Works in Progress

Great time at the Carolina Fiber Fest and at Stitches South!

*Carolyn's Summer Top *Striped Red Socks
*Locke St. Cardigan *Burgundy Dishcloth *Blue Multidirectional Dishcloth *Granny Squares *Beige Washcloth

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 . . . 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Begins

Spring is coming slowly this year.  The ice storms are gone, 
Picture is in color. Dreary!

and the forsythia is blooming.  
Aah! That's more like it.

Bees are starting to buzz. Birds are flying through headed for more northern climes. 

Next week, the Carolina Fiber Fest begins followed by Stitches South

What a great time of year!

Until next time . . . . 

Monday, March 10, 2014


There has been a little progress lately.  
Last week, I found a crochet hook and made a few granny squares for an organization in Milwaukee that will use them to yarn bomb the town in support of donating life. It has been years since I have crochet anything. Good thing Ravelry is around so I could find a pattern and review instructions. The colors were determined by the organization. I will be donating the squares to Vicki of DragonflySoars podcast.

I also took everything out of the yarn closet upstairs. I sorted and boxed the yarn by type. I have way too much yarn.  I especially have way too much cotton.  I need to put a dent in the stash. I found a lot of Sublime organic cotton. Twenty-two skeins!  Three shades of beige! What was I thinking?  I took out a set of needles and knitted a nice simple square wash cloth.  I liked the fabric so much that I plan to use this square as a gauge swatch to knit a summer sweater or two. 

I also knit a mitered square burgundy cotton dishcloth 

and a multidirectional variegated blue and white dishcloth. 

Now on the needles is another blue and white one  - Grandmother’s Favorite pattern.  

The dishcloths are like potato chips - can’t just eat make one!

Lent began on Wednesday. I got ashes on my forehead and decided that this year I would work on finishing a WIP that has been lingering. Lingering because I don’t want to knit it. I want the finished sweater - I just don’t enjoy the all over cabling of the pattern. Every row has to be knit following a chart. There are no rest rows. It will be a beautiful sweater when it is finished. I just hope it doesn’t suck out my soul in the process. The sleeves are finished. I have about 10 inches of the body finished. Another eleven to go! Then the button band with shawl collar. One saving grace is that it is in a beautiful forest green alpaca. The yarn is luscious. 

Sunday, I spent the afternoon carding some green dyed locks of alpaca that I was having trouble spinning from the locks.

I used my new hand cards and made a gallon ziplock bag full of rolags. 

They look nice and smooth and shiny. I have about 3 more ounces to card and then I will try again to spin it. 

So as I said - a little progress. Hope your projects are progressing too.

Until next time . . . . . . . . .

Monday, March 3, 2014

Winter Storms

Winter has really hits us hard. The last week of January we had our once every 4 years snow. We got 2-1/2 inches. It was beautiful. The problem was that we got a half inch of freezing rain before the snow during 28 degree F temperatures. So we had black ice under the beautiful snow.  Tractor trailers jackknifed on the highways, multiple accidents occurred. Most people stocked up on bread and milk and hunkered down for the three days. The following week school and work were back in session and temperature were in the upper 40s F.

It appeared that we were getting an early spring, when two weeks ago we got another dose of freezing rain which caused an inch of ice to form on all outdoor surfaces. Roofs, sidewalks, streets, power lines. Our power company estimated that there was 300 to 500 pounds of ice on each line. Throughout the night, it continued to rain pellets of ice - no snow. When we woke up, the world was covered with 2 inches of ice pellets. Icicles hung on everything. No one could drive or even walk outside. 

We lost power about 6:30 am on Wednesday morning. With camp stoves, a gas grill and gas logs. We handled the cold pretty well as it stayed about 60 degrees F in the house. We cooked hot meals and drank hot beverages. Knitted items were a joy to own.

About 8 pm the power came back on. We took hot baths and showers and the house and water heated up.  Temperatures never rose above 25 degrees F outside. The world was a real winter wonderland.

Around midnight, the weather turned. Winds of 15 to 20 miles per hour with gust up to 35 miles per hour started blowing. With ice on power lines and trees, things became dangerous. It sounded like gun fire followed by thunder of explosions as power poles and trees began snapping in half. Our power went out again.

When we woke up, the neighborhood looked like a battle zone. Over 100,000 households in our county were without power. Cell towers were down. Ten of thousands of trees were broken in half. Limbs were everywhere. Streets were unpassable. Power lines lay across streets.  

Power crews were everywhere. Tree trimming companies were out in force trying to help remove trees from lines. The crews worked for days to bring power back to everyone. There were crews from many neighboring states helping. 

Our power came back on around 6 pm on Thursday. Many in the county were without power for 5 to 6 days. There was a hold up after five day as there were no transformers or wire to be found in the county. Trucks brought the need supplies from four states away. All had power in ten days. 

