23 October 2017

FO Post (Finally!)

Hello all!  I hope you had a good weekend.  Mine was great, particularly Saturday, when I spent the day with Dee. We had a wonderful time, walking around in Philadelphia, having some lunch, and checking out what was new at Loop.  Then her husband Steve drove into town to join us, and along with The Tim we went out for a really nice dinner, and then back home for a bit before they had to head back to the hotel to see Giroux and pack, since they were leaving to go home yesterday.  It was so nice to have a knitterly, kitty-loving, funny friend to hang out with and laugh.  

Yesterday was a day of catching up with laundry, bills, and that kind of thing.  Also a nice day, just not as busy as Saturday.  :-)

In any event, I can *finally* share my Finished Object post for my Scattered Wishes shawl that I finished knitting and then blocked about a month ago!  I wanted some nice pictures of the finished item not just blocking but looking like a shawl!  The Tim was kind enough to take a few, but they were all too blurry.  So I'd been trying to think of how/where to get some other photos.

Then on Saturday morning, before I left the house, I decided if we were going to stop at Loop, I at least wanted to take the finished shawl to show them, since I'd purchased the yarn there.  Laura, who works there, wanted to take some shots to put on their Facebook page, so I was able to get some really nice photos of the shawl there, and they are at the end of the post.

So here goes.

Project:  Scattered Wishes (Ravelry page link)
Pattern:  Sonora, by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn:  Hedgehog Fibres Sock; Construct (grayish) and Wish (teal)
Needles:  US 7
Modifications:  None (at least not on purpose!)
Notes:  Below after some of the photos

This is the lace border as it is supposed to look, and how it does look for most of the top part.  It was the last part knitted, and threw me for a loop, as lace is not a particular skill of mine.  At certain points, I just fudged things, because I didn't know what I had/had not done to cause problems.  

Fortunately, the fudging kinda sorta worked just fine.  I was both surprised and happy about the result!

The bands of color are created by regular garter stitch for the borders, and slip stitch for the "colorwork."

This is a great pattern, and it is also really fun to knit.  I would definitely make another one, and I would love sometime to try the yarn that the pattern uses.  It has a more lofty appearance than the Hedgehog Fibres, and so I think the end result would look somewhat different.

I can tell you that Kirsten Kapur, the designer, is very responsive to questions sent to her on Ravelry.  When I was getting started, I just couldn't quite "get" the pattern, and wrote to her a couple of times.  She responded really quickly and very thoroughly.  She may have been at her computer rolling her eyes and tearing her hair out at my questions, but I never got that sense when reading what she had written.

Here are the photos I took at Loop.  (Dee has seen these ad nauseum, and I have posted them on Facebook, so apologies if you are seeing these for the umpteenth time!)

This is the back of the shawl.

And here is the front view, which is just especially pleasing to me.

I cannot recommend this pattern highly enough.  It's all garter stitch, and the slip stitch bands are interspersed well enough to keep it from being just a plain old boring knit.  Only in the slip stitch bands are you using two colors, and once you get the hang of it, you're not really even "knitting" with both in a row.  Even I was able to read my knitting once I got things going, and that's saying something!

I'm really happy with how this turned out.  It's probably one of the most elaborate things I've ever knit, and I surprised myself (in a good way, of course). 

I'll be back soon with another FO post about another knit that took me a truly ridiculous amount of time, all of it due to me and my inability to focus.  In the meantime, I hope your week goes well!

20 October 2017

Five Favorites for This Friday

If you are reading this, you too have made it to Friday!  Some weeks it's more difficult than others, that's for sure.  Today I am thinking that regardless of what else does or does not happen, it's just a regular length workday, not like last Friday where I had to be at work until after 9 p.m. - and it took me the whole weekend to feel like myself again!  I'd like to say it's because I've gotten older, but I've always been someone who needed time to recover from a major break to my regular routine.

Anyway, there have been some good things, as I hope there have been also for you.  Here are some of mine.

1.  A spell of fall weather at last!  We had three whole days (count 'em) that legitimately felt like fall, and it was glorious.  Tomorrow the temperature is supposed to be 78 degrees.  I may have to seek out the person on the morning news who said, "That sounds wonderful, since it's been so cold."  Sweetie,  if you think it was actually cold, you're gonna be pretty darn surprised come February.

2.  I got in a lot of knitting time, on all of my projects.  We had a ton of stuff that we had recorded, and had not yet watched, so this week we caught up.  Which meant lots of time to knit.  Which meant actual progress, and it felt good to move things along.

3.  The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen show in Rittenhouse Square last weekend.  It happens in October and in May, and I really enjoy walking around looking at all of the various types of work.  The choices include handmade furniture, paintings, jewelry, and even clothing.  A lot of it is not anything I'm that interested in or that I would or could even afford to buy, but I love seeing that types of work people do.  One of my favorites from this show was a booth where the most delicate ceramic pieces I've ever seen were displayed, with tiny works of art on them.  It was an unusual and interesting set of things.  People have amazing talents, you know?

4.  Oatmeal.  When it's really chilly or cold in the mornings, I love having a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and this week I had it twice.  I usually top it with raisins, cinnamon, and if available, some kind of nuts.  I also like it with a dollop of peanut butter mixed in, and have recently become aware of the tastiness of Craisins or dried tart cherries in the place of the raisins.  Anyway, it's such a nice, warming, and filling breakfast, and makes me feel like I got a good start.  Weirdly, in warm weather it does not appeal to me at all.

