June 30, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday (June 30th)

I can't believe that June has come to an end!  My vacation is flying by WAY too quickly!  I feel like I'm not getting much of anything accomplished; so that means that July is just going to have to be busy, busy, busy!

Today I have two projects on the needles that I need to make some progress with.  The first is the Reconstruction Sweater.  I have knit some on the body, but still have about 12 inches or more to go.  Can't decide if I want to add a few more stripes or not. My goal is to finish this one next week when my son gets back from the ex's and can try it on as I go.

I became so bored with working on this once I got to the "knit around for eternity" part of the pattern that I cast on for another top-down sweater, this time a cardigan for myself.  That makes--count them!-- 4 sweaters on the needles now.  However, since I am also writing this pattern, I can't give you much detail except that I have finished the yoke and have divided for the sleeves.  Besides, this one is top secret until it's finished.  The pattern will be for sale on Ravelry.  I am in L-O-V-E with the Naturally Caron SPA bamboo blend that I am using, though, and even though it's store bought and part acrylic and not a fancy-schmancy handspun, I will definitely be using it again. It has the most lovely drape.  So, all you get is a glimpse.  My goal with this one is to finish it by early next week.  Today is the first overcast, "cool" day we've had in about 2 months, maybe longer, so there will be knitting. 

And, yes, that is a giant Mason jar that I am using to keep my skein from wandering.  Does that make me a little too "country" or just creative?

June 29, 2010

Garden Tuesday

As I think I've mentioned before, we garden.  We garden year-round, actually.  Tuesday seems to be the day on my summer schedule when I do my garden maintenance.  So, here are some very green scenes from Garden Tuesday.  It's looking a little puny thanks to the absolute lack of rain at my house.

Some things are just sprouting for a second round--damned grasshoppers ate all of the beets and spinach!  But we have our first muscadine berries on the vine and that puny cucumber vine in the front of the pic is working on 13 more perfect-size for pickles cucumbers. We have 23 tomato plants that need to hurry up and grow something! Blueberries are in the back by the tomatoes, and there's this monster gourd vine that sprung up from nowhere growing behind the tomatoes and into the back yard.  Of course, when this plant was planted and coddled in the garden, it wouldn't grow jack.  Now I have three or four lovely gourds that could ultimately become little bird houses growing wild. The sweet potato vines that have taken over the garden had also better put out some awesome sweet potatoes--grew those from "seed" from last year's sweet potatoes. 


It was also a good day to harvest some herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano, and German thyme across the back of the pic).  No lemon thyme this year, and the lime basil is struggling,  The cinnamon basil and Thai basil are doing very well, though. In the front yard, the pineapple sage is going wild.  I might even, after planting #3, get some carrots.  Funny how one year you can grow more of something than you ever wanted to grow, like carrots, but the next year you have nothing.  Beets are sprouting, too.

The gardeniing "experts" all said that calendula, which is a lovely daisy-looking flower of many colors, told me that grasshoppers wouldn't come near the garden if it had calendula and cilantro growing throughout.  Uh, newsflash!  I killed 3 of those suckers in the calendula this morning!  My daughter and I harvested our first-ever crop of calendula seeds.  I know, they kind of look like a pile of worms, but I'm so excited!

June 28, 2010

A Simpler Time

Remember these?

My sister and I used to fight over who got to lick them and then put them in the book. 

My husband and daughter and I were perusing the local "antique" shops on Saturday--the kind where you walk in the door and the theme song to "Sanford & Son" pops into your head-- and I saw this little gem sitting in an open drawer of an old Singer iron foot-pedal sewing machine, the kind my grandma had in the back room that she used to make oodles of Barbie doll clothes, next to the loom where she made rag rugs, and I did a little dance of excitement when I saw it.  Of course my 6 year-old daughter asked what was wrong with me and my husband sort of pretended not to know me when I did a little scream of delight.  The point is that I was obviously reminded of a much simpler time, a time when grandma could send the 7 year-old down to the corner grocery store--the kind that had all of two registers (in case there was an afternoon rush) and a butcher's counter at the back because meat came wrapped in paper marked with that black oil pencil, not in a shrink-wrapped plastic--to get a carton of milk by her 7 year-old self.  And the ice cream truck was the ice cream truck where you spent your allowance or whatever you could pester grandma into giving you because the truck and its driver didn't make parents think of child predators.  Yeah.  What happened to that?

