Friday, January 31, 2014

Not Another Snow Picture!

Fraid so.  It is beautiful coming down, but it sorely puts a crimp in my plans for tomorrow.

I had great plans to go to the shop tomorrow, but the weather people have me a bit worried about that.  There is suppose to be some freezing rain tonight and then more snow through tomorrow night.  The last time they scared me off, we ended up with nearly nothing and it didn't start until much later in the day.

But, if I have to stay home, I could start putting together Miss Mona Lisa's sweater which I blocked earlier this week.

It has been awhile since I actually have sewn a sweater together.  I usually opt for topdown sweaters or bottom up with minimal of finishing.  But, this could be the perfect time to get back into the swing seaming again.  I know there are several designers out there that I love that really advocate it.

I have my Deborah Newton book that I can reference and I know there is a Craftsy Class that I have purchased that could put me in the frame of mind to want to sew this thing together.

I guess the point is that it is not that I can't sew sweaters together, I just don't love it.  I way more enjoy the knitting then I do the finishing.

And while on the subject of love, I am loving my Tangerine Rose, but seriously this is a lot of knitting! I am now at the half way point in my welts.  1/2 WAY!

I am anxious for this one to be done or at least the knitting.  It, too, requires some sewing.  The Olympics are a week away which means Tangerine Rose will need to take a bit of break while I knit on my Ravellinics project from Briar Rose Fibers.

I am not 100% sure what the project will be yet, but it may involve some new yarn I got in the mail yesterday from Chris.

And if you are wondering what the pattern is going to be?  Check out those darn
Rainey Sisters

Monday, January 27, 2014

Knitting Notion Bags

Well, it depends on what bag I have and where I am knitting.

My go to shop bag has an Altoids tin with stitch markers, cable needles, Knit Picks needle ends and tightener.  My freebie CEFCU tape measure, blue highlighter tape, a crochet hook, my Gingher scissors that I have had forever and some odd yarn to use as stitch holders.   Just the basics.

For my bag that goes to places that it is going to be sitting on a "public" floor, my Namaste container features a magnetic top and bottom which holds just a few things for a quick knit night out.  A sewing up needle, the Knit Picks needle tightener, end caps for my new Caspian neeldes, a itty bitty pencil, fold up scissors, some stitch markers and my Loopy Ewe tape measure.

And for my big bag that goes with me on retreats and trips.  I have a double mesh bag from Walker Bags.  It has cable needles, crochet hooks in a couple of sizes, highlighter tape, stitch markers, a 7 inch ruler, my Chibi container of needles, a needle gauge for Knit Picks needles and Inox needles. an erasable marker, some pens and a pencil, my scissors with my scissor fob that Norma made for me years ago, a couple of row counters, a note pad and two Patternworks plastic cards that I have had forever that gives yardages needed for garments and other fun things.

What is in your notions bag?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

My New Best Blocking Place

I've been blocking on the dining room table, but sometimes that impedes eating from it for days.

Last week, I had to move it to the yarn room's floor and I have to say it wasn't all bad. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be so I have starting layering my blocking station up there for some more blocking  this weekend.

First, I am starting with my foam puzzle pieces that I bought about 12 of them at Menards.  They doubled as a cushy place for Miss Mona Lisa to crawl around on before she started walking.

Many years ago when Threadbear FiberArts was in business,  bought a blocking set from them that included everything you needed to make your own blocking board.  I never did assemble it, but rather used all of the pieces on the dining room table.  I hauled it all out again and it makes a nice blocking space on the floor on top of the puzzle pieces.

First, the piece of fleece.  This is about an 1/8 to 3/8" thick.

Then, a pretty heavy duty piece of linen.  I could of put it down but, I thought putting it on top of the fleece might protect the fleece a bit.

And finally, the gridded piece of heavy duty muslin.  This is going to make it so easy when blocked pieces need to be laid out.

This is my new best blocking place, even if I do have to get all the way down on the floor to do it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

50 Pages

There are 50 pages of cardigans on Ravelry that use Madelinetosh Merino Light.

And I have spent days and nights trying to figure out what to do with mine.  I've swatched in stockinette and a bit of pattern.

I had an idea when I first bought it as to what I wanted it to be. Breezy by Hannah Fettig.

 But, there just isn't enough of what I have to do it in my size.  I have searched and Jimmy Beans has some but I just don't want to risk it being a huge difference because I am not doing the whole switching ball thing.

