Here is my progress so far. I finished Part II of Wendy Johnson's 2014 Mystery Shawl ahead of time, on Wednesday. It doesn't seem to be so hard now, hehe:
I'm still plugging along on my lacy cardigan, picking away at it:
There are almost 300 stitches there. It knits better, though, since I did this:
I am not spending all my time getting the yarn untangled, and that makes it wayyyy more fun. Thank you Nancy for sending me this little jewel! It's a Yarn Buddy, and it is like a lazy susan for my yarn. If you have ever struggled with a yarn that is fuzzy and got tangled up all the time, this is what you need. I just rewound the skein of yarn (with somebody else holding it) et voilà! It is perfect. It was a wonderful gift, Nancy, and I thank you so very much!
I saw something like this years ago in our knitting group, made by the knitter's husband (Hi Lynn and Jim!). She was using it to knit from a cone of yarn. When you knit from a cone usually, your yarn twists up and you have to stop and untwist it regularly, but the little gadget that Jim made let the entire cone revolve as you pull the yarn from the cone, thus transferring the twist to the cone, not the yarn. I always thought it was a useful little device, and I am glad Sun Valley Fibers makes one.
I keep making mistakes in my knitting. I mean, All. The. Time. I blame it only having half a brain now, but geez ... seems like I used to do more with it. Maybe it's oozing out of my ears at night, going to Bermuda, and didn't come home because, well, Bermuda, baby! What's not to like? When I just have a few crumbs left of my brain, it'll be fine because by then, I'll just be drooling and staring vacantly and I will think everything is absolutely wonderful, hehe.
Anyway. Here is the 2014 Summer Mystery Shawl by Wendy Johnson, Part I:
I had to knit it about eight times because of The Mistakes I made by not paying attention, and I noticed a mistake halfway up when I took this picture, but I don't really care. Only God is perfect. This shawl looks black to me, in person and in this picture, although it was very navy blue in the picture I took last week. Perhaps I should call it the Dopplegänger shawl :)
Color is weird. I mean, how we choose colors that we work with or wear or whatever is dependent on what kind of mood we are in at the time. How the color makes us feel is as important as what the color actually is. I always thought I was a bluey-green sort of person, but it turns out that I have way more orange in my yarn stash than any other color, so it must appeal to me.
Apparently I like purple a lot, too. Purple always feels good in my hands and, well, everywhere.
But, looking over my Ravelry projects I have supported all the colors equally, except black. I only have one black project.
Black is hard to see, but quite stunning when it is finished. Black is also hard to see texture in, so cables are sorta out, though I remember seeing a black Aran sweater once that was gorgeous. Black is good for lacework, though. Hmmm. I'll try to work more black into my finished goods, but don't worry! It's not because I am depressed!
I missed you. My sister died on Memorial Day, and I kind of fell apart. You remember my sister, who did NaNoWrimo with me last year? Yeah. It was tough; still is. Anyway.
Rachel loved to read my blog. I don't know why. But I figured I would post on it more regularly, because, you know, maybe she is still reading it.
Let's see. What has happened since I finished Harriet? I knit a Doctor Who scarf:
I knit a plain pair of socks:
I did a mystery shawl with leftover yarn from the Pueblo Stole:
Then my sister died. I had a couple things on the needles when she died, and I have since finished them. One is a leftover scarf from the browns in the Pueblo Stole:
I had this wonderful yarn from Ball and Skein, that I used to make Snowflake Lace socks:
I started another pair of socks on Memorial Day, but they are not finished yet:
I needed something simple to knit on, something I could cry into. I am almost finished with them.
Then, I crocheted a hat with leftover worsted yarn:
That was a quick, two-day project. Last week I started a lace cardigan project with some of Rachel's yarn:
I haven't gotten very far on it. The yarn is fuzzy and tangles easily, and with only one hand, I find tangling to be really unfortunate. Today I thought about how to knit it more easily, and I think I have found the answer, but I will let you know after I try it out.
