Friday, September 30, 2016

Mail Call

It's so much fun to get stuff in the mail. I read about a British spinning magazine somewhere on-line that sounded so interesting that I ordered a package of 5 previous issues from 2013/14. A BRITISH magazine?? Yes. I bought our American Spin Off magazine for years but it's been the same old thing for some time so I stopped buying it. But I like to spin & I want to see what others are doing. So, yesterday, I got my bundle of YARNMAKER magazines in the mail.

Right off the batt, hahahaha, I think I like this magazine. It's bright, it's colorful & it's full of local stories about local spinners (yeah, I know they're across the Pond) but they have a slightly different slant to spinning, weaving & fibre than we do here in North America. They work mostly from the sheep, not the processed, painted or dyed roving or batt. There's stories about sheep to shawl/sweater or longest thread competitions & they even bring the sheep with them. They spotlight breeds I've never heard of. They spin most of their wool right from the fleece. And every page or two is another story contributed by another spinner, knitter or weaver & their personal woolly adventures. There's projects from scraps, projects from little looms, projects from spindle spun yarns & group projects. I'm totally charmed & I think I'll spend the weekend exploring my magazines & getting all excited about spinning again. Yes, Virginia, I AM thinking about subscribing.

The Woolly Sweatshirt progresses nicely. I haven't watched a whole lot of TV but while I have, I've been working on it. The fronts are crossed over, I've begun the stockinet body & I'm about three inches lower than this picture actually shows. Another three or four inches will bring me to where I tie off the arms & start down the main part of the body. I'm thinking seriously of creating a garter 'seam' all the way down the body from the extra stitches cast on under the arm to the hem. This will give me a nice, wide contrast strip at each side to break up all the stockinet. I'm not going to put a pocket on the front but may do a shirt-tail bottom with side vents. But, I don't have to worry about that yet.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

September Knitting

And I'll bet you thought I haven't done a damn thing in September!! I will admit that this September has been a bit chaotic. Here I am, newly retired & bogged down with more work than I've had in ages - BUT - I did get some things done.

The 'knitted' sweatshirt I've been starting & frogging for ages is now restarted as a TOP Down sweater using the Cabin Fever 'Need a Plus Cardigan?' guidelines. I decided I wanted a Garter stitch yoke & extended the V fronts beyond the pattern requirements so I can overlap them into a front wrap. I tried it on today & have decided to frog back to the end of the garter - you can see I've just started the plain knit body - to overlap the two fronts about 6 inches. Then, I'll restart the plain knit body. I haven't thought about how I'll make the garter 'seams' down the sides yet but the Cabin Fever pattern calls for added body stitches after the sleeves are tied off. The added stitches would make a nice garter strip about 3 inches wide down both sides which - gasp - would be a slimming factor in this very large sweater!! Hopefully, there will be several new British Detective series starting soon so I'll have good TV time to knit!

Maria's socks were finally photographed this morning. I put them away & couldn't find them again to take a picture before I gave them to her. Last night, I finally found the 'safe' place where I put them. I had to go out for lunch - they made my favorite Broccoli Cheese soup today & had a bet on as to whether I'd show up or not - and gave Maria her new socks!!! The yarn was a little muted for my taste, soft yellow, grey, tan & blue so I just couldn't help myself & added a few rows of neon orange just to brighten things up. Maria loved the muted colors & laughed at my orange highlights!!

And, just because, I started another hat. This has become 'car knitting' since it's
nothing but Knit2 Purl2 on 140 stitches on 3mm needles. Pretty boring knitting but I've got several balls of this lovely dark green, soft 'manly' yarn which should appeal to anyone with a cold head. The K2P2 rib is very stretchy & will stay on even while moving & bending. I've found a couple of places that will take any hats, mitts & socks I can produce that prefer wool or other natural fibres to keep people warm in the absence of central heating.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Winter Sweater in Heritage

