Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday Website

Knit Knit Frog

I love this post from 2008 for a nice no roll hem on stockinette.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Seriously Swatchin

On Saturday evening, I started swatching for this.  The pattern starts at the collar and is worked down.  The gauge is swatched in stockinette.

Which I did.  I knitted a serious swatch, starting with size 9's because I am a super loose knitter.  But, in this case, I had to jump up several needle sizes.  That just never happens.  Finally, I got gauge on a size 11.  1/2 size larger than recommended needle and that is something I never do.

Fast forward to yesterday, I cast on with my size 11 needle, started the collar.  Whoa!  The collar was larger than what I would have needed for 1/2 a body.  I went back to my size 9 and finally am now semi-comfortable with a size 7.  What the heck!?

I now have a collar that is closer to what it should be.  I wish you could feel this yarn.  It is so soft, I am so going to love wearing this sweater!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Saturday Shopping

So it would seem.  The Tall Guy and I normally grocery shop on Friday night, but last night we were all alone (Baby Boy B is over in Iowa for the weekend) and so we decided to just enjoy a Friday night at home.  Our norma routine is for me to pick the Tall Guy up right after work and for us to head out and get groceries and then pick up something fast for the three of us for dinner.  It was such a nice Friday to not fight the grocery store and just come home and kick back.

Seems like the night went on forever and I managed to get a bit of knitting done on this little sweater for Miss Mona Lisa. I wish you could feel how nice of a hand the yarn has created.  The yarn is Lang Yarns Mille Colori Baby which is a merino fine/superwash.  I just love the striping that it is making.

Today was knitting at the yarn shop.  It was a most pleasant morning just knitting, talking knitting and doing a little shopping.  Today was the last day of their birthday sale and so I could not pass up buying some yarn for a sweater from the new Nora Gaughan book.

I know it is not my general color, but the other two that I liked did not have enough and is exactly the color of my poncho and capelet yarn.  I could just not bring myself to buy the same color again.  I could have knit it very easily, but with the help of others at the shop we thought this might be a nice change and look good.

The discussion today came to shoes and two of the other knitters both had some Danskos on that were so darn cute.  As it happens, there is a store on my way home that sells them, so I decided to stop in.  I ended up buying these cuties which are exactly like one of the shop owners.  They have yarn on them!  I love them, but I after putting them on at home and wearing them, I think I may need to return and go up a size, which irritates me because I am almost sure I tried a size larger on and did not like they way they fit.  But, these seem a bit snug in the toes.  Or maybe it was the shoes that I was wearing today that has made my toes hurt.

And because I cannot just buy one pair, I bought these.  They are the right size,  which makes me think I really need to take the other pair back.  The only down side to these -   I checked on Zappos when I got home and only this pair is $40 cheaper on line.  No, not any of the others but this one.

When did shoe shopping get so hard?!

It was a great day for shopping today and now it is time to sit back and watch more baseball and knit.  Ah, this is the life.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On Deck

When knitting, I believe you should have options.  And we all know, I have lots of options.

As I blogged yesterday, I have been listening to the Knitmoregirls podcasts.  Over on the Ravelry board, they are doing a Behm along (knitting Martina Behm's patterns).  One that they have podcasted about was Brickless.  It sounded like an interesting knit and so I hauled out my other skein of Cheryl Oberle's Organic Merino and cast on for it.  I am loving the feel of the yarn and there is a little bit of paying attention you have to do while knitting, but still not so bad that you can't watch a Cardinal game and knit it.

My Martin Storey Capelet is now at the point where all I have to do is knit around and around, so it makes a great project to pick up and throw down when I need to.  It also can double as Saturday yarn shop knitting, because I bought the yarn from the shop we knit at.  And if need be, a great knit while watching the World Series.

My Cusco from BriarRose Fibers Wistful is coming along.  It's my knit at work lunch project because it too can be knit while talking to my lunch mates.  And well, you know, great baseball knitting.

And finally for Miss Mona Lisa for Christmas.  I'll blog about this as it progresses, but this one is going to be super fun to watch it evolve.  This falls under the category, love what you are knitting, because I think I am really going to love it.

