Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Count Down

I have 4 family Christmas events next week starting Sunday. I should be in panic mode because I haven't finished shopping by a long shot. I need to give up working-it's getting in the way. We've had several snow falls in the past 2 weeks and that has caused delays. Our old standby department store in the next town, which always has what no one else does won't be selling (oops, almost said the brand name and that won't fly) product X any more because company X feels the store is too small to sell their product. Never mind the product has been sold there for probably the last 75 years. The store is 125 years old. It's one of the last family owned department stores allowed to exist among the BIGGER non-mentionable retail facilities of it's caliber. A bit upper crusty but like I said, it has what the others don't.

Sunday's event is the older sister and companion traveling from Vermont. I'm serving Sauerbraten. Never made it before but my friend Alton Brown on the Food Network is helping me by allowing me to download his recipe. Christmas day will be mom and me and the boys. Nice and quiet, well as quiet as these 2 cats can be. Thursday the younger sister and her daughter will arrive from NJ. Her husband will arrive late Friday. An extended family party is being held on Saturday. Ham for the Friday event. Shepards Pie for Saturday's pot luck event.

Beau can't wait. He'll hide.Andrew can't wait. He'll hide. These kitties just don't care for alien life forms. There are times I'd like to hide with them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knitting Like A Mad Woman

Awhile back I told of a guernsey/ganseyish creation and this was the result.
Knit from the top down and very light weight. Araucania Natures Wool in a delicately variegated yellow. I had to dig around in WEBS warehouse section to get them(matching hanks). Well worth it and I think it's part of the fun. Mom liked it so much she wanted one--a bit different and red. We found ....

Cascade 220, a bit thicker material. I changed the cable for interest (my interest and I don't care for twin dressing with my mom, love her dearly but...just sayin.)Mmmmmm. I'll be borrowing this one. I've finished it since the pic but it's drying.

The boys helped put up the Christmas tree. Andrew made sure all the pieces were there.

Beau made sure I got all the pieces out of the box.

And made an inspection. He found it acceptable.

A nap was required afterward. I'm not sure what the cat-stacking was all about, there are other chairs to nap on.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Progress Report

No I still don't have pictures. I get up in the morning-it's dark, come home at night-it's dark. Weekends are flying by. I'm actually taking time off from work to go shopping. Then there's the impending doom of a collosal snow storm smacking us this afternoon. Everyone will be out to buy their prune juice and toilet paper because they'll be housebound for something like 24 hours! You might think we were back in grandma's time when roads were impassible for days and days. Silly really. They canceled school before a snowdrop has fallen. I could launch into one of those stories that our parents and grandparents unloaded on us about "when I was in school", blah, blah, blah. But it's true and probably why today's hysteria over snow sounds so ridiculous.
It's Thursday so the Hall is peaceful. I can actually get stuff done.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men

Warm the Children donations on the clothesline in the Hall. The five hats to the right are some of mine. Pompom credit goes to mom. She's my official pompom/tassel maker.

Survival Center contributions of clothing and food. Things just magically appear, must be the season.
I had pics of WIP but it was nasty. I don't seem to get enough daylight to get a good shot. The top front and back are almost complete. It's starting to look like something!
Today I am wearing my pinwheel sweater. Wendy is making great progress on her version. Go see! You'll have to scroll down to 12/5/07 entry.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

While Visions of Sugarplums Dance in Their Heads

I doubt its sugarplums, more in the line of what naughty thing they can do next.
The holiday gift knitting is coming along. The holiday shopping is not.

Andrew has the right idea....

Beau has the right idea...(he was sitting up and just leaned over, the ultimate nap attack.)
My sister and I never got along this well. These two give each other facials. Interesting technique. I'm an esthetician and I've never given my sister a facial. When I do give facials I'm a bit more traditional than this.
I'd load up a pic of the w.i.p. but it doesn't look like anything yet. Stay tuned.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Where's October?

