Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Time to Knit

I have been suffering from the stupid tennis elbow.  It still freaking hurts.  Grr!  I am about to start knitting slowly to get myself back into shape.  I have a pair of socks I want to knit.  The yarn is in the bathroom and it is my yarn.  Yeah, I should be knitting my niece a pair of socks but, I deserve a new pair since I am the knitter. 

I wrapped Christmas presents last night.  I was going to give the hubby a new suitcase but, I decided to keep it.  He has plenty of luggage.  My luggage bit it on our last cruise.  That was a while back. 

The only problem...it is solid black.  Time to add something pretty to it so, I will know it is mine.  I wonder what I can paint on it to make it look like me?  I have to think about it for a while. 

I put the mini tree up yesterday.  My Christmas tree is small since I just didn't feel like messing with a big one.  The arm, and just hating having to deal with the whole moving of furniture to get it in front of the window.  Sucks!  The little one was harder to decorate than the big one.  On a big one, I can put the ornaments where ever and it works...the little one, I had to look and move ornaments so, like colors wouldn't be next to each other.  It turned out really well. 

We are in the funky season zone over here, one day hot, the next cold.  It sucks!  We aren't turning on the heat unless it gets super cold.  So, we have a nice quilt on the bed.  Thankfully we have cats who love to sleep on the bed with us.  Nothing like a warm cat pressed up against me in the cold.  I am not telling the cat that I love her being pressed up against me because a hot cat in the summer is another story.  Ugh! 

I am sick of cold feet.  I sleep in wool socks in the winter.  I need a new pair, too.  Time to knit some for me.  I want to knit one of my patterns that I have written recently.  I deserve something beautiful.  I also think I want to enter my socks into a contest.  I have been saying this for years but, I think this year, I am going to do it.  Let's see what I can win.  :) 

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful rest of the week.  If I don't post before Christmas again...Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Napoleon, My Hound Dog

Friday was a really bad day for us.  My hubby took our old hound dog in to the vet, we knew it wasn't going to be a good prognosis, he had some serious health issues and we knew it was time.  Napoleon gave up on Thursday night, he stopped eating, he was having trouble breathing.  I was petting his soft ears and let him know how much I loved him. 

Hubby took him in and the vet said his heart murmur had really gotten worse, 6 being the worst, his was at 5.  His back legs no longer worked, he had some spine issues.  He was 13 years old.  So, Gary called me and said he was having him put down.  It was hard for both of us and it was better for him, no more pain, no more suffering.  He had been through major surgery to have a ruptured lump removed, he then had pancreatitis and we had to nurse him back to health.  He wasn't living a good life, not for a dog.  No more of his favorite foods, no more kibble with any form of fat, he had to live on diet dog food. 

Napoleon relaxing with his best friend, Bootsy.
He lived for Taco Bell.  Do not ask me why this dog loved it but, he did.  He would drool when we had it.  He would sit there and try to dog-natize us.  Those big brown eyes just staring at us. 

I miss his singing.  He sang to me every night.  I miss that and so does Ody, our corgi.  He and Napoleon were buddies since Boots is old and grouchy.  They spent a lot of time together in the back yard. 

I look in his home each morning expecting to see him snoring away.  Sigh! 

I love you my old faithful hound dog.  You will be missed. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Travel Pillow

The travel pillow side A

The travel pillow side B

Here is the travel pillow all finished.  I stuffed it with polyester fiberfill.  I had a bag in my stash.  Would you ever guess this was supposed to be a Christmas tree skirt?  If nothing else, this has taught me to make something else.  I serged the inside of the neck so, it will take the wear and tear.  Hopefully, hubby will use it. I guess it will be the only like it on an airplane. 

Tennis Elbow Persists...

Well, I am not a good patient at all.  I am still dealing with the damn tennis elbow.  I am not supposed to use my arm.  I use that arm for everything.  So, it is still bothering me and besides the lectures the hubby gives me about it...that is making me crazy!  Try to not use an arm for a while, it is essential.  I guess I can call the hubby to do everything for me.  He doesn't have the time.  So, I use the arm...big Catch 22. 

So, a month ago, I bought a 2 ft fake light up Christmas tree. It was 50% off. I started looking for a tree skirt, nothing out there that I liked and when I did find one, expensive.  I don't do expensive, I love to bargain shop.  I refuse to pay $50 for a mini tree skirt.  So, I did the next best thing, I hit the fabric store and found my fabrics.  I buy pretty much all of my fabric in the 1 yard increment unless I need more.  I bought several fabrics in the Christmas theme and used my coupons.  Love coupons!  Most of my items were on sale and I came out of there pretty good.  I decided to design my own tree skirt.  How hard can that be? 

Think tree skirt and now take an idiot, that would be me, when it came to this idea...I can't believe I did that.  I even told the hubby how much of an idiot I was for even thinking of doing it that way, I made a travel pillow in Christmas fabric.  Yeah, that good.  I will finish sewing that one and stuff it full of fiber fill.  It is pretty but, come on...what in the world was I thinking?  No idea! 

So, I went back and re-cut my fabric and figured it out.  Sometimes it takes a while.  This time it did.  I finished my tree skirt.  Woo!  It looks fabulous on my little tree. 
Christmas travel pillow

My first Christmas tree skirt

Another view of my first Christmas tree skirt
I  have it on my sewing/craft table right now.  I think it is going to live there and after I finish designing and sewing my angel, she will go on top of the tree.  I bought remnant fabrics for her. I plan to take the left over fabric from the travel pillow to make her outfit.  She will be a rag doll angel.  I think she will be pretty and easy to sew. 

