Friday, March 27, 2020

Petals

Lots of petals in my life at the moment.


The redbud tree outside our backdoor is in full bloom and gorgeous, despite the gray skies.

Garter scarf or shawl knit with Stroll Tweed https://shrsl.com/26owv

And my Petal Hitchhiker is coming along.  At the time that photo was taken, I had 21 teeth knit and now there are 24 complete.  

In addition to knitting the Hitchhiker, I've been working on my sweater from Hell Weekender.  Remember that project?  I wish I could forget it!  How is it possible to so horribly mess up such an easy design?  

Remember that when I finished the waist ribbing, I'd forgotten to change to the larger needles and I didn't discover it until I'd knit 12+ inches, in the round?  And  how I decided to leave it because the sweater was already designed to have ten inches of positive ease?  Did I mention that when I split the sweater fronts and backs for the arm holes that I started using the larger needles?  Or at least I was  using the larger needles in that project bag.  I completely finished the front on the wrong (correct??) needle and started on the back.... 

And about 20 seconds ago, as I was typing this, I thought, "Let's link to an old post about my Weekender so the readers will know what I'm talking about," and low and behold....  There was my post about knitting the body with the smaller needle.  Crud.  And then I went and noticed that my gauge notes say I'm using two completely different sizes from what was actually in the project bag.  What the heck?  

Good grief!  At this point, I'm just going to finish the back, bind it off, sew the front and back together and see what it looks like.  From there, it will either get trashed out of frustration, frogged or the sleeves will be knit and I'll have a sweater.  Stay tuned for the exciting outcome.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Three on Thursday - Stash Busting

We're all stuck in our homes, the grocery stores are empty and our local yarn shops are closed. The only thing left to do is dive into that yarn stash pile.  Thank goodness for a giant yarn stash!  I don't know what those poor knitters who don't stash will do.  My heart goes out to them.

Besides stashing yarn, I'm also very, very happy about my tendency to hoard hand lotions.  My family have always made fun of me for it, or more honestly, been irritated with me over it, but they aren't complaining now!  With all this hand washing, we're going through some hand lotion!

But back to knitting and yarn....

What can we knit with all that stashed yarn?  Assuming the majority of your stash is like mine and made up of mostly fingering weight, single skeins rather than sweater quantities of gorgeous hand dyed yarns....  What can a knitter knit?  Other than the 10-stitch and mitered square blankets that instantly come to mind when planning a stash busting project, that is.  And free, since so many of us are out of work due to the nasty "C" word....

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yarn-ends-mittens
Yarn End Mittens by Kathy Lewinski

How about a pair or two of Yarn End Mittens?  They'd definitely be a great way to use up some small scraps of leftover yarn.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-age-of-brass-and-steam-kerchief
The Age of Brass and Steam by Orange Flower Yarn

Looking to use up a full skein?  How about knitting The Age of Brass and Steam?  As written, the pattern is for a kerchief but it could easily be made larger by knitting more pattern repeats.

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/smitten-a-holiday-garland
Smitten by Emily Ivey

Or, perhaps you'd like to get ahead on the holidays.  This mitten garland would be adorable hanging just about anywhere in your house and you could even tuck little gifts or candies into them.  Individually, they'd make great tree ornaments and/or gift toppers.  The pattern is Smitten by Emily Ivey.

I hope you are all surviving this COVID-19 ordeal and will join me over at Carole's for today's Three on Thursday link up.  

Stay well, stay sane, and knit on!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How you doing?


So, how are you doing?  I've got to admit, this whole COVID-19 thing is starting to get to me.  As introverted as I am, thirteen days without a break from my family duties or a visit with a friendly face is pushing my limits.  

The news just continues to get worse.  As of yesterday, my state has 254 cases and seven deaths.  The Governor closed certain businesses, one being my son's (so the new dad is now out of work for a minimum of 30 days,) and the public schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year.  I'm not even embarrassed to admit that I shed a tear when I received back to back emails saying that (1) my LYS is basically shutting down and will only be open by appointment only and (2) Knit Picks, my favorite online yarn dealer, will no longer be shipping orders as of last night.

The reality is, I have enough yarn stashed (and maybe an order or two out there on a truck somewhere) that at least three of you could come over and all four of us could knit 24/7 for the rest of our lives and probably not use up all the yarn.  But that's not the point.  The point is, I no longer have a yarn on demand source.  No internet, no meat, no paper towels (we did find toilet paper!) and now no yarn.  I think I'm gonna die!

