Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Soft & Fuzzy

That describes the Cloud 9 blankie to a tee.  I am enjoying knitting the yarn and I already know I like the pattern.  I like the yarn so much that I emailed Cascade to ask them why they discontinued it and if they've got a substitute in the line.  I got a very nice email back saying that they're glad I like the yarn but they have no substitute, that they bring out new lines twice a year so I should keep checking.  Unsatisfying.  Maybe the angora rabbits rebelled, stopped making fur so that they couldn't make any more.  Yeah, probably not.

I've got the first two miters made and picked up stitches for the third last night.  On the first miter I didn't switch out one color until I had 10 stitches remaining on a side.  That seemed a little meager so on the second miter I switched one color out at 15 stitches.  I think I may switch out at 20 on the third miter and then 25 on the fourth, just for a bit of interest.  I want lots of color and action in the blankie so I'm thinking of ways to leapfrog the colors in the edging, but I have a bit of time before the time comes.

Once I started knitting and the angora halo rose it occurred to me that babies are inherently sticky so there'll be fuzzies on the baby, but it's so soft and squooshy I think it'll be worth it.  I'm kind of peeved that I can't buy more of that Cloud 9 to make something for myself.  Maybe there'll be some leftover when the blankie's finished.

I put a few rounds on the Porange sock over the last week but I'm pretty much sticking to the blankie.  This project monogamy feels kind of odd.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

First Grandbaby Stuff

Every since the cat's been out of the bag about the coming grandbaby my mind has been churning about things to knit for her/him.  DS & DIL1 have said they don't want to know the sex of yon babe so there's no unseemly "boy color/girl color" debate, there's just color, and bright color which DIL1 likes better over pastels.  (That's my girl, well, my girl-by-marriage!)  

I couldn't resist starting with a soft creamy white something yarn I got from Goodwill.  It's worsted weight and a little shiny so I figure it's either Bernat Softee or Red Heart Soft Yarn, probably Soft Yarn since I just discovered that Softee doesn't come in worsted weight.  I also found a pattern for a hat and booties made on bigger needles.  I hate skinny needles, they don't feel right in my hands.  I realize that it's shocking that I didn't add a bright color to the center as the pattern shows but I just wanted to start with a sweet white set.  Colors will come, never fear.

And here they are!  Ever since I bought that bale of yarn at Goodwill about 10 days ago the multi-colors of Cascade Cloud 9 have been calling my name.  It's wool and angora, which is from rabbits not goats like I thought it was, and so soft, perfect for a baby's tender skin.  Yesterday afternoon when I saw that I'd be able to finish the baby hat last night at knitting I got out the US11 needles and cast on the Happy Baby Blanket from Lion Brand.  My plan is to carry two colors of yarn for 3/4 of the square and then change out one of them for the corner.  With five different colors I'll be able to mix them up in lots of ways and then I thought I'd make solid color stripes for the border--if I have enough of each color left.  I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

(MW & LC called me last Wednesday to say that there was cashmere at Goodwill; I told them NO!  I spent all my yarn money the week before and I'm perfectly happy with it... but I wish I'd have seen the yarn.  NO, no more yarn buying, Barbara Sue, N. O.)

Still haven't sewn that skirt...  some other time.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Look What Came Today, You Guys!

Last week I got an email from Interweave telling me that they're having their annual "Hurt Book & DVD" sale.  I think some are returned books, some slightly damaged (although none of the ones I've ever bought have been).  The offer that caught my eye was all 5 Harmony Guides for $25.  Twenty-five dollars, people!  Bought on their own they'd be over $110 (not a lot, but still...) so $25 seemed like a steal for that kind of knitting reference works.  I barely hesitated ordering them.  Even with the shipping (and those suckers are heavy) it was less than $35.

Happy Birthday to me! (but not until September 1)

Happy Anniversary!

Merry Christmas!


I love books, don't you?

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I'm making progress on my WIPs.  Really I am, despite the almost unbearable urge to cast on a blanket and 2 sweaters.  I am determined to finish a couple of them before embarking on any more projects.  Really.  Cross my heart (and not my fingers, crossed fingers make typos), hope to die, stick a (knitting) needle in my eye.  (wow, that is one dire promise, isn't it? good thing I wear glasses)  Anyway,

I'm almost to the end of the gusset on the POrange (pink & orange) Ankle Sock.  Soon I can remove those little markers and zoom down the foot, knitting every stitch and not thinking for 7 1/2 in. until I get to the toe where thinking will recommence.

The Jane's Locks shawl grew a bit this week.  I tried to work on it at Knitting Guild but the locks tried to escape on the evening breeze, so it got put away.

