Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Knit Happens

So no sooner than I finished the Purple Marl Yoke Cardigan, complete with sewn in zipper, than I started the Nordic Blue Featherweight. I know I haven't had a picture yet of the completed sweater.

Even Gertrude says its too warm to model it. I'll try to persuade her. I know it is way too warm a sweater to wear for a while.

But on the trip to St. Joe this last Friday, I got a bit of work done on the Featherweight.

Being all stockinette it curls easily, so I pinned it down and was amazed at how much I've got done already.

And the color goes with almost everything I own.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Garden Yummies

This year Hubby decided to try something new in the garden. After having a HUGE crop of Yukon Gold potatoes last year, he decided to try sweet potatoes this year..
So we got a seed catalog and ordered the minimum--15 plants. A few days ago his patience got the best of him. He poked around in the ground and felt some potatoes and was satisfied.
But yesterday he weakened again. This time he dug up a hill to see how they were doing. As you can see, he left half of one potato in the ground, but not bad for one hill. And we had the broken potato and the one on the right for supper, as well as the baby one in the foreground.
Very good.
We may need to do this again. Especially since the blight got our regular potatoes early and most died off early.
But the tomatoes are going good. Homegrown Tomato and Mayo on whole wheat is my favorite sandwich. (I refuse to buy the no-taste, hard, store tomatoes.)
Summer veggies are great.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Friday, Mary and I continued our 4 year tradition, venturing down to St Joe to visit Christy and help set up her classroom. No trip to the Joe is complete without a glimpse of Lake Michigan. This is peek at the beach at the park next to her summer job. The waves breaking on the rock breakwal were gorgeous.
We thought we were in for a peaceful visit. Christy had her usual long list of jobs for us to tackle, mostly cutting, cleaning, ironing, wrapping, and having fun.
No storms on the horizon this year, as we have had before. Cooler temps, and we thought all would be well.
And except for an exciting hour of family phone calls, text messages and dropped calls back and forth--involving Irish diplomats, car accidents and stitches, a great time was had by all. Well maybe all except Mary.
Here is Mary finishing one of her final tasks, wrapping a box deemed ugly by Christy.
And here I am....oh, wait, I was taking a camera break. Anyway, here was my work station where I cut, and sorted and so on most of the day.
And before we left, one of their family cousins stopped by (who is also a knitter and a Ravelry and FaceBook friend of mine,) and we had a quick lunch before Cousin Jaimie headed back to her conference, and Mary and I headed home.
Good times.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Michigan Fiber Festival

Saturday was spent with some friends fondling fiber at the Michigan Fiber Festival.  Rain kept some of the crowd away.  But it soon cleared, and great times,and fiber were had by all.
And I scored a great new basket!
I have got to say,these events are so much fun when you see people you know.  But what does it mean when so many of the vendors know me?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And We're Off

I knew I had to start this. At least as far as a good travel project. I started my Featherweight Cardigan. This is one of the most recent patterns that has become the "must knit" project in the knitting universe. I didn't want to be the last to make one.
So, with a cone of blue naturespun fingering in the stash (stash diving to boot!!) in hand and the calculations made to up-size the pattern I cast on today. It is a good traveling project, top down raglan for a while, then just stockinette body until the hem area. I can decide later if I want to go with a rib or some other pattern for the edges and collar area.
But, yes indeed. I cast on and am off and running. Er, knitting.
And almost done with the fiddly work left on the marl yoke cardi.
And no, Evelyn, I haven't had any problems with my needles catching fire. But I do put them in the freezer at night.

Purple Sweater Nearing End

Gertrude agreed to model my purple marl yoke sweater for me the other day. I pinned the front shut because of the curling. Once the front bands are done, addint a couple inches, and the zipper installed, I think it is going to be a fine fit.
And here is a closepu of the yoke. The handspun of course pooled differently on each front, but I think I looks ok. That is one advantage of knitting in the round and then steeking (cutting) the front. The coloers will match up better.
I also like the purple strip I added near the end, to contrast with the hand spun strip at the end of the sleeves and above the bottom ribbing.
I am casting off the second band as I type and just pockets and the underarm seam to go.
Now, let's look at that pattern for the Featherweight.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hot Times At the Fair

I think I have finally recovered from the 90+ temps of the fair. I was only able to spend one afternoon and evening there and only survived by sitting in front of one fan with another osscillating on and off me.
We had a theme of "Down on the Farm" with a frame of a barn and a walk through exhibit. One corner had some blue mason jars and an old wire egg basket.
In another corner was some milking equipment with milker, cans and a watering cup.
And look in the silent auction cabinet. My Flying Geese Shawl. When I got there near the end of the auction, it was all folded up so no one could see what they were bidding on. Since nothing else was in the cabinet, I opened it up sot the size could be seen. Not sure if it helped bidding that late in the week, but I tried.
I sure hope next year is cooler. I am not a fan of the hot, muggy fair times.

