Works in Progress

Looking forward to SAFF! Great time at the Carolina Fiber Fest and at Stitches South!
*Crimson Triangle *Crimson Boomerang * Pi Shawl *Kathleen Socks *Ashton Lace Shawl *Halloween Self-Striping Socks
*Cobblestone Cardigan *Rainbow Anklets *Mother Bear *Carolyn's Summer Top * Red and Blue Stars *Striped Red Socks *Locke St. Cardigan

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Simplify, Beautify and Modify

January 2015 has arrived. Begin as you will go is the order of the day.


Today I reassessed some tops, shirts and sweaters that have been unworn for over a year. I finally got around to taking a look at some of them. I made it through three drawers and two shelves.

Over half the items were taken to Goodwill today or tossed, and the rest were put on shelves where they are more visible. I hope that means that next year there will be less to donate. I want to simplify getting dressed and have nice clothes to wear. If I can see the items, I should wear more of them.

Only made it through some because since the surgery, I can only stand for a little while. I still have two drawers and three shelves to go through. That’s for another day.


Following the suggestions on Apartment Therapy, the floors were cleaned this morning and flowers were bought for the kitchen.  Everything looks and smells great!


A friend in our knitter’s guild just had a new baby boy. I went into the gift drawer and pulled out a baby boy sweater and hat. (Yoke Baby Sweater by Gail Bable) Looking at the sweater, I decided that the buttons on the sweater --little Dalmatian puppies--while really cute, will be too difficult to button and unbutton on a wiggly baby.

I took the buttons off and moved them to the other side of the sweater band. Then I added snaps to the back of the buttons and the other side of the band. This should be so much easier for Jennifer.  If I finish the socks, I will add them to the gift that I will give at the guild meeting tomorrow.

A great way to spend the first few days of January. 

Until next time  . . . . . .

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Busy Fall

Christmas is Coming!

It has been a long time since I have blogged. We have been traveling since August 1st. First to Orlando, for a 6 day conference. Who goes to Florida in August. We came home for a few days and then left for a family trip to New York City to visit our daughter and her family. Then home for a few days and then back to Pennsylvania to watch grandkids while son was out of town.

October brought a slew of fibery trips. We made it to Rhinebeck this year for the first time. It was a great trip. Loved seeing the sheep to shawl competition.

A week later we headed to SAFF. This is a trip that is planned far in advance and really looked forward to each year. Bought some alpaca yarn from Apple Hill Farm. They always have a great selection. Also, got my yearly fix of McMatley yarns. Cliff and Ernesto are always fun to be with.

We left the festival and headed for Mobile where we spent a week with friends. It was great!

The first week of November was spent in Michigan at Knittin’ in the Mitten with 74 wonderful knitters, spinners, designers and friends.  What a great time.

We headed to Pennsylvania to spend Thanksgiving with our son and his family. 

December has been busy with short trips around the state to see friends and attend meetings.

I am finishing up my tenure on the local habitat board and as President. Maybe next year there will be more time for knitting, spinning and weaving.

This past week has been spent recuperating from gallbladder surgery.  No knitting right now either. 

Looking forward to a happy  and healthy New Year.

Until next time . . . . . .

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Knitting Doldrums

Do you ever get to the point where you dislike all the projects on your needles?  That’s where I am. 

I have one sock finished, but I broke the needles and threw them away. Now I can’t remember what size I was knitting on. I have tried two different sizes and haven’t found the right size yet. I forgot to record the size on Ravelry. What was I thinking?! Second sock is going to take forever at this rate.

I have a hat for Halos of Hope on the needles. The blue yarn is great, but I keep messing up on the textured part of the pattern. I would have to rip it all out and start again to make it look good enough to donate. If I rip it out, I will knit another hat pattern. Nothing wrong with this one except that I keep getting distracted and messing it up and not noticing until I have knitted several rows. Good grief!

I have an Elizabeth Zimmermann pi shawl on the needles. I am working the plain version. This works great when I need something mindless to knit. Each round is 288 stitches in lace weight alpaca. Boring! but necessary when I am in a group or easily distracted. Wonder what year it will be finished?

I have a “Beginner Lace Shawl” on the needles in cotton yarn from Yarn Hollow. Beautiful fall colored yarn, pretty pattern, but not what I would call beginner lace. Every right side row has a different pattern which ends in a different number of plain stitches at the end. The designer didn’t address these stitches well. Also, for a beginner pattern the charts are not explained well. I work on it when I am in a situation where I won’t be distracted. Mistakes have been made as one side is shorter than the other.  I am going to finish it anyway as I have completed five repeats of the seven called for in the pattern and I am too indifferent of this project to investigate where the mistakes occurred. It will just be asymmetrical.

I have my plain alpaca Cobblestone cardigan on the needles. All it needs is for me to finish the sleeves (one is half done) and knit the garter stitch neck band. The sweater is knit top down with set in sleeves in stockinette with garter stitch trim using Ann Budd’s pattern from her Knitter's Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters. It also fits well. It is hard to get in the mood to knit a sweater when it is so hot and humid!

I want to knit something fun and quick and small!  Any suggestions?

Until next time . . . . 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Days

Grandkids, Car Repairs, and Meetings, Oh! My! Where is my knitting?

Summer days are upon us.  Fortunately, the weather is unseasonably cool. In the upper 80s with low humidity. Usually, the temperatures are in the 100s with high humidity. Most days, there is even a slight breeze.  This is making being outside delightful.

We have survived one week with the grandkids here. Lots of camp type activities have ensued. We have decorated T-shirts, built bird houses, painted bird houses, learned knife safety, swam, camped in a tent, roasted marshmallows and hotdogs, played out door games, and written letters home to Mom and Dad. It is great having them here, but boy are we tired.

