Friday, July 3, 2015

Shipping Out . . .

My Strathcona is off the needles and blocked. I couldn't be happier.

Later this morning I'll pop it in the mail, and my part in this larger project - 5 scarves total - will be finished.

This pattern wasn't hard, and I love the finished product, but the second half was a challenge.  I have one issue with mindless projects. They aren't a good distraction.  Instead of being absorbed in the project at hand, all I can think about is other knitting I would rather be doing.  It took all my resolve to keep knitting this scarf and not pick up any of the entertaining projects I already have in progress.   

This design features bias garter on the ends and a lace mesh pattern in the middle.  It's a great design, and I would definitely wear this scarf if I didn't have to ship it off for a good cause.

The yarn is Julia, colorway Cinderella.  This blend is 50% Superwash Merino, 50% Tencel.  I hadn't knit with it in a while and had forgotten the nice drape and shimmer.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment for the bonus giveaway.  So many of you are busy with KALs.  I've always said that mistakes are one of the best teachers.  Rebecca's comment reinforced that notion, ". . . my second go at the same pattern - learned a lot from my mistakes ."  Mistakes will always happen, and you're never too old to learn.

Congratulations to Tia and Bethany.  I'll be back with another giveaway round later in the month.

This week's color inspiration wouldn't be nearly as striking without the contrast.

White on green on white.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!  Safe travels if you're on the road.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Math and History

It's raining cats and dogs, and it's so dark I'm surprised the street lights aren't on.  The photos I had planned for today will have to wait. Instead, today is a good day for a few random bits and pieces.

~ Knitting and math go hand in hand . . . from simple row counts to more complex charts and stitch counts.  KnitYak has taken the combination of knitting and math to another level with a knitting machine and algorithmic computer generated designs.  Read about the one-of-a-kind scarves KnitYak wants to produce.

~ I love all kinds of history but especially anything that has to do with the history of knitting.  Here's a story on Shetland . . . wool, yarn, weaving and the world's fastest knitter.  It's the story of the textile industry on the island - what it was and how it's changed.

~ More on Shetland and history.  Taatit rugs were originally used as bedcovers - beautiful works of art with a practical use.  These rugs are steeped in folklore and a connection to Scandinavian countries.  It's a fascinating story.

That's it for your daily dose of math and history.  Happy Canada Day to our neighbors to the north.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Off and Running

This morning the radio was on as I was making my first cup of coffee  . . . background noise to my despair over a sink full of dirty dishes and nowhere to put them because the dishwasher was full of more of the same.  The kids made my belated birthday dinner last night and it was really quite lovely, but there's always a payback when I surrender the kitchen.

The phrase I heard over my grumbling and the sound of running water was, ". . . and this is a vacation week for some."  Of course - summer holiday, vacation week.  Once again I've lost track of time.  

For me it's the Monday of a normal work week, and I mean business. My to-do list is long, but I'm not intimidated.  I don't have any knitting pictures to share this morning but take a peek at my website update.  

I've launched the next round of Yarn Knot and have tweaked the format a bit.  There's a component for sweater quantities in 3 different yarn blends and weights.  These bases are new and aren't part of my regular lineup.  

Maybe you're thinking of knitting a Rhinebeck sweater.  Maybe you're not going to Rhinebeck, but you still need a new sweater for the cold months that are certainly headed our way.  I can't knit your sweater so you have it when the blustery winds are blowing, but I can help.  The sweater yarn will be shipping in August.  Imagine that.  You can get your new sweater on the needles before the leaves start turning.

See the website for more details.  Don't forget.  You can drop me a note if you have any questions.  In the short time it took me to type this, I've added a couple more items to my list for today.  I'd better get going . . . 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Scarf Warning

When new knitters talk about knitting a scarf for a first project, I always caution them.  Scarves can be appealing because they're straight, flat and don't have to fit, but they can also be tedious, boring and long.

I've tested out my warning, and it still holds true.

I'm working from left to right in this picture, and as you can see I still have a ways to go.  