June 26, 2010

Yarnathon, Marathon, Knitathon

 I have signed up to participate in Eat, Sleep, Knit's Yarnathon.  Basically, it is a record of how many miles of yarn I and any of my followers and visitors who link to the online store from my blog purchase.  Some people have already "run" a 10K, but they've been participating since the beginning of the year.  The yarns are fabulous, gorgeous, exquisite!  I can't wait for the Have You Any Wool sock yarn in the 'Strung from the Moon" colorway to show up on my doorstep on Tuesday.  So, if you are looking for fiberly inspiration or just the right yarn for that project you've been mulling over, please click on the Yarnathon button and check out Eat, Sleep, Knit.  Thanks! 

Marathon:  (7 days and counting down)
I hit the treadmill for 4.5 miles this morning in 65:05.  It kicked my butt.  But, we got our starting times today, and HOORAY! we are not in the last group of runners this year.  I don't know what happened last year, but we were in the very last group and had to run at the worst time of the morning for heat and humidity.  My honey and I are in group G this year, which is the 8th group to start, so that means that we'll be done pretty much about the same time that we actually started the race last year.  Super crazy.

I have lost my mind.  I have made good progress down the body of the Reconstruction sweater, and I have only 20% of the lace scarf done, and that Coral Columns sweater is sitting in the basket on punishment for making me insane, and I have about 8 oz of corriedale top still to spin from my last dying adventure--not to mention a couple ounces of silk and 4 ounces of that heavenly  Paradise white soy--and there's that cardigan that has been waiting for attention for 2 years ... and I started another project last night.  I said, I feel like a cardigan, and I started designing one.  Mandarin collar and the first button hole are done.  This always happen when I am not able to finish things quickly.  And then I ordered more sock yarn so you know that means I'm going to want to start up some new socks next week.  Summer vacation is turning into my own personal Knitathon.

And thank the Lord!  It finally rained last night!

June 25, 2010

Here's A Great Little Number I Whipped Up!

Introducing the Easy Bamboo Stitch Baby Blanket!

  I came up with this little number a few years ago and have made it again and again for friends who were expecting, but it's a great toddler blanket, too.  If you make it with the Red Heart Kids yarn, it's a nice heavy weight with crisp stitches and TOTALLY washable and able to take a pounding.  It's very durable.  In fact, my 6 year-old pulled hers out from eons ago and was snuggling under it on the couch last night while watching a movie.  This is a great blanket that knits up fast, fast, fast!  And it really only involves a 2-stitch pattern repeat.  This pattern is available in my Ravelry store.  Check it out!

By the by ... if you are blog hopping, and you live in a small town on PURPOSE, you might check out this great blog I just came across:  Tall Tales from a Small Town.  

See you on Blog Hop, Friendly Follow Friday, and Fun Friday!  Happy Friday!

June 24, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday afterthought

I know, I'm a day late with the picture of my W.I.P.  I'm on vacation. I'm ready to start on the body.

June 23, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday Update

I painted the stairwell to the upstairs yesterday.  It took me 3 years to get around to it.  I labored and struggled and had to creatively tape the paint brush to the roller extension rod to get the edging along the ceiling because I am short and afraid of falling down the stairs to my death.  My daughter even helped and cleaned up all her drips on the carpeting.  I expected a fanfare when I was done, maybe a ticker-tape parade. Horns, bugles, kazoos, something.  There was nothing but the sound of "Arthur" from the living room.  My husband didn't even say "good job" or "thanks for doing that".  I got nada.  My sons, who are with my ex- for 2 weeks told me that I "rock" in a text message, but that was it.  Hmph.

