Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hi, Strangers!

When I mentally gave myself permission to not have to blog every single day, I didn't anticipate that it would take me this long to post a new one.

But a lot of things conspired to make problems for me.

Blogger changed their whole dashboard, etc, and it suddenly didn't work on my desktop computer. I should note that my DT computer is an iMac that's probably at least 15 years old. It has all my workhorse programs on it, but the internet seems to have all upgraded in the space of a week, and that meant that suddenly the whole internet was speaking Greek as far as it was concerned. I can't access the internet at all on it.

I have upgraded to a newer laptop, but it doesn't have all the programs I like and use on it. I still have to get around to loading them up, and I have things that I really have to do that have been distracting me from it, along with my allergies making me to sick to want to do anything all the time.

I want to put up photos in my posts so that it's more interesting, but PhotoShop is on the other computer. I think I'm going to have to investigate iPhoto so I can put up photos here.

But the most important thing is to just write something, so here goes.

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Last weekend was the Fall Fiber Fest!

Unfortunately, I didn't get to go.

I don't have a car anymore, and Holly was having a problem with her brakes, so, to make up for not going and buying a special treat, I bought a treat over the internet, in the form of two pair of Signature straight needles.

I had gotten a pair of size nines in seven inch length with a bell cap and stiletto points in the past, and I love them! I did a potato chip scarf with them out of Mary Maxim Mohair Glitter yarn. Don't turn up your nose because it says Mary Maxim. It's very nice yarn! It has some mohair in with the acrylic and it does have some very sparkly fiber in it, too.

The nines are purple, like these, but mine have the bell cap.



The colorway I bought is Seaspray, which has an assortment of pastel colors in it including green, pink, lavender, blue and turquoise.



I enlarged the photo a lot, so it's a little pixilated (OK, a lot), but you can see the colors better. It seems I can put photos up when I swipe them from the internet. I don't think I'll get in trouble for this because it's really free advertising for the yarn.

This is a very fine yarn that you can knit with a larger needle because of the mohair filling in the spaces. It says to use size nine needles, which is what I did, but the result is very open and airy. I would use a smaller needle if I was making a sweater that I wanted either to actually cover, as opposed to display me, or actually wanted it to provide some warmth. But for the scarf, it's perfect!

I started off using the potato chip scarf pattern that's been bouncing around the internet that uses 20 stitches. I found it awfully narrow, and not ruffly enough to suit me, so I changed it to 24 stitches and an extra short row, which made it wider and gave it a lot more ruffle. Pictures to come when I get off my lazy rear end.

Anyway, I wound up with a scarf that looks like it's made of fairy dust!

Now that it's done, I bought some lavender Lion Brand Fun Fur and am making a scarf with it on the same size 9 needles. Unfortunately, I only bought two balls of it, and the length scarf I want will need another ball. I have to get back to the store to get more. It's currently my traveling project. If I'm working on a large project that I don't want to carry around, I usually also work on a smaller, more portable project like a scarf or socks.

So (back to the original point of this before I strayed off into Signature needle rhapsodies), I ordered two more pair of Signature straight needles in 7 inch length, with stiletto points and bell caps in sizes 5 and 2-1/2. Both of them happen to be blue. Here's a photo of blue Signatures, but keep in mind that mine have bell caps.

I also ordered more yarn from Mary Maxim to make a baby blanket for my soon to appear (January) new great grandson. The yarn is called Prism, and it's multicolored (important for the project) and machine wash and dry. I've raised a baby, and I can guarantee that she doesn't want anything that isn't wash and wear.


This is also really enlarged so you can see the color better. They show this made up in a capelet in their catalog, and the blue gets so light in that sample that it's almost an off white, so this sample may or may not be an accurate color sample. Either way, I think it'll be a nice blanket for a baby/little boy,

For the blanket, I'm planning on using my new size 5 needles to work it in domino knitting.

