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

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Little of This and a Little of That

I've had several things I've wanted to share with my readers but none of them are lengthy enough to warrant a post. So, here is a mish-mash of things of interest, albeit, maybe only to me. :^)

First off, the oldest order of business is the shawls I knitted for some little "girlfriends." They are the daughters of a friend of mine and I posted about the shawls here, back in May. I thought their birthdays were in June but they are in July. So on a hot day in July, hubby and I went to their birthday party in a park, carrying our gifts of knitted shawls. I didn't get great photos that HOT day because modeling them, especially for the 5 year old, was not on the agenda and I didn't have the heart to insist. I did get one of the 7 year old and Mama got a few more the next morning.
Just look at those eyes!

This little one insisted she have
her box of crayons in the photo.
I wonder if she was seeing
all the little bits of color in her shawl.
Apparently they didn't realize at first that there was an outside and an inside to the shawls, but a few days later, the oldest one asked her mom to take a picture and to make sure the design was on the outside.

I have not heard from the girls whether they like them or not but Mom says they do. So hopefully they will use them when the weather warrants a cozy wrap.

Second, I had made this hat for my youngest son, quite a while back and he wears it ALOT and it's starting to show it.

So I wanted to make him another one. I wanted to use colors that he likes and had some yarn in mind. When I got the 2 x 2 ribbing finished, I loved how smoothly and consistently I had done it. I was already suspecting that there wouldn't be enough contrast in my 2 yarns selected, but hated to rip out that lovely rib. So I didn't. And there wasn't. (enough contrast, that is) But here is the completed hat and he likes it. And it will serve the purpose of keeping his head warm outdoors under a hood and indoors - which he does a lot in the winter up here in the north woods.

My last few hats have ended with a point on the very tippy-top. I think I have to stop with the decreases a bit sooner and end with a few more stitches left on the needles. Do you think that will work? Let me know if you have another idea. 

Third, hubby & I recently went to a HUGE Flea Market. (For those from other lands and cultures, we don't actually buy fleas. We go in search of vintage and antique treasures - which at this Flea Market were in abundance.)

The Flea Market starts early in the morning and ends early in the afternoon so we got a room the night before and arrived at the market bright and early. And by closing time, we were finished - our feet and brains had had enough.

We didn't buy too many things, because there is always the problem of where to put them once we get them home. But I found this little gem that I just couldn't pass by.

When I picked it up, it was soiled from play and storage but I immediately pictured a mother or grandmother lovingly knitting this on needle size 0's or 1's for the little girl she loved, who played with a Barbie doll. I was amazed at the tiny increases at the shoulders and at the knitting of the tiny cuffs, hemline and button edging. So precious. I took the fur off when I washed the coat and it is a tiny slip of real fur. I obviously won't be playing with it, won't be wearing it, and have no little daughters to give it to. But it is a treasure and I'm glad I payed the $4.00 USD to own it.

Here are the other things I picked up:

Fourth, a few of my knitting friends and I got together earlier this summer at Karla's home to learn from her the craft of making Candle Mats or Penny Rugs. I've always admired penny rugs when I see them in gift shops and antique/craft shops but they are always a pretty penny (pun intended) so I had only purchased a small autumn one. Therefore, I was happy to learn how to make them but have yet to finish my first one. I plan to do just that and also to make a Christmas one. But knitting keeps getting in the way of my progress. Soon. Very soon.

Here's what I've done so far.

I guess I'm putting off getting the shape of the background drawn up. But I've left it out so I'll keep seeing it and then one of these days I'll just stop by it and figure it out.

And lastly, on another day more recently the same knitting friends met at Kate's home and we decorated bottles for lighting. First off, I must say, when we meet in homes, we all bring something to eat - so we have lots of visiting, laughing and EATING. 

Here's the only one I've finished - a Christmas one. 
This is actually red and
looks very Christmas-y.
Looks orange in the photo.

And here are the others that I will finish soon, along with the supplies and embellishments to use on them.

The tricky part is getting the hole drilled into the bottles. Kate has a drill bit just for such a task, and so does her neighbor, who joined in to help. And Kate had ordered strings of lights for us, with just 10 bulbs. Plus, they arrived the very day we were at Kate's! What are the odds of that?

What have you been doing this summer? I hope you have had time for fun with your family and friends. Good memories!  
Hiking with my stepdaughter (right) and step-daughter-in-law
and her daughter. We were at a local state park.

