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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.

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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.

Transitions Lead to Drastic Changes

It’s been six weeks since I moved in the middle of June.  The only knitting I have put around my fingers is the two sweaters I started back in April.  What I really mean is that my yarn is still in plastic bins.  I can’t get to the stash for all the hard plastic.  And these bins are either stacked in the floor of the closet under my hanging clothes or around the bed in the extra bedroom and there’s even one bin still languishing in the far back corner of the rental storage unit.

Also in even more bins and boxes are fabrics and patterns and magazines related to my sewing hobby.  I have already made the decision to concentrate on the knitting as it’s more mobile, more creative in some ways, and I’m more sane when I knit than when I sew.  With sewing I am stuck by myself in the bedroom with the machine.  With knitting I can be all over the house, yard, town, even the county!  I discarded a lot of stuff during the move as I have reached the age where I know I am not “going to get to it, one day.”  Especially if I keep up this knitting.  Even with what I discarded, there is wwaaayyy too much left.  So, let’s get real.  I am not going to do anything with all that fabric. So what do I do with it all?  It definitely is not going to the garbage can to be picked up by the mean green machine on Tuesdays.  A good friend is active in the Homemakers club where I previously lived and I will cull out what I do not plan on using which will be about 75 percent of it.  I plan on keeping about two bins for myself.  She can have the rest.  What is really bothering me about all this excess is that I cannot get a grip on what I do have so I can create all these wonderful and beautiful things which are in my imagination.  And who wants to spend all morning searching for that particular yarn or piece of fabric?  And when it is found, you are mentally tired and want to move on to something else.

When all this material is sorted out, the first thing I will to do is to make a quilt from my mother’s house-dresses and remnants from the dresses I made my daughter when she was a baby and toddler.  Plus, there is fabric from dresses I cut out and never made for her.  Long before I was born, Mama made a quilt top using the Grandmother’s Fan pattern and that is what I will use as my pattern.  As you can see she used a yellow cotton broadcloth for the background but I think I will use a blue as that is the color I most associate with her.  Also, most of her dresses were predominately blue.  Perhaps I was unconsciously influenced by her when I picked the blue yarns for the two sweaters I just finished.

Mama's quilt top

 

 

 

 

 

 

Close up of Mama's quilt top

The First Time I Picked Up Knitting Needles

When I was little, one of my mother’s friends seemed to be able to do anything she set her mind to doing:  wallpapering, painting, sewing, and….knitting.  She probably crocheted, too, but I don’t remember her doing that.  I watched her knit and was fascinated by the things she made and I wanted to learn to do that.  I pestered Mother until she let me ask Ruby to teach me how to knit. I vaguely remember wanting to knit a sweater and that’s what she started me on – a sweater!  Not a scarf or scarves, not a washcloth, or even a hat but a whole sweater.  I remember it was a simple cardigan with 2×2 ribbing in a soft olive-green wool.  Mother bought the needles and yarn for me and I was on my way to knit;ing a sweater!  But….. I didn’t finish it.  However, I did complete the back but never knitted the front sides or the sleeves.  I remember seeing the back with bound off armholes and the neck stitches on a brass holder, stored in Mother’s double cedar closet; but after she died and we cleared out the house I didn’t find it in the closet.  When I think about when I learned to knit and how young I was, I am amazed that Ruby let me begin knitting on a sweater and not something simple like a garter stitch scarf.  Maybe that is why I am not intimidated by complicated designs or patterns considered advanced or needing experience; I was not told that I “could not do that.”  I am the same way when it comes to sewing.  The first piece of clothing I made after taking Singer sewing classes when I was 14 was a lined, wool, princess-seamed jumper with two pleats.  Daddy always told me to never say “I can’t.”

It has been a long while since that first almost-sweater.  These days I am finishing a second v-neck sweater.  I call it my “tornado” sweater since I started it back in April when the power was out from the tornadoes that hit a community two miles from where I lived at the time.  The back andthe front are finished and the sleeves are being knitted at the same times on circular needles.

"Double" knitting sleeves

This ‘double’ knitting is great in that when I finish a sleeve, they are both finished!

Sleeve for the Charlotte "tornado" tee shirt

Coco sitting on the back of the sweater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This photo was taken at the same time as the one above but with a different exposure.

