Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Squaring Away

I'm trying to give myself a little break now that the Red Licorice sweater is finished. (Finished!) So I've been planting lilies, weeding and mulching the garden, and slowly knitting Sudoku squares. Only 50 to go! (Oh wait. Let's see--9 times 9 is, um, [oh, sh*t] 81. I have to knit 81 squares. Why did I think I only needed 54? Not that it really matters since there's no deadline on this throw and I like making these little squares [which, by the way, are closer to 6" than 5"] but 81 seems like a LOT more than 54. What a doofus I am.) Only 77 more to go!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


All done. Ahhh.

Despite the fact that it's nearly 80 degrees I had to have Durwood take my picture in the first adult sweater I ever knitted. I love it, it's red, and it commemorates the red licorice I used (and still use on occasion) to quit smoking. Knitting's much more fun than smoking. Hands down.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Look! Look! Look!

(It's a 3-Look!-er. That's how excited I am.) Yesterday when I was blogging I commented that if I worked hard, I could finish my Red Licorice sweater this weekend. Well, I picked it up and was knitting and caught sight of the finished pieces and thought, hey, I could sew/crochet them together and weave in the tails, then when I get the Left Front done I can just zoom it on there, knit the collar, put on the button and be done. So that's what I did. Look! An almost-sweater! Pretty cool, huh?

And I worked on the Left Front too. It won't be long now.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Getting There

First of all, let me say, it's Friday! Yippee! I hoped to go diving with friends today but they can't so my new wetsuit's stuck staying dry, but next weekend I'll get to go for sure. Hmm, I just realized there's OW cert dives this weekend. Maybe I could tag along with them. I'll call JJ and see where they're going.

I'm just past the armpit of the Left Front of the Red Licorice sweater. (Check out the upper right corner by the needle keeper.) Yay! Once it's finished and the tails are woven in, I can put the pieces together, pick up stitches and knit the collar, sew on the button, and be done. Done, do you hear? Done! If I do very little else this weekend it's a real possibility I could have it done before I go back to work on Monday. Wouldn't that be something? I was knitting at work yesterday and Mr. Boss commented on the color of the yarn. I told him it was Red Licorice; he said it looked like Pizza Puke. So nice.

I can't keep away from the Sudoku squares. They're small and easy to pack around. Plus they're kind of like potato chips--can't knit just one. 53 more to go!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

See? I Knew This Would Happen

Man, I never should've cast on that first Sudoku square. I finished it at work yesterday afternoon and put it all away in the bag. I even zipped the bag shut. What did I do after supper? Did I pull out the Red Licorice Left Front like a good girl? No, I did not. I cast on another Sudoku square like the bad girl I am.

Hey, Abby! I finally found some sticky stuff so I could put Hula Boy on my dashboard. I think he kind of looks
like David, don't you?

Monday, July 21, 2008

I Caved.

I knew I would. The idea kept scratching at my mind and poking me to "cast on just one." So I did. But I managed to hold off until nearly 9 o'clock last night. That's something, right? The color's Almond, a nice creamy white, and I'm using US 5s to get a nice firm square. Only 53 1/2 to go. Plus all the banding and edging, of course.

In my defense, I am over 4" into the last "red blob" of the Red Licorice sweater. And I only have to get to 10" to start the raglan decreases.
I give you... The Left Front. Ta-da!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mexican Shellflowers & Farmer's Market Loot

According to the package label which I efficiently cut off the bag and taped into my garden notebook, these flowers are Mexican Shellflowers or Tigridia (no further Latin name listed). They grow 18-24" and bloom all summer in full sun. These are planted on the south side of the house in front of the brick facade and stay happily in the ground year round. Away from the radiant heating of the bricks they might need to be dug up in fall like gladiolus.

I went to the Farmer's Market this morning and scored big for my $20. I got beets to roast, some little
onions to put with them, a pound of Crimini mushrooms, a "grab bag" of tomatoes and a container of fresh mozzarella for salads. The empty paper boat held my breakfast of 3/$2 crab rangoons. They're really why I get up early and go down there. I came home with $.45 in my pocket, not a bad shopping trip.

One Front Down, One To Go

I have shown great restraint in not casting on even one tiny Cotton Ease square for my Sudoku throw experiment (even going so far as to put it all in one bag and go to Michael's to buy bamboo needles to knit them with but I don't know how much longer I can hold off). I finished the Right Front of the Red Licorice sweater (here's another picture of a red blob; you must be getting tired of them) Thursday night after my writing group meeting and cast on for the Left Front yesterday morning before starting to clean house so I would have a sweater part to just pick up and knit a few stitches on. To keep from being tempted to Sudoku, you understand. I suspect my self-control is wearing thin and may snap today.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Just a quickie to say I finished the latest (and last for a while, I swear) pair of Country Sunset Landscapes slippers last night. Now I can concentrate on finishing the Red Licorice sweater fronts and then cast on a Sudoku block.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flowers Blooming & Yarn Buying

Warning! Picture heavy post.