I just started today on the Summer Mystery Shawl from Wendy Johnson, which is pleasantly non-combative and easy to knit so far. I'm working on the first clue:
That brings me up to date. Happy knitting, everyone :)
The book She Makes Hats by Robyn Devine (Asymetrical Press) is a wonderful true story of a woman's search for her own knitting niche. Robyn started out learning to knit from a co-worker, and was immediately drawn into the fabulous world of a yarn shop. Along the way, she discovers the reason why she likes to make hats: it was her watching her little brother Dan in a hand knit hat, though she didn't know anything about knitting at the time.
Soon she decided to work on a goal, inspired by watching her husband reach his goal of completing a triathlon, and also being inspired by The Art of Non-Conformity, a web site by Chris Guillbeau who challenged himself to visit every country in the world by his 35th birthday. What goal would she choose? To knit a hundred hats in a year, of course!
This was a big goal for a relatively new knitter. You have to knit a little every day. She started a blog, www.shemakeshats.com. Starting out slow, she found that she was quickly turning out hat after hat at a surprisingly easy pace. She finished the goal in far less than a year, and she kept on going.
Robyn knits other things, but always comes back to hats. Hats are her knitting comfort food. She especially loves to knit for babies and kids. She knows that hats she gives to friends who have had a baby will be appreciated, and their child will be loved by a circle of people. But some babies come into the world in a different circumstance:
"But the other babies, the ones born in the hospital down the street to mothers who didn't want to be pregnant, to families living below the poverty line, into houses full of a lot of things that aren't warmth or security or sometimes even love? The babies born on dirt floors to mothers who don't yet know they are HIV-positive, supervised by midwives with little to no training, their umbilical cords cut with rusty knives, and wrapped in dirty rags because that's all there is? Those babies are really the ones I want to knit hats for, the ones I end up buying extra skeins of baby-colored yarn for." -- Robyn Devine. She Makes Hats (Kindle Locations 409-413). Asymmetrical Press.
We have all been there. We knit through the things that tear us apart, we find solace in the repetitive motion of our hands, dancing tirelessly with the yarn and needles. It gives us a chance to be with others, yet not talking. Just being. Robyn Devine understands this, and she goes further -- she makes hats, for all sorts of people, and in doing so, she changes the world.
"Something amazing happens when I knit. My love becomes something tangible. All the negative thoughts that barrage me fall away and I am left holding a hat that will be placed on the head of an orphan somewhere in Russia, or on the head of a homeless vet somewhere in Omaha. And suddenly the breadth and scope of my life seems enormous." --Robyn Devine. She Makes Hats (Kindle Locations 623-625). Asymmetrical Press.
Every knitter strives to knit, first of all, but then what? What direction do you go in? I knit lots of things, but nothing in particular. I could never knit a hundred of any one thing. I think what I liked best about knitting was teaching it, every day bits of learning that occur when a knitter needed help. I don't get to do that very often anymore, and that's okay. I still knit.
I am offering a free e-pub copy of She Makes Hats to give away. Just leave a comment either here on my blog or on my facebook post about it by midnight EST on May 4, 2014, and the random number machine will pick a winner!
She Makes Hats is being published by Asymmetrical Press, a publishing house in Missoula, Montana run by indie authors, for indie authors—publishing for the indie at heart.
I stole it from herdy.us . They have got a ton of cool stuff and I want it all! Herdwick sheep from England's Lake District are so darned cute and lovable! Beatrix Potter kept Herdwick sheep; she was even president of the breed association for a time .
Yup, Spring is finally here, or will be around 1:00 p.m. they tell me. Not that we can tell by the sun when that will be, because it is raining here! Oh well, it will help melt the snow ... until more falls at the end of the week. Sigh.
The good news is, we have a winner! The Random Number Generator chose Michelle to be our winner of the book giveaway for Knit the Alphabet! Go look at her blog, Stitches Be Slippin', it is fab!
