Just Saying…

Yesterday it did snow here, and for four beautiful hours big, fat flakes fell from the sky.  That was from the perspective of my lakefront windows.

Not everyone thought it was glorious.  Our blue heron likes to stand on the fountain base in the middle of the lake (when the fountain isn’t running…not a Heron shower).  There he stood in quiet dignity while big  snowflakes made his blue grey.  That just wasn’t right!

The other bird whose routine was disturbed was one of the mallard hens.  They often of a morning root around in the grass for insects.  The added inch of snow accumulation meant she came up with her bill looking like a “milk mustache”.  Mustn’t laugh at mallards,  mustn’t laugh at mallards!

I’m not doing the whole knitting Olympics thing, but, of course, I am knitting while I watch.  Last night I finished up the toes of a simple sock and a Jaywalker, and cast on their mates.  The simple sock is my usual purse knitting, and the Jaywalker my home knitting sock.

Did you see the two new patterns Knitty is offering? I could knit Skew, but I don’t think I would ever wear them.  Rooibos, however, looked like it was written for me!  It will fit both my lifestyle and bod.  Why, yes, I have ordered yarn:  Knit Picks is shipping me some Swish Bulky in Merlot Heather.

Best of all?  It’s Spring Break, a.k.a. Mardi Gras, so I don’t have to study this week for my seminar.  Knit on!

The watchword is patience

One would think that knitters excel in patience.  One would be wrong!  DH ordered my Nook from Barnes and Noble on January 3, which puts me in the “class of February 1”.  As more and more members of my class graduate to Nook ownership my patience grows thinner and thinner.  What’s a knitter to do?  Shop for Nooknacks!

I went to Skinit to look at Nook skins.  The variety is amazing!  Because I’ll have my Nook fastened in a case I really don’t care about the skin for the back.  My focus was on what would show around the border of the e-ink window.  I browsed through Disney, Holidays, Flowers…nothing spoke to me.  Then I clicked on Textiles, and found stockinette in 7 colors!   I chose the teal, because that’s an all-time favorite color.  When I called the Patron of the Arts to see my Nook skin, he couldn’t stop laughing, saying “That is so you!”

Here is the part where I enable your shopping:  they make the same skins for cell phones, MP3 players, laptops… if you own an electronic gadget, they have knitting for it.  Enjoy, my friend!

Sun smiling down on me!

Finally we have a sunny day, and it’s a balmy 65 degrees.  I finished my Caribic socks four days ago, but the skies have been grey ever since.  The yarn is Online Supersocke 100, Color 734, Caribic.  The colors really do remind me of pleasant days spent on the Caribbean.  I knit them in my classic 2 x 2 rib to show off the stripes.

The socks are hung on my drying rack.  The part with the bars pulls out from the wall at the top, and is held in that forward position by straps on each top edge.  It is by Ballard Designs, and is one of my all-time favorite purchases.  (The link is for the drying rack, not just the company.  )  Sherry of The Loopy Ewe posted about this rack once, and once I investigated them on Ballard’s site, I convinced my Patron of the Arts to invest.

Speaking of The Loopy Ewe, I’ve reserved a red Namaste Monroe.  Notice how her Kindle fits so nicely with her purse things and knitting gear?  I’m calling my Monroe a “Nook accessory”, and hope that both will arrive shortly.  (The UPS man just came, and I couldn’t resist hovering in the hall to see if my Nook arrived.  Nope – a package for our eldest.  Rats!)

When the Loopy Ewe elves tell me the bag has arrived at the shop I will add a second sock blocker to the order, taking advantage of one shipping charge.  Admittedly, I only use the blockers for photo shoots, but it is frustrating to find a way to show both socks.  You’ll just have to take it on faith this time…they’re identical.

Playing Hooky

There are times that studying the Old Testament just doesn’t have the lure of a new knitting project.  This weekend was one of those times.  I had browsed through Ravelry patterns looking at Tams, and rediscovered the Three Tams pattern.  There’s the link, now you can play, too.

