26 February 2021

Addicted to Stripes

I am a big fan of patterns - polka dots, plaids, but especially STRIPES!  They just make me happy, and I recently started a project that involves knitting stripes:

This is the start of my Stripey Kerchief, using the Polkagris pattern by Kate Davies.  I've had the pattern in my library for a long time, and also bought the kit when it was offered when the pattern first appeared.  I kept thinking I'd knit it, but then other things would jump the line and it would get pushed away again.

One of the items I'd knit that was the most worn/used ever was my Silk Kerchief.  It was just the right thing to wear around my neck with my coat for most of the winter - warm, but not bulky.  I wore it all the time, except when it would be bitterly cold, and I'd pull out a large scarf to wrap around my neck and my face.  As a matter of fact, I wore it so much, for so many years, that it finally got worn spots and started to unravel!  So last year I had to admit it had lived its life, and was ready to be laid to rest.  However, since the Silk Kerchief pattern had been duplicated and sold by several other designers in spite of legal actions, Kate took it down and it is no longer available.  Which would not have been a huge problem, if my old computer had not died along with all of the information stored on it, which included that pattern.

So there I was, with no neck kerchief, and though I didn't think it would be that much of a problem, it was actually really frustrating.  Everything else was either bulky, or too warm, or just not the thing.  And then the light bulb went on, and I remembered that I had everything I needed to start a Polkagris!  So last Sunday I sat down to start, and WHOA is this pattern addictive - I mean, it's seriously a case of wanting to do just one more row/stripe.  To the point where I have had to force myself to put it down so that I don't end up with sore hands and wrists!  

Even so, I think this is going to be a quick project, and that I will definitely be wearing it regularly.  As a matter of fact, I told myself that I could make a few of them, and that would serve as 1) an extra for myself so that when one wears out, I have a spare, and/or 2) great gifts for the holidays.  Any fingering weight yarn would work, and stripes - though fun - would not be required.  

Of course, you could use any weight yarn if you wanted something a bit bigger. 

I don't know if I'll do anything other than this one right now, but in the meantime  


23 February 2021

Temporary Setback = Time Out

Well.  It could be worse, but it's still annoying.

I mentioned that I was on the first sleeve of the sweater I have been knitting.  I had thought that I would do whatever I could to get that finished this week, because I really don't want the project to languish much longer.  So yesterday I was making progress - I even made it to the cuff! - when I took a look and thought, "Hm. That looks like it will be too much room around my lower arm/wrist area."  So I tried it on.  

The good news?  It will be the right size with the ease I was hoping for when it's finished!
The bad news?  1. Even though I was doing helical knitting (which I do not enjoy, sorry everyone who loves it!), it still flashed and pooled; not a big deal since I wasn't making it to be a "fancy" sweater, but if I'd known I would have just knitted it more straightforwardly; 2.  I was right about the sleeves.

So I put it in time out for now, and will rip back to a certain point and do the decreases more frequently to make it fit better.  I will also write down what I did so that the other sleeve will match (which should be obvious, but let's face it, I'm not always paying enough attention to even obvious things).  I'm glad I noticed it when I did, and not near the end of the second sleeve.  This way, it's annoying but not upsetting.  I didn't feel like thinking more about it/doing anything with it yesterday, so it can sit and rest for a while while my brain takes a break from it.  Honestly, I'm not upset about it at all, which is a good sign and also means that I *will* pick it up again and finish it.  Just a temporary setback.

Other than that, I am still deciding which yarn will be next for socks, and am working away on the other small project that has become a favorite.  I will try my best to remember to take a photo and share it with you soon.


Blog stuff:  First of all, thank you so much for continuing to read and comment!  You have no idea how it makes me happy.  I don't have a ton of friends in real life, and of course, like everyone else have not really hung out with anyone other than on Zoom for almost a year now.  So having blog friends is filling the void nicely.  

