Tuesday, December 22, 2009

There HAS Been Knitting . . .

I was shocked when I saw that my last post was from August. I have been really busy with the new school year, and I have spent a lot of time with friends who have been having difficulties, but I sure thought I had posted at least once.

Anyway, there has been knitting. These are Kristen Kapur's Socktober mystery knitalong socks. I love the pattern, but next time I will use a solid so the pattern shows better.
And, I have a new great niece born the end of June - Margaret Ruby. She lives in the south, so I found some nice cotton yarn, Sublime Organic Cotton. The only problem with this cardigan was that I had to use a provisional cast on, which I have never done. I am so grateful for my knitting group - Heather Lyn, a great teacher, showed me how to do the cast on, and the rest was easy. This is the Chevron Cardigan from Nashua's book, Bloom.
I also loved the ruffle edged cardigan from the same pattern book, so I made it in KnitPicks Swish. While I got gauge, I'm not sure I like the way the fabric turned out, but it is not horrible, so I am sending it along also.
I have one more Rose Red beret to finish and a pair of Reader's Mitts for a colleague who will get them when we go back to school, and then I can move on to some other things.
My resolution for this year is to finish some things that have been hiding in my closet (although these have been on my "resolve to finish" list for the last couple of years. I have half a Rogue Hoody done, and 2/3 of an Audrey, both for my daugher, and I am determined to finish them.
If I have any readers, I hope you have a great holiday season and a wonderful start to the new year.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ta Dah!!

I have a wheel!

It spins properly (I think). I haven't had the courage to actually put any fiber into it yet, but I have practiced treadling - managed to scare a cat with that.

Maybe tonight I will try some fiber. I have some roving that I bought in Taos a couple of years ago - didn't really like the color, but I wanted to practice on my spindle, and it was inexpensive. Well, I really don't like spindling. I think I am going to like spinning on a wheel though because it feels so comfortable to treadle. May be a different story with fiber in it, but I hope not. I have been very inspired by the pictures on ravelry of fleece to project.

This was relatively easy to put together except for my mistakes and one small problem with a messed up locking nut. I made a quick trip to the hardware store and got that taken care of. However, after I got the wheel on, I realized I had bolted on the sidebars upside down. So, I took them off while holding the wheel upright and reversed them. That led to some difficulty in lining everything back up properly, but I managed.

Anyway, fun to do already. I didn't even take time to put away the drop cloth. I just had to try it out!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

New Model

The newest model for my knits - great-nephew Michael! He is very cooperative especially when cookies are involved (hence the crumbs on the mouth. Too bad pink is not his color.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

First of all I have a finished project! Long trail to this pattern - I had been listening to knitting podcasts and was attracted to Knitter with critters because I have cats. I wasn't altogether impressed with the podcast, but I looked at her projects on her blog and saw the Rose Red beret by Ysolda Teague. My daughter wanted a slouchy beret, and this seemed perfect. What an easy pattern! I started it Saturday, Aug. 1st, finished it Wednesday, Aug. 5th. I also drove 500 miles home in that time period. In the picture it is blocking over a plate (the red spots are the cherries on the plate) because I thought it looked too small. I am hunting for a model to pose with this on and will post another picture when I find one. I used Sublime's merino/silk/cashmere blend. I can't remember exactly what it is called, and I threw the labels away. I made the smallest size, but next time (I already have yarn for another) I will make the medium. This is tight on my head!

Secondly, I have finally gotten finish on my wheel. I ordered this early in July, but because of teaching and traveling, I had not gotten a finish on it. I had intended to put it together this morning, but when I opened the hardware package, I found two tension knobs that also had to be finished. So, when they are dry, I will get this together and post pictures. It is an Ashford Traditional, and I finished it with two coats of Danish oil. I am going to go look for some wax today also, just for extra protection. Just as it is though, isn't this beautiful wood!

Anyway fun stuff! I have to get the wheel together soon because I go back to school Wednesday. Actually I have to go back Monday because I was asked Friday to put together a two hour inservice presentation for Thursday, and I need to prepare. I really want to try spinning though. I found a beginning spinners group on ravelry and have been drooling over the pictures of fleece to finished project.

Oh well, all things considered, summer has been pretty good. I thought it would be tough since this is my first summer alone, but good friends and family have made it easier.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Woo-Hoo! Finished a Knit-a-Long

Hedgrow Mitts - started June 15th and finished July 14th. Dream in Color Starry in Blue Lagoon. I used size 1 DPN for the first mitt, but the Harmony circulars I ordered came in, so I used those for the second. I really like Magic Loop!

