Showing posts with label Knitting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Knitting. Show all posts

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Luck

As I have previously said, Jeans Knitting is one of the first reads of the morning when sitting in my chair, or actually my husband's chair, after I get up and turn on the fire and have coffee in hand.  She blogs daily and wakes me up with her perspective on her coming day.  Jean makes lists of things that she needs to accomplish that day. And updates me, for of course she is writing to me from Edinburgh, telling in her quaint ways of what on her yesterday's list was accomplished and what yet needs to be finished from her uncompleted list.  Most days she gives herself  a 100 percent rating, but a few times she laments that she was just too tired to finish one or two of her self assigned tasks.

Seems I follow Jean closely because I think of her as my one-generation-older friend who is keeping it together in her own way.  So maybe a list is the thing to keep in the forefront of my mind as I try to age with grace and wisdom.

So back to Jean's list, or my list, for the day.  Half of her day seems to involve taking care that her octogenarian, somewhat cranky husband, as she gets his lunch and keeps his writing files in order. That part of my day, compared with hers, does not exist, since my husband is in a reverse role with his own mother and ensuring she is fed and watered,  Although she still lives independently, except for not driving and having severe macular degeneration and not being able to read much or change the time on the clock or figure out how to order on Amazon.  But he needs no care whatsoever, other than being listened to, and occasional affectionate words and kisses.

Then Jean's list goes on to her knitting.  My, what a knitter she is, even to the point of designing her own laces and looking into software to aid in her motif designs.

My knitting, sorely neglected as of late, consists of this pair of socks on the needles, using picture yarn.  Google it and you will see clever yarns that have been mathematically designed to create pictures within the pattern, no matter the gauge you are using.  Here is a picture of my watermelon socks.  Notice those little black dots of color that play into the reds for the seeds within.

these are The Perfect Fit Socks, Abi Grasso Etsy Shop yarn

On the cooking front, two recipes I made this weekend are absolutely the best: carrot cake and hush puppies.

No pictures, but the carrot cake was found here, originally published by Southern Living. It has the usual suspects in the batter of grated carrots, crushed pineapple, with a little surprise of coconut.  We liked it, the neighbors liked it and I am serving it to friends today at coffee and tomorrow (frozen, but thawed) to the pinocle card group.

I was looking for an old fashioned sweet hush puppy like my grandmother used to make, but times have changed and what I found was from Paul Prudhomme, found here. We had fried trout with the couture hush puppies. Those puppies have onion, green onion tops, red pepper and only one egg, but after setting for a couple of hours in the fridge, the juices from the vegetables incorporate themselves into the flour and cornmeal and give an excellent texture. Beware these pups are fried, and I used only a film of grease, but they soaked up every bit of that canola oil. Not low calorie, but delicious. (And I did not find one recipe that called for just cornmeal, flour, egg and sugar, like Mom used to make.)

Saturday, I thought I was buying plain ol' johnny jump-ups for a splash of blue color on the patio while waiting for anything to rear its pretty head from the cold soil.  When I got home, I looked at the label more clearly after planting it and was happily surprised to learn I had purchased Rock Cress Axcent Lilac plants, a perennial.  What luck!  I needed new perennials.

The husband reminded me of what Garrison Keillor said:

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. ” 
― Garrison KeillorLake Wobegon U.S.A.

If you are following Angela in A Pause in Lent, I have written a piece on Path to Writing concerning what I heard yesterday in church since we are just two weeks away from Easter.  (It is under revision, in case you click on it and do not see it.)

Have a great week, and haste ye back in a few days to see the laundry line bowls in progress, thanks to the tip from Elizabeth, seen here when she writes about Washing-Tale Lines.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Fair Isle Knit Socks and More

Phew.  Those fair isle socks (only two yarn colors per row, knit intermittently while holding the opposing color in the back of the knitting) are complete.

What with all the self striping sock yarns now available, I doubt if anyone other than an experienced knitter could tell that the technique used in whipping up these socks was indeed "fair isle" knitting.

Alas, one of the women from the Shetland Fair Isle Knitting Guild (link here for information and pictures) (link here for more pictures) (and also here for a knitting workshop blog post) would be able to differentiate and critique this knitting.  They could right away spot my errors.

But I continue working on the technique and do have a bit of prior fair isle knitting under my belt:

(Our Mercy)
Wolf in Sheep's Clothing kit by Sandra Manson and Kate Davies, using all nine shades of 2 ply Shetland Supreme wool yarns from various types of sheep on Shetland) .. kit available here

Now I have the bright idea of trying to create a portion of this picture in fair isle knitting, along with reference help from the Book of Fair Isle Knitting by Alice Starmore. 

