Works in Progress


FINISHED OBJECTS: *Pull Me Over Sweater *Green Textured Scarf *Eidelon *Agyle Sock *Fair Isle Wristlet. *Sara-Grace's Shortie Socks

WORKS IN PROGRESS: *Collin's Socks *Birch Yoke Sweater *Yellow Squares Sweater

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thankful!


We have so much to be thankful for - family, friends, health, ability to travel and knitting, of course!

After almost 38 years of work at the same place, my husband, Tom,  retired. We took the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with family in both Pennsylvania and New York. 

We visited Niagara Falls
American Falls at Niagara in the afternoon

American Falls at Niagara at night


 and were at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 


The big man himself!

We ate and ate and ate. As a final activity before heading home was the Broadway play “War Horse”. 

What wonderful experiences we had. The memories will last a long time.

This week a visit to the gym to renew our membership and get back on the wagon is planned.  Haven’t decided yet whether to revisit ughh! Jillian Michael’s “Shred” DVD. It is so evil!

Only a little knitting was accomplished.  I finished one of the fourth pair of grandkid’s mittens and still have the thumb to finish on the second of the fourth pair. I finished a gaiter for our 3 year old grandson who didn’t get a scarf this year because of the fear that he would choke himself. The gaiter was a big hit and now his brothers want one too!  

I finished one Hermione’s Favorite Socks made for our daughter in Knit Picks Andean Treasure in the colorway Midnight Heather. The yarn is a beautiful and soft alpaca in black with blue and green heathery bits. 

The second sock is a third finished. I am making them toe up using the Fleegle Heel. Oh! the joys of knitting black which makes the stitches hard to see but since that is the only color she wears and since she is our only daughter. Well......what’s a knitting mother to do?

Until next time........

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Click for Babies KAL


Katie of the Knittin’ on the Fly podcast had a Click for Babies purple hat KAL for the month of September. I decided to join in. 

Each and every day infants across North America are shaken and abused because the person caring for them became frustrated with their crying.
Many times the abuse could have been prevented had the person caring for the infant only known that early infant crying may be normal.
CLICK for Babies is a North America initiative to help educate caregivers about normal infant crying, how to cope with crying and the dangers of reacting to crying in frustration by shaking or harming an infant. This is especially true during the period of purple crying.
The acronym PURPLE is used to describe specific characteristics of an infant's crying during this phase and let parents and caregivers know that what they are experiencing is indeed normal and, although frustrating, is simply a phase in their child's development that will pass. The word Period is important because it tells parents that it is only temporary and will come to an end.


If you want to help you choose a hat pattern for a newborn baby. Then you choose a soft purple yarn. Other colors of yarn can also be used in your cap, but the cap must be at least 50% purple in color. Then you knit or crochet a hat or cap.
Caps will be distributed to babies in November with the Period of PURPLE Crying program.
Here are my four hats. 


Such a great cause. Since I have some yarn leftover, I’ll try to knit a hat each month.  Then when she asks for them next year, I’ll have a few more to send her.

Until next time......

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mittens Mishandled


Christmas is coming! While I don’t feel the need to give everyone on my list a hand knitted item, I do like to give a few. To the deserving, the appreciative and the special.

So, I get this bright (?) idea to try to knit mittens. Even though, JC Briar asked me how often I would need mittens in southern USA, I do have a children and grandchildren who live in the northern parts of the country. So mittens it is!

So I said to myself “After all how hard could it be. I knit socks for goodness sake!”

Well........I found a generic pattern for a mitten. I found a beautiful yarn from Knit Picks called Andean Treasure. I have the right size needles. And away I went.

I pulled out the pattern. Didn’t make a swatch. After all they should fit someone, right?!

I knitted a beautiful 3 inch tall 2 x 2 ribbed cuff. Now I needed to increase for the thumb gusset. Seemed simple enough. I am merrily knitting away until I get to the place where I need to put the gusset on waste yarn. I look at the thumb gusset and think “boy, it looks a little large”. I try on the mitten and yep, it’s big!

Well this is my first try, I forge on ahead. I finish the hand and decrease the top of the mitten like a sock. Wow, is it ever pointy. Kind of like a Norwegian mitten. Hmmmm.

