More progress… and today on my needles

I stayed up very late last night, but did finish the knitting on the blue Triinu shawl.  Yeah!

This morning I blocked it.  I love that something can go from this:

triinu near the end 2 15

to this…

blocking Triinu 1

to this…

blocking Triinu 2

to this!

blocking Triinu 3

Look at this pattern – it amazes me that it can be made with yarn and sticks.

blocking Triinu 4

Of course, it apparently takes months.  🙂

I really pushed myself to stay focused on this and the blue sweater this week, I wanted them off my needles and in my wardrobe, and I wanted to work on other projects.  As lovely as these are, they were getting to be tedious.

And now I am free to work on this project.  And cast on one or two other things.

Charleston 2 17

Life is good!

Here are a couple of non-knitting photos for you – a week ago we had a sunny day. And it was warm enough that I got off two shots before the camera batteries died of the cold. This is the best one. I don’t even know how to tell you how deep that snow is, except that when I stand on the ground, the lower deck rail in the near corner is above my shoulder.  So what’s that?  4 feet or so on the ground?  Ugh.

house in snow

Here’s a photo of Allie.  She has a new best thing – the minute I pull the purple internet cable out to log on, she comes flying, throws herself on it, rolls around and then goes to sleep.  We like to say that Allie loves to be on the internet.  But that’s just our lame joke.  🙂 Note that she is sleeping directly beside a very cozy basket bed. She’s some cat!

allie on the internet

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Today on my needles

Well, OK, this is yesterday’s photo, I can’t keep up with a shot a day, it turns out.

Visible progress is being made on this piece, and I can’t wait to have it done so I can WEAR it!

triinu jan 24

Another knit-heavy post/Today on my needles/What I am up to this bright Monday

On my needles – the photo was taken this morning, but it is what was on the needles all day yesterday.mitten and sweater jan 18

Yesterday I conceded that the cold was winning and did the only thing I know of to beat it – I stayed put on the couch with knitting and Gray’s Anatomy reruns.  All those doctors did the trick, I feel much better today!

The mitten is coming long, although I did rip it back to the cuff when I realized I was carrying the yarn too tightly between needles.  That problem is solved, I have made up all that ground and then some.  I think they will be too long on me, but I will wait and see.  Meanwhile, I am learning about thumbs.  Elizabeth Zimmerman uses something she calls a thumb trick so I am trying it, as she is, after all, a certified knitting genius. I am loving these beauties, I knew I was ready for some red and white mittens!  Because of all the nice carried yarn, they are thick and warm, too.  Can’t wait to get then done and on my hands.

The sweater – sigh.  I love blue, you know I do.  And I do need a blue cardigan, I truly do.  But this “very easy” lace is killing me, I can’t get in the flow of it,so it simply isn’t becoming instinctive and mindless.  However, I made a real push this weekend, and finally got up to the armholes!  Now, the directions have me supposedly knitting first the left front, then the right front (with opposite shaping to the left, of course) and then the back.  And it all says “working in pattern.”  I was in a dilemma, as I can’t read the knitting! How do I know where the heck I am or left off in the pattern? So, I joined two more balls of yarn, and am knitting both fronts and back at the same time.  That way I at least know which row I am on.  I THINK I have figured out where each section begins in the pattern, but time will soon tell.  The good news is that there are now 72 fewer stitches in a row, so it should go faster.  As long as I keep those three balls untangled.  And I will definitely be knitting the two sleeves at the same time so that they stand a chance of matching.

But what else have I been up to?

Well, reading blogs, of course, and uploading hats to Etsy – thanks to all of you who have looked at my shop, and don’t forget to let me know what you think if you haven’t already. I think there will be some cards and things posted soon, in the next few days, at least.