Earlier this week, when I decided that I could not do Breezy, I came across this look that I thought would be great for my Tosh.

But, then I got to thinking that maybe this yarn needed a bit more of a look.  Maybe some patterning, or just something besides a plain stockinette knit, which as the ladies at the knit shop reminded me today, that I could add a little cable to this to add to it a bit.

After a few hours today of deliberating and researching, and thinking I might have missed just the right sweater, I went to Pinterest and came back with some ideas.  Not ones that I want to duplicate, but ones that caught my eye.

What I came up with is that all of the ones I really love, are pretty simple designs.  Throw them on with a print or a nice white t or tank or long sleeve top and go.  This is going to make a really nice early Spring sweater to work on in a few weeks.

And now that I have put that one to bed, I can go back to my regular knitting.  I'm glad that one is settled….for now.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Love Gucci

If I had lots of money AND the body to go with it, I'd be buyin Gucci!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wednesday Website

The Elizabeth Zimmermann Coat

Do you just gotta have this pattern/coat???

Monday, January 20, 2014

Another Partial Sunny Day

When I realized that the sun was shining in through the front windows, I knew that today would be a good day to block a couple more things.  The sun stayed out until about noon, so the Faroette got a bit of sun to dry by, but not near as much as yesterday.

Yesterday's Heavenly Heathers baby blanket dried really well on the floor of the yarn room with the ceiling fan over it on full blast.

I'll put the Faroette in there tonight after As You Like It dries.  It is drying fairly quickly today in there with the fan over it as well.  I think I might have hit on something, if only it wasn't so far down there on the floor!

But, I am hopeful that getting up and down from the floor will get a little easier in the weeks to come.  This morning, I started back on the Couch to 5K program and felt pretty good afterwards.

 I wonder if that is just because I could do it around 10 am rather than 5 am?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's A Blocking Weekend

Yesterday, amongst the bit of snow we were getting, I decided it would be a good weekend to tackle some of that blocking that I have to do to make some of my knits wearable.

A couple of  items that needed some blocking were my Cusco and the Noelle Capelet.  They both didn't need full out blocking, they just needed their garter edges blocked so they won't flip up.  I am trying a new technique with both of them and unpacked a steamer that I have had forever.

It has a really long cord so I could shoot some steam all the way around the capelet.  I let it sit over night to make sure it was good and dry.

I am pretty pleased with the turnout on it.

And when I went outside to take a picture with it on, I was surprised at how warm it was over a turtle neck.  At 37 degrees and some wonderful sun, I could have went without a coat to run to the store or errands.  I really like it out of Cascade Pastaza.  I wasn't sure when I was knitting it, but it sure is making the grade for grab and go.

When it turned out so well, I thought what the heck, I might as well try it on the Cusco.  I didn't want to  block the entire Cusco because I like the way the fabric is right now, but I do want to try and tame the wild edge, so I basically did the same thing with my steamer.  This little steamer sure does put out some good steam.

At first look, it seems to be doing pretty good on the edge,  and the colors of Wistful from Briar Rose, I am loving this one as well.  I have a feeling that I will be wearing this one lots.

I have finished another Heavenly Heathers Blanket.  I really like this pattern as I have blogged about before.  It's a quick knit and substantial and a go to if you want to knit something for a new baby but don't want to invest a lot of time in it.  This one is being blocked the good ole fashion way, by dipping in some lukewarm water with a bit of soap.  It will take a couple of days to dry on the yarn room floor as it doesn't get very much sun in there.

It has been a productive weekend on the blocking front this weekend.  And with it being a three day weekend for me, who knows, maybe I'll haul out another something to be blocked before it is over.

Friday, January 17, 2014

I'm A Bit Peeved

Two needles from my new Caspian set of interchangeables have come apart.  I don't think it is me because I am pretty cautious about not grabbing the wood when I go to screw the needle tight.  And I know from previous experience I can let them know and they will replace, but you have to admit it seems to be a tad bit of deja vu?

I do love my Chiagoo Lace Interchangeables so I guess they will have to start traveling with me in my yarn bag for now.