It's the end of November and I haven't posted a thing! I really suck at this. I have knit so much stuff I can't remember it all from the last post. We have sweaters, hats, more hats (it's Warm the Children time). Socks. And get this, I won $25 from WEBS for using my canvas WEBS bag for my purchases! Best mail I ever received. Ranked higher than the refund check from my mortgage company. I thought the certificate was going to burn a hole in my wallet if I didn't get to WEBS and SPEND it. I spent way over the certificate amount, of course. Mom has requested a red sweater like the yellow-oh, ah--yeah, it's one of the ones I've made since the last post and unfortunately I don't have the camera to down load the pic. Sorry. It's gansey/guernsey-ish. Cables and heavier stitches on the top sections and plain stockinette on the lower sections of body and sleeves. I put my own twist on the finishing bits. Make note to self, find the camera!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Feel Like I'm In Slo-MO

My current project, top- down- set- in- sleeve- boxy- mock- turtleneck-points & bobbles edges - pullover was progressing at break-neck speed until I got to the finishing. The points and bobbles are taking hours and hours. They're just little triangle sections with 3 bobbles at the point. My impatience is not enjoying this part of the project. It's moving too slow. What am I in such a hurry for? Beats me. The back of my brain keeps telling me it doesn't like the material. It's a Cascade Bollocine wool/acrylic mix. Yes, I said the "A" word, get over it. I've done one other project with this product and it draped and behaved great. I've learned from past experience to not make judgement calls until after its blocked. Maybe it's the weather. September in Western Massachusetts does not usually coincide with close to 90 degree weather. Summer, you had your chance and you cooked us enough with your heat and humidity. The Autumnal Equinox has passed. It's harvest time. Warm breezy days and nippy nights-that's proper-now DO IT!
For those of you in the Western Mass area-don't forget Fiber Twist later in October.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The End of Summer

The gladiolias are here. The frosts we've had this past week are bringing an end to the garden.
Andrew is just plum tuckered out from being outside.
And the poncho is finished! Of course, now it's warming up again--but I'll be ready!
On the needles is a pattern from Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge. A cutie with bobbled edges. My version will be a bit longer as I am past the "Flash my belly" phase.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Haven't Had Time to Blog.....

I've been knitting.

First, Marl denim merino crew for mom...shhhhhh, it's for Christmas

Merino Mock Turtle with Baby Cables for me, extra long
Below is a Shelly Mackie design. I made the shoulder span a bit too wide but will definitely do again. Here it is short...
and the backFlip it upside down and it's long (and blurry)
and the back
I had fun making this one. It's Araucania Natures wool in a green pear colorway, variegated. Good to know my crocheting skills are still viable.

I also managed a pair of socks with Baby Cable rib. Lana Grossa Mega Boot Stretch I believe.

On the needles is a red poncho (what is this thing I have with ponchos-love them) of Araucania Natures Wool Chunky. Hopefully it won't take months to get that blogged! And I'm counting on New England getting out of this stupid heat wave.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lace or Not

I FINALLY started my lace project. I took the photo below.
I messed it up on the next row. Easy fix right? Just tic back a row and try it again. Oh, no my friends. No. And sorry about the blurriness. My camera doesn't do upclose well. So I calmly put the lace away. It's supposed to be Print o'Wave that Eunny offers on her site. Maybe I'm not cut out for delicate knits. This is the third lace project I've tried. Beau says: Will you finish ripping that out so you can play with me? I'm bored.

Monday, July 16, 2007

When We Were Young

I was blog surfing and stopped to read Yarn Harlot today. She has a "No TV" rule that I thought all parents had abandoned after I grew up. Bless the Harlot. It got me to thinking what I used to do when TV ban was in place when I was younger. My best friend and I would get on our bikes, stop and pick wild berries, eat most of them, take the rest to one of our homes and bake something with our booty and clean up the kitchen because that was the rule. Some arts and crafty thing would be done. Her mom would buy "cooler" craft projects like toxic plastic dipping stuff that you made flowers out of, I think it was called Dip It. Her mom was a scout leader so she knew lots of natural crafty projects too. In fact, I still have a little cat sculpture made of a spikey material for a body and pine cone petal ears and feet. It used to have a twirly grapevine tail but that fell off years ago. It's full of dust because you can't dust the spikey thing--ahem, I'm getting off track. These are things we did because "we had nothing to do" (insert whine here). And we LIVED and now I look back and wish I could hop on my bike and go to S's house and do it again. We don't live in the same area as we grew up, in fact, she lives in another state/world. We didn't wear helmets while riding our bikes. Got in plenty of accidents. Didn't blame anyone but ourselves and laughed more than we ever do today. We get together and still laugh and for a little while go back to being 10 except now we could care less about TV.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Not So Beautiful Weather

