Friday, September 20, 2019

Wowza!

Apparently I've forgotten how to purl.


I'm embarrassed to even show the finished Newborn Vertebrae sweater.  For once I'm happy the photo is blurry and taken in bad lighting.  The shadows and blurriness help hide the flaws.

How could I botch something so simple, so badly?  Apparently I've forgotten how to purl.

When I think back to most, if not all my 2019 projects, they've been either stockinette in the round, flat garter or open lacework where the purl vs. knit gauge didn't matter that much.  But take a look...


Good grief!  Look at the difference between the body of the sweater knit flat and the sleeve knit in the round.  

Good stinking grief!

I need to go back to beginner's knitting class.

And this little sweater will be saved for those days when the laundry hasn't been done in two weeks, baby is extra spitty, and they don't leave the house. 

Good grief!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

An Ode to Mucinex

Has the blog seemed a little sparse lately?  Or maybe it's just my knitting that has been sparse.  I'm sorry to complain but I've had a bug.  It's not the flu and it's not a cold.  It's just some horrible, horrible bug.  The entire family has suffered from it.  All I can say is, thank God for Mucinex.  I literally don't think I'd have survived without the blue bottle.


The first symptoms were a sore throat and an overwhelming sleepiness.  These hit last Friday.  I thought perhaps my throat was sore from mumbling 'knit off, knit on, purl off, purl on" over and over and over again as I kitchnered my Madli's Shawl.  But no, my throat was just sore.  Luckily the sleepiness didn't hit until later in the afternoon.  The urge to sleep was so strong it was like having narcolepsy and being roofied at the same time.  It was literally an uncontrollable urge to sleep.  As in, falling asleep mid-sentence while sitting up.  By dinner time I was cursing my husband for bringing the bug into the house and chugging Mucinex.

Saturday I wasn't feeling well, but I wasn't dying and I knew it was going to be a crazy night at work so I went.  By the wee hours of Sunday morning I decided maybe I was dying and I started doing that thing where you cough so hard you vomit.  Fun  times!  Mucinex to the rescue.

By Monday afternoon, the bug had morphed into what felt like a bad cold. I felt awful, not actually dying awful, just wishing I'd die so it would end awful.  I couldn't stop sneezing long enough to eat and I blew my nose so much my skin bled.  Mucinex to the rescue.

And now, in the wee hours of Thursday morning, I'm starting to feel better.  I'm still hoarse and I my cough sounds like a seal barking, but I think I'll live.  Thank you Mucinex.



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Madli's Shawl

I'm so proud of myself!


Way back in March I cast on Madli's Shawl.  It was supposed to have nupps but y'all know how I feel about them so I beaded it instead.  The pattern, from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush, had me knit the border, then 31 repeats of the center lace section, cut the yarn, cast on and knit the second border, then kitchner the second border to the body.


I set the goal of having it completed by October 1st which had me knitting several lace repeats per week.  That doesn't sound difficult but considering my summer work schedule....  At one point I was 12 repeats behind schedule, but I've been on a finishing kick lately and I knuckled down and got her done.  


I knit the last row of the second border late Thursday night.  Friday morning, my daughter went off to school and my husband announced he was heading out for a few hours.  Perfect!  I'd have some quiet alone-time to kitchner those 101 stitches.  

Kitchner 101 stitches, with a two yards long piece of yarn.

Two yards.  Yards, not feet.

Have you ever tried to sew with a thread two yards long?

Let me modify that.  Have you ever tried to kitchner 101 stitches with a woolly thread two yards long that wants to felt to itself, on a Friday 13th?

Let me just say it is a VERY good thing there were no young children in the house because there was some very ugly language flying.  But, despite never having kitchnered anything longer than a sock toe, the fact that the woolly 'thread' wanted to felt to itself,  and it was Friday 13th, I got it done.  My two pieces of fabric matched up perfectly and you can't tell which end is which.  

I was so  happy with my kitchnering job that I immediately wove in all the little loose ends, soaked and blocked it.  I blocked something on the same day I finished it!

I am SO stinking proud of myself!

