The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Somebody Made Me Do It

It was Margene that made me do it. After seeing her beautiful EPS sweater, and reading all her praises of Elizabeth Zimmerman's patterns, I just had to take yarn and needles in hand and begin a Norwegian mitten, using the instructions in Knitting Around. I wanted to make the mitten smaller than the original, so I cast on with Size 3 DPN's. However, I may be making them a tad too small; Maria says she will take them if I don't want them, as her hands are even smaller than mine. Here is the back of the mitten.

And here is the front, with the future thumb knit in gray yarn. I was only able to knit a few rows at a time last week; I would sit down to knit and within a few minutes would be overcome with fatigue. (Getting a respiratory virus didn't help, either.)

Here are some pictures of the pansies, which have really gone overboard in blooms since last week. It has been quite warm and I've been wearing shorts again. Thank you for all the beautiful thoughts you left on the last post. They are all greatly appreciated. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

Nana (my MIL) had six brothers and sisters. Her youngest brother was the first to pass away, on St Patrick's Day, 1975. Over the next 33 years all her other siblings passed away one by one, until for the last several years she has been the only surviving sibling. Early in the morning on this St Patrick's Day, Nana went peacefully to join her family.

One wonders what the heavenly St Patrick's Day parade must be like.

Thank you all for all the support you sent our way while she was ill and in the hospital and the care center. May you all be blessed for it.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

On the Needles, or, I Think This is Still a Knitting Blog

There are a number of small projects on the needles these days. After finishing the Moderne Baby Blanket, I don't think I'm going to want a major project for a little while yet. So here's what's working:

About a year ago I started playing with some Louet Euroflax, casting on for a Moss Grid Hand Towel from the Mason Dixon Knitting book. I lost interest in this for quite a while, but lately I've been seeing a lot of patterns knit in this yarn. So I've resurrected the hand towel and I'm picking this up at work when things get slow. I'd like to work on this and see if I really like the linen yarn before getting into a big project using this.

Also in my take to work bag is the beginning of an entrelac scarf. I'm using Laura's pattern for this and using the yarn Mary of The Wool Palace sent to me a while back when I was a lucky number commenter. This is Schoeller + Stahl Limbo Color in the colorway 2539. This is becoming a real practice piece for me. I'm using it to practice knitting backwards; if I'm ever going to do a really big entrelac piece someday, like the Lady Eleanor shawl, then I'm certainly going to need to know how to do that. I've also been practising knitting continental style, in preparation for doing some colorwork one of these days. All in all I've been having fun with this.

Sitting at home is my little knitting bag with a new sock in it. I'm sort of using the Basic Sock Recipe from Stephanie, as found in "Knitting Rules", but what I'm really trying to do is knit a sock without referring to a pattern. I want to learn to trust my own knitting and get confident enough to just pick up yarn and knit without thinking about it. This is just a simple project to pick up and go to appointments, car trips, etc. The yarn is Austermann Step in color 09, a lot of browns in it just like an Arizona winter.

I cast on for a Traveler's Stocking from Nancy Bush's "Knitting on the Road", but the Panda Wool just didn't let the pattern show through. It got frogged after several inches and the yarn put away for another project in the future. I still want to knit the pattern, but after researching Ravelry I've decided that I will probably do it in a light colored solid yarn to show the stitches off.

I've really been concentrating on the Shoulder Shawl in Cherry Leaf Pattern from "Victorian Lace Today". I've got fourteen of the fifteen pattern repeats finished. Since I've still got plenty of yarn, I thought about making it larger than the pattern, but I've decided now to make it the size the pattern calls for and use any leftover yarn for another project.

Finally, I've cast on for another little project, but I won't show you that one until I get something worth taking a picture of.

It's spring break this next week and I'm getting swamped with college kids this weekend and the next. I'll still be posting as time permits, in between maintaining a 24 hour kitchen. Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WWMW by the River

From Sunday's hike:

There are only the tiniest bits of new green growth to be seen, but the river is still a beautiful sight.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

E is for...

Embroidery. When I was a young'un, I started out like so many others...loopy potholders, which I was very annoying about wanting my mother to help me finish off. Then there were sewing cards. Remember those? Threading something like a shoe lace around a picture stamped on cardboard. Man, I really loved those. So then my mom decided to teach me how to embroider. A printed dresser scarf with pine trees and bears, a metal embroidery hoop that wouldn't keep the fabric taut, and skeins of embroidery floss, that usually ended up in a tangled mess. And let's not forget the needles that rusted in the material.

It took me a few years to finish this. Most of it was done in the summers, when I was out of school and bored to tears. And I had my first run in with second side syndrome; when I finally finished the first side of the scarf, I had to turn it around and begin all over again. But it was finally finished, and it was the start of many years of wielding a needle and fabric.

Those lazy daisy flower petals still make me smile.


Monday, March 03, 2008

A Prairie Silk Set

Once the Moderne Baby Blanket was finished, I fell into a flurry of finish-itis. On Friday I finished the Moss Gauntlets. The pattern is Natalya, the yarn Brown Sheep Prairie Silk, which unfortunately has been discontinued. It took a skein for each gauntlet. I did these on US Size 7 bamboo DPNS. The only modification I made to the pattern was to use only six pattern repeats for the arm, thus cutting the arm length approximately in half.

I had one skein left of the Prairie Silk (color Moss, for those who want to know) and while at work on Saturday I knocked out a Calorimetry headband. I had read on Ravelry about size issues with this; I cast on 100 stitches on US Size 8 needles and did 14 repeats of Row 5. Because I was using a solid color yarn, and because I wanted to make this a set with the gauntlets, I put four columns of cables in the center of the band. Hear it is, modeled by Barbara on Sunday afternoon.

My frenzy of knitting also involved sorting through my stash on Sunday. For those of you watching my activity on Ravelry, no, I did not go out and buy a massive amount of stash. I've just been adding yarns that have been in stash for a while. One of these weekends I'll finish up cataloguing the rest of the skeins.

Tomorrow is Joe's birthday; tomorrow is Felicity's birthday; tomorrow is also fellow blogger Roxie's birthday! Head on over and wish her a happy one!

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

D is for...

Dragoon Mountains. While hiking last Sunday we had excellent views of the Dragoon Mountains east of us. I see these mountains every day on my way to and from work, although the view of them is blocked from our house. Often in the early mornings they are purple colored in the still-not-quite-dawn light. In the late afternoons the shadows and sunlight on the western facade are deep and dramatic. Often the valley will be in shadow while the face of the mountains are in bright sunlight.

The old west town of Tombstone has an amazing view of these mountains, especially from the old "Boot Hill" cemetary. Sometime I will go over there and get a picture which I will certainly share.

The Apache chief Cochise had one of his strongholds (camps) in the Dragoon mountains. It is said that he is buried in an unknown spot up there. There are many spots in southeast Arizona where it seems that time stands still; this is certainly one of them.

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