Latvian Mittens! Fastest Living Thing! (Zone of Repugnance, don’t worry, no creepies here)

Or a single mini-mitt, and not quite finished…

A friend and I went down to Portland for a class in making Latvian Mittens. They are quite the art form and have a rich and interesting history, like much knitting.

Here are some photos of everybody’s mittens,
latvian mitts (6)

latvian mitts (3)

Compare mine in orange/purple in the body (red fringe) and another person’s in purple/orange (green fringe). They look so different! She used orange for pattern and purple for contrast, and I did vice-versa.

I yanked some more on the fringe on mine when I got home, and now it’s better!
latvian mitts (14)

Mistakes (shhh!).
latvian mitts (16)

All good, though, as I learned how to make that fringe, and the braid. I’m still a tad fuzzy on the finger end of the mitten… how the decreases and color work to make those ridges of color. But I’ll figure it out.

Latvian Mittens by Lisbeth Upitis. Now I need this!

… and….


Books and dyed yarn samples from Sam Ristich, via his daughter Ruthie. I didn’t know what was in this bag and box until after I got home from the mitten class.
treasure 015

These are fabulous books and I’m so grateful to have them.
treasure 020

And there are loads and loads of dyed yarn samples. I’ve just started to sort them out.
treasure 032

Ruthie gave a talk yesterday for the Maine Mycological Society about fungal spores. It was really interesting, and she did a great job… even used living people to demonstrate fungal spore anatomy!

Most interesting to me was the bit about the fastest living thing on earth, a fungus called Pilobolus (just like the dance company). It lives on horse dung, in what is known as The Zone of Repugnance.

…I must work that phrase into conversation at least once a day…

The spores must get out of the Zone of Repugnance, but because they are so small, air is very viscous to them. So, to get out of the Zone of Repugnance, they have to move really, really quickly.

It looks like they just disappear… but they shoot their spore caps (asci) off so quickly (20,000 G!) that we can’t see it happen. There one moment, gone the next.

More about the fastest living thing and the Zone of Repugnance,

yokes and bobbles

I didn’t want to clog up the snowmelt contest post…

A yoked sweater!
I have to steek this and put in the zipper. Actually, I have to go buy a zipper, and then steek the sweater and put in the zipper. It’ll be my first steek.

fugl (2)

I was happily knitting along in the yoke portion, loving the rhythm of the two colors and of catching the floats, and I missed the instructional words to the side of the chart that said “don’t knit this row, or this one, or this one”… And so I had to rip back. You can see the yoke looks too tall here, and I wasn’t loving the white.
Photo 1 - 2013-03-07

It’s better now,
fugl (3) fugl (4)
Details over on my Ravelry project page.

I’m not usually a big fan of bobbles. On a sweater, they remind me of nipples all over the place, like Artemis of Ephesus.

But I love them here,
bobble scarf 011 bobble scarf 006

Super quick project, super chunky yarn. Details on my ravelry project page.

Spring! Snow melt contest!

Well, it seems it has become a tradition to have a contest to guess when the big piles of snow at work will melt (check out the category “contest” down on the right side). As it is the first day of spring, it’s time to announce the contest!

Guess when these piles of snow will melt. As in be ALL gone, no ice in the mud, just damp. There are two piles of snow this year, so whichever melts LAST.

Pile 1 (this has been the bigger pile in the past couple years, but not this year).
snowpiles (3) snowpiles (2)

Pile 2 (this was the bigger pile in the first few years, and seems to be this year too).
snowpiles (4) snowpiles (1)

Rule! One guess. Put it in the comments in this post.

Deadline for guesses! March 30, 5 pm.

Two winners! One will be chosen randomly, and one will be the winner for the closest date to the actual all gone and melted date. In the unlikely event that two people guess the same date and it is the melt date, I’ll draw randomly. If two people guess either side of the melt date, I’ll take the one who guesses the closest date BEFORE it is all gone vs after.

Prizes! Fair warning, I’m destashing… If a non-knitter wins, I’ll grab a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. Possibilities include yarn or fiber, enough for a small project. Here are some, but there is more… If you have a website or Ravelry profile, I’ll look around and see what you have and like to work with and offer some things that I think you might like.

greta socks purple (1) alpafina str berylmeilenweit french twist carezza handpaint originals firefly (1) meilenweit perhaps

I have some spinning fiber, but no pictures. And 6 Encore Worsted in an orange/pink/white, great for a small girl… happy to send all of that off, enough for a sweater.

I knit the sky!

Old news by now, since I finished knitting a little over a month ago…. but I knit the star chart of the northern hemisphere! It was a knit-along over at Ravelry, and it was a ton of fun… the planning with everybody, the gab about what yarn, what colors, what beads, edgings, helping each other with problems, and input from the designer!

The pattern is Celestarium, by Audrey Nicklin. My version even made it onto the Twist Collective newsletter!

star chart shawl 028 star chart shawl 029

star chart shawl 032 star chart shawl 034

I wear it to work about once a week. I’m impressed at how wearable it is, given that it is a circle. And how warm it is. Project details over on my ravelry page.

First day of spring coming up… so that means snow melt contest!

I’m still puzzled about why I can’t access the blog from my laptop. I’m on the old pc and no problems. I took my laptop to work, no problems. Maybe it’s a security setting in the router? (laptop access wirelessly, pc is old and is wired). I so loathe this keyboard, sitting in this spot, etc… I need to get it all working again from the laptop!

I turned 52 today.

My biological father died when he was 52. I am apparently much like him (and also much not like him, thanks to my parents). But the unreasonable part of my brain wonders if I’ll live through the year. I know it’s unreasonable, but it’s a big year for me. Celebrate life and all that. Thus the napalm hair, a few weeks faded in the pics above and now faded even a bit more (and with growing in roots).