Saturday, August 29, 2009

Same Old, Same Old

After finishing the Kudo shawl, which I have already worn several times, I am drifting among my UFO's. I knit some on the gray chevron socks--half way down leg of 2nd sock there.

I am plugging along at random moments with the diagonal triangles of block 16 on my Wrap Me Up Shawl
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And I have been also working on Luke's Kylers Kardigan. I have about another inch to go on it before folding and fusing the pockets at the bottom of the body. This is the most recent picture but I have gone about 5 1/2 inches further than shown here.

Need I say I am struggling NOT to start another project? (BAD GIRL! Mustn't cast on!!)

But my mind is dreaming of a Pie Are Square Shawl with my mill ends. Or maybe fair isle mittens, the ones from one of last winter's Vogue Knitting that say Let It Snow across them. Or....

Must. Not. Cast. On.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kudos for New Shawl

I mentioned that I purchased some cotton yarn to work on during the recent road trip to St Joseph. The yarn is actually 55% cotton, 40% rayon and 5% silk, and a brand from Plymouth called Kudo.

I also picked up their pattern for a simple triangle shawl that was the one used in the store sample. It only took 2 skeins and by starting 2nd skein from same end that first was finished it gave a wonderful rainbow effect, repeating the colors backward as I worked the last half.
I started it last Wednesday, and finished it last night after returning from Knit Nite. (Not that hard, I had to only cast off and weave in ends. )
What do you think? Here are pictures taken when I still had a few rows left to finish.
I wore it to work yesterday and it is soooo comfy!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Day Without Knitting?

I have often heard it said that knitting reduces stress. As evidence of this, may I present a picture of a friend who had just spent 1 and possibly several days without knitting, and probably spinning. My friend Mary is a member of our Spin Guild and also attends Knit Nite. She recently missed 3 weeks of knitting due to visiting family and a nieces wedding. Obviously she has not been knitting enough. This wonderful shot (actually a photo of a photo) was taken the morning after the wedding. The previous nights's reception probably had nothing to do with that stressed look. I am sure it was lack of knitting.
(Sorry Mary, I couldn't resist the picture--it was just too good.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

St Joe Field Trip

Last Friday, for the third year in a row, my friend Mary and I have cruised on down to St. Joe Michigan where Christy, also my friend and Mary's daughter is a first grade teacher. We typically help out with basic "get the room in shape for school" activities.
The first year we visited was also Christy's first year teaching. She didn't even have desks in her room when we arrived. We cut out laminated goodies for school, and sorted and labeled books. We sorted out various handouts she had been given and made a general mess, but at least had made a good step in organizing before we left. That year was also highlighted by a rip-roaring storm that blew through as we left, just ahead of tornado warnings.
Last year we cleaned off laminated supplies, cut out more, and again sorted books. We rode down in her great old Buick and road back in her sister's farm van, complete with sweet feed/sour milk aromas. Ahhh, the smells of the farm.
This year, the weather was wonderful, cool and sunny. I knit a new project on the way down--cotton, in case the car was hot. (Pictures next post probably.) While I again wielded scissors and cut out goodies, separated handdouts from Scholastic Books and played with her chimes, Mary was busy this year with a different project.
Mary transformed 7 yards of slipper but shimmery turquoise fabric to curtains for above Christie's tall cabinets and for the fronts of 3 other long low cabinets with no doors. And dang, me with no camera. It was a lovely sight when she finished.
Of course we are not complete galley slaves. Each year we have gone for lunch at a different part of town. One time downtown St Joe. Another on a marina This year, Christie treated us to lunch at nearby cafe, Papa Taco's and we tried not to pig out. (But they did have the BEST warm salty tortilla chips and salsa.

And I did get a lot of knitting down on the trip there and back.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fair Time--No Grease For Me

I wasn't at the County Fair much this year, mostly because of cost, but also because I could not make a commitment of time, not knowing when/if I would get a job or be called back to the library. (By the way, back on 15 hours a week starting August 18.)
But I worked in the Cheese Booth, sponsored by the Farm Bureau. I was commandeered by a couple friends and had a great time. The shift on Monday night could have been a killer, with 90 degree temps predicted with high humidity. However, it wasn't too terribly hot. And since the previous weekend's rain had turned the main arena into a bog, the Figure 8 Race (AKA Demolition Derby) was canceled, we were busy enough to keep from being bored, but slow enough to get in lots of gossip. And I was entitled to a free Farmer's Muffin--the culinary highlight of each year's fair.
Other than that night, I only attended the Thursday festivities. The daytime was dominated by the Dairy show. Katy's two oldest, Lydia and Austin were showing. And so was the grandchildren of Younger Son's boss. Lots of pictures were taken. Bill, a family friend the same age of Younger Son was the judge for the younger classes of showmanship. He even smiled.
I also helped later in the day at the History Building. Helped them get the fans to work. (Hot in there!) And later on was the Small and Large Animal Auctions. Not too late this year, and again, caught up on lots of gossip.

My biggest regret? Not being there to organize and attend the Friday Night Grease Fest. Sigh. No grease for me.

