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Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Anything but Lazy Kate

I could not wait to spin all my cotton to try out my Anything but Lazy Kate.  I had my first bobbin of cotton wound off on 5 plastic bobbins and had spun about 3/4 of a second Hansen Woolee Winder bobbin full.  I made a 3 ply and have yet to soak and dry it.  The Kate really worked well without any additional tensioning.  I may ply a second skein before finishing the rest of my Ewa Beach cotton.

Very little knitting has been going on.  I wanted to make a hooded cowl after watching Seventh Son.  Jeff Bridges has a cowl that has a nice drape and reminds me a lot of
The one I use the most does not form a nice hood.  I found this pattern on the LionBrand site
by Lion Brand Yarn and Number 4 sister was nice enough to pick up the Thick and Quick with some coupons.   The contruction intrigued me so I knit it up.  Two skeins.  Face has been blurred to protect the hopelessly paranoid.  It's basically a garter stitch rectangle.  Instead of binding off I folded the piece in half and grafted the end off.  With the beginning yarn, I sewed up the sides.  It made for a pointy hood and something very wam and cozy.  Not for Hawaii, though and not very drapey.  It was fun to make. 

I found a quilt I made a while back, back before I knew much about quilting.  It was a sad thing with a folded over border, that didn't even have batting all the way to the edge.  The fabric is a bit spotted and the quilting bad.  There are a million puckers.  But it is one of my very favorite patterns, Storm at Sea and it is nice and soft.  So I decided to trim off the weird border and bind it, and use it.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Catching Up

April 1 I will be coming up on 10 years blogging!  A decade!  I started this blog when I had lots to whine about.  Now that I'm pretty much retired, there is not much to whine about.

What there is, is a whole lot more time to think about gardening, housecleaning, and exercising, which is still not happening as much as it should.  There is a little more walking and so far two zumba classes.  I'm thinking about giving up my regular massages since the price went up again and go prn.  I've also giving up regular haircuts, for a while.  I'm contemplating using that money to join the Y.  In a year I can get free membership through my health plan.  I'm not really the gym type, but I'm willing to give it another try. 

It's be a revolving door of sisters the last month or so.  So nice to have them visit mom and help her with those things she cannot do anymore at 91.  She can still do plenty though.  Her garden puts me to shame!
Her honohono orchids are doing exceptionally well this year.  They are so fragrant!

On the knitting scene there was another Giro and another Cadhla Shawl.
A friend brought some Romney yarn from NZ for the Cadhla Shawl.  She has another Cadhla I knit with Pima Fresca Solid by Queensland Collection that she says is her favorite shawl and requested another.  This yarn is way warm for Hawaii! I used my last bit of Noro Aya for the Giro, my third one.
I did a little Wilton's cake dye dyeing on some Romney locks.
My kind of dyeing...non toxic and done with kitchen supplies.

I finished 3 quilts.  2 are large lap quilts and one is baby quilt size.  I used up my flower blocks from the 2014 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop and made a pieced backing.  The pattern is called Garden Path and is free from McCall's.
The two pink and green ones are called Summer in the Park.  I arranged the blocks in different ways and used only two Amy Butler prints and white.  The smaller one has a flannel backing which really showed up the machine quilting nicely.  The machine quilting was done by Barbara Alama. After seeing her fabric stash I'll feel no shame when I look at mine, lol. 

I had fun making my own quilt label with a rubber stamp and sharpie.  Ironing the fabric on freezer paper really helped.  I heat set the label before hand stitching it on.  Next time I will sew it into the binding. 

I'm still spinning cotton.  It's a long term project.  I can't wait to try out my Anything But Lazy Kate.  I may just have to interupt the cotton spinning and ply!  This cool gadget was a birthday gift for my wonderful and enabling sisters!  Aren't sister grand?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Marietta's Circular Jacket, pattern

Marietta’s Circular Shrug (not tested)

This shrug like jacket starts at the outer edge and is knit in the round until the underarms.  At that point the back flap is continued until it is large enough for the arms.  It is joined to the top with a 3 needle bind off. 

