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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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.

I Didn’t Shop ‘til I Dropped

The first week-end in August was the annual World’s Longest Yard Sale.  It starts in Gadsden, Alabama, on Lookout Mountain and travels northward along the spine of the mountain and continues into Tennessee, and Kentucky, Ohio, and finally into Michigan.  I’m not sure how many miles that is, but as you can imagine, it’s a lot.  This is a 4-day event which takes place the first Thursday through Sunday in August but some vendors were set up as early as Monday!  This year was my first to experience it in my new home town, and now I understand the long time residents’ feelings. By Monday morning, the town looked trashed; it did not belong to us those few days.  Saturday was the worst day for traffic, people walking in front of cars, and some cars were driving just too fast with so many people around.

The World's Longest Yard Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather was not conducive to good sales as there was a downpour of rain every afternoon. The ground was soggy, stuff was wet and when the sun came out the humidity made it like walking around in a sauna!  However, that’s typical August weather in Alabama.

The teen-ager and I walked around Saturday afternoon but did not see anything we could not live without.  A lot of it was either junk or over-priced or we liked it but did not have room for it.

A yard sale vendor in the shade of huge oak trees.

Vendors lined up down the street.

A segment of The World's Longest Yard Sale on Lookout Mountain.

Seeking relief from the heat under the shade of a wide cedar tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We did walk over to the farmer’s market where everything is organic, which is not that important to me.  The offerings included homemade jellies and jams, heirloom tomatoes, fuzzy peaches, butternut squash, and green beans.  Oh, and blueberries that were huge and sweet.

Rattlesnake Green Beans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps next year I will put up my own tent?

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

I Love Them ALL!

I realized I do not have a favorite yarn when I saw the post on Creative Knitting’s Facebook page that asked the questions “Do you have a favorite bulky yarn? What projects do you make with it?”  I don’t have a favorite bulky, worsted, fingering or any other weight yarn.  I love them all!  I realized that I’m more into textures, colors, and how the yarn feels.  I may be planning a project with a specific yarn that has been suggested for the pattern but get completely sidetracked when my eyes stray and I am enticed to use a completely different yarn for any of the above reasons.

I will buy yarn for no other reason than I like, no, make that LOVE, the way it feels between my fingers, or the color just makes me drool.  I am not that way with picking out a pattern or a general project, for it is rare that I do not make a change in the pattern, no matter how slight.  Perhaps I am lured by color most of all.  Years ago when I was smocking bishop dresses for my daughter and before that working cross stitch, I would buy floss just because I loved the color.  Recently I gave my stash of floss to the teen-ager for her to use making friendship bracelets and such.  When she returns home from camp and she is bored, and waiting for school to start, I will ask her to count just how many skeins of embroidery floss she does have, and I will let you know.

Fleece Artist Sea Wood, 70% Merino Wood, 30% Seacell

The variegated yarns of blues and greens just make my fingers itch to start knitting.  This is one of my favorite skeins of yarn:  Fleece Artist’s Sea Wool in gorgeous blues.  Doesn’t it make you think of swimming in cool, clear water on a hot, summer morning?  I may never make anything with it, I  am content to just feel it and look at it.  I bought this from Knit Nouveau in Homewood, Alabama, before it went out of business.

 

 

Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca D.K.. 100% Alpaca

This Baby Alpaca D.K. from Plymouth Yarn is so soft and the colors are so luscious.  I made the scarf “Latifa” from Knitty’s website for my niece and used a beautiful sock yarn for the ruffles that miraculously had all the colors.  I bought this yarn from a LSY in Destin, Florida.

Latifa Scarf from Knitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jo Sharp Silkwood Aran Tweed, 85% Wool, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere

When I got to Knit Nouveau’s  going out of business sale there were only three skeins of this Jo Sharp’s Silkwood Aran Tweed left.  I absolutely love this green and ohhhh, the way it feels makes you want to squeeze it non-stop.

 

 

 

 

Plymouth Yarn Royal Silk Merino, 51% Silk, 49% Merino Wood

Now in contrast to all these blues and greens I have in my stash a bag of beautiful pale yellow yarn, Plymouth Yarn’s Royal Silk Merino.  I bought this from Little Knits online at least four years ago.  Did not have a pattern I wanted to knit with it or know when I could get to it,  but I had to have it.  I oooooed, and aaahhhed for days after it came in the mail.  I still do when I get it out to just look at it.  Someday I will find the perfect pattern for this yarn.

These are a few of my favorite yarns.  They are spun from different fibers and are of different weights and textures.  There appears to be no rhyme or reason as to why I love them.  I just do.  What are a few of your favorite yarns and what do you find so appealing about them?

Mystery Yarn

Do you have any anonymous yarn in your stash?  I like to visit thrift stores and sometimes I hit the jackpot with yarn. On one visit to my favorite thrift shop, I found skeins of Tahki Stacy Charles Cotton Classic for $1.00 per skein. Yes, I bought all they had.

Cotton Classic Colors

11 skeins of Cotton Classic White

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I return from the shopping trip empty-handed; however, on occasion I can find a name brand blouse or tee-shirt for only $4.00 unless the store is having a half-price sale and I can buy it for $2.00!  Last week I bought a pair of Calvin Klein jeans for $1.50!  Excuse me, I’m getting off topic.

I have several balls of yarn without a band in my stash that were bought at this shop that I definitely want to use for a knitting project one day.

Mystery Yarn

A swatch of one mystery yarn

A few are very soft and I can’t decide if the yarn is a high-end acrylic or an acrylic blend.

The "Great Unknown"

One yarn in particular is an unknown content and as there are just a few skeins to work with, I really don’t want to “waste” it making a swatch.  But, I probably will.

Any suggestions for knitting projects?