Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ladies Night Out

Occaisonally the ladies at my church get together for a evening get together, that we call Ladies Night Out.  Very occaisonally I guess, because the last I remember, I found in pictures dated 2010.  But when my friend Teresa was willing to come talk about her mission work in South Sudan, and bring her baskets that she and her husband are selling for their fund raising efforts, we quickly scheduled one for last night.
We also invited the women from our sister church in Newaygo. The lunch was catered and a great time was had by all.  Many of us were familiar with the situation in South Sudan, as some of the "lost boys" from there settled in nearby Grand Rapids and have established an Episcopal church there.  She was a great speaker and we learned a lot about the conditions there.   (Only 3 miles of paved road in the entire country!)
And she brought baskets.
We made a good sized dent in her inventory.   
Purely to support her mission work, you know.
If anyone is interested in having her speak to your group, or purchasing some baskets, or both, let me know and I will pass the info along to her.  And if you are interested in finding out more, here is the link to their website, the page for finding patterns to knit or crochet items for them. They can use washcloths and bandages among other items. You can get to the home page from there as well. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Waiting No More

Yesterday, at long last, I was able to pick up my car, a 2007 Chevy HHR named Hharry and became mobile again.

Hharry became my best bud, as we finally were able to go grocery shopping and run some errands.

Mobility is wonderful.

While sitting at home this past week and more, I restarted the sock that I talked about. So now of course I can fret if it will be too small. Even when I get gauge, I always worry because they look small until you put them on. The pattern is Broken Seed Stitch. And it looks harder than it is.

The cuff is solid purple and then I switch to one row purple, one of Sonatina, a pink and peach swirl. But because the multicolor os knit in seed stitch. With the purple plain knitting, the sock has great texture and color patterning. I am not a fan of faire isle or stranded knitting. But because here you only work with one yarn at a time, it is a painless and easy way to get some fancy looking socks.

I do seem to be on a seed stitch kick lately. First Green Flowy, which I also spent time on, has large sections of the pattern. I have a pattern generated for an oatmeal colored vest with seed stitch borders ready to start soon. I think the baby sweater pattern I have ready has seed stitch incorporated, and now these socks.

Hope I don't get tired of it before I get done.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Socks! And More Waiting

I mentioned yesterday that I was frogging a newly cast on sock. I was concerned that my last couple completed pairs were a bit too large. I decided to reboot and start over casting on only 60, rather than 64stitches. I hope this will be enough of a reduction. It should make them about a half inch smaller around. I think that should make the difference. Hopefully all else will be equal.

So now I am back where I was before starting over. After a few more rows I can start the broken seed stitch pattern using a pink and peach tonal yarn on alternate rows. Then I can settle those into being brainless knitting, when the need arises. Perhaps I will put them in the rotation as car knitting and try to finish the current pair. Or not. I will need to ponder that a bit.

And the waiting? Well, my check came, after the dealer was closed for the day. (Grrr!) So more waiting. But at least now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hharry will soon be here at home.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Mending, and Waiting

I have been lost lately, between no car and missing my fingerless mitts.  The car issue is that I am still waiting for that check to come so I can pay for it.  And because I have no car, I guess I am not lost.  Without a car, Hubby knows where to find me.  Except now that his truck is fixed, I can at least borrow it for church.  Hopefully the check will come soon.
I had also been missing my fingerless gloves.  I have been wearing them even in the coldest weather when I go out, especially while driving.  (Although, see above, that hasn't been much of an issue lately.)  But I had recently notice a hole near the cuff of one.  How that got there I have no idea.
Not much, but big enough that I didnt' want it to grow any more.  So today I finally dug out the left over yarn from the worsted tub in the stash.  It wasn't that hard to find because of the tubs I had separated the different weights of yarn into this past summer.
Next I picked up the stitches just below the hole, but above the purl ridge.
I also took another yarn and roughly darned the hole closed.  That would save the loose stitches I could see from running, as well as avoid having my fingers poke into the hole when I put them on.
 I planned on taking a couple pictures during the process, but I got carried away.  It went so quickly, that before I knew it, I was done.
I left the one yarn tale from darning to have a tale left to sew up with.  I joined a new yarn at the bottom and knit up a flap a few rows longer than the hole.  I cut a long tale and sort of grafted the live stitches to the mitt.  Then I took that yarn and continued sewing down one side.  The darning tale was used to sew down the other side.  It left a bit of a lump, but over all, I am very happy with the save.  I will probably need to knit up a new pair or two this summer, but for now, I am good to go.
And fingerless mitts would be a good summer project to work on when it is a bit warm to be working on long sweaters.
As though I need any more ideas for projects to work on.  I did cast on a pair of socks recently too after ripping out a half finished sock.  I may frog these as well and start over.  The main reason I am considering frogging them was that the last couple pairs I made felt loose while being worn.  I thought it may be the yarn wasn't as bouncy, but considering that I do have some problems with arthritis, my tension may be weakening on the tiny needles.  I really don't want to try using size 0, so maybe I should restart with a bit fewer stitches.  The yarn I am using are from another frogged pair, so I don't want to play with it too much.
Yup.  I think I am pulling out the needles on that tonight.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Knitting and Waiting

