Friday, March 29, 2013

Evidently Sunshine = Startitis

I want to knit everything in my Onesie basket--today.  I especially want to knit the Wrap & Go Shawl.  I went to my Ravelry queue yesterday to discover that there're three projects queued ahead of it. The top project's a one-skein beanie which I won't wear this time of year either but can go into the charity basket so it goes into the knit bag for a Friday Night Knitting start.  The second one's a cowl and I've discovered that I only wear cowls in the dead of winter which is not now so I gave myself permission to ignore that one until autumn.

Next comes the 75% cotton/25% wool crocheted neck kerchief which I plan to start while sitting on the retaining wall in the sunshine just as soon as I get home from getting a car wash, and not one of those mid-winter, rinse the salt off drive through car washes either, I'm talking about an over $10, empty the crap out first, vacuum/inside clean/hand dried car wash.  (I think I can hear Beverly's pleased hum from here.)

 I've put the kneedles, yarn, and pattern for the Shawl/Wrap into my bag to cast on tonight.  EEEEEE.  It's only one skein, a 400+ yard skein true, but I read project notes before choosing it and one person used fewer stitches on much larger needles.  She might be my new best friend.  I'm going for it.

I decided to go with the flap heel after two disasterous runs at a short-row heel and got past it and the heel turn and by bedtime I was through the gusset and onto the foot.  Now it's no more thinking for the next 30 or so rows until it's time to decrease for the toe.  I really like the color and the yarn's got a faint fuzzy halo.  It's Plymouth Encore.

I saw a male goldfinch in the tree this morning.  They're turning yellow!   It's definitely spring.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I've Had The Blahs

The never-ending cold and drear has infiltrated the very core of my being so my crafting output has been spotty.  I spent all last weekend, well most of it anyway except for Sunday, in Sheboygan with my pal.  We went to the Kohler Design Center (fancy sinks and toidies) and the John Michael Kohler Art Center (which I highly recommend) and took a few walks but I only knitted one evening.  Didn't write.  Didn't read.  I was at a low ebb.

BUT the sun is out today and the temp is in the 40s (or nearly so) and I feel much better.  The sunshine's like a battery charge that I can't go too long without.  Ahh, better.

My favorite exhibit at the Art Center was a "Healing Machine" made by a bachelor Nebraska farmer to attract and concentrate the healing electricity in the Earth.  His media encompassed wire (baling and reclaimed), masking tape, cardboard, tin cans and lids, wood, beads, and minerals he obtained from a pharmacist friend.  Very eccentric and fascinating.  Some looked like God's Eyes, one like a tornado, some were like Tiffany lamps, and my favorite piece looked like a Pharonic barge to the underworld.  Or maybe one that looked like a cross between a wind spinner and a spider web was my favorite.  Or... oh, I liked it all.

I did finish that starfish washcloth last week

and made another baby hat, a goldfish colored one, for that rapidly approaching baby,

and Z-Dawg and I made what are supposed to be egg-shaped yarn cages with chocolate eggs inside.  Few are egg-shaped and it was a tedious and messy craft.  I'm not a fan.


That's it in the FO department.  I think I left decreasing too late on the Fino Bias Scarf so I might run out before the end... and I'm really thinking I made it too wide and should probably frog it and start over.  Gah!  I might.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Little Bit of Knitting

I've been doing more cooking than knitting lately... and my hips aren't the better for it.  I made a ginger cake, then Irish Soda bread for our St. Paddy's day feast at DS & DIL1's on Sunday, and yesterday I made ginger syrup which will be used to make my very own ginger ale and I might tip a little bit into my tea this weekend.  It's still so cold that maybe a bit of ginger will warm me up.

Oh, I have been doing a bit of knitting.  On Monday I cast on another Starfish cloth using up small bits of leftover yarn.  I like it.

I'm nearing the heel decision (short-row or flap) on the Gray Spiral sock...

and there's a bare ounce of the combined skeins of the Fino Bias scarf.  I'll get to the end soon.  I have to say that I can't help thinking that I should have cast on fewer stitches to make a longer, yet skinnier scarf but I'm too far along now to frog the whole thing and start over.  No sirree, not going back.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And Here It Is

One of the cutest baby hats I've ever made--or seen for that matter.  This is one cute hat, and I am confident that the dark teal will make its intended recipient look fantastic.

Now to cast on a second baby hat in a different pattern and the next bigger size so that this baby has more than a few weeks' worth of hat from me.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Every Baby Needs a Hat

With that in mind it occurred to me last week that I have a friend who is gestating a baby predicted to be born in a few weeks, and everyone knows that a baby needs at least one hat that is made for them alone.  So I searched for patterns in Ravelry and found a free version of the leaf top baby hat that has been popular for a while, and it just so happened that I had a few skeins of Berroco Comfort in the stash, one a deep teal and another a gorgeous lime green.   So I cast on.  Baby hats are small, newborn hats are tiny so going around and around to get to 4 1/2 inches hasn't taken very long.  I've got about an inch to go before I get to add the green and make the top.  I confess that I'm looking forward to putting the green leaves on there and I'm inordinately tickled to be making the i-cord to be tied in a little knot on top.