As for the toilet paper situation, we scored a pack!  Actually, my daughter did.  She was on spring break and drove 132 miles to visit a friend who now lives in an even more remote location than us.  While visiting, they went to the grocery store and, yowza!  Toilet paper!!  Twelve whole rolls worth!  It's party time over here now!

So, in an attempt not to commit harakiri out of boredom/stress/loneliness/too much family time, I've of course been knitting.

Top down ragland knit with Cascade 220 Wave from Center of the Yarniverse
Wave Ragland Sweater

I finished the Cascade 220 Wave top-down ragland sweater.  It's a pretty big sweater and start to finish, it took me 20 days.

Top down ragland child's sweater knit with Colorburst from Universal Yarn
Colorburst Ragland Sweater

Next, a miniature top-down ragland for Hayden to wear in a few years.  Per the calendar, that one took me four days but in reality, it was two days and about three hours.

Hitchhiker shawl knit with Special Reserve Stroll Gradient Tweed from Knit Picks https://shrsl.com/26ix9
Petal Hitchhiker

And yesterday I started another Hitchhiker.  I'm a bad Grandma!  I'd bought this Special Reserve Stroll Gradient Tweed from Knit Picks with the intention of knitting Hayden a little dress but....  I'm not normally a big fan of pink but this is really more of a coral and faded bricks color. Knit Picks calls it Petal.  Whatever color you call it, I love it! 

Oh, we did have a bit of excitement today.  I think I've mentioned before that our house is beside the railroad tracks.  Well, the railroad folk have been repairing the tracks and replacing the ties.


They had a huge, giant pile of the old ties stacked up.  And for the past few days, tractor trailers have been driving down our road, picking up loads of them to carry away.


Our road is pretty narrow with our yard and mailbox on one side and the swamp on the other.  Well, today, the railroad people didn't time things too well and two tractor trailers had to pass each other.  It was quite exciting watching them try not to damage our yard or drive into the swamp.  Of course, I didn't think to take a photo until the excitement was over.

Well, that's all the news I have.  I'm going to try to keep to my normal blog posting routine but if things get spotty here, it's due to the lack of internet.  We have a couple of jetpacks that we use for email and light duty internet but for the bigger stuff, or anything that streams, we've always gone to the library or Dunkin Donuts to use their free wifi.  But now with everything closed....  We managed to use a whole month's worth of data on one of the packs in less than three days so....  Things may get pretty hairy around here.  

So... In the infamous words of Elizabeth Zimmerman, "Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises."



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Sunday Supper - Split Pea Hummus

We, okay, I have been thinking about going vegetarian again.  It's been a long time since I last tried eating that way. I felt a lot better when I cut meat out of my diet but I was constantly hungry and I gained weight because I ate nothing but crackers and mac and cheese.  But I like a lot more vegetables now.  I have my daughter's support but not the husbands.  We'll see who ends up being boss in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, today's Sunday Supper recipe is for split pea hummus.  The website (myrecipes.com) won't share their photo so you'll have to follow the link to see what it looks like.  Basically, it just looks like green hummus.   I understand how a website might not want to share their photos but I don't think I've ever run into one that won't even allow you to Pin it.  Weird.  I wouldn't have even bothered mentioning this one except, it sounds super easy and tasty.  We'll see...

Friday, March 20, 2020

Timing is everything

Boy, did I time that right!  Thankfully I finished the ragland sweater late Wednesday night while the high temperature was still in the upper 50's.  It's a big, wool sweater and warm on the lap.

hand knitting a sweater for my grandchild. Simple and easy ragland sweater. Colorburst yarn from Universal Yarn
top down ragland, size 2T

Yesterday it climbed into the 80's and I spent the day on the porch knitting another, much smaller version of the same sweater.

I now have three sunburned toes.  They sort of match my yarn.

Speaking of yarn, that's Tropical Sunset Colorburst from Universal Yarn.  This is the second project I've knit with Colorburst.  It's not cashmere soft but it's not horrible and for the price, it's pretty dang awesome.  Two year old Hayden probably won't want to wear it without a t-shirt on underneath, but it will be a great sweater to throw on before she goes outside to play.

And because we can't seem to have a conversation these days without mentioning the "C" word....  I hope you are healthy and have a well stocked pantry and bathroom.  I can't believe it's been over a week and our grocery store shelves are still empty.  No paper products, no meat or cheese and not close to a fully stocked fresh vegetable section.  I guess I should just be glad they have bread now since the only meat items they do have is frozen hamburgers and chicken patties.  Yeah, this was a great time for me to fail my cholesterol test.

