"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman

10/8/21

Layette Set #56 for KnitWits

Turned this in today. I love how it turned out. It's so bright and happy.


Cardigan


PatternLittle Coffee Bean Cardigan by Elizabeth SmithSize: 3-6 months

Yarn: Yarn Bee Soft from Hobby Lobby
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Colors: 40 Red, 98 Bright Blue, and 18 Haystack

Needles: Circular size 8

Started: August 3, 2021
Finished: August 31, 2021

Comments: I did 3 colors of stripes instead of 2.


Hat



Pattern: In my head. Not Published
Size: 3-6 months

Yarn: Yarn Bee Soft from Hobby Lobby
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Colors: 40 Red, 98 Bright Blue, and 18 Haystack

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: August 24, 2021
Completed: August 28, 2021

Comment:  I wanted to put a pom-pom on top of the hat, but the yarn wouldn't work. I've never had that happen before. It refused to fluff together and make a ball at the center where it's tied. Couldn't even steam it into submission. I finally gave up cuz I was almost out of red yarn. I had just enough to make a curlicue. Easy to make. Cast on 20 stitches. First row: increase to 3 sts in each stitch by knitting in the front, the back, and then again in the front of the stitch. (Now have 60 sts). Bind off. It curls all by itself.

Booties


Pattern: In my head. Not Published
Size: 3-6 months

Yarn: Yarn Bee Soft from Hobby Lobby
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Colors: 40 Red, 98 Bright Blue, and 18 Haystack

Needles: Circular size 7

Started: September 2, 2021
Completed: September 16, 2021

Blanket




Pattern: Triangle Edging from the blog Mataya Made

Size: 30 by 36 inches

Yarn: Yarn Bee Soft from Hobby Lobby
Content: 100% Acrylic, worsted weight
Colors: 40 Red, and 18 Haystack

Hook: Size G

Started: September 28, 2021
Completed: September 29, 2

Comment: A couple months ago one of the KnitWits members gave me a big bag of fleece to use for making blankets. This is the first blanket from that gift. She gave me some really cute prints, which  you'll see in the future.


 
So, Tuesday was our last 70F degree day of the year. Temperatures dropped into the 50's and we've had 2 nights of real frost. They're talking possible snow next week. I have to mourn. I enjoy warm weather so much. From here on out, I'm waiting for spring.

Decided on the next layette set. Blue. I have a piece of fabric that is white and blue plaid. Would make a cute boys set. I picked up some yarn at the KnitWits meeting, which, by the way, was awesome.

KnitWits has been suffering from the pandemic. When it started, our governor declared a 3 month lock down. So the senior center shut down, and, of course, we didn't meet those months. When things started opening up we had to wear masks at the meetings, which I completely understand. Very few people have been coming though, for months. Jan and I wondered if maybe the group has come to an end. I sent out an email last month, along with the newsletter, about how much we're struggling. We have less than half the inventory we would usually have by now. I asked to be emailed if they wanted to be removed from the membership roster. 

Well, we had lots of members at the meeting this week. It was wonderful. So many I hadn't seen in more than a year! I guess they just needed a little push. We are continuing the group. However, we're not distributing our finished items this year. There are a couple things that have come up which prevent us from doing that. We'll just have a head start on next year.

No more meetings this year either. Jan, our fearless leader, has to have knee surgery in November and then there's 3 months of recovery. We're going to leave her alone. Then in January we'll assess the situation and see if things can start back up. She keeps all our yarn at her house, so she'll need help getting it to the meetings, once she's well enough. I brought home enough yarn for two layette sets. So I'm set for the year.

I also have yarn for three personal projects I want to make. I guess I'm ready for winter.

Live long and prosper. \\//

10/5/21

Brown and Lime Mittens

I have finished some mittens for KnitWits. Turning them in at tomorrows meeting.



Pattern: Norwegian Mittens for Mimi by Anna Mazzarella

Size: Ladies Medium

Yarn: Mighty Stitch Worsted by KnitPicks
Content: 80% Acrylic/20% Wool, light worsted weight
Colors: Lime and Bark

Needles: Circular size 5

Started: May 15, 2021
Finished: October 1, 2021

Comment: This is a free pattern on Ravelry. Click the link above.

Back side.



Front side.



Thumbs



I don't really care for the color combination, but someone will.


I started a new pair of mittens yesterday. Solid color this time. I've got a whole skein of brown left over. Probably use one of my own patterns. I want to start another sweater for Zoey too. I have an idea for it. Just need to figure out colors.

We have had really nice weather the last 3 days. It's been warm and sunny. Weatherman says today is the last 70F day of the year. So Ruth and I got the deck and back yard ready for winter. Sigh. I'm gonna miss the warmth.

Live long and prosper. \\//

9/28/21

Some WIPs

 Sharing some knitting wips today. These are projects that were started and then put on the back burner for some reason. I have finished knitting all the layette pieces and don't want to start another set just yet. Need to get the blanket done.

I started these mittens in February of 2020.