Startitis Again

Oh no!
It's happening again.  As I get close to the end of my purple marl yoke sweater, my fingers are twitching to start my featherweight sweater.
I need a no-brainer project.
Pictures of the marl yoke will be posted soon.
And I'll let you know about the featherweight.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Marl Sweater and New Beginnings.

Now that I have finished the Cherry Leaf Shawl, it is time to attack the Marl Yoke sweater. I finished the second sleeve, joined and worked several rows. I started the marl and am starting the raglan decreases now. I bought a zipper so I will be sewing that in once I make the zipper band. I am not sure if will do in purple or the marl. I am leaning to the handspun marl for the band and collar. But the jury is still out.
And, also since I finished the shoulder shawl, I started the Elizabeth Zimmermann's 100 Anniversary Pi Shawl. I am working on the version called Hearts and Vines for EZ, it is the second edition on the free Ravelry pattern.
This is the cone of Mulberry naturespun fingering weight I am using out of my stash. It was hard to break it free from the stash locker. But I didn't have to buy anthing new.

Here is how it looked after switching to the 24 inch size 7 circ. This is going to be one time where having the extra cables is nice. As it gets bigger, I can just knit onto a new longer needle without too much hassle.

I can't wait to get more done on this. As well as finishing the sweater and maybe one or more of my other projects.

And no, I am not on a sudden purple kick. Mere coincindence.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Fair Week

This week is fair week and for the first time in I don't know how long, I am missing almost all of it.
Part of it is the horrid torrid heat and humidity.
Part of it is the parking fee cost.
Part of it is that I work every morning and the parts I like to watch--hog show, beef show, dairy show--all are in the morning, and even though I work only 27 hours a week, all those hours are in the mornings.
I will be at the fair after work today. I'll change to shorts and bring cool stuff and try to survive until 9pm, when I can lock up the building.
I'm going to miss the action. I'm not even sure if Oldest Son is in the tractor pull or now.
But......that said.....

Hubby and Younger Son have spent every night there so far. I kind of like the time at home. Lots of knitting, blogging and staying cool.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finished Cherry Leaf Shawl

I finished it! It is off the needles, and delivered for blocking. I kind of like this knitting for someone else where I don't have to stretch and block. Doesn't the design pop when spread out?
I even managed to get the two rows of crochet done. Although I must say, the first row of single crochet was truly aggrevating. But the picot row turned out well, I think.
Even Gertrude agreed that it looked pretty good.
Now, on to my next project.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Air Conditioned and it Feels So Good

Now you have to realize, I am a winter lover to my very core. I am not a fan of hot, muggy weather and it is only the thoughts of blizzards and sub-zero temps that get me through the days of summer.
Keeping that in mind, and with the knowledge that a month or so ago, the air conditioning went out at the office I work 3 mornings a week; I was elated to find this when I reported to work last Wednesday. That is my desk under all that plastic. And over head:

Above the scaffolding, is where the new AC/furnace was getting installed.

Yea, Russ.

And when I came to work on Monday this week, instead of steamy, it was cool and comfy. The next best thing to winter. Thanks boss.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Think I Have a Bad Case

I was just sitting here, reading some items on Ravelry and some blogs and right out of left field it hit me. A bad case of Startitis.
Now I know I have a consignment shawl I vow to finish before Labor Day. And a sweater for me, and a couple other shawls, and 2 pairs of socks on needles, and .....
Well you know how it goes.
But I just realized that Sunday (8/9/10) would have been Elizabeth Zimmermann's 100th birthday. In case some random non-knitter happens to read this, EZ is my knitting guiding light. Thanks to her I know there are no knitting police and I can knit fearlessly. She has been such an inspiration and changed me from a knitter to a Knitter. I love her and have all of her books, and 2 DVDs.
Can you tell I am a fan?
Anyway, I have found a pattern based on her circular PI Shawl that is an Anniversary edition using multiples of 8s, 9s, and 10,s. I. Must. Cast. On. I must. But, I will wait till Sunday, on her birthday. Now I need to decide which cone of yarn to use. Luckily I have a few. Maybe the Boysenberry.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