I sold my first pattern on Ravelry yesterday:  Barbie's Lace Sundress (see yesterday's post or visit me at Ravelry).  Now I'm worried that, though I painstakingly wrote the pattern, stitch by stitch, row by row and I knit the darned thing, the person who bought the pattern will say that it is full of mistakes.  I worry about dumb stuff. But still, I'm all giddy about it!

I am not giddy about the fact that the being on the "No Call" list for telemarketing doesn't seem to be working lately.  It isn't even 8:30 and the phone has already begun to ring.

But it's W.I.P. Wednesday, and since I worked my tail off yesterday (there were WAY more chores to do than just the painting), I am taking most of today to get back on track with the knitting.  I think that I will work on Dillon's sweater because I am almost to the base of the armpit, where I will join and knit the body.  Won't that be fun!  And I haven't spun any since my last disappointing spinning project over a week ago.  Maybe some spinning this afternoon.  I'm thinking about joining the Ravelry Tour de Fleece for July.  Not sure I can spin every day for three weeks.

I don't have any updated pictures of Dillon's sweater right now, but I have some lovely garden pictures.  Get 'em while they last because my beds have informed me that if this heat keeps up, I will have nothing left but red clay and weeds.

June 22, 2010

Barbie Gets a Dress

I attended my first Covington Knitter's gathering last Saturday and brought my daughter along.  The group's members include a lovely Southern lady who crochets the most delicate, lacy Barbie doll dresses out of J.P. Coat's Knit Crochine thread.  Well, this lovely lady brought along a few of the dresses she has made to show me and my daughter; and she was kind enough to give one to my daughter, telling my daughter that the dresses are easy to make and that mom (me) can make them for her now that there's a dress to look at.  My daughter is 6 years old.  By the time we drove the 10 miles or so home, my daughter had an entire summer collection all planned out for me to make for Barbie.  I don't crochet, friends.  I knit.  I haven't crocheted since about 5th grade when I learned to make doilies.

But, my brain was working on it.  I started with the bodice because I can knit anything and this is going to be a breeze! It was so NOT!  Bodice done, I realized that I really should have started from the bottom up on circular needles.  Tore it all out and started over.  My daughter nearly cried. "Now I'm never going to get a dress if you have to start over!"  Three days later, with many hours invested, there's a Barbie's Lace Sundress.  The pattern, which was a labor of love, for sure, is available in my Ravelry store.

So, unfortunately no other knitting projects received attention. It's been 98 degrees in the shade at my house for the last 4 days, so not much motivation to work on Dillon's wool sweater.  He came home from camp and doesn't seem too thrilled about it--maybe because he thought I'd just whip that baby up while he was at camp for a week--but it's looking pretty swell so far.  And I will be working on the lace scarf for my friend Meredith this week.  Those are my two knitting goals for the week.

On the "not knitting" front, I'm back on that frickin' tread mill.  The Peachtree Road Race is but 2 short weeks away!  My husband and I will be getting up before dawn to make our way via car, train, and a long walk, to the starting line in downtown Atlanta with 49, 998 other people to run in 1000% humidity on the 4th of July.  The race begins in waves of 10, 000 people.  If you're lucky, you're in one of the first three groups--running before 8 am when it's usually in the upper 70s or low 80s.  By the time the race is over, it's usually into the 90s and then it's even hot in the shade.  I was hoping to shave 10 minutes off of my time from last year (1 hr, 25 min); but I've been so pointedly avoiding the treadmill because I HATE to run, that right now it's looking like I'm going to be 15 minutes over my time from last year.  I'm hoping that I run faster on the pavement with my long stride than on the treadmill.  And then I get my T-shirt; which is the whole point of running 6.2 miles in the heat and humidity with 49, 999 other people.  The shirt.  People will do anything for a free t-shirt.  But, hey, I am 38 year-old mother of three, and I can RUN a 10K, shirt or no shirt. 

