Saturday, June 30, 2012

Messy, Messy, Messy!

What is this mess?
It's the Baseball Sweater, of course!  It looks pretty messy, all shoved into my knitting bag after knit night on Thursday, but I still had to take a picture.  You see, I reached a goal (two of them even) at knit night this week - Go, Me!  The first goal was to finish knitting sleeve 1 of the Baseball Sweater...done!  And my second goal was to knit through at least half of the second sock of my Racing for the AHA socks...done!  Yayyyyy!
Check the project page to see proof that sock #1 is finished!
There was another goal...I was almost finished with the letter W, and I really wanted to finish the knitting on Thursday, even if it didn't get stuffed right away...but (tragedy of tragedies) I ran out of yarn!  SNIFF!!!  I didn't have any yarn that was an exact match, but I did have some green that was only a couple shades off, so I managed to finish this letter up, stitched and stuffed as well, yesterday!
I'd show you the back, with the un-matchy yarn, but I don't think
I can bring myself to take a makes me twitch a little.  =/
Sooo, the sweater's a mess, the socks (with all the ends to weave in) are a mess, and the W is a mess, with one leg that doesn't match in the back...BUT, I reached THREE knitting goals this week.  That means that it's time for a treat, right?!?  What better way is there for the knitter to treat herself than to snatch up some pretty (and NEW and FREE) yarn in the Year of the Knitted Toy?
Yeah, one of my buds got her hands on skeins and skeins like this
that were destined for a dumpster.  Now, several are in my stash,
longing to become toys and kid afghans...Where are my needles and hooks?
Of course, there are other ways the knitter could treat herself...there's ice cream...and I had some of that on Thursday, too.  What can I say?  My friends and I know how to live...and 7 days without Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream makes one weak, fer surrrre!!!  So, as not to anger the ice cream goddesses (surely there are several), three of us stopped at Mitchell's on the way home from was still 88*F at northeast Ohio!!!  Weird...but true.  

I hope that you and your knitting are staying cool as a cucumber this summer, wherever you live!  Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Is it cheating, Dear Reader, if I am thinking of starting another blog?  


I mean, I love this blog, and I plan to keep up with this blog...


This, well this is my first blog...and there really is no blog love quite like the first...but I am itching for a new creative outlet.  That's not really so wrong...right?!?

(silence, followed by crickets)

After all, this is a knitting blog.  The "other blog," the one I am thinking of more and more with each passing day, will be different.  There would be almost no knitting at all.  It's going to be full of family stuff.  And I think having two blogs would ultimately make me a better blogger, no?

(Wait...was that silence tacit approval?)

Whew!  I'm so glad you approve!  And to prove my undying love and devotion to you, and to this knitting blog, here is some actual knitting content:

I have finally re-knit the right front (that I had to rip out because of a mistake - grrr!), and I have also nearly completed a sleeve!  This is one of those sweaters I'd like to block before seaming, to set the lace flat, and that will be a new experience for me...I think I may try to block the fronts and back tonight or tomorrow!  I'm also a tiny bit worried about this sleeve...when I pull it onto my arm, it's pretty snug.  BUT, there is a LOT of cotton (very stretch-y, not very bounce-back-y) in this yarn, so I am hoping a soak and block will help that as well.  :)

Ummm, this one is complete!  I know, I know, that's just a cuff in the picture.  The socks are not complete, but the pattern is, and it's for sale now on Ravelry!  All proceeds go to the American Heart Association (not the American Heart Assassination, CKW gals...good catch, and thanks!), and the pattern is only $5.  Thanks to my Girlfriend, Carolyn Warren, for spear-heading this project and doing all the detail work on the pattern!  

Yes, one more letter finished as well!  Now we can in, "La, la, laaaa - Linoleum!"  "No, Burt, listen to meeee..."  That Burt, he knows how to live!  I do too, and I can prove it by telling you that I've already knit through almost half of the letter "W" next!  Keep watching this space for more details...there are only 3 Letters Left!

