Thursday, June 30, 2011

Her Royal Highness

Things in the yarn department are going slowly these days, but I have managed to get some spinning done in the evenings with the drop spindle. This is my Princess Kate BFL from Misty Mountain Farm from this year's Sheep and Wool Fest. I am still crazy about that intense purple. I can't wait to get enough to ply. Now I have to start thinking about finding a shawl pattern that can do justice to that crazy color.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In a Pickle

There hasn't been a lot of crafty things going on around here lately. All of a sudden the garden has started producing cucumbers and other stuff like crazy so I've been playing the farmer's wife.

We have been able to eat the squash and eggplants but I had to figure out something to do with all the cucumbers. Making pickles seemed to make sense. I cut them up with some onions and salted them. Then I let them sit while I watched a movie (took a nap).

After rinsing and draining several times, I brought them to a boil with vinegar, sugar and some pickling spices.

I nibbled on them throughout the process. They were really good.

I didn't have anything to put them in so they sat in my expensive french dough bowl overnight in the fridge.

I picked up some half pint canning jars at Walmart and divided the fresh pickles among them. I am keeping them in the fridge so I didn't process them any further because they are so ridiculously good that I can see they won't last long.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Knitting Bag

If you are wondering what to give to the knitter that has everything, look no further.
I found it here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

UFO Sighting

Uh oh....look what I found.

While pulling things out of the stash the other day, I noticed this patiently waiting for some attention. Lillehammer was supposed to be my last year's Rhinebeck sweater but I had my gall bladder out instead. Sadly, it seems it will still be a while before I get there again. Daughter is getting married October 15th. How did I let that happen?

The best thing is that I am already almost past the tricky parts. What's not to like about a sweater that as little horsies and birdies on it? You'd think I would have gotten this done ages ago.

It even has colorful little borders in all the right places. So what's the hold up?
It's too dang small.
I doubt a fierce blocking will get me in it even if I was nekked underneath. I like Palette but it is not next-to-year skin soft. I am going to finish it anyway and I am going to have it ready for Rhinebeck 2012. I may not be wearing it but I will be carrying it around.

Another UFO

With the Tour de Fleece right around the corner, I have had my mind on my fiber stash. Last summer I dyed and spun this wool from Knit Picks then new offerings of WOTA roving. I rarely dye things to my liking but I really liked how this turned out.

I used it to begin a Crepidula, a funny little sweater/vest/cardi type thingy. I was not too thrilled by how it looked on the needles but strangely enough, every time I try it on, I like it more and more. So before I spin a smidgen of wool for the TdF, I really, really need to make some headway on this first. Really.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mission Half Accomplished

The seamless baby bootie experiment worked. Now I just have to find the time to make another.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Case of the Blues

Twice I have ordered blue yarn looking for the perfect shade of indigo. The first that arrived was too dark so I ordered some other blues to compare. Now I need a unisex pattern to go with all the blue that will work on a newborn because at the moment I am not even sure that this is for a boy. The mom to be just requested a sweater in indigo. I was tempted to dye my own indigo from a kit but then quickly changed my mind due to visions of a blue baby.

Amid the sea of all that blue, I just had to throw some pink in the order. This is Stroll Tonal in Summer Blooms and it is so PRETTY.

See what I mean?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Some Cheapo Stash Enhancers

Don't you just love to see red stickers on balls of sock yarn? Joanne's had their Kroy on clearance for half price. Fixed income be damned, I couldn't resist. Paton's sock yarn is sturdy and warm and the way I tear up socks around here, I am not so picky about the yarn anymore-unless I am gift knitting. I also threw some of Deborah Norville's Serenity Garden in the cart. It is a microfiber yarn that is very soft. The bright colors caught my attention. The knit sample was really pretty and I am such a sucker for rainbow stripes. I am not sure what I am going to do with it but I had to have it just because.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

In Bloom

Since I have been spending lots of time over at Dad's lately, I have had the chance to really wander around the yard. My mother had a way with growing things and you can still see her work even though it has been 9 years since she left us after a frighteningly short battle with leukemia. These tiny hostas are in a pot by her back door and they come up every year in spite of no one paying any attention to them at all anymore.

Her daylilies are exploding all over the place. The back wall looks like it is on fire.

Her hydrangea is still as blue as can be. My father has waged a war on it and hacks at it all year long but it still rewards us with tons of flowers. It's good to know that some things go on without us. My mother's garden is a lovely reminder of how wonderful she was.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Still At It

I am still in the process of working my way through those giant bags of fleece I bought at this year's Sheep and Wool Fest-weather permitting. Last year's excuse was the intense heat, this year it has been rain that has kept me from the job. I'm not washing anything that is not going to dry in a day or two. Wet smelly fleece is no fun to have around the house.
In fact, half of those locks are from last year's bag. At only 24 locks per washing this is going to take FOREVER and the 2011 Tour de Fleece starts in only 10 days! I know I could just dump it all together and wash it in lingerie bags but I just can't bring myself to disturb all those lovely locks.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Little Baby Talk

I have been knitting something very small lately.

It's a teeny tiny baby bootie that I am using to try to figure out a problem.

