Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Slow Summer

This has been a busy year. I headed back to work full time for the first time in quite a long time. I have no major plans for the summer, other than cleaning my house, and getting rid of things I no longer need in my life. So far, progress has been slow but I'm okay with that because at least I am still moving forward.

Not so much knitting happening, but I have picked up my needlepoint again. 
I am hoping to finish it for Christmas but I promise nothing.

Today when I started working on my needlepoint Ollie came and sniffed at my project bag, 
and next thing I knew he was nestled in for a nap.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Works in Progress

I have decided I am tired of looking at all of my WIPs and UFOs, and I am trying to use my knitting time
this year to finish some of those long languishing projects.
So far I haven't done anything too ancient, but projects that were closer to the surface.
They are small, but I am still quite happy to nearly finish them
and not add to the list of items that need finishing.

Right now I am working on a pair of Latvian wristers from a class by Beth Brown Reinsel:
Yarn: Classic Elite Fresco
 This weekend I was able to learn how to knit and then complete a pair
- yes! a pair of these Lithuanian wristers in a class with Donna Drachunas.
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy
After I finish the wristers, I have a Norwegian sweater calling my name...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fingerless Mitts for K-san

K-san, who doesn't ask for much, but is so very generous asked me about fingerless mitts. 
I offered to make some for her. She wanted purple to match her coat and luckily I had some lovely
Socks That Rock midweight mill ends that fit the bill.
I found this great free pattern on Ravelry.

Finished! Color not accurate here, it's a bit washed out.
She will be able to type with them on when she gets cold  in her office.
In progress, color is best in this photo.
Pattern: Framed Cable Fingerless Mitts, by Anne Campbell
Yarn: Socks That Rock Midweight - Mill End

Friday, March 29, 2013

An Old Photo

My mother recently gave me this photo of myself. I was about 2 1/2 years old in this photo, wearing a dress my grandfather got for me. My grandfather used to play poker with some guys
who were children's clothing wholesalers, and after the game he would pick out dresses for me. 
He was very charming and charismatic, and people loved him or hated him. I loved him so, so much. 

I have looked at this photo, covered in scotch tape, and wondered who did it and why,
I almost threw it away. It has been sitting on my desk for months, I would pick it up, think about whether to toss it since it was in bad shape, but would do nothing but put it back under the lamp. Today, the photo fell to the floor and for the first time I saw the back. In my grandfather's writing; my name with the addition of his last name, and the year. I realized why it was covered in tape and slightly curled - it had been in his wallet.

He died 25 years ago, and I still think of him every day.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mehndi for Me!

I have always wanted to try Mehndi, the Indian tradition of applying henna
in a decorative pattern on the hands and or feet. I was invited to an Indian themed event and thought it was the perfect opportunity!

I went to a beauty salon, at the recommendation of Helen, and picked out a design. I really wanted the decoration to extend to my fingers, and include my wrists.

Pretty, but not quite what I wanted.
During the application. It was fascinating!

Completely dry, left hand.
Dry right hand, and Ollie kitty looking for love.
I assumed the henna would just fade away, and was surprised that it actually kind of cracks off. It is 5 days after the fact and now my hands are pretty clear although there are still bits on my fingertips (I did scrub my hands, they felt a bit rough and dry). My wrists are faded but the designs are clearly visible.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Cleaning Out My Closet

We recently had to knock out part of a wall in my closet, necessitating emptying the whole closet. The closet has not been emptied in ...well, let's just say it had been a very long time. The entire contents were strewn about my living room, and after the work was completed I got to work.
I cleaned the years of dust off the ceiling, walls, shelves and floors. That was the easy part.

I am sorting through the clothing, trying to pare down and make sure that I really want and will wear what is hanging or sitting there. I have done this little by little in other parts of my home, but this was a biggie.

I am taking the time to try things on, and really look into each box, and bag. I still have things all over my living room, but I am much happier with the items that are going back into my closet.

I am in the process of sorting out shoes, and photographing them to keep track
and remember the less frequently worn shoes.

A gorgeous pair of beloved vintage cowboy boots.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mystery Over!

Finally done.

They took me so long that they even have an official name now, Fraxinus. I love them.
In my haste to photograph and blog I neglected to show the lovely heel detail,
a pretty rhombus shape framed by yarn overs.
Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherds Sock, colorway Fjord.

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Ring for Me

Just to let everyone know...

I was recently the recipient of a large diamond ring.

Love. Kindergarten style.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Slouchy Hat Done!

The slouchy hat for my coworker is done! The cast on was a big liar, and the hat fit. I washed and dried the hat, and it bloomed a lot, and I am pretty happy with the completed project.
I hope it fits her style, and I hope she recovers fully.
Here are the photos of the finished hat, being modeled by my friend, Y.

