Sadly, cats do not knit.
Sadly, cats do not knit.
It’s been a kind of tough few weeks and I’ve been missing too much knitting. Last week I pulled myself together and returned to my weekly Wednesday knitting group at my favorite yarn store, Colorful Yarns in Centennial, Colorado. How wonderful to return to my peeps. How great it was to catch up on the new yarns and books. It was a little like coming home after a trip away… there was even a commotion going on between rowdy shoppers towards the front of the store. As shrieking and laughing continued I finally wandered over to see what was up.
It was a yarn feeding frenzy!! Having caught the scent of
blood in the water a great yarn, ladies were digging through a tub of artsy looking yarn on the floor. Huh? Nice yarn, but what was the big deal? It makes a cowl, one of the frenzied yarn diggers told me. A second shopper waved the article in question at me… and I froze. Hey, this is kind of cool. I kind of want it. I need some of this yarn, but by this point there were only a couple of disappointing orange/tan colored skeins in the tub. Sniff.
Wait… Why are there more ladies pouring through the door to get this yarn? Answer: A new shipment of the yarn had arrived and the calls had just gone out. The first yarn sharks had pulled up and more were on the way. Oh, no! There was no way I wanted to miss this action. I suddenly realized that the bags of newly arrived yarn were on the floor by the cash register where a couple of
unprincipled fearless shoppers had ripped them open and were busy handing out skeins in all the possible colors. Skeins were flying through the air! You know where I ended up… yep! Behind the register where the main action was occurring. After making some yarn tosses myself (go long, go long!) I gathered up examples of all the colors, plus the cowl in question, and carried them back to the other knitters in the group. Oops. That was that. A major yarn feeding frenzy and knit-along commenced. Woohoo!! I hoarded three skeins of the stuff myself for at least an hour before I calmed down enough to put two of them back into the tub.
So, here is what all the fuss was about.
I finished the cowl this morning. Fast, easy, almost mindless knitting that was perfect for catching up on television that I missed over the weekend. Luckily there was a little action to break things up when I heard another (but not yarn related ) commotion occurring at the back door…
The cats had cornered a little garter snake out back and the commotion was Yellow Boy trying to bring it inside while MacKenzie fought to get the snake for himself. Yikes!! No, no, no! No snake frenzy! There was an intervention of the “release the wildlife” type. Cats in, snake out, and me knitting the rest of the cowl.
Tomorrow it is going to be a lot colder. I have a powder blue sweater that will be rocking my new cowl when I go to the Wednesday knitting group at Colorful Yarns.
It is good to hang out with your peeps. 🙂
It has been a really good week knitting-wise. The weather is cooling down at last, I’m caught up on most of my major projects, and the new season is starting up on television. I find myself knitting outside in the garden, at the doctor’s office and even during the football games (Go Broncos!!) The leaves are turning at last and I am churning out my Drachenfels shawl.
At this point I removed him from the picture shoot.
You can’t see it in the pictures, but this yarn is knitting up really soft and should have a great drape when done. I am using a smaller yarn than the pattern was designed for (fingering instead of sport) and moved down to size 4 needles (3.5mm) instead of size 6 (4 mm), but this shawl is coming out plenty big!
The forecast is for cooler weather and rain showers this weekend, and there is a Broncos game Sunday. I plan to really crank out some knitting over the next couple of days. The shawl should be big enough both for me and the cat soon. 🙂
I was surprised to wake up a couple of days ago to find that Sharon of Creativity and Family had received the Liebster Blog Award and had nominated me to receive it also. For those of you who don’t already know what this award is, it is one that is designed to recognize and draw attention to smaller bloggers (in terms of the number of followers) who produce sites that you (the nominator) find helpful/entertaining/meaningful and would like to share with others. At the end of this post I will pass the baton to some of the sites that I follow and really enjoy. Sharon, thank you so much for nominating me. I’m really flattered that you thought of me.
As part of accepting the award I am asked to answer some questions that Sharon sent to her nominees in her original post. I get to pick 5 or more of her questions. So, with no further ado, here are her questions that I have selected and my answers.