I finished Harriet, after 14 months of intermittent knitting. I would knit this design again; it was really fun to knit. The design is by Lisa Lloyd in her book A Fine Fleece, which is out of print I think, but Amazon has few 'bargain books' -- they had 8 new copies still available this morning from $8.04, and they listed 13 used copies that sold from $6.82.
This poor photo is a result of laziness on my part. Sorry. The wooly board is set up on the cat food table (complete with cat grass! Thans, Lynne!). I'll get better pictures after I get the buttons on. I have buttons that are the right size, but I ordered some gold-ish tinted flower buttons that I hope will make the gold-colored tweed pop in the purple sweater, and they will be here next week.
On Valentine's Day I got an email from a man ... it was actually someone from the publisher, Stitch Craft Create in the UK, telling me about this new book: Knit the Alphabet: Quick and Easy Alphabet Knitting Patterns by Claire Garland. I remember saying to my sister in law over Valentine's Day dinner that I really didn't think I would review it, because knitting little things and stuffing them -- even before I had my stroke -- weren't really my cup of tea. Some of my loyal readers will recall an unfortunate pre-Ravelry Easter incident now known as "Frankenbunny". It was frightening.
But the more I thought of it, the more I thought of all the cool gifts I could make with the many, many odd balls that I have stashed over the years. And the many, many Kindergarten and early childhood teachers that I know who would love this book, the people I know who are in the print business who decorate their houses with letters, the owners of boats who would love the name of their boat in their house or on the boat, the parents of smart little kids who would like things besides enormous stuffed giraffes and giant jaguars ... so I said I would review the book! Stitch Craft Create has very generously offered a giveaway -- a copy of the book too! Details at the end of my post!
I started out my review thinking I would knit a word, a name maybe. Maybe my name -- Beth. It's short, I could knit it in a short time. I allowed a week to knit the four letters, figuring each one can't take over a couple hours to knit.
I looked over the book then. It is a beautiful book! There are wonderful, winsome images of letters used as decorations for the home, used to spell out simple words such as "OK" or "LOVE" or initials, such E&K.
The bold colors are reminiscent of pre-school without being overly child-like, and there are some beautiful hand-drawn examples of each letter of the alphabet that look like they are made out of yarn. The book has a brief welcome from the author, and then gets right into the alphabet letters.
Each letter comes in three sizes: small, medium and large, achieved through using different sizes of yarn and needles. Small letters use fingering weight yarn and size 1 (2.5mm) needles, medium letters use worsted (Aran) weight yarn and size 8 (5.0mm) needles, and large letters use bulky (chunky) weight yarn and size 15 (10mm) needles. Usually you use two sets of circular needles for the knitting and you use double-pointed needles to hold stitches til you get back to them, but since I only have one hand because of my paralysis after my stroke, I had to use a couple sets of double pointed needles.
I found the directions very clear and accurate. There was a point where the words didn't really make sense to me, but when I looked at the knitting, it became clear. Also, I wondered why the directions said something like "k 1, kfb, k 22, k 22, kfb, k1". Why not just say "k44" in the middle? But it was clear if I had two circular needles -- "k 1, kfb, k 22" was on one needle, and "k 22, kfb, k1"on the other.
The book also includes three non-letters: an ampersand (&), a heart in outline form, and a star. At the end were a Techniques section where there were instructions for making striped letters, abbreviations used in the book, basic equipment, yarns, gauge, and a good, clear explanation of knitting, including casting on, the knit and purl stitches, increase and decrease, binding off, Kitchener stitch, knitting in the round, making up, and how to stuff your letters. The cast on was especially helpful for me, because often the letters start with a cast on such as is used in a toe up sock. This 127-page book was truly a little gem!
So, how did my name go? It took me about 6 hours of time to knit and stuff and sew only the first letter of my name. So much for quick! But I add that I can only knit one-handed, so a two-handed person is probably much quicker. Also I started with the letter "B", which is more time consuming than, say, a letter "I".
At the beginning, when I had this, I was thinking, what have I gotten myself into??
