Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Freestyle!

I finished the second mitten! Whahooo! It turned out pretty well I think. I decided my next project would be a blanket for my hubby's chair. But I wanted something bigger than your average throw. So I pulled out my brand new 52" cable and cast on. I thought I would use the basketweave stitch. I haven't used that one before and I thought this would be a good way to learn it.
I filled up the whole cable and I am off and running.
After knitting the first row I began to wonder if perhaps I should have cast on a few less stitches and perhaps made long strips and sewed them together. I have quite a lot of yarn on these needles.
But, then I thought no way! Suck it up! I will make four large squares and sew them together. That way I am sure to have the blanket big enough.
I am on row 3. It takes a while to repeat to the end of the row! LOL. And I may soon have to switch to a larger project bag! But I will not be denied my large blanket!

I am on row 5 of the blanket. It is huge, but I like it and I think I will stick with it. It might be more than I should take on at a time, but it will work and it will be fabulous.
The blanket lives on - Today.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Second Mitten Saga

Okay, I still haven't finished the second mitten. It seems to be taking such a long time considering I was off to such a great start. I am stitching up the thumb today so I should have it finished and ready for blocking. I finished up the hang part last night. I also went and bought three of the latest knitting magazines yesterday while out running my weekly errands so there are lots of inspiration in there! My hubby can't wait for me to make him a sweater. oye! I am feeling pretty clever over my mittens but a sweater? Hmm. That could be interesting. There are two pullovers that claim to be "easy" in one of the magazines I bought. I will have to try one and see just how "easy" it is. They all call for straight needles though, I was really hoping to make one on circulars and not have to seam it. I'm not very confident in my seaming abilities.

Progress report on Rosie, she is feeling better. She has put some weight back on and is back to fighting with her Basset Hound sister, Lily. Which added a few gray hairs this week. She goes back to the vet this week, so hopefully, we will have continued good news.

Another hobby of mine is HAM radio, and my hubby and I spent the better part of yesterday installing a new mobile radio and antenna in my truck. Considering I drive 25 miles each way to work it will be nice to be able to reach someone including my hubby on his radio should I need help. Yes, I do also have a cell phone, but radio is faster, there is always someone on the air. And the county where I work does not have very good cell phone coverage so sometimes it can take a few minutes to get a signal. Radios are also more reliable in severe weather around here. Cell towers can be blown done or lose power. You only need 12 volts to run these radios and you can get help if you need it or help someone else.

Today it is in the 50s again, but until yesterday it is cloudy and rainy so an excellent day for finishing my mitten. Rosie is not interested in knitting today so Lily is here at my feet to help me finish it up.

Happy knitting everyone!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday with Rosie

Rosie, the mascot of my blog had surgery yesterday. She has a collapsing larynx. Our vet removed a lot of soft tissue to ease her breathing to hopefully lessen the stress on the larynx. Hopefully this will slow the collapsing process. But, our vet didn't think she was going to survive the surgery, but my girl is strong and she came through with flying colors! The vet was impressed with how she came through.
I stayed home from work to keep an eye on her today. She is sleeping in my hubby's chair with a blankie. But she has eaten today, which is good!
Hopefully she will be back over here in my chair and helping with my knitting in a couple of days. She likes to lay in my lap while I knit.
Knowing that knitting is a calming activity (or can be) I needed something to do while I was worrying about Rosie. So I finally figured out how to knit a mitten. Now I know millions of people knit mittens everyday, but just remember back to the first time.
Here's a tip for the really clever people who make patterns. If you are going to make a mitten pattern rated as easy please consider putting a graphic of the thumb gusset. I was having a hard time imagining what this was supposed to look like, but I jumped in feet first and figured I'd just knit it and see what it looked like when I got done. It only took me a day to make my first mitten. Today I will make the second one.
So my niece will have a pair of mittens to match the hat and scarf I finished last week for her.
So these mittens will have a story with them. They kept me from biting my nail while worrying about Rosie.
They are Rosie mittens.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Baby It's Cold Outside

So here I sit toasty and warm in my den, a glass of Reisling, my blog, my Basset Hound Lily sleeping with her head resting on my foot and keeping it warm and a pile of newly purchased yarn just waiting to make something of itself.
Just last week we had tempatures in the 70s. Of course, everyone was complaining it was too warm to be January and we were all be sick with these crazy tempatures. Well, today it didn't get out of the 30s and of course there was the wind chill to consider. We are much more fortunate than many other parts of the country and the world for that matter. We have not yet had any rain, sleet or snow.
So naturally, they are forcasting a change for tomorrow and into Monday. I have to get Rosie to the vet first thing Monday morning for a biopsy and I am hoping the roads are not icy, I will be a nervous wreck already worrying about her. She is a very high risk candidate for anathesia, but there is no other way to get the biopsy from the mass in her neck which is pressing on her windpipe, so I have to do something and I have to do quickly before it gets worse.