Material:  Berocco Ultra Alpaca

Needles:  Size 7, 16 inch.  Two size 5 circular, 16 inch. (or one size 5 circ and one needle holder)

Gauge: I'm bad at gauge swatches.  Ultra Alpaca is a lighter worsted.
Picot Cast on:  Knit Picot CO. 
Start with 5 stitches.  * (BO two.  Place remaining stitch back on left needle .  Cable CO 3 stitches.) Repeat from *.

With Size 7 needles, CO 80 stitches using the picot CO

Join to knit in the round.  Place markers at beginning and halfway point.  K2P2 for 2 inches, slipping markers as you go.

Change to size 5 needles. 
K2P2 for 1 inch. 

Decrease row and bind off for armholes .Bind off 4 stitches.    K1.  (P2tog, K2) to last two stitches before marker, P2tog.  Bind off 4 stitches.  K1.  (P2tog, K2) to last two stitches before end of row.  Pick up front loop of first bound of stitch and purl it together with the last two stitches.  This prevents a gap in the armhole.
Turn to work the back section back and forth.  Begin wrong side of back with new size 5 needle. The rest of the stitches (top back) are left on the original needle. (the remaining stitches can also be slipped to a stitch holder)  P2,K1 in pattern to the end of the row.  Continue in pattern as established for 3 ½  inches.  End with right side row. 

With right sides together do a 3 needle bind off with top back. Knitty has a nice tutorial. 
Weave in ends.

Closure as desired. 

The yarn for this hand spun version is a smaller gauge then the Ultra Alpaca.  I CO 72 stitches.  It was a bit snug.

For the first try I used a DK bamboo, CO 144.  This was more stitches then necessary, and made the pattern fussier.  The CO row was not quite stretchy enough (German twisted CO)   CO very loosely or over two needles.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Coming Up out of the Darkness, Post by the Drama Queen

Nothing makes me fall into bitter despair more then a virus.  Somehow that internal waging of war takes a lot out of me and leads to weird, paranoid dreams, feelings of worthlessness and general whining.  To compound matters, my creative efforts were total busts!

No pattern Bubble Skirt for Marietta.

I had no elastic, so tried using fold over elastic and beading elastic. I gathered the bottom too much and the top not enough.  I will try this again, because it is darn cute!

Just not enough layers and too see through.  I will definitely try again, as Marietta has the shoes and the tights!  Perhaps I'll even try a leotard if I can find the right stretchy fabric.  There is a tutorial that makes it seem so easy!

I found a nice recipe for Ginger Tea which helped my sorethroat.  It wasn't bad with a shot of bourbon either!  It helped me sleep! 

My only accomplishment was to read a whole book.  This may be a small miracle.  I rarely read any more unless it's a craft book or pattern.  Gone are the days when read 6 books a month.  The book was Bundori, by Laura Joh Rowland.  It is a murder mystery that takes place during the Tokugawa era.  It's actually the second book in the series, so now I'm reading number 1, Shinju.

About day 5, my energy and sense of hope returned.  My sleep cycle returned to normal.  I'm resolved to move on!

I finished spinning my white Giant Angora. These really cute bunnies are raised by Dr. Albert Mina, a vet on the Big Island.  I am tempted to get a bunny, but the amount of grooming they require, not to mention the mounds of poo they produce...oh my, lol.  I wish I could find that funny blog post I read once about a lady who didn't spin, got the rabbit first and never did learn to spin.  She basically said everyone and everything in the house was covered with angora. 

I ended up with 46yds, 26 grams of 2 ply.  I decided to try spinning this without combing since it was so clean.  My last two spinning adventures and watching DVDS blogless Sandy loaned me, hit home regarding fiber prep.  Don't be lazy!  Get those short cuts. noils and VM out  before spinning, and the resulting yarn is much nicer.  I have to give up holding on to as much fiber as possible and throw out the stuff that is not good.

Marietta would like a circular shrug out this angora.  I am reading up on the anatomy of a circular shrug and it sort of makes my head feel like it's going to explode.

So on to something cute and mindless!  The Infamous Hanging Basket!

