Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Just Got To Love Wednesdays

I love Wednesdays! It is my day off. One of my co-workers calls it our mini Friday! I try and plan my day as well as I can. I do the usual. Clean, laundry, shop, surf, cook and yes....knit!!! As soon as I reach my chore goal for the day then the fun begins. All I need is a little ice tea and some popcorn and let's not forget our project.

The yarn harlot one row scarf is complete . It sure took me a long time. But I love how it turned out. The fabric looks fantastic! The variegation in the yarn makes a unique fiber! It is a Malabrigo wool and the colorway is Sapphire Magenta.

It feels so warm and soft. The scarf feels great on my neck and up against my face.

I had only one skein of this yarn for my scarf. I wish I had more. The scarf is a little small for my taste so I'll just tuck it into my coat. By the way that's me as your scarf model!! Now for next next project...Back to those zig zag mitts!!!
P.S. After taking 20 photos of myself this is the best one I came up with. I wish my daughter was home to model for me! UUGGG!!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Garden Slumber

Today a little distraction from knitting............................................
This how my garden looked this morning. Still covered in snow and ash from the corn stove. Just resting until spring. Every January I start planning. The seed catalogs come in the mail and I begin to dream. I have these grandiose ideas. I want to plant every unique seed I can find. The more colorful and obscure the better. The seeds that know one has heard of. Shapes and tastes you can't get at the store. I am a sucker for creative descriptions and glossy pictures.

This is my first catalog of the year. I actually got it the day after Christmas. Tomato Growers is one of my favorites. They have a huge selection of tomatoes and peppers. I purchase from them almost every year. The catalog reads like a gourmet menu from a exclusive chef.

I have a passion for tomatoes. 100 Heirloom Tomatoes for the American Garden is my reference tool I have on hand. I highly recommend it if you're into tomatoes like I am.

Last seasons tomatoes were dried with garlic and basil. They taste oh so good made into delicious Italian sauce.

Jars of basil tomato sauce were made.

These are seeds from last year that I didn't get to plant. I ran out of room!!! I have to try and plan better this year. I guess gardening is like all the other passions I have. Knitting, quilting, sewing, cooking. I want to do it all. The more the better. I tend to jump in and go all out. Nothing wrong with that right?
P.S. I'm sure I'm not alone!!!!!
P.S.S. Today the temp. is 48 degrees. Tomorrow night back to zero!!! UGGGGGGGGG!!!!!
P.S.S.S. Yes I'm getting back to that scarf and I cast on for another calorimetry on my lunch hour!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

January Thaw

After almost a week of frigid weather today the temperature reached a balmy 38.8 degrees!!! Break out the bikini! Whoa, scary thought! LOL!!! Today was the perfect day to fill up the horses water tank without freezing to death!!! We fill up the water tank once a week in the winter. It becomes quite the chore when the ground is covered in snow and the wind is blowing and the temperature is zero and so on and so forth!!

It was so warm that snow and ice were melting at record speeds. You can actually see the patio and part of the driveway. Tomorrow we are suppose to have temps in the high 40's with possible rain???!!! This is just typical Illinois weather. The old saying goes....If you don't like the weather stick around it will change by tomorrow! We really seem to have extreme fluctuation in weather.

The other night I picked back up the Yarn Harlot One Row Scarf. I started it way too long ago and just have put it aside. My sweet little dog Bear was making sure I stayed on task.

I don't know why I'm having such a hard time working on this scarf. The yarn is just gorgeous! The colors are so vivid. The pattern is so easy! Maybe that's the reason....Too easy and I want to do something more challenging. But I have to finish! I have many quilts that I still haven't finished. I want to make sure I keep the UFO's under some kind of control!!!

This is my newest distraction from knitting, housework, quilting, sewing, cooking...I needed a new phone so I picked up this delicious little Blackberry. I was lucky enough to get a fun pink one. I just love pink! ( and almost every other color under the sun) What a cool toy! I can keep up with all kinds of stuff(no internet at work) like knitting blogs ect. throughout the day. So when I'm on lunch I'll be checking out some blogs like Woolwindings and Dorky Homemade Quilts and not to forget Knitspot. If time permits I'll also be catching up on Yarn Harlot too. Bloggers, I look forward to your posts so keep them coming!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Right Perspective

I've been working on my Zig Zag Mitts. I love the pattern. I think it is just so cool! I seem to be having a little trouble with it. You see, this is my first attempt with size 2 double points. Also my first try with DK weight yarn. I have been knitting along on it. I kept saying to myself just one more row then I can see the pattern fully. I kept the picture of the pattern close at hand. I showed my DH and asked him what he thought of my mitt. We both agreed that it's just not right. I kept studying my mitt and the knitting stitches. There was only one answer. Yup, That's right I had to rip it all out!!!