I also bought a book from Amazon that arrived on Tuesday (actually, it arrived on Monday, but the people at the apartment building I live in wouldn't give it to me until Tuesday), called Domino Knitting. I was a little unsure about spending money on it, but now that it's here, I love it!



The blanket will look a lot like the cover of the book, but be knitted in small blocks that, since the yarn is variegated, will look a lot like the cover, but blue. I love the Signature needles! They're like knitting with jewelry!

And we're having a craft class downstairs in less than a half hour, so I'm going to get off the internet and go down there. I'm not really interested in craft lessons, but there are a bunch of nice people and it's fun.

I am going to try to blog more often, even if I don't have any photos. Actually, I don't think I did too bad for not having any photos.

I hope you've been watching Grimm on Fridays and Once Upon a Time on Sundays!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy August!

I meant to blog yesterday, but I missed it! So, I'm wishing this for you a little late.

Happy Air Force Day!






The photo was taken at Lackland AFB, where I was stationed for a couple of months.


I hope it was a happy one! Having been in the Air Force, I have a soft spot for it and flying. Find out more about Air Force Day from the Department of Defense here!

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I'm still working on the shawls with the Celtic knots. The one I'm currently almost finished has a knot that's made up of hearts. I really love this one.


If you look at it, there are two hearts with their bottom points touching in the center, and the knot expands into a big, overall heart.

That's made from Knit Picks Tweed in Marine Heather. The color is rich and beautiful, and the photo doesn't do it justice. You can see it better if you click the link. It is a blue that leans toward turquoise, and the heathering makes it look so deep and rich. It's soft, and just a wonderful yarn! I love this yarn!

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I talked to Holly on Sunday, and she's going to drive out here and see me. It's been a little over a year since I've seen her, although we talk on the phone frequently. I'm really looking forward to trying to find a good chair for me that doesn't damage my elbows like my current one does. I really hope we can find it on Sunday, because it I don't find it until later, I'll have to try to get it home by myself, which means a cab, which I don't think will be a good arrangement.

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Well, it's that time of year again. Pennsic is already under weigh, and some of my friends have already gone. For those of you who don't know, Pennsic is one of the biggest events put on yearly by the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), and it attracts people from all over the world.

Pennsic started as a war between the Middle Kingdom and the Kingdom of the East, and it features all sorts of battles including a field battle, woods battle, bridge battle, siege, melee, and much more. The different battles accrue points, and points are also added for winning many other kinds of competition, especially in the arts and sciences. There are also classes in the arts and sciences, royal courts, and shopping, shopping, and more shopping! And I'm not even mentioning the large part of the populace who stay up and party all night.

We are still currently in the first week of Pennsic. It will really get going on Saturday, when the majority of attendees will start arriving. More info as it happens!

I need to get some other things done, now, so I'll try to blog more frequently in the future.

Have fun in the meantime!





Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!


I hope you're celebrating in all the traditional ways!

I have a horrible, foreboding feeling that this may be the last year for a while that we're able to celebrate in peace. Hearing some of the things that representatives of our government are saying, it's making me scared that by this time next year, we may be fighting for our independence all over again. We're certainly not going to get any independence if our elected officials have their way. It makes me wonder why we elected them, and then I think back to George W vs. Al Gore, and realize we didn't elect them!

I always loved the United States. That's why I joined the Air Force. But this isn't the country I served, anymore. It's changed beyond all recognition.

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On to happier topics.

The Saint John's cross shawl is done in it's City Tweed DK incarnation. I'm currently knitting another one in Wool of the Andes sport weight yarn (it must be Solstice Heather, but I don't think I ordered that color). Anyway, it's a new denim blue, very pretty. I was looking for a lighter shade, but they didn't have a lighter heather blue. Anyway, I'll be at or near the middle of the cross before the day is over.

