Friday, October 31, 2014

Back to Knitting

With the recent completion, or near completion of two projects, I have been working on the Gray Spiral Blankie and even though yesterday was a fairly full day. I managed to bump up from 16 inch to 24 inch cable needles. That means this will probably be about the last time I will be able to see, and photograph the spirals until binding off.

So, enjoy the view of that gorgeous spiral. It will be the last one for a while.

But, with this being the only active ongoing project, I looked at my other WIPS. Some were in the possible frog pond due to fitting issues. Nothing spoke to me urgently. So, I turned to new projects. I had one for Little Farmer I really wanted to start. But there was another baby I knew was coming in November.

And that baby's grandma had requested green and white. So what could I do but cast on?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chilly Farm Work

Hubby has been asking for help a couple afternoons this past week. In preparation for bringing the cattle in from pasture, he has been bringing big buckets of sand from the sandpit out back to put in front of the barn door. The ground by door the cattle use is always muddy from the rain runoff from the roof. When the cattle come in and out, they churn it up, making it even muddier.

And I do mean big buckets of sand. I was on electric fence detail, hooking and unhooking the gate. (Unplugged at the time.) Even though it was sunny that day, the wind was frigid.

We finished up today with another five buckets. Not so sunny. Equally cold.

The cattle were not impressed.

Not at all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sweater Parts

The final piece has been cast off! All the many markers removed.

And that, my friends, is a bag full of parts of the Blue Blood Cardigan. I will need a few days before I can soak, block and dry. Then comes the dreaded "sewing up," so hated by many knitters. Followed by knitting the neck and front bands.

And after that....wearing!

The end is in sight. Maybe I should cast on something else.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Blocking! Easy Edition

I gave both the Sweet Pea Cardigan and the Farmall Jacket a dip in the soaking pan to prepare for blocking. I soaked them separately luckily because the red did bleed slightly in the warm water.

It doesn't show the bleeding here, as it only showed when I gave it a gentle swish. But before I took this out of the water, I drained and pushed as much water as I could by kneading the Sweet Pea Cardi in the strainer. I do that by rolling my knuckles over it to get as water removed as possible, letting the water drain out the bottom.

Then it gets wrapped in some towels that I save just for wet wool. While wrapped up, I squeeze out as much more dampness as possible and then lay on a dry towel on the blocking mat.

And now they are all patted into shape, waiting to dry before the cat tries to take a nap on them.

One heart stopping moment did occur when I discovered a hole near the bottom cast off edge of the Farmall Jacket. Apparently there was stitch dropped when casting off. I calmed myself and put a pin in it and once it is dry, I can use a crochet hook to run it up the three or four rows of garter stitch and then use a scrap of the same yarn to tie it off and weave in.

No problem.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Number 55

No, it isn't my 55th project, but I did promise a picture of our newest calf, a white and red Holstein, purchased by Hubby last week..
There he is, #55 in all his glory.  He is happly thriving in the calf hut/chicken coop.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

New Knitting

While waiting actual usable measurments to start knitting a commissioned project, and with the completion of the Sweet Pea Cardigan, I found myself in need of some fairly brainless knitting.  So, I debated between a couple projects and ended up choosing to start a new baby project:  the Spiral Gray Blankie.
The color is a sort of cadet bluish gray. The yarn isn't wool, but is washable and extremely soft.  It is center out, but with a neat spiral design.  And now that the pattern is established, it is fairly intuitive.
I have strings on the markers to help keep them from falling off, but I like the spiral that has started. Can you see it?  It continues until, at the end, there is a picot bind off border.
And I still can continue on the last sleeve of my red cardigan.  I am almost done with the second sleeve increases, and will soon be able to start the top shaping.  After that it is a matter of blocking, and sewing, and then the front and neck bands.
And when that is finished, it will be my 20th finished project for 2014.  Whooo Hoo!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Missing In Movieland--a Rant