100% Acrylic 
Size K
This used just a little over half a ball and came out rather tiny.  I'm going to make another with Super Bulky  and size N hook as the pattern suggests.  
 I won this yarn at Stitches Midwest and it was not fun to knit.  However it took to being crocheted quite nicely and I think,  the best that acrylic has to offer (lasting an eternity and being totally color-fast) will work well in a bag.   I envision a larger one to hold spare toilet tissue rolls and replacing my well worn, faded bag ladies.  Perhaps bag ladies will be obsolete when Oahu bans the plastic bag. 

Another successful project was replacing the button on my gear shift which had cracked off.  There are youtubes for everything!

My car still locks in park, but  the handy dandy screwdriver trick should get me through to next weeks appointment.  That can be a more complicated problem unless it's just a fuse.

Add:  One other successful project for Marietta finished before the dread plague set in.  The Hunters Cowl, somewhat like Katniss Everdeen, only knit.

I didn't not write the pattern down and 14 inches of i-cord times two, was so boring!  Also the Wool-ease was quite splitty to work with.

Of course, now she wants the bow and the leather jacket.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Knitting and Spinning FOs

5 Mitts
 A fingerless mitt obsession hit right after New Year.  I decided I would stop after 5 pairs.  These are the ultimate instant gratification knit, each pair taking only a day. They are also a great stash busting probjed.   I caught up on my TV shows!

1.  Owl Mitts in Malabrio Rios.  I think these are my favorite.  The owls are a bit hidden by the yarn variegation.  I know sewing on eyes would help, but I quite like them they way they are. The pattern is a combination of Bead Knitter Gallery and Kerrie James Owlings and the pattern on Knitty Fetchings..  The pattern is easy to see by looking at a photo of other owl motifs.  I CO 35 stitches since I needed a multiple of 5. 

2. Irish Hiking Mitts by Karin Michel from i K n i t 2 P u r l 2 in 2 Ply Worsted by Black Water Abbey. I love the look and color of this yarn but it quite scratchy, even after a good soak.

3.  does it ever bother you that your life doesn't make sense? by Jennifer Amey from smartygirl
in Cascade Heritage Solids & Quatro Colors.
I had yarn left over from my Tardis shawl.

4.  Blue Mitts.  Libernating Mitts by Alison Stewart-Guinee from Knitting by Hand tosh merino by madelinetosh colorway Baltic.   I added a thumb gusset. 

5.  Malabrigo Mitts.  75 Yard Malabrigo Fingerless Mitts by Jeanne Stevenson from Life in Cleveland Malabrigo, colorway Amazonas.   I lengthened the cuff to 15 rows. 

Bond Wool, Weird dye job

I finished plying my Bond wool from Stitches Midwest.  I ended up doing a two ply and got a nice bouncy wool.  My fiber prep is less then stellar and I will have to pick out noils and VM as I knit.  The original was a natural fawn and I decided I would try to dye it with Wilton's cake dye.  It's a bit weird.  In one area the blue dye colors separated and made red.  In general I was too skimpy on the dye.  I will knit something and then re-dye it.  As usual I'm not sure on the yardage or gauge, but I have about 4 ounces.

The angora allergy test is complete.  The verdict is that I'm not allergic, but those hairs tickle my nose and make it run.  I can wear a mask when I card it.  Dr. Mina on the Big Island was nice enough to send me some samples to work with.  I finished the English Angora and ended up with about 1/2 ounce.  The stuff is very soft and is a nice off white with gray highlights.  So far Marietta has a scarf from it and will have fingerless mitts in the future.

Modified Rustic Potato Chip Scarf by Ratchadawan Chambers from Learn Knitting Stitches Size 8 needles.  CO 11 stitches and had only one stitch in the middle for the turns to bunch it up. 

I survived the holidays so far.  I'm trying to focus on the good things, knitting and spinning to keep from losing it.  

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year!

Hello 2015!

It will be awesome!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Marietta got some new clothes for Christmas from her Aunty, the Sky Goddess.

I'm trying a new method of store my ear pods.  Thank the boys for my Nano 7.  This is one of those plastic bobbins I got for intarsia. I'm wondering how long it will last.  It is a bit fussy to wind and wind.  I'm already trying to imagine a good holder to make for the Nano.  It has no clip or anything. 

Happy Holidays to all of you!  I love having you stop by the blog.