Now I return to the gusset to finish the thumb. It is so large that I figure I have better work some decreases to get it to regular thumb size, because I am a thinking knitter and that should help. Well, I guess I decreased a little too much, because now the thumb looks like a chicken leg!  I try on the glove. The glove is too short for me and the thumb is way too big at the bottom and way to tiny at the tip.  The hand diameter fits well though! So it will probably fit someone.

I make the second mitten the same. Then I take them to my book club. They are very impressed with my knitting since none of them knit and had them try on the mittens. They fit no one! Eeek!

To make a long story a little shorter, I have raveled parts of the mittens and reknitted the top and thumbs on each glove. The length now fits a few people and the thumb is now better. Except for the one where I twisted some of the stitches when I picked them up. They are not a pretty site. Not even mittens a mother would love.

My mom suggested that I just frame them and say to myself. “Good first attempt.”

I have now gotten out my “Handy Book of Patterns” by Ann Budd. I now have a gauge of 6 stitches per inch. I will begin again.....

Until next time . . . 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Small Break in the Mountains


Life was getting a little hectic here, so we decided to take a short break in the mountains. 

Hope you enjoy the pictures.




 











 
















Until next time.......

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Where Have All the Socks Gone?


My knitting has been odd this year. Well, my knitting has looked okay and things fit. What I mean is, I am not knitting the types of things that are usual for me. Take that to mean socks.

I have had a tough time this year knitting socks. Oh, the socks turned out beautifully and they fit. I just couldn’t seem to gather up much enthusiasm for knitting them this year. This is very surprising to me, since I made a goal in 2011 to knit a pair a month and actually knitted 16 pair. Yes! pair! Rarely, am I hit with second sock syndrome. This year, however, I have only knitted a few pair - La Vie de Bois socks by Heather Kinne of Fiberista Files podcast, 

a vanilla pair called Shades of Green, 


baby striped vanilla socks 

and a shop sample single sock (say that 4 times fast) for our local yarn shop to advertise a new yarn. 

What has happened? Where did my sock mojo go?

Maybe the problem has been so many podcasters calling this the year of the sweater. After all, I have knitted five sweaters this year -- 3 adult sweaters and 2 baby sweaters. I have two sleeves finished on my Aberdeen St. Cabled Cardigan. 

Maybe this is the year of the baby. After all, I have knitted the 2 baby sweaters, 2 baby blankets, a pair of baby socks and 5 baby hats.  

Maybe this is the year of weaving. After all, I got my new Cricket loom and have woven a casserole mat, 2 spa cloths, a plaid scarf and am 1/3 finished my MacFarlane Tartan Scarf. 

Maybe this is the year of the scarf. I have knitted 5 and have one on the needles that I am designing.

Maybe this is the year of the hat. Including those mentioned above, I have knit 9 hats this year. 

Just going through my Ravelry page and looking at all the projects shows that I have completed 32 projects this year and have 6 projects on the needles/heddles.  Obviously, a productive year. But where are the socks?!

Maybe the mojo for socks is sulking because I have been lured away to knit other things. What will it take to bring it out of its sulk. I wonder.....

Until next time......

Monday, October 1, 2012

Knitting Mojo


Knitting Mojo is a funny thing. There are days where you want to knit from sun up to sun down. Every stitch is a joy. There are days where you spend hours searching through Ravelry and your large collection of knitting books and magazines for the next great project. There are days where you dump out your stash of unfinished objects (UFOs) and work straight through them, finishing them in short order. There are days when you systematically work through an ebook of sock patterns or mitten patterns or dish cloth patterns until all in the ebook have been knitted. Knitting is good! 

And then there are days . . . . where you hide from your knitting even when you hear it calling.  You make up excuses....I need to wash my hair, ... or the dishes ...or the laundry or ... the car. I am busy making breakfast ...or lunch ...or dinner. I need to get this book read for book club. I have too many errands to do. It’s just too hot! or too humid! I am too tired. I hate that color green that I am knitting that sweater out of. I don’t like the way this yarn feels. Why does that pattern have soooo many cables?  Knitting mojo has left the building.