I used a quilting technique for my tree skirt because I can't seem to work with bias tape.  No idea how the stuff works.  I am  self taught at sewing.  I don't even use patterns, they screw me up.  I look at it and figure out how it is supposed to work.  Hence the travel pillow.  I even used the serging stitches that came with my Janome DC 1050 machine.  Love my Janome.  It sure as hell beats the Singer I learned to sew on.  I don't miss the "clack, clack, clack" of that Singer.  I would oil the hell out of the thing and it still made that awful noise.  I gave the machine to my niece, Kate.  She sews on it.  She likes it.  Now her older sister, I found a beginners Janome on sale and bought her that one.  It is nice with it's built in stitches.  I am hoping she will take the time to learn to use her machine. 

I have given up on teaching them to knit.  I hope they do learn to sew.  It comes in handy.  I have found that one out. 

I have put off sewing my tree skirt and after working out the logistics of this one, I might make myself another one in another color.  I have plans to use my little tree again.  This year, I just do not feel like dealing with our big tree.  I have no desire to mess with it.  I bought some mini ornaments and I have ribbon for this tree as my garland.  It should be sweet. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Tennis Elbow

I was diagnosed with tennis elbow last week.  I do not play tennis.  If I would play tennis, I would have to wear one of those little tennis skirts and I would have to book my court.  That is how it works in my subdivision because it seems two women beat the hell out of each other one day with their tennis rackets fighting over a court. 

I know...right? 

So, I am in my own version of hell because I can't knit.  No knitting and it is about to drive me around the bend.  Crocheting is out since it is my right arm.

I am limited with what I can do with my right hand and arm.  If I do something I am not supposed to, my fingers go numb.  Great.  Grocery shopping was fun today.  I have to learn to not use the arm.  It was painful on the way out of the store.  I am glad I took the Escape, it is easy to get into and out of and it is easy to load groceries into. Love that pop up back end. 

Since the corgi and I have both gained weight, today I decided was the first day of exercising outside the home.  I took him on a walk.  We have to start small and work our way up to the mile.  The vet said he needs to weigh in at 29 pounds.  I nearly fell over laughing from that one.  He loves to eat.  So, she told me to start out small and then work our way up to that mile.  It works for me.  He weighed in at 41.5 pounds.  Big for a corgi. 

Anyway, my tennis elbow is from vacuuming.  Yep, vacuuming with my Dyson DC59 Motor head.  Love that thing!  Only bad thing, since it is so top heavy, it hurt the arm and elbow.  Thus my problems. 

The thought of me in one of those itty bitty tennis skirts...No, I don't think so.  Ever!  The thought of my butt hanging out, I will skip that. 

For my snack, I had baby spinach, baby kale, coconut water, some frozen fruit and blended it all up in the Vitamix.  That is one powerful blender.  It is so freaking loud.  We broke down and decided to get one last year.  We had 2 blenders that we received for our wedding 14 years ago and they pretty much sucked.  So, we pawned them off onto my sister.  Told her she could always garage sale them.  She used them once and garage saled them and bought a better blender from the proceeds. 

My sister tells me I am weird for liking kale.  I have to have leafy greens these days.  They have to be part of my diet.  Doctor's orders.  I do like them but, I generally don't cook with them.  So, I am using the Vitamix to have my leafy greens in a more palatable way. 

I am waiting for pomegranate season.  I love those things!  I get one and snack away on it.  It is a nice treat to get one. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Sparkly Kathleen Sock

I finally found my camera.  Woo!  It had all the pictures of the new sock on it.  I have been contemplating this sock for a while and decided to just do it to see if it would work.  It did. 

Side view of the Kathleen Sparkly sock

Front view of the sock

Back view and heel

Close up of bead work and pattern
The yarn is a merino/silk I hand dyed, it is called Clementine.  This is my test knit.  I am testing the pattern and I will be writing it down, soon.  It will be for sale in my shop.  The finished pair of socks will be for sale in the shop as well.  I have to finish the second one.  I am no longer knitting socks for free for family and friends.  I am charging my rate, which will pay for the yarn and the wear and tear on my hands. 

I chose to use Dyna-mites beads from Fire Mountain Gems.  Love the price tag on the beads, in my ball park.  The color is root beer, a rainbow transparent.  I used rocailles, size 6/0.  My crochet hook is a size 9 steel hook.  I knit this sock on US3 addi turbo sock rockets.  Love those needles, they have the sharp points and they come in my favorite cable length, 24 inches.  I use 2 of them to knit socks.  I had to explain that this weekend to another knitter. She couldn't wrap her head around the fact that I use two needles to knit a pair of socks.  I can use dpns but, my preferred method is the two needles. 

I have found it is far easier to knit lace socks on two circs.  It holds the work for me when I am not knitting.  Love that feature.  I have tried so many different needles over the years and always faithfully return to my addi turbos.  Best purchase, ever.  I know they are expensive but, if you knit professionally like I do, spend the money for them. 


Friday, August 29, 2014

The Sparkly Meagan Sock

Sparkly Meagan sock in turquoise

size 9 womens

close up of the beading

The heel and gusset

I finally finished Meagan's socks.  I just need to write down my pattern.  This pattern will be going up for sale in my shop. 
I am currently working on another pattern.  I am test knitting it right now.  New things will be coming to the shop this year.  I am hoping that the 2014 Fall season will offer up some enticing items for knitters. 

In other news...I have been sewing pillowcases for our veterans.  I have 10 of them finished and they will be headed to my DAR chapter regent, she will send them to the right people.  I also have plans to sew 3 quilts for my doggies for Christmas.  I hit a sale on batting and I have plenty of fat quarters in my stash to make them something nice. 
I also have plans to do more sewing.  I have the fabric and I am going to take the time to make more items with my sewing machine. 


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Working on Socks and an Afghan

I am working on a sock for my niece, Meagan.  She is the one who inspired the Meagan sock although her Meagan socks are sparkly Meagan's.  Yep, I am beading them.  When I find my camera, I will go ahead and snap some pictures of them.  I finished one and I need to cast on for the second one. 

