Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Work With Me

Why does it seem that every time I think the president has done the most audacious thing he could come up with, he comes up with one more thing that drives me insane?

At Least The Man Has Balls
Not to besmirch the lone female running in the presidential primaries, but I have to at least give credit to this president for being willing to ask for things way beyond what he deserves.

In his last (thank dog) state of the union speech, he asked the congress to work with him on fixing global warming...but...only if they do it his way. Yes, the impact to the World of global warming is much less important than affecting the U.S. economy. The economy is of the HIGHEST priority to this president.

So, work with him to fix what's turning out to be a global disaster, but don't do anything that might inconvenience the rich folks (including the Bush family) in this country that have worked so hard to keep their riches.

Current Knitting
I knit like the wind the last couple of days and I finished another 10 rounds on the ever-growing red lace tea cloth.

Now I really am on the last round of petals or leaves or whatever they are, and I will soon be starting on the last pattern stitch to finish this lovely piece of lace. I can't wait, so then I can start my next lace project.

New Books
Both Cybergran and Ted mentioned books that have Herbert Niebling patterns or at least Herbert Niebling-inspired patterns in them.

As Ted noted in comments, these two books are available through Laci's (do a text search on Niebling to find them) although a bit expensive. He's also correct, in that the charts are very small, and in Japanese (with a sheet to translate for the Japanese-impaired Americans). I've already picked another small tablecloth design that is very floral.

I am very excited about starting this project, but I won't until I finish the tea cloth...I promise.

Current Spinning
Even though I'm only posting about one of them, I actually have two spinning projects going. At the moment, I can only write about the tussah/cashmere project, except to say that I'm about halfway through the other project, and I will soon have two spinning wheels to devote to Carol's fiber club roving.

Here's where I am with the tussah/cashmere blend.

You'll note I've finished spinning the blue and I'm almost finished with the orange. Just the purple and red and my singles will be done.

Monday, January 28, 2008


It's bad enough when I can't walk past a table at the flea market with any knitting items and not come away with something. But now Thaddeus is even doing it for me.

Local Flea Market Strikes Again
Since I'm not home during the week, and the local flea market is open on Wednesdays, Thaddeus often goes there without me. Look what he picked up for me on his last trip there.

This is about 40 Workbasket magazines from the 50's, 60's and 70's. He also picked these little items up.

Vintage knitting booklets from Minerva, Bernat, etc. Folks tell me how lucky I am to have Thaddeus...they're exactly right.

Current Knitting
I continue unabated the pace of knitting on the red lace tea cloth.

Even on two 32 inch cable needles, it's starting to become difficult to get a good picture. I also realized that I have another repeat of the leaf motif before I hit the final outer section of the cloth.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding my mention of Niebling lace in my last post, Cara asks, "Are you planning to attempt something like that?"

Yes, I'll be posting something about it in my next post.

Meribeth adds, "I have heard that his patterns are very difficult to come this true?"

Yes, it seems that most of his work was published in Burda magazines called Anna. They are often available on eBay, but often go for higher prices.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Where Have I Been?

I've recently been exposed to the works of a knit lace designer named Herbert Niebling. All I can say is wow.

Meet LaceFreak
I had the good fortune of starting up a correspondence with a lace knitter on Ravelry who calls herself LaceFreak. She knits exquisite lace and keeps more laceweight yarn in her stash than anyone I've ever known. My original intent was to make it my business to see what she could do with some of Carol's laceweight yarn.

It has now become an obsession with one of her completed projects, called Lyra. A lace design by Herbert Niebling.

Check out her pictures on Flickr here.

Suffice it to say, that my next project...or at least one of them...will be the Frosted Fern doily, so that I can start to get used to Niebling's techniques in lace knitting.

Current Knitting
Just as I start to reach the final repeat of the petal motif on the red lace tea cloth, I will soon have to switch to the next pattern stitch in the design.

In some ways, I enjoy going on to the next section and learning a new rhythm and pattern. In other ways, I know the knitting will get slower as I have to carefully read each instruction.

Current Reading
What a delightful gem I just finished reading.

Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson is a masterful literary piece that everyone should read. It is unfathomable to me how someone can capture the tone of a place and of a time and of a community so clearly in writing and consistently convey that to the reader.

