Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Bigger on the Inside" Shawl is Finished!

Well....almost. *LOL* I've completed the knitting and now need to give it a bath and block it. I'm off from work the rest of this week and hope to find time to get it blocked while I'm off. Now, what's next? Sure, I have several UFOs I could finish, but what's the fun in that? I had an idea for a Christmas gift for a coworker the other day, and I think I may start that after blocking the shawl. Speaking of blocking, this will be the first item I've had to block since Tilly TabbyCat came to live at my place. This could get interesting! :-)

Monday, September 16, 2013

TARDIS Shawl Progress

I've made great progress on my "Bigger on the Inside" shawl. I'm five rows from the end of the TARDIS section; after that there's a fairly mindless two inch wide border of ribbing. Then I'll be ready to block it. I'm really looking to blocking it to see how it REALLY looks. Most of the shawl has been knit while watching episodes of Doctor Who. I started the shawl with the Ninth Doctor, went up through all the episodes currently available on Amazon Prime, then started through the classic episodes on Prime. The classic shows are campy and fun; I LOVE the low-budget special effects! I've also developed a nearly-50-years-too-late crush on Jamie McCrimmon (portrayed by Frazer Hines), a companion of the Second Doctor. It's been a fun experience, with only one glaring error so far. It's one that I'm sure I can repair, though, so I'm not worried about it. I don't think anyone but a knitter who has already knit this shawl would notice, and I don't know anyone locally who has knit it. :-) Well, lunch break is over, so back to work!

Friday, September 6, 2013

The TARDIS Shawl Adventure

Fall is in the air in my little corner of the world....there's a nip in the morning, warm sunny afternoons, and cool crisp evenings. I love Fall, and always have loved it. I love the look in the autumn sky after the August haze lifts. I love watching the trees for that first hint of color. I love being able to sit comfortably on my deck in the evenings after work, knitting until it gets too dark to see. *Happy Fall Dance* A lot of my knitting time in the past couple of weeks has been in waiting rooms (Daddy's having some back issues), so it's mostly been relegated to what I refer to as my "Waiting Room Socks". I always keep a pair of "plain vanilla" socks on needles in a little bag that's easily carried into waiting rooms. The pattern is so simple that I don't need to carry it with me (except for a little 3 x 5 cheat sheet that I still use when I turn the heel to be sure I don't make a mess), and it's a great conversation starter. At home, though, I'm working on my "Bigger On The Inside" shawl, because I want to have it finished by the Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebration on November 23. I've now completed the Time Vortex Lace section and have completed 8 of 41 rows in the TARDIS section. The yarn is as close to TARDIS blue as I could get, and so far I'm very happy with my progress. As with most shawls, I won't really know how it looks until it's completed and blocked. I'm anxious to see how it finishes up!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August Already?

It's hard to believe how quickly the summer can get away from you! Especially when you start to think about holiday knitting. You see, hen you're a slow, easily-distracted knitter like myself, you have to start your holiday knitting early. I've got some of mine finished, believe it or not. Still have a few things to do, but not many. I stopped on my holiday knitting to make a "Regular Guy Beanie" for a young distant cousin of mine who was fascinated by my knitting during a recent family visit. Since I made a beanie for him, I also had to make one for his younger brother. Which meant that I needed to make something for their sister as well. Both beanies are completed, and I've finished about a mitten and a half. I should be able to finish those up this week. Speaking of mittens, have you discovered the Cloisonee pattern by the Yarn Harlot? It works up pretty quickly, and I love that it looks more complicated than it really is. :-) I'd started a "Bigger on the Inside" shawl for myself, but laid it aside to get these little "cousin projects" finished. Then I have another UFO that I promised a friend some time ago. I really need to finish that up before going back to my shawl. But I wanna work on my shawl. It has little TARDISes (TARDIi?) On it and is just the thing for a Whovian like myself. So many projects, so little time!

Monday, July 22, 2013

I'm Baaaaaaack!

I've been away from my blogging for so long that you probably thought I'd fallen off the face of the earth....I have been spending most of my online time on my Kindle Fire, and I'm just too slow keying on the onscreen keyboard to enter long blocks of text without getting frustrated. But I ordered myself a bluetooth keyboard, which arrived just a few minutes ago. It works like a charm, so I'll be better about blogging now. :-) I've been working on some Christmas gifts; Saturday I completed what I've been calling "hideous mittens". I love the pattern (The Yarn Harlot's "Cloisonne"), I love the yarn (good old dependable Cascade 220 superwash), but the colors are truly hideous! I made them for my supervisor at work; she's a big fan of the Baltimore Ravens, and their colors are purple with black and gold accents. Yuck. Oh, well, she'll like them and that's all that matters. I've ordered the yarn to knit myself a shawl called "Bigger on the Inside"....you guessed it.....a Doctor Who shawl! *LOL* I actually ordered some nice Cascade, but when it arrived it's much darker than I thought it would be. It's actually navy blue; that's okay, though. I'll make something else from it. Okay, I guess that's enough for my "return" post. :-) Have a great evening, and keep knitting!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Wombat Withdrawal