He Got Me Again

After the episode Sunday (I just need you to hold the light while I grease the grain drill), you would think I would have learned my lesson.
You would think wrong.
Just as I was finishing the virus scan, and ready to go to the blog, Hubby says, in all innocence, "Can you help me cut and nail a board in the barn?" Notice the singular form.
Background is that almost every summer we need to replace a couple of the posts in the barn. They stick up about 4 feet from the cement floor, with about another 2 feet or so buried. That involves breaking through about 4 or 5 inches, at least, of cement, wiggling out the broken end of the old post, digging, and cementing in a new post. Then we replace the boards for the pens. When we got married 28 years ago, none of the posts or boards were treated. They had been build with raw timber he had milled for the barn. Eventually boisterous bulls and heavy heifers tend to break the posts off, and manure is not kind to the untreated timber. By now, nearly all of the untreated has been replaced with treated, a 4 or 6 foot section at a time. Sometimes more. Last year we had 3 posts in a row to replace. Sometimes the same treated 2 X 12s can be reused. Sometimes not.
So, anyway, I got naively out to the barn. Luckily the humidity was down, and we were in front of the 4 foot barn fan. And somehow the one board turned into 3, and nearly an hour. But that did finish this years project and now he is taking down an interim gate and moving water tank and mangers around. Happy as a farm guy can get.
And as you can see, I got back to the blog, if not the knitting.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Who's a Hayseed?

Sunday afternoon, after the race was finished (Mark didn't win, but still a good race), Hubby decided it was time to seed the new hayfield.
I was all this time stretching before me with him out of the house--time to put my loom together. But.....I was needed to help him grease the grain drill.
Well to hold the trouble light while he greased it. So I changed into some grubby clothes, since the grain drill had been sitting covered in assorted junk, collecting dust all winter in the barn. You know, it is surprising how much dust can accumulate in the barn.
So we greased, and then I thought I saw my chance of escape.
But it was not to be. He needed me to ride on the back of the grain drill, to make sure that the grain was feeding through properly. The last field we planted to grasses, and the long narrow seed wouldn't feed through the openings very well. That time I had to ride on the back of the drill, sidling back and forth on a 6 inch board, from one side to the other, poking a strip of plastic into the holes to open them. But this was trefoil seed, tiny round, black seeds.
Just a couple rounds, Hubby says. I sigh, in my mind seeing my loom languishing in the box, but I climb on the back. After the first round, he adjusts the flow and says one more time around. After that round Hubby adjusts again, and says, you might as well ride the rest of the way.
(Grrrrrrr.) But I ride. Butt up in the air. Sliding back and forth across the top of the drill. Even with a plastic burlap bag to slide on, I was still plenty dirty.
So no loom assembled yet. But I know in the spring, when we see all the pretty yellow trefoil flowers all over the field, and the sore neck is forgotten, I will be happy it was done.
Hope my loom is assembled by then.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Progressing Right Along

I don't have a current picture of the cherry leaf shoulder shawl. But I have managed to turn the corner and am now working my way up the second side. I had to do almost 2 full repeats in the corner stitch. I am progressing slowly because the last time I took it to Knit Nite, I ended up tinking almost as much as I knit.
So I have started the second sleeve on the Marl Sweater and hop to be joining those to the yoke and finishing that sweater so I can start on a sweater for Evelyn. She is planning on paying me in yarn to make a sweater for her.
I need to count up how much I need so I can let her know what to order. I have a White Lies pattern for a lacy cardigan. I want to use Victorian Pink Naturespun wool for it.
And of course, I have to start one of my cardigans with my handspun. I have plenty now that is spun up. And I would dearly love to try a cardigan with intarcia sheep in the yoke out of my handspun. Not at all ambitious am I?
And I need to make my first grand nephew another Wallaby. And I want to make a swirl shawl--already have the Jojoland for that.
So many projects. So little time.
Even if I am only working part time.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Older Son's "Office"

I mentioned back during planting season that my oldest son had a new ride--a huge Case International tractor with tracks and a pivot. I kept trying to track him down in the tractor for a picture, but had no luck.
The other day I was driving past their shop, and there it was.

No one was around except a couple trucks, so I stopped in and snapped a picture with the good old camera phone.
It doesn't really capture the size, unless you notice how small the steering wheel looks up there.