Saturday, December 31, 2016

Knitting Wrap-Up 2016

How can it be the end of 2016?  And it is time for my knitting wrap up to see what I actually finished this year!

Hats - 2
Hospice Blankets - 7
Hospice Shawls - 2
Vest - 1
Cardigan - 1
Poncho - 1
Afghan - 1
Cowls - 3
Shawls - 3

And out if the above, 5 were for me.

Time to look forward to 2017 knitting!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Finally Finished Friday - 1/2

It is the last Friday of 2016 and I have one half of a finally finished object to show you today.  Because I only needed one this Christmas, I knit one sock for Christmas wearing.  This is the fastest I have ever knit a sock!  I started it on the 23rd of December and finished right after midnight on the 25th while watching A Christmas Carol!

The pattern is Susan B Anderson's Smooth Operator Sock pattern, yarn is Knit Circus' Feliz Navidad Stripes.

The second set of yarn arrived on Christmas Eve and is patiently waiting to be cast on.  Maybe, I'll cast on later today and finish my New Year's Day and be ahead of the game for next Christmas?!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

It's Thursday -

which means it is time for my weekly doctor visit.  I am going to just put it out there, I'm a bit nervous, heck, I am not a bit nervous, I am totally over the edge nervous.  Today, the pins come out of the two toes and at last week's visit, she said "take a pain pill before you come next week".  Which I said to the Tall Guy - "that means she is going to hurt me"!

I have total faith in my doctor and really like her, mostly because she had me pegged from the very first post-op visit - "you are a tense person, aren't you?"  She is the first physician/dentist ever that gets me.  Maybe, she had an inkling, when during my surgery, instead of just using the twilight sleep meds to put me under, they ended up putting me totally under because the legs and feet wouldn't stay still even in the twilight sleep.

That all aside, I am so ready to have the pins out so I can start maybe taking a real shower and venturing up to the yarn room to visit my yarn and maybe even a short trip to some knitting, BUT, there is still the unknown of just how much this is going to hurt, thank the good lord, there only two pins.

I am taking my knitting along as generally, it takes her awhile to get into see me after they take off the dressings, I am just hoping today, she remembers how tense of a person I am, and doesn't take too long to get in and yank those things out and get me out of there!

Send good vibes my way will you this afternoon?  Catch you on the purl side!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Wednesday WIP

In anticipation of some great knitting plans for 2017, I thought it was time to haul my Lost City Knits' Kailyard Shawl very early this morning, fix the very last stitch of a very long row and start knitting on this WIP.

Success!  Now, I have made a deal with myself, that I will knit on it when it is quiet and there is nothing to disturb me from my task.  I am really looking forward to getting back to this huge shawl!

I think I am on the mend…knitting feels good to me now!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What's On The Needles This Week?

I'm really trying to be productive and only concentrate on two things this week.

First up, the Hospice Blanket.  I'm on the second skein, which means I'm doing decreases now, so it shouldn't take a whole lot of time to finish it up, right?!  I am really liking this one!

And second up, is the First Point of Libra Shawl by Laura Aylor.  I noticed that January Thaw is just a month away, so if I want to be wearing it, I figured I had better get a moving on it.  If you remember from my blog last week, I was still on the fence about the last two colors in the first strip, as they really seemed in black and white to be way to close to not only each other but to the color they were bumping up against.

I decided to rip it out and go with one of the gradients that I had pulled out originally and stuck it back in.  I think it will go much better now in the new light of the day.

But, before I get too far, I needed to take a tea break with some nice tea from David's Tea that our niece bought for us me in the perfect mug she also bought for us me.

Even though I am more of a coffee drinker, this was kind of nice this afternoon, while knitting and catching up on some video casts.  It is a beautiful sunny day here in Central Illinois, I just cannot recall a nicer December!  A girl could get used to this!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve!

