Thursday, October 8, 2015

Lost in Knitting Land

I have been absent from my blog but knitting up a storm.

While the Purple Swing Cardi is off the needles, it obviously needs some finishing work. Loose ends need to be woven in, then stitch down the neckline to make the ribbon casing, followed by a soak and dry in front of a fan, and it will be done.

My 2015 Lions Scoreboard Cowl is done through game 4 out of 16.

There was some of the silver yarn (used for the opponent's points) left after the game. That means not quite a quarter of the opponent's yarn was used, now that a quarter of the games have been played. But, since game four was a much lower scoring game, I decided to splurge on a fifth skein of the silver yarn. Unfortunately, the Honolulu Blue is in no danger of running out.

Here is the cowl to this point.

With the knitting on the purple baby sweater finished, I have worked on the Lavender Lace Cardigan. Picking it up, I found some temporary markers that usually mean "here is a mistake to fix when you return", but luckily, I think this time I had simply marked the future front/back divides a bit early. It must be a at home project for the time being. At least until the end of the lace.

The Gray Spiral Blankie is almost finished, it requires cool weather to work on it. I am on the last section of the border and I hope to finish it tomorrow while watching Friday night's schmaltzy horror movies on good old TCM. (This week's theme is spooky body parts.)

I also have to tune up my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel tomorrow. More on the reason for that another time.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Knitting Status

I promised an update on my knitting progress.  So here goes.
The 2015 Lions Scoreboard Cowl continues to grow.  Unfortunately, mostly it is growing in silver, instead of Honolulu Blue.  If I need to start another silver ball during the next game, I will be investing in another ball.  I have four, and each should last four games, but this is game four coming up.  I am getting mighty thin on the silver.  I may get one anyway, just to make sure I have enough.  I can always make a hat or something using the leftovers of all three colors.
Little Farmers Gray Spiral Blankie is in the cast off phase yet.  I have only about 3 sections yet to go, but have been concentrating on a certain baby sweater pretty hard.   Plus until the past couple days, it has been too hot to work on it.  But I have confidence it will be finished very soon.
That certain baby sweater, the Purple Swing Cardigan is almost finished,  the second sleeve is farther along and an evening with that will have that cast off.  Then it is just the finishing details, sewing down the neck and weaving in ends, as well as the ribbon tie through the neck casing.  
And last of all, my most recent cast on, my Rustic Silk Triangle.
The lacy look is caused by the large needles, making it a speedy knit.  I like the squiggles here and there where the thicker part of the yarn shows up.  I hope to finish it soon.  It is only a small shawlette size, although I did purchase two skeins.  It will be more of a scarf than shawl when finished.  I think I will like it. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fibery Fun Fix

Saturday was the weekend for a wonderful, little fiber show called Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool. Held at the county fair grounds near West Branch in the northeast lower peninsula of Michigan, it is a low key, relaxing event that doesn't have the heat and crushing crowds of the Michigan Fiber Festival in Allegan in August. Nor is it as ritzy or high toned as the event held in Charlevoix in late July. Instead it has a more comfortable, casual feel, with plenty of yarn and fiber and tools. I saw lots that interested me. One booth was packed with antique wheels and books, from the estate of a fiber crafter. Drool!

Mostly, I served as an enabler this trip. I was once again accompanied by my usual partner in crime and owl lover, Sandy. Unfortunately the shopping experience was hindered by her killer headache and her hubby'spresence. ( Although he was an excellent chauffeur.) He probably was also the reason we got home before 9 pm instead of 2 am.

I talked her into buying a shawl, although it was with the condition that I knit her one like another we saw. I said ok, as long as she furnished the yarn. So...I have a Traveling Woman shawl in my future. Luckily I already have the purchased pattern. We later found some lovely creamy handspun that should work really well.

I scored the last two skeins of a white merino-tencel blend. The tencel gives it a great sheen, and of course the merino makes it wonderfully soft. I also got another fan and small basket and some buttons. I was delighted to find that they were being sold by the daughter of the gal I had purchased my previous baskets from who will soon be a missionary in South Sudan.

Oh, I also got a ball of sock yarn at the festival...a Zauberball, barely seen in the basket below. I have always wanted to try it. Then I get home to an email from my local yarn shop and found they are now carrying it!

We had stopped at a craft store on the way to the festival. And since we had time and money, we stopped again on the way back. I spent a bit more there, tatting needle, (like I need another craft to learn,) some thread, buttons, and two skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn. Clearly I need to step up my sock knitting.

The night before, because none of my projects were in a state of being good traveling projects, I started to cast on this.

It was part of my birthday splurge at the aforementioned yarn shop. It is, as the label says, pure silk. It is a simple triangle shawl that looks lacy and rustic both, thanks to large needles and the thick/thin character of the yarn.

More on the knitting another day.


Friday, September 25, 2015

Harvest Time

This time of year tractors, trucks, and choppers can be seen all around the country roads. Harvest season has begun. The choppers and combines may take up the roads this time of year, but be please patient with them. They are helping to put your meals on your table as they harvest feed for cattle.

One happy side effect is that the rural intersections that have been partly obscured by towering corn stalks as summer waned are becoming clear once again as the chopping corn is chopped into silage. I love being able to see what is coming around the corners before I get to them.

When all that chopped corn is packed into firm piles of feed for for the cattle to eat, it is covered with plastic and tires. If any of my readers ever wondered about about that plastic and tires, here is a link to a great blog post by a Wisconsin dairy farm chick. She explains the process. I even learned a bit myself.

Oh yes, just so you know, there is "chopping" corn and "picking" corn. Chopping corn retains some of the plant's moisture. The whole stalk is chopped for the silage. Picking corn drys down. When the cob and kernels have dried down, combines pick the corn and shell the kernels from the cobs. The stalks are left in the fields. This shelled corn is also fed or can be sold.

This has been a public service announcement for all you non-farmers.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

What a Week

In my last post I mentioned how I had stopped in at my aunt's house for a short visit before heading home after the cemetery visit. She was a bit tired from doing the laundry, but cheerful and as typical for her, going a mile a minute. Nothing was slowing her down.

Shown below, on the left, this 93 year old lady is a force to be recommend with.

She is my favorite Aunt, and unless my cousin Betty Ann is around, I am her favorite niece. If Betty Ann is around, then we are tied. (If just she is with Aunt Glenna, then I let her hold the title.) She is on the left below here.

Unfortunately, now something is slowing down my favorite aunt.

On the next day after I was there, she fell and broke her hip.

Since then surgery has ensued and one day later they are talking about sending her rehab already. Before you know it, she will probably be back in action. But, maybe not driving for a while. Someone has both sets of keys for now. (Whew!)

As this five generation picture, taken at a recent football game where her great-grandson was playing, she is captured perfectly. Full of vim, vigor and the zest of life.

I am confident she will be back in action soon.