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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Turning the Corner

Some projects take longer than expected - or at least that's the way it seems. 

I've finally moved past the halfway point on Strathcona.  

For the longest time I was stuck on the first half - *knit, measure; repeat from*.  The only problem was I never seemed to make much progress when it came time to measure.  As a remedy I shifted my focus from measuring to knitting and finally made the required length. Now that I'm around the corner and moving down the other side, I've convinced myself it will go much faster.  Oh the mind games a knitter can play.

Speaking of games, have you seen Unravel?

This will be hard to resist.

Monday, June 15, 2015

A Little Play, A Little Work

Yesterday was the perfect combination of play and work.  In the morning my daughter ran another half marathon.  She keeps on running . . . 

Afterward I spent time with both my daughters.

Perfect weather, breakfast and a view.

Then I hit the road for a little work.  I spent the afternoon at Bella Yarns.  Kim and Naomi are the owners, and they have a delightful shop full of light and color.

Ito Washi.  This blend is paper and viscose - most intriguing.  I absolutely love the colors.

One of the great things about yesterday was a bit of show and tell.

Kim and the Duane Park Triangle she made for her daughter.  She bought 2 skeins of Crystal a month ago and didn't waste any time putting them to good use.

And then there was this.

Ann Marie stopped by with My Favorite Things in tow.  This is a good project for playing with different color combinations and experimenting with stitch patterns.  Ann Marie is using Oma's Organic.  Her scarf is still under construction.  It's going to be beautiful.

Today is Monday and that means all work and no play.  I'm off to make a dent in my to-do list.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Because It's Summer

The PicnicKnits Mystery KAL started yesterday.  For the past couple weeks I've shipped some exciting color combinations for the KAL - plenty of incentive to jump on board for the adventure.  

I have so many other projects in various stages of production that it seemed foolish to add another one to the list.  Somehow I convinced myself that because it's summer I'll have extra knitting time.  That reasoning never panned out before, but I'll give it another try.

I considered many color options.  Since I've been on a blue bender, the only requirement was no blue.

After a quick round of eeny, meeny, miny, moe, this is what I landed on.  I don't usually trust myself to knit with anything as light as this Ivory yarn.  I'm a master at spilling coffee and can still surprise myself by finding new ways to slosh it around.  And then I reminded myself that it's summer.  I've thrown caution to the wind and am intrigued to watch this mystery unfold.

This week's color inspiration is a favorite flower . . . iris.

Elegant and graceful.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Weekend Bonus

This coming Saturday is World Wide Knit in Public Day . . . a designated day for knitters to gather and knit in public.  For you knitters in the area, Bella Yarns is extending the celebration to include Sunday.  I'll be at the shop with a trunk show.  Bring your knitting and join in the fun, 2:00 - 6:00.

Knitting time has been in short supply, but I'm slowly gaining momentum with my Purpleplexy.

Garter and gradient stripes . . . simple yet entertaining.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Frolic Snapshots

Another busy weekend has come and gone.  I enjoy traveling around New England, and at every event I see a different circle of people.  I had a delightful weekend in Maine . . . perfect weather, good food, interesting conversations.

Here are a few snapshots from Fiber Frolic.

With that, the spring show season is over.  Now I can start thinking about summer.

Friday, June 5, 2015

I've Got the Blues

It's always a mad dash to get on the road for a show, and this time is no exception.  The truck is loaded, and I'm pulling together the last few things I'll need for the weekend.  

I haven't packed my suitcase yet, but knitting is at the top of the list. There's not enough time to even contemplate a new project, so I did a quick survey of my most active works in progress.

It looks like I'll be knitting with blue this weekend.  Apparently I've been on a blue binge and didn't realize it until now.  

I have a thing for gray, and this week's color inspiration is a variation on a theme.

Subtle shifts, all gray.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Deadline Pileup

Deadlines are good.  They keep me on the straight and narrow, and they ensure that I get things done.  Some days I wonder if I would ever finish anything if I didn't have deadlines.  However, deadlines can be tricky when they all fall due at the same time.  I try to avoid those situations, but sometimes it can't be helped.

That's what this week has turned out to be - a mass of deadlines colliding at the same time.  Unfortunately I didn't see this collision coming until I was in too deep.  

Yesterday morning I took a deep breath.  After a bit of creative schedule rearranging, I think I'm going to make it.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway.  I appreciate the book and podcast recommendations.  Now I have visions of an afternoon designated for knitting and listening.  The May winner is Pamela. Pamela, I can't find contact information for you, but it sounds like you're going to be at Fiber Frolic.  Be sure to stop by my booth.

I'm off to tackle another deadline but stay tuned.  I'll be running another giveaway at the end of June.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Another and Another

Another race.

This is how I spent part of my weekend.  My daughter ran a race, and I got to hang out.  I can't complain.  It's designated knitting time, and the setting was beautiful - boats, water, music.

The sky was overcast.  There was rain forecast for later in the day, but it moved in a little early with off and on sprinkles.  I'm sure it wasn't enough to bother the runners, but I decided to wait it out in the truck.

Another gradient bundle.

This is what I brought along to keep me company.  The colorway is Drizzle . . . very fitting for the day.

Purpleplexy.  When I was planning this project, I went back and forth on the colors several times before settling on this combo.

One section is finished, and so far I like it.  I know.  There will be a lot of ends to weave in, but right now I'm ignoring that.  Instead I'm enjoying the shifting colors.