Tag Archive | yarn

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

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

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.

What a Wonderful Day!

Last Tuesday was a wonderful autumn day with the sun shining and the yellow leaves swaying in the breeze.  On this day my daughter had her braces taken off after two and a half years!  What a beautiful smile and worth every rubber band found on bathroom counters and tabletops.  Since it was a Special Day we went to a yarn shop in Birmingham to buy yarn for the Central Park Hoodie that I’ve been promising for two years. I bought the pattern on Ravelry. She wanted a gray soft yarn and I wanted a wool yarn that was washable.  We’re talking teen-ager here and I wasn’t going to be taking this to the dry cleaners, which is 14 miles away.  And I certainly wasn’t going to be hand washing this hoodie.  We settled on Berroco’s Vintage, which is a nice, washable wool blend of acrylic, wool and nylon the medium gray colorway number 5107.  Progress is coming right along with the hoodie but I’m worried that it won’t be warm enough.  I’m knitting this using a size 8 needle and the fabric is not very dense.  It’s great to work with, the yarn is sliding off my Hiya Hiya circulars.  The cable stitches are showing up great in this yarn.

Below are pictures of the swatch I made before knitting and yes, the size 8 called for in the pattern made gauge without any needle adjustments.  I like the way the yarn bloomed after washing, too.

After deciding on this yarn, Only Daughter wanted a pair of gloves in a contrasting color to go with this hoodie. She picked out another Berroco yarn for the gloves in lovely blue.  I’m planning on using a pattern I found on Ravelry, The Malabrigo Gloves; only I’m not using that particular yarn.  If the swatch doesn’t look right, I’ll find another pattern.  If you have any other suggestions please let me know. 

The Special Day was topped off with going to Books-A-Million and getting three books for her and one for me!

Love This Color!

Bought this simple cotton yarn at Wal-Mart the other day for no other reason than I love this color yellow.  It’s Peaches and Crème and will probably be used to knit up a washcloth but doubtfully of the kitchen type.  More of the bathroom washcloth type.  Now I have to find a pattern I think will show off the color.  Any suggestions?  A lacy pattern, perhaps, or textured?