Still Here

Though I have not been posting, I am still knitting.  After my last post, Bike Man was diagnosed with macular degeneration in his left eye.  This was followed by the decision to retire, finding a place to live in another town, then moving.  There have been many adjustments and some are still ongoing.  I promise I will re-enter the world of blogging soon along with pictures to show my progress.  Below is the Valpuri Sweater from Berroco I need to block and construct, now that it has been finished for four months!  The yarn is a cotton-silk blend and I added extra cables down the sides, front and back, to slow down the growth I expect from the cotton.

take care and have fun,

Image

Live Oak Shawlette Is Finished!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It’s a little foggy outside and the weather is cool but I’m enjoying the day regardless.

It is finished!  I finished my Live Oak Shawlette last Friday, blocked it and wore it to church on Sunday.  I love the way it feels and looks.  The pattern called for sock yarn but the sock yarn I had wasn’t something I wanted to use so I went browsing through my stash and came up with the Schulana  Mosco.  I don’t think it’s as stretchy as the sock yarn would be.  It received a lot of compliments.   And, at this size it can also be worn as a scarf around my neck.  I Love It!!

Live Oak Shawlette being blocked.

Wearing the shawlette to church.

At the moment, I am wandering around touching my yarn, browsing through patterns but I have not cast on anything new.  I am not sure what I want to do next.  My daughter wants a hat “that fits.”  She thinks the Habitat Hat is too big.  And she wants something knitted in lavender/purple.  That will probably be what I knit next.  I will let you know what she decides.  I wish I could show you a picture of her wearing it but those pictures are in my “dead” computer.

take care,

Starting Over……Or Picking Up Where I Left Off

Starting over.  It can be a good thing or something not so good.  Starting over and ridding oneself of all the extra stuff that is accumulated over time can be cleansing and liberating.    It is the time to refocus…to reprioritize…to figure out what is important and what can be given away. What once seemed precious is now discarded. And the materials for those projects that were going to be worked on “some day?”  Well, as I have grown older, I realize that some of those projects are never going to be completed, much less get started.  So, out they go to charity or to someone who will complete them.  That is really a good feeling to not feel the pressure to get it done.

Starting over.   It is a good thing.   Thank you for patiently waiting for this post.

Blue Ribbons

The County Fair is long over.  The midway is empty and quiet, and the rides are packed up and  in winter storage.  However…..the excitement remains that I won Best in Show blue ribbon in the Sweater category for the Central Park Hoodie I knitted last winter for my daughter!  I knitted it in Berroco’s Vintage, a worsted weight, wool blend yarn, she choose at the Memory Hagler Knitting Shop in Birmingham.  I used buttons found in a Button Jar at a close friend’s house.  They are perfect for the grey yarn and she had just the right number needed.  It was meant to be!

Central Park Hoodie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


In another category, the Charlotte Raglan Tee earned a blue ribbon, too! I called this my Tornado Tee as I started it on April 27th, a terrible day in Alabama’s weather history when so many lives were lost; and from which people are still recovering.  It’s knitted in Lily Chin’s Chelsea.  On a spur of the moment impulse, I entered a yellow Peaches and Cream soap bag and it won a blue ribbon in its category!  The woolen Habitat Hat and the Angora Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf also won ribbons.  My daughter knitted a slipstitch scarf that won a blue ribbon in the Junior knitting category!  Just as exciting was the Best in Show blue ribbon for her delicious chocolate fudge in the Junior Baking Category!  She also won a blue ribbon for her sugar cookies and a red ribbon for her chocolate chip cookies.

Beemer

My life is far from being dull and routine.  The biggest event in the past month was my miniature schnauzer almost dying from undiagnosed diabetes.  Beemer was lethargic, vomiting and was practically skin and bones. When I left him at the vet’s we were not sure if he would survive the night.  But he did and after a weekend of IV fluids and monitoring blood levels I was able to take Beemer home Monday afternoon.  Right now I’m giving him eight units of insulin twice a day.   He does not have your typical schnauzer cut so we were not able to see that he had lost a lot of weight.  And he’s not your typical house dog.  In fact, the only time he wants to be inside is when it’s too cold or too hot.  So, we were not watching his water intake closely.

Today, Beemer is back to his usual sassy self, barking at passing white cars (my across-the-street-neighbor’s dog taught him to do that) and biting the tires of Bike Man’s motorcycle when he rides.