And on the weather front here in Central IL, winter advisory for tomorrow from 6 am to 6 pm.  Might be a good day to stay home and knit!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nursing the Elbow

I have been knitting, but I am also trying out the elbow support I bought as well.  I wore it most of the weekend and a bit at work earlier in the week.  It may be a bit better, but I am also trying to not use the mouse as much at home and be cognizant at work to not let my arm just hang in mid air when I am using the mouse.  I try to either rest it on the arm of my chair or prop it on my leg when I am working the keyboard.

I will make an appointment for the doctor, but just not yet. 

This week it was my annual mammogram.  Next week I will try for the dentist or the doc, whichever I can get into see first.  By the way, how long has it been since you had your mammogram?

I 'm pullin out  one of my WIPS this morning to take to work and to the shop for Knit Night Knitting.  The prereq for both spots is to be able to pretty much knit on it without much thought.  This is LaLa's Simple Shawl and is for a friend of mine who eyeballed it on some pics that I showed on Facebook a year ago.  She is having a 50th birthday this year.  She loves my hand knits and at one time was trying to knit, so I think it is going to be an appropriate gift for a 50 year old.

I am hopeful that tonight, I can get some more yarn to finish my baby afghan.  It would be nice to have that one off the books.  And of course, I am still knitting on my Tangerine Rose, but since the yarn did not come from the shop, it needs to stay home for now.

Sounds like we may get a bit more snow this week, so it would appear that there is a lot of winter knitting still to be done.  Stay warm out there!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Five Days of Oz

I have to have background noise on when I am knitting most times.  Whether it is an Audible book, podcast, videocast or something I have "taped" on t.v.   I worked my way through the skating finals, the rest of the Americans last night and this morning five days of Dr. Oz episodes while working on my Sprinkle Gift.

Dr. Oz is doing a month long series of you type of things.  I don't always watch all of the episodes in their entirety which is the magic of having of taped it, I can forward through the stuff that doesn't pertain to what I need to hear at the time.  This past week, there were several segments on different diets.  If you watched them all, you might wonder which one to go with.  I did take some notes that I think will be beneficial to work into my getting fit routine.

He had a couple of authors on that I might investigating a hold of their books ( "Eat It To Beat It and 21 Days to a Flat Tummy) through our Library at work just to read, but I think for now, I am going to stick with my hybrid approach.  I have Weight Watchers online for another month and also am going to be using the free app, My FitnessPal that syncs with my fitbit on my iphone.

I am torn between the two ways to go.  I hate to pay for something, but what I am finding with  Weight Watchers online is that I can "get" more during the day in the ways of extras than I do with MyFitnessPal.  With the latter, I am out of calories before the day is over, whereas with WW that does not seem to be the case.  I suppose what one should have done is used one for a week and the other for the second week and see which I lose more on, but hey, that would be soooo easy.

I am anxiously waiting to see what Hungry Girl comes out with.  It is my understanding that sometime early Spring, she will be bringing out her new "diet" or as I would rather call them eating plans.  Diet is such a four letter word, eating plan has such a connotation that it is perhaps forever and not just for the moment.

I am a fan of Hungry Girl.  I have most of her books and loved to watch her when she would do segments on Dr. Oz and when she had her own series on the Food Network.  Her books and recipes are Weight Watchers friendly.  She turned me onto the egg in a mug recipe that I use quite often, when I can't talk the Tall Guy into cooking me an omelet.

Another segment that Dr. Oz had on last week was stress and eating. I know this is me!  I am an emotional eater, always have been.  Last week at work was one of the worst I have ever had.  I am just a minor piece in a huge huge huge project at work.  And my piece while being a small piece, was threatening to set the whole project back which in every way would be unacceptable.  Frankly, I was either sleeping loads because of the stress, eating whatever I could get my hands on, or not sleeping at all.  It finally appears that after five days of living and breathing it, that it may come together (hopefully we will get some sign off by the end of next week), but in the mean time, I know that I have to get a handle on the stress.

I can tell you that the Peanut Butter Fudge is all gone (because I ate it all up yesterday) so I won't be going to it for a fix on the stress.  One of the alternates that one of the authors talked about was reaching for cocoa, not the hot chocolate stuff, but real cocoa.  I might have to try that, although I am not sure if it has less calories than my Chai tea, which is my go to fix when I am not drinking my Salted Caramel Creamer.  The differences between the Chai and creamer are about 110 calories, but the Chai has ginger in which according to the Dr. Oz segments has some good properties for stress and a flatter tummy.

