Thursday, February 20, 2020

In omnia paratus

First, let me just say - My baby boy turned 25 yesterday.  How is that possible???  He's a quarter of a century old and I'm only 29.  I'm lousy at math but even I know that doesn't add up properly.

While I contemplate how on earth my baby boy is a quarter of a century old, let's talk Three on Thursday.


That photo was in a post from a few days ago.  Nothing special about it, except I noticed three important to me things hiding in the picture.  Let's start at the bottom and go counter-clockwise.

1.  Bottom left - It's a spider plant.  A spider plant that is older than my baby boy!  I've had that plant for 28 years.  Twenty-eight!  It's so tough it survived being left outside in a snow storm, a fall onto concrete from a second story deck and since the fall and the subsequent smashing of it's pot, it has lived in a plastic coffee can with no drainage holes.  It's so tough, even after that hard life, it's still producing baby spider plants!

2.  My You Call That Art painting.  I'm certain I've mentioned it here before but a quick search didn't produce the original post.  Anyway, it's an original painting of my great aunt looking at a piece of sculpture at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  Apparently, she didn't think much of the sculpture and said "You call that art?" just as my grandmother snapped her photo.  A family friend and artist who happened to be with them that day took the photo and painted it.  Someone must have called the sculpture art because to this day, some 50 years later, it still sits outside of the museum.

3.  My newest and most favorited addition to my knitting 'stuff.'   Hanging on the hook on the door is my newly acquired Stars Hollow knitting bag that not only contains a few new skeins of yarn (shhh! don't tell!) but also my new Gilmore Girls stitch marker. 

Gilmore Girls and Stars Hollow KAL
in omnia paratus (ready for all things)
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Gilmore Girls?  Well, I do.  I love Gilmore Girls and I'm constantly telling my daughter she's my Rory.  She is not as thrilled about it as I am.

Hope you'll join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Stash Busting

Have I even shown you the shawl I'm knitting?

Garter stitch triangular shawl using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435446&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Stash Buster Shawl


I know it's made an appearance on Instagram for my 'post every single day in February' challenge but I'm fairly certain I haven't mentioned it here.

Anyway....

I'm stash busting.  One of my yarn dressers had two drawers of nothing but Wool of the Andes and I decided that needed to change.  I pulled it all out and stuck the sweater/big project quantities back into a drawer.  Next I separated the blues, grays and reds from the greens, pinks and purples.  I am definitely a creature of habit!  All but 3 skeins fell into those color categories!  

I arranged the greens and pinks into a pleasing, (Hopefully. I'm terrible at picking out colors,) display; added two of the three miscellaneous colors into the mix and cast on a shawl. 

Easy top down shawl using Knit Picks wool https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435446&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Wool of the Andes Stash Buster Shawl

As you can see, it's pretty big.  The idea is for it to be a giant shawl that I can wrap up in almost like using a blanket.  The idea is to also use all that yarn I pulled out of the drawer.  You can also see that I'm not worrying about where the yarns stop and start.  I simply start a new one when the old one runs out.  I don't even want any little, tiny balls of leftover yarns when this project is through.  All I want is a big, giant shawl and an empty drawer.

If I stick to my original color stripe plan, I have three more skeins plus the border to go.  I'm not sure if I'll add the border or not.  It's already pretty big and being garter stitch, it's going to grow considerably when I block it.  I don't want it to end up being so big it looks like a weirdly colored bridal train.  We'll see how it goes.

Despite my urge to hurry up and be done with it, this has been a fun project to knit.  For the most part, I change colors after every two skeins of yarn.  When you're used to knitting 450 yard skeins of fingering weight, Wool of the Andes' 110 yard worsted skeins knit up pretty quickly.  The constant color changes help keep it interesting.  Also, being all garter, I can read while I knit.  That helps a lot too.  Also being all garter and thus 100% mindless, it's a good social knitting project.  The pattern I'm using is Grain  although I'm not sure I can claim to be "using" the pattern.  I simply looked at the start up row and made the shawl my own from there on.