Since it was the weekend, A was home with me the past few days, and she was such a sweetie, doing lots of laundry and table clearing, and being generally a good sport about being married to a slug.  🙂  She even drove me to Ellsworth on Saturday so I could pick up a book the library had gotten for me.  Since it is the book club book, and the meeting is tonight, it was sort of important.  🙂 (My Brilliant Friend – more on that when I finish it) we did a few other errands, then had breakfast at Martha’s Cafe, which we love.  I like to go out for breakfast, because the food is so yummy, and it doesn’t cost the earth. I like Martha’s because she makes delicious everything. I had a veggie and ham stuffed omelet, and stole some of A’s raspberry muffin.  mmmmmm

Today, besides finishing the book and not getting sucked into red and white knitting, I plan to do the housework I did not do Friday (start deep cleaning the bedroom) and get into the craft room to make some cards for the Etsy shop – I am thinking Valentine’s and birthday cards, but I am open to ideas, so please, offer them up!

And I have to go check the mouse traps I have outside, they are no longer buried under a pile of snow – with all that rain yesterday and balmy (is it really 40 degrees F out there today???) air, we have almost no snow left – so I  can find the traps.

Other than that, I will putter, putter, putter.  🙂

Nupps for Claire

Claire over at Mollie and Claire is working on a shawl that has nupps, and she mentioned struggling with them.  I promised to get some photos of how I do it, and here they are.  Not great, as I took them myself, which is hard to do while maintaining tension.  🙂

The instructions always say to work the nupp stitches loosely, and they really mean it.  How loose is too lose?  I don’t know – I have never managed “too loose”, but I sure have managed not get loose enough!  This is how I do it now, and it seems to come out pretty well, although it is slow and tedious while working the first row, it makes the second row work smoothly.

First off, pull enough yarn loose from the skein that you don’t have to stop mid-nupp to pull more.

When I do the first K1 Yo, I make sure there is quite a lot of yarn involved, pulling the two sides apart almost an inch, while keeping a firm hold on the work to the left – so that the yarn comes from the skein, not the work.

nupp 2

Do that again after each k1 yo, and know that it will get harder and harder to spread the work apart, and by the last one, you won’t have anywhere near as much play with the work.  That’s why it is important to get a lot of play in the first one. Notice that at first, I can get a whole knuckle between the two needles, but by the end, it is about half that.

nupp 1

nupp 3

nupp 4

When they are all done, it looks like this – note that the stitches on the right are a bit longer than those on the left – that is OK, and will settle out when you put them all back together.

nupp 5

Coming back at across the purl row, you should be able to work your needles through all the stitches (in this case 7 stitches) and the yarn will spread out evenly across them all.

nupp 6

That’s it – learned by practice, practice, practice.  I hope it helps!

For those of you who are interested, this is a scarf I am working on, from Nancy Bush’s Estonian Lace book. the pattern is Triinu. The yarn is Malabrigo lace.

Friday List

First off – a note to the powers that be at Word Press. Please, could you add an auto save feature? Yikes – I just lost a whole Friday list post.

I’ll try to remember it all. 🙂

So this morning, I am waiting for the bug man to come do his regular quarterly visit, and then I will call Crimson Crow so we can meet in Ellsworth. Lots of chores to do there, and of course, some fun things, too. A visit to the Craft Barn is in store, if, after I check supplies I find I do not have 6 pieces of 12 x 12 brown paper. My challenge will be to leave with not much nothing else. I will do the grocery shopping while there, at the big store, and then head over to Reny’s for some Christmas shopping. We do a Christmas is for Kids program at work, and A and I try to help out with that each year. This year there were two kids who went unclaimed by all the other donors, so I am shopping for a couple of 4-year-old boys – should be pretty easy! Crimson Crow mentioned a trip to GoodWill, and of course, we will need lunch! Should be a good day.

There will be knitting involved somewhere along the way, of course. I have already done my sock knitting this morning, but I have two other projects on the needles right now – the Estonian Lace scarf, and the lace cardigan. Here’s a photo for you – both projects in progress – amazing the difference needle size and yarn weight make! I love them both in their place – no way would I ever get through a lace weight cardigan, though I would love it when finished. 🙂

lace projects

I have done some thinking, and reached a conclusion – this is my last pair of socks this year. I am slowing down the sock knitting, to make it last. 🙂 Twenty six pairs of socks! Wow, I never would have believed it. I was hoping to knit up my sock yarn stash, three skeins!!!! Did that ages ago. I am no longer afraid of socks, and I will likely keep knitting them, but at a much slower pace. So, this pair will linger on my needles. Actually, it will only be one sock that will linger, I will likely finish the current sock tonight or tomorrow. Part of what is driving this decision is that I have no more sock yarn, and am not ready to spend some of my precious yarn stash cash on more sock yarn at this point. With the changing finances ahead, I know it will be a while before it builds up to this level again.

