Monday, February 19, 2018

A field of color

Knitting a mitered square blanket and a striped hitchhiker shawl
A field of color

I bet you thought I was going to be talking about spring flowers again, right?

Nope!  I'm trying to keep thoughts of fields of spring flowers (tulips instantly come to mind) at bay by concentrating on knitting my Hitchhiker shawl and the never ending mitered square blanket.

On the needles - a knitted blanket and a shawl
OTN 02/19/18

I keep thinking I'm doing so well and making good progress knitting each....  And then I check the numbers.  Although I'd swear that I'm knitting a minimum of four or five 'teeth' a day on the Hitchhiker, today's count shows it having 38 teeth.  It had 34 teeth three or four days ago. How is that possible?

And then the mitered squares.... Goodness!  I don't even want to think about it.  I had it in my head that I only needed to knit 15 or 20 more squares.  Nope!  I have 141 more to go.  One hundred and forty one more squares.

I SO wish I hadn't counted.

contest to name the yarn and win a skein of yarn
My second favorite mitered square

But, to make today's Makers' Monday post a little more cheerful and a little less whiny, let's have a contest.  That blue, orange and celery green square is my second favorite on the whole blanket so far.  It's knit from a self striping yarn.  The first person to name the yarn correctly in the comments below wins a random skein of yarn from my stash pile.

And, since it is Makers' Monday.... You know what to do.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Made for each other

Hat with button for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/jeanniegrayknits
Button Brim Hat

That button and the yarn seem made for each other!


Yarn:  Lion Brand Wool Ease, Dark Rose Heather
Button:  LaMode

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Three on Thursday

It's Three on Thursday and I have a MASSIVE case of spring fever!  We hit 70 degrees this past, very rainy, weekend.  It's supposed to be in the mid 70's tomorrow. 

And it's supposed to snow on Saturday.

I have spring fever and I'm consumed with thoughts of

Daffodils, photo courtesy of thoughtco.com

daffodils

Tulips, photo courtesy of lushome.com

and tulips

Forsythia, photo courtesy of wimastergardener.com

and forsythia.

Join me over at Carole's  for the Three on Thursday link-up.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm going to keep today's post super short - hopefully.

https://www.amazon.com/Ocean-End-Lane-Novel-ebook/dp/B009NFHF0Q/ref=pd_sim_351_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=TJX5YY5QPVXXZ1HDD59W
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

After finishing Seven Steps to Closure, I started reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  Seven Steps was a fun, hilarious read all the way to the end and while I'm only 31% into The Ocean, it's proving to be just as good, although for completely different reasons.  These days, I only seem to be able to find time to read right before bed.  I've trained myself to read a page or two then fall asleep.  If it wasn't for that, I think I'd have finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane in one sitting.  It's that good!

Temperature journal cowl hand knit with Palette yarns from Knit Picks.
2018 Weather Cowl

As for my knitting, I'm still busily knitting mitered squares for my blanket, doing some shop knitting and keeping up with my weather scarf. cowl.  I keep calling it a scarf, but it will definitely end up being a cowl, no question about it.  Each month will only be about two inches long.  Definitely not a scarf!  Although I seem to be incapable of calling it a cowl, I'm happy for it to be a cowl.  Specially since I can easily knit a liner for it and not have to deal with weaving in 365 loose ends.  I do wish I'd chosen a different green for the 67 - 77 degree range but.... I was/am working with what I have.  Gotta stick to that yarn diet!  I also find it amazing that it can be 70+ degrees one day and snowing the next.   Welcome to winter in Virginia!

Join me for today's #Unraveled  link-up.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A log cabin miracle

So, I finished my log cabin shawl a week or two ago.  I even blocked it right away which is fairly unusual for me.  But the shawl was ... dull.  It needed some bling.  I went to the craft store and found the perfect beads to bling it up.  Understated bling, exactly what I wanted.

Darice Venezia crystal beads
crystal teardrop beads

I came home and sewed them on in time to wear the shawl to my knitting group meeting that night.

I added beads to my log cabin shawl to brighten it up.
Bling

And as I walked through the kitchen on my way out the door to go knitting, my husband asked me to hand him the salt shaker.  I reached over the stove to grab the salt and...

Gasp!

The shawl threw itself off my neck and into a pot of spaghetti sauce.

Yes, a full, giant, 20 quart kettle full of bubbling spaghetti sauce.

Holy ^%%$%^&E%%^ Hell!

You have never heard such curse words before!  Words spewed from my lips that I didn't even know I knew!

