Monday, October 16, 2017

It is All About the Details.

  Sometimes I have the most fun trying to figure out how to do the top part of a hat.  Most of the time I end up just following the pattern with a k2tog slowly eating the stitches.  Sometimes I get struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration and go with something more interesting.

  At one point I saw a picture of a purse that looked like a section of orange.  I then used that and did a few orange themed baby hats.  I wanted the sections of the orange to become smaller but wanted the sections to not curve.  Anyone who has been here a while or went back and read the older posts should remember it.
  I will be using the same idea for the top of my current hat.  I will be decreasing on either side of the cables until they have taken up all the center stitches.  At that point I'm thinking of decreasing on both sides of the odd numbered cables so I will still decrease at the same rate.  Once those have also been taken up I was thinking of doing a double decrease centered around the last stitch left from the cables that had been decreased.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th!

  This is a picture of our poor and ancient heat pump.  We have no idea how long it has been working outside and fulfilling the house's heating and cooling needs.  For all we know it might be original to the house and that was built back in 1978.

  Most of the info on the side plate that has model number and other information has been worn off with time.  We still do have the brand name on it.

  You can see she has been through a lot.  Not sure if  any of the blue is the original coloring, or if it was a base under the green finish.

  When we last got it fixed we noticed that this had happened to the diagram at the top.  While I have never seen the inside of a new heat-pump system, I'm fairly sure they don't come with one of these any more.

  Here is most of what makes it tick.  There are also the other parts that make the air cold and what-have-you, but this is the brain of her.  Very simple and straight forward.  I like her because she feels like she would be easy to fix.

  I went to go look and see if I could find anything more about the color and found this awesome 1977 ad.  The circuit board looks different from mine, but the shape of the model looks the same.
  We are going to be looking to quotes for a new one, but right now she isn't going anywhere.

  Back on the knitting front, there is more hat.  The one problem I have with hats is that I'm never sure how long to make the body of the hat and when to start the decreasing.  I have a chart that tells me about how tall it should be be once done, but unless I've worked a pattern before then I don't know how tall the crown will be once done.
  I've usually gone with something that feels longer because you can always roll the brim up as many times as they need to.  A hat isn't as useful when it is too short and doesn't keep your ears warm.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sometimes I Wish I Knew What Yarn It Is.

  Usually I want to know what yarn I'm using because I have gotten to use some really nice ones and would love to work with them again.  The varigated yarn I'm using in the Stephen West short row scarf is one of those.  The colors are just so pretty.  The yarn in the Swiss Cheese Cowl I made was also amazing.  I would buy so much more of it because the colors are great and it is so soft.
  This time I want to know so I can warn everyone about this yarn.  I have made at least 3 more knots since I last took a picure and even had a section that wasn't connected when I got to it.  I don't think I've gotten to a section beyond what was on the outside in my purse, but I've had lots of other yarn bounce around in there for longer without anything happening to it.
  Now, I wouldn't tell anyone not to buy or use said yarn.  I have no idea what this little skein went through before I got it.  For all I know it might have already delveloped those spots before I saw it from across the table.

  I had typed that all up before I left for knit-night.  While there for the night I was knitting along and having no problems.  I was even starting to really enjoy knitting with the yarn.  As I picturing myself deleting most of those paragraphs above and thinking of what to write about how this poor skein must have lead such a hard life before I got it, I ran into another very thin spot.  So much for that.  I'm still hoping that I haven't totally used all of the outer yarn and someday I will only have to weave in the tail at the end.  Taking this one stitch at a time at this point.
  I also ran into another problem.  I am basing this hat off of a pair of fingerless mitts that I saw for sale online.  I'm not sure if it is the yarn, the gauge, or some other thing different, but my braid is not looking like their braid.  Since there are so many spots with woven in ends and I don't know how the yarn will take to tinking, I think I will leave what I have and try switching to a tighter braid cable for the rest.  Who knows, I might even switch between the two.

  I actually have another hat planned after this one.  I really do like making hats.  The YarnHarlot made a post about herself and how she doesn't really consider socks a project because she always has a pair on the needles and so many result from it.  I am starting to feel like hats are the same way for me.  I will also admit it might change.  I know I was on a fingerless mitt kick there for a while.  The thing about hats is that I love how there is no second sock/mitt syndrome to worry about.  I have not suffered from it yet, but someday I might.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

If I Use It Right Away, Does It Still Count As New?

  I went to Saturday knitting and told myself that I don't need more yarn.  As I was minding my own business the yarn fumes wafted my way.

