Monday, November 28, 2011

Stash Enhancement

Well, it's been a pretty busy couple of weeks.  We all have them now and then, and not a whole lot of knitting has been happening around here.  Not only that, but I haven't been posting or reading online, so blogging adventures have taken a real beating.

I'm back to normal now (whatever that means) and I thought I'd share my recent acquisition!  Beautiful yarn came via UPS over the weekend and after squishing it in my hands over and over again, I guarantee whatever this yarn becomes, I'll enjoy making it.  Let's see, there's some Fleece Artist, Shaefer, and two hanks of Lorna's Laces.  Can't wait!

Notice the tendency to lean toward pinky-rosy colors?  I just can't help myself, I suppose.  The colors in this posting are a bit deeper and richer in person, and I hope this comes through in future photos.  Thanks, SUNLIGHT, for not cooperating with me today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ball Winding.....gone wild!

Being a long-time-knitter, I've wound hundreds of balls of yarn over the years, but yesterday was a first!

I've been working with wonderful Malabrigo fingering weight yarn (which I love), and the time came to grab a new hank of yarn, wind it, and join it to my ongoing big deal, right? 

After winding about one third into a ball, I came to the end of the yarn...what?  Ok, I can deal with that.  I added the new end to the ball, and continued to wind.....about 6 yards, and another end.....hmmm.  Alrighty, then.  I added this new end to the ball and what do you think happened?  You're right.  For the remainder of that darn hank of yarn, every 6-10 yards, another end of yarn slipped through my fingers.  What's up with that?

In another life, I'd have chucked the whole hank, and chalked it up to some weird yarn-fluke-thing, but I'm almost finished with that lovely pullover, and this was my last hank of yarn. 

The picture immediately above is an example of what I was dealing with.  You know what this means, don't you?  It means, I'm going to have about 15 joins in this sweater, instead of 3.  Crap!

I have used Malabrigo yarn for quite a while, and it's always been a joy to handle.  Has this ever happened to you? 

I know what you're thinking.  Maybe I cut the yarn accidentally.  No, I only snipped once, and the yarn hank was tied with a different color of other yarn. 

Not wanting to end on such a sour note, I did win a $25 coupon from Eat, Sleep, Knit!

Monday, November 7, 2011

So much little progress

Row after row of stockinette is looking beautiful in this Malabrigo Tiziano Red, isn't it?  Although it's an easy knit (I'm nearly ready to begin the sleeve prep), it does take a lot of time with fingering weight yarn.

I'm eager to have this completed before Thanksgiving, and with socks and another shawl on the go, I need to pick up the pace!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Socks and Murder?

Nothing like a good murder mystery for sock inspiration, right? 

The Murder at the Vicarage is the title of these wee little beauties, and I'm certain you can see a definite basket slowly inching its way toward the heel.  I didn't find this pattern from any source, other than just repeating row after row of knit-4, purl-4, alternating every 4 rows, but I'm positive there are real patterns out there where a basket can be found.

If you happen to be a follower of Agatha Christie, namely, Miss Marple mysteries, you're familiar with her love of knitting, gardening, and sleuthing!  In this book, much of her detective skills are put to the test from her own little garden in Saint Mary Mead. 

I loved the book, and the fact that Miss Marple spent so much time in her garden, made me think of a lovely little basket laden with veggies or flowers. 

Many of Agatha Christie's novels have been televised, and with the help of YouTube, Joan Hickson's portrayal of Miss Marple is easily available. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The sweet little pullover which I began last spring is nearly ready for sleeves.  Since the weather is cooling, it would be nice to have this on my daughter while fall is upon us.  Since the sleeves are short, finishing up this color favorite will be fun.  Heck, I almost forgot what the finished product is supposed to look like!

Violets are Blue, my second shawl in the "Be Mine" E-Book collection is nearly finished, and I'm so glad I decided to hold the lace doubled.  It would have been far too 'wispy' and unsubstantial with the lace yarn as is.

My Agatha Christie socks are on the needles, and I hope to post a picture as soon as I'm past the cuff, to give you an idea of what I'm going for.  I'm naming these socks "Murder at the Vicarage"....and I'll be sharing how I came to name them after this popular Miss Marple mystery.....soon, so stay tuned.

Monday, October 10, 2011

3rd in my Agatha Christie Sock series....coming up

This lovely Sweet Georgia fingering weight will be the yarn of choice for my third pair of socks in my Agatha Christie series.  I hope to get them on the needles today.

The pullover sweater I've been working on, ever so slowly, is still needing attention.  Now, with cooler weather making an appearance, the idea of warm wool across my lap, sounds comforting.

My shawl project has been taking a break, also....remember, "Violets Are Blue"?