There are some books, such as Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides that I wanted to last for ever and ever. Snow Falling On Cedars wasn't like that for me. As the snowstorm subsided in the book, it brought with it an expected end to a beautiful story.

Current Spinning (Stash)
I arrived home from the work week to find this puffy little package waiting for me.

YAY!!! No wonder it was so puffy, look at all the great BBF Roving.

This is my first installment of the Black Bunny Fiber Club. It's a blend of some special Merino and kid's gonna spin up quite beautifully...I just know it. I rolled up the roving in a nice big ball and Nico just had to check it out.

Now I just have to clear one of my spinning wheels so I can spin up this incredible fiber.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Deaths Come in Threes

If you're one of those folks that believes that deaths come in multiples of three, the cycle was unfortunately completed with Heath Ledger's recent death.

Fond Memories of All
Having grown up with the Brady's and the great character of Sam the butcher, played by Allan Melvin and also having enjoyed the talents of both Brad Renfro and Heath Ledger, I am sad to see them all go.

Current Knitting
I'm starting to slow down a little in the rate of completed rounds on the red lace tea cloth.

Not because I'm working on it less, but because there are more and more stitches in each round. I'm halfway through round 97...the finished cloth has something like 169 rounds, so I still have a lot of lace to knit.

Current Spinning
I finished spinning the last color (red) of the first tussah/cashmere roving and started in on the second one.

I am trying to get this spinning project finished before my first installment of the Black Bunny Fiber club comes in so I can get to that quickly.

Readers' Comments/Questions

Fiberqat writes, "Have you considered being a guest podcaster for another podcast? Franklin has done it and can give you info on that. I would go that way first to see if it's something you want to do."

A few comments about this. First, I know Franklin, and I'm no such, no one has ever asked me to guest podcast for them. Second, even if someone did, I can't understand why I wouldn't do my own podcast, since the effort (which seems huge to me) would be the same to create the materials and record my own, or someone else's podcast. Finally, the only reason I would even consider creating my own podcast was because of the brief experience I had recording for Guido/ItsAPurlMan.

Anne Marie in Philly writes, "I cannot listen cause I don't have an MP3. old fart, that's me."

I could have written the same sentence not too long ago. I don't have an MP3 player and I am an old fart. However, I found out a little while ago that an MP3 player isn't necessary to listen to podcasts. Or more accurately, I found out that my computer is, in fact, an MP3 player. I know...sometimes I'm a little slow.

Finally, Barb B. writes, "What?? No high tea for me if I make it over there on a Sunday?"

Okay, if Barb ever makes it to my neck of the woods on a Sunday afternoon, I will be glad to host a high tea. I'll just have to find a web resource on what exactly a high tea is.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Blogger's Voice

I often question how much I have to say, and all I can tell you is that I haven't run out of things to say yet.

Knitting Podcasts
Guido of ItsAPurlMan asked me to record a brief segment regarding the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat in May. So I recorded a short answer to his question of what was the appeal of knitting together with other men. I'm not sure when he'll post the segment, but it got me thinking about knitting podcasts.

Would QueerJoe have anything more or different to say in a podcast format? Would there be any appeal for me as a knitter to express my views that way? Would readers of this blog also be interested in listening to spoken essays or descriptions of knitting?

I don't know the answer to any of those questions, but despite the fact that I don't even own an I-Pod or any other MP3 player, I'm considering trying my hand at recording a podcast just to see whether it's worth the effort for me and the folks that read here.

Current Knitting
With the new KnitPicks cable needles, the red lace tea cloth flew (well, at least as fast as fine cotton knitted lace can actually fly). Here are two pictures of it, one with flash, and the other without.

I'm up to about round 95. I'm starting to worry if I'll have enough yarn to finish the full tea cloth as designed, but I honestly don't really care, since I don't plan on serving high tea in the near future (...or ever, really). If I run out of red, I may just switch to some awful second color of yarn to finish it. As always, I'll keep you updated.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Cara writes, "I'd love to know how you like the knitpicks needles, I really like my Addi's, but can barely afford them."

