Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Of Bouquets and Butins

Feeling like a hamster in a wheel the last couple of weeks! I'm constantly busy but never seem to be DOING anything...know what I mean?

No? Just me then? Okay. Moving on.

CodeNinja and I went to an out of town wedding this past weekend where he was the best man and I was - the best man's date. Also known as the Designated Nagger. "Did you remember to get a suit?" (he didn't), "Did you get the ring from the groom?" (he did, and then gave it to me to hold on to until the wedding) and my favorite, "You know you have to make a speech, right?" (He did, and despite dithering about it to the last minute, he did it beautifully. Then he sat down before actually doing the toast part and I had to hiss at him to get back up.)

I caught the bouquet, in the most bizarre fashion that is so laughingly typical for me. This was the twelfth wedding I've attended and I've never caught the bouquet, mostly because I can't bring myself to look quite so pathetically desperate as to be willing to SHOVE other women out of the way and take a flying leap to snatch up a good-luck symbol that has no actual bearing on reality. (Not that I am poo-pooing the tradition. I wanted that bouquet every time, I just didn't want anybody to know that I wanted it. Not because I thought it was some kind of magic charm, just because it has the same appeal as winning the lottery. Your odds are so bad that the idea of winning is exciting beyond the never-having-to-work-again aspect.) So, really, I was only going to catch that bouquet if it came straight at me and everyone else inexplicably fell asleep. Up until Saturday, that has never happened.

However this particular couple is rather nontraditional and the groom really, really wanted to throw the bouquet, so at the end of the ceremony (literally, as soon as they turned around and were announced at husband and wife), the bride handed the groom the bouquet and he lobbed it straight down the aisle.

Problem is, they forgot to tell anybody they were going to do this. I knew, as I had been at the rehearsal the day before, but I had totally forgotten about it, and so for an instant the entire room sat frozen and confused as that bouquet sailed up into the air and then down straight for the floor - as it happens, right next to me. I had my camera up and was taking pictures when some part of my brain realized it was sailing past me, and my hand shot out, I leaned, and snatched the thing out of the air before it hit the ground, depositing it in my lap quite coolly, thank you very much, as the entire room cracked up and applauded. I'm convinced all the knitting improved my hand-eye coordination. It was possibly the most calm and dignified bouquet catch ever - which did not stop certain people from teasing me mercilessly afterward, but what can you do? (To the inevitable question, "What did CodeNinja say?" the answer is, "Nice reflexes." One of our friends maintains that the expression on his face when I caught it was priceless, but I think he was just impressed at the catch. If that is not the case, he would be wise not to tell me.)

Anyway. You all came here to see knitting (though you will note I am wearing my Boutin necklace in that picture, so technically I have already shown some knitting in action).

As usual, WIPs first. I took my July Pins & Lace project with me but didn't actually work on it. I will tell you why in a moment. Thus, it remains in the same state it was in last week, but since I haven't bothered to take a picture of it until now, I am sure you will be just as amazed.


It's a bit scrunched up on the needles at the moment, but I spread it out so you could see one half at least. It's mostly stockinette at this point - I've just gotten to the point where the real fun begins. This pattern uses the same mesh as Sevillano but in a different way. I ordered a 60" Chiaogoo because my 40" ain't covering it. there will be a LOT of stitches before I'm done.

I think the edging on this pattern is so incredibly clever, as well as pretty.

And...that's it. That's all I have to show for WIPs. I still have The Scarf That Would Not Die, although I think it may finally be on its last legs. Everything else I have to show is done, done, done.

I mentioned my Butin necklace that I wore above. Well, Ms. Nelkin has now released Butin earrings, and I immediately ordered a kit to match the necklace (even though I made the necklace to match my copper earrings - and I am setting a record for parenthetical statements on the blog today). If you'll recall, when I made the Butin necklace it was so much fun that I immediately dug up my leftovers of Schaefer Audrey and got out my beads and made two more, one out of Nellie Bly and one out of...of...shoot. I always want to say the wrong monkey lady. Diane Fossey, that's it!

