Sunday, April 29, 2012

In the Nick of Time

I don't always like to work on a deadline for a project as I tend to get stressed instead of relax, but I am happy to say that I managed to get the azalea mesh scarf finished in time for the basket. Whew! The pattern, which I got from Ravelry, was super easy and I used some Lion Brand Cotton Ease from my stash, which made hub happy as well. It is really cute as well and I would recommend it for new knitters that want to do something a little different. The only additional skills needed are knit two together and yarn over. Piece of cake!
I hope the recipient likes it as much as I enjoyed making it for her. Here is my daughter modeling it for me.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Work In Process

I have been a little distracted from my knitting lately it seems. Books and movies have been catching my attention instead. I watched The Lake House for the first time (yes, I realize this is an old movie) and I really liked it a lot.  While it definitely is a "chick flick" it touched me deeply. Sandra Bullock is an excellent actress in my opinion. There was the right amount of chemistry between her and Keanu Reeves, which always makes it work.

I have managed to work a few more rows on the baby cable socks, however. I turned the heel and am on my way down the foot. While the colors for the stripes don't quite match up, I don't think it looks terribly off. At least not enough for me to rip back and start over again. I think my next pair will be a solid color though :-)

At the same time, I am trying to finish a mesh scarf for a friend and co worker who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Our team at work is putting together a welcome back to work basket for her when she returns after surgery. I have a deadline of next week so I really need to knuckle down and finish the scarf this weekend.  Even though it is a terrible thing, I am gratified to see how it is bringing the ladies of our supply management group together in support of one another. We now have regular meetings to rally support around our work sisters who are going thru rough times.

On another sad note, I received an email notification that one of my favored yarn shops, Lizzie Ann's Wool Company, will be closing at the end of May. The owner has decided to retire and spend more time with her family. We will definitely miss her and her shop.

Well, back on the topic of movies, I am heading off to see Chimpanzee, but at the theater, which I generally don't do because I hate to spend that amount of money and possibly be disappointed. Yeah, yeah, I am cheap, but if I could spend 10 bucks on a great ball of yarn or 10 bucks on an uncertain outcome, I already know which I would choose.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

That's A Wrap

We are back in Michigan after our spring break get a way.  Our last stop was New Orleans. It was pretty neat to see the city in person. The cathedral was awesome and the aquarium was great fun for the kids. We even took the ferry across the Mississippi. This paddle boat was crossing when we were coming back.

Man is it cold here! Funny how your perspective changes thru the year. In the winter, 60 is a heat wave. After having spent a week plus in 85 plus degree weather with high humidity, it suddenly seems chilly.

I finished up The Black Swan today. I decided to photograph it hanging on the deck rail outside since it is relatively pleasant outside, even though it is overcast. I really feel like I should have been able to finish it more quickly, as it was not terribly difficult, but I seemed to get distracted a lot during the week. I did get a great stretch of knitting on the way home as well as on a business trip earlier this week. I just need to weave in the ends and block and then it will be all ready to go. It was a great pattern and I feel like this technique will definitely inspire future patterns.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Restlessness

Well, I am back from a wonderful vacation and yet I scarcely feel relaxed....I think the restlessness is still bothering me. You would think 55 games of Bejeweled Blitz would help me unwind after a long day at work, but alas, I am not (although I am happy to admit I am the top scorer). Next, you would think adding 5 new connections in Linked In would make me feel more fulfilled. But it still doesn't. Especially when I can admit that I am too chicken to go to a new knitting group because I am afraid of not knowing anyone. It is just ridiculous. I feel like I am waiting for something, but I am not sure exactly what it is. One would almost think I was 14 again (yikes). Enough whining about me.

One thing that really made me feel good today was reading an email in my cluttered in box about getting your knitting mojo back. I really think the author is onto something, especially her comment about cleaning out your stash. I am seriously considering purchasing some of those fabric totes from Target to store some of my stash stylishly.

The cats are especially happy to have us home and follow us around relentlessly. You have to wonder what goes on in their little kitty brains while we are gone for over a week (my brother stopped by and fed and watered and chatted them up while we were gone). Normally Georgie sleeps at the foot of our bed on his blanket, but the last 2 nights he has slept right next to me. It is always nice to be needed.

I made good progress on the black swan on the drive home from Louisiana. I am starting the 7th triangle. I opted to follow the pattern and not wrap the turns. It makes for a nice sort of lacy look between the triangles. I may do a little single crochet trim around the perimeter, still pondering. I didn't work on the baby cable sock during vacation, but I think I will take it with me this week on the road to a supplier. I better turn the heel first though as I don't think I can follow all of the directions while riding in the car as it makes me sort of car sickish.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hot Spot

It has been all quiet from me lately, so this might be an extra long post. You may (or may not) remember that I was working dilligently on the beach house pull over when suddenly Holland was hit with unseasonably warm weather for about 2 weeks. It was in the 80s, no kidding. Well, when you get nice weather like that, you just have to go outside and enjoy it. So we did. At the same time, was going thru some tough stuff at work and I would just go home and not want to do anything. So I didn't. Consequently, I didn't make much progress on the beach house pullover. Frankly, it is hard to be motivated to work on a 100% wool sweater when it is 85 degrees. Maybe its just me, but I could not stay focused.

Well, we started to get close to spring break time and I wanted to take some knitting with me, so I packed away the sleeve and pulled out the yarn for the matching baby cable sock. I learned a few lessons on this that I want to share right now.

First and foremost, unravel and match up your yarn before you start knitting socks made of varigated yarn. (Enough said)

Second (and equally important) remember what size needles you were using for the first sock. Especially if you have a bunch of needles.

Third, remember how many stitches you cast on the first time.

After a bit of dinking around, I got the second sock going and it is a fairly good match to its sister sock. I am just about to the heel flap, but I decided that would wait until I got to the hotel to manage, I am not experienced enough to do the heel flap in the car yet. At the same time, I was searching thru patterns on Ravelry before I left and I saw the most awesome pattern, called Wingspan. Please take a second to follow the link and check it out as there are many versions and all are equally beautiful in their own way. That is one thing I really love about Ravelry, you can see how others make a pattern and revise it as well. 

I have started work on the Wingspan pattern, but mine is going to be called The Black Swan, pretty dramatic, huh? So far, so good, I only had to frog once because I forgot to put the marker on and when I attempted to tink back I dropped a bunch of stitches, doh! I wasn't that far along, so it made more sense to just try again.

In the mean time, we are enjoying the local weather. Pretty awesome, huh?