Monday, May 31, 2010

The Knit Goes On

I wanted to show that I have spent some time knitting this weekend.

Mary's Lillie sweater is progressing nicely. I am about 4 inches below the sleeve divisions so it is going well. It should make a good Knit Nite project.

I also wanted to just mention, to anyone who happens past our homestead, and wonderers what tore up our meadow next to our house, near the road.

Hubby got a new plow from my friend Christine and her hubby. He converted the three bottom to a 2 bottom and has been tweaking and testing it all week. I had to take and print a bunch of pictures both overall views and closeups so he could take them to the implement dealer for suggestions.

The best thing about having a day off, knowing the evening would be all mine. I had my supper planned, things that Hubby dislikes because he would (as usual) be at the livestock auction. Then around 2pm he informs me he wasn't going. Ooops. I barely had time to get food in the crock pot, hope it gets done soon.

On Memorial Day--Thank You Soldiers

I find the tune of "Taps" so haunting. Written during the Civil War, but so often used today. It always brings a tear to my eyes. For all soldiers, both living and gone, I dedicate this post

    Fading light dims the sight,
    And a star gems the sky, gleaming bright.
    From afar drawing nigh -- Falls the night.

    Day is done, gone the sun,
    From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
    All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

    Then good night, peaceful night,
    Till the light of the dawn shineth bright;
    God is near, do not fear -- Friend, good night.

On this Memorial Day I want to say thanks to my family's soldiers.
All of them.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fiber Festival Fun

I was at the seasons second Fiber Festival most of the day yesterday, at the Old Farm Girl's lot in White Cloud. A beautiful, although hot day. And WOW! What a change from the show she had there last Labor Day! Then there were only a few vendors, and a group of us spinning under a canopy along the M-37. This year, there were a bunch of vendors, and even a food wagon. Way too much temptation. I managed to be a frugal shopper and tried to behave myself. (I got some 25% off yarn, and a couple books, and a great sweater pattern booklet.)
And oh, the fiber. I managed to avoid buying any fleeces, mainly because I was broke by the time I heard of the bargains there. (Honestly, have you seen any recent pictures of my wool room? No, I'm embarrassed to post them.) Alpacas and a bunny for display. On Friday Mercy, Rachel's black lamb was there, but after too many people brought dogs, she left her home.
It is so much fun to see fiber buddies too. Theresa was there from Greenville. She was the gal who helped organize the festival over there a few weeks ago.
Sue Ann (AKA The Sassy Ewe) from Spin Guild was also there. Lots of tempting items. She has got to get Mondays cleared on her schedule so she can come more often.
And of course Rachel was.....
Well, she really was there, although she did a lot of child chasing and networking. (Just kidding Rachel. And thanks for the discount for helping people when you were gone. )
Mary, brought her loom to show people. She was set up near me, under the big top.
Gina, another of our Spin Guild members, had the above picture alpaca, Norman. She also had a huge red and white tent with open sides. It was a great shady place to sit and spin or weave out of the sun. I spent most of my time there and finally finished spinning the 4.5 lbs fleece I bought in Allegan last year. And I was able to begin with the red top for the sweater I want to make.

Oh yes, the Pink Ball of Fluff was there in its finished glory. Betty was pleased. Now I have to finish the next one I am working on.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lots of Knitting

And unfortunately not many pictures.
I have ready to divide for the sleeves on the Lilly sweater and will probably do that tonight. Not much knitting will be done tomorrow. I will be spending most of the day at The Old Farm Girl's Fiber Festival spinning my heart out. Oh yes, and probably shopping.
I am torn about what to take to spin. I am almost ready to start spinning the Lorna's Laces Red Rover roving. I have 3 bunches at 10 ounces each. I figure that should be enough to use to make the Tappen Zee in the latest Knitty, even if I have to upsize it a little
I also have several bobbins of my white Leicester to ply. I have debated taking my plying wheel instead, if it will fit in the car.
Decisions, decisions.
I will have pictures soon, I promise.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cherry Leaf Shoulder Shawl

Just because I am busy with the baby sweater for the shower next month doesn't mean I have abandoned the rayon blend shoulder shawl.

I have finished 10 out fof 15 row repeats, but of course the rows keep getting wider as I go. I finally got a chance to show Evelyn and she helped stretch it to show the design better.