I am still waiting for my check so I can pick up my new car. I was told on Friday it would be processed that day and in the mail the next. However, as I confirmed when getting our taxes done, because of that next day being Saturday, it would not go out until Monday. Not until Sunday did I again realize that there would be no mail then either due to ML King Day.
Needless to say I am still waiting. However, Hubby got the truck fixed today, so I can borrow that for Bible Study tomorrow. But I really want my car.
But I have been knitting right along too. I cast off the left front of the Green Flowy Cardigan and immediately cast on for the right. I also transcribed the pattern, writing out the reversed directions for the right side. I think I am good to go until I get to the sleeves. But that will be a while.
You can see the place where I cast off the front seed stitch panel. That is supposed to be the flowy part.
In between the cardigan knitting I also finished my St. Benedict cowl. Out of alpaca and bamboo yarn, it is the first finished object for 2015.
I needed some mindless knitting while stressing out over my car, and to take to annual meeting at church. Easy relaxing free pattern that knits up quickly, what could be better?
Unless its is another made out of homespun? Time to go stash diving.
I am sure I can find something.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Cars Can Be a Pain

What a week this has been. And the car has been the critical factor.

Earlier this week, when the outdoor temperature was running about a minus 15 degrees or so, I was heading to pick up Younger Son from work in the early morning. The car wasn't heating very well but I figured it was just because it was soooo cold outside. That's when I noticed the temp gauge was heading up.

I made it to Son's work and we stopped at a gas station for antifreeze. Later I picked up some spare antifreeze to keep on hand. At Son's suggestion I scheduled a radiator flush. In hindsight, maybe such not a good idea.

After the flush, on yesterday, I merrily went to Bible Study. And later, lunch with my aunt in the next town again. Then back to do some shopping. After a quick stop at Older Son's house, I headed home.

But the heat died out. And the heat gauge was heading toward red.

Back to the mechanic's for the bad news. A blown head gasket. Yikes. I kind of even know what that is and it isn't good.

The mechanic filled the radiator back up so I could drive it home and then it was time to do some thinking. It didn't seem worthwhile to pour anywhere from $800 to $1000 (or more, depending on what they found) on a 14 year old car. Because who knew what could be next.

So today I checked out the local dealers inventory, car fax reports, and even Craigslist and Facebook. I juggled figures and put a deposit on this:

Sort of a cross between a station wagon and an SUV. A Chevrolet HHR, which when asking was told stands for Heritage High Roof. I know many people think they are ugly (my son for one), I kind of like the looks of it. I just have to wait for my check so I can finish paying for it and bring it home. Probably in about a week or so

And I've always been a sucker for blue cars. I think I will name it Hharry.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

That Time of Year

Tax time.  Yuck.  The least popular time of the year.  At least we had some snow to keep things interesting.
But I spent some time last week, and all afternoon today sorting through the various papers and forms and entering the information in my data spreadsheet form.  I have been using and tweaking the same for for years.  Probably since I've had a computer. But it works and means I seldom have to come back in with additional paper work.
Well except for the W-2s and such that never seem to arrive until the last possible moment.  Since our appointment is this Saturday, I am sure they won't be here on time.
That has put a damper on the knitting.  But yesterday I was nearing the end of the first one pound ball.
Since then I have started the next ball, as well as begun the armhole shaping.   Only about 9 more inches until I can cast off and start the right front.  But fewer stitches.
And so far I have been good and not cast on anything else.  But that cowl I had started before is looking very tempting.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Snug as a Bug