I am also working on an afghan for a friend's soon to be hubby.  I have the yarn and started working on this thing a while back and hubby said no, he didn't want it.  He has his big blue afghan he snuggles up in.  So, I started showing off the picture and found someone who wanted it.  He doesn't know about it.  My friend approved it.  I am guessing he should like it. 

I slipped and fell onto my hands and knees Wednesday night.  Always so much fun to be me.  I was walking into my kitchen to refill my glass of water, when unbeknownst to me, I hit a patch of water on my tile floor, I didn't break the glass even thought I dropped it, and I landed on my hands and knees.  I am in a knee brace from my thigh to my shin.  I broke out the big boy.  This time around it is the right knee instead of the left knee.  I can't stand to put any sort of pressure on it. 

Since I am forced to take it easy on myself, I get to work on all sorts of projects...hence the sock and the afghan.  I also will be dyeing some sock yarn for another niece who wants sparkly socks.  I asked her what color she wants...no painted yarn for this project...."aqua" was the answer.  Well, that doesn't help me much so, I asked, which one?  Aqua blue or aqua green.  She replied with "aqua blue".  Okay.  So, I will be knitting aqua blue socks.  I am working on turquoise socks right now. What Kate doesn't realize is that her sister's socks are darker than in the pictures.  I will be using a darker bead on Kate's socks.  I just have to design her socks.  I am thinking about that right now.  I have an idea on what I want to do.  :)  She will not be getting Meagan socks.  Nope, I am getting sick of that pattern.  I need something new. 

I might even share it with my readers.  It is always fun to try a new sock pattern.  Something exciting.  I might even share the Meagan sock. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Charity Knitting Hat #3

The charity knitting hat with ball of yarn.

Close up of the charity knitting hat #3
As you can see, I am being lazy on working on this hat.  I have managed a whole whopping inch and a half.  The yarn is wonderful to knit with.  It is a merino/silk/acrylic blend.  I wound out another ball of it just in case I need to use a second ball to complete the hat. 

I have managed something to show off.  It will have to wait until I finish the shawl and then maybe between me starting the scarf, it may get knit on.  I also have an afghan to work on and a pair of socks for my niece.  I bought seed beads today for those socks.  I am thinking it will look awesome to have beaded socks with lace. 

That One Damn Tomato Plant

We have a huge bed of tomato plants this year.  We have a total of 8 plants in the bed and I have one plant in a pot since we ran out of room in the bed.  There is one tomato plant that hasn't done a thing.  We were talking about ripping it out so, the other tomatoes can grow and get more light.  Well, today when I was picking tomatoes, what do I see?  That one tomato plant that was about to get ripped out of the ground is loaded with tomatoes.  I couldn't believe it.  It is a late bloomer.  It is also a heirloom tomato that I picked up at the local home improvement store.  No idea what the name of it is but, it is doing it's thing.  It also likes it hot.  We have had some serious heat indexes lately of 104 and more.  Just plain freaking hot! 

It is also fig picking time here.  Since I was picking tomatoes this morning, I decided to check out the fig tree, it is loaded with unripe fruit.  I have noticed the birds have snagged a few of the ripe ones but, I don't care this year since there is so much fruit on that tree.  Other years, the birds eating some has really ticked me off.  Not this year.  My next door neighbor has mentioned that she loves eating raw figs.  Well, neighbor, you are going to get some figs. 

I also started working on the shawl again.  I am changing to longer cords on a new set of needles.  I hit the Knit Picks sale and bought needles.  I decided to go ahead and get the really long cords since I am addicted to lace knitting.  Now I know why my MIL is crazy for lace knitting.  I hope to get this shawl finished in the next two weeks.  It is time for it to be finished. 

Have I finished charity hat #3?  No.  I haven't.  I haven't been knitting.  Instead, I have been spinning and checking out the beautiful fibers I have laying around.  I pulled out some Mountain Meadows Camino Range Roving Domestic Wool and started to draft it.  I am actually spinning it on a spindle instead of the wheel.  Why you ask, the wheel is loaded with another fiber.  The fiber on the wheel right now is Ashland Bay Mixed BFL 75/25 Roving.  Which means that 75% is ecru colored and 25% is natural black fiber.  It is cool looking and spins like butter.  I have plans for it.  So, that is staying on the wheel.  I am finding I need more spindles and more bobbins for the wheel.  I have the spindles, I just need to find them.  I lose everything or put it up so, I won't lose it and I end up losing it in the end. 

Anyway, the Mountain Meadows fiber is so springy and when I spin it, it is making some gorgeous yarn.  I can't wait to knit something amazing out of it.  I don't think I will ply it, either.  I am going to keep it as a single. Not sure if I will even dye it.  I love the natural color the way it is.  I might change my mind at a later date. 

So far it is spinning up as fingering weight.  I find I can spin a lace or a fingering weight easier than I can a worsted or a bulky weight.  Go figure.  No idea how this came about. 

I have a pair of socks I need to knit for a niece.  She asked me for a new pair.  I am going to be crazy by the time Christmas rolls around.  I thought about making all of my presents but, I am not sure about that one this year.  For some reason, I just can't get it together.
The fig tree.

The tomato plants, they stand about 7 to 8 ft tall. 

The shawl being moved onto 40 inch cords.

The bfl 75/25 fiber

The Mountain Meadow on the spindle

The springy goodness of the Mountain Meadow fiber

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Coupon is About to Expire

I belong to a 12 month fiber club, it was my present to myself for Christmas.  Well, any way, I shop at this one site and they sent me a reminder that my 45 points were about to expire.  Okay, I guess I will go see what I can find.  I found several fibers.  So, I put them in my cart, they gave me my spinning club discount but, they won't let me cash in my points.  I tried everything I could to use my 45 points.  I would have to put in a new order but, since I am in the fiber club, I wouldn't be able to use my points.  Pardon the language...how fucked up is that? 