I enjoyed an evening of 'Silent Witness' - an older British series about a forensic pathologist who speaks her mind & stands up for the Truth, no matter what. Needless to say, she was always in trouble with the establishment. A good series on PBS starring Amanda Burton. It gave me knitting time to work on the latest project, a casual winter sweater in Briggs & Little 'Heritage'. 
I bought a whack of it about 9 years ago when there was a big promotion going on - I planned on knitting a couple of adult hoodies & ended up knitting only one - so I had lots left to knit something else. I wanted a hoodie for myself but I don't want the kangaroo pocket in front to accent my stomach. I also don't need the big expanse of plain stockinet to accent it either. What to do, what to do?? 
I thought about a Wonderful Wallaby without the pouch with a seed or garter stitch border instead of ribbing & maybe creating 'seams' of pattern up the sides with an open side slit for ease but I worried that it wouldn't fit right in the belly & bust. I can't try it on as I go. I have to pray my gauge doesn't change & my math is right. And by the time I closed the bottom vents, I thought the fabric was too loose & sloppy.
Top down seemed like a better option since I can at least try it on as I go & make short row adjustments across the front but leave the back & sleeves alone. So, I got out my 'Need an Plus Cardigan' book by Cabin Fever & started a sweater from the top.
Since I wanted something a little different, I knit the first 6 inches from the neck down, across the top of the shoulder, in garter stitch in light blue. Yeah, the front will end up as an expanse of stockinet but I intend to make two wide 'seams' of garter from under the arms to the hem which will be garter as well. I've also been extending the front 'V' neck opening so I can cross the fronts over & avoid a front closure. I have my fingers crossed that this will work out 'cause I've decided what I need is really a knitted sweatshirt with a tunic bottom.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Knitting to the Tube

I've been TV-less since mid April. On the whole, I didn't miss it a whole bunch other than a couple of specials & a  holiday marathon I wanted to watch on Public TV. But, I'm sure they'll all be rerun several times in the future. Last night, I became the owner of a new-to-me flat screen instead of the dead 36" old boat-anchor I've been harboring. The nice 40 something fella took away the old one & hooked up the new for me. I even got out my knitting, sat in my favorite knitting chair - yeah, I did miss that - & turned it on when he was done. It now takes TWO remotes to make it work instead of the one I used to have!! I wasn't going to bother with the one that turns it ON & OFF but I can't find any way to adjust the sound volume without the second remote, so I guess I have to have TWO.

So I sat in front of it at just before 9:00PM all a twitter, knitting in hand & tried to find something on the Sched that I wanted to watch. Sad to say I turned it off just after 11.

TV has NOT improved in the 5 months since mine died. It was the same old, same old. Hopefully Knowlege & PBS have many specials, Detectives & Dramas on the way otherwise I may just give it up for good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It's the Thought

Never let a man who doesn't sew buy something for you at a Garage Sale. Bit of an oxymoron isn't it???? My little buddy Ron called on Saturday & asked me if I wanted some sewing supplies. He had run into a box of zippers, elastic etc & another box of quilting fabric. My first inclination was to say NO. No more junque. But I have quilting friends. And they have more quilting friends. So quilting stuff has a market & I said yes. Big mistake.

Sunday, after coffee, I found out how much 'quilting stuff' he & his buddy picked up. Boy, they really saw him coming!! The bitch 'nice lady' said she had some more stuff that he could have for FREE. And then she found some more. And what did I get?????

I ended up with two boxes of rags. RAGS. Clearly marked on the box as 'RAGS'. A box of pink quilted housecoat/bedspread leftovers - someone made something a long time ago & kept all the scraps. A box of old faded flannel pyjama bottoms & diapers. A box of blue plastic doilies, green plastic tablecloth & pieces of brown vinyl that hid old plastic & metal hangers. A box with a Mexican blanket & an umbrella. Two boxes of pant LEGS?? One box of kid's clothing. And one small box of zippers, 2 fingernail clipper sets, one old camera with film, one pair of pot holders, bias tape, elastic thread & other assorted waistband & sleeve edge elastic & a package of three, not four, DPs in size 4.5.

