"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Bit of Knitting Amid the Sale

Well, the famed garage sale is over as of this last Saturday afternoon. And I am never having another one! And I keep telling my husband and my mother to remind me of that the next time I start collecting "stuff" in a pile and mumbling about a garage sale. ugh

But the sale went well and a knitting friend (who is also a friend aside from knitting) put some things in the sale and sat with me on the first and busiest, day. That made it worth it all. We had fun.

During all the preparation, I somehow managed to get a bit of knitting finished. Although I have to say that I did knit myself to sleep on several occasions during the last month. What I finished a week or two before the sale was a simple, thin scarf to dress-up t-shirts this summer. The scarf started with a ball of yarn that I got in a gift bag at the Knitting Retreat in March. 

During that same weekend retreat my roommate and friend had a great idea for using some yarns she got in a grab bag. Then she helped me find coordinating yarn for my free yarn (photos above) and I found a couple more yarns at a local thrift store. So I knitted the same thing my friend did. But with different results. Here's the one I knitted:

All we did was cast on 220 stitches on 24" circulars, but knitted back and forth, all in garter stitch. My yarns were mostly thinner than my friend's so I used a size 10 needle (US) while she used an 11. I knitted two rows for most of the yarn. However, the "eyelash" was only one row - and that was a plenty. I just knitted randomly, with no rhyme or reason to which yarn I selected next. That was very difficult for my anal tendencies.

My finished scarf, before the fringe was added, is 46 inches. My friend's was quite a bit longer. I'm actually not quite finished - the fringe will be a bit shorter, after I add some of these to it. I just got them at Jo-Ann Fabrics this very morning.

I also got the idea for beads from my friend, to give the fringe some weight. And do you realize how much out of my comfort zone I was knitting without a pattern!! If not, I was way out of it. But I am pleased NOW and it will be fun to wear. 

Just Thursday evening before the sale I started a hoodie using the same pattern I used for my son about 2 years ago. 
The pattern is called Yaquina Bay Cardigan

That hoodie was knitted with merino that I spun. This hoodie will be for me, assuming that I have the gauge correct, and I am using Cascade 220 Paints in the color denim.
This is how far I am and so far I'm very pleased with the color variation. It always amazes me how variegated yarn colors line up. I'll report back on this project. 

One last project I never really blogged about was the Dolman Pullover Sweater. It was finished in late February. I had gotten about 7 skeins of Lion Brand Wool Ease at a local store's close-out sale. They were all in the color of Blue Mist and when I saw this pattern, I decided to use the sale yarn for it.

It turned out well and I love this simple pattern. I plan to make it again with hand spun. The simplicity of the pattern will highlight the nature of handspun. 

Have a good week and let me know what you are working on.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Shawls for Little Friends

Things have greened up around here, thanks to early May showers. Our April showers were remiss, only visiting us once or twice. So we have been very thankful for our early May rains. Our hardy Red Bud tree is beautifully in bud and all the mighty oaks are budding out, as well. And my husband has a lot of his garden planting finished.

The hardy Red Buds. These grow wild in the woods where
my parents and sister live. Up here in the north, we
must purchase "hardy" hybrids of them.

Green, green, green.
A feast to the eyes after a long winter.

Bleeding Heart plant
I am busy, busy, busy getting ready for another garage sale, along with several other families in our neighborhood. Every time I have one, I say that I'm never having another one. And after a couple of years, and more piles of unused things, I plow forward and have another. It will soon be over and when it is, I will be glad. And I'm never having another one!

As well as working on the sale, I have been busy knitting socially. I've been greatly enjoying the company of new friends (that are quickly becoming old friends) and have finished another shawl. If you follow my ramblings, you might remember this post, in which I talked of doing two shawls for 2 little friends of mine. They are sisters and their birthdays are ONE day apart. You can read about how I came to the decision to knit shawls for them at the link above.

The shawls I've finished are from a free Ravelry.com pattern called Lala's Simple Shawl. It is a very nice shawl, easy to make and is not super "hole-y" or lacy (from yarn-overs) so is a substantial wrap against cool air and drafts.

The older of the two sisters will get the pink - and larger - one. I made it with Kraemer Yarn, Perfection Tapas in the color Bubble Gum. She loves pink. The smaller and slighter sister will get the green one. That yarn is Plymouth Yarn, Jelli Beenz, in the color Lime.

The birthdays are not until June so I cannot post pictures yet of the wee recipients in their gifts but I can show you the shawls themselves.

I had searched and searched for a nice grown-up looking shawl for girls and could not find what I was looking for. So when I found Lala's Simple Shawl, and saw it made up at a local yarn shop, I decided to just do less repeats to make it girl size.The picture on the pattern showed six repeats so I stopped at 5. And the green yarn is a small worsted so I determined to make the larger one with size 9 needles and the smaller one with size 8 needles. I think that all worked very well, giving the desired effect. Furthermore, I have an extra skein of each yarn and will give those to their mother so that when they get bigger, as little girls are wont to do, she, who is a knitter also, can add another round of pattern repeats to the gifts.

I'm eager to give them their shawls. And eager to see whether the knitted gifts survive active, lively childhoods.