It is a quick knit and once you are able to read your knitting, it goes fairly quickly. Maybe not Knit Nite quickly, but it is fairly easy for at this point.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

New Project

Don't you just love how I can keep coming up with new reasons for new projects? This time it is a baby. Not my new grand nephew but a baby girl!
Mary, one of our spin guild members is having a grand-baby next month. Since her daughter lives in Colorado, she doesn't get to attend the baby showers, so we are having one at spin guild a a few weeks.
The pressure is on to get a sweater for the baby, but I have made this one before and it is really easy. (Mary, if you are reading this, acct surprised when you get the sweater.)
I made several of these sweaters in my pre-Ravelry days, when I was working in an office undergoing a baby boom. Because it is pre-Ravelry I don't have very good project notes or pictures. But I am comfident it will go quickly. This is just about an inch from starting the gusset on the back of the hood.
Because Mom isn't a fan of wool, this is being knit in Paton's Decor. But is a soft and not bad feeling like some yarns my snobbish fingers won't touch anymore.

Friday, May 21, 2010

When Did I Get So Old?

Suddenly, I am forced to admit, I find I can't do things I used to do. Or maybe not so suddenly. But still.
Dragging the 25 to 50 garden hoses Hubby had strung together (okay, maybe it was only 4, but it seemed like that many!) out near the manure spreader so I could spray out the bunny cages had me absolutely winded.
I no longer get excited when I hear the local amusement park is opening a new roller coaster.
I know better than to try to lift heavy boxes.
I find myself absolutely appalled by the way the world is going to heck in a hand-basket.
And don't get me started on the high school kids who loiter in the library! They have no better place to hang out than the library, where they scare the senior (and not so senior) citizens away?
Sometimes I get stiff when I sit and knit too long. Well, too long without moving anyway.
So when did I get so old?
Oh, I guess the memory is going. I do recall that dread birthday a couple weeks ago.
It must have hit me then.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Finished Knitting

Another pair of socks off the needles.
Don't they show up well on the sock form? Great for taking pictures.
These socks have been slowing being knit since last fall. They started of course as my backup socks but I did take them along to a genealogy conference and finished the cuff and turned the heel then back in November. They are made with some Debra Norville yarn, Serenity that has bamboo and are very comfortable. I actually finished them last Thursday but haven't had a chance to post them.
While I do have a pair started, out of Mini Mochi, in dark blue, I decided to break out the needles to get another pair started.
You know, originally I started having a backup pair of socks for traveling when I was at a difficult part on the primary pair. Now that I have done the heel flap, and even turned the heel and picked up gusset stitches while chaperoning the childrens Sunday School class I guess that excuse isn't really valid. But I like having an extra pair anyway. I just keep one baggie ready to grab whenever I go somewhere.

I just love the colors on this.

It looks like any color pooling will probably just spiral down the leg so that works for me. Soon though, I need to try a toe-up pair.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fiber Fiesta Fun

I was able to attend the First Annual Fiber Fiesta in Greenville Saturday. I ended up going alone, but that was ok. Friend Rachel, who had a booth at the festival, also owns a pizza shop there. So I spent the day, along with many of our spinning guild members (vendors and shoppers) and then feasted on BC Pizza before heading home.
The location was a big pavilion with walls and roof like canvas. You can see from the background above how bright it was, even though inside. It made for great picture taking. I loved the shawls in this booth. I may have to dig out my small looms and piece together a woven shawl.
Here are Evelyn (from the Old Farm Girl) who will be hosting her own fiber festival Memorial Day weekend (Friday and Saturday) in just north of White Cloud, and Cindy. They were manning their booth, while simultaneously channeling their inner "Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz." I loved the fact that Cindy bought a bunch of wool even though she didn't have a spinning wheel or spindle. The wheel was ordered today.
Rachel is another member of our Wooly Friends spinning guild. She has Counting Sheep Farm and lovely wool, fleece and animals. Never a dull moment when she is around! Since she was by herself, once I finished wandering and shopping (mostly) I brought in my wheel and spun in her booth.
Several other members of our group were there as well. Another fiber friend hopes to close on a farm just south of the county line. Easily close enough to join us for spinning and other fun stuff.
Mary, Yvonne and Sue Ann was among the group from spin guild who enjoyed that delicious pizza. Here we are preparing to waddle out to our vehicles to trek on home. Rachel had the gang put out the buffet for us, even though they usually do not have it out on Saturdays. Yum!
For the most part I did show good restraint. I did get a yarn pack and pattern in dove gray for a shawl from Yarn Hollow. I also got 2 balls of lovely soft merino roving in deep green, cream and rose pink, a shawl pin and 5 patterns.
Oh yeah. I also got this:
That is 5 and a half pounds of polypay roving. Squishy, bouncy and I think I hear a sweater calling my name in there. I couldn't help it. The vendor kept walking buy with this huge bag and I had to know why. There was a momentary blur, and the next thing I knew, I was ripping a check out of the book. Oh well. But doesn't it look nice?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Six Does Not Equal Six