My knitting needles!! I have gone through a lot of needles in my time, but my absolute favorites are now Chiaogoo lace tip needles. I have a set of interchangable needles that I bought extra tips and cables for, several sets of cable needles, and and a set of double-pointed needles to match them. If I am just knitting a sock or mitt I use my Kollage Yarns square double-point needles. I love them so much I bought a set (or two) in every size I commonly use. I have zip-up Chiaogoo cases for them that I treasure.
2. What is your favorite craft book
That’s a hard call. I went to the book shelf and hunted for the book that was the most worn and tattered. Here it it.
3. Do you have a project that you have made time and time again?
I have made the same sock pattern so many times that I have it memorized! It is the Chouwa sock from the book Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner. No matter who I make this sock for, it fits!! I tried to make my sister something else last year and she just demanded another Chouwa. So there. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. 🙂
4. What is your favourite handmade gift that you have received from somebody else?
My cousin Cathy sent me a handmade quilt that I just treasure and use everytime I stay over at my son’s house. Next time I get hospitalized (knock wood) I’m going to have it brought to me because it makes me feel so happy!
5. Where do you sit to do your creating? If possible could you share a photo?
6. Have your creative hobbies changed over the years or do you stick to the same ones?
Knitting has been a constant for me ever since I learned around 8 years old. I’ve added in spinning, weaving, quilting, card-making and some bead work over the years, but the vast majority of my time is spent knitting. My spinning wheel resents this…
7. What do you store your wips and take out projects in?
I live it fear of wool moths. Every time I attend a workshop lately I am warned that there are, indeed, wool moths in Colorado. I have a lot of fiber coming through my house…
That is it for my questions. It is now my great pleasure to nominate some of the blogs that I follow and enjoy. Please don’t feel obligated to accept the award, but if you do, there are some requirements that I have listed below. I hope that you will because I like your blog and I think that other people will to.
That Girl at (Not) Another Lupus Blog
joeylynne28 at Tubie or Not Tubie
As an award winner you must:
Some of the blogs that I nominated are written by people with serious crafting addictions (and not enough time to get to all of them…), others are blogging about their lives with serious medical conditions, and some blogs are by people with both of these things going on in their lives. 🙂 I tried to make questions that will fit the bill for people in either group; pick 5 or more of the questions that appeal to you.
Yesterday was the last day of summer. Wow, how did that happen? I woke up, headed out to the garden to drink my latte, and there is was. The first changed leaf on the maple tree. It’s so hot outside I can hardly believe it, but the cooler weather of fall is on the way. Really, eventually it will get here.
Time to think about warmer clothes and shawls. Alexand has been driving me nuts with her posts about her Drachenfels (by Melanie Berg) knitting journey. It is just beautiful. Check out her post about knitting on the go here. There is just no way around it… I am suffering from Drachenfels envy in the worst way. Fall is here. I have finished all my other knitting projects. No more excuses. Time to get started on my own Drachenfels effort.
One of the best things about Ravelry is that you can poke around and check out the projects other knitters have made of any particular pattern. I found a project (by fineknits, one of the test knitters), that was done in three colors and a highlight color. Perfect!
Saturday night I visited one of my sons and cast on while watching him play Destiny after dinner. It was kind of fun watching him destroy alien creatures using a sword of fire (it’s a Destiny thing…) while I started on a shawl called Drachenfels. There were even some creatures in the game that were kind of dragon-like. It’s a sign!
Did you see the cat hair in the middle of the picture? No matter how careful I am everything that I knit has CAT HAIR ON IT!!!
OK, I’m over the little cat-hair related rant. The shawl is starting out great and I’m really excited to finally be knitting it. The weather is still nice even though the leaves are changing so I plan on doing as much outdoor knitting as I can.
Last night I knitted like crazy and got my Reyna shawl (by Noora Laivola) finished. I wet blocked it overnight (hoping that sleeping kitties won’t notice it…) and this morning I took it outside to the garden swing to finish it up while I was watering the lawn. Of course my cat MacKenzie couldn’t resist helping out.