Oh well.  I have yarn and that's what matters.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A sleeve and a baby

My Wave sweater has an arm.

I have a sleeve.

Hayden Kristina, two days old

And a granddaughter.  Meet Hayden Kristina.  She is perfect!


She has my hair and sadly, my giant feet.  She also has the Owen nose but thankfully, not the Owen ears.  She has tiny, little delicate, adorable ears.


Mom and Dad seem pretty pleased with her.  Hayden is "chill" and they think they'll keep her.  As long as she can keep a hand up to her face, she doesn't fuss at all.


Even Aunt Sarah is taken with her.  And of course, I'm over the moon with her.  

Her birth about killed me though.  The hospital was on lock-down due to the corona virus and we weren't allowed to visit.  We had to wait until she got home before we could meet her in person.  Y'all can imagine how well that went over with me.

To deal with the stress/excitement of waiting for her birth and trip home, I knit and read.  Over the last sixteen days, I've knit the body, a rather large body I might add, and one sleeve on my Wave sweater plus started and finished five books on my Kindle.  I've been a bit obsessed.

If you're in need of something to keep your mind off the fact that the grocery stores have nothing but empty shelves and the news media is acting like we will all die an immediate death if we take a single step outside our doors, I found these books to be hard to put down.

Jane Doe:  A Novel by Victoria Helen Stone
Her Last Word by Mary Burton
The Last Sister by Kendra Elliot
When She Returned by Lucinda Berry
The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent

A couple of them had unbelievable and/or rushed endings but they were all free on the Kindle and they definitely held my attention.

Well, I'm off to scroll through photos of Hayden.  I wish you all full pantries and plenty of toilet paper.  Stay healthy folks.

Oh, and happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday Supper - Pots de Creme

We're getting pretty fancy for today's Sunday Supper.  We're celebrating St. Patrick's Day a little early with Chocolate Pots de Creme.

https://thecafesucrefarine.com/blender-chocolate-pots-de-creme/
Chocolate Pots de Creme from thecafesucrefarine.com

You'll need a blender and you'll also need to scroll way down through the website to find the recipe.  After looking over the recipe, I think scrolling down through the site will take more effort than making the recipe.  It sounds delicious!

Friday, March 13, 2020

I've never been good at math

Knitters, bakers and mathematicians world wide know what tomorrow is - Pi Day.  Every year I say I'm going to cast on a Pi shawl and most years I'm able to ignore the urge.  The years I do cast one on, I'm cussing myself a few months into the project.  Have you ever knit a pi shawl?  They are so fun and quick to knit the first 4,000 rounds, but those last 20,000 rounds take FOREVER!

This year, I'm proud and excited to announce I did not have the urge.  Well, not a big urge.  It was just a teeny, tiny, "I should knit a Pi something for a blog post" urge.  So I knit a Pi dish cloth.

pi shawl dish cloth knit with Dishie from Knit Picks https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1435395&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Pi fail

Or at least, I tried to.  I think I screwed up my math because it turned out to be shaped like a VERY wide brimmed sombrero for Barbie.  Oh well.  It will still scrub the dishes just fine.  And, it's green so it counts as my St. Patrick's Day knit.

If you're curious, the yarn is Dishie from Knit Picks in the Caterpillar colorway.  I used US 5 needles and cast on three stitches.  I think for a Pi, I needed four, maybe.  Really, I don't understand why it didn't work.  With the math of pi, it should have worked.  I knit a row, increased a row.  Knit 2 rows, increased a row.  Knit four rows, increased a row....  It should have worked.  But then, I've never been good at math.

Happy Friday 13th and wishing you a pie filled Pi Day tomorrow!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Three on Thursday

Three Very random things...

1. My apologies if you've attempted to leave comments on my posts over the last few days.  Spam comments were being left so frequently that I made a few security changes and being technologically challenged, I may have messed it up.  And then on top of that, I set it so that I have to approve your comments before they show up for the public to see... then forgot to check my email to approve them.  Hopefully I've fixed the glitch I created and learned my lesson and will remember to approve the comments going forward. Hopefully.

top down ragland pullover, self striping yarn, self fading  wool; wool jumper
Cascade 220 Wave Ragland Sweater

2.  My Wave sweater is coming along.  I'm still not sure the stripes and/or bright color will look good on me but who cares.  I'm having fun knitting it.  The color changes every few rounds so it's never boring even with all that stockinette.  And yes, the weather has been nice enough to do lots of outdoor knitting.  Yay!