She is such a ham, and very funny!
The top of the hat.
A sloppy side view of a slouchy hat.
Belugah Slouch Hat, Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Worsted in a one-of-a-kind color from their mill end sale.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hat Cast On

Honestly, a hat cast on is a big liar! You cast on, and look at the measly stitches and think, "there is no way in hell this will fit on an adult head, no way, nuh, uh!" You fret and worry, and think it's is just crazy. SO sometimes you rip it out, and re-do the cast on so that it looks like it will really fit an adult, and then you have to re-do it all anyhow for whatever reason. Sometimes though you just cross your fingers and hope that somehow it will relax and stretch and then you will have a lovely cast on that fits any normal sized adult head just beautifully.
This was one of the times I just didn't believe it, but kept going. I was dubious, especially since this is going to be slouchy in the end. It looked toddler sized...but I continued...and what do you know!

Seriously? Not adult sized, no way! Color is best in this photo.
Oh, okay. I see. Much better.
Relaxed and squishy and stretchy.
Pattern is the Belugah Slouch Hat, yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Worsted in a one of a kind color from their fab mill sale. Needles size 6, and size 9 US.

Excuse me, did someone say something about a mystical element known as "gauge"?
Isn't that kind of like fairy tale stuff?

For those of you who actually swatch, move along, 
nothing to see here. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Another Hat, Another Circumstance

I recently found out that one of my coworkers is quite ill, requiring a frightening surgery.
She is young, far too young to have to deal with something as serious as this.
I don't know her, well, not at all. I am a knitter, and this is how I can express my sympathy and hope in such a situation. I have asked around and others have suggested brighter colors, so I am digging through the stash today and looking for something good, and soft, and bright. I like to use Lorna's Laces Shepherd's Worsted since it is machine washable and the last thing she needs to worry about is handwashing wool.
The pattern I will be knitting is: Belugah Slouch

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mystery Sock Still Mysterious

Spoiler Alert...if you've come this far, be warned!

I knit both of my cuffs in time, then Clue #2 for the leg clue came out. Holy cow, how many rounds?
...and then...
I got sick. A cold, the flu, I don't know.
No time, no energy, no ability to focus on charts.
Today was better, so I finished one leg AND heel, because, yes, Clue #3 came out before I had made enough progress on Clue #2.
Crummy photos, because I still feel cruddy and devoted my energy to knitting.

Lovely Lorna's Laces!

Like my fancy sock blocker/tube of hand lotion?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mystery Sock 2013

Just in case you don't want to ruin the Mystery.

I am so excited, it's time for the Through the Loops Mystery Sock once again! What?! You've never heard of it? Well then, let me explain. Fabulous designer Kirsten Kapur, of the fab Through the Loops blog, designs a sock each year with no image or sample shown.
You get a clue the first week, to start the cuff, the next week is the leg, etc.
Until 5 weeks later you have a finished sock, or two if you're really on top of the game.

Even though I enjoy the Mystery Sock immensely, in the past couple of years I have only
managed to finish 1 pair of socks. Last year I was derailed by poorly dyed yarn.
The year before I was unsure about the colors pooling, and the poor socks just languished in the UFO pile.
Keep your fingers crossed for me this year!
Adorable picot cast on, took a long time because counting is HARD!
Cuff 1 of 2 shown, but both really are done.
 Yarn is Lorna's Laces, Shepherd Sock in Fjord, a lovely, lovely light blue.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Little Late...

Every year I make Grandma Martha's gingerbread. When I was a child I had a babysitter who was very, very old - Grandma Martha. She used to bake gingerbread, and I LOVED it. Sometimes she would have a horse shaped cookie in the pocket of her calico apron (always neatly pinned to her dress) for me,
and when she would give me a cookie, it totally made my day. 
When I got older I asked her to share her recipe with me, and luckily she did. I made some changes, tripling the spices and icing them. I later inherited her cookie cutters - a horse and a chicken and a flower.
Cooking up the dough.
Rolling and cutting, making the most of every square inch!
Fresh out of the oven, smells like spice heaven!
I have to have lots of horses and chickens.
The big snowman is another favorite.
Icing completed!
It is just not Christmas if I don't make these cookies. A little late this year, but they are here. Every time I eat one I am filled with nostalgia, and yes, they still make my day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

2013 is the Year of the Snake.

Sweet snake figurines from my dear friends in Japan

Even though snakes scare the daylights out of me, the Year of the Snake is supposed to be good. 
Snakes represent wisdom, intelligence and self-control.