Beemer, the camera shy dog

Bike Man's restored vintage BMW bike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all the vet expenses, it’s a good thing I have a great friend who brought wonderful sock yarn when she came to visit for the Colorfest!  I had too much fun….. so much fun that I forgot to take pictures!

And speaking of pictures…..There’s another reason for my neglect in blogging.  My computer has died.  Died as in the screen fading to white then going black.  BLACK!  Nothing.  Zilch.  Zero.  All my pictures, all my partially written blog posts in Word, and  ALL my knitting pdf. files are unobtainable right now.  My Life is in that little, thin, black laptop.  Right now I’m writing to you from the Bike Man’s laptop and it’s just not the same.

But my knitting goes on.

The Toshiba Tecra's Guts

What To Expect

Moonglow Alpaca Farm

Live Oak Shawlette

Smocking

Mentone’s Farmer’s Market

Lookout Mountain Knitters

Gloves to match the Central Park Hoodie

A hat to match my Cable on the Side Mittens

Revamping Underway

Hi, everybody!  I’m still here but have technical difficulties as my laptop computer screen went white then faded to black…….  My hubby is a former computer programmer and has been all over the internet and back trying to figure out what happened.  His latest opinion as to what happened is that the mother board is gone.  I told him I don’t care I just want to be able to retrieve my documents and pictures. ESPECIALLY my pictures!   So.  I’m waiting for that to happen.  In the meantime, I’m using his laptop when I can.  I will have to re-take some pictures of my ribbon-winning entries in the county fair and my test-knit one-cable mittens.

I have continued to knit during this fiasco.  I knitted a hat to match my test knitted mittens and just yesterday finished gloves for my daughter to match her Central Park Hoodie!  And a local knit group I’m “hosting” is beginning to pick up new members!

Oh, yes.  Add to this mix, my miniature schnauzer almost died from undiagnosed diabetes. Beemer is fine now, up to his usual barking.  I’m giving him insulin shots twice a day.  It’s no big deal, I used to do this for my Nicki kitty 14 years ago.

My plan is to kick off a revamped and, hopefully, improved blog starting December 1.  This is something I have wanted to do so, as the saying goes, “There’s no time like the present.”

Enjoy your holiday this week giving thanks for all things, small and large, known and unknown.  I’m planning to enjoy turkey and my dressing, which my hubby said is better than his mother’s was!  My budding chef, aka known as The Teen-ager, wants to make a pumpkin pie for her daddy.

Until the 1st, be safe, have fun and take care.

County Fair Blue Ribbons!

All the judging is complete at the county fair and I will be bringing home some ribbons!  Talk about excitement and jumping up and down… I didn’t really but I felt like doing it.  But, I’m not the only one bringing home blue ribbons.  My teen-age daughter is bringing them home for her knitting AND baking!  I’m so proud of her.  We pick up our ribbons and prize money Sunday afternoon.  After I post pictures of the winner’s ribbons, it will be time to start planning for next year’s entries.  Any suggestions?

Dancing In the Car

Did you know that dancing in the car is not just for teen-agers?  It was a gorgeous day, unlike today with its overcast skies; the sky was blue and the temperature was just right.  I opened the sun roof, rolled down the windows and turned on the radio tuned to a Golden Oldies station.  Up went the volume and I started “dancing” and singing along to the tunes I listened to as a teen-ager and college student.  It was a great trip down the county road on my way to pick up my daughter from high school.  I’m sure that if she had been in the car she would have been mortified and would have slunk down in the seat, not wanting to be seen in the car with this crazy, eccentric woman she calls “Mama” who was rocking to the music.  At least, as much as one can while strapped in a car seat.  Oh, those were the days, truly.  But, no, I don’t want to go back.  I’m having more fun in the Now!

And that Now includes getting ready for the county fair which starts next week and I am getting ready my entries for the Knitting Division.  For the fair, I will confiscate the teen-ager’s # 13 Central Park Hoodie, by Heather Lodinsky, with my details of the CPH  here on Ravelry; and

The Teen-Ager's Central Park Hoodie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my Jared Flood Habitat Hat, which she wears more than I do and here are my details on Ravelry.

