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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I don't know much but these things are very clear to me.

  • It's pretty clear that if I'm knitting a scarf I'm neglecting the matching hat.
  • It's pretty clear that the 220 stitches for the afghan and the 40 row cable pattern are daunting, especially on November 27.
  • It should be obvious to me by now that some of the projects just won't make it to the "finished" pile in time for gifts.  

But no, I'm still matching up yarn and patterns and recipient for YAP (Yet Another Project) to be completed in time for Christmas gifting.

So the over-arching question for today, for me and for all knitters out there:
Will we ever learn not to add so many projects to the gift list?  

Maybe friend Darliss has learned her lesson.  She just reported the completion of the 7th pair of sox (14 sox!) for grandkids.  Each sock had some duplicate stitch embellishment and some included color changes.  Result:  weaving in ends, lots of ends.

I'm using the calendar as my guide.  This means gifts that have to be mailed need to be finished long before the ones I finish late into the night on Christmas eve.

Here are a few progress pix.

Green lace shawl finally made it to the
blocking board.  Still unable to
capture the brilliant celery green even after
trying 3-4 settings on the camera.
This one will go in the mail by week's end.

Brown and teal will go to a special friend and her husband
-- delivered by hand.
Multicolor hat and scarf to another special friend
-- mailed by end of this week.
Red/Black/White hats -- need 3 more!  All will
be delivered in person on Christmas afternoon.
Battleboro hat will be delivered in person the week before

This one from Weekend Hats, also will be
hand delivered the week before Christmas.

Mailed the mushroom seafarer's hat today to NYC.

So when I'm not doing whatever else life expects of me, I manage to knit on something.  This morning it was a scarf while sitting in the car waiting.  Then I also got to frog it cuz I figured I really did not have enuf yarn.  Maybe this project will migrate to something else.

On the stashbuster front, located some additional sparkly stuff while cleaning out part of the garage.  This is a real find since it will make the headband/turban I have in mind.  

Minus one -- plus one.

The math works, but clarity is still foggy.  The sun here is finally burning off this morning's fog, while I am still in the mist and haze of entirely too many projects planned for Christmas giving.

I reckon I'll never learn.  How about you?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Abundance -- Stashbuster

      It's a hat for a Seafarer.  I will ship it to The Seamen's Church Institute of NY and NJ as part of their Christmas-at-Sea program.  If you wanna participate here's the site.  www.seamenschurch.org

Though, honestly, it looks like a mushroom, probably because of the color I chose.
Lots of ribbing and then garter stitch.
It's NOT knit in the round, but back and forth
on straight US6, with worsted.

I had a full skein of Bernat Waverly, an acrylic I love because it's soft and knits up smoothly.  The color is Bark.  You'll need about 3-3.5 oz for the hat, in worsted.

After the decreases are finished (for the crown)
then the remaining needles are placed half on each needle.
Kitchener stitch is used to join the edges.

I can now log YAH (Yet Another Hat) onto my Christmas knitting list.  And just about the time I thought the list was ending, I discovered two more hat recipients.  More StashBuster projects.  

I am thankful I can knit.  I'm grateful for yarn, whether natural fiber or acrylic.  

Mostly I am thankful for the abundance which surrounds my life.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fledge 2 -- Happy Birthday to me

Megan Goodacre at Tricksy Knitter does some wondrous things with style, yarn, and photography.  I've made her Fledge Shawl once as a gift.  Very wonderful and so I decided on a second journey through this wonderful pattern.

The first time thru I had some yarn challenges, as in "not quite enuf."  So I bot some coordinated yarn and finished the last of the border (2 rows and bindoff) in the contrast.  Worked out great.

Even better, the leftovers from the skein of Really Red Chugiak, Pagewood Farm, sock yarn had yardage sufficent for a second Fledge Shawl.   Ooooh.

Yup, it's Really Red.
It's a hand-dyed sock yarn from
Megan's design is just wonderful.  She includes charts and words, plus careful instructions on how to change the size.  In her latest blog she has included notes on choosing a heavier weight yarn, perhaps a sport weight instead of sock.  

She advertises email support with each design and I can attest to a promise fulfilled.  I found what I thought might be an error in the written words in one row, they didn't match the chart.  I emailed her and she agreed and made the correction for her downloadable PDF.

Final dimensions:  48" across the hypotenuse (long side for the geometry-challenged!) and 24" down the center of the back.  The border points are done with a clever stretchy bind-off combined with knitted chains.

Rest rows are inserts of stockinette with yo at ends and center
of each row.  They are a nice break.

So, I will have a new shawlette to adorn my shoulders when I visit friends for lunch on and around my birthday.  It's Really Red -- did I mention that? -- so this accessory will take me into Christmas.

I'm a lucky lady -- I knit and now and then I have enuf yarn to adorn the edge of a gift for a friend and then make something just for me.

Life is good.  Sure hope your knitting adventures are taking you into joy-land.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Matched Set -- Stashbuster

This time a hat and scarf that match.  I really like Bernat Mosaic.  It's acrylic so that may turn some of you away.  But I like it for cowls, hats, scarves.  And it's a lot like some of the Noro, without the high price tag.
See the twist in the hat?  Even with the color waves
the pattern is still distinctive.

Here's the Spiral Hat from the Mosaic free patterns. (see note at end of post, pls.) It's a twisted thing -- K2tog and then M1.  This means, among other outcomes, that the beginning of the round moves to the left.  After my fiasco with the Willow Beret I paid close attention to this spot.