  This yarn told me that it would be perfect for the hat I have planned.  The color is a bit warmer in person.  I also believe that there might be some wool in it because it likes to stick to itself a little.

  Monday night we had a Poppy Product Line going on.  One of the other ladies has been a machine when it came to the red section of them.  She is knitting them flat, so they go quickly.  As you can see from the picture, we don't mind a bit of child labor as long as you feed them and take them home with you at the end of the night.

  This yarn is causing problems.  I had planned on casting on 96 stitches for it.  What you see here is 160.  You can also see all those ends sticking out.  Those are sections where the yarn had a few strands break and was very thin and weak.  I was worried that those spots were too thin so I just gently pulled on them to break the yarn.  I'm really hoping that this only happened because it has bounced around in my purse and had to deal with keys.  As long as it was something I caused then I won't have to worry about it later, so that's what I'm rooting for.
  I will admit that there are a few thin spots I used.  I didn't worry too much if only one strand broke because there is 2 ply yarn out there that people use all the time.  The picture also shows the color a bit better.  Now to go find a bag to put it in so it won't have to deal with anything else in my purse and we can give it the best shot we can.

Friday, October 6, 2017

I Only Take Notes on the Best Items.

  Yes, that is a napkin that has my decrease notes on it.  The crochet version of the neck warmer is a lot longer since the single crochet doesn't fold in on itself like garter stitch does.  If I do another crochet one I might just increase every row.

  We also had another successful round of yarn chicken on Wednesday.  It probably confuses everyone when all the Knitters cheer at once and nothing worth noting has happened in any of the sports games on the TVs.  I think it is more fun that way, keep them on their toes.

  I feel like I am so obsessed with these things.  I'm also the worst knitter.  I like to claim that I hadn't started this in Ocean City because I would have had to pay a little attention to it while working on the increase rows.  While I had time to get that done at night, that's the story I'm sticking to.
  I then had another awesome knitting opportunity that I didn't take advantage of.  It had been Krissy's birthday and we had made weekend plans to celebrate.  One of our activities was to go to the mall and shop.  She wanted some more hang-out style clothes and I wanted more holographic nail polish.  She took about a million things into the dressing room.  I had all those pauses between reveals to knit.  Instead I just stood around and waited for the next one.  Perfectly wonderful knit opportunity missed!  At least she found a few super cute outfits.

  I'm hoping that if I match my nails to the knitting that it will make it up to everyone.  I actually really like the effect that I made.  I had a dark purple that I used as a base.  Then I tried a silver glitter polish over top of that.  The glitter was fairly dense with one thick coat, but you could still see some of the base.  Over that I put on a sparkly purple crackle polish.  I have had this polish around for so long and never used it.  When you first put it on it becomes matte and doesn't look very nice.  A glossy top coat really brings it to life.

  I got to play my own round of yarn chicken today.  I wanted to use all the yarn and had less than I had used for the last one of these.  I was super nervous so I knit it from the solid end to the split end.  I also worked the first half of the split and left the yarn attached while using the far end to start the second split.
  I'm glad I did that because I had a ton left over the first time I tried it.  I then took it back to the plain neck area and marked how much I needed for each section.  I put a safety pin in where I had stopped the triangle part and a paper clip what I needed for the second half of the split.  I also somehow messed up marking them because I didn't come to the second marker when I was finished with the ribbing.  It made me worried that I would have a bunch left over again.  Since I had already taken it all out once, I was just going to go with it and figure out what to do with the extra later.

  Turns out that wasn't the direction I should have been worried with.  The picture is all I was left with once I got to the end.  I couldn't have planned it any better.
  I think I have a hat planned next in case you are already tired of the neck warmers.  I also don't make any promises that I will actually work on the hat next and not get distracted and make another one of these.  They are just so easy and fun.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Tank Update

  I kept meaning to post more updates on Tank's week, but then I kept getting distracted by other things, so here is how the week went.

Monday
  We went to the vet to get Tank his yearly check up and to let them know he had been a naughty kitty and sprayed.  They did some checks and didn't see any stones in him, but his bladder was too empty to get a sample of anything for further testing.  I was then sent home with a pee-collection kit.
  I left it out until I headed to my mom's house to go to knitting.  No pee then, so I decided to take it off and try again later.  I didn't want it to sit for hours while I was gone.
  When I got home from knitting Tank seemed interested in using his kitty-box.  I told him to wait a moment and put the liner and plastic pellets back.  He then started to walk away like he didn't want to use it any more.  I then picked him up and placed him in the box.  Right after I set him down he started peeing.
  I was told I only needed a few pipets worth of sample, but then I decided to just keep adding because I could.  Since it was 10:40pm, I couldn't take the sample right to them.  The internet told me that I should put the sample in the refrigerator if that is the case.

