June 14th, 2013
Yes, I know I’ve been missing in action. Today is my birthday and as good day as any to start blogging again. This year I’ve knit 4 projects, this is the 2nd one that I can reveal. The other two are test knits for patterns that have yet to be released and those will be revealed in due time.
For now though, here is Alexia! Seeing these photos really makes me want to find a pretty summery dress to pair this shawl with. Not that it does a bad job of dressing up jeans!
Pattern: Alexia Shawl by Anne Podlesak
Yarn: Wooly Wonka Fibers Artio Lace in colorway Heartsease.
Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm)
Notes:What a fun shawl! This shape was a new one for me and I was so excited to try it. I love how the detailed vertical panels separate the motifs and divide up the shawl. Once finished, the shawl seems to sit very nicely on the shoulders too.
The picot cast on may seem a little bit fiddly in laceweight yarn, but give it a try. Once you’ve done a dozen rows it gets easier.
I used 835 yards, 4.7 grams remaining. Finished size of from the neck down the back is 18.5 inches, down the vertical ivy lace pattern is 20 inches (I took these measurements today; the shawl has been off the blocking board for a month at least). This shawl was released as part of Anne’s Heroine’s Shawl Club. As such it will not be available outside of the club for a couple more months.
Don’t miss the gorgeous photos of this shawl that Anne’s photographer took. You can find them on here on Ravelry.
Just for fun – I was playing around with these photos in the free Photoshop application on my Surface tablet.
March 5th, 2013
My crazy cardie is finished! I love it. I will be doing a stay stitch around the collar where it joins to the yoke, but I’m still considering it finished.
Pattern: Harvest Moon by Heidi Kirrmaier
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Tweed in 12 colorways
Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)
Notes: I knit size L1 using 12 different colors of Tweed. This yarn is discontinued, but if you really want to know what colorway number any of these are, I can tell you. The garter stitch collar took 105 yards. The rest of the yoke took 200 yards. After that, each one of the color stripes used as close to a full skein (109 yards) as I could get while ending on a WS row. If you look at the photo of my remainders below, the lightest pink ball is 5 yards. In total I used 1260 yards.
This pattern has great details. All of the edges are well thought out and the pockets are really amazing. It was a slight bit challenging to knit this in stripes. If you do it, my recommendation would be to buy extra knitting needles so you don’t have to put stitches on holders constantly. Because I had a limited amount of yarn and I wanted to maximize my stripes, I had to knit the body and the sleeves at the same time which meant switching back and forth between the body knitting, to the a sleeve, to the other sleeve.
February 6th, 2013
My amazing husband spent his weekend working on Rosie’s permanent shelter. Of course I was out there helping him the whole time, with the exception of the last hour on Sunday when I stopped to scrub water buckets and pick manure.
This is a good shot of Rosie’s temporary quarters.
The new stall will be 9 x 12. Eventually it will have a stall door that goes to the interior of the barn for ease of feeding and caring for horses in bad weather.
Who knew that I had the most entertaining horse toys already in the barn for free? Blondie and Zi spent about an hour chewing on the blue baling twine that is securing Rosie’s shelter.
We had just wrapped up work for the day. This was as close as Zi would get to the new structure. However, shortly after we went in the house I had to run back down to the barn for something – I couldn’t see any horses anywhere. They were both right up against this gate, checking things out.
We got a lot done, but there is another good day of work to make it usable. The roof needs to be finished, the enclosures on both ends need to be finished, the floor backfilled with gravel, leveled, and matted. That will make it safe and dry. Later on we will add a light, cut a doorway from the inside of the barn out to the new space, add trimwork, and paint.
The weather is supposed to be nice again this weekend so you know what we’ll be doing!
February 2nd, 2013
Meet Rosie! She is a miniature spotted donkey, 18 years old. She is an absolute sweetheart. She loves attention whether you are giving her scratches or whether she is visiting with kids. Little kids (under 50 pounds) can even be given lead line rides on her.
Two weeks ago today I went to meet her and one week ago my mom and I brought her home. Poor girl was scared during the trailer ride, but perked right up when she saw her new horsey companions. She is so smart – she watched us set up her temporary shelter and paddock. When we were done, she marched right in and settled in. She has been laying down to sleep (judging by the shavings all over her body) since the first night. On the 4th day she figured out when breakfast is and let out a bray right on time.
For now she has her own pen to keep her safe and control her food intake. As the week progressed I let Blondie have supervised free time with Rosie, but I’ve kept Zi on a lead rope. Blondie is calm and patient. She hangs back and watches. Zi on the other hand has been obsessed with Rosie. Both girls keep her company, staying right near her paddock most of the day, but Zi sniffs noses and then squeals. Finally the squealing seems to have stopped and I’ve allowed her to approach Rosie. Just yesterday I supervised while they were all loose together. As you can see, Zi is an ever-present shadow in every picture.
See what I mean? Zi 10-15 feet behind Rosie, Blondie hanging around behind her.
Speaking of Zi…check out this photo of her teeth! Maybe this is why she was so grumpy a few weeks ago.
Going forward, the idea is that I’ll be able to take Zi away for training and leave Rosie and Blondie at home. This is going to be quite a change for Zi as she’s going to have to learn to be dependent on me. The first few times I take her away from home by herself I’m sure there will be temper tantrums. However, I’m really looking forward to being able to focus on her when we haul out to local shows or to visit friends, or even just to walk around the neighborhood.