Back to my list for today…

I will do a load or two of laundry, and the usual local chores, Post Office, etc.

If I have the patience, I will try to figure out why the new printer doesn’t see our Wi Fi, but even if I don’t crack that nut, I will start printing the photos for the Christmas cards (it prints fine with the cable). Yesterday I worked on cards at work, and it got me in the card making mood – yeah! At last! A says we are getting our Christmas tree on Sunday, and so the holiday things are coming together at last.

That’s about it – lots to do today because we are going to spend the day with A’s sisters and aunt tomorrow. So I had better get moving.

Have a good day!

quick knitting update – with photos!

Morning appointment got moved to the afternoon, so here I am, alone in my house for the first time in weeks – so of course, out come camera, knitting and computer.  🙂

Here is the Malabrigo blue Estonian lace scarf/shawl thing coming along – about a third done with the center section.

malabrigio triinu 1 third done

And here are the blue socks for Cousin P’s birthday complete – in time, I might add, in spite of having to rip out the whole foot of the second one due to non-attention on the part of the knitter.

sws 23 two done

Now, off to dress and get that long overdue haircut.

Sunday evening already?

this weekend sure flew by.  It was pretty good, too.  Did some knitting, some paper crafting, got the chores done, and cleaned up some of the garden work (although, i might be the only one who can tell.)

Anyway – I also took photos – not great ones, but they are photos.  🙂

Last year’s Halloween cards were quite elaborate to make, this year, I went a different route – found some nice pre-made plain cards at JoAnn’s (even on sale, cheaper than the paper would have been!  Then with a bit of ribbon, stamps, glitter and stickers, I made them fit the season. the colors on these are really bad, the cards are cream and dark brown, in case you can’t tell.  🙂

halloween cards

They started plain, and this is how some of them came out.  I should have taken these outside, but the wind was howling today.  So interior lighting and some flash makes these a bit odd, color-wise.

spooky house card

crow card

happy halloween card

pumpkin card

Oh, and I did some knitting on my socks – pair number 23 this year.  This is String Theory Hand Dyed yarn from Blue Hill, in Cobalt.  My first time using this locally hand-dyed yarn, but not my last, I  love it!  The pattern is business casual (third time making this, I really like the argyle effect) and it moves right along quickly.  Ravelry pattern page is here for more info.

.sws 23 one done

I also worked on the Estonian lace scarf, but haven’t got photos of that to show just yet.  I’ll try to get some of them next weekend for you.

The care giving grows easier as the patient is much more mobile.  She actually drove her car 1/2 a mile today to visit a friend,and has been going along with us on nearby quick errands.  She has to learn how to get about in public, and this is the first time she has had the energy for it.

Girls night out got postponed as one of the “girls” had to unexpectedly babysit her grandson.  So we had cookies and more time home together this weekend than we expected.

Appointment at the dermatologist went really well – there are (of course) a few spots she wants to treat with the topical chemo this winter, but nothing as drastic as it was last year – for one thing, I can cover these up, they aren’t on my face!  She thinks I did really well with sun this summer, so it was worth it, I guess.

I stopped at JoAnn’s on the way home, got all kinds of goodies on sale – they will be showing up in more than the Halloween cards above, I promise.

Last thing I can report on is reading.  Book group meets here on Monday evening, and will be discussing “Unbroken” which I have finally dug into this weekend.  I won’t get it done in time, but I have gotten through the war and out the other side.  Probably have 50-100 pages left.  I’ll read some at lunch tomorrow and fake the rest.  It won’t be the first time one or more of us have not finished the book.  🙂  However – I can say this – while it took me a long time to get into this book, and I don’t really like the protagonist, it is an amazing, disturbing tale.  It was tough whenever I really realized that this was non-fiction. really well researched and written, it reads as easily as a novel.  I look forward to hearing what the rest of the group thinks of it.