Tuesday
  I got up and took the sample to the vet's office.  Funny thing was that when I walked in Julie said she had just texted me asking how Tank was doing.  They are so nice there and check on your animal after they visit, even if it is a simple visit.
  They seemed impressed that I knew to chill the sample since I couldn't bring it in right after collecting.  I was then told that the results should be in by the next day.

Wednesday
  It wasn't until the evening that I heard back from them.  The lab had found crystals in the sample and the pH was elevated past where it should be.  She asked when the sample was taken and I explained what had happened.  She wanted to try and take another sample because she wanted to rule out any outside factors.

Thursday
  I dropped Tank off to go hang out in the morning.  I got a call a little after 3pm that he had gone in the box for them and they hadn't needed to extract a new sample.  There were still crystals and an elevated pH in this sample too.  So they decided to switch him over to the Hills c/d food line.  It should help with all the problems.
  It should be interesting to see how he takes to the canned food.  So far he seems to like the dry pellets I have sprinkled on his normal/old food.  Every other time I have tried to give him wet food he has thrown it back up.  Hopefully this will be different.

Saturday
  Krissy came over on Friday evening so we could have some awesome weekend birthday celebrations for her.  For some reason I thought Geraldine was coming back on September 30th.  Turns out I was about a month early, so we made that part of the trip for nothing.  Good thing we wanted to go to Teas'n You to get some fun tea because it was really close and the whole trip wasn't wasted.  We both fell in love and want to go back.  It was super popular and the line was to the door when we got there and for about 10 mins after we got our stuff.  They have the whole system down and it only takes a minute or two to get a single drink ready.  I'm glad they are so popular because it means they will be around for a while, but there is limited parking so timing is also something to consider.
  Tank has also taken to picking off the handful of Hills Diet I have been putting on his old food.  That is a good sign.


  Andrea read the last post and saved the day!  The cute sweater pattern is Front Range, and for anyone who cares, Elaine was the genius person who decided it should be two colored.
  I also got a new copy of that crochet shawl pattern.  I still can't find any record of it, so I typed it up and posted it below.  If anyone can find the official pattern I can go back and update this post to include a link.  I want to be able to give credit out where it is due.



Crochet Spring Shawl - JoAnn Handout

SUPPLIES:
  • Lion Brand Wool-Ease (pretty sure they mean the chunky)
  • 10 mm crochet hook

GAUGE: 3 rows = about 4 in (10 cm) in shell pattern of Rows 5 and 6.

STITCH EXPLANATION:
Shell: Work 5 dc in indicated st or sp.

NOTES:
  1. Shawl is worked back and forth in rows in a shell pattern, beginning in the middle of the top edge.
  2. An additional shell is worked on each side of the center ch-sp on every other row to shape the Shawl.
  3. An edging is worked all the way around outside edge of the Shawl.

SHAWL
Ch 8; join with sl st in first ch to form a ring.
Row 1: Ch 3 (count as dc), 5 dc in ring (shell made), ch 2, 6 dc in ring (counts as 1 shell and 1 dc) - you will have 1 shell on each side of center ch-2 sp and 1 dc at beg and end of this row.
Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1), turn, sk first dc, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 3, sk center ch-2 sp, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc, ch 1, dc in top of beg ch-3 - 7 dc on each side of center ch-3 sp.
Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn, shell in first ch-1 sp, ch 2, sk next 2 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, (shell, ch 2, shell) in center ch-3 sp, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 2 dc, shell in beg ch-sp, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-4 - 2 shells on each side of center ch-2 sp.
Row 4: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1), turn, sk first dc, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 2, sk next sc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 3, sk center ch-2 sp, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 2, sk next sc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc, ch 1, dc in top of beg ch-3 - 14 dc on each side of center ch-3 sp.
Row 5: Ch 3 (counts as dc), turn, shell in first ch-1 sp, ch 2, sk in next 2 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, *shell in next ch-2 sp, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 3 dc; rep from * to center ch-3 sp, (shell ch 2, shell) in center ch-3 sp, **ch 2, sk next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, shell in next ch-2 sp; rep from ** to last shell, ch 2, sk next 3 dc, sc in next dc, ch 2, sk next 2 dc; shell in beg ch-sp, dc in 3rd ch of beg ch-4 - 3 shells on each side of center ch-2 sp.
Row 6: Ch 4 (counts as dc, ch 1), turn, sk first dc, dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc, *ch 2, sk next sc, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc; rep from * to center ch-2 sp, ch 3, sk center ch-2 sp, **2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc, ch 2, sk next sc; rep from ** to last shell, 2 dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc, ch 1, dc in top of beg ch-3 - 21 dc on each side of center ch-3 sp.
Row 7-26: Rep Rows 5 and 6 - you will have 13 shells on each side of center ch-2 sp on Row 25 and 91 dc on each side of your center ch-3 sp on Row 26.
Do not fasten off.

