Monday, December 29, 2008

The Knitting Room Returns

I've spent the time since Christmas returning the bedroom that I thought my daughter was moving into back into my knitting/craft space. I've added storage shelves to the closet, set my machines back up and put most of the yarn back into the room.I can't say that this is all of the yarn because it isn't. I decided that I'd use part of what's in the room and then add some of what's still in storage. I knew I had a lot of yarn, but I'm not sure I realized how much there really was. There are another 3 storage boxes and two Space Saver Bags full of yarn still stored outside the room.

The cubby that doesn't look full in this shot is now full. The doors close so I can close it up if necessary.

Almost all of what I have is acrylic and almost all of it was given to me. I'm using it to make hats for Caps For Kids and afghans for a group from our church who helps the needy with blankets and other items that are needed.

The machines make quick work of the charity hats that I make and it gives me time to design tops for myself and my grandchildren. I also handknit socks. There is a pattern out there to do them on the machine, but I haven't tried it yet. I need quiet and serenity to try those since I haven't mastered my Artisan machine yet. Quiet in my house is almost non existent and serenity is beyond my hopes right now.

I hope that having my room organized will help. I got rid of a bunch of stuff when I thought my daughter was moving home so there is less to go into my very small space. The room is about 8' x 10' overall. Maybe less. I don't want to think about it. I'm just glad that we actually have enough space for me to have my own room.

Happy Knitting everyone.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Getting ready for the new year

I'm writing Christmas cards today so I'm going over my address book to see which addresses have changed and which ones I've misplaced. (It's the lack of organization that does me in every year.)

I finished my son's socks and got a picture of them. They are on my feet because he isn't here to try them both on for a picture and I know they will look better on him. The pattern is Earl Grey by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka My son chose the colors and approved the pattern. It's the first pair of socks I've knit for him and I hope he likes them when he wears them.

I've also been working on my Mitered Square Blanket made from sock yarn scraps and it's coming along although slowly. I have gotten some mill end yarn to help since I'm not a prolific sock knitter. I had wonderful service from when I ordered from them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Catching Up and Looking Ahead

I finished a pair of mittens for my youngest granddaughter and have started a pair for my grandson. I had to do it. When I gave my oldest granddaughter her mittens a couple of weeks ago the youngest one sat down and held up her little hands and just looked from them to me. As I was working on hers my grandson asked me what I was making. I say "Mittens for Kaity." He says "Mine next?" How do you resist that? I don't. I just try to figure out how to fit one more thing in my list of things to do.
Now I've joined a group on Ravelry to do a stashdown for 2009. I start in January and plan on having 52 hats done for the beginning of June in case I get to go to IWannaKnit (also uses lots of yarn for 52 hats) for the annual donation for Caps for Kids. I also have 4 pair of socks to complete by June and I want to do two more squares on my Great American Aran Afghan.
That should knock out about 60 skeins of yarn if I can keep up.
I also want to practice more on my Artisan 45B machine. I did part of the grandson's first mitten by knitting in the round on that machine. Once I figured out (again) how to do the circular knitting I was on a roll and it speeded up the process for that mitten.
I spent a little time today practicing plating on my LK150. Totally cool, although I'm not sure what I'd use it for. Maybe knit at a larger gauge for felted mittens? Hmm, something to think about.
I wish I had been able to go to KnittingToday to do the ribber intensive course with Mary Anne Oger. I hear a good time was had by all and that the learning was indeed intense. I could have used that.
Now I need to go spend some time sorting and deciding what yarn to use for hats and get the knitting room more organized. Not that it would take much to make it more organized since organization is not my strong suit apparently.
Wish me luck and happy knitting everyone.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Projects completed

I just finished Blocking the Pacific Northwest Shawl that I've been working on. I think it looks good. The border just about kicked my butt, but I made it through it in one piece. I love shawls and I'm not sure why because my life doesn't really run toward the wearing of them. (Especially this one.) It's so lacy and sheer.
I've also finished the SKA September Orange Mystery Sock from the Ravelry group and mostly I'm happy with the way it came out. The hard part of this one was that it's for someone else for a gift and that makes it hard for the measurement part. It was tight on me when I was taking the photos, but her foot is smaller than mine. Knowing that doesn't make it any easier for me to wait to see if theyactually fit her and whether she likes them. I'll report back after Christmas.
I've started Earl Grey by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for my son and so far he likes them. We'll have to wait and see on those too.
I paid a visit to my second daughter in Dallas last week and got to spend an evening at the Texas state fair. I have to report that a good time was had by all. There were rides and there was fair food. (That didn't do my diet any good, but what's a fair without funnel cake.) I didn't get to go see the exhibits because husband and daughter were not into that so it was rides and food all the way. I'm not sure how to argue with that since I enjoyed it as much as they did.
Now I have the Earl Greys on needles and I need to work on my Great American Aran Afghan that has been hibernating for over a year now. So off I go to get some of that done and wrap some of the Christmas gifts I already have. Don't throw anything. I'm not done yet.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Although life gets in the way