This shawl was a fast and easy project, but I learned a lot of new things while working on it and it led to some new insights. After all, while I love to knit, I really am more driven to play with new yarns, patterns and ideas more than I need a new shawl (or pair of socks for that matter). Every new project is an opportunity to learn something new!
I first selected this pattern because I had a skein of wickedly soft and colorful yarn in my stash. I knew that the colors would go with everything in my wardrobe, but there were so many of them in the skein that I needed a way to show them off without nasty pooling or something that looked muddy.
There are YO stitches to each side of the center stitch in the garter section. Hard to see aren’t they? That’s because they are hidden by knitting in the back loop of the YO on the wrong side row. Who knew? By hiding the YO stitches the garter stripe stands out better between the mesh segments.
I also noticed a difference in the mesh. Normally K2tog stitches slant to the right. In the mesh section of the shawl the K2tog creates a slant that goes to the left. Check it out!
As I was knitting along I realized that my ball of yarn was starting the shrink a little faster than I wanted it to. Yikes! How can I be sure to use as much as possible while leaving enough for the last three garter rows and then the BO? Well, this is when a yarn warrior really digs in and takes control.
See, it isn’t about the final object (OK, it is a little). It’s about being a YARN WARRIOR!! Capture the learning and master the craft. Be at one with the cashmere and bond with your fellow knitters.
Isn’t this why we all do it?
Cool weather with thunderstorms arrived this week and I headed out to the back yard to finish up the garden swing. I had crocheted the largest part of the seat a couple of weeks ago and gotten it sewn onto the frame of the swing; a good start but still not usable. What I needed to do now was to remove the seat from the rest of the chair so that I could crochet side panels to attach the seat onto the sides of the frame. I attacked the bolts with my handy little tool kit and got the part holding the seat off and onto the lawn where I could work on it in the shade.
Even with all the help and a break for a thunderstorm I got the side panels crocheted and sewn onto the frame after a couple of mornings. Today after lunch I reattached the seat to the swinging frame and then I was back in lawn chair business.
I’m still not completely happy with the tension on the seat of the swing so I’m going to use it for a couple of days and then will take in a tuck or two on the seat fabric to make it more taunt. Still, things are looking up; I am back outside for my morning latte. Happy, happy day!
Outdoor knitting, here I come!
August! This is my favorite part of summer. The flowers are blooming like crazy, the monsoon is cranking moisture up to Colorado for afternoon showers, and the hummingbirds and butterflies are cruising through the backyard every morning. The cats and I have been outside too for knitting and bug chasing.
I finished my August socks while sitting out in the garden this morning. Since the cats have been hanging out with me the entire time I was knitting these socks I thought MacKenzie might enjoy posing with them.
OK. Message received. Having been denied assistance by the cat most likely to cooperate I decided to pose the socks on one of the garden tables. (I know; very boring but no teeth!!) Look at how great the Seafoam Stitch shows off the yarn!!
Gosh, I finished those fast. There’s lots of August left before I need to think about socks again. I promised a friend to help out during Alpaca Farm Days next month. I feel an urge to knit lots of little fingerless mitts (out of alpaca of course!!) to show off (and sell!) to visitors to the farm… 🙂
I can feel the midnight knitting coming on!
I’ve been gardening and reading more lately (I have finished three of the “Bee Books” and am pondering what I should write about them…) so my knitting projects have been languishing a little bit. Nothing is finished. Nothing. Not even halfway done. I have been busy enough to get some things started, however!
I finally got started on an outdoor project this week too. Check out my very bare and exceedingly lonely garden swing.
I’m working steadily on both projects at the same time. The crocheted swing seat is making progress in the mornings as that is a good time to work outside with it, and the Clover HItch Tee is growing every evening while I indulge in a little binge television. Right now I’m watching the series Fargo on DVD. Wow! What a good production. A little dark (OK, really dark at times…), but still excellent. And the way those people talk? I’m Swedish-American, and the social norms and speech of the Fargo characters is the language of my childhood. By the time these projects are done and I’m finished with Fargo I’ll be in my swing in the garden and talking in the language I used to hear while sitting in my Grandmother’s kitchen learning how to crochet. The circle is unbroken after all. How cool is that?
Way cool! You betcha!