Monday, September 25, 2006

Saving My Sanity a Stitch at a Time

I just want to thank all the knitters out there with one in particular in mind. I have a job that is considered stressful. Most of the time you let things roll off your shoulders like rain. However, there are days when the rain becomes a torrent and you feel overwhelmed. I had several of these days in a row. I was starting to believe I was going down for the third time when a fellow employee who is also a fiber addict gave me a wonderful gift. Look at the great stitch markers she made this weekend and then she gave me some. Just what I needed. When I was wondering where to go from here I caressed my package of stitch markers to remind myself that I would be going home at the end of the day. Then when I got home what was in the mail but a new pattern book and a pattern that I ordered. These items both got here in record time. Some how I find it comforting that there are people out there that are happy just counting their stitches and maybe doing a little kneading of homemade bread on the side. I don't know how people who don't have creative hobbies make it when times get tough. Take a close look at those stitch markers. They are great! With a special thanks to Stacie,,,,I will be back tomorrow, I might not want to be, but I will be back.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Trying again

I put taking a break in for the title and then I must have hit the wrong thing. It will be listed all my it's lonesome. Oh well, that is what I am doing. I'm taking a break from the ribbon top. I rushed to get it done and of course I ran out of the ribbon yarn. Lucky for me there was more in stock so I will be waiting for the mailman to get this finished. Now I have an excuse to start on some beaded mittens. Although it is only September there have been some nights that reminded me winter will be here in the very near future. Today was a lazy day. After mowing the lawn and pulling some of the bean plants in the garden I make stew and homemade dill bread. There is something about fall that says Chili and Stew. One of the last city wide rummage sales was in a new by town yesterday. I didn't rummage much but I did find a nice old used drop spindle. It will give my craft room some ambiance. Napoleon is barking that he wants his supper so will leave for now but I will pull out the yarn for the mittens and see if I can get it wound into balls so I can get started. Then I will have to force myself to go back to the top. Somehow like in other parts of my life I find that if I tackle the things I don't like much first it is the best way to get them done and out of the way.

Taking a break

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Struggling on

I am continuing with my wide ribbon project. I have to get it finished because I have something that I am really anxious to start. There is a top and shrug set on page 19 of Interweave knits that I adore. I am so glad I have a granddaughter in the grownup area. I like knitting both kinds but I think this is something special. Also am looking at baby hats. This is thanks to my knitting pal Stacey and the book she just purchased. I don't expect any more baby to knit for but a couple of them are so cute that my poor scarf exchange may be stuck with a new baby hat..The only person I know is pregnant right now. There is one thing about getting older. First you and all your friends are having babies. Next your "babies" are all having babies and then there is a dry spell. This is when we borrow babies to knit for from others. Kind of fun and no pressure.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

perseverance wins out

Here it is. The ribbon top. Lucky for me the granddaughter that is going to get this falls somewhere between a size 1 and 3 or I think I would just toss it. My secret pal on the scarf exchange, who by the way is very good at staying incognito, suggested a plastic bag. Sounds good to me. Anything that would help sounds good to me. She also suggested I not worry about keeping the ribbon flat. It will certainly be much easier that way. The table kind of blends with the ribbon so you can't see the pattern down the middle but it is coming along and I hope to get the finished item on for viewing one of these days. Thanks Pal! I appreciate the assistance.

Tonight is brisk. I love the cooler air and the idea of fall coming. Working with worsted weight yarn is starting to sound really good. Then there are the smells of fresh homemade bread and stew wafting through the kitchen. Autumn is really my favorite season. I lived in the south for a few years. It had advantages but I love this time of year in the Midwest.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I don't think I like to knit with wide ribbon

Started a top yesterday with wide ribbon and I will finish it but am not sure I am going to go there again. Maybe it is the way I am doing it. The book I purchased on knitting with ribbon says to keep the ribbon flat on the needles. With wide ribbon that seems to call for twisting all the time or I end up with ribbon that is a mess. Does anyone have any ideas. I knit the old fashioned way carrying the yarn in my left hand.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

My scarf is finished!

For all my ruinating at the beginning, my scarf is done and I ended up really enjoying knitting for my scarf exchange pal. I put on the ISE blog that I got the impressions through her blog and I have to say I really liked what I saw and read. Liz, if you are reading this have a great day and enjoy the scarf. I may be wrong but this is what I tried to convey. The st stitch is traditional and yet always strong and lovely. The dimple stitch is a bit funky and has a mind of it's own. A garter stitch is simplicity and that earth mother touch. I bound it together with a rib that includes family and friends. It also makes it a bit less bulky around the neck. Stay warm when you wear it this winter. I watched the geese pull a curtain of grey over the sky last night. Those of us in the Midwest know that winter is not far in the future.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Things do fall into place

If you wait long enough and are persistant things do eventually fall into place. I finally created a pattern I like for my scarf and now am tearing along on it. I think I just had to find something I liked for the yarn and there wasn't a pattern out there. It had to be simple so the yarn was what was important and not the pattern. Lat night after ripping out starts several times something I liked started to evolve and that was all it took. Now all I have to do is knit like mad to finish it. I have a ribbon top on the needles and Jade is waiting for butterfly socks. (Crocheted top of sock with butterfly beads) so it is time to stop worrying and move along. Knitting is like life. sometimes you seem stuck and then things start to fly.