That is nine needles -- four to hold stitches and five that I was knitting on! But it wasn't even scary. I got over my fear of letting go of needles long ago, and the directions were incredibly clear and easy to follow. It was actually really fun to knit, and I think that the result was a really cute "B":
I was very pleased with the result! I'm excited to knit more letters now!
Clair Garland has a wonderful blog over at Dot Pebbles. You may remember her book Knitted Babes, but she has many other books! This new book, Knit the Alphabet, can be had on the Stitch Craft Create site as well as on Amazon ... or, you could win a copy right here, courtesy of Stitch Craft Create!!! Just leave a comment on this post or on the Facebook post about it by Wednesday, March 19, at midnight EST and I will choose a winner first thing on Thursday morning!
I finished the pueblo stole/scarf in time, but I neglected to post that I had finished it on the event board -- actually I didn't even know that I had to do that. It's been two years since the last Olympics Ravellenics, and I forgot, I guess. So I didn't get a medal to show off, but I got the most important thing: the wonderful stole/scarf thing!
I have had it around my neck since I rinsed it, draped it on my wooly board to let it dry overnight, and trimmed the fringe. It is so soft and lovely, and has such pretty colors that go with everything! When I wear it, I feel fabulous. It truly is A Wonderful Thing! I am very proud that I finished my Wonderful Thing in the 14 days that I tried to knit it in. Now I'm going to snuggle with it and pet it :)
The Pueblo Stole, that is, by Carol Sunday of Sundayknits.com. I'm knitting it for the Ravellenic games, which finish up on Sunday. I am about 60% done; it's gonna be close. The goal of the Ravellenic Games is to challenge yourself, but knitting this stole has been a bit more of a challenge than I thought it would be!
First of all, there are decreases and increases on each side because it gets it's drape from the slight bias that you knit it on. It is not a regular enough thing that my poor brain can handle -- I get what I am supposed to do, but I can't seem to remember it, so in the time constraints given by the Ravellenic Games (I only have two weeks to knit it), I have had to resort to the row-by-row directions. Oh, the humanity!
Second, every other and sometimes every row, you join a new color, leaving a 4" tail that is left as the fringe. Sounds easy, right? It isn't. Imagine me with one hand, cutting a fringe that is vaguely 4", and then purling through the back and then through the front of the first stitch of the row. It's kind of hard; I think that it would have been sorta tricky but do-able back before I had my stroke. But, I'm doing it!
Thirdly, you have to graft it together in the middle, which I am not looking forward to. I have decided that that is just finishing, so if I can knit the whole thing by Sunday at noon-ish, then the medal is mine. If I get it grafted and weave in the few ends as well, that is just icing on the cake. :)
Now for the good news, hehe. I love this kit! Love, love, love it ... the yarn is just gorgeous. There are four kinds of yarn in the kit, chosen for the colors, and the colors really blend together harmoniously. There is Brigadoon, which is a 100% merino donegal tweed; Eden, which is 100% merino; Nirvana, which is 92% merino and 8% cashmere; and Angelic, which is 75% merino and 25% angora. Here is a picture of the first half, all knit:
I can't wait to wear this, it is so yummy! And despite the difficulty and my perceived whining, I am really loving this. It is so much fun seeing the color progression; it's like watching the sunrise over the Sacramento Mountains in New Mexico. Beautiful!
Follow the Yarn: The Knitting Wit & Wisdom of Ann Sokolowski by Reba Linker is more than a knitting book. It’s a journey through a life-changing episode in Reba Linker’s life, disguised as a simple knitting class. This book-within-a-book starts out telling how Reba, at the urgings of her friend Chaya, took a local learn-to-knit class at the Central Queens Y in New York. There, she met Ann Sokolowksi, who was the instructor. A retired teacher, Ann was no cupcake; she didn’t sweet talk her students, guide their hands or even show them her knitting technique. Instead, she said, “Etch this on your eyeballs!” when there was something that was a really important bit.
