Sunday, April 27, 2008

Projects I've worked on this week!

Boy, the week sure went by quickly, now that I am working. Can't say it makes me happy, as my knitting time is cut WAY back by it.

I made this tote bag last weekend. It it made out of a men's sweater that I felted and then cut and sewed, BY HAND. Not my favorite activity, but it came out nicely and I've been carrying Mr GreenJeans in it all week to work.

I get about 15 minutes at lunch time where I can knit, the other 15 is for eating. sigh...

Here is the child's sweater that I knit for Julie this week. I spent each morning, during my quiet time working on it. I will send it off to her tomorrow.

I can say that I learned alot from this little vest. It was a test knit and I had to "rewrite" some of the directions along the way, as the designer took alot for granted from the knitter and they were very vague. I need to make sense of my chicken scratch and send that along to Julie as well.

I had to rework the button band three times to get it to look nice. There was alot left to be desired with the instructions, and with no skematics or pictures to go by, I still think that the one button hole is TOO high up, but I will let Julie decide when she gets it.

I grafted the shoulders, which I really like how they came out, I"ll have to remember doing that, as I graft alot of toes and can do that well, only with shoulders, you don't want to pull a tightly as you do with socks.

I continue to work on Mr GreenJeans and I am determined to finish him this month. (Thumbs pressed). I have two more rows on the right sleeve to do, the whole left sleeve and the button band. I think I can get it done.

At the moment, I have two more sweaters felting to make tote bags out of. These will be much larger, as they were XL men's sweaters. One I will make for R as she found it and liked it.

Work this week was good. It is just going to take me time to realize that my time is no longer my own, it is ruled by someone else and that I actually have to ASK for permission to take vacation! BUT, I am happy, I get 4 1/2 days of vacation this year, so I can't complain. But having to plan and ask for it is hard.

This week, I plan to finish Mr GreenJeans and decide on what will be my next project. I am trying VERY HARD, not to buy some yarn. I have quite a bit in my stash and I don't really NEED anymore yarn, but......

Sunday, April 20, 2008

It's a Surprise Vest!

No pictures today, just didn't have the time to down load them.

I got another package in the mail from Julie at J-Knits. This project will be a test knit and a sampler for a childs vest. I've never done one of these, so it will be fun. I love the colorway she sent this time, it is blues and purples, one of my favorites.

I sent off the sweater to her last week and I can't wait to get my yarnie goodness surprise from her for knitting it up. I am sure it will be a good one.

Why couldn't we have found each other sooner?

Well, tomorrow is a new day for me. I am very sad that I will not be an at home mom anymore. But I know it is for the best, and it will get me out, and meeting people and it is a good job. For that, I am grateful.

Yesterday, I spent nearly the whole day making a Felted Sweater tote. Pictures soon. I had great fun making it and plan to make some more. This one I will use for toting back and forth to work my knitting in progress.

Which, besides the vest, is my Mr Green Jeans. I have the body done, and one sleeve up to the ribbing. I am pleased so far with the fit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I may never get to Ireland~!

But, I have a hand knit sweater, made of 100% Pure New Wool from Ireland!

Isn't it lovely? It is one of my Salvation Army finds this week. We found it in the Men's section, though I do not think it a Men's Sweater. There is no size in it.

At first, I was going to reclaim the yarn. It is a natural colorway, so I thought, maybe someday, if or when I learn to dye yarn... or to knit my own aran sweater with it.

But, then, I tried it on this morning, and I thought. Hmmm. It really isn't TOO big. And M hates my pink, fuzzy robe. He's been after me to make a robe to wear. So I tried it on in from of him and didn't say anything and he said, that could be your new robe!

Though I could never wear it next to my skin, it does cover my butt, and it has pockets in it and it buttons if I want.

So, now I have myself a handknit sweater from Ireland. I tell you, I don' think anyone ever wore it, that it just sat in someone's drawer.

OH! And one of the nicests parts?! I got it on family day, where everything, except one color tag, is half price. This only cost me $3.00. And if or when I tire of it, I have more than a sweaters worth of yarn to make something new! How awesome is that?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

It's a surprise!

Well, here it is! I am finished and it took about 10 days. It's the first time I've done a child's garment and it is just so darn cute!

This picture is before blocking and the yarn was wonderful then, NOW, OMG it is just gorgeous and so soft it's incredible.