See?  Knitting, in my knitting blog!  And I'll surely be back with more in a few days.  After all, knitting is the reason I even started this blog!  

For those of you who are curious about the new blog, check back here for a link in the next few days (weeks?).  If you're interested, that's cool, and I hope that you'll continue to pop in regularly for updates to both blogs.  If you couldn't give a peacock's patootie about my family stuff, that's cool too...but I hope that I will continue to see you around this blog.  I've really come to like seeing you each week!

Until Saturday, thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Someone's in the Kitchen with Pretty...

Someone's in the kitchen with Pretty!
Someone's in the kitchen I know-ow-ow-ow!
Someone's in the kitchen with Pretty -
Strummin' on the ol' banjo!

Well, no...not strumming on a banjo...but my Pretty Knitty kitchen has been a pretty busy place these last few weekends!  You see, Sundays are the day that the kids come over after church for dinner...and since my CSA pick-ups have started from That'll Do Farm, I get really excited about the cooking!  These are a couple of my latest Sunday Success Stories:
Crock Pot Pork Chops
Potatoes, carrots and radishes in first, pork
chops (sprinkled with seasoning salt) on top,
can of cream of mushroom soup on top.
So simple, sooo scrumptious!
Greens From the Farm (kale, swiss chard, chives, garlic scapes)
a little olive oil, and a can of diced tomatoes...
The veggies are great on their own as a side dish, but mixed into some whole grain, protein enriched pasta and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese, they are a meal in their own right!
I ate leftovers of this for days!  Loved every bite!!!
Buttered Radishes and Poached Egg, both from the farm!
You've seen this before, but I've made it again and again!
My Community Supported Agriculture share has been good to me so far, and this is just a portion of what I've received!  I can't wait for every Thursday, so I can see what's in my basket before I hit knit night with my peeps!  Thursdays are my favorite!  What's your favorite day? 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

BTW, I did knit this of progress on the Baseball Sweater in a couple days!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's not easy bein' green...

Nope, it's not easy bein' green.  Just ask this sweater from my last post:
I had to do something to rescue the poor thing from the cats...
they thought it's sole purpose was to make the dining
room table a more comfortable spot for a sunshiny nap.
I don't remember when I actually acquired this sweater, but I do remember thinking to look at the construction to see if it would be suitable to take apart and unravel, in order to knit something else with the yarn.  I never, not even for a second, considered this a garment to be worn (by me) in the 21st century.  However, I recently ran across this green monster while cleaning out some of my stash space in the basement, and I have been contemplating it for some time.  What did it want to be???  

Enter Mr. Coffee...
Handsome, isn't he?
...who now lives on top of the fridge.  It's really dusty up there, and the black shows off the dust like it's on display in the Dust Bunny Museum, but it's the best out-of-the-way place to store an appliance that won't see much use in the heat of summer!  Tired of climbing on chairs to dust the thing, I took another look at the sweater, and I grabbed some green thread...
I cannot remember why I purchased green thread.  Perhaps I was
rescuing it, because I know it's not easy bein' green?
I started stitching, and then I cut off the sleeves...
I promise that the sweater was not in any
pain during the procedure...
Then I tweaked the seams, stitching, restitching and carefully trimming until I was happy with the shape.  After a little less than 30 minutes, I found that I had the solution to the dusty coffee pot...and now my coffee pot wears a green turtleneck!
"Psst!  It's like 95 degrees! Can you get Pretty to take this thing off of me?"
Sincerely, Mr. Coffee
Have you re-purposed anything lately?

In Knitting Knews, there have been more cloths, and I have also gotten back to the Baseball Sweater.  Oh!, and I cast on for a new letter a couple days ago.  More knitting pix coming soon!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Decisions, Decisions...