Things do fall into place

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Remember when?

I had it all planned. It wasn't going to be a fun day but I was finally going to get the ceiling fans cleaned and get those pieces of mystery meat out of the refrigerator. Now that it stays dark longer, Napoleon lets me sleep in,,,sometimes until 6 AM or later. I would get up slowly, take my time and go to work. I did get up after 6 AM but to the sound of grandma! I'm here to visit. Jade, the littlest of the "kidlets" came to help me out and keep me company today. Her Mom just had some surgery last week. She is doing well but her Mom went home last evening and so I had a surprise Jade visit for my day off. I didn't do any knitting, maybe that will happen later this evening. What Jade and I did was bake. We made home made Italian bread and chocolate/butterscotch chip cookies. Jade's idea of the perfect lunch was hot dogs and cookies so it required us doing some stirring up and baking. Boys or not my kids always cooked and baked with me. I ended up having some men that are pretty good chefs if I do say so myself so the "kidlets" (by now you have figured this is the name I use for the grandkids) always cook with Gram. The best part though was always licking the spatula and the beaters so if you remember when you did this or your kids maybe it will bring back some pleasant memories. I hope so.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rain Rain

It's still raining here in South Eastern Wisconsin. I like to know that everything is getting its moisture for the long winter ahead but it would be nice to have a few dry moments. Napoleon and I have been walking morning and night. For me it takes a rain jacket and a can of mosquito spray per walk. Long rains do give me time to curl up at night and work on my scarf as well as some other projects. Tomorrow, into the garden, that is if it dries up at all. The squash, tomatoes, cukes and onions will either be huge or rotten. I am not sure which one I am hoping to find. I love the first "fruits" of the garden but by this time of year I could take a little break. By December I will be craving the taste of that fresh tomato. Humans, it seems that we are never satisfied least I'm not. My youngest is using the computer tomorrow but I will see if I can't find time to chat if not I am not giving up my daily post. I will admit there will be exceptions and this is one.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Short and Sweet

I promised myself I would try and get something down every day but this posting is going to be short and sweet. It continues to rain. Last evening a friend emailed me a curly scarf that she thought was cute. Crocheted and fast. I could see both grand daughters loving it. If you get the chance give it a try. You can find the directions on the blogger web site. I had one that would work for the 3 year old in only hours and I am sure the 14 year old will love one too. Now to find some funky colors. Great stocking stuffers.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

You can tell I am techno challenged because for some reason I managed to post the title below the posting. Maybe it was my excitement. I was just accepted by Secret Pal 9. I have wanted to do a secret pal thing for some time and most required a blog so now I am set to go. Life is easier today. I went back to the Sheep and Wool Fest and found some wonderful yarn that looks to me like a starry winter night. You can see it in the picture of the swift. The yarn is all so the simplest of scarves is now being made. Scarf Exchange Pal if you are out there I am finally on the way.

Secret Pal 9

Saturday, September 09, 2006


I admit it. I almost lost it last night. I came back from the Sheep and Wool Fest with another idea for my exchange pal's scarf. I wound the ball, cuddled up in my chair and started to knit. Two hours later I hated it. I mean the yarn was great but it wasn't what I had in mind at all. I tried some other yarn and a different pattern. Nothing worked. I am never going to get this scarf done. There is no way. Dragging myself to bed a couple hours later then usual I tossed and turned. (At least as much as I can toss with the dog taking up the majority of the bed) I should never had signed up. I can never knit a scarf that will work. Whatever am I going to do? Finally with sleep evading me I reminded myself that I could knit a scarf when I was 10 years old and that was 50 years ago so if I have to make a garter stitch scarf to get over the block so be it. I would like to say that the self talk took care of things but minutes later I was back in my chair trying another pattern. I still haven't found what I want but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. I will just have to go back to the fest and buy some more yarn. I will find something that is right. I know I can. I know I can. I know I can.

More hand spun - hand dyed

From the Sheep and Wool Fest

Friday, September 08, 2006

Wool and Sheep Festival

The Sheep and Wool festival is in Jefferson for the weekend. They had an early opening for those that were interested in purchasing from the booths. Lots of hand spun and hand dyed yarns. I was especially caught by those from Blackberry Ridge. This is located out of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin..Only about 60 or so miles from me. Tight month or not I folded and had to buy. Now I really am in a quandary. Wouldn't it be nice to make my scarf for the Scarf Exchange form some "local" yarn. I may end up with so many ideas I never get started. I'll put some pictures of some of the yarn on tomorrow. I think the colors are so rich that they are positively decadent.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Let's get started

I received my pal from the international scarf Exchange III today and have so many ideas that nothing is coming together. This is the first time I've done something like this and have to admit that I am a bit intimidated by the pictures of her knitting on her blog. I've sort my yarns and searched the internet. I've emailed her with suggestions. After all of this I remembered that I had purchased some soft Merino yarn for myself a scarf in a deep rich red, one of the colors she said she likes. This might be the one. I hope so or at least that I don't keep locking until the night before the scarf is due.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

resting after a heavy session of dental floss

Yarn as a Dental Floss?