I may as well explain why such a lag between postings.  As you might recall from my feeble attempt at Haiku....I did fall.  I tripped over our flagpole.....hard to explain, but it involved trying to keep the flag from touching the ground, and a sweet little dog on a leash.  Trying to manage both at the same time was my downfall, literally!

Without going into too much detail, I landed on my knee, and what would have amounted to an ugly bruise for most normal people, turned out to be a bit more complicated for me.  I had ruptured a vein.  Long story - short.....It's not serious, but keeping my leg elevated does make knitting nearly impossible.  Knitting withdrawal is making me crazy.

Here's hoping my needles will start clicking once again, and a great big thank you, for all your support and kind words.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Haiku drama

I took a tumble
Will return to knit again
New post on Monday

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Moving Finger

Even though the sun wasn't cooperating, I just had to post my final pictures of "The Moving Finger".  These are the second in my Agatha Christie sock collection. 

We all know how the legendary Agatha Christie's Miss Marple loves knitting, and the needles make regular appearances in her novels.  Miss Marple knits as she surveys suspicious suspects, and with her fingers flying, she's able to hone in on the culprit, eventually.

This photo is probably the best representation of color, as the clouds above wouldn't allow the sock color to shine, but the fit, as you can see, is spot on.  The comfort can be attributed to one of my favorite sock yarns, Malabrigo Sock.  The color is Primavera, and isn't it lovely?  It just screams "AUTUMN"!

The Moving Finger took me a little longer than expected, but it wasn't the pattern that delayed the final was my Kindle.  I found myself plunged into a rabbit hole, and I didn't want to find my way out.

I'll try to devote an equal amount to knitting as I do to reading, and maybe I can complete my projects in a more timely manner.....the best laid plans?

ps:  That final phrase is from Robert Burns..."The best laid schemes o' mice and men, gang aft agley"
       The title of the poem?  "To A Mouse"

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

My short haircut is delightfully fresh and cool, but it'll be 2 weeks before I can show my face to my friends!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Violets are Blue

Remember this yarn from way back when?  It's Malabrigo Lace, in the color Indigo.  I had this yarn all ready for my "In Dreams" KAL, but, after second and third thoughts, I had to frog the darn thing.  Too many beads, and far too complicated a pattern for my taste. 

I rescued this lovely lace weight, and decided to use it doubled, for my second in a series of 5 shawls for the "Be Mine" collection.  Stay tuned!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Roses Are Red

Shawls?  How do I love the? Let me count the ways.  Apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 

This is the first in a series of 5 shawls I'll be knitting during the coming season.  What season is that, you ask?  It's shawl-making-season, of course!

Rose Beck has written a lovely little E-Book titled Be Mine.  There are 5 shawls included in this E-Book, and well worth the download.  They are well written, with charming little notes about how she came to write each pattern, as well as name them.

Roses are Red is so sweet, it makes my teeth hurt.  I love the little flowers, and even though they might seem intricate, it's quite easy.

Yarn:  Yarn Love
Colorway:  Warm Brick
Needles:  Size 4 U.S. Circular

Confession time....I ran out of yarn.  There should be one more complete pattern repeat, before the garter stitch edging.  The pattern called for 380 yards of fingering weight yarn and I used 2 hanks of Yarn Love, which each have 195 yards.  I'm not very good at math, but my calculator tells me, that adds up to 390 yards, which should have been more than enough.  It wasn't.

Note to self:  Always have more yarn than you need.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Color Exercises in Progress...

Continuing my color and drawing exercises, I used various degrees of the color blue, and added a spot of green for added interest.

Here, I've used transparent paper. copying my design.  I marked the page with a grid.

I used the grid to transfer a small portion of my picture, and enlarge it on another page of my sketchbook.

In the next lesson, I began mono-printing.  This is my first experience with this form of art, and I'm afraid it shows.  Nevertheless, I will display my dismal results, and suffer the consequences.



Hard to believe, I've never done this before, right?

Now, that's sad...

There were a couple I was able to rescue with a little water color.  I'm not quite finished with this one.

After outlining the flowers with a bit of water soluble crayon, I applied a water color wash to the background.  Not bad, but it needs something.

Believe me, these are only a few of my mono-printing tries.  I have a stack of about 50 more on my table, but they are just more of the same.  I haven't given up, and I know I can do better.

Monday:  Knitting News!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

One Potato, Two Potato...

Talk about bringing back memories!  Potato printing seemed so easy when I was 6 and uninhibited. 

Here's a closer view, and although it isn't perfect, I do like the darker outline on some of the images.

Here, I applied a wash to the background, still following Gina's wonderful lessons.  I'm so thankful for her seemingly one on one tutorial.

In this image, I applied some gold oil crayon to some of the outlines.  I like the look of this.