I was feeling so down on my skills as a knitter. I started beating myself up. It's funny how we can be so hard on ourselves. But you know I just have to keep the right perspective. Although I feel a little discouraged I have to realize that this is a learning experience. Just because I make a mistake doesn't mean that I'm going to quit or give up. No Way!! I confess that I am more than a conqueror!! I will conquer this pattern!!!

So today I was home all day. I decided to work on something that I'm really good at. I have been cooking all day!!! I love when I can do that. I must have about 8 chickens in the freezer. I think all of them were calling my name to make homemade chicken soup. So far I have my broth out in my outdoor fridge. It's a great way to de-fat the the broth. Just got to love the snow!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Another Calorimetry!!!

This is my second Calorimetry. For this one I wanted to try a different yarn. This is Patons SWS.The label says Soy Wool Stripes- The Natural Choice. The colorway is Natural Geranium. It's not as soft as the Malabrigo one I made for my DD. I just love how the yarn stripes itself! It's like magic!

These beauties arrived the other day. A gorgeous 100% baby alpaca. I purchased Artesano inca mist from One Planet Yarn and Fiber. The color is just dreamy and the feel in so soft and soothing. This is my first yarn in DK weight. As soon as I'm finished with calorimetry I'm casting on for my next mitt project. More to Come!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Warm Wool Scarf and Calorimetry

My DD is thrilled with her new scarf. The pattern is called "My So Called Scarf". I used a beautiful Malabrigo yarn colorway Saphire Magenta. The variegation of this yarn is the perfect partner to this scarf pattern. I only used one skein. I think the size is just right for my DD. I did not add any fringe. The scarf doesn't need it. Check out the close up of the stitches. Pretty Cool!!

As I was finishing her scarf I knew I needed to make my DD something warm for her head. She's not a big hat person so after a posting from Wool Windings I decided to knit her a Calorimetry.

I cast on 98 stitches and did 15 repeats of row 5. Calorimetry fits her really well. For the final touch I found a vintage button from my Great Grandma's button tin. I have to admitt I love the pattern. It's pretty quick. I started knitting one for myself last night. I'm about half done with it. I can't wait to raid the button tin again!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Never Felt Better....

I spent the weekend trying to get organized. I started with the Christmas decorations. I tackled my dreaded bedroom dresser. Then I reorganized all of my knitting stuff that I keep in the living room. I do have more knitting stash in my quilting room. That's a few day project. Anyway, going through my knitting I was reminded of the UFO that I still have hangin around. My first real knitting project of last year was this felted bag I found from Noni Designs.

I fell in love with the 9 to 9 to 9evening bag. This was my first knitting project beyond scarfs. My best friend and myself set out to learn how to knit the flowers. Susi figured out the pattern and taught me.

This is my very first felted flower.

Then I got a vision for tons of flowers with big bobbles in the center. I even added some mohair to the blue flower. It has a fuzzy look to it.

As I was knitting the body of the bag I thought maybe I should use a different color of yarn. That's what got me distracted.

I put the project in a tote bag and kind of forgot about it. Sunday evening I made up my mind to just finish the purse. I washed the bag and flowers twice and this is how it looks. By the way the body of the bag is solid black casscade 220. The pink flowers are casscade 220 also.

The flowers felted perfectly. The bag felt right after it's second trip through the wash. After it dried I think I need to felt it some more. It's not as stiff as I thought it would be. It's in the wash right now. I thought the little plastic handle on the pattern was really fun. Now I'm thinking maybe a longer I-cord. What's your opinion? What kind of handle should it be?

Friday, January 4, 2008

My Favorite and First Mitts

The Hot Waffle Mitts are finished!!

I knitted my last stitch New Years Eve!

What a way to end my first real knitting year! I just can't believe that I have accomplished knitting on four double pointed needles! Thank you all for cheering me on! I probably would've given up if not for the kind words of encouragement I found here and on Ravelry. If you aren't familiar with Ravelry please check it out. There is a wealth of information and inspiration over there!
I never thought I would get so absorbed by yarns, needles, books, patterns and yes...Knitting... Wow!

Now on to the next mitt....................Another awesome one by Knitspot. Zig Zag Mitts, Hat, and scarf. I have been reading Anne Hanson's blog for days now in anticipation of her newest mitt. As soon as I saw how the pattern started to work up I knew this was going to be my next mitt project.

Picture from Knitspot

It does have a chart with the pattern. Reading a chart is another new thing for me! This might take me just a tad longer. Also I have to purchase some DK weight yarn. Almost all of my stash in worsted weight. I'm thinking a nice burgundy color. Maybe baby Alpaca. I think it is just soooo cool!!