Pretty things first today. The rose Dad planted is blooming. I wish I had Smell-O-Vision on the computer because they smell so sweet and rosy. Reminds me of my Grandma Angermeier's garden when I was a kid. She had roses of every color and they all performed their best under her loving care. And the Mexican Orchids I planted when we first moved back are still growing and surprise me every year with how amazing the blossoms are.

I succumbed to tempt
ation and went to Jo-Ann's to replenish and upgrade my Landscapes stash (I had a coupon), but I refused to buy the Rose Garden--just too overtly pink; I couldn't do it even if it is Landscapes. These are Autumn Trails and Pastel Meadow. It's as pastel as I can stand.

I also picked up one skein each of the last 4 colors of Cotton Ea
se to complete planning a Sudoku afghan. I randomly assigned each of the 9 colors a number, then I'll knit 5" bias squares (9 of each color), arrange them according to the Sudoku solution I chose, and then band and edge the 9-patch blocks with the charcoal--eventually. First I have to finish my sweater and then I want to cast on the Seascape shawl/scarf, finish what I swear (but my fingers are crossed I must confess) will be the last pair of slippers for a while, then I can knit a block for the afghan and figure out how much yarn I'll need of each color. I don't think I'm going to worry about dye lot so the squares might change slightly when laundered and make it more interesting looking. That's my plan, anyway. (I stole the idea from a quilter I met at The Clearing last month. She made a quilt like it that week and I thought it'd be a fun summer throw for the couch.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Progress Report

Knitting first. I reached the armpit on the Right Front of the Red Licorice sweater on Sunday and started the raglan decreases last night. See in the upper left corner? It's getting narrower. Go, me!

And I worked on the Country Sunset slipper at work yeste
rday and finished it after supper. One down, one to go.

After supper I also took my little clay bowl out into the garden and harvested blueberries. And I didn't even eat any between the garden and the house. Do you think there's something wrong with me? (Aside from the normal stuff, I mean.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Garden News

(Anyone solely interested in knitting news ignore this post or skip down to the previous one.)

The big news is that Durwood picked his first tomato of the season yesterday. You can see by the look on his face how much he loves his tomatoes. Tomato Boy is limited to six plants and complains endlessly but we need room in our small garden for the asparagus (thanks, Dad), herbs, and a few other things.

Some bunnies decided that our lilies are the yummiest and nibbled off a bunch of stalks. Durwood suggested that I put them in a vase to see if they'd open. I thought not, but was willing to try, so I snapped off some of the long stalks, stripped off the bottom leaves, and plunked them into water. Lo and behold, in a couple of days this is what we've got--and more open ever day. Amazing! (I thought the casual on-the-table pose was okay, but Durwood wanted a more formal pose. Whichever you like better, you can't deny how pretty they are--and how messy our table is.)

Help! I've Fallen (into Landscapes) & I Can't Get Up!

I was feeling all smug yesterday (always a bad sign) because I'm zooming along on the right front of my Red Licorice sweater and it looks like I won't have too much trouble meeting my completion goal. *knock wood* I even knit a few rows while watching a movie with Durwood after supper. (It was The Bucket List; I highly recommend it. I love me some Morgan Freeman.) Then after Durwood went to bed I thought, "I only have one (active) thing OTN. I need to knit more slippers." So I skulked back into the stash corner of the bedroom and extracted a zipper bag of Landscapes, and before you could say Jack Robinson, look what I had. *sigh* Evidently, for me, Lion Brand Landscapes yarn is like crack--or nicotine. Gotta have it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The YH Emailed Me!

Squee! I nearly flipped when I opened my email last night and discovered an email response to a comment I made on the Yarn Harlot's blog. OMG, she knows I'm alive. She read my words. Maybe she looked at my blog and saw what I'm knitting. OMG, OMG, I think I just wet myself.

Ahem. Now that I've gotten that out of my system, here's what I've been knitting on this week. It's the Right Front for the Red Licorice sweater. I'm glad I waited to do the fronts last; they're the narrowest pieces, which means they'll go more quickly now that time is ticking away toward my Sept. 6 completion goal.

