Thursday, December 11, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I frogged the body of the sweater, which was nearly to the armpits. There was about 2 inches extra ease that could be eliminated and since I am cutting it close on yardage, that could make a difference. It only took me 3 days to get back to where I was.
Product review: A few months ago I bought the Knit Picks nickle Plated Options Set. These are sets where you get the needles tips and cords/wires/cables with various lengths. The tips screw into the cables. I wanted to have this set of needles for the occasions when I suddenly need a needle size that I don't commonly use. My usual sizes are #1, #2, #3, and #5. On this sweater I am using #7 so I used the Knit Picks Options for the body of the sweater. The first cable I used had a rough spot in it near where it joined the metal screw piece. On top of that I kept unscrewing the tip as I knit. I used the tiny tool to screw it in but the way I knit must have an effect on the torque, if that is the right word. Stopping quite frequently to screw the tip back in slowed me down considerably. I decided to use the second long cable that came with the kit. After knitting just a few rounds it broke out of the screw end. Sigh. So back to the faulty, rough cable. That one broke last night. My husband used epoxy to glue it in the hole so we will see how that goes. I cannot endorse this product. Apart from needles I bought in Denmark eons ago, Knit Picks are my favorite needles. So while I heartedly recommend their needles, I do not recommend the options sets.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
These photos were taken on the west coast of Scotland in Ayrshire when we visited in 2005. The land formation on the horizon is called "The Sleeping Warrior".
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Our youngest son decided to drive straight through to NM instead of staying the night Wed at his brother's place in KC. That worries me but I am trusting they are almost home by now--and safe.
I'm grateful that I work at home with my own business and can take time off when needed. Even though my sons are grown I wanted to be here with them. I had a productive morning here in the office so I'm taking a break with my blog.
On the knitting front, I'm zipping right through the Pinwheel Blanket. It will be done in less than a week. That is a quick baby gift! I have an idea for a small project to go with it. The baby is due around Dec 1.
Sneaky, sneaky me. While the kids were here I washed some clothing, including a pair of corduroy trousers for L, the future recipient of the Lacy Ribbon Skirt. When I took the trousers out of the dryer I tip-toed back to our bedroom where I had hidden the skirt. I laid the trousers on top of the skirt and it looks like a perfect fit! So I'm going to sew it up and start seriously looking for that special ribbon.
If you don't like fringe you can stop reading this right now. (I am not a big fan myself but many in my prayer shawl group are.) When I wrote about Nicky Epstein's Knitted Garter Fringe I forgot to mention something I did to refine it a bit. You have 16 Stitches on your needle. If you twist the 8th stitch every other row then you get a tidier result when you drop the stitches for the fringe. That 8th stitch will be the last stitch in the binding off process.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Maybe someone can help with two issues regarding blogs. I know that at least one person has left a comment on my blog regarding the contest and the comment does not show. (I do not moderate the comments.) We went through the steps together and as far as I can tell she did everything correctly. I have had this same problem with at least two blogs. I have left comments and the comments do not show up, even though I am logged in and type in the weird letters. So if you can shed any light on this issue, please do.
The second issue is specifically with blogspot. Has anyone using blogspot noticed that when you add a post, the tally for the number of posts doesn't always change? I paid particular attention to this lately and am absolutely certain that my most recent post should have changed the number from 103 to 104. That isn't a big deal, just a bit annoying.
I didn't think to leave a closing date for my contest when I impulsively decided to do it. I guess I will wait to see how many hundred more add their comments. Sound good? Awww. We'll give it another week or so. And if you are reading and do not know how to leave a comment or if your comment does not appear, don't be shy...just send me an email or send me a message on Ravelry.
Disclaimer: Family members of this blogger are not eligible to win the contest, but they may still express an opinion about the button. :)
I don't have much knitting to show because I started over on the lacy ribbon skirt. The medium size seemed way too large. There is a considerable difference between a small and a medium, at least with my gauge--about 8". Getting the sizing correct is tricky. Knitting sweaters for my men folk is a lot easier because their bodies are just a bunch of cylinders. We of the gentler sex have complicated curves. On Thursday Sarah invited me over for lunch and a few hours of knitting to celebrate her birthday. I made considerable progress on the skirt front that day and have since finished it. My knitting instinct is pulling me towards starting another project but I am trying to resist temptation. If I make another skirt it has to be knitted in a yarn that does not need to be doubled. Doubling the yarn really a pain in the patoo-ee, if you get my drift.
Last night was Halloween and since we live at the end of a cul-de-sac we don't get many ghosts or goblins down here. The weather is unseasonably warm. We haven't even had a hard frost yet and I'm still seeing the occasional butterfly. I played my pipes outside as I watched the sun set through the trees in our woods. The candy was at the ready in a basket on the front porch. What a perfect evening! I got my practice time in and all the little trick or treaters got their goodies.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
flipflops and applesauce". I tweaked it a bit and came up with this version which I think is very good.
One box yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup water
Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, etc. Whatever you like seems to work. (No garlic though.;)) Penzey's Cake Spice or Baking Spice work great also.
I still haven't attached a button to my Mitered Kitchen Towel from the new Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. Both buttons look nice. Which is your favorite?