Hot, Hot I say. So Hot I don't want to leave my cool office and go home to NO A/C. Let's see, it's 97 degrees, that's 36C which to us crazy Americans sounds much cooler but the Yarn Harlot assures us it's not. She got a new stove. Toys, toys, toys.
Yeh, this weather just proves I would make a terrible Southern Belle. Too much whining that it's HOT!
I'm supposed to be knitting lace but I have never charted before and I detest having to follow patterns row by row. I've got the new Addi lace needles, have the wool, now I just need the determination. I mastered a top down set in sleeve pullover--I CAN DO THIS. Maybe tomorrow, if it's cooler.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Beautiful Weekend...Weather-wise

Sunny days, breezy gorgeous weather.
Sadly, we lost a historical section of a factory to fire. On the good side, no one was hurt, including fire personnel working on the blaze for the last 3 days. The fire doesn't want to go out. It made the news in Boston so it thinks it's BIG TIME. The factory, at one time back in the 1700-1800's made cutlery, then fine paper (ya know, the kind you make money out of). Old brick structure with style. When have you seen that lately.
Anyway, may I present cotton/silk tunic!

Great to throw on over a tank top and jeans or capris. Top down, drop shoulder construction. Front slit, side vents, bell sleeves. One change, hook and eye at the top of the front slit to keep it from falling off my shoulders because you know, the laws of cotton are to stretch as soon as you wear it. Love it.

Artful Yarns Fable-6 hanks, WEBS (a bargain out of Grandpa's Garage at $3.79/hank)

40"finished tapered to 38 at hips

Color: chamois, lime, salmony-pink

Friday, May 25, 2007

Knittin' & Kittens

Here's the Knittin'.....

And here's the kittens...
Watermelon Shrug has become one of my favorite things to wear. The only design element I would tweak would be a more curved short row back. I'd definitely make another as soon as I forget how impatient I got with the 2x2 ribbing. Why do I keep putting it in my designs? Because it works!
Beau and Andrew look innocent enough here-believe me they're not. Curtain including rod came down last night (tension rod and no they weren't climbing the curtain, it touches the floor and they were playing amongst the hem.) My knitting has become a hunting item for them so it HAS to be put away, no leaving it on the couch even for a second. The brown sock above had to have major repair due to a chewing thru the working yarn. I love them just the same.
I have a tunic that I just finished of a cotton/silk blend from stash supply. As soon as I get a good shot of it I will show and tell.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's a Budget Thing

I payed the bills Sunday night. I got a reality slap Sunday night. It's funny how you just go along, happy, happy and then wham! ya figure out you have less to have fun with than you originally thought. Nobody likes to budget because it's always the fun stuff that gets cut first. Budget constraints during the Web's Anniversary Sale. How cruel is that?
These guys are fun and cute. They got a new toy from my friend G. It has catnip.

Can you tell?

Knitting with kittens is a challenge. Beau is fast as lightening and managed to chew threw the working yarn of my current project. (note to self: put knitting away when the little darlings are not going to be supervised.) Andrew will peacefully lie next to you and allow you to knit a project by yourself. Occasionally he will add kitty drool to the working yarn. Blech. They have their own balls of yarn but the yarn mom's using is always more interesting.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Little Reading

Since my budget is a bit strained I will have to

stay content with what the library sent home with me.

I think that will work.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In Process

Wacky weather here in New England but what else is new. It snows, it melts. The wind howls and blows dirt everywhere and the sun is so bright it makes you squint with sunglasses on. The maple sugarers(?) are upset because their yield is half what it should be. Tomorrow will bring some new crisis no doubt.

The main part of the shrug is done. Budget constraints have halted production. You see, the main bath is in process of redecorating complete with a new pedastal sink. Therefore rug, towels, walls all need new color. A little reconstruction has to be done to the wall where the old sink cabinet used to be. IT'S CUT INTO MY YARN BUDGET. It'll look great when I finish but I want my cake and yarn too! I'm breathing, breathing, breathing. Here's what I have-I know, I rarely show WIP pics.