I filled an entire GARBAGE bin & half of the RECYCLING bin as well. He not only filled my garbage can with her garbage but paid to haul it away. I guess it's the thought that counts .  .  .

Monday, September 05, 2016


I'm getting really, really tired of this aging thing. If it isn't thumbs that won't hang onto something, it's a supposedly healed wrist that won't lift something else!!! It's like inclines & declines with a bad knee, you can motor along feeling pretty damn good without a cane & then boom! The knee won't do hills. Bah.
Last week I changed the battery in my big kitchen clock & then, when I tried to hang it up, down it went behind the big pantry. Got in the back with a broom & found plenty of dust & cobwebs but no clock. Totally fell into another dimension. Did Crappy Tire recall it or something??????

The de-junking project continues. I've found several hard cover crafting books that need new homes. I need the space for the new books I've acquired. No, no - I'm not adding to the chaos by bringing in new things really, they were already here piled on the freezer.
I found 4 pairs of plastic shoes I can't wear anymore. They've just gathered dust since the knee accident three years ago so they have to go. Hopefully they'll find good homes. The purple & pink ones were lightly worn before & will look good as new after their bubblebath. I don't think I paid more than 10 bucks for any of them.

I checked the local Recycling department to see what goes where these days. My landlady likes to complain about what I put in the bins & gave me hell for filling the Recycling bin with a bag of shredded paper because I put it out in a clear plastic bag. It was high quality office paper & worth more money than newsprint!! And coffee cups, she complained about them too so I've been putting them into Garbage. Apparently, in our City, shredded paper MUST be in clear plastic bags for easy separation & Take-Out cups are Blue Box items!! Our City also wants the Green garbage packaged in newsprint & the kitchen bin lined with newsprint rather than 'biodegradable' brown bags. The Compost People don't like those bags at all. Good! They're expensive on a fixed income. I was doing it right all along - I like to use old newspapers & even toss in the toilet paper rolls for good measure. I have a clear bag full of paper shreds that's almost as big as she is that's going out tomorrow!!! What a difference that will make in the office! Take that Ron!!!

Knitting content - I turned the second heel on my latest socks in the soft yellow, orange, grey, blue & white socks. They are a restful change from all those Pink/Purple Frankensocks!! I'd forgotten how much faster it is to knit socks straight from the ball!! These are to go to the new gal at my favorite cafe - Maria. She's waaaay too polite & nice for the joint & I said so on her very first day - she comes to our greasy part of the world from Kazakhstan - which used to be part of Russia - just a little north & west of Pakistan.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Personal Organizer

My buddy, little Ron, is a neat freak. I guess you have to be to live in a 35' trailer!! He offered to detail my new-to-me van in the spring & was quite shocked when I refused. I mean, it's only a car & will get dirty with the first dew-fall since it sits outside uncovered, so why bother??? So, he's decided we need to declutter my basement instead. Although I'm not ready to go to a Hoarder's Anonymous meeting & admit my addiction quite yet, I do tend to collect stuff. It's not really a sickness, but I can't help but add to the stash whenever someone says FREE. I'm also a Visual person. If I can't see it, I forget I have it & I go out & get another one. Anywhere I sit is cluttered with the stuff I use every day, right in front of my face. I tried putting things away in the past, especially in the office at the end of the day, but I need to see things or I forget about them. It leads to multiple packages of Highlighters, pens & case lots of pencil leads. And rooms full of bins & bags of fibre.

It wasn't such a problem when I was younger because I could move things around, repack stuff, get rid of stuff & toss old stuff in the back of the truck. Since I became old, all of my previous injuries, a weak left wrist & buggered right knee have ended my moving & hauling days. To add insult to injury, I've accumulated several big, dead items that I simply can't move by myself anymore. Ron has decided to organize me before I become a Public Health problem.  Can you really die if yarn bins fall on you???

So, over coffee the other day, he told me we should put it all outside on the patio - one room at a time - and sort the lot. He will back his truck up to my door & we can throw anything that isn't going back in straight into the truck. And he will haul it away. Eeeek!OMG!!