Her Habitat Cap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have recently completed the Charlotte Raglan Tee by Rosemary Drysdale, for Tahki Stacy Charles.  Here are my details on Ravelry:

My "Tornado Tee" also known as the Charlotte Raglan Tee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also ready to go is my version of the Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf by Heather Bagni for the Classic Elite Yarns Web-Letter, Issue 11, from October 3, 2007.

The Breast Cancer Awareness Scarf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I did not submit any entries last year.  After a feather-and-fan scarf won first place, I thought I would submit my FOs this year.  Anything knitted within the past five years is eligible for entry.  I will let you know how I fare.  (No pun intended!)

Saturdays Mean Something, Again

During the summer when school is out and if you’re not working outside the home the days pretty much melt one into another,  especially here in the Deep South.  I get to sleep a little later in the summer and go to bed a little  way later than usual.  But school has been in session since August 8th which means early mornings and daily drives to and from high school.  So.  On Saturdays  I can sleep late.  But don’t count on it.  Between the 9th grader who likes to get up before the birds (she’s not mine, must be her daddy’s…) and cook breakfast. And because her daddy who thinks I’m wasting the day by being in bed, I am usually up no later than 7:30.  Oh, and let us not forget the cats who jump upon the bed and start making biscuits on your stomach while purring loud enough to register on the Richter Scale. Lately my daughter’s specialty is baking English Scones from scratch and they taste delicious, wonderful, and scrumptious.  She makes enough for me to nibble on what’s left all day long.  And for an extra special treat, sometimes she puts out the blackberry jam she made from blackberries she picked while on walks up and down the street in July.  Again, early morning walks.  I am usually still hanging onto my first cup of coffee and talking incoherently.  Unless I have something to knit, then I am alert, making sense when I talk and looking forward to that second and third cup of coffee,  And woe be to the person who wants me to stop and do something for him out in his bike shop. 😦  So maybe after Saturday morning, I will have something to show you in the way of that raglan sleeved sweater I am almost finished with.  Oh, so close.  But it has wool in it, blended with cotton and I am not that anxious to wear it when it is 95 degrees outside and when the car sits for two minutes, the thermometer registers 115 degrees F.!  It’s Labor Day Week-end; the trees are beginning to turn colors.  Let’s cool it off, please.  But, back when I was in high school, I got my second-worst sunburn lying out by the pool over Labor Day week-end.  The absolute worst sunburn I got came from my sorority’s week-end house-parties in March in Destin, Florida.  Not in May or June, but March!  Suffice it to say, I don’t tan very well.  But burn, that I do very well.  Besides knit.  And sleep.  And snuggle with my cats.

The Art Show was held this week-end in the Mentone Park among the trees.  That was a very good thing; as it was hot in the afternoon.  I took a few pictures of the vendors.

The Mentone Art Show among the trees.

One of the vendors was Beth Bailey aka The Original Scarf Lady, who takes yarns and strips of fabric and makes necklaces and hair clips.  She was generous and gave the Teen-ager one to wear in her hair.

The scarf and hair-clip designer with the Teen-ager. Sorry you cannot see the hair-clip very well.

I’m sorry you can’t really see it on her.  I took a picture to show you how nice it looks.

Hand made hair-clip using vintage fabric and yarns.

She may be reached at alabeth@aol.com.   Here is another picture of Beth wearing one of her scarves.

Beth Bradley wearing one of her scarves made from vintage fabrics and yarns.

I bought a pair of handmade earrings from Pam Nicholson of Napoleon’s Baubles.  She may be reached at spaigenicholson@gmail.com.  For the last couple of years I have this thing about wanting to wear handmade earrings.  I love them, they are beautiful.  I was going back to another vendor to get a pair of earrings made from melted glass which were gorgeous.  However.

I never made it back to the art show as it was supposed to last two more days but Tropical Storm Lee interfered with a lot of people’s plans.  On  Sunday, the power was out from 2:30 p.m. (with the last sheet of macadamia and white chocolate chip cookies left in the oven) until 12:15 a.m.  We were very fortunate compared to other people in town.  Down the street there are several trees down, two of which fell on the same house.  When high winds are combined with saturated ground, you get trees falling over.   And my thoughts and prayers are for those who are really suffering from the effects of floods and power outages and tornadoes.