My points will be expiring because I do not need any form of yarn.  I am up to my ears in yarn.  I am trying to use up my stash and not buy more yarn.  I am even using my stash yarn for charity knitting.  I am on hat number 3. 

The online store pissed me off so much that I went to another online store to get the spinning wheel part I needed.  I am not a happy camper over this.  Why won't they let me cash in my points and take my fiber club discount off of there?  Is that too complicated?  I don't need that 10% off.  I just want to use my points. 

I am still working on the shawl but, I am putting it aside right now to work on the charity hats.  I think this year, I am going to do just hats.  It may change and I might do some neck warmers.  The kids seem to like those.  Not sure about mittens or mitts right now. 

I need to get back to painting lace weight yarns.  I have had several requests but, lately I have been too lazy to deal with the heat and the dyes.  It is freaking hot outside, too and it just ruins the whole day. 

We have been picking tomatoes and fighting off the varmint who keeps eating our tomatoes.  We think it is a squirrel.  He loves to get underneath the bird and wild life netting and take out the black truffle tomatoes.  I don't blame him since they are so incredible but, come on, only eating half and then leaving it.  That ticks me off. 

It is also fig picking time.  So, I will be starting that this week.  Oh the joy of it.  I have a neighbor who loves them so, she is going to be getting some.  We gave her fig preserves last year but, she said she would rather have them fresh.  Not a problem.  She can have as many as she wants. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Charity Knitting and the Shawl

I am working on two items right now.  I have the shawl which is coming along nicely.  I am working on it when I can.  I also had to go in for a follow up for my three month blood work check.  I took along a hat that I am working on for charity.  I didn't want to drag along the shawl and the chart.  The hat is small and works out well. 

I love the new book.  I have several projects picked out from it.  Then I spotted them one day, while I was perusing seed beads.  I found some root beer rainbow seed beads and knew instantly what I was going to use them for and which yarn.  I have a chameleon orange lace weight that has been sitting around for a while.  I decided to use the unusual colored beads with the orange yarn.  It should turn out well. 

This week has been a visit to the vet for shots for my oldest doggy.  He is 13 years old.  He is my sweetie pie.  Then I noticed the hound dog who is 12 years old has skin issues so, he has to go in tomorrow.  He will have to have surgery to remove several large lumps.  Poor old guy. 

I don't know who will get the orange shawl or scarf and then I had an epiphany...I can make a scarf for charity in lace.  Some child will love it, I hope. 

I have a huge line of knitting to do for people.  I am taking a much needed break on socks.  I have one person who will get them later in the year.  I am thinking of re-working her pattern.  I can do that. 

Chameleon orange lace weight yarn

Root beer transparent rainbow seed beads

Beads and yarn together

The shawl on Chart C

Close up of the bead work on the shawl


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Back to Knitting

I am currently working on a shawl.  I started it last week.  I am using one of my own hand painted lace weight yarns, this one is a bfl/silk blend in cherry.  It is various shades of pink and some red.  It is really pretty. 

I have a new book of shawl patterns and found one that struck me as gorgeous.  It involves beads and a crochet hook.  I have found my comfort zone with beads.  The crochet hook is the way to go since it does not weigh down the yarn as you are knitting along.  It is a simple method as well. 

I take my bead out of my seed bead container, take the crochet hook and place the bead onto the hook, then I grab the stitch and hook it with the crochet hook, slip the bead onto the stitch and then put it back onto my working needle.  Simple and quick if everything aligns, if not, start cursing, put the bead back onto the hook, and try again. 
My new book

My bead box, my sticky notes for my chart

My yarn, Cherry

Rose colored seed beads, rainbow finish, found these at Fire Mountain Gemstones

Chart A of Kodama

A close up of the bead work on the shawl
I love the bead box.  It means no fighting with the crap little bag that some bead stores use and I have to use one of my bead boxes to store the things. 

Anyway, the shawl is Kodama and it is from this book, see top photo.  I pre-ordered it when I received my birthday money.  People know what I like, cash, gift cards, yarn, and beads...those items can never go wrong in my book.  Fiber is also another thing I like...I have some fiber that I am spinning on my wheel and on one of my spindles. 

I work on my shawl at night when I am sitting in front of the television.  It keeps me occupied. 

I made a new necklace yesterday but, I forgot one bead and so, I have to rip it apart and add the bead and then go from there. 

I also made another necklace last week...my supply of necklaces is small right now, my basket of love was blown apart after Mother's Day.  I let all the mom's in the family take their pick of the basket of love and needless to say, there were hardly any items left in it. 
The pendant is a Lillypilly etched shell

The full necklace in pinks, roses, and turquoise
I used Czech druks, Swarovski, and other beads, that I bought recently.  I found a new bead store on line that has the most amazing beads.  They also sell Czech buttons, the glass ones that are really  nice.  I bought one of them and thought to go back and get more...uh, no more to be had.  Things go quickly at this bead store. 

I went to the water park last week with my hubby.  I spent my day in the lazy river.  It was nice.  I did swim some in the lazy river and even took a turn in the wave pool.  Love the wave pool.  I didn't ride any slides.  My left ankle was swollen and I have no idea what I did.  I wrapped it for 4 days and now it is back to normal.  No clue what happened with the thing.  No telling with me, either. 

Today I checked my pool chemicals and the water is still a bit cloudy but, not like what is was so, I went swimming for 30 minutes.  I skimmed the pool for some bits of grass and some bugs and did my laps.  I even used my new outdoor shower.  Hubby made it for me.  Love that shower.  Love that man.  It hooks up to the water hose but, after dealing with three previous outdoor showers....crappers all of them, I decided that it was time for something new.  He took pvc pipe and fittings, a primo shower head with the hand held line on it and voila!  I have a new shower.  He installed a new post for the shade sail over the pool and the shower is attached to this post.  He has to install the hook that will hold the shower caddy for my shampoo and my soap. 