Did I mention baseball knitting?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Website

I no longer listen to the radio in the car unless the Tall Guy and I are traveling together.  I am now listening to podcasts and actually disappointed when I have to get out of the car.

This week's website is the knitmoregirls.  Jasmin and Gigi are so much fun to listen to.  You have to give them a try.  I started with the current one and am working my way backwards.  From whats on the needles to their reviews, I have just enjoyed listening to them.  Their honest reviews really impress me.  And the interplay between Mother and Daughter is a hoot.

Of course, they have turned me onto their group in Ravelry and one or two new projects have hit my queue because of their podcast.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Starting Over Sunday

We here at Chez PJKnits, are very close to starting a major kitchen renovation.  The Tall Guy and I have lived here 35 years.  We have been through one renovation in the very beginning and now it is time to start again or very past time in my eyes.  Oy, when I look around there is so much to do and so few places to stuff it all.

The kitchen is going to be completely gutted and extended by 3 feet, so all of it will have to come into our living area.  We will be living on microwavable stuff and toaster oven stuff and grilled stuff and going out to eat or bringing in for a few weeks, probably more.  More than likely it will extend at least until Thanksgiving.  I am hopeful that it will be done by then but at this moment, we just don't know.  I think, perhaps,  this is what my contribution will be for Thanksgiving dinner, not the usual pumpkin pies unless I buy them.

Since the reno is directly next to where I sit in all my glory for knitting, all of my stuff is going to move to the Yarn Room.  Which means I really need to nail down what my next project is really going to be. I have a few things in mind, all of them either ponchos or shawls and I am wondering if I ought night concentrate on some new sweaters or the finishing of?

I've been toying with a couple of things the last couple of days for the Fall KAL on My Sister's Knitter Board on Ravelry.  One of of them is the Kid Silk Haze Wrap from some time ago.

or  a shawl

 that would use both the Kid Silk Haze and the Alpaca.

I cast on both yesterday and then put both away.   As much as that I want to knit one or the other of  these, I just feel like I should continue on tackling those WIPS that I have built up and get some new sweaters for me.  With the pending reno to start, it might not be a bad idea to pull something out that is going to take some time so I don't have to go into the Yarn Room too many times.  (You know how that plaster dust has a way of traveling!)  I may have to be a bag lady for some time and knit out of my car as I can imagine that may be the only place that dust doesn't travel.

After years of paying Weight Watchers, I finally gave up.  I just cannot seem to find the time to go to the meetings and paying $40 a month for their online stuff has not seemed to be helping too much.  For some time now, I have had My Fitness Pal on my phone.

When we were over in Iowa last week, Baby Boy A was telling me how he had been using it and had dropped a few pounds.  I've decided to start using it (faithfully) and see what happens.  For a few months now, I have been doing gluten and wheat free with a bit of success.  I have not dropped any pounds, but the intestinal problems seem to be a bit better.  What I am finding with My Fitness Pal is that a lot of the gluten free foods that I am using are actually in their data base.

Now, I know that eating alone is not going to help me drop weight, so the exercise is going to have to start being kicked up a notch too, and the cool thing is that my fit bit syncs with my fitness pal.  How cool is that and coolest of all, my fitness pal is free!

I love Sundays for starting over.  It is a new week and I always have a sense of beginning things anew.  The only downside?  Well, you know it also means back to that four letter word tomorrow.  But, we will deal with that when the sun comes up, until then have a great start to the week!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Spin In Saturday

Every year a not so local fiber guild holds a Spin In.  I am not a member and I can't even come close to calling myself a spinner, but I go every year, because they have great vendors, and I get to spend a morning and a bit of the afternoon around other fiber artists.  This year, friend Becky took me under her wing, because I did not know anyone who was there that was there for the day.  That is kind of unusual in itself.

The other thing that was super unusual is that I did not buy one skein of yarn.  Not one.  Okay, pick yourself up off the floor readers.  There was one vendor there who had some amazing dyed roving and she can have it spun into yarn for me and I will see her in a couple of weeks at another venue and decide which one I might want.  But, I did, instead, buy a couple of super cute things for Miss Mona Lisa.