What I Did on My Summer "Vacation"

Hmmm, where did the time go? After nearly 3 months of unemployment again, just what did I accomplish?
I finished a sweater, on size 4 needles.
Steeked that same sweater, learning a useful knitting skill.
Spun a big bag of wool for Tour de Fleece.
Spin Guild field trip to East Jordan.
Attended Fiber Festival in Allegan.
Picked a bunch of cucumbers (a chore that continues.)
Helped fish 6 kitties out of a wall where the mama cat had them.
Attended at least part of the fair.
Helped Hubby replace posts and pen walls in barn.
Started at least 3 new knitting projects. (Dang, I said I wasn't going to do that.)
Worked on several old UFO projects in the knitting bags.
Read many books, including a life of Jane Austen and "Pride & Prejudice."
And, finally, got back to work part time!!


Apparently news of Older Son's bus sale has been an exaggeration.
New updates state that he just has it on the market and it isn't gone yet. I will keep you updated as the story progresses.
He has however picked up the title in preparation of the sale.

End of an Era

That's right. Oldest Son's bus has been sold. He picked up the title today to pass it along to the new owner.

While he has had this for several years, thanks to its jazzy paint job and the comfy seating (I hope he kept some, his house is quite bare I think.), he managed to sell it for the same price he paid for it.

Not bad. Now, we will wait to see if he starts another business venture or if he gets a life.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Memories of Fiber Festival

I will post about last week's county fair later, but first--Saturday was the Michigan Fiber Festival.

Such fun. I hadn't really been sure if I was going to attend. I didn't want to drive all that way, but when a friend couldn't drive that far because of her recent eye surgery, I volunteered. And had a great time. Both Elsie (the one with eye trouble) and Flo were with me and we had a great time. They mostly teamed up the whole day, while I was a free-range roamer.

It was really great that I knew so many people there, both vendors and visitors.

And yes, I did buy stuff:

A fleece, but no picture of that. A 1/2 BF Leicester, 1/4 Boarder Leicester, 1/8 Romney, 1/8 Corriedale--white crimpy, long stapled lustrous mound of wool. I packed that off to Zeilingers to process, so now have that package to look forward to.

Some sock yarn--a wonderful multi-color merino tencel from Rita of Yarn Hollow who was still geeked from her time at the Sock Summit, and a blue/periwinkle single ply from Sandy's Palette.

A lovely pattern for a shawl/fichu, and another book on gossamer lace, in addition to pink lace weight (merino/silk) and multi color fingering for another shawl--a lovely medallion pattern I have at home.

A bloodwood scarf/shawl stick.
And 4 ounces of merino/pygora blend from my friend Allison of Great Lakes Pygora. A 50/50 blend in a burgundy blend colorway.
I love fiber festivals.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Knit Nite

Last night was Knit Nite and we had sock knitters galore. Even though none of us were Sock Summit attendies, we had socks aplenty going.

Flo was back and helping Nancy with her first sock--She was starting the heel. Flo was knitting Christmas socks I think. Gifts anyway.
Carolyn and her sister joined us for the first time. Carolyn had succumbed to the sock fever and was working on her first pair.
Kelly came back too. But in preparation for her first socks, she is still trying to master knitting and purling. I asked Flo to help so she didn't learn my backward way. (Or as I prefer to think of it, the improved Allen Family method.)

I was the only odd ball, because I had started the previously posted spiral scarf and was working on that and on the 16th block on my Wrap Me Up Shawl.

Sandy was on vacation yet and Mary was having family from out of state. Once Rachel can get back in the groove we will have a good group.

Gotta Love that Garter Stitch

As mentioned in my previous post, I recently started a garter stitch scarf. That is the third garter stitch item I am working on. I have the Kylers Kardigan, featured a few days ago in a recent picture.
And I am continuing to work on my UFOs.
And I have started block 16 on my Wrap Me Up Shawl, which is a strip of garter stitch triangles zig zagging along. I hope to finish this soon, so I can work some on My February Pink Lady again next.
And now the Corkscrew Potato Chip scarf.
That is gonna be a lot of knitting!

I am thinking about taking the scarf and maybe the cardigan to work on at the fair while I am barn sitting. This year, I don't have room to schlep my wheel and bag of wool when I bum rides with others so instead of spinning I will just knit. . I think the scarf should be done fairly soon. Both it and the Kylers Kardigan for Luke have just enough twists thrown in to keep them interesting, while still being fairly mindless knitting. And since the the gauge is bigger than socks, easy to work on while traveling.
Hummmm, I do have a drop spindle I could bring to work on in the barn. I will have to ponder on that. It is another UFO that has been languishing.