Then.....a new magazine comes or a podcaster mentions a new pattern or yarn and aaaaah! Knitting is good!

Why do we have this love-hate relationship with our craft?

Until next time . . . .

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturdays


I am beginning to love Saturdays again. Growing up, Saturdays were days of chores, chores, chores. After we got married, Saturdays were still designated as days of chores, because we worked outside the home during the week. When I became a SAHM with three little ones, five dozen cloth diapers and endless toys, Saturdays were still days of chores. Now the kids are out of the house with homes and kids of their own. Still Saturdays were chore days. Yuck!

In July, I drank the Kool-ade and joined Flylady’s group of followers. I have had a clean and shiny sink ever since. Not only a clean sink, but clean countertops. No dirty dishes. An empty dishwasher. No dirty clothes. (No more Mt. Washmore). Clean bathrooms. And the clutter that is 37 years of life is slowly (15 minutes at a time) leaving this house. Our house is finally becoming a place we want to be. 

Yes, there is still dust. Yes, there is still too much stuff. Yes, there is still my stash of yarn. But, most people don’t even notice when they come into the house. It looks fairly presentable. What an accomplishment!

The nicest part is when the 3 year old twins grandchildren come over, it only takes a few minutes after they leave to bring the house back to our new normal. Makes having them over even more enjoyable. This is good since they are here about 3 days a week while their dad is on night shift until the end of October.

Since most of the chores are done throughout the week, Saturdays are now for play!  As soon as I finish this blog post, I will return to my knitting. Life is good!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Who Needs Excitement?



Sorry it has been so long since my last post. The last few weeks have been sooooo busy.  

All of the grandchildren have returned home and most have started school for the year. Two begin on Thursday. You just gotta love New York.  Three are still too young for school, but they like to think they are just as big as their brothers, sister and cousins.  

Our trip to Anaheim, CA was very enjoyable even though we didn’t get to see much beyond the hotel and conference center. We did visit Downtown Disney one day for a little retail therapy. Have to add to the infamous shot glass collection wherever we go!
Crystal Cathedral
We also were there for the 4.4 earthquake which we experienced from the 14th floor of the hotel. Yikes!!

Within hours of returning home, we hosted Tom’s best friend from high school and his wife for the weekend. We also hosted Tom’s class reunion the same evening or at least Tom did. I needed to stay home and take care of three of the grandchildren who live close by as their dad had to go to work. He works shift and their mom is in the hospital.

Which brings me to our hospital adventures of August. My mom needed to have an angiogram to determine if she was a viable candidate for a carotid artery angioplasty and stent. The angiogram was done and an appointment set up the following week have the procedure. The day before the procedure, after she mowed the lawn, (yes, she is 75), she developed dangerously low sodium which sent us to the emergency room. They admitted her, brought her sodium up over the next four days and rescheduled her procedure. The day before her procedure, she was trying not to do much. So, she vacuum and mopped her entire house including moving the sofa and vacuuming under it. Sheeeesh!  Luckily, no ill effects and the procedure went like clock work. 

The blocked artery was the size of fingering yarn before the procedure and the size of extra bulky afterward. The doctors think she will outlive us all.

Since I didn’t want her to get all the attention, I had an allergic reaction to a newly prescribed medication. At three a.m. the morning of her procedure, I woke having difficulty breathing, having an asthma attack, full body swelling and hives. Not a pretty site and really scary. I made my way downstairs to find my epi-pen. Reread the directions and jammed it into my thigh. Within seconds, the epinephrine started coursing through my body and I could breath and the hives started going away. Now, I had to wake up my husband, so he could take me to the hospital. Yes, the same one that Mom was due at 4 hours later.  The monitored me for several hours and released me in time to get Mom to the hospital. I didn’t tell her any of this until hours after her procedure. When you already have an irregular heartbeat, you don’t need all this drama.

Mom is home. I am fine. And then........yep! not to be outdone, Tom steps in a hole on the road in front of our house and tear ligaments in his ankle. 

I am ready to hide in the house and knit. Especially, since for the last two months I have picked up my knitting about six times. 