I still have to get the two scarves off to Knit Picks, but it's been so hot out, and going to the post office is an all-day trip, and I've stood in 100 degree (sometimes plus) weather in the sun for more than 2 hours too many times in the past (or below freezing, with lots of wind), waiting for a bus, to do anything buy dread going. I was considering trying to go to one of the other post offices, but I still have to take the bus to get to them, and if I go to the one that's closest to me, I can walk across the street to the yarn store and sit in the air conditioning for a while before I go back to fighting with the buses. Plus, there's something I want to buy there.

On the point of post office closeness, the one that's closest to me is furthest on the bus. The bus gives me a scenic tour of the county before it will take me anywhere I want to go. So, the post office I get to first on the bus isn't the closest one. And neither of the post offices or the Fed Ex office have places that it's convenient or even out of the sun to wait for the bus to get home.

But back to my local yarn shop, Yarn Cloud. They have a Namaste Buddy Case in eggplant, to match my Laguna bag.


Isn't it pretty? And convient to carry very small things, like tapestry needles. It has separate compartments and magnets built in to hold those needles, your scissors, and more. I've been wanting one for a while, and I can't wait.


The photo shows it with cosmetics in it, but it's great for tiny knitting things, too.

Since I don't have one yet, and wanted to show what it looks like, I went to the Namaste site, and discovered that they are adding a new color in their Oh, Snap bags! In August (just in time for my birthday), they're adding eggplant to the colors available!


Don't those look pretty? And useful? I have to check out the prices, but I really like them.

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Well, I have to get going if I want to do the stuff I need to do today!

Have a great Independence Day, a beautiful balance of the week and a fabulous weekend!



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy Summer!

It's well and truly Summer, now. The Solstice was last Wednesday? Sometime last week. We've not only passed Memorial Day, which most people regard as the beginning of Summer, but it's now officially Summer by the calendar.

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I've been busy with my latest resolution, which is to get one pattern accepted and off to Knit Picks each month. I'm on a push to get the last little bit of the knotted scarf completely finished and in the mail. I should actually be working on it right now.

When I submitted the proposal for this, I knew that I'd have to take photos and I'd need a model, but I had no idea how to find one. Submitting the prop was a leap of faith. I've decided I'm going to do this, and somehow I will get it done, even if I don't know how I'm going to do it right now.

Well, I put up an ad on CraigsList DC, and three young women answered my ad. One of them was exactly what I was looking for. Her name is Samantha, and here are some photos of her and the scarf (which I made in two different weights and in two colors so I could tell which was which).


Since this, and the next project, and most of the ones I want to do have a Celtic flavor, I was hoping for someone with strawberry blond hair and blue eyes. Samantha has green eyes, but really is perfect, and she has a very nice personality. I'm really delighted with her as a model and a possible new friend. She's wearing the worsted weight scarf in Wool of the Andes in Baltic Heather. The color is beautiful! and it looks great on her.

Here's the same scarf in one of Knit Pick's sport weight Wool of the Andes color Haze Heather. Both colors are made from blending different colors of wool before spinning and they are beautiful. If you examine them closely, you can see all the different colors of fibers.


Here's a closer view of the actual braided knot. The quality of this photo isn't too good, because I took it with my tablet, not a good camera. But you can clearly see what the knot looks like.


I plan to finish putting together the layout for it today, and tomorrow, go back over it and proof it and check it for all the things that Knit Picks requires of their patterns. I was going to say it's a long checklist, but it's actually two shorter checklists.

In the meantime, as you may have noticed since I have photos of finished projects, I've been working on my next project for Knit Picks. It's the shawl with the Saint John's cross in the middle, fringe, and a picot bind off on the top edge. I'm only partly done, but most of the cross is finished. I'm partly through the top part of the cross, after the interlacing ring. Here's what the cross looks like and you can see how far I've gotten.


That's being knit in Knit Picks' City Tweed in DK weight, and the yarn is just scrumptious! It feels great on your skin! I'm getting near the finish, but since this is a triangular shawl, knit from the bottom up, and each row gets another stitch added at the beginning of the row, each row is getting longer. There's still a lot of knitting in this! When I knitted the first one, it took me almost an hour and a half to bind it off! It uses a picot bind off, so there's not only a lot of stitches to bind off, but you keep casting on more stitches, which then have to be bound off, too. This shawl just eats up yarn at an amazing rate! It has a garter stitch background, fringe (each strand of fringe uses about 14 inches of yarn!), and the picot bind off, which is very pretty and adds a nice touch, but also really uses up yarn.

