Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Did I Leave You Hanging?

I think I did with that last post.  I was once gain having problems posting.  Not sure if it is Internet Explorer problem or Blogger.  But I finally got it posted and didn't want to chance adding anything more.
I mentioned yet another new project. 
It is similar to the previous, Cotton Candy shawl.  Again it is knit side to side with applied lace.  I found the left over handspun alpaca left over from Levi's baby cardigan.  Snd a different lace pattern.
 This time the lace is from a great book:  Traditionald Knitted Lace Shawls, by Martha Waterman.  I love that book, it is a book that gives you the general ideas and then tells you to go forth and knit.
So I did.  If anything, I like this more than my cotton one.  But, dang, I've already promised this, and since I mentioned to my sister-in-law, (the future mother-in-law) I guess I'll have to give it up next month at the bridal shower.
And after starting this late Friday, I am close to half way already.  Its going to be a quick knit.  Then I can go back to mine, and the huge needle jacket for Betty. 27ll nt

Monday, May 30, 2011

Large Needle Anguish

Over the long weekend, I had plans for much kniting.  I was loving the new Cotton Candy sideways shawl and didn't want to stop.  I also worked on the green jacket for Betty with the alpaca silk blend. 

After this picture, I did the armhole shaping on both sides of the back and am zipping along up the back to the neck shaping.  However, the large needles were driving me crazy.  The stockinette on this is size 13.  Anything larger than size 9 very soon starts feeling awkward. I am so fickle! I had to spend some time on my Contton Candy Shawl.  Which, by the way has grown nicely and I love dearly.  Here it is with the one side folded back.

And here is a close up of the lace.  Simple garter stitch with applied lace as I knit. 

And then I had a brain storm. I needed a present for my nephews soon to be wife's bridal shower.  And this was going so fast, I decided to start another project for her. Thats right.  Another new project.  I'm such a wuss, when it comes to something new.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another Week, Another Project

I did it again.
I started another project. I purchased the cotton yarn with the idea of having a cotton shawl to wear to my nephew's wedding in July.
And since time does creep up, I cast on.
A simple side to side triangle, with a lace edging. The yarn is a cloud soft organic cotton in pale pink.
My own pattern with added lace. We'll see how it works. Maybe will write it up later.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring Time Lilacs

One of my favorite spring time flowers are lilacs.  One of the only shrubs I've planted on the farm was my lilac.  Twice actually.  Farm boys don't always pay attention when first using riding law mowers.  Or driving trucks.

  I don't like the really pale washed out lilacs.  I really love the deep purple, almost black ones, but couldn't find one when I was in the buying mood.  But this one is a bit deeper than the myriad bushes growing along the roads and in old farm yards.
I can almost smell these now.  And this is the first good crop we've had in years.  Usually they get a bit frozen, but not this year.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Felted Hat, Part 3

 Well this may not look like an improvement from the previous post, but it is.  The extra fullness on the top was deliberate.  Since I usually have my hair in a clip on the back of my head, most hats won't fit me.  This was was designed to fit over the hair clip, and also to fit my large head circumference.  After all, why should my head be skinny, when the rest of me isn't?

The hat needed to be dried and pressed next, before it was shaped and prodded into its final shape.

 And here is the finished project.  A couple pleats on one side, with one of them extending nearl all around the hat.

 And this shot, from above shows the pleats a bit better.

I really like it.  Thanks Evelyn for all the help.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Felting, Part 2

 Ok, where did I leave off? 
Oh yeah.  With the Mad Hatter look. 
The needle felted fiber, is gently pulled from the foam form.  It is still in a rather gentle state.  Into the sink it went, after first placing an inflated ball into it.  Then we soaked and rubbed and soaked and rubbed and turned and rubbed and soaked.  And etc.  Until it felt like it was, well, felt.
Then we rinsed off the soap and sqeezed most of the water out.  And tried it on.
Hmmm.  Maybe it's not quite ready yet.

I feel like I'm channeling Sunbonnet Sue.  Or maybe Strawberry Shortcake.  Am I dating myself?
I don't want to push my luck with the trouble Blogger has been causing.  Tomorrow the finished project.

A Felting I Did Go.

Ok, I'll try this again. I had this all typed and ready to post, but then it wouldn't save or post. This was nearly midnight last night. So I decided to retreat and try again with this picture rich posting.
Friday afternoon I paid a visit to one of my wonderful fiber friends, Evelyn. She had offered to help me make a felted hat, using plain old wool top.
So, with a large handfull of Ruby merino combed top and a bit of pale pink, and a huge pice of foam, I started layering wool on the form. You can see next to the form my 6 needle holder that I used to needle felt it together.

After much poking and punching, I had the form fully covered.  Looks like a giant wool drum.

After taking it off the form, turning and patching thin spots that resulted from my own uneven layering of wool, I had this.  I also took som small pieces of the pale pink merino top to add a few squiggles of decorations.

