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 JalapeƱo 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.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I was eating dinner last night when I heard it. It took a while for me to figure out what the sound was. A smoke detector battery. I thought I just changed all of them! The first ones lasted 3-4 years, why was one chirping now. Batteries last a long time when the detectors are wired into the house. I started changing batteries. This required a store run to buy more batteries. I went ahead and changed all four smoke detectors.  Later I heard the chirping again. I didn't know there was one in the basement! This wasn't my responsibility when my husband was alive. This is the second time I have found a smoke detector that I wasn't aware of. Today I will be putting the old but still good batteries back in the first four detectors. I should be okay for a couple of years. The house was rewired at least four years ago, and three of the detectors were installed then. This last battery dates from that time.

I'm plugging along on sleeve #2 for my sweater. 18 more rows until the underarm. I'll have to redesign the front soon. The magazine is hat research. I have a request for warm hats for grandkids for Christmas. February is hats thin month on Ravelry's Stash Down forum.  I thought I'd get a head start on gifts. I have yarn pulled out for two hats. The first one is for charity. It's not warm enough for the grandkids, but it's washable, so the guild will get it. 

Today is cleaning day, as well as gym day, and work at the shop to catch up. Better get started.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Knitting Fumes

It started before Christmas. I "needed" a needle to knit the cowl/neck warmers. I went to Knit Picks and ordered one of their pretty green wood needles in a 16" length. I also am always on the lookout for solid color non-shrink sock yarn.  I bought enough for 5 pairs. That should last me for a while!

Then my LYS got in a new line of guess what, non-shrink solid color sock yarn. 5 1/2 pairs worth joined the sock yarn stash. The library knitting group had a yarn swap/party.  Some partial balls joined the stash. I'll use them for color work socks. That's what the extra ball from the yarn store became. I agreed to design a mystery sock for a Ravelry group. I needed yarns with a good contrast. Back to the yarn store for 2 more balls.

On New Years Eve, I got am e-mail about a sock yarn sale at WEBS. 10 pairs worth, trying to concentrate on lighter colors. 

Then to top it off, my guild had its annual yarn swap/sale. Yarn for 12 more pairs followed me home. 

This is where the recent purchases live. The top shelf is the 50 gm bits that will show up in color work socks later. Some of it is leftover from other socks.

Meanwhile I keep knitting on my Fledermaus socks. 

I'm now nearing the toe. The patterning is going slowly, complicated by the fact that I'm knitting other things too. I finished the cowl/neck warmer for my grandson's birthday.

I've started a commission sweater. It's a simple pattern that I can take with me. The socks can only go to a limited number of situations, due to their complexity. The same for the grey sweater that I work on every morning. 

Weather continues to frustrate my dog walking, so I have more knitting time. We have started walking in a cemetery. The roads are clear, the traffic light, and it's not near enough to our house that she thinks she's allowed in the road. Walking the neighborhood twice a day will commence when the sidewalks are ice free.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Library Challenge

Thanks to Ravelry I have joined The Library Challenge.The idea is to use that pile of books and patterns that you have collected over the years, using at least one pattern per month. I'm doing well this month.

Erin's Elephant is from Knitted Wild Animals. She'll be getting that on Thursday January 15.
I have a gift for my daughter in law, where I used my Best of Lopi book. No photos yet, she reads the blog.
The Socks I'm knitting came from a free pattern that was in my Ravelry library.

I'm reknitting a sweater that I designed in 1999. That one's from my personal library. I have a lot done on the first sleeve.The photo story is on Ravelry.

My charity knitting continues. Socks for Wool-Aid, a pair nears completion. Mittens for our knitting guild. Other knitting this month: a neck warmer for a grandson with a Feb.1 birthday, a mystery sock design for a Ravelry group to be released in July/August.

I have a basket of yarn to be used this year, some new, some very old. I'll add to it as I knit up projects.

I'm getting more knitting done these days. The weather is not safe for me to walk the dog, so that time is being put to knitting.