This is another unusual Christmas Eve for us.  The Tall Guy and I are just hanging out at home, but tomorrow, we will venture out in the 50 degree weather and rain to his sister's house to celebrate.

I'm doing well with the foot.  In a week, the pins will be out.  For now, I am hobbling around in the boot, sometimes with a crutch, early mornings with the walker, and at the end of the day, I am going solo, me, the boot and the good foot.

I've got some movies that I DVRed to hang out with this Christmas Eve:
White Christmas
A Christmas Carol - the 1954 version
Babes in Toyland
Little Women
and anything else I can find on the various channels we have.

I'll pop some Christmas coffee in the pot and have a couple of cuppas to sit with, watch my movies and stay up as late as I can (because I can make it into bed on my own now).

It may be an unusual Christmas this year, but the Tall Guy and I are so blessed right now. 

 We have two great sons who have turned into the best men.  Baby Boy A is the best father to our wonderful grandchildren, and Baby Boy B, an uncle who is much loved by his niece and nephew.  Currently, Baby Boy B is dating a lovely young woman who can hold her own against this clan and him as well. 

 The Tall Guy and I both are healthy and look forward to many years together, hopefully retiring in 4-5 years and just enjoying life.  

I have a great support of friends at work and in knitting.  The Knit Wits are my best friends, always looking out for each other and always ready to support each other along the way.  We laugh with each other, cry with each other, take knitting vacations together, eat well together, and encourage each other to buy more YARN!!!

I would be so remiss as to not mention how much the Hospice Knitters also are such a big part of my life and blessings.  I've missed being with them the past weeks, but am looking forward to be back knitting with them twice a month at the Hospice Home as soon as I am able to drive.  What am amazing group of women!  From our fearless leader Victoria who formed this group, hoping for 4 or 5 women and got more than 30 to come twice a month, to the front desk volunteer who always greets us with a smiling face, to each and every knitter who knits and crochets shawl after shawl, blanket after blanket, not knowing who the recipient will be or what their circumstance has been, I am truly blessed to be in their company!

In the grand scheme of things, we are so blessed at this Christmas season and though we often take it for granted, sometimes, you need to be on one foot, just to see how blessed and lucky one really is.  I hope not just now, but in the months to come, I remember just how blessed I truly am.

My wish for you dear readers, that you are equally blessed and pray and hope for continued good health, fun, laughter and lots of yarny goodness in the new year.  Merry Christmas Eve to you all!!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Finds

I do not know what I was thinking when I ordered the small set of these Feliz Navidad Stripes from Knit Circus.  But, I love em.

I thought I would get them in time and I could whip up one sock for Christmas wearing this year (since that is all I am able to wear right now).  I got them in time, but the small set will not make two socks.  I headed over to Ravelry, thinking I would make the Turkish Bed Socks, or a small ankle cuff sock, but, then decided I was not going to settle, I would just put these two away and maybe knit something for one of the grandkids next year.

And then…. Eureka!  I went to Knit Circus, they only had small sets left and I bought one and on sale to boot.  I'll take my two above and make my one sock and after Christmas, I'll knit another from the other two skeins for next year.  The gradient stripes will be a little different than shown on their website, but I'll have what I want.

The Christmas knitting is all about me today.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

I'm Getting Good At Ripping

Last Summer at Knit Camp, I picked up some gradients from Sun Valley Fibers.  I have had it in my head since then to knit Breathing Space with them.  I've been playing around with it intermittently since then.  In the last few weeks, I picked it up again, intending on having it done for January Thaw.  The Tall Guy inquired about it a couple of weeks ago, while I was knitting on it, and wondered what I was knitting.  When I held it up, he mentioned that it looked a little small.  I, of course, went into the thing about  when it is blocked, how it will be larger and poo pooed his remarks.

Now, one of the things as knitters that we constantly hear is if you are not enjoying the knit or you have reservations as to how it is going to look on you, you should probably chuck it and knit on something else.  So I did.  No matter how much more I knit on it, it just isn't not the sweater for this body!

