Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Mystery is Solved!

It's a Hot Cup Pincher! It protects your thumb and finger(s) when holding a hot cup! Steph on the Yahoo HMGA list suggested it might be good to protect fingers from the always-hot knobs on the top of Corningware lids. How right she is!

Thanks, Terry, such fun!

Happy birth month to me!

It's been a good birthday, yes, it has!

On Saturday when we were celebrating my birthday since Russ had a full schedule for yesterday, we found this really neat 3 drawer chest with a real Canadian maple top at Lowe's. Inside the three drawers is my handspun that had been stored in Russ' gun cabinet. I really like this little critter and hope that I can get more of them. It's much better and nicer than the standard Sterling ones available at other box stores.

On top of the cabinet, are 12 skeins of "buck" colorway Prairie Silks yarn, spun and dyed by Brown Sheep Co. in Mitchell, NE sent to me by Yarn Elf. Yarn Vixen sent a card and a gift certificate to Yarn Elf's Workshop AKA World Wide Hobbies in Willcox, AZ plus a sock pattern and a project bag YE included. There are also cards there from Beth and from State Farm with the standard birthday individual pizza freebie. In Willcox, we used to get free ice cream cones at Carter's. More people used that gift than use this one to a place no one who doesn't live in Leechburg seems to go to.

Some people get tractors on birthday cakes and some get balloons that are yarn balls! Cake is from The Big Guy, as is the card. The cake is white almond. Dinner was cake and Digorno pizza. Hungry yet?

The spatterware pitcher and bowl I bought about 20 years ago and decorate it depending on mood and season.

Thanks to all on Ravelry and through regular email who send love yesterday. Everyone needs good, positive thoughts and cyberhugs.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mystery #1 Clue #2 HMGA

This is truly a mystery.

I don't suck my thumb/binkie so I do not need a thumb protector.
We still have stitches on a holder.
There's a third clue tomorrow.

Oh, wait! It's a helmet protector for the traveling troll who keeps falling on his head in all the commercials!!! (Believe that and I'll sell you a swamp....)

I'm the last rose of summer

the proverbial "they" have told me all my life...

So... with the nearly wild rose, the "Solstice Forest" (WG 79) sweater shows its progress (body, one sleeve completed, second sleeve started) as of the last summer sun two days ago for this Autumn Equinox drizzly day. The equinox arrives at 5:18 PM today and my celebration officially starts at 5:58 PM!

Hopefully the "Solstice Forest" will be finished for its day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

HMGA Mystery #1

Again, the Holiday Mystery Gift Along designers have begun to tease us with fun projects. There was a Surprise project just ahead of this year's Blast Off. Then the first two projects. And now, taa-daa, the first mystery project!

With leftover sock yarn, size 0 double points (using only two to start out) and the daily Mystery Clues, we'll create projects that will amaze!

Here is my Mystery #1 Clue #1 picture from the clue I downloaded this morning, my dblpts, and Blue Moon Fiberarts sock yarn. The group meets at Yahoo and on Ravelry. Don't we just love a mystery?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

You just never know

what you'll find when housecleaning the plates your mother collected for decades.

This plate came from either my grandmother Hunter or great grandmother Christian.

The designs are transfers with gold adornment. But in the very center is a courtship scene of a knitter and her beau.

I've never needed to collect many plates as my mother seldom saw a plate she didn't like. This one is not my 'style', but it does show that someone in my heritage appreciated knitting. My grandmother did not knit, only sewed, so I'm not sure exactly what the connection is unless the original owner simply liked the unmarked plate.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sorry, I thought I'd shown you...

all the lovelies I brought back from camp!

We have my name tag I made last year as part of Lizbeth Upitis' KAL for Latvian Mittens over this year's camp tote. This is one terrific tote! I love the pockets. Already it is holding my Yoke sweater project for which some of the J&S shetland bought at camp but not nearly all shown here is meant.

Catch a glimpse of this year's t-shirt! If you were here, you'd see it in person since I have it on today. These two blues really go well with all the denim in the dresser drawers. There was more than one color possible to order, but this was my favorite color combination of this year's choices.

Other yarn is Jamieson's 2 ply Shetland and Satakieli cast on for M'Lou's Art Deco Tam. (Guess it wasn't too soon to show!) The Jamieson's I bought, admittedly, is more than one skein. Just one is shown here. The plan for the Jamieson's is a sweater color-based on a picture of blue cheese. I don't mind the laughter I'm hearing, telling that. We also have the 5x7 note pad and free samples off the back table.

I had to grab some fascinating books. Beautiful Sheep is a lovely 'coffee table' book. The Herbert Niebling lace patterns are so lovely I wilt. Then the wonderful SHPP of the Dale Long sweater and the 2 socks at once one inside the other fill out this year's patterns. I know. Was I sick? I usually buy more books than this. Hmmm. I must work on this.

