Thursday, March 31, 2005

Squirrels, Spring, and Knitting

Here's a very acrobatic squirrel that I ran across on Tuesday. He (or she) is hanging upside down from a suspended ear of corn, holding on by his back feet and is eating. I might add that he spent quite a while in this position. Later, he was on the wire that the corn is suspended from and pulled the corn up to him and sat up on top and ate. What a character!

Here's another sign that spring is trying it's best to burst out. This mini-daffodil appeared in my flower bed Wednesday at lunch time. The crocus' are just about to bite the dust, and the daffodil are still forming buds. The tulips are just peeking their leaves out of the ground.

And now for knitting content -- I balled up some the tapestry yarn that I was gifted and started the Sophie felted bag. The tapestry yarn is very springy and has tight twist (I'm sure due to it's intended use for stitching) but it should make a lovely bag. The color in the photo isn't really very true. It's actually a nice burgundy. I intend to use Susan's double I-cord method for the handle.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I have been knitting away on the acrylic shaw. My aunt passed away on Good Friday and today was the funeral. She was quite the talented crafter. Everything she did was well thought out and executed beautifully. Tomorrow we're all back to work and school. We did have great fun watching the squirrels eating corn in my uncle's backyard. Quite the acrobats! I'll try for a photo tomorrow.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Easter, flowers, and socks

Easter preparations and house cleaning are happening here. The Amyrillis that I got for Christmas and planted in February is blooming for Easter. It's amazing that something so large can come out of a bulb that's comparatively pretty small.

After cleaning, laundry, shopping, et cetera, I did have some time to put in on the current pair of socks. I'm really pleased with how the stitch pattern is turning out. I doesn't mix up the varigation in the yarn, but I really like how the stitch pattern shows up. I should be pretty close to being finished with this sock before I head off to bed tonight.

I'm cooking the ham for Easter dinner, which my DM is hosting. Since she has pneumonia, we'll try to keep it easy on her. We usually share the cooking duties and we really keep Easter dinner a bit more simple than Thanksgiving or Christmas. She also has the largest table and area to eat in. So, I'm cooking the 17 pounds of ham (semi-boneless and already cooked). I'm also going to make deviled eggs and a coconut custard pie (pie is for here at home). So, I'll need to do some internet research on the pie. The deviled eggs, I'd like to check out some recipies for something special. I've been hard boiling eggs and another trip to the store will be necessary.

We'll try this again. Here's the photo of the mini-ripple sock.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Socks it is!

Socks it is! It's been awhile since I've made any socks, which is something that I really enjoy. These are a variation of the Broadripple Socks that were featured in Knitty. I wanted more ripples so the basic stitch pattern I'm using is K1, yo, k1, ssk, k2tog, k1, yo, k1. I'm working that over 64 stitches, because I have big legs and feet. I'm also working on in my head a variation that substitutes a "m1" for a "yo" to eliminate the hole and just have ripples. I'll keep you posted on that. The yarn is Esprit from Elann. I have enough Esprit for two pairs. I've never used Esprit before, but I have used Cascade Fixation and it makes comfortable socks. This pattern is one of my favorites. I've made several pairs of socks with it and it's always a hit.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Weekend recap

It was kind of an exciting weekend. First, I finished up Clapotis. I'm going to do some minor blocking -- the corner where I ended up is kind of pulled out of kilter. After blocking I'll finish up with a photo. It was a really fun thing to knit. It's really neat how it rolls up or spreads out depending on how you handle it.

On Saturday we were back to Penn State for Women's Gymnastics. Penn State Lady Lions hosted Rutgers, Temple, and William and Mary at Rec Hall. Lots of fun! The Lady Lions won. (as expected) A good time was had by all! Even the Nittany Lion made an appearance at the meet. Of course we've also been following March Madness all weekend. Even DD (the 10 year old) is keeping a pairing bracket on her own. If you're a college basketball fan, it's a great time of year. Of course, the PSU men's team didn't get a bid. The Lady Lion Basketball team went to College Park, MD yesterday where they had their hopes dashed. Well, there's always next year...

Sunday involved laundry, cooking, and computer repair. I have to explain that we have three computers at our house. One is my daughter's. One is a brand, spanking, new Dell purchased mostly for gaming. The third one is the old war horse that we use for internet and general computer use. (It has the best virus software.) Well, the old war horse took a hit earlier in the week. It all started with a virus. I think we've got that cleared up, but I think now we've got hardware issues. It wants to shut down on it's own if it's been running for a long time. And it's having trouble booting up. And it's very noisy and just about six years old. Could still be virus problems, but my gut feeling it hardware. Anyhow, it's going to the computer hospital later this week. So, DD's computer is rotating up to be our main on-line unit. And that's involved major housecleaning. (we got rid of the SpongeBob software that hasn't been played for about a year.) I also broke out the bucks and bought the latest version of Norton. So, I've been installing, updating, and restarting.

So you can see not much knitting happened. Just thoughts about what the next project will be. Definately got to finish the other felted slipper. It's been waiting since January!

Also, I had a comment from Elayne about my software. I'm using Picasa and Hello both from Google. They work very well with Blogger. Thanks for the comment!

Friday, March 18, 2005

I have this lovely skein of Lion Brand Incredible that I've been trying to come up with a project for. At this point I've just been petting it. I'm leaning towards some sort of triangular shaped scarf mixed with other yarns that I have not yet added to my collection.

