Friday, March 28, 2008


Liberated from the needles, meet the winged, primordial beast...

The innocent knitter had no idea she was spawning such a creature. Good thing she ran out of yarn or she would have kept going!

It's a bit hard to get a sense for how thick and squishy and woolly and vast it is, so above is my attempt at a "human included for scale" shot...

Pattern: Feather And Fan Comfort Shawl
Materials: 542 yds of my 2-ply, handspun aran/chunky weight wool yarn
Needles: Needlemaster 10.5 - the first time a cord has broken on me...
Dimensions: 70.5 x 33.5

Long live the handspun monster!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Yes, I seem to have fallen into a torpor. Maybe it's the hide-and-seek sunshine, maybe it's spring allergies, or maybe it's the lack of an interesting job. Anyway, I realize there has been a distinct lack of FO's recently on the blog. However, my first PIF pal has received her package and been kind enough to blog it (with hysterically funny cat pictures). So I have proof that I have been doing something. I should also say that my other PIF package will ideally be sent out on Monday. Past the deadline (sorry Librarian Knits!) but I hope well worth the wait.

Monday, March 17, 2008


By Seamus Heaney

Bespoke for weeks, he turned up some morning
Unexpectedly, his bicycle slung
With a light ladder and a bag of knives.
He eyed the old rigging, poked at the eaves,

Opened and handled sheaves of lashed wheat-straw.
Next, the bundled rods: hazel and willow
Were flicked for weight, twisted in case they'd snap.
It seemed he spent the morning warming up:

Then fixed the ladder, laid out well honed blades
And snipped at straw and sharpened ends of rods
That, bent in two, made a white-pronged staple
For pinning down his world, handful by handful.

Couchant for days on sods above the rafters
He shaved and flushed the butts, stitched all together
Into a sloped honeycomb, a stubble patch,
And left them gaping at his Midas touch.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Go Ahead, Co-opt my Ethnic Identity

It's okay, I'm willing for everyone to share in St. Patrick's Day. After all, isn't being able to share, adapt and appreciate our different cultural heritages one of the great things about being American? A few ground rules though. Lay off the "Kiss me I'm Irish" T-shirts and green beer, all right? *ahem* A few suggestions for a more thoughtful celebration:
  • The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook: A collection of recipes handed down through the families of Ellis Island immigrants. Along with the expected holiday foods and delicacies this book also provides insight into the everyday food of the poor. Some of the simple recipes made do with very little.
  • Real Irish Soda Bread: an article that explains the origin of Irish soda bread (and, tactfully, why what you're used to isn't the real thing). I used the first recipe to make the dense, crusty, slightly salty loaf above. The buttermilk is a must. Make yourself some today. You won't have room for it Monday with the corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes...
  • Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem (this one too) I have fond memories of my dad singing "Paddy Doyle's Boots" at the dinner table. Good times!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Feather & Fan

Remember that shawl I was threatening to make? After drooling on all the gorgeous examples on Ravelry, I went ahead and spun up the yarn.

First I spun the Rambouillet, mystery wool and Romney (r-l). For the most part I think I got heavy worsted/chunky weight yarn. I debated that one, but decided that I wanted the heavier weight yarn to keep more of the character of the batts. Someday I might do a more polished feather and fan shawl at a smaller gauge. This shawl is going to be a celebration of thick, woolly, heavy, snuggly warmth though.

Last I spun up my precious batts and plied to get a fuzzy, funky, heathery yarn.
Currently I'm on row 81 of the feather and fan comfort shawl. The rows are getting long and really starting to eat up my yardage so I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out. My measly 114 yds of multicolored yarn is disappearing fast!
P.S. - Please pardon any strange color correction in my recent photos. After 5 years of hard use my monitor is slowly fading out. Maybe something will be done about it when the tax return comes...