What should I blog today?  Should I tell you about the washcloths?
Yep, still knitting cloths...these are for babies (not dishes) though.
Hmmm, I suppose you could use them for dishes too...
Should I write about my great exercise this week?
Seven mile walk in the park on Tuesday, and four miles
in the neighborhood on Friday...
Zumba on Monday, and elliptical on Wednesday.
What about the veggie tales?
I was going to cook this kale...until I tasted it raw while pulling it from the stems.
It ended up in the bowl with some beets and garlic vinegar...YUMMM!
(and I am glad there was more in my CSA basket this week!)
Maybe I should mention my next project...
This slightly felted, very green, 100% wool sweater is going to be
repurposed...I promise more details as I go.
Hey, Look!  I blogged!  That was easy!  Now I can get on with the day.  :D

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

All Washed Up?

Who?  Me?  All washed up?  Well, not yet, but I am well on the way!  It seems that I have knit 8 dishcloths since June now I can wash up any time I want!
Well, considering the theme, maybe I'll save these until Christmastime...or at least July.  A little Christmas in July never hurt anyone, right?!?  
Some of the designs are easier to spot than others, and there are some bigger photos on my Ravelry project page HERE, but this set is done!  
I've got that Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy knit in a cloth! Where?
Knit in a cloth! Where?. . .you get the picture.
I love being done with things!  It gives me such joy!  Right now, this project is not giving me joy...
It's the right front of my Baseball Sweater that needed to be ripped back to row 14 (I was near 100 rows when I found my mistake)...ugh!  It's ripped back, but I am having trouble getting motivated on the re-knit...ugh!  I just want to work on more of this kind of instant gratification:
Now that I'm finished with this set of Christmas cloths, what should I do next?  Baby cloths (to keep on hand for the baby showers that seem to come along all the time)?  Or wedding cloths (now that June is here)?  There are sets of summer cloths and flower cloths that I also have my eye on...Oh!  So many choices!  Maybe I'll just play ball after all...  =/

What's distracting you these days?  I hope it's something fun!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gee. . .That's a Little Odd. . .

Did you ever feel a little bit odd? A little bit off? Something was just not quite right enough that you just couldn't like it?  Did you ever feel that way with your knitting?  Occasionally, when reading through a pattern, I have that feeling.  I think to myself, "Surely that's not what the designer meant."  Sometimes that thought gets me into trouble...but sometimes it moves me to redesign the wheel, or the dishcloth!  

Remember Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth pattern?  Yes, just about every knitter I know has knit at least one of these, and if you Google that, you'll come up with several options, and most of them are the exact same pattern (which is one of the reasons I didn't offer a link here).  Every pattern starts out "Cast on 4..."  Four?  Four???  Really?  How can you make a corner with an even number of stitches?  The other thing it does, with that blunt corner of 4 stitches at the top and bottom, in the middle, the corners are only 1 row wide...1 row of 44 stitches...I just couldn't like it!  
I needed odd.  I needed design-like numbers, so I did a re-write.  Here's a Link to DOWNLOAD the pattern (pattern also below) for the new, the improved, Gramma's Dishcloth!!!  With it's rounded corners, and odd numbers (cast on 3, work to 45sts for 3 rows to round the other corners), I think you will like it. . .well, if you are anything like me, you will like it!

Veggie Tales -
Here are the goodies I got in my CSA Basket from That'll Do Farm this week!
Radishes, Lettuce and Kale - oh my!  More scapes and lemon verbena, and mint!  Ohhh, I see mint iced tea in my future, and more buttered radishes!  I've already sampled the radishes (again), and I can't wait to dig into the rest of these veggies later today!