I love this baby bootie pattern but I hate that it has ugly seams so I am using a seamless pattern, Christine's, to see if I can transfer the lace pattern to the seamless technique. I am knitting them for a friend of Daughter's. It seems that there is a major population explosion among her friends once again. I will be busy knitting tiny little things for months.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Au Revoir Gail

I shamed myself into finally getting this done. I blocked it at midnight and then had to reblock it the next morning because the points were no where close to being even. For the record, these are the pre-reblocking photos because even after fussing with it again it looked just as uneven so I gave up.

It is a lovely pattern, but not a lovely chart to follow. I am forever grateful to Gunard for "uncharting" it for us. My only BIG regret is that I did not make this in a color I could wear to either wedding I have coming up. What was I thinking? It is Knit Picks Gloss in Aegean, by the way, and it is lovely but instead of wrapping it up and hiding it away with my bazillion other shawls, I bagged it up and gifted it to Miss Prodigy where I am sure it will get a good home. After all, if it wasn't for her, Gail would have never become a sick obsession in the first place and I am pretty sure there is another one in a different color in my future.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

KIP Bust

I had high hopes for Saturday. I was free of all major responsibilities and I wanted a day to sit on our local boardwalk and get reacquainted with my knitting. Instead Mother Nature had other ideas. That is what is left of the tree that held my hammock up.

The yard is littered with log sized debris from a freak storm that knocked the daylights out of our little beach town.

Roads were blocked, including our own driveway. Everyone has made good use of their chainsaws today.

I did get to knit in the car while we made a provision run.

My only portable project is the wooly boot socks but on a muggy morning, they were not at all pleasant to work with.

They are not even very photogenic so I had to get creative.

The folks walking by in the parking lot must have thought I was crazy. If they only knew.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hitting the Road

I am packing up a project and looking for a good place to sit and knit today. How about you?

Friday, June 17, 2011

One Year

I just missed my first entire school year. I retired one year ago today. So? How was it?
It was......weird.
I missed my job more than I ever thought I would. It breaks my heart to drive past a school or pass a school bus. I thought I was ready to walk out that door for good but I guess I was wrong and there is no turning back. I have to figure out a way to move forward from here but the direction is not so clear anymore.
I also didn't have lots of free time to do all the wonderful creative things that I thought I would. I think there is a time monster that gobbles up spare minutes when you are not looking. Even worse, I learned that I don't seem to have the ability to carve out chunks of "me" time anymore-even when I'm the only one around.
So far, I feel like a total failure at this retirement stuff. I've got to get my act together or else the rest of my life is going to really, really suck.

Edited for EXCELLENT news: The awful principal who made my life a living hell for four years and was the main reason for my early retirement announced today she was not coming back next year! That is the best thing ever for my former co-workers and even better for all the wonderful kids at GES.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The End of the Year Knit Night

The school year has almost come to an end and the teacher's that I have been knitting with on Wednesday nights are taking a well deserved rest for the summer. There were only three of us tonight but it was a lovely evening all the same. The weather was gorgeous so we sat outside our little cafe.

Someone was working on the Poppy pattern from Ysolda Teague's Whimsical Little Knits.
Poppy is going to be a "he" doll in her version by request from her son.

Show and Tell consisted of those knitted pants I have been obsessing over. I really want to see them finished but the knitter keeps ripping them out for one reason or another. Here they are pre-rip once again because of size issues. We couldn't convince her to keep the too wide legs and call them bell bottoms.

Then there was the drama over the Starry Starry Night pattern. It seems it begins with a very unusual and complicated cast on and someone was having a bit of a problem with it.

After several tries, this is all she had to show for her efforts. She shouldn't fret too much because if you check out all of the Ravelry projects almost everyone complains about the cast on.

Luckily someone else had already started hers and could lead the way.

Soon she had it almost figured out. It looks like a really pretty shoulder scarf/shawl type thing that I think I want to make now too. That's the thing about Knit Night, I always see something I would rather be working on than what I brought.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

All Mine

I am sure that one of the reasons for my lack of knitting mojo has been all the time I have been spending helping Dad with his quilting projects. In between working on his, I have begun to work on one of my very own.

I order Dad a lot of material from Connecting Threads and I when I saw this 1930's reproduction fabric I just had to have it.

I love how their collections coordinate. You can choose backings and solids that match perfectly with the patterns. I can't sew worth beans but I am having lots of fun trying.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Suffering From Neglect Part 3

It's not just my knitting that has been put on the back burner lately. I have a sampler that was getting some serious attention before it all came to a screeching halt. I can't even imagine finding the time to sit and do this anymore. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the added responsibilities, maybe it's just me. Whatever it is, I don't like it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Suffering From Neglect Part 2

Gail AKA Nightsong is 4 rows shy of being D.O.N.E. so why haven't I just sat my behind down and finished it? I dunno.

In fact, I actually am really anxious to see how this thing blocks out. It has a very weird leaf in a leaf pattern and giant holes (double yarnovers) down the center. This was supposed to be a Knit Night knit along so maybe the fact that I am not able to go to Knit Night for a while has caused me to lose interest. I need to get over it and get this done pronto. No excuses.