And now, I'm off to clean the bathroom mirror and brush my hair.  Based on that photo, I think both of those things need to happen before I spend any more time knitting.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Supper - Easy Baked Pears

Now that Valentine's is in the wind, I have the urge to actually, maybe, eat healthier.  The passing of Valentine's marks the "I'm officially sick of winter and ready for spring" season.  And if I'm going to be ready for spring, I gotta do something about my eating habits.  Good grief!

Healthy winter dessert recipe ideas for cooking from scratch.
Easy Baked Pears from gourmetwithblakely.com

So, tonight we'll still have dessert, but we're calling it healthy dessert.  Baked pears, it doesn't get much easier or healthier.  You can find the recipe here.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day!

Instead of knitting all those little hearts to hang on a miniature Christmas tree that I was planning to knit....

garter stitch dish cloth knit with Dishie yarn from Knit Picks https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435396&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Celebrating Valentine's with a new dish cloth

I knit a dish cloth.  

Much, much easier.  And quicker.

I used Knit Pick's Dishie cotton and was pleasantly surprised by it.  I've never liked knitting with cotton but this stuff was great to knit with.  Soft and not at all hard on my hands.  I just may be knitting a lot more dish clothes in the future.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Three on Thursday

It's Thursday so you know what that means...

Three things I want to learn this year.

salmonknits
Helix hat, photo courtesy of salmonknits

1.  Helix knitting or helical stripes.  My understanding is that "helix" is one single color stripe and helical is two or more colors.  Admittedly, I haven't done a lot of research so I could have that wrong.  But basically, it's a way of doing jogless stripes.  What ever it's called, that's what I want to learn.

2 color brioche photo from pinterest.com
photo courtesy of pinterest.com

2.  Brioche.  I know.  I think I may be the last person on the planet to learn this technique.  Everyone and their brother seems to know how to do it.  It's about time I learned.

entrelac looks woven.  photo from allfreeknitting.com
Entrelac, photo courtesy of allfreeknitting.com

3. This is a tough choice.  If this was a random Friday or even a Tuesday, I'd have no problem, but being a Thursday, I must narrow it down and well...  I want to learn to knit with two colors in one hand (I currently hold one yarn in each hand when doing colorwork) and I also want to learn to knit backwards.  What I really want is to do some entrelac knitting but I don't want to have to keep flipping my needles around.  Thus, my desire to knit backwards.  Knitting backwards may win out over knitting with two colors in one hand.  Although.... the two colors in one hand thing sounds like it would be easier to learn and much quicker to master.  And you know I'm all about easy these days.  Decisions, decisions!

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Gloucester Knitting Retreat


The knitting community is an amazing group of people. 

I was so excited to be invited to attend Gloucester’s annual knitting retreat this year.  If I understood correctly, to honor a passed member of the now defunct Gloucester?? Mathews County?? Middle Peninsula?? (I really don’t know their exact name) knitting guild who always knit blankets for the animal shelter, a group of knitters gets together once a year and spends the day at Beaverdam Park in Gloucester knitting and eating delicious pot-luck foods.  They charge a very small admittance fee which is then donated to the Matthews/Gloucester ASPCA.  This year, they raised over $200!

Being shy and a total wallflower and knowing only one other attendee slightly, I’d planned to make an appearance, see what it was all about and then leave.  I ended up staying six hours and I made several new friends. 

Fall leaf stitch markers from The Wren's Daughter purchased at Gloucester knitting retreat.
Can we skip spring and summer and go straight to fall so I can use my new stitch markers?

The park's lodge is the perfect place to hold such an event.  It sits right on the edge of the water and the view was gorgeous.  The view inside the lodge wasn’t too bad either.

Yarn Matters and Shanzi from The Wren's Daughter.
Love to see yarn sellers playing nicely together

Yarn Matters and The Wren's Daughter were there selling their wares.  I almost got away without buying any yarn.  Almost.

fingering sock yarn Fox - Movie Night, superwash wool and nylon
The Wren's Daughter, Movie Night

As much as I wanted to buy every skein on Yarn Matters' table, I was able to resist because I’d just been in their shop recently and pretty much bought the place out.  But The Wren's Daughter was a different story.