What was the word Charlie Brown used to signal anguish? Arrugh?  Cuz that is what I have been feeling.
Some of my followers may know that I am just a bit of an fan of old movies.  And since last Tuesday, Dish Network and Turner Broadcasting have been in dispute.  As a result, Turner pulled most (but now all) of their programming.  Although I noticed TNT and TBS are back, my beloved Turner Classic Movie Channel is not.  I am in mourning.
No Janet Leigh as star of the month.  Not Thursday October scary movies. No Essentials, which this week was The Haunting, followed by Village of the Damned.  Classic October spooky movies.
I wasn't too upset on Tuesday when this started. It was all Lassie movies.  And call me unAmerican, but I have never been a big fan of Lassie movies.  So all was well until Wednesday.  I have been doing alot of channel surfing.  I viewed channels I've never watched.
I am not a happy camper.
There, I feel better.  Not a lot, but better.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Finishing Frenzy Friday

Even with sleeping in this morning I managed to accomplish quite a bit on the knitting front. And without much in the way of knitting either.

The Sweet Pea Cardigan was off the needles by bedtime last night. So today it was time to weave in the ends and sew on the buttons.

Then while I was in the mood, I tidied up the loose ends on the Farmall Jacket as well.

The neck on this one is kind of tight. I don't think that top button will see much use. But they are both officially done, ready to be blocked. Plenty of time to be dry for the baby shower.

The gray striped sweater is larger, so I will hold off on that one till later.

So back to my Blue Blood Red cardigan. Plenty of time now. The commissioned sweater is waiting for more complete measurements so I have time to work on it. And I also may started something new. More on that another time.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Almost Forgot You

Dear Blog,

I almost forgot you today. After Bible Study, and a wee bit of shopping, I tried to catch up on some of my reading. Then after supper I was attached to my needles and knitting up a storm. I was a mere couple rows from my final cast off of the Sweet Pea Cardigan......when I remembered! My poor blog. I need to post today!

So here I am. You are not forgotten Dear Blog. And just to make you pretty, here is a week old picture of the back property line.

That back field isn't quite so pretty now that the wind and rain knocked off a bunch of the leaves. But it is an ever changing panorama. Always interesting. I love country living.

So, my friend Blog, I wish you a fond farewell until tomorrow.

Now give me some peace so can finish that sweater.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Back in the Coop

Manyof you may remember that Hubby frequently keeps a calf in the old chicken coop.  The last one recently graduated to the barn, so I guess he felt the need to keep making milk replacer.  While at the auction Monday, he purchased a new calf, a white and red holstein.
He had to go back the next day to pick it up, and now it is safely at home in the coop.  I tried to get a picture of little #55, but he had the inside door shut.  Once it warms in a few days, I will try again for a picture to share.
So in the meantime, here is Fuzzyface, all fuzzed up for the coming winter.
All of the barn cats were sunning themselves in front of the garage, taking advantage of the late season sun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More Buttons

I'm still plodding away here on my blog.  Four days and counting.  Not bad.
I also have been working hard on finishing the Sweet Pea Cardigan.  There is a baby shower coming up rapidly.  Trying to have it before Little Farmer makes his debut no doubt.  I want to have some knitting done. So far, I have two off the needles, both needing buttons sewn on and one of them, the Farmmall Jacket needing ends woven in besides.  I would like to finish this little one as well.  After that, I can work on the Tulip cardigan, which is the kit I have shown here previously.  And eventually a Wallaby hoodie sweater.
But I have the second sleeve of the Sweet Pea Cardigan half done, so it is progressing well.  And the other day, I also found some buttons that I think will work well with the green.
They look like little light yellow M & M's so I better make sure they are sewn down very tightly.
Now, back to that sleeve, followed by front bands.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Button Day

So far there hasn't been a lot of knitting today.
None actually.  But as soon as I am done here, I plan to rectify that.
I went for groceries, and even ordered some Christmas presents online this evening. While in town getting groceries, I made a button stop.  I forgot to bring the small ball left from one skein of my Blue Blood Red yarn.  So I had to guess.  I didn't really want red buttons, unless I found some I loved that would work.  But I was thinking black, gray, pewter or white.
This is what I ended up with.
Please excuse the glare from the white.  The evening shot with flash and the white backing caused a bit of a blur.  But I like what I came home with.  Not sure if the red will work.  They seem to have a bit of orange tinge, compared to the sweater, but I am sure I can use them in the future.  The gray are a soft gray, almost a pewter color.  There were some nice pewter ones, but they either too big, or not enough of them left.  I do like the white.  They are harder to see, on the white background and causing the glare.  But they are an off-white, with a wonky off kilter square shape.  I kind of like them.  I am leaning to the white, unless I go out and find some pewter ones I like.
Which I just might do.  These are buttons that could go with much of the yarn I have stashed right now.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Harvest Time