Miss Mona Lisa loves books and I think it is high time to introduce her to sheep books and knitting related books.  I may leave this one at my house for reading with Grandma, along with super soft and cute finger puppet of a sheep.  Isn't she just going to love these?!

And for me, I bought a pair of yoga socks.  Even though, I don't do yoga, I loved these because they are made out of part alpaca (my fave fiber) and they have these little non-slip alpacas on the bottoms that are great for our hard wood floors.  And they are super soft.

They have these cute little alpacas on the cuffs and did I mention they are out of my fave fiber.

We had a great day at the Bishop Hill Fiber Guild Spin In and I hope they have it in Peoria again next year.  It is a real close drive for me and a fun day to meet new friends!  And on the way out, we all got those really cute mugs.  Another mug to add to my fiber related mug collection!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Finally Friday!

Finally, my beloved Cardinals are on their way to the World Series.

Finally, I have 50 inches on my Easy Folded Poncho from Churchmouse Yarns & Teas.  It seems like I have been knitting on this for weeks.  Actually, it is one of my WIPS that I pulled out from last Winter so it really been awhile in the knitting.

And finally, I can move onto the next WIP to finish.  Hmmm, I see a trend in colors here don't you?

It's the weekend and very Fall like here in Central IL, enjoy it!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Finished Faroette

Love Love Love it.  Just need to block it now.  I cannot say again how much I like Cheryl Oberle's OM.  This yarn feels so good and has a great hand to it as well.

I have another skein in the yarn room that has the same colors in it, just a little more black in it.  I am anxious to figure out what to knit with it!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Best Me Day

I took today off because I knew that after a weekend with Mona Lisa, I would have laundry to do and frankly, I missed my late night Saturday night of staying up really late and sleeping in and I just did not want to deal with work after having such a super fantastic weekend with her.

So my Saturday night was my Sunday night.  I crawled into bed around 2ish, after swatching and blocking my simpliworsted yarn.

 Originally, it was going to be the Purl Hunter's block afghan, which I changed my mind on after someone told me that I could wash and dry the yarn?

 I don't know about that, I think it might do just fine, if I washed it on the delicate cycle or hand washed it and dried it in the dryer which was what I did on my swatch.  The only thing about this yarn (of which I bought two colors of) is that from the swatch it appears that it might get a little fuzzy.  At the moment or as I went to bed last night, I am still not sure what this will end up as.

After a little cleaning up in the basement today, and putting some tanks and short sleeve shirts away (we had our first frost this morning, and the temps for the rest of the week are going to be in the 60's), and doing some most needed vacuuming, I had the luxury of sitting in a nice deep warm bath with my spiced pumpkin coffee and a fun book.  It was pure heaven!

The rest of the day I spent in the yarn room doing a little re-arranging and looking for some Kid Silk Haze that I want to work into a shawl.

We are supposed to, in the very near future, have our kitchen remodeled (down to the studs and a small 3 foot extension added on).  I am patiently waiting for a really reasonable contractor to give me a call.  He told me two weeks ago that it would be two weeksish and they would be ready to start since they were not super busy.  Today, I sit anxiously awaiting the call since today is two weeks.  Okay, not waiting patiently.  What I know is if he were to call, I would really have to make haste to get everything out of the kitchen for him.  Some of the living room things will have to go into the yarn room which will be quite cramped for a while and also means that Mona Lisa won't have a place to sleep.  Which means that we will have to go to her...and maybe get a decent cooked meal during the remodel!

It has been a great day for me today.  Now, while I get ready to go back to work tomorrow that has some challenges facing me, I am going to sit here in my comfy chair, have a cuppa and see if I cannot finish my Faroette Shawl while I watch, hopefully, my Cardinals win #3.

Life is good today!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I Love It

when I don't have to drive home from Iowa.

This trip it gave me some time to work on my Faroette Shawl from Cheryl Oberle.  I am anxious to finish this shawl so I can fully open it up and see what it looks like in it's finished form.