Dragonfly, sock/fingering yarn, superwash wool
The Wren's Daughter, Mulled Cider
  
Shanzi was a delight to chat with and had The most gorgeous yarns for sale.  She also had beautiful handmade jewelry and stitch markers, but her yarns…. Goodness.  Well, who could blame me for blowing the yarn diet?

I’m already looking forward to next year’s retreat.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Makers' Monday - Love Ewe Farm

I'm bringing back the Makers' Monday series, although it will mostly likely be a once a month thing rather than weekly.  Don't remember Makers' Monday?  Rather than being all about me and what I'm doing, Makers' Monday is all about other creatives and what they are doing.  

Today, we are celebrating Betsy McPherson and her sheep at Love Ewe Farm located in Montpelier, Virginia.

Betsy McPherson, Love Ewe Farm

Betsy is a member of my Wednesday night knitting group and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and her yarns.  Betsy gets me into lots of trouble and frequently makes me goof up my self-imposed yarn diet. My most recent shawl that I showed you the other day is using wool from Brandi (the brown) and Sadie (the white.)

Romney wool from Love Ewe Farm

Despite her bad influence on my yarn diet, I asked Betsy to tell me her story.  How did a surgical nurse become a soap making sheep farmer, author, and knitter?  This is what she said...

https://loveewefarm.com/

We moved to Montpelier Va in 2012 to a house with 15 acres of land. At the time I was working as an operating room nurse but soon found out that I needed both my hips replaced! I was only 55 and after 30 years on my feet my hubby suggested that I retire. I knew I couldn’t just sit around and because of all the land we had we decided it would be fun to raise some animals. I have always loved to knit, I love the feeling of wool yarn between my fingers and then after seeing sheep sheared at the Powhatan Festival of Fiber, choosing sheep seemed like the most logical and magical animals to raise!

https://loveewefarm.com/

I had no idea of how many sheep breeds existed in the world, so I read and researched while I was recovering from my first hip replacement. I chose the Romney breed simply because I LOVED their faces! To me they looked like the all- American sheep, there are white and natural colored Romneys, but the white faces with their beautiful black noses just spoke to me! Another reason why I chose Romneys is that their wool is the “ finest “ of the long wooled breeds. Spinners love to spin Romney, the fiber drafts very easily and it is known for being a good beginner wool to learn to spin with. And lastly, Romney ewes are known to be wonderful mothers and have gentle temperaments.

https://loveewefarm.com/

Our farm is now in our seventh year and along the way I have become a District Director for the American Romney Breeders Association and I am on the Powhatan Festival of Fibers committee and head up the animal exhibit every year. Funny how life takes us down different paths, but our previous lives always play a role in our present lives and my nursing experience has played a big part in being a sheep farmer. We had a lamb one year who’s lower eye lid was turned inward and it was irritating his cornea.....our vet was out of town so I had to put a suture underneath his eye to pull down his lower lid until the lid was trained to sit normally. I could never have done that if I wasn’t an OR nurse in my previous life!

Farm Yarn table at Center of the Yarniverse

Raising sheep is fun because of the seasons that go along with it....there is breeding season, shearing season, lambing season, and then just summer season where we watch the lambs play and grow until they are sold. We send our fleeces to a mill which makes beautiful Romney yarn for us and we sell any leftover raw fleeces to spinners at local festivals. I have learned how to felt little sheep which is a fun activity for me to do in the winter months as I await the lambs who will be born in March &April. I also make Goats Milk Soap ( we don’t have goats, I use a goats milk base )that I originally made to give to those who bought lambs from us, but so many people loved it so I keep making it to add to our table along with our yarn.

https://loveewefarm.com/

Lastly I’ve written a children’s book called Daisy and the Shepherd. I got the idea for the story while I was bottle feeding a little lamb named Tom Thumb......I looked into his sweet face everyday as I fed him and wondered what it would be like if the lambs could talk......so I put my story on paper and found a wonderful young illustrator who helped bring it to life! I have written a second book but haven’t gotten serious about it yet!

felted sheep from Love Ewe Farm

Our girls are grown and gone now (28 & 25) and I feel as if we now have 19 wonderful children in the backyard, each of whom have their own personalities and give me a purpose everyday as I shepherd them. My hubby always says that there are “highs and lows in farming” which is so true......some days are trying; tackling chores while enduring hot Virginia summers, dealing with ewes who have mastitis, or managing pasture parasites that make lambs sick, but as in all of our lives, you just have to stay positive and weather the storm!!

