Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sewing, Knitting, and Christmas

First of all, I would like to show you the progress I made on Tour de France sweater during the Tour. I have now started on the second sleeve. The past 5 days, I haven’t done a lot of knitting, so I didn’t get the second sleeve started until yesterday morning.

Instead, I have been sewing. In the last post, I mentioned that I might start showing you more of my sewing. I’ve been working on some shorts for myself and some things to post on etsy. The things for etsy are in the idea stage right now. Meaning I haven’t gotten any for the site sewn up, just a first one for myself to see how it would come out. This is a coin purse I made:

I think I will add a little handle to slip on your wrist. Here is a shot of what I have done on my shorts. I am past the daunting zipper part. I don’t find zippers daunting anymore, but I used to.

Rebecca asked if the smoke here was coming from Montana. I think the smoke we were getting was coming from fires in the McCall area. It is sort of central Idaho. There was smoke coming from the huge fire down by the Nevada border, too. I had a hard time believing it was coming clear up here, but that was what I heard. That fire is/was a good 6 hour drive away. I hope it is out, someone told me they thought it was. There are quite a few fires here in Idaho that are going to be allowed to burn. I think for the most part that is a good idea, but sometimes I think it can be a really bad idea, too. No one wants to lose their home or livestock because of something like that. Areas NEED to burn off dead grass and undergrowth at some point. Putting out all the fires for years has created really bad fire danger situations. Less fuel for fires is better.

In other knitting news, I need to start my Christmas projects. I am also starting to plan this norse style sweater I mentioned a few months back. I won’t start it until after all my Christmas stuff is done. This year I think I will do a little more sewing for Christmas. It is quicker to sew a shirt than knit a pair of socks. I am trying to make things easier for myself. It is possible I am suffering from some sort of illness. Make things EASIER??? I have promised myself I will start getting things out of the way on Aug. 1 and that is tomorrow. We’ll see how I do!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I baked cookies today:

They caused happy smiles from the 2 little knitters. It brought about rather greedy sounding giggles from the littlest one.

This is my sleeve:

Still short, but it only has to be 8 or 9 inches long because it is a ¾ sleeve. My sweater didn’t bite the cookie. Someone else did. I won’t name any names.

I don’t show you guys much of what I sew. Maybe I should for variety. I’m always thinking I will, but then I don’t. So, today I am turning over a new leaf. I have been working on this top lately. Sheer fabrics always remind me why they can be a pain. I don’t remember what last years sheer fabric did, but I love the top it became. Hopefully this top will be as well liked. I plan on layering it over tank tops. One sheer project a year is enough for me. I will be happy to greet my friend cotton for some shorts in a few days.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Smoke and Tigers

It is SO smokey here. Every morning we wake up to the smell of a campfire. I don’t know where the fire is, but it isn’t nearby. I can’t remember a year when it was like this every single day. And usually at this time of year, there are very few fires. Most days the smoke goes away by noon, but today it is sticking around.

On Friday, we did something fun. We went to the zoo. It was cool, but I did feel kind of bad for some of the animals. Some of them seemed rather unhappy. This was our favorite exhibit:

They are Siberian tigers (the biggest kind). When this big boy walked up and laid down, all the little kids backed away from the window. My daughter said he was scary.

I have been knitting away on my sleeves. I am done with the body of my Tour de France sweater for now. Heck, I even checked my gauge since I am using the dpns that didn’t get me the same gauge as the bamboo circs gave me. I want to thank everyone for their nice comments about having to rip my sweater. It can be so off putting to have to do that. At least if I have to rip the sleeve back, it won’t be ripping the entire sweater back. I am almost done with the first sleeve of the BSU Sweater. I had my husband try it on to make sure it was going to be long enough. He seemed pretty happy that he was going to be able to wear it for football season. I told him he might even get a hat to go with it if there was plenty of yarn left.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tour de France Woes

Before I get to the bad news, here’s a picture of a family of pheasants. Maybe two families since there are 2 adult hens. I have no doubt there are 5 or 6 more at the very least that I didn’t see. There are lots of grasshoppers this year and that means lots of food for baby pheasants.

The bad news. I had to rip my entire Tour de France sweater. Right down to the cast on row. I held on to those cast on stitches for dear life. I hate casting on. I had to rip because the thing was way too freaking big. Because I didn’t check my GAUGE after starting. I did my swatch with dpns. There is a Zimmerman quote to cover what I did/didn’t do. Something about supping something bitter I think. Maybe I will be able to find it later after I publish this post.

Anyway, this is where I am now. Almost back to where I was before.

In other news, I got a wonderful birthday box from my brother’s family. It included 3 fun goodies for me: cookbooks! One Chinese, one a mix of asian, one Greek. We’ve been consuming all sorts of Chinese delights since then. I’ve hardly had time for knitting or sewing with all the drooling through the cookbooks.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Sweaters Progress

Even though I am trying to power knit my way through an entire little sweater for the Tour de France kal, I have still been working on the BSU Sweater. It is not languishing as an itinerant ufo candidate. Ha. My husband would be saying things like ‘Is that my sweater sleeve laying in the floor?’ or ‘You are going to finish my sweater aren’t you?’

Anyway, this is where I am on my first sleeve. I am almost done with my increases. This means I should think about getting a measurement for the sleeve’s length. It would be a shame to knit it like a foot longer than it needs to be. One time I knit a sweater body something in the range of 4” too long. If you think there might have been some racy language when I found that out, you should have heard me when I found out I ripped out 2” too much. These days, I measure OFTEN.

This brings us to my Tour de France progress shot. I think I have one more increase row left on the body. A few rows after that, I intend to try it on and see how it fits.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sniffle; I Want A Wheel!