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I've been watching the Jesse Stone movies on Hallmark Movie Channel all day. They're showing them out of order, which is very disappointing of them. There's a new movie at the end of all this (starts at 8 pm here) that premiered on network TV about a month or so ago. They're all very good.

I've been reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. These are really good, too.

It's based on the idea that right after World War II, a woman and her husband are taking a second honeymoon in Scotland, and, while collecting some botanical specimens, she walks between the two sides of a cracked standing stone in a henge and is transported 200 years into the past. The first book is Outlander, and it's first-rate!



I got my copy from the library, and hadn't looked for it on Amazon until I looked it up to put a link to it here so you could read a review of it if you wanted, and I'm stunned at the price for a used copy! I may have to buy the whole series for myself.

The second book is Dragonfly in Amber, followed by Voyager, and I'm now up to Drums of Autumn. Actually, I'm almost finished reading it. I'm really loving it, but the library doesn't seem to have the next book or two, just the final one. I'm either going to have to break down and buy the books or give up for the moment. It's probably a better plan to buy these and read at leisure, though. Drums is over a thousand pages, and it's printed in small type, which is why it's taking me a while to get through them. It's a fascinating story, and she makes me care about the characters, but it's a book that walks, as opposed to books like the Harry Potter books or the Twilight series, that just fly!

I plan to at least take a break from the series and switch to another one that I've really loved.

If you haven't met Odd Thomas, you really should read the books. There's a series by Dean Koontz all about Oddie, whose parents claimed to have intended to call him Todd, but left off the T by accident on his birth certificate application. Odd sees the dead. They don't talk to him, because to Odd, the dead don't seem to be capable of speech that he can hear. Ghosts come to Odd when they've been killed, in an effort to bring their killers to justice. But he sees other supernatural phenomena, too, like the dark, smoke-like creatures that gather preceding major catastrophes to feast on the negative energy. It's always a mystery for him to solve because although he gets clues, nobody can really tell him what happened, or, in some cases, what's about to happen.

There is a whole series of books about Odd, which I have read, and which you can find on Amazon, plus some graphic novels about Odd which I haven't read. The thing that's prompting me to go back and read the series (aside from the fact that I love them so much that I do that from time to time anyway), is that there's a new book in the series (Odd Apocalypse) coming out at the end of July. I can't wait!

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Well, I've managed to delay the work that I should be doing by writing this as long as I possibly can, so I guess I'd better get busy and actually do it.

I hope you've been having a wonderful weekend and have a great week coming up!




Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yarn!

Yesterday, all the yarn from Knit Picks arrived! That's not totally true. The post office delivered it on Tuesday, but because of the apartment building I live in, I couldn't pick it up until Wednesday. There are things I love about this place, but that's not one of them.

Anyway, I picked up a box full of about $100 worth of yarn! Absolutely free! Well, I've agreed to do a lot of work with it, but it won't cost any actual money.

I had requested Wool of the Andes in either Baltic Heather or Marine Tweed, and gave them a choice which they sent. I was secretly hoping to get the tweed, but they sent Baltic Heather.

Here's the Marine Tweed:


When I went to look for what the Marine Tweed looks like, I realized that they're discontinuing the color and it's on sale! That's probably why I didn't get it. So, if you're looking for something like this, Knit Picks is the place to look. There are some other colors of Wool of the Andes Tweed that are on sale. Check it out.

Isn't it pretty, though?

Anyway, the Baltic Heather yarn is just beautiful! If you look at it closely, you can see so many colors in it, but from a distance, it looks more like a tonal color. I'm really pleased with it. . .


