Saturday, August 31, 2013

The End of the Season

The little garden has exhausted itself. It's time to dig her up and put her to bed for the winter. She's got nothing left to share.

 I am very grateful for the small harvest. Last year we had little to show for all our efforts. As you can see, the pumpkins were a surprise success.

 We ended up with four butternut squash after planting none. Odd but I'm not complaining. I'll take what I can get.

The last of the cucumber harvest is destined for more pickles and a sandwich or two. I am sad to see them go.

I pulled up the bucket of carrots because I think this is all I am going to get out of them. Pitiful but fun. I didn't get to eat any but I did enjoy watching them grow. I'll try this again next year and do some merciless thinning.

Last but not least is the end of the figs. The squirrels are making short work of them this year. These are destined for jam-if I don't eat them all first.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Little More

 The Pimpelliese was out of yarn. I knew what I had wouldn't be enough.

 Luckily I still had plenty of the Merino left so using the Russian spindle, I spun a bit more.

 I didn't have much of the prettier colors left in the bag of fiber but as crazy as this thing looks it shouldn't really matter.

Since I am already several inches past the center and this amount of new yarn almost equals what I had to begin with, I am hoping I am heading to the finish line instead of heading back to the spindle. We shall see.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

An Overdue Thank You

 Little Sister sent this to me ages ago as a surprise gift and things have been so crazy around here that I forgot to do a post on this fabulous new toy.

It's a seam ripper that is not only magnified but lights up! What could be more perfect for someone whose vision is on the iffy side these days?

I am actually in the middle of a disaster of a project so I am pretty sure I will be getting good use out of my new little toy. See the side wrap apron on the right? I am trying to use this pattern and turn it into a dress but without much luck.

See this package from Connecting Threads? This is the THIRD package in so many weeks of the SAME material. First I underestimated the yardage, then I cut wrong. As it is, I am pretty close to forgetting about it and giving all this material to Daddio to cut up for quilts.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Cotton Crazy

 In spite of already having a rather large cotton stash, I couldn't help but add to it. I just happened to be driving by a Joanne's while doing an errand so I stopped in to have a look. I haven't bought any in a long while and I was amazed at all the wonderful new colorways. Cotton has come a long way.

My plan is not to use any of my newly finished dishcloths until I have a pile of seven. In the past I found I didn't like a soggy old dishcloth hanging around for long so I never used the few I had made. Now with one for each day of the week,  I will be able to throw them in the laundry basket every night and have a clean one for the next day. If I can bring myself to use them at all. They are almost too pretty to be cleaning up the kind of messes I make around here.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Meet Holden

 I had a terrible time getting any decent photos. First I took her outside where the lace pattern looked best but the colors washed out.

 The photos taken inside showed the true colors but the delicateness of the lace got lost. She looks thick and heavy here but she isn't.

 She's as light as a feather and very soft.

 The brilliance of this pattern is that it is so simple to knit and it looks so complicated when finished. I highly recommend this pattern for beginners. It's crazy easy.

 The modifications I made were to start the lace sooner than the pattern called for and to switch the yarnovers in the middle for M1R and M1L in order to lose the open spine look down the back.

 All the details can be found here.

Monday, August 26, 2013


 The Holden is a done deal. It took three days to get the picot cast off done but I'm not complaining. It was worth the effort.

 I also broke with tradition and actually ended up with leftover handspun. I was tempted to add another pattern repeat but I didn't.

 She is blocking and she is lovely. The colors, while not my favorite combination, are not as murky as I thought they might be.

 I saw that someone on Ravelry pinned out each and every one of those picot points but I didn't. All that bumpiness looked just fine without the extra effort. If the cat's don't make a trampoline out of her, I'll have some official mug shots tomorrow.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Winding Down

The most recent harvest out of the messy little garden looks like this. The figs are finally being figgy, the cukes are going crazy and the teeny tiny second bean harvest is at an end.

I haven't enough figs to make jam but I have been eating cucumber sandwiches pretty much for every meal for a few days now. I'm not complaining. I really, really, like cucumber sandwiches especially when the cucumbers are still warm from the sun. Mmmmm.....

 Since last year's crop was a bust, I tried many different types of cucumbers this year. The Armenian cucumber vine grew like crazy but it only yielded two cukes. This one and one that is still in progress.