I grabbed it out of the sauce pot and attempted to toss it in the sink but as luck would have it, it hit the floor instead.  The dog immediately began licking it.

I was so upset I just walked away.  I left my brand new, just finished alpaca, merino and silk, just washed and blocked, just went the trouble to buy and sew beads on shawl laying on the floor and I went to knitting group.

I assumed the dog would eat the entire thing and it would be out of sight, out of mind by the time I arrived home.

It wasn't.  A dear family member had shoved it over into the corner with their foot however.  Very kind of them, right?  At least the dog was helpful in cleaning up where the sauce had smeared across the floor.

Thinking it would be in 1,000 pieces from the dog chewing it, I picked it up to throw it in the trash....  But it was still in one piece!  It was a little hard to tell because of the amount of sauce that was still stuck to it and beginning to harden but... It looked okay.  It had a reddish/orange tint to it and there were still chunks of tomato stuck to it, but the fabric looked to be still in once piece.

I filled the sink with water, tossed the shawl in and went to bed.

The next morning, I rinsed the shawl out a few times, let it soak once more in soapy water, re-blocked it and Voila!

The knit alpaca and silk shawl, cleaned up after it fell in tomato sauce.
A log cabin miracle

You'd never know it ever took a spaghetti sauce bath!

It's a log cabin miracle!


To see if anyone else had a creative miracle this week, join me for today's #CraftingOn link-up.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Makers' Monday

It's tough when your knitting turns on you.  It may be Makers' Monday, but I'm not exactly celebrating my own knitting achievements today.

I've been doing so well lately with staying on track with my knitting and getting the pieces on my To Do list knitted, finished, and shipped as necessary.  I've been doing so well at it that the skin on my forearm has become overly sensitive and sore from my shirt sleeve/cuff rubbing against it as I knit.  That's a lot of knitting!

And then there was the knitting for puppies issue.

I had an Etsy customer who bought a hat and wondered if I could knit her little dog a hat with a matching pompom.  I went in search of dog hat patterns to get some ideas, (there aren't many out there) and came up with a design that I thought might work.   I knit the puppy hat and sewed on a pompom that was about half the size of the human hat's pompom.

Tiny dog modeling a hat with a giant pompom
The adorable Nooshi

Look how adorable Nooshi is wearing her hat.  Look how the pompom is almost as big as her head!  Look how I didn't do a very good job trimming the pompom!

The pompom on this dog hat is bigger than the dog!
Nooshi

Poor little Nooshi!  She can barely hold up her head due to weight of that giant pompom.

Roxy is not happy to be modeling her new hat.
Roxy

During the design process, I ended up knitting two hats in different sizes so I shipped them both to the customer.  Poor Roxy!  She looks mortified!

knitted hat for dogs for sale at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits
Poor Roxy! She's not happy with her new hat.

 Roxy never asked for a hat, nor is she happy to be wearing a hat, specially a hat with a giant pompom.

Luckily, depending on how you look at it, my phone went bonkers yesterday and I spent close to four hours at Walmart's phone center tying to fix it.  After a crazy amount of time with Joseph, the extremely helpful Walmart associate (he was so helpful, he deserves recognition,) and a conference call with the phone provider's service rep, I ended up having to buy a new phone.  While I'm not thrilled with having to spend the money, or that I lost the majority of my contacts in the transfer, I'm right pleased with my new phone.  I'm also right pleased that all that time away from my needles was a huge help to my forearm.

I'm also right pleased that while I was leaving the store, I happened to stroll by the craft section and noticed they had a teeny tiny pompom maker.  So now, it's back to the puppy hat drawing board.  And Roxy, I promise to never again ask you to model a hat.

A giant Thank You! goes out to Nooshi and Roxy for playing guinea pig and, despite their pain and embarrassment, for allowing me to post their photos.



Friday, February 9, 2018

On The Needles

My current garter stitch, 'knit while I read' project is another Hitchhiker shawl. 

I'm knitting a Hitchhiker shawl for https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeannieGrayKnits?ref=profile_shopname
Hitchhiker

I thought I'd talked about it already, but I was unable to find a previous post, so maybe not.  I'm knitting the shawl with Patons Kroy Socks in the Blue Striped Ragg colorway and using a US 4 needle.  I was worried about how the self striping yarn would behave but so far, I'm very happy with it.  Very happy with it, except that I've knit 30 teeth already and it seems to be growing  in width much faster than in length.  But as they say, I'm sure that sh*t will block right out.

(Sorry.  I try very hard not to curse here on the blog, but I just love that blocking quote.)