Friday, December 31, 2010
Monday, December 27, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Since this project needs concentration and quiet, I needed a simple one to use for TV knitting.
Monday, December 6, 2010
I am moving right along on hubby's first knitted socks. And the Fake Fair Isle hat has been a learning experience. I believe I now get the "Philosopher's Wool" technique of knitted with two colors and creating a woven fabric on the wrong side. No more long strands to catch fingers! I highly recommend the video on their site, beautifully explained.
So while I was reading through posts on the Knitting Lace a-z group in Ravelry (one of my favorite enabling sites for lace patterns) There was mention of two advent mystery knitting projects. Two lace scarves with 24 clues appearing one each day of December. An advent calendar you can wear.
Now, one of my resolutions this year was to not fall down the rabbit hole of KAL's and I've completely kept this resolution, even thought the Knitmore girls Cece cardigan has sorely tempted me. I have been good and weeded through my stash getting rid of old yarn, knitting up items that have been languishing for years and generally not buying yarn for new projects until 10 items have been completed.
So I figured since I was actually looking for something to make out of some lace weight yarn I have in my stash, this would be a great project. The first clue was an easy start that gave a pretty edging the spacer rows were completed without beads, as I want to wear this with my new coat and beads would feel cold on my neck. All was right with my world.
The clue for the second day done me in. It is a lily of the valley type section with nupps. Now I have made many garments with bobbles without a problem. But I found this section completely baffling. I knit and re-knit it twice. Then ripped back the entire piece and started over. Got to the second pattern and gave up. The rows didn't turn out right as far as count and the appearance was less then stellar.
Thinking there was an error in the directions, I logged on to the group and scanned the pictures people had posted of their completed work. By this time, of course I was days behind and had spent the better part of Saturday frogging, reknitting and getting frustrated.
No, no errors and beautiful pictures of three or four completed sections. It was me. I have never been so flummoxed. I ripped the whole thing out and put the yarn away, thinking I just couldn't get it.
Of course, I couldn't leave it there. A lot of the knitters were using fingering weight, instead of lace weight. The yarn I was using was alpaca, slippery and hairy. Maybe I should try fingering weight. So on Sunday I sat down with some white sock yarn, cast on 87 stitches, and went through the second pattern, marking each repeat with stitch markers. What a difference! I was able to complete the nupps perfectly and the pattern finally made sense to me. Of course I don't have 1000 yards of fingering weight in gray in my stash, so I placed an order for some KnitPick Gloss this morning. I will be hopelessly behind, but so what. It is a beautiful scarf, another good learning experience and I will have a new scarf for the new year. Win, win, win!
I should know better than to try lace without stitch markers.
Friday, December 3, 2010
The turkey went in the oven by 8:00 am at 325 degrees. By 3:00, I was hyperventilating, again, about it not being done. I was anticipating it out of the oven at that time and everything else going in to heat up. It came out about a half hour later and was done but after slicing, we saw pockets of underdone spots that I recooked in the microwave (just to be sure). We made up 7 pounds of mashed potatoes and had way too much. Two packages of bread cubes with 1 1/2 pounds of sausage and lots of dressing. Like to reheat it the next day with turkey and gravy-----turkey mush, as we call it. Didn't run out of any vegetable but didn't have a lot left over. Need to make 2 chocolate pies next year, the kids really like it and fight over it, with none left over. Otherwise a comfortable number of pies with lots to take home and 4 pieces left over for us to enjoy. All in all a very successful dinner, with lots of laughing, talking and family togetherness. Perfect.
The turkey carcass had so much meat left on it that was very difficult to remove, so on Friday I put it in the stock pot and made a very rich, thick soup. We have enough for three more meals, at least. I froze it with out pasta. I cooked the pasta separately and put it in the hot soup rather than cooking it with the soup. Came out very firm and delish, not mushy like it sometimes does.
The kids came over on Saturday and we dug out all the decorations and started to get in the Christmas mood. For some reason I'm having a real hard time with that. I shopped on Monday and Tuesday and cybershopped Tuesday and Wednesday and am pretty much done.
I picked out buttons for the purple mock cable sweater and had it blocking on Thanksgiving, so it was done but not worn.
Here it is unblocked. I was worried that blocking would flatten out the cables, since they were formed just by a knit and purl pattern, not regular twisted stitches, but the sweater has been in my bin and pulled out and put back so much over 3 years that it really needed a good cleaning. So I soaked it, gently blocked it and shut the door on it and made Thanksgiving dinner. On Monday when I opened the craft room door, the sweater was blocked beautifully and ready for its buttons. It still retained the cable detail I was afraid blocking would remove.
This is a mid-thigh length sweater and fits very well. I will take an outdoor picture when I sew on the buttons that will, hopefully, show the detail better.
Monday, November 22, 2010
So last week I cooked and froze 10 sweet potatoes (in casserole), 4 butternut squash (they were a small to medium size), 2 rutabagas, 2 frozen packages of brussel sprouts cooked with red onions and balsamic vinegar, and two frozen packages of pearl onions which I roasted.
Today I am going to cook 3 packages of cranberries (can never have too much cranberry sauce) and make the two pumpkin pies and put those in the freezer.
I bought an 18.9 pound premium fresh turkey from Wegman's. We are going to have 8 adults and 4 children for dinner, with two more adults and 4 children joining us for dessert.
