Why this journey?

I've been retired now for over a year. Husband has been sick but is now doing quite well with new pacemaker. I continue to knit and knit and crochet. Recently I became friends again with my sewing machine so you will see some of those projects, too. Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Oh, the places you'll go . . .

Dr. Seuss was right.  Life is full of journeys and adventures.  Not all of them involve knitting, but as you'll read, I do my best to include the yarn and needles as often as possible.

Husband spent almost a week in the hospital waiting for a stent to be inserted in a blocked artery.  The adventure began with chest pains.  I will admit to all readers that, yes, in addition to my purse I grabbed my knitting tote and stuffed in a project on my way out the door to take him to the ER.  I carried that bag back and forth with me every day to and from the hospital.  Some knitting occurred.  Just some.

He's home now, much improved. He's got a renewed sense of life with all its glories and riches.  We both have a greatly renewed sense of the power of God and the talented, caring people He has placed in the world of magic medicine.

In summary, take one 86 yr old guy who walks every day.

  • Give him a blocked artery (and won't we all have them after 86 years despite diet and exercise?  86 years is a long time for a body to work on itself!)  
  • Take him to the ER with chest pains.  
  • Transport him by ambulance within the hour to the main hospital and have him scoped and cathetered to discover three arteries blocked.  
  • Work on him for a week to get BP and hemoglobin and kidneys at top form.  
  • Send him back for a catheter procedure to ream out the worst of the three arteries and insert a stent.  
  • 90 minutes later have him back in his room, awake, alert and enjoying a visit from grandson.

Now them's some miracles and wonders, dontcha think!?

We're home and glad of it.  My week looked like this

  • Try not to worry; he's in good hands.
  • Knit and pray
  • Wait and pray
  • More knit and pray
  • More wait and pray

Well, you get the idea.

I worked on a pair of sox and the Arimono shawl.  Both were non-taxing to my brain but allowed my hands to be busy.
Fabulous color wave and great pattern.
Hoping life will again take on the dimensions of "boring normal."

Blessings on all who serve.  I wouldn't be knitting or enjoying my new husband without your contributions and sacrifices.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oh, but tis soft . .

Cashmere.  And the combination with silk is unbelievable.

I've often thought that technology has yet another leap to make -- we've gotten to video sharing with Skype and FaceTime, but still there are a few things missing.

  • We can't smell the food that looks so delicious on the plate.
  • We can't have our thirst quenched by the bubbly drink offered in the ad.
  • We can't shake the hand of a new friend.
  • We can't touch the soft yarn in the picture.

Maybe someday.

Meanwhile I'm knitting the Arimono Shawl by Megan Goodacre of Tricksy Knitter.  This is my second Goodacre pattern -- both are grand, error free, easy to follow, include both charts and words for lace patterns, and they make me happy while I'm knitting.  You'll want to check each pattern.  I've already got my eyes on a third one to add to my Goodacre collection.

The kit from Tricksy Knitter was my Mother's Day gift.
Pattern and yarn are both still available.
Megan's most recent email said they had just restocked the
wonderful yarn.

I bot Pansies at Dusk -- don't you love the name!  It's from Sweatermaker Yarns, and uses both cashmere (30%) and silk (70%).  Pattern for Arimono Shawl comes in the kit, though you can also download it to your pdf reader after purchase.

Yarn and pattern -- 
Fabulous skein wrapper with the illuminated "S".  The yarn is
hand-painted and did I mention that it is glorious!?

Enjoying this one a lot.  Glad to have some relaxing lace to knit in between other projects.

Speaking of other projects -- that experiment with the Mitered Crosses?  I frogged it.  Addey used the best word to describe what I had tried to do -- it was 'fiddly.'  I knew I wouldn't knit another and didn't really wanna spend the extra time weaving in the ends for this one.  I do think the afghan would be lovely in just the yarn the designer suggested -- a variegated Noro, on US#6.  I used a cotton on US#8.  

Bottom line -- it didn't scale well to bigger yarn OR bigger needles.  It happens.

Sure am glad there's no fee in this establishment for re-stashing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Maybe . . . maybe not

Great new pattern from Ravelry -- Mitered Crosses.  It's an afghan pattern.  I wanted to try it before committing to an entire afghan.

