Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Roller Coaster Weekend

Up, down and all around.  That certainly describes my weekend.
First off, Older Son married his Cowgirl.  Pictures were taken in great quantity and aside from a few moments that are what memories are made of, all went well.  At least with the wedding and reception.  I promise to do another posting on the wedding soon.  But...something else must take priority.
My baby brother.  My favorite brother.
My only brother, passed away last evening, after a long hard fight against pancreatic cancer.   He only recently had ended treatment and suddenly, all to quickly, was gone.
Pesky as only a younger brother can be, he managed to marry a wonderful woman and raised a fine batch of 2 sons and 3 3/4 grandsons. (Daughters have to marry into our family, in his family as well as mine.)
We bickered and squabbled as children, but but had a great life in rural Michigan.  If not on a farm, we grew up right next to our grandmother's farm. (More fun, less chores.)  Tractors to ride, creeks to explore, tadpoles to catch. 
Here he is on his shiny red bike in August of 59.  In the background is our mint green station wagon.  He ran into the fin and ended up with his first stitches.
Always the handsome young blade, as shown here in July of  82 at my wedding, he was a pretty good brother all in all.
I'm going to miss him.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Farmall Jacket

About a week ago I shared a picture of some red and black yarn I was using to start something new.  I have been alternating between the red and black sweater, and the Sweet Pea Cardigan.  I have an inch or so of stockinette on the pea green Sweet Pea Cardigan, after finishing the garter strip around the body.
Since that was a good place to leave to work on at Knit Night (in other words, brainless knitting) I turned to the red and black yarn.
I had decided on another Baby Surprise Jacket out of wool, this time Cascade 220 Superwash Sport.  The colors would be for Older Son's tractor of choice, Cash IH.  Or as I grew up calling them, Farmalls.
The Farmall Jacket is growing right along.  After swatching, shown above, (because I do swatch) I made good progress.  I am presently on making a black stripe on the sleeves and across the back.
I love the Baby Surprise Jacket.  At no time during the knitting process does it remotely resemble a sweater.  And then, once it is bound off and a couple folds, and...whoa, instantly it becomes a sweater.
Just one more week before the wedding.  I am getting excited.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Produce Picking

I spent some time the other day rummaging in the garden.  One the barn kitties thought he would join me.
He wasn't much help.
You can see that although our garden is usually weedy by this time of year, this year it is much more so than usual. With Hubby being so tired, and sleeping away many days, the garden has been reclaimed by nature.  If you look closely at the second batch of sweet corn, you can see that there are some weeds almost taller than I am in there.
The tomatoes are starting.  I am getting a few cherry tomatoes every day.  And some even make it into the house!  So far, no large tomatoes though.  I am so hungry for a toasted whole wheat tomato and mayo sandwich.
And I am loving all the cucumbers coming off my bush cucumber vines.  I have been making lots of refrigerator pickles (1 cup each vinegar, water and sugar, and season to taste, fill container with cucumbers and try not to eat them for a day or two).
And of course the green beens.  A garden staple around here.
Although I informed Hubby, since I get stuck picking them each year, next year only one long row instead of two.  Just plant the first half and after a few weeks, plant the second.  I can't take the heat and bending over as well as I used to.  I get dizzy.
These came from just over half of the row of second planting.  I refused to pick the rest.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Making Progress

