Posts Tagged 'knitting'

Indoor pursuits

Encinitas Beach, California, painting (postcard sized).

It’s just cold and dark outdoors, without the benefits of snow. Blah. In the evenings, I’ve been indulging in playing with inktense blocks, experimenting with blending colors, making one band of colors blur into another. I’ve also been painting watercolors, using photos from last year’s vacation (thinking about warmer days).

There’s been knitting (Kate Atherley’s Thursday Afternoon Shawl, which is lengthening without getting wider… alarming!) and prepping a new project (balling yarn).

When the kitten is asleep, I’ve been hemming up a skirt (it’s an old 80s skirt, made of lovely material, but very … wide at the hem… so it’s slow). I have added pin pricked fingers to the kitten’s inevitably play marks. Unlike knitting, hand hemming is something I can pause to use the cat dancer toy as a distraction. I’m not sure how to handle the sewing machine around an active kitten (the other cats want the machine to kindly die, and leave me alone), so big sewing projects and printmaking are on pause.

Current Knitting – 2019

Now that I’m finally back from my cold…. I finished off a hat (begun in 2018) near the beginning of January. And now I’m on to a pair of socks….

The hat is the Hervor Cap from Viking Patterns for Knitting. Ravelry pattern link here. Oddly enough, the pattern makes a hat that’s a little bit too large for me, and maybe a little bit smaller than expected for my recipient.

My new cast-on project are socks, using a pattern I turn to again and again – the Madder Ribbed Sock from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

I think I’ll probably make the Hervor Cap again and again, maybe working on how the top of the pattern looks…. Although, all the reverse stockinette (purling) was a bit boring. The cabling was wonderful fun. Yarn was great too (Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted) So I wonder, what knitting pattern do you return to again and again?

Holiday Knitting

ornamentandcardObviously I can’t show pics of finished items, although I might put some pics up on Ravelry before too long. I’ve been knitting a cotton and linen sampler neck wrap for a family member who gets cold under air conditioning. Lovely linen tape from a shop in Philadelphia called Hidden River Yarns, btw. I will try to get photos up soon, even if it’s just a closeup so you can see the stitch definition. I’ve been using stitches from the 365 Knitting Stitches a Year perpetual calendar, and it’s a fun project to test drive stitches for larger things. (Bramble stitch is great.)

In October, I knit a hat out of doubled laceweight yarn…. And I think it will fit a cousin. And then for the rest, it’s books or entertainment (for the kids), baked treats, or gift cards.

I found a kit I bought last summer for quilted Christmas stockings, and I think I need to put it away and just do the plain sewing projects I planned for November (the month is almost gone) in December.

So… how about you? Are you crafting this Christmas to avoid the lines and the mall and feeling like things are too commercial? Are you crafting to relieve stress after doing shopping and holiday prep? Or have you Cyber Mondayed everything (or decided not to do Christmas/Hannukah etc. or exchange presents)? It’s all legit.

May Days

trailingvinesThe days are filled with flowers. This whole week has also been rainy, so I pause to marvel at a new bloom, a new bud forming, and rain drips down my raincoat’s hood, and slowly runs down the bridge of my nose. I’m loading photos onto my flickr feed as fast as I can. The colors are fabulous.

We’ve seen the first stirrings of the fig tree closest to the house coming back. Leaves have unfurled like tightly wrapped green fans, and I think I’ve seen some of the breve’ figs. The Gardener has been fighting a fight to the death with old tree roots, trying to get a patch set up for new raspberry bushes (a more intricate endeavor than I knew, with lots of space needed between the canes… and no idea if that means between the roots as well).

Also with spring comes: Mother’s Day and the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. It’s always either raining, or blistering hot, with lots of hours spent hiking about looking at the alpacas in pens, sheep shearing, and sheep on parade.

In the merry month of May, the Midatlantic region gets ready for Preakness . Preakness is always an exciting time, with tours of the stables at sunrise, and the unveiling of the Mayor’s hat (there is a female mayor in Baltimore right now…. I’m not sure a man’s tophat would be all that interesting). The stars, of course, are the jockeys and horses that come to Pimlico to race, and it get very exciting. [It also gets very tempting to go to the free sunrise tours, to see what the track looks like.]

The bird watching has been marvelous: titmice, mockingbirds, blue jays, red tail hawks, a brown creeper, and maybe a wood thrush. We’re ignoring the cardinals and robins that never seemed to leave. (I’m also ignoring politics right now. Focusing on birdsong, flowers, and a weekend that’s packed with too many things. MD Sheep & Wool is always a grand time, by the way. But I’m double-triple-booked.)

15 row countdown to next pattern shift – concerns about yarn

I’m still knitting on the Oslo shawl, doggedly trying to get to the next pattern shift (graph 2), and wondering if there will be enough blue and white for graph 3. If you click on the link, you should be able to get to the details page. As each row get longer, i get a little more concerned that I’ll run out of blue or white. Kind of wish that the store had more of the yarn (seabago) in the same lot so I could add a few more rows and maybe make mittens. If it washes, and keeps its color, I will be on the lookout for more of this, because knitting it is lovely.

Unfortunately very few good photos of the shawl in progress, because I’ve been stuck inside with a head cold on the one  sunny day when I could have gone out to take photos on my lunch break. The world turning dark while I’m driving home in the evenings is the trade off for the beautiful riot of autumn color on the trees at sunrise. We’ve had some sugar maples turn, and the streets up the block are red and yellow with fallen leaves…looking a bit like they’re paved in gold.

Many single stitches make a pair of socks

… and I feel like I remember knitting every single one of the stitches that made up my “Pinkie” project*. These socks are great, the pattern is fairly easy to “remember” as you go along, but they aren’t good knitting when you’re interrupted by a sidewinder (kitten).

pinkieSpecs for Socks:

Designer: Nancy Bush

Child’s French Sock

Knit in size small (I always have sock yarn left over, and these were 2 generous hanks of Shepherd Sock multi won during a raffle at a yarn retreat in Massachusetts). Yarn was donated by Lorna’s Laces in a special dye lot called “no yellow”, and it made a splendid multi-color yarn without flashing too much. I’d love to see what the dyer would come up with a “no red” colorway.

My Flickr feed is currently glacial, so I’m not sure when any of my pictures will pop up. But for now, here’s a photo of the obligatory sidewinder, duking it out with corn husks leftover from dinner:

kittenhusk

* In case you’re wondering about “Pinkie”, like many children of my age, I had pictures lovingly hand stitched in Berlinwork/needlepoint of both Pinkie and Blue Boy on my bedroom walls. In my case, done by my grandmother.

Knitting continues – with kitten intervention

Having learned how to get about half an hour of uninterrupted knitting time (run the vacuum cleaner for a while – the kitten magically disappears), I managed to do one full pattern of Pinkie (Child’s French Sock by Nancy Bush). Which means I’m almost through the gusset of the second sock. I’d love to get these totally off the needles before August, or by the beginning of August.

My knitting lags when I have an active kitten participating in every moment of the day.


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