This book is filled to the gunnels with twenty-three chapters of knitting wisdom from Ann, including how to care for knitted garments, yarns and tools (“Beware of crapola!”), increasing and decreasing, basic stitches - garter stitch, stockinette stitch, ribbing, seed and moss stitches, and the like. This is not a pattern book. While you will find a couple really basic ‘patterns’ for things in it, it is far more. In that way, it is a little bit like Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears -- to Elizabeth, and Ann, knitting was much more than a hobby. It was a way of thinking, of living. Ann didn’t need to teach knitting at the Y; she did it because she couldn’t NOT do it.
Communication was everything to Ann, and she communicated knitting topics, but she also imparted a great deal of wisdom about everything, about life itself. She made a gift of her time and energy freely, to everybody. It wasn’t for everybody, but those who stayed surely got a lot more than knitting instruction from Ann. She was a remarkable woman in a time when women were just starting to begin making choices that now are considered normal. A single woman, she adopted a baby in another country, the first time anyone had done that. She was a brave woman, a self-confident woman.
This self-confidence was imparted to Reba Linker who, through Ann and through knitting, helped find her own way through some family troubles that she had never dealt with. Ann had a gift of seeing the good in people, dealing with them on an even level of repect and acceptance, and it was this feeling that Reba sought and found.
Follow The Yarn is 194 pages, and it costs $19.95. Beginning knitters will find much there, and experienced knitters will enjoy learning about Ann’s life. Ann had a lot to teach us all.
Learn more at http://www.RebaLinker.com. All who sign up for Reba's newsletter from now to the end of the tour will be automatically entered in the Tour Contest for a chance to win Great Prizes.
Extra chances to win will be given out at https://www.facebook.com/FollowtheYarn2013 and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Reba-Linker-Author/215275608492025
Follow the Yarn is available at http://www.lulu.com/shop/reba-linker/follow-the-yarn-the-knitting-wit-wisdom-of-ann-sokolowski/paperback/product-21290232.html
I conned my sister into doing NaNoWriMo with me this year. We were two of the over 41,000 people who successfully completed our novels in time, out of the 300,000 that tried. That just continues to amaze me, that number. That's like being in a group of people equal to a quarter the population of Maine, with just the population of Lewiston being successful!
My sister is a better writer than I am. Her mystery novel was very cool, tying in Vietnam-era skullduggery with small town politics, and she worked hard to get it done in time. I am very proud of her! She was behind most of the way, and she even had a thing where her novel disappeared in Google Docs, but she kept on plugging and soon she zoomed past me! (The novel was recovered in Google docs revision history -- phew!) My novel was a prequel to a novel I began about ten years ago, maybe more. It's a fantasy novel. Interestingly, it didn't really thrill me like I thought it would. I guess writing my blog is about all the writing I'm gonna do; good thing my blog loves me.
Speaking about blog writing, what the heck happened on August 19 this year? My page views spiked that day. In an effort to find out what happened (something that I never found out, by the way), I noticed that Liberty's Yarn said that this blog was ranked number six by Alexa. I have quite a few people who come to my blog from Liberty's Yarn, which is wonderful. Being ranked number six is sort of weird, because there is a blog ranked number four that hasn't been updated since 2011. All I can think is that they must offer a selection of free patterns like I do. I average about 125 page views a day from people coming for the free patterns. Interestingly, I have only had one person who tipped me for any of it, heh heh, so I have only had $5 worth of profit from it. Sigh.
Grace, the very good kitty, has gone to kitty Heaven, where the food bowls are always full, and there is always cream and cheese. There are lots of catnip mice to toss around playfully, there are many sunbeams in which to to sprawl about, and lots of cushy places to curl up and snooze in. There are no dogs barking and chasing her up there, no small children who move quickly about, and no fleas to aggravate her. There are only warm places and loving hands to rub her head and scratch behind her ears. Good bye, Gracie ... we'll miss you.
(Sorry about the formatting ... Typepad is being cranky this morning. If you see it as you should, then YAY. If you see everything all smashed up together like I do, welcome to my world.)