I have the ingredients for a cherry pie, apple pie and chocolate pudding pie, which I will make on Wednesday.
I am also planning to make the dressing on Wednesday and stuffing the turkey and have it in the oven by 9:00am on Thursday with dinner at 4:00.
I have been on 5 websites and have 5 different answers to how long to cook the bird. No wonder I obsess about this every year!
I want to plan this so that the only thing I have to cook on Thanksgiving day are the mashed potatoes and crescent rolls (bought 3 containers). Oh yeah, the turkey too!
I just checked out my last post and I can't believe it was in October. Will have a knitting update soon. Now have to put groceries away and cook.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
I have been working away on this and am finding it so much better than trying to follow the graph. I actually think I can get the second front and the two sleeves done this month. There is no finishing to speak of, just sewing the seams together. So it may very well be possible that I will wear this on Christmas but Thanksgiving would be nice, too.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
About the yarn: Gloss is a merino and silk blend that has a nice, well, gloss to it. The pattern calls for 2 skeins of 400 yards of lace weight yarn, held double. This seems to make a shawlette and I wanted something a bit bigger. Each skein of Gloss is 220 yards and I used 3, knit separately. My intention was to knit until the yarn was gone. The yarn was smooth, so stitch definition showed up beautifully. It really is a lovely yarn at a very reasonable price. The color is a dusky blue which I am very partial to.
The pattern: This is a top-down triangular shawl. It increases two stitches on each end and two stitches on either side of the center stitch every other row. The wrong side is purled.
There is a chart for the first 10 rows and another that is repeated 7 times . I did 14 repeats and my finished shawl before blocking was 23 x 54 inches.
It is a sad, bumpy looking blob, isn't it?
I had 5 grams of yarn left over, certainly not enough to do another pattern repeat.
During blocking, size grew to 39 x 68 inches. It is always amazing what blocking does to lace.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Now, I am not a perfect speller or grammarian. I usually have to consult a dictionary and rely heavily on spell check, but I try. It doesn't seem that anybody is trying any more, especially with contractions. So the sentence "(YOUR,YOU'RE) going to love (YOUR,YOU'RE) new yarn" should be a no-brainer. Your - possessive. You're - a contraction of you are. Simple. Just say it out loud.
I recently listened to an NPR piece about the guys who wrote "The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time" travelling across the US with white out and sharpies to correct the typos they found. Don't you want to do that sometimes?
Edited for typos:)))
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I am really getting psyched on knitting lace and may try something from Herbert Niebling. My Diamonds and Pearl Shawl is so beautiful and was such an adventure to knit, I have been bitten by the lace knitting bug. I'll be starting two small Evelyn Clark shawls next, the Swallowtail and the Flower Basket. Don't know what I'll do with them, maybe just hang them on the wall to admire.
Yesterday was #1 grandson's 12th birthday, cake tonight!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I also went through some old sweaters I knit years ago and have kept even though I rarely wore them when they were new. Sometimes a pattern and yarn seem like just the right project and turn out unwearable. Into another bag to get donated. Feeling better and better. This winter I am going to go through all the drawers and cupboards and the few remaining boxes in the basement and get rid of the dregs of stuff that is just clutter.
I'm doing well with knitting up from my stash before buying anything new, at a ratio of 10 to 1. Ten projects knit before buying yarn for 1 new project. I just placed a Knit Picks order using the 2 gift certificates I got for my birthday. I ordered yarn to complete the organic cotton diagonal throw in shades of brown. Great yarn, by the way. Four skeins of sock yarn to make a cardigan similar to the one I made in linen/cotton this summer. I have finally found the right look and fit for me! The order also included yarn for the Flower Basket Shawl that I started with the very old yarn and couldn't complete because it was splitting. I also ordered some replacement needles and some notions and long cables (60 and 47 inches) since I seem to be knitting very large items lately. Love it when I am waiting for a knitting package to arrive.
The Spiderman blanket is on two circular needles and knitted with a third because it is so big. Knitting this way is killing my hands so it's on hold until the new cables arrive.This blanket was also using up some stash yarn and I thought I would be safe with the amount I had. Would you believe I am about two yards short on the blue and had to order 1 more skein. DH says to make mittens or slippers with it and I may just do that. I want to get rid of this stuff!
We are entering the end of our vegetable garden production and I have processed so much that the freezer is full to bursting. The raspberries are ripening and we get about a quart every day. Lots get eaten and lots get frozen! This picture is one days worth of ripe raspberies.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I'm off to reorganize the yarn bins in my craft room. I want to put all the color work yarn in one clear sided bin, so that I can easily see what I have. We'll see how far I get today!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I am making progress on the spideyman blankie and it looks great. I am being a monogamous knitter with this project but I still won't make it by the 6th of September. Maybe close to it though.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
I was doing a Google search for vintage images when I spotted a picture that took me to the blog Unraveling Sophia. She has a great blog and posts vintage patterns and books along with her own patterns. This particular vintage book rang a huge bell with me because it was the book I learned to knit from. I contacted Sophia for more information about the book (publisher, author) so I could look for a copy for myself. She very kindly gave me the info and also a website to order it from and this week I received it in the mail. Here it is in amazing condition, considering its age!
As I paged through the book and reread the story (which I vaguely remember and which has one scary-looking Santa), this page jumped out at me! I must have spent a lot of time looking at these instructions because it was like a trip in the way-back machine!