(So, I might not be proud of the photos, but I'm definitely proud of the finished shawl.)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunday Supper - Fall Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Sorry, no photos today.  The website I found today's Sunday Supper soup recipe on wasn't sharing pictures, but here's a link to Fall Vegetable Quinoa Soup.  

The soup contains lots of healthy ingredients and very little fat.  Although it has a shopping cart's worth of ingredients, it sounds like a fairly easy recipe to prepare and it doesn't take all day to cook.  I like that!  I also like that it has kale in it.  Kale is supposed to be so good for you but the only way I've found I can eat it is if it's hidden in soup.  I pretend it's spinach.  I like spinach.

So,  I hope you'll give this Fall Vegetable Quinoa Soup recipe from twopeasandtheirpod.com a try.  It sounds delicious.

Friday, September 13, 2019

On the Needles

This post contains affiliate links.

While the Te Ara mitts sit in time out, I started something new.

dish cloth styled baby blanket knit with Knit Picks Sock Lab Stroll speckled yarn
on the needles
Isn't it fabulous how it matches my yarn bowl?  It's like they were made for each other!

I imagine you can guess what I'm knitting.

Yes, it's a dish cloth style blanket knit with the green set of Sock Labs Stroll from Knit Picks.   Eventually the 'solid' green will fade into the speckled but I have a long way to go before that happens.

Sadly the Sock Labs Stroll is sold out but... Have you seen the new Hawthorne Sock Lab yarns?  Needless to say I'm, once again, anxiously awaiting my UPS driver.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Three on Thursday

It's Thursday, so you know what's coming...

Three exciting things to share that happened this week.

we listed our house for sale
for sale

First, we listed our house for sale... and got a contract two days later.  I'm hesitant to even mention it.  I don't want to jinx it.  But I'm also super excited.  There are contingencies so it's not a 100% done deal but...

Second, I finally got a hair cut.  I went from,

before

to,

after

Yeah, nice blurry, highly cropped, bathroom selfies.  Sorry.

I'm loving the way the new hair looks but I'm hating the way it behaves.  It's constantly in my face.  Constantly!  I may go try something different next week.

Rectangular, stole style lace shawl
Madli's Shawl

Third, I finished the 'body' of the Madli's Shawl and am half way through the final border.  The border is knit separately then grafted onto the body.  My goal has been to finish this shawl by October 1st and it looks like I'll make it.  

Join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday party.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Te Ara

This post may contain affiliate links.

I may be knitting a pair of Te Ara mitts, 

photo courtesy of Wikipedia

but I'm certainly not getting a tiara for my efforts.

Cabled fingerless mitts knit with Knit Picks Palette yarn http://shrsl.com/1stbe
Te Ara Mitts

Things were going so well until that last row of cabling.

I'm not sure what to do about it.  It's three rows back.  Three rows is a lot of tinking.  I know, I know, there are only 52 stitches per row.  It's not That much tinking... but it sure feels like a lot.  But frogging those rows and trying to pick the cabled stitches back up seems scarier.

This mitt may end up in the time-out corner for a while.

bamboo cable needles in multiple sizes for all your knitted cable projects.
magnetic cable needles

It's only escape may be my fascination with my new cable needles.  I bought them because I liked the way they look.  They're bamboo with a metal section in the center.  I thought the metal was purely for decoration but it turns out, they stick to a magnet.  So, if you're using one of those magnetized chart keepers....

Magnetic or not, I love these new cable needles.  There's five of them in different sizes and the join between the bamboo and the metal is just course enough to hold the stitches well.  It's not so rough that it snags the stitches, but they don't accidentally slip off.  I wonder if that was planned.

As for project details, I am/was knitting the mitts with Knit Pick's Palette in Spruce and using a US2 needle.  I really like Spruce's bluey-greenness.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sunday Supper - Cabbage & Sausage

Today's Sunday Supper recipe is super simple.  So super simple it doesn't require an actual recipe.  

At the moment, my 'let's get healthy'  eating plan consists of eating home cooked meals, eating more vegetables and cutting out boxed foods.  I'm also trying to eat more in-season foods.  I figure not only are they healthier but they also help with the budget.  In theory.

Anyway....

recipe for cabbage and sausage
photo courtesy of amazon.com

Today's 'recipe' is cabbage and sausage.  So, so simple!  

