Friday, June 6, 2008

Here Comes The Postman!

IF you could read the Priority Mail label, you'd see that this box that was sent to me was from WEBS, my "not really local" LYS (one state over and a 2 hour drive, to be exact). I love boxes! Especially when I know it's yarn, but I don't remember "exactly" what I ordered at the moment of yarn purchase euphoria.
Above is a cone of Valley Yarns 2/10 Merino Tencel Colrain Lace in Whipple Blue, for the Celtic Knot Lace Stole. Also pictured is 9 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in Columbine, for my Chinese Lace Pullover. Sigh. But for today, it's back to my Tangerine Twist. I've found my oops area, fixed the errors, and I'm sailing.
Other good news: During the Tangerine Twist knitting, my Knit Picks Options cable became unjoined from the metal join. I emailed Knit Picks customer service, and I received an email within 2 hours stating that my free replacement was on it's way to me. Great service for awesome needles!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"Let's Do the Twist", as the song goes!

The Tangerine Twist, that is....More below... But for now, here's a bee (lower left on the catmint) pollinating. Go Honeybee!

I have an actual knitting update...on my ahem, knitting blog, which lately, has had more pet and garden pictures than anything else. A return to knitting for today.

On my needles, I sound like a broken record...Central Air socks (sock #2) with Bella colorway Blue Moon Fiber Arts mediumweight yarn. I've broken 5 rosewood size 0 dpn's with the first sock...I THINK because with this arthritis,I find that my hand grip on the tiny sized dpns has changed, and I'm not aware of the tight grip, as I'm generally a very, very loose knitter. So...I switched to some unused needles in my stash...6"Prym Inox metal needles, and things are progressing smooth as butter. Wild, huh? I have second sock syndrome, which leads me to...

Continuing my Tangerine Twist sweater by Susan Todhunter, found in the Knitty Summer 2007 issue. I'm knitting this in Classic Elite Provence, a 100% mercerized Egyptian cotton, knit with Knit Picks Options. Tangerine Twist is worked in one piece to the underarm, then divided and the upper back and fronts are worked separately. The button band is ALREADY worked into the garment, and the cables resemble tiny vines. This great little sweater was in hibernation for a few weeks over the past month due to health reasons (couldn't knit)...and now it's being picked up daily to get a few rows in.

Here is MY problem, though. It's not the pattern, it's me. I'm just about to decrease at the armholes, and notice pattern is off. As I've memorized most of the 12 rows of this pattern, I didn't mind frogging a few rows. However, I've frogged 12 rows (a repeat) 2 times...which is 238 stitches times do the math. :)

My problem...I'm usually able to multitask while knitting, but when I place my knitting down, I need to be acutely aware of where I left off, and READ my PATTERN correctly, even if it's "memorized!". I've "found" the deviant row, and I'm back on track. I'd really like to wear this sweater THIS summer. :)
I'm a knitter that looks forward to the next projects to be cast on when half way through the first project. of the following, perhaps:
The Voyager Lace Stole (will definitely be cast on very, very soon)

Celtic Knot Stole (most likely saved till July/August)

Chinese Lace Pullover (umm...the ordered yarn is on it's way...I couldn't help it...really)

Now, in the garden...

My dear hubby constructed 4 4x4 feet raised beds for my square foot gardening veggie beds. Our NH soil is great in some areas, but we live...on granite, and my own soil is unworkable. I do have a nice little perennial bed along a stonewall, but the soil needed so much amending, that I find it impossible to work the soil for vegetables. On the left, is my arch nemesis...the wild raspberry. Actually, we have acres of them. A blessing and a curse. Nice wild small raspberries, but roots and thorns and shoots are everywhere, poking up their heads wherever they please. I'm always on the hunt in the garden bed for new shoots. Nasty plants with tasty fruits.

After working together a few bales of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite, various composts, and a few bags of leftover Miracle Gro garden soil, I found that I ended up with a great, lightweight soil for these beds. Eureka!