The shrug is your basic top down raglan without the fronts. The sleeves are 3/4 length. (That reminds me of a saying in fashion that 3/4 sleeves are for people who can't make up their minds. Completely false I say!) Then I curved the back by short rowing. I'm not happy with the telltale marks but hoping that wash and block will "bloom" the yarn.It's a cotton blend so we'll see. The other little item is made of some mystery microfiber. All ribbons can be changed, even the bow on top. It's attached with a snap. A girl has to have choices!
Mom won't let me help her knit so I'll just nap beside her.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Last Snow

This is the result of a spring snowstorm. The picture doesn't do it justice. The clouds were dark and the snow coated all the branches. It was breathtaking. This happens to be a golf course believe it or not. Yes, it has an old fashion hay treader. It's the blurry thing in the middle.

My newest knitting project is completely summer and a little out of place with all this snow. Yes it's a shrug but that's all the info for now because to be quite honest I'm still making up the pattern in my head. Designing on the fly! I will say that it is going to be a whimsical piece.

Please excuse Beau, he had to take an emergency nap.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuesday's child is full of grace

Much better day at the Hall. No one tested my composure therefore I was able to be my professional self. Yesterday does not exist any longer.
I also forgot to mention that I started a baby sweater/hat and if I'd take more pictures of knitting and less of cute kittens---oooo they are just so adorable. Oh phooey, they're only babies for a short time, the knitting will always be there.
If you haven't already go see the Yarn Harlot for her update on the NYC trip, wish I could have been there.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Good Thing Monday Only Comes Once A Week

There must be an unwritten by-law that if your an angry citizen you MUST be condescending, nasty, rude, and juvenile (no matter what your age or wealth, though I have found the more money they have the worst they are. Why not, they're used to everyone doing what they want when they want.) to the first person you come in contact with at the Town Hall whether that person has anything to do with your problem or has any authority to do something about it. NEVER take your grievance to someone who can actually answer your question or quell your misguided anger. No. Dump it on the Secretary. It hasn't been a pleasant day.
But, I have this to go home to....

These fine young gentlemen are so sweet and very rambunctious! They purr when I get home--that's always nice.

I finished the, the...I don't have a name for this sweater. Huh! But, as you can see I do have a new toy. Dress Maker's mannequin. She looks great in the sweater.

Now I'm stuck for a project. WEBS doesn't have the Addi Lace needles in yet and socks don't count. I do have a coral cotton yarn marinating in my stash. Well, actually it was a Shapely Tank from last summer that was frogged. I'm still thinking shrug. I saw one this weekend in an all over lace pattern using a sport/dk weight and it peaked my interest. I'll have to give it more thought. I'll just wait until Tuesday and see how it goes....
Andrew says.....
Just laugh mom! It's all good!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Meet My Boys

Here they are, Beaux (orange) and Andrew (dark)
I couldn't wait until Wednesday.

Aren't they cute?
And so much more fun than......

Monday, March 19, 2007

k2p2 k2p2

Rib, Rib Rib
It's never taken so long. I'd post a pic but it's just k2p2 ribbing on the body. I still have to do the turtleneck. The next project will have NO RIBBING in it. I'm thinking an aran shrug. Yeah, yeah, I know I said no more shrugs but I've got this idea in my head......
The exciting news is the arrival of 2 kittens this week. I've made arrangements to pick them up Wednesday and I can't wait. The nursery is ready. I loved my older cats dearly but it's time for some excitement that only kittens can bring. I'll be sure to post pictures. Until then it's k2p2, k2p2.....

Monday, March 12, 2007

You CAN Do It!

I have been reading how to do this for years but my brain would not understand how it worked. I finally just decided to go for it. Barbara G. Walker has walked me through it like the genius she is. Top down with set in sleeves knit all at once. No seperate body and armholes and sleeves to sew in because you know precious hates to sew in stuff. Bam! And you know what? It. Fits.

