Saturday, May 07, 2011

Endings and Beginnings

I finished the Nightsong Shawl and blocked it on a bed. It is soft and lightweight and I'm very pleased although I have nothing in these colors. I still have plenty more of this yarn and I'll put it away for now.
Two days ago I finished up some striped socks for Mac and he put them right on. Then feeling very thrifty, I reknit a toe for one of his old socks. I also took an old one of mine down past the heel turn and I'm reknitting a foot with some new yarn. It beats knitting an entire sock.

Now I must start another shawl and I'm trying to marry various yarn with patterns. My state of mind with Mac in and out of doctor's offices and the hospital plays havoc with my concentration and I end up tinking and frogging.

Sister Toni Andrews sent some photos of waves a few weeks ago and one has inspired me to make a Fair Isle cardigan in the colors, inky blue and golds. Knitpicks has some wool sport yarn that's perfect, but I live in Florida and an acrylic blend would be more practical. Maybe even a cotton acrylic, but the colors in that blend are just too wimpy to suit me. The sweater is in my head and I've just got to make it.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Shawls and Life in General

I finally got around to dying a shoulder shawl I finished in October. It even sat pinned up for three weeks after I blocked it. My mind just isn't into knitting with my husband in the hospital or even when he's home and needs a lot of help.
I've worn the Percy shawl a couple of times and had lots of compliments. It's just full of mistakes and I want to knit the pattern again when my mind can settle down.
Dreadful photo, but it is pretty, the copper lined glass beads show up well and the Malabrigo is nice and soft even after the dye job.

I frogged the Fisherman yarn lace project. Lots of work, but I knit to keep my sanity and I will reuse the yarn. No big deal.
Last year I bought some lace yarn at a local thrift shop. No labels, but some wonderful stuff. It's variegated lavender and pale green and two strands were wound together so that's how I'm using it to make a Nightsong shawl. It's a nice leaf pattern and I'm working on the seventh repeat. The markers are there to remind me that I'm knitting and to pay attention! It's really very pretty when spread out and can't wait to see it finished and blocked. I promise not to dye this one.

Monday, February 07, 2011

On & Off Needles & Hooks

I finished Cookie A's Stricken socks last week and decided that they were the most tedious project to date. Maybe it's just my state of mind, but I was never able to memorize the pattern. they turned out very nice, but all the work would show up much better in a solid color yarn.

I have a lavender and lime shawl on needles that just doesn't photograph well and another that is finished and needs blocking. Mac is not well and I will have to stick very close to home for a couple of months so maybe they will be finished.
I knitted a quick Calormetry headband for a friend last week, but didn't take a photo. Currently I'm working on a Column of Leaves cardigan, but making it with long sleeves and Fisherman wool in natural. It's an easy enough pattern, but my thoughts stray and I have to keep looking at the chart.
For trips to the medical center, I take an easy project. Right now, just some self striping yarn that I've had for a few years and didn't like enough to knit. They will be good for around the yard and outside chores.
Yesterday I looked at some Patons Kroy Socks Fx yarn in Cameo (pinkish) colours and saw that an acquaintance in Gainesville had used some to crochet and afghan and scarf with the same yarn. I need practice and improvement with crocheting so I used up one ball and started on a second with hexagonals.
So projects are getting started and some finished. I think they're keeping me fairly sane at this point in my life.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Pretty Monkey Socks

I was in Hank's Yarn in Gainesville a couple of weeks ago and there was a new batch of Monkey yarn and I had to have some. Thursday I went in to the shop to unwind with the yarn and empty needles. I had downloaded Cookie A's Monkey Socks from Ravelry and had that with me. I was thinking about Magic Loop, but I wanted 40" circular #1's and they were on back order. So I tried two circular needles, but after about 6 rows it was obvious that I was having ladder problems with this pattern so I switched to some old double pointed needles.
I love the pattern and the yarn and finished up the first one during the Grammy Awards last night. the one change that I did make was to continue the pattern down through the heel flap. I'm back in the knitting groove.

Socks, Fast & Slow

I knit two pair of socks for Christmas gifts. One pair, rather substantial in Trekking XXL to keep my sister's feet warm when she's out shoveling her sidewalk after a snow storm. I added a couple of cables that didn't show up but made me feel better. The other pair was wool/bamboo yarn for my niece. I think the pattern is called Eagle's Flight. It took me over two weeks to make those. I was so relieved to get both pair made in time for Christmas that I never even took a photo, just got them in the mail right away.

In January, I decided to learn something new after all these years of knitting. I took the Addi 40" circular needle out of its package and picked out the Cherry Tree Hill yarn in Winterberry that I bought last year at Hank's Yarn in Gainesville. Not wanting to make it easy for myself, I made toe-up socks in Cross Hatch lace from Charlene Schurch's More Sensational Knitted Socks. After three tries I succeeded with the figure eight cast on. Things were going okay, liked the pattern with the yarn and really liked the Magic Loop knitting.
Then I got to the heel and at the same time came down with a cold. Short rowing wasn't new to me after years of machine knitting, but with the head ache and ear ache and cold, I couldn't manage. I frogged that heel three times and started over. I felt really stupid. I was using Schurch's method with all of the markers and all. Finally I put the markers away and just plowed through it, one heel at a time.They are headed to Connecticut for my sister. I think she will like them.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Frogging is Good

I frogged the aqua socks. The metallic thread was scratchy and the yarn too busy for the pattern. The good part is that I learned the pattern and I'm looking forward to making it in a solid color. Just not now.