Corkscrew Potato Chips--a Scarf

I recently started (yeah, another project) a new scarf. I had seen a picture of a potato chip scarf on a recent posting on the Knitting Out Loud blog. It was a corkscrew style scarf that she had seen during a book reading. I searched for patterns on Ravelry and they all were made by casting on a bajillion stitches and then after knitting a few rows, doubleing stitches several times on subsequent rows. Ruffly to be sure, but not what I wanted. I thought I had hit the jackpot with another another pattern but it was stockinette and I liked the garter appearance of the first one. This one uses short rows to give a wedge shape that will spiral along as the scarf grows. (I hope!) So I combined the two and here are the results.
I had already purchased yarn, and using these two patterns, I made a slightly wider version, using sport weight yarn.
So here is the pattern I call--Corkscrew Potato Chips--a Scarf'.

I used size 5 needle, the size recommended for this yarn and I am using Lanaloft sport weight, in the handpaint colorway of Autumn Run. I have 2 skeins of 145 yards each.

Gague is not important to pattern. Just whatever you like the look of.

Cast on 22 stitches. I used backwords loop and then knit 2 rows. If you use long tail or knitted cast on, just knit one set up row.

Pattern :

Row 1--Knit 13, sl 1, wrap, slip back and turn (W & T),

Row 2 and all even rows--Knit back

Row 3--Knit 11, sl 1, W & T

Row 5--Knit 9, sl 1, W & T

Row 7--Knit 7, sl 1, W & T

Row 9--Knit 5, sl 1, W & T

Row 11--Knit 3, sl 1, W & T

Row 13--Knit to end, picking up the wraps and knitting with the wrapped stitch.

Repeat rows 1-14 until you are almost out of yarn, or until you are sick of it and bind off.

Here is a picture after just a few repeats. I will supply a finished picture when I finish. Probably at the top of the post.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I am such a fickle knitter. I recently started another project.

Well, I did have a good reason. I got a new 9 inch circular needle for socks and I have been wanting to try it out.
I have some new sock yarn from Joannes, a Deborah Norville collection called Serenity that has merino, bamboo and nylon. The jury is out on the needle. It is like knitting with toothpicks. slow going, but I am getting the hang of it.

And they could prevent another traveling knitting debacle like the one from this past Mothers Day. That alone is enough to make me persevere.

On another note, I received a pattern from a fellow parishioner after I helped them serve the lunch after her nieces funeral. It is a swirl shawl, knit in little medallions. I thought at first you would knit them and then sew together. But on studying the pattern, you join them as you knit. It takes sock yarn, so I may have to see if I can find some at Michigan Fiber Festival, or perhaps use some of my hand spun. I could alternate some of my multicolors by row and end up with a great shawl. It takes 1100 yards of sock yarn, and would probably need more of the homespun. I am thinking Mini Mochi would be great.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kardigan Kontinues

Here is an update from last Tuesday on the Kylers Kardigan for great-nephew Luke.

It is going quite well, although slower of course than the sleeves. I do enjoy the garter stitch, so mindless.

I was unable to get much knitting done yesterday. Power out most of the day, and too dreary and dark. I had to get out of the house so I could bask in the airconditioned car.

Today is is 90 degrees + and I am staying securely inside. But looks like I better sign off now. It is clouding up again.

Countdown to Fair

Fair week is here. However between no job and the cost of parking, as well as other commitments, I may not be there much this year. The past several years, I practically lived there the whole week. This year, not so much.
I did get drafted to work in the Cheese Booth one evening. I sure hope the humidity goes down. I had enough of the hot and humid air in church this morning. (Can you believe someone deliberately wanted the windows open in this weather?) As long as I don't fall on the grill, I'll be okay.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Missing Friends

I have been chewing and fretting on this for awhile. I find many of my friends at my church have apparently started attending elsewhere. Its like being abandoned.
I find it sad because these were the ones who felt most like family to me and now that our boys are grown and out of the house, I never have the chance to see them. It makes it hard for me to get close with others because I don't want the same thing to happen.
Part is no doubt my fault. I hate to intrude and/or call people when I might bother them.
But dang, I sure do miss them.

Keeping Busy Knitting

I have been knitting on the Kyler's Kardigan for Luke. Nearly have the 2nd sleeve finished. I also cast on another pair of socks, using some of the new Deborah Norville's Serenity sock weight yarn. No pictures of that either. The main purpose in casting that on was to try out the new circular needle--size 1, 9 inch! I just knit in the round with no loops to worry about, and no worry of dropped needles in the car. After the Mothers Day car trip, I thought it would be a good idea to give these a try. I normally do not like the method of making socks on circs, but since this is in the round, with regular double points for the heel flap and toes, I thought I could possibly handle these. But they sure are little! Its like trying to knit with toothpicks!
I also have spent more time on the Wrap Me Up shawl. On block 16 now out of 22. This is the biggest block and it is worked separately and then joined. I am not looking forward to picking up exactly 173 stitches along one side of this and the side of the shawl where this fits in. Especially since the contrasting color it calls for there is a loose twist and slightly heavier yarn. But I am very pleased with the progress.
And I also was able to locate where in my craft room I had stowed the shawl I knit to donate to church. All I need to do is block it. It was the Cinnamon Crest of the Wave pattern in worsted weight wool. Soooo warm and cozy. Maybe I can get it blocked out before the next Saturday supper, if they want to set it out for a raffle or something.