. So the three of us went off to go yarn shopping after Jerri and I made our purchases at Sarah's studio. Yummi Yarns is actually located in the back of an art Gallery where local artisans display and sell their works. You'd never know there was a yarn store in there if you didn't already know about it.

But what a yarn store it was! The first thing you saw when you finally got to the yarn area was an old refridgerator full of silk garden on one side and a grand piano on the other! Apparently one of the workers plays piano and can occasionally be found practicing when business is slow. Yummi Yarns is definitely an appropriate name since there were so many wonderful things there. I ended up zeroing in on this:

Enough Cascade Fixation for two more pairs of socks (I told you I had more planned in that last post!) and some Online Supersock. I had heard about this yarn before but hadn't seen it in person. It's very soft and the colors are really interesting (more so than the picture shows) so I'm really looking forward to trying this out during the Summer of Socks. And here's a pic of the knitting bowl I chose:

I just think the glaze and the whole idea is just so interesting. And while I was doing some work on other projects at camp, it really came in handy! There may be another one of these in my future after the moving is done and I get settled in NJ. Here's a pic of Jerri and I with our bowls:

The rest of camp I alternated between participating in the usual camp activities and just taking time to sit out on the porch and enjoy the glorious weather (we only had that bit of muggy weather the first two days and one day of rain. It was just heavenly) while knitting or crocheting either alone or with others. On our day off, HWJF and I took a quick trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.

What an amazing place! It really boggles the mind to think of how hard it must have been to build something like that in the late 1800s, not to mention the fact that the Vanderbilt family used to travel back and forth between there and NY on a regular basis. The gardens were beautiful:

And the winery was fun too! :-) I think this was really my first wine tasting of this type. It was really nice to be able to try things out before deciding what to buy. We ended up with three nice bottles of differing types and a couple of glasses to go with them.

We also managed to find the local yarn shop:

Another beautiful store! There were all sorts of different types of yarn and a huge selection of needles. But what really stopped me in my tracks was a huge display of Koigu. I almost couldn't believe it when I saw it since every place I've been to in recent memory has been lamenting how hard it is to get now. Obviously I couldn't walk out without some:

And as you can see I also ended up with an Addi Natura (my first) and some sock yarn that HWJF was drawn to although I don't think he wanted to admit it.

Another highlight of the trip for us was what we affectionately refer to as drive through ice cream:

It's apparently an old BP gas station that's been converted into an ice cream shop, only you can't go in, you can only drive through. It was also the site of our first "date". :-)

And for those of you who have been reading this little 'ole blog for a while now, I did get to wear the sweater and even got the pictures I was hoping for:

All too soon it was time to head home. We left shortly before 10 am and since HWJF had to work Friday evening we went all the way back to NJ in one day, arriving around 10:30 pm. A very long day for sure, but when we checked the mail, look what was waiting:

More yarn! Koigu at that! From Beth for winning her caption contest a couple of weeks back. Thanks so much Beth! :)

So tomorrow it is back to work and the five hour commute from CT to NYC. Ugh. My only consolation is that I only have three weeks more of that before I'm finally in NJ for good. Of course that means a lot of serious packing in the meantime, but (as Scarlet O'Hara would say) I'll think about that tomorrow. You can expect a couple FO posts and some project updates throughout the week, but don't be surprised if I'm a bit slow with things. I think the 5am wake up call tomorrow morning is going to hurt in more ways than one. Thanks for reading this far and I hope you all have a great week!

Broadripple socks

While I'm out of the woods and back in NJ for the moment, I'm not organized enough yet to give you a full account of bassoon camp and the last two glorious weeks. So instead you get a finished object post that is long overdue!

Broadripple Socks

Pattern: Broadripple socks from Knitty
Yarn: Cascade Fixation
Needles: Size 3 addi turbos
Knit: 5/2/06-5/19/06
Modifications: none

Not much to say about this project except I'm really happy with how they turned out. I had a difficult time getting started with this yarn, mostly because I just wasn't used to how stretchy it really is. I also tried doing these on clover bamboo circs at first and that was just not going to happen. I couldn't figure out if I was supposed to stretch it as I knit or not. Once I switched to the addis, I realized that I could just knit and let it stretch or not as it pleased. The pattern was really simple to memorize and it made for good commuter knitting. Now that I know how to work with it, I really love the yarn and definitely have a few more pairs planned with it in the future.

More to come on bassoon camp and my yarny adventures while on vacation. If you'll excuse me for now, I have over 300 bloglines subs to read!

Summer of Socks blog is ready to roll!

Here we go! Come check out the new home for the Summer of Socks!

I'm outta here until June 12th. There may be a random post here or there, but don't expect much from me until then. I wish anyone in the U.S. a very happy and safe Memorial Day weekend! See you all when I get back from bassoon camp!


First things first,


Ahem. Now where was I? Oh yes...

Sorry for the sporadic blogging this week. I really have no idea where the week went! I guess all this build up to the big vacation is finally hitting the fan (if ya know what I mean) and it just seems like I've been so busy with other things that I haven't gotten the time to blog. The first major load of my stuff went to NJ on Thursday morning (woot!) and now the packing for vacation and for sending more stuff to NJ this weekend seems to be consuming all my thoughts. Well, that AND the Summer of Socks, which is up to 75 members (remember: today is the last day to sign up!). Look for an update on that early tomorrow morning.

So since this really is a knitting and crocheting blog and all this stuff about alongs and moving and such is not exactly exciting I will attempt to not bore you with a display of what is actually going to go to bassoon camp with me craft-wise. You probably already know that bassoon have to go to bassoon camp right?

First up is the lacy leaf cocoon:

Very close to being done at this point. I'll be very interested to see how the sleeves actually work out. So far I still love the yarn but, I'm sorry to say, the pattern directions are terrible. I got the errata from the Interweave site and that only covers part of the pattern and even THAT is not very clear. I hate to write badly about such a pretty pattern, and I don't know if it is the designer or the magazine editors that are to blame for the overall write up, but the directions are very poorly done. Luckily this pattern includes two very good pictures or I may have given up on this long ago.

Next up, the latest installment of HWJF socks:

Just to refresh your memory, these are being made in Opal on size 1 needles. The smallest needle I've used before now is a 2 so it's a bit of a change. There are several more stitches involved with these (84!) but I really like the fabric so far. I can see where this might be better for sock fabric as it is a bit more sturdy. But I'm questioning my sanity in trying these for the bigger feet of my guy instead of me first! ;-)

Allow me to introduce you to Bob:

Bob is my green project for May and Project Spectrum. (Ummm... can you say "Not gonna finish by the end of May". Yeah.) I figured I could probably only take so many pictures of green leaves before I made you all sick, and, well, I haven't taken a single one yet so better to go with this plan. I'm doing this in the sadly discontinued Cotton Ease in Pistachio. I saw a similar one here and thought it might be interesting and might not look awful on me. Green really isn't a color that speaks to me much, and I guess it's apparent since I haven't gotten very far with this. Oh yeah, and my gauge isn't quite right.... so this ought to be interesting.

Lest you think that I should be satisfied with three measly, near complete projects for 20+ hours of driving and 10 days of sheer joy on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with no TV, no internet, no radio and only a newspaper in which to get the hockey scores, I present this:

Which is all the other stuff I'm taking with me (here's hoping HWJF doesn't see this picture in the next 24 hours!). I'm going to attempt some more spinning, perhaps start a kiri shawl, a pair of socks for moi, and a tube toporini. Think that's enough to keep me busy for the next two weeks?