I have been knitting.  I'm working on socks for Ravelry's SKA September Challenge.  Orange is not my favorite color and I have no idea what I'm going to do with said socks because I don't know anyone who owns up to the fact that orange is their favorite color.  I guess these will be my Halloween socks.

This one is longer than this now, but daughter borrowed my camera for the weekend and I don't have a newer picture.

I have also completed the Take A Turn Sweater from Knitwords by Mary Anne Oger that we did as a knit-a long on the Ravelry Machine Knitters board.  (Do I spend too much time on Ravelry?  nah, not possible.)

I'v completed a pair of mittens for one of my granddaughters and am working on matching socks.  There is also a pair of socks in the holding pattern for my son.  It will be his first pair.

All of this is going on while I consider going back to work.  Elmer and I decided about a year and a half ago that it was time for me to be at home for a while and do some things I've always wanted to do but never had time for.  Well I love being at home, but my Mom has moved in with us and I keep thinking about her situation and that I don't ever want to be there.  After 30 years of marriage there was a divorce and although she worked for almost all of my life it was never at a job where there was a lot  (or even a little) of money left over or a pension plan or really where she made enough for social security to be enough for her to live on.  She can't be in her own place because she can't afford rent, much less rent and food.  It's sad and a little scary.  I don't expect my marriage to end, but then neither did she.

So anyway, life gets in the way of knitting.  There are hurricanes to watch where I live in what we lovingly call "Hurricane Central" and the watching and remembering what Katrina did to our area makes my knitting gauge a little wonky so I have to concentrate on it to make sure I loosen up.  Now I have friends in the so called "cone of uncertainty" and my Dad still has no power after Gustav and my garden has been beat up and gee how much stress can one girl take?  Don't answer that.  I knowhow much before you just have to sit and cry.  My youngest daughter was carrying my grandson when katrina came through and we had to evacuate with an 8 month pregnant girl.  Then they had to take him by c-section because he tried to get stuck.  He was sunny-side-up and wouldn't turn around.  Yep, he's still a stubborn little fellow.

Well, back to the knitting to the Weather Channel. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Random thoughtsand dieting

It's been a while since I've been here to update the blog.  I completed a pair of socks and finished a BSJ for the Ravelympics.  I didn't think I'd get the socks done, but perserverance paid off.

I've been trying for about 8 months now to lose some weight.  I'm down about 13 pounds, but it's slow going.  I do the Walk Away the Pounds videos and try to watch what I eat, but I seem to have hit a plateau and can't break through.  I suppose I either need to up my exercise or change it up some, but I tried the Firm videos and I can't keep up.  They move too fast for me to learn the moves enough that I'm not all out of sync with the video.  I don't know what to try next.

It's quiet around the house these days.  I have several projects on the needles including a pair of mittens for one of my granddaughters, the Great American Aran Afghan (been working on this off and on for over two years now), the Pacific Northwest Shawl,and a mitered sock yarn blanket. The Take a Turn Sweater from Knitwords is on the Artisan and will hopefully come off today or tomorrow.  I need to get some more hats done and some mittens to go along with them.  I've also promised one of my granddaughters a pair of pink socks and my son has chosen green.  Those are both to be out of Knitpicks Essential sock yarn and the yarn is here.  I think I'll do Earl Grey for my son, but something plain for my granddaughter, but I may yet change my mind.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Finished projects

I've finished several projects since I last checked in.  I made a Hip Hempathy Tank from yarn I got at this year's IWannaKnit Retreat.  It was made on my LK-150 and worked quite well on that machine on Tension 4. Hem and neckline and arm were done on tension 3.5


Above is a picture of the picot hem and below is the neckline and arm.

I also finished a pair of ankle socks for Elmer  by hand and he hasn't had a chance to try them on because I didn't finish until after I'd put him on a plane (again).

Then I also finished the Black Estonian Garden Wrap I had been working on.

And last but not least I whipped out a baby blanket on the LK to go with the BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket) that I had finished earlier.