The weather is snowy and blowy. Roads are treacherous and I am staying inside.  The last couple mornings I made Hubby drive Younger Son to work and back about 15 miles or so away.  The snow is too deep for my car, not to mention the visibility.   Hubbys four wheel drive truck is a much better option than my 14 year old Taurus in this weather.
I am snug as a bug, trying to convince Lizzy that it is a good thing to go out for a walk.
She is having none of it.
So I guess I'll go back to the knitting.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Yarn Crisis

Yes, there is such a thing.

And not just a case of not having yarn to start a new project, but even worse. Yarn barf.

At least that is what it looked like.

One of our knitters at Knit Nite is making a cowl out of some really cool artsy yarn. It is made of long lengths of yarns of various fibers and textures, knotted together in dark shades of gold, red and black. It had been wound into a cake and she was knitting from the center. In retrospect, possibly not the best end to choose. Because tonight, after being about half way through the cake of yarn, the middle fell out.

Literally fell out. And it continued to roll and toss itself around. As the two main portions were rescued, it did not look good. If she had not been among knitters, it may have been curtains for that cowl.

However, a couple of us picked it up, found the outside end and started to tame the chaos. We had anywhere from two to six hands working in the tangled mess, but over two hours later (and more than an hour later than our usual closing time) we had it back wound into a round ball.

Whew! I would show you pictures, but my hands were busy untangling and unable to handle the camera.

So instead, here is a picture of Leo enjoying his favorite napping place.....clean laundry.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Into the Year.

The new year is going strong. The weather is more like winter with snow and greasy roads. Good knitting weather. The Green Flowy left front is coming along well. The cable pattern is great for helping mark progress. No black hole on this piece. I figure I am more than a third of the way from the seed stitch bottom to arm hole shaping.

This photo shows just over two complete pattern repeats.

I took advantage of the nice weather and good driving yesterday to visit a couple friends. My good friend and former boss (twice) met together over lunch. In the past year since I lost my job we haven't been able to meet very often. Now that she is also unemployed we made plans to meet monthly so we can keep on top of things. She talked about her life and I shared baby pictures. We may just venture to a few fiber events this year too. We also need to meet so I can help her warp her loom. I warned her that I've only done rigid heddle and she has a harness loom. But the two musketeers are ready for the challenge.

After barely getting home I was asked if I could meet with another friend. I am making Green Flowy for her friend. And since, before starting the sweater, I had purchased some Lambs Pride in nearly the same shade of green. I knew I would never make a sweater out of that after finishing Green Flowy so she traded stash with me. A quick trip to meet her and good bye Limestone yarn, hello Bing Cherry. Much more me.

And very different from the Scottish Hillside used for Green Flowy. Yea!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015--Looking Forward

A new year!  All fresh and ready to explore.  No mistakes yet, no tangled yarn.  Just full of projects and possibilities.
I have been working a couple of new projects.  The left front of the Green Flowy Cardigan is far enough that I am almost through the complete cable pattern.  It is working out well so far.  I don't want to get too complacent about the cables, but this one seems fairly easy so far.
I have also started on a great cowl with the most luscious yarn.  Again it is an easy project.  I don't generally think of making a cowl for me, but it can fit more like a collar with the sawtooth edge folded over.  I have no neck for turtlenecks and such, but this is low and will still work.
The plain garter side has short rows to make that side longer, so it will lay flatter on the shoulders when finished.  And being light, this makes a great project to switch to when it gets late. The dark green can tire the eyes after a while.
I also have the vest pattern I can work on as well as a break from the green.  It is another Custom Fit pattern, just a plain vest with a seed stitch border.  It is in oatmeal bulky yarn and will be great to wear in the cold if I finish yet this winter.
With this just being the beginning of 2015, all sorts of adventures are before me.  I know I have at least 2 more sweaters for Little Farmer to work on.  And I may invest in some alpaca or something to make a cowl or shrug for Lil Farm Gal too.  Some nice soft yarn.
And who knows what new knitting adventures are yet to come.  Hello 2015.