Yesterday proved to be knitterlicious! I finally finished the gusset and heel of the second Shades of Green toe-up sock in Saucon Sock in the Jungle Vine colorway. Yeah! I am about to finish the first project since June except for the Lea Cloche which I knitted on the plane home from California. It unfortunately doesn’t fit too well so it may not see much use. The socks however fit well and I like the way they look.
Lea Cloche (still needs ribbon band)

Shades of Green Socks in sock bag from Three Bags Full (dance2yarn.etsy.com)


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

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Short Note


Just a short note to let everyone know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth.
We have finished 4 weeks of grandchildren visiting. It is very quiet here. Loved having them at “Camp Oma-Granddad”.  Miss them terribly. Some of our activities were loop potholders, cement stepping stones, water activities every afternoon at 2 pm, little league baseball tournament games and a trip to Carowinds (an amusement and water park about 2-1/2 hours away). Some campers have moved on to Pirate Camp with their other grandparents, while others have headed back home and two did both. 
Trying to get the house back in order and get ready for a week long business/pleasure trip to Anaheim, California, followed by Tom’s class reunion which we are sponsoring. 
Some health issues are being addressed. Hope the next few weeks sees impovements on that front.
Very little knitting has been done this summer. Boo! Hiss!  I miss it. I hope to get a few projects off the needles. Maybe there will be some progress on the long airplane flights.
Until next time . . . . 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Liebster Blog Nominees









Thanks again for the nomination by Suezee of Suezeeknits for the Liebster Blog Award. The Liebster award is giving to blogs that have fewer than 200 followers.  Now it is my turn to nominate 5 other deserving bloggers and I have chosen:
  1. Suezeeknits
  2. Dragonflysoars
  3. Postivelyknitting
  4. NeverNotKnitting
  5. Rainloverknits
There are probably many more that could be nominated, I just don't know them. Now as a nominee, you are asked to do the following:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed.
5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.


Travel and Progress


Sorry it has been so long since I last blogged. 
Travel
I just returned from a General Federation of Women’s Clubs International Convention in Charlotte, NC.  It was great seeing and catching up with friends from all over the country. 
Five of us went on a side trip to a few wineries of Yadkin Valley about an hour above Charlotte. We tasted great wines at Laurel Gray winery and had a wonderful lunch at Shelton winery. 
Laurel Gray is a small estate winery that only sells their wines at the winery. The workers were so friendly and helpful. We had a great time.  I purchase a bottle of their  Encore  and  a bottle of their Nectar.



Shelton is a large winery covering over 500 acres of which around 300 are covered with vines. The restaurant at the vineyard served a gourmet lunch overlooking the rolling hills. Delightful. 

On the way home, I stopped into Charlotte Yarn, where I met Remi and Sandy. Two welcoming and knowledgable ladies who were happy to help me find some souvenir yarn and other things. I found Knit Cubby Stitch Markers that I had only ever heard of on Etsy and some knitting podcast. They are well made and quite different. 


Remi is holding the stitch markers and the game Last Knitter Standing which is great for clubs and guilds. Thanks, ladies for a great experience.

A Big Thank You goes out to Suezee who nominated this blog for the  Liebster Blog Award.  Guess I had better get cracking with blog posts more frequently.
Progress
My first woven scarf is finished. I used Berroco Comfort with a little linen yarn occasionally mixed in. I may be hooked. Weaving is so much fun! and quick!
My Split T top down summer sweater has made a little progress.  Need to finish the body, bottom edge and sleeves.
Time to get knitting.
Until next time . . . . . 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Changes


Sometimes change is good. As I look to this summer season that is fast approaching, I am hoping to make some changes. Tweaking hobbies, getting healthier, spending more time at home, cleaning and sprucing up our home.
The changes have begun!  After 27 years of faithful service (meaning they wouldn’t die, no matter what we did to them.), the refrigerator and wall oven have been replaced. Good riddens! Finally, a fridge that actually keeps food from spoiling and doesn’t freeze lettuce. What joy! We decided to get a stainless steel, french door bottom freeze model cabinet depth model. Didn’t want the only thing you saw when walking into the kitchen to be the refrigerator the size of an elephant. It made it through the doorways without having to take off the doors. YEAH!  I guess you shouldn't enjoy an appliance so much, but I am weak that way.
The new oven went in last night. Oh, more joy! The clock works. The door will lock for self-cleaning cycle. The elements heat the same in the front as in the back. The knobs stay on - What knobs? - all digital. ;~)  The light bulb can be changed.  We used the old oven until it had given it’s all. Goodbye good and faithful servant!
Pictures soon.