Edging
Ch 1, do not turn, work sc evenly spaced around outside edge of Shawl, working 3 sc in each corner; join with sl st in first sc.

Fasten off.

FINISHING
Weave in ends.

ABBREVIATIONS
beg = begin(ning)
ch = chain
ch-sp(s) = chain space(s) previously made
dc = double crochet
rep = repeat
sc = single crochet
sk = skip
sl st = slip stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Leaves Are Being Very Distracting

  I know I've probably mentioned this before, but here is a picture of this cool branch.  It reacts to season changes before the rest of the tree.  The first time I saw it I thought the branch was having problems, since it was turning before the rest.  Then come next spring it was the first to grow buds and get leaves.  I just love how excited it is about season changes.  I feel the same way.

  Isn't this just the cutest sweater?  There was another one made using the same color for the whole thing, but I didn't like that one as much as this one.  I don't currently know the pattern, but I think I did hear her say it was on Ravelry.  If I find out any more details I will pass them on.

  I forgot to post this before.  These are some of the things that were made by the people at the Church and brought along.  Before we all left for the day they blessed the items.  I still think that is really cool, it never hurts to try and give these items some more positive vibes before sending them out into the world.

  I finished this on the Wednesday before I left to go to Ocean City.  Don't mind the little orange stitch marker, I didn't want to lose it between knit-night and home so I left it in for the picture.  It was half based on a pattern and half based on something I saw in town when we went to that cabin back in February.  Since I didn't buy one there, I have found a few patterns and am working from there.
  I'm even thinking about possibly trying to crochet one.  It would involve more increasing and decreasing since I don't know how to make crochet act as ribbing without having to change the direction I'm working.  It will be fun.

  This is sort of a swatch of my next project.  I thought I bought the book that had the shawl pattern in it that I made for my wedding.  I can't find it anywhere.  So now I'm trying to figure out how to do this leaf lace with some increases in it.
  The original had you increase the size of each leaf every time.  I think I want to have two or three leaves be the same size before I increase.  This is because I am going to combine this stitch pattern with the cute dress pattern my mom found in a book.  Everyone knows I'm not good at fully following directions.

  I am taking Tank to the vet on Monday morning.  It is time for his yearly checkup and he has been acting weird lately.  I caught him trying to spray the area under the small table he uses to look out the window.  He then tried to attack me as I was walking up the stairs and bit my leg hard enough to hurt.  It could be nothing, it could be something.  We will hopefully find out on Monday.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Vroom-Vroom Went the Weekend.

  I am tired and sunburnt, but I had a good time.  Bill had told me that he was going out of town for work stuff.  I asked where he was going and he told me there was nothing interesting about the area.  I guessed a few places that I had known he had been to before.  He said that I would not guess it and then said he couldn't tell me when I asked where he was going.  I figured he was going to Area 51.
  He was not going there.  He was going to Ocean City, MD for OC Bike week.  He didn't want me to get jealous of him.  I got to go because the guy he was rooming with before canceled.
  I had to meet Bill at his work since he was unable to take the whole day off.  I almost got into two accidents on the way there, so I was ready for some fun and less excitement.

  After all that to-do over where he was going, it makes sense that the first place we went to as a group was Seacrets.  It is kind of cool.  There is sand in the main eating area and there are even bar tables out in the water.  The food was good and there were various bands playing live.

  I had a bloody mary, so I'm not sure what they distilled.  I think their set-up is pretty cool looking.
  After this our group broke off into smaller groups.  Since we were staying about 45 minutes away, we just headed back to our hotel.

  The next day we all met up at one of the vendor locations and wondered around for a while.  Some of the guys got new LED headlights put on their bikes.  They were also letting people test ride some of the various models of the Indian motorcycles.  I know Bill likes the look of them, but he didn't want to take one for a spin.

  There was even a bikini competition and this little girl was there.  I first got to see her in Thunder in the Valley in PA.  She is so cute and loves posing for pictures.

