It’s been a while. It’s been a long while! A lot has happened. A lot of knitting has happened.

I am going to get around to telling you all about it in just a bit.

Sometimes your old tools are your best tools. Take the typewriter, for instance.  There has been a resurgence of typewriters in my life. At work on Friday I needed to fill out a government form and the form instructed me to type my answers neatly.  I couldn’t find a typewriter in the entire building so I didn’t complete the government form but still! Being asked to type my answers was quite charming. Recently a friend bought a typewriter for her son and he is digging it, although I believe he told me that it did not have a ribbon.  Or maybe it is missing some letters, I can’t remember, but his enthusiasm for the machine was also charming.

Then on Sunday at the Brooklyn Flea there was a whole congregation of typewriters for sale:

And these women can type 80 words per minute!

I think those postcards were tributes to charming ladies who can type 80 words per minute!

There was some old school knitting too this weekend, because while vacuuming the house to prepare for the Rapture  I found a few knitting needles under the couch. (I was hoping if I went, the couch could come with me, because isn’t it Heaven to lay on the couch on a Saturday afternoon?) For a long time I’ve been using circular needles exclusively.  They are easier on the hands, for one, and you don’t have to worry about  needles rolling underneath the couch never to be seen again until the end of the world.

So while I was waiting for 6 pm to roll around, having finished the vacuuming and actually thrown away some of  the laundry I didn’t feel like doing, I broke out the Jack Frost Two Needle Mitten book that I purchased at the McCrory’s in New Brunswick, NJ in 1979 to replace the worn out one I’d bought at the Woolworths in Hoboken in 1969.  Before you could say “No Dye Lot Acrylic Pull Skein”  I had whipped up a pair out of some leftover Brooks Farm red.

If you would like a copy of this instructional leaflet, please send me a self addressed stamped envelop and I will gladly mail you a copy.

What with work, and all the hoopla of Emily’s college admissions, family stuff and last but not    least,    the      great dishcloth binge of 2011 I totally forgot that Saturday was the Rapture!  Dang!

4 horsemen I admit I did see it coming and ignored the signs.  As you can see in the picture on the left, one of our far-flung correspondents noticed that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse had already arrived in the Heights. Sign number one!

Then there was the crocheting: most of the winter was spent crocheting a bedspread that you could measure in acres. Two signs!

The third was the shameless purchase of all kinds of Lion Brand yarn, which I had  reviled in many a former blog post.  I worshiped at the Temple of Acrylic many times this year.  Really.

The fourth through sixth signs were revealed in this winter’s other project and yarn choices: the Dishcloth Situation.  A clapotis. Four skeins of lime green Malabrigo lace, not even on sale.

I am waiting for the seventh and final sign to be revealed, but I predict that it will be a press release announcing  that the full Habu Textile line will be available at WalMart.

I am pretty sure that I am not on that list of the saved, if only because I am 51 years old and I still laugh at substituting “Lead Us Not Into Penn Station” in the Lord’s Prayer. No, my plan for Saturday is to hit Susan’s Doomsday Garage Sale in the morning, and then go out and loot the LYS.

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

These last few weeks have been caught up in dishcloth fever. The vector of infection was Allison, who joined the Potholder Swap, became a Happy Hooker and whipped up some stunning samples.  Like these here:


I’ve spent a lifetime dissing the dishcloths. Peaches n’ Creme my stash? No way. But now I find myself with no time for Just Jared because I am spending all my nonFacebook time with “Dishcloth Weekly Knitalong”  on Ravelry.  Whodathunkit?

Profoundly inspired by the Linoleum Dishcloth that Lynn recently excavated from Mason Dixon blog, the knitting women decided to have our own Dishcloth Swap this weekend, our very own Mother’s Day Dishcloth Love-In Extravaganza, hosted by Ana in her giant back yard.

Sharing the love, and the pattern links:


Here are two fine examples of Lizard Ridge, available as Rav downloads. This is a ridiculous amount of knitting for something you use to clean, but it gives you a good workout for perfecting your w&t stitches.