Open a tube of pork sausage (we use Jimmy Dean's usually) and dump it into a large, hot frying pan.  Break the log up by smashing it with a spatula.  

While the sausage is cooking (remember to stir it around and break up the lumps a little more,) chop a head of cabbage in slightly larger pieces than you'd use for making coleslaw.  My go-to method is to cut the cabbage in half, remove the stem part, the slice each half in quarter inch slices, then turn the cutting board and cut across those slices two or three times.

Once the sausage is no longer pink, drain most of the grease off, add the cabbage, shake on some garlic salt and lots of pepper, stir, cover, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage reaches your desired softness.  Personally I like mine tender but not mushy.  I also like to turn the heat up a little, remove the lid and let some of it brown.

I used to make this with bacon, but bacon is more expensive and my husband eats it like I eat chocolate.  I couldn't keep bacon on hand.  One shopping trip, there was a sausage display near the vegetable section and I was feeling lazy.  Instead of walking back to the back of the store to grab the forgotten bacon, I grabbed a thing of sausage.  It all comes from the same animal, right?

I discovered that I like the sausage version better.  It's less greasy and not as fiddly as cooking bacon.  Did I mention I'm lazy??  Another benefit to the sausage version is that it's Much better at room temperature than the bacon version.  At work, I end up eating all my meals at room temperature because I'm considered on call and I don't get a dinner break.  I heat my food in the microwave, and the very moment the timer goes off, a line of people waiting for my help forms.  I deal with the line, reheat my food and Bam!  Another line has formed.  I've given up trying to eat hot food and have learned to eat everything at room temperature.  And the less greasy sausage version is Much better at room temperature.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Another Finish

I have another FO to show you.

Garter stitch triangular shaped shawl which uses short rows for shaping.
Eclipse

Eclipse.  Actually, it's a modified Eclipse.  

Per the pattern, it should have an additional purple section but I purposely left it off.  I've knit this design many, many times and have always stopped after two sections of the main color.  The first time I left off the third section only because I ran out of yarn.  But I loved the narrower scarf-like result so much I've repeated it several times since.

I knit this version with sock yarn from Unplanned Peacock.  The purple is Starling and the green is Lagoon.  It's a little brighter than intended and I sort of wish I'd reversed the main/contrasting colors.  But bright or not, I'm happy with it and ready to move on to the next project.

What will the next project be?  Good question!  A baby blanket?  The Te Ara mitts I mentioned last week?  Or perhaps I'll focus on finishing my Madli's Shawl.  I'm so close, yet so far away from finishing that shawl.  I'm part way through pattern repeat #27 out of 31.  Each repeat has twelve rows and then there'll be the border to knit.  My goal is to have it finished by October 1st so I really should focus on it.  But....

We'll just have to wait and see how I feel.  Dorian will be here this afternoon and it may be too difficult to concentrate on beaded lace.  Or not.  I think we are far enough inland that we won't get anything more than a few thunderstorms at most.  Of course, that's what we thought with Isabel many years ago and we ended up without power for 13 days.  

What ever happens weather-wise, I've vowed not to complain.  Honestly, I'm having a hard time being the least bit concerned about Dorian now.  After seeing the destruction that took place in the Bahamas...  It's hard enough to imagine a Class 5 hurricane, but one that hangs out and stays basically stationary for over 24 hours....  Good Lord!  Now that Dorian is down to a Class 2.... I'm having trouble taking him seriously.

If you never hear from me again, you'll know it's because I just jinxed myself.  Apologies to my neighbors!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Off the Needles

This post contains affiliate links.

Today's Three on Thursday is a showcase (Showcase?? That sounds so fancy!) of three shawls I've finished recently.  And please excuse the lighting in the photos.  We've got weird, pre-hurricane light happening and my camera is not appreciating it.

http://shrsl.com/1smea
Reyna knit from Hawthorne, The Pearl

First, Reyna.  Okay, so maybe Reyna isn't exactly a "recent" finish, but still...  Here she is, finished and no longer spread out on the blocking mats.  This one just may be my absolute favorite thing I've ever knit.  I can see myself wearing this almost every day.  It's light and airy yet surprisingly warm and I'm head over heels in love with the casual blues and taupe color mix.  Green is normally my go-to color but this Reyna is the new love of my life.