Until next time . . . . 

Friday, May 11, 2012

There's a Cricket in the House!

A cricket in the house is good luck. Right? Well. . . this cricket that entered the house is wooden, needed assembly and eats yarn. 
That’s right!  A new 10 inch Schacht Cricket Rigid Heddle Loom now resides in our home. The Cricket is cute and small. It was a gift from some friends who know that I like knitting and yarn. And they also know that there is a lot of yarn in our home. The Cricket is supposed to eat through large piles of yarn very quickly. Supposed to. 
Schacht Cricket Loom (picture from Schachtspindle.com)
The first project on the loom has been completed. I used some yarn left over Cascade Luna from Lucy to make a dish cloth and to practice plain weaving. The solid yarn was lovingly warped between the loom and the warping peg to make two cloths. Then, the variegated yarn was used in the weft.
Plain weave on left and looped dishcloth on right.
The first cloth was woven way too tightly, but has a neat stripe that was unexpected. The second was woven into a looped dishcloth using a straight size US 8 (5.0 mm) knitting needle. This method makes a great cloth, but it is quite slow. 
The next project on the Cricket was made with Sugar and Cream cones in ecru and green.  The project used all the slots and holes to utilize the entire width of the loom. I alternated two ends white and two ends green on the warp.  I also alternated two picks white and two picks green on the weft.  This makes a wonderful houndstooth cloth. I wove the dishcloth 9 inches square. I hemstitched the beginning and end of the cloth while still on the loom. 
Houndtooth Fabric

Hemstitched edge and cardboard spacer
Loom ready for to weave. 
Supposed to use up stash. Well . . . I had the ecru in stash but bought the green cone yesterday. Hmmmm.
Having fun with the new Cricket, but I can see that this might not burn through the stash as much as had been hoped.
We’ll see.
Until next time. . . . . .

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A New Love


Lucy is Finished!  What a delightful knit. She has had a bath, lovingly squeezed and is drying on her yoga mat. The pattern directions were very clearly written. I am pleased with the colorwork and plan to use the alternation of variegated and solid yarns on future projects. Great design feature. Cudos to c2knits!


I tried on Lucy before her bath. She feels like a luxurious bathrobe. She fits well. Unfortunately, I am finding that while I like knitting raglan sleeve sweaters, I don’t like the way they look on me.  I think I need more structure in the shoulder and sleeve join.
I plan to wear Lucy and show her off. She will be a great sweater to grab when the air conditioning gets too cold to bear. She will be warm and cozy.  
Since my needles were lonely, I cast on and finished a 7 inch by 7 inch lace acrylic square for our guild blanket project. Each month someone teaches a new skill that we adapt to a square. One brave soul in the guild is sewing the squares together. Thank goodness, it is not me!
A few mistakes - Realized I needed stitch markers!
My small needles were also  lonely, so I cast on and finished one very tiny baby sock in watermelon pink Pediwick sock yarn using my Fingering Weight Baby Sock Pattern. The project made for an enjoyable evening. The needles are calling to me to finish the other one. Maybe, I can ignore them for a few days.
Another sweater has become my new love. I picked up the Locke Street Cardigan by Glenna C. and looked it over. I am about 5 inches into the sleeves working them two at a time. The reason for my straying from this sweater is not the cables, is not the small needles (US 5 (3.5 mm)), and is not the dark forest green alpaca yarn. The issue is two at a time. Constantly untangling the yarn. Just not fun. So slow!!!! I know many knitters like the technique, but I hate it.
So, I put one sleeve on hold and am only working with one sleeve. In 30 minutes, I have completed two pattern repeats. Yeah!  The knitting seems to be flying by. This sweater also has set in sleeves which should be a better fit for me.  So far, delightful. Like we are dancing smoothly together. 
Don’t tell Lucy!
Until next time . . . .