Actually, I quite love them, and they're significantly cheaper than the Addi Turbos. I mentioned that they're much lighter weight than the Addi's, but they're also quite durable so far. I've been doing a lot of Sl 1, K2Tog, PSSO or even just plain K2Tog's on US1's, which are always hard on my needles, since I knit with a firmer gauge than some other knitters. I'm also pulling quite hard on the cables as I move over 200 cotton stitches along the length, and overall, they're doing a great job. I don't find the points too pointy at all, in fact they are the perfect sharpness in my opinion. I look forward to trying out the US11 needles on my next project. If I like them as well as the fine needles, I will probably end up ordering a full set of them.

Regarding the Navajo plying the Tussah Silk/Cashmere yarn I'm spinning, Barbara writes, "Oh Joe - don't let lack of experiment with a technique keep you from trying it."

Actually, I have tried a few times to Navajo ply on my wheel, and while I understand how it should be done, I'm definitely not very good at it. If I really wanted to have an exact differentiation in colors, I would go to Twist and ask for a lesson, but I would actually prefer overlap in colors on this yarn anyway.

VTKnitBoy writes, "i started 3-plying almost everything is spin. this forces me to spin thinner singles. the end result is fabulous, and i feel that stitch patterns are more prounounced due to the roundness of the final yarn. i also spin the singles a bit under perfect twist, which results in a softer yarn. when i ply, i ply about 10-15% more than the final desired plying"

It sounds as though VTKB and I have a very similar preference in spinning. I've done a couple of triple ply yarns, and liked the result very much as well. I enjoy spinning thin singles and having just worn a sweater done with my first three-ply yarn, I agree with his assessment of the yarn in a knit fabric.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Fiber Overload

I returned home from work last evening to find I have a boatload of things to work on now.

Patons, KnitPicks and Black Bunny
After the discussion a while back about how good Patons yarn is for felting, I went to the JoAnn's site and it was on sale, so I bought a little.

This is forty balls of yarn in 10 different colors. They sent me a variegated one that I didn't order (or at least didn't mean to order), so I don't know what I'll do with that. I'm considering making felted hats with the yarn that I will included in my craft show inventory of things to sell. We'll see.

I also got my order of circular needles from KnitPics.

I needed to get a couple of short US11 cable needles for the felting project and also some fine gauge circular needles for lace projects...either current or on the horizon.

Finally, I got my order from Carol at Black Bunny Fibers.

God that woman knows how to pick incredible fiber, and then does an amazing job of dyeing it. I can't wait to start a lace project with this yarn. The softness is unbelievable and the shades of blue have me staring at the yarn for such long periods of time that I think I may have an alien abduction thing going on. Here's a closeup picture that still doesn't do it justice.

I'm not sure if she will ever do this alpaca/Shetland blend again, but if she does, grab it up immediately. I still can't believe I was able to snag this one.

Current Knitting
I did another couple of relaxing inches on the kid alpaca bedspread. A picture wouldn't help illustrate my me.

But I also moved the red lace tea cloth to the KnitPicks needles, I'm up to round 70 on this garment.

I'm quite fond of the KnitPicks needles so far. I could easily see myself replacing all my Addi's with these. The biggest difference is that the KnitPicks needles are lighter weight than the Addi's...if they end up being as sturdy, I will be very happy.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the link to the anti-Scientology site, John M. wrote in an e-mail, "You seem thoughtful and responsible. The Scientology stuff that you wrote is OK, except for the last bit... referring people to the YTMND site. I think this could be considered irresponsible from someone that appears to be enlightened. It's because you give such thoughtful intercourse on the topic then a flip, irresponsible resignation to redirect people to this site that is so irresponsible.

I replied back that I was trying to show that there are folks that are vehemently opposed to Scientology, but he's right...I should have looked for a more well-balanced site that didn't seem so extremist. Thanks John.

VTKnitBoy mentions Navajo plying the tussah/cashmere, and then Meribeth follows up with, "The spinning is glorious! I can't wait to see it as a 3 ply."

Actually, I think I will just double-ply it. When I spin the second round of singles, I will just use the same color sequence, knowing that the colors will mix a little at the transition between colors. Besides, I don't know how to Navajo's the first spinning technique that I haven't been able to teach myself.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tom Cruise - Unauthorized

Asking if Tom Cruise is gay is like telling an ugly straight man that you're gay and having him reply with the standard, "I don't have any problems with you being gay, but I don't swing that way."

