1st Robin, It’s Spring! + Drop Stitch Shawl KAL

 

Soooo happy!!!  I have been waiting to see the Robins return, and I saw my first Robin today!!  Welcome Spring!!!  Sorry the color in the picture is not very good :(.

I follow a blog Muddling Through Life and she is having a KAL, (knit-a-long for my non knitting friends.)  It looks so pretty, so I dug out some very deep (meaning I’ve had it a very long time :P) stash.  The above picture shows the yarn, it is a synthetic yarn unfortunately, but it is a fingering weight.  It is some my mom sent me from South Korea when she was working for the Air Force as a non military personnel civil Service employee, years ago.  It is a large skein at 8 oz, it is a beautiful light lavender even tho it shows up like a grey in the picture.  I did have to go buy some new needles because I didn’t have any 40″ needles.  I now have a pair of ChiaoGoo size 7 red lace circulars. 🙂  The pattern calls for a size 8 but I have to go down a size to get gauge because I am a little bit of a loose knitter.  I wanted some ChiaoGoo bamboo needles (my needles of choice) but they were out and I wanted to get this started so I settled for the stainless steel.

I have also started the Welcome New Born Socks , from a previous post, now using the new sock weight yarn (rather than the baby weight) and they are definitely smaller :).  I’ll post a picture of my progress in a couple of days and we should see the answer to my one of my questions about how much of the repeatable colors you can get in a little sock :P.

FO!

I finished the socks I was knitting for an infant I am watching for a few months.  Altho’ these went pretty fast (because they are small :P), they really were not small enough to be newborn, they would probably fit more like a 12 to 18 month old.  But maybe it’s because I used a baby yarn that is a bit thicker than a sock yarn.

So, to give this pattern the benefit of the doubt, I picked up a sock yarn from Hobby Lobby (they were having a 30% off all their yarn sale this week :)).  It is Premier Yarns, color Vegas Lights and is acrylic, so her mom can just throw it in the washer and dryer.  I will give this another try before I move on to another pattern.  I’m interested to see how the colors work up in a very small pair of socks.  Wondering if I can even get all the colors in one little sock or if I will have to do yarn management to get them to turn out more or less the same.  Otherwise she can be like the teens and have mismatched socks, which have been the rage for more than several years.

I haven’t seen the robins yet, but maybe I just missed them?  I usually see the males staking out small territories they then defend from other males so they can try to lure a female Robin to their area. The females show up  2 weeks after the males.  I expect to see the male Robins very soon, we have been having upper 40’s and lower 50’s days , it is so wonderful!!  I love Spring!

More Snow and Basia Hat Finished

More Snow Feb 2019  We got 2 inches of snow on Sunday morning/afternoon, and from yesterday evening until this morning when I took the picture we got a little over 3 more inches of snow.  So the ground is once more white with snow, and more snow is on the way on Thursday or Friday, sigh.  I just keep saying Spring is right around the corner, Spring is right around the corner, Spring is right around the corner…..

Jennettes Basia hat1

I finished the Basia hat, and gave it to the intended recipient.  She was very pleased.  I knit this on size 4, 16 inch circular needle for the ribbing and changing to size 6, 16 inch circular needles and (at the end when it got to small around for the 16 inch needles) size 6 double pointed needles for the crown,  instead of going up a needle size for the slighter heavier wt yarn, causing it to be a bit denser and heavier.  I used the sport/DK wt Polypay, which dyed up a lighter brown, and a dark brown alpaca, which I hand spun as heavy fingering wt.  These two yarns used together was a heavier weight close to, but maybe a little heavier than the worsted wt called for and oh my it will be so warm.  I had promised my family member that I would hand spin alpaca for her hat, but since the Basia hat she chose calls for worsted wt and I truly did not want to want to have to do the math for the lighter wt yarn (I’m not a math person :P), I added the Sport/DK wt wool I had on hand which made it a little heavier than a worsted wt.  She is happy with the hat, and with the sub zero weather we have been having I’m sure it will be a welcome addition to her winter wear :).  I think you can see better the lighter and darker browns together and how they play well with each other :).  I forgot to get a picture before she left, she was kind enough to send me one for my blog ;).