I've been working on the scarf here and there and thought I was making good progress.  I even did a quick measure while holding it in my lap - just to get a rough estimate - and was convinced I was much closer to the other end.  By that "measurement" I was just a few rows short of the final garter section.  Obviously that's not the case.  This is a perfect example of why you should always spread things flat and then measure.

It's a good thing I sorted this out before I left the house.  I'm out and about most of the day, and this scarf is going with me.  

This week's color inspiration is courtesy of my neighbor.  He's always puttering around in his yard . . . everything is neat, tidy and colorful.

A little burst of sunshine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Bonus Round

Time marches on.  Another year has come and gone, and my birthday has rolled around again.  

It's time for the monthly giveaway, and this year I'm going to celebrate my birthday on the blog the way I did last year.  June is the bonus month, and I'll be picking 2 winners.  Leave a comment and include your Ravelry ID.  What's on your needles now?  How do you celebrate your birthday?  What's growing in the garden?  Or any other comment you want to add to the mix.  The winners, chosen at random, will each receive a skein of Dirty Water DyeWorks yarn.  The contest closes on Tuesday, June 30, 2015.

Once again I've deluded myself into thinking there are more knitting hours in the day than there really are.  I signed up for Corrina Ferguson's Mystery KAL.  One clue each week for six weeks . . . I should be able to squeeze that in, I told myself.  

Well, we're two clues into it, and I'm woefully behind.   By the way it's not too late.  The KAL has been quite entertaining so far if you feel like jumping on board.

I'm trying to let go of the feeling that I'm back in school with a final paper hanging over my head.  Today I'm catching up on my homework.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Picking up Where I Left Off

I went into the weekend with a master plan to get things done.  It was the first weekend in over a month that I wasn't traveling or getting ready to travel, and I was looking forward to making headway on various projects.  At the top of the list:  a bit of spring cleaning (trying to get in under the Solstice wire), assembling a file cabinet, plotting out some long range plans, winding and dyeing yarn.  It was a full list but manageable over the course of a weekend.

As so often happens, my plans went awry.  My daughter needed help with a "quick" trip to pick up a used treadmill.  Since I have a truck, I was the logical choice for this expedition.  I don't mind helping but to label this adventure as quick was definitely misleading.  Over three hours later, after disassembling part of the treadmill and a doorway, three strong women with the supervision of a spry, 80-year-old grandmother loaded that treadmill into the truck.  Mission accomplished.

At this point I felt I could still recover the lost time and make my weekend goals, but a good friend from the other side of the country was in town.  A cup of coffee at the house led to going out for breakfast.  Before I knew it, the day was winding down.  Time well spent with a dear friend.

Monday morning dawned, and this was staring me in the face.

Drawers and Strathcona.  The body of the file cabinet is finished, but it's useless without the drawers.  I'm knitting this scarf for a friend, and I've already had a phone call this morning with a gentle reminder that the project is coming up on deadline.  Monday, here we go.

Friday, June 19, 2015

20 and Counting

I appreciate a good set of instructions.  Whether they are for assembling a bookcase or baking a cake or knitting a shawl, good instructions can make all the difference.  I admit that sometimes I consider a specific instruction as nothing more than a mere suggestion.  I've done plenty of assembling, baking and knitting to realize which instructions I need to follow and which ones I don't.

When I started knitting Purpleplexy, I read through the pattern and noticed the instruction to weave in the ends as you go.  The explanation was, "to ease the burden . . . at the end of the project."  I filed that instruction under suggestion.  Weaving in ends . . . no problem, I'll just do it all at the end.

The other day I was working on Purpleplexy and did a little math. Right now I have 20 gradient ends.  By the time I finish, I'll have 50 gradient ends.  That doesn't include a few ends from the main color.

Sometimes the designer knows best, and this is one of those times.  I decided to take that suggestion to heart.  Weaving in the ends as I go will definitely ease the burden.

This week's color inspiration is an eye-catcher . . . bright and bold.

I wonder how they taste.