January 15th, 2013
I have a new cardigan on the needles. This is Harvest Moon by Heidi Kirrmaier; the yarn is Plymouth Yarn Tweed (discontinued). The idea to match yarn and pattern came to me in mid-December, right when I was working on Christmas and birthday gifts. After the idea marinated for a couple weeks I was still anxious to cast on, so cast on I did…
When I had finished the 3rd color I had my doubts. I thought the stripes were too bold and your eye would get stuck in one place. After putting it on my dressmaking form for a day and running my thoughts past Anne, I came back to it and liked how it looked. Knitting continued to the point you see now. With each new color it looks a bit different. So far I like it more and more, but I’m not going to lie – it’s the kind of thing that will either be brilliant or hideous in the end, and which one may all depend on the eye of the beholder.
January 6th, 2013
A long time in the making, my Barton Cottage Shrug has been finished since just before our cruise and yet I haven’t found time to show it to you! I have this thing about sweater sized garments – I’m always afraid I’ll put all the work into knitting them, only to not be happy with the end result. My initial reaction to this one is “I love it”. I can hear you asking, “my initial reaction?”. Well. It looks awesome on my dress form, but on me I think it looks too small.
I’m contemplating sweater surgery to add 2-3 inches in length, though I haven’t wrapped my head around how to add that same length to the ribbon casing. I suppose I could also block the heck out of it as the first blocking I was careful not to stretch out the fabric. (Yeah, I’m going to try this. Throwing it in the sink now.)
Pattern: Barton Cottage Shrug by Kristi Schueler
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow in colorway Spring Green Heather.
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm)
Notes: I knit the 34.75 inch size after reading comments that the sizing stated in the magazine ran large compared to how Kristi designed it to fit. Normally I would go with a size closer to 38 inches. I don’t think this was necessarily the wrong size for me to knit – the jury is still out until I try re-blocking it.
One of the things I always wonder about sweaters knit in lace weight yarn is ‘how much yarn do the really take?’ as the patterns always seem to use huge hanks of yarn and they don’t really tell you how much yarn was ACTUALLY used. My first skein of yarn (440 yards) made it from the cast on at the neck, all the way through 5.5 inches below the armpits. A second skein finished the whole sweater. I used 836 yards, 95 grams. Now if I add 3 inches I’ll probably be closer to 1000 yards.
January 2nd, 2013
Anne Podlesak has a new pattern release for the new year – Orbspinner Stole, based on her Orbspinner Scarf pattern. It is knit in laceweight and can be worn as a stole or folded up and worn more like a scarf. Very versatile!
Pattern: Orbspinner Stole by Anne Podlesak
Yarn: Wooly Wonka Fibers Arianrhod Lace in colorway Winterfell.
Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm)
Notes: The yarn that Anne sent me to knit this in is her Arianrhod Lace. It is stunning – with a hint of sparkle that is impossible for me to capture in the photos. Like all stoles, the center panel pattern repeat can get repetitive, but I find if you get in a rhythm the repeats go by fairly quickly.
I used 1020 yards, 116.5 grams for a finished size of 21 inches by 70 inches.
January 1st, 2013
Happy New Year! What a change from last year when my post said that the weather was sunny and a high of 50 degrees. This year we have crunchy, crusty snow on the ground and freezing temps. I’m really glad New Year’s eve is over. The horses are never thrilled with fireworks and with frozen ground I was worried about them getting hurt if they ran around.
This year I knit less total projects, but a higher amount of yardage (not by much though). To think, I still have 6 projects I haven’t even shown you on the blog yet – my Barton Cottage Shrug, Orbspinner Stole, a test knit scarf that cannot be revealed for another month, and my Mom’s Christmas gifts.
14 total projects:
- 6 pairs of socks (nearly 7)
- 2 pair of fingerless mitts/wristwarmers
- 1 scarf (test knit to be revealed later)
- 2 shawlettes
- 2 shawls
- 1 cardigan
for a total of 6,648 yards.
Let’s get one project that I haven’t shown you off the list right now. Noro Mitts, much like the ones I have made in the past.
December 23rd, 2012
The snow started falling on Saturday, December 15th when we got 3 inches. Sunday it snowed like crazy; at the end of the day we had 7 inches. Monday or Tuesday (I don’t recall which) we added a fresh 1.5 inches. Then Wednesday – what a day – after snowing all morning, raining around lunch time, and then snowing all afternoon into early evening we had 17 inches. That’s 2 inches taller than my winter muck boots.
A week later and it’s finally starting to melt. This morning is the first time I’ve seen mud in the pasture and I see that a significant amount has melted off the patio table. It’s going to be a mess as it melts away, but I still want it gone.
Zi makes the most of it:
I call this one, “where’s the hose again?”. The snow must be 3 feet deep here where it has slid off the barn roof. I’ll be lucky to unearth this hose by the end of January.
Not sure how I managed to not get mowed down in this one!
Nevermind, I don’t need to walk through this doorway anyway. Must remember this for the next barn we build – put a dormer over every doorway to direct the snow AWAY.
Thank goodness for heated water troughs!
I had a good time with this series. Blondie had an itch and wanted to roll. Zi’s blasting around in the background, just waiting for her moment to go after Blondie.
Finally starting to melt, but still about 12 inches deep in this photo.
December 10th, 2012
Wow was this one a long time in the making. After I finished all of the knitting I needed to do before Christmas I looked around and noticed this table runner, languishing in my craft room. It really had next to nothing left to do on it as only some finish work was left. Now it’s done and will be gifted at Christmas.
Pattern: Belle France Table Runner by Marianne Fons and Liz Porter, published in Fons and Porter’s For the Love of Quilting, March/April 2001.
Fabric: I honestly have no idea anymore and I don’t have any selvedge to refer to.
Notes: This was such a gimme to finish that it’s motivated me to see what other quilting projects I have that need to be finished up. I have a second table runner in this pattern, but with dark pink flowers that needs to be finished too.