And I've got a quandary; you can help. I want to make that lace scarf, Seascape, from here and I have 2 skeins of yarn that I bought before the pattern came out. I should have bought 3 skeins so I'd have enough to make the scarf but I didn't. I tried to find another skein but the lady who bought the other 5 won't share. Drat. So I've been
searching for something to coordinate. I'm leaning toward the non-sparkly one so I don't feel like I can only wear it for dress-up occasions. I will say that the colors in the photos are not true at all. Opinions?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

B**tie Call (edited to deter spammers)

I'm sorry. I couldn't resist.

I finished the Summer Fields booties last night. I sit and watch the colors of the yarn stack up and I am so entertained by it. I'm very tempted to order some of every color of Landscapes from Lion Brand since no one in Green Bay carries the full line, but I'm resisting. That would be silly plus there are 11 colors and 3 skeins of each at $6/skein would be just too much moola.

I really like the pattern too. I've made it enough that I nearly have it memorized.

And I cast on the Right Front of the Red Licorice Sweater before I turned in last night. I'm a knitting machine. But I still want to smoke. And I want to RIGHT NOW. Sorry, I'll be going to work now.

(Between the time I signed off, left for work, and signed on here I got two spam comments! Two! I know, I know, I shouldn't have put that word in the title of my post, but really. So now commenters have to type a verification word. Stupid spammers.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Takin' A Short Break From Sweater-ing

I've been working hard knitting Red Licorice Sweater parts so it'll be wearable in September when I go back to camp but I decided to give myself a little break by knitting a couple of small, fast things before I cast on a sweater front.

I had been wanting to knit a Flamingo dishcloth so I bought some pink cotton and...

The head's not exactly right but it'll do for a dishrag.

Then the lure of Landscapes drew me in and I cast on a pair of these (BTW, I use ONE strand of Landscapes, not THREE!). I do love that yarn. I want three skeins of each color, even the pastel ones.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sweater Back Finis!

See? I said yesterday how much I enjoy making raglan sleeve openings because of the whole decreasing thing and here's proof. Yesterday afternoon after weeding, then cleaning up and going to Walmart, I sat on the couch and knit and dozed and knit, and by the time it was suppertime I had a sweater back. With breaks to make deviled eggs, coleslaw, and Jell-o with fruit in it for our picnic supper, of course. Pretty cool, huh? And the tab of even knitting at the top matches the tab of even knitting at the top of the sleeves. D'you think they planned that?

We went to the farmer's market this morning and got fresh mozz, round zucchini & baby patty pan squash, tomatoes, some small-ish onions we're going to put on the grill with the zucchini and country pork ribs tonight, beets to roast, kohlrabi (because we wanted something different; we still haven't figured out what we'll do with them, but I'm on it as soon as I post this) and of course 3 Crab Rangoons for $2 for breakfast. Mmm, fresh veggies are the best--and even better bought from the people who grow them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Crash! Boom! *sparkle, sparkle, sparkle* Oooooh. Aaaaah. (That's my fireworks impression. Sorry I can't blog the interpretive dance that goes with it.)

I've decided that the only type of sweater sleeve I ever want to knit is raglan. Why? you ask. Well, I'll tell you. Because once you hit the armpits (yay, armpits!) you start the decreases every other row and the knitting just zooms along. Look. See? I've decreased enough that I can skrunch the stitches onto straights instead of wrestling the weight of it on circs. and I'm just zipping through the rows. Ah, raglan is a beautiful word.

This morning when DH went out to survey the crops he noticed this:

It's my first ripe blueberry! Woohoo! It pays to buy bushes with berries already on them. (Who's got the berries now, nursery guy? Huh? Me, that's who. Neener, neener, neener.) There are three ripe berries on the other bush but they're kind of hidden by leaves, plus this one's the biggie. Mmm, pretty soon I won't be able to resist and I'll pick it and eat it. Fresh homegrown blueberries. I haven't had those since Auntie Cele died and Uncle Len sold the farm.

Enjoy your 4th. If you need me, I'll be out weeding in the asparagus patch in my big sun hat with a big pitcher of lemonade on the patio table for breaks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I've never been very enthusiastic about armpits in the past, but I have to admit that sweater-part armpits are reasons to celebrate.
Yay, 'pits! You rock!
I'm up to the armpits (btw, Ann, I think that armpits is a much nicer word than crotch although crotch does have its moments) of the back of the Red Licorice sweater. Looks like there's a slim possibility I'll have the sweater done for my target date of September 6, when I want to have it finished for my second week at The Clearing. Although it'll probably be too hot to wear it that whole week, but by golly, it'll be ready just in case. (Sorry for the blurry picture; I forgot my digital camera at home and had to make do with the 2 mp one at work. I'll try to do better over the weekend.) Only two fronts, sewing up, and a collar to go!