Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Summertime

This afternoon I looked at my living room and wondered how 2 little girls could make so much mess and clutter. It was more than I could take. I simply had to clean it all up. I don’t think there was a even a path through the room. They did it in just a few hours, too. I do my workout in there every weekday morning, so it has to be clear of toys at least 1 hour a day. Sometimes you just reach a breaking point and want to run screaming from your house. Some day they will experience the same feelings with their children. Payback. It is probably what I was receiving today.



This is some stuff I found at the dollar store the other day. I don’t know what I am going to make with it all, but I am going to make something. When I saw them, I fell in love with all the colors. They just look like summertime.

I got the first sock done last night and have started on the second. The Bearfoot feels wonderful on the foot. I have resisted the urge to wear the one sock around the house. I’d just end up with a cold foot.

This morning, I was shopping around online and found the Phildar site. I looked up the kids patterns in the spring/summer Phildar Pitchoun. They are wonderful. It can be difficult to find cool things for bigger kids. There are loads of great patterns out there for babies, but as they get older, things thin out. That particular Phildar pattern book is available in English, too. Very nice since I don’t know any French…

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More Great Knitting Weather

Now we have 3 inches of snow. So much for seeing my crocuses bloom. So much for the warm weather. As many people have said over many years - great for the knitting. I have made great progress towards the toe of my sock and I may even finish it today. The back of the vest is finished and I have started one of the front pieces.

I have been spending some time recently deciding what to knit over the next months and deciding what yarns I might want to use. Nothing like planning lots of knitting that you won’t possibly have the time for. Somehow it puts a little zeal into my current knitting projects. Must finish them so I can knit something new. For me, it works almost as well as buying new yarn. I decided I would buy some circular knitting needles before I start some of the fingering weight projects I have tentatively planned for the kids and myself. My Boye set is always catching the yarn at the joins and only goes down to size 2. ( I actually have 2 Boye sets I use. One was my mother’s and the other was given to me by an aunt.) I am thinking about trying the Knitpick's circular needles. Has anyone tried them?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What We Woke Up To

This is what we woke up to yesterday morning. The official return of winter. It was gone by 10 am, but it is still cold. Perfect knitting weather.



The sock has been going great since I finished the cuff. I had thought the leg was going to be a lot longer than it was. I will have to be thinking about what my next pair of socks will be. Maybe some footlets, maybe more socks for my sweetie. Perhaps toe up socks for him using PGR’s Simple Socks book.



I have decided to do secret pal again. Secret Pal 10 takes signups until the 28th for anyone who might be interested. It is rather fun picking out goodies for someone else. And it is nice to get the goodies, too. I think I like the picking them out for other people best.

In sweater news, I found a pattern for a fingering weight cardigan in a book I have. It is a fair isle pattern, but I am just going to make a plain cardigan and put some really nice buttons on it. It has a crocheted edging and I think I will do that in a contrasting color if I find one I like in my stash.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Quilt


I finished the cuff! Happy dances all around. I now order that the knitting of the sock go at lightning speed…



And the quilt picture as promised. All finished and ready for snuggling under.

Rebecca asked what I like to read. I like reading history, the classics, and poetry mostly. But I will read anything I take an interest in. The one book I have that I really do want to actually read someday is The Canterbury Tales. One of my favorite stories that I haven’t read in ages is Ivanhoe. I rarely read romance novels. Unless they are really old ones published in an old Reader’s Digest condensed book. I have an enormous collection of Reader’s Digest condensed books. My former employer wanted to unload her used book collection when she rearranged the store. She sent every single one of the Reader’s Digest books home with me. I really enjoy some of those old post WWII spy novels. They are amusing the way 1950’s alien movies are. You know, those movies where giant ants invade Earth. Ok, the spy novels aren’t really as amusing as those old movies, but you get the picture.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Self Improvement

No real knitting news. Nothing interesting or exciting to show you. I haven’t started a new sewing project yet. Not the sewing bit anyway. I am making myself a pair of brown corduroy pants. They are cut out and marked.

I did paint for the first time in ages yesterday. Last week I decided I would take watercolors next term of art class. It is a community class, but they are offered along the same dates as regular classes at the college. I don’t want our instructor to think I am as bad at painting as I am at drawing. My drawing might be better if I were really interested in drawing. I just wanted some drawing skills for improving my painting. Hopefully, I will paint every day until the next term of classes start.

Lately, I have been on a self improvement kick. I started making myself a list things to do everyday of the week and posting it up on the refrigerator along with a weekly menu. My sweetie thinks I am acting strangely. I do find that I don’t forget to do things when I have that list to check off. Having children changed the things I do. I used to read a lot. These days, I read knitting patterns and children’s books. And sometimes the paper. For the past 2 years I have been reading Les Miserables. In November I did start another book that is much smaller, but I haven’t finished it yet. Hopefully, I will get back to reading it this afternoon. I really love to read, and I hope my kids will, too.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Knitting Progress?

