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.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The word of the day was "Hope"

Last Sunday at church we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany.

The sermon focused on hope. I don't remember the exact connection. Hope is a good thing. Our pastor hoped for a warm, snow free winter, so that he wouldn't have to pay so much to the plow service. The priest wanted a snowy winter, so that he could ski. They both were happy! We haven't had much snow, and the weather has been cold enough for the ski resorts to make snow with their machines.

I'm happy because so far, my dog and I have been able to walk a lot.  We both enjoy that! I'll walk if it's not icy and the snow isn't too deep. The polar vortex has done us in this week, but Tuesday afternoon we got a walk in.  There was about an inch of snow on the ground, enough to cover any ice. It was quite cold, but I remembered that i have a pair of ski pants ( bought at a thrift store), so I was warm enough. My dog wears a winter coat all year. She's a real fur sharing animal when she sheds.

On the knitting front, I finished an elephant for DGD E's birthday and am now working on the next birthday.

I have a notebook with all the birthdays noted and room to write down gift ideas. I have an October request that I have ordered yarn for. I keep trying to be organized. Sometimes it even works.

I stared the new year by making a "basket" of yarn I hope to use this year, not the whole year, but to put in place what I know I want to do. This keeps it in front of my eyes, and ups the chances for completion. Some of the yarn is quite new and I know exactly what to do with it. Some of it is quite old, and maybe by looking at it enough I can figure out what it wants to be.  The oldest yarn is sock yarn, so it's just a matter of deciding on a pattern.

Today, I will finish the leg of a charity sock, so I can go back on autopilot for the heel and foot. A change of yarn is required, and I want to get that set up. I need to finish about 1/2" of the leg and the change yarn.

Dinner soup is made, so I'd better get knitting.

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Fresh Start

The holidays are over! I'm so glad I could make most of the gifts. As I was coming home from the fabric shop Christmas week, I got stuck in a traffic jam caused by people going into the mall!! I felt sorry for all the shoppers

As I said, I made almost all the gifts this year. The one exception was a cookbook that I picked up last fall. I own a copy of the same book, so I sticky noted all the recipes that I made.

Knitted gifts were cowls for most of the guys, a pair of fingerless mitts, and three pairs of socks. The trip to the fabric store was supposed to yield enough flannel for five more pairs of pj pants. I ran short of fabric on the last pair, and was fabric shopping Christmas Eve. I sewed that pair Christmas morning. I live alone and the family get together was on Saturday.

I also knit pair of scrap yarn advent calendar socks. Every day was a different color, with guidance on the choice provided by the designer. One day was your favorite sports team. There were charts for cartoon characters. I don't remember the rest. Each day you knit the number of rounds for that date. It got difficult as we got closer to Christmas. I actually finished on Christmas Day.

Now I'm knitting on my reknitting Masters sweater. I lost weight and it was too big. I'm nearing the
end of the back. Earlier last year I unraveled the sweater and washed the yarn. There is hope that I can wear it this winter. Silly phone camera saved the photo sideways.

I'm also knitting an elephant for my granddaughter.  I converted the pattern from flat knitting to knitting in the round. I almost had a head and trunk that couldn't be stuffed, but I realized in time and there will be a seam on the trunk.

I hope to blog more often. That really is my only New Years resolution.