It's every bit as beautiful as the photo shows it to be. In real life, it's even more beautiful.

That's the yarn for the scarf.

The shawl is going to be knit in City Tweed DK, in Porpoise.


It's hard to decide to call this blue or grey, but it's truly beautiful. The Wool of the Andes feels good, but this stuff feels more like an angora rabbit!

I'm really looking forward to knitting with this stuff! It's true luxury fiber!

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the Wool of the Andes. It's knitting up so nice. I finished the first short section of the scarf, and have finished most of the section for the woven knot and will try what I think will be an easier way to weave it. I'll be on to the long straight stretch to the second knot later on this evening.

I've been bored to death with all the Spring TV shows that have finished up last week and left a wasteland in their wake.

Tonight, however, I have pizza, some good stuff on TV, and a scarf that is an easy knit, but looks so great that it's a real joy to knit! I'm planning to kick back and just enjoy the whole thing! I'm going to try to rest my elbow at least several times during the evening.

I wish you an evening as fun as mine is going to be!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fabulous News and Bad News

Monday, I got an email from Knit Picks telling me that two of my designs had been accepted for their independent designer program!

The first of the two is a scarf with a woven knot in it. I've already done a sample in Wool of the Andes sport weight, and have some really bad photos of both projects.

The wonderful, fabulous camera my sister gave me seemed to be malfunctioning, and the wonderful camera I bought before that seemed to be doing the same thing. Luckily, the problem was with the batteries, but it took me a little while to figure that out, so these photos were taken with my tablet computer.

Here's a view of the overall scarf:


As mentioned, that's in sport weight, and I'm also going to do one in worsted weight.

One of the ladies (Beth) at my knitting group (Flying Fingers) started knitting it. I was there for the meeting yesterday. Beth came in a little late, and when she saw me, her mouth opened, and before she could say anything, I said, "You want to talk to me!" She asked how I knew that, and I told her that she was close enough to weaving the knot last week that I was sure she'd be up to it by now, and I suspected she couldn't figure out how to do it.

So, we sat there, and wove a section of her scarf together. It really is a job for four hands. It was kind of fun working with another person so closely. There were cheers and words of encouragement, and everybody had fun. Afterward, every once in a while, she murmured, "I'm so pleased!" It gave me some ideas on how to adapt the job so it can be done with just two hands.

The other pattern that was accepted was the triangular shawl with the Saint John's cross on it.


You can't see it too well in the photo, but it really is spectacular! The fringe around the two sides is finished, in other words, there are no cut ends to fray! And you can't really see it too well in the photo but there's a picot bind-off across the top. I made it for a friend, who bought the yarn, and I'll have to knit it again for the pattern in Knit Picks yarn.

I'm so excited about this opportunity!

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The bad news is that about a week or so ago, a big, soft lump came up on my right elbow. I ignored it for a while, hoping it would go away, but it hasn't gotten any better so far.

So, today, I looked it up on the internet, and it says that the bursa in my elbow is inflamed. It says to take ibuprofen, use a compression bandage, try to keep my elbow elevated, and stop doing stuff that irritates it!

It said it makes your elbow hurt, and I hadn't noticed that. But then, I'm really good at ignoring things like pain. Once I stopped everything and paid attention to my elbow, I discovered that it really was hurting.

Stuff that irritates it includes knitting!

So, Knit Picks has sent out yarn support for the two projects. It hasn't arrived yet, and I'm going to at least stop knitting until it arrives. I may delay starting it or at least take it easy when I do start.

That not only includes knitting, but also typing, so I'm going to stop now, and you may not hear from me for a while. If you do, it may be very short.

I do have a doctor's appointment, so relax. The internet may be helpful, but doesn't really replace a doctor. I can't see her instantly, though, so I can at least start to treat this before seeing her.

In the meantime, have a wonderful week and the best Memorial Day Weekend ever. I'm going to try to get out at some point to see Rolling Thunder. I don't have to actually go anywhere to see them, they're pretty much everywhere on Memorial Day Weekend, but not in my apartment. I'll have to go out to see them.

