Tuesday, July 10, 2007

More Knitting than Nature

Today's post is going to be mostly about knitting because I've got a lot of knitting stuff going on right now that I hope you enjoy having a look at.

Here's the second dishcloth finally completed! I have also begun charting this pattern (using symbols in a table format). I'm hoping to figure out a way that I can actually post these patterns on my blog in addition to making them available in a printed format.

My niece is going to have a baby in August. I'm knitting her this 2-skein baby afghan using Red Heart BABY (each skein is 460 yards). The pattern is based on the classic knitted dishcloth which is knitted diagonally. I knitted the first half with an increase on every row. When I got to the end of the first skein, I tied on the second skein and am decreasing 1 stitch in each row till I get to the end of that skein and a completed baby afghan. It's knit on every row, so goes very quickly (I started it on July 1st).

I got a call from my friend Don over the weekend. It seems he was cleaning out his basement and came across some yarn and knitting patterns he decided he would never get the chance to knit. He remembered I had mentioned it was a "shawl summer" the last time we spoke and he found these patterns plus yarn that he was wondering if I would be interested in. Don is an amazing knitter and I met him through a knitting group when I worked at Mayo. Don is also very generous and has given me literally hundreds of dollars worth of yarn over the past several years. Some of it I've used to knit afghans for our local Red Cross chapter (they give them to people whose houses burn down). I've also knitted and donated several items to local charities for their silent auction fundraisers.

Here are the 8 lace shawl patterns and yarn he gave me last night. This isn't a very good picture, but the yarns across the bottom (l. to r.) are charcoal, dark green, navy, light blue heather, and a really pretty dark purple. The yarns on top (l. to r.) are a beautiful lace weight mohair, then tan and cream shetland. All of the yarns are wool. The hardest decision is going to be which shawl to start first. I'm going to force myself to finish some other projects first before I have the reward of starting one of these new patterns. Thank you Don for being such a kind and generous friend.

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Here's a little bit of nature....Brother Phil sent me this photo the other day of White-Faced Ibis that have been hanging around in the rice fields near his home in Antelope, California (near Sacramento). Aren't they cool looking? He said they had seen them earlier in the spring when they were showing their white faces in the breeding season.

Thanks Phil, for thinking of me and sharing this photo. We're looking forward to seeing you and your family tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Like the pic of the bobolink, where in Fillmore County did you find that bird?
All but the afghan pic came through I guess I'll wait to see the finished product.
Last year when I was in CA visiting I saw those ibis, they are fasinating birds with that curved bill.
See you tomorrow.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
It was over just south of Joe Austin's that day Anna and I went birding in Forestville.
I've never seen an ibis. Guess that's another good reason to visit California again someday!

Adrienne said...

That is a BEAUTIFUL dishcloth!

Jayne said...

WOW Ruthie, I am in awe of your prolific knitting. That's something I've never learned to do. To have so many projects going at one time...I'd be crosseyed and confused! Cool Ibis photo!

Body Soul Spirit said...

Who taught you to knit? I hope you are able to teach someone else your skills. Very few people, especially in the generations coming up, are interested in knitting and crocheting.

Lynne said...

Wow, Ruthie- what a pretty dishcloth! I wouldn't want to get is dirty! Those yarns look beautiful. I look foreward to you sharing pix of the finished products. Neat ibis.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Adrienne,
Thanks. I think the pattern would adapt well to a scarf also (maybe in some silk or a fine ribbon yarn).

Hi Jayne,
Everyone is good at something, and I just happen to enjoy knitting. This is just the tip of the iceberg for unfinished projects I have around the house. If I die unexpectedly, whoever goes through my stuff will be appalled at how much yarn and knitting stuff I have 'stashed' all over the house!

Hi Ruth,
I am mostly self-taught. My mom taught me the basic cast-on and garter stitch. I am one of the fortunate people who can look at a picture or read instructions and translate it into my craft. I have taught beginning knitting, also 2-color and intarsia knitting.

Hi Lynne,
I kind of slowed down on my knitting a few years ago, but now I'm back full force. Some people might call it an addiction.....

Mary said...

Ruth made a point. I don't see people knitting or crocheting anymore. I did when I was in high school!

I hope you share your great talent with someone. You are VERY GOOD!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...


I am having a difficult time reconciling the "tattooed biker woman" with someone who knits. You seem a woman of very eclectic interests!

BTW, I know you're a bird lover, so you might want to look at my bluebird family photos that I posted today. I just bought a proper camera and was able to get some good ones. I am hoping my photography improves!

--Robin (Bumblebee)

nina said...

I don't know how you manage to do all you do! It's lovely--your end result and your gestures to others with your handiwork.
Knit on!

Larry said...

If I saw one of those Ibises around here, it would be quite a nice find.-Very cool indeed!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
At one of the classes I taught last winter someone asked me how long I've been knitting. When I said I started when I was about 10, I realized it's been 38 years! There seems to be a renewed popularity every decade or so and that means I've been through three of those. I wonder how many miles of yarn I've knitted over the years?

Hi Robin,
I was a knitter long before I was a biker. None of my biker friends know about my alternative knitter/birdwatcher lifestyle, but all of you (my blogging friends) do. I have to have something to do during those 6 Minnesota winter months the bikes are in storage!

Hi Nina,
Knitting usually takes priority over other less pleasant household chores (when I can get away with it). I like knitting for other people--especially gifts--people are always thrilled to get a pair of handknitted socks, gloves or a hat.

Hi Larry,
I checked my Minnesota bird list and White-Faced Ibis is listed as a "casual species" for the state. I'm with you--it would be very neat to see one!