One more thing about Saturdays in the fall:  FOOTBALL!!!  Southeastern Conference Football!!!  In my house the Auburn and Alabama games are evenly supported until THE GAME.  Then we watch it from opposite sides of the room.  But preferably in separate rooms.  Now, having said all this with such emphasis I can not tell you who Auburn is playing this week-end.  After all, it is just a game.

My current WIP is the Garterlac Dishcloth.  I’ve frogged it twice and in frustration went back to the Ravelry site and a tutorial was offered.  Due to the power outage I did not get to work on it any yesterday.

Twice frogged Garterlac washcloth

I still have not seamed the raglan sleeved sweater.  After all, there was no power and it is hard to seam dark blue in the semi-darkness.

Cable On the Sides Mitten Pattern Review

This is the first time I have test-knitted a pattern and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  The pattern was well written and it was easy to follow the instructions.  I used Lion Brand Wool Ease and bamboo double points.  The next time I make these using this yarn, I will switch to metal dps.  A remarkable thing about these mittens is that they can be worn or either hand!  At first I thought the instructions for the second mitten had been left out then a friend tried the first mitten on both hands and Voila!  This may be a common practice but this is the first pair of mittens I have knitted and did not know any better.  It looks complicated but it is a simple pattern and easy and quick to knit.  I received compliments when I showed them to friends.  As I have an extra skein of the Wood Ease yarn I plan to make a matching cap using her cable pattern – giving the designer due credit, of course.  Again, it is a great pattern and I will definitely use it again when a quick gift is needed for a friend.

Cable On The Side Mittens

 

Cozy Mittens for the winter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to knit a pair for yourself or a friend, the Cable On the Side Mittens pattern is available at Knit Picks.

Finally Finished A Sweater

I want to thank everyone who drops by and reads my blog.  I appreciate each and every one of you.  In reviewing my posts made over the summer, I’ve noticed that I’ve written more about events that are going on here in my new home town than I have about what I am knitting.  I really have not done a lot of knitting as most of my time has been spent unpacking and trying to settle in. There is so much to do here and it’s a destination for many summer and autumn vacationers.    It seems there is at least one big event planned for each summer month.  Over the Labor Day week-end an art show is planned. http://www.mentonearts.org/EVENTS.html#anchor_46 

In October there is the big Autumn Colorfest.  http://mentoneareapreservationassociation.com/colorfest.asp This brings people from far and wide to check out the vendors, artists and whatever else is going on.  It would be neat to have a vendor’s site next year with all my knitting.  See!  I did it again.  Blogging about something other than my knitting.

Starting September 1st, I’m hosting a knitting group that will meet in the community center  behind the library.  Currently, plans are to meet every Thursday at 10:00.   There is a local newspaper and the editor is running a notice for me.  The purpose is to get together and share WIPs and FOs and hopefully to learn new tricks and new techniques.  I, for one, want to learn how to knit Fair Isle and double stitching.  I feel sure I can do it but this summer have wanted to knit projects that worked up fairly quick and finish two that were started in the spring. Also, I would like to learn how to crochet beyond an edge around the neck or bottom of a sleeve.

I have been working to finish two sweaters and test-knit mittens.

The finally finished sweater.

I am so glad this sweater is finished before summer's end!

 

 

 

 

 

 

One sweater is finished and I wore it to church last Sunday.  I was not going to  brag  tell anyone  that I had made it but Bike Man was the one who told everyone.  Have I ever mentioned his hobby of restoring vintage BMW motorbikes?  He has more bike parts lying around than I have skeins of yarn. Right now there are two bike springs in a magazine rack on top of my knitting magazines.  That is why he does not complain about my stash – he better not.

One sleeve is already sewn to the sweater back.

Ready to sew the raglan sleeve to the sweater front.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Cable Mitten in Wool-Ease

I will post pictures and comments on these mittens very soon.  I had to frog and redo the one that is pictured.  If you will notice, the cable is backwards. Silly me!

 

 

 

Speaking of wanting to knit quick projects, the county fair is coming up and I want to submit a few FOs.  Last year’s winner knitted a scarf using a feather and fan pattern.  I could submit this raglan sleeved sweater in the sweater category and my Habitat cap in the “other” category.  Yes, it is really called “other.”

For a treat! This is Monkee who is three years old and absolutely loves living here!

 

In the future, look for posts about the four alpacas who live down the street from me with their owners; my finished sweaters; a review of the One Cable Mittens; and the progress of my county fair projects.  Until then, take care.