Picked up some stash -- that's good, that's always good.  Goal -- a placemat.

It's all garter stitch -- that's good, that's always relaxing.

It's got only a few color changes -- that's good.  The green around the yellow cross is done without ever cutting the yarn.

I made a few mods -- that's not always so good.  Decided against the knitted on I-cord and went with a few rows of garter in orange, with the rs bind-off serving as the edge.  But made for more ends to weave in, though I was able to go around three sides without cutting the orange.
Think Log Cabin quilt for the borders.  In my modified version,
I left two sides on holding needles so I could apply
garter stitch trim in orange.

This was a total experiment, kind of a plan-as-you-go thang.  The basic center mitered cross in yellow with green corners formed the foundation.  I took off from there.

So it's all good.  I have a centerpiece thing for my table but not sure I'd make it again.  The afghan?  Maybe.  The afghan used a US#6 needle with a finer yarn than the worsted weight cotton I used.   And if you follow @bonniejacobs on Twitter, you can ask her to post another picture of her completed item.  It's gorgeous.

There's a few things that make this not for beginners -- none of these are hard and pattern has great instructions, but if you think you're gonna 'just knit' think again.
  • Lots of picked up stitches along the end of garter ridge rows.
  • Lots of ends to weave in.
  • Lots of cast-ons along the way, thumb version.
So maybe another experiment is called for?  Maybe not.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yes, you too!

We knitters and fiber lovers  -- and yes, you too -- are all cut from the same cloth (terrible pun, huh?)  We love the look, the feel, the working with, of fibers.  We delight in yarn, yarn shops, owning yarn, touching yarn, piling it up and planning projects.

I proudly count myself among this august group.  Here are my latest additions to stash.

  • I love the Monsoon because it's part acrylic with a great color wave.  Probably a scarf.
  • I love the pattern.  Probably some Lamb's Pride Bulky from my stash if I can get gauge.
  • I love the Cascade Fixation (upper right on the needles) and am playing around with toe-up bed slipper sox.
  • I love the Frolicking Feet in the lavender color wave.  Probably sox for me.

I'm sure that, yes, you too have a good friend who shares your passion for yarn and yes, you too, have a stash that is growing after a wonderful excursion with that friend to several LYS's.

Yes, you too.  Don't try to deny it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

You get the idea . . .

My Bernat Waverly Mystery KAL Afghan is almost finished.  I can hardly believe it myself.

See, I need just three more blocks and a bunch of border.  It's been one of those projects I turn to when I'm tired but still wanna knit.  You know, when the spirit is willing but the body is weak -- oh, wait!  That goes the other way I think.

Well, anyway, you get the idea.  The patterns are mindless and non-taxing.  The yarn is soft and wonderful.  And I do love the colors.

The pink and green pinwheel is in the center.  Maybe this is a better view?
This view shows the textures in each block.  The border
strips will pull it all together.

So, you get the idea -- this one will be done when it's done and not a minute sooner.  I drag the border knitting around with me, to meetings and for waiting till the school bell sounds the dismissal.  

I confess I'm excited to anticipate the arrival of my Mother's Day gift.  I decided on some very special yarn from Megan Goodacre and one of her Tricksy Knitter fabulous new patterns.  Peek here.

My husband asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day.  You get the idea . . . (so, apparently, did he!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What a difference a gauge makes

It's 'just a shawl' -- right -- so no need to swatch?   Gauge -- who checks gauge on a shawl?

It takes "only" one ball of yarn and lots of knitting for me to realize I'm using a too-small needle and the fabric is too dense.  It's the Diamond Lace Wrap from One+One, by Iris Schreier.  Fabulous designer, really incredible works by Ms. Schreier and others in this volume.  I'm linking to Knitpicks, because that's where I got the book.  One+One.  You will wanna add it to your library and add all the items to your project to-do list.

