Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Gifts

All gifts were a success. I knit double-knit hats and ear warmers, socks and a hat/scarf. I also sewed flannel pj pants. Basically I didn't buy anything ready made.

The hat pattern that I was missing was in Alasdair Post-Quinn;'s Extreme Double-Knitting Book. I needed a third color, and raided my 6-ply sock yarn stash.

That led to designing another hat and 3 ear warmers.

I even finished the sewing by Christmas Eve, with the last minute hemming of pj pants for a granddaughter I had not been sure was coming in town for the holiday.

I started a baby sweater for my gift drawer drawer. Pattern and yarn have been waiting for months.

In a Christmas related search session (didn't find what I wanted), I found a skein of yarn that never made it to the yarn corral. It called to me: "Use me now, use me now!" Here are some steps to craziness;
  1. Find renegade yarn
  2. Look on Ravelry for a pattern using that weight and yardage
  3. Find one pattern, a hat, and it's an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern which I own.
  4. Her instructions are very vague, so I used some Ravelry information.
  5. One hat is finished, and I've only used about 1/2 of the yarn.
  6. This is for charity, so I'm knitting another hat.
  7. The baby sweater is not likely to be finished this year. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Mystery Pattern Search

I had trouble getting to sleep last night. I had been searching for a pattern for a double knit hat. I had bought two colors of dk weight yarn for the project. After much searching, finding books that I forgot I owned, and resorting where some books are stored, I finally found the book where I thought the missing hat pattern was in, but it was worked in three colors and a heavier yarn. Searched Ravelry in every category I could think of, but no luck. I still don't know what I was thinking about when the yarn was ordered. I even got out of bed to search another section of Ravelry. I've swatched the hat with the yarn I bought and am going to start with that. If it's too small, I'll abandon it until after Christmas, and try again.

The day dawned chilly, but getting warmer. I walked the dog, ate breakfast, went to church and the gym. The afternoon was tied up with a knitting guild knit-out at a local library. The room was very nice, with glass walls on two sides, so that even with the door closed for noise control, we attracted interested onlookers. The goal is to find new knitters to join the group.I've almost finished another pair of Christmas present socks, which is why I was preparing to start another project

The evening dog walk was wonderful. 61 F, with clear skies. We walked in the park and even heard crickets. I've given one daughter a cricket ringtone on my phone. When she called the other night, it was disconcerting to hear crickets in the middle of a rain/sleet storm. The weather was wrong for the sound. I quickly realized that the crickets were on the phone, answered it, and we had a nice talk. She told me that she has a wind chime alarm sound that often seems out of place when it goes off.

I'm almost to the toe shaping on this large pair of socks, so should finish up tomorrow. I will be going to bed early tonight.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

What to do on a rainy day

On Wednesday morning I went walking with two of my friends. It was chilly but dry. Thursday was grey and very windy. Bo and I had a lazy day.

I got some knitting done, and took a nap. This will be a child's sweater for Wool-Aid. I'm writing the pattern in five sizes. So far the body is written, but sleeves and neckband still need to be done. The yarn is left over from a sweater knit last year for a customer, and is Lambs Pride wool.

Friday saw more wind, rain, and sleet. The morning walk wasn't bad, the wet weather held off until later. In the evening, we were crossing a busy street when the sleet hit. Bo was not happy, although he calmed down a minute later.

This morning, we saw this as we were heading home. A quick shot, while Bo stood still. We were about three feet away, so I tried a quick shot, out of focus.  Next time I'll try to give the phone time to focus.

We see deer often on our walks. They have nibbled my green pepper tops and flowers from the mums in my front yard. So far they haven't eaten whole plants.

There certainly are days when I wouldn't walk if I didn't have a dog. A canine exercise partner won't take no for an answer. Most days however, I feel good once I'm out and moving!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oh, The Weather

One day I go out early to walk Bo, and find this, frost on the ground. 

The next day it is gloomy and raining, but warmer. Variety is the spice of life. 

Last night, I made overnight apple butter.  10 apples went into the slow cooker, along with a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of honey. Spices were added. This morning, I smooshed the apples and cooked the mess some more. 3 3/4 half pint jars.

Three of them went in the freezer. 

I also made tomato tarts from garden tomatoes. For some reason, the homegrown ones are meatier than store bought. Tastier too. Pie crust, ricotta, Asiago cheese, and basil. Yum!

I cut them on quarters and put them in short muffins cups for a knitting guild potluck/holiday party. We don't meet in December. I brought home enough pieces for lunch tomorrow, as well as a corn muffin donated by another knitter who didn't need to take all her leftovers home. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Am I Getting Old?

Not that the alternative is better. I've had a few things go missing recently, and I wonder if I'm losing my mind. I keep losing the Bluetooth earpiece for my phone. It is small and black. I misplaced the drawer money at work. It gets put in a small flat bag at the end of the day. I slipped in my computer case, and it fell into a pocket. Found it s few days later. Lost the Bluetooth again, found it again. I do have another one, because this has happened before. I leave it in a pocket and forget that I wore the garment when looking. It has only gone in the wash once. I had to replace it,because they are not designed to swim. Usually I plug it in at night along with my phone. That limits where it might be hiding.

This train of thought was triggered by my latest lost and found. I have been planning for over a week to make overnight apple butter. I checked the recipe and made sure to have all the ingredients. Then I lost the recipe. I thought it was on my iPad with my other electronic recipes, but couldn't find it. I was looking under the wrong name and the recipe collection has no index, to say nothing of an apple butter category. All's well now. I should put it together tomorrow night, because I'll have tie, in the morning to strain and package it.

What have I been doing besides knitting? Of course I've been knitting. A lot of what I have finished is Christmas gifts for family who read the blog and follow Facebook. What I've been doing is training my new dog and walking miles with him for exercise. I'm slowing down now that it's dark after work. He's a rescue dog. I have spent many dollars on him for shots neutering and training, which limits spending elsewhere. I have picked up another dry cleaner to do alterations for, so that will help pay back my savings account. 
Bo is about one year old and is the most loving dog, sometimes too much so. He's quiet and well trained enough to go to work with my on my days off if I need to work extra to meet deadlines.

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.