Saturday, September 24, 2022

Welcome to Autumn 2022

September has flown by.  It marks the transition from summer to winter.

In my mind Kristin's birthday marks the end of summer.  She turned 29 this year.  We gathered at her house to celebrate with a one last cookout.

Jameson finally got to meet his Uncle Blake.  They had a great time together discussing their follicle challenges.

I gave Jameson his new hat.  The fit is perfect.  It won't be long before I'll need to knit another one in a slightly larger size.

The weather has cooled off and he's getting good use of the hat.  Last night Ed and I went to an Oktoberfest with Trisha and Craig.  The little schnitzel slept through all the polka music.

Before heading over to the festivities, we stopped by the house to check on the progress.  The electrical rough in is done.  We'll soon have our pre-drywall walk through.  It is looking like we'll close right in the middle of the holidays.

With the weather cooling off, Squeaks has decided to find a cozier place to sleep.  She's back to using the linen closet in my bathroom.  Instead of laying on the bath towels, she's decided my knitted shawls are perfect.  I probably make a few out of acrylic yarn just to for her and put my good ones away.

I couldn't resist the recent fall mini bundle from Blue Sky.  I'm knitting up a pile of leaves to create a garland.  Aren't they just the cutest little things?!


Saturday, September 10, 2022

FOs and Current WIPs

Have a few finished projects since my last post.

My grandson arrived on Monday, August 29.  He is absolutely perfect!  I got to see him born.  It was an incredible experience.  Let the spoiling begin.

I gave my daughter and son-in-law an unfinished cradle that I found in my dad's workshop after he died.  My son-in-law added a bottom to it.  I made a little pad for the inside.  Jameson took his first nap in it and gave it the seal of approval.

I finished my Ranunculus.  It turned out exactly as I had hoped.  It is now stowed away waiting for my reunion.  I don't want to wear it until then so that it is fresh.  I'm worried that the mohair will pill.

Football season is upon us.  My daughter and I want to make sure Jameson roots for the Bengals so I made him a little had to wear this season.  I used a basic baby hat pattern and Fiber Optics Kashmir in their Bengals colorway from about 10 years ago.  It was a limited edition yarn that I've had in my stash for quite a while.

There is going to be another baby in the family later this year.  My niece is expecting her first in November.  I started a slipped rib blanket using some Dreambaby DK that has been in my stash.  I have 4 balls.  I'm hoping it will be long enough with just those 4.  After I finish the first ball, I'll measure how long it is and see if I have to order more.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I can find the colorway.  I bought it about a year and a half ago from Webs when I was making a blanket for a nephew's baby that came in May 2021.  I'm not too worried about the dye lot because I think Dreambaby is pretty consistent.

While doing more yarn organizing, I heard the whispers of the Berroco Remix Light I bought a year or two ago.  I bought it to make another Anker Summer Tee.  During a couple very boring days at work, I cast on.  I think I might have enough yarn to make long sleeves.  If so, this will be a nice autumn sweater.

Making progress on my Beeline Shawl.  As mentioned last time, this is not easy TV knitting.  At the latest color change, I made a major mistake and had to do major surgery to fix.  My fix isn't perfect but I think it will not be noticeable once blocked.

While waiting at the hospital for Jameson to make his appearance, I cast on a pair of socks.  I've misplaced the ball band, so I don't know what yarn this is.  I'm trying to do two-at-a-time.  Years ago my friend and I took a class at a LYS on this.  I don't quite remember how we did the heel gusset.  Once I get to that step I'll have to experiment to see if I can figure it out.  Stay tuned to see how I make out with these.


Sunday, August 28, 2022

WIPs All Around

 Works in Progress is the theme right now.  Grandbaby - In Progress, New House - In Progress, Projects - In Progress.

Still waiting for my grandbaby to arrive.  I'm not feeling as anxious as I felt a week or so ago.  Maybe it is because I know that by this time next week he'll be here.  If he doesn't come earlier, my daughter is getting induced on Friday.  Constant prayers are going up for  a safe delivery and healthy baby and momma.

