Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Two More

Older child/small adult and small child. These will go to the Eveline Rivers Christmas Project.

Identify the Object and its Use

I found this in an obscure corner to which it was banished many years ago. I will say that when I graduated from high school, I received a really nice graduation gift of a fancy laundry bag and one of these items, handpainted with a floral design.
Anyone remember what this was used for?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Swim in the Frog Pond!!!!!!!

I knitted happily on the Wonderful Wallaby this morning and this afternoon. The cables that I had adapted for the decrease lines worked beautifully, and I was very pleased. I was perhaps halfway done with the yoke on the sweater when I decided something looked wonky. It was. I had fused the top part of the pocket crookedly. There was nothing to do (I tried, believe me.) except frog the sweater all the way back to that point. At least I was able to salvage the sleeves so that I don't have to reknit them, but I will have to do about 9" of the body again, plus all the work I did on the yoke today. Next time, I will measure more carefully!

Because someone asked about this last night, I checked on line and found a class project that my English classes did a few years ago is still available for viewing. I thought some of you might be interested. Here is the link.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sweater Progress and a Wonderful Weekend

I had half-expected retirement days to just fly by, but compared to a life run by bells and schedules, my days have a more leisurely pace, which is welcome. However, yesterday was a real reminder of how fast time flies. We were in the nearby city where both our children and their families live, and we all went out to eat. We had been to this restaurant before, but this time we no longer had anyone in a high chair, so there was not room at the table for all of us. It ended up with the adults and the two 3-year-olds at the big table and the two 7-year-olds in their own booth! Independence! And I am proud to say that the older two behaved well. I foresee that they are going to be wanting that kind of arrangement from now on. Sigh! Just for the record, the 3s behaved very nicely, too, even though it was almost naptime. I cannot but reflect, however, how short the time seems since we were trying to find the spot to seat our own little ones.

Proof that the sleeves to the Wonderful Wallaby are knitted. I eschewed the looming of hats for the time being. My daughter was kind enough to deliver the blanket and hat set for me yesterday.

Now onward to the process of attaching the sleeves to the sweater body a la Zimmermann and moving on to the decreases for the yoke. I'm still planning cables, but I also have to begin before long on the seed stitch edging the front placket opening. I hope I can keep track. I used these "complications" to justify the purchase of this lovely row counter from the etsy shop of The Twice Sheared Sheep. I have changed my plans for the decrease row cables from the ones by Mason Dixon, which were actually increase-row cables, to the ones designed by Amy King for her pattern "Sprout." We'll see how they work out. I'm saving all that for tomorrow, though. Right now, I'm off to fold laundry and then I may cast on the loom for another hat!

Friday, September 24, 2010

These Are Addictive!

After looking at yesterday's baby hat and how cute it is, I remembered that I had yarn leftover from the as-yet-ungifted baby blanket destined for a late fall baby boy. Of course, I could not pass over the opportunity, right?
I did knit a couple of more inches on the sweater sleeve.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Old and New

Notice Sleeve Number One for the Wonderful Wallaby. Sleeve Number Two is already one inch above the ribbing, but it refused to pose with cuteness.
Now notice the hat, of which I am inordinately proud. I learned to knit when I was about 7 or 8 with needles and a houseshoe pattern. Occasionally over the years, I've tried to figure out a spool knitter or corker--you know, the thing that really little kids can do? Absolutely no luck. Admittedly I was going from written instructions, but I was still confused. I have a couple of totes full of odds and ends of yarn, and a charity project nearby has advertised for hats. I knew that I could not knit really fast hats on needles, but this looked like a good project. Then I got a coupon for Hobby Lobby. I ordered a set of the round looms. I think mine are Classic Knit instead of Knifty Knitters, but they are the same size. The looms came at lunchtime today. I dropped the sleeve, grabbed some Encore from my leftovers, and followed the well-illustrated wrapping instructions for a hat. You can see the results above, complete with a turned up brim. There is one not-quite-right spot, but it is under the brim, so I'm pretending it's not there. And, guess what? It dawned on me about halfway through that the 31 pegs were just like the spool knitter, just much bigger. When I finished the hat, I hunted up my expensive spool knitter--a lovely transparent green, bought with the theory that if I paid more I would figure it out. I didn't look at the instructions at all, just figured it out on my own and made the little knotted bit of I-cord perking up the top of the hat! It's neat learning something new, even if I do seem to be moving backwards in difficulty. While knitting this little cutie, I was thinking of some of the colors that I have and the combinations that I can perhaps make.
I knitted this while listening to a new Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley novel, at least newly available to my audio opportunity.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sweater Knitting Time Warp