I have another pair of socks on another set of needles but, I don't want to knit socks.  I want to knit lace.  I also have a hat on another set of needles.  Okay, two ufo's and the shawl, not bad for this knitter.  It could be worse. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Meagan Sock

I am naming my sock patterns after my sisters and nieces these days.  I have loads of both.  So, I started a new pattern for my niece, Meagan.  The first yarn I am using is my merino/silk sock.  It is the test knit of the pattern.  I love the pattern so far.  Meagan was over to pick up some things and she loves her pattern. 

She specifically asked for turquoise yarn.  I had to hand dye it.  So, I am going to knit her socks out of merino/nylon for better wear. 

I am using US 3 Addi Turbo Rockets.  The pattern is lace and the needles are so amazing!  My cables are 24 inches.  I have two of these needles and they are worth every penny I paid for them.  If you knit as much as I do, invest in quality needles, it saves your hands. 

The Meagan sock is very pretty and the pattern is easy to knit, it isn't a challenging one but, it makes such a pretty sock.  I love the way it looks on the foot as well as on the sock dummy.  I have given up on fancy heel flaps and use my plain old stockinette flap and I have found that more recipients of this heel flap love it more than the fancy stitches.  They frankly don't notice if I have used a fancy stitch or not.  As much as I like the look of the eye of the partridge, I don't even take the time to use it.  I have a basic Dutch heel I use and it is getting rave reviews.  It fits better is what I am hearing. 
It hugs the heel. 

Right now I am hooked on a 9 stitch pattern for my socks.  Hey, it is working out nicely.  I have a basic cast on of an even number of stitches, I have my heel formula written down and it works out nicely.  I just plug in the formula for my patterns and it works out great. 

I am whipping out nice socks with the help of Barbara Walker's Knitting Treasury books.  Well worth the time and effort it took me to find them all.  If you plan to design, invest in them.  They are a great read and a great reference when you need something out of the ordinary. 

I also peruse as many lace books as I can find to make beautiful sock patterns.  Sometimes they work out and other times, you live and you learn.  That is just the way it goes. 

The Meagan sock started out with one pattern but, then I had to rip it out because it didn't work.  I had to move two lace patterns around to make it work.  Now, it is really cool looking and I have plans to make more patterns from my current lace charts.  I plan on intertwining them.  I want to get the best look possible.  Maybe it will work or maybe it won't.  I am still thinking about them.  I know this current pattern, the middle chart is what I will be moving to other socks in my quest for the perfect lace pattern.  It is a beautiful simple lace.  Then again it might not work with Sabrina socks.  It is all trial and error. 

The Meagan sock top picture, in natural sunlight, middle picture, the pattern on the side of the sock and the top of the foot.  It also shows off the sock heel stitches. 
The last picture shows off the chevron pattern on the top of the foot. 

This is a fun knit.  I am working on the leg of the second sock.  Yes, I knit one sock at a time, I am not a two socks at one time knitter.  I love sock knitting, it is my relaxation method.  I also bead when I need more relaxation and sock knitting isn't doing it. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Charity Knitting Has Started

This morning a realization set in...don't you just hate it when they set in and you completely feel like an utter idiot?  Well, my realization of charity knitting is going to have to be done in between my current projects. 

I am currently doing a test knit of one of my sock patterns.  I have my yarn, my pattern, my knitting work book full of notes, and it is looking pretty cool.  I am using a beautiful blue yarn, it is one of mine, I generally do not use someone else's yarn unless it is one hell of an awesome colorway.  I am picky. 

Anyway, I have enough yarn and dyes around here that I can paint my own skein or hand dye my own skein of yarn, why buy it when I can do it? 

So, I am sitting here working on one of my charity hats, since I have two schools that I will be knitting for this year, I have a change of venue in one of them because they sent out this really nice book and our chapter was not even mentioned.  Excuse me, I spent all that time and effort and you don't even mention us?  Hello!  So, since they are so unappreciative and obviously do not want us to donate to them anymore, I am not going to.  I mentioned it to the ladies and they agreed with me. 

Apparently, they have two ladies who have been knitting for them for well over 10 years and did not think to mention our box of goodies.  So, I am going to move on to another school who hopefully, will be more appreciative of our efforts. 

I have loads of fiber that I need to spin but, apparently, sock knitting is what I really want to do.  Yep, you heard right, sock knitting.  I had taken a break from it for a while and now I am back to it.  I am a sock knitter at heart.  Something about a well knit pair of wool socks to make me so happy.  Yeah, I am the knitter but, that is okay because I love wool socks.  They are soft and keep my cold feet warm in the winter.  Nothing better than moving my toes around the inside of a pair of wool socks. 

For those of you who tell me, "you can't wear wool in Texas!", my reply, excuse me, yes we can wear wool down here because if you have never ever experienced a Gulf Coast winter then you have no idea what kind of fun you are missing.  The humidity plus the cold, killer!  Absolutely awful.  It goes right through a person. 

I am working on these new socks and I have one skein waiting for me to start my own Lipstick socks and another skein drying for a new pair of socks for one of the nieces.  I have loads of nieces.  I also have great nieces and nephews.  They travel in a pack like we did back in the day.  I have noticed though it is mostly nephews and the girls are losing ground in the family.  That younger generation is hell on wheels. 

I am not knitting for the younger generation right now...too many of the little darlings for me to keep up with.  They will get socks when their feet stop growing.  Then I will probably be in my dotage and knitting socks for them, anyway. 

Hopefully, by then my yarn stash will have dwindled into something manageable versus what it is now.  That is why I am trying to charity knit, to get rid of the yarn stash.  I also have mittens in the works some where along the path.  Scarves will be coming along as well.  I have plans for some lace knitting this summer and hopefully, I can whip out some shawls and stoles.  I have several patterns around here that I have been positively aching to do.  Just finding the time and the energy, that is the whole problem. 