With working from home I don't get out of the house often.  Ed does the grocery shopping, so my trips out are usually just to church or the gym, which I recently joined and am still trying to develop the habit of going to.  Yesterday I went over to Trisha and Craig's for the day.  We went to an apple farm to buy some produce.  I came home with a big bag of Gala apples.  I also bought a butternut squash.  Butternut squash soup is on the menu tonight.  Yum!!

After I left their place I stopped by the house to check on the progress of the build.  Craig and Trish go by often, but I haven't been there since mid-July.  The framing is done and the roof is on. I really wasn't supposed to go inside, but since no one was working I took a little tour around the house.

This is the view coming out of our bedroom and looking out the family room windows.  You can see the pond in the back.  Across the pond is an area we have been told will someday become a park.  I hope so.  I really want the view to stay like this.  Waking up to this every morning is going to make me very happy!

I have to get myself moving on packing things up.  I think Ed is starting to get a little impatient with me.  He is reminding me that we need to get the pieces of furniture that we aren't taking listed for sale.

I finished the A Study In Pink sweater.  I made a couple modifications.  First, I didn't knit the bottom hem as long as the pattern states.  The sweater was long enough for me already and I thought the wide hem took away from the lace.  Second, I added an inch to the sleeves before binding off.  I don't like showing my fat upper arms.

Overall, I'm happy with how it turned out but there are a few things that take away from this being perfect.  First is the yarn. I used Diamond Sock from The Knot House.  It is lovely yarn but is a bit itchy for me.  Positives for the yarn is that it is well plied and the color is lovely, although I did realize after I was done that one of the skeins was not quite the same as the other two.  I'm pleased with the fit. Because my gauge was little off from the pattern, I knit a size smaller than I would if I had gotten gauge.  It fit through the torso perfectly.  The neck opening is a bit wider than I like, but I can live with that.  If I make this again, I may make the neck opening a little smaller and then increase up to the correct size before the lacework.  But I'm tired of knitting sweaters from fingering weight, so there is no plans at this time to knit this again.

My Ranunculus is coming along.  I haven't been monogamous with this so it's not getting done as quickly as people say this pattern can be made.  I am loving how the fabric looks.  This will be a fun thing to wear when it's finished.

One of my favorite YouTube channels to watch is Arne and Carlos.  I got hooked on them during 2020 when they were doing their daily Sit And Knit For A Bit videos.  Back then I started working on the Astri blanket.  It's a stash-buster project to use up a bin of Knit Picks Palette that I bought years ago.  Last week on their channel, Arne and Carlos announced that they have hit 150,000 subscribers.  To celebrate, they asked for photos of projects that people are making/have made using their patterns.  Here is my submission.  Squeaks had to pose with the flowers.  She's such a diva!

Since I've been packing, I've been organizing all of my WIPs.  Instead of casting on a new project, I've pulled a couple hibernating projects to work on.

The Beeline Shawl was started back in 2020, but got put aside because the lace was complicated and my brain wasn't up to it.  It definitely isn't TV knitting.  I'm trying to get a couple rows of this done each day just to make progress on it.

I don't have a picture yet of the other WIP I am going to work.  It is the Sixty Years sweater.  I started it back in 2019 using some Amano Yarns Puna.  I haven't restarted it yet because I want to finish the Ranunculus first.  Stay tuned for updates on it.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Plans Can Be Changed

The past month has flown by.  My grandson is going to be here soon.  My daughter's pregnancy seems to have gone by much faster than any of mine did.  I am very excited to meet the little guy soon.  My daughter is showing signs that she'll go into labor soon.  Her due date is September 9, but I'd be surprised if she goes another week.

I finished Willum's Overalls and gave them to Trisha for the baby.  I'm worried that by the time he is big enough to wear these, the weather will be too warm.  I might just have to make another one in a smaller size.  Or a bigger size to fit him during his second winter.

While 'packing' for the house, I came across four skeins of linen (Knit Pick's Lindy Chain) that I planned to day with avocado.  I had the avocado pits and skins in the freezer, so I decided that I'd dye up the yarn now to clean out something in the freezer.  After doing a little investigation on the web, I learned that avocado pits have tannin in them so I didn't need to mordant the yarn.  I boiled up the skins and pits to make the dye bath.