However, please be aware that I continue to have issues replying to comments.  I seem to be in yet another period where I send e-mail responses (when I have an e-mail address) and then 2-3 days later, I get the messages returned as "Undeliverable."  The other day, I decided to try responding in the comments to my latest post.  For reasons that I will never likely understand, Blogger would not accept/publish the responses!  After a while, I got tired of trying again and again and I gave up.  So I truly and sincerely apologize that my responses to comments seem at best infrequent and at worst, non-existent.  I even got The Tim to see if he could figure out anything since he is more technology savvy than I am, but he couldn't find anything that was clearly a problem.  

Please know that I do try to respond, and I realize that it's annoying to only get responses some of the time.  Trust me, I'm just as frustrated as you are.

And that's it for today.  I hope your crafting is agreeing with you, and that technology is treating you well - or at least not mistreating you!  😛

22 February 2021

Monday Monday ... and an FO

Hi there - I was MIA last week, not for any particular reason, just because I didn't get around to it.  It happens.

But here is another Monday, which is also the last one of February, so 2021 is moving right along whether we are ready for it or not.  Not much is new around here, except I do have an FO to show you - the first of this year!

Project: Happy Socks
Pattern:  On the leg, I did Row 1=K2, slip 1; Row 2=knit all around
Yarn:  Sinister Yarns Sinister Sock set, in the colorway Come Seekers Where Our Voices Sound
Needles:  US size 1
Notes: I started these socks on Inauguration Day (hence their name), and admittedly, only worked on them in spurts.  I finished the first sock, and then didn't even start the second for about a week or so.  I think it was a combination of two things: I just wasn't really in the mood, and though I love the way they look, they just didn't keep grabbing my attention.  But I am pleased with the way they turned out, and I put them into the Box o' Knits, which I've created this year for knits that are for gifts, charity, or just whose fates are currently undecided.  The sock set has been in my stash for quite a while, so it was about time it had it's moment of glory!

The photo above shows the brightness of the colors when I took a photo in the daylight with my camera - the photo below was taken on my tablet, using the Pixel app from Google, set on "Night Light" (a setting for indoors, under lower light):

This one shows the specks of color in the yarn better, so I'm showing you both of them.  But I think no matter which one you look at, you can see why they are Happy Socks!  😀


I'm still knitting away on my sweater, nearly finished with the first sleeve, so the progress is slow but steady.  And yesterday I started a new project, which I'll show you soon.  Now I just need to decide which yarn to choose for my next pair of socks, and whether they'll be for me, or for someone else.  I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Here's hoping you are doing well, and that your week is a good one.  

12 February 2021

Friday Funnies - What Really Happened Edition

So now you know! 😊

Have a good weekend, everyone.

09 February 2021

Back to a Tiny Needle for Tiny Needle Tuesday

Last week, I decided I was ready to start my next counted cross-stitch project.  I had already gathered everything together an put it in one place, so that when I felt ready, I could just get going.

So last Monday, I sat down and got started.  And then started again.  And then another time.  And then I put it away, deciding that I would see how I felt about it on Stitchy Saturday (my own name for Saturdays if I work on any needlework).

I was in the mood on Saturday, and keeping in mind what I had done on Monday, I forged ahead.  The project I'm making should eventually look like this (or at least close to it):

Last year, I happened upon Floss Toss, a video podcast with Rachel from Treehouse Knits, and Sue from Legacy Fiber Artz.  They started a Flosstube (which is apparently what cross-stitch podcasts are called), and one of them - I forget which one - had made this, and I just loved it.  So I looked it up and purchased the pattern, fabric, and floss after checking I didn't already have any of the colors.  I've had it for a little while, but was finally ready to start stitching!

I had decided to start with the snowflakes at the top.  Easier said than done for me, because even though the fabric was not snowy white, it was still not that much darker than the white thread.  Since I realized what had happened on Monday, when I wasn't really prepared for that, things went better on Saturday.  I got two of the snowflakes done in the morning, and three in the afternoon.  And no, they are not perfect, but they are done and they look like snowflakes to me.

You can see them here in my Instagram post.  I think I'll do OK now, at least for a while, because the white sections left will have a lot more area, and I'll wait to do them until the other parts are complete.  That's the plan, at least.