I love the shaping on these mitts. I think they are too long for me though. Good that these are for my daughter who has long slender hands. I'm going to make myself a pair although I am thinking about a different yarn.

But - mission accomplished. I joined a KAL and actually finished - a new experience for me.

Next up is a very old WIP - Rogue Hoody which I have been working on (or ignoring) for at least 4 years. I have set up a carrot - I bought some gorgeous lace weight for the Evergreen stole that I want to wear to symphony this year, but I am not allowing myself to touch it until I finish Rogue. I will see if I have any self discipline - well actually if I had any self discipline, Rogue would have been finished already. Anyway, I have done the body up to the arm openings, and I have started both sleeves, so there is not much left.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

How could I forget??

I don't finish that many projects, but I had forgotten to post about this one. My screensaver is a slideshow of my pictures, and this happened to come up. I don't want to look like a total knitting slug, so here it is - I really do finish some things!

The picture doesn't show how this fits, but I made it for the child of someone I don't really know at the request of a family member, and so I didn't get to see it on the actual child. The pattern is from sweaterbabe. The front has almost an empire waistline and the cabled part is gathered at the top. The raglan increases also have a sort of lace look because there are YO before and after each increase. I hadn't put buttons on yet because I wanted the person who requested this to pick the buttons.

This was an easy, fast knit - top down construction is the best! I have filed this pattern in my "make again" folder. I think next time I will put a lace panel instead of the cable.

I made this in Lion Brand Wool, and I think it took two skeins.

I also finished a lace panel scarf in some odd yarn I bought several years ago - plies of different pink ribbon with lumps of metallic pink and silver. It went to a 5 year old - daughter of one of my daughter's friends. However, I totally forgot to take a picture.

All right - back to Hedgerow. I am nearly to dividing for the thumb one the second mitt.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Hedgerow #2

There has been progress! I finished the first mitt a few days ago. I really like the fit except for the length. These are for my daughter who has long hands, so they should be fine. When I make the pair for me, I will shorten them.
I have made some progress on the second mitt also. It has been hot where I live - I don't deal well with heat, so there have been some naps instead of knitting. However, I have to get over that because I told my daughter I would finish at least one of the sweaters that have been languishing in my closet for more years than I want to admit. I really like the yarn I have been using for these - Dream in Color Starry in Blue Lagoon. It's not the softest, but I love the color.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hedgerow Knitalong

I have joined my first knitalong - the Hedgerow fingerless mitts that a group from Knitters Review is doing. I think the attraction for me was the justification to buy some of the Dream in Color Starry I have been eyeing. This is Blue Lagoon, and there is enough to make a pair for my daughter and a pair for me.

This is the progress at the end of Day One, although I have to admit there is not much more. I am to the point of dividing for the thumb. I truly enjoy this pattern - it is easy to memorize and I like the look of it. However, I have another project that has to be finished - a stole in Homespun for someone in a nursing home - so I have to put these aside for a few days.

On another note, I picked up friends at the airport who had been on a Baltic cruise, and they surprised me with this - a skein of wool from a shop in Tallin, Estonia. It is locally produced wool and has a very interesting feel. Of course, I can't read the label, but I'm pretty sure there is some lanolin left as this has a somewhat lotiony feel. With 200 grams of a natural colored wool, I am thinking about making mittens. I thought this was a great gift from a non-knitter!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

WWKIP 2009 in the Texas Panhandle

This was a very different WWKIP than I experienced last year when I was vacationing in Seattle, but there are very few knitters here where I live, and we aren't very organized. Not having an active LYS makes a difference. However, there is a group, and today was my first time to meet these great ladies. We met in one of the local parks (all 5 of us) and knitted and talked and snacked.

The really creative one decided to make and leave some knitted graffiti, so the tree has a striped sleeve.

I had a great time and got to know some wonderful knitters. I have high hopes for more meetings and more talk about projects and yarn and food and . . . .

Friday, May 15, 2009

Teacher Appreciation Week

Does it seem like the picture and the caption don't go together??

My school's PTO scheduled a week of events for teachers including hiring a "toe nail artist". I decided to at least try it. I made it through the week with polka dots, but right after I got the picture, I got out the remover. I have a week of training coming up and somehow polka dots on my toe nails just doesn't seem very professional.

The best thing is 4 days of training gets me out of school. When I get back, I have 5 days left with my students. This has been a good school year though - for the most part these students have worked and been pleasant to deal with. It doesn't hurt that they all passed the state reading test!