One thing I had forgotten though. This garment reminded me why I usually make top down in the round sweaters. THE FINISHING! I haven't done one in a while, so I admit, I was rusty. But all of the seams came out undetectable. The one arm though...... sigh...... One arm, which was actually the second one, went on perfect, looked great. The first arm. LOL. I ended up doing that one THREE times, because I just wasn't happy with it. I figured if it were for me, that would be different. But I was making this one for someone else, and they would be showing it to I don't know how many people, I wanted it to be PERFECT! Believe me, both arms are perfect!
I now understand why so many people have UFO laying around, or hiding places so their spouses and family don't see them. M knew I was making this one for someone else, and that I would get yarn out of it . I was truly so surprised the interest he showed while I was knitting it and all the under-my-breathe talking that I did while seaming, he even asked how things were going?! I could get used to having him around so much.
On a side note, I don't talk much about myself, only my knitting, but with sadness and I guess I should be happy. I got a job. It's full time, the pay is decent, it's right here in town, it's a job I've done before and liked (years ago), and ....... I really don't want to go. I have liked being home these past two years and with the nicer weather coming, there is so much yard work to do yet. I like making dinner every night and not feeling rushed. I like having a neat, orderly and clean home. sigh.... So wish me luck, I start Monday.
I hate when the paragraphs run together, I'm sorry, it's not the way I typed it, just the way it is coming out! UGH!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No pictures today.

Sorry about that. But I wanted to get an update on here and I just don't have the time to do it all!

The excitement knitting is coming along nicely. I just have to seam it, do the collar and block it and it is on its way! I can't wait as that means, I'll have some new yarn!

My thrift shopping was so good last week, but wrought with frustration! I got the gray/black sweater apart easily, but that nice, pink smooshy lambswool one, just wouldn't come apart without breaking! I was about ready to scream! So I have been working on felting it and I am going to make it into knitting totes.

Then, one of the one's I didn't photo, was this really nice tweed orange one, made in Italy. The construction left alot to be desired. Was a BEAR to get apart and THEN when I finally got to the point of unraveling it, every other row is another strand. Meaning, there are two strands to make the garment! So I have to slowly, tediously pull one strand and wind it, then pull the next strand and wind it. SLOW! Pretty yarn though and I want it! AND the best part is? I noticed I have a second one made by the same manufacturer!!

After these two sweater frustrations, I decided to go on to an easy LL Bean sweater. A great Men's size Large, made of Lambswool and nylon and a nice color of blue grey. Guess what? In my bleery eyed monster stage at the thrift store, I guess I didn't look well enough and it is SERGED at the seams! I tell you! So, what to do? What to do? What to do?

I felted it, twice in the wash and now it is THE PERFECT size for me to wear. A nice thick fabric, with lots of stitch definition yet, and it was very warm when we went out on the 4 wheelers yesterday. So, it worked out in the end.

R and I went and bought some ornamental grasses for the yard last week. Got tons of compost and peat moss and planted them. The other plants we are going to wait until the end of this week to do. We have had very cold, freezing night temperatures the last few nights, which meant covering the grasses, but I am so glad to have them done, as I have wanted them for two years now.

We also were able to put in two of my mother's hydrangeas. I don't think they will flower this year, but I am glad to be getting the side yard worked on as well.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Well, here it is, the Yarn cake I have been telling you about. Isn't the hand dyed color just Awesome!

Now we'll talk about my reclaiming day that I had yesterday. This charcoal grey one is 70% shetland wool and 30% Acrylic. It is a mens XL and I am planning to make this one into a cobblestone sweater for my brother for Christmas. I think it will be great!

This pink one is just yummy, it is a Ladies Large Gap stretch. 98% Lambswool and 1% Lycra and 1% other fiber. That part has me a bit worried, other fiber.... but it is so yummy I couldn't resist it~!

And here is the AWESOME sweater!
It is 100% ALL PURE WOOL Made in Ireland and it is a Women's XL. I have it in the sink as we speak I am so excited about this one.
It was a beautiful knit sweater, hardly worn and too large for me, so I am trying to think of what to make of it. I was able to get almost 1,400 YARDS out of this sweater~! I could make TONS of small stuff or I bet 2 sweaters if I plan it all right! Yahoo for me. And for only $2.50!

Tonight is sit and knit, I am so excited that this group seems to be starting and going. I have such fun knitting with new people, seeing new projects and yarns, and most of all talking with people who have the same interests as me!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's about reading directions!

Like I said the other day, it's about reading the directions.

Here is the apple pie that I made, before baking and after. I love before and after pictures, don't you?

I can't take credit for the crust. I have tried, believe me. I am not a crust maker by any means, I use Pillsbury.

Now, it's been a number of years since I've made bread, and before we moved, we HAD a bread maker, but someone felt we wouldn't use it when we moved, so it didn't move with us, instead it went to Goodwill with TONS of other things.

Anyway, I kept my very good bread book with tons of recipes in it and I chose to make some buttermilk bread.

