Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wicked weather and project update

It has been awhile since I’ve posted to this blog. This is because my computer has been responding so slowly making me so frustrated. I’ve downloaded a program that should make it more efficient and organized but I don’t think this is helping much. I haven’t wanted to deal with it and avoid the frustration. I feared that I may eventually throw it across the room to deal with it.

Soo…I’ve taken a break and now feel the pressure to come back to update on what I’ve been doing……

Projects still on my needles….

Swallowtail shawl: I’ve enjoyed working on this up till now. My handspun merino is making it so soft but a little springy. I think perhaps this yarn would have been better suited for a baby sweater, but I am determined to use it for the shawl. I keep wondering if it will block correctly when finished because of its springyness.
I’ve finished the budding lace pattern adding 5 pattern repeats to make it larger. And now I move on to the Lily of the Valley lace pattern and I hit a wall! The purl 5 tog are so difficult and somewhere I ended up at the end with the wrong stitch count! I’ve frogged it back to the beg of this pattern and haven’t had the courage or concentration to attempt this part again. I’m trying to think of an easier way to do this stitch. Perhaps with a crochet hook?

Pinwheel baby blanket in seafoam green: This is my TV knitting that doesn’t need a lot of concentration. It’s about 18” in diameter so far. I’m using Lion Brand Pound of Love which is a very soft acylic. It will be perfect for my grandson to be born in August.
Socks: I started some socks but after knitting about 5 inches of the calf, I realized it was turning out too big! The pattern I’m using, Flip Flop Socks from Knitted Socks, called for Size 2 needles and sock yarn that matched the gauge. I only had Size 1’s and Size 3 dpns available, so I decided to use the Size 3 and came down one size in the pattern. I realize now that I should have come down two sizes. And so I ripped it out and started over. After several unsuccessful restarts I decided to bite the bullet, change to Size 1's and attempt the Monkey Socks by Cookie A.
My current UFO’s: Woodland Shawl, Celtic tote, Bell Curve Skirt, Tofustsies socks, Candlelight Scarf in doubled lace wt, Adult Surprise Sweater, and Walters Sweater. These have been languishing from neglect for a few weeks.

I am feeling the need to finish something again. So I dug out my Branching Out scarf I’m knitting in handspun Mohair/Wool. I have about 10 more inches to go. This is the project that is closest to being finished.

Wicked Weather

Warmer weather is coming, although one would think California has been a bit schitzophrenic lately. Over the past two weeks, the weather has changed from hot (over 100 degrees) to 60-70s about 3 or 4 times. We had a downpour the other day, which flooded my office building. Itd rained 4 inches of peasized hail and generated a couple of tornados in the area. The picture below shows our feable attempts to dam to water with a blanket, but it kept raining and water continued to seep under the doors. I heard Baldwin Park, which south of us, looked like a winter wonderland in May! Can you believe it?!!! Stranger weather has not happened in my lifetime. This can’t be good for our health! Soo….. among this resurgence of winterlike weather, I’ve been getting the itch to spin again.
Looking over my stash I found some Romney Roving. It seemed a little dry and rough so I spun it very fine in a lace wt. I also found a box of white mohair in locks of 4-5 inches. I think it is time I did something with it, so I decided to spin it fine and ply it with the Romney to soften the yarn. It came out very nice. The mohair gives it a wonderful shiny sheen. The first skein about 180 yds. I want to try to make another skein, enough for a scarf or shawl. I wonder how it would look dyed? Stay tuned…….

Monday, May 5, 2008

Relaxing at the Beach

My husband and I love to go on weekend trips away, but haven’t had a chance to get away in over two years. So this week, we finally decided to pack up at the last moment and get away to some local Southern California beach town. The weather has turned warmer, yet not too hot. All I could think about was a nice weekend just to relax and knit.

I planned to take several things knit. I was thinking I could take something easy, something quick and something more complicated to work on depending on the type of activity I was doing at the time.

For car and movie knitting, I took my charity hat project and baby kimono knitted in stockinette stitch from the Mason Dixon Knitting Book. For complicated knitting, the Swallowtail shawl and for boredom knitting, in case I was bored with all my other projects, I brought some sock yarn to start some socks. Of course, I also took along my new “Knitted socks” book to pick a pattern for socks.

I worked on the baby kimono with my lime and pink hand dyed Sugar and Cream cotton yarn and finished knitting it. It is a one piece jacket that is folded in half with only two seams to sew up. I made a slight mistake by adding a few extra rows when making the arms midway. I had to compensate by added a few rows of garter stitch along the back neck so that it would fit right at the neck. This is the unfinished jacket.

On a sunny bright day, we had a chance to see a movie and visit some of the local marina shops. Lo and behold, we found the Alamitos Bay Yarn Co. It had been a long time since I’ve been there. There were some novelty yarns and luxury yarns like Brown Sheep, Berroco and Noro. Several women were sitting around a table knitting on projects, but some took the time to help their customers find what they were looking for.

There were many sample baby sweaters to see. One of them, I fell in love with was the “Babies and Bears Sweater by Cottage Creation. It reminded me a lot like the Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Sweater but seemed a little more complicated or rather interesting. My new grandchild will be born in August. I do not know what sex the baby will be so I decided to get two skeins of a neutral gold color of Berroco’s Comfort yarn. The yarn is a very soft washable acrylic. I found some cute little yellowish fish buttons to go with it.
All too soon, my weekend away will be soon over and I will look forward to planning the next one. On the way home I got out my sock yarn out and decided to cast on a pair of flip flop socks. Now that my easy mindless projects are finished, I need to start some more.

I was bringing home a new book called "Knitalong" and the Pinwheel Blanket began to call to me again. Once I got home, I pulled out the Lion Brand Pound of Love in pastel green and started it. I am hoping that my new grandchild will be a boy.

Postscript: Just got a call from my son, the expectant father. They just got back from a 4-D ultrasound. Lo and behold, it's a boy! Praise the Lord!