Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Finished Hat

Finished in plenty of time.  The Yarn Chase Hat.  Tah Dah.

This pattern requires lots of what I define as "fiddly bits," (def: stuff I don't like to do) and I won't make another....probably.

BUT, it is not going to fit any of my grandchildren.  I'm pretty sure it's way too big.

Did I make a gauge swatch? Well of course not. Stop asking! I once made gauge swatches for a sweater, and the swatches LIED and I had to frog the sweater. I have not bothered with gauge swatches since then. 

But actually, I don't think the problem is with the gauge; I think it's with the size I chose to make. This was my second attempt at making the hat because the first one was HUGE, and so I consulted head circumference charts on the internet and then chose the size based on the typical head size of a 14-year old. I think the charts were wrong.

I'll find out on Christmas morning. Just the thing: give a child a gift she can't use.  

Yay Gran!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

What Have I Been Doing? you might ask. Or not.

But I'll tell you anyway.  

I have been busy!  Knitting away, cooking, having things done to the kitchen and generally jumping from project to project, with no organization in play.  

That's me.  OCD or something.

But here is my current project, which needs to be finished by Christmas, and since I just finished the chart this morning, I know I'll make it.

It will look like this

when I finish (with a turquoise pom pom on top) but as the Powers that Be are my witness, I will NEVER do intarsia or stranding again.  NEVER!!!

Because this is what is involved:

a tangle of yarns that keeps getting more tangly and annoying and time-consuming to untangle.  

So there, knitting.

To go back in time, I made this gorgeous pie for Thanksgiving:

It is from this Williams Sonoma recipe, and although I am not normally a fan of pumpkin pie, this tasted pretty good to me, and I overheard another guest tell the hostess that it was the best pumpkin pie she had ever had. (There is brandy in it, so there's that.) I just happened to have the leaf punches, from WS of course, so I could copy the top perfectly. And I've just realized that this is the photo from WS, and I wonder what happened to the photo of mine. hmmmm....  Anyway, mine looked like this.  

Another project:

I've been cooking in the dark since we moved in here 20+ years ago, and just the day before Daylight Savings Time went away, I had can lights installed.  Let there be light! said I. And now there is!  Doesn't mean I like cooking any better, but when I do cook, I can see what I'm doing.  As Martha says, It's a good thing.

But we lived with multiple holes in the ceiling until I finally found a painter willing to repair them and paint the ceiling. It was surprisingly difficult to find one and someone told me that lots of people have painting done before they entertain for Thanksgiving.  Really??? That's about the last thing I would think about if I were having a mob over for dinner, but ok. Anyway, I wasn't having anyone over; we went to our friend's home. So no hurry, but now the ceiling no longer looks like this:

Blurry photo......  I think there were about five holes in all, but they are all gone.

Since the weather has suddenly turned knitted-things cold, I can wear my hand knit socks, and I do!  In the house I wear them with my Birks, easy-on, easy-off.

Classy with a K, right?  (And no, H and S, I do NOT go out in public like this.)

BONUS!  I realized that I promised more photos from my trip in the fall, but instead I'll just post this one.  One of my favorites: 

A very relaxed Archbishop.  I think he is in the York Minster.  

Saturday, November 26, 2016


I am working on the Sutter's Mill Throw even though I am supposed to be knitting a Christmas gift. When I have a deadline, even a self-imposed one, the You Are Not the Boss of Me part of my brain interrupts, and off I go in a different direction. Makes no sense since this means that my brain is arguing with itself, and I can't figure out how to bring in a third part of my brain to argue logic with the other two parts.

This is an EASY project, with super bulky yarn (Cascade Lana Grande, color 6024) and it's just too tempting to pick up and work on mindlessly. Only one row of each 18 in the pattern repeat is different so no reading or charting is required.

Isn't it bee-yu-ti-ful???!!!

And it is so soft. This is the same yarn that I used for THREE Umaro throws, and I hope the part of my brain that thought that making THREE of anything was a good idea keeps quiet. What WAS I thinking? The third one is as beautiful as the first two, but knitting it got really old really fast.

I will go back to the Christmas gift....I will go back to the Christmas gift....

probably not today, though.