I think the colors complement the sweater and button combination very well.

I haven't yet finished the blue BSJ that I started.  I'm worried that I may be a little short on yarn so I'm practicing denial and haven't tried to finish yet.  I'll let you know the results when I get the nerve to try to complete it.

I have started the Pacific Northwest Shawl and it's been an easy knit so far.  I'm not sure how I like the colors in the yarn I chose yet.  I love the colors in the hank and I'm trying to see how I like it knit up in this pattern.  So far the colors don't have the punch knit up that they do in the hank.I'll get pics when I get a little further along and see if I can manage some perspective.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vacations and yarn shopping

I was on vacation recently and stopped by Natchez Needlearts in Natchez, MS.  I bought some lovely Flash yarn by Classic Elite Yarns

I got the last 7 skeins they had in this colorway and I think it's destined to be a tank top for me.  We had a wonderful time staying at Natchez State Park and eating at Main Street Marketplace for breakfast. (I love that place... open air eating, friendly people, charming town... what more could you ask for?  Oh yeah, beignets and cappucinos.  got those too and some wonderful cinnamon rolls.)

After Natchez, we headed for Edwards, MS.  It's pretty much centrally located between Vicksburg and Jackson and you can get to either place easily.  We did both.  There was some history - Petrified Forest, Vicksburg Military Park, and the Agricultural and Forestry Museum -some science too as we visited the Museum of Natural History and then a trip to the zoo.  I also got to visit The Knit Studio in Jackson where I walked out with some Panda Silk that is for socks for me.

Not that I need more socks, but some are bound to wear out eventually.  It was a relaxing and yet busy week where I ate too much and gained back 5 pounds that I'd worked hard to lose.  Back to the drawing board on that part of the program.

I'm off to work on the Estonian Garden Wrap.  I have less than 75 rows to go before it's ready for blocking and wrapping.  I sure hope that the intended recipient likes it when all is said and done.  I also have a pair of socks on needles for Elmer that I need to finish and then I have the yarn and pattern for the Pacific Northwest Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark that I want to make for myself.

So much yarn, so many projects, so little time.

Monday, June 23, 2008

blocking knits

I'm only irritated because this post was already written and then there was some technical blip and it didn't post.  Here goes again.

Yesterday at church there was a little accident and my Estonian Wrap got spit up on by a baby.  Oh well, no big deal, just wash it and reblock it.  The only problem with that is that the first time I blocked it I used the mattress in the spare room.  Well said spare room and mattress are now being used by my mom so I had to figure out an alternative place to block.

I went to Michaels today and bought 4 pieces of 20 x 30 x 1/2 inch foam board.  I taped two pieces together end to end and did the same to the other two pieces.  I didn't tape them all together because this way I can reconfigure if I need to block something that's wider and not a thousand miles long.  The above picture is of the wrap wired and pinned out and the picture below is a corner of one of the pieces I bought.

If you want to find it it's in the art section (near canvases in my store) It just says that it's foam board and it's by Elmer's.  I can get the sku if anyone needs it.  This seemed to be the cheapest solution with the easiest storage ability for what I needed.

I hope that wrap dries before bed time.  I like to sleep in my own bed. Yep, there is a fan running in that room.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Home again

I'm home from retreat at IWannaKnit.  It was so much fun.  I forgot to take pictures, but that's not surprising.  I always forget to take pictures.  I bought some lovely yarn while I was there The aquamarine is Hempathy and is destined to be a summer top for me.  I'm thinking like a lacey T with maybe a touch of beading at the yoke.  I'll let you know if I get it worked out.  The red is Spiderweb by Interlacements and is destined to be a shawl (also for me).  Pacific Northwest by Evelyn A. Clark I think.  I'll update here or on Ravelry (Momof4) as I make a final decision and start work.

Well, Army Wives is coming on and I need to pull up my favorite seat for watching.

God bless and I'll check in soon. (ok, sooner or later)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

And Life Goes On

Wow, It's been a while since I checked in.  It feels like life has gotten in the way lately of the things I want to keep up with. Why Knot Knit  is now closing (nothing to do with my visit).

A couple of weeks ago I went to Petal, MS to visit  The Yarn Basket and meet up with a grooup of Mississippi Ravelry knitters.  We had a great afternoon of shopping, knitting, chatting, and then an early dinner at Brownstone's in Hattiesburg for some lovely Cajun cuisine.  I didn't get a single picture.  I did buy sone sock yarn (Happy Feet by Plymouth in colors 8 <a rainbow of deep colors that will go with 4 <red>, and for the loving husband 1 < olive>) that I don't have pictures of yet because DH has my camera in Japan on a business trip and I can't make myself buy another camera.