It's a large-ish project - well, larger than my most recent one anyway - so I think it will take me a while, but that's fine with me.  I kinda like knowing it will be there waiting for me when I feel like giving it some love.

08 February 2021

I've Made My List

... though unlike Santa, I have not checked it twice.  I feel that he needs to be more comitted to his list than I do to mine.  😊 

Our weekend was pretty uneventful, as is usually the case nowadays.  I did make some progress on some projects.  I got a counted cross-stitch project underway, after a false start earlier last week.  And I got the cuff knit on the second sock of the pair I'm currently knitting.  My Advent Throw got some love as well:

Adding in the partially finished pink stripe on the top means that I am 1/3 of the way through my yarny Advent calendar, so I'm zipping right along.  This pattern (the Habitation Throw by Helen Stewart) is really great, because once you get started, it's not complicated at all, and goes along pretty quickly.  I could see making another with random scraps down the line.

I also made the list I mentioned in an earlier post, to organize thoughts I had about what I might want to make/do this year.  I thought I'd share it with all of you, both for record-keeping purposes, but also in the event that any of you need "inspiration" to make your own lists.  We can try to follow our lists together!

Now, keep in mind, I'm not saying that I can only work on this list, or even that they all have to be completed.  Rather, these are things that were rattling around in my brain, as I was thinking of what kinds of projects I might want to do this year.  So they are goals, but not requirements!

And there are ten of them, because - frankly, it just seemed like there should be ten of them.

Making Goals for 2021

  1. Knit a minimum of 4 items for charity*

  2. Knit a toy/stuffie

  3. Knit at least one pattern from a pattern book

  4. Try to learn crochet well enough to make at least 2 coasters

  5. Make tops for at least 2 quilted placemats

  6. Knit one sweater

  7. Sew one item other than quilted placemats

  8. Try one brioche knitting pattern

  9. Complete at least 2 cross-stitch/needlework projects

  10. Clean up knitting needles - donate duplicates or ones I don’t use

*as of 5 February, I already have a hat knit last year and will also finish my Happy Socks (1 knit so far) for charity, so I need a minimum of two more items

What about you?  Do you have any specific plans or ideas?  I'm curious to know if I'm the only person who was being driven nuts by my ideas and thoughts and had to write them down!

05 February 2021

Who Wore It Better?

The first weekend of February is here, and hopefully we can all just enjoy it.  I don't know about all of you, but this has been a kinda sorta tough week for me.  But, that is now the past.  I have a knitting Zoom with a group of friends on Sunday, and I'm really looking forward to that, so it's all good.

In the hopes that this post will give you a reason to smile moving into weekend, I'm sharing this story and the accompanying photos.

Many years ago, I took a class to learn the basics of fair-isle knitting.  I decided to knit something for The Tim, and chose Dotty, a pattern from one of the Rowan magazines.

Needless to say, it took me much longer to finish than the class time, but I was really happy with the result.  Here is the Ravelry page for my project.

Shortly after it was finished, I got a message on Rav, asking if they could use my photo of The Tim for the pattern page, which of course led to me saying YES.

I told my friend and Rosie's Yarn Cellar co-worker, Andrea, about this the next Sunday when we worked together.  It turned out to be a really, really, really, slow day - one of those where maybe during the whole shift, *maybe* one customer came in.  So we were entertaining ourselves, as was our wont when it was quiet, and Andrea used her mad Photoshop skills to, as she said, make The Tim "the new face of Rowan."

Here is the image of the Dotty vest in the magazine that accompanied the pattern:

And here is Andrea's "fix:"

So it's time for you to decide: 

Who Wore It Better???

(P.S. Not only did we laugh ourselves silly about this, but it will never NOT be funny!)

Have a good weekend!

04 February 2021

Three Happy Things

 It's been a bit since I participated in Three on Thursday, so I decided that today I would share Three Happy Things with you.

SNOW!  This is the first time for years that we have actually had a true snowstorm in Philadelphia.  In the city, we got 8 inches, and it was just wonderful.  Just enough to make it *real* and not so much that people couldn't shovel out and get around.  