One + One showcases Artyarns products, all elegant and wonderful.
But -- they're pricey, I won't lie to you.  So I found a substitute
Classic Silk, from Classic Elite Yarns.  Beautiful heathery
colors with a touch of lavender.
Diamond Lace Wrap from One + One
My gauge problem?  I started with a US#8, as pattern quoted, with a 4-weight yarn. (CYC designations.) I knit thru an entire ball of yarn, all 135yds, only to realize by looking and feeling that the fabric was too dense and too tight and not drapey enuf for a shawl.  Back to the book.

Oooops!  Gauge not even close.  I think I'd have to up-size to a US#10 but I'm working on a US#9 now and the resulting fabric is much much nicer.  I haven't frogged the first work.  Hoping the pictures below with the ruler will show a bit of the difference.
With US#9, nice and open

With US#8, too dense.
So I'm happy now and knitting along with joy and satisfaction.

Pattern was an initial challenge.  If you can see the individual leaves in the shawl, each one is knit completely before proceeding to the next -- and on across the 'row.'  This means lots and lots of turning the work.  As more of the shawl develops, of course there's more fabric to turn.  I've managed by now to accomplish two things that make this project more fun --

  • Memorized the pattern for each leaf -- it's lace on the rs and reminds me of sock heel short rows on both right and wrong side.
  • Discovered how to keep the yarn in my hands so I'm not dropping it and re-setting at each turn.  The first turn uses only 3 stitches with subsequent turns advancing to 11 stitches.  Five turns for each leaf, so this 'holding onto the yarn' is a big advantage to gain a modicum of speed.

Truly, even the purchase of this book was a  happy mistake.  I was in book-buying mode and do not remember why I chose this one.  But -- oooooh -- am I ecstatic to be the owner of this volume of gorgeous designs for scarves, shawls, & shrugs.

So I made a big big gauge swatch -- that's the way I'm looking at it.  And I learned a new pattern.  Both of these 'mistakes' will mean that the real deal shawl will move along easily and be more delightful as a finished silk shawl with lovely hand.

Make a mistake today!

Monday, May 7, 2012


Around these here parts, if you are bold enuf to mention  (sssh) The Sun (sssh) then somehow "it" knows and often disappears from sheer spite.

But tis gorgeous this early am.  Clear skies and bright sun are the visible barometers of a pleasant morning, the kind of morning for a walk.

Still, though, tis also cool so I am spending early quiet time working on the Paravel Wrap from Tricksy Knitter.  It has an asymmetric look, with long columns of wonderful nubby ribbing.

Reading from left to right --
Edge border which also appears on the 'other edge.'
Then the chevron lace, an 8 row repeat.
Body of the wrap begins with columns of ribbing
and morphs into stockinette with nubby rectangles.

I'm using Heritage by Cascade, their wonderful washable sock yarn, with a bit of nylon.  Needles are US#6.  Details -- 
Columns of ribbing 5x3

The border on the 'other edge.'

This combination is, with each row, confirming itself as the perfect Match Dot Com as described in a previous post.

  • Love those wooden Brittany birch needles;
  • Yarn is soft and the combo of US#6 and sock yarn has a wonderful drape;
  • Colors are neutral without being boring; they have light and variety;
  • The pattern is intricate and interesting but not painful to work; there are plenty of rest rows.

And now, (sshh) The Sun (sssh) is calling my name.  Morning walk with prayers on the iPod.  Definitely the right combination.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

LBD and new Beatrice Wrap

Saturday night event.  LBD.  New hand-crocheted wrap with a bit of sparkle.  Husband in tuxedo.  All the things a gal needs for a special date.

Red Heart Stardust, superwash wool, nylon and a bit of sparkle.  The pattern is free-- Beatrice Wrap.

I think I'll block it so the picot edging is a bit more stable.  Also, I want the Solomon's Knots not to be knotted.   Here's the detail.

So there you have it.  This is a wonderful pattern.  It's labeled "Experienced" and I'll admit to needing some help with those Solomon's Knots.  Check out Crochet Geek on YouTube for help -- you can see what I learned.  Crochet Geek -- video link at the top of the home page.

I hope they serve a fine champagne at the event on Saturday night.  This sparkly wrap deserves a dress-up  beverage, don't ya know!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Harry Potter Sox

The End.

Lookin' good, huh!  And lots of fun -- even if I did have to weave in all the ends from the color changes.

They belong now to Grandson Sid.