Friday, January 30, 2009

Just what have I been doing....?

Well, for starters, lots of knitting. I'm also making our very first curtain. Yes, the first one after nearly 8 years of living here. I love not having really close neighbors. I imagine that someone could walk up our driveway and ogle my one gorgeous body but heck, why would they? The curtain is because we're losing a lot of heat out of our sliding glass door area in the living room.
I am knitting hats as a refresher in between bouts of working on Sonnet. This is a cabled beret, a free pattern from Ravelry. I Love.IT. Seriously love this pattern. I've started up a second using two skeins of Rare Essentials yarn in Cocoon Cherry (an Australian yarn) which I won for being a member of The Red Sweater KAL. Still dreaming of the red sweater I will someday knit. It's gorgeous yarn, a combo of superfine merino, alpaca, silk, and mohair. What's not to love? The first was made from a purple di've Autunno that I had in stash. I had to buy a second skein because I needed another 15 grams. I've been trying hard to use stash since we're much poorer these days like most of the world. Some adjustments were made for the chunkier yarn including casting on fewer stitches and doing 5 not 7 cables. I am going to frog what I've done of the red so far because I managed to get off one row on my cable and I also think I'd like it just a tab bigger. I was going to give it as a gift but I doubt anyone could pry it out of my hands at this point.

Sonnet for Suzy

Much progress is being made on Sonnet for The Enabler. That said, the Cascade 220 superwash has blocked up HUGE. And I had worried that it was 3 inches too small. It's machine washable and cool dryer so perhaps (oh please) it will rearrange itself to an appropriate size. I'm almost done with one sleeve. It's taking forever because The Enabler has LONG arms. Like, really long. On a brighter note: I found some lovely buttons. Actually, my friend Luci found them at Fabrics on Mill St.
I always have a lot of help with my knitting.

Oh yes, the baby blanket is DONE. It's been done for some time. Mailed off, admired, used and even received a thank you email. I thought I was going to die knitting mitered squares.
Mitered square are nice,
yet they don't knit up in a trice.
You need so many,
yet you knit 'til you frenzy
and still you are not
(I know, don't quit my day job.)

Speaking of knitting something that took FoEVer. The Linda Vest, owner of the coffee shop where my knitting group meets, (Auburn Knit Night - drop in if you're in the area - it's a wonderful group). First I knit one using some leftover Sheep Shop Yarn. It was very nice but seemed far too large. It went to a very good home. Then I fell in love with this cutie that I came across while reading MOONSTITCHES. Now remember, this is a *surprise* so no measurements were taken. BIG Mistake. It was far too small. Rip, snort, various sounds of disgust.

Finally, a vest from no particular pattern but I did finally measure her. I wanted to practice my colorwork and was very pleased with how things turned out. I reknit the back panel of color four times before I was happy. All from stash in mostly Paton's wool/acrylic blend. I thought I was short on yarn at the very end and purchased some more grey Paton's that I used for the ribbing around the arms. Of course, I found another small stash after I had finished. I have used the rest of the SSY to make a dog sweater. I have the zipper, I have yet to find the courage to cut my knitting. Everyone says it's So Easy. Uh, huh.
In other news...

Some much needed gardening is happening. Trees being pruned, dead foliage being removed. I need to do a lot more.
And this vest. I've done a lot of alterations yet still haven't managed to produce an actual wearable garment.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yes, I'm still here.

Sitting and enjoying 76F weather in the middle of January. I hauled hoses around today because the garden was drying out. We turn the sprinkler system off in the winter so the pipes don't freeze. I assume we will at some point be returning to winter.

I even found my camera cable at long last. It doesn't actually seem to make my photos "go" yet but I've put in a request to hubby that he "do something". My new camera crapped out right after the Christmas parade and since it was bought off of EBay there is no warranty. I returned to my old tried and true camera but I had stored it away thinking it wouldn't be getting any use. Ha. I put it away so well I couldn't find most of it.
I've a few photos on my laptop that I like. This is off of the New York Times on-line from an article about an embroidery show. Good crafts are Works of Art and timeless.

I've been knitting up a storm with good but mixed results. I finally took my heart into my hands and used some of the Sundara superwash merino I'd been hoarding...and ran out of yarn near the end the garment. I think I need perhaps another half skein. I've put a plea out for "Pink Granite" on Ravelry but with a lot size of (I think) 7 skeins and a yarn type that she doesn't carry anymore my chances are slim.

I'm busy making Sonnet from for The Enabler's birthday. I am using some Cascade superwash and am very pleased. I've always looked down on Cascade for one reason or another but this is lovely stuff and rather reasonably priced.
I'm working on the second of a pair of simple but colorful socks for myself.
I made hubby a hat from some delicious alpaca in the manly colorway of black. He would like another

Speaking of The Enabler, and I was, she recently emailed me a photo of myself from a "few" years ago. Sigh. I remember thinking at the time that I was Really Old and FAT. How we love to torture ourselves. We're never what we think we ought to be.
I'm sitting in her back yard in Billow Vista, LA. She's long since moved but I remember it as being a rather nice back yard though I was always concerned that there was a lot of natural gas just underground - there was a storage place outside the fence at the far end of the yard. I thought it might go BOOM! at any time.
Yes, my youth was wasted on me but I had a hell of a good time wasting it.
I've been making great progress finishing up UFOs. The baby blanket is done. Done. I thought it would never be finished. I know I finished something else but heck if I can remember what it was. I've still got quite a few things on my needles but I'm making progress. My list of "Want to Knit Right Now" keeps growing. I try very hard not to cast on anything new. I fail.
The next big project I plan to do for myself it this lovely Norah Gaughan sweater that I came across on Ravelry. I bought some fantastic Rowan Felted Tweed from The Yarn and Fiber Company and got $10 off. Being a Gansey it uses A.Lot of Yarn. My friend Gail turned me on to it and I just had to have some for myself. I've been trying to stick with stash but just didn't have 2300 yards of one thing.

I'm sewing a vest. Right now I'm trying to remember the alterations I made before I cut into the really expensive fabric. I've knit up a dog sweater for Omar. I am going to attempt putting a steek into the top and put in a zipper. I think I've got it figured out. The sweater is from some leftover Sheep One wool. I wanted to make the little legs out of a lighter yarn and managed to find some Paton's acrylic in a very close match of the colorway. I know that mixing yarn types is a no-no but I'm going to live dangerously.

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