In one bed, I have some of my 9 year old's favorite annual flowers, yellow peppers, and a few green pepper plants. In another bed, it's thyme, two types of basil, and curly parsley, along with some bush and vine zucchini and cukes. Trellises for the vine climbers are to follow shortly, but hubby doesn't know he needs to get them up for me, yet.

The third bed has mostly tomatoes...grape, Sweet 100, patio, and a Big Boy variety, along with some Dahlias in the corners.
Lastly, another bed has some cauliflower, more peppers, and I planted some beets, carrots, bush beans, and scarlet runner beans (also requiring a trellis to be constructed)

The haphazardly placed beds are placed on purpose where they are. Flat ground (sort of) and the best sunlight.

Make sure to look into your local WWKIP event. It's World Wide Knit In Public Day on June 14th. I'll be at our Derryfield Park in Manchester, NH. Come join the fun!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Secret Pal 12 Is Beginning!

Below is my Secret Pal 12 questionnaire answers. I'm looking forward to the start of this secret swap!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I love laceweight, fingering weight, and worsted weight natural fibers, superwash, or tencel blends. My favorites are Dream In Color, Shibui, Blue Moon Fiber Arts but I enjoy alpaca, merino, cashmere blends, sea silk, cotton... pretty much anything except acrylic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I store my single points in a clear vase, my dpns by size in dpn holder tubes, my Knit Picks Option sets in their case, and the rest of my circs are in their packages, in a Longaberger bread basket, organized by size. It's a weird system, but it works for me.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I learned to knit as a child with my grandmother, but recently picked knitting up again a few years ago, and more obessesively about 3 years ago or so. I consider myself a intermediate/advanced knitter, except for finishing! I'm afraid of it. Lace never scares me. Neither do cables. Just finishing. :) Maybe it's not scary, but just boring to me.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Not really.

5. What's your favorite scent? Lilac, Lily of the Valley, anything chocolate, Cucumber, citrus scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I love milk chocolate, chocolate covered raisins, Swedish Fish candy, Snickers, and ...did I mention, anything milk chocolate? :)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I don't spin. I garden, read, bake and quilt (although quilting is by the wayside right now).

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I like Contemporary Christian, Hymns, Gaither Vocal Band, Buddy Greene, Fernando Ortega, Celtic, Alison Krauss. Yes, I can play CDs and MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? Favorite colors...semisolids, solids, or varigated ...dark reds, blues, fall colors, chocolate colors, and anything except pastels or garish neons.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I have my dear Hubby, 3 sons (19, 16, and 9), 2 dogs, 3 cats, geriatric hen, etc...

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? Yes to all. I haven't worn a poncho since I was 8, though. :)

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Patterned or cabled sweaters, socks, lace shawls/stoles, felted bags...

13. What are you knitting right now? The Tramline Pullover, Central Air socks, and Tangerine Twist Sweater, Barn-Raising Blanket (all in Ravelry pattern library). Upcoming... Voyager Lace Stole, Celtic Knot Lace Stole, Chinese Lace Pullover, among others.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes, they're always appreciated.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I prefer circs (Knit Picks and Addis) for most knitting except socks...I still like wooden or aluminum dpns (sheepish grin)...I break a lot of size O rosewoods, so I'm back to bamboo and metal dpns for size O's.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes to both...I love them.

7. How old is your oldest UFO? An unfinished garter shawl from years ago...

18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas! Then Thanksgiving.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Besides yarn...Yankee Candles, heirloom veggie/garden seeds, whimsical garden items to put among the flowers/veggies. Buttons for cardigans.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I have all the magazine subscriptions I read, and I love Knitting Pure and Simple Patterns. I own the Wrap Cardigan pattern, but haven't knit it yet.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Finishing Techniques. I have books, but I don't enjoy it. I'm definitely a process knitter. I'd like to get better at continental knitting.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Yes, I am! Length 10.5 inches, 10 inches diameter.

23. When is your birthday? July 31st

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? KnittyKris on Ravelry.