This basket of happy, which contains my WIP Advent Throw (pattern is the Habitation Throw by Helen Stewart), and the other minis from my yarny Advent calendar that will be knit into it.  I just love seeing the happy, bright colors sitting altogether!

This ridiculously sweet face!  The Tim took this photo the other day, when he was busy doing something on the first floor, and Hamlet was keeping him company, but also getting in some rest at the same time.  Hammy is such a sweet pea, and loves nothing more than just being wherever we are, ready to cuddle at any moment.

I hope you find some happy things for your day as well.  Finding things that make you happy helps to keep so much bad stuff at bay!

01 February 2021

Cinnamon Rolls, a Sock, a Book, and a Nor'easter

Hello from very snowy Philadelphia!  Phase 1 of the nor'easter snowstorm we are supposed to get is winding down right now, so that Phase 2 - which is supposed to be the "real" one - can move in this afternoon.  When Hamlet and I went out for our very early morning walk today, there was about 2 inches on the ground, and we were more or less the first ones to walk in it on our street.  It was nice, soft, dry snow, so we enjoyed it while we could, because right now, the infamous "Wintry Mix" is occurring, to be followed by heavy snow, which probably means that tomorrow morning will be like ice skates.  Ugh. Why does Wintry Mix even ever have to happen???

Anyway, it was nice this a.m., and Hamlet was so joyous!  He ate some of the new snow, he ran around, and when we got back to our street, I took his leash off and said, "OK, Hammy - home for breakfast!" and he seriously gamboled down the street until he got to our stoop.  I love seeing him that happy.

So - have you ever heard/seen a friend do something, and it just sticks with you until you give it a try yourself?  Well, a couple of weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook some photos of some cinnamon rolls she had made.  We both love cinnamon rolls, and I just thought to myself that I had to try and make some - even though I'm not much of a bread/roll/pastry baker.  But it was in my brain, and I decided that I would make them this past Friday.  With all of the various steps and letting the dough rise, etc., it took the better part of the day, but oh was it worth it!  They are truly delicious, and I will definitely make them again!  I completely forgot to take any photos, but I used this recipe, if you want to try some yourself.  Highly recommended.

On Saturday, I finished my first sock of 2021 - not a pair, just a single sock, a HO if you will:

I call these Happy Socks, both for the colors, but also because I started them on Inauguration Day.  It's just a 2x2 twisted rib cuff, a pattern of k2, slip 1 for a round and then just knit on the next round for the leg, and then a plain foot.  I like the way it looks, and I will probaby start Sock #2 today or tomorrow.  I probably won't be keeping these for myself, though that could change.  But I want to try and knit things that I just want to make this year, and if I am not immediately wanting it with all of my heart, I'll put them in a box for gifts or to donate.

Also on Saturday, I started reading this book:

It takes place primarily in Philadelphia during the 1918 flu epidemic, and is really a good read, while also being terribly sad.  There are also so many similarities to the current pandemic that it was interesting for that reason too.  I finished it yesterday!  

The other thing that struck me was the cover, which is a winter scene of Philadelphia as seen from Logan Square.  The Logan Square Fountain is in the forefront, and to the left in the image is the tower of City Hall; then to the right is the Pennsylvania Railroad building.  If you stood where the woman in the image is standing today, you would see the exact same thing!  I just love that.

So it was a very cold but very lovely weekend.  When Hamlet and I went out yesterday afternoon, the nor'easter was just getting underway; when he and The Tim went out last night, there was probably about an inch on the ground.  So really overnight we didn't get that much more, but it was so nice to wake up this morning and go out for a walk in it, before everyone else was up and whining about it.  

Today's plan is to start the sleeves on the sweater I'm knitting, start a new book, and see how the day unfolds.  It's the first day of February, so a new month has started with all of the new possibilities to be revealed.  

I hope you are well, and if you are getting snow, I hope it won't be in any way harmful to you and yours, and that you don't lose power or anything.  Otherwise, enjoy a wintry day and stay cozy!