It's been awhile since I posted; I was excitedly preparing for a visit from my Aussie family. I finally met my darling grandson (aka "Wombat") for the first time and it was love at first sight! They were able to visit for three weeks, and the silence in my apartment has been deafening since their departure. The good news is that they arrived back home safe and sound and are, in fact, now off on a second trip. Little Wombat is already a seasoned world traveler! The toys I had knit for him were well received and went home with him. During the last few days of his visit he began calling me "Nan-Nan"; I can hardly wait for our first Skype session so I can hear it again (I hope!). Okay, I've been pitiful long enough. *LOL* Now, on to my current WIP: an entrelac beret! I'm knitting it from some yarn I bought at The Exchange Place during the Fall Folk Arts Festival last year. It's Lambs Pride, hand-dyed with daisy fleabane. The color is probably not a good one for me with my coloring, but I don't care. I love it, and plan to wear it. :-) Right now my only concern is that I still have a few rows left, and NOT MUCH YARN!! Keep your fingers crossed that I have enough to finish, because there is absolutely no hope of getting more! Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

For the Wombat

My adorable grandson (AKA "Wombat") is coming to visit me at the end of the month, and I'm so excited!  I've knit a blanket for him, and these two toys have now been added to his stash.
The ball is the "Little Ball" pattern from the OddKnit website.  There are so many interesting things there!  I want to knit the eyeballs sometime before Halloween.  *LOL*  The pattern is written for DK yarn, but I used bulky, making it a larger ball.  It's about the size of a softball, which should be fine.
The caterpillar is the Cuddly Caterpillar pattern on the Lion Brand Yarn site.  Both were fun knits, and time well spent.
I'm battling a vile sinus infection and finally had to go to the doctor today to get antibiotics.  I don't like taking antibiotics; but I like sinus infections even less.  *sigh*
The weather here is rainy and gray.....this is expected to change to snow overnight, so we'll see what happens.  The doctor said I shouldn't go back to work until Thursday, so I might get in some knitting time tomorrow even if it doesn't snow.  :-)
Be well, fellow knitsters, and may Spring come soon!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Virtual Sit 'n Knit?

Well, that mobius scarf I mentioned in my last post didn't work out as planned.  I actually knit it, and it was so atrocious that I immediately frogged it.  I suspect I didn't knit it properly, but was out of love with it by the end and didn't investigate further.  The yarn has been rewound into a neat little yarn cake awaiting my decision on what it will transform into next.  :-)

In the meantime I finished Mom's "Sweeney Todd Scarf" and one of those Sashay scarves for a friend at work.  The Sashay scarf actually wound up being crocheted; here's how that happened:

My friend came in wearing a multi-pink Sashay scarf that had been made for her by a cousin.  When I complimented her on it, she said that the scarf was MUCH too long.  As it turned out, it was twice as long as she wanted it.  So, I picked up my office shears from the desk and we cut it in half.  *LOL*  I tied off the end, and she was quite happy with the results.  I told her I'd take the remaining tail home and knit up a second scarf with it.

When I completed knitting it, it was unfortunately too short.  The knitting method I use to make the Sashay scarf makes a full, fluffy scarf, but uses more of the yarn in each round, resulting in a shorter scarf.

So, I hopped on the internet and found a YouTube video that taught me the crochet method of making the Sashay scarf.  The first two videos I found didn't produce the result I wanted, but the third video worked like a charm.  I started working it up last night and will be able to finish it this evening.

I think my next project will be a knitted caterpillar for my grandson, who'll be coming to visit in about a month.  I just love being able to say that I'm going to knit something for my grandson.  :-)

When I logged into Blogger I noticed that the "Blogs I Follow" on my site still lists dear Knit Purl Gurl's site.  I just can't bring myself to remove it.  I went back and read a few of her last posts again and was struck by something she said in her post "What To Do When Your LYS Snubs You".  I'm very fortunate that my LYS is warm and inviting.  The only thing that keeps me from visiting it more often is that it's also expensive.  They have glorious high-quality yarns and needles, but sometimes I require cheap and servicable!

In her post, Knit Purl Gurl makes the point that "Knitters and crocheters can meet up virtually with a webcam, and join knit group in their jammies!"  A virtual sit 'n knit.....brilliant!  There are groups that meet at my LYS that I can join (and actually have in the past), but usually by the time I get away from the office I just want to go home.  I want my dinner, a warm shower, my comfy sweats, and my recliner.  Once I'm in the recliner, I'm ready to reach for the knitting basket that's always nearby.  The thoughts of going to my LYS, knitting awhile, and then driving home is just too tiring.

