Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spring Visitors

Yesterday was cool and dreary, so we decided to give the pets a bit of entertainment. We placed peanuts on the window sill, and waited to see who showed up. ( The pets were on the inside of the window.)

This squirrel was taking the peanuts, one at a time.

The chipmunk had a better plan. See the  peanuts.

See the full cheeks! I believe we counted 4 peanuts go in before he left.

On a sunnier day, I found these poking up in the lawn.
Good signs of warmer days ahead.

My mystery shawl is starting to be revealed. This is the end of clue 1.
I have 24 rows left of clue 2, before the next clue arrives, tomorrow. I am keeping up pretty well. I like what I see, so far. Should be ready for shawl weather.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Twisted Cuff Baby Hat

I made one of these last summer.

The pattern I used is no longer available, so I created my own. The internet is a marvelous place. I found the measurements for baby hats here. There is a video on how to do the twisted garter cuff here. A three stitch i-cord tutorial is here.

Twisted Cuff Baby Hat

Needles: 2 - 2.5 mm straight needles
               5 - 2.5 mm double pointed needles
               5 - 3.25 mm double pointed needles

Yarn : About 20 - 25 gm. of sock yarn (fingering)

Using the 2.5 mm straight needles, cast on 100 stitches, leaving a tail to sew the seam later. Knit 5 rows of garter stitch (knit every row). Next row, twist the stitches, as shown on the video.
Continuing to work flat, begin K2 P2 ribbing, transferring the stitches to the double pointed needles, either as you go, or after you have completed this row. (24, 24, 24, 28).  Join in a circle and continue the ribbing for a total of 10 rounds.
Change to the 3.25 mm needles and knit even for 3.5 inches. (9 cm.)
Decrease Round 1: *K8, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14: Knit
Round 3: * K7, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 5: * K6, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 7: * K5, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 9: * K4, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 11: * K3, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 13: * K2, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round.
Round 15: * K1, K2 tog. Repeat to the end of the round. 
Round 16: *K2 tog. to the end of the round (10 stitches)
Round 17: *K2 tog. to the end of the round (5 stitches)
Round 18: K2 tog., K1, K2 tog. (3 stitches)
Knit a 3 stitch i-cord for about 2.5 inches.
Cut the thread and run it through the stitches, pulling them tight and finish securely. Tie a knot in the i-cord. Using the beginning tail, close the seam in the garter twist cuff.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Manly Project Bag

I know a new knitter who has a birthday coming up. So I decided, he needed a manly project bag.

I have made about a dozen of the Wide Open Zipper Pouch by Anna Graham at Noodlehead. They are my favourite little bag.  I made a couple of modifications to the basic pattern for this one.

Because I want straight knitting needles to fit in it, I made the large size taller, by adding the upper panel. It was about 5.5 inches when I started. I also made handles by cutting a piece of fabric wide of fabric by 4 inches. I inserted the handles into the seam between the two pieces, then top stitched them to give the handles a bit more support.

The fabric was from my stash.

Ambulances and inukshuks, for a Canadian paramedic currently working internationally.  Inside, a little surprise.

Aren't those cats wonderful? I think he will enjoy them. I added a pocket to the inside, because I thought with the deeper bag, things are more likely to get lost in the bottom. I am going to add some needles and yarn, as well as some stitch markers, a yarn sewing needle,  a tape measure and a little pair of scissors.

Meanwhile, I started my mystery shawl.
I like the pattern, so far, and there aren't too many rows to knit in a week.

I got a lovely surprise in the mail the other day. I had entered Grandma Coco's pincushion contest,
and Cheryl very generously sent all the entrants some of her fabulous hand made buttons.

Now, don't you wish you had entered?

If you want some of these buttons, Cheryl has some available, with proceeds to the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project. Just hop over to Funny Business Buttons, and grab some for yourself. Now, what am I going to make to add these to? Maybe another project bag, with handles.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Sunday Musing: Sloth

I was thinking about  sloth today.

