Knitting at Christmas time

9 Dec

So Christmas is almost here and I have not finished any of the projects that I set out to finish this year for Christmas gifts. So many things have contributed to my lack of completion this year. Illness, the passing of a loved animal, a new job, and so many more things that have kept my hands and mid busy from knitting.

Hopefully I will make a comeback at the beginning of 2017. Please wish me luck and know that I am sending you all a Merry Christmas.

Gut feelings

22 Feb

knit the hell out

Sometimes you ignore the nagging feeling that something isn’t right with a project and maybe 30 rows or so later you actually check your work. Sigh. I have been working on a Smithfield pullover the last few days. I kept thinking the shoulders looked a little narrow yesterday, but the finished pic in the pattern looked so great, so I just trusted everything was ok. Well, the pattern is correct. My brain just overlooked one line that instructed me to repeat a couple of rows four more times. I just merrily moved onto the next set of repeats, not even bothering to count my total stitches because I was feeling confident. So today when I figured it out, this:smithfield mistake-2became this: smithfield mistake-3Ugh. At least I figured it out before I completed the third set of increase repeats. It could be worse. I’m blaming pregnancy brain for this one, as well…

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Something finished, something started.

14 Feb

So I finished the sweater for my dog just in time to take her for a walk in the rain. The weather has been a little warmer here where I live and so I have decided to start my walking routine again. My husband has started walking with me. We seriously need to start losing weight. But beyond that, I started a pair of socks for my mother-in-law. They are a simple sock pattern nothing fancy in the way of patterning because of the colors. I purchased a sock yarn in the colors of her favorite football team, (American football, not real football if you are from anywhere except America,) the Seattle Seahawks. It is this really wonderful yarn called “Color Dance Yarns” from Poulsbo, Washington and the web site is www.colordanceyarns.com, the color is called “12th Man”. I recently went to their web site and they didn’t have anything for sale but I sent them a request and I will let you all know what their reply is when it comes. I found the yarn at my local yarn store right before the Super bowl. It is 80% Superwash Merino and 20% Nylon and contains 420 yards or 100g with a gauge of approximately 7 stitches to the inch on US size 1 needles.

I started both socks at the same time and I am using US size 2 Karbonz. I really like the way the three colors create stripes but so far there is no pooling or flashing or anything else just stripes of color. I must have cat on the perfect “magic number” of stitches in just the right place of the color repeats to make this happen and it was not done on purpose. Anyway, I am happy with how the socks are currently coming along.

I intend to finish these socks and keep working to finish other previously started projects and will post pictures and descriptions of them as they are finished.

I hope you all have a wonderful day and a very Happy Valentines Day.

Pine Nut Syndrome

27 Jan

I am sure you are wondering what the heck I am saying here with a title like “Pine Nut Syndrome” and trust me a few days ago I would have been right there with you. I will attempt to explain so please bear with me.

Pine Nut Syndrome is where certain people eat pine nuts and then for days even weeks later have a very bitter or bad taste in their mouth, which is worse after eating or drinking, (or in my husbands case just salivating). It is not a harmful syndrome unless you stop eating all together, (which I have almost done).

This started shortly after I went grocery shopping. I decided to purchase my own ingredients to make a trail mix for my husband and myself. I did not like the selection the store was offering, too many sweat things and not enough of the nuts and cranberries and such that I prefer. So I wanted to try pin nuts in this home-made trail mix as well. My best friend Beckie loves pine nuts. She however gets hers from the American Indian reservation and a good friend of hers. I have tried those before and they were good so I figured all pine nuts were the same.

Boy was I wrong. After a quick search on Bing and then a follow-up call to the nurse at my doctor’s office it was confirmed that what my husband and I were suffering from was Pine Nut Syndrome. I did more research and learned that we had eaten Chinese pine nuts. Not that Chinese pine nuts are bad just that I learned that scientists believe that most of the trouble with this syndrome happens the majority of the time because people consumed Chinese pine nuts. Again, I have tried pine nuts from an area in Nevada/California and did not have a problem but the bad taste has happened with the foreign pine nuts. So I am willing to believe what the scientists have speculated upon in this instance.

So anyway, my husband and I have days if not weeks to slowly get over this nasty taste in our mouths. I really don’t think I will ever want to eat pine nuts again. Not if just after a bite I could suffer for days. And I really don’t have the desire to eat. Every time I try it is ruined by the lingering bitterness so I may not eat much until food tastes good again. Maybe I will lose a few pounds, I know this is not a good way to lose weight but you try having this problem and see how appetizing food is to you. Sorry, a little grouchy from the yuck taste and the lack of nourishment.

So on to a topic that I want to talk about. My knitting is still on hold, I spun a little on my new drop spindle. It is a Turkish drop spindle and I love that as you spin you wind around the arms on the bottom of the spindle, around what is the whorl and when the cop is full you just slide the components apart and you have a nice neat little ball of singles waiting for a mate to be plied with and to top it off the little ball you have is a center pull. I spun some “woolly cup cakes” from a merchant on Etsy. I love the Border Leicester wool that I get from her. The colors are always fun and the wool is soft and easy for me to spin.

Someday I will have enough money and energy to buy a whole fleece and do the whole process myself. I am sure that I would enjoy knowing that I washed, carded or combed, spun and then dyed my very own fleece. And then to turn it into something or several somethings would be a massive achievement. I look forward to that day.

So long for now and I hope that all of you have a wonderful and fiber productive week. I know I am looking forward to a fiber productive week. I am hoping to get at least one of my unfinished projects completed and off the needles this week.