Because that Peaches ‘n Creme stuff is relatively inexpensive, you end up buying a whole lot of it and you never really seem to come to the end of a skein no matter how many you make. After this trio, I still have quite a lot of red and white left over:


The only one that is an actual pattern is the one in the upper right hand corner, called Clover Tweed.  The patterns for the rest came to me in a dream.

Getting ready to frog  a project I am renaming the The Hindenburg.  Here’s what the sweater looks like:


Everything about this project hinted at disaster. The colors I picked (Hint: what rhymes with orange? Nothing.).    When I tried to carry the yarn across the back for the color work, the piece was so thick it  felt felted;  when I switched to intarsia, the piece was as lumpy as mashed potatoes.  And the pattern – was it a Kaffe Fasset inspired masterpiece, or something Liberace would wear if he was playing some lumberjack songs? Such a fine line.

The cause of the first Hindenburg explosion is a mystery, a mystery as profound as why I spent a full month on this sucker before I realized how bad it looked.  The most often sited reasons for the dirigible explosion are structural failure, St. Elmo’s Fire, static electricity, or sabotage.  You don’t need a conspiracy theorist to tell you that  “luridness” or “gauge”  and  “ill advised for an adult” as the reasons why this sweater went down like a lead balloon.

It’s not like the last few months haven’t been full of the stuff of blog fodder: festivals attended,  projects started in the car ride on the way home, projects frogged while family members look on in horror;  dinners eaten at the homes of dear friends,  dinners burned beyond recognition in my own home;  yarns purchased with delight and promise, yarns returned in shame.   Even sewing!

It’s that darned Facebook business.  And the cat videos posted  FB friends. Do I need to say anymore?

I have 433 projects in my Rav queue as of this morning, and it is fair to say I have most of them on needles somewhere in the house. I’ve given up the idea of finishing a project before starting a new one (or two new ones).  I’ve got an intarsia project going now with more loose ends than part one of the new Harry Potter movie.  I’ve got socks, a Citron shawl, a cardigan for my miniature sister in law, and when I am done with this post, starting that “not a poncho” thing that was in the last Mason Dixon blog.

I’ve finished one Citron already, a Traveling Woman, the dumbest looking hat ever, (well, dumb looking on me anyway) several free-form chapeaus for assorted children and  made good progress on a scrap afghan.  I sought and purchased the new Noro lace cashmere blend, which is as thin as sewing thread, and causes me to get a bad cramp in my yarn holding hand trying to keep tension.

While I bravely sorted through the stash and gave over 3 shopping bags of unloved yarn to deserving knitters in the tri-state area, I also bought not-quite-enough-for-any- project Brooks farm, and a lot of that skinny Noro (hey, any day now there might be a trade embargo between the US and Japan, right?).  I had a bad patch there at Purl, on a Cascade sock yarn binge and a shocking realization that I’m not too proud to shop at Lion Brand.

I wondered: if I knit in the living room and didn’t blog it, does it mean I still did the knitting?

I have a lot of blocking to do over the next few weeks, so keep your dial tuned to this channel.

High Tide Hat

Originally uploaded by DeniseDalton

Heading for the Fall

Originally uploaded by DeniseDalton

Beautiful fall day here today, perfect weather for a round of mini golf and a harrowing half hour lost in a man made maze with an intrepid 8 year old. I felt like I was in the last scenes of The Shining.

I cast on this lovely chapeau with the Quince Chickadee I bought earlier in the month. This yarn has a great hand, all boing and spring. And it even has sass! At $5.40 a skein it’s also a steal.

While I find it hard to believe the summer is over blah blah blah, I am intensely happy that Sheep and Wool Festival season is right around the corner. I decided I am going to give most of my current stash away to my daughter’s yarn club and buy all new.


Originally uploaded by DeniseDalton

Here’s my riff on the Coquille scarf: I am not switching between needle sizes, and I’m using a worsted weight, and I’m adding a little extra ruching here and there, because ruching is the new nupps.

Yes, that Noro knits up nice but, due to an error in the first or second row, this wrap is history.  John had to hide in the bathroom while I ripped it out.  Most husbands cannot stand the sight of blood.

He did suggest that I just put an Obama sticker on the offending part and call it a design element.  I’ll save that for another time.

Next on the needles: Coquille.

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