I can just see the Mad Hatter wearing this. However it was for me. But there was still a lot of work to do.
And since, for some reason, Blogger doesn't seem to save more than this today, the rest of the story to follow.
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Saturday, May 21, 2011


Nothing is more frustrating than sitting down with the computer, ready to post a picture loaded tale, only to find out I can't get Blogger to upload any pictures.
Dang. Cuz that is my problem right now.
I've tried a system restore, then un-restored it.
Now, I guess I'll have to try tomorrow. And it was going to be a wonderful post.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm Still Around

I guess I haven't been posting much lately.  But I have been knitting, just not taking pictures.
After a couple false starts with the light piney green jacket for Betty, I finally have a handle on it.  The recommended cast on wasn't working for me.  It actually raveled up!  I never heard of such a thing!  Perhaps it had something to do with the way my stitches sit on the needle with the back leg forward.  (That is because of my funny way of knitting--AKA the Improved Allen Cousin Method of knitting.) (Maybe I'll post about it sometime.)
Anyway, I switched to long tail cast on and am ribbing away just fine.  I had to go down a needle size as I mentioned before.  It is a bit loose, but I think when washed the yarn may bloom and fill the spaces.
I will try to get a couple pictures soon.
I also have been working on my Pentecost red cormo/silk shawl.  I don't think I am going to make it.  (Just when is Pentecost this year, anyway?  Those floating dates always get me.
When I measure from the middle back edge to the needle, which is about half the wingspan, it measures almost 24 inches, unstretched.  I would like to have at least 30 on each half, so when blocked it will be closer to 70 or more.  Does not look like it will be happening by Pentecost, since the rows are getting longer and longer.  I only got about 10 rows all weekend on that, besides my other items.
And hey, there are always the socks--3 pair in progress.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


So I'm wandering through the grocery store, finishing my shopping. And an item in the cooler catches my attention.
Fat-free Half & half. Say what? Fat-free? Isn't the whole idea of Half & half the fact that it is half cream with its fatty, creamy richness?
Fat-free? Why bother?
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hubby's New Toy

Last week Saturday, Hubby went to one of those events so beloved by farmers: an auction sale.  It doesn't matter if he is looking for something or not.  I think he usually just goes to catch up on male gossip.
This time however, he had an object in his sights, a new garden tractor.  And he was successful. 
A 92 White, with bagger, and a 52 inch deck.
It even has a cup holder!
Maybe he can mow it in just a couple sections instead of a little each day for a week.
Or not.

Friday, May 6, 2011

We Have Sleeve Stubs

Well, what else can I call them?  They aren't real sleeves yet, but I have divided the body from the sleeves and set aside the sleeve stitches for a little later.  And frankly I am quite impressed with how much I have gotten done on the Duchess of Cambridge cardigan in the past week.
Just look.
 I know the front doesn't meet, but there is are stitches picked up all along the fronts and neck and the collar is knit from there.  I am qute happy with the progress recently on this.
I think I will do the sleeves after an inch or two more on the body, because sleeves are easier when the sweater isn't as heavy.  Of course though, this is a Featherweight.  How heavy can it get?
Since I will be putting this aside in the next few days to work on Bettys jacket, as well as my pentecost red shawl, I have time to think whether I want to put a ribbed hem and facing, or if I want it curly stockinette, or if I want to use seed or lace or something that won't curl. 
Decisions, Decisions.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Plugging Away

I have been knitting like mad on the newly re-christened Duchess of Cambridge Featherweight. No new pictures due to stitch count issues.
They were not entirely my fault though.
As anyone who has purchased this pattern knows, Hannah Fettig recently updated the pattern, changing the stitch counts and upsizing it. I had done my own upsizing, so I was cool with that. But then she noted that the sleeves were too full for some people. She said if you were in the middle of a sweater and wanted to follow the new version, just keep up your increases until you have the right number of sleeve stitches, then divide.
So I did. And after placing the correct number of stitches on strings to hold them, I decided to count the front and back stitches. The good news was that the fronts each matched. The bad news was that I was off a total of 28 stitches.
And that, my friends, is a difference of 4.6 inches. Not good for an ample one like me.
So, I put the stitches back on the needles, and went on increasing the fronts and backs,, but not sleeves. Got a couple extra rows to knit, but soon I hope to be dividing again.
And then I will post pictures.
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Monday, May 2, 2011

The New Tom

Cat that is.
Last year, in an effort to bring some new blood into our barn kitties, my friend Sandy brought a black kitten and two white ones from her brothers farm.  The white ones didn't make it, but the black one is just what we were looking for.  And he has grown nicely.
Sleek and shiny, and quite independent.  Although we have two other homegrown tom cats that handle things, Blacky here managed to breed a cat that came out of season very late last fall.  I am hoping for good things from him. 
The ears you see in the foreground belong to the mama cat who keeps having her kitties inside the barn wall.  Hubby is getting his lasso ready to retrieve the six she had a couple weeks ago.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back to Normal, for Me

Well after practically overdosing on the Royal Wedding, I am finally getting back together.  I slept in some yesterday, but then had a business meeting. (More on that in future.)
Some knitting has been done, swatching at least.  The mohair silk for Betty's jacket is so soft, and has such sheen. 
It looks like I will be going down a needle size, now I have to figure out the crazy cast on.  Maybe I'll do a tublar cast on instead. It looks similar to that.