One thing I want you to notice...see the pooling on the left side?(it will be on the right side when wearing it) That's not supposed to happen when you USE TWO OR THREE SEPERATE BALLS OF VARIEGATED YARN BUT THERE IT IS! I don't mind it a bit. So much for doing it by "the rules." And yes, there's a huge difference in color between skeins.
Like night and day and that's what I love about hand dyed. I'm going to do a 2x2 rib from the underarm down on the body and from the elbow down on the sleeves. And same turtleneck. I hope the weather stays cool enough to wear it! Got up to 50 this weekend. Downright HOT.

Friday, March 09, 2007

What to Wear, What to Wear

Here we have it. And this is an old photo as you can see by the date in the lower right corner.

The two sweaters are Nature's Wool and the poncho is an Alpaca blend who's originator escapes me. Love it but does that baby shed! It's light, soft and fuzzy...I have made an interesting discovery. The poncho is no heavier than the two sweaters but it never fails, I wear the poncho all day, as I would the sweaters and at least one person will ask me if I'm cold. I reply "no" then chuckle because they just assume that the poncho is outerwear? Maybe it's the fuzzy feature, yeh, that may translate as heavy. We'll go with that.
So I have the Top Down Raglan style down, time to try something new. Currently on the big project needles is a Top Down Set In Sleeve all at once pullover. Nature's Wool again in a light blue to teal and THIS time I am working with two balls at once to avoid variances in color which is inevitable with varigated hand dyed. Just ask Purling Swine. She knows. I have the fortune of living close to WEBS and can spread hanks out on the floor to get the closest match. Those ordering on line do not.
Of course there are several socks in progress, the pocketbook traveling sock and the living room basket socks. I also bought lace weight yarn and am gathering the courage for my first "real" lace project.
So as long as this Arctic Blast lasts in western Massachusetts I have plenty to keep me warm. Time to start working on spring/summer items.....
What's that? What about the long cardi? Eh hem. Let me just say, if I think the yarn is ugly as a hank, no amount of knitting talent changes that fact and put it back on the shelf. We call it the "Ugly Sweater". I love the sweater style and fit and I may get brave enough to photo it for y'all, but this baby ain't leaving the interior of the house. Lesson learned there folks.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monthly Update

Hi all! Have I got knitting to show you. Two pullovers, a poncho and another long cardi on the needles. I'ze been busy! Knitting only, because the house looks like a mess. Had a 90 year old pipe from the kitchen "fail" in the cellar. Yes, water all over the Christmas decorations, lovely. No, no, it didn't freeze, just decided to develop a dime size hole. The cellar entry way has been painted a very perky lime green. Takes the dreary out of going down there. White woodwork and touches of red that really pop. Now with that new pipe it's a happening space. ; P
I promise to load pics soon.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Must Be Another Holiday

I'm blogging, therefore it must be another holiday. I wish the day were brighter as I have been knitting my little heart out. There are XXL Trekking socks everywhere, I bought all the colors that WEBS had and am impatiently waiting for them to get the spring colors. I have--oh heck, wait a minute I'll take less than satifactory picture. A group picture of my Jazz cardigan, an Araucania V-neck pullover and socks. One of the socks is a Regia charcoal grey with Feather & Fan cuff and a picot edge finish. On the blocking table is another Araucania crew neck pullover in variegated greens, I call it Fern, maybe a pic of that on, let's see, what's the next holiday--Memorial Day in May. Well, maybe I can come up with something before then. I have two more Trekking socks in progress. One is in my purse and the other is in the knitting basket. Well, actually it's in my lap as I type. I have been following the Blue Moon situation and find it utterly amazing. You go girls.
Ah, here we go. May I present my current FO's?

Sorry about the flash but it's much to grey and gloomy to get a good natural light pic. You're not getting any of the detail though I must say from my monitor the colors aren't that far off. The V-neck has a cuff and lower body design of a modified Honeycomb pattern I found in Barbara Walkers Treasury of Knitting patterns that I received for Christmas. The Jazz has Feather & Fan design and has received many compliments. Both articles were knit from the top down. The Araucania is 100%wool and very lightweight compared to the Jazz which is alpaca.
And that 's what I've been up to. And yes, all the socks have mates.