Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Beautiful Monday

After a very cool and windy weekend, today feels just so Spring.  Warm and sunny and perfect for.....the first grass cutting of the season.  Mowed the front lawn this morning as my hubby spent the weekend getting the lawnmower ready for the season. The grass was so long, it just couldn't wait another day or I never would be able to push the mower through.  Looks good and it really gives me a good workout.

The Churchmouse Easy Folded Poncho is on its way to West Virginia.  I purchased 8 skeins of yarn which was more than enough according to the pattern to finish the poncho and get a matching Wurm hat out of.  As I was knitting, it seemed like I was going through a lot more yarn and I panicked.  I ordered 2 more skeins from KnitPicks and requested the same dye lot.  They were able to send it in 3 days, which was great. However it only took a little less than 7 skeins after all.  Not to worry, I might get two hats out of the remaining balls of yarn, plus it is a neutral color that will work well with making a scarf from all the rest of the scraps of City Tweed I have left over from other projects.

I modified this a bit by adding 5 knit stitches to the edging and six knitted rows to the beginning and end.  I wanted to avoid the curling from just stockinette stitch but it did have to be blocked to get it to lay straight.

Media Monday.

Still catching up with all the same series.  I did add another PBS or BBC series to my viewing pile.  "Larkrise to Candleford" which is a charming 18th century tale of two cities, one poor, the other more middle and upper class. I was going through the DVD's at the library and picked it up there.  Another free entertainment. I so want to get rid of cable.
I finished "The Shining" and it was quite a bit different than I remembered.  I think I remembered the movie plot more than the book, so I'm glad I reread it before going on to Dr. Sleep.
I needed a break from Stephen King, so I loaded Diana Galbaldone's "Outlander" on my MP3 player.  I have had this audiobook for a couple of years but hesitated to listen because for one thing, it is 33 hours long and for another I had attempted to read it a few years ago and gave up halfway through.  The only reason I had it in my Audible library was because it was a sale item.  The Knitmore Girls podcast and Ravelry group is having a read-a-long and I was encouraged to pick this up again from all the enthusiastic comments about the series.  The reader is Davina Porter and although I didn't enjoy her reading on another series I listened to, she is just perfect for this one.  So far I am enjoying this very much. I am about 10 hours into the story with about 23 to go.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Some Finished Projects

It's been a rainy week, not too cool.  In the 50's so things are getting greener and the grass has started to grow alarmingly!  It definitely needs a cutting, but we haven't even got the lawnmower out of the shed and ready for the season.  Plus, it is just too wet.  By the time I get to it, it is going to be knee high.

The past few weeks have been busy with the kids vacation, half-days, sleepovers etc.  We have been looking forward to this weekend with two kid-free days.

I am going to take everything out of my clothes closet and organize it for the warmer weather.  That means looking over t-shirts and shorts, putting wool away for the summer and taking out the lighter weight sweaters.

Tonight it is homemade pea soup and hamburgers for dinner, so the soup is now simmering and smells great. Since it is raining and overcast, this seems like the perfect meal.

I finished just four knitting projects in March and April, which makes me feel like I'm slacking off since I had ten finished projects in January and six in February.  Since those were hats and cowls and socks, it is understandable.  The finished projects in March included a top down sweater and a pair of Fair Isle socks and the projects for April were Angel's birthday present and another pair of socks so I think I did okay. There was also a pair of curtains that I made for the spare bedroom in the mix in March and April.  All three of these projects will be subjects for another day.

While it is great to finish up any project, it doesn't compare to finishing something you have been working on for what seems like forever.  As you get to the point where you can actually see the finish line, your mind is suddenly filled with the thought "I can start something new!!" and you find yourself searching through your Ravelry queue and the stack of patterns you have printed out and that are on your nightstand (or your craft room, or the table next to your knitting chair).  Or is that just me?

This year I vowed to be more diligent in knitting through my stash and I have sort of been following that promise.  Of January and February's 16 items,  I had to buy yarn for five.  These were all special request items, the hats and cowl because they were needed by the men since they lost hats in mid-winter and the special holiday socks for hubby because I can't refuse him anything! March and April's yarn purchases were big ones  The yarn for Angel's birthday presents and a special request poncho for Jen which will be a birthday present.

So 21 items made and eight of them had to have new yarns purchased.  Not too bad, less than 50%.  Some of my projects used left over bits and some were very deep stash.  The Flax sweater and the white cowl were made from yarn I had since the 1980's.  I do have a bit more ancient yarn and it really feels good to use it up.

I purchased nothing new, no patterns, no yarn in April.  Is it difficult?  More than I thought it would be.  I have so much yarn and so many projects to get through, I really want to keep to this.  We'll see how I do.

While I was finishing up the Churchmouse Yarn's "Easy Folded Poncho"  for daughter #1, I knew I wanted to start anther large project, preferably a sweater for me.  I have four of them all kitted up in my craft room. I had checked out the "Metropolitan Knits" book from the library after hearing the review on the "Knitmore Girls" podcast.  The Atrium cardigan seemed perfect for the Serena yarn I had made the Dahlia Cardigan out of and then ripped out because it looked awful on me.  The yarn pools and flashes something awful but I am hoping the stitch used will eliminate that effect.  Also, the sweater is much more my style, a good thing to keep in mind when looking for a new project.  I have to keep reminding myself that no sweater is going to make me look like the models that wear them.

So that's on my needles and is hopefully an easy enough pattern to do while TV watching or going to knitting group. I am still working on the Catkin which needs total concentration.  I tried taking it to knitting group and it just didn't work.  I  have another pair of "homework" socks on my needles.  All of these projects, stash busters!

The poncho (did I ever think I would make another one of these, so 1980's) is spread out on blocking wires.  Actually this "poncho" is very up to date and will look great on my daughter. This morning I walked past my craft room where it is drying and Frankie is laying on top of it! Bad dog!  But the yarn is so warm and comfy. I had it draped over my legs as I was knitting, keeping me warm.