There is now still massive cleanup going on throughout our county. It is estimated that it will take another month to get all the trees branches disposed of. 

It is now raining and will be 33 degrees F tonight. Is spring really around the corner?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Just a quick note.

Socks are on the needles as usual. Cotton in Kraemer Red Saucon Socks. Working the gusset now soon to start the heel of the first sock. The sock only gets love when I am waiting. 

Our local knitting guild is working snuggles for the local animal shelter. I am trying to get rid of some acrylic that has been in the stash forever. Not enjoying the  size 9 needles.  I much prefer smaller needles.

I finished an alpaca watchcap for Tom to wear at the March for Life in Washington, DC. Iooked for him on the news but couldn’t find him in the 650,000 participants. It was bitterly cold and the hat came in handy.

Not any love on my Locke Street cardigan. Just not in the mood for all those cables. Actually knitting has taken a back seat to volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. We finished the roof of Lucille’s house and I attending the annual retreat. Maybe this week will be better.

Until next time . . . . . 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Go the Distance

In week 5, day 2 of Couch to 5K - Walking 15 minutes, running 16 minutes. Some days it seems like I won’t make it through the walk/run intervals and other days are a breeze. Well, a breeze with lots of huffing and puffing and very little speed. Going for distance and not dying.  My knees are still aching and it is difficult to do a deep knee bend or squat. My body protests but still planning to go the distance.

Apparently, going for distance in yarn-y goodness too.  Progress continues on the Locke Street Cardigan by Glenna C. (Baby Alpaca DK, size US 4 (3.5 mm) needles).  Each 320 stitch row is still taking about 20 minutes to complete. It seems a little quicker since taking the “Look Ma, No Cable Needle” class from Melissa Leapman at the fall TKGA conference in Concord, NC, the beginning of October.  At least, the two stitch cables are much faster now. There are 9 per right side row. The goal is to be finished by March, 2014. I would like to wear this dark green sweater of goodness for St. Patrick's Day.  

Looking for a project that would be quicker, I cast on a top down Icelandic colorwork yoke sweater using Misty Mountain’s natural colored dk weight yarn that I bought at the Carolina Fiber Fest last spring. I am using various colors of Andean Treasure from Knit Picks in a dk weight for the colorwork. Nice fall colors. The neckband and yoke are finished and the sweater has been divided at the sleeves.  About 3 inches past the sleeve division has been completed.  It is so nice to work stockinette in the round. Very relaxing after all the cables of Locke Street.

The woven Denim Scarf is finally off the Baby Wolf loom.  

It has been washed, dried, ironed, fringe tied and trimmed and given to my friend, Lisa. She wore it to SAFF. It looked great on her. (Forgot to take her picture. :-o ) We both look forward each year to spending time together at her home in the mountains and then wallowing in yarn-y goodness at SAFF.  Thanks, again, Lisa, for such a great weekend.

Until next time . . . . . . . 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Catching Up

I know it has been a while since I have put up anything here. We have been traveling, taking care of grandchildren and I caught the flu followed by a terrible sinus infection.  I am much better now. 

Only a little knitting, spinning or weaving has been done since July 28th.

I finished my Muir Woods Vergeven Socks by Renee Stouts. The socks were part of a KAL (Knit-A-Long)/ Test Knit in the Quare Fiber Ravelry group

I used Panda Cotton in the Muir Woods colorway on US 1 (2.25 mm) needles. I knitted the 62 stitch size. They fit great and were such a quick knit. The pattern will be available on October 4, 2013.

I am spinning a little on the Pegahorn brown alpaca. It is slow going as the fiber is very soft and pulls apart very easily. You may notice my new kick spindle from Heavenly Handmades.

I received two of the three shipments of Highland Handmades luxury fiber. A braid of yak that is ever so soft, but boy is the staple length short. I may not have enough experience to spin it. Will keep trying. The second fiber is camel. I am resisting opening the bag and squeezing it. 

On the Baby Wolf, I have a blue scarf. I plan to make it about 60 inches long. Currently it is only about 45 inches. So it needs a little more TLC and it will be finished. I have enough of this 1980s yarn that I can make 3 more scarves. Why is it that when you love a yarn, you quickly run out of it, but if you dislike the yarn, it seems to last forever and never completely be used up?

As you might be able to tell from my latest projects, I have been stash busting all summer. I am working on the Girlie Log Cabin Blanket, but it has not gotten much love lately.

Fiber festival season is coming and I hope to purchase some new yarns. Looking forward to TKGA and SAFF next month.

On a sad note, my LYS, the Sassy Knitter, closed its doors on August 31. It will be greatly missed. Thanks, Karen, for all the yarny goodness and friendship you brought to our lives. Good luck with your next endeavor. 

Until next time  . . . . . .