Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Side Effect

I've noticed that after I attend any kind of fibery celebration I get inspired to attempt new things. Yesterday was no different. Every fiber festival has its own style or tone. The one in West Branch each fall is casual and laid back. It has a good amount of fiber, tools and techniques. The West Michigan Fiber Festival, held in Allegan is simply overwhelming in quantity of everything. There are lots and lots of vendors and demonstrators. Plus fiber animals--rabbits, sheep, goats, alpacas, and once even a camel! The atmosphere is fun frantic and the weather is often sizzling hot.

The show at Castle Farms in Charlevoix is a whole different ballgame. Being a resort area there is a...I don't know, classier atmosphere maybe? Very nice venue. There are lots of finished items. Lots of hand dyed yarns and fibers. I splurged on a couple woven shawls. One a purplish pashmina type, machine made. The other from a good friend, a dyed alpaca shawl--toasty and warm. I found a couple patterns, one with the merino yarn it called for. And a scrumptious blend of pale green mostly angora they called "crack for spinners." It is soooo soft.

But the side effect this time was that I came home inspired to try my hand at chair pads, crocheted out of roving. I tried one that was thick, soft and comfy. And the pads breath and let the air through. I may take it to spinning. Those plastic seats are very warm to sit on.

Back home, until I can find the humungus crochet hook, the Best Bud's Baby's sweater is growing. I'm getting ready to start the pocket.

And I did start one non-sweater project. A small pair of socks.

Small dog included for scale.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Road Trip!

After a change of partners for the ride, the trip is on.  Another fiber friend, Pat, and I are headed to beautiful Charlevoix Michigan for a fiber arts festival at the Castle Farms.
I can't wait to get there.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Off the Needles

First off, I have received many complaints about the tentative name for the highly awaited grandchild. No one likes Lil' Roscoe. So, in the spirit of flexibility, I will henceforth call my grandchild Grandly.

But his/her first sweater is off the needles. It still needs buttons picked out, but here is a sneak peek.

I will not say it is done. I have a few ends to weave in.

Then I can cast on for the previously promised Best Bud's Baby's Sweater. Also known as Little Sparty With a Touch of Maize.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer in Green and Brown

The heat goes on, making me dream of winter. But the heat has caused the corn, at least that was planted early, to pop out the tassels this week. This picture was taken early this week. Today there are tassels. Very important to the development of the ears and kernels.

But another crop is done with its growing. This field of wheat was waving in the hot breeze on Monday.

But today, not only has it been combined, the straw has need baled and picked up. Busy neighbors. But back on the homestead, we have gotten our delivery of our winter fuel.

Guess that will keep Hubby busy once it cools off.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Lil' Roscoe's Baby Surprise

I have been hard at work knitting the first sweater for my impending grandchild (AKA Lil' Roscoe). It is the one and only Baby Surprise Jacket designed by Elizabeth Zimmermann. It is such a fun knit.

It looks like nothing hanging from the needles. But give it a few flips and folds and....bam! It's a sweater.

I have been knitting for only a week and am a bit beyond this. I should easily have it done before the end of the week. By then, I should work on Older Son's Best Bud's baby sweater. After all that baby is due in a couple months. Interestingly enough, the difference in age between these long time friends will be about the same as the difference in the age of their babies.

But for now, back to the grandchild's knitting.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Baby Knitting

There has been baby knitting going on around here! The Baby Surprise Jacket for my new grand baby is growing from the yarn I brought last weekend. Small dog, of course, included for scale.

Not bad for just a few hours knitting for Lil' Roscoe. That's what I have decided to call the impending grandbaby. The reason I choose that name is that I also called both Older Son and Younger Son Roscoe before they were born. Sort of a practice name that I would not really stick them with, that I could use until I got to meet them face to face. So until I find out differently, Lil' Roscoe it is.

I am continuing to work on the Happy Wrap Vest, but it is "at home" knitting only. I am a little farther than shown here, but still have a long way to go. It seems to go faster when the rows are half as long.

Hmmm. Imagine that.

Anyway, I will continue on Lil' Roscoe's knitting. Good thing he is due in winter.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Re-Thinking the Plan

As you may know this is my year of knitting sweaters. The Happy Wrap Vest is about half done. The black cotton tee is in time out. (Black is just too hard to knit on size 2 needles.) And the blue Duchess of Cambridge Featherweight is still my travel project. So far this year, I have knit two sweaters for me and three baby sweaters out of the six total I planned to knit this year. I also have one on deck for a friend's baby. I am not worried about my goal.

But having a coming grandbaby has thrown all my knitting plans awry. The three or so I hoped to still knit for myself this year are falling by the wayside. I have a grandchild to wrap in wool.

So over the last week, I have been browsing the patterns in Ravelry, (a social network like FaceBook for knitters, with patterns and other addicting, enabling goodies) and I have been planning my new revised knitting plan. And yes, it is still sweaters, just not for me.

First up, a baby surprise jacket, similar to one I made last fall, but with slightly finer yarn (DK, not worsted) in predominately charcoal gray with red, white and blue stripes. It's Encore DK, an acrylic wool blend. And, okay, it's not pure wool, but more practical for babies.

I have also downloaded patterns for Baby Sophisticate, and the Baby Cabled Cardigan. And I already have the pattern for the Wonderful Wallaby. I may have yarn for that already to go.

But tonight the I cast on. For my grand baby!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Reclaiming the Alley

It was a pleasant sight when the work week started. Instead of the piles do dirt, next to a new curbs, parking spaces and back sidewalk.....

I was greeted by an actual paved pink concrete alley.

The entrances were still blocked, but pedestrians were taking over. By late yesterday, cars still couldn't access, but people were again parking in the back lot and walking all over it.

I'm hoping for full access soon.

And in the meantime, Happy birthday America!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I think I've Recovered

From the shock I mean, of soon becoming Granny Hagen.

How can it be possible? My baby, aka Older Son, is going to be a daddy?

Granted, his best bud since before entering school (shown on the right with Older Son in middle) is also going to become a parent this fall. Several of his friends have taken that next step as well.

Right now, armed with the girlfriend's name and a tentative date of maybe February I have time to plan knitting. Lets see......a Baby Surprise, a Wallaby? Maybe a shawl or blankie too.

In the meantime just call me Granny.