  We can't take Chaz anywhere...or should take him everywhere, it is hard to tell sometimes.
  Some of the group didn't get in until the rest of us had been there for a bit, so we were there long than planned.  I was so hungry by the time we headed to lunch.  Someone said they wanted to go to Fish Tales, but since it was so close to the action, it was going to be crazy busy.  We ended up at Fager's Island.  It was hard to choose what to eat since so much looked good.  If you ever go, look at their kid's menu.

  Since we hadn't gotten enough vendors yet, we headed to another place to buy some stuff.  One of our group had needed to get her foot worked on, so she wasn't with us for the most part, but we met her here.  At Myrtle Beach I had helped her pick out a really cool skull ring.  Well, at one point when she was on her phone, the ring slipped off and she didn't notice.
  After Bill and I got some mugs and soda from Wild Bill's we caught up to her and we looked at some rings.  Though it isn't as cool as the first, we were able to find her a really cool new ring.  The last one had red eyes and fangs, and on the new one the band looks like bones.

  We even got to learn some fun facts about Jack Daniel.  I didn't know we were the same height!  You might need to click on the picture to read the card.

  To end the day, we stopped at Fishers to get popcorn.  I also had an adventure.  I needed to use the bathroom.  The building that Fisher's was in did not have one and neither did the one next to it.  Bill figured that Dunkin Donuts would have one.  Turns out they were only opened until 1pm every day.  I had to go past it and down the ramp to find one.  That took forever, but I finally got to feel better so I could pick out popcorn.  I had to get the Pumpkin Spice, it was a must.  The other I got was the Caramel and Old Bay.  I got some weird looks when I mentioned that, but it is really good.  Sweet and a bit spicy.  The Old Bay isn't too overpowering and it pretty subtle.

  Everyone wanted to head out pretty early, but we had to make one more stop at the Harley dealership before we left.  I got an event t-shirt and sat on a purple bike.  I also saved a praying mantis.  I saw him by one of the cones by the store and managed to wrangle him and put him by some trees.  He fought me the whole way, but I understand why he was doing it.  One of the guys who was directing traffic gave me a smile for going through all that and getting pinched a bunch of times to save the little guy.
  Instead of heading straight home, Bill and I went to go visit one of his old co-workers who had retired near where we were staying.  He and his wife had a cute dog who was really shy.  It was so funny.  She kept shying away until I had all my gear on, then she came over to me and said hello.
  I got exactly zero knitting done.  I even made sure that I had it with me at all times.  I would like to say it was because I was at the beginning and would have to pay a little attention to it, but we were just so busy that it slipped my mind.  I was also just too tired at the end of each day to count to any number.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

How Can You Be Productive?

  One things I sometimes wonder about is how to tell if you have been productive in your day.  Everyone wants to think they were productive, but how can you tell if you have succeeded or not.  Because so many people have to get so many things done in any given day, it is hard to tell.  Does it count as being productive if you do the dishes and get a lot of knitting done?  Does it count if you pay some bills and get some exercise in for the day?  Who can tell?
  I personally feel like I'm less productive in a day if I spend a while getting work done.  Some people might think that I was being very productive since I was earning some money, but to me it means that I won't have as much time to work on stuff for charity and then have more things for the blog.  It also means that I probably won't be motivated to get my craft storage room together more.

Picture by Andrea.
  Here is something that does help me to feel like I have been productive.  This was one of my secret test knits.  Sweet Gale was a lot of fun to test and went really quickly.  Some people might not see it the same way because I was sitting around knitting when I could have been doing something else.

  Another secret test knit was Sandbar.  I even gave some suggestions on how to improve the pattern on this one.  Helping someone to make their pattern better, or even just make sure the numbers work, makes me feel productive.

  This is the back.  I wish it had blocked a bit flatter, but it can't be helped at this point.
  There are other things that help me to feel productive, but not to the same extent.  Doing a load of dishes helps me to feel productive for a bit, but since we just make some more dirty the feeling doesn't last as long.  Paying bills can also feel productive since I'm doing something responsible, but everyone has to do that, so it doesn't feel as impactful.
  Guess this is just one of those things that are both personal and a question that can never really be answered.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Food Filled Weekend.

  I had been waiting for this event for over a month.  I follow a few people who live on the west coast and had gone to the LA VegFest.  They were posting a bunch of amazing pictures of vegan food that just looked amazing and so good.  I was so jealous and wanted to eat all of it.  I knew I would get my chance when a friend told me about DC VegFest.


