Friday, September 26, 2008

TGIF, Traveling Scarf, Survivor & Alpacas

It's been a looog week and I am beat! I did finish a section for the Traveling Scarf Noro group I am in. My addition is on the bottom. I think the colors are a good blend with the starter section, considering that it was Silk Garden and mine is Kuryon. I decreased down a few stitches and then knit in the same Old Shale pattern I used on my starter section. There is a surprise in my section - but that is a secret!
One of my Survivors was voted off the first night! Gillian, the oldest woman in the group, couldn't even make it up the first hill, and she was bossy and irritating to boot - so off she went. My other survivor, Marcus, shows more promise.
And speaking of promises, it is promising to be a washout of a weekend with torrential rains. I was hoping to go to an open farm day at an Alpaca Farm - hope it doesn't get rained out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy First Day of Fall!

Fall is really my favorite season!!!

My DD and her DDs were in New York this weekend for the girls' quarterly appointments with the scoliosis specialist there. Wearing a brace, even though it is an innovative soft brace that doesn't show too much, has been a traumatic experience for teen-age Jordyn - for Tori it was easier as she is just like her big sister. So to make up for it, Diana tries to make it a fun experience when they go. This weekend they went to Coney Island and to an off Broadway show as well as a Broadway show - Legally Blond. At one point during the weekend I received a text message from Tori with this picture asking if I could make her some of these! Looks like finger puppets to me - sure I can! And I've got all the little scraps of leftover yarn in my stash to make them with! They are on their way home now, and a text message from my DD is good news - an improvement in both girls - yay! This is an alternative treatment for scoliosis using a soft brace, exercise and chiropractor treatments. The standard treatment involves a hard brace for two years, and then surgery if that does not work. (Prayers requested here!).

The first pattern up on the Holiday Mystery Gift-Along was a Gansy Gayle hat - I forgot about all the housework plans for the weekend and knit one up! I used Caron Simply Soft - which really doesn't give a good definition of the pattern. I'll be making it again in a wool or wool blend. It's a really cute hat!

Also received a starter section from my upstream on the Noro Traveling Scarf Group - I think I have the perfect Noro to go with it, and I will probably use the Old Shale pattern that I used on my starter section.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hurrah for the Weekend!

It's a beautiful, crisp, fall day out today - and I have the house all to myself! DH is at the lake this weekend, where I am sure it is also beautiful, but I have too much to do at home. This picture was taken last year - the foliage really isn't that colorful yet, but it will be soon.

Like, for example, the Christmas Mysteries KAL began today! The first two patterns are up and I've already CO for one of them, a really cool hat. If you haven't joined yet - hurry on over! Terry and Mindy have lots more planned from now until Christmas, and then....they will be gone - so don't miss out!
My Mystery Stole is on hold. I really don't like the way the beads are showing up - they are blending in too much. So, I've decided to order different beads, just trying to decide what color will look best.

I've sent out my 'seedling' for my Traveling Noro Scarf, and I'm waiting patiently for my upstream's seedling to arrive. There are new Traveling Scarf groups forming all the time on Ravelry. The latest one is a Teachers Traveling Scarf - I'm tempted, but I'm resisting so far.

I've already mentioned (and recruited two team members) the Survivors Ready Group that I'm in - I think there is still room in Group 9! That led me to The Amazing Race Group 8 where I've been assigned Terrance and Sarah. Besides the Red Sox (two games away from clinching at least the wild card btw) those are my two favorite shows. It will be fun having a group to discuss the shows with and rooting for my 'people'! (Unless they are voted off or lose the first race of course.)

I just started a new James Patterson book, Sail, which is promising to be a hard one to put down.

Oh, and then of course there is the laundry, cleaning , grocery shopping to do - but first - just one more row? just one more page?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekend Knitting

I tried out my Cat Cable Necklace this weekend and finished up the cable headband I was making to go with the Irish Hiking Scarf. I love it! It's right there when you need to make the cable - no looking for your cable needle or needing three hands to do the cable. It's really ingenious - I highly recommend it!!! (and I'm not just saying that because I won it LOL).

There is a video on Darcy's" blog showing how to use it. There is also a link to Leslie Wind's page where you can order your own Cable Necklace.