Last week, when I went to meet Lil Farm Gal after school, the guys were chopping corn in the field that surrounds the house and barns.
They were buzzing right along, with trucks coming one after another to be filled, before delivering the chopped corn to the farm to be packed into the storage pads.  Knowing that the field is rather damp, with a large swath that was not even planted this year, due to the wet area, I was surprised to see them out there, even after all the recent rain.  Notice the wet drive?
Of course, they were prepared.
One for the chopper and one for the trucks.  One with duals, one with tracks.  I think they had everything covered.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Feast or Famine

After regularly posting for several days straight, I can't believe that I missed a whole week of posting! Hopefully, now that I no longer need to make the morning run picking up Younger Son from work, I may be able to get something done again.  
We only need to run him 4 miles to catch his ride to work, to carpool with someone. ((Finally they hired someone on third shift who lives close by.) Then I wake up Hubby in the morning (4:50!) to make the morning run to pick up both of them.  I still take a nap again, but I hope to have more time in the day now.
I have finished one sleeve of the Sweet Pea Cardigan, and I have embarked on the second.  And I am at the same point on the Blue Blood Cardigan.  The first sleeve is nicely folded and stored with the back and fronts.  I am finishing the ribbing on the second sleeve. 
I think, just to get back into the swing of blogging more consistently again, I am going to try for a month of daily postings.  That means a post of some kind every day.  It may be big, It may be little.  Some updates may be profound.  Some may be absolute drivel. 
There may be pictures.  There may not.  Heaven forbid, I may even try a dabble of poetry.
Consider yourself warned. 
And yes, we did have some frost.  Why do you ask?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Baby Prep

Yesterday I went baby shopping.  Well, I didn't come home with a baby, but baby stuff.
I needed some buttons for the Farmall Surprise Jacket.  So I decided to do some shopping for other baby stuff as well.
In a way this was a bit of stepping out in faith.  This past week, contractions started early, resulting in a cautionary hospital stay and some contraction suppressing medications.  Yikes.  I spent the evening with Lil' Farm Gal, while Cow Girl and Older Son spent some time with the OB doctor and triage.  At least it was a chance to meet her new local doctor, and be assured she can call if anything else changes.  Cow Girl is home and so far so good.  But she may get her hospital bag packed and ready.
But as I said I went shopping.  I found the buttons I wanted for the sweater.  Pewter, but lightweight.  I think they go well with the red and black theme.
From there I planned to head to Meijers.  The type of high chair they wanted was hopefully still there.  And it was an M-Perks special this week.  You can't beat $10 off.
But on the way, I spotted what appeared to be a children's resale shop.  I checked it out and got several more Newborn size sleepers.  And just in case, after last weekend, I also picked up one Premmie size. But only one.  If we need more, I'll get some then.  But we sincerely hope that Little Farmer stays where he is at for a few more weeks at least so we won't need any Preemie size.  This is just insurance.
Then, when I finally made it across the road to Meijers, they had the space saver high chair.  And not in pink.
Shower gift purchased--score.
And just to prove that I did finish the front and back of my red cardigan, here is the picture.
Markers and clips removed, ready for blocking and sewing.  Now, do I block now, or wait till the sleeves are done too?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Happy "I Love Yarn Day"

One of the loveliest days of the year.
"I Love Yarn Day"  Yeah, there really is such a thing.  In honor of the day, here is a bit of the stash to celebrate.  The sorted leftover tubs, stacked on the left, and other tubs of yarn in the background.  Those tubs have some of the well aged stash.
Some of the cones of yarn, mostly lace, fingering and lace weight---shawls and light sweaters waiting for the needles.
And then there is recently acquired skeins and cones.  All with a purpose in mind.  All just needing the time to be turned into pretty things.
Just like the Blue Blood Cardigan,  Both fronts and the back done.  And the first sleeve on the needles already, begging for more time.
Happy I Love Yarn Day, everyone.  I think I'll go spend some time with my yarn.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Knitting Plans and Priorities