I had such a good time at the Maritime Fibre Retreat! Here's my nametag to prove I was there. I saw so many beautiful things at the event ....
This tea cozy was interesting!
What a beautiful example of quilting... just gorgeous.
This coverlet was hand knit, and it is very beautiful. Here are some detail shots:
I was astounded by this bobbin lace!
Rug hookers were everywhere!
This is part of an example of Anne's natural dye display.
I saw this wonderful shawl at breakfast.
I liked this sheep.
Annie was busy at the circular sock machine and her spinning wheel!
Isn't Richard cute?
Love his name tag ... "Rented Mule".
And it was so good to see Sharon and Caroline!
This is Caroline's fabulous lace sweater in the fashion show! It fit her perfectly. It was so pretty!
Thank you so much, Sharon and Richard, for making the Maritime Fibre Retreat such an amazing event for so many people! It was fun to be with so many wonderfully talented people ... it was so welcoming.
Lynne and I headed up to the Maritime Fibre Retreat, organized by Sharon and Richard Orpin, on Thursday. We stayed at a lovely place in Moncton on the way to Nova Scotia called the Rodd Moncton Hotel. We did a little sightseeing on the trip from there to Nova Scotia.
Next to the hotel was this monument to Joseph Salter, first mayor of Moncton.
The Tidal Bore in Moncton is remarkable. It fills 25' in one hour ... the river reverses itself. Wow. To me it looks like lots of chocolate mud in a chocolate river.... yummy.
The wind was really whipping the flags out in the Nova Scotia tourism centre.
We took a scenic drive along the Bay of Fundy. This picture is in Five Islands, which is a beautiful spot.
We got to Atlantica, where the fibre retreat is held, and it is beautiful. This panoramic shot is from the deck of our room:
They expect around 200 knitters, spinners, rug hookers, quilters, and weavers to be here. I can't wait!
Felicia is a remarkable young woman who does amazing things dyeing wool material and yarn, and making hooked rugs. I met her at the Lunenburg Farmer's Market last October, which is where I bought the yarn. It's just beautiful.
The pattern is 198 Yards of Heaven. I made it before, out of Good Karme Farm yarn, and have found that I have worn it a lot this winter. It's a nice little scarf.
Wow, it's been a month and a half since I posted anything! Fascinating.
I have been crocheting on my Spincushions crochet-along, and I finally got caught up (well, nearly; I haven't done this week's square yet), when I discovered I am running out of the yarn. The good news is, it's still available. The bad news is, I haven't got a clue how much yarn I'm going to need to buy to finish it. So I'm going to finish using what I've got and then wait to see how many more squares there are, which should give me some idea of how much yarn I need, and then I'll buy it.
I finished my April Showers socks:
They're actually more lime green than what you see in the picture. My iPhone gives my pictures a blue cast and I am not smart enough to edit it out. Since they were for me, I knit a little tube to wear with them - that goes on my right leg, above the sock. My brace is quite high and bare skin rubbing on the plastic brace is yucky.
These socks are only 6" high. They are really pretty, but short. The lace pattern has flowers on the foot, umbrellas over them, rain falling above the umbrellas, and a raincloud floats at the top. The back of the legs has lightning all the way to the top, and continues around the ribbing.
Next thing on the list: the Harriet cardigan from A Fine Fleece, by Lisa Lloyd. I just have the lace part on the bottom and one repeat of the pattern on the back done, so no picture yet. Maybe next time. It's a pretty easy and fun knit, so far. My friend Lynne is also knitting Harriet, but she has the back nearly done. She has more stick-to-it-iveness than I!
In knitting news, I finished the My Little Pony socks:
Aren't they disgustingly cute? Rest assured, no My Little Ponies were harmed. It just looks like I am wearing their hides.
I'm on to my next socks:
These are April Showers socks from Knitters Brewing Company, and it's their Mystery Sock V, which means the completed sock is a mystery for the duration of the knitalong. Mine are in Sockaholic Mint Julip, and I am currently on clue 2. Everyone else is on clue 4, but I had some horsin' around to do first ... I am catching up pretty quickly, though. There are two more clues to be given, so you can still join! We'll be done by the end of February.