I've picked them up and put them down a few times. Decided to pick them up again, but can't find the pattern I was using. I decided to frog the whole thing and start over with another pattern. I got this far, but I've had to stop because knitting with little needles is hurting my sprained thumb. Ugh.

I started these mittens last May. 



Got all the knitting done except the thumbs. I'm finishing them! Got one thumb done yesterday. Plan to finish the second one this week.

Got a brand new just published book.



It has some wonderful patterns in it. Lots of cute sweaters for all sizes. The book has a Husky theme. Most of the patterns have paw prints in them. Lots of round necks with raglan sleeves. Good color choices too

That's the WIP news for today.

Weatherwise, it's cool and raining. Not much longer and we'll start getting snow. Rats!

Live long and prosper. \\//

9/15/21

Checking In

 It's Wednesday, so how about a WIP? Well, first lets do a FO. I finished sewing this little bag.


I found the pattern on the blog Pink Penguin. I made one of these before in fall colors. A few weeks ago I took it to Yarnies and one of the gals loved it so I thought I'd make her one. Giving it to her tomorrow, assuming she's there.

Now the wip. Doing the second bootie on the layette set.


Knitting is going rather slowly lately because of this.


My strained thumb is actually a sprained thumb, so I have to wear this thing for a few weeks and absolutely no hand sewing. So I put the cross stitch away, out of sight. Thumb swelled up to epic proportions the day after I finished sewing the above bag, even though I did most all of it on my sewing machine. It just didn't want to be used for awhile.

It's driving me crazy. The thumb, that is. If I can't do needlecraft, I don't know what else to do. So I've been watching Netfix and playing games on my phone. I play mostly word games in the interest of improving my brain, though I have to admit the game called Bazooka Boy is a lot of fun too.

I seem to be able to knit too, although a lot slower, so I have planned a new project. One of the things I've been wanting to do is knit my husband a cabled cardigan. I was inspired by the sweaters worn by the character played by Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods.


I went looking for it and I'm quite surprised to discover no one on Ravelry has recreated it yet. So I've spent a great deal of time looking at patterns trying to find one similar. So far, no luck. I found one similar to this one though.


It's a free pattern, which surprised me. I found it at Yarnspirations.


All I need to do is change the collar/button bands. I've ordered yarn. I want to use Berroco Vintage which is a wonderful wool/acrylic blend. My daughter found a shop online that had it on sale for a very good price.


I've ordered the Black Cherry color. I hope I've got enough coming. I ordered a couple extra skeins for the collar change.

Now a bit about the weather. The raging heat finally came to an end and it's been in the upper 70's and low 80's. We got a couple days of rain last week too which knocked down the smoke from the fires. I wish I could spend more time on the deck before it gets cold. Freezing is coming. Their predicting the first frost this next weekend. The leaves are changing into their fall colors. Summer is over.

Live long and prosper. \\//


 

8/27/21

Fair 2021 Results

 Ruth and I went to the fair Tuesday. Everything I entered won blue ribbons. I also won a grand champion ribbon. I'm gobsmacked. I took pictures.

I won Grand Champion and First Place on the Norwegian Snow Set.



I won First Place on my Margaret Tudor. Now, this is a bit of a  mystery to me because one of my friends went to the fair on Sunday and emailed me that I won Grand Champion on her. I saw no such ribbon anywhere near it. My friend is completely certain there was a purple ribbon there, so maybe it fell on the floor behind or something.



Everything else with their ribbons. Dog sweater.



Fairisle Kep (Adult size)



Child size Fairisle Kep



Mittens.



Pink Hound's-tooth Check necklace. (Entered in Needlework--Beaded Necklace)



Black/Rainbow necklace (Entered in General Crafts-Jewelry/Necklace)


The weather was perfect for fair going. The temp was in the upper 70's with clear blue skies. It hasn't been that nice during the fair in years. I enjoyed going too. They've done a lot of work improving the grounds. Buildings are painted, there were actual sidewalks and lawn instead of gravel, and lots of flower beds chock full of flowers. I enjoyed my visit there.

My thumb is still hurting but ice packs have helped a lot. I think I can go back to doing my cross stich this coming weekend, but just a little. No doing it for hours.

8/23/21

Railroad Ramblings

 Before I start on what I plan to write about, I have to say this. My friend Dorothy went to the fair yesterday and she let me know I've won the Grand Champion ribbon on my Alice Starmore sweater. I'm so excited! I needed to hear that. The last couple weeks have been really hard, and stressful. I needed the good news.

Now, on to today's post. Not last weekend, but the one before, I spent the whole time working on hemming up some drapes that I bought online. I had planned to purchase these drapes in 2017, but Hubby came home with the news that he was laid off. The drapes were kind of expensive, so I cancelled my plans. Then, 3 weeks ago or so I was just browsing drapes, wishing, and I came across my favorite ones on clearance sale for $10 bucks a panel for the 95 inch long ones. The length I actually needed, 84 inches, was not on sale. "Well!" I thought. "I have a sewing machine and I know how to use it!". I ordered them. I got eight panels for 4 windows. Two windows in the living area, and two in the dining area. (These are one giant room.) 