I also worked on my MS4. Here are some things I have learned about lace knitting:

Patience, patience patience! This is not going to be an instant gratification project - take it one stitch at a time and it is doable - just don't think about how many more stitches there are!

Count, count, count! I found that I really can't count past 10 and so had to frog and start all over again. But this time the beads went on much more easily, and I have practiced my counting!

Relax, relax relax! And just enjoy the knitting - don't even think about how long this is going to take to finish.

So, now I am all the way up to .....drum roll....row 8!!!! on the 1st clue!!!! But I'm learning a lot!

I finished my Old Shale Smoke Ring and love it. It's blocking now but I will have someone model it for you when it is dry. (It probably won't be me!)

I have an order for a felted bag - booga bag style. I donated one to a charity auction and this lady wants one just like it. That was a one of a kind bag since I made it from leftovers and just knit until I ran out of yarn and then started another color -( those stash bags always come out the best) but I told her I would make her one in the same colors. It's a boring knit, round and round you go, but I have knit so many of these I can do it in my sleep, and I amuse myself by changing colors and widths of the stripes. This one will be blue, purple, green, and tan. The felting is always exciting - never know exactly how it is going to come out! It's a great alternative to lace knitting for sure!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunless Sunday

There is no sun here today, but we are way better off than the folks on the Texas Gulf.
Seas are much calmer on the Maine coast where my grandson, a 4th generation lobsterman, and his mom (my DD) a 1st generation sternman (or 'sternmom' as she likes to be called) are hauling his traps on the Gemini. Although Jacob has his lobster license and he and his twin sister own their own boat, he is just 15, and has to be 16 before he can go out without an adult - thus my DD's new career (which she seems to be enjoying!).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Survivor - Gabon - Update

I'm on team 7 and my two survivors are Gillian - a 61 year old grandmother and retired nurse (I can relate to that!) and...

Marcus, a 28 year old doctor who was voted hottest bachelor in Georgia by Cosmopolitan magazine (can't relate to that)

Are there any Survivor fans out there? The next episode starts September 25 and there is a "Survivors Ready" group on Ravelry. So far there are 6 teams of 9 Survivor fans each. Each fan on the team is assigned two of the Survivors and if either one of them wins the million$, you win too. Want to know what you are playing for? If you win, everyone else on the team sends you a knitting related package worth between $10-$20. I signed up for team 7 and we need 5 more people to make a team. Ready to Outwit, Outlast, Outplay? You can sign up here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cat Cable Necklace

I received the Cat Cable Necklace by Leslie Wind, that I won in Darcy's contest. Isn't this just gorgeous!

And the little pouch it came in is gorgeous too!

There is a video on Darcy's blog showing how to use it. There is also a link to Leslie Wind's page where you can order your own Cable Necklace.

I'm going to try it out this weekend - can't wait!

This is the back of the pouch - isn't it pretty!
Thank you so much Darcy and Leslie!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

With a little (lot) of help from my friends!

I finally got the first three rows of the Mystery Shawl 4 done. Shelly's tip about laying the needles down on the shelf (that's the shelf you get when you sit - yup - only the lucky ones have one LOL) and pulling out a long loop for the bead, did the trick. This is lace weight yarn and teeny, tiny beads - as you can see in the first picture. The second picture - a close-up shows
the beads are actually on there! The yarn actually has more green in it than the picture shows.
And if you too would like to experience the frustration - er - I mean joy of knitting with lace and beads, it's not too late to sign up - you have until September 12 and you can sign up here.

And here is my starter for the Traveling Scarf Swap. It's a free style Noro knit and crochet and I think the finished product will be a work of art!
This group is closed but there are new groups opening up all the time on the Traveling Scarves group on Ravelry.
This was knit from some leftover Noro Kuryon in the Old Shale pattern.
I CO 26 sts and K 4 rows, then started the pattern adding a two stitch garter border on each side.
Row 1: (K2 tog) 2 times, *(yo, k1) 3 times, yo, (k2tog) 2 times, repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3. Knit
Row 4: Knit
It's 5 1/2 inches wide and I did the pattern for about 5 inches and then added 4 rows of garter stitch.
12 other people will add to this scarf before it makes it's way back to me - and I'll be adding on to 12 other scarves. Can't wait to see what it looks like.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Prize Package

