Sunday, July 31, 2011

What is Suzie Homemaker up to now?

Canning jars and pasta pots made another appearance this afternoon at Chez YarnDiet.

This time it was cherries going into simple syrup and being preserved. If I can get my hands on a real steal of a deal on cherries I would really like to dry some as well, but I was only up to pitting so many of the tasty little orbs in one day! (Of course it might have been easier if I had a cherry pitter or cherry stoner but I don't and my local grocery store didn't have one either!)
Doesn't look like much, does it? Funny thing there, originally there were six of those pint sized jars filled with cherries, and then there was a knock at the door and somehow, no one is quite sure how, four hot (and I mean hot they had just come out of their boiling water bath!) jars went home with someone else. Actually two someone elses who had come to see how I was doing and volunteered to be quality control! I will be in need of tea-towels if the ones that were wrapped around the jars don't find their way home.

I finally finished up Chart 4 of my Back to the Garden Stadium Blanket for Groups of Two or More !
I still have some yarn on the first cone, but the math does not work for me getting through all the charts. There is a stopping point at Chart 5 but with another cone available I don't want to stop too soon so I will plug away at the knitting to Chart 6. (Not that I have started Chart 5, but planning ahead here!)

Closer look at the pattern, sorta! It was late when I finished up the knitting and snapped the pictures so they are not the best.

I have also been planning ahead to my next project - don't all knitters do that?- and while I need to knit a scarf for Beth I want something else, something stunning..something like this :

American Brilliant

What do you think? Too ambitious?

Let me know.

~M

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finally time to block!

The knitting was finished earlier this week, nearly the whole week ago actually! But blocking had to wait for me to have more than a few minutes to myself.

Presenting The Other Brother's Blanket.

(TDQ in for scale)

Stats:
Pattern : Umaro by Jared Flood (You might know him as Brooklyn Tweed)
Yarn : Something Acrylic from Joann Fabric...TOB picked it out himself because it was his favorite color. I have since lost the labels but it is a worsted weight and I used it doubled to get somewhere close to the size he wanted without having a bajillion stitches on my needles.
Needles : Size 15(US) Knit Picks Options.....Wowser was that like knitting with logs!
Mods : Not really a mod but I misread the pattern and stopped half a repeat too soon in this! Good thing too, even though we got 2268 yards (doubled that is still 1134) I would not have had enough to complete that last half repeat and the seed stitch edging.

We all know it isn't finished until the blocking is done and the ends are clipped....Put a gift tag on this one and call him done!

Now, if only my Back to the Garden was caught up. Chart 5 and a wonderful mitt pattern have been posted and I am still plugging away on Chart 4. Maybe tomorrow.

~M

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Not where I thought I would be

I mentioned yesterday that Chart 4 for Back to the Garden had been published, in the normal way I would be jumping all over that chart and have a completed section to show you on my circular shawl...but......

I am one pattern repeat shy, now, of completing The Other Brother's blanket, and truth be told, as much as I like the way the pattern looks, and he is thrilled with the color and yarn that he picked out....knitting it is not fun. My little baby sized hands still, after all this knitting, have not figured out a comfortable way to hold the needles, so I spend a lot of time picking them up and putting them down. I look like a novice knitter working on it!

I am holding Chart 4 until I finish the blanket, bribing myself ! Finishing was supposed to happen today.

But do you see this?

There are still needles in that blanket, because it is still not done!

Why, you might ask?
You can't see it from here, but there is ice-water in the crock-pot ceramic bit, liner? What is that bit called?

A couple of weeks ago it was jam/jelly making day on a Sunday here, today....

Putting up corn.

The First Twin has decided that he prefers his corn creamed, with extra milk and butter, while The Drama Queen and The Other Brother prefer it on the cob. We now have both kernels and half sized cobs tucked away in the freezer.

But no finished blanket!

~M

Finaly some Laceweight





Back to the Garden is still going strong! Chart 4 for the main piece was uploaded yesterday, and while I haven't actually got around to knitting it, it looks like another fun chart. Before I cast on for the main piece (my circular stadium blanket!) I cast on for one of the side projects, The Elm Leaf Scarf.

I got to sample a new silk yarn from Land O Lace a few months ago and knit a Swallowtail Shawl out of it. I was so impressed with how well Kayla knit up, blocked and wore that I had to have more!

There hasn't actually been a lot of fine weight knitting going on at Chez YarnDiet, and this scarf certainly took me a lot longer than my usual "needles on fire" speed of knitting but I am so pleased with the results!
As with many scarves length is a matter or personal preference, in this case I knit 12 repeats of the main pattern. Judging from how much yarn is left I could have knit at least one more!

Stats:
Pattern : The Elm Leaf Scarf, side project from Back to the Garden by BadCat Designs
Yarn: Kayla from Land O Lace in Shoreview (which reminds me of spring flowers, first crocus or lilacs!)
Needles : Size 1, US
Beads : Size 10 plain glass beads, you can barely see they are there!
No mods on this one!

The Other Brother's blanket is now officially 66% done! The First Twin is busy looking through my stash to see if there is anything there that he considers "good enough" for his blanket and TDQ has been grouching that hers isn't complete yet! Add in my baby blanket through time needing just another 45 rounds and I have just a little bit of knitting to do!

It works for me, too hot out there to do yard work anyway! :)

~M

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CPD Yarn, well sort of



Not every bank has a police officer in it, in fact, to my knowledge most do not have a Special Duty, honest to goodness, gun and badge carrying police officer in the lobby. My branch is special!

We cycle through officers, some only on Monday's, some mornings one day and afternoons another, but they are all Columbus Police Department Officers, and generally speaking really nice guys. Spending a good chunk of each day with us they get to know us, and we get to know them and it isn't a secret that there are a couple of things I like to do outside of work...cooking and knitting.

Food is our usual topic of conversation, but every now and then we stray into other areas, like my knitting.

A little bit ago one of the officers mentioned that his wife (who doesn't knit) had some yarn she was going to get rid of, and asked if I would like it. Think about that for a second, would I like yarn??? Well I have been bitten by that bug before and agreed to take so and so's great grandmothers yarn only to get Red Heart so old it is crunchy, but the worst that could ever happen in agreeing to take yarn is that it would be something I would never knit with and either passed on to someone else, or stashed away for someone else to deal with when the SABLE* actually outlived me.

Today he brought me the yarn, and then had to call his wife when I had him double check that she really wanted to get rid of it.


Not a single fraction of anything other than gorgeous 100% Virgin Wool (