Ah, the feeling of spring. Warm and sunny outside, flowers blooming. If it weren’t the middle of February, I would be digging in the dirt. Instead, I went hunting for the perfect sagebrush to cut yesterday. I am going to take it for my drawing class this week. My dog and my oldest helped me. The dog mostly helped by getting in my way when I was taking pictures of sagebrush to draw.

I have done some knitting lately. It seems like I don’t have much to show for my knitting recently. Perhaps if I just did more knitting. I’ve been working on this sock cuff that goes on forever and ever. It is going to look cool when I finally get done with it, but it is very slow going. I’m hoping it will go more quickly after the cuff , too. At this rate, these socks are going to take 2 months. On the up side, that means more time to enjoy knitting with the Mountain Colors Bearfoot. It is so wonderful to knit with, I just love it. The sock is laying on top of the back of the vest I am making for my aunt. I am almost to the point where I can start the decreases for the armhole. This is the first vest I have ever made. It is odd to think I won’t be making sleeves for it.



I will post a picture of the finished quilt this week. I don’t think I could tear it off my sweetie for anything this weekend.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Secret Pal Package!


My secret pal reveal package arrived today. Isn’t it just amazing when someone you don’t know anticipates your tea needs? I am almost out of tea again, and here you see a lovely box of tea. And 3 balls of baby alpaca. So, so soft. And red, too. If only I could decide what to make…. Thank you, Lucinda!

And as for deciding what to make…. I got in my stash last night and looked over the yarn that was going to be a sweater and dress for my oldest. She has outgrown the intended pattern, and the colors won’t look good on the little red head. So, I have enough fingering weight for a sweater or maybe 2. If only I can find a pattern for fingering weight yarn. They can be hard to find. I’ll have to do some searching, and I think we all know how I ‘hate’ that.



Last week I got 3 new chickens from the same aunt who gave me the ducks last fall. This morning it wasn’t even light when I traipsed out to the chicken coop to break up a rooster fight. Three days of roosters fighting is just about enough for me. In some places they send the cops in for this sort of activity… In spite of the fighting, the little black chickens ARE cute. As cute as a chicken can be, that is. We call them Jack Kerouac and the Beatniks.

Lone Knitter commented yesterday about me making a log cabin quilt. I will have to take a picture now that it is done. I have always wanted to learn about the quilts and the ways they were folded to leave messages for people on the underground railroad. It was a bit funny last week when I was working on my quilt one day, there was a show on the history channel about escaped slaves. It wasn’t about the underground railroad, though.

I finished my quilt by laying it out in the floor and tying it and then putting the binding on. I think it broke several ‘rules’ that were in my books, but I was born to break silly rules.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My 100th Post

And now for a blogging break… I spent most of last week at the sewing machine finishing the quilt for my husband and sewing his shirt. He loved them, too. It was all worth it. Even when I nearly had the heart attack Wednesday afternoon when I heard his truck coming up our driveway. I had the quilt spread out in the floor and was tying it. He usually calls when he is on his way home AND he was 2 hours early. I managed to get everything hidden before he came in the house.



This is my 100th post, so I wanted to take a picture of a pile of things I have knit over the years. I decided to throw in some things I’ve sewn, too. The picture by no means shows everything I have knit or sewn that is in this house. They were just the handy things. Someday, maybe I will look back on this picture and say to myself ‘I was a terrible sewer back then’ or ‘I have learned so much more about knitting than I knew then’. I don’t consider myself a poor sewer, but there is so much I could learn about it. There is always more to learn, I think.



I also wanted to include a picture of all the socks I’ve knit. One reason is because several people have commented on the length of the leg on the last pair I finished. I think the picture I posted before is misleading, because most of my socks are longer than those socks. I now know why I read other blogs and see people grumbling about ribbed socks. They get boring to knit. I find them nice to wear, though. I was wearing the red sock, so it is stretched out.

And, before I go, let us not forget that today is Lincoln’s birthday. He may have been the homeliest president ever, but he was a great president in very trying times.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Spring Fever


It’s been busy, busy lately. I got the quilt top and my socks done in spite of all the other things going on. I am surprised at how good the quilt is looking since it is my first project. I have to get to work on it if I want to finish it by next weekend. And the shirt, too.



I am proud to say I have the socks done. I’ve never knit socks that fast before. The yarn for the February socks still needs to be wound into a ball.

We don’t have snow on the ground right now, so it seems like spring should be here any day. It isn’t going to be here for another month at least and I may have to go insane waiting for it. I am very keen for gardening for the first 6 months of the year. Then the heat starts to annoy me and I just water things. Someday, I would like to have a lush green yard with lots of flowers like you see in pictures. Or some of the houses I like to drive by in town during the summer. We have lived here for 3 years and have managed to get an idea of how often our yard needs water to keep up the appearance of being alive. Maybe this year will be the year our grass stays gorgeous through the summer.