Our main car started leaking fuel this weekend. It is now in the repair shop waiting for a part (new fuel pump assembly) to be shipped from Missouri. Should take two days to get here, then another day to get the part installed. This is not going to be cheap! We are now trying to decide if we need to rent a car for a few day or just limp along with our old 1995 Geo Prizm. 

This week has also been filled with meetings. Yesterday they began at 10 am and lasted until 3 pm. Today they will begin at 3:30 pm and last until 9 pm.  Doesn’t seem like there will be much rest today. Hope I can keep my eyes open during the meetings, especially since I am facilitating two of them!

Only a little knitting has occurred. Granddaughter’s anklet socks are finished. They fit well. This was a concern as she lives 500 miles away and I guessed at the length. 

Have started an Elizabeth Zimmerman pi shawl out of natural alpaca lace yarn on size US 5 (3.5 mm) needles. I am making the plain version. I need mindless right now!

Off to do laundry.

Until next time . . . . 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Overdyeing Katia

August 30, 2011, I began knitting a LaLa’s Simple Shawl using Katia Samba (100% cotton) in the green ombre colorway. I finished the 84 inches by 46 inches shawl on September 9, 2011. Wow! Eleven days! and the shawl is huge and cotton and lovely. . . . . . 
except that I hate the color of it.  I wear fall colors and usually green works with my coloring and with my wardrobe.  This green, however, made me look sick. I know this because multiple people asked me if I felt poorly when I wore it. Too much blue and pink.

So . . . I put the shawl away in my stash of finished object to be gifts to someone or someones someday. 

Now, enter into May 2014. I am going to a conference in Phoenix next month. Beautiful, hot Phoenix in the desert. But I am going to a conference which means being stuck in a hotel/conference center with the air conditioning on about 55 degree F. That’s 13 degrees C for inquiring minds that want to know. 

At that temperature, I will need my fingerless mitts, socks, shawls and maybe a hat!  I am very cold natured. It will allow me to work on my alpaca sweater, so some good may come of it.

I would love to knit a shawl to take with me, but with grandkids, husband, mother, church, Habitat and other volunteer activities, plus 4 WIPS on the needles, I don’t need another.

Then, I remembered the Katia Samba Simple Shawl. Could something be done to make it more wearable? 

Enter RIT dye. Works great on cotton.  Hmmmm. What color to use?

Looking in my closet, I quickly determined that a chocolate brown would be a good choice. But would it make the shawl too dark?

Well, I gathered up all my supplies. (5 gallon bucket, bottle of dye, rubber gloves, old clothes, stirring stick, salt.) I changed into the old clothes. I washed the shawl in the washer but didn’t let it spin. It was very wet. I heated the water and salt until boiling in a large dutch oven on the stove top. I half filled the 5 gallon bucket with hot tap water. I place the boiling salt water into the bucket. I poured in the dye and stirred with the stick. I placed the shawl into the dye bath and stirred it around for about 20 seconds. It came out dark, dark chocolate.

Then I began the laborious task of rinsing until the rinse water was clear. The shawl began to lighten in color. I dried the shawl in the dryer. 

Lo, and behold, none of the shawl is brown.  The spring green is olive. The fushia is salmon. The baby pink is mauve, the orchid is orchid (go figure!), the yellow is caramel, the bright blue is a steely blue gray. The red is coral and something else is a pale wine color (haven't a clue what color it was to begin with) and the white is tan. 

I will wear it for a while and see how many things in my closet it goes with. If I need to, I can dye it again for a longer time to make the colors richer.

Right now I am doing a happy dance. And I didn’t have to knit another shawl under a deadline. Yippeee!

Until next time . . . . .

Friday, April 18, 2014

Success at Last!

The journey down Locke Street began one cold March day in 2012. Cables and twists abounded in this lovely sweater pattern by Glenna C. I was a little apprehensive to start such a project, being an adventurous novice at cables. But, how hard could it be? 
Also, this would be only the fourth sweater I had ever knit. All the rest were stockinette. Some knit bottom up, some top down -  most seamless. Locke St. Cardigan is a set-in sleeve pieced cardigan. What was I thinking!

I ordered and received 13 skeins of a beautiful Plymouth Yarns dk weight 100% alpaca yarn from JimmyBeans Wool in a dark forest green. Oooh, so squishy and soft. I cast on and knitted a good size swatch, being an obedient knitter. Besides, I wanted this sweater to fit. It would be perfect for future St. Patrick Day events. 

With the swatch knit, blocked and measured. I cast on stitches for a sleeve. The designer is thoughtful in that she has you knit a sleeve to learn two of the cables patterns, so that by the time you work the sweater you know them. This is a good thing as they occur 7 times in the body of the sweater.  I started the sleeves two at a time.

I hated working them two at a time and put the sweater in hibernations.

Fast forward to March 2013. I took the sweater out of hibernation. It would be so nice to have a dark green beautiful sweater. I decided to work the sleeves one at a time and quickly finished the first one.   I finished the second sleeve, and cast on the body of the sweater (not in pieces - front right, back and front left - all at the same time - no seams) but it was not much fun. Oh! but now it is getting warm and the alpaca is getting sticky in my hands and each row took 20 minutes! Sending this project back to hibernation.

Fast forward again to March 2014. Do I denote a pattern? 

I decided that this would be my Lenten project. I would get this project of shame completed. When I took the project out there was about 6 inches above the ribbing completed. I can do this! 

Well, it has been a long Lent. . . but . . . SUCCESS!

I present the Locke Street Cardigan.  


Until next time . . .