Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Think It's Spring

It's hard to tell, because it's still cold. We had a few days of warmth, enough to melt the snow piles! Things are starting to poke up out of the ground, but I've seen daffodils get snowed on.maybe this year will be different.

It is different, because I have already finished two Christmas presents. I'm sewing more birthday presents this year, which is quicker than knitting them. The one I just finished is a pair of socks.

The pattern was a challenge for Ravelry's Sock Knitters Anonymous. The category was under-appreciated patterns. I was the 4th person to knit this one. I found a mistake in the chart, but it was easy to knit correctly.

The other gift is a warm hat.

I've been working on a new sweater for myself. The body is about 1/2 done, 2" more before the armholes. The yarn was dyed by my local yarn store owner, and was my birthday gift to myself. I waited six months from the time I first admired it, and whenit was still there in the color I wanted, it became mine.

The back is longer than the front. It's a simple pattern.

Other than that, it's the same old thing, work, exercise, knit with friends, cook a few meals. I have a house guest this week. He arrived last evening. Don't get any ideas, he's a great guy married to his college sweetheart. Anyway, it was Friday in Lent, so I wanted something meatless that could be a big pot of goodness if he wanted dinner when he got in. This time I made Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup. I made a kit on Thursday, when I was off work. I did all the chopping and sautéing and set out the rest of the ingredients: black beans, pumpkin, diced tomatoes, veggie broth. Friday morning, I set the slow cooker on warm, and put everything in. Nothing needed cooking. When I came home from work it was ready.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Grey sweater even better

I wore the sweater yesterday, and the collar wouldn't stay folded down.

This morning I undid the bind off and added to the collar, starting at the top of the buttons and adding fewer stitches for each row until I had added another 2". This is more what I had in mind originally.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Recycle Success Grey Sweater Version

Over a year ago, I sat down in front of the Olympics and took a part a sweater. Ravelry called the event "Aerial Unwind" in their version of the Olympics. I had loved the sweater when I was a bigger person. I loved the yarn, so soft and squishy. It was my TKGA Masters program challenge, which means I designed it. I had the pattern in my computer.

I started here.

At the end of the Olympics, it had became a basket of yarn. I did a little bit each day and it was very freeing.

The yarn needed washing, which required a session with the yarn turn the balls into hanks.

After hanging in the basement to dry, it went into a laundry basket, and one hank at a time was put back on the swift and run through the ball winder.  Luckily I have acquired a lot of yarn toys like this over the years.

I had to rewrite the pattern in a much smaller size, leaving out some of the cable patterns that didn't fit, but all is finished. Yesterday, I finished the sweater, complete with buttons.

Today, I am wearing the sweater. It feels just as good as I imagined. I wound up the last of the yarn and put it away. There is over 500 yards of beautiful yarn, enough to do something with eventually. 

As with many people, I'm tired of winter and tired of wearing the same warm clothes. It's nice to have a new cuddley sweater!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Musings on a Very Cold Day

The weather here is still Arctic! We're not equipped to handle this much cold weather or continued snow. The driveways that get plowed have huge mountains at the street. It's supposed to warm up a little tomorrow.

I've been knitting. No surprise there! I finally made the mittens I need. The yarn was bought over a year ago when the previous mittens started growing holes.

My gray sweater has, not only a back, but two sleeves and two front pieces. I'm working on the front ribbing/collar now, 3" wide. Here's the latest photo from a week or so ago.

Can't take a photo now when it is scrunched up on the needle.

I finished a really warm hat today. I had a request from one family for warm hats as Christmas gifts and have been looking at patterns. This will be a gift for someone, but not the grandchildren of the request. I have something else in mind for them.

One of my neighbors got tired of the cold/snow/windchill that is keeping children home from school. There's a chili cook off at her house tonight. My oldest daughter sent me a recipe for Jalapeño Cheddar cornbread. I cooked it this morning. I happened to have all the ingredients. Should be fun.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A look at what I'm reading

I'm reading a fascinating book on the background and causes of the Civil War.  It's America Aflame by David Goldfield. He discusses how we got into the war, and how it transformed us into a modern nation. America was fighting slavery in the 1850s. That was the time of the Missouri Compromise and Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was a time of religious evangelical rebirth and the popularization and growth of Science.

The part I'm reading now covers the ending of the war. The North has established a manufacturing base, augmented by a railroad network for distribution. Men of simple origins are rising to be Captians of Commerce.

Charity knitting continues. I finished a pair of mittens for our guild. I used a strand of acrylic yarn with sock yarn carried along side. That finished off four balls of sock yarn. It may seem silly, but I hate to throw out small bits of yarn. The mittens are man size. The next pair will be large child size. They have been started and will be my work knitting. The wool socks that were at work will now go to the gym with me.

At last night's guild meeting, the program was a scarf and shawl show-off. Members wore their creations. We got ideas for styling tips by seeing what our friends do. A list will be sent out with info on all the pattern.

It's still cold here, it's winter after all, but a few warm days melted a lot of the ice on roadways and foot paths. That makes life easier. I'm wearing a scarf today, styled like my friend Nelly. Take a narrow scarf, tie an overhand knot on one corner, slip the other corner through the knot.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Third Times the Charm

Thursday afternoon - I finally got my two sweater sleeves to match! The picture shows the point where the sleeves didn't match on the first two attempts. If I had looked more carefully, the sleeve would be finished now. Better that it's correct. I'd regret it every time I wore the sweater! Also, I probably wouldn't wear it as often as I hope to.

Friday morning - The second sleeve is finished and it matches the first!!! One is still wet. I'm so relieved to finally finish it.

It seems like I've been knitting this sweater forever! I did start recycling version #1 in February, so it's been a year, but I didn't work on it the whole time. I needed to put the yarn into hanks and wash it. Actual knitting started mid November, with time out for Christmas present construction. I've got patter notes for the fronts (it's a cardigan). The fronts are smaller than the pieces I have finished. There is hope that I can wear it before the weather gets warm.

Almost there! I've got all the pattern knit on my second sock, with just a little ribbing to do before toe decreases. I should finish that tomorrow.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Yes, We Have Snow

It almost buried the bird bath.

It blanketed the bench. We have bright sunshine, but it's still hard to get around!

I spent Sunday knitting a hat. It was slow going because the lilac yarn is mostly cotton and not elastic. It does make a cute thick hat!

The sweater sleeve doesn't show much progress. I thought that I needed to knit 18 more rows to the under arm. Did that and a little more. The cables didn't match sleeve #1. Retreated and started 2 rows later. Wrong! This morning I took another look at sleeve #1, and started the underarm 4 rows earlier, 16 rows from last posting. I could have finished it by now if I'd had my head together. It looks right now.

Sock the second nears completion.