  I tried so many samples and the food we did buy was really good.  It was overcast the whole time and was randomly a bit rainy, but it didn't stop me from having fun.
  The black bean burger was a bit sweet, and I can even get it from grocery stores.  I'm so excited to be able to have them at home.  Another really good thing we tried was a mango lassi.  I'm not sure what all went into it, but on top of the mango flavor, there was a strong flavor of cardamom.  All the others I have had just tasted like mango and vanilla.  It was super nice for the chilly day.
  A few of the companies, like Miyoko, had some new products to let the public try before they hit shelves.  I made sure to take a picture of the name of the company before the samples, that way I would be able to try and find the things again later.
  There are a few reasons that there are so many pictures from Vegan Treats.  According to my phone, the shop is only about a 3.5 hour drive away.  While that is a bit of a hike for desserts, I think it is worth it.  The line for the place was also always stretching more than 2/3 the way across the event.  We waited in line for over an hour to get to the tent.  We kept hoping that the line would go down, but even though they were getting through people quickly, it never really got shorter.  When we got to the front they were at the point where they had everything out that was left.  So many things were sold out.  We even saw two things sell out while we were next in line.
  I got two of their Fried "Chicken" and Waffle donuts.  The faux chicken tasted so good, I want it on sandwiches.  The donut was so fluffy and had a faintly maple taste to the glaze.  I also got a cannoli which had chocolate chips through the whole thing.  There was also a Tres Leches that caught my eye.  The whipped topping was creamy and not very sweet, it offset the cake nicely.  The cake was moist and tasted like vanilla cookie batter.
  Not every vendor was food.  There were some apparel and accessory vendors and some information booths.  A few of the various vendors were even donating some of their sales to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.  I thought that was pretty awesome of them.
  I had brought my knitting with me, but it was raining so randomly that it never got a chance to come out.  I was too excited to work on it during the ride in and I had too many bags to keep track of on the way home.  I can't wait for next year, I will make sure to go to certain places first because a few of them either had insane lines, or ran out before we got back around to them.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Things Are Just Falling off my Needles/Hook!

   This is the cowl I was talking about.  I know I had meant for it to be a scarf, but like I said before, I don't think I would have been able to make that happen.  I hope someone doesn't mind the ends and knots.

   I've tried looking all over, but I still haven't been able to find the name of this pattern!  It is driving me crazy.  I've found some that are similar, but then there is a difference that lets me know they aren't the same.  It is a two row pattern with five stitch clusters with a chain and single crochet between.  The second row has two double crochets in the same stitch on either side of three regular double crochets, all of this being worked in the tops of the clusters.
  If anyone has any ideas, let me know.  It is most likely by either Lion Brand Yarn or Red Heart Yarns.

  This is the Impulse Scallop Shawl.  Tank is helping me to show off how soft it is.  I think it is interesting how the pooling and the striping turned out.  I was expecting it to look similar across the sides where the stitch counts were the same.

  Tank is making sure I wove all my ends in securely.  I love how big it turned out.  It is just so nice to wrap around you.  I also didn't use as much yarn as I thought I was going to.  I said I was worried that I would be cutting it close, but it turns out I have a few skeins left over.

  I had so much fun making the mobius wrap that when I still had some yarn left over, I wanted to try something.  For a few rows of this cowl I worked the stitches as I saw them.  Normally when you work your first complete mobius round in the knit stitch, it will look like you are working knit stitches over purl stitches.  This means that I knit half the round and purled the second half.  Then after I felt it was big enough, I switch it and purled the first half and knitted the second half.

  As I promised before, here is the video of the Solar Eclipse pictures I took.  Some of them might look a bit odd because I had to move where I took the pictures from because the sun moved behind some trees.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Knit One, Twisted Purl Two

  This is a project from way back in the day.  I'm pretty sure most people have heard the Knit One, Purl Two saying before.  I used to think it was just funny, but then I tried it as a stitch pattern.  I then used it a whole lot.
  However, this was started so long ago I didn't know some of the awesome stuff I do now.  Like how to weave in the ends nicely, this has them cut short and knotted together.  I also didn't seem to remember how to wrap the yarn when purling correctly.  All the purl stitches were twisted and I know I definitely didn't know that you could purl through the back of the loop.
  It still had the yellow, since I had been starting a yellow section, and I may have given the blue away with my last yarn donation.  I also knew that purling by wrapping the yarn in the wrong direction would drive me crazy if I had to do it for too long.  Luckily with the last yellow section, it would be long enough for a cowl.