 

 

 

 

I would love to complete the sweater in time to wear to a wedding this Saturday but it is a wool blend and the wedding is in downtown Chattanooga, in the middle of July, no less.  Maybe not.  I may wear the first v-neck sweater I finished earlier this summer a combination of linen and cotton, perfect for a hot, humid Southern afternoon.

Permanent Change of Scenery

In the middle of June my family moved from one mountain top to the neighboring mountain top, only this one is several hundred feet higher and the temperature is cooler. This will be our first holiday here and so far it’s been an interesting one.  There is an art festival being held in the center of the village (it’s too small to be called a town) which is at the beginning of the street where we live now.

This is the street in front of the house where I now live.

I love it here;  it’s quiet and there is a LOT of wildlife around close.  How close?  How about red-tailed hawks and deer in your back yard?  Not at the same time, of course.  And ticks, and granddaddy long leg spiders are in abundance.  When my cat, Monkee, comes in from gallivanting around, she has to be checked for ticks unless you want to find one on yourself later.  At least I have reached a point where I don’t screech and yell, “Get it off of me!”

My across the street neighbor has a bluebird box in their front yard and this week I have been enjoying watching the parents fly in and out of the nest.  I remember when sighting the bluebird became a rare occurrence because they were being decimated by the effects of DDT.  So it is a special thing for me to see the beautiful Eastern Bluebird so close.

The is the same street about a block away in the opposite direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For about three weeks while in the middle of moving I did not pick up anything to knit!  Unbelievable that I could go that long without knitting.  Since I began knitting obsessively about five years ago, I do not believe that I have gone that long without picking up my knitting needles.  What is interesting are the differences found in knitting my current two projects.  A simple ribbed tee-shirt is knit in the Plymouth Yarn Bella Colour, an aran weight cotton and acrylic blend which makes my right thumb sore and painful.   However, while knitting the Lily Chin Chelsea, a 5-ply sport weight blend of merino wool, cotton and acrylic does not cause any pain and soreness.  As a result, I’ve put away the PY yarn and am working to finish the Charlotte v-neck raglan tee-shirt designed by Rosemary Drysdale.  I am working on both sleeves as the same time using circular needles.  This way, once I finish one sleeve I will also be finishing the second sleeve and the sweater will be ready to block and seam!

This is what I left - the street in front of the house where I used to live

In the Mean Time

While I’ve been at a standstill over the short-row shoulders, I’ve been working the ruffle on the Latifa scarf from Knitty.com.  It’s a mindless knit that I can do without concentration.  I’ve timed how long it takes to do one ruffle and it’s just under 30 minutes. What takes so long is the bind off. At this rate, I have a few more hours of knitting.  I am enjoying thinking about my niece who will be the recipient at Christmas!

To Frog Or Not to Frog

I have a dilemma.  I found this yarn a few years ago on the Discontinued Name Brand Yarn site and when I saw it I knew I had to have it as it had all my favorite colors in it.  It’s Maiden by Wool in the Woods dyed by Cherry Tree Hill  in the color of Martha’s Vineyard.  I wanted a pattern that would be simple and not compete with the yarn.  The pattern Upside Down Scoop Neck Tee is perfect for this.  I swatched the yarn and had the correct gauge and after checking the yardage I had enough to knit the sweater with one ball left over.  However, something’s not right.  I have only two skeins left and I had planned on using one each for the sleeves and I’m not even finished with the sweater itself, not to mention that the neckband needs four rounds.  Another thing, I thought this would make a great summer sweater but about 10 rows below the neckline, I realized this would be too heavy for the summer unless I was in air-conditioning cold enough to be a meat locker.  The fabric is heavy and close-knit and I’m wondering if it’s too much to wear even for the Southern winter.  Something else to consider, I’ve lost a lot of weight since I started and it may not fit properly.  So the million-dollar question is this?  Do I frog it and try knitting it with larger needles in a smaller size, or mush on hoping I end up with enough yarn?  I cringe when I think of all the time spent on knitting this but my husband says to consider it occupational therapy.  Writing this helps me make a decision; I may just go ahead and frog it.  After I knit the Central Park Hoodie.

OK.  I tried on the sweater and it is several inches too big under the arms so……off the needles it goes.  Oh, well.