If you'd like to get to know Betsy in person, she invites everyone to come out and see the new little lambs that will be born in March and April.  You can schedule an appointment to see them either via email (loveewefarm@gmail.com) or through her website, loveewefarm.com.  She's also created several lovely shawl patterns that compliment her yarns which can be found on the website as well.  Additionally, her yarns are for sale at the Center of the Yarniverse as well as at the following fiber festivals this year:

  • Powhatan Festival of Fiber - April 25th
  • High a Fiber Festival - May 16th
  • Fall a Fiber Festival - Oct 3-4



Besides the website, Betsy and her farm can be found on Facebook and Instagram with a quick search for Love Ewe Farm.


I can't wait to go visit the new lambs.  I hope any of you who are local will take Betsy up on her offer.  And hey, if you aren't local, well, you could always take a road trip!

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sunday Supper - Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole

Tonight's Sunday Supper is yet another version of crack chicken.  It's one of the few dishes that the whole family likes.  As in actually likes, not just tolerates.  We all love it.  And we haven't had it since my Instant Pot died a painful death in the oven.  Yes, in the oven.  And no, I still don't want to talk about it.

Crock pot crack chicken https://sweetandsavorymeals.com/cheesy-crack-chicken-casserole/
Cheesy Crack Chicken Casserole by sweetandsavorymeals.com

The exciting thing about this new version is, it can be cooked in the crock pot.  The next best thing to tossing dinner into the Instant Pot 15 minutes before we want to eat is tossing it into the slow cooker in the morning and having dinner magically ready that evening.  Can you tell I'm not a fan of spending a lot of time in the kitchen?

So, the recipe....  You can find it here.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Saving the world

Remember a few weeks ago when I was all excited to go see a trunk show a friend was having to show off her hand dyed yarns?  Do you also remember even further back me talking about feeling overwhelmed by my yarn stash?


Well I do.  And now, now we have a roof leak and while we wait for the roofer and wait to see if his repair job works, everything in my room is squished over into a three foot strip along the edge of my bed.  My only seating is now on the bed.  So I sit on the bed knitting, and staring into the closet of doom.  With the exception of my camera bag on the floor and a very tiny plastic Christmas tree on an upper shelf, every thing you see in that closet is craft related and 95% of it is yarn.  And that's not even all the yarn.  I'm completely overwhelmed.  It's actually making me a little bit depressed thinking about the fact that I will never ever live long enough to knit up all that yarn.

And with that in mind, I swore to myself that when I went to the trunk show, I'd only buy one skein.  One.  One single, solitary skein.

Add caption#yarnshopping - Dying for Art, Urth and Yarn Matters' wool for knitting
Yarn Haul from the Dying for Art trunk show at Yarn Matters, Williamsburg, VA

And so I came home with eight skeins and a new tote bag.  Good grief!

I don't even have concrete plans for them.  The top two skeins, that purpley gray and the red multi colored, plus the light blue multicolored on the bottom row are all DK weight and will be socks.  Or maybe fingerless gloves, but most likely, socks.  I desperately need new socks.  I just don't want to knit socks anymore.

All the rest are fingering weight and will most likely be shawls.  The gold and navy skeins on the bottom row are Urth Harvest and I plan to use them together.  I just love that navy and gold together.  I also feel slightly better about my purchase because Urth plants a tree for each skein sold.  I may be overwhelmed by my yarn closet but it's helping to save the world.   The other skeins are all my friend Martha's, or more specifically, Dying for Art yarns.