Not this kind, but the kind that is considered by some to be a sin.

The website, 7 Deadly Sins, defines sloth as  Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

Now, you may ask, why I am musing about this. Well, because of this:

Those are my fingernails. They are almost always painted and the colours are often unusual for fingernails. I am not a pale pink kind of person. This week, they will be metallic teal, because it makes me smile. I have polished my nails, regularly, since I was 15. That is quite a long time. As I have gotten older, the colours have become wilder, and of course, people notice. Which brings me to the sloth.

It seems that having your nails nicely polished is considered a sign of not doing anything. I am not exactly sure why. People who know me, and know I have a reasonably busy life, still make comments, like "it must be nice to have all that time to do your nails".  Or "Don't you do any housework?"

My manicure routine is one I have perfected over time. It takes me about 40 minutes to take off the old polish, put on 5 coats of fresh, and some nail polish hardener. Done properly it lasts me a week to 10 days. I can finish the job in less time then it takes to watch a TV show. I do it while I watch TV. because I can't stand to watch TV and do nothing with my hands. I consider it multi-tasking. And yes, I do housework (although I would rather sew, or knit). I own and use rubber gloves to protect the polish. I can clean bathrooms, and my nails will still look like this.

So my response to those who tell me it must be nice: you are right, it is nice to have pretty nails. The polish is OPI This Color is Making Waves.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Weekend Summary

Now that the giant blanket is finished, I finished off a couple of other knitting projects this weekend.

The first was a hat, I started back in January and was my waiting room project for most of the winter.

This is the third one of these I made this winter. This one is in Cascade 220 Superwash. It is a nice wool to work with, lovely and soft.

I finished the second sock of the baby socks.

Now there is a pair.

And I made a hat to match.
I made a similar hat last summer, but the pattern is no longer available, so I made this one up on the fly. I will turn my project notes into a blog post, in case somebody else would like to try it, of I need to make another.  :)

Update: I finished the pattern. Twisted Cuff Baby Hat

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Finishing up March

I managed to finish my afghan that I have been working on all winter. My notes say I started January 7.

 By the numbers it has about 65,000 stitches in it and 1800 metres of yarn! No wonder it took me all winter.

Last week I had a doctors appointment, and since this was way too large for waiting room knitting, I did this.

Want a closer look?

It is a baby sock, knit from Kate Atherly's baby sock pattern, with a garter twist cuff. Isn't it cute? I think all the babies will be wearing lime green, this spring. The second sock is underway. I did forget to cast it on when I finished the first, however, the ribbing is nearly finished, so no danger of second sock syndrome.

I also finished another pillowcase dress.

The kit came with white binding, but I thought that was kind of dull, so I dipped into my bag of left over binding strips.
This piece was left over from my Maritime Beauty!
The afghan went for a soak in the tub, so it was ready to block.

And then we took Doug to the dog wash.

He doesn't look very happy, but at least he smells better now.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Calendar Says Spring

Sadly, spring is actually fashionably late. Yesterday it was -13C when I went out at 10AM. It is slightly better today, but still cold.

So, because I am impatient, I stuck my feet in my high boots and tramped out to my forsythia bush.

See the snow in the yard. The forsythia says it is ready for spring. You know, you never notice how messy your counters are until you take a picture in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, I finished the body of my baby blanket, and now I am onto the knitted on border.

I wasn't sure I liked it when I started, but it is growing on me. I need to get it finished, because there is another mystery shawl starting from Fiddle Knits.

I am going to do mine in the grey, but on earlier ones of hers, I have had to buy extra yarn. since the border can be a second colour, I think this blue will work nicely.

I made a pillowcase dress. Our children's program at the church is sending them to Africa. The fabric and trims were selected by one of our children, and put into a kit. I am not responsible for the colour choices.

It still needs to be hemmed and given a good press. The directions were rather confusing, so I just did my own thing. Here is the top.

I have another kit to finish. I wonder what I will find in it.