Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Travels

I spent part of the last week of June on vacation.  I had a lovely view from the bed and breakfast in which we stayed.



I did not get much knitting done.  But I did come home to some cucumbers in the garden.



They are small, but growing.  I also now have a squash, a zucchini, and a tomato.  And squash bugs.  But I also have Sevin dust.  I was going to post before now, using my new phone, but it wouldn't load pictures.  I have to figure it out.  I have three main projects that I'm working on...



My purple sweater is still ongoing.  I have divided the front and back, and have about 6 inches (out of 10!) for the front already.  It is slow, as I find I don't make time to knit like I used to.


It is also slow, because I broke another needle on it.  This time though, I can send the needle back (Thanks Addi for having that policy) and I will get a replacement.  In the meantime, I am using some straights in the same size to finish the front.


My Cup of Tea socks were going great, until I tried it on.  My big feet (and subsequently big ankles) are not loving the heel and gusset.  Which means all this progress is gone.  I had to start over, and add some extra stitches to make it bigger.  I'm about 12 rows into the cuff again.


This is the second attempt at the 12 Days of Christmas Mitten garland Mitten #1.  I didn't like this one either, so I ripped it back (again) and started a third time.  It is better this time.  The first time was too tight, the second too loose.  This time it seems to be just right.  It feels like a Goldilocks theme to me.

I have other projects I need to get to, but it's harder these days to make time to knit.  I'm not sure why, other than I always manage to do other things first and never have time leftover.  There are still birthday sweaters to knit, Christmas socks to get started on, and my Etsy shop to update.  I need to manage my time a little better, as I also have boxes to sort, repack, label and create a master list.  I also would love a break.  I just don't always get one.  How's your summer going?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reflections

I have been thinking about my projects, current and past, and the ones I want to attempt in the future.  I have 3 currently in progress, meaning that I'm actually knitting on them actively.  The first is the My Cup of Tea socks, which I tried on last night and they are a bit tight.  Which means that I will probably rip them out and just knit a pair of plain socks for myself.  I could possibly adjust the pattern with some math, but the pattern won't stick in my brain for whatever reason, meaning that I have to keep a piece of paper in front of me.  That sort of defeats the purpose have having traveling knitting.  I want something that I can memorize or I don't have to think about and can pull out at a moment's notice to work on.  I may just "create" my own pattern - use a simple stitch repeat like the Bee Stitch and just get going.  I like something that I can stick in my purse and pull out when I have a spare moment.

I have fewer and fewer of those these days, as I am becoming my husband's personal assistant.  It's not really all that bad - he is just having a lot of doctor's appointments and I am the one who has to coordinate them all within his work schedule.  He's having cataract surgery in August, which is rough because he has to have them one at a time and each eye requires a week off of work.  Most people don't think that's a big deal, but it is when you don't have sick time or vacation, and if you don't work, you don't get paid.  We have to carefully orchestrate everything, and I get to be the conductor.  It's not as exciting as it sounds, I promise.

My 12 Days of Christmas garland got sidetracked, because the color combination wasn't quite what I wanted.  I got about 2/3rds done, and didn't like it.  Fortunately, it's small, so it wasn't that much work.

My sweater is still in progress, but working on the other 2 things means the sweater goes for TV knitting.  And since I haven't been watching much TV these days, there's not much progress on it.  I have split it for the front and back, and am working now on the front.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Midway through

I am just over halfway done with the purple sweater again.


This picture of the first time around is close to where I currently am on it - although the bottom does not curl like it does here.  That should have been my first clue, and at least part of this could have been avoided.  

My Cup of Tea socks are coming along - I'm almost to the heel of the first sock.  These are going slowly, since I'm only working on them for a couple of hours on Tuesdays.  Surprisingly, with the help of a handy little sticky flag, I make few mistakes and remember where I am in the pattern.