For those of you who knit in the round on two circular needles, Addi Turbo now has the Rockets...love love love this needle.  Absolutely the best thing to come along for this sock knitter.  I love the sharp points on these babies.  Makes it so much easier to do a psso, ssk, and k2tog.  They remind me of the addi clicks with the long barrels and points.  I love those babies, too.  As much knitting as I do, I prefer to use my Addi turbo clicks.  I had to order in extra cords, since I am constantly knitting away with the things.  They are well worth every penny I spent on them.  They were a nice birthday gift one year to myself.  :) 

For UFO's...I have one UFO sitting around over here...the hat for charity is a work in progress and then I have the sock.  I am doing really well with that.  Today I have plans to organize my Willow Yarn Wash.  I have a huge stack of those babies that are being used to make a blanket.  My crochet stash.  I do not have the patience to sit and knit a blanket.  Uh, I would lose my freaking mind or what is left of it.  I have yarn for another blanket in Homespun.  It might be a nice present for someone who needs something to snuggle.  It might become a nice present for one of the older nieces.  The oldest niece, is always freezing cold in the winter so, I try to make it a point of making her things to keep her warm.  I know she is going to need another pair of wool socks to make winter bearable.  Just when I get one pair done, another pair is needed. 

Off to knit.  Everyone have a safe and wonderful day.  Happy knitting! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Roses and Barney

Here are some of the roses in my back yard along with Barney, my barrel cactus.  Barney has been with me since I was 18 years old.  He was a little bit of thing when I first spotted him.  I brought him home and cared for him.  Now, I have a big barrel cactus.  One year he was burned from frost so, I bring him under the porch during the winter to keep him healthy.  Barney is a bitch to repot.  It takes welding gloves to repot him and that even hurts.  He will be needing a bigger pot soon but, the thought of having to repot him...it gives me the heebie jeebies. 

The roses in the back yard include the Variegata di Bologna, the pink one at the top, my Mr. Lincoln and a red floribunda cutting that my sister gave me.  It is gorgeous.  Her parent rose, died.  This rose blooms like crazy once a year and then I get nothing else out of it.  I try to take as many pictures of it as I can when it is bloom mode. 

Lipstick Socks in Sangria!

I finally finished the lipstick socks for my SIL, Kim. I hand dyed my yarn in a sangria colored dye. 

The design is one that I found in a lace book and loved the look so much decided to try it out with socks. 

I used a size US 3 needle for this sock.  The yarn for this pair of Lipstick socks is a superwash merino nylon blend.  It works out great for socks with a lace motif since it stretches quite nicely through the yarn overs. 

The pattern as it looks blocked.  It is really nice and I love how it works out on the socks.  I have plans in the works to knit myself a pair of this sock but, it will be in bfl/nylon and it will be in pansy. 

The pattern is challenging enough to keep me on my toes but, not too hard to knit.  It is fun to see how each yarn develops while knitting this pattern. 

I haven't written it down for sharing.  I have it in my pattern work book. 

My niece, Meagan has requested that I knit her a pair of socks in turquoise yarn.  I have found just the pattern I want to put into sock form.  I have to write it down and then start the socks. 

I will be dyeing her yarn today. 

I started my charity knitting yesterday.  I started a plain old hat.  I figure if I do a couple of hats in between my sock knitting for family, then I can get it all done.  No idea how my hands will cope but, oh well...it needs to be done. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Car Woes

I received the call this morning that my new rims are in.  Yippee!  I was so excited, my rim worries are over.  So, I called my sister up and asked her to follow me to the place so, I could drop Stewie off. 

I asked them to look at the a/c as well since I hit a bump and the a/c cuts out.  That started a whole new problem that will be finding it at the dealership.  I am also on the GM recall list.  I have a 2008 Saturn Sky Redline and I love my car.  So, when it makes it's way to the dealer, it will be having this issue resolved. 

I am waiting for them to call me so, I can go pick up Stewie and his original rims.  The beading let go on the original, came with the car when we bought it at the dealership, chrome rims.  5 years old and this issue has been going on for it seems like forever.  Little did I know at the time, this is normal for chrome rims.  Never buy chrome rims because you will be replacing the expensive ass things. 

So, I have new rims that I ordered in and they aren't chrome.  I will never go that route again. 

I am waiting for the car place to call and let me know it is time for me to pick him up. 

Meanwhile at around 6 pm, I have to be at a memorial service for one of the ladies in my DAR chapter, she lost her 7 year battle with ovarian cancer.  My sister is picking me up and we are going to attend that. 

It has been the week from hell.  I am worn out and I am dealing with my allergies which are going haywire from all of the oak pollen we are dealing with.  It sucks! 

In other news...I finished one sock for my SIL last night and it is so gorgeous!  I am going to dye myself some yarn and knit myself a pair of lipstick socks.  Now, I know why my niece wants a pair of them.  Absolutely stunning on the foot.  I can't find my plastic foot right now...no idea where I put the thing but, when I find it, I will be taking pictures of the socks.  :) 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Knitting Socks...Again.

Well, I am knitting socks for my sister in law.  She has been waiting patiently for them.  I had to let my hands heal.  I finished the crocheted blanket for my friend, she just needs to come by and pick it up. No idea when that is going to happen since we are both pretty busy right now. 

I am knitting lipstick socks for my SIL. 

I chose to dye her sock yarn deep red.  She wanted a sock that she can wear with both black and brown and I thought, hey why not a deep red to really show off the stitch.  They will look loads better when I block them but, I am moving along nicely on the foot right now. 

I am knitting this sock with my own yarn, this one is a merino/nylon blend that should hold up really well to wear and tear.  I am knitting this pattern with my addi turbo rockets, and my addi turbos.  I have one of each.  The rockets are so nice!  I have the rockets in the click set with the long barrels and I love them. 

