Sunday, November 29, 2015

One Off The Christmas List

The thrummed mittens for Trisha are finished.  Overall I am happy with the results.  

I will admit that are not exactly the same size.  The left mitten (the one knit second) is slightly smaller than the right mitten.  I think my knitting was a bit tighter.  There was a month in between them.  I think my knitting on the first mitten was looser because I was suffering from a sore thumb at the time. It may have affected how I carried the yarn on my left hand since I knit Continental.  Another possible theory is that I paid more attention to drawing the yarn tighter around the thrums on the second mitt.   I think the morale is to knit them together if I do any more thrummed mittens.

The Custom Fit cardi is a step closer to being done.  I finished both sleeves and blocked them.  It is now ready for seaming.  It has been a while since I've seamed anything, so I am feeling a bit intimidated right now. 

I am very pleased with how drapey the fabric has turned out.  It will be a great sweater for layering over a blouse or top.  Things are looking good for having this done by Christmas.

The Custom Fit cardi is being knit out of Silky Wool.  I bought 20 skeins of the red at Stitches South last year.  This cardi is going to use about 8 of them.  Yesterday while patronizing my LYS for Small Business Saturday I picked up two more skeins of Silky Wool in another colorway.  It says Pale Jade, but it looks more gray to me than green.  I think I'll make a loose-fitting pullover with the remaining red and add a few stripes with the pale jade.  I'll have to find a suitable pattern; maybe something I could whip up on my knitting machine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


The weekend was a total bust.  My son's high school was in the state tournament, but lost on Saturday in the quarter-final round.  Ohio State didn't have their hearts nor heads in the game and also lost on Saturday.  The Bengals made it a trifecta.

The football game on Sunday night was too frustrating for any good knitting.  Sensing a loss, the third for the weekend I'd have to endure, I went upstairs to read.  I picked up on Monday evening while my husband watched the episode of the Walking Dead he missed because of the Sunday night football.

The shoulder shaping is underway.  I had to wind a new ball of yarn for the one sleeve.  Serious doubts are running through my head about making it to the end with the small ball left for the second sleeve.  I'll probably wind another ball today for insurance purposes.

After the sweater is done, I'll get back to a couple Christmas gifts; finishing the thrummed mittens for Trisha and making a pair of socks for Blake.

Knit Picks had a great yarn sale.  I picked up these goodies.

The next big project is Blake's college blanket.  He picked out the red and blue yarn from a Knit Picks catalog.  He wants a Gradient Blanket.  The designer used Knit Picks Brava, which I ordered.  When the package came, it just didn't look like enough for a blanket.  I then checked the dimensions and realized it is just a throw size.  I may order more yarn and make the blanket a little bit bigger.

While I was photographing the yarn, I noticed my Christmas cacti are blooming.  These plants came from my mom's house.  They always bloomed beautifully for her.  I was worried that they wouldn't like the move, but they seem to have adapted well.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


My temporary retirement has begun.  I officially signed out of work on November 13.  Superstitious people would have picked a different day, since it was a Friday the 13th.  But I'm not superstitious.

The first week of my unemployment was spent sorting through the books and papers I brought home from the office.  I also hosted my euchre club.  It still only feels like a vacation.  It hasn't fully hit me yet.  I find myself occasionally wondering what is going on in the office or thinking about what needs to be done on the projects I left.  Then I catch myself and remind myself that it doesn't concern me any longer.

My projects now are of the fiber kind.  I'm nearing completion of the sleeves of the Custom Fit cardi.  I should get them finished tonight while watching a Bengals football game.  After I finish this I need to complete the thrummed mittens for Trisha and make a pair of socks for Blake.

One of the items in my dining room that I haven't yet figured out what to do with is this picture.

This is a crayon drawing of my great-grandmother.  She was born Louise Martin.  She married a man named Joseph Wessell.  My middle name is Louise, named after her.  One of my sisters has the drawing of her husband.  Since I am named after her, my sister thought I would like the drawing of her.  The picture is well over 120 years old and very fragile.  It has no frame.  I need to find a frame for this and figure out a good place to hang it where it won't get direct sunlight or high humidity.

This week is Thanksgiving.  The girls will be coming home for the weekend.  I bought the turkey and some of the ingredients for the side dishes.  I'll need to sit down and write out the game plan.

But now it is back to knitting.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fighting Raynaud's

My middle child has a condition called Reynaud's Syndrome.  It is a circulatory problem where the hands and feet suffer restricted blood flow when they get cold.  Trisha's finger turn white and then purple as the blood flow decreases.  It can be painful.  She has noticed that she has difficulty holding her pen to take notes in class if the lecture hall is cold.  Her case isn't severe so the only treatment is to try to stay as warm as possible.  To that end, I decided she needed a pair of thrummed mittens.

The black yarn is from the stash given to me from my sister's friend.  I think it is Lamb's Pride, but I am not positive.  It is worsted weight and woolen spun.  The roving came from another sister.  It is your basic, cream wool.  It still has a lot of lanolin on it so it will help keep Trisha's hands soft and warm.

Wandering Moon is finished and is blocking.  It will make a nice scarf with my winter coat.

Here's a closeup of the detail.  The cable edging doesn't show up very nice in this photo.  Now that the weather is turning colder, I'll get a lot of use out of this.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Rhinebeck Goodies

Things are wrapping up at work.  The first big wave of people to depart due to the voluntary early retirement signed out yesterday.  Rumor has it 250 left.  I met with a group at a local establishment for a celebration.  I have 10 more working days before I'm no longer there.  Yesterday I started to feel a bit of sadness knowing that I will never see a lot of these people again.  But in all honesty, it was a small bit.  I have the contact information for those I want to maintain a relationship with.

One question that kept coming up was "What are your plans?"  My plans are to enjoy the holidays and look for a new job in January.  I have plenty of projects around the house to do.  My fear is that I won't want to go back to work.

Speaking of projects, I am making headway on Wandering Moon.  I am in Clue 3 with about 20 more rows to go.  Clue 4 looks fast compared to Clue 3.  I should have this done by the end of next weekend.

Last time I mentioned that I went to Rhinebeck with a couple of my sisters.  I didn't mention, however, the goodies I bought.  I actually restrained myself.  In fact, I think I held back a little too much. What I didn't buy, but am now wishing I had, was a skein of sock yarn in brilliant autumn colors.  The beautiful fall color we are enjoying this year has made me crave oranges, reds, yellows and browns.  Any, I digress.  Here are the treasures I came home with:

Two books, one newly released and the other not-so-newly released.

I couldn't pass up this skein of cashmere cobweb-weight yarn.  It is going to become a lovely shawl someday.  It is in a beautiful blush color.

A bag of washed Lincoln locks.  It is 0.6 pounds.  I need to figure out how to comb or card it.  I don't have either tools, so I need to get some.  I looked online and am now suffering a bit of sticker shock.  I didn't realize how expensive wool combs and hand-carders were.  And I wasn't ready to see how expensive drum carder are!!

Although this doesn't qualify as a purchase, I did come home from Rhinebeck with a little more progress on my Custom Fit cardi.  I decided to work the sleeves together to increase the chances of getting this project done.  Once Wandering Moon is off the needles, I'll get back to this.  The goal is to wear it at Christmas.