A knit scarf or shawl knit with Sublime Eden wool and cotton blended yarn.
Hitchhiker knit from Sublime Eden

And an even less 'recent' finish.... Another Hitchhiker.  This one was knit with Sublime, a wool/cotton mix that I picked up at my LYS, Center of the Yarniverse.  I usually dislike knitting with cotton but I had no problems with this yarn and I wouldn't hesitate to knit something else with it. 

http://shrsl.com/1smhq
Out of Winter knit with Sock Lab Stroll

And, Out of Winter.  This shawl was knit with Knit Picks' Sock Lab speckled Stroll which is apparently completely sold out now.  It was lovely to knit with and I really wish I'd bought every color set they offered.  

I do have one question about the yarn though.  Is the top of the shawl more speckled because it's made up of shorter rows or was one end of the skein much more speckled than the other?  Since there's such a definitive line, I'm leaning towards the skein being unevenly speckled.  Have you ever experienced this before?

closeup photo of the lace border on the Out of Winter shawl.
Out of Winter detail
I wasn't too happy with the lace border at first but I quickly learned to love it.  There's a 'knit four stitches together' row and I was using extremely blunt tipped needles and found it nearly impossible.  But, I quickly realized I could use a smaller, much pointier dpn to knit the four together then transfer the stitch to the blunt needle and all was well.  If you're looking for a quick, mostly mindless, two-color shawl pattern and you have pointy needles, I highly recommend giving this one a go.

Join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.  Hopefully, assuming Hurricane Dorian doesn't blow us away, I'll be back here tomorrow to show you an even more recently finished project.

Friday, August 30, 2019

#gaugematters

Well, I'm shaking my head over my Newborn Vertebrae cardigan.

I should have checked my knitting gauge!
Newborn Vertebrae Cardigan

I'm going to have to find a very fat teddy bear to wear this little sweater, because it ain't so little.  Unless the newborn is dinosaur sized there's no way it would come close to fitting a human.  It just goes to show you how much gauge matters.  Betsy, a fellow knitter showed me hers, and hers is literally half the width of mine.  She's a tight knitter and used a US 4 needle and I'm a loose knitter and used a US 3.

Oh well,  I'm going to go ahead and finish it since all I have left is the tiny (yeah, right!) sleeves and the ribbed edging.  It will be good practice because I hear picking up the stitches for the edging can be tricky.  Plus, I'm sure I can find some kind of short, fat stuffed critter that it will fit.

And yes.  Yes, I am bundled up in a fleece blanket with Christmas designs on it.  It's hot outside but it is Freezing in our house today.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

What's next?

I finished the Out of Winter shawl, and I'm almost finished with the Newborn Vertebrae and my Eclipse shawl.  Actually, Eclipse, as written, should have two more pattern repeats but I want it more scarf sized so I'm going to leave them off.  Plus, by leaving off those two repeats, I'll have enough yarn left for baby sweater.  Win/win!

Anyway...

Now the problem of what to knit next?  Obviously there will be a baby thing.  But I have a massive case of fall fever and want to knit fingerless mitts.  Plus, I got a new cable needle that I'm dying to use so....

So today's Three on Thursday is three pair of fingerless mitts I'm trying to choose between.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/te-ara-fingerless-mitts
Te Ara

Te Ara fingerless mitts designed by Rachel C?  I really love this design and I have plenty of appropriate yarn.  And the pattern is free.  Yay!


worsted weight, cabled fingerless mitts
Arden

Or Arden, another free design from Mikka?  These are worsted weight so they'd knit up faster.  Plus, I'd get to use my new snazzy cable needle.

https://www.jgknits.com/2017/01/knitting-with-bison.html
faux cabled fingerless mitts

Or my old standby that I made up and know by heart so I don't have to bother looking at a pattern?

Decisions, decisions.

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

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Boys

While knitting Out of Winter's lace border, I've been binge watching The Boys from my Amazon watch list. 