So I ordered up some earring findings and jump rings and set to making Butin earrings for all three necklaces. There is a note in the pattern that says "Wet block to shape. THIS STEP IS SURPRISINGLY IMPORTANT." and she does not lie. Here is the Nellie Bly earring, which has not been blocked. (Apologies that the picture is so dark, my laptop makes everything look lighter than it is and I sometimes don't compensate well.)


And here are the Diane Fossey earrings, which have:


They totally stay that way when I pick them up, too. I did not think it possible. I didn't do anything special, just soaked them and pinned them out.

It seems I forgot to photograph the first set I made from the kit, in the Elizabeth Kubler Ross colorway, but I'll try to show those off later. I still only have one Nellie Bly earring because I lost my little baggy of jump rings. I've looked everywhere for it and made CodeNinja look too and I can't find the darn things anywhere. It must be gnomes.

I had less knitting time on this trip than I expected, and even less knitting time in which I could knit something I had to pay attention to, so as I mentioned, the shawl stayed in my bag the whole time. I did have the car ride both ways, but I had taken three pairs of socks with me that needed finishing, and two were at the heel turn, so I spent my time in the car doing that so that I could get one sock to a point where it would be mindless, and the other sock to a point where I could start the foot chart. After that I only had snatches of time here and there, enough to work a sock chart but not enough to work rows on a big lace shawl. So, I got nothing done while I was gone but socks.

I finished the plain socks that I started a million years ago out of Dragonfly Fibers Djinni in Pink Hydrangea.


I finished the Serab socks from Silk Road Socks in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga colorway Arachne, so they are ready before their recipient (whose birthday was in March) returns from her travels. It's times like this I wish I had a sock blocker, because these just look weird with no feet in them.





And I finished one giant mansock for CodeNinja. This one had been an inch or two away from done for some time, I just needed some time to work on it where I had him around to try it on as needed. I don't know what this yarn is but I despise it, it is a single with some mohair content (I think) and it is an absolute pain in the rear to knit. The colors are lovely but sooooo not worth it IMO. How about a group shot for some size perspective?


Remember, girls, it is just as easy to love a man with small feet.

Sadly, this is only the first sock in the pair, which means I have to knit another one. I don't think I have enough yarn to make the stripes match up since the repeats are so long, but CodeNinja (because he knows what is good for him and where his socks come from) says he doesn't mind if they're, in the YH's words, fraternal rather than identical.

I also made some new yarn acquisitions from Calla Lily Knits & Gifts, mostly from Mountain colors. I got this skein of sock yarn in Turquoise:


And two skeins of lace yarn in Wild Horse.


I also got a bag of largely unidentified yarn and spinning fiber from the bride, who was happy to destash it to someone who will love it. And I always love free yarn. The fiber and yarn are from local farmers to their area. I haven't gone through it all but I think it is a mixture of wool and alpaca.

By the way, have you seen Puppy Snips from Hiya Hiya? They are the cutest tiny little scissors!!

Teensy weensy! The first time I used them they didn't cut that well, but I got out a piece of tinfoil and cut it up with the Snips, and that seemed to sharpen them up just fine. No problems since. I think they're adorable.

So, that should catch me up and I apologize for the radio silence. I am a bad, bad blogger. I will try to do better. Romi has finished the design of Muse #1 and it's now in the hands of the test knitters, so expect to see that as soon as the pattern gets into my hot little hands. I have two yarn combos I'm considering. Neighborhood Fiber Company in Edgewood and Sheridan Circle:


And Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock (the yarn the shawl was designed in) in Luna (the white) and Dobby (the multicolored).



Romi has announced that Muse #1 is Kleio, the muse of history. I'm thinking about knitting this one twice and just using both combos. Then I can keep one for myself, and give the Sunshine yarns one to my best friend. The colors are definitely much more her than me and since she is the person I have the most history with, and is a bit of a history buff herself, it seems appropriate that she receive Muse #1.

I will now leave you with a picture of the most inexplicable thing we saw on our trip, so that you may boggle this puzzle until I post again.

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