Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Finished Jacket!

I’ve been busy. I realized HOW busy when I checked another blog, and realized I hadn’t read it for three days! I finished the Bressay jacket (see photo below) last Tuesday, and have been wearing it nearly every day since then – and though we had a hellacious amount of ice (not snow, I’d much rather the snow) last Tuesday, and have been nearly iced in since then (most of the local school systems closed early on Tuesday, and didn’t reopen until this Tuesday [Monday being a legal holiday]). Driving’s been fine since late Wednesday, but walking. . . that’s another story. Even going out to our cars (which are right in front of our house, maybe, at most 20 steps from front door to car door) has been treterous – I’ve hung onto the cars to get to them!

But now it’s Ash Wednesday, and it got to over 50 today! We almost have a clear driveway!
And then here’s my next project: What is it?

A dog sweater for a greyhound! (That's Barnum the Maine Coon supervising.) The yarn I bought for it wasn’t making the desired gauge, and “feel,” so I fussed around, and have found that doubling it works beautifully! But it took four or five starts before everything fell in place, AND then . . . . I realized that I had misread the sizing for the sweaters, and was making it TOO small for a large greyhound. I spent a lot of time in the frog pond this week. But I’ve reached the fun part on the first sweater (I’m making TWO dog sweaters, and a matching vest for a choir friend who’s turning 50 in March), and expect to finish it by the weekend at the latest. I’ll start on the human sweater after that, then do the second dog sweater – and I believe the second greyhound is much smaller than the first, so she’ll get a smaller sweater. Here's the sweater drapped on my golden retriever, Kaitlin (she's fat and 12)

I missed both Tuesday knit groups, for two reasons, one I was scheduled to go the theatre to see King Lear (The Classic Theatre of Harlem production at the Folger Shakespeare Library – with the Fool played by someone I’ve known since he was 12! (he’s in shouting distance of 40 now)– He was BRILLIANT! And the production was very interesting!), two – even though we switched our tickets from Tuesday to Friday, I wasn’t going out in the ice. Apparently three brave souls did make it – and, I’m sure had a lovely evening. I didn’t make it this week as it was Mardi Grais itself! (Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Lenten Eve) and I love going to the Pancake Supper for Shrove Tuesday at my church –

Meanwhile, I finally got the missing yarn for the Elephants Baby Blanket! I paid for the skeins – they sent it with free shipping, AND three mini skeins of the other colors I was original needing – that I’d fudged. So I’ve been distracted from the dog sweater, and have picked up all the stitches around the blanket, and am busy working the border on it. More details on all, but probably not until after the weekend, as I'm off to New York state for a music weekend (lots of knitting time, no blogging time!).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I Think I Have Short Arms . . . .

I go from schizophrenic knitter to obsessed knitter. I finished the body of the Bressay Jacket Thursday night. Collar, button bands, and buttonhole bands, sides sown together, and started on the sleeves. The pattern called for picking up the stitches, and knitting back and forth – flat – that seemed silly to me, so I sewed up the sides, and picked up around the armhole, and knit down. Works beautifully, and is going fast. Just finished all the decreases – tried it on again – and it’s WAAAAAY too long – and I still have a cuff to go.

Sigh, so frog city. Back to the last of the every six row decreases, and just continue with every six row, and that should give me a short enough sleeve. One hopes. If that doesn’t work, I may have to rip way back and do an every fifth row decrease. I do hope this works. I’m suppose to go to the theatre on Tuesday, and I’d love to wear the sweater (suppose to, as DC is forecast the most snow we’ve had in a couple of years Monday and Tuesday – well, as long as the Metro runs we should make the theatre!)

Here’s a photo of how it stands before I start back on the sleeve. I really LOVE this sweater, it’s turning out wonderfully!

And the front, with our smallest cat Snowball in my arms

I went back to the new yarn store near me, A Tangled Skein (now on the web and got some lovely purple yarn to make a vest for a choir friend who is turning 50 in March – and has jokingly said she’d love a vest for her, with matching for her greyhound. I found a pattern in the book, Men Who Knit, and the Dogs They Love, that is perfect, and her favorite color is purple, so I got this nice purple from Araucaria Nature Wool 100% from Chili. The only problem with all this – one of her birthday presents is a SECOND greyhound! So, I need to make TWO greyhound sweaters! And besides going to A Tangled Skein, I had lunch at the restaurant across the street from it – Franklin’s. Good food – and for those into beer, it’s a brew bar! And a fun general store. A nice knitting outing for the day!

I’ve been bad knitting wise, got some new to me sock yarn this week – Apple Pie from Canada in a color called Blue Bayou, which I thought was bluer than it is in fact. BUT it goes gloriously with the Bressay Jacket, so . . . . it’s wool/mohair/silk and nylon.