In times of stress I knit, when I need to relax, I knit, when I have to wait more than five minutes for anything, I knit. When I am waiting TV or a movie, I knit so I stayed up last night and finished a scarf and hat set for my neice.
The scarf was done with P3 for the first and last three stitches in each row and knit in between. The hat I knitted in K2P2 to sort of match the edging on the scarf. I think it has a retro sort of shape to it and I like it. I hope she does too.
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


I then felt the need to knit something else but didn't know what i was in the mood to knit because my skills are still somewhat limited. I wasn't really in the mood to start another hat or scarf to tell you the truth. So today I went out and bought enough yarn (I hope it is enough) to knit an afghan. I bought 52" cable last week for my circular needles and so I might give it a go and see how that works. I am still deciding on the stitch pattern though. I am leaning towards doing a K1 P1 for the first inch or two and then P3 Knit and P3 on the subsequant rows after that until I get to the end and then K1P1 for the final inch or two. I haven't worked it all out yet.

I have plenty of yarn and plans for more hat/scarf sets for other family members and I may start them on another set of needles to have something more portable.

Please keep Rosie in our thoughts and prayers this coming Monday.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Perfect Day

Imagine you are riding in the car to go out and find something to do for an afternoon with your spouse. And he says why don't you show me the yarn store you love so much, so I can see where all the money goes and laughs. You laugh but agree wondering if you should really show him because then he will know where to find you when you are having a "me" day. But, what the heck you know where he hangs out I mean it has a huge sign that says "LOWES" you know he is in there right, so fair is fair.
You go into the store, he is the only man in there so the other knitters are giving you sideways glances wondering if he the rare creature, a man that knits, or have I brought him into our hideout? He helps me pick out sock yarn for my upcoming class to learn how to make socks. Stands quietly by while I ask a few questions. Then realizes the store contains books! He is a librarian after all so any hobby that has books written for it or about it can't be all bad. He runs over and starts pulling different books off the shelf to suggest that I buy them. The first three I already had, but look at the others he pulls out. I ultimately pass on the books, the he spies software, computers and radios being his hobby he realizes the value of software and insists that I get it. It is the software we will learn to use in the sock class to make our own sock patterns so I buy it. I then get a 52'' cable for my Denise Interchangeable Needle kit so I can try to make an afghan. We look at more yarn and he asks is there anything else I need. I buy a cute little ball cap with the stores logo on it. And then I pinch myself. NO! I'm not day-dreaming I really do have an awesome husband and all of this is true! We have spent a ridiculous amount of money on some really great argyle sock yarn, plus needles in size 2 and other accessories and the software.
Oh happy day!
Then he takes me out to lunch!
It was a perfect knitters day!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Scarf

I finished knitting the hat for my newphew. I haven't blocked it yet, but am pleased how it turned out. I have started working on a scarf for his mom. I plan to make her a scarf, hat and mitten set, but I have to learn how to do a thumb gusset first. So I will procede with the scarf and hat until I can get that gusset thing figured out. Anyone got any good tips for a first time mitten knitter?

Okay, I am starting to resent working, it is taking away from my knitting time. I am loving this scarf I am working on. It is shades of blue and purple. I am working it with knit stitches the first and last three stitches in a row and purl stitches in between. I think the pattern of the stitches combined with the color pattern will be wonderful.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Circular Needles Revisited

Perhaps in my last post regarding circular needles I was a bit hasty. In my own defense it was my first time using them. I have since tried to start a hat on DPN's not as easy as I thought that would be. But, you must have the right tool for the right job so....yesterday I went and bought a set of Denise Interchangeable needles! Oh my gosh I love them. I started my second hat for like the fifth time on them last night and I am just about half way finished with the hat! It is going so smoothly I can't believe it. I feel like a pro!

Having starting the hat over again last night and things were going so smoothly today, I found myself making lunch choices to bring to work that would not take away from my knitting time. We had some take out that my hubby offered, said I could warm it up in the microwave at work. No! that takes too much time, too much valuable knitting time! I brought a plain sandwich, I can eat that at my desk before my "official" lunch time starts and have a full hour to knit. Except that my boss chose today to take me out to lunch, which was really nice of him. So no knitting until I get home tonight after dinner. I am starting to recent the need for mealtimes it is cutting into knitting time.

I will post hat pictures soon.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, welcome 2007!

I rang in the new year last night by frogging a hat for the fourth time. My first hat went pretty well and after starting on the circulars and switching over to DPN's I thought shoot, I will just do my next hat on DPNs! NOT!. I have started and restarted on the DPNs four times. Everything starts off nicely. I get my first three or four rows going and then somehow someway, I look and I've got two right sides face out and one right side facing in and I can't figure how how I am doing it. And I have done it four times! I am so careful not to twist and the joining seems to go off without a hitch but somewhere a little yarn pixy comes and twist the heck out of my stuff. Then last night somehow I was only knitting on two needles the same two needles! I have like three rows on one and only one row on the other two! How does this even happen!

So I decided I needed some sort of victory something to prove to myself I still had brain cells that were firing correctly. So I made myself a yarn jar. You may have seen these in craft stores You put your yarn inside and the screw on lid has a whole to feed the yarn through. I thought well that is handy. But $17 is a lot for plastic jug.

So I took a large plastic jar at home I think it once had pretzels or something in it from one of those warehouse stores. I cleaned it out and my hubby drilled a hole in the lid for me.

I think lined the hole with black electrical tape, it is thick and slick and would allow the yarn to slide though easily.

I am going to get some pretty contact paper or something to cover the jar with but here is how it looks this morning.

And a child's hat might be kicking my butt but as least I can make a yarn jar! Take that you yarn pixies!
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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting