Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good Knitting, Good Reads

I haven't been posting lately. That means I must be knitting up a storm.

Well, sort of. The Green Flowy Cardigan is creeping forward. Only creeping because I have been mostly working on the thrummed mittens. The second one is ready for the decreases on the main part. I will easily have that and the thumb done in the next day or so. I probably would have finished it already if I hadn't run out of thrums. I spent much of last night watching Destination Tokyo and rolling more thrums. Now I think I have way more than I need.

No new pictures though. Instead of taking many pictures I have been reading. Nook and Kindle apps make it easy to read and knit at the same time. They only need a swipe to turn the page and they stay open. I just finished the Lord Peter Wimsey series, and am waiting the next installment in Her Royal Spyness series. Both are set in the same time and place: England between the two world wars. It was fun reading both series at the same time, and contrasting them. While the Spyness series deals with a fictional granddaughter of Queen Victoria (and 34th in line to the throne,) and both are detective novels, they deal with the the real issues of the time. I am sad to have ended the one series. I enjoyed their separate takes on Prince (later King) Edward and Wallis Simpson in particular.

But, in lieu of knitting pictures, I am sure no one will be disappointed by a picture of my Little Farmer.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Decorating and Delivery

Granny seemed to approve of the Green and White Jacket that I remembered to deliver this morning.  I had it tucked into my new green basket that I purchased last week.  She had wanted to see the basket so that helped me remember.
The baskets that I featured on a recent blog post seem to be quite popular.  It sounds like we will be having a Ladies Night Out and have Teresa show her baskets and tell us about her experiences and work in South Sudan.  I am quite excited about it.
After the service at church today, we got around to decorating the church.  Actually this is a week early for the Episcopal church.  We usually wait until the last Sunday of Advent, and then after the service, before the Christmas Eve Service we green the church.
I really perfer it that way, as Altar Guild still has to change the candles, frontals, and all from Advent purple to Christmas white.  So we will be busy after church next week too.
It is getting closer and closer.
I will need to start wrapping presents soon.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Another One Finished

Another Project finished, that is. It the sweater for Baby Boy Bushouse. Hope the parents, and the rest of the family likes it.

I love the wee metal buttons. Lil' Farm Gal helped pick them out when we were shopping for mitten yarn.

With the seaming and buttons done, the Green and White Jacket is complete. Now it just needs for me to remember to deliver it to Grandma Bushouse tomorrow. That makes a grand total of 20 finished knitting projects this year. And with the Thrummed Mittens on target for Christmas, I hope to finish 21 before the year is over.

Then it is back to some of my current projects. I would like to finish the back of the Green Flowy Cardigan soon. Then I can wash it and do a final gauge check. Before embarking on the fronts, I would like to seam my Blue Blood Red Cardi. Then all it lacks is the front and neck bands and buttons before I can actually wear it. I have plans for a vest for me soon, out of some bulky cream colored wool I was gifted when out of a friends stash after she passed away.

And Little Farmer's Case IH Hoodie, and.....

Well more things that I have time for certainly.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In Defense of Fingerless Mitts

I always thought the whole concept of fingerless gloves and mitts was rather strange. What good are they? Maybe your palms would be ok, but that would still leave your poor fingers hanging out in the cold.

I even tried making fingerless gloves once. My work desk at the job I had at the time shared an uninsulated wall with an unheated warehouse. And while I liked the fact that my cubby was cool temperature-wise, my right arm tended to be rather cold as it frequently brushed against the steel file cabinet that was positioned tight to that preciously mentioned wall. Being left-handed, I could deal with writing and such, but that cold right arm had to frequently make phone calls.

So I decided to take some of the precious handspun Romney lamb/mohair kid yarn I had left to make a fingerless glove. I only needed one after all. It went well, although with my short stubby fingers, the separate fingers weren't really practical. Short as I made the fingers, I still had to roll them down. But the wool was warm, even I'd the short fingers were a pain. Unfortunately I couldn't find the one glove for pictures.

Later I decided to try again with sock yarn and do without the fingers entirely. I made them nice and long, but the palm could have been longer. Too long to wear with a coat, they nonetheless were useful inside if I was sitting in a draft.

But like I said, not good with coats and too light for outside.

But I decided to give them one more try. Using some leftover Patons Merino I made a pair that had shorter cuffs and a bit longer palm.

And surprisingly, I love them!

Granted they look a bit scruffy here but that is because I use them constantly. I have actually only used my alpaca lined full mittens once or twice this year. I find that the palms on these keep my hands warm enough to keep the arthritis from hurting, but I have my fingers free for gripping the steering wheel, keys or whatever else I need to hold.

So it turns out they aren't as useless as I always thought. Maybe they wouldn't be as warm if they weren't real wool, but they are great. I see another pair in my future.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Baskets for South Sudan

Today was the monthly Spin Guild meeting.  Joining us today was a friend ours from Greenville.  Teresa Janzen and her husband are serve with Partners in Compassionate Care.  They have made many trips to South Sudan to help encourage and support the people there in areas of education and agriculture.  Dan spends much of his time there in the past year, although at times they have been threatened with the turmoil that disrupts the area.  And she even found out how to survive being attacked by killer bees.  (Cover your head with a light silky scarf.  They attack from the top and that will intercept most of the bees.)  In spite of all that, eventually, Teresa said, they plan to move to South Sudan to serve full time.
Which brings us to the delightful baskets she brought with her.
In looking for a fund raising opportunity to support their efforts in South Sudan, Teresa ordered some baskets that are hand made in Africa.  Not in South Sudan, because the people there are too busy dealing with the war that tears across their area.  But these are handcrafted baskets made in village co-ops in Ghana, West Africa.
No two are alike. and there are many styles, from the round market baskets, to hats and even fans.  There are small ones and large ones.  And they are very sturdy.  If they get misshapen from being crammed in a closet or such, they can be dampened and reshaped.
I have a few of the large round ones that I have purchased at fiber fairs.  Crafty people love them for their knitting or spinning supplies.
If any of my readers would like to know how to get some of these wonderful baskets, and support a great cause at the same time, please e-mail me, call me or contact me on Facebook.  I will be happy to put you in touch with them. Or help arrange a meeting.  If anyone wants to host a fund raising event I am sure they can work something out with you.
A few items may have fallen into my car.
But I wasn't the only one who had fun shopping.
And one more tempting shot of her inventory.