I know I am going to love it when it is finished and blocked, the yarn is so soft and the pattern a great little knit.

I took tomorrow off because I knew I would need to do the massive amount of laundry that is waiting for me today and because frankly, I needed a me day.  You know one that I can stay up late tonight, sleep in late and thumb my nose at all those in this house who have to work tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I'll post some cutie patutie pictures of Miss Mona Lisa and gush over all of her accomplishments!  You have been warned.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Can You Tell Where We Are Off To?

You got it!  We are off to see Miss Mona Lisa!  See you on the flip side.  Have a good weekend everyone, enjoy the Fall colors and weather and Cardinal Baseball!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Wednesday Website

Its the Bomb  - Yarn Bombing in Peoria

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Stash Enhancement Sunday

A couple of things to report this week.

On Friday, my order came from Churchmouse Yarns and Teas out from Washington.  I understand this is the coolest shop.  Someday, I hope to make it out to the Pacific Northwest to go there.  They have some neat yarns on-line and some super cool patterns that you can purchase and download.  I love to see the different ways that shops package their orders.

I ordered a couple of Koigu yarns because I had bought Churchmouse's  Turkish Socks.  Problem is I am not sure where I put the pattern, so until I find it, I'll just look at them for a while. I guess I didn't do a very good job on picking out the yarns because these are really close in colorways.  Once I decide on which one I really like the best, I'll send the other one back.

A new book came into the shop last week when I was out there on Tuesday.  I was back on Thursday night and I managed to get out without buying anything.

But not so lucky yesterday.  Who could resist this cutie patootie?

Miss Mona Lisa is going to look so cute in this.  I'll be on the search soon for a cute little turtleneck to go under it that matches that orangey/coral.

Last night I attended a Girls' Night Out Fundraiser for St. Jude which included a silent auction.  I tried to take home several things, but ended up with this super nice book basket.

The books are ones that I wouldn't know to buy, but lately I am trying to be diverse on my reading and not just read trashy romance stuff.  I can say I am actually looking forward to reading these this winter.  The Jelly Roll Quilts book I will give to a friend that quilts and the crochet one, I will pass on as a door prize at the upcoming Bishop Hills Fiber Guild Spin In.

It's chillin up here a bit in Central IL so now it is really time to start knitting hard and heavy on the warm woolies and start thinking about any Christmas gifties that need to be knitted.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

No Brainer Knitting

At knit nights, it is almost imperative that I have some no brainer knitting with me.  I seem to have a few of those projects that I am loving right now. 

After I finished Mona Lisa's daycare blankie the other night, I could not resist casting on the Faroette Shawl by Cheryl Oberle.  It is a pretty simple knit doing decreases every other row.  The Faroette is one of those shawls that is going to be so much fun for late Fall temps and into the Winter.  I have a great turtleneck that this will go over as well as a black and gray that I think it will be so wearable with.

Cheryl's OM (Organic Merino) is to die for!  It is so scrumptiously soft and I am telling you it rivals Malabrigo in softness.  I am definitely wanting a sweater's quantity in this yarn for a sweater for me!

I started the Easy Folded Poncho from Churchmouse Yarns (I'll tell you about them in the next couple of days's post.  This is a super no brainer knitting...50 inches of stockinette.  I am about halfway through, so I am motoring on with it.  It truly will be a great knit to wear in just a couple of weeks when it starts cooling down.

I love the Flicker yarn.  It has these little flecks of silver that subtly jump out.  I loved the yarn since I saw a little cowl in the Mass Ave booth at Stitches Midwest a couple of years ago.

My Stora Dimun Shawl is sitting next to me for a pick up session.  This knit is not at the top of my list for knitting, but I do pick it up on occasion to knit a few rows on it.  It is going to be a great winter project.  My real intent is to have this done by Knit Camp next year.

Your keen eyes have picked up on a theme here haven't you?  Simple and blue/greens abound here at PJKnits.  That is my theme for my knitting right now.  Although, in the next couple of days, I may surprise you in what I am also knitting on.  That is the blessing of having multiple projects, boredom never is a problem.