I am planning a couple of new things to knit, if I can make my fingers work faster.  First up is this:

                                        12dayskal2_small2

I'm trading out sport weight for the fingering it calls for, which will probably make them a little larger, but so much the better.  This is going to be a knit-a-long, not just online, but also through Bumbleberry.  Several of us who go on Tuesday afternoons are planning on knitting these mittens together.  I'm looking forward to it.  

I also think I have a couple of girly sweaters in my head as I have missed birthday sweaters this year.  I picked up some Eco+ in pink yesterday (on sale!) and I think the Littlest Princess will get that.  Princess will get a cardigan from pink and steel grey Sublime I already have.  I'm dying to use it up, as it's really pretty and I don't want it to go to waste.  I still have to work on Little Man's birthday sweater.  I haven't really started even looking at the translation of the pattern yet.  But all things in due time.

I'm already thinking ahead to Christmas as well.  I think I have 3 people down - socks for them.  There is a fourth who might get socks - I don't get any feedback from him on these things so I'm not sure how much he uses or appreciates them.  I think I'm going to do plain vanilla socks for everyone.  First of all, they are easy to knit.  Rather boring, true, but also easy while watching TV or talking.  Having a pattern distracts and if I keep it simple, they won't get messed up.  Also, they go fast because there is no pattern on the sock.  The simple pattern, or lack thereof, also lets me pick a really beautiful yarn to showcase.  I can probably knit a pair of plain vanilla socks in a couple of weeks.  This is great for time saving.

How about you?  Are you already planning ahead for the holidays?

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

A Cardigan?

I am not known for cardigans.  I don't think I've ever really had one.  I can't remember having any in high school or college, and now I've knit the body of one.


The picture is courtesy of Little Man (I think this next year we'll do more in photography with him in art, and you may see more of his photos).  It hangs low enough, and seems to be big enough around, before the collar.  Also, here's the purple sweater:


I am on the first new skein, having knit the first 2 of 4 from the body.  I will alternate the old and new skeins for length.  I may get by with only one, but I have an extra just in case.  I thought there were 3 skeins left, but I must have used 8 skeins instead of 7, so there were only 2 extra.  That's okay - I think I can still make it.  Here's the other project I've been working on:


It's My Cup of Tea socks.  I'm using my birthday yarn, Madelinetosh sock in Wilted Rose (hubby knows how to pick good yarn).  These are going slowly, mainly because I only knit them on Tuesday afternoons while at the local yarn shop.  The yarn came from there, and I feel weird about using yarn bought elsewhere when I'm in the shop.

Do you have those kinds of reservations?  I never had an issue where I used to live - I bought a good bit from The Whole Nine Yarns, since I had more money, and it was about 5 minutes from my house.  It was so easy to drive by there on a Saturday and stop in or head over there on Tuesday night and pick up something.  And I did, frequently.  So knitting with something I bought there wasn't a problem.  I usually wanted to knit on the yarn I had just bought anyway.

The yarn shop that's closest isn't that close.  It's a good 30 minutes away, in another town, and it's not as convenient.  And then there's the issue of money.  We have a LOT less.  Like one third of what we had before.  Granted, we no longer have a house payment, but still - it takes a lot of money to support 3 children and 2 adults.  If you had a reduction of your income by two thirds, you'd spend less too, mainly because it just isn't there to spend.  I'm a huge believer in using what you have too, so that's not a complaint, just an observation.  Hubby has bought me a lot of yarn over a couple of Christmases, so I have a large stash, and I like working from it.  Hence the purple sweater.  But I didn't get that yarn at that store, so I feel odd knitting on it there even though it would be the easiest to knit with a group.  And the group here is MUCH smaller than at TWNY.  And I mean MUCH.  This group averages about 5-6 a week, where TWNY averaged about 15-20 each week.  Hey, another third.  In any event, I haven't had the resources to purchase from Bumbleberry (the local shop) like I have The Whole Nine Yarns.  So I try to use what I buy from there, to knit there.  Those projects go slowly, but that's not all bad.  It's actually kind of nice.  How about you?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Back to the beginning

I'm back at the beginning of the sweater.  I had left about 3 rows intact, only to find it got twisted.  So, out it went and I started ALL OVER again.  Seriously.  However, the bottom now does not roll.