The Cardigan Details DVD has some techniques shown in it that I have needed some review for producing them, so this DVD was on my pre-camp list!

And the needles are too good to be last, but something has to be! The Pryn (Inox) needles I bought to fill in some holes and for duplicated of much-used sizes. The KnitPicks Harmony needles are my wonderful, never imagined but greatly appreciated prize for the Recycled Knits contest entry, the recycle garden flag.

We had the Best time this year. DH and I agree that it was not only the best part of our summer, but, our best camp yet. DH? Yes, DH asks all the time who I've heard from that day. He loves knitters.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No Mistakin' #27

Dobbin's Anti-Viral Kleenex box cover is seeing the world!

So often, it is difficult to read a bus number when facing a school bus. Doesn't seem like #27 now has that problem, does it?

Russ changed out tissue boxes and covers between his first and second runs this morning. The second run is the elementary run. First on the bus, Peyton, exclaims, "Wow! Where'd you get that?" Second on the bus, Dakota, is getting on and asks the same thing. Two elementary boys noticing such things! They had to "pet" it, too! I think it's a hit.

Begun Sept. 02, 2009
Finished Sept. 14, 2009

Bernat Super Value 100% acrylic for washability
color 608 Bright Yellow (AKA School Bus Yellow)
7421 Black

US 5 24" Addi turbo
US 4 24" Addi turbo
US 4 16" Addi turbo
Clover Giant Tapestry Needle

The Bernat suggest a US #8 needle, but I wanted this to be firm and I knit loosely.

Cast on in yellow 40 stitches for each long side and 20 for each short side. (120 sts) The fact that the long sides are 9" and the short sides are 3" is useful here; as,the purl back will stretch horizontally and although the stretch is helpful for putting the cover on and off, it is not helpful while cover is in use. I used long tail cast on but a provisional cast on would be better.

On each row for 22 rows, purl 1, knit 38, purl 2, knit 18, purl 2, knit 38, purl 2, knit 18, purl 1.

For one row (top of box) purl all around.

For top, use SSK and K2tog decreases at corners each row. Whether the SSK or the K2tog is first depends upon at which corner the project has been started.

When I got to a good place for the tissue opening, I switched to the black and knit 2rows then a 2 stitch Icord bind off. I knit up (picked up and knit)each yellow blip underneath in black and knit a k1tbl (knit one through back loop), purl 1 ribbing with continued decreasing at the corners. Bind off in pattern.

Next, I knit up from yellow cast on edge in black and continued the same ribbing as on top for 2".

Final step was to chart out Russ' preferred "27" and duplicate stitch the numbers on each long side.

I would make some changes in the next one. A provisional cast on is preferable. A yet smaller needle size would also be best for my looser tension.

Russ loves it!

Schoolin' --FI and Dbl K

It's been two months now since we came home from our wonderful Wisconsin/Michigan trek. Finally this house is looking more like a home than a junk heap. I finished a project and will blog about it later. Life is feeling more centered.

On the way home we stopped at "Sarey June's" (Russ-speak, as Linda says!) for a terrific tour of four Lansing area yarn shops.

Here, Sarah and I are in front of Threadbear. For years I'd looked at their website and followed their blogs. Things are changing there, as they do anywhere, but I'm sorry we missed meeting the guys and the dogs, although Sabrina and the crew were wonderful.

At Threadbear I was so very pleased to find Sarah's patterns on display, for sale. It makes me proud to know her and watch her doing well.

Although I kept taking pictures of things, I did not get inside pictures of what became my Lansing LYS of choice. Maybe this was because I felt so immediately at home at Woven Art. Nancy wasn't there that day, either. She does beautiful work, and I was particularly fond of the background music!

We're working backward in the progression here, but Lake Michigan must be included. That day was beautiful temperature and sky-wise. It was, however, very windy and the speed was lowered on the bridge in anticipation of possible closure due to winds in the 32 mph range and the bridge closes at 35 mph. We could feel the bridge swaying just a bit. All traffic drove the center lanes. Do you see the whitecaps on the lake? All pics are clickable to embiggen!}

Although school has started here in real time, at camp the minicourses develop in both a planned manner and on-the-spot. We had get-up-in-front-of-the-camera minicourses from Bridget, Al, Maggie, Janine and this very talented M'Lou Baber with others sharing constantly. Here's she's wearing her signature doubleknit nametag vest.
M'Lou shared the Art Deco hat pattern and methodology that are shown in her book on double knitting. The hat pattern is on the errata page at SHP site, as it was not included in the original printing of the book and many requests for the accessory hat were heard throughout the land. I've started the Art Deco tam but haven't really gotten far enough yet to share...or maybe I have. We'll see!!!