I notice that the colors look bluer in photos then in the "yarn." Bit closer to true colors in the close-up.

Meanwhile my FI project is on hold as I try to find a 40” 0 circular needle. A Tangled Skein didn’t have one – more needles coming next week (and sock yarn, and other delicious sounding things). But one of my friends who went with me may have one, -- hopefully. If not, I’ll work the phones Monday and Tuesday. (Most of the LYS around here are closed on Mondays) And if that fails, get one on the internet. And I’m looking for buttons for the Bressay Jacket -- A Tangled Skein doesn’t have buttons. And I know from working in a yarn store, it’s hard to have a large enough selection of buttons for a broad range.

Back to the Bressay Jacket – I had hoped to have one sleeve done tonight, and I’m still hopin’.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

It’s Cold Out, and some Snow’s on its way . . .

So a great time to be knitting. I’m being VERY schizophrenic in my knitting. Yesterday I knit two repeats on my Orenburg Scarf,

and about six rounds on the FI project, and the button band on the left front of the Bressay Jacket. The pattern for the Bressay jacket has you put 11 stitches on a holder while you knit most of the front (after the ribbing) and then sew it to the rest of the front. I decided to try knitting it on as I went, and I’m very pleased with the way it turned out! I’ll do it on the right side too!

Today I’ve been focused on the right front of the Bressay jacket. My hands seem to want a break from doing the FI. I also actually did some errands, and have been doing some non-knitting work the past few days.

And I got the most wonderful set of stitch and row markers from Beadmarkers on Esty – I think I’m gonna LOVE ‘em. Thanks to Wendy of Wendyknits who wrote about hers, and sent me on the way to them.

I had a great Super Bowl, good food, good company – and LOTS of knitting! Got together with three knitting buddies, and had a lovely LONG knit – that’s where most of the FI got done.

And cold nights mean ALL four cats trying to be on the bed with us at night! The hierarchy is still be worked out between them. We’ve an old lady of nearly 14, who owns the bed (she just lets hubby and I sleep there at night) a nearly six year old who wants to be top cat, but is the smallest, and there fore . . . and then there are the babies, who aren’t yet eleven months old, but because of their sizes – especially Barnum’s, since he weighs in around 18 pounds already, feel they can go anywhere. The old lady is winning on the bed, as she can throw her considerable weight around, and does seem to command respect from the babies. Keeps life interesting.

Back to knitting.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Happy Candlemass Day!

Candlemass Day is one of those obscure Christian holidays, I’m not sure off the top of my head exactly WHAT it’s about, something about making sure you have enough candles, and they all get blessed, and perhaps collected for the church – I should look it up again. I only found out a couple of years ago that it was February 2 – I’ve read many a British book that talked about going back to school for the Candlemass Term, and I couldn’t get a time frame – and I finally got it!

Meanwhile, to knitting. I’m slogging along on the facing for my SIL’s present – will be glad when I get to the interesting knitting.

So, at the moment at home I’m knitting on two lace projects, one the frogged Adamas Shawl, which is almost back to where it was when I ended up frogging.

And the other is the start of the Orenburg Scarf from Interweave Knits – I really like the way it looks—

I’m off to lots of singing this weekend – a song swap at friends tonight, and then tomorrow my husband and I both are performing at the Folklore Society of Greater Washington’s Annual Mini Festival – a day of folk music, dance, song and stories. Husband is performing with both his ‘electric folk band” and his Civil War reenactment group. I’m leading a workshop on Songs of the Times – songs that evoke a time period, or are very much of a specific time period (I’m doing one that’s WWI poem set to music, and one that tells of the French & Indian war up in Lake Champlain). Hopefully between the two evens I’ll be able to get the 18 rows of 351 stitches done and Sunday start on the FI part of the project.

Keep warm! We’re going nearly artic for the next week here in the DC area – only so far, NO SNOW! (After tomorrow, I want a FEDERAL GOVERNMENT closing snow storm!)
And to end – here’s a photo of my Maine Coons, Barnum and Bailey together. Bailey looks bigger in this photo, but she’s actually almost five pounds lighter then her brother.

Recovering Adamas

I haven't bothered to get the camera out tonight, but I have almost knit back to where I had to frog on the Adamas shawl. I'll try to post photos of it and the Orenburg scarf.

And my FI February project is progressing slowly . . .

meanwhile, I thought I'd post a photo of one my babies -- my nearly 11 month old Maine Coon Kittens -- seriously, their not yet 11 months old! Anyway this is of Bailey, the female, on Seascape, one of the FI designs of Ron Schweitzer's for Yarns International's Shetland 2000 yarn.

More photos soon -- and I'll post one of both "kittens>'