The next day I put the linen in to soak.  It spent 24 hours in the pot.

I was hoping for a dusty rose color.  Instead it came out as a pale peach color.  Not what I had hoped, but still nice for summer.  These four skeins are now in the stash while I search for a pattern.  I want a top-down summer tee.  These will have to wait until next year.   My enthusiasm to knit fingering weight is low right now since I did the Rock It Tee earlier this summer and have another fingering weight tee on the needles.

Progress on A Study In Pink stalled after I split for the sleeves and body.  The pattern calls for about 10 inches of plain stockinette before some lace detail and hem.  I found myself distracted with other things (dyeing yarn and other projects below) and decided I didn't want this to hibernate over the winter.  I'm forcing myself to get this done.  I am now almost to the lace detail at the bottom of the body.  A little more TV knitting will get me there.

One of my distractions resulted from receiving an invitation to my 40th high school class reunion.  The reunion is mid-October.  I want to make a sweater to wear to it but didn't want something that would be a big commitment.  Having made one Ranunculus, and have received compliments on it, I decided that is what I'll make.  The nice part of Ranunculus is that it works with almost any yarn weight. And knits up very fast.  Easily can be made in a week.  With that in mind I pulled some worsted weight from the stash and cast on.  

After getting through the yoke detail, I just wasn't as enthusiastic about how it was working up.  The combination of the yarn weight, the yoke detail, and the color just wasn't working for me.  I thought that I would just slog through it, hoping it would wow me once it was done.  But I just kept thinking that a worsted Ranunculus would be better in a color that wasn't so much in your face.  

Just as I was debating about what to do with the Ranunculus, I found a new knitting YouTube channel to watch. One of the ladies on the podcast was wearing a beautiful green Ranunculus made with fingering weight yarn held double with silk mohair.  That decided it for me.  The pink worsted Ranunculus was frogged and the search was on for the right yarn.

Nothing in my stash fit the bill for the reimagined Ranunculus.  I had some yarn but not the right quantities.  I promised myself earlier this year that I would curb my yarn buying, but I gave myself permission to make an exception this time if I found the right yarn.  Thursday I took a quick trip to a LYS and came across the perfect yarn.  This is The Backcountry Knitter Sock in Wisteria held double with Berroco Aerial in Basil.  It isn't the deep, rich green that the podcaster used for hers, but I love this combination.  The photo above is showing more blue than it actually is.  The mohair is giving it a soft sage green halo.   I love it and it will be perfect with my skinny* jeans.

*Side note:  Skinny is a relative term.  I am not skinny.  I have recently joined a gym with the intention to work out at least three times a week.   Hoping by mid-October I look toned and can comfortably wear my skinny jeans.

It has been about 2 1/2 years since I took a week off work.  Ed and planned a trip to the Carolinas, but changed our plans last minute.  Because Trisha is showing signs of having the baby early, I wasn't comfortable being away for a whole week.  Our plan was to go to Asheville, NC for a couple days and then spend the rest of the week at Edisto Island, SC.  After a quick discussion, Ed said he'd rather stay home and fish.  

  We dropped Edisto Island from the agenda but still went to Asheville because visiting the Biltmore has been on my bucket list.  It turned out to be the perfect day.

The house tour was fabulous.  Even though we only toured maybe a fourth of the whole house, it was impressive to see all of the rooms on the tour.

I think one of the biggest surprises was the basement room that the owners painted themselves for a party.  I had to take a picture for Squeaks of the kitty.

The garden was just as impressive.  Being mid-summer, there were areas that were past their prime.  I'd like to return in the different seasons to see how it looks in spring, autumn, and winter.

The coneflowers were absolutely gorgeous though.  I want to have a flowerbed like this at the new house.  I love all of the different colors.  This reminds me of a Monet painting.

After touring the house and gardens, we went over to the winery for lunch and a wine tasting.  We came home with bottles of wine and some wonderful memories.  It was a much needed time away.