Giovanni Battista di Jacopo (Italian Mannerist painter, 1494–1540), known as Rosso Fiorentino (meaning the Red Florentine in Italian) Angel with Lute Madonna dello Spedalingo

If I can graph this out correctly ensuring the shading on the cherub, it should be a year long knitting project taking a lot of patience and many shades of yarn. Pinterest has some graphing aides, along with Starmore's book.  There are very few Renaissance needlepoint kits with angels, and none that I could unearth on the internet linking angels, Renaissance and knitting.  If you know of any such kits, including needlepoint, please leave me a comment as it would save lots of time if I could find a kit readily available.

Linking with Ginny's Yarn Along this Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December Happenings

One of the blog feeds that comes to me daily is that of BJWS. Her blog is entitled "It's About Time," a reference to the many essays and pictures she posts from various historical eras.

BJ posted a picture several days ago that I will try to paint in oils for future Christmas display.  It is from the 13th or 14th century, and depicts angels and lutes.  The colors are vibrant.  It just "feels" like Christmas.

Mariotto de Nardo (1394-1424) Virgin and Child, Detail Angel musicians

We shall see if I can do it any justice.  It may be personal hubris to even try to recreate this angelic scene, but if seeking to paint with humility, realizing one's small talent, and/or simply trying to make a spiritual feel in one's home is hubris, so be it.  The quest continues.

Other than trying to keep down a persistent cough and struggling with viruses in both body and computer, I have been knitting intarsia socks.  Have you tried TOFUtsies sock yarn?  It is partially made from wool, soysilk and Chitin (made from shrimp and crab shells, a marketing gimmick that tells the fiber has naturally antibacterial properties).  It sold me. And the price point is practically a give away.  After waiting with bated breath over the weekend, this came in the mail yesterday,  The TOFUtsies yarn was even packaged in a little happy net bag with a silk ribbon drawstring.

This is one Salsa Sock in progress, found on Ravelery here.

Next month, I am looking forward to attending a women's writing retreat taught by Sandra Dorr and Susan Crosby.  If you google Sandra in Grand Junction, you will find out that she is an author, teacher, artist, and all around Renaissance woman.  Susan, a yoga teacher, likely has similar credentials.  All the information about the retreat can be found at this link. It will be held at the Redstone Inn in mountainous Colorado.

This is a teaser on the above link that caught my eye:

“You are perfect just as you are. And you could
use a little improvement.”
Suzuki Roshi

More history and lovely photographs of The Redstone Inn, an historic mining community built in the late 1800's, can be found here.   Come join in the wilderness experience!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Crafting with the Lutherans

Tomorrow and Saturday the church ladies (and a few men helpers) will be involved in the





Friday hours are 9 AM to 2 PM      Saturday hours are 9 AM to 2 PM
Bazaar proceeds benefit ALC Women’s Ministries and local service organizations

Here are the knitted items I've knitted over the past couple of years and will donate to the bazaar to perhaps bring in a few dollars for the American Lutheran Church ministries:

The Elowen shawl on Ravelry:

and the Wilhelmina Shawlette on Ravelry, including a few color coordinated accessories:

This week I finished knitting the Norwegian Shawl by Sivia Harding, with yarn from Louet Gem merino fiber. This project took four weeks to knit.  There were very few problems in crafting this lace shawl; it was well written and the yarn was very well behaved. Generally, I wear shawls with the spined upper edge at the neck and the longer pieces wrapped around and, so the finished dimensions of 62 inches in length (29 inches in depth) will give adequate coverage to the neck, shoulder and front area.

Joining in with Fiber Arts Friday, Creative Friday at Natural Suburbia and Yarn Along for sharing.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Beanie for Alonzo & Zucchini Cake

Babies need hats.  Purl Bee has a cute pattern for a heirloom hat that made up in just a day or two.

Originally, the thought was to make a pair of booties, but after making the first one and realizing it looked too large, I checked the pattern and saw I had cast on too many stitches.  The second one looked lots better, meaning I have to rip out that first stay on bootie and start all over.  Can I get it done in time for Sunday when the hand off is to occur?

And, in the meantime, this is on the needles: Norwegian Shawl or Scarf.

For your culinary pleasure, I was directed toward a  recipe that is excellent; a fairly heavy zucchini cake with lots of cream cheese frosting with zested orange.  Have a look here.  My notes here.

Our neighbor keeps supplying us with his zucchini, and we keep trying new things with them.  Not a single zucchini has been harmed or wasted in the process of experimentation.  We took over a portion of this cake to them as a "thank you", and they upped us by bringing over zucchini brownies.  Not a bad deal.