And the other "not knitting" thing I am doing this week:  painting the stairwell to the upstairs.  I have been threatening to do it for about 3 years.  Today, it gets done!  Bet me.

June 18, 2010

Nifty Cool Stuff I Can Do

Come to find out, you can absolutely teach an old teacher new tricks.  Okay, well I'm not that old; but there's a perfectly good reason why I married a man who is rather savvy with a computer.  I break them, he fixes them.  It's a perfect marriage.

Well, then I woke up closer to midnight than to dawn one night while on an insomnia jag because teaching does that to a person and I thought, "Other people have blogs.  I could have a blog.  How does one do that blog making thing, anyway?" And so my blog was born.  And the more I mess with it and take notes on the blogs of others, the more saavy I am becoming.  And I don't mean to toot my own horn, but BEEP BEEP BEEP!  I made my own blog button!  And I know that some people will say "so what, that's pretty easy to do."  But you'd have to know me.  So I am very proud of my new creation, which was born thank my lucky stars today.  Here it is if you would like to try it out.  Just copy and paste the html text into an html/java gadget that you create for your own blog. You know how it works.  But in case it doesn't work, here's the round-about that my savvy honey taught me:  insert a picture gadget; right click on the blog button image on the top right of this page and select view info; copy and paste the URL that will show up at the top of the window conveniently highlighted for you into your image web address box (picture shows up this way); enter my blog address in the link box--don't give it a title or anything--and save.  Voila!

Yeah me!

And I would like to mention that if you have never visited Picnik.com, you absolutely HAVE to check it out!  This blog button was made possible by the brilliant people behind Picnik.com.

P.S.  I would like to say thank you to all of my new followers!  You've made my Friday awesome!

Copy and Paste:

<center><a href="http://www.zibelineknits.blogspot.com/"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_I04hYt8N9H0/TCt0w15bT4I/AAAAAAAAAW4/Eqio43nTsPU/s128/zibeline%20knits%20blog%20button.jpg" /></a></center><span style="font-weight: bold;"></span>

A Morning in the Life of a Left-Brained Woman

I woke up later than usual this morning; which is not a bad thing because I needed sleep, unless you consider that it threw off my entire morning routine, and I have to follow my morning routine or I just feel nuts all day.  Have we met?  I am a mostly left-brained woman living in a household of totally right-brained people.   {Pause for you to take that in ...}  What does that mean?  It means that I am the only person in the house with a realistic concept of organization.  The ONLY one.

Case in point:  After doing a little Fun Follow Friday and Blog Hop blogging (see links below, left), it occurred to me that what the door of my spare bedroom masquerading as a "knitting" room needed was a hook.  So I thought, "Where's that over-the-door hook that I saw?"  Now, a left-brained person would store it in the junk drawer in the kitchen, or in a little drawer of a plastic organizer in the workshop, or with the extra drawer handles and knobs in the attic.  A right-brained person, like my husband, would store it wherever he laid it down last. So, it actually occurred to me that I thought I might have seen it in the shoe polish basket in the bedroom closet.  I started there, which led me to several interesting things that really needed to be put elsewhere (a toy truck my daughter gave him for a birthday present 2 years ago, a shower of out-of-date business cards, tags that had been removed from recently purchased camping gear but which never found their way to a trash can ...) but no hook.  This led me to re-organize the shoe polish basket, then on to the camera equipment basket, then on to the top of the refrigerator, which is now completely cleaned off, then up to the office, which (my husband's 1/2 excepted) is now re-organized and cleaned, then to the attic, which also underwent an entire re-org, then back down to the "knitting" room, where I thought I might have put it in the storage closet for safe-keeping--this also underwent an entire re-org, wherein I came to the realization that I have WAY too much yarn in my stash! and I almost had to make an emergency run to the store for another storage bin, but things worked out. Then I went on to the bathroom drawers because a right-brain might have put it in there by process of association ... and now it's noon, {"Quittin' time!} and I still haven't found what I've been looking for.