  This is a funny story.  My mom saw an ad for Tuesday Morning for these gradient yarn kits.  They were only $4.99 (before tax) for each one.  Yes, they are small skeins, but all the work of having to pick out all the colors is already done, and unlike stash diving, they are also guaranteed to all be the same weight of yarn.  Since they were small skeins and so inexpensive, I may have gone overboard a bit.  In my defence, you would probably need more than one skein if you were to try and make a shawl or sweater.  I made quite a dent in their display, but I was nice enough to leave some on the shelf.
  The lady in line in front of me seemed impressed by the price but said she would have no idea what to do with it.  The lady behind me, who had been looking at one of the brown kits, said that she would know what to do with it, but didn't have the time.  I don't know her or how much yarn she has, but I know I always find time.  Time in the car when you aren't driving, riding the bus, waiting on hold with customer service, while waiting for your inbox to refresh, when waiting for something to finish baking in the oven for dinner, the list just goes on.

  Since I knew that I wasn't going to be using those kits any time soon, I put them in bins and put them into the craft organizing room.  The room is slowly coming together.  The guest room is still a huge mess, but I am starting to chip away at that as well.
  While going through a bag of what looked like a bunch of small balls of yarn, I found this guy.  No needles or life-line in sight.  There never is with things that get donated.

  From how crinkled the yarn is, I can imagine that they made a mistake and were trying to go back and fix it.  I'm not sure what happened but something made them give up on this pretty shawl.
  Some things you may not be able to easily see in the pictures are that every other row is made up of twisted stitches.  I'll have to figure out if those are from the knit row or the purl row.  I'm hoping for the knit row because I find it a lot easier to knit through the back loop than to either purl through the back loop or to wrap the yarn in the wrong direction.
  The middle of the shawl and one side are on a more previous row than the other side.  This won't be too hard to fix because I will just take the farther side back until everyone is on the same row.  I might also take it back one more row since some of the stitches that I picked up were also not on the same row, but I will decide that once I get there.
  In my knitting classes I have had people ask how to pick up dropped stitches.  I always tell them the things I do when I have to do it.  Just grab those loops and put them on a needle, any needle, though a smaller needle means you are less likely to tug too much and pull its neighbor out and down a row.  It also doesn't matter if you are picking them all up in the same direction or if they are twisted.  All those things can by fixed later when you go back to them, either to work the next row, or just to make sure you got them all.  I also try to make sure I get all the yarn from each stitch, but if I happen to split the yarn, I figure that as long as I got most of it, it is good enough for now and that I can also fix that when I go back and get to it.
  Once I think I have most of them on there I will take more time and follow along the row and see if I missed any.  Once I have them on then it is a lot easier to assess what needs to be done.  Take out a row, re-knit a few stitches so everyone is on the same row, untwist some stitches, or pick up the last fibers of a stitch you split.  There are probably some other things that may need to be done, but those are the usual.
  I also tell people to not panic, the stitches can smell your fear.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Partial Eclipse of The Heart

  Today was the solar eclipse.  Some people in the US got to see a total eclipse, but I was one of the many who only got to see a partial eclipse.  It didn't help that it decided to be a semi-cloudy day, so the sun was popping in and out while it was happening.  Being in a total eclipse is interesting because one minute it is daylight out, then two minutes later it becomes night only to have it become day again in another two minutes.
  In my area it only became as dark as late evening, but it was still really cool.  It felt weird to have to turn on lights inside at 2:30pm.  I only saw one of my neighbors coming out to check it out.  Now the others could be at work checking it out, or popped out when I was back inside.
  People said that animals might start to act strangely.  Tank was acting normal, but that might not be saying much.  The funny thing was that when it was time for the peak of the eclipse, the tree frogs were going crazy.  They were so loud.
  Now that all the fun is over, I'm off to knitting.  Pictures/video coming soon!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bits of Fabric All Over

  I was trying to remember where I got them, and I've had these three bags of quilting cotton "scraps" for so long that I don't totally remember.  I want to say they came off a free listing on Craig's List, but it could have easily been someone who brought them to a knit-night.
  Since I have obviously looked at them so much, I knew a lot of it would be going to the Donate pile.  My problem was that I didn't know where to take them.  Yarn?  Finished items?  Cross-stitch kits?  Kid's kits?  Those are all easy.
  I knew that a few of my friends sewed and decided to post about it online.  One of my sewing friends said that she had talked to someone at the Eastern Market in Washington DC who makes art with fabric.  I sent an e-mail to Jaime from Seeing in Fabric to see what all she was looking for.  She said cottons and that she was not looking for any reds at this point. 