My pleasure in making the tiny thing slowed my progress on the Fino Bias Scarf but I'm still chugging along on it.  It too pleases me beyond all explanation.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Red Gold Cowl Done

I decided Thursday afternoon at work that I needed to tink back the last round I did so that I had enough yarn for binding off, and it was a good thing that I did because after binding off I had just over 6" of yarn left.  And I don't make a habit of leaving a long cast-on tail either so that end was about 4" long.  I like this cowl and I like this yarn, it's very soft.  The yarn's discontinued, of course.  I'll use this pattern again.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Progress Report

I've been happily knitting two-row stripes of Fino into a Bias Scarf this week.  I didn't anticipate having the blue center of each skein come at the same time but I'm happy to see that dark and light blues are still making obvious stripes.  I'm about halfway through the skeins so this is close to the middle of the scarf.  It occurs to me that I should have made the scarf a bit narrower to make it longer... but I'll deal.  The Wool Ease one that I made for myself got feet longer and much narrower over time.  It'll be okay.

I weighed the rest of the skein of Lustro to see that there's less than a quarter of the 50 grams left so I went back to k2,p2 ribbing for using up the rest.  The only question is when to start binding off so as to have inches of yarn left when I'm done.

I told Durwood yesterday as I sat knitting on the Gray Stripe sock in the pulmonologist's waiting room that I should change the name to the Doctor's Office sock since I started it when we were in a doctor's office and hadn't worked on it since.  But I won't change it; I don't really want to be reminded of all of our hours in waiting rooms this winter.  I'm not thrilled at the way the gray pooled but it seems to be fixing itself--and it's a sock that will spend most of its life in a boot.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I Couldn't Wait

At Friday Night Knitting I finished Double Thick Cloth #4 so there were only two WIPs in my bag. 

That meant that the needles I needed (US7 pointy Knit Picks Harmony wood ones) to cast on a Bias Scarf in the Gedifra Fiorista Fino I bought on Friday morning.  I held off, trying to convince myself that I should finish another project before firing up another one, but I printed off the pattern (and was surprised to see a scarf that I knitted nearly six years ago as a gift for DIL1 as the pattern example photo) and wound the skeins so they'd be easier to use.  Then I made a slipknot and set off--2 rows from one skein, 2 rows from the other.  I took it along to Family Supper and knitted a few rows during our after supper conversation and I've been beavering away at it ever since.  I like the way it's turning out, don't you?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Red Sock Yarns Lives!

I was disconsolate last September when I scoured Fish Creek and couldn't find Red Sock Yarns.  They weren't in their original store in the Top of the Hill shops and they weren't in their next location behind Fred & Co. either.  The ladies in the beauty shop next door told me that they'd gone out of business.  It made me sad.  I threw away my punch card.  When I talked to my friend KS about us having coffee yesterday she told me that she's started knitting and that Red Sock Yarns is reborn.  Yay.  So we went there.  It's in a tiny little house of a shop next to the Summer Kitchen and across the road from the Red Barn on the north end of Ephriam.  I bought yarn.  (of course I did)

I picked up this sparkly skein of yarn--and couldn't put it down.  It's Kraemer Sterling Silk & Silver, superwash merina, silk, nylon, and STERLING SILVER.  Yes, children, there is a thread of silver in this and I am not putting this yarn into shoes.  NOT.  There're over 400 yards that will make a lovely little shawl, oh yeah.

I also picked up just one skein of Kraemer Perfection, which is a slightly woolier version of Plymouth Encore or Lion Brand Wool Ease, 70/30 instead of 80/20 or 75/25.  Since I enjoy knitting with the Encore and Wool Ease I thought I'd take the Perfection for a test knit.  She didn't have any variegated (we all know I'm a variegated whore) so I settled for this heathered red called Valentine.  It's nice and soft.

On my way through Sturgeon Bay I stopped at Spin.  Well, I had to, didn't I?  I fondled all the goodies all through the store and found a very interesting FREE pattern there that hurried right onto my queue when I got home, but as usual I only bought out of the 40% off bins in the back corner.

I snatched up these 2 skeins of Noro Silk Garden Lite.  I've never used Noro despite all the patterns (that I admire) out there that use it so this is an inexpensive way for me to dip my toes into the Noro stream without damaging my wallet too badly.

I'm a big fan of Gedifra Fiorista yarn for knitting narrow scarves so I pounced on these.  They're Fiorista Fino, the DK version of it, and they're the same color and dye lot.  Yes, yes they are despite looking like opposites.  It doesn't show on the photo but they've got their opposite colors in the centers, so I'm planning to knit two rows from one skein then two rows from the other and make a bias scarf that goes from light to dark.  It'll be awesome, and as it happens I finished my dishcloth last night so I've got leave to cast on something else.  This will be it.  It'll be fast.  I'm excited.  Also I'm a dork.  (but then we knew that didn't we?)