This picture from MARCH shows about where I am now.  If I work really hard, I might get this done in about 4-6 more weeks.  Ugh.  But I do enjoy the plain knitting.  It's wonderfully cathartic to me.  It seems that when I have something like this, life starts to get crazy, driving me to knit more.  It works.  When I pick a complicated project, life still gets crazy, and then the knitting drives me crazy, and it's a bad spiral.

I have been looking at shawls, which is odd, since most of the ones I have made are much shorter than I'd like them to be, and so I don't wear them as much as I would like.  I keep looking though.  I guess I think that it's the patterns that I choose, or the yarns.  Oh, and I still have to finish Iced.  I should seriously finish it, and I will, as soon as I finish this sweater.  I think.  Maybe.  Okay, once I feel like knitting on large needles, I will.  And I just might tonight.  What are you knitting?

Friday, May 20, 2016

Forward and backward

I took some pictures, but not quite like what I had hoped.  I honestly forgot to take pictures until I had already started taking out the sleeve.



It fits, but it's too short, the bottom rolls, the neckline is too wide and gaps, and the sleeves are a bit snug.  It sounds like there's so many problems, but the exciting thing is that it fits in the right places.  You have no idea how exciting that is.  I do know that I could just take out the sleeves, undo the neck, and fix that, and then pick out the bottom and add some length.  Instead, I took the longer route.  I undid basically the whole thing.  I left 2 rows on the bottom.  I know, it sounds insane.  And I know it's the harder road.  However, I enjoyed the knitting.  I enjoyed the endless miles of stockinette.  It was great mindless knitting.  It was terrific for watching TV and watching the kids outside.  So, I did it.

I finished the Multnomah shawl.



I haven't blocked it yet, because I'm having issues with it.  All the shawls I make turn out too short.  I keep hoping they will be longer, and I keep hoping in vain.  Maybe the next one I make I need to make out of bulky yarn and double it.  Or maybe it's the patterns I'm using.  Do you have a suggestion?

Friday, May 13, 2016

All excited

I live in a small rural town these days, and there's not much here, especially when it comes to food.  Those of you who know me, know I love good food.  We have exactly 2 Mexican restaurants and 4 Asian restaurants in our town.  Two of those Asian restaurants are "Chinese", one is "Japanese" and one just claims to be Asian.  I use quotes because they are American versions of ethnic food.  So, I have been on a search for ethnic recipes.  I found a knish recipe and made up my own filling.  It's not too bad.  I think the filling still needs some work though.

It's almost summer, and that means sweet tea.  We have some mint plants, and if you want them to be healthy, you have to pull some mint leaves off every now and again.  What to do with them?  Brew them with your tea!  I started cold brewing some iced tea with mint leaves, and then adding a simple syrup for a sweetener.  It's wonderful!  I'm going to attempt some other tea with spearmint and chocolate mint!


I am sure this keeps growing, as the ball of yarn does get smaller, but it feels like it takes forever.  I know a lot of that is the length of the rows currently.  The pattern (found here) says to do 10 repeats.  I still had a good chunk of yarn left, and I don't want that much leftover.  So I'm currently working on repeat #11.  I think I can get at least one or two, possibly 3, more repeats, and still have enough to bind off.  I am attempting to finish things that I have already started.  I still have to start a birthday sweater but I'm lazy this year.

I have found that if I get up earlier and get moving, not only can I get more accomplished in the day, but I have more energy.  I guess it's that whole principle of "an object in motion stays in motion" in play.

Summer is just around the corner!  As a matter of fact, today is the last day for the kiddos' school.  Then it's summer vacation time.  Oh summer - the plans I have for you.  How are your plans going?