In "Knitting Knews," I have been a bit fickle.  I still have not ripped out the front of the Baseball Sweater...I just can't face it, I guess.  In the meantime, here's what I have been working on (besides the cloth above):
For the Alphabet Soup, I have completed the letter G, leaving only 4 letters left out of 26!  The letters I still need to knit are K, L, N and W...I am thinking right now that the letter "L" will also be green.  :)  Already, I am finding the G all over the house, and I think he (she?) may be part cat, for his (her?) favorite place is in this sunny window!
Not to be outdone, some of my recent handspun also got in on the photo op!  This little lovely is llama fiber, spun (by me!) on a drop spindle and Navajo plied.  I showed it to you a couple posts ago...pre-washing, and here it is all soaked and dried and happy and fuzzy!
It's not much, and I'm not really sure what I am going to do with it, but isn't it lovely?  And isn't it funny how that next project is honing in on the photo?  It's a dishcloth.  A Christmas dishcloth, and I really am not sure why the obsession lately...can you tell what the picture is?
Again, I am apparently obsessed with the knitted dishcloths lately.  Not sure why, but I must have more cotton yarn, and I must knit more cloths.  NOW.  My friends are knitting socks and lace, and glorious beaded shawls.  Me?  I am downloading dishcloth patterns like a madwoman, and the knitting has only just begun...I'm really not sure if I'll ever finish that sweater...sigh!  But, I will never be in want of a dishcloth again!  (I don't think I have ever, ever been in want of a dishcloth.)

What's your latest knitting obsession?  Have you been sucked in by a shawl or a sock, or a mystery pattern?  Whatever it is, I hope that you love it as much as I am starting to love the humble dishcloth!

Thanks for stopping by, and knit in good health!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy Feet

Some of you may know that I am currently in the process of designing a sock with Carolyn, (cawshirley), of the Girlfriends Knitting podcast.  (There's also a Girlfriends Knitting group on Ravelry.)  Several in the group have been talking about doing a C25K program, and running in an actual 5k in the fall, and those that are in training are truly an inspiration to me.  You see, I don't run.  No, really.  Even if zombies were chasing me, I would probably just sit down, say my last confessions, and accept my gruesome demise.

Why do I not run?  I'd say that it's mostly the clumsiness...the way I can barely walk across the room without tripping on the flatness that is the floor.  I don't even need a disheveled area rug or a misplaced toy to trip me up...I can trip on air.  It's one of my many skillz...and the tripping makes me think running is not a good idea.  That, and the fact that I fall down like it's my job.  Most days, I am happy that I can still walk!

The other reason I don't run, or rather reasons, are my not-so-happy feet... My feet have not been happy for some time.  It's mostly my fault...I have overburdened them most of my life, and when I thought I might have broken my toe a few years back, I didn't even go to have it looked at.  (By the way, this has rendered me with one foot that does not flex...or curl.  This foot, my friends, is my unsexy foot.  The sexy foot is the one you see "posing" in my sock pictures, but the other one is usually just lying there, trying to look useful.)  I hope they will forgive me someday...but, at this point, I don't think running is the way to win my feet back.

Even though I don't run, I figured that I could join in the cause by helping with sock design and test knitting.  That I can surely do without falling down!  Proceeds from the pattern sales, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of yarn for the pattern, will be going to the American Heart Association.  So, the runners (and some of the non-runners) will knit the socks, and support a wonderful charity!  I promise to let you know when the pattern is available...the yarn is already up for pre-sale!  There are two colorways, linked HERE and HERE, if you want to take a look...or, you know, support a good cause by grabbing some new yarn!  Thanks Desert Vista Dyeworks!

You know who has really happy feet?  
Since she learned to walk, I think that Peanut's feet are usually the happiest of all the feet around here!  Last week, however, her feet were not so happy. 
Yep, that's an IV in her foot.  She needed fluids and breathing treatments.
Reactive Airway Disease (like asthma, and she'll hopefully grow out of it) landed her a night in the hospital, but some asthma medication and a portable nebulizer are keeping her from going back!  And her feet have hand knit Gramma socks, so they are happily running again! 
Catch me!, Catch me!, if you can...
Now her feet are getting back to normal, and we are all joining in the running after her again!  Slow down, Peanut!  Let them see the socks!
Now let's show them why you like to run to the front door...who's out there?
That Pop-Pop is somethin' else, ain't he?  He gives us all Happy Feet!