And that bag!  Well, I needed a bag.  Okay, okay.  I needed another bag like I needed another skein of yarn.  But look at it!  How could I resist such an adorable bag?  Besides, it has pockets galore and is big enough to hold an interchangeable needle set, a medium sized tool bag, a large sweater, the start of two shawls, a wash cloth project bag and a few spare skeins of miscellaneous yarns that may also turn into shawls at some point.  You know, just in case I run out of knitting and need to start a new project on the fly.  And yet while big enough to hold all that, it doesn't feel like a huge, gigantic project bag. Besides, it has alpacas and lamas on it.  No one, including alpaca farmers, can agree whether they are alpacas or lamas so I'm saying it's both.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Three on Thursday

Does it feel like this past week has flown by in the blink of an eye?  Where on earth did the week go??  Seeing that I was apparently caught up in some weird time warp thing and accomplished absolutely nothing, today's Three on Thursday post is mostly a recap of last week.

Simple scarf knit with 2 strands of Simply Alpaca held together.  http://shrsl.com/23jt5
Bulky 2x2 ribbed alpaca cowl

First, I finished the bulky, 2x2 ribbed alpaca cowl.  This was such a quick and easy project I know I will be knitting a few more in the future.  For this one, I held two strands of Simply Alpaca together to create the required bulky yarn.  For future projects, I'm envisioning using some of the many, many variegated, speckled or striped hand painted yarns that I keep buying single skeins of with one of the many, many skeins of solid Palette that I also keep buying.  Despite appearances and my bank balance, I really am trying to knit from my stash and this would be an excellent stash buster project.

the tweed version of Wool of the Andes feels so much softer! https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435443&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Weekender Sweater knit with Wool of the Andes Tweed

Still on the needles is my Weekender sweater.  I've split the front and back at the armholes and am only knitting the front right now.  You'd think it would be growing in leaps and bounds with only half the stitches on the needle but....  While this past week has flown by at the speed of light, there were a lot of distractions taking place.  I'm not abandoning this sweater though.  Hopefully by next week I'll have the exact same photo to show, only I'll be knitting the back instead of the front shoulders.

simple garter stitch shawl knit with 2 color blocks that fade into each other.
Beginnings of a shawl knit with Love Ewe Farm yarn

This one is a new project.  It's going to be a shawl and I'm knitting it with my friend, Betsy's, wool.  I love that her skeins are marked with the individual sheep they came from.  That dark brown that's on the needles comes from Brandi and the white skein was provided by Sadie.  As you can see, I'm not very far into the shawl but so far, this yarn is wonderful to work with.  If you are interested, you can read all about Betsy and her farm here.  

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

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Superbowl Weekend


What a great weekend I had!



Friday was spent reading Darklight by Bella Forrest until the mailman arrived and brought me Harry Potter Knitting Magic.


I’m so excited to own this book.  I’m a Harry Potter fan, as in, I loved the books and have read the full series twice and a few of the books even more often and of course I’ve watched the movies both at the theater and on DVD many times.  But I’m not the kind of fan to dress up or decorate my house in Hogwarts colors.  In other words, I wouldn’t ordinarily buy a fan club type knitting book.  But this book, this book is special!  So many of the patterns are amazing!  Absolutely amazing!  Yes, there are simple can cozies and scarf patterns, but there’s also gorgeous sweaters with amazing details, beautiful mittens, gloves and socks as well as a glorious shawl/blanket/wrap and many, many other things that I fully intend to knit.  Oh, and the owl.  The stuffed owl is a true work of art.  I’m not the least bit into knitting stuffed toys/decorations but that owl…. That owl will soon be on my needles.  Oh, and did I mention?  The sweaters are sized from skinny little young teen sizes all the way up to 60+ inch chests!  There is absolutely nothing I don’t love about this book.  I’m just so happy to call it mine.

As for Dark Light, it’s pure trash and I’m loving it. Which is rather surprising, actually.  It’s a human/vampire romance advertised as The thing to read if you loved Twilight.  I don’t see it written anywhere that it’s a YA book but I think it probably is.  I’m about three quarters of the way through it and so far the ‘romance’ consists of blushing looks at each other.  To be honest, I don’t know what it is about the book that’s preventing me from putting it down, although it does have a lot of action, there’s that ‘they obviously have the hots for each other but won’t admit it’ thing going on, and the story moves at a pretty good clip.  It was also a Kindle freebie which never hurts.  If you’re looking for a little fast paced escapism, I recommend this book.