Color is called Fantasy.

The scarf looks a bit distorted.  It's hanging over the side of the bed.
The crown continues nicely with the twist created by the
K2tog and the M1.
The scarf is an extraction from a Red Heart pattern for a shawl.  It's a really pretty shawl, but with only 2 balls of Mosaic, clearly a shawl would not emerge.  Instead I put pencil to paper and figured out the repeat, a multiple of 12 plus 1, then added 3 garter stitches on each side for the border.   Here's the Red Heart pattern -- Romancing the Shawl.  Great name, huh!

I have come to a new place with my knitting.  Sure I like the challenge of a new cable or lace pattern.  But right now I am enjoying the pleasure of knitting things that, for me, are relatively easy.

  • They are easy for me to complete in a reasonable time.  
  • Each pattern uses yarn and needles that I can easily put my hands on.  
  • Each item is wonderful as a gift.  

I am looking forward to more of this kind of knitting.  It's the relaxation I need right now without the pressure.

I wish you joy with your knitting.  Life has so much chaos on its own; we might all be better off if we un-chaosed some of the knitting we choose.

One knitter's opinion.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas Knitting

I'm counting on the fact that the folks in my life who will receive knitted gifts are not generally readers of this blog.  Isn't that a life irony?

This year I'm working on "manageable" which means things that happen fairly quickly.  This means no complex shawls, no afghans, and no sweaters.  (Confession:  have started designing a vest for myself using some stash bulky -- size US 10 so that might happen too!)

A portfolio of sample projects --
Matching hat and toe-up socks.

The Hat is called Grammy's Knits from Tanis Fiber Arts blog.  The pattern includes mittens.  You must check her site!  She has some fabulous patterns.  The blog is well-written.  The pictures are wonderful.  The hat is a free pattern so it's in my Hats folder on Goodreader.

My first time with toe-up sox.  I have a copy of Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson.  She includes at least 6 different cast-on methods.  I decided on the "Easy" Toe -- if you have the book it's on page 18.  Worked out quite nicely.  I decided to do two at once and will make a red toe and heel, a black foot/instep and finish with ribbing in a stripe of all 3 colors.  

It's 'fussy' I'll admit.  Cast-on is with waste yarn, 1/2 of the
stitches you'll need at the toe.  

Two toes.  Pattern is Worsted Weight Sock from
Big Book of Socks by Kathleen Taylor.
Love, love, love this book -- great variety of
techniques, designs and yarn.

I'm also sorting this out --
Major heartache here.  It's a nice lace beret, from Webs, the Willow Beret.  Great yarn from Valley Yarns Merino, knit on US7 and 8.  

Big "however", however -- five lace repeats around the 120 stitches.  Somewhere in the middle of the second set of the 10 row repeats I stopped looking at the beginning of the round.  Managed to do only four repeats and didn't realize this till I was 4-5 rows into the mess.  

If you look closely above you'll see that I slipped the 'good' knitting onto a smaller circular, a US4.  Then I carefully frogged 5 rows in one section.  I was able to locate the last row of correct pattern knitting, but only after I knitted 2-3 rows and -- Yikes! -- it still wasn't right.  

Might have been less time-consuming to frog the entire hat down to that spot but I just could not bear to unknit stuff that was knit correctly.  Eventually the problem was corrected and I'm now half way thru the last repeat of the 10 row pattern.  And then there's the last 15 rows of decrease pattern to form the crown.

Hope to finish later so you'll see this one again.
Used alternate US 7 and US8 to recover the section I

Back on track with US8

Highlighting my progress on Goodreader.
(Very hard to capture color on this yarn.)

Blue skies here, plus some sunshine.  Everything is sparkly.  Leaves are mostly on the ground and form piles and piles of yellow and brown ground cover.

I hear the East Coast is setting up for YAS (Yet Another Storm).  Yikes!  No knitting there.

I sure am grateful I can still knit.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mostest Biggest

This one is huge.  The neighbor's tree is shedding, as it does every year about this time.  Found this one on the back deck.  It's the most biggest gigantic-est leaf I've ever seen.  Too bad I can't make sox from it.

Meanwhile, we've had lots of rain, though nothing like the tragic weather events on the East Coast.
 I left this pitcher on the deck the last time I felt a need to water thirsty plants.  That was probably early October.  Someone will have to fact check the first date of our NW rainy season (which will end on July 15, 2013.)  The pitcher holds 2 qts.

Meanwhile, closing in on the last bits of knitted-on lace border for the green lace shawl.  Pattern from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby, one of my favorite lace designers.  
I've turned corner #3 and am making my way across the bottom
of the shawl.  One more corner and a border repeat to
connect to the starting point.
Hope to have this on the blocking board tonight.

When my elderly eyes weary from tiny stitches, I turn to larger needles and yarn.  You've seen this one before, during a progress report.  It's from Weekend Hats, page 89.  All done.  Yarn is Bernat Waverly, very soft.  I used #7 Kollage square point circular (confused!?) and the Magic Loop Method.

The green hat (though it looks gray) is part of Christmas gift knitting, which is the most wonderful knitting I do.  The quiet time with yarn and needles allows me to remember the person for whom the gift is intended.  Now and then I listen to a Rosary and do some praying.  It's all good.

Meanwhile, more rain, and more of the mostest biggest leaves from the neighbor's tree.  It's Fall in the NW.