Thanks for stopping by!  Take care of yourself, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Veggie Tales

This week was the first pickup for my Produce CSA from That'll Do Farm, and lookie here at what was in my basket!:
Radishes, garlic scapes, lettuce, strawberries,
garlic flower infused vinegar, and fresh eggs!
My pickup is on Thursday this year, which is knit night, but it's all close together...and you might notice that I couldn't wait to munch on the fresh goodies! I bit into a radish before I even remembered that I wanted a nice picture of everything!  Ohhh, and it was yummy!  So yummy, in fact, that I even used some of these radishes and some chopped scapes to make myself a hot breakfast on Friday morning!
Buttered radishes and poached egg!  (The recipe called for
green onions, but I didn't have any, so I chopped scapes!)
I don't usually cook on a weekday morning (and truth be told, I only cooked for me...didn't even offer to Sweetie - does that make me a bad wife?), but the basket just begged for my attention...and it did not disappoint!  I have never cooked a radish before, and now I can't imagine living without having this dish at least once a week!  I am thinking there will be a Veggie Tales segment in the blog every Saturday through the CSA season!  I just love this stuff!

Of course, this is a knitting blog, and I have made some knitting progress recently, so check this stuff out!  A new, updated photo of the hitchhiker, which is really growing (despite the fact that I don't get much time to work on it). . .
The color transitions are just lovely!
I've run into a bit of a snag on the baseball sweater, tho.  While I was laying it out to show you that I have finished the back and the left-front, I noticed that I forgot the 3 garter stitches at the seam side on the right-front!  Aargh!
I know, I know.  Rip it back and do it right...
I thought about just going on without it...I am more than halfway done with the right-front...but I realized that I really won't be happy unless I rip it back to row 20 (sigh!), so that's the plan.  At least the ripping goes faster than the knitting did, and the knitting was pretty quick in either case, so easy come-easy go!  Then easy re-knit, right?  (Somebody hold me, please?)

Wait. . .  Did you hear that?  Was it?  No, it couldn't be. . .but I think. . .  There it is again!  It's my Spinning!
Well, hey there, Spindles and Fiber!  It's been just ages!  You guys look GOOD!  Better than I remember. . .Oh!, and one of you even has singles!  But enough about your yarn, let's get a better look at those whorls. . .
I believe these are some kind of resin.  The pink is very light, the
purple a little heavier, but I can't remember the exact weights.
From an Etsy store called Dragoncraft, these are the real reason I ever made it past my first, very rough yarn. . .which is not very pretty:
Ok, it's not pretty, but it's got personality!
However, I did untwist that tiny skein to check for balance and such. . .and it doesn't really seem that bad now.  Well balanced, a little art-yarny. . .
When I held this up, there was no kink at all...
It was rough "practice wool" that came with a much less than pretty spindle in a kit I bought a couple years back.  The pretty spindles inspired me to keep going, but I did eventually lose interest. . .until yesterday morning.  I woke up Friday, wondering what I could do with the singles still wound on that pretty, pink spindle, and I decided to give the Navajo ply technique a try.
So I basically unwound the yarn from the pink one, and plied directly to the purple one. . .I think the fiber is llama.  Here's a closer look:
It's not super even.  It's nowhere near perfect, and I don't even know how many yards it might be, but it's really not half-bad!  I think I am going to spin some singles with some of the better "practice fibers" I have in my stash, checking out what it will take to make it thicker and/or thinner as I go. . .then maybe I can dive into something spectacular, like the ply-on-the-fly method of Navajo plying!  

Wow!  Thinking about all that twist makes my HEAD spin a little!  I hope you'll excuse me while I sit down over here and knit for a few minutes.  On second thought, please join me!  Can I get you a cup of tea?  Oh, you can't stay?  Sure, I understand. . .I hope you'll stop in again soon!  

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!