The "summer to-do list" is now a little smaller, but what I had planned for today is out the window because it's 12 p.m and {"Mom, when is it lunch time?"} I made a deal with myself that I would only work my tail off around here until 12 p.m. because otherwise I would housework and fix-it my summer away again this year and never have felt like I'd had any vacation at all.

But, even though absolutely NOTHING positive comes to mind about right-brained organizational skills, there is something to be said for the right-brained person, she is creative.  In every room I re-orged, my daughter found something with which to create a masterpiece:  packing paper in the attic, water colors in the storage closet, paint brush in the office ... and now she's painting a giant waterfall with wet chipmunk footprints and butterflies alongside of it.  Pretty awesome.

And here's the Day Three update on the sweater reconstruction project:

Happy Friday to you!

June 16, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday

Wednesday brings Day One of my reconstructed sweater project.  One thing that everyone knows about me is that there's a REALLY good reason why I teach English instead of Math:  I am a mathematically challenged individual.  At this point, remediation of those high school math skills that I once possessed is pointless.  Many have tried, all have failed.  I say this because the irony is that my favorite way to knit a sweater is top-down.  If you know anything about top-down sweaters, you know that you can't knit a round without doing a mathematical equation that involves several steps and much counting.  Nevertheless, I embark on yet another mathematically challenging sweater--and by this point in the day, trust me, I have embarked over and over quite a few times!  Darn the math!  Anyway, this is the focus for W.I.P. Wednesday.  It's finally on the right track and we're cruisin' now!  This sweater begins with a roll-down collar and is worked totally on circular needles as one giant tube.

And then because you were wondering how the stray cat saga is going, Mama Cat is getting herself fixed today, so that should be the last female in the Hood that we know of (fingers crossed everyone!) and these cute and cuddly monsters should be the last litter that Mama Cat drops off at my house.  Hooray!  All are feisty and doing well, despite the heat.  It was supposed to be 94 degrees today, but apparently too many people called and complained, so the weather man reduced the temperature to a forecast of 90.  It finally rained last night at MY house instead of just across the street.  Rain, glorious rain!

June 14, 2010

Summer Reminders

As the desert heat arrives in Northeast Georgia (you might think that's an exaggeration but it was 103 degrees in my driveway today at noon!), I am reminded of a few things about summer.

Summer's simple pleasures:

1.  Cranberry iced tea
2.  Coffee & knitting on the back porch in the morning with the birds singing (my backyard sounds like an aviary in the morning)
3.  Cicadas in the trees at night
4.  Kids and dogs and swimming pools
5.  Flowers blooming in the beds
6.  Bare feet & flip flops & dragonflies
7.  The hammock beneath the shade trees
8.  Books to read (mine are: Under the Dome, World Without End, Same Kind of Different as Me, and The Zahir) instead of TV to watch

9. A glass of wine and a fantastic hand of cards
10.  Spending time with my Honey
11.  Fishing at the lake (more like knitting at the lake for me!)
12.  Life without a watch, Amen!
13.  Evening thunderstorms and a screened in porch
14.  Trips to Grandma's house
15.  Time to lay in the sun
 16.  Bar-b-que and hickory smoked ribs on the grill
17.  Picnics and concerts in the park
18.  Sand between your toes
19.  A cool breeze.
20.  Vegetables out of the garden.

Things that I have to remind myself in the summer:

1.  They're just kids.
2.  If it survived without a coat of paint this long, it can probably wait another day.
3.  Your but will be draggin' on Road Race day if you don't get on that treadmill!
4.  You're on vacation.
5.  Grasshoppers are EVIL!
6.  They're just kids.  