But a virtual sit 'n knit?  Where I could attend from my recliner, wearing my comfy sweats?  Now there's an idea I could get behind.  I'm going to be pretty busy in the next few weeks preparing for my family to visit from Australia (happy dance!), but maybe this summer I'll look into the possibility of joining a virtual gathering by webcam.  It's always good to commune with your fellow knitsters!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gleeful Tweed Baby Blanket

Last Wednesday night I cast on a "Gleeful Tweed Baby Blanket" (the pattern is on the Lion Brand Yarn website) using Stylecraft Life Chunky yarn I'd ordered from WEBS. I only knit a few rows on it that evening because I was really tired, but I wanted to see how it was going to work up. I was very happy with both the feel of the yarn and the simplicity of the pattern. It was fairly mindless knitting, and with the week I had, mindless was just what I needed! This afternoon I finished it, and am delighted with the results. I think I have enough of the yarn left over to knit myself a mobius cowl. I think I'll cast that on next. It's been a good weekend. Hope yours was, too!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Plain Vanilla Socks


I just bound off the "plain vanilla" socks I was knitting at the hospital, and thought you might like to see.  There's nothing cozier than handknit socks!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Knitting In High Stress Situations

Tuesday my Dad had back surgery.  Now this is not an uncommon occurance in the world.  Most men the same age as my Dad (79 last November) have had several hospital visits in their time.  But this was his very first hospital stay.

So, we were all understandably a bit on edge.  The repair that was planned involved two tiny incisions, and the surgeon was the same one who did my back repair a few years ago and did a great job with me.  That helped, of course.

The procedure went beautifully, and Dad did well.  But the surgical schedule was backed up badly on Tuesday.  He waited several hours longer than expected before surgery; he didn't go into the operating room until nearly six hours after we arrived at the hospital.  Then, because his procedure was finished so late he had to stay the night.  (He'd expected to go home after surgery.)

Needless to say, Mom and I spent a LOT of time in the waiting room with family and friends that day.  And it was slow going getting him released from the hospital the following day; we didn't get him home until 2:00 p.m.!

What kept me sane during all this waiting, wondering, and worrying?  My beloved sticks and string!  I didn't dare work on anything more complicated than "plain vanilla" socks, but keeping my hands busy kept me calm and collected.  I actually believe that Mom was able to deal with the situation better because I was calm.

It wasn't an experience I want to go through again soon, but Daddy's doing well, and I'm thankful for that.

I feel sorry for people who have to go through that without knitting in their hands!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Saturday At Last!

It's been a fairly exasperating, exhausting week; I'm always happy to see the weekend roll around, but it's particularly welcome this week!  I've been battling some sinus issues and a high level of stress at the office, so I found myself more tired than usual last night.  I actually fell asleep in the recliner and awoke at 4:00 a.m. with a vile migraine and a fever blister.  *ick*

I took migraine medication and treated my achy lip and started in on my SMHD (Saturday Morning Household Drudgery).  My energy level is suffering today, so I haven't finished my To-Do list.  But I had to take a break anyway.  I think it's time for a "Knittin', Netflix, and Nappin'" session.  *LOL*

Since I completed my mittens, I've been working a little on a couple of pairs of socks from my UFO pile.  One of them is a pair of plain vanilla socks that I've already turned the heel on and am working my way up the calf.  The other is a pair of Michigan Lake Shore socks that I'd laid asie just after starting the heel flap.  Today I want to complete the heel on those and start up the leg.  I wanted to have a couple of projects up to the "fairly mindless knitting" stage because my Dad's having back surgery Tuesday and I'll need something to knit in the waiting room that won't require me to pay a lot of attention.  Knitting is CRUCIAL to my ability to wait patiently in a situation like that.

I'm also waiting for a delivery from WEBS of yarn I've ordered to knit a blanket for my grandson.  He's coming to visit me in a few weeks, and I want him to have a blankie from me when he arrives.  *happy excited dance*

Well, time for a bit o' knittin' and a wee nap.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Cloisonee Completed!

Oh, what a fun project this was!  I will definitely knit this one again, just with a different yarn.  I love the way that the cuff looks so intricate, but the look is accomplished with an easy-to-learn stitch.  I'm so glad that I tried it, and so glad that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee wrote a pattern that was so easy to follow.  I'm currently trying to finish up some of my many UFOs; if not for that I'd cast on another pair of these this evening!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Loving Cloisonee, But Not The Yarn

I adore the Cloisonee pattern....I mean ADORE it!  The cuff makes it look like a really tricky knit, but it's easy to read, just challenging enough to keep me awake, and the finished product is just lovely.

