Works in Progress

FINISHED OBJECTS: *Fair Isle Wristlet *Sara-Grace's Shortie Socks *Collin's Socks *Sunshine Squared Sweater *Gramps

WORKS IN PROGRESS:*Bridgewater Shawl *Eidelon *Blue Shortie Socks *Resonation Shawl

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making Time

There are only 24 hours in a day and it always seems that other people want most of them. The sermon Sunday mentioned “Making Time not Finding Time”. You never seem to find time, so we have to make time to do the things we ought to do or want to do. I think we forget this as we move through our day and week doing things that other want us to do.
What I want to do is knit. Fall is here and the weather is beginning to get a little cooler. I want to knit! However, it seems that no one else wants this. I haven’t managed to even touch my knitting in two days. Ugh!
So, this afternoon, I decided to make time. I am afraid if I don’t that I will be even harder to live with.  I took some time to take pictures of items that have been blocking for days to put up on this blog.
Isn't blocking what you are suppose to use a pool table for?

Another baby set awaiting a baby

Berry Bramble Shawl

Fabulous blocking wires from In-spin-knit-y

Try them you'll like them!

I will also take the time to write the blog and post it. Then I plan to make time this evening to work on the Log Cabin baby blanket that is currently on the needles. 
My new goal is to Make Time for me so that I am a little saner.  There is little hope for sane. Too late for that!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

First Day at TKGA Conference

Got up at 4 am to pack and drive to Greensboro, NC for the TKGA Conference. Taking some time for me.
Arrived, got into my room and picked up my registration materials. Was able to get the two classes that I wanted. Today I took a 3 hour class on mitten thumbs with J C Briar. What a great class! I can’t wait to start on a new pair of mittens!  I had such a good time and learned so much that I forgot to take pictures.
The ever popular two different thumbed mitten
Went to the crochet design show. Wow! Some people have way too much time on there hands. The original designs were beautiful.

Yes, it is the Scooby-doo bus!

Met some lovely ladies who invited me out to dinner. Again, had such a good time getting to know them that I forgot to take pictures. I will try to do better tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning I am taking a class on Finishing with Margaret Fisher. Looking forward to it. 
Since I have been up so long, I am heading for bed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Waskle-ly Wabbit!

The weather is heating back up this week. The lows have been in the upper 60s and the highs in the upper 70s or lower 80s. The garden is continuing to sprout nature’s goodness. 
The beets and carrots are coming up cheerfully. 

The mesclun and microgreens that were planted from seed are coming along nicely.  
Mesclun & Microgreens

The broccoli, cabbage and romaine that was put out as plants are another story.
The romaine is gone. Several of the broccoli and cabbage plants are nibbled down to nubs.  

Can anyone say hasenpfeffer?
The butterfly bush and the ferns, coleus’ and amaryllis are champions.

On the knitting front, I picked up a different cotton yarn to see if I could make the baby sweaters and booties that would shed and pill less. The first sets were made of “I Love This Cotton!” sold at Hobby Lobby. Incredibly soft, but after it is blocked it looks hairy. The new yarn I chose is a 50/50 cotton/acrylic blend called Baby Bee Hushabye Solid also from Hobby Lobby. It is knitting at a larger guage, so I had to take even more stitches out of the star booties pattern.  But that is not the part that is the most worrisome.   The yarn is squishy and soft in the skein, but the finished products feels like it is made of rubber. I hope after they are blocked they soften back up.
So this time I went to my LYS. I have two more cotton yarns to try. The first is a worsted cotton by Blue Sky Alpaca. It is heavenly. We will see how it knits up and blocks. The second is Berroco’s Weekend a 75% acrylic / 25% Cotton. It feels softer than the Baby Bee so I will keep you posted.
On a happy note: My LYS picked up for me at a yarn show some non-wool sock yarn. It is from Knit One Crochet too’s Pediwick, a 66% Bamboo / 34% nylon 100 gram skein with 392 yards. The colorways that I got are named the exciting names of #698, #863 and #662.  #698 is navy; #863 is milk chocolate and #662 is robin’s egg blue. I am looking forward to testing these out.
Also, my LYS is participating in the festival of trees this year. The flocked tree will be a covered with miniature sweaters. I think I might knit a few as a thank you for the shop owner looking for the sock yarn for me.
It’s swatch time!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Bright Green Shawl

Last week I finished my Samba Simple Shawl using Katia Samba yarn in colorway 8660 which is a bright green multi-colored cotton yarn. 
As mentioned in a previous blog, I prefer autumn colors. However, this yarn was on sale at my LYS when the monthly sale was “green yarns.”  I bought 8 skeins of the yarn and took it home planning to make a summer short sleeved Tee. The yarn sat on the kitchen table for weeks and would taunt me every time I walked by. The weather turned hot and I looked at the yarn but still couldn’t bring myself to knit it into the Tee.  There was just something wrong with the yarn.  Well, probably not .... just something not right for me about the yarn. Should I return it to the LYS? That seemed wrong too. I mean, what had the yarn done that was so bad that I would send it back to the store? Should I just toss it into the closet of stash? I think I would have heard the taunts through the closed door.
Finally there came a day this summer when the taunting was too much.  I grabbed a skein of the cotton and pulled out my copy of LaLa’s Simple Shawl pattern. This yarn was going down! 
So for the next 11 days, I knit skein after skein after skein of this bright green yarn. The shawl was easy and quick to knit up using LaLa’s pattern. But I wasn’t liking the color any better. It is just too bright a springtime green and I am concerned that since it matches nothing that I own (and I own a lot of green clothes!) that I will not use it or enjoy wearing it. 
People were no help either! I got compliments everyday on the shawl and its size. (It finished out at 84 inches by 42 inches. It will never be confused with a scarf!)  Some said “what beautiful colors! " Others said, “You wear a lot of green, it will go with everything you wear.”  NOT
I knew it was not for me.  But I had spent so much time knitting it and so much money buying the yarn. What to do?  Then someone said “Why don’t you overdye it with tea?”