June 13, 2010

WWKIP outing and such

Well, this has been a very busy few days!  My boys left for Boy Scout Camp this morning, and so we've been all about getting ready for that since about Wednesday.  I have recovered from my knitting injury, but have felt like I've been fighting off the flu since about Wednesday.  I am hoping that's just about the screwy weather we've had this week--each day has been like living in a different climate altogether:  cool and breezy, temperate 80s, 1000% humidity and hot, hot, hot!, and today with low humidity and desert winds--feels like living on the sun!

Anyway, so much has been done since my last post!  My daughter and I attended the WWKIP event in Covington, GA yesterday, sponsored by the Covington Knitters.  It was miserably humid, but look at the monumental magnolia that we gathered under!  Yes, that's one trunk and a lower branch span of about  60 feet!  It was absolutely grand!  I made some new knitting friends, and my daughter and I will be stopping by the Covington Knitters' meeting next Saturday to check that out.

 And since I was spinning my little heart out on Wednesday and didn't get the OK to join the WIP Wednesday group until Thursday, I waited until the little get-together yesterday to start a new project, which I finished this morning.  The rust/gold/green/cream/burgundy yarn is my first-ever hand-spun yarn.  It spun up like some pretty funky "art yarn", but it is so great knit up that I am beside myself with joy!  My mother said, what can you do with only 75 yards of yarn?  So, I made mitts.  These are done in the Maine Morning Mitts pattern by Clara Parkes (The Knitter's Book of Yarn).  

The composition of the solid cream color is 100% sheep wool--probably blue faced lester--, and the composition of the handspun is 20% silk (sparkly gold that you probably can't see) and 80% coopersworth wool (worsted, between 11 and 14 WPI).

Then there is the stuff that I spent about 10 HOURS hand spinning on Wednesday and Thursday and Friday.  I'm so disappointed!!!!!  I bought the 4 oz roving (50% merino, 25% Tussah Silk, 25% bamboo, semi-worsted) at the Knitting Universe soiree in April.  It was burgundy and gold and just so soft and beautiful!  And then I started to spin.  It fought me on the S twist the whole time.  It didn't want to draft from the V and I ended up having to pre-draft almost the whole time.  ALL of the beautiful gold seemed to disappear and be replaced by a funky silver sheen that was from the, apparently, undyed silk that was hiding inside the rolag, making the single-ply look like a dirty pink.  The rolag was actually 4 pencil rovings wrapped up to look like a rolag.  When it was done, it seemed very flimsy; so even though I had enough to make a little cap-sleeve shrug (about 300 yards), I figured that the best thing to do for strength was to ply it with itself. 

Okay, well it was so excited to twist in the opposite direction that plying was a dream and ultimately the only good thing about this roving.  I had about 150 yards unfinished and thought that it felt a little scratchy, so I would finish it before knitting it instead of after.  Well, I used all of my favorite curse words the moment that the hand spun hit the hot water.  Suddenly I had a sink of crimson water!  All of that gorgeous dye was just sitting on the fiber.  The end result was that it pretty much dyed everything else, so any significant color variation that I had by plying it was G-O-N-E.  And then when it was all said and done, it came out so darned thick and fluffy that I now have 125 yards of 2-ply that is about a 10 WPI.  I am putting on my sad face for this one.  It's going in the stash to wait for me to be inspired. It's just a shiny, faded dusty rose.  :(

So now it's back to preemie hats because I've fallen behind on those and the lace scarf, and the Coral Columns vest, and the top-down raglan that I'm supposed to be redoing (that'll have to wait until my model gets back from Scout camp next week).  I think I have plenty of projects to keep my busy.

Oh, and did I mention that the stray cat fairy brought us a present on Friday?  They're about a month old. 

June 11, 2010

Fun Follow Friday?

Not sure what this is all about, but it seemed interesting, so I tried it too!  Fun Follow Friday.  I hope your Friday was awesome!

Fun Follow Friday (My Wee View)

Check it out!

I even found an awesome blog in the process:  Home Sweet Farm .

June 08, 2010

Reconstruction Begins on a Quiet Tuesday in June ...