So, I re-wound the yarn and cast on for Laura Aylor's First Point of Libra.  Not to give anything away, but it is done with Gradients and I started with my Gradients from almost the darkest to lightest, leaving out the very darkest one as I thought it would be too close to the main color.

 In the light of day and taking into account one of the really bright colors that was in the set ( the middle one above), I decided it really did not go with the new plan.  It worked in the Breathing Space because the Onyx color way broke it up.

Now, the first three colors are really close, so I decided to try a trick that I have heard about before.

 I used the black and white setting on my phone and took a pic…no surprise, the colors are so darn close just as I figured it would.

But, still I had to try and I cast on…

but, I did NOT rip back my first attempt, you know just in case.

And again in the light of a new day, I like this new color combo and I think it is going to work.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday WIPS

Because there are some cool things happen in 2017, there is a theme to my Wednesday WIPS this week.

My hap shawl from Lost City Knits.

And my Shallmillens Snood  out of the same yarns that are  will be in my above mentioned hap shawl.  I sense a color theme here, oh but just wait for more color themed items in tomorrow's blog.

And did you know that

And in Central IL, on Christmas Day it ail be in the mid 50's.  Crazy, but I appreciate it right now, no snow, no ice, just smooth walking.

Monday, December 19, 2016

What's Happening This Week?

I'm still working on the Hospice Blanket.  It is a nice, easy, no nonsense, knit.

I'm finding myself wanting to just finish a color section to see what the next one will look like.

The Tall Guy and I, the last two days working on some peanut butter fudge for my co-workers.  I'm feeling there will be at least one more batch that needs to be done before the end of the week.

Have you noticed what seems to be the latest knitting pattern?  Messy Bun Hat or Ponytail Hat patterns.
I knit this one 5 years ago, from Cheryl Oberle's The Goodie Bag Hat.  This is the first time I have ever been ahead of the curve (grin)

And although, it was very cold the past two days, the sun has been shining.

On the foot front, I'm moving a little bit more easily, with my ever trusty walker near by.  No stairs yet and I'm not doing a lot, but a little bit each day.  The pins will remain in until the end of the year, but for now, I'm moving in the right direction.

Stay warm everyone and hopefully, your holiday gifts are ready and wrapped!

Friday, December 16, 2016

It's A Gloomy Day

today in Central Illinois.  There is no sun, it is dreary, it snowed lightly this morning and the weekend is going to be wicked starting tonight.  But, at Chez PJKnits, it's not so bad.

I'm hanging out, watching my new fave podcast - The Yarn Hoarder Podcast.  When I got the notification this morning via email that Amber had posted a new podcast, it totally brightened my day!  Amber is so cheery and excited about her knitting and yarns that for me she is a must see and I think you should tune in too!

And because I can, I cast on a new project today to knit on while hanging out this weekend.  A new hospice blanket that I am using Caron Cakes for, just two skeins and the Grandmother's Favorite Washcloth pattern as the basis of it. Voila, it will be a nice hospice blanket and well, the colors, just look at the colors!  And that blip in the middle was there as I knit it.

 I'll knit the first one repeating the pattern, knit 2, YO, knit to end until I run out of yarn in the first skein and then I'll switch to repeating the decreases, knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row where I will finish it off.  I've used this pattern for years, making dishcloths for the Tall Guy's Mom and also to teach at work some new knitters.

So, it may be a dreary, cold weekend upon us, so if you have to go out, be careful out there and bundle up with some nice knits or kick back in front of the fire ( I wish I had one) with a cuppa and just watch it do it's thing.

I'll catch you on the purl side.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Boot Day!!

After four weeks, the cast is gone!

And I'm in a boot!  Ok, it is not what I expected.  It is so weird feeling in the heel and ankle and really hard to walk with out my ever trusty walker in front of me.  I guess I was expecting so much more, but on the bright side, I am not hopping around on one foot these days.  The Tall Guy is the voice of reason and is telling me, it is going to take some time.  Ok, I'll give it some time.