Let me explain.
I was diligently working on my Marl Yoke Raglan last week at Knit Nite. I was SOOOOO close to the end of the body and place to join the sleeves that I kept knitting so I could say I had the sweater that far.
Since the shawl I am making for Evelyn is a bit too complicated to take to Knit Nite (I tend to talk a lot there.), I wanted to have the sleeves ready to work on. I dug out a pencil and my copies of EZ's Opinionated Knitter, and Knitting in the Old Way and started calculating. I figured out how many stitches I needed to cast on, how many rows it would take, how often I would have to increase if I did it this way or that way. And so on.
I was so thorough.
Finally I cast on with a set of Plymouth bamboo double point needles and knit about 6 rounds or so.
Then something made me pause. The ghost of Elizabeth Zimmermann perhaps?
Anyway, something made me stop and put away the size 7 needles tips that I had out. And while I was at it, I checked the tips I had used for the sweater body. The needle gauge I was using showed the size 7 slot loose and sloppy.
But wait! So was the size 6. I had supposedly been using Size 6 in my Harmony Options. I dug out another needle gauge and the size 6 fit perfectly.
Then I looked at both gauges. One size 6 was a 4.25mm. the other was 4.00mm. I checked the double points I was using for the sleeve. Size 6 all right. but 4.25 not 4.00
I just knew if I continued with the the sleeves with size 4.25, the gauge wouldn't match when I joined the sleeves to the body. So I ended up logging on to KnitPicks and placing an order for size 6 4.00 mm double points and also a 16 inch circ (and some lace weight yarn, and books. Oops, the mouse must have slipped.) I frogged the bit of sleeve I had started and waited. Yesterday my package came--in just 5 days!
Maybe now I can knit with peace of mind.
Or not.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Big Boys Toys--Part Two

Older Son has been avoiding my camera this past week. And he has been busy hauling manure, so he has been in a much smaller tractor. He stopped by and had supper with me last night and I managed to get a picture or two of him, with the "smaller tractor."
Yeah, really small.
However, you will notice that this tractor has tires, not tracks and no hinge in front of the rear wheel.
Thoughtful child that he is, he came with his large and dirty manure spreader. This is the clean side.
He was going on the night shift when he left here. He said he would be using the Big Tractor then. But not till after dark. Too late for a ride and picture.
Besides, that one doesn't have a passenger seat.
Darn, I wanted a ride.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shoulder Shawl Update

I haven't posted an "in-progress" shot of the rayon blend Shoulder Shawl. I am enjoying working with this single ply yarn and when finished, I think the lace will block out to show up nicely.
I am currently on the 6th ten row pattern repeat. I am getting better with it and can even knit a little when Hubby is in the house. But not if he talks and wants responses. But it is going pretty well.

Here in the close up you can see the colors pretty well. The pieces needs stretched to really show the cherry leave pattern.

Gilbert the mighty farm poodle says, Mom, you are spending way too much time on knitting and not enough on scratching tummy.

Clearly he has different priorities

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Big Boys Toys

Older Son has a new ride.
His boss leased a new Case IH and apparently it belongs to Older Son--his mobile office with a view.
I have been trying to catch him with my camera. Either I see him tooling along in a field, while I have no camera.....Or I carry my camera around but can't track him down, or he is doing some non-tractor work for a while.
This tractor is HUGE! A big red tractor with tracks in the place of each of the usual 4 wheels, on each corner as my uncle said. And in front of the rear tracks is a pivot. I saw an Ertl 1/64th model yesterday at the farm store that I think is the same model. The model was almost $17, much more than most of the model tractors. I can only imagine what the real think costs.
On second thought, I don't think I can.
No wonder food keeps getting expensive.
I will get a picture yet.