To day was Napolie Ollie's well vet check. Funny where you learn things about yarn. The vet is doing the standard looking at his teeth and wanted to know how I kept them so clean. The only thing I can figure out is he likes to chew on yarn. Wouldn't you know I would have a dog that doesn't touch a thing except yarn. He is a rescue Shar Pei and if you don't tell him it is OK to take a treat he won't touch it but he has this thing about yarn. He will sit very still get a twinkle in his eye, grab the yarn and take off running. I finally gave him an old crocheted throw all for himself and he has a nightly chew session. I kind of worried but he seemed so happy. The vet tells me that the yarn is like dental floss. The problem they have is most dogs won't touch the stuff. No, he doesn't eat it. He just chews it like gum. If you are ever in the market for a dog and have older children I would certainly recommend this breed. I found Napoleon at Shar Pei Savers on the internet and can't say enough about how great they are to work with. Oh, I just read the part about older children. I don't want to make Shar Pei sound like child haters. They are just very strong dogs with dominant personalities. Napoleon relaxes while my 3 year old granddaughter covers him with a blanket to play house but he is exceptionally laid back.
Off to see if I have my pal for the International Scarf Exchange. This is the first time I have done anything like this and I am really excited about getting started. I've put in a link to Shar Pei savers if anyone wants to take a look.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sunflower Socks

Well I finally finished the never to be famous sunflower socks. This is the first time I attempted to dye with regular dye and not Kool Aid. I purchased some watermelon yarn and decided, "I can do that." Next I thought, "why stick with watermelon?" There are all kinds of things out there to use as inspiration. Fall is coming. Why not Sunflowers? Famous last words. My yarn dying pal and I ended up dying in the rain. The socks are just not what I visioned them to be. Oh well, It gives me a chance to dye again. Maybe next time I will be closer. Logan, will like them. Does anyone else have a problem making clothing items for boys. I raised all boys. Now I have 4 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. I hate to admit it but there is something a lot more fun sewing a frilly dress then a sports jacket. It isn't that I love the boys less but it is just more fun making items for the girls. Lucky for me Logan will wear the socks and be happy but he won't be so happy wearing funky socks when he is older. Maybe I will have moved on to less dramatic things by that time.

Oh, I did discover one thing. I used a permanent marker on the yarn that was, of course, running low on ink. The spots came out light and didn't show as dramatically as I wanted. I gritted my teeth and used a new marker after the socks were knitted. I am never going to run around putting marks on yarn again. I will just put the dots on the finished item. Much faster and lots more control of where you put the color.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Rainy Labor Day

It is a rainy day here in Southeast Wisconsin. Kind of a harbinger for the Autumn days that will be here soon. It gave me time to finally start on my blog. Now who would have thought that an old broad - by the way I am allowed to say this but no one else can - would ever decide to do a blog, and on knitting no less. I am hoping to find some people out that enjoy the crazy craft lifestyle so we can exchange ideas and share the laughter and tears that come with committing yourself to create. I've been knitting for years along with almost every other craft I can manage to try. Right now knitting seems to be the in thing and so I chose knitting as the primary craft but I can't image not writing about others. I have to say that after years of only knitting once in a while I have been working at it on a regular basis. I think the difference is the yarn that is available. When I was a kid there were some nice places to buy great natural yarn, then it seemed as though almost everything you saw was a man made fiber. Now I have nothing against man made fibers but I cherish the feel of wool sliding across my fingers. Anyway, it's gone full circle and I have found some wonderful new things out there that I just have to try. I just finished one of my grand-daughters a top out of hemp. I can hardly believe how soft it is once it is washed. If I can figure out how to put a picture on this I will add one so you can see for yourself.

I first learned to knit when I was about 8 years old by an "adopted" aunt that knit for a living. There was a large department store in Milwaukee, WI, I think it was named Schusters. You went to the knitting department, picked your pattern with the yarn and the ladies would knit what you chose. Aunt Ella was visiting one weekend when I wanted to learn knit. She gave me some large wooden needles and yellow yarn. For some reason I still remember the bright yellow color. She showed me how to knit and purl. That one hour or so was the only lesson that I have had. Most of what I do I learned by reading the instructions and experimenting. I'm sure some of you with years less of experience will know how to do things much better then I. I hope if you do that you chime in when I am ruinating about how to do something. Meanwhile the good news is that she taught me to throw my yarn with my left hand. For years the few people I knew who did knit thought that was weird. Now people want me to show them how so I no longer feel like the odd man out.

More later but I have to go and work on a sock I am knitting out of my first hand dyed yarn. Another experience but something I will post on later. I will see if I can add the picture and then check to see if I have really created a blog. How exciting! I had to come back and say I think I have the picture thing solved. Yes, she is a teenager and really that slender. Good thing she is my grand-daughter or I might not like her. (kidding of course)