I have been working on the sleeve on the Sweet Pea Cardigan.  It makes good traveling knitting, as well as a backup project for Knit Nite.
 A couple evenings ago, I turned to it when I got too close to the sleeve and neck shaping on the last front of the Blue Blood Red Cardigan for myself.  Shaping is not the type of knitting I like to try while at Knit Nite.  Too much going on for full concentration.
Once I made it home, I was able to begin the shaping on the front.  I hope to start working on some red sleeves in the next day or two.  The double shaping on the front should go quickly.
Suddenly I find myself nearly overwhelmed with the amount of knitting for Little Farmer.  I have many items I want to get started on.  Plus another baby sweater for a friend who will be a grandma next month.  Plus a commissioned adult sweater.  We haven't exactly figured out the pattern for that one, so it is a bit lower on the totem pole.
And I need to make some thrummed mittens for my Cowgirl and Lil' Farm Gal.  And then there is a knit baby blankie for Little Farmer.  And....
I guess I better get off here and start knitting.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Growing the Family Tree

The family tree expanded by one this past Monday with the addition of grand-nephew Number 4.  With 2 brothers and a cousin, he will fit right into our rowdy band of boys.
Little Bro 3 will ensure that his mother will be overflowing with camo and toy trucks, superheroes and ninja's for a long time.
And probably not much pink.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Little Shopping: Glasses and Boots

This past Monday, I finally tracked down my eye doctor.  After her practice was recently sold, due to the inability to afford all of the new insurance requirements, the others at her practice joined the new company.  Her name, however, was not on the list at the new practice.  She is my first cousin, once removed (her mother is my cousin), and I always felt I got a very thorough exam from her.  After recently seeing her mother, I found out where she was and more importantly, a phone number.  Yea!
I  scheduled an exam and this pas week determined, despite a few floaties, that all is well.  So, I am good for another year or so, except for my new glasses.  But those will be coming later.
But, while I was in the neighborhood more or less, I decided to check out the nearby factory surplus store.  I needed some warm winter barn boots.
Now I have some. Warm, insulated, and ready for winter.
Leo, however, was more interested in what was under the box.
Nothing compares to a new box in Leo's opinion.
Now, back to knitting.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Back to Basics

I find that this getting up at 4:50 AM each morning is making it hard to keep up with my blog.  There is nothing quite like crawling back into bed at 6:30 after arriving home with Younger Son.  Lizzie seems to enjoy another couple hours of sleep as well.
It does cut into knitting time as well.  It seems to take me a while to get moving after getting up a second time.  Breakfast is later, so lunch is later, and so on.  I have also been reading a lot, the Lord Peter Wimsey series is almost finished, and I also read the Long Earth trilogy.  Back to Bleak House and Dickens now.
But one thing about my Blue Blood Red cardigan is that it is  simple knitting, just keep track of the rows and the rest takes care of itself.  Last week I had started the right side after finishing the back. It is also a project that I can knit and read at the same time.
I finished that and started the Left side yesterday.  I took the back and right side and pinned them together with my little clips I find so helpful when sewing up.  Gertrude tried it on for me.
Yes, I know that I use a bunch of markers.  There are row count matches, and increase/decrease markers. Once I finish the other side I can remove them and replenish my supply while I knit the sleeves.
But, it looks like the sweater will fit like a Custom Fit sweater should.  I need to finish some of my baby knitting, and then start another one for me.  Maybe lace pattern with that Plum Cake colored fingering weight.  And I can do another in this same Lamb's Pride, with perhaps a row of lace or cable insert up the front along the edge, or even a center back insert for variety.  I can easily calculate the gauge difference and adjust stitch count for that.
It isn't as thought I don't have any more of this brand/variety of yarn.  Off the top of my head I can name at least 2 sweater worth quantities in the wool room.
Plus, I know where I can get more.