Well worth every single penny I spent on them. 

I painted yarn today since I had a custom order for one of my yarns.  I took them along and went to pick up my niece, Maribeth, her teacher wanted to see my yarns.  I took a tub of them along.  She purchased some skeins and requested paper dolls.  I went ahead and painted two skeins of it today in merino/silk sock.  One skein when it dries, will go into the shop. 

I also decided to paint more yarns.  I have listed several into the shop.  ETSY seems to be really crowded these days.  I find myself drifting away from it.  No idea what I am going to do about drumming up more business.  I have thought about a website of my own but, not sure if I will get the traffic I need to support my business.  I am thinking of doing the craft fair circuit again but, not sure if my health will allow it. 

I was called the sock master yesterday and I was thinking...really, am I a sock master?  I can knit a pair without a pattern but, that is only because I have been knitting them for so long.  I have had more requests for Lipstick than anything.  Not sure if I even have it written down anywhere.  I might have to do that since it is so popular. 

I keep it in my knitting journal and I make notes about it as I knit each pair.  I am trying to figure out how many pattern repeats right now for the 8.5 women's pair I a knitting.  It was 2 repeats on the foot for the 6.5 women's pair.  So, I am calculating right now trying to figure it out.  It has enough action in it, to keep me interested. 

Another pair was requested but, in turquoise of all colors...uh, really?  You want a pair of Lipstick socks in turquoise?  My niece, Meagan requested those.  When will I find the time to do my charity knitting?  I need to start that as soon as I finish this pair of Lipstick socks.

Maybe what I really need to do is to teach these nieces how to knit and then they can knit their own socks.  I gave several of them sock looms with computer software and do you think they even tried it out?  Can you say...NO!  Oh my!  I am about to tell them to bring themselves and a pair of straight US 7's over here and their lessons in knitting will commence.  If nothing else, they will find out that I am tired, my hands are tired, and they need to learn to make their own socks.  I have plenty of yarn and they can also buy some yarn from me should they really get into knitting socks. 

I love knitting with merino wool and silk...it is so nice.  I can't stand the merino and cashmere sock yarns, biggest pain in the butt, the crap tangles like mad and it just pisses me off!  No amount of wine can help, either. I know, I tried back in the day.  Drinking days are now over with per doctor's orders, it seems that alcohol and my meds don't mix.  I got a lecture about the evils of wine and my meds.  Grrrr!  I kept trying to explain the fabulous bottle of wine in my fridge that tastes like drink mix with a kick.  It is really good stuff!  I did get the evil eye for my troubles.  Okay, I get it.  I am not a recalcitrant child, I understand that wine and meds don't mix.  I will be good.  What about tequila and sock knitting?  I don't think he would understand that one at all.  hee hee!  I love tequila.  It has made me sick on several occasions and I still come back to it.  I haven't had any in about 2 years.  I have to have the anejo if I am drinking it...not the cheap stuff.  I have been spoiled for the good stuff. 

Anyway, I am knitting this sock and hoping that I get to the end...soon.  I have my tape measure out and my plastic foot for display purposes and I am moving along on it.  Hopefully, soon I will be able to show off a finished pair of socks. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Crochet Hell

I am in crochet hell right now and can't wait to escape.  Sadly, I have a ways to go before I can get out of this hell.  I had I promised a friend a blanket and I am working on the thing.  I am sick of it.  I want it gone.  I get this way with several projects when I have been working on them for a while. 

I have 6 skeins of Lion Brand Homespun yarn in this project with 6 more skeins to go.  It is going to be a huge blanket by the time I am finished with it.  I am using a size N hook.  It goes quickly and the yarn is a dream to work with. 

I have  list of items that have to be taken care of after the blanket is done.  I have socks to knit for my SIL, Kim.  I have one more mitten to knit for my niece, Maribeth.  I have charity items to knit for the kids who are needy.  Thankfully, I have a yarn stash to support it all. 

I also need to paint my spring line up for the shop.  I have a color that has been zipping around my brain for a couple of months and I have to paint it in several different yarns.  It is that kind of color way. 

Just trying to find the time to deal with it all, that is the problem.  I am hoping to be able to finish the blanket by the weekend so, it will be ready to be picked up.  I don't like for these things to hang around the house.  No way!  The cats tend to claim things that they shouldn't. The cats have their own blanket now since they claimed the one I was crocheting for my friend.  They completely took it over. So, I was forced to re-crochet this blanket for her. 

Will I be making more blankets for people?  No idea.  I am to the point where I am almost out of Lion Brand Homespun in my yarn stash.  I think I have enough to make one more blanket.  I will stash the yarn for someone special.  It is my go to yarn for prayer blankets.  So soft and very huggable.  I have made several prayer blankets with it. 

I also have to clean house.  It is an ongoing issue.  I have to clean off several tables that have just collected junk.  I also need to move my yarn bins out of the upstairs hallway and into the office.  Now to tell my back that we have to do these things.  Killer.  I am still dealing with it hurting. I did a good job of it this time around. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hairy Larry and his Pee Pee Making Machine

This morning at around 2 am my oldest dog, whom I nicknamed Hairy Larry, was coughing and so, I knew that yes, I was bad and should have given him is Benadryl before bed.  I forgot.  So, I was woken up to him hacking.  I had to go downstairs to get his meds.  No one sleeps when he hacks and coughs and gags...poor old doggie. So, I went downstairs to get his cheese and meds.  I had to let him  out of his kennel so, he could go get his water.  He drinks like a camel and loads himself up with the pee pee juice. 
I was in the middle of a totally bizarre dream when I hear him whining and crying...remember the pee pee juice from 2 am, it had managed to make it's way through his body and had hit is bladder by the time I was in the midst of my dream.  I popped up out of bed, opened his kennel, opened the other two kennels for the other two doggies and ran down the stairs, or pretty much limped down the stairs...bad back.  Trying to work out my kinks and move as fast as I could for a person in my condition.  I get the back door open and out he goes.