Leaving you with this bumblebee on a cosmos.  They are busy little things.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What They Said, What They Shared

Without other people in our lives pointing us to new things to read, new things to cook, new reasons for "why things happen", new things to view on tv, and  new knitting techniques and patterns, our lives would not be near as diverse.  So here are a few of my new favorite things that have lateley been pointed out to me. relating to online games, this article is well worth a read about Granny Chichi who lives in Belize and is whupping her journalistic grandson in the most charming of wordy ways  (Severo Avila said it) relating to cooking, here are a few absolutely delicious recipes my friends and husband have made over the past few months. I was a lucky recipient of their good eats. (Gene, Natalie, and Dottie said it) related to why it rains in the fallthis is what Simon said related to streaming movies, this summer I have watched and enjoyed the following older movies, new to me (Pam mostly said it)
  • The Chorus
  • Haute Cuisine
  • Found Memories
  • Stories They Tell
  • Midsomer Murders with new episodes just released relating to knitting, (Esther Budd  said it) the Her Royal Highness Shawl, which I am knitting for the second time because I am a glutton for punishment, tells me I am currently knitting, in the round, several thousand stitches just on one round for the ruffle on this shawl.
Above is Kate the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 in a knitted green shawl that caused a stir in the fiber world. If you click on the source link, you will see where it could have been purchased back then.  Esther Budd came up with a pattern for the knit shawl that you can purchase here.  So now you can make your own shawl similar to that of the Duchess.  You can see why Budd calls it the "suicide ruffle" in her pattern if you have ever knit this many stitches in just one pattern repeat
(started on the suicide ruffle a day ago, apologies for poor quality of that green color)

this is the yarn for the HRH shawl I'm working on:  numma numma in wintermint and a truer color shown, referred by The Knit Girllls
What have YOU been pointed to lately?  What have you learned?  What can you recommend?  Tell, tell!

Linking as usual with Tami at Works in Progress Wednesday and Yarn Along and Fiber Arts Friday.

and Natural Suburbia.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My First and Last Vogue Lace Knitted Shawl

On Ravelry here are all the notes about knitting this shawl.  Curse words were deleted for family friendliness, and just the facts were included; this is the end result.  Mind you, I will never, ever knit this pattern again.

But the hearts, once they were blocked out, do make an interesting motif down the center panel.  It is five feet in width, so the shawl will wrap around the neck/body with appropriate warmth.  Although I am not a big fan of picot edging, it was included as a part of the pattern, so who I am to argue with Vogue. (?)  So it was picot edged.

Linking with Natural Suburbia and Fiber Arts Friday where other fiber related crafts can be seen.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Last Week of June Review

Sweeping off the patio is now my full time summertime obsession.  I feel like the old man in the cartoon from years past who in the fall tracked down every fallen leave from his lawn and bagged it immediately, even desperately catching them as the wind blew them from the tree, leaf by leaf.  The husband thinks the old cottonwoods out back perhaps need more watering, so he has taken to that task of the evening.  The dogs tool around in the back looking for squirrels and I putter with the sweeping as the sun lowers in its sphere.  And the days are now getting shorter, so I hear, making earlier bedtimes easier to explain...people don't understand when you lie down before the sun does.

Liking an entertainment area free of dead cottonwood leaves, this week we will have entertained with friends and a few repasts.  A luncheon, a neighborly get together, and a couple friend tonight: all outside on a fairly leaf free patio.  Tonight I will be making a new salad with sweet potatoes and a rice vinegar dressing that is tossed together with the sweet potatoes and grilled corn cut from the cobs.  The cobs were grilled last night and are safely tucked away in the fridge for their glorious debut today with the sweet potatoes, black beans and a cilantro vinegar dressing. I'll let you know how it turns out.  One other sort-of recipe for a tea punch that was refreshing and tasty was equal parts brewed tea, pineapple-banana juice, orange juice and ginger ale.  That went down fairly well.

Powerful Mary Kay

On the fishing front, we caught nothing this week other than a photo of a blue heron that let me get pretty close to where he was scouting trout.  There are lots of these blue herons around the water.  Last week I caught a 12 inch trout, my largest haul so far.  And he was delicious!

This morning after her walk, Libby SweetPea and I will be making our hospice visits.  Here is an older picture of Miss Libby posing.

She is on a walk right now with her sister Mercy.  Every morning the routine is that they dance around, pulling and tugging at their leashes, waiting for their old dad to get on his hat and retrieve his walking stick. Libby gets the leash in her mouth, and it takes a bit of cajoling to get her to release it so the walk can commence.  Once the 25 minute exercise is finished, she is ready for a nap.  But today she has to gear up and make her visits to her assigned patients.  Two are in an Alzheimer's facility and two are in a nursing home. Libby is pretty easy to handle on her visits since she is an old pro at being quiet and sitting on my lap while being petted; that and she is already worn out from her prior walk.  Staff people at the facilities usually comment on her good behavior, but they have not seen her at home where she tools around like hell on wheels, barking at every neighbor she can view out the front door window.

