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

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  . . . . . . 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kilometers to Go Before I Sleep

Yarn is such a wonderful thing. I’m not sure if it is the fiber or the dye or what, but it sure is an addictive thing. It seems that the more you look at it, touch it, smell it and work with it, the more you want to be around it.

The latest round of fiber-y goodness, began with the Knitgirllls’ annual StashDash. Each year they challenge their watchers to whittle down the stashes hidden throughout houses all over the world. The official challenge  started on May 24th and ends August 5th. The goal is to destash 4K or 4375 yards of yarn. It can be knit, crochet, spun, or woven.  

I took the challenge. I have destashed 1860 yards so far. I have spun 19 yards of 2 ply yarn and 4 oz. of  brown alpaca singles (not measured yet, still needs to be plied); finished knitting a pair of socks, made a baby blanket, a baby hat, a pair of booties, and a lace shawl.  I currently have on the needles a log cabin baby blanket, a pair of socks and a cotton beach sweater. The Baby Wolf loom has a denim scarf. The cricket loom has a bulky green scarf. The Highland Handmades’ spindle has brown alpaca spinning a fingering weight yarn.  

I am well on the way to finishing my 4K on schedule. Which is a good thing, because plantar fasciitis has put my 5K walk/run training on hold for a while. Physical therapy has helped tremendously and I should be back to training by next week. 

So, back to the knitting, spinning and weaving.

Until next time . . . . . . 

Friday, June 21, 2013

But, I Want to Knit!

My knitting mojo is finally back! I want to knit. I want to finish my four works-in-progress (WIPS).  Not only is my mojo back, but it is overwhelming. I blame Craftsy! All I can think about is knitting. Sheeeesh!

But first, I need to meet someone for breakfast. I really like this person, but I want to knit!  So, since I made the appointment, I go to breakfast.  But as soon as breakfast is over I will sit down and finish the last five points (of 25) on my Skywalker lace shawlette. A wonderful pattern by Laura Nelkin that is part of her Craftsy class on mastering shawls.  

Earlier picture

Oh! but wait! I have another appointment to get my car’s oil changed. Yikes! Maybe I can finish the shawl while I wait. It should take long to finish five points. Should it?  So, I arrive at the mechanics. I head to the waiting room.  Oh, good, I am the only one waiting. I should be able to power through the remaining points. I sit down and begin to knit. Ahhhhhh!

Oh, no! a knot in the yarn!  Where are my scissors? Oh, there they are. Well, this should take too much time.  I cut out the knot and decide to use a Russian join to repair the yarn. Where is my tapestry needle? Oh, there it is.  Good.  Wait, I had better check YouTube to make sure I am doing the join correctly. After all, I don’t want a major mistake four points from the end of the shawlette.  But, I want to knit!

Okay, the video has been watched and the join made. It looks pretty good. Now, to knit!
After about a half of a point, the mechanic announces that my car is finished.  Ughhhhhh! This has got to be the only time he finished in less than 15 minutes. So, I pay the bill and drive away.

On the drive home, I stop at the grocery store for a few things (17) and then stop for gas.  But, I want to knit!  As I am heading home and in my mind, I can see my comfy chair and cool glass of ice tea, my phone rings with a reminder that end of the year Treasurer’s reports are due.  Double ughhhh!  This is not knitting!

Out comes the laptop, the papers, the colored pens, the calculator, the receipts, the checkbook and I begin. At least, I have my ice tea.

By the time I am finished and the reports are in the email ether, it is 2 pm.  Wow! I had better eat lunch. What to have for lunch? Something quick. Okay, I reheat some leftovers and sit to type this while I eat. Great for the indigestion, huh?

Okay, meeting done, check. Oil change done, check. Groceries and gas bought, check. Books balanced and reports done, check. Lunch finished, check. Blog post finished, check. Now I can knit.  Yeahhh!

Maybe I’ll take a nap first...

Until next time. . . . . . 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

Sorry, that it has been such a long time since there was a blog post.  Tom and I are helping take care of several of our grandkids. This should come to an end soon. We have also traveled to Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan in the last two months. I’ll try to post pictures soon.

We are also having a detached garage built on our property. The contractor is letting (?!) us do some of the work. We finished shingling the roof on Saturday. It only took us 7 days! I’ll try to post some pictures of that too!

Until next time . . . . 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Molasses Sweater

Just when I think I am making progress on my Locke Street Cardigan by Glenna C in Baby Alpaca DK, I take out the measuring tape and measure. Only 5 inches. Yikes!!