Anyway, have fun!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!

If it's Cinco de Mayo and it's Saturday or Sunday, then the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is underway.


Unfortunately, my allergies are keeping me from going. I don't have a car, and I'd like to think that it's the reason that I'm not going. I'd like that, because it's something I could possibly fix and maybe go next year.

But I can't kid myself. I've been having a severe allergic reaction for more than two years straight, and almost constantly for at least 5 years because of the unhealthy conditions in the HUD subsidized apartment in which I live. Going out for the day in the Spring, when the air is filled with tree pollen is nearly suicidal. I don't know. Maybe I can fix the problem with the apartment building and get better, if not well.

But back to the Sheep and Wool Fest! Or rather, back to the subject, but not the Festival.

Here's a photo of a lamb to get you in the mood.


Susan McFarland brought along a little lamb to the show a few years ago, and you can see her sitting in Susan's lap. Isn't she a cutie?

I'm at home, getting in the mood by watching You Lucky Dog on the Hallmark Network. It'll be on later today, too. It's about a woman who comes home from New York to her family's cattle farm and discovers that they've bought some sheep, too. She gets and trains a sheep dog named Lucky, and starts a designer sweater business. There are lots of border collies herding sheep, so at least I don't have to feel like I'm missing the sheepdog trials.

In the meantime, I'm finishing up some knitting projects, doing some light cleaning, and I might even do some spinning later. I might even treat myself to some chicken fried rice from the local Chinese restaurant as consolation.

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The Jewelry Project

I used to make and sell sterling silver jewelry, and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed wearing it even more.

Then Steve decided to help me by throwing out all my tools (including a torch) and what was about $300 worth of sterling silver (then). It's probably about $4,500 worth of sterling in today's prices. This, and similar incidents, is a large part of why I'm no longer married to Steve.

I've been collecting silver working tools for the past few months, and this month I splurged and spent all my disposable income on the last few tools I needed, and some nickel silver wire. It should all arrive this coming week.

From Cool Tools, I ordered an anvil that is almost a sculptural work of art in it's own right,
a sandbag,
a mallet, and protective glasses (I'm not showing the glasses).
I found a great shop on ebay called JETS Tools, and I ordered a goldsmith's hammer from them.






 Isn't it pretty?

I plan to get a chasing hammer soon, too.

All of the tools are not only superb tools for the job, but aesthetically pleasing as well. The anvil, mallet, and hammer are beautiful pieces of sculpture, and the sandbag is to deaden the noise of using the hammers and anvil.

And, of course, I ordered some metal, in this case, various gauges of nickel silver wire. Please note that although it's called nickel silver, there is no silver in it. It is, as the name states, nickel. Actually, it's mostly copper, and there's a little bit of zinc in it, too, but no silver.

But it looks great, doesn't tarnish, and it's a tiny fraction of the cost of sterling. I got it partly because I was nearly broke after buying the hammers and anvil and wanted to be able to do something with the tools, and partly because it's a really inexpensive way to experiment before making things in the far more expensive silver. Next month, I may spring for some sterling filled wire.

Oh, and while I was at it, I ordered the crochet hooks I need to make the hats that I ordered the yarn and beads for last month. It'll be so nice to get the sun out of my eyes, and look great while I'm doing it!

I hope you're having a great weekend, and that if you live in my area that you got to go to the sheep and wool fest!




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Flying Fingers

Almost a month ago, I was invited to join a nearby knitting group called Flying Fingers. It's located in a complex dedicated to seniors about a mile away from where I live.

I went to one meeting, missed the next, and then Dottie forgot to pick me up for the next one, but I've been to two more since then.

At the meeting last night, a lot of the members were missing because there's another nearby knitting group that they went to. I'm guessing that that group is only once a month, instead of every week like Flying Fingers. I did get to meet one of the people from the other group (besides Dottie) last night, and was invited to speak at one of their meetings. I don't know what they want me to talk about, but it sounds good.