The yarn made me do it!  I mean, there it was a materials list that called for Plymouth Galway Worsted and Noro Silk Garden.  I knew I had both in my stash, left over from other projects.  In fact, the skein of Noro that remained was purchased in Redondo Beach, CA the day before my granddaughter Maggie’s birth.  It would be a real shame to leave that in stash!

The pattern was a joy to knit, and a great opportunity to practice stranding technique.  My only disappointment was that this Noro is blue and green, but the color change is so long that the tam never got to the green!  Folks who know me well know I love blue and green, but green is my first love. 

I suspect I have enough Noro remaining to try again.  The pattern is for three tams, so new knitting adventures await.  However,  my weekly seminar is tomorrow, and the homework can’t wait any longer.  Back in the stash, Noro!

There is purse knitting, of course.  I’m racing to the toe of the second sock in a blue colorway of Online.  Hopefully pictures will follow yet this week.

Now, that’s better!

Thank you all for the good wishes.  My back is a bit better each day, and it becomes evident that the damage I did involved muscle only.  DH has been a prince, taking on those chores that involve deep bending or lifting heavy cats. He has also agreed that it is a false economy for us to purchase the large jugs of dishwasher detergent.  Next time around it will be the smallest size.  Alison suggested the detergent that comes in little one-use cubes; I’ll certainly look at those, too.

So, without further ado (Merriam Webster defines ado as time-wasting bother over trivial details…like inserting this definition) here is Cite. I wore it yesterday over my scoop-necked top and found it very comfortable. It amazes me how much difference having your neck warm can make in tolerating cool temperatures.

The pattern calls for only 200 yards of fingering weight, and suggests that you could knit it with luxury yarn without taking out a second mortgage.  This is Knit Picks Essential, which is 75% superwash Merino, 25% nylon.  There was one lonely ball of it in my stash; I was happy to find something elegant to knit.

Have you seen billboards that were blank, except for a line that said “Your ad could appear here”?  Well, my finished socks were supposed to appear here.  My plan was to do an afternoon photo shoot when the sun comes in through the glass brick wall.  The resultant pictures are true to color.  Come afternoon I was happily following a rabbit track on my computer.  All thoughts of sock pictures went right out of my head, and didn’t return until it was dark outside.  Let us hope I can remember this afternoon!

Happy New Year!

It was a New Year’s eve day that taught me once again that we can’t really plan out our lives.  Right after breakfast I decided I’d be a good girl and  change the dishwasher before I sat down to knit.  All was well until I picked up the jumbo jug of dishwasher detergent and bent over to fill the receptacles in the door of the dishwasher.  Stabbing back pain!  I set the jug down and hobbled across the house to DH’s office.  He secured the dishwasher and set me up in his recliner with a heating pad.

Talk about ruining your day/week!  By mid-afternoon I was able to knit a few rounds on a sock in progress without too much agony.  DH was kind enough to add some frozen dinners to the grocery list and do the shopping, too.  He, being a sensitive man, brought home a dinner of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and mixed vegetables.   Comfort food, indeed!

I slept fairly well, as long as I didn’t turn over wrong.  Laying down turned out to be a good position, and not the agony I feared.  I’ll “get over it”, as they urge.

As a result of my folly of poor body mechanics, pictures of Cite will have to wait.  I have also finished another “vanilla sock” of self-striping yarn, which I will show you when I can.

Currently on the needles is Online  sock yarn in a color named “Caribe”, which has sand color and pale and brilliant blue.  It makes me happy, and matches my memories of the Caribbean.

Happy New Year to you and yours.  Enjoy knitting through the bowl games, and may LSU triumph against the Nittany Lions!

What I did over Christmas Vacation

I suspect you could guess that I did lots and lots of knitting.  We are between semesters in my Bible seminar, EFM, so I don’t have volumes to read these two weeks.  I feel like a kid playing hooky!

Christmas day I finally bound off Mara It’s my own fault:  once again, I insisted on making it a proper, large shawl instead of the “shawlette” that seems to be in vogue. Those final rows were unending!  I used three full skeins of Cascade Heather 220 for the body, and a fourth skein for the border.  The instructions would have you knit the K2 P2 border for four inches, but I only made it to three.  I would have had to give up “wing span” of the shawl to have enough yarn left for that. After bind off I had less than a yard of yarn left.  Well, it was enough.