Who would want an ugly straight man or a crazy (albeit handsome) gay man (if he is)?

Which Brings Me To...Scientology
First off, I truly believe that L. Ron Hubbard (the founder of Scientology) was an amazing genius, and came up with some of the most incredible concepts for helping people realize their true selves.

That being said, I can't understand how an organization that has the potential to be extraordinary, chooses to be at best odd, and at worst, some say dangerous and lethal.

I am not a member of the Church of Scientology, but through my work in est back in the '70's and '80's, I was exposed to bastardized versions of some of Scientology's techniques (that supposedly the founder of est, Werner Erhardt, stole while he participated in Scientology...the two organizations weren't overly compatible for years afterwards...maybe still aren't). I actually read Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard and found that it provided amazing insight into understanding why we are what we are.

Both Tom Cruise and Scientology have taken on at least one common attribute, and that is to aggressively pursue detractors with law suits to bully them into compliance.

Check out this site for some of the alleged dark-side things associated with Scientology.

Current Knitting
More paint dried since my last blog post....

Okay, so I added an inch or so to the ridiculous kid alpaca blanket project.

It's still soft, silky and warm to have in my lap.

Current Spinning
I ended up doing a bit more spinning on the Tussah/Cashmere blend (see...when I have a boring project to knit...I have a lustrous project to spin!).

You'll note that I finished spinning the purple color, and started spinning the last color, red. Now I only have to finish the red before I start the second coil of roving.

I still contend that it will be interesting to see the resulting two-ply yarn.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

How Can You Pick A Favorite?

Someone started a Ravelry forum asking what were knitters favorite projects. Like picking a favorite child is impossible, so is it for me to pick my favorite item that I've ever knitted.

How To Assess?
Do you pick a favorite because it was your "first born"?
Do you pick a favorite because you wear it all the time?
Do you pick a favorite because all design elements came together perfectly?
Do you pick a favorite because it was the most challenging to knit?
Do you pick a favorite because the yarn was exquisite to knit with?

I couldn't possibly pick just one favorite, although, unlike children, I most certainly have some that are less favorites.

I loved the Celestine Shawl because it was done in Carol's yarn and the color was exquisite. It was also a very successful design experiment in lace knitting.

I loved the Passing Lane Pullover. It came out exactly as I had better than I had hoped.

I loved how well some of my Koigu projects turned out. The Koigu Cross Stitch scarf was a blast to knit, and folks always love it when I make them one.

But I also love my first ever sweater, despite all its flaws. I loved making the fingerless gloves from the old Patons booklet. I've never knit anything from Kinzel's Lace Knitting books that I haven't been ecstatic about.

Like I said, who could pick a favorite?

Current Knitting
My order of needles didn't come in, so I will continue to work on the kid alpaca blanket for this week. I worked on it quite a bit over the weekend, although it's hard to tell.

I'm up to about 30 inches on the blanket, and the knitting of it has become almost meditative. Apologies to readers, as I know this project is as boring as examining the texture of an office cubicle wall, but I'll be back to the hot red lace this coming weekend. I do have to say that the rhythm of the simple stitch pattern and the simple purl stitch row in between makes for knitting this item quite pleasurable.

Current Spinning
I was expecting to start two spinning projects, only one that I could write about on the blog, but I decided to start a different project anyway. I had to tussah silk/cashmere tops from Chasing Rainbows, that I've been wanting to do something with for a while. Here's one now.

I decided to separate the colors into one of four piles of, orange, purple and red (there are lots of intermediaries colors that I just tried to ignore). Here's the red and purple sections.

Then I starting spinning each color separately. Here's the blue and orange sections so far.

I have no idea how this yarn will eventually look, but I'm loving spinning it, and the luster of the silk/cashmere blend, along with the spectacular colors from Chasing Rainbows are incredible.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I often envy Véronik, but usually, it's because of her creativity and design talent.

Then I Saw THIS On Her Blog

Or at least something like it. It's a Digital Caliper Micrometer with LCD Display!!!, which she has cleverly pictured being used as the ultimate needle gauge.

This is SO going on my Amazon Wish List.

Current Knitting
I got up to round 70 or so on the red lace tea cloth, and I had to put it down. Even with using eight 7" double pointed needles and a ninth one to do the knitting, the stitches were starting to fall off the needles.