Amazon Prime Original show about superheros gone bad
photo courtesy of wowkia.com
Have you seen it?  It's all about when superheros go bad.  It's shocking. It's scary. (It's not Boo! scary, but the concept is.)  It's funny.  And it's excellent.  And one of my favorite characters is a sexist pig and and gets sent away to Sandusky, Ohio as punishment for his deeds.  Sandusky is home to Cedar Point which gets mentioned in the show and Cedar Point owns the theme park where I work.  I fell in love with the show just a little bit more.

And about the knitting....

simple stockinette, striped, lace border shawl https://www.jgknits.com/2019/08/knit-night-knitting.html
Out of Winter shawl

I'm a little more than half way through the lace border on Out of Winter.  I hope to finish it today.

Work has entered that Glorious time known as "weekends only" so I have a little extra knitting time now.  Yay!! 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday Supper - Grilled Chicken with Blueberry Salsa

I'm hoping my husband will go for today's Sunday Supper plan.

Without using the word 'healthy' in any form, I've been slowly trying to get my husband to eat better.  He's a red meat and potatoes kind of guy.  And a pie guy.  He likes his pie.  We both need to eat healthier.  Healthier and less. I just can't use the word 'healthy' in front of him.  But we've got a grandbaby on the way.  We've got to get in better shape!

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/110083/maine-wild-blueberry-salsa/?internalSource=staff%20pick&referringId=17231&referringContentType=Recipe%20Hub
Blueberry Salsa, courtesy of allrecipes.com

So, today's recipe is for blueberry salsa served over simple grilled chicken.  The recipe is from AllRecipes and in his eyes, I think the jalapeno pepper spiciness will makeup for the fact that it has blueberries in it. 

We're going to get healthy if it kills me.  Plus, we get to use up a few more of those blueberries we have stockpiled in the fridge.  It's a win/win meal plan.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Knit Night Knitting

This post contains affiliate links.

I feel like a bad grandma, but I put down the newborn sweater and have been focusing on my Out of Winter shawl.  It's amazing how much more you can accomplish when you knit monogamously.

http://shrsl.com/1rpok
Knit Night Knitting - Out of Winter Shawl, Sock Labs Stroll yarns

A couple of hours spent knitting rather than eating and drinking at Knit Night and I'm ready to start the lace border.  My goal is to finish it before Labor Day. 

I'm excited to be done with the shawl so that I can move on to knitting All the baby things, but at the same time, I'll be sad to put this yarn away.  But that's okay - I have more!

Assuming the lace border doesn't take a full skein, I should have enough of each color left over to knit either two very tiny baby sweaters or a larger striped one.  And, I've enjoyed knitting with this Sock Labs Stroll yarn so much, I ordered more.  

https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1398420&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Sock Labs Stroll

I'm pretty sure there will be a baby blanket using the green set on the needles soon.

And while I was ordering the green Sock Labs set, I may have ordered a few skeins of plain Stroll sock yarn and perhaps a skein or two of Stroll Tweed sock yarn too.  I'm all things Stroll these days and currently on a mission to ensure my grandbaby stays toasty warm during his/her first spring.  I also want to make it easy for the new mama and papa and want everything I knit to be easily washed.  I may not have the best memory these days but I do remember how much laundry a newborn creates.

But what I really wanted to talk about today was why I love the Sock Labs so much.  First of all, it's machine wash and dryable.  Who doesn't love that??  

It's unbelievably soft.  Even my daughter who has become THE world's most picky person regarding wool around her neck, says it's soft and she'd be happy if Mom would knit her a speckled cowl.  

And the colors!  Oh, the colors!  The colors are so bright and cheerful and slightly less harsh in real life than they are on my screen.  

The yarn glides through my fingers and across my needles, even when it's 98 degrees outside and I'm hot and sweaty.  

The yarn isn't the least bit splitty and while it's hard to tell from my loose gauge and stockinette shawl, I have knit when I should have purled a few thousand times and based the appearance of those accidental stitches, the yarn has fantastic stitch definition.  

And best of all, or worst of all depending on how you look at it, the Sock Lab yarns are limited editions so not everyone in your knitting circle will be knitting with the exact same yarn.  I like that.  But I do feel the pressure to grab some more while it's available.  The purple set has already sold out.