Lynne and I are working on our Harriet cardigans from A Fine Fleece, she in teal tweed yarn and I in purple Jo Sharp DK wool tweed. (The book's out of print or I'd link it. So is the yarn, I think.) So far we have only gotten the border on the back done. Here is mine:
I even tried his favorite catnip mouse, but no. He just curled himself up tighter and sighed. Cat depression in a horrible thing to see.
So, I didn't tell you about my socks. I'm using Lang's Jawoll Magic (75% superwash wool, 25% nylon) that I got in Nova Scotia at Have A Yarn in Mahone Bay. The color is creatively titled "84.0009", which isn't much help. It's like a pastel rainbow. I will look like a herd of My Little Ponies gave their hides so my feet will be warm:
I got a Tardis mug from my husband for Christmas, which you can see in that picture, a little. The Tardis disappears when you pour hot liquid in it:
As you can see, I have drunk half a cup of warm liquid. Mmmmm, cinnamon vanilla tea from Stash!
Did you notice my needles? They are different. They are called Karbonz Needles:
They are US size 1.5 (2.50 mm), a size I did not have (well, a size I could not seem to find), and Barb got them for me when she went to Stitches East in Hartford. I really love these needles! From the Webs website (you can order them from Webs; they are becoming more well-known in local stores, too -- Cashmere Goat in Camden has circulars in stock, I believe):
"Knitter's Pride Karbonz 8" Double Pointed Needles have the spectacular flex and tensile strength of carbon fiber, the same material used in aerospace engineering, with a smooth, warm feel that's easy on the hands. These lightweight carbon needles have shiny, smooth, nickel-plated brass tips, flawlessly tapered to a perfect point."
Sorry, I got bored with my blog, and I meant to kill it off. Quietly, you know? Some people really can't give up, and I am one of them, apparently.
All five of you who actually read my blog (you know who you are) will be happy, and the other 150+ who come for the free patterns will be happy too, because I'll probably continue posting new patterns, rarely. And I am glad that I can be of some small service to you :)
So you can look forward to posts about my wonderful, amazing knitting (snicker, snicker), and my cat pictures, and whatever else pops into my head. I will not be posting everyday; that got really boring, but I will post occasionally. By that I mean at least one post per week.
To close, here is the requisite cat picture -- he's mad at the world. It is 0˚ outside.
Lynne is coming over to stuff the last eight mice this weekend, and I will take a picture of all of them before giving any away.
My Child's Mendocino cardigan was frogged, sorry to say. There was a mix up with the yardages given for the put-up. Ravelry said they were 98 yards per skein, and I had 5 skeins, so I was fine. Then I noticed that my yarn was running out faster than it should be. I was only one and a half inches up the back and my third ball of yarn was half gone, and I knew that at that rate I was going to run out of yarn. So I read the ball band, and it said Organik was actually 89 yards. That meant that I actually had 25 yards less than I needed for the sweater, not 40 yards more than I needed, as I had thought. Oh well, it is a learning opportunity. Should have read the ball band and not depended on Ravelry! Organik probably is 98 yards per ball now; the company has changed hands and I imagine the put up is different. Or someone may have dyslexia over on Ravelry. Sorry, Georgia, you won't be getting your sweater this Christmas! I am sure you will like what we gave you, probably more than a sweater :)
I've been crocheting a lot this week. Sorry I don't have pictures. I have one block done and one block to go in the In A Spin crochet-along, with another week's square coming out today. I've also been working at finishing my Scrap Yarn Afghan thingy. I just have a little more scraps to finish up, put an edging around it -- with other scrap yarn, of course -- and call it done. Then I can start a worsted weight scrap yarn afghan :) I think I'll use a ripple stitch for it though ... I'm getting tired of the granny square.