I have a couple of longer circular needles on order, but they just shipped yesterday. I finish the lace knitting as soon as I get the needles.

In the interim, I started work again on the almost-forgotten kid alpaca blanket that I started years ago.

I've finished over two feet of knitting so far, but I still have at least four more feet to go. Some might remember I nicknamed this my coffin-cover. That's getting truer and truer every year. The last picture will at least show that it's starting to cover at least a portion of a large bed.

Adam Spector Hodgkins Memorial Fund

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

FreePolls Sucks

It's been a while since I had to deal with a slimy company (it was when I needed to cancel my AOL used to be quite a pain)

Why Freepolls Sucks allows you to set up free polls on your website, such as this one.
Over a year ago, I decided I wanted to do more extensive polls, so I purchased an upgraded account for US$20. I used the account once, and then figured it was worth the price, and I would just let it lapse. Worried that I might be on auto-renew, I made sure that the credit card I gave them was about to expire.

I just got notified that they made up a new expiration date, charged my card another US$20 for another year of service. I went to their web site to check to see if they really did and then checked my credit card to find out it had been charged to my account. Figuring an internet company would allow cancellation/refund on-line, I tried to do that, but found I had to call during their working hours to cancel.

I got some annoyed-sounding man name John, who told me there is a $20 cancellation fee, or he could just set my account to non-renew and use the account for the rest of the year. I asked him to waive the fee and refund my money, and he wouldn't. I then asked him to set my account to non-renew and I would deal directly with my credit card company.

My credit card company has removed the charge. I will let you know if anything more comes of it.

Current Knitting
I made a lot of progress on the red lace tea cloth.

This shows me up to round 60, I think. I've obviously had to switch to nine double pointed needles to hold all the stitches. I have ordered two US1/32" circular needles, and will transfer the lace to them when I get them.

New Magazine
Based on Marilyn mentioning the glove pattern in the latest Spin-Off Magazine, I picked up a copy in my not-so-local grocery store.

It's a very good magazine, and I enjoy reading a lot of the articles, both those of a technical nature and those of a story-like nature. The glove patterns look promising as well, although I don't think I'll be making more gloves anytime soon.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat, first of all, I'm thrilled Dr. Mel and David will be able to be there...for some reason I thought they may not be able to attend due to their upcoming wedding.

Also about the retreat, Barb B. asks, "Are you doing "prizes" type thing at your retreat?"

Since this is the first of what I hope will be an annual event, we haven't put together a formal itinerary for the retreat. Ted and I have discussed various workshops or activities we could do, but nothing has been formalized. If any of the activities require a prize, I will definitely let you know!

Adam Spector Hodgkins Memorial Fund

Monday, January 07, 2008

Are You Creative?

Once in a while, I find myself getting to a lull in creativity, when I think there is simply nothing more interesting to create. Then I fall back on some academic way of trying to inspire myself, such as The Creativity Book by Eric Maisel.

Then I Get Inspired
It's usually an interesting yarn or a pattern stitch that sets me into "create mode." Today, it was these incredibly clever gloves.

Not only is the idea of two contrasting color fingers for ease of expressing yourself a great idea, but I even love the decorative stitching she used.

I guess there really are still good ideas left out there to come up with.

Current Knitting
I kept up with my work on the red lace tea cloth.

I had forgotten how addictive Kinzel's circular lace knitting could be. Despite how the rounds keep getting longer and longer, I still want to start on the next one. This is up through round 48, and I still have quite a bit of work to do on it.

Readers' Comments/Questions
First of all, I'm sorry to all the short-haired dog owners who live in cooler climates where a dog sweater (a TASTEFUL dog sweater) can be a very useful and desirable piece of knitwear. I didn't mean to disparage dog sweaters in total.

Second, thanks to all the readers who suggested how to obtain a dog. If I ever do get a dog (and it won't be for quite a while, even if I do), it will definitely be a rescue dog. I would have trouble justifying buying from a breeder...even a good breeder...when there are so many dogs in shelters that need a good home.

Cindy also writes, "I read a random Ravelry comment (I think in the group on cable knitting, in a discussion on how to make cables show up in pictures) suggesting putting Kleenex over the flash to make it less harsh. Have you tried that?"

