Tuesday, June 30, 2009

February Lady, in June

may yarn flowers 018
After finishing my Deep Breath sweater (still haven't had the right weather to wear it) I promptly started a February Lady sweater. I'm using a lighter weight yarn than the pattern calls for. Some friends have done it this way, so I thought I would give it a shot. Here is my progress so far:
may yarn flowers 016
I'm really in a groove with this sweater. The lace is a 4 row repeat. Two of the rows are essentially just purl--those are kind of neutral to me. One row I really like to do (row 3 for those who care) and I'm not loving row 1. But over all this works out for me. I get through row 1 because it annoys me and I want to get it over with. Then I relax with a purl row. Then I am rewarded by row 3! Then another purl row, and I'm ready to deal with the annoyance of row 1 again. It really does keep things moving.

Contrast this with the Spring Forward socks, where I'm essentially neutral about all the rows. It makes me just not care. And since I'm not loving the way the way the color is working out on these socks I think I'm working towards frogging them, something I hate to do, but will ultimately free up the yarn for something that I will have fun with.
may yarn flowers 011

may yarn flowers 009
I don't know if I have posted pictures of the socks before--they are knit with a merino/tencel blend from Ellen's half pint farm, purchased at the NH Sheep and Wool festival last year. I put them down ages ago and I just haven't wanted to pick them up again. I'm at the gusset of the first sock--but these pictures were taken before I got to the heel. See how there are dark splotches of color (pooling). Every time I see them, they look dirty to me--add that to the fact that I don't enjoy knitting the pattern--well you see where this is going.

Meanwhile, even though I think we have had a grand total of 6 hours of sun in the past 2 weeks, I still have a few flowers popping up.

The day lilies started opening yesterday.
may yarn flowers 020
may yarn flowers 019
And my nepal cinquefoil is not dead after all!
may yarn flowers 024

Friday, June 19, 2009

Knitters against MS

I just want to give Claudia a bit of advertising here. If you don't know about Claudia and the MS ride she does every year, you should go check it out. For the past several years she has worn the number 1 bib--being the top fundraiser for the event!

By donating to her team you are also in the running for tons of knitting goodness donated by knitters, spinners, dyers, and designers that support her. Last year I was lucky enough to win a prize (skein of Socks that Rock) donated by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

So if you have a minute run over to her blog and check it out. If the cause does not entice you to give, maybe the yarn will! I will admit it again--my neighbor also does the ride--but I always give Claudia a bit more--he's just not dangling yarn in front of my eyes.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What's blooming, mid-June

My poor poor mountain laurel--total chewed to bits over the winter, but it still gave me a few flowers. I hope it can bounce back next year.
My blueberry bushes do make a few blueberries (not many though), but I never see them ripen--somebody always gets to them first.
And here are some of the violas I planted a few weeks ago--not dead (yet), that is a good sign. Still nothing with the giant pumpkins.
On knitting news, I have started a February Lady Sweater. I'm using Longmeadow, and it will be short sleeved. I'm currently at the second button hole--but no pictures yet. Ah, but here are the buttons I will be using--purchased at Black Water Abbey--they have some great buttons.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Deep Breath--Complete

I finished my Deep Breath sweater the other night, and I'm lovin' it.
Needle US 7 / 4.5 mm
Yarn Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk in Dahlia
0.56 skeins = 972.2 yards (888.9m)
Now really, if it would just warm up a tiny bit, so I can wear it without being chilly--can't complain though, today is lovely.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Impulse buy

A Full Year of Interweave Knits magazine, now available on CD!

I got the above message today from Knitting Daily. Usually I skip over those Tues/Thurs posts, since they are just trying to sell me something I don't really want or need. But today, they had something I wanted.

I've had the Cardigan for Arwen in my queue for a while--since I saw my friend Erika's completed cardigan. But the pattern was found in an issue of Interweave that I didn't have. I could have purchased the pattern itself, but I just never got around to it. I could have tried to find a back issue of the magazine--but I just never did. But today I find out that I can get all 4 issues for that year (plus the holiday issue) on a CD. So I go over and order it.

I actually thought about this for a few hours before I did it, and I've been thinking about this pattern for months (years?) so that really isn't the impulse part. The impulse part is when I realize the CD will be physically shipped to me (not just a downloaded file, like I originally thought), and I would have to pay shipping. That is when I decided to not only order the CD for 2006, but also the CD for 2005--because the shipping cost would be the same.

Well, I'm sure there were lots of lovely patterns in 2005 also--in any case, I will find out.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rainy day

I bought myself some flowers to combat the gloom of a rainy day.

I'm also on my second cup of Irish Breakfast tea, which is modestly more caffeinated than my usual oolong or green tea. Some days you just need a little extra something.

Here is a peek at the plants I finally got onto my pots. My town now has a mandatory water ban on outside water use, so I've been shuffling the pots out from under the overhang when it is rainy. I also dump my dehumidifier water into them when that fills up. It is actually easier to move the pots than it is to get the hose out around the house anyway. I also planted some others in the beds--I'll get some shots of those soon. I also tried my hand at some giant pumpkin seeds. I'll let you know if anything grows.
This weekend is our town's annual strawberry festival. As usual, my strawberries are growing nicely but I never get to see one ripen. I always blamed it on the bunnies--but this year we've only had one bunny sighting. What I have been finding on my hill of strawberries when I park my car in the driveway are some very plump chipmunks and today a squirrel munching away. Why they are eating all of mine and not my neighbors? Who knows.

And, for a change, here is some knitting.

Since graduation I've been able to take a deep breath--and make a Deep Breath! This is a laceweight sweater, with a few modifications. My gauge is 5 stitches per inch rather than 4 stitches per inch, and I've added the Hanami cherry blossom pattern. The sleeves go just past my elbows.

I'm using Valley Yarns Alpaca Silk, right off the cone, and I'm really enjoying it.
Just a few more inches to go. Maybe it will actually be warm enough to wear by the time I am done.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dyeing disaster

I tried to dye up a sweater's worth of yarn today. My goal was to have a yarn that was semi solid in a light olive green. What I got was this:

My pot was WAY too small for the amount of yarn. By the time I jammed all the yarn in, the yarn to hit the pot first has essentially sucked up all the dye in the water. I knew enough to hold the yarn so that each skein entered at the same time, so each skein is similar, but I've got one end that is a darkish browny olive and the other end a very pale green. Live and learn.

Maybe I can salvage this and make it usable by over dyeing. In any case, I don't think I will be using this for the project I intended. C'est la vie.

Relaxing Saturday

I've been knitting, but I haven't taken any photos of my current project. So instead, here is another poppy, up close and personal. It doesn't look like they will last very long, several have already lost all their petals. I finally managed to get my (very few) annuals into the pots and/or the ground today.I've been swatching! I'd like to finish the old project before starting a new (my socks are on hold)--but I've already even ordered the buttons for the new!

We spent the afternoon at Windrush farm, where we had a pony ride, hay ride, and spent a lot of time checking out the ambulance (for fun only). And we saw this guy.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What's blooming, early June

The poppies have arrived!!