Friday, November 18, 2016

This is How I

roll cook:

I need a sous-chef!

I made this:  Cottage Pie

The recipe serves 10, so I made two casseroles from it, one with cheese on top and one without for a friend who just had surgery and is lactose intolerant.

It takes FOREVER for me to get everything chopped and because the recipe is British, it also required my converting kilograms to ounces/pounds, milliliters to ounces, and centigrade to fahrenheit and BONUS, I have no idea what this means:

..heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7

There is too much cheese on top. It looks awful but it will taste great (I've made it before) and thank goodness for dishwashers.

But I still could use a sous-chef.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Because I Have a Sort of Odd Sense of Humor...

And for us knitters:

A knitted tin foil hat.

Dedicated to one of my daughters someone who thinks there really are space aliens among us.  

You are welcome, someone.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Two Projects Finished in Four Days!

Well, finished as in I had been working on them for months and just coincidentally finished them within four days. 

First off, Vogue Knit's Purple and Pink Extra Long Cowl:

I THOUGHT that I had joined it in the round with no twists.  hahahaha... When I tried to pin it out to block it, I couldn't even figure out how many twists were in it. When I wrap it around my neck a couple of times it won't matter that I messed it up added a design feature of my own.  

AND, I finished my THIRD Umaro.  Whew....

This one seemed to take forever, but I think it's because it was my third---and last---for now. And thank goodness for fellow knitters. Somehow I ran out of just enough yarn, about two yards, to cast off. Another knitter was knitting a different blanket with the same yarn and gave me the two yards to finish it. 

Yay Knitters!

Friday, October 7, 2016

My Poor Brooklyn Tweed Yarn

I've just frogged my Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn, AGAIN. I had swatched and swatched and swatched this yarn in order to get the right gauge for a sweater I wanted to knit, but the swatches all lied and I had to rip out the first incarnation of the sweater. I changed needle size, got a drape I liked in the yarn, but still didn't like the way the sweater was working out. So I've frogged the whole thing, including the twisted rib beginning of the sweater and sleeves. I  thought I might soak the hank because the yarn is all squiggly, and I still might, but I'm putting it all in a time-out and maybe everything will behave better next time.

Now, on to Ireland and the UK. I first wandered around England, Scotland and Wales with my husband, and then joined my sister in Ireland.  So---photos!

Sweaters for sale were everywhere, and ON sale too, which seems odd timing considering winter should be on its way. I saw this neck border on several sweaters and loved it, so I investigated.  It is knit separately from the sweater and then attached to the neckline.  I may try it out someday.

This is a bike outside of this cute little shop in Derry. All the knitted goods inside were for children younger than my grandchildren, who live in hot Texas anyway, so I didn't buy anything here but it was fun to look at all the gorgeous knitting. Some of Edel MacBride's patterns are available on Ravelry.

Photos in no particular order:

Who says it's always raining in the UK and Ireland???

The view of the back of Kilkenny Castle:

A portion of the wall around the city of Derry/Londonderry. 

Just some of the oddly shaped rock formations at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

A hurdy-gurdy player in Galway.  I had never seen one before and had to google it to find out what it is:

An old school at the entrance area to the Giant's Causeway:

Complete with the iconic red phone booth. We saw one of these in London painted black and with a sign indicating that it is now a source for WIFI. 

A pretty street---I don't remember where it is and the new iPhoto program no longer identifies location for photos. Either that or I have some setting wrong.

Another street.....somewhere.

Sheep wandering wherever they want:

A quaint view from a hotel window near Dublin.  hahaha.  Wind turbines are everywhere, and I imagine that with all the windy days they have, these are a good source of electricity.

More to come.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

My Apologies

to the island nations of the UK and Ireland. I just spent about three weeks wandering around both islands, and to have enough space in my luggage for whatever I might buy to bring home for my grandchildren and me, I followed the advice of two friends who travel a lot with only carry-on luggage. They do this by saving soon to be discarded clothing (underwear and shirts, whatever, isn't readily visible to the public) and discard them along the way. I did that, and it is a great idea, except that I don't know where island countries put trash. 