In a rush on Sunday morning, (need I say more) , I put the dry ingredients into the kitchenaid and put the liquids in the pot on the stove, got that to 120 degrees, added it to the dry, added more flour, and boy, it sure didn't look right, but I thought perhaps it was just me, miss rush. So I put it into the oven, a nice warm spot to rise, and it didn't rise. It was a cannon ball!

So, with the help of the bread book, I found out why it was a cannon ball, not enough liquid,,,, hmmmm

Go back to the page of the recipe and it was 1 cup of water, 3 Tbs of buttermilk powderAND another cup of water!!!

It was a slow process, but I was able to put the water into the mix and get it to the correct texture. I split it in two and was able to make two acceptable loaves of bread. Not quite as high and fluffy as it could have been, but it's been good just the same.

Here is my Squidge dishcloth that I am doing for the dishcloth weekly KAL on ravelry. It is actually last weeks pattern, and I am STILL working on it. But I am also working on my
Mr GreenJeans as well as my "exciting" project. I'll share a picture of the yarn cake I made tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Life has kept me busy

I have taken some wonderful pictures to share and haven't had them time to down load them.

We were so busy all weekend and even today that I took some great pictures that I will just have to share on Wednesday when I have some free time, unless I can squeeze it in tomorrow morning.

I received my package of yarn and pattern in the mail on Saturday. I didn't think it would arrive so quickly, so I didn't check the mail until nearly 7 pm and it had been there ALL afternoon!! sigh.....

I still don't know if I can talk about it or not, but I will share the "yarn" cakes I made up with them from the hanks. Atleast then you could see the colorway, which is absolutely GORGEOUS!

I am working away at Mr GreenJeans, though I haven't done much with such a busy weekend. And I also started another dishcloth, as I needed something small and quick to do, but haven't finished that either!

I will say that DH has managed to get the bathroom portion of the utility room done, now just one wall, the shower and the ceiling and that room will be complete! Yeah!!!

OH, and the most important thing I learned this weekend, which I will explain more when the pictures are up, BE SURE TO READ, and READ the directions!

Friday, April 4, 2008

I am SO excited!!!

First things first.

Here is an update on Mr GreenJeans. I have gotten through the sleeve increases and I am working on my pattern/ribbing repeats now. Very easy pattern to remember, and I even successfully learned how to cable without using a needle! Makes life much easier.

I think have even learned how to use my camera well enough to get a pretty good close up shot. I am anxious to see it when it is done and blocked. I have to spend more time doing this as I can be intimidated by new things when I don't understand them.

So far, I have to say, I like the stitch definition I am getting with this reclaimed yarn.

Last night was Sit and Knit night. Met two new NE PA knitters. Both of these lovely ladies brought wonderful yarns with them for their projects and I got to see up close and personal, Manos and Debbie Bliss Cathay. Both very nice choices.

That is one things about living in an area where there are no local yarn stores, you don't get to touch and feel things. So this was really nice being able to see and touch these two yarns the other gals were using. I'm already looking forward to next week.

NOW, for the REAL exciting news!! I was eavesdropping, using the radar feature, at Ravelry yesterday and there came up a note about someone looking for sample knitters. I didn't know what that was, so I looked further at the group. I won't mention who it is yet, because I don't know if this type of thing is for general public (like the general public reads my blog?!) Anyway, it is a yarn company, they send you their yarn and a pattern for you to knit for a sample for their trunk shows. Then as a thank you for knitting, they send you some of their yarn for your personal use. Isn't that COOL? And I was chosen. I am so excited about it. I can't wait to get the package in the mail. That really made my day yesterday.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Finished Objects and those in Process

Here are my finished Twin Rib Socks. I had hoped to get them done in March, but I just couldn't concentrate enough on them to get those toes done. Just finished them this evening, so they are my first April FO.

It is also the first time I have done a second pair of socks with Opal 6 ply where I came THAT close to running out of yarn! They came out nearly identical and I didn't even try. I love when that happens, even though if they don't match, it doesn't bother me.

I began Mr GreenJeans on the 30th. I just couldn't wait until the beginning of April. Here is the first days worth of knitting.

You can see the stitch definition and since this is the first time I am using reclaimed yarn, I am very pleased with how this is looking.

This is a picture of the second days knitting and I think it shows the color sage green that it is. There are specks of white and black in the yarn as well. It almost reminds me of a hand spun yarn as the thickness goes from wide to slim throughout.

This is the first time I am using a kfb and I am really enjoying how easy it is to do.

Today was a good day. I went out to the lakes and picked up some more scrap wood to be used in our wood burner. Thanks to Felicia and Bob. I don't think they really realize how much we appreciate their generosity.