Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Annual Time Warp

There's some magically evil thing that happens this time of year - every year! Time somehow speeds up and rips past at such a fantastical speed! Outside, the weeds (and grass) grow so fast that when you get up each morning and look outside, you are astonished to see that the just-weeded garden is (again) swamped with weeds and the lawn is now a meadow. Inside, you just can't ignore all the calling-out from projects and wanna-be projects that have slumbered peacefully for most of the winter. And the dust bunnies are multiplying at an alarming rate - far faster than usual. Not to mention the sticky place growing larger and stickier on the kitchen floor.
After the ennui of Winter, Spring wants so much...weed this, prune that, knit on your wips, cast-on for this and this and this, piece (patchwork) this, no this, finish that. On and on. Overwhelmed I am!
In spite of all the distractions, I have made a few rows progress on the Knit Picks Dusk socks -
Oh, hilarious! Finally remembered to "fix" the date stamp on the camera and I got the year wrong!
As you can see, I did a Priscilla Gibson-Roberts heel - in garter stitch, so it doesn't match the toe, but I figure "Who Cares?" Not me.

And, here's a top view showing the lace pattern winding it's way up the foot onto the leg. Sorry about the perspective - it's wonky.

Made a couple of potholders for my across-the-street neighbors who generously gave me a large bag of yeast (they belong to CostCo). The largest size of yeast I can buy in the local stores is the jar - far smaller than the bag, and we go through yeast pretty quickly.

Pot holders for Doug and Rosemary -

The chickens are deliriously happy with the weather and have been outside every day. Outside their coop, that is. Two of them - Henrietta and Penelope tolerate my petting them. Lucille? Not so much.

That's Penelope on the right and Henrietta on the left.

And, this is Lucille. Isn't she pretty?

As I've mentioned previously, my knitting time has been seriously impacted by my re-kindled passion for patchwork and quilting. And this poor blog has "suffered", too. So...I've begun (just barely) a quilting blog here -- will try to keep my knitting here and my quilting/patchwork there. I briefly tried WordPress but ran into all kinds of problems I couldn't solve, so came back to blogger.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Patchwork...and not much knitting

One day last week I was taking something out of the oven, using one of the patchwork pot-holders I made years ago, and I almost got burned because the poor old potholder was so shabby and threadbare. I decided maybe it was time I made some new ones, and that is just what I have been doing... Digging through my fabric stash (I don't really have very much) reminded me that DD once expressed her desire to have a quilt made by me, so I've started that as well.

Here's a shabby old potholder -

(Sorry, I forgot to fix the date-thingy on the camera...)

Here's some new ones -

And here's two 15" quilt blocks - Geese in the Pond is the pattern name.

This is basically a scrap quilt. I might "need" to purchase a couple fat quarters in a yellow print (I think the greens cry out for yellow and I just don't have any pretty yellow in my stash).
Knitting? Well, not much progress...I did turn the heel on the Dusk sock and make a bit of headway up the leg. And I have managed a few inches on the first sleeve of DD's sweater. It's my "idiot" knitting at present...just stockinette stitch with a few increases along the sides. I've been working on it when I go outside to chicken-sit (say that 6 times fast), but the weather has been pretty severe so time outside has been hard to come by.

In spite of the cold, windy, wet Spring weather, the peach tree has begun to bloom and the plum tree out back is gorgeous - all white and lacy. Sweet peas are up (about 2 1/2"!) and today DS thinned out the lettuce, spinach and radishes and gave the thinnings to the chickens. Boy, were they ever enthusiastic about those little seedlings!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Monday, Gorgeous Monday

It's supposed to get up to 67 degrees today and 73 tomorrow!!! Then, rain on Wednesday. But who cares? I live for today and today the weather is glorious! Our forsythia is blooming, along with some early tulips and all the rose bushes are showing all kinds of new growth, even the ones that I pruned back to nubbins. (Yes, I still have to get those other bushes pruned - before they take over the whole block!)

To make matters even more wonderful, the house is full of the fragrance of home-made bread. Actually, home-made Po' Boys for our French Dip Sandwiches (tonight's dinner). Using up some Bar-B-Qued steak that DS fixed last night.
There's been more knitting goin' on! As I may have mentioned, with DD's sweater in no hurry to get finished (it won't really be "needed" until next Fall), I felt the need to get some other things on needles. Actually, I already had one WIP on needles, but I had forgotten all about it (it's from years and YEARS ago!) until I was digging through my yarn stash (for Ravelry). Here it is:

(You can see I've got the date stamp on the camera fouled up again)

This project is from the Summer 1998 issue of Interweave Knits. It's supposed to have a rectangular crocheted base but for some reason I substituted a round knitted base. It was completed up through the middle of the darker blue section - now I've completed the knitting (except for the I-cord draw-string) and am working on the crocheted straps.

Here's a close up of the crocheted eyelet section at the top of the bag - for some reason I just love the look of it...

(I'm a miserable photographer! That's the camera strap on the right.)

This project in IK actually has two bags/purses and I made the other one years ago and really like it - except I made the crocheted straps as directed and they are too long (they stretch-out quite a bit). I know I could re-do but a knot strategically positioned in the straps works fine...

Here's a pic of that first bag/purse. It holds my portable quilting supplies so when I go to my friend Jan's house to quilt I'm all set. Finger cots...check, quilting thread...check, baby powder...check, needles...check, thimble...check. You get the idea.

A "new" WIP - lace. You know, I've been kicking myself because "I can't knit lace" - but that's not it at all. After all, Pookie's Shrug and The Bean's Shrug are both all lace, and the Purple Fountain Lace socks were lace (duh). It's just that lace weight YARN gives me fits. I found a pattern for a scarf (in one of those old IK's-staff-all knit-their-take on some theme - in this case scarfs) that didn't look to be too complicated. It's garter stitch lace, it isn't too big and the pattern is all knit stitches, yarn-overs, and K2togs. You'd think I could handle that, right? Well ... would you believe this is my third try? Yep, ripped it back to nuttin' twice.
Sorry it's so blurry. I tried to stretch it out using "paper-weights) to show the pattern...The yarn is Knit Pick's Alpaca Cloud in the Iris color-way. I just can't justify spending money on new lace weight yarn until I prove to myself that I can knit with the stuff. But my heart is yearning for red. Or bright spring green. Or vivid aqua. Oh dear.

And lastly, a sock in progress. My own pattern (using Barbara Walker's patterns for the lace)...

The yarn is Knit Pick's Essential (I think) in the Dusk colorway.

I loved the cover of the next-to-last Knit Pick's catalog. Which inspired me to take this pic:

I'm hoping to need a larger sock-drawer soon.