Yes, and like the Scotch tape idea, I was never able to find a happy medium between too harsh a flash, and not enough flash. I think I will just have to set up a photo studio in my house for blog pictures with adjustable lights that simulate sunlight better than actual sun.

Regarding the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat, Stephen hizKNITS writes, "I'm looking into whether it's possible to attend the retreat. I would love to meet you and Michael and Mel and Ted and Sean and Sean and everyone else who may attend!"

That is also my main reason for wanting this event to be big, so I can get to meet some of the guy-knitters I've "known" for a while. The thing I'm most amazed by is there are guys from all over the country planning on attending.

Adam Spector Hodgkins Memorial Fund

Friday, January 04, 2008

I Want A Puppy

It doesn't make any sense, because of how little I'm home, but I still envy Mel with his new puppy, and now I find out quilt-friend Liza has a new puppy as well.

One Of These Days
When the day comes where I'm either not working, or no longer traveling for work, I would love to get a puppy.

I live in a townhouse which isn't huge, so it couldn't be a huge dog. I have a small area for a "back yard" where I could let the dog hang out (assuming it wouldn't be a noisy dog), but I would still have to walk the dog twice a day.

And I would promise that I would never knit this dog any apparel unless it absolutely begged me to do so.

Men's Spring Knitting Retreat
There has been a lot of interest buzzing around about the knitting retreat for men, scheduled for this May 16th through 18th.

The official web site is here, for those that missed the initial announcement.

I've decided that I will prepare a couple of workshops to present at the retreat, if the guys are interested. I have a lot of materials already prepared to do a "Color Design in Men's Knitwear" workshop, so that might be interesting. I was also thinking about putting together a session on spinning...either one for beginners or something like "Speed Spinning a Knittable Yarn"

I've asked this question in a Ravelry forum, but thought blog readers might have some ideas on what might be interesting workshops to consider.

Current Knitting
I got a few more rounds done on the red lace tea cloth.

Although it doesn't look too much different from the first photos, this is showing up through round 38 in the pattern, and the last picture was only round 27 (and they get more and more stitches each round...I'm up to 256 stitches in each round already). The length of my double pointed needles prevents me from stretching it out for a proper photo.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Diane in Chico, CA writes, "About flash pictures of that lovely red lace... I read a tip someplace that said if you are having trouble taking flash pictures close up, then back up and use the zoom feature on your camera instead (you *do* have zoom, right?).

When I first got this camera a number of years back, the one big critique of it was that the flash is too bright. I've tried a number of solutions, none of which has worked including your idea of moving back from the subject and zooming and I've even tried putting various layers of opaque tape over the flash. None of the solutions has worked very well.

Kate writes, "I can't get beyond knitting scarves. It's reading patterns that does me in."

I can truly understand this. I think any knitting class for beginners should review basic "pattern reading skills" in the class. But there is hope. My skills in pattern reading (and writing) are now well established, but it took a long time to get used to this strange new shorthand.

Adam Spector Hodgkins Memorial Fund

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Hopefully this year will be firstly happy, secondly healthy and also prosperous for the folks that read this blog (and the author).

Holidays Over
This evening marks the official end of the holiday season and tomorrow I head back to work. The aluminum tree is back in the box and stored along with the minimal amount of decorations we put out this year.

I both gave and received some very nice gifts this year, and I am quite happy with how Christmas turned out.

From a knitting perspective, the only relevant gift is obviously one of my favorites. I have a gift certificate for Webs burning a hole in my pocket. Normally, I would have made a pilgrimage to Webs when I was at my sister-out-of-law's house, but I didn't really feel like leaving the warmth and good food of the S-O-O-L's house. I will just place an on-line order to use the very generous gift.

Current Knitting
I've been feeling like knitting something just for the fun of it lately. Lace always fits the bill, and what more useless color could I knit than fluorescent red?

It's difficult to get a good picture of this with a flash...these are the best two that I took. This is the first 27 rounds of the "Springtime" Design in Marianne Kinzel's First Book of Modern Lace Knitting (I can't believe this book is available for under US$10 and US$20.90 for both the first and second). I'm not sure how far I'll be able to get with the amount of yarn I have on the cone (it's 100% cotton and the color is quite a bit brighter than my monitor shows).

Adam Spector Hodgkins Memorial Fund