I leave next Monday for my annual trip to the IWannaKnit Retreat in Shipshewana IN, sponsored by Knitting Today  The retreat is actually the following weekend and there are still slots open at this point in time.  It is something that I like to do every year although it doesn't work out that way.  This will be my 5th time to go and I'm sorry to say might be my last.  Don't get me wrong, I love the retreat but it's a long way from south MS to north IN and fuel prices are cutting into my life just like everyone else's.  Elmer says I'll still be able to go, but I'm not going to hold my breath. 

It's always a time to learn things, visit with old friends, and make new friends.  There are classes for hand and machine knitting.  I'm carrying my LK150 this year and taking four classes.  I'm hoping to learn a lot of techniques and sharpen my skills in others.  If you've never been you should check it out.

I will post my shopping results when I get home from retreat.  I always buy something. One year it was the LK that I'm taking with me this year.

I'm still working on washcloths, soap sacks, and the Estonian Garden Wrap.  I've finished an EZ Baby Surprise Jacket and started on another one and I've done nothing at all on my Great American Aran Afghan in months.  My Monkey socks are finished.Maybe I need less projects on needles.  No, what am I saying, that makes no sense.  I'll just have to give up cooking and cleaning.  That should free up some time.

On a totally unrelated note, I am down to 157 pounds from my personal high of 173.  I was down to 154, but when I went to Atlanta I blew it and now I'm trying to jump start the loss again.  I'm watching what I eat, walking with the Leslie Sansone dvd's and using Sparkpeople to help with this.  It's a slow process, but it's working.

My garden is in.  It's not large, but I may be keeping the whole extended family supplied with tomatoes.  Nothing else seems to be quite so prolific, but everything is growing and producing.  I have tomatoes, cucumbers, bell and jalapeno peppers, sugar snap peas, carrots, green onions, okra and eggplant.  The cauliflower is done and the brocolli is almost done.

happy knitting everyone

Monday, March 10, 2008

Socks are addictive

I need to upload pictures.  I'm awful about it.  Elmer's socks are complete after being complete once and being ripped back to the heel ( I'm sure it hurt me more than it did them.)  The problem is that although my darling husband has huge claves his foot isn't that big around.  The socks could have held his foot and the foot of one of the grandchildren the first itme around.  He tried them on, said they were fine for wearing around the house and told me to leave them alone.  I tried.  I couldn't do it so I ripped back seemingly miles of yarn and redid the foot.  It's still not perfect, but I made notes so next time will be better.  I do need to learn to shape the lower calf and then go back up for the heel and back down for the foot.  Ick.  My socks do not seem this complicated.

On another note, I do have about 4 inches of the Estonian Garden Wrap complete and I'm working the foot on my Monkey Socks.  I'm using ToFutsies for those and I'm not sure that I like the way the color is pooling on them.  I won't rip them out though because unless I do socks for the grandbabies I would still have the pooling in another pair for myself.  I think it's just the specific colorway I'm using.  I'll just have to check it out with another pair in a different colorway.

I have not done any more on my soap sacks.  I do however have a few more hats.  Not the number I want, but a few more. I have also cast on EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket, which I've never done before.

I spent last week in Atlanta with DH and got to visit new (to me) yarn stores.  I went to Knitch and didn"t want to leave and I went to Why Knot Knit and bought some Berroco Comfort to try out. I think I'll use it on a BSJ, but that is, of course, subject to change.

It's time to go battle the laundry so I'll check back in later.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Projects coming along

Well, Elmer's socks are coming along.  I'm at the gussets on the second one.  I'd be further but found a mistake and had to rip back.  This is after all his first pair of socks that are handknit by his wife.  I never thought of his feet as big, but when you start a sock with 100 sts and his foot is 11 inches long.  Eleven inches of stockinette feels like miles.  On the upside, the 3 skeins that I bought will make it.  I was a little worried.  i did use some Lorna's Laces that I had left and alternated it with the project yarn for the heel, but I don't think it was necessary.  It would have made it anyway.

When these are finished I will go back to my Monkey socks.  They are languishing in the bag right now waiting patiently( I hope) for me to get back to them.  Of course, the Estonian Garden Wrap is in it's bag waiting too.  And the baby sweater that I started last week is sitting there crying for it's turn.  I need more hands.  Or less housework and cooking to do.  Oooh, and maybe a little less time on Ravelry and Sparkpeople.