At work on Thursday I knitted the first First Grandbaby Booties and sewed it right up before taking any photos so I made sure not to sew up the mate when I made it at Friday Night Knitting so you could see the oddball way it starts life.  Lyn and I looked at how wonky it is and agreed that it'll look okay when it's sewn together.  I mean, the first one doesn't look off unless you really examine it (see? the short row gaps are closer to the cuff on the left side of the photo) but I'm absolutely certain I'll be making more of these so I can experiment.  It's a no-brainer.

The Southwestern Cowl got well started and, after the purchase of all that yarn last Tuesday, got redeposited in the Onesies basket under the coffee table.  Don't worry, it won't languish too long because it's excellent mindless knitting.  Besides I'm enamored of the colors and the way they're stacking up so I won't leave it alone too long.  Promise.

I washed and blocked the Bean's Kimono last week and on Friday I sewed on snaps and a cute, hand-print button (lower right edge).  Now it's well and truly finished, ready for it's owner's appearance in the fall.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bad Companion, Good Yarn

You know how your Mom warned you against listening to bad companions?  Well, I ignored that advice last night.  My Friday Knitting pal, Mitch, called just before supper to say that there was a treasure trove of yarn at Goodwill and I should come look.  Now, most of the time I can resist that lure because most of the time Goodwill has acrylic and novelty yarns or yarn that's so old even the moths don't want it.  Then he said the magic word--silk.  Silk and merino and RED.  I'm not sure I hung up the phone before my keys were in my hand.  Durwood put the supper-making on hold while I zoomed the 3 blocks to Goodwill.

I met Mitch in the cafĂ© and we walked over, him giggling all the way he was that excited about it.  He was right to be excited.  It was a treasure trove.  A haul.  A budget-busting amount of very good, not very expensive yarn.  I fondled and thought, piled some in my bag and took some out, mentally added up what I had against how much money was in my wallet.  Then he said, "Tuesday's senior discount day, 10% off."  That did it, I was lost.  I piled 10 skeins of the red Prairie Silks, the Plymouth Encore Colorspun, and 3 colors of Cascade Cloud 9 into my bag.  I spent almost all my "mad" money. 

Once I was home I kept thinking about that silk/merino yarn.  Thinking that if I had it all I might be able to knit a sweater for myself.  Durwood, the prince, offered me some money from his stash but I declined.  Why should he pay for my manias?  After supper I went back to Goodwill and scarfed up the rest of that Ruble Red yarn, 11 more skeins... and a couple skeins of Shetland wool, and more of that Cloud 9 in 2 other colors, an unmarked skein of red wool, and a couple balls of random creamy softness.  That took care of all of my yarn buying money for the year.  Maybe two years.  Maybe FIVE years.

That loud crash you heard last night was me breaking my yarn diet.

Later today there will be searching for a pattern for a me-sized sweater and probably a baby blankie or hat or sweater or booties or softie or all of the above.  Good thing I have a lot of zipper plastic bags and lots of needles in lots of sizes. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Out of Control

The other day almost without my consent or notice I cast on a cowl.  It's one of the "Onesies" from earlier this year and I have no idea what possessed me to cast it on when I have a perfectly good sock and shawl OTN, but cast on I did.  I love the way the colors of the yarn are blending but it's a long time until cowl time.  At least it better be.

I'm onto the gusset of the latest sock, my least favorite part of sock knitting.  I need to make up some something to put a positive spin on making the gusset because I hate to have resentment in my heart for such an easy and integral part of a sock.  If I had better luck with short row heels I might switch over but the last time I attempted one I had to rip it out three, maybe four times.  I hate to rip.  I've named it the POrange sock because I so like the way the pink and orange look beside each other.

I worked on the Jane's Locks shawl at Friday Night Knitting and everyone said they liked it.  The more I look at it the more I like it too.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I'm Making Stuff

I finished the knitting of the Bean's Kimono on Friday.  Next it gets washed and then I'll find a couple cute buttons to finish it off.

Once I finished that I allowed myself to cast on the shawl with the Door Co. Shepherd's Festival wool and locks.  I don't know what I imagined that it would look like but this isn't quite it, although it's very soft and I love the way the wool knits up.  The short rows are a snap. I'm keeping going.  (kinda looks like a merkin, doesn't it?  this link not appropriate for the prudish)

In the Out of Sight, Out of Mind Department, I finally got around the sewing a valance for DS & DIL1's kitchen window.  She wanted it flat, not ruffled, so I made a single box pleat in the middle so it doesn't look like a piece of fabric slung over a curtain rod.  I am proud to say that the box pleat math did not defeat me.

Unable to have only one WIP, I cast on the next cotton anklet in Cascade Fixation the other night.  I'm oddly enamored of the juxtaposition of pink and orange in this yarn.  I keep wanting the colors to align.  (See the cool bag and row counter necklace?  My pal Skully made them for me.  Isn't she talented?  I think so too.)