I got my 6" square done for the In A Spin crochet-along. Gem Star is pretty, and although it looks slightly askew in this picture, rest assured it is not:
Actually, it took me longer to do this little six-incher than to make all the previous squares, even though two of them were twice as big. I just couldn't seem to get my brain wrapped around it or something. Then there was the size issue; Gem Star was only about four inches across when I did it the first time and I had to fiddle with two border rows to get it exactly at six inches.
There are some truly great books coming out next year! Check these out:
1. 100 Scandinavian Motifs: The Knitter's Directory by Mary Jane Mucklestone. (There's not even a cover image yet.) You know if MJ makes it, it has to be good. I already pre-ordered this book. She's taken 100 of the best designs from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and the Faeroe Islands, and showcased them with a hand-knitted swatch, with easy-to-read charts and a reverse colorway. She has included five designs at the end of the book. I can't wait! Coming out September 10.
2. Scandinavian Christmas Stockings: Classic Designs to Knit for the Holidays by Mette Handberg. Following in the same Scandinavian line, this is a collection of brightly-colored Christmas stockings, complete with an alphabet for personalizing each family member's names (or dogs and cats!). There's also a nice collection of stocking caps, patterned mittens, and leg warmers, too. And don't worry, you'll have time to knit them; the book comes out July 1, 2013.
3. How Tea Cosies Changed the World by Loani Prior. I put this book on here because I love the title, hehe. I don't even have a tea cosy, and I don't have the patience to make one. I'll just have to drink my tea fast! But for those people who love to make them, this book is the ticket. The author has an outrageous imagination. I'd kind of like to see the "Betty the Burlesque Dancer" tea cosy. (Now that's a sentence I never thought I'd write!). Loani Prior's fans can try their hands at a knitted purse, or a double-knitted scarf. If nothing else, this book is creative and funny! It comes out June 1, 2013.
4. Free-Spirit Shawls: 20 Eclectic Knits for Every Day by Lisa Shroyer catches on to the bug for knitting shawls that's got everyone knitting. Socks did it a few years ago. Ravelry's most poular patterns of all time has 13 of 35 patterns for shawls. They fit everyone, they're relatively easy to knit, and they make great gifts. I don't know if anybody ever wears them, but knitters do, and nobody else really matters, right? The book is divided up into Color, Lace, Simplicity, and Texture. This book is coming out May 21, 2013.
5. Patterns for Pooches by Anne Burton is based on the designs she's sold successfully on line, designed from necessity: she brought home a Boston terrier pup named Bean, and he didn't like the frigid Nebraska winters. She knew some basic crochet and set about making him sweaters. (This book is for crocheters only.) Her style is simple, with a quirky sense of humor! It comes out May 1, 2013.
6. Light and Layered Knits: 19 Sophisticated Designs for Every Season by Vicki Square. I like Vicki Square's books, and this one looks as good as the rest! These designs are fluid and fashionable, sized to fit almost anyone, and they are good for layering in a casual or workplace setting. Good for summer knitting, they are knit in silk, linen. cotten and bamboo. I think this looks like a fantastic book, with styles that are truly wearable. It comes out just in time for summer knitting, too: April 30, 2013.
All the orange fluff is done! (It's actually corriedale.)
This was fantastic to spin. I would have gotten done sooner, but NaNoWriMo got in the way a bit.
I started plying it up last night.
I am so very pleased with this yarn. It's just wonderful. I'm going to make socks with it, because who doesn't need some hunting socks for safety? hehe. It's actually a pleasing shade of orange, not the blinding sort of orange that makes yelp in surprise. It is going to be fun to knit!
Time to get your advent calendars out!! The first day already flew by me, I didn't even write my blog yesterday. That's why I left Sundays open, hehe.
Last year I made a musical advent calendar using Spotify and put it on Facebook. That was fun, but doing it two years in a row would be boring, I think. This year I opted for advent calendar software from Jacqui Lawson, which is easier, I must say.
The Christmas movies will start tonight, I think. We'll watch at least one a day through Christmas. The Muppets Christmas Carol has become my all-time favorite, I think. What Christmas movies do you like?