My free birthday sundae from

Friday, August 14, 2015

I Love Shawls! Traveling Woman Shawl

We've been resting up after a 3 week visit from our daughter (my step daughter) and her 4 young boys! And I mean rest. Well, besides rearranging the living room with the decorative pieces I'd hidden and besides doing laundry and cleaning. But it was nice to have them around and I'm not complaining - much. :^)

While they were here, after the kid-dos' bedtime, I had time to sit and work on my Traveling Woman Shawl, which I finished and even got blocked while they were here. (I did take my step-daughter to a couple of our morning group knitting sessions, while Grandpa entertained the boys.)

I don't really have much to add about the process, just photos of my lovely step-daughter modeling. She complained that I was taking pictures of her first thing one morning, before breakfast or even before hair brushing. She knew they would end up on the world-wide web and was wishing I'd waited a bit later in the day. But it was dry from blocking and I was excited.

I will add that I was having a lot of trouble with the free Ravelry pattern on Row 5 of the first lace pattern. So I decided to purchase the "buy-able" version and it worked out fine. But if you buy it, be prepared to make a lot of decisions - the pattern is 15 pages long with options for yarn weight, numbers of repeats you might want to do, etc.

For the yarn, I used a beautiful fingering weight from Ogle Design, called Coloration, 420 yards. She sells on Etsy and also in some yarn shops. She's from my state and I know some LYS's in our state carry her yarn, but I can't speak for LYS's in other states. But, this yarn is well worth the money - it is so soft, 100% wool, and I'm guessing merino, with a lot of spring. So nice.

I had bought a ball at Susan's Fiber Shop but could see that I was going to be a bit short. So I contacted Ogle Design Shop on Etsy and she happened to have one more like it. So I bought it and have quite a bit left! (Hmmmm, socks, I'm thinking.) As you will see the yarn goes from cream (natural) to black. So when I started the new ball, close to the end of the shawl, I started at the black end. It worked out well.
Before Blocking

I think you will have to
click on the picture for a
larger version - to appreciate
the lacy Yarn Overs.

After blocking

Isn't lace work just grand
after blocking? So exciting!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summer Sweater and Summer News

First, the summer news of our baby robins. As I was reporting in my last post, we had been watching a nest of baby robins grow. But, sadly, I'm afraid they met a tragic end. I had been trying to take photos everyday because they were growing so fast. and I was hoping to catch them as they learned to fly, with Mom and Dad clucking around them, urging them up and away. But, alas, it never happened. I had missed a day of photos and went out to capture them the next day but this is what I saw.
It's probably hard to see in this photo but
notice the empty nest fallen over and
hanging sideways. The best part of
the mess is shown.

Even though I hadn't wanted a messy, noisy robin's nest on our peaceful back porch, we were enjoying the positive aspects of it: seeing mama robin bring the youngsters worms, seeing one of the parents nestling down on top of them during cool evenings, even sitting out on the porch with her sitting silently on her nest, not moving - thinking we couldn't see her hidden behind that fake tree she was using for protection.

So we were all saddened by the turn of events. I didn't photograph the mess of blood and feathers on the floor of the porch. It was gross! But we surmised that the white cat we've seen prowling about our place was the culprit. The cat appears to be fed so we assume it belongs to a neighbor who lets it out from time to time. Bad idea. Cats get a lot of diseases when they are outside and they kill lots of birds. If cats could be trained to only snag mice, we'd all be happier. Or maybe only kill mice and cowbirds - but don't get me started on the brown-headed cowbird.

Here are a few photos from happier days:

And onto the happy news of my Cottonation summer sweater. The name of the sweater is Bandstand by Louisa Harding. It is not a free pattern but following the Ravelry link above, you could find out how to purchase the pattern. It is shown in the picture as being made with bulky yarn and the large version is more like a dress on the thin, young model. But a friend of mine has made 3 of these and has adapted the pattern for worsted yarn and made to fit normal, aging bodies. ;^) She taught a class at our LYS and has a second one underway. The class was a lot of fun, 3 sessions each and each time a few of the ladies brought lunch. Fellowship, Food and Knitting - what great fun.
Original short version
Original Long Version

Our version, adapted by our teacher

The sweater is knitted from side-to-side and was my first side-to-side knitting project. It takes some brain-adjusting to figure things out when you've always knitted bottom to top. If, by chance, anyone purchases the pattern and would like the numbers that we used for sizing the Bandstand sweater, just let me know in the comments or by email and I will share with you what we did.     


Also, we all did slightly different things with the sleeves. Many were made with 3/4 length sleeves. I made mine with sleeves just below the elbow. Hiding aging elbows is a good thing!

Here are the sweaters that were finished by the
end of our 3 session class. The green one and the
white one were both knitted by our teacher, who is
wearing the green one.
Here's the teacher in her 2nd sweater.
I do not have a photo of her 1st one.

I am on the left in the blue
sweater. Our teacher made
the other 2 sweaters and
she is in the middle.