I started this sweater on July 11, worked madly for a couple of evenings, and then took a break from it. At that point, I lacked two inches of length before I could put the underarms on holders and start the sleeves. Yesterday, I started knitting again, and I hit one of those times when you knit and knit and the progress is absolutely nil! It seemed to take forever to knit those last two inches. Tomorrow I will start the sleeves.
The yarn is Plymouth Encore in Mauvetone. This is Wonderful Wallaby #6 for the oldest granddaughter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Phinally Phinished and Photographed!

The color is hard to photograph indoors, but at least the design shows up. This is the finished blanket for a baby boy. It's about 38" square. The yarn is Hobby Lobby's I Love this Yarn Tweed in navy. I'm not sure if it is in the stores--I ordered it from their web site. I chose this particular brand for washability and softness, as well as its good-wearing qualities. The pattern is from Ravelry, but it is also available on the blog here. It's a great pattern. She has other wonderful baby blanket patterns on her blog as well. Take a look!

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness;
Close-bosomed friend of the maturing sun. . . .

This is about as close as we get to the autumn mist described by Keats, but the sunlight glows with the yellow tones of autumn. Silage-cutting is finished; the corn that will be cut for grain is standing in the field awaiting the combine; grain sorghum is ready as well; and the fields are being prepared to sow winter wheat.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Looky, Looky

I treated myself--

Two Namaste knitting bags, looking a bit squashed from traveling, but ready to go to work. The green bag is an Executive; the aqua blue, an Everyday. I am truly excited because these are the first official "knitting bags" that I have had. The insides are obviously designed to be really useful to a knitter. The Executive is already overstuffed with the baby blanket that is not quite finished. The blue bag is not yet loaded with the sweater that is going to go in it first. I like the colors, and I like the design and stay open features of both bags.

Actually, I have been on a little bit of a knitting holiday. We had all sorts of problems, beginning with a hard-to-find icemaker leak and then electrical trouble which blew a surge protector on the computer--luckily--and took our central air out for a couple of days and nights. As of last night, we are up and running again, but I'm still trying to get caught up on sleep.

I have also posted some new reading in the Shelfari sidebar. I am writing my opinions of the books, but I am not including a plot summary, since all you have to do is click and go to Shelfari for that information.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Good Day

This was a good day for several reasons:
  • I was back at the Women's Bible Study. My Kindle is still very convenient for that purpose.
  • Today was also the first meeting of the local Retired Teachers group for this year. I had a great time, and I learned some things I needed to know about services at our new local hospital. New building. I also had a great time visiting and learned that a raise in benefits is probably not coming--no surprise there.
  • I also learned that the Quilting Club that I'm attending beginning Thursday has a very loose definition. Knitting is acceptable. I actually have some very small patchwork projects to work on as well, but they are not yet ready to stitch, so I'll just work on the baby blanket and a sock on Thursday. I'm 63% through with the blanket at the moment.
  • While we have not found the source of the mysterious water leak under the laminate in the kitchen doorway, it is evidently not leaking now. We have checked the sink, the dishwasher, the icemaker line to the refrigerator, and the consdensation line. I am glad it has stopped, but it would be nice to know where it came from. At least we are not on a concrete slab, so if we need to get someone underneath to look, we can.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Kindle Book Review and Blanket

I just finished reading Map of Bones by James Rollins. I'll include it on the Shelfari list, but I wanted to mention it here because it is a really cheap Kindle download right now. At the risk of offending three authors, let me say that I found the book to be an enjoyable read because it combines aspects of Dan Brown and Clive Cussler, both of whom I enjoy. I did not say that I regard them as great literary figures, mind you--I am saying that they can be depended on for a good entertaining and sometimes thought-provoking romp through interesting places and interesting ideas. Inevitably, one or the other will send me to research something. That is good. If you enjoy either of these authors, you will probably like this Rollins book.