I gave him his morning dose of his meds...it makes his life easier until he goes back to the vet to figure out what is going on with him.  We have been through antibiotics with him, thinking it may have been something bacterial.  Nope, that didn't work, I think he has a serious allergy to cedar because when it has been high around here, his coughing with the meds has been worse.  I know how he feels. 

I am starting to think he is asthmatic in his old age.  He is 13 years old.  His heart is strong but, he has skin allergies, and we have him on a special dog food that has no grains.  He can't even get near rice, he tries to tear his skin off, he itches so badly. 

My vet has let me know that since he has gotten older, he is more susceptible to having severe allergies.  It is all part of having a geriatric dog.  I have two geriatric doggies.  They are the best and both of them were shelter rescues.  They make the best dogs in the whole wide world.  They are very sweet and protective.  The third dog is a pure bred Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  He is a brat!  We should have named him, Mr. Happy since he is the happiest dog I have ever seen.  He constantly smiles.  Would I get another one?  Yes, I would.  He is the runt of his litter and there is no way that he will ever be under 30 pounds. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Finished Socks! Yippee!

I finally have something to write about, I finished another pair of socks.  Yay!  This pair is the Melinda sock and I have another pair to knit for my SIL, Kim.  I even had to dye the yarn for her socks and I have been waiting for the yarn to dry. 

Am I sitting around doing nothing?  No way!  Since I knit every single day, I have a project that I am working on.  Maribeth, my niece needs a new pair of mittens, she lost one of hers and since she is now 10, time flies...she needs a bigger pair.  She informed me that she loves gold with purple, now.  Okay, that solved that problem.  I am knitting her a pair of gold with purple Selbu style mittens. It was requested by my sister.  I had picked out a gorgeous lace mitten pattern to use and since the request was made, they will be made for someone else. 

Bear with my pictures of the finished socks, no idea what my camera was doing since the hubby has borrowed it several times to take pictures of his pens.  He is turning pens on his lathe and does a beautiful job. 
  Go check out his shop on ETSY.

So, as I am waiting for sock yarn to dry, I am working on knitting the Selbu style mittens for my niece.  I decided to go ahead and make them bigger so, she can use them longer.  I am making a women's medium for her.  They fit my hand tight so, I am hoping her little hand will have room to grow in them.  When she grows out of this pair or wears them out then hopefully, by then, her mom can learn to knit in the round.  Hint, hint, hint! 
  I will be knitting Lipstick socks when I finish the mittens and those will be on their way to my SIL.  She offered to pay for the socks, nope, not going to charge her for them.  Anyone else, yes, but they do so much for us that we can go ahead and forget payment. 
  What are my plans after my current projects are done?  I have charity knitting to work on. Hats, scarves and mittens for the kids.
  Gary and I are doing a craft fair in April and he is selling his pens, I am selling my jewelry.  Yep, finally decided to go ahead and try and sell my necklaces, bracelets and anklets.  The yarn is staying home. 
  I have yarn to paint as soon as I can get back on my feet, I threw my back out yesterday and walking is a challenge today.  I am hoping tomorrow will be better since I need to clean my home up.

Friday, February 7, 2014

New Socks in the Works!

Yesterday, I cast on for another pair of socks.  I have a very large family and we all have very cold feet.  So, I had promised my sister, Melinda a pair of socks.  I am currently working on the leg portion of those socks.  They are cruising along at a good pace.  At this point, I can knit socks in my sleep. 

This is the start of my sock.  I chose to dye the yarn for this pair.  It is a merino wool sock yarn.  I am calling it blackberry.  It is a nice color.  The pattern is named after my sister, Melinda.  So, this is the Melinda sock. 

I have more than this completed right now, it is moving quickly.  I can't wait to get to the heel flap and heel turn, then it should really move.  This is another lace pattern.  I am knitting this sock on US 3's. 

After I finish this pair, I have another pair to knit.  My sister in law, Kim wants a pair of socks to keep her feet warm at work.  So, I ordered in some Elann Peruvian Highland wool in worsted weight in chocolate truffle.  She wants a lace pattern, the lipstick sock pattern but, I know she won't be happy with the holes in the sock with her current cold foot issues.  So, I am going to knit her a pair of the worsted weight wool socks and then if she really wants a fashionable lace pair, I will custom dye her some wool in sock weight to knit her a pair.  She really needs the warmth factor right now and I can really move on a pair of wool socks in worsted weight. 

I knit the hubby a pair a couple of years ago and he saves them for really cold days and wears them only at his desk. 

This one is a fun knit.  It really doesn't offer much in the way of a challenge unless you are a novice knitter.  My preferred method of sock knitting, two circs and one at a time.  I love knitting each sock as one, it takes the fun out of it, to do two socks at once, then it becomes something other than a joyful experience.  I know this way, that my socks are well appreciated and well loved not to mention, I can take my time.  I tried the two at one time method and it made me crazy.  I don't need any more crazy in my life, I have enough of it. 

As much as I love hand painted yarns, they unfortunately do not show the lace patterns all that well.  If you are painting your sock yarn, please be aware, that you will need to do a tone on tone painting.  Meaning...if you paint your sock yarn pink, then use several shades of pink.  It does work out well with lace patterns.  Any drastic colors really don't show up with lace.  One of my sock yarns I paint, Witch Hazel Flies by the Seat of her Pants is a great example.  I have stressed this more than once to each and every person who requests it.  Lace will not work with it.  A heavier pattern must be used for the sock yarn to show off the pattern.  I recommend the circle socks for it.  It can be found on Ravelry.  It is a fun knit.