3.  That grand baby of mine still has not arrived.  I'm trying to be patient but....  I do feel a little bit bad for Mama though.  The doctor has instructed her to 'naturally induce' labor which means she's supposed to do squats, eat a lot of pineapple and drink castor oil.  I could deal with the pineapple but the rest....  

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

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Oh Dear!

First, and most importantly, we still do not have a baby.  At least as of about 10 p.m. last night we don't.  It's a full moon so maybe something changed after I typed this but Baby is being stubborn and I kinda doubt it.

While I wait, most impatiently, I've been knitting.

Easy Ragland knit with Cascade 220 Waves worsted wool.  Knit in the round, top down.
Waves Sweater

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous and I sat outside in shorts and knit.  It was wonderful!  I just hope I didn't scare anyone with my lily white legs.

The sweater is coming along.  I haven't measured or even paid that much attention, but I think I'm probably five or six inches past the arm hole.   I'm still over the moon happy with the yarn.  The colors just fade into each other and every row makes me smile.

But for the 'oh dear' part of this post....

https://shrsl.com/25rpi
Static

I'm determined to knit that sweater before I start anything else.  Well, anything except may something small for the baby.  I'm thinking she needs socks.  But besides baby socks, I want to focus on that sweater.  And then..... Look what showed up in my mailbox.  

Meet Static, a self patterning sock yarn from Knit Picks.  The yarn comes in brights and neutral colorways, is a limited edition thing And it's currently on sale.  I don't even remember ordering this skein of Peppercorn, but I'm going to have to order more.  I can't wait to see how this knits up.

Fingering weight sock yarn https://shrsl.com/25rq0
Stroll Tweed Tonal Special Reserve

This one, I do remember ordering.  Stroll Tweed Tonal Special Reserve, also from Knit Picks.  They've added tweed to hand painted tonal yarns and it's perfection.  Absolute perfection! This one is also on sale. And, I think I also need more of this yarn.  I believe Baby needs a sweater knit with Petal.

Oh Dear!  With these two gorgeous skeins staring me in the face, how on earth am I supposed to focus on my Waves sweater?

And since I seem to be pushing Knit Picks today....  

Did you know Knit Picks is affiliated with WeCrochet Magazine?  For those of you who crochet, or are interested in learning to crochet, they currently have two fantastic deals on kits right now.  Here are links if you'd like to check them out.  I don't crochet but the prices on these kits make me want to.

$15 Yay Crochet Kit ($39 value)
$25 Yay Crochet Kit ($100 value)

Friday, March 6, 2020

Is that you, Spring?

Yes, I think spring might be here!  Early spring in Virginia really isn't much different from winter, while late spring is pretty much the same as summer temperature wise.  But flower wise....  

Spring is officially here.
daffodils

My mother-in-law has so many daffodils in her yard, you'd think we were in Holland.  They have all been above ground for several weeks now but this one little clump are the only ones blooming.  Weird.  But hey - the daffodils are blooming.  Spring is officially here no matter what the calendar says.

All those messy looking, mostly dead vines in the background are wisteria and honeysuckle.  I don't remember the wisteria blooming last year but I sure hope it's still alive and blooms this year.  Besides being beautiful, the whole yard smells so good when it's in bloom.

red sky at night, sailors delight; beautiful sunset with pink and purple sky
Sunset, March 5, 2020
How was your sunset last night?  Mine was gorgeous!

And no, I have no knitting photos to show you.  Instead of knitting, I spent yesterday obsessively checking my phone.  I'm officially on Baby Watch.  I'm expecting the phone call that they are heading to the hospital at any moment.  Actually, I've been expecting that call for the last 40+ hours.  I'm getting a tad bit impatient.  I want so badly to meet my granddaughter.  I'm starting the think that they aren't even having a child.  They are having a sloth.  Why is this baby taking so long??  I know Mamma has been pregnant for at least three years now.

I have never been good at waiting but this whole waiting for a baby thing is killing me!  If I don't have a grand-baby to show you next week, that son of mine and his woman are going to have some serious explaining to do.  

Okay, now I'm worried.  Out of curiosity, I Googled when the next full moon will be.  March 9th.  And it's the "worm" moon.  I can not wait four whole more days to meet my grand-baby and she will NOT be born under a worm moon.  Come on Megan - get your act together and have that baby!

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Three on Thursday - Sweater Choices

I'm still madly in LOVE with the yarn I'm using to knit my newest ragland sweater but to be honest, I am starting to worry I'm going to look like the Jolly Green Giant when I wear it.  I'm also struggling with how to introduce the next skein without a weird line showing up and/or wasting yarn.  I'm concerned I won't have enough yarn because I was planning to knit something else when I purchased it.  Yardage is going to be very, very tight.  Maybe I could solve the problem by loosing 50 pounds in the next, say, 20 minutes when I'll be ready to separate the arms from the body.  