The weather here is nice.  At least for now.  We are supposed to have storms coming in later this evening.  It's warm enough to have the windows open and it's not hot enough for AC.  Of course, it's supposed to get cold again tomorrow so it's time to enjoy it while it lasts.

The life change (diet and exercise plan) is going well for the most part.  There are days that I just don't get it right, but overall... not too bad.  I will be floating after all this water that I'm drinking though.  On the upside, I think the toxins are getting flushed out rather well.  LOL

I'm having to get used to my mom being back.  It's been so quiet here with only me home during the day that it's strange to have someone else in the house. 

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Update and pictures

It's been a busy week here.  This time last week I was in Jackson heading for a sit-n- knit to meet up with some MS knitters that I met on Ravelry.  That was fun.  The drive up... not so much.  There was snow around Hattiesburg and it was pretty heavy.  It was beautiful, but who in their right mind wants to drive in it.  I finished Elmer's slippersand started his socks with yarn I bought at The Knit Studio in JacksonThey are kicking my butt.  The first one is further along than the picture shows, but I use around 60 sts for my socks and it took 100 for his.  100 sts per round and 11 rnds to the inch is a lot of sts.

I got pictures of some of my washcloths and soap sacks too I have also started on my Monkey socks from Knitty.comAnd I've started the next Estonian Garden Wrap.  I'm not very far on either of those projects.  I've got about 8 to 10 of my caps for kids seamed and I have about that many more to seam.  I need to get busy on them.  I need to have at least 60 by June.  I did 60 last year and want at least that many for this year; more if I can manage.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Started new projects

Well, I started another soap sack this morning.  I finished a washcloth to go with the first soap sack last night.  I cast on for my Monkey socks in Tofutsies last night too.  I got all the ends weaved in on the sweater.  I just need to get a picture.  Maybe today if it's warm enough to get it outside. ( I like the light better out there.)

I'm going to a sit n knit on Saturday and can't decide what to take with me.  So many projects, too few hands.

I have some blanks for hats for Caps for Kids done that I need to seam up.  I really need to get back to my machines too.  I miss them.  Maybe that's what I'll do this afternoon.  I need to use up some of this stash and Caps for Kids is a good way to do it. 

I'll try to get pictures soon of the rest of my completed and in progress projects.

Well, off to get some stuff done (including finishing the laundry).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Finished Objects

Well, I've been busy with life recently.  It seems to have been one of those months.  I have finished some items recently. I finished a pair of slippers for Elmer.

The sweater that I started several years ago is almost finished. I'm weaving in ends so really it is almost finished.  I need to get a picture of it in it's present state as the one I have is of it still in pieces.  I have one soap sack done (9 to go) and no washcloths done yet. No mini sweaters, nothing done on the Aran Afghan and I have not started my Monkey socks or the evening wrap that is promised ( I did get the yarn for it though.)  More later.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Checking in

Seems like it's been forever since I posted.  I've been knitting and reading and attached to Ravelry.  Boy does that take up some time.  I've made socks for my two granddaughters and for their cousin (on the other side of their family). I've picked up a sweater in navy blue that I started several years ago from EZ's Knitting Without Tears.  It was to be for the oldest granddaughter but by the time it's finished I don't know who will be wearing it.  It's too small for her now.  Maybe her cousin or her little sister.  I guess we'll see.  I'd take it apart and start over, but there's not enough yarn to make it in a larger size and since I don't know what the yarn is anymore I can't match it. 

I need to start on the Monkey socks for myself that are on my list of "to do's" and I want to make soap sacks and matching washcloths for Christmas for some of the women in my life.  I also want to make the mini sweaters for ornaments for the tree for next year and I think they'd be cute tied to the ribbons on the packages.  My darling husband also informed me that he really needs new slippers so I guess I need to start those too.  And rats, I still have to finish (yeah right, who am I kidding?) my Aran sqaure afghan that I started several years ago. Oh, and I promised an evening wrap to someone for this year. 

Hmmm, looking at that list... 1 pr of socks, 10 soap sacks and washcloths (at last count) at least 10 of the mini sweaters, 1 pr slippers, 1 sweater, 1 wrap,and at least 8 more sqaures (I think it's more) for an afghan.... how many items is that so far for this year...42 I think if I  count the squares separately.  Yikes... I better get off here and get busy.  I'll try to update the progress here as I finish items, but I admit here and now that I don't think I'll finish the afghan this year.  Can someone clone me, please? If the other me could do the housework, etc., I could get all the knitting done.