I apologize for all the rambling about Dr. Oz's show last week, but for me and my whole Knit and Fit thought for 2014, there were some really good things I took away from the week worth of shows.  And it has me geared for a new week!

My goals for this week:
Stay on program all week any program as long as it is on a eating plan
Make a decent lunch and actually take an hour for lunch and walking three days
At least 7 hours in bed (hoping for sleep, but that is just not going to happen)
Enjoy the week!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A Sprinkle

Have you heard of having a sprinkle?  One of our young gals at work is having a baby next month, and  they are having a sprinkle for her in just a couple of weeks.  So, I really had to haul out the afghan I was going to knit for her and get going on it today.

It is an easy knit, one that I have knit before in similar colors for the girl who does my hair.  Big needles and double yarn out of Cascade Yarns, Pacific.  It is a good project to do tonight while watching the ice skating finals.

Speaking of ice skating, have you picked out your Ravellinics project yet?  I believe I am going to pull out my Eadon from Briar Rose yarn.  I started it a couple of years ago and it might be a nice project to finish during the Olympics.

I had to set my Tangerine Rose from Knit! Swirl! out of Dancing Colors while I am working on the baby afghan.  I finally got it to the point where I am knitting back and forth and not in the round.  You can see the marker from my last post about it.

Even with finally being at the split, there is a lot of knitting to go on it.  The colorway of Dancing Colors is Agate.  It is a wonderful mix of colors of red, orangey red and olive green.

Maybe I'll still be knitting on my Tangerine Rose for the Ravellinics.  I could push myself to finish it during that period.  But, that's a month away so I still have time to decide.   For now, it's a baby blanket that must be finished first!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Just A Little Spring

In the midst of Winter, out comes a touch of Spring.  The Spring 2014 Pantone Colors.  But, you know something, I am kind of glad that it is still Winter, because I am at least right now, not so crazy about them.  I have a whole lot of Winter knitting, I still want to do.  Even though, I am already longing for Spring to come.  But, seriously, it is just January, there is a long way to go til then.

This week in Central IL, we certainly have had a range of weather.  Some major snow last weekend, and then on Monday/Tuesday, the super frigid cold weather that kept a lot of people home on Monday from work, me included.  Now, today, it is raining majorly and the snow is melting a bit.  Later this weekend, it is supposed to be 40 degrees and sunny. 

During the Christmas break, I bought a couple of new coats.  The black one is a definite as I have already wore it.  The criteria for my coat purchase was that I was able to put it over heavy sweaters and jackets.  This one fits the bill.  But, I think it may need a cowl or something.

The red one hasn't quite made the grade yet, but I do love it.  It doesn't fit as well over sweaters as the black one does, but I sure do like it. I'm leaving the tags on it for now, because I think it may have to go back.

With my new coat purchases, I kind of want to knit a new cowl for it and this one from Churchmouse Yarns has been calling my name.

It is out of Kidsilk Haze and Kidsilk Haze Eclipse.  Yes, it may be a bit of knitting, but I think it will be great practice for another little sweater I am planning to knit for next Christmas out of Kidsilk, but hey first lets get through this Winter right?!

Monday, January 06, 2014

It's A Cold and A Snow Day

The plan was to go back to work today after two whole weeks.  Where I work never closes, so it really is a vacation day.  The current temp right now is -14 degrees and so there was no way I was going in.  So, it is actually a vacation day (one last one for me), the plan is to return to work tomorrow one way or the other.

What does one do on a cold and snow day, besides look out the window?  You got it cast on something new?

This is my Madelinetosh Merino Light that I just did a little practicing on of the circular cast on.  The yarn was originally purchased for a Hannah Fettig sweater.  In a weak moment, I thought it might want to be a circular shawl, but I am pretty sure in the light of sunlight, that may not be the case.

After abandoning multiple attempts of circular cast on for the Cap Shawl, I believe this one now is going to be the Learning Curve Shawl, a half circle shawl that has potential.

Some Liberty Wool is a test for me of the Doubled Chevron Cowl.  It is one of the accent pieces that I am thinking about as part of my 2014 Knit and Fit accessories.  If I would just behave and sit and knit today, I think this has potential for wearing later this week.

Tangerine Rose, this one too has potential for making progress today, if only I can decide which I want to be knitting on.

I have a whole season of The Americans that I can watch today while doing some sort of knitting.  I kind of like this easing back into work thing!