Left overdyed, Right orginal

Overdyed yarn drying

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lazy Day

Today was kind of a lazy day.  Went to morning Mass. Came home and knitted the second Star Bootie. The Baby Boy set is finished! 

Went to Granny’s for lunch. When I got home, I caught up on a few podcasts while I worked on the Berry Bramble Shawl. 
A new book came in the mail today - Knitting New Mittens & Gloves. I hope to have a review soon.
The garden is coming along. Little green sprouts are continuing to pop up. Since we have never actually harvested anything from a fall garden this is rather exciting. 
The butterflies are make the rounds of the flowers 

and the hydrangeas are hanging on for dear life.
We are suppose to get rain this evening. I watered the garden anyway.
Time to make supper. Since it is Thursday, we are eating all of the leftovers in the fridge.  More knitting while we catch up on some TV watching. Such an lazy day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yard and Yarn

Walking through the garden this evening, I beheld some wonderful sights. Bees getting their last minute fill of the flowers, 

lettuce seedling popping through the soil, 

beets germinating, 

lantana and geraniums still going strong, birds flitting to the feeder and the 

leaves wearing their early fall colors.  Is it time to knit mittens?
Inside, another bootie! 

Still too large, but I am getting close. Tried the Star Booties by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Got the right gauge, but I feel the bootie is still a bit too big.  Will next try to eliminate 5 stitches on each side of the star.  Tomorrow will tell. Besides what else am I going to do with this blue cotton yarn?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Blue Day

Today is a blue day. Not because I am sad, but because everything I knit was blue! 

I once had my colors analyzed and it was determined that I am an autumn girl. I love greens, yellows, oranges, browns and reds. I get lots of compliments when I wear those colors. When I wear blue, people ask me if I feel bad. :~(   I own only one, count them one, blue shirt. I don’t wear it very often, obviously.

Well, today, I have been knitting on baby items trying to finish a layette set for my nephew and his wife’s soon-to-arrive baby boy. I have finished the Baby Surprise Jacket and a stocking cap

Since, I had a little bit of blue cotton yarn left, I thought it would be a good idea to knit socks or booties. Well......try to find a pattern for baby socks or booties in a worsted weight!  Since I couldn’t find any, and I have designed before....I thought how hard could this be.  
The first difficulty came when I realized that I can’t measure his feet.  Yeah, yeah, that should have been a no brainer.  So, I scoured through my extensive library of knitting books and the internet to find the measurements of a baby foot.  No Luck!
Found none, but founding many statements to the effect that babies very so much in size, I decided to just make a few and see where they would lead me. First I guessed at the number of stitches needed for cast on. I made a beautiful sock that would fit a baby doll.

Then I found a cute bootie pattern that used a different weight yarn. I knew my bootie would be larger, but I persevered on to see if I liked the construction. The booties was easy to make, but would fit a 2 year old.

 I then drove to Target and bought a pair of baby socks and will try to match them for size. We will see!

I think the real problem is that the yarn is blue. I’m sure that a self-respecting yellow or green yarn would have developed into a sock or bootie that would fit perfectly. Just saying!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fall Clean Up and Fix Up

After weeks and months of sweltering heat, the weather has finally changed to the 60s at night and the upper 80s during the day. Wonderful weather for getting the yard cleaned up.  
Tom raked up the pinestraw and cut the grass this morning. 

I cleaned the dead zinnias out of the raised beds and added more garden soil.

 Then it was time to plant the fall vegetables. Beets, carrots, peas, sugar snaps, broccoli, red and green cabbage and lettuce were planted. Even though, Tom thinks that vegetables are what you feed real food, I love them.  I also planted some snapdragons. This is our first attempt at a fall garden. We’ll see how it does. 

While clearing some random weeds out of some of the flower beds close to the house, I noticed that the gutters were filled with pinestraw. We got out the ladder and I climbed to the roof and cleared the gutters. Tom stayed on the ground. He doesn’t do heights and since I am on the Habitat roofing crew, I got the job. 
The roof over the garage was pretty clean with only a little debris in the gutters. The roof over the sunroom was another story. I removed almost a bale of pinestraw off the roof and out of the gutters. 
I did feel a little like a fiddler on the roof, but alas no fiddle!

I did notice an exposed nail while on the roof, so it was quickly nailed in and covered with silicone caulk. Should be good for another season. 

I noticed that the siding needs to be cleaned, but since our power washer died a slow death last year, it will have to wait until a new one is purchased. 
The yard looks pretty good considering neither of us are gardeners or have much interest in landscaping. 
Maybe now I can find some time for a little knitting.