I doubt seriously I'll loose those 50 pounds so ....  Plan B - buy more yarn.

But, meanwhile, adding the next skein continues to be a problem.  The first time I introduced a new skein, I "faded" it by doing a couple of single row stripes of each but....  I was left with a 20+/- inch tail of the old yarn and by the end of the sweater, those 20 inches could be a make or break thing.

The second skein, I did a row of alternating single stitches of each color.  But again, that meant using both yarns for one row.  Too wasteful.  If you have any suggestions, please post them!

Since I spent yesterday at the doctor's being drained of blood and finding out I'm over weight and have a thyroid problem, I didn't get much knitting done or have a chance to take any new photos.  I do have an excuse for the weight though.  It's not the cookies, it's the thyroid!  Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Okay, okay....  Let's stay on track here.  I didn't take any photos.  So instead, I'll show you what the Cascade 220 Wave yarn would have been if I hadn't been too lazy to walk across the room to grab a pattern at the very moment I decided I must cast on.

Felix cardigan pattern knit with bulky weight yarn
Felix

At first it was going to be a Felix cardigan, but that calls for bulky and the Wave is worsted.  I really, really love that ragland detail though.  One day...

Simple cropped pullover knit with worsted weight wool
Hibernal

After another brief Ravelry search, I set my sights on Hibernal.  I like the simplicity of it.  I also really like the loose body but tighter arms.  I don't care for big, bulky, floppy arms on my sweaters.  I want them loose enough to push up the sleeves if necessary, but not floppy.  These sleeves look perfect.

Harry Potter sweater cardigan
Hogwarts House Cardigan

And then my Harry Potter Knitting Magic book arrived.  I decided to knit the Hogwarts House Sweater.  But in the moment, I was tired and lazy and wanted instant stitching.  Apparently walking across the room and opening a book wasn't instant enough.  Plus, I'd have had to swatch.

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Waves

I can't remember if I ever showed you the yarn I bought recently.

Worsted weight wool, green and blue, glows like a mermaid tail
Cascade 220 Wave from Center of the Yarniverse

It was one of those sort of/sort of not spur of the moment purchases.  I wanted to knit a Felix cardigan because, well, I think I'm the only knitter left on the planet who hasn't knit one.  Besides, I love the ragland detail on the Felix.  I didn't have a sweater quantity of acceptable yarn at home so....

Of course, this yarn is not acceptable for Felix either.  It's Cascade 220 Wave worsted.  Felix calls for bulky.  I didn't care.  I had to have that yarn!  HAD to!  The greens and blues called to me and I was powerless to say no to yet another pile of yarn for my stash pile.  

I thought about adding a strand of something else to it to make it work for a Felix but I was afraid of messing up the yarn's glowy color.  It reminds me of a sparkly mermaid tail.  I absolutely LOVE it!

So, as soon as I cast off that last stitch on the Wool of the Andes shawl, I immediately grabbed this yarn and cast on.  

Very easy to knit top down ragland with simple rolled cuffs knit with Cascade 220 Wave
The beginnings of a top down ragland sweater.

I was both so lazy and so excited to start knitting with it, I didn't even find a pattern.  I just started a plain top down ragland and guessed at the cast on stitches.  I'm basing it on my memory (yikes!) of  a simple ragland from Green Mountain Spinnery.  I've knit that sweater many, many times so I think I'll be okay winging it.  Fingers crossed!

And yes, I'm using my in omnia paratus stitch marker.  With this gorgeous yarn, I am ready for anything!

Speaking of in omnia paratus... Several of you asked about a link for purchasing the Gilmore Girls bag I mentioned a while back.  I've been slow responding because Organized Chaos Yarns was in the middle of a website change/upgrade and it wasn't accessible.  But they are up and running just fine now.  You can find a link to their Gilmore Girl collection here.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Sunday Supper - Winter Lentil Soup

Welcome to March!  My mind says it's spring but it sure still feels like winter.  There's nothing better on a cold winter day than a nice warm bowl of soup so...  

Today's Sunday Supper recipe is winter lentil soup from realsimple.com.  Sadly there's no photo, but it's vegetarian, only takes 20 minutes of hands-on prep time and sounds delicious.  I think.  I hope.  I've never had leeks before so I really don't know.  My understanding is that they are sort of oniony and I like onion flavored things so...

Anyway, we're trying it.  Want to try it with me?