On the knitting front, I have now ripped out the lace scarf at least three times.  This will not get the best of me.  Here it is in progress, yet again.

Disappointment from Sunday last (this post): that beta test was a semi-ok trial, but it only allows 15 pictures per slideshow on Photosnack.  I am still trying to get pictures downloaded from the Cloud to my computer, following all instructions to the letter, but just cannot get albums downloaded back on my computer.  After googling many answers to this question, the process is still not working for me.  It seems that once they are in the cloud, they stay there.  And there is no putting more than 15 pictures at a time on a slideshow or movie if they are not still residing on your computer's hard drive.  Any feedback on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

And for Paint Party Friday, the Sun is finished:

Ya'll have a great weekend, ya hear?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


After six weeks of waiting, I called Knit Picks today to check on a back order of Swish yarn this morning. Their back order was due on May 15, but I had not received an email notifying me it was in stock. Going back to March, while knitting up the Delancey Cardigan, I was just five rows short of completion on the button band when the last of the yarn was used up.  So I immediately went online to order another skein, only to learn it was on back order.  The sweater was begun in January, was knitted through March, and now likely will not be completed until June.  It is like an albatross on my back, but the end seems to be in sight now.

Progress on the Shetland Lace Shawl: have finished the body of the shawl and am on to the edging!  I have joined these groups on Ravelry, all favorites since my trip to Shetland: Shetland Textile Museum, Jamieson & Smith Lovers and the Shetland Guild... This is my second Shetland Lace Shawl and it knits up beautifully.

This will continue to be my work in progress tomorrow, Wednesday.  Lots of people are joining in, and it is always fun to see what others are doing.  THIS is the link.

Back to Shetland.  Remember Ann Cleeves, the author I have talked about before on this post?  Am now reading her latest in the Shetland series, Dead Water.  The main character, Detective Perez, has a White Wife beer, brewed on Unst at the Valhalla Brewery.  It made me smile to know I had also imbibed of that brand of beer while learning the story of the mysterious slaying of the woman for whom the beer was named. Love that beer!  Love Cleeves!

Spring means a new haircut! I was going for the Dame Judi Dench look, but still need the hair to go white.

The Judi look:

The Nancy look:

How is your spring going?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Concentration, or absenting myself from felicity (in Jean's words) while I start another round and adding an additional center panel to the Vogue lace shawl. That is what is needed: concentration.

The yarn is 100% organic linen from Quince & Co.  It feels fairly rough, being linen, and is smaller in circumference than I had envisioned, so the shawl will be smaller than the picture of the finished project shown on the published project sheet.  I am using a size larger needle to accommodate this difference in yarn size and hoping the yarn will soften after washing.  It is a bit like knitting with kite string at present.

If you are wondering what "organic linen" actually means, look here for an intense written presentation.  My take on what the organic blog says can be narrowed down to:
  • Lowest practical ecological impact
  • Fair Trade guidelines
That being said, on with knitting.  The Chart II repeat (middle) is now in process; it begins on row 49 and is repeated 15 times prior to adding the wings. I had difficulty in reading the chart, as it is different on the right and wrong sides, naturally, so I made a flip chart with index cards which made the changing charts easier to follow.  However, it took about 150 cards to make the chart. This is definitely my Magnum Opus of knitting.  And it may be the  last, God willing that I live long enough to finish the knit.

The center is beginning to look like hearts, and I wonder if this is because of the yarn.  Liking it thus far, but it requires concentration and cannot be successfully knit with the husband in the room providing side notes or asking questions, adding to the ambient noise of tv commentary.  However, it can be happily knit on while sitting alone and having an episode of "Pride and  Prejudice"spicing up the airwaves.  The husband will retreat to his den with the dogs when he hears Colin Firth.

It is cold here today, and I had to bring in all my seedlings last night because of the frost warnings.  Three more days of in and out with these little guys, and then the zinnias and cosmos

will be almost ready to go into their new raised bed.  More later on that project.  Three pots of marigolds are in the garage, and more pots of herbs are up by the back door that will have to go out again in the sun by 10 AM when the frost warning is lifted.  Three more days of this and then we should be free of frost.  One wonders at the efficacy of all this attention to planting when the local grocer provides plants already blooming.

Lastly, one new addition to the front porch: an urn with columbine and marigolds, reminding me of college colors: