Friday, August 17, 2018

Photo Friday

I'm making progress!

Faded garter stitch shawl knit with Knit Picks Sunstorm Hawthorne collection
Sunstorm Shawl

Slowly but surely, I'm making progress.  I've 'faded' into the final skein (half a skein in reality) and have begun knitting the decreases on my Sunstorm.  I should have a finished shawl by next week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

On the Needles

What's on my needles?  

It's more like, what's Still on my needles.

Simple garter stitch shawl, great for beginners, knit with Hawthorne from Knit Picks

I'm still knitting my Sunstorm shawl, mentioned here.  Although it feels like a never ending knit, I'm enjoying watching it grow.  There's enough fluctuation in each yarn to hold my interest throughout all that garter stitch, plus, because it's garter stitch, I can read my email, other blogs, or a few pages of my book while I knit.  Being able to multi-task like that is pretty important to my sanity during this period of my work season.

Several people have asked about the pattern I'm using.  Actually, I'm not using a pattern.  I'm just knitting along until I get so bored I can't stand it.  In the beginning, I started with three stitches and increased until I was bored to the point of declaring it wide enough.  (That point happened at 135 stitches if you're curious.)  When I get bored with the color I'm using, I force myself to knit a few more rows then begin the next color by knitting two-row stripes for a while.  So far, the stripes range from three stripes to seven.  I've based their number on how bored I was and with how much of the old color I had left.

The only problem I've run into with knitting the shawl based on the boredom factor is that I'd originally planned to begin the decreasing once I got to the yellow.  The shawl wasn't long enough though so I'll finish knitting the yellow skein (or get as close to finishing it as I can stand) then add the other half of the speckled yarn before I begin the decreasing.  I think it will be fine in the end.

Hopefully, this shawl will be finished by the end of next week.  Then it's decision time.  Do I knit Christmas gifts with the gigantic box of yarn I ordered last month?  Do I knit the sweater my daughter is asking for, although she can't decide on a pattern?  Do I knit 11+ hats in an effort to catch up on my goal of knitting 52 hats in 2018?  Or do I knit something from the giant box of yarn I ordered yesterday?

Decisions, decisions!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Three on Thursday

I have a pretty long stretch of work days ahead of me so I thought for today's Three on Thursday post, I'd remind myself why I love my job.

1.  I LOVE playing with the money!  It's my job to make sure all the money is accounted for and safely stored each night.  I'm not 100% positive that my boss appreciates me calling it "playing with the money" but that's what it feels like.  I love counting it and strapping it and putting it in little stacks.  I don't even mind (much) when it comes to me wet and I have to iron it to get it dry.

2.  This year, we have Winterfest and I can NOT wait!  The park is going to go from...

fountains and Eiffel Tower at Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion, photo courtesy of

Eiffel Tower and fountains decorated for Christmas
Kings Dominion Winterfest, photo courtesy of

this.  There will be a zillion Christmas lights.  (Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas lights?)  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there.  (Have I mentioned how much I love Santa?)  And the fountains are going to freeze over and be turned into an ice skating rink.  Have I mentioned how bad I am at ice skating?  Have I mentioned that I'm about 99.99% sure I'll break a leg?  Have I mentioned that I don't even care!  I can Not wait for Winterfest!  I'm more excited about Winterfest than I am about playing with the money each night.

PC Load Letter
photo courtesy of

3.  I love the people I work with.  Once, I was having a problem with the printer and my boss walked by and asked "Having PC Load Letter issues?"

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Dear Blog,

Dear Blog,

I've missed you!  I thought I was only going to be gone a week or two but it's been almost a full month.  I hope you will forgive me.

While I may not have been here talking about it, I have been knitting.  Not knitting as much as I'd like -that pesky job of mine tends to get in the way - but knitting nonetheless. 

Since my last post, I've knit a couple of hats, I finished the Blue Heron cowl and I started another 'faded' project.

garter stitch shawl knit from Hawothorne Sunstorm value pack
Faded Sunstorm Shawl

I'm actually much further along on it than the photo shows.  Since taking that photo, I've added almost two more full skeins to it.  I'm using the Sunstorm Hawthorne value pack I mentioned here.  The first two colors coordinate but don't really 'fade.'  The rest however....  At least so far, the other colors are blending perfectly.  In fact, they blend so well that until I've got a few solid inches of the new color knit, I don't notice the difference in the yarns.  To balance out that non-faded beginning color change, I'm saving the yellow skein for the other end.  The yellow will coordinate but not 'fade' with the color before it.  I think it's going to be perfect!

The design is simple.  So simple, I'm not sure I can legally call it a design.  It's just a garter stitch rectangle with pointy ends.  I started by casing on 3 stitches and increased with a simple K1YO at the beginning of each row.  Once the shawl was wide enough (more like, I got bored of increasing,) I began doing a K1,YO,K2tog at the beginning of each row.  Once I'm ready to decrease on the opposite end, I'll change it K2tog, YO, K2tog.  I think it's going to work and again, I think the shawl will be perfect!

The simplicity of all that garter stitch is exactly what I've needed this summer.

Hopefully I will have a more up-to-date photo to share soon.  I can't believe my luck!  Actually, I can.  Today was a fairly typical day in my life.  I finally had a chance to take a few photos of finished projects and...  It was cloudy and late-ish afternoon, which means the house is not naturally well lit at all so I set up outdoors on the porch.  I wiped down the deck railing, got the shawl laid across it just so, got the camera set up, waited for the lens to clear (It's about 4,000% humidity outside,) got the tripod set so that the shawl was framed perfectly in the camera lens, dealt with the wasp sting I got when I stepped back and my foot landed on Mr. Angry Wasp...  I was finally ready to go and...  Dammit!  The camera battery was dead.  And so was the back up battery.  Double dammit!

So, maybe next Saturday I'll get some photos taken.  And yes, Next Saturday.  Not This Saturday.  Next Saturday is my next day off.

So, once again, you may not be hearing from me for a while.

Someone please remind me how much I love my job.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Independence Day

I seem to be failing miserably at this whole work vs. life balance thing this season.  Since I'm struggling to have new knitting projects to show you and my recent posts have obviously been hastily written and published without much thought and I don't see things improving around here any time soon, I've decided to take a short break from the blog.  

A little mini vacation if you will.  Just for a week or two while I try to get my head together and some yarn balled so that I could knit if I should find the time.

I imagine my need to talk about knitting and my family's and coworker's desire Not to talk about knitting will lead me back to the blog quicker than expected.  Meanwhile,

Happy 4th of July
photo courtesy of

I'm wishing all my American friends a safe and happy Independence Day!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Makers' Monday

Oops! Better late than never.  I almost forgot today was Monday.  Actually, what happened was yesterday, I thought it was Saturday and that I had another day to get this week's Makers' Monday post written.  I've definitely got the 'KD Confusion' thing going on.  I get this way each summer.  I never know what day it is.  I just go to work every day and when I run out of clean uniforms, I pray it's my day off.

Anyway....  Because of my date confusion, you're being treated to a hastily written post today.

I've almost finished knitting my Blue Heron cowl that I mentioned last Monday.  Although quite splity (or is it splitty?  I'm a horrible speller and Spellcheck says both are wrong,) this yarn has been a delight to work with.  I'm absolutely loving the drape of the knitted fabric.  My original plan was for this to be a long, twist around your neck a bunch of times type cowl but....  Since I didn't check my gauge or even count my cast on stitches....  It turned out to be the perfect mini poncho size.    I'm only a few rows from casting it off and can't wait to wear it to some nice, chilly, air conditioned event.

But even more exciting than my knitting....  Do you see my shirt?   I know it's upside down but....  It's a tank tank. 

Tank-like vehicle stolen from Fort Pickett
Stolen Tank, photo courtesy of

Did you hear about the stolen military 'tank-like' vehicle that lead police on a chase through Richmond  a few weeks ago?  While the reality of it is pretty scary - I mean, what if the thing had been armed and the driver angry rather than just in need of a ride home.... 

stolen tank meme, stolen tank Richmond Virginia
I was at work.  Where else would I be?  Photo courtesy of

But honestly, it was pretty dang funny.  You can see a brief video of it here.  And because it was funny, the news went viral.  And because it went viral, there was a t-shirt made.  Or rather, a tank.  A Tank tank.  I had to have one!

And with that, I'm going to leave you so I can go deal with that awful scraped up nail polish and get back to knitting.  Happy better late than never Makers' Monday!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Makers' Monday

With no other plan than 'a cowl with some super simple lacy bits on the edges and a bunch of stockinette in the center,' I cast on an unknown number of stitches while hanging out in the waiting room of the local tire shop the other day.  It was a day for living dangerously.  Just like making the decision not to put air in the slowly flattening tire before driving to the tire shop, I didn't bother with gauge or even a stitch count.  I just cast on stitches until I couldn't stand it anymore and the Need to begin knitting took over.

Casting on

Then I came home and finished my So Faded sweater.  Yes! You heard that right.  I finally finished it!

finished knitting my So Faded sweater with Knit Picks Hawthorne yarn
So Faded Sweater

Okay, okay.  I finished the knitting.  There's still the matter of a few loose ends to deal with and it needs a bit of blocking.  But I finished the knitting and it fits perfectly.  I should clarify - it fits me perfectly.  My mannequin is slightly petite with weirdly pointy boobs.  I am the exact opposite.

And I'd like to add that So Faded is officially my new favorite basic sweater pattern.  There was no sewing up involved.  None at all!  And the neck line is brilliant!  There are short rows, well, not really - just extra rows, on the back that help the front lay flat instead of doing that weird bunching up around the neck/across the collar bone thing that so many raglands do.  Oh and the cuffs were an inch of ribbing instead of three or four. 

Yep, this is definitely my new favorite sweater pattern!  And the sweater deserves a much nicer photo but I'm working with the little bit of time I have.  A hastily snapped cellphone picture in front of a mountain of unorganized junk will have to do.

simple knit cowl with lace and stockinette stitch
Blue Heron Metallic Cowl

As soon as I cast off So Faded, I went back to knitting the Blue Heron Metallic cowl.  The yarn is slightly splitty but I'm loving it's sparkle!  Assuming that my living dangerously method of casting on produces a circle long enough to wrap around my neck twice (and it looks like it will) I think this cowl will be perfect for indoor/outdoor wear on our milder winter and/or over air conditioned summer days.

That photo has me stumped though.  The project bag is showing up with the exact correct color, the knitted yarn is almost exact, but the yarn bowl....  In the photo, the yarn bowl looks like it's been left out in the weather for about 15 years.  In reality, its wood has a much warmer and polished-to-a-shine tone.  Weird. 

I wish I knew more about photography.  I really should take a class.