During the meeting, I worked on binding off the shawl I've been making for my friend, Louise. She has a "craft class" at the apartment building where I live. They pretty much exclusively do paper crafts, almost always greeting cards. Once a month they get together and make two or three cards each. I used to do paper crafts, and had a lot of rubber stamps, but they went to New Jersey, and I'm not interested in putting any money into rubber stamps at the moment.

Because of the paper crafts, which Louise does all the time for herself, she regularly goes to either JoAnne's or Michael's. She generously offered to give me a ride to one or the other of those two places when she happens to be going there. I live near her, and she only takes me when she's already going, so it's not out of her way.

I wanted to give her some money for gas, but she insisted that she would be going anyway, even if she didn't take me, so she wouldn't accept money.

What we did agree on was that she wanted a shawl to give her sister in law for Christmas, so she bought the yarn and I knit the shawl. That's what I was binding off at the meeting last night. It was a picot bind off, so it really took a lot of time and yarn. When I was completely finished, there was a five inch tail of good yarn and another inch of frayed. I used exactly all the yarn that I had! I have some tails to darn in, and I'm debating about blocking it.

The yarn is a heathery beige-tan in worsted weight. She chose Wool Ease in Mushroom.


I started at the point at the bottom, increasing each row, and put a fringe around the two short sides. There's a big Saint John's cross (sample below from a different project), and I finished off the top with a picot bind off.


You can barely see a sample of the picot bind off on the right in the photo above.

The photos are from a completely different project, because I don't have a photo of the shawl yet, but I plan to take one and have a picture for you real soon, now.

I really have to go to the library and pick up a book, but I'll try to do another post again sometime very soon.




Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the Thirteenth!

Today is Friday the thirteenth, and the second one this year. We still have one more to go, so don't think you're off the hook yet.


Oddly enough, a lot of people regard Friday the thirteenth as a lucky day, so I've chosen to look at it that way, too. You might want to try it. It's much less stressful.

So, have a happy, lucky Friday the thirteenth!




Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I hope you've been having a happy Easter!

The temperature in my apartment is getting up near 90 degrees (again), and I finally gave up and opened the window. Happy allergies! I feel like I have flu most of the time.

I hope you're enjoying all the great Easter movies on TV, but don't miss Once Upon A Time
tonight!




Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool's Day!

Happy April Fool's Day!

For those of you (like me) who haven't really seen anyone today on which to play an April Fool's Day prank, I give you the following link to a list of the most notorious April Fool's Day pranks ever played.

Having been a typesetter, I especially appreciate number 5, about the itinerant island chain of San Seriffe, with it's punctuation-shaped islands and it's capital, Bodoni. The two major islands, Upper and Lower Caisse were a nice touch, as was the second cousin of the president, "Che" Pica (you have to hit the "more" button and wait for a while to read all of the story).

I also particularly enjoyed the article about Alabama changing the value of Pi. The story about the left-handed Whopper was beyond belief. Additional gigglers include the conversion to metric time, the "bomb" dropped on a German camp during WWI, whistling carrots, drunk internet use, the predicted death of an astrologer, diseases in teddy bears, footprints of a flying man, and, in a twist on the metric time prank, there's Big Ben being converted to digital. I only got up to number 50, but there's lots more if you're interested.

If you happen to be wondering how April Fool's Day started, you can read an explanation here, from some people who are probably as confused as you are.

Whatever, I hope you have a fun day!




Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Heathen Rites of Spring!

Happy Heathen Rites of Spring!


I know that Spring started on Tuesday, and it's now Friday, and I'm more than a little late.

But, that doesn't mean that my wishes are any less heartfelt.

The cherry blossom height is usually late in April, but somebody forecast that it would be a little earlier than that, and the TV station that reported that said they thought it would be at it's best around the 15th of April.

Well, I live outside DC, which means that the cherry blossoms come out earlier in the city than here because the city leaks so much heat, and it's warmer there. But, even so, the cherry blossoms are in full, glorious bloom right NOW!