So it appears that my knitting to be green has caused a knitting injury to my right wrist.  I was mostly out of commission today.  Barbie got a bath mat set for the townhouse (made from one of my daughter's old t-shirts), but other than that, there wasn't any knitting.  :(

This seemed like the perfect time to tear down the sweater that I made for my 10 year-old last November.  I made it.  We both hated it.  It's been sitting in my knitting room since day 2 of its existence.  I don't know what I was thinking when I thought I would whip up a raglan on straight needles.  I have come to hate doing raglans on straight needles because the sleeves never seem quite right to me in the end.  I also despise making a sweater for the purpose of taking up shelf space in the closet.  So, today officially became "Reconstruction Tuesday". 

It started out in it's original form and, with the help of Mao, the latest stray cat to make himself at home, it became 4 red balls and 1 grey ball of wool again.

Of course, now my son is going to expect me to get started right away on the new and improved top-down version.  So much to knit, so little time; so I hope my wrist is better in the morning!

June 07, 2010

Knitting Orange to Be Green

I have been following the Knitting Daily Knitting Green Challenge, and was inspired this afternoon to create my own recycled piece of knitting history.  So, here's the whole story.

Weekend before last, my husband and I spread 46 bales of pine straw around the yard (need something in the South to keep the moisture near the ground in the flower beds and garden).  My daughter's job was to pick up all of the plastic baling strings, which she did.  Then they sat in a box near the trash can for two weeks, somehow missing trash day.  It must have been fate.  Anyway, yesterday morning I looked at them and the idea of knitting them like yarn started to percolate in my brain.  This morning, my daughter and I knotted them together, counted the yardage, and the bale ball was born.
It didn't take long for me to grab a pair of bamboo US 15s and start knitting it up.  Market bag, I thought.

It took about 3 hours to knit the bag completely and the two handles.  Attaching the handles was a little more difficult than I expected.  And the plastic knotted ends (all knit to the inside) don't weave in as well as wool.  The inside's a little bumpy, but the outside is pretty awesome! And I have to mention that Buddy, my knitting dog was a tremendous hinderance--I mean help!--during the knitting process.

Weekend Notes

What a perfect weekend I had!  After working my tail off to clean the house on Friday, I convinced myself to take the weekend off.  Saturday was a day of computer time, spinning, knitting, sunbathing, a little gardening, dinner out with my Honey and my daughter, then after my daughter went to bed there were drinks and a few hands of cards with my Honey.

The Leaf Lace scarf is up to 12 inches (1/5 the total pattern length), so that's one of my weekend accomplishments.  The Coral Cables Cardigan is back on track (again with the re-doing of 18 rows; but now it all counts out correctly--knock on wood!), and two new preemie hats were begun on the way to and from dinner.  Sunday was more of the same, except that I started following a new blog, figknits, and there is this pattern (Off Kilter Mitts) that has been shared as part of a contest--deadline is September--that I saw and felt immediately compelled to knit.

So, Sunday was more work on the lace, then I said, "what the heck, I can probably knit those mitts in a day"--and I did!  So, contest submission complete.  I knit them in a size medium in about 6 hours using magic loop, but I happen to knit very tightly by nature, and they unfortunately came out a little small for me.  They seem perfect for my six-year old's chubby hands (modeled below), only a little long in the fingers; so I guess they are now hers.  Lucky duck!

I used a worsted weight 100% wool in a color that is pretty much the same color as my Asian lilies.  I'd tell you exactly the brand and the colorway, only this came out of my stash and I can't seem to find the wrapper. It was about 100 yards total.  

This morning I got around to writing the pattern for Dan's Afghan.  It's picture is posted under Adventures of the Past on this page. It's my Yarn Over Cable afghan that I made for my husband for Christmas last year.  It's also posted at Ravelry.