In the meantime, I've been knitting a bit on my Chic Knits Cardigan.  It is time to start the rib for the bottom, but I am afraid that I may run out of yarn.  I only have one left for the sleeves and bands, at least I think.  I'll put it on the Tall Guy's list to look upstairs in the yarn room tonight to see if there may be one more skein up there.  If not, I may need to go on the search for another skein.
No panic yet.

For the last four weeks, I've been confined to those projects I put in my nearby bags.  All WIPS, but now that I was able to take a "walk" to the spare room, I've been able to lift a couple of things  and add them to my couch.

First up is a yarn I've been visualizing making its way into a hospice blanket while I've been sitting around.  This may need to be cast on just because!  (Grin)

Also, I've been dreaming about working on my Fog Shawl while sittin around.  I managed to get it to the couch as well.  So, maybe, I'm getting around better than I thought.

And finally, while I have been hangin out, I got some cool mail from my dear friend from camp, Jane out of Austin.  She knows me so well, and just wanted to send me something to cheer me up.  It did and they do.

Things are looking up around here at Chez PJKnits, hope all is well where you are at and you are keeping warm!

Friday, December 09, 2016

Finally Finished Friday

It's been a while since I had something to post on Fridays.  Partly because of the hand problem, then the foot problem and well if we are being honest, I've not had anything to show.  But, this week, the last of the Christmas gifts are done, the Honey Cowl for Baby Boy B's girlfriend.

The yarn is from 2011 at Stitches Midwest.  I bought a bunch of it then and knit my Bloomsbury Jacket by Cheryl Oberle out of it.  I had a bunch left and thought it would be perfect for a cowl.  I still have some left, talk about the yarn that will not be knit up.  For now, I'll hold onto it though, maybe hats and mitts with a cool white pom for later.

And also finished this week, is the second sock out of Koi Pond from Must Stash Yarns.  The pattern is Susan B Anderson's, Smooth Operator Socks.  Susan's pattern is another take on the after thought heel. It is the second time I have tried the after thought heel, I'll let you know when I have two feet that can wear socks how I like this version.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

What's Going On In Your Neck of the Woods?

It turned very chilly here in Central Illinois overnight, so I kicked the heat up a bit and have "A" woolie sock on under my All Birds today.  I got the stitches out today, a new cast on (pins are in for another 4 weeks), but in a week, I'm graduating to a boot!  Yippee!!

I finished a couple of things this past week that I'll show tomorrow.  So, I pulled up to the couch a few WIPS bags to pick out the next project.

I decided on the Basic Chic Hoodie from Chic Knits.  This one is out of Berroco Alpaca that I bought years ago from Schoolhouse Press at camp.  I am totally knocking off Bonne Marie's original idea of a simple card with red buttons when it is finished.  I loved the look then and I still love it now.

And aren't knitting friends the bestest?!  I got this super cool yarn bouquet of Koigu yarn to make the Churchmouse Yarns scarf, that is if I could ever pull this a part.

And from the Knit Wits, this to dye for mug and some great holiday Starbucks coffee!  They know me so well.

Stay Warm Knitters, dig out those knits and wear them, now is the time!!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Not Much In A Week

has changed.  I'm still one footing and totally over this hanging out stuff.  But, today, I have a nice little view from the couch.

And on the needles, my next WIP, the second sock out of Koi Pond and the Smooth Operator Socks pattern by Susan B Anderson.

And when my hand starts giving me fits, I'm doing a bit of crocheting on a scrap blanket.  This blanket is going to be huge and will be an ongoing project for many years, so don't be expecting it done any time soon.

From the couch today in Central Illinois, is so cozy.  I'm watching ice skating on t.v. and watching the slushy snow come down.  It's beautiful to watch and I don't have to go out in it.