But the yarn I'm using......well......I keep trying to think of a gentle way to say this, but for the first time I feel like Knit Picks really let me down.

I wish I'd started this project back when I bought the yarn (about a year ago), because if I had, I would have sent Knit Picks a whiny e-mail and they probably would have done something about it.  (Because their customer service has always been awesome.)

But, I waited so long that I wouldn't feel right about asking them for a refund now.  The yarn is lovely to hold, soft and comfortable in your hands.  But the number of breaks in it is just unspeakable.  They're not complete breaks, usually 3 out of 4 plys.  Just enough that I have to unknit enough stitches to leave myself enough of a tail to weave in, cut the remaining thread holding the yarn together, and start with a fresh length.

I've grumped and growled so much trying to get my second mitten knitted because of the gazillion ends I'm going to have to weave in when I'm finished with it.  Not to mention that I've unknit nearly as much as I've knit just because of the icky yarn.

Knit Picks' Swish Worsted?  Never again.  Lesson learned.  :-(

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A New Set of Mittens

We've had some truly weird weather in my little corner of the world in the past few weeks.  There have been temperature swings from one day to the next of 35 degrees F.  It's nuts.  One morning this week I left the apartment to go to work carrying a light jacket over my arm.  It was in the 60's and the air had a tropical sticky feel.  By that afternoon I was wishing I'd carried a much heavier jacket to the office....and a hat.....and a scarf.....and MITTENS!!

The next day involved bundling up to the max before going outside.  I poked around in my "scarf and mitten" drawer and was mortified to find that all my hand-knit mittens were in dreadful condition.  It's unbelievable; I'm a KNITTER and I don't own a decent pair of MITTENS??

So when I awoke this morning and looked in my UFO basket beside the recliner (I always knit for a little while on Saturday mornings.  It helps me get ready to face my household drudgery and keeps my downstairs neighbor from hating me for vacuuming and doing laundry too early on a weekend.  *LOL*), I thought "So maybe I need to knit mittens for myself instead of working on this stuff this morning."

I'd purchased the Yarn Harlot's "Cloisonee" pattern a year ago along with some Knit Picks "Swish" worsted specifically intended for knitting myself mittens, but for some reason had never knitted them.  So today is the day.

I admit to a bit of trepidation; I've never knit a pattern by a knitter as accomplished as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  I hope I have enough skills.  I'm getting ready to cast on, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Knitting in Waiting Rooms

This morning I had to run by the lab on my way to work to have some blood drawn for my regular checkup next week.  Like a lot of knitters, I keep a "go bag" near the front door with a small knitting project to take along when I leave the apartment.

My current "go bag" project is a pair of plain vanilla socks (3:1 rib, toe up, slipped stitch heel) that I can knit without looking at a pattern.  (Well, except for the heel....I always carry a cheat sheet on an index card that gives instructions for my favorite heel!)

When I arrived at the lab, I checked in with the receptionist and settled into a chair in the waiting room.  I pulled my knitting from my little bag and began knitting happily.  Within a few minutes, the waiting room began to fill with other patients.  I noticed they began to fidgit and sigh heavily after a few minutes more.  I continued to knit, comforted by the repetitive motion, the light click of the needles, and the feel of wool in my hands.

Later, as I was driving to the office, I realized that I no longer mind waiting for appointments.  In fact, if I get called in earlier than my appointed time I'm mildly disappointed.  I feel as though I've been robbed of a bit of knitting time.

Last May I slipped while hiking and broke my leg.  Mom still tells the story that when she and Daddy took me to the local Urgent Care center, I knitted while waiting to be examined.  She was stunned that I could concentrate enough to knit while in that much pain.

She's not a knitter, so she doesn't understand that knitting was probably the only reason I was able to bear the pain as well as I did.

How does knitting work this magic?  I can't speak for others, of course, but as for myself I believe it helps me center my thoughts.  As I knit and purl I feel a sense of calm serenity.  In fact, it's not unusual for me to doze off while knitting in my recliner at home.

Sure hope that never happens in a waiting room!  *LOL*

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy New Year!

And so I finally have gotten around to blogging.....I've become such a slug about this that it's downright ridiculous!!  I just saw that my KnitMeter said that "I haven't knit any this year."  That, of course, is simply not true.  I'm just way behind in posting my projects to the KnitMeter.  And I don't even want to think about how far behind I am on Ravelry.

I didn't make any New Year's resolutions this year, but I'm going to promise myself to make an effort to blog more regularly.  I enjoy blogging; I think I'm just out of the habit!

And so....I'm off to try to remember what I've been knitting and get that posted to KnitMeter before my lunch break ends.  :-)

Have a great week, Knitsters!