Remembering to take time for me

23 Jan

The last couple days have been slow going in the knitting department for me. I posted a reply on another persons post. I really connected with what she was writing. She was writing that she has been eying her spinning wheel because of all the have to knit things that she had done over the last several months. I find that I feel similar. I definitely didn’t knit as much as she did for Christmas and such, maybe someday I will be in her league but not now. I need to get my arthritis in “remission” before I can be as fast and accomplished a knitter as my idol. If you don’t know who I am talking about then I might as well mention her now, it is the yarn harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McFee. I love reading her blog, I get so many ideas and some really good laughs. I want to be her when I grow up. Which is funny to me because I have read on her blog that she wants to grow up to be someone else as well. I don’t remember who she said she wants to grow up to be but I am sure if I poke around on her blog long enough I can find the exact mention, somewhere. I won’t however do that because as much as I like reading her blog I do have my own things to accomplish.

I have decided that if I am really feeling down about knitting or just unmotivated then I will get out either the drop spindle, the supported spindle or the wheel and spin a little. It always helps me to find something to get me back into knitting. I know if I torture myself too much  by just pushing through and knitting, knitting, knitting even when I feel less than inspired then I will resent my knitting. And I am sure you can agree that renting anything that should be good and relaxing or at least fun makes for bad karma.

Anyway, I hope all of you, (if there are any of you out there reading this), enjoy your weekend. Yes, I know that today is only Thursday, but I am sure that I won’t get a chance to post over the weekend. My husband is working and both boys will be home all weekend as well as my youngest sons girlfriend. So again, have a great weekend and do something for yourself, even if it is something small. I know that I will spend time meditating at the spinning wheel creating yarn for some future project. So I will be remembering to take time for me.

Disappointed in myself

20 Jan

I am a little disappointed in myself for the reason that I have not posted in a while. I feel bad that I made a commitment to my potential readers and to myself. I can tell you and myself that mostly it is that I am lazy but that there are other factors in this lack of posting and laziness. I have been toiling over this loom knit pattern. I mean that I was at a point during the fourth rip out that I was going to literally pull my hair out. I shouldn’t make excuses. I know what I need to do and I am going to follow through. I just really want to get this loom knitting project done.

I like the pattern, I love the yarn, well actually I love the idea of the pattern and the quickness of the thick yarn. I HATE this actual pattern and loom knitting and well if I was smarter I would just figure out how to convert this to knitting on needles. I really don’t enjoy loom knitting and will probably sell all my knitting looms once I am done with this project.

I am now starting the second part of this pattern and praying that I took notes well enough that I can duplicate what was successful about the first part.

Okay, I know, “what is the pattern?”, well I will tell you.

The pattern is for a pair of boots designed for the “Knitting Board” and the pattern is included with the leather souls. The name is “Willobee Boots”. I really want these to turn out right but I feel as though I am never going to get these right.

Problems: 1. There is not enough yarn to complete the project. I purchased the correct yarn in the required yardage according to the pattern. 2. The pattern is WRONG. I followed the pattern to the letter, the first go through. I wear a a shoe in sizes that vary from US 8 to 9 1/2 depending on the manufacturer. I followed the pattern for the medium size which is what the soul is sized for as well. Upon completion the boot was too big for my 20 year old son who wears a size US 12 in mens. I am using the same Knitting Board that the pattern calls for and still I had to rip back 4 times and make several adjustments. I have one boot completed so far as the knitting. I still need to weave in ends and sew on the leather bottom. But the boot fits and isn’t too bad. If I can complete both of the boots I am sure that I will love them and wear them all winter. 3. By the time I obtain the remaining yarn needed to complete the second boot, winter will be over and I will have to wait until next winter to wear the boots. 4. I don’t have enough yarn to finish the second boot and the store is out of the color I need. Wow! just my luck that the color I chose would end up being so popular.

I have looked online for any information on pattern Erratas for this particular gem. And what has this gotten me, nothing, but tired eyes and being sick of the computer.

Anyway, I am hoping that someone, somewhere will have better luck with this pattern as well as any information that could help me with completing this for myself. I have boot souls for two pair and am waiting for the package that has the other color of yarn to arrive so that I can make the second pair. I need to also go to the store and check to see if the color I need to purchase is back in stock. I can’t believe that I would pick the one color that is suddenly popular.

So now that I have been typing away and probably not making much sense I will let you all go and give an update soon…well as soon as I finish the boots I will give an update about those. I am hoping to get other projects completed soon, just don’t want to take a break from the boots until they are done. I know myself and know that if I don’t complete these soon while all the adjustments are fresh in my mind, I may not be able to decipher my notes. I will write my notes down in a readable manner after I am done with the making of the boots.

W.I.P. continued

8 Jan

A few days ago I said wrote that I was going to sit down with all of my w.i.p. and figure out which I want to finish and which I want to ditch. Well I got most of the way through them. I only ditched three thus far and actually finished one.

This may be harder to decide upon then I originally thought. I keep finding projects that I forgot about. You know, I was moving some things around on my sewing table (which is currently being used as a holding pattern for U.F.O.’s, unfinished objects) and bam! there is another knitting project. So I am officially up to 18 items that are on the needles. Otherwise known as W.I.P.’s or Works in Progress.

I have 6 items that I am desperate to cast on but have promised not only myself but my husband that I would finish some of the w.i.p. before casing on anything new. I know that this is going to be difficult for me but I am sure that with help from my friends and family I will do great.

In other news…we discovered that one of our vehicles has a cracked head and have decided to have our mechanic install a new to us engine. While we are waiting for that $3,000.00 disaster to be over we are having him install a new starter in our car tomorrow. I just want all of this to be over. My husband wants to spend the money on a newer if not new car and I keep telling him that I think we as Americans throw too many things away. It is a repairable item that costs less than a new car so lets get it fixed. And this time lets keep up with the up keep on the vehicle instead of waiting too long and having it cost way more than it should have.