I have plans for knitting for the next week, so maybe some actual knitting content for the next post.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Crew

Since I don't have any knitting to show, and I wanted to post at least once a month, I decided to share pictures of my buddies.
This is the Kittyboy (terrible name I know - long story) who is the most important cat. He arrived in my back yard early one morning. My dogs chased a tiny kitten up the fence, but when I put up my hands to him, he stepped down right into my hands as if he were home. He pretty much rules this house - I get up early every morning to get him wet food for breakfast. I don't have a solo picture of Alice. She is the oldest and the crabbiest, and this is what she does most of the day.

This is Agatha. She arrived when a friend's mother-in-law had to go to a nursing home. The friend is definitely not a cat person, so Agatha moved in with me. She has to be one of the blandest cats I have ever been around.
I have posted about Kate earlier. She came wandering out of the woodpile one Thanksgiving. She is such a funny cat. She makes a lot of noise but seldom opens her mouth - so not meows but more like muttering. She stomps through the house like a little bulldog and torments the other cats.And lastly, Oscar. He doesn't actually live with me - he lives with my daughter who thinks he is her cat, but I try every time I visit to bring him home with me. He is such a sweet cat. Actually it is probably better for him to not be with me because Kate would make his life miserable.

I'm not quite a crazy cat lady, but I certainly enjoy this crew.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Texas Spring

Typical of the Texas panhandle - 70 degrees on Thursday and then this blew in during the night. It snowed most of the day Friday. I think every school in the area was closed along with many offices and stores, mainly because of the 50 mph winds blowing the snow everywhere. These pictures are from Saturday morning. Unfortunately my firewood is under this drift!
Here is some irony. My lilac bush leafed out and starting buds - behind this 3 foot drift!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Has it really been two months since I blogged??

I haven't totally dropped off the face of the earth nor have I stopped knitting. Unfortunately I have found that there are definite peaks and valleys in this divorce experience, and I have been struggling through a valley where I found it hard to concentrate and get anything done. I'm climbing back up and have some knitting to show.

This is one of the socks done with the yarn I dyed at Gourmet Yarns sock dyeing workshop back in September. The odd thing is the striping. The first time I dyed sock yarn, I very carefully measured and dyed it specifically to get nice stripes. For this, I just put the hank of yarn in the container and blobbed on dye. Voila - stripes - at least sort of stripes.

I like this yarn even though I picked up the wrong dye container and put way more blue into it than I meant to. Blue is just not my favorite, and I really wanted more gray. I learned a lot though, and now I have a list of dye that I want and a plan for some colorways to try out this summer when I have more time. At least theoretically I will have more time. I will be out of school, but I already have a summer job lined up. I'm taking the kid to New York City for her birthday, so I will need the extra cash.

Of course, I would have more cash if I could ignore things like this. But who could resist a ball winder for only $20?? Certainly not me!

I saw this mentioned on Ravelry - KnitPicks new ball winder. I haven't tried it yet, but that is my plan for this evening. I have a lot of sock yarn that needs to be wound, and this should make the process go way faster.

I need the extra time. I have a baby sweater that is again down to the sleeves that needs to be finished soon - due date is April 23. I have another one started that is going to be for next fall, but I have two more sets of yarn and new patterns for my niece's first - due in June. Those two are cotton because she lives in the South, and I am always slower with cotton, so I need to get with it. I have a week of training coming up in May in Austin, so maybe I'll get some knitting time then - I hate driving around in Austin, so I will probably stick around the hotel.

My new motto - onward and upward!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Swaps are Great!

Wow - this was a great swap! I have never participated in one where my swapper put together a themed package.

This was within the group of knitters who read mysteries from Ravelry. The theme of this package was chocolate covered cherries, so the mystery is Murder of a Chocolate Covered Cherry by Denise Swanson. Also included was two patterns and the yarn for each - Cherry Blossom socks and a Cherry Blossom hat. Also a box of delicious Cherry Supremes and the Knitting Pattern a Day calendar.

I have already finished the book and now I'll be going to the library for more Scumble River books - it was a fun read. I found a stack of patterns in the calendar that I bookmarked, and I am trying to clear my sock needles so I can start a pair for me. I love the pink and gray cotton yarn! And I have already cast on the blue and brown yarn although I'm making another baby cardigan - this will be perfect for my colleague's new grandson.

Thanks danaew!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Boon

This makes the knitting time worthwhile.

I certainly enjoy knitting - it is my main source of entertainment (besides books), but it is such a boon to be able to see someone else enjoying the results of my entertainment.