5.  Apples.  This is the best time of year for apples, and they are so good.  I love them just as they are, but I also like apple slices with some peanut butter on them, apple pie, apple crisp - you get where I'm going, right?  And it also means there are plenty of apples available so I don't have to save them only for my packed lunch every day, and can make this recipe.  YUM!  The farmer's market here has had some wonderful Honeycrisp, Mutsu, and Stayman apples and we've been taking advantage of that big time.

Have a good weekend!  Mine should be pretty great, since tomorrow I am getting to meet up with Dee and we are going to have lunch, go yarn store visiting, and then her husband Steve is going to come into the city, and along with The Tim, we're all going to have dinner together.  I. CANNOT. WAIT. 

Most people I know will be at Rhinebeck this weekend, and if you are one of them, enjoy it.  We'll be having our own fun here in Philadelphia.  :-)

19 October 2017

Three Current Obsessions

Yes, I know I just posted yesterday, but I'm on a roll here, so work with me.  Today is Three on Thursday, and I have my List of Three ready for you.

I don't know if any of you become obsessed with random things, but I sure do.  Daily. Hourly.  Some stick around, and some disappear as soon as I see cake or shiny things.  Here are three current things.

1.  This one has stuck around for a week so far.  I saw a Chinese Money Plant on Claudia's blog the other day, and now I long to have one.  I love house plants, and have always at a minimum had a bunch of African violets.  That is, until the Koodle joined the family.  He didn't eat them, just enjoyed knocking them off the plant stand enough times they just gave up and died.  So then I bought some succulents, since they didn't require being *right* in the sunshine all of the time.  Well, apparently our house has bad plant juju now, period, because they were almost immediately dead.  Even after I had been guaranteed that it was nearly impossible to kill them.  Anyway, apparently the  aforementioned plant is hard to find, and are then expensive when you do find it, so I guess it's just as well. 

The Koodle is why we can't have nice things.  Sigh.

2.  Hot apple cider.  I like cold apple cider, but I LOVE hot apple cider with cinnamon.  However, cider buying is tricky in our house.  We don't drink the big jugs fast enough before they spoil, and the small jugs are maybe only two hot mugs' worth, and are therefore gone almost immediately.  Plus, even though it was wonderfully fall the past couple of days, it's supposed to be warm again for the next few, and I don't like hot apple cider when it's warm because FOR GOD'S SAKE IT'S A COLD WEATHER DRINK AND IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE FALL.

3.  Halloween decorations.  We have some, but won't be putting 99% of them out this year and as a result, I want all of them that I see!  Right now, our house is still in It-Looks-Like-We're-Moving-But-We're-Not mode as a result of one of The Tim's many projects.  There is not currently anywhere to put out the decorations we do have, and to be perfectly honest, I can't even find where they currently are in order to pull out even a few.  We do have a pumpkin, and I bought a new little wooden decoration the other day at Target, but this year will be, for the most part, a non-decor holiday for us.  And I'm not going to say anything to The Tim about any of  his projects, because he always keeps his mouth shut about mine, bless him.  But it sure is frustrating nonetheless!

What are you obsessed with these days?  Surely there's something, right???

18 October 2017

Projects, Projects Everywhere!

OK, not really - there are three.  But I wanted to use that title for this post.  

Today, after a few weeks of reading what others wrote but not participating myself, I'm back to Unraveled Wednesdays, with Kat.

The past couple of weeks have been weird for me - I had a lot of stuff to do around the house and was betwixt and between with a lot of my knitting and reading.  I enjoyed it, but didn't feel like saying much about it.  I read lovely comments on my blog, and still have not responded (one of my goals this week is to be caught up, so if I have a way to respond to you, look for a note from me), and I just moseyed along.  I think a large part of it was that my camera seemed to be dead, and it was no fun to write post about projects, but not show them.

The Tim finally took a good look at my camera, and determined it was not in fact dead - rather, a button had been pushed on it (when? where? whom? Probably me.) that turned off the display setting.  Hallelujah, I could take photos again!!!  

So I give you my latest projects:

#1  Little Pumpkins for the I ♥ Fall KAL sponsored by Dee and Vera.  I've wanted to make this pattern for a year or so, and finally got around to getting started.  It's somewhat fiddly, and that was annoying at the beginning, but now I kinda sorta have it memorized.  

#2  I've gone quite a ways past the bottom border of my Main Street sweater, which I have renamed my For the Birds sweater, for reasons I shall explain at another time.  Here it is below with bonus head appearance from Pip.

#3  This one is soveryclose to being finished - it's the neckband of my Cranberry Custom Fit sweater!  I need to determine what kind of bind off I want to use, so it will not stick up, and so it will also look nice. 

So no unraveling for me these days!

Reading-wise, I'm well into two books,  Forever Chic (really?) and Double-Booked for Death, which is better than I was expecting.  Once one of those is finished, I'm going to start my latest library book, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.   

What about you?  Knitting/reading anything particularly fun, good, bad?   I am really anxious to finish my sweater and actually wear it ... if it's ever cool enough, that is.  ;-)

13 October 2017

Furball Friday

We have two of these igloos, where the cats like to be when the weather is cool.  (You can see part of one to the right in this photo.)  However, when you are Jack, and you just LOVE Pip, it apparently means that you really *need* to try and be right where he is.

Happy Friday the 13th!  Please kiss any black kitties in your families for me.

And have a good weekend!