When you consider that I almost decided to rip this whole thing back a few days ago, I think the Sweet Pea Cardigan is looking pretty good.
I mentioned earlier that I would share a picture after I divided the sleeves away from the body.  And that happened last night.  I decided after the divide to work a few rows of garter stitch, and then revert to plain stockinette for the rest of the body.  I haven't decided whether to do the same with the sleeves or not.  I am considering working the sleeves in pattern all the way down to the cuffs.  If I do, I will have to pick up a few stitches under the arm to make the pattern work.  I will have a while to decide that.
As I contemplated a baby blanket project (more on that another time), I started rummaging in my wool room.  The most embarrassing portion is the corner between some tubs and some shelves where I blatantly just toss my leftover yarn after finishing a project.  It is all in one place but obviously unorganized.  I may be able to find a few more random partial skeins to supplement this pile too.
Some is sorted into bags, but much is just tossed into the corner, along with project bags and baskets.
Hmmm.  Clearly something needs to be done.  I think the time has come for remnant yarn tubs.  I am thinking of a large tub for leftover worsted weight, some smaller ones for fingering weight yarn, and lace weight, since those are the yarns I use most.  Those tubs are a must.  Then I can decide on sizes of tubs I need for the rest.  I do have some sport, and DK, so maybe a tub to combine those, perhaps separated in bags.  I have very little heavier chunky or bulky yarns, but it would be nice to keep them together.
I guess I have some see through tub purchases to make soon, while the urge to sort and organize is upon me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Baby Sweater on the Needles

I suppose that is no surprise to anyone.  And that it is a Baby Surprise Jacket for my grandbaby.
I am swatching and ready to cast on this afternoon.  I had made one Baby Surprise last summer, finishing just before that little one went directly to heaven in the first tri-mester.  That one was made with worsted weight and is rather large.
I found some perfect pearly white buttons for it the other day, but haven't put them on yet.  I figure it won't fit for at least a year anyway.   But in the meantime, this is the yarn for the one I am starting now, in sport weight.
Farmall/Case IH red and black, for the child whose father wan'ts to name him after his tractor.   I have another red skein on hold to pick up later this week.  This time it is superwash wool.  The first sweater was a good acrylic/wool blend.  Enough wool for warmth, with acrylic for washability.  
I am still working on the Sweet Pea Cardigan, although it did have a close call.  I debated frogging it and saving the yarn for something else.  The problem is the pattern that I work every 4th row.  But I am worried that the pattern will be garbled when I divide the sleeve stitches away. I may be able add or deduct a stitch at each sleeve to make up the difference.  At such a fine gauge, it shouldn't make much of a difference.   Or I could scrap the texture and do a few rows of garter and then straight stockinette.  I have about 5 more increase rows before the sleeves, so I have time to decide.  I'll save that picture for next time. 
In the wedding news, I got two dresses and a skirt that I ordered last week. Once the rush of fair week was over I looked them over and took them to a friend.  One is a petite and the perfect length.  The other is about a foot longer.  But, being sleeveless, I think I want to wear that one.  So Ellen, an experienced seamstress, is going to work her magic for me. 
Here is a picture of my favorite dress, that I lifted from the website where I ordered it (Woman Within).
That is the color too.  If it gets cool, I think my recently finished SWestie shawl will be a good topper.  

Monday, August 11, 2014


I guess I was gone longer from the blog than I intended.  Baby knitting, and fair week both conspired against me this time.  I had done so well in July, but I guess I blew it so far this month.  Is it really the 11th already?
Last week was fair week, plus I am up everyday at 5:20am to pick up Younger Son from work.   Not what this poor old unemployed person was used to.
Hubby is getting better, as far as the tiredness.  He slept a lot on Saturday, but I had him take the shift to pick up Son at 5am.  Ugh.  But if he has things to do, he manages to keep up and active. He was at the fair almost everyday last week.  More than I was, because I was riding in when he went, when I could, to avoid a second parking pass.
But I did go in early on Thursday on my own, to see the dairy show.  It was in a new venue this year.  a nice new area, but not nearly big enough for the show. The benches that were there only held a small fraction of the normal crowd.  The kids trying to turn their animals around when they were fussy didn't have room to make a circle.  All went fairly well, aside from that.  One of the family friends got a supreme open class dairy cow!
Good job kid! 
And remember my little date for the dairy show last year?  He was there too.  But so engrossed in his chocolate covered cheesecake, he had eyes for no one else. 
But in spite of everything, I did get some knitting done.  I managed a few more rounds on my Plain Old Boysenberry Pi.  But pictures are impossible now until its off the needle.  It just look like a reddish purple blob.  But I did finish the hoodie for Little Laban.  Now I need to wash, block it, and send it on its way.