Monday, December 31, 2007

New Rory Gallagher Scarf

I have been in Maine since Friday evening, and was able to finish my latest Rory Gallagher scarf this afternoon. Mind, this has not been blocked yet, nor is it the color I want it to be yet. However, The firstborn assured me that today I received a package in the mail, and I'm guessing it probably contains the Jacquard dyes I ordered, so......when I get home and have a minute or two to myself, I will be dyeing this BLUE.
I used KnitPicks Bare Merino DK and size 5 needles, and ended up using about 2-1/4 skeins. So, when I get this pattern written out, I figure 600 yards of any DK weight yarn should be more than enough.
Here I am, modeling the scarf in our sitting room in the hotel in Stonington, and unfortunately having a Weird Hair Day.

I hadn't knitted this pattern in a long time, so re-doing it now enabled me to dispense with a couple of twist cables I didn't really need, and thus keep the focus on the cables that pertain to Rory. The diamond motif is called Homes of Donegal. Rory was born in Ballyshannon in Donegal. The cables flanking the diamond motif are "Cork Cables." Rory spent a goodly portion of his non-traveling time in that city, and most folks still consider him to have been a Cork native.
I definitely think DK weight is the way to go with this scarf. The one I made a few years ago, from fingering weight Shetland, seemed it would never end as I worked on it, and worsted weight proved way too much of a good thing.

Ultimately, this will go to a stateside friend from the Black 47 tour, who is doing me a big music-related favor. I don't think he'll mind being a guinea pig for the latest version of this project.

I'm awfully pleased with the way it came out, and know it will look even better after dyeing and blocking.

What to knit next? Decisions, decisions....

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What was I thinking?

Hello, and welcome to Mad Angel's "What Was I Thinking" Gallery!

I finally got my shipment of vinyl sweater bags in the mail yesterday, and in hopes of Getting Organized (or at least starting to), I spent the evening going through my sweater chest. And, oh, the things I found lurking there!

Pictured below is Phoebe. She was about 8 years old when I began this sweater, knitting like mad while waiting for her at ballet lessons. I was dying to try my hand with mohair, and didn't have a whole lot of money to spend on yarn back then. I found this MONDO ball of variegated mohair at Fabric Place for about fifty bucks. I bought it because the label assured me there was enough for an entire sweater. Man, was there ever! I was so proud when I finished this, but no matter how many different articles of clothing I tried to wear it with, it just...wasn't right. It wasn't Me.

Phoebe is now eighteen and can get away with this. in fact, she's probably the only person in town who can get away with this. Better She than Me.

Not too long after I tired of Hairy Bargain Mohair, I took up handspinning. Now mind you, I did some very tasteful projects early on. A pretty Aran baby sweater for Daphne and a Christening set are the stand-out items from that era. Then I decided it was time to tackle something handspun for Me.

Ruh-roh, as my dear friend and co-worker Cheryl says.

It was my first visit to Halcyon Yarn in Maine. I was overwhelmed by the bounty there, both in handspinning fibers and yarns. Oh, good glory day! I wanted to be bold and adventurous, and I sooooo loved purple. Two pounds of the deepest, most luscious purple roving I have ever seen just sort the shelf and into my outstretched arms. That would have been fine, but then I spotted this vivid, sunshiney yellow. So not me, but such a pretty, lively shade! OK, I'll take a half pound of that, too. And I will Navajo-ply every inch of both colors, and I will knit...what? Oh, yes, a raglan roll-neck sweater with flappy wide sleeves and a flappy wide body, with wide stripes of purple interspersed with narrow stripes of yellow. Oh, my, yes...if one happens to be a Minnesota Vikings fan...which I am not. I was always strictly a Miami Dolphins fan back when Bob Griese and Larry Csonka ruled the day and won Super Bowls and stuff like that, playing a damn good game and no one needed Janet Jackson and her half-time boob flash.

But I digress.

I had been thinking of dismantling this sweater and making something tasteful in plain purple, but...there were so many ends woven in. And when I undertake to weave in ends, I REALLY weave in ends. So, imagine my delight when Phoebe plucked it out of the pile of sweaters on my bed and said, "Ooh, what's THIS? Can I have it?"

"Sure," I said. "It will save me taking it apart and re-knitting it."

