Tuesday, January 26, 2010

TKGA MHK update (sort of)

It's been a while...like, since May, that I've done any knitting on my Level 1.

First, I had to block my first three swatches. OK, that worked although the seed stitch swatch was the only one of the three I was really pleased with! Then as the swatches lay drying, DIP came to mess around in the renovation. (If you saw 2 of my dining room walls, then you'd know why I said 'mess around'.) Couldn't concentrate with him here. That lasted all Summer except for camp time. Then other projects. Then the arm/wrist/hand dilemma.

Several days ago I saw on Ravelry that the Level 1 instructions had been updated as of January 6. Oh, my. Well, that's OK because I haven't knit more swatches nor have I worked on the research since June. Today I emailed TKGA for the updated materials.

The hand in the picture here? I'm using it right now as the project pic for the Ravelry projects page. On a trip to Wisconsin from Arizona about ten years ago, we stopped at Mt. Rushmore where I'd found this and a mountain sheep ornament for the sheep tree.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beth's Afghan

Beth has requested an afghan.

Yes, I agreed to knit it as long as she chooses the pattern and the yarn.

Vanna's Choice in Oatmeal, pattern "Newbury Crossing", both by Lion Brand is what she chose. The panels are knitted with yarn doubled. There are four panels which are then connected.

Clover 8mm, US 11, 24" is the circular needle I'm using. It gives me a bit larger gauge as we want the afghan larger than the pattern suggests.

So far, and what you see is my current swatch, it's knitting well. The yarn is a rayon acrylic so it can be machine washed and dried, which is a preferable trait for an afghan.

Can you believe a little sunshine this afternoon? I grabbed the opportunity to shoot this swatch pic on the kitchen table while a bit of sun brightens this MLK holiday of sadness for the people of Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

There is more knitting!

The wrist has improved so that this is where we are with a BSJ for charity. I plan on using this as part of my Ravelympics entries. It's named BSJ Spring ;-)...since this was started in below zero windchill, the colors 'spoke' to me.

Knitting with a 24" #5, I am using Caron yarns previously purchased and used in other projects. (There is) Nothing like utilizing a bit of the yarn stash! In this case, acrylics and acrylic washable blends are encouraged.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Nikki loves his prezzie.

Unlike some gift recipients, Nikki continues to be pleased with this year's catnip mouse, his Christmas prezzie.

He's an old kitty, born in 1994. Nikki still loves to play and purr and warm up laps.

Knitted with love Christmas prezzies are best!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It continues.

The clouds scoured out yesterday and with them, Winter doldrums. Gorgeous cloudless blue sky ensued. Temperatures zoomed to the high 20's.

This morning temperatures were between minus 16 and one degree above zero.


It continues.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Tawny says






do when

it snows

for weeks


to simply enjoy it!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Prickly Pear handspun hat on a Snow Day

Much as DH is the greatest fiber enabler imaginable, he just doesn't (usually) wear sweaters or scarves or hats or mittens, store-bought or handknit.

Today as the temps dropped and another band of snow also changed the the two hour school delay to our first Snow Day, Russ asked for one of my handknit hats to finish clearing driveways!

This handspun was one of my first natural dyeing attempts when we lived in Arizona. The grey is a grey corriedale from Minnesota, but the peachy color is natural dyeing from prickly pear cactus tunas we had in our Cochise yard. Yes, the hat was made with two partial skeins and there was a color variation.

To make the prickly pear dye I picked the prickly pear fruit (called tunas, pronounced like tuna fish), steam/boiled, "smooshed", then drained through cheesecloth to remove cactus spines. In the dyeing process, the skeins were submerged in the hot but not boiling cactus juice with vinegar used to set the color. This dye retained its vibrancy for several years, now mellowing to an Arizona sunrise colorway.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Roc(k) Day

She layeth her hands to the spindle,
and her hands hold the distaff.
[Proverbs 31:19]

In many cultures, Roc(k) Day, January 7, was the day to return to work as the Christmas season (no work, all party) ended January 6. In the days of those who had to spin for clothing and linens, the girls/women were busily back at their wheels and the boys/men pulled pranks on them, teasing as the work season resumed, sooner for some than for others.

Oh, and in case you get a chance to see the Skacel "Addiction" ad on the back cover of "Verena" Winter 2010, the knitter is a fine friend of ours from Camp 2.0 in 2006, Dolores' roomie, Franklin. What a photo.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Remember the Season

Remember the sheep stocking? Yarn Elf says that stockings come in twos. Being such, Yarn Elf sent Russ a deer mini-stocking he knit for DH. He couldn't find a proper school bus and DH normally sees a lot of deer on his runs. DH is very pleased.

What season is it?

I just couldn't let this fuchsia in the hanging basket from the back porch go this year. So often fuchsias die before the first frost. This hanging plant just keeps blooming, including in the kitchen when it's snowing outside! Unfortunately the amaryllis prefers sending out beautiful leaves to beautiful flowers.

Snow. Grrr. It's been snowing 8 days straight and there's more to come. PITA.