Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The spiderman blanket is finished! At least the knitting is done. I still have to crochet the lines of the web and I found a graph for a spider on Kathy Taylor's "We call Him Spidey" mittens that I am going to duplicate stitch on the blanket. I will probably make the mittens for Baby D and Mikey out of a washable fingering weight wool. I think that means I am doing mittens for Christmas. I may be crazy. 10 pair of mittens would be one pair a week. Possibly doable. I am going to pick out a pattern for one pair with yarn in my stash and see how long it takes me.

I am really pushing the knitting time on the February Lady Sweater that I am making out of recycled yarn. I worked on it quite a bit yesterday trying to get past the garter stitch top to the point of separating the sleeves and putting them on holders. Got up to one row before the separation then fatigue set in and I had to go to bed. I am not sure I'm going to have enough yarn to get full length sleeves. This may be a vest, short sleeved, 3/4 sleeve or full sleeve depending on the yarn. I will finish the body, weigh the yarn and divide in two and knit as far as I can.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Little Rant

Pardon me while I rant, just a little bit. I was catching up on my favorite blogs and websites this morning, and I don't know if it was an over indulgence in caffeine, the fact that this is the last full day of summer or what, but I was struck by the huge amount of misspellings and the misuse of contractions especially your and you're that I encountered. There was not one single blog that I read that used this correctly.
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

The Subconscious

Got my Knit Picks package yesterday. Love it when yarn comes in the mail. I thought I had ordered just two of each of the four Simply Cotton Organic Worsted Yarn colors to finish the brown diagonal blanket, but I had ordered a third skein in Marshmallow. While I was kicking myself for adding an unnecessary skein and trying to figure out what to do with it, I laid out the skeins to see how I wanted the colors placed. Lo and behold, my subconscious must have taken over when I ordered because this skein will be the break in the middle of the blanket that will go from increases to decreases. Perfect. This project will be my mindless TV knitting when anything I might be working on is too complicated or my mind needs a rest. It will probably take me a while to complete as there is a lot of yarn. No hurry, though.

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

Not a Hoarder

I caught a full episode of Hoarders the other night. In the past I have just seen snippets of this show and was appalled. Now I am horrified! I can see how easy it is to slip into the mind set of sentimental attachment to things and the maybe I'll need it someday thoughts.
I don't have a huge stash of yarn but I do have a stash and have been reluctant to get rid of anything, hence the thirty year old stuff I pulled out recently that was unknittable. Yesterday I opened all the bins and filled up a trash bag with stuff I have had forever and will never knit. In fact some of it no one will ever knit with. I also have the tendency to keep that little teeny leftover bit of yarn that isn't enough to make anything with but I just can't let it go. So I am putting all the bits in another bag and will knit up scrap afghans for charity. I am looking for a pattern that is easy, mindless knitting. I feel better already. A benefit: more space for new yarn (just kidding).

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

Start Up

Yesterday was a great day. Got a lot done including making double chocolate brownies for the back to school kids and peeling and freezing 1/2 bushel of peaches for the winter. I am in heaven when tomatoes and peaches are ripe in our garden and at the farmers market, so much so that they are eaten at every meal until like now, I reach my limit. They will be a real treat in the winter when summer is a dim memory.

The Yarn Harlot has a great blog post today (as she always does) about the start of the school year seeming more like the real new year. New beginnings, clean notebook pages, folders without creases and stains, a whole bunch of new pencils, all sharp and pointy WITH erasers! I actually had to buy myself a new notebook, since I no longer have to supply anyone with supplies for school but couldn't resist the shiny new stuff.
It's spiral bound day glow index cards. I have one with just white pages that I use for copying patterns such as my basic sock pattern, that I need to be portable. Small enough to slip into a small knitting bag, big enough to be able to find easily and it doesn't get dog-eared or crumpled.
The garden is getting a little ragged. The petunias are leggy and brown but the gladiolas are still blossoming. The earlier ones were all bright reds and whites with red centers, these are pastels in yellow, pink and apricot.
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

Back to School

We're going to have a very warm, sunny day today which always seems to happen on the first day back to school when kids want to wear their new corduroys and long sleeved shirts. The weekend was cold, windy, rainy and would have been much better weather to face the return to normal. It is going to get cooler later today and for the rest of the week, so that should take a little of the sting away.

I'm going to make a batch of double chocolate brownies as an after school treat for later today when I start my fall routine. Right now I am enjoying the total quiet at my house, since DH is back to work.

Knitting wise, I am still working on the Spiderman afghan which is killing my wrist and fingers, heavy duty acrylic and lots of pushing along the needles seems to be the culprit.

Baby D liked the trucks I sent and he should receive the books today, so I'm not in a hurry with it, just want it to be done.

We are eating the bounty from our garden and the weather has been great for baking raspberry pie and eggplant parm. Have tons more raspberries on the bushes and I am freezing quite a bit. Never did this before but it seems to work just fine.
This garden is a bed that was planted with perennials which were all removed and put in the new beds that were added around the deck and porch. The plan was to plant this with all lilies with different blooming times and until we purchased them I planted zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers to keep the weeds at bay. We liked the look so much we just keep planting the annuals. They blossom in late summer through fall and keep color in the garden when everything else is just about done.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The End and the Beginning

September first! The summer is coming to an end and it seems like it just started! It's been a beautiful, hot sunny summer with just enough rain to make the garden grow and the vegetables flourish. We are getting one last few hot pool days. The weather last week was definitely fallish, highs in the 60's. But in the past few days it has been hot enough (high 80's - 90's) to get the pool temperature back in the 80's, so we have been spending as much time as possible swimming and having one last go at swimming until we are all tired out.

This is the last day of having the grandkids to watch during summer vacation. School starts next Tuesday but mom and dad have the next few days off to finish up school shopping and haircuts and all those last minute things.

The "baby" starts all day kindergarten, so nana will pick her up and walk her home after school, that's at 3:00 pm. Daddy gets home by 4:00. So just a little piece of my day will be spent with the kids.
DH is starting back to work, part time three days a week from September to March also beginning next Tuesday.
So what all that means is that I will have uninterrupted blocks of time to myself. I think the last time that happened was when MY baby was in kindergarten. After that I went back to work.
To be honest, I'm not sure what I will do to fill the time. I have lots of knitting, sewing, cross-stitch, quilting and smocking projects sitting around gathering dust. There is also cupboard and closet cleaning. Lots of books to read and lots of trim painting to finish. It's been waiting since we had the windows replaced, was that 2 or three years ago? I want to have the piano tuned and restored, so maybe piano lessons are on the horizon.
Hmm, I guess I do know what I will do to fill the time. I will use the blog to report on my productivity. Sometimes you get more done when you are pressed for time and trying to fit a million things in, rather than when you have great parcels of time on your hands.

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.