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The Future of Knitting Content on this Blog

As I've mentioned before, I got involved in a knitting forum called Knitting Paradise. The link is to sign up for their newsletter. Here is a link directly to the knitting forum.

There are people from all kinds of backgrounds and skills on the forum, and they mainly discuss knitting, problems they're having with knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving. You'll get a better link if you sign up. There are also sections of the forum for photos, so you can show off your best work, a section for swaps and to sell stuff you no longer want, a section to just chat about stuff in general, and more.

Well, people keep asking questions, and I keep answering them. Oh, by the way, if you have any questions about knitting, I can probably answer them, just ask a question in the comments.

And after I've answered questions, I have had people ask me for more accurate directions (i.e., a pattern) for how to knit something.

So far, I've committed myself to writing and publishing two patterns: comfy socks pattern, and a Christmas stocking pattern. They seem to be stuck on a socks thing.

Anyway, on the subject of the comfy socks pattern, there was a general discussion of socks, and I mentioned that my daughter told me about diabetic socks. These are socks that are marketed to diabetics (who are notorious for having foot problems) because they've been engineered to avoid foot problems for people who have diabetes. A friend recommended them to her because, although she doesn't have diabetes, they were the most comfortable socks that he'd ever worn. She tried them and agreed that they were super comfortable.

Well, she described them to me, and what qualities they had that made them so comfortable, and I've been working on duplicating those qualities in hand-knit socks. I've been knitting them for a couple of years, and refining the formula little by little. They're not quite as good as the commercial socks sold for diabetics, but they're getting remarkably close.

You won't find fancy stitches and designs or lace and cables on these, but they are good, handsome socks that hug the foot where it's needed to keep from producing blisters, are loose over the toes to provide comfort and wiggle room (but still snug enough not to fold over and cause blisters), have deep enough heels that they won't slide down in your socks, have legs that won't droop and fall down, and have have a cast on at the top of the leg that's stretchy enough that it will go over your heel without a fight. These are handsome, good looking, everyday socks that will feel great on your foot. And they have a lot of techniques that you can apply to almost any other sock pattern to make them more comfortable.

I have one more thing that I want to test before I actually write up this pattern. That means I want to knit and test wear at least one more pair of socks before I even start to write this. So, you can see that this will not be out instantly. In fact, the more I think about this, the more it sounds like a small book rather than just a pattern. There's a lot of work that's already gone into this, and it's definitely going to be a pattern I feel like I have to charge for.

I read about a woman who's writing and selling books on the internet, and she's making a fortune at it because she's selling the electronic books for about $2. It doesn't take a lot of thought to realize that selling 5 books (or patterns) at $5 each isn't as good as selling 100 at $2 each. So, I'm planning to assign lower prices to my patterns to gain some volume (this doesn't apply to my printed patterns, which also cost money, up front, to print).

But this pattern will be a short book, with lots of photos of construction, and with instructions written out so that even beginning sock knitters can turn out excellent socks from the beginning. So, the pattern/instructions will still be a more robust price. I plan to keep it under $10, but I also plan to make it a treasure-trove of how to knit socks for beginners, with a pile of tips, tricks, and new ways to make socks comfy. So, you'll be getting every penny's worth!

I plan to test a different type of sock yarn, and take lots of photos while I'm doing it, then write it all out, lay it out and make a PDF. That's a lot of work, considering that I won't have the money for the new sock yarn I plan to test until the beginning of next month, and it's so hot in my apartment, that knitting is giving me heat stroke, and it's going to get much hotter in here in the next month. It's 80 degrees outside, which means it's about 90 degrees in here. It usually reaches 110 degrees in here long before they turn on the air conditioning.

As to the other pattern, I want to get some yarn and knit a stocking while taking photos of the process as it unfolds for the pattern.

I'm going to quit, now, because Blogger has stopped functioning.

I hope you have a great weekend!



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