Mid-Winter Thaw and Basia Hat Progress

1st picture is what happens to 19 inches of snow when the weather is warm for 2 days,  We generally have a mid-winter thaw in the middle of January so it’s a little late but at least we have one.  The temps were 38 on Saturday, 43 yesterday and suppose to be 45 today but a cold front will be here later today so tomorrow we will be back in the 20’s during the day, but that is still much better than the sub zero temps we had last week.  If the ground hog is wrong about there only being 6 more weeks of winter, I’m going to make a big ground hog stew and invite you all over :P.

As you can see I didn’t get the Basia hat done, but I did work on it yesterday and only have 2 inches left before I start decreasing for the crown area, so it should be done tonight, yea!  My daughter will appreciate it now that the cold weather is back.  I really like the marled effect using the two colors of brown, adds a lot of visual to it.  I’ll try to catch that better when I get a picture of the finished hat :).

Hope you all are having a great first part of Feb, SPRING IS COMING!!!

Cold Temps and Another Hat

jan2019snows This is a picture of the back yard of a friends house so you can see all the snow we have had this Jan.  We also got another 2 inches today, that would make about 19 inches this month, sigh.

We also had some pretty low temps the past 3 days.  Tuesday night got down to about 25 below zero Fahrenheit and with wind chills was about 40 to 45 below zero.  Last night we broke a record with a low of -30 below zero and with wind chills it got down to about 55 below zero.  Our daytime temps were in the lower 20’s below zero  and with wind chills close to 40 below (that is in the day time!), On Wed the post office actually closed and said no postal deliveries.  We got up to -1 today!  Tomorrow should be 18 above and by Sunday we should be around 40 above, a heatwave!!!!

Another Basia Hat

The hat my daughter chose for me to knit from the alpaca I hand spun (a fingering weight) for her was the Basia hat, unfortunately it calls for sport weight, so I added my last skein of the polypay yarn (a sport weight) from the last fleece I sent in a couple of years ago.  I died it brown and tho it is much lighter than the alpaca (I knit them together) it is a very pretty marled color.  I think she will be pleased.  She could have used it this week :P, but it will be done hopefully by the week end.

It’s Finally Spun and is Yarn!!!

Finished rolag skein Oh my gosh this was on my wheel for a little over a year!  But—it’s finished!!  The problem besides procrastination and a broken hand was the Baynes spinning wheel (no longer in production,  I included a link so you can see what it looks like, mine looks like the one on the left.)  The screw that holds one of the posts on the Mother of All (spinning term for part of the wheel), that helps hold the spool holder on, won’t tighten down and comes loose and the spool holder with the spool of singles (or plied yarn) occasionally falls off.  Ugh, very annoying.  So I will need to get some wood putty and fill in the screw hole and then screw the screw back in so it will tighten up properly (tho honestly for a second when I was spinning, I considered gluing it down :P).  Another problem is that this wheel will  not hold 4 ozs of spun yarn so I was only able to spin 3.25 oz, and I had a very full bobbin of plied yarn.  Once the bobbin gets full on this wheel it is hard for it to take the yarn in anymore, so I have to watch how full the bobbin is.  I finished with 312 yards at 16 wpi (wraps per inch – for my non spinning friends – tells me how thick or thin the yarn ended up being – a light sport weight in this example (that is what my chart says), however I have seen charts that call 16 wpi a fingering – tho if it is, it’s a heavy fingering wt.)  Any spinners reading that would like to weigh in on that and if there is a definitive chart?

I will go back to working on the practice roving I have on the Rick Reeves wheel now, so I can figure out the double band drive and how to adjust it to find my sweet spot for spinning, at least I know the spool won’t fall off that one :P.

Baby 2X2 Hats

I have a friend who had a baby girl about 2 months ago so I decided now that my hand was better to make her a simple baby hat (my hand still tires easily and gets nerve pain when I over do, but it’s slowly getting better.) I certainly can’t leave her 3 year old brother without a hat, so after finishing the 2X2 rib hat from 5 Easy Pieces – Knit Newborn Hats (Circular), (free pattern on Ravelry) for her daughter, I started one for her son.  I choose the 2X2 rib because it’s, easy (to knit and on my hand) and soft and squishy.  I used a size 6 for the newborn size (the pattern called for a size 7, I knit loosely so I  usually go down a needle size to get gauge)  and used the size 7 for the 3 year old’s hat and added 12 stitches.  I will also add length so it will cover his ears :).  **There use to be a way to magnify the pictures on Word Press but I can’t find it anymore, so even tho you can’t see the yarn very well, it’s Yarn Bee (from Hobby Lobby) Soft and Sleek, the pink is pink stripe and the blue is Denim Blues.  It is very soft stuff and knits nicely.  I believe Hobby Lobby is having a yarn sale in the store this week (Monday Dec 24th – Saturday Dec 29 2018) for 30% off.  Incentive to buy some more :P.