  These are the ones I pulled out for her from the first bag I had.  The reason I called them "scraps" before was because they were labeled as scraps, but some of these pieces are probably over a yard.

  This is what I found in the second bag that I felt no need to keep.  I know some of them have some red in the fabric, but I figure it wouldn't be too hard to work around it if need be.

  The two bags are what I packed up for her and the bin is what I decided to keep for now.  Not pictured is the denim and flannel my mom brought to her.  Not sure if I have enough of each to do what I want, if it turns out that I don't have enough, I know where to take them.
  She let me pick out two prints in exchange for the bags.  It was so sweet of her!  I also told her that I wasn't done going through everything, so there will most likey be more fabric.
  My mom had also never been to the Eastern Market before and was overwhelmed by the whole thing.  We also had lunch in the area after going to Second Rising to get some amazing bread.  Ever since we got some Himalayan Spice Rolls last fall I have been in love.  I try and buy something from her every time I am in the area.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Would it be called 'Tehcorc'ing?

  Going through my craft room has brought out more yarn that I don't feel the need to keep for myself.  If no one else grabs them, I'm sure Tammy will to make cat beds out of.

  I had a reluctant model for my shrug.  Autumn looked adorable in it, but didn't want to stand up and show it off.  The sleeves were a tiny bit too long for her, but since the body had a bit of extra width, I think I made it a good size.

  Some stitch holders were being given away.  My mom took them to take to Cathy so she can use them for her knitting students.  One interesting thing is that the holders are facing two ways.  I always just thought they were all made the same, just different lengths.  I never noticed different directions before.  I wonder why they do that.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Shrug and a Shawl so Fast You Didn't Even See it.

  I made my mind up and finished the shrug.  I continued with the one side being one stich smaller than the other.  I used the cable pattern I found on Aran Muster and even found a mistake in the chart.  The cable on stitches 35-40 on row 33 should cross the other way.  The chart key is in German, but if you've done some cabling from charts before, you can just look at the rows and figure out what they want you to do.

  I've also finished my Impulse Scallop Shawl, but ran into some problems.  It is a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be.  Normally I would just do a soaking wash and let it dry on the guest bedroom.  However, since I am working on getting my craft storage room organized, the guest room is packed full.
  I got my first shelving unit and got things on it, but it didn't go as far as I was hoping.  I didn't get anything from the hall, guest room, or other rooms onto those shelves.  I mostly moved things that were still in the room over onto the shelves.  This does help to uncover things that can be moved out of plastic bags into proper containers or put into a donate/sell/give away pile.  It also frees up more floor space.  Once enough has been cleared I will be able to get more units in there.
  I'm also aware that doing it this way might mean that I will have too many shelving units in the end.  That if I had taken the time to go through each thing that are already in bins, that I might have been able to fit more into that one unit.  To me, that feels like I would get overwhelmed quickly and I wouldn't make enough progress.  My goal right now is to also try and get as much as I can into one room, then I will be able to tackle the individual bins a lot easier.  I can always use any extra shelves or bins for something else, or pass them on.

  I was scanning through the blog because I remember complaining about this shawl when I taught the class.  I must have done that elsewhere because I can't find any word of it on here.  I was hoping that I had linked to the pattern.  I know that they have used both Red Heart and Lion Brand patterns in classes before.  They change the name of the pattern sometimes as well.
  I usually will try and find it based on the name on the pattern and link it here.  It seems that this shawl happened so fast that I didn't even mention it.  I knew when I finished this one that I wanted to try one out of a thicker yarn.  The pattern called for a rather large hook and worsted weight yarn.  We gave it a try but it was coming out way too loosely.  We switched to some smaller hooks and checked the pattern again.
  When we looked at the picture for the class, it showed the shawl being nice and big and plush.  It was hard to tell scale in the picture on the pattern because it was just laid flat, like the picture I took above.  We then came to realise that they meant for us to use the bulk version of the yarn.
  Well, before starting my second one of these, I had some other projects to finish, so it was a bit before I got to this one.  Since then, I seem to have misplaced the written pattern.  Writing this means that the moment I finish the second one I will find it and it will have been in some very obvious place.

  I worked the two rows enough on the first one that I mostly remember how to do it.  I had to do some back thinking to try and remember how it started.  I know I did the center section of the first few rows incorrectly, but it isn't such a big deal that I felt the need to start over.  We shall see if I like the fabric or if I should move to a bigger hook.