Each panel is 51 inches wide. They are made of Voile, which is a slippery fabric to work with. I chickened out on doing them on the sewing machine and decided to do them by hand. That's 408 inches of drape I hemmed. It took the whole weekend, but I got them done and now they're hanging. Here's a crappy pic. There is quite a bit more daylight in the house now.


Anyway, to get to the point, on Monday morning my right thumb was sore and very swollen. Apparently, it was too much hemming. So I didn't do any stitching on the bicycle picture for a few days. I did a bit of knitting, which didn't hurt anything at all. I'm working on the first sleeve of the cardigan.


I was trying to make the purl side the right side because it looked so pretty, but after frogging the sleeve 3 times, I gave up on that idea. Just couldn't seem to make it look nice at the row changes. So, knit side it is.

This past weekend, my thumb was still a little sore, but I figured it was safe to work on the cross stitch a little bit. Here's where I am on it. Working on the window in the background.


Unfortunately, I seem to have over done it, and now my thumb is super swollen and hurting. I've been plying it with ice packs, which is helping. Sigh. No stitching this week for sure. 😒

While I was stitching away, I got to thinking about laying tools. I sold them when I had my shop. I started wondering how they work and looked them up on YouTube. That is when I learned about Railroad.

A laying tool is used to keep the strands of thread parallel to each other while stitching. This allows for maximum coverage of each square and looks a lot neater. (They're also great for doing satin stitch.) I want to improve the look of my cross stitch, cuz sometimes it gets to looking quite sloppy with strands twisting and crossing each other. However, after watching videos, I'm not interested in laying tools. To much effort. Railroad, on the other hand...

Railroad is a simple technique to get the strands to lay parallel without using a special tool. It works best when using 2 strands of thread, which is the most commonly used in cross stitch. 

You start by putting your needle between the two strands, 


push the needle through the hole and draw the thread through, 


then finish the stitch. You can see here how the strands lay parallel and flat.


It's a little slower going, but looks so much nicer. Definitely worth the trouble. I'm so glad I got curious about laying tools. I love it when I learn something new and useful.

We got some much needed rain over this last weekend. Yay! It knocked down the smoke in the air, and the temperature has dropped considerably. The heat wave is over. It's going to be cooler the rest of the week. Perfect deck knitting weather. Also helpful in putting out wild fires. There are a lot of them around us.

My husband has a job! He's been hired by North Idaho College to teach 3 computer programming classes. It's not much money. Practically nothing, and no benefits, but it could lead to a full time position if he plays his cards right. He announced this morning he's going for his doctorate at the same time. So he's set himself up for some very busy weeks ahead.

The North Idaho State Fair opened over the weekend. Me and Ruth should figure out which day we're going. Today I have knitting at the library.

Live long and prosper. \\//



8/8/21

North Idaho State Fair Entries 2021

 We did not have a fair last year because of Covid-19. We are going to have one this year and we can enter items we would have entered last year if we want. There are some changes they've made too. For one thing, it will be two full weeks long instead of the usual 5 days. That seems like such a long time. We also have to pay to enter things. They're charging $1.00 per entry. No free or discounted gate tickets for entries either. The prize money has gone up, though, to $7 for blue ribbon, $5 for red ribbon, and $3 for White ribbon. It has never been that "high" before.

KnitWits decided not to enter anything this year because we didn't know if we were going to have the fair or not when I had to start collecting entries. Hardly anyone comes to the meetings anymore anyway. We have less than half in our inventory than normal. I fear we will have to disband the group if things don't start to improve. 

I am going to enter things in the fair. I have 8 items. I will need to take them in on Tuesday so today I spent the day getting the 6 knitting items ready. I had a bit of pilling to get rid of, which I do with a razor and a lint remover, because most items have been worn. I also made sure all ends are woven in and whatnot. I am also entering two beaded necklaces which I will be washing in the morning because I've worn them too.

So, here's what's being entered this year.

My Margaret Tudor pullover


The Norwegian Snowset I made for my little nephew Everett.


The Hounds-tooth check sweater I made for Zoey


The first Fairisle Kep I made. (Entered as a childs hat)


The Fairisle Kep I made myself. (Entered as an adult hat)


The adult Norwegian mittens.


In beading I'm entering these two peyote stitched necklaces. One in Bead weaving/Needle Arts, and one in Jewelry/General Crafts. 


I forget, at the moment, which goes where.


I wish I had one of the Pink Hounds-tooth Check layette sets to enter, but they are long gone, hopefully being worn by some loved babies.

I have not had a chance to hem up the new drapes like I'd planned for the weekend. Other things took precedence. I'm not in a huge hurry anyway.

We had the most wonderful weather today. The temperature stayed below 80, and we even had some rain this afternoon. The smoke got blown away for awhile and the sky was so blue and the air smelled so good. I opened some windows and aired out the house. I eventually had to shut them back up though when the afternoon wind changed and blew smoke back in. It was very nice to have a break from it though. Tomorrow the heat returns to upper 90's and even triple digits on Wednesday.

Tomorrow I've got knitting at the library. I'm looking forward to it.  I need to get out of the house for a couple hours.

Live long and prosper. \\//