Hope you are all having a nice cozy Sunday today too!

Monday, November 28, 2016

This Is My Life

Happy Monday!

I'm recuperating, but this one foot thing is for the birds!  The Tall Guy went back to work today for a half day as I have a doc appointment this afternoon.  My walker is my friend, although, I am using it more as a hopping aid right now.  It just seems more stable for me to get around with right now.  It's a bit hard on the hands, which is somewhat limiting my knitting for now, so I am just managing a few rows on the Honey Cowl for Baby Boy B's girlfriend for Christmas.

Thank goodness for my bucket bag from Knit Camp in 2015.  It is perfect to put over the body, with my phone in it when I have to get up and fend for myself or hit the bathroom.

We had a very low keyed Thanksgiving.  My niece from up North came over for a morning coffee.  We had just a most lovely time, talking, drinking coffee and watching a bit of the parade.  She brought flowers from the Tall Guy's family and Starbucks.  The cool thing, is the guy ahead of her paid for them.  How cool is that?!

The Tall Guy and I had hot dogs on the grill for dinner ala This Is Us Thanksgiving.  Baby Boy B and his girlfriend came over for a visit Thanksgiving night.  It was a quiet Thanksgiving, just hanging out.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'll check in later this week when I can.  Thank goodness for computers, netflix, Hallmark and You Tube!!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Finally Finished Friday

Miss Mona Lisa's Christmas Hat! I readied this post pre surgery.  I'm doin fine, will post more when feeling up to it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Have You Had Enough?

Thank you all for the well wishes and for listening to all the surgery talk/whine.

I am hoping to blog bit in the next few weeks and I'll throw some knitting into…grin

I know it is not going to be easy for the next 10 weeks, because for over 45 years I've been working, the last 40, at least 5 days a week.  I've always been mobile, been able to hop in the car when I want to, up and down the stairs on a whim, and heck even going into the bathroom unassisted.  This is not going to be fun, sitting back and knitting and watching it snow.  And frankly for the next 6 months, I'll probably moan about the swollen foot every other day, but in the grand scheme of things and as I told my super assistant Barb, the guy in the cubicle next to us has been in a wheel chair for over 13 years ago I am sure when I am whining, is saying if only it was just about being off of a foot for 10 weeks.

It is all about perspective, now isn't it?!

On December 1st, I am participating in a KAL with a bunch of others on Ravelry and some of my fellow Knit Wit friends.  Just about then, I'll be needing this.

In the mean time, in the words of Elizabeth Zimmermann - Knit on in confidence and hope…

I'll catch you on the Purl Side and Thanks!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Getting Ready For Surgery

is like getting ready for vacations, whether they be a knitting vacation, or a family vacation.  For a knitter, going on any vacation,  before even thinking about what clothes to pack, a knitter starts thinking about the knitting they are going to take.  What patterns will they feel like knitting?  Should they pack extra needles?

So with an impending surgery coming up tomorrow, and knowing that I will not be able to just trot up the stairs to the yarn room or downstairs for blocking for at least 4 weeks (optimistically), I've been giving it quite a thought as to what I want to have fairly close by to work on while I hang out ( you saw my whats on the needles post last Sunday)

I started a few weeks ago making some lists, and I came up with a really brilliant idea, why not concentrate on some of my WIPS?  Wouldn't it be fun to come out on the other side of 10 weeks without working and basically hanging out at home with some finished projects?  (Sounds really cool to me)

Besides what you saw on Sunday, I have a nice little bag of goodies at the ready.


 There is one next to my bed, where I'm going to hang out for a couple of days to start with.

Ok, and yes, full disclosure, there might be a couple of things that I am just dying to cast on and knit that are not WIPS and the  yarn has a few skeined and ready to go.  

I am just hoping my knitting friends might take pity on me and wind a few extra if I send up the bat signal.

Happy Hump Day!  Here in Central IL, it is another drop dead gorgeous November day.