A Little Time (Off)

BoxesThe question is where have I been? Moving. That should say it all. After moving my daughter into her first apartment in Texas, where she will attend graduate school, and dealing with putting it all together during Hurricane Harvey, we sold our house in Massachusetts. So after 3 weeks in Texa (where I did finish the Citrus Sensation Socks) I flew home to start the monumental task of packing a 3 story house in 10 days. That’s how long I had before the closing. Initially I panicked. Then I just kept packing boxes. I was still packing them the day the movers came to load the vans. We had 5 days lag time between closings and only a mile to drive to the new house so I spent 5 needless days watching Netflix and, you guessed it, knitting. It was the first time I had in almost 3 weeks. I’m working on another shawl for my daughter-in-law for Christmas, using her favorite colors from their wedding: sage and lavender. Lucky for me something got mixed up in my order of the yarn from Deramores and I got a double order! I can’t send it back since it’s shipped from overseas so this may be a very big shawl! 

I’m happy to report that once we actually moved in our new home I have unpacked those 150 or so boxes, set up bedrooms and the kitchen and ordered new furniture for the lovely rooms (the person who bought my old house also bought most of the furniture). The master bedroom and living room are being remodeled so they are either gutted or empty but it is coming along nicely. We have cleared out all the overgrown trees and shrubbery from right on top the house so light is now pouring in. I am camped out in the family room knitting away and making fall food in my new-to-me kitchen. Such fun to start a new adventure. 


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Hurricane Harvey

RainSorry no post for this week. I’m in Texas moving my daughter into her first apartment (for grad school) and Hurricane Harvey is happening. We are ok so far but it is still raining and we are under constant flash flood watch. Her apartment is in the ground level so we are worried. We are about 100 miles from Houston but we are in the path of the rain and tornado bands. Between moving, getting ordered furniture delivered, assembling it and setting up her life here in Texas plus that hurricane, not a lot of knitting is happening. We are hoping for the best as we watch constant downpours for the last 3 days. 

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Heat of the Summer

I have been traveling so long that I don’t have a clear sense  of what day it even is. My daughter had 2 days to pack up her life after her summer internship ended and get on the road to Grad School in Texas. So off we went on another road trip halfway across the country in the broiling August heat. Everything she owns was squeezed into her Ford Escape with only a tiny bit of room for me and our chihuahua. After 4 days we arrived to a new apartment and life for her but not a stick of furniture. We have been ordering and shopping for all the things that make up a home. I managed to finish one of my Citrus Sensation Socks on the trip and get a good way on the second sock. I did finish my second shawl minutes before we left on the trip. I’m not sure how much knitting I can get done in Texas in the next two weeks without any real furniture to sit on except the outside patio chairs. I’m just saying 110° is a bit warm for knitting! 

Knit shawlStriped knit shawl

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Block Party

Clean, eat, sleep, knit, repeat. If you've ever sold your house you know the drill. Constant cleaning "just in case" they want to show the house at a moment's notice. Since I've never used blocking wires I had no idea how long it would take for the piece to dry. So I timed it 2 days before the open house and hoped for the best. I am happy to say that the purple did not run onto the carpet I was tacking it to. (Whew) And it only took basically over night to dry the lace probably because I helped with a dehumidifier parked right next to the "Block Party". After soaking, squeezing, weaving the wires and pinning to the carpet with my handy Clover U-shaped pins, it was just a matter of waiting. Things were going so well I decided to block the Pink Poncho at the same time. The results are fantastic and the process was not nearly as difficult as I anticipated. Now hopefully the house will sell this weekend. Crossing

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Wired for Sound

This was a busy week. We are selling our house and the whole thing needed to get ready for a weekend of Open Houses. I helped by quickly getting chores done, running to the gym (my new thing and my "muscles" are screaming) and then securing a chair at the pool to knit. I'm happy to say the Pink Poncho is finished. But like the Grape Crush Shawl, waiting for the lace blocking wires to arrive in the mail. Of course they got here Friday so the blocking operation has to wait till next week when I can pin the projects to the downstairs carpet. (kind of a distraction at an Open House). I promise pictures to follow. In the meantime I've taken up the Citrus Socks and got the heel done. I'm on a roll to finish the projects before I start another shawl. After all, they had another free shipping weekend at Deramores. (I'm hopeless). 🙄

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What’s Done is not Done

Well, the shawl is finished…sort of. It really doesn’t look like the picture yet. Oh, it’s off the needles alright and the knitting is thankfully finished. This was one of those patterns, that either through difficulty of level or inexperience on my part, was a bugger to follow. I finally printed out the two charts and dragged them around as I worked on the thing. I also finally figured out it was being knit from the top of the shawl down to the lace edge. We all wish patterns would explain these little things but probably a more experienced lace knitter would have already known. Even so, the pattern was an 8 row repeat on needles so large for the yarn that the stitches kept wanting to slide off. Needless to say, I’m relieved the knitting is finished. But it’s not done. Next comes the blocking, which I’ve never done. I know, how can I have knit all these years without blocking? But baby sweaters knit in one piece really don’t require that. Blankets, eh. Even adult sweaters on size 10 needles; a little steam from an iron flattens out the pieces. But lace REQUIRES blocking or you can’t see it. So tomorrow I’m off to my neighborhood yarn shop where I’m hoping she has some (it’s a tiny shop crammed with so much yarn you cannot move. Heaven for some, hell for someone with OCD). I’m also hoping the shawl will get a little larger with blocking because it does not look the size in the pattern photos. Yet. Famous Last Words. 