I wanted to show off what I plucked from the garden for supper last night. We had the broccoli along with some country style spare ribs that were supposed to be smoked. The hot plate in my smoker doesn’t seem to be working out, so I had to rescue the meat and put it in the oven. It was still good, but not smoky. My smoker is a little home made number that I saw Alton use on Good Eats.

A while back, I ordered some very soft Shine from Knitpicks. I didn’t show it when it came because there was a bunch of yarn for my secret pal that I was drooling over. I ordered her One Skein Wonders and some single balls of various different yarns they make. I was really impressed with their Ambrosia yarn. It made Shine feel rough. Anyway, I ordered the Shine to see how I liked it and what the colors were like. There is a striped sweater in an old IK magazine that I have been wanting to make. The yarn was an odd yarn. It’s yardage for the weight of the ball was weird and it wasn’t a misprint. I’ll have to do some swatching before I order any yarn for it.

Yesterday I was reading Jane's Probably Knitting and saw some really beautiful roving she bought at a festival. It made me think I should get spinning some of the beautiful stuff I got last fall. I have a terrible time with my spindle. I feel like I am very clumsy with it. When I left a comment I asked her if she started with a wheel or a spindle. She left a response in the comments for yesterday’s post saying she had difficulties with the spindle, too. I have heard other people find the wheel much easier. It has convinced me that I need to have a wheel. I’ll have to start saving my pennies…

Monday, July 09, 2007

Tour de France Sweater

This is my Tour de France sweater. It is zipping right along as you can see. I can’t wait to wear this thing. The only thing better than a red sweater is a red and white sweater. I am also anxious to see if my math was good or not. I am beginning to like the bamboo needles. When I cast on, I wasn’t sure I was going to like them because the yarn was really tight on the needles. After a couple rows the yarn started to slide right along on the needles. For the most part, my boye set slides over the needle joins easier than they do on these needles. These are Clover needles that I found in Joann’s. The Add Knitter was quite right when she said it must be the central air keeping my knitting going.

We don’t have a real yarn store around here. The closest one is probably 60 miles away. The nearest one I have been in is 80 miles away and it didn’t impress me. One of the nearby shopping towns has this so-called yarn shop. Five or six years ago I went there looking for some yarn for a sweater. They didn’t have what I needed and the woman got out some sample cards as if she would really, actually order yarn for me. So I ordered some lite lopi. When I called a week or so later, she told me she didn’t think the yarn was available anymore. I guess she thought I was stupid. She certainly didn’t want my money. I went back a few years later and they still didn’t have much yarn. Not enough of any one kind for a sweater. I envy all of you who have local yarn shops to visit.

I am doing some redecorating around the house. It has been a year and a half since the last time. This time I am not moving furniture, though. We got a entertainment center a while back and it is begging to have some stuff arranged on the top of it. I have some barn wood, birds nests, and pieces of trees that need to find a home on top of it.

The other night after we had 109 degree heat, we had wind and lightning. Somehow, we lucked out and the storm had rain in it. That is almost unheard of in July and August around here. Fortunately, there are no fires near here. We are surrounded by dry rangeland, so we get nervous when the lightning starts. We think of fire as an eventuality. Someday our area will get burned, so we do our best to keep things fire-safe.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot

Anyone out there cold? Thank heavens we have central air. I am making a short list in my head of people I should call and check up on. Why? It is 109 degrees here right now. I feel sorry for my birds, they just have to live with it. At least they have some fresh cold water to drink.

In better news, all work has stopped on the body of the BSU sweater. I have reached the armpits and have started a sleeve. I didn’t think it would go this fast. And tomorrow, I get to start my red and white sweater. I don’t know what to name it yet. I can’t wait to start it. New projectitis, I guess. I have had the yarn for almost a year, so it’s about time. It is the yarn pictured in the sidebar. Heck, I even went out and bought a knitting needle for the thing. I have 2 sets of Boye knitting needles, so I have rarely bought knitting needles outside of my dpns. I bought a set of circular bamboo needles for it. I’ve never used bamboo needles before, so it will be an experience working with something breakable.

I hope all of you are keeping cool!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Tour de France for me!

Happy 4th of July! Hope everyone out there is being safe.

I want to thank everyone for the nice birthday wishes. I had a wonderful day. This is sort of how it went: I woke up, had breakfast in bed, had a nap, went to the mountains, had a nap, got Chinese take out. I even did some knitting in there. When we went to the mountains we went on a road we’d never taken before, so it was all new territory. I love exploring our mountains. This is the magnificent view we had when we got to the top:

Yesterday morning when I was making my daily blog rounds, I found a cool knitalong over at the add knitter. It is the Tour de France knit along. It is open for signups until the 7th which I believe is Saturday. You pick something yellow or France related to knit. Yellow for the yellow leaders jersey. I am going to do my red and white striped sweater that I was talking about last week. I’ve done the swatching, now I need to do some measurements and get the math done by the weekend so I can start on Saturday. My sweater was inspired by one seen on a French knitblog.

Above is the BSU sweater. I am about 2” from starting the lettering. Maybe even closer. That means I need to get my letters charted this morning. I hope to be up to the armpit by Saturday when I start the Tour de France project. The knitalong has given my knitting some zippety do da. I love competing with myself. This doesn’t just come up in my knitting, either. I never try to compete with other people, I am a closet competitor. Back to the BSU sweater, I am very close to stopping to do the sleeves. That is always a signal to me that I am almost done with a sweater. In this case, I think I will be just past halfway when I finish one sleeve. Sweaters knit in the round seem to go faster than sweaters knit in pieces.