Each row is taking 20 minutes to knit because of all the cabling and the DK yarn knitted on size US 5 needles. I have been using Addi Lace Clicks. They are so slippery that the stitches keep falling off the needles. Also the join is so rough, that the stitches are getting hung up on it. Not the greatest knitting experience. I have made a vow to myself to knit two rows a day, because I really want to finish this sweater. It is so pretty. But . . .

The sweater is creeping. Soooooo..... While visiting our son and his family in Pennsylvania, I dragged Tom to the Knitter’s Edge in Bethlehem. What a knitting nirvana!  So many yarns, so many books, so many needles, great displays, and lovely, friendly, helpful people working at the store. I could have stayed all day.  I bought new bamboo needles for the Locke Street Cardigan. We’ll see if these work better and . . .

. . . . . I bought a sweater’s quantity of worsted weight cotton yarn in a warm beige to make a summer pullover. I searched Ravelry and found a fun, quick, neck down beach sweater. In five hours, I am to the sleeve separation.  Yippeee!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah  . . . . . I knit two rows of the Locke St also.

Until next time . . . . .

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Little Enabling

Watching the Shearing

Sheared Sheep

Spinning Demonstration

Rabbit Farm from Tom's Parent's Hometown, Swedesboro, NJ

Great Salesman

Weaving Demonstration

Sweater's Worth of Natural Alpaca

Jeweltone Sportsweight Alpaca

Natural Alpaca Fingering

Warm Alpaca Socks

A finished object!
Nerwin Baby Sweater Set
 Until next time . . . .

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Carolina Fiber Festival

We went on an adventure yesterday. We packed snacks and a lunch into the car and headed four hours north to the Carolina Fiber Festival. Since my husband, Tom, is not a fiber fan, I knew he was going along just to spend time with me. What a sweetheart!

We arrived about 11 am. There were three medium size buildings and several tents outside with vendors and demonstrations. There were animal pens with several different types of sheep. No alpaca this time. 

We enjoyed the sheep herding by border collies and the sheep shearing. So much that I forgot to take pictures of it.

We left the fairgrounds and went back to the car to eat lunch.  Several people commented as they went to their cars that they wish they had thought of bringing a lunch. Since I have to eat gluten free and since we prefer to eat low carb, there was not much we could eat at the festival. It had been years since we had had a picnic. The weather, the food and company were all great. We decided that we should do this more often.

I’ll post pictures soon of our purchases and some of the sights. 

Until next time . . . . 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Yellow Haze

When you look out your windows this time of year, everything is surrounded by a yellow haze. Living in the south, we have a lot of pine trees, especially Loblolly Pines. During March and April of each year, we get bombarded by pine pollen. It gets in your eyes and your nose and your mouth. On your clothes ... on your cars ... on everything!

Unfortunately, even our brains seem to be in a yellow haze. It becomes difficult to knit complicated patterns. It becomes hard to concentrate on anything. Or so it seems. Maybe the real problem is the yellow haze makes it hard to read a chart. Maybe it has warmed up enough that you don’t want to stay inside, but the air is too thick to go outside. A dilemma.

Until next time . . . . 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Inch by Inch

The last couple weeks have seen little knitting and even less weaving. I am dealing with kidney stones as a result of a drug side effect. It has been quite painful. The only position that is even remotely comfortable is standing and/or walking. Hard to sleep that way.  I think the sinus infection would have been easier to live with.

I did finish the second sleeve of the Locke Street Cardigan by Glenna C. The pattern is actually pretty easy, but it is cabled on size US 5 (3.75mm) needles. So it is knitting up slowly. I am knitting the sweater out of Baby Alpaca DK by Plymouth Yarns in a beautiful dark green.

Of course, it would have been faster if I actually knit on it in a consistent manner. I started the sweater on March 13, 2012, with both sleeves on one needle. I remembered very quickly why I hate knitting projects two at a time. Tangled yarn and interminably slow!

On February 16 of this year, I pulled the project out of hibernation. The first sleeve was finished in about 4 days. The second sleeve was finished on March 13, 2013. Can you believe it? A year to knit two sleeves! Yikes!

I have cast on the body of the sweater. Instead of knitting the back and two fronts separately, I have cast on all 225 stitches and have 1-3/4 inches of the 1 x 1 ribbing completed. Still have another half inch to go. Then I will pull out every stitch marker I own and begin the cables. Haven’t worked on it in 4 days because of the pain. Hope to get back to it soon. Going to doctor tomorrow morning.

I tried to convince myself to speed up the knitting by making the back plain stockinette, but it didn’t work. The arguing with myself wasn’t pretty. So, I am going to continue as the pattern is written. It is such a beautiful sweater that I don’t think I would be happy with a plain back. Now after I finish the hundred-million cables and crossed stitches, we will see. Maybe my happiness could have been bought with a few thousand stockinette stitches. Hmmmmm.