Knitted lace shawl

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And Then July Happened

Harbor sceneAfter a little 4th of July fun and family, where knitting was replaced with boat trips, blueberry pies, lobsters, bar-b-ques (ribs, of course), NASCAR race watching and fireworks, it was time to get back to the needles and yarn. Oh, did I mention we bought a house over the weekend? So in between frantic sorting and cleaning to get our current house ready to sell, I managed to start another project. I’ve always wanted to try lace. Real lace, not just little bits on baby sweaters. So I had purchased what looked like the best deal ever on Craftsy – a shawl pattern and the yarn for $7.20! I have one daughter who loves purple so I chose a luscious magenta that looks a lot like a Welch’s Grape Popcicle. It’s cloudborne Merino fingering weight and super soft on size 5 needles. It took me 3 tries to figure out the pattern (seems to be my MO) and after reading the chart a little more carefully (ahem 🙄) I had her cranked up and clicking along nicely. I did listen to The Grocery Girls mini class on You Tube for lace shawls and got a ton of amazing ideas and help before I started. It’s a long but fully entertaining show and if you’re thinking of doing some lace knitting, I highly recommend it. They even showed some incredibly useful knitting tools I didn’t know existed. House and trees

But I digress. It’s been a week now and I have almost 10 inches. Mind you there have been some all day cleaning and house staging sessions interspersed but I can proudly say it is starting to take shape. Of course since that color is on the dark side, I switch back to the pink Poncho or my citrus socks I’ve been making forever. I never like to boat without a project to work on since it’s about a 20 minute trip down the river and out to the bay. You know: the Never Not Knitting thing. 

Lace knitting 

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In the Pink

Pink knittingI’ve been knitting so many baby blue sweaters and blanket for the new baby boy that just arrived that I have quite neglected the PINK Cascade Merino yarn I’ve been stashing away. So with the free Cabled Poncho pattern from Craftsy’s Free Pattern Friday, I cast on and began a cozy poncho for a certain little pixie who is fast approaching 2 years old. My daughter lives in California and it’s blazing hot right now so I chose a larger size (2-3 yrs) so it will fit the baby next Fall. Like so many of my projects, I cast on (this was a new way to cast for me; called a Cabled Cast-on) and began the arduous task of knitting a project with 258 stitches jammed on a needle. After the border the project quickly got tricky, mostly because the actual pattern is written in SCRIPT. Who does that?! I kept getting lost and got off by first one stitch then two. Both times at the beginning of that crazy long row. I ripped that out so many times, my husband thinks it’s crazy that I would go back to it. But if you’re like me, you simply cannot start a project off on the wrong stitch, especially cables! I’m happy to report that on the 4th try, I finally got it right and the pattern started to make sense. Since I have quite a while to finish it, I’m not worried, I’d rather get it right. It’s just so nice to be making something in Pink.

And speaking of cast-on’s I’m toying with the idea of starting a lace shawl to trade-off with. The question is, when will I finish those socks I started this spring….

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Totally Had an Excuse…

I thought I was all caught up and had plenty of time to write my post for last Sunday and then THIS happened (2weeks early):

Newborn baby My son and his wife had their baby a surprising 2 weeks early. The tiny take-me-home sweater fit perfectly as he was 7 pounds and 21″ long.  The hospital provided the hat, knit by a volunteer but somehow it matched perfectly.  He is one week old now and doing well. But I can’t resist sharing some photos to show off. Check out that beautiful blonde hair! 

Newborn Blonde newborn Baby in car seat

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Knitter’s Block Cure

Typewriter drawingAs a writer, I heard tales of writer’s block and couldn’t relate. There are so many interesting things going on everywhere that a story or character can be woven if you just observe with a little imagination. Well I also have heard of knitter’s block and found it impossible to comprehend after once browsing through Ravelry’s amazing pattern tab. But here it is, the monster caught up with me. It’s not that I can’t find anything to knit. It’s that an entire adult sized cardigan for myself in garter stitch is getting progressively tedious and, well, boring. The back, even with shaping, took forever. The front is going better but enough is enough, I need a bit of challenge and I need to see an end in site. So even though my new baby grandson isn’t even born yet, I’m working on his 3rd sweater. I got another round of yarn from my favorite online shop Deramores and somehow ended up with the same blue I had so time to make something out of it. It’s Baby Merino so it calls for a size 2 US needle. I found a vintage pattern from my tattered 1980 McCalls baby knitting magazine that used short rows. This is a technique I’ve never tried in a sweater so I cast off on a new mini adventure. The stitch is garter again but this time the knitting is sideways! At first I didn’t understand this and ripped it out after a few inches only to start again and get a better explanation from another pattern from Drops that uses the technique. It’s coming along well and makes for interesting knittingnsince you have to keep count of where the short rows stop and turn. 

So here’s my cure for knitters block: try something you haven’t done before, the challenge will be worth it. And if it gets frustrating, you can always go back to the piece that drove you to expand your horizons in the first place. Baby blue knitting project

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