Casual gathering of knitters at my LYS
Center of the Yarniverse

Saturday was spent at an impromptu gathering of knitters at our LYS, Center of the Yarniverse.  I absolutely love that this shop is big enough and friendly enough to not only allow, but to welcome ten+ people to randomly show up and spend four+ hours sitting and knitting.  And eating!  Let’s not forget the awesome nearby food sources.  Yes, my LYS not only allows, but encourages you to eat your lunch at their table so you can keep knitting and chatting while you eat.  How awesome is that??!! 

chicken salad sandwich boxed lunch with red velvet cake
Homemades by Suzanne

My lunch came from Homemades by Suzanne and was delicious!

over sized pullover top https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435443&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Weekender Sweater knit with Wool of the Andes Tweed

I love that the red velvet cake in my boxed lunch matched my Weekender sweater. 

Sunday was the Superbowl and I was free to relax and knit throughout because I didn’t give a hoot about either team.  And more importantly, I made sure our Superbowl food was super simple so I got to spend my time knitting rather than messing about in the kitchen.  In fact, I was able to get so much knitting done, I finally separated the front and back of my Weekender.  The knitting is going to feel like it’s going SO much faster now!  And that’s a very good thing because I may have accidentally bought a sweater’s worth of wool while I was at my LYS on Saturday.  So much for that yarn diet!

How was your Superbowl weekend?

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sunday Supper - Shepherd's Pie Soup

Okay, let me be honest.  I'm totally, 100% cheating on today's Sunday Supper post.  First of all, I'm typing this on Saturday night.  Second, we won't try this soup until Monday.  Superbowl Sunday's meal will be simple pot roast which can be tossed into the oven way before the game starts and eaten whenever halftime happens.  Appetizers and game munchies will either be simple stuff like chips out of the bag or recipes I've already shown here.  No one cares about those recipes.  So technically, today's post is Monday Supper, not Sunday's but.... whatever.

soup recipes, cooking from scratch, winter soup
Shepherd's Pie Soup from spendwithpennies.com

So, the recipe.... Shepherd's Pie Soup.  I LOVE shepherd's pie.  I haven't had it in ages and well, shepherd's pie in soup form sounds delicious!  The recipe can be found here.  

I can't wait for this football game to be over so I can go to sleep and wake up thinking about shepherd's pie soup.

Meanwhile, Happy Game Knitting!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Boot Cuffs

Now that I finally finished the Big Secret Baby Thing and I only have one other planned baby knit, which is really a toddler knit....  I'm selfish knitting.  Well, selfish knitting and maybe, depending how it goes, knitting for the Etsy shop.

hand knit boot toppers
boot cuff
I mentioned a while back that I wanted to knit myself a few pair of boot cuffs.  I've finally knit one.  One boot cuff.  I better get busy if I plan to knit any for my shop.

I love the yarn I used, which surprises me a little.  Good grief!  I am Such a yarn snob these days!  I was in Hobby Lobby recently and picked up a skein of Yarnbee Rustic Romantic in the Pumpkin Spice colorway.  I just absolutely love the color! It's not quite orange, yellow, gold or brown.  It's somehow a mixture of all four.  And it's surprisingly soft.  The yarn is a mixture of acrylic and hemp.  I've never knit with hemp before and I'm not a fan of acrylic anything, but I'm actually thinking of going back and buying a sweater's quantity of this yarn.

But first, I better knit a second boot cuff.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Three on Thursday - Mittens

My three for today's Three on Thursday are mitten patterns.  Specifically, mittens with sheep on them.  I've been thinking that the next thing I should get into is knitting mittens.  And as things go, I read someone's blog post this morning where they were showing off their sheep mittens.  And also, as things go, I didn't note who's blog I was reading and now that I'm typing this and trying to give them credit, I don't remember who's blog it was.  I thought I did, but I was wrong.  

Anyways....  Three mitten patters with sheep on them for today's Three on Thursday:

Colorwork mittens with sheep.  Knitted.
Sheep Mittens by Jorid Linvik
I love these but they are probably a bit too challenging for me at this time in my life.