I received this great prize package from Shelly yesterday. The yarn is Elan Highland Wool in great fall colors. I think they will become a beautiful felted bag! Thank's Shelly!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Fiber College

The day started out rainy and foggy, but the weather cleared by the time my friend Layne and I arrived at Fiber College on the Penobscot Bay at Searsport Shores Oceanfront Campground. (about an hour's drive from my house). Our first stop was at the Artist in Resident's booth. Mary Ellen makes quilts incorporating photos that she prints on fabric using her computer and printer. The quilts were gorgeous - tempting me to take up quilting again! Layne's mom is a quilter and she found the perfect Christmas gift for her - Mary Ellen's soon to be released new book,
Blending Photos with Fabric, by Mary Ellen Kranz and Cheryl Hayes. Our next stop was a demonstration on dying fiber with plants. I'll never look at weeds the same way again! Goldenrod is not just for sneezing anymore!

Proving that spinning is not just for the ladies, this man was contently spinning away with his angora bunny roving. His only complaint was that he didn't have time to play his guitar anymore because he was so busy spinning.
I bought a hank of the bunny yarn
which will become a bunny scarf one
of these days!
These two skeins of yarn came from
Friend's Folly Farm and are hand dyed 50% goat's angora and 50% wool. I'm not sure what they will become, but I loved the colors and the yarn is soft, soft, soft!

Here is where I fell in love! These angora bunnies are the softest thing you have ever felt. I got to pet this one and even got to try plucking some of it's fur. I was so tempted to bring one home ($75.00). Of course I don't spin, don't have a spinning wheel, and know nothing about taking care of bunnies - but just holding him and petting him would be enough. I guess they have to be plucked or shorn at least 4 times a year or they get too hot and die.
The shearing of a bunny this size would produce about 2 oz. of angora wool. The wool is so clean and smells so good that there is no need for the washing, carding, etc. that needs to be done with sheep's wool.

It was a very enjoyable morning - and I could have stayed there all day! Next year for certain I'm going to take some classes and maybe stay overnight in Searsport to enjoy some of the evening activities, like the potluck supper. Anyone want to join me?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Traveling Scarves

Have you seen the Traveling Scarves Group on Ravelry? I've been watching it and it looks like so much fun - so when I saw the Noro traveling scarf group start up today, I decided I couldn't resist. I've got leftover partial skeins of Noro - and since you only knit around 4 inches on each scarf, it will be a good way to use some of those up.

I totally let my dishrag tag group (phaster than phelps) down - Or should I say my PO did! I received the box on Friday, mailed it back out on Saturday - it did not arrive in New Jersey until today! I think Phelps was doing the crawl! But at least Grace did a fast turnaround - and had it back in the mail in just a few hours.

No knitting photos today - but here is one last fling before school starts - My grandtwins plus a friend at the Blue Hill Fair.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Playing the Hand That is Dealt to You

Life isn't about being dealt a good hand, but rather Playing the Hand That is Dealt to You
So true for many of our special needs kids ....and our job is to help them do that. Success isn't measured in standardized tests - oh why do our great leaders not understand that? Because they are as far away from the classroom as they can get! If they could just look at our kids like we look at our knitting projects - there are no mistakes - just design features. And if you really mess up- frog it and start all over again, or make something else even more wonderful out of it. Right - if the whole world would just learn how to knit - what a wonderful place this would be!!!

Notice the Christmas countdown is back up - and that I haven't made much progress! But it's okay - because I got sidetracked with some charity knitting and that always makes me feel good. I did start another Christmas gift (not sure who it's for) - it's the 'old shale smoke ring' a cowley kind of thing that can go up over your head. I'm knitting it in this fabulous Opal Cotton and I'm loving the colors. The pattern is easy -I only have to pay attention every 4th row, and even then I can keep watching the ball game. But right now it's time for bed - 5:30 comes very early these days!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Labor Day

(Please see the correction to my post below - thank you Kathy. LOL)

I hope no one is laboring too hard today! It is traditionally the last day of summer - and fall is definitely in the air. I do love fall - the crispness in the air, the leave changing, etc. The only problem with fall is what comes next - and that's a preview of it sitting on my rocking chair! This is my first scarf for the Special Olympics. I'm going to start a second one today - probably a crochet pattern for a change.
Enjoy the last day of summer!