Good grief....knowing when to stop is one of the hallmarks of a good artist.  In the above image, you can see that my work became a bit heavy handed.   A little muddy on the left, and I just kept trying to improve the look....Thankfully, poor results only make me want to try harder.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Exercise in Color, part 2

In my first use of color, I've washed the background in blue, and used an oil pastel to highlight the flowers.  Again, Gina's color exercises are my inspiration.

Here, I've added some contrasting color for interest.

My white oil highlight isn't quite as stark as I'd have liked. 

Here, I tried my hand at adding interest in the form of, It's been a long time since art class, and I've forgotten so much more than I've remembered. 

Next, potato stamping? 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Exercise in Color

Taking just a small break from knitting, I'm following Gina's wonderful exercises which combine sketches and a single color to create some interesting art pages. 

Right off the bat...My love of art does not coincide with my ability to produce art, but I really want to give it a try, so here goes.

The first thing I did was try to reproduce a couple of examples of our Echinacea (which are almost spent) in the garden. 

Today, I'll begin manipulating these drawings, and my progress will be forthcoming.....I hope!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ruby Tuesday

A little girl needs a haircut.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I wish I could post the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, and say that I have some projects that are quick as a bunny, and others that are nearing completion.  Alas, all my knitting projects seem to be taking a terribly long time to get to the finish line.

One problem, of course, is the weather.  It's been so very hot, (I'm sure some of you are experiencing this across the country) and having a shawl or sweater across my lap is sweaty work, not fun, and not conducive to blog about.

The other thing is, we're doing a bit of a re-model in our guest bathroom, and it is taking some time.  We're also trying to keep up with a little patch of a garden, and hoping our new plantings aren't succumbing to the weather. 

Here's hoping I have something 'finished' to show you soon.

Friday, July 15, 2011


This little shawlette has been taking most of my knitting time.  Why?  Because I LOVE it.  What a delightful pattern.  It's so much fun, I'm afraid I've neglected other knitting items. 

Every time I spot this in my basket, I can't help picking it up...then the clock ticks away, and another day without sock or pullover sweater progress. 

Already anticipating what 'blocking' will do for this pattern, yummy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Good Morning!  I thought I'd share the lovely, but a little haggard, flower bouquet my daughter carried yesterday.  She was a bridesmaid at her dear friend's wedding.  The colors were so beautiful.

The girls dresses were a subdued lime....not too bright, but with the orange flowers.....heavenly!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's for Breakfast?

I don't know why I was so hungry this morning, but I was.  Usually, it's coffee and toast, and on more adventurous occasions, I might whip up a smoothie with whatever fresh fruit I have lingering in the fridge.

Today, I had to have an Egg McMuffin, homemade, that is.  Having never made one, it couldn't be difficult, and I had all the ingredients.  Toasted muffin, cheese, fried egg, and ham.

Yes, it was delicious, and now I'm contemplating what type of toe for the spiral socks I'm working.  Goodness, they're taking a long time....longer than usual, as I'm just ending the first sock, and my original goal was to have them for this weekend to gift to a friend.....Not Bloody Likely!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Something new on my 36 inch circulars.  I know it's a little on the pink side....well, a lot on the pink side.  Honestly, in good light, it's more of a "brick" color.  In fact, that's the name of the color on the label:  "Brick".  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Yesterday, I cast on a new little shawlette.  Saving the details for later, I can only say this...I'm loving the pattern.  That's all it is, really, an all-over pattern, with a teeny bit of an edge, both literally, and figuratively.

The yarn is soft, but it isn't as tightly twisted as I am used to.  This is both good and bad.  The good thing is, the yarn is very fluffy, filling in the knitting, while showing off the pattern.  The bad thing is, it separates a bit while I'm knitting.  Not enough untwisting to drive me crazy, yet!

Stay tuned!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Market Bag - Complete!

I've finished my new market bag, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.  It's very stretchy, and very sturdy, which is a good thing for something that will be slung over the shoulder when I do a bit of marketing.

You can see how much it stretches, and I didn't really pack the bag, as I could have.  The pattern can be found here on Ravelry.  It was an easy pattern, and the only warning I'd advise is, pay attention to the length of the handles you choose to make.  They are very stretchy, so adjust for that. 

The top portion of the bag is done in garter stitch, and so are the handles.  It goes quickly, and I'm assuming it can also be made deeper than the pattern suggests, by adding a few more rows of the 'netting' portion.

The materials list is as follows:  Tahki 100% cotton, 3 hanks
size 5 and 6 US circular needles, plus size 5 dpns for the bottom portion

I made a gauge swatch (I know, weird) to arrive at the needle size I mention.  The author's recommendation was somewhat different.

Now I can tick another finished knitted object off my list.  Yippee!!