Janine Bajus the Feralknitter shared a capsulized version of her fair isle workshop with us. This had been a request during 2008 camp but Janine didn't have materials with her to share in handouts or samples which clarify the spoken word.

Right before lunch, Janine had gotten everything ready for her presentation and it was sitting on the front table by the camera, waiting to be shared. I loved the layout, as well as Janine's clear explanation of her method. Go ahead and click on the picture -- don't you just love all the possibilities?

Janine doesn't just "teach", but also "does". This fair isle yoke is a sweater Janine has been working on. I believe it's "Aunt Esther's Yoke Sweater" (I may be wrong.) My Aunt Syster had a life-long friend and housemate Esther in Stockholm, so I feel particular connection with this yoke. Should we be reminded that it's in the Swedish colors? I don't remember Janine talking about that, but it struck me immediately.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Still painting, we are! Knitting, too!

Yes, the painting continues.

Yesterday Russ spent almost all day working on the entry hallway. Here, he is sanding the window at the bottom of the stairs. See all those rose canes outside? I pruned them down from 15 feet to 6.5 feet yesterday while Russ worked on the inside of the window. They'll be pruned again later in the season. This window is the one that Allen and Russ replaced the cords in two weeks ago and now has been primed and painted and "Kilzed" and painted. Kilz is The best stain and bleed-through killer. Later on today the 'scarf' will go back on the rod for the finished look.

Russ didn't only work on the window, but also the coat closet door, the wooden wall panels beneath the stairs and on the railing upstairs. Today he worked touch up and second coats on several areas. He also tested the paint on the front doors in two spots to see what it'll look like with one coat and then with a second coat. Before being painted the four front doors need to be sanded and primed and...well, the whole sequence. They also need new strips at the bottom. As Russ said, we need them finished before frost arrives.

Several days ago I took this shot to finish off the 35mm film. Tawny looks so happy to have his living room back! He isn't the only one! We are planning on painting the ceiling fan blades nice and glossy white, though. For two days I worked on washing all the contents of the six milk crates I had filled with dining room and displaced kitchen cabinet contents. All are now empty with the crates back in the cellar. It takes a lot longer doing the Spring/Fall housecleaning of china cabinets when doing it by myself.

Yellow! Yes, yellow and white and bright and cheerful is the dining room. Do you suppose that it might just be possible that I'll actually want to use this room as a dining room now? You'll notice painting supplies on the chest to the left. That's Russ' "staging area" for his trim work. Although the living room and entry have new curtains, we haven't gotten new ones for any other room yet. So, if these curtains look familiar from prior photos, that's why.

There really has been a little knitting going on. This isn't the greatest picture, but it is Dobbin's Kleenex box cover in its current state. Ends still need to be woven and #27 is still to be duplicate stitched on each long side of the cover. I wanted it able to be seen, though, the yellow "blips" under the top where-to-pull-out-the-Kleenex opening.

The blips will be basically unnoticeable when all is said and done. I'd changed colors from the school bus yellow to the black by knitting two rows then doing a two stitch I-cord. That was a bit too flimsy for kid-use. So, then I picked up on the yellow blips with a knit one back, purl one rib. The ribbing is cast off in pattern. Picked up from the cast on is the same ribbing pattern on the bottom. The current plastic canvas cover (from #66 use) is sturdy enough to just slip over the box, unlike this knitted version. Plus, in #66 there was a "package tray" under the dash where the box could sit. That same tray isn't part of #27's makeup.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Labor Day Week(end) Laboring

Pretty much typical to form, we are laboring this Labor Day weekend.

All but two years of our time together, Russ and I have painted on Columbus Day weekend, and most of the time yard work and house chores on Labor Day weekend. Yes, Russ is standing on the radiator to paint the picture window. Yard work comes a bit later after this painting bout.

With as busy as this first week of school was, Russ didn't have a chance to work on any painting. Next week he starts training two new drivers between runs, so won't have time to do many honey-do's then, either. I did start a honey-do for him....Dobbin's Kleenex cover.

Today Russ is working on priming and painting actual windows in the living room. With the humidity down the last gorgeous week, it doesn't take long for paint to dry.

A gorgeous week? Oh, yes. It's been dry with low humidity since last Saturday about noon. A bit of coolness in the mornings, sometimes in the low 40's, along with fog have promoted the quickening of Fall colors. But the sky is gee-orr-gee-us. And, it's back to being shorts weather again!

Neighbors two doors over have taken advantage of the weather this week, also. They had a tree company cut their 150 foot plus trees down to 20 ft. I got a great chuckle seeing the trimmer in the cherry picker with his binoculars while waiting for his crew to mulch some cuttings.

This act has most definitely helped our view and will help melt the snow this winter and warm the house when the sun is so low, hugging the horizon of that hill seen here behind the last couple of branches now cut into firewood.