Friday, October 17, 2008
Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines lives up to all expectations from the first book. Even a non-knitter would enjoy reading this book because Ann and Kay are hilarious. There are so many favorites in here, I don't even know where to begin. The mitered kitchen towel was my jury duty knitting. It is just ok and I'm not sure I'll make more. I can't put my finger on why I feel that way but it may have something to do with the fact that at the end of the knitting you need to sew on a button. Sewing on a button entails putting a thread through the eye of a needle. Yes, I know about those little wire threaders and I broke mine the last time I tried to put button thread through it. So the project is technically unfinished though I can photograph it with the button lying on top. I have a two Mason jars full of old buttons. My grandmother used to cut buttons off of clothing before giving it away. (I'm sure the people at Goodwill appreciate that.) I have to brag that the button I chose is outstanding and very vintage for the towel.
It was just too pitiful to be looking at my bookshelves and not see Barbara Walkers Knitting from the Top. This is a classic knitting book and HAS to be in every respectable knitter's library. It is a good thing that book finally found my house.
Ten years of Interweave Knits. Sigh. Look at that shawl on the cover. Seriously, how can a knitter resist that? Not that I had anything to do with the book getting in my home, you understand. There are a couple of projects in this book that I might try. The man's brioche vest would look great on my husband.
Digression: The little furry thing underneath our oak tree is one of our local coyote. He/she would not look at the camera. Sometimes he suns himself in front of the house and watches me get the morning paper. I'm sure he keeps the rodent population under control in the woods and fields around us.
Finally, Here is my question:
Until fairly recently I was almost exclusively an Elizabeth Zimmermann/Meg Swansen knitter. Reading knitting blogs and being on Ravelry has tainted me somewhat and I now venture out into some line by line patterns although I rarely knit them exactly the way they are written. The Lace Ribbon Skirt is one of them. One puzzlement that comes up too frequently involves a line like this: "Stop with a wrong side row." I never know exactly what the designer means by this. Does this mean that (1) you should knit the wrong side row and then stop or (2)stop at the beginning of a wrong side row. I think it usually means (1). Usually I can figure it out by reading further in the pattern notes but it is not always clear even after doing that. It would just be so much simpler if the directions read: "Stop after completing a wrong side row". I figure if this puzzles a knitter like me who has 30 years or so of knitting (though not pattern reading) under my belt, what is it going to do to the new knitters? They must be baffled. Or maybe I'm just being obtuse. Let me know.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I set up my knitting nest on the back porch where I can look at the birds and the changing colors in the trees. Since I had jury duty this week I took a simpler project with me along with a number of other activities to keep me busy:
- yarn and needles for several easy projects
- my iPod
- crossword puzzles and word games
- PDA with solitaire (last resort)
- my new Mason Dixon knitting book
- new cell phone and manual to study
When I was packing my bag of tricks my husband asked, "Are you taking your knitting?" I was momentarily stunned. "Surely you know me better than to ask that question. I'd go stark raving mad in that room without my knitting."
Fortunately I only had to go in for two mornings and was not called for a jury. Whew! Civic duty accomplished.
Last night we had the pleasure of seeing The African Children's Choir in concert at our church. This is the third time our church has brought them to our town. I volunteered to be a host family as soon as I heard they were coming but the organizer already had enough homes. With jury duty this week it would have been difficult so it probably worked out for the best. If you ever have the opportunity to see this choir make every attempt to go. They are truly a blessing and you won't forget them.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I used Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' Knitting in the Old Way and Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Gaffer's Gansey" as my guides. I totally forgot that Meg Swansen had an updated version, which I will use on the next guernsey because I do like the neckline. This one seems to hit right at the Adam's apple and beards and men's necks being what they are, it wears the edge down. My son is an inch or two shorter than my husband so I think the sizing is perfect. This was such a joy to knit. I used the crochet steek method for the sleeves which I prefer to getting a sewing machine out and struggling with tension, etc. It worked nicely.
It is rather embarrassing to be so crazy about knitting dishcloths lately when it wasn't that long ago that I was too snobby to knit them. Right now they are so relaxing and I complete one in about an hour with very little effort. I guess Mason-Dixon Knitting was the turning point in my dish cloth career although I haven't knit a ballband dishcloth in a while. Finding so many interesting color combinations in the cotton yarn is also a great deal of fun and I like the pattern stitch swatches.
You can find my notes on sweaters and all my projects on Ravelry where I am "PrairiePiper".
This is the waffle stitch that I used on revamping my husband's gray saddle shoulder sweater that I wrote about in yesterday's post.
The dishcloth "group photo" was actually taken after several were given away.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I think they are all adorable. The day of the wedding the boys left the girls at the house while they went to the winery to help set things up and have the photo shoot. Being a mother of all boys, it was fun for me to observe the feminine activities, with them painting their nails, doing hair, etc. I had a blast and it was great to get to know them better.
The wedding was held at a local winery, a lovely setting. After the dinner reception the guests moved from the tent to the lawn and patio for dancing. We were first blessed by a gorgeous sunset followed by a clear sky studded with stars.