We enjoyed an afternoon of cards with DD and her husband, so it was late Christmas day when I cast on Cite by Anne Hanson.  The large size only requires 200 yards of fingering weight yarn.  A bit of stash diving found a loner skein of Knit Picks Essential in fog.  It was cast on that evening, and knit just far enough to establish my stitch markers at each repeat.

The next day, when my wits were more rested, I began knitting in earnest (alright, I was in the living room.  I heard that!)  Thanks to several exciting football games  I got a lot done, and was able to finish it this morning.  The lower edging is knit-on lace, which I tremendously enjoy knitting.  No pictures yet because it is drying, but soon we’ll do that, too.

Off to finish a second sock.  It’s not that I’m that virtuous about the second sock thing…but they are on my favorite Knit Picks #1 circs.  I’m spoiled, and don’t want to use other needles now.

Just for me!

I have a finished object to report, and this one was knit just for me.  It’s the “Woods in the Fall” Scarf I knit using the Noro Striped Scarf pattern.  Its name was inspired by the fall colors that appeared here in early November.   When I wrote about its beginning here I thought it would take creme rinse to make the Noro a tolerable softness.  Much to my surprise and delight, Soak was adequate to make this scarf a pleasant experience.

Here’s a picture of it simply “hanging around”, to show you its length. Today is a damp, chilly day, the sort the Irish call a “fine, soft day”, so I am very grateful to DH for playing photographer.  I stood under the roof of our porch, while he backed up into the mist.

In the tradition of “Where’s Waldo”, did you see the rabbit?  He lives by my front door to greet all comers.  Consider yourself greeted, friend.

Minty Fresh Socks on a budget

I’m not much of a gambler, but at $8.60, how wrong could I be about this yarn?  It’s from the Deborah Norville collection, Serenity Sock Weight, and is 50% wool, 25% bamboo, 25% nylon.  Hobby Lobby had it for $4.29 a 50 gram/230 yard skein.

Now that I’ve finished a pair of simple socks, I can report that it was a very satisfactory knit. Neither skein had any knots.  The color printing was predictable and accurate across the skeins.  I was able to start each cuff at the same place in the color repeat, and then have identical heels and gussets. There was no pooling at all.  The only variation occurred as I tapered the second toe, but by then, who cares?  The socks are soft and comfy, and knitting them as my “purse knitting” was a mindless pleasure.

What, you didn’t think I could manage a finished object photo shoot without Meezer assistance, did you?  Minky managed to come supervise this picture. As I look at her picture, I’m struck by how much the prolonged use of high-dose steroids to manage her asthma has lightened her back legs and tail.  However, her medicines have kept her out of distress and happy.  Minky is my companion cat, and she will always be my beauty!


Finished Object Friday

I’m pleased to report I’ve finished a scarf for DH (aka my Patron of the Arts).  He chose the yarn color some time ago.  No surprise, it is Knit Picks Swish DK in Garnet Heather.  It looks very similar to the yarn he chose for his sweater last year. 

The pattern is called Toyboy Scarf, but I choose to call it Bob’s Cabled Scarf.  We’re both more than a few years past the Toyboy designation.

I was very pleased that even though we are both retired, and he is around my knitting all the time I was able to keep this one low-key enough to surprise him at the end.  I finally brought it to his attention when I had almost finished the fourth skein to get his approval on the length. ” One more cable twist, please” was the verdict. I had less than a yard left of the last skein when I finished the scarf.  Oh, there was more in the closet, but it certainly seemed a shame to have to add on more yarn in the closing rounds.  Didn’t have to go there – heh!

Yes, he is modeling his new scarf with a short-sleeved shirt.  It was about 70 degrees at 10 am when I took the picture.  Louisiana will be cold enough to enjoy wearing a scarf in another month or two…but I’m ready!

It’s time for an Archie update.  At his first vet assessment at the end of August he weighed 5 lb. 4 oz.  This week he weighs 11 lb., and has most of a year to grow!  He has calmed down just a bit, at least enough to enjoy his first kitty nap time in a lap. Here then, is photo evidence of “two white-footed gentlemen” enjoying a good read.

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