 I have yet to try one of these weird looking things myself but it looks like some varmint has already beaten me to it. I am no forensic expert but those teeth marks look an awful lot like the ones in the pumpkins. I think we have a bunny problem.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

And So It Grows

The sock that I have been knitting during Daddio's doctor visits got 45 minutes worth of mileage put on it this week during some test he had done in order to figure out why the nerves in his back are causing him so much discomfort since his last surgery. There would have been more progress to show off it it hadn't been so much fun watching someone stick him full of needles. We both got a big laugh out of the sound the nerves make when interpreted by a computer. Good times.

 Later that day I decided to go ahead and finish the thing and cast on the second of the pair.

These are intended for Daughter but I am so in love with this yarn that I went online and priced buying some for myself. I can't stretch the budget that far quite yet but maybe in a month or two I will be adding some more Sakki to the stash if it's still available. It appears that supplies are low, leading me to believe it is out of production. Having said that, the yarn makes my work look like I just learned how to knit a few days ago. I seem to be having crazy tension issues especially in the ribbing. I haven't blocked these yet and I hope a bath will shrink up the holes but even if it doesn't, these socks are so soft and fuzzy they are surely destined to become favorites.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Almost a Holden

I've got a lap full of yarn spaghetti that I am hoping will block out to a thing of beauty. I didn't like these colors after I plied them but they grew on me and now I can't wait to see this thing finished.

The only problem is that there is a picot bind off. There are eight steps that must be done in order to bind of two measly stitches and there are about a bazillion stitches on the needles at the moment. This is going to take a while.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Home Goods

 The Mister ordered himself another bag of loops.

 He's been making lots of potholders again. I was very envious when he whipped out a couple for gifts for the kid's birthdays.

 I had the thought to make some dishcloths to go with them but I couldn't pull it off in time.

 I still had the dishcloth making bug so I pulled out this pretty thing and got started on something for myself.

I am using Grandma's Favorite pattern as it's the only one that looks decent with crazy colored cotton and who doesn't love crazy colored cotton for washing dishes? I know I do.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Second Time Around

 The latest table runner is off to a good start. I began as I said I would, by hemstitching the ends. Tying all those little knots was not fun last time.

 I am being more than careful, as I discovered that fixing these things after the fact is pretty much impossible. I am getting the pattern right, but I am still not getting an even beat as you can see from the wavy lines in the twill. I am also climbing underneath and having a good look after each session to make sure there is no funny business going on down under.

I did sit down with the draft and used what I know about fixing boo boos from my Craftsy Class on the first runner but it was a no go. I couldn't for the life of me follow the line of weft that made the pattern. I tried every trick I knew but it only got worse so I am going to have to accept this project as it is, flaws and all. The knitter in me is having a hard time accepting that concept. I am too used to being able to rip back at pretty much any stage. Weaving, however, is a whole different animal.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cotton Clouds

 I've been spending my nights searching the internet for sources of affordable weaving materials. I'd love to buy projects that come made up in kits but at the moment my bank account is in a place where that is not going to happen. All those unexpected doctor bills that came from my eye issue have put a pretty big dent in my budget.

 Being broke, I wanted to try out some new things without spending a lot of money. Cotton Clouds has lots of different weaving yarns put up in small 2 ounce mini cones. I am going to try my hand at dishcloths when the table runner is off the loom.

This is some pretty small stuff. It is 8/2 unmercerized cotton. It will probably be a few weeks but I suspect another big adventure is "looming" on the horizon.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Summer Progress Report

It seems that I find myself in project limbo. There is a lot going on but nothing is very interesting or particularly photogenic. That's two shawls and a sweater up there. I only put a few rows on each everyday so they are all going to take forever to finish.

The mosaic afghan is also coming along slowly. I am so happy I changed the border to green. I am also happy to report that although Knit Picks does still carry the cable connectors, they also carry 60 inch cables. That should be more than enough when the time comes. Even better-they are only $3.99 for two!

I am still spinning every day. The first bobbin of the blue/green fiber is done.

The shawlette that needs more yarn will have it as soon as I get these singles plied.
Summer is almost over-it would be if I were still teaching (yikes!) but there are still enough long, lazy days ahead to get these things done.
Bless The Mister for making sure we both could retire early. We may be not be rolling in dough but we have all the time in the world for the rest of our lives and what could be better? Nothing.