Until next time. . . . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A New Toy

Christmas brought a new toy to our home. Under the tree was a wonderful surprise - A Baby Wolfe - a floor loom that is!  A loom already lives in our home. About a year ago, I received a Schacht 10 inch Cricket Loom, sometimes called a knitter’s loom. I have had fun with it making scarves and spa cloths. It’s great for small projects and for traveling. 
Tartan Scarf on Cricket Loom

My husband, Tom, noticed how much fun I was having with it, when I wasn’t knitting or babysitting our grandchildren. He also noticed that there were times that I was quite frustrated when I wanted to do more than plain weave and it took so much hand manipulating of the yarns.

During show and tell at our local TKGA guild meeting, I showed my finished knitted projects and some of my weaving projects. I mentioned some of my frustrations. One of the members, Barb, a knitter as well as a weaver, noted that one of the other members of the guild, Jean, was looking to sell her floor loom. I contacted her and she sold us her Baby Wolfe with a few accessories.  

The new year started with me reading weaving books and watching several DVDs. I have a fairly large stash of yarn. Many of the skeins were purchased before I became a yarn snob. There is a good amount of acrylic and dishcloth cotton.  I also have a few cones of cotton yarn from my days of machine knitting. 

I opened Peggy Osterkamp’s book Weaving for Beginners  and warped the sampler on the loom with some sports weight acrylic in (horrors) pink and white. I hate pink. Why was it in my stash?  I thought this would be a great way to get rid of it. 

Boy, there is a lot to learn to use the floor loom as compared with the Cricket. For one, weaving is such a small part of the finished product and I am all about the finished product. 

While watching Marilyn Van der Hoogt’s DVD Warping Your Loom she comments that if you can learn to love winding the warp, sleying the reed, threading the heddles, tying up the treadles and tying the warp to the beams, then you will love all the parts of weaving. 

So heeding Marilyn’s advice, I put on some easy jazz music and started dressing the loom. I had my second warp on the Baby Wolfe - dishtowels using dish cotton. The are finished. I’ll post pictures soon.

Until next time . . . . 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finished Objects

Still under the weather. Bronchitis. No energy. Fourth round of antibiotics and steroids. Staying at home so as to not pick up another infection from all the sick people walking around sneezing and hacking.

Got a little knitting done. Finished my Five and Dime Scarf. Made from The Great Adirondack Yarn Company’s Cotton/Bamboo in the Smoky Mountain colorway on size US 8 (5.0mm) needles. Wrote up the pattern and put it on Ravelry. It’s a pretty simple second project after you are tired of plain garter stitch scarves and have learned to purl.

Five and Dime Scarf

Also finished a self-designed cabled beret/tam/slouchy hat (Journey) for our daughter who lives in NYC. Made the hat with intermittent 2x2L and 2x2R cables on a stockinette base to look like paths leading upward. Will not be writing this pattern up as I was very ill while making it and didn’t write down what I did where. Made from Debbie Bliss’ Andes alpaca yarn, bought at the Yarn Company in NYC on a size US 7 (4.5mm) needles. Used a swirl decrease pattern. She should get the hat tomorrow. Hope she likes it and it is exactly what she asked for. My head was quite muddled while knitting it, so you never know. The yarn is very loosely spun almost no twist at all. Had to be very careful not pull or tug too much while knitting. Made a good looking hat though.
Journey Tam

I also finished and sent her the Hermione’s Midnight Socks. I used the Hermione’s Everyday Socks pattern but made it toe up. Just used JMCO and a Fleegle Heel. The socks are made from Knit Picks Andean Treasure alpaca yarn in the Midnight Heather colorway. Daughter wanted warm socks and knows I can’t knit with wool, so alpaca is the compromise.

Hermione's Midnight Sock

Following the lead of Sheila from the Knit1Heart Too podcast, I made the Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho out of some bulky acrylic from a deep stash dive. I think it is way too big for me. Don’t know if I will ever wear it.

Bandana Cowl

Haven’t finished the grandkids mittens. Still have three pair to go. They may get them next year. We’ll see.

Current WIP is the wurm in Knit Picks Andean Treasure alpaca yarn in the Meringue Heather colorway on size US 6 (4.0 mm) needles.  Pictures later. I am only knitting 8 repeats. I have 11 rows to go. Should be finished the next time I pick up the needles.

Going to take a nap. 

Until next time. . . . 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Under the Weather

Sorry it has been so long since there has been a blog post. We had been visiting our children and grandchildren for a few weeks,  when I developed a nasty case of pneumonia. After 10 days of antibiotics and 5 days of steroids, I am still not well. Most days not even well enough for knitting. Back to the doctor tomorrow morning.

Until next time .......