I am exactly 54% through with the baby blanket. If I figured that up, you know that I'm rather frustrated. The pattern is so easy that I keep losing my place in the count! On the other hand, my skills at dropping down several rows to change a K to a P or vice-versa have improved considerably. I was already pretty good at doing that in stockinette, but I have also improved my garter correction skills. Isn't it amazing how you can learn something from the easiest project? I had to correct several spots that needed help because the NASCAR race in Atlanta was more exciting than the blanket.

Have a good Labor Day, and give a thought to our fellow knitters in New Zealand. The conversation about the quake on Knitters Review has been interesting.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Progress on More than One Front and a Tip

First of all, I am exactly 1/2 way through with my knitted baby blanket. Perhaps I can have it finished in time for the shower, but, if not, it should be finished in plenty of time for the baby.

I am very slowly but surely making noticeable progress on getting my backlog of "things done" around the house.

Today, I also ventured out for the first time since getting sick a couple of weeks ago to do major grocery shopping. I survived just fine. Our small town store still seems baffled by anyone using reusable totes, but I suppose that will come with time. I went with a carefully organized list that includes meals for the next week. I had let some of my meal planning slide since I retired and since DH had been helping me with the shopping. Today I stuck to the list, and we should basically be set for the next couple of weeks except for milk, eggs, and fruit. I can't help feeling that I have really accomplished something. I will be glad to get my energy back. It's amazing how a couple of weeks of doing basically nothing can sap one's strength.

Tomorrow we will leave early to take a load of items in the pickup to DS and his family. These are things that wouldn't readily fit in their moving.

I enjoy listening to audiobooks while knitting or doing household tasks. Although I could download to my Blackberry or my Kindle, I find the little Sansa Clip or Clip+ to be ideal because it is so light that I can clip it to my clothes. Since I don't wear jeans, I often don't have a pocket. I have bought mine refurbished on ebay or, and I am very pleased with the value. Yes, I have more than one because I sometimes switch off with a friend. The cost of the audiobooks, however, is a problem. They tend to be more expensive than my budget allows, considering how fast I listen to them. Some of the librivox books are excellent, but others are not so good. I have a membership to for one book per month, but that doesn't last me long. Ripping CDs from my local library does not work well because of the labels that they use on the disks--a whole other story. The local library does have some OverDrive access, but choices are rather limited. Therefore, I would find myself giving in and buying a number of audiobooks from audible whenever they had a special and the books were about $5-7 each. Not bad. However, the audiobook group on Ravelry had posts about the Free Library of Philadelphia. A membership for someone out of state is only $15 per year, and the audiobook and ebook selection(also OverDrive) is fantastic. In addition, the checkout limit is 10. Believe me, when I was coughing so badly the last couple of weeks that I was trying to just lie in a recliner in a darkened room and drain, these books saved my sanity. Now I'm knitting to them.
If you like audiobooks at all, this would be a wise investment.

I also like my Kindle. Some books do not lend themselves to enjoyment as an audio book, at least not for me. I can check hardbacks out of my local library, but authors that publish in paperback first or who publish in those more expensive, non-mass market paperbacks, are a problem. I enjoy Kindle for that purpose. It is nice being able to change the font size if I wish and to carry such a light and handy device with me. I have not yet tried the voice mode, but I am sure that while it may be handy, it will not have the quality of satisfaction of some of my favorite audio readers like Will Patton and Dick Hill.