So I made some nice socks in a nice stripe, simple with one cable on each side, nothing special, but very good yarn, warm and machine washable. A gift so I won't show the photo.

I also frogged a much larger project, an Adult Surprise sweater from an old Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern. I didn't do a good gauge piece and it was all out of whack. I didn't like the trim either. The yarn was a gift and I'm making it for the gifter. Someday she'll get it. I just need something for trim or it will be hopelessly dull. I made a mohair version of it for me over 25 years ago and sometimes I wear it and sometimes one of the cats sleep on it. We all love it.

I started another pair of socks in the Flying Geese pattern I think with double pointed needles. I hate DP needles, but my #1 circulars are cheap and they hang up the loops. Can's afford Addi's right now. The socks look good and they will suit my niece I think.

I untangled a basket of yarn and found over 20 stitch holders, mostly about 6" long. I have a better variety than all of the stores in town. I have no idea where they came from but I think I bought out part of a store inventory in CT a few years ago and most were probably there. I never felt a need for over 3 at a time. Found an extra cable needle too. Everything neat now and I'm feeling quite holier than thou about my stash.

Time to run to the hospital with Mac. I'll take my knitting, my MP3 player with a book for listening and all is right with the world.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I've Strayed, but Knitting Again

August and September were a wash as far as knitting went. I just couldn't bring myself to knit.
Mac was in the hospital twice this past Summer and had a toe removed after an infection in September. His foot has to be bandaged twice a day and that's one of my jobs. The medicine messed with his diabetes and now that's back in control. He still has lots of pain and that seems to be getting worse despite the pain killers.

Thursday night I finally finished his boring charcoal gray socks and he put them on immediately and was very pleased. I did part of a row on my shawl, but my concentration is definitely off. Friday we went into town and I bought the other hank of Malibrigo for my shawl and a Cookie A sock pattern at Hanks Yarn. I have plenty of sock yarn to be used up so despite the temptation of their wonderful stock of sock yarn, I didn't buy any. Not that I had the money anyway.

I wnt through my yarn and needles and settled on Socka Disco color by Schoeller & Stahl that I've had for a couple of years. It's aqua with gray and some metallic silver. Got the first sock started last night. I'm knitting with size #2 Addi circular. My #1 just aren't very good and I'm not buying more needles right now.

At an antique show last weekend I found a big cone of rag yarn, wool and cotton. Not too clean, but might make a great sweater for my brother or nephew or niece. Might even try out the knitting frame that I've had for more than 20 years and never used. My old knitting machine spoiled me. It's long gone, but I could make most anything with it and expect more than speed with the Bond frame.
I promise not to neglect this blog, but you can find me on Twitter under floridayankee if you really want a day to day, stitch by bitch look at my life.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dry Spell - Do You Have them Too?

For almost a month I couldn't knit. Well okay, I would pick up one of the socks that I was working on and knit a row or two and put it aside next to my chair and pick up a crossword or Sudoku to work on. didn't do them very well either. It was just a matter of stress. Knitting usually relieves the stress, but the stress was so bad, I didn't feel like doing anything that wasn't absolutely necessary. Laundry, cooking and vacuuming got done as well as grocery shopping. But no knitting.
Mac got worse and worse and when he could no longer stand up I took him to his doctor and she put him in the hospital. Liver failure we were told. Well, we knew that his liver is getting worse, but after five days and a couple of transfusions, he could walk, or at least shuffle a bit. His heart doctor sent him home and didn't tell his internist. Two days later he was back there taking another blood test and the day after that seeing a third doctor. He is still bleeding slowly internally and no one knows why.
anyway, he is feeling a bit better and is puttering around and I'm knitting again. I finished the blue socks and started on another shawl. Nice Malabrigo yarn in a taupe shade and I will add some beads. The pattern is a freebie on Ravelry called Percy Shawl.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Dyed Again

I finished knitting my green shawl a week ago and finally figured why I really didn't like the color that much. That varigated green reminded me of the Girl Scout uniforms that I wore for years. Loved the scouts, but not so much the uniforms.
So I bought some blue dye and turned it deep greenish blue and then blocked it. It really turned out pretty and I'm looking forward to some cool weather. The pattern is free on Ravelry and is called Vernal Equinox. Less than two hanks of Malibrigo Lace yarn.
Next time I'll think more about the color, maybe something fuchsia, and make a shawl with beads.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Knitting

Knitting gets tough for me this time of year. I live in a house in North Florida with no air conditioner except for in my computer room. The doors and windows are all open and I knit in the living room in front of the TV at night. A current project always goes in the car with me so I knit when Mac drives or in Hanks in Gainesville.

My hands are sweaty in this heat and humidity and the yarn sticks to my fingers a bit. Okay, I should be knitting with something other than wool, but it is my favorite. The Vernal Equinox shawl is almost finished. Knitting with Malabrigo lace is fun and one hank can keep me busy for two weeks, so it's very economical.
The circular needle is too short to spread it out, but here it is so far. It will be dyed a dark blue green before it gets blocked. This green is nice, but won't work somehow.