So I apologize for the usual things that I discarded in hotel wastebaskets, but I especially apologize for these:

This is, or rather, was, my right Dansko clog, which I alternate wearing with my sneakers when I have a lot of walking to do. My sister and I checked into our hotel, left for dinner, and when we returned, there was black crumbly stuff on the floor.  Hmmph. Some vacuuming job, we thought.

The next night, in a different hotel room, the same thing happened. Hmmmm. Must be one of us picked up something outside...two days in a row???

Not likely, so we checked our shoes and my Dansko had disintegrated. 

Out it went. Off to a landfill I suppose. I read once that we don't really throw things away; we just put them someplace else (like the landfill) and that's true. So I apologize to Ireland.

But my sister and I had a great time and it could have been different. The last time we travelled in a car together was many decades ago and the trips involved: Mom, she's in my space. Mom, she won't stop looking at me. Mom, D (our brother) is bugging us. Good times, y'all, good times. 

But none of that happened on this trip. And as a bonus, my sister is a map genius! Who knew! I am definitely map-impaired and need instructions: turn left at ...., go straight for 11 miles, etc. She was the perfect navigator and I could concentrate on driving a manual shift car, shifting with my LEFT hand, driving from the RIGHT side of the front seat, on the LEFT side of the road. I adjusted by the second day so it was easier than I had anticipated.

---time for pictures of a gorgeous country:

We met some real Mayo Blackface Sheep:

Came across a wedding party at Bunratty Castle:

1941 Cadillac

Watched a rooster and chicken try to share tea with a visitor at the tea room at Bunratty Castle:

And we climbed way too many tiny stairs to get to the top of Bunratty Castle:

William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, was here, as a baby, in 1646.

All for now! I will put up more pictures when I organize them in my brain...and on my computer. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lessons Learned

I hope.

I am currently working on three, no, four projects at once.  And I have messed up two---so far.

I am making my third Umaro, this time with a lavender Cascade Lana Grande, and so far, so good. No mistakes.

And I am working on the Shelby Stole, with a lovely 100% silk yarn. So far so good on that too.

AND I am working on the Purple and Pink Extra Long Cowl

in the same colors shown in the designer's photo. Yum. However, after I finished the first 8 rows of the pattern, it was only an inch wide which meant that the whole thing (24 rows) would only be 4 inches wide. Turns out that is how wide it is supposed to be, but according to Kitterly, I could just go ahead and use all of the yarn in each of the four skeins provided.(There are no knitting police.) So that is what I am doing, and this is it now that I am into my third skein/colorway:

I think it will be about 8 inches wide, and that is fine.  However, and this is a BIG however, the 351 stitches on a circular needle are joined so that I am knitting in the round, and I thought that I had joined the cast on row so that there were no twists in it. But I just needed to count the stitches and in the process I noticed that it is twisted---three times! Yikes. I am not ripping out 351 stitches x 45 rows and starting over, so it will be a mobius, mobius, mobius cowl. Weird possibly, but I am hoping that the fact that it can be wound around my neck a couple of times, and the fact that it is very colorful, will be a distraction from the possible weirdness. It's a "design element" y'all, not a mistake.  

Now the fourth project. I am going on vacation and I want to take a small project with me: hence, socks. I pulled out the socks that I have been ignoring for a month or so because I hate knitting on size 1 needles. I want to put them on my Knit Picks wooden needles rather than keep them on my Signature Needles, which I treasure and adore above all other needles. They are metal and really pointy and I think they could do some damage to someone if that's what I intended to do, which I don't, but the authorities might not believe me on that.

See my beautiful, precious, pointy, potentially dangerous needles!

When I took a look at the sock in progress (Gale's Art Wonder Sock Yarn, graffiti and asphalt colorway), I noticed that because it's been rattling around in the project bag for a month, maybe longer, a lot of stitches had fallen off the needles. If there is anything less fun than retrieving dropped stitches, several rows down, on size one needles, I hope not to find out what it is. 

Anyway, I have rescued the stitches and now I will put them on the wooden needles. TSA or its equivalent in the UK can have my Signature Needles when they pry them from my cold, dead hands. Which they won't be able to do because I am leaving them behind. sniff...