I am still working on the spinning.  I finished that rolag and weighed the bobbins with the singles and first one is a little heavier so I decided to get another of the rolags to spin (that will leave 3 left) and put 2/3 of the rolag on the lighter bobbin and the rest on the other bobbin, hopefully that will balance it out.  We will see.

Tomorrow will be baking day, rolls for Christmas dinner on Tuesday :).

**Update:  I discovered that if you choose the pictures side by side choice that you can click on them on the blog and they will enlarge in a separate window, however if you chose the single pictures they will not.  So there you go.

Some New Housemates and Some Spinning

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Meet (yellow and green) Princess Peach, and (teal on the top and blue on the bottom and some white) Yoshi.  My son and his spouse weren’t having enough time for these love birds because of their alpacas and shows to sell their alpaca yarn, etc.  So I inherited them.  Unfortunately they are both females so they have to have separate cages because, tho they like each other, it’s from afar, lol.  I didn’t realize just how noisy and loud love birds can be, they make a call similar to the kookaburra, :P.  They also have quiet noises as well.  You can’t see the color well on the teal/blue love bird, but she is beautiful.  They are not friendly so I have to love them from afar as well :P.  They are very intelligent as most parrots are, Miss Peach figured out how to get out of her cage and I had to secure all the doors on her cage, she is naughty :P.

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Ok, re-posting the finished spool of singles and the progress on the 2nd spool and showing the rolag with it.  I have four more rolags not counting the one I draped across the wheel, however I have the 1st spool about 1/2 way full and tho I can get more on it, if I have 2,  more than 1/2 full spools, I worry that it will be overfull after plying, and my  Baynes wheel doesn’t do plying well once that happens.  So I might have to just spin what is left over, after filling this 2nd spool 1/2 way, and ply the left over singles from a center pull ball and use it if I need it for the scarf that I am planning on making with this yarn. I’m hoping to have this done tomorrow evening or Monday sometime, been a long time coming with this skein :P.  Then I can concentrate on continuing learning to spin on the Rick Reeves double drive wheel ;).

There Be Socks!!

Hermiones Everyday Socks finished

Finally done, I have a finished pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks!!  The family member I knit these for will be very happy indeed.  These would have been done much faster if my knitting mojo wasn’t so hit and miss lately.

The yarn Dreams in Fiber I used was actually dyed by the same person who wrote the pattern for this sock, and the match up wasn’t on purpose, so as Dumbledore would say it was “by some happy circumstance” :).  The yarn was wonderful to work with and I love the pattern :).  Thanks Erica :).

Hermione’s Everyday Socks have Heels!!

Hermione's Everyday Socks have Heels

I did finally get the heels in this pair of socks.  I will just stick to the heel I was taught until I feel that I have mastered it and can move on to different sock heels :P.   Now it’s just the feet and toes which will hopefully not take as long as the heels.

I have been lazy in finishing the heels, no not really lazy, unmotivated is more like it.  I lost a child right after Mother’s Day almost 8 years ago, and this time of year leaves me lacking the desire to do things.  I know he’s with our Heavenly Father, I just miss him. It just hits harder at this time of year, maybe because it’s so close to the anniversary of his death and the combination of it being so close to Mother’s Day.  I try to keep everything tucked in so it’s not apparent to others that my emotions are trying to leak out as tears.  Some people tend to think, because it’s been more than a year,  you don’t grieve anymore (sure we do) or that you can just pick yourself up and get back into your old life.  Well life is never quite the same after a death, it changes everything in your life, it turns everything upside down and it will never really be back to normal again, like that picture on the wall that never sits quite straight again after it falls.  Oh it does eventually get easier to handle during other times of the year as the years pass, but there are still those very tender times during the year that are hard for others to understand because you tend to isolate yourself so others won’t see your pain.  Times when you miss his phone calls, or miss laughing at something silly he said or did.  I know I will see him again when my time comes to return to our Father in Heaven, but until then, I just miss him.