Amazingly, like the Mohair Monstrosity, it suits her. And yes, if you click on the pic for a larger view, she does have a lip ring and is very proud of it. It wasn't my idea, and this, too, shall pass...or so I hope.

Phoebe also inherited a lot of blankets and shawls that didn't suit me, which were too nice to get rid of, and so I just kept them. Lots of mohair scarves, too, all of which "came with the house." Now I have room in the sweater chest for my more tasteful woollens, and sometime in the next couple of weeks I will also bag up the stash of yarns and things that have been living in my room in Rubbermaid tubs for the last couple of years. I find I am eagerly looking forward to having a floor again.

More Rory, this time from 1979, performing A Million Miles Away in the context of a power trio. I just viewed this whole concert on video recently. I had never seen it before. He was on fire. Utterly. Totally. Watch him!

A Million Miles Away

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lest you think I have lost my mind...

Here is some knitting. These are my variations of smariekknits Persephone scarf. The black one is a double strand of a fingering-weight alpaca/silk blend from Elann, knitted up on size 3 needles. It's a very dense, heavy, luxurious fabric.

The green scarf is done in a single strand of Berocco Ultra alpaca/wool blend, on size 6 needles.

Both yarns were fabulous to work with, and I adore this pattern!

And sometimes I just get punchy...

Call me a curmudgeon for this if you like, but I have always detested the Pina Colada Song. Every time I used to hear it come up on my co-workers’ radios, I found myself offering silent rebuttals in my head. So, without further ado…something I have wanted to do for awhile now…

Overanalyzing the Pina Colada song.

I was tired of my lady
we'd been together too long
like a worn out recording of a favorite song…

You think you’re tired of me???? Maybe you oughta wash your own crusty jockey shorts. As for cooking dinner for yourself, don’t make me laugh! You don’t even know how to open a can of soup. Can you say, starve?????

So while she lay there sleeping,
I read the paper in bed;
and in the personal columns,
there was this letter I read.

If you like Pina Coladas
and getting caught in the rain,
If you're not into yoga,
if you have half a brain.
If you like making love at midnight,
in the dunes of the Cape,
then I'm the love that you've looked for,
write to me and escape.

Well, you’ve gotten really BORING lately, man. And what ever happened to that half a brain you had once upon a time????

I didn't think about my lady,
I know that sounds kinda mean.
well me and my old lady,
had fallen into that same old dull routine.

Eat, sleep, sex, football. Eat, sleep, sex, football…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…and whose fault is that?????

So I wrote to the paper,
took out a personal ad,
and though I'm nobody's poet,
I thought it wasn't half bad.

Ha! Well, you still have more than half an ego, at any rate…

Yes, I like Pina Coladas,
and getting caught in the rain,
I'm not much into health food,
I am into champagne.

Yeah, if it’s Andre’s el-cheapo rot-gut…

I've got to meet you by tomorrow noon,
and cut through all this red tape,
at a bar called O'Malley's,
and we'll plan our escape.

Perhaps you should listen to Nick Cave’s song about O’Malley’s Bar sometime…

So I waited with high hopes,
and she walked in the place.
I knew her smile in an instant,
I knew the curve of her face.
It was my own lovely lady,
and she said, "Aw, it's you!"
and we laughed for a moment,
and I said, "I never knew..."

That you were married to a Lorena Bobbit wanna-be? Surprise, surprise, surprise!!!!!

That you liked Pina Coladas,
and getting caught in the rain,
and the feel of the ocean,
and the taste of champange.
If you like making love at midnight,
in the dunes of the Cape,
your the lady I've looked for,
come with me and escape.

Can you say, permanent vacation?
(Sound of chainsaw firing up in the background.)
Say hello to my little friend!!!! Buwahahahahaaaaaaaa...

If you like Pina Coladas
and getting caught in the rain,
If you're not into yoga,
if you have half a brain.
If you like making love at midnight,
in the dunes of the Cape,
then I'm the love that you've looked for,
write to me and escape.

Who wants to escape next???? Buwahahahahaaaaaaaa...

Monday, December 03, 2007


Just a quick note to say I have re-opened my Etsy shop in hopes of making some sales in time for the holidays. You can find my store by clicking on the link below. Thanks for looking!
Mad Angel Creations