Works in Progress


FINISHED OBJECTS: *Pull Me Over Sweater *Green Textured Scarf *Argyle Sock *Fair Isle Wristlet *Sara-Grace's Shortie Socks *Collin's Socks *Birch Yoke Sweater

WORKS IN PROGRESS:*Yellow Squares Sweater *Eidelon *Blue Shortie Socks

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Denver

Arrived uneventfully in Denver for a weeklong conference. Traveled through Atlanta to get here. 
We got up at 4 am to give us time to get to the airport. We saw a couple of friends, Max and Natalie, at the airport and spent some time catching up with them.  The flight to Atlanta was short and I dozed a little. In Atlanta, we met up with friends who were on the same flight to the conference. Since I hadn’t slept well the night before, I got a little sleep on the plane. Then took the opportunity to read a little. The plane was rather cramped, so I decided against knitting.  
Katie Mullen's
We arrived around 10:30 am Denver time. We went to lunch at a wonderful Irish Pub .... Katie Mullen's. The pub had a library in it! Great atmosphere. 
Since we have to host a hospitality room on Tuesday, we took a cab to the Safeway and bought supplies.
Colorado State Capitol Building
Dinner was at the Yard House. Over 200 beers to sample. Since only one was gluten free I didn’t have any. The hits were the raspberry and blueberry beers.  I did, however, have the caramel ice cream.  Mmmmmm!

View of Denver from our Window

Park after Dark

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fruit and Buttons

The weather has been trying lately, both to humans and to nature.  It has been above 100 degrees F for weeks with little cooling at night and very little rain until this past Tuesday when we received so much at one time. (See Tuesday’s blog) People have been staying indoors and  the plants in the garden look like a blow torch has been fired upon them.  

Today, I noticed that the rain had knocked most of the wild blueberries off the bushes and that the leaves on the sassafras trees have started turning colors. 

Fallen Blueberries

Sassafras Leaves Turning Early
The leaves would normally be green for another month or so. On a good note, the wild muscadine grapes are getting ripe.
I hope there are still some on the vines when we get home from Denver.  
Wild Muscadines on the Vine

 The Red Sweater is coming along nicely. Both button bands are finished and the six buttons have been sewn on.  One sleeve is half finished.  It is starting to look like a sweater now.  Since buying the yarn for this sweater, I decided to make the sleeves long, made a larger size and made the sweater 2 inches longer. Even with all these changes, it looks like I have enough yarn to finish both sleeves the length as I had planned.  The joy of buying an extra skein of yarn. Woohoo!  
Red Summer Sweater with Happy Crabs Piddleloop Bag
Now to pack clothes and knitting for our trip.  I hope I will finish the sweater on the plane. I will then work on socks and marble/soap bags until I get home.......unless......I find a yarn shop near our hotel that might tempt me to start something else.  :~)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plenty of Nothing

No knitting, No tea drinking, No time to enjoy nature, No packing!
Daughter’s family and Son’s family are both at the beach. Different beaches but still the beach.  Elder Son’s family just back from the beach. I have been running errands all day trying to get everything I need for our upcoming trip to Denver.
Trying to decide which knitting to take, which clothes to take, and what reading material for the plane. Obviously, the knitting has the highest priority.
We are going to a conference, so there will be limited time for knitting. However, there will be lots of plane time for knitting. ;~) Maybe the Red Summer Cardigan will be finished..... Maybe the Marble Bags will be designed and knitted.... Maybe a new pair of socks.... You never know. 
Since I will be in Denver, I will not be at Sock Summit. Boo!  I am hoping to find time to visit a few yarn shops while I am there. We will see.
I have to find a grocery store and beverage store as soon as we arrive because my husband and I are responsible for the state delegation hospitality suite. Woohoo!  I will be a busy girl. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rain-y Day ..... Sweeping the Heat Away

Okay, so I can't sing. :~{



Finally, the rain has come! The gutters are overflowing! We received four inches in less than 24 hours.  Yippee!  It is currently 77 degrees F at 3:45 pm. Ahhhh!  .....  and still raining.


After a long day of traipsing through the rain, getting my biweekly allergy shots, visiting a second doctor to review blood work to find out if I have rheumatoid arthritis (he doesn’t think so) and having more blood work taken, there has been only a little knitting done on the Red Summer Cardigan. I did, however, find buttons at Jo-Ann's. Yeah!



Did I forget to say, that I am mostly a monogamous knitter. I might have two projects going -- one small and one large.  So there will be a few more reports on the cardigan, before there is much news on the mittens or marble bag. Then again, socks may sneak onto my US size 1 needles when I’m not looking. Has been known to happen.
Back to the sweater -- The bottom ribbing is completed, but not without travails. :-(  After completing the six rows of 1 x 1 ribbing, I looked at it and looked at it. Something was wrong. It finally dawned on me that I had knitted it on the wrong size needles. I didn’t change to the smaller needles. Ugh!!  
I began to tink back and then decided to use Franklin Habit’s suggestion of threading a US size 1 needle where you needed to frog back to, then frog away. Well, you may remember that this yarn is a bouclĂ© yarn. Threading through the stitches was not fun. Neither was frogging as the nubs would catch in the stitches. Arrrrrg!  After a few hours of threading, frogging, picking up dropped stitches and finally knitting a clean row, I put the sweater in time out and went to bed.
Now using US size 5 needles (not 7), the ribbing is done, bound off and the end woven in.  Yoohoo!  I, then, began to pick up the sleeve stitches that had been waiting on waste yarn. Not one to finish a pattern exactly as written, I am making this cardigan long sleeved. After much arithmetic, measuring and sketching (I do have a degree in Mathematics after all, I might as well use it.) I started on the first sleeve. This would be going greatly, except I like to knit sleeves with two circular needles. I have one 24 inch size 7 and one 40 inch size 7. Talk about too much needle for the job!  