Hand knit mittens with sheep on them.
Sheep on Baldersnas by Lena Bergsman
I just love these.  The sheep are so funny looking.  Sorry, I don't mean to be rude to the designer but... It took me a while to see the sheep.  I kept seeing dog faces with squiggly lines that perhaps indicated the dogs were stinky.  Once I saw them as sheep, not dogs, they are definitely sheep, just not the usual breed I'm used to seeing.  Either way, I love these and the knitting seems simple.

knitted mittens with lativian braid and 3 color stranded knitting
Sheep Mittens by Anita Viksten
I love that there is a child's version as well as the adult's but this pair are probably also too difficult for me.  Well, maybe too difficult.  The tricky parts seem to be the Latvian braid and the 3-colored stranded areas.  It's been ages but I've knit a Latvian braid before and don't remember it being difficult at all once someone showed me how.  (Yes, it was so long ago, Youtube wasn't around to instruct me.)  If I've done it once, I'm sure I could do it again.  But those 3-colored stranded rows....  I have enough trouble with 2-colored stranded knitting.  I don't know about three colors.  But then, this is the year I promised myself I'd perfect my stranded knitting skills.  Perhaps I should add these to my Ravelry queue after all.

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Maybe next year

Today's post is not what I had planned.  My intention was to show you bunches and bunches of little hearts I'd knit from all that pink yarn I showed you the other day.  I was going to knit bunches and bunches of them, stuff them, then hang them on a mini Christmas tree for display.  

The problem with that idea.... I never knit a single heart.  My pattern has you casting on five stitches on dpns and knitting several rounds on those five stitches before increasing.  Knitting multiple rows of only five stitches on tiny little dpns and knowing that once I finished knitting one, I'd need to knit bunches of bunches more, and then I'd have to go dig the mini Christmas tree back out of storage to hang them on....  Well, I remembered why every single year, Every. Single. Year., I pull out that pattern and yarn and then never knit a single heart.

If I had any sense, I'd throw away that pattern book and be done with it.  But nope!  Maybe next year...


What I did knit instead was the Big Secret Baby Thing.  I finished it!  Whoop Whoop!  Once it has been given, I'll show you pictures.  Assuming I remember to take them.  Sheesh.  

I also started a K2P2 cowl knit with THE softest alpaca yarn.

Alpaca is so soft and light and warm https://www.knitpicks.com/yarn/simply-alpaca-aran/c/5420319
2x2 cowl knit with Simply Alpaca

I had planned to knit a different cowl with this yarn but...  It's been a rough week around here and I needed something portable, mindless and heavenly to knit.  This definitely fits the bill.  

The pattern is so simple I can't believe I bothered to download it.  It's simply a matter of casting on 140 stitches with bulky yarn (or in my case, two strands of aran Simply Alpaca held together) and knit K2P2 in the round until you only have enough yarn left to do the bind-off.

Simple, simple, simple.  And it grows fast because it's bulky weight yarn.  And did I mention how soft this yarn is?  It's Heaven in a skein!  Let's just put it this way - it's so soft I don't even mind knitting an entire skein's worth of  K2P2 ribbing.  Have I mentioned ribbing is not my favorite thing to knit?  It's a little boring.  But this....  This is just glorious!  

The alpaca is so soft and light and wonderful to knit with.  Normally my hands/wrists begin to ache after only about 20 minutes of knitting with bulky yarn but this...  This I can knit on for hours with no issues at all.  There's no weight on the needles, my hands and wrists are fine, and my neck is dying for me to put it onto a bigger needle so that I can try it on.


But that's not going to happen.  In order to try it on, I'd have to stop knitting long enough to dig out a longer cord for my interchangeables.  And right now, I just don't have the time.  Like I said, it's been a rough few days and right now, besides my yarn, I also have a glass of wine and Aquaman waiting for me.   Just as soon as I press "Publish."

I may not even proof read this.  I mean.... Aquaman, i.e. Jason Momoa, my TV boyfriend is waiting.  Who would blame me?