And here's my other shawl project. As you can see it's very simple. I can pick it up and knit pretty much mindlessly. I'm using up some Red Heart yarn that I had laying around. No need to be wasteful and throw it out!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Baby sweater

This is the baby sweater that I've been working on. You can find the pattern here. I've very simple. I'm going to work some blue ribbon through the eyelet rows. I don't have a particular baby in mind, I just really want to enter it into the local county fair this summer. I'll need a hat and booties to go along with it. The pattern is real nice in that it's all knit in one piece, so there's no seaming to do.

Spring is springing!

Spring is slowly creeping up on us as evidenced by the crocus poking their purple heads up through the ground. The Rhodadendrons are perking up too. I see greenery from the daffodils and even the tulips are beginning to pop through the ground too.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

And here's an artistic collage of my Flower Basket Shaw. It's something I can do with the software that I use to upload my photos to the blog. I really enjoyed making the shawl. I learned a lot and I'd make another one -- maybe not the same pattern, but something similar (i.e. from the center neck down and out.)

And here's the complete patchwork scarf. A very successful project.

Here's a shot of the almost complete ear flap hat.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Blog rings and such

I signed up for the "Knitting Blogs" webring today! Posted by Hello

I completed my patchwork style scarf and an ear flap style hat from the Lion Brand web site for DD. As per her order it was all various blue yarn. Now if I can get her to hold still long enough for a picture I can show you all! The hat was REAL FAST! I did it on my Size 13 double points and used two and three strands of yarn so it was very bulky. It turned out great and I'm considering one for myself.

I think I'm going to start on a baby sweater. Don't know any babies or any coming soon, but I'd like to make an entry into the local county fair this summer. So I need a sweater, cap, and booties. I have a pattern that I found on the web that I'm tweaking a bit. Then I'll have to come up with something for the hat. For the booties I have a good pattern that will work in with my tweaking method. (it involves blue ribbon) For the sweater I'm using yellow Bernat Softee.

Clapotis is decreasing nicely. A day or two more of concentrated effort and I should be done. And then to block or not to block. I've been lurking around the web and haven't seen much info in that area.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Mad Gargoyle

Here's DD with her sculpture "Mad Gargoyle" that was entered in the local art show. The local arts counsel had a very nice reception for the children and parents and the art will be on display for the balance of the month. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A lion's paw. Posted by Hello

Next up

This is what I have gathered together to make my next "Wear as a Collar" scarf. I think that I need something to carry along with the ladder yarn like a fine black wool. I'll have to check my stash. From making the scarf before, I think it really lends itself to using a real variety of textures. Posted by Hello

Patchwork Scarf

Posted by Hello
This is the patchwork scarf that I've been working on. The pattern is from MagKnits (see the link below) I've adapted it to use a variety of yarn, including some new stuff that I got at Michael's over the weekend. There's Lion's Brand Suede, mohair with sparkly stuff, some baby blue that I've used double, some scratchy blue wool that I was gifted, some Red Heart Symphony, and some blue speckly wool acrylic mix. It's for my DD and she's pleased with the progress so far. I'm more than half way and trying to use the yarns in order so that the ends are the same. I also have to make a fringe decision.

The Lion's brand Suede is a very nifty yarn. It has that soft, velvety feel that chenille has, but (so far) no worming. It's a round yarn in it's construction, where the chenille is flat. Maybe that's why one worms and the other doesn't seem to.

Worming chenille

Posted by Hello
They're everywhere!

Finished Wear as a Collar scarf

Posted by Hello
Here is the finished "Wear-as-a-collar" scarf. I really enjoy wearing it - you can wear the larger middle section in the front or back. I did use Lion Brand Chenille. I'd read about the worming problems with knitting chenille but I never had tried it myself. The worming is terrible. I couldn't figure out how to get more than one photo in a post (I'm workin' on it) but you can see above just how bad the worming is. (Sorry about the fuzzy photo) It gets worse as time goes on. So I've just pulled all the worms to one side. I'll definately make another one. I even have a few yarns picked out. (see one of the posts above)

Busy, Busy

It's been a busy week. The Flower Basket Shaw is finished - mistakes and all!

Clapotis is nearing the end. I've started a new scarf from MagKnits. It's a variation on the pattern. I'm using many different yarns, kind of a stash buster. It's for DD, a request.

DD also was selected to participate in a county wide student art show. Photo's to follow tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

New patterns

The new ImagiKnit is up. There's a great felted bag and a scarf that interests me. (would be good for my Noro). The FBS is finished. Everyone in the family is ohhing and ahhing. Mistakes and all, it is pretty impressive. I found that my wool (red) bled quite a bit when I was washing it for blocking. Just dumped in some white vinegar during the rinse and end of bleeding.

Clapotis is nearing the end. I also started the Weaver's Wool Mini Shawl from the Knitlist gifts list. It's just what I've been looking for. I have a ton of left over Red Heart that I've been wanting to knit up into something I can throw on when I'm outside with the dog. The pattern calls for thinner yarn and smaller needles, but I just upsized it all. It will take me awhile. It's a real mindless knit, but it's something that I can easily put down and come back to. So, maybe by the time cold weather rolls around next fall I'll have it done.