After wrestling with the needles for half a day, I traipsed back out into the pouring rain (beautifully needed, but very wet) to my LYS and bought two 16 inch size 7 needles. After supper I will change them out and it should be smooth sailing from here. 
Get it? ....rain .....lots of rain....sailing!  LOL

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hot Summer Knitting

Grapes and Geraniums on the Backyard Arbor
Spent a wonderful weekend with friends in our state capitol. We played so much that knitting didn’t get much love.  ;~) Oh, well!  It was 106 degrees Fahrenheit during much of the weekend. Long glasses of unsweetened ice tea were enjoyed in copious amounts. Ummm, refreshing!
The Red Summer Cardigan is progressing. The body is now finished and half of the bottom ribbing is done.  To remind you the sweater is being knit out of a cotton/nylon blend of Bristol Yarn Gallery’s Bradford in colorway # 113. That is RED. The pattern is Summer Cardigan #221 by Knitting Pure and Simple, knitted on size 7 Addi lace needles.
This neckdown pattern is fun to knit.  Even though the pattern is working up very fast, I am itching to begin the sleeves.  Three more rows of ribbing and then I will pick up the sleeve stitches and knit the sleeves ...one at a time.
I find that knitting two at a time is a tangle of yarn and actually slower for me.  So, I will take good notes and knit one before the other.
Speaking of tangles, this yarn, because of the bouclĂ©s, has many wads of yarn barf. It tangles and minutes have to be used untangling the yarn. Despite this, the yarn has been a delight to knit with ..... until the fifth skein. This current skein has had four, one-foot long places where the yarn wasn’t plied and was only one ply.  This took time to cut the unplied section out and weave in the ends.  Boo!
No other knitting has occurred, but I have spent the time that I was knitting straight on the body to dream up a few new designs I want to try. Maybe a new sock or a mitten or maybe something else. We will see what the coming weeks bring.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Year of Socks

The sweater I am currently knitting is a departure for me. I am an avid sock knitter. Last August, I decided to join the hundreds of sock knitters who had started their own Self-Imposed Sock Club. The goal was to knit a pair of socks for each month of the year. Since I began in August, my year would end July 31, 2011. I finished my July socks on July 18th. 
Each month I chose a sock pattern and an appropriate yarn. The goal was to finish both socks before the end of that month. By finished, I mean knitting done, ends woven in and socks blocked.  To some knitters this might not seem like much of a challenge, but in August of 2010, I had never made a sock before. I was a newbie. Wasn’t sure even where to start.  
I mentioned this at my investment club meeting and the two knitters immediately sent me off to investigate Ravelry. One of the members mentioned a great pattern for a beginning sock knitter - the Lifestyle Toe Up Socks - No Swatch Needed by Charisa Martin Cairn.  Thanks, Mary and Lisa. 
Ravelry is a great resource for knitters and the Lifestyle Toe Up sock pattern is wonderful for beginners.  Thus, began my Year of Sock Knitting.......

August Socks - my first pair

September Socks
Self-patterning

 October Socks
Frankensocks

November Socks
Autumn Colors

December Socks
Christmas

January Socks
Almond Nutkins

February Socks
Red Heart House Socks

March Socks
Water Avens

April Socks
April Flowers

May Socks
Rosebud Trellis
(First Kathom Design)

June Socks
Farmland Socks

July Socks
Comfort Turkish Bed Socks
(Yes, there are two!)

Thus, begins my lifetime of Sock Knitting.......

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Maiden Voyage

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Hello. This is my first try at blogging.  We’ll see how it goes. I am a born and raised southerner from the United States. Some of my favorite pastimes are sitting in the sunroom, drinking tea, looking out at our wooded property and knitting or ... and reading. Sometimes, ... knitting and reading!  Maybe this blog will be a good place to showcase some of my knitting, my favorite books (or just what I am currently reading), my love of tea, nature, and whatever else strikes me when I am typing.
Currently, I am sitting in my bright sunroom, knitting a cotton blend summer cardigan based on the Summer Cardigan pattern by Diane Soucy from Knitting Pure & Simple.  I am using a bright red pima cotton/nylon boucle’ blend called Bradford by Bristol Yarn Gallery.  The colorway is called an unimaginative #113.  The pattern is a short sleeve, neckdown, all in one piece, seamless, lightweight cardigan. Just the thing for summers in the south.  As I am very cold natured, I freeze in air conditioning and thrive in the heat. (It is currently 101.6 F at 3:45 pm) Guess I was born and raised in the right place.  As the cardigan is red, it should transition into the fall where the temperatures normally dip into the frigid 40s and 50s. Fahrenheit, of course.



I’m going to try to get another few rows knitted before I need to stop and fix dinner. Stay cool.