Today is looking like the start of a new pair of gloves to actually fit me.  These knit up so fast that I think I will try a different pattern using sock yarn.  I really just want a pair to keep my achey hands warm in the winter when I knit, and I have accumulated several lacier patterns using sock yarn lately; so that's today's plan.  Of course, there's also going to be some gardening (33 new bean plants have sprung up and need to be caged) and some yard work and the never-ending attack on the laundry.   Oh, and the 13 year old lost his glasses, so there's those to replace before Boy Scout Camp begins this Saturday.  And I thought I might do some more spinning, too.

June 04, 2010

Friday Thoughts

Goal of finishing latest preemie hats:  met.

Otherwise, I have found that there are drawbacks to vacation, most especially house work.  Spent the whole day in the laundry room or with a spray bottle of bleach and scrub brush in hand.  Summer vacation always makes me wonder how I get through the school year, chore-wise.  Not much knitting got done today at all. :(  I did spend several hours last night, once AGAIN fixing errors I had made in the Coral Columns pattern.  It's so easy to end up with an extra stitch and not discover it until about 12 rows later!  I finally had to give it up and finish this morning.  So, after several hours of knitting and repairing, I am on row short of where I started in the first place yesterday.  This may just be the next project to be frogged ... but the extra fine merino shows the pattern so crisply that I hate to let it go.  Obviously, this will be my summer nemesis.

There's been much talk of lace lately among the blogs that I follow.  I guess it's  that time of year.  No one wants to sit in the heat and work with wool and a heavy sweater on her lap.  Because it's that time of year, I was really looking forward to the new Piecework issue, which is about lace.  Unfortunately, I think I would go blind trying to knit, basically, thread into a handbag or a shawl.  So I'm a little disappointed that the focus is so totally on old-world lace, like the doilies that I learned to crochet when I was in 3rd grade before my Polish great-grandmother lost her sight.  I was hoping for something more along the lines of 2-ply lace shawls to die for in a silk/wool combo or a gorgeous scarf pattern.  There were some good instructions for blocking a lace pattern, though, so not a total disappointment.

Goal for the weekend (besides repairing the rabbit hutch & giving those bunnies a bath): make significant progress on the leaf lace scarf.

June 02, 2010

To blog or not to blog?

I have been checking out other people's blogs, and here's what I've found.  Only those with profanity, mundane details about the lives of strangers--mostly people who don't seem to have much of a life--or people who knit in Toronto and California survive.  It's been very frustrating for me on Ravelry, too.  I belong to a few groups that appear to have become completely inactive.  I post and get no response.  The moderators haven't been active in months. I don't want to read a blog and think, "I want my two minutes back!"  I think knitting blogs should be about knitting, not about knitters who need the world to read the expanded version of their Twitter posts.  I like to see what other people are working on and pick up nifty tricks and links and patterns.  It seems that there are only a few blogs out there with that option, and I am frustrated.  The only comments that I have gotten on my blog are the result of my non-knitting tirade when my bank card was stolen--since deleted because I was just embarrassed that I had actually put that out there for people to read.  If anyone knows of some, or even one, knitting blog that isn't on my list that is worth following, please let me know.  I've tried the trick of posting on other sites, like reddit.com, but that doesn't seem to be working for my own blog advertising purposes.  All that seems to happen is that the time demand to be on the computer takes away from my knitting time.  Of course, maybe the problem is that every post is not accompanied by a picture of a cat.  So, here are some of my knitting and spinning helpers.

On the flip side, I am officially on summer vacation!  Let the knitting frenzy begin!

I tried to do some knitting over the weekend on the Coral Cables, but discovered that I had made a few errors the last time I worked on it in what, September?, and spent most of my time tearing down, re-knitting, finding more mistakes, and tearing down again.  Just when I thought I had repaired a complete round of the pattern (about 18 rows), I got to the last pattern row and discovered that I had added 2 too many stitches about 10 rows back.  So that project is on hold.  The fair isle sock project is about to be frogged.  The leaf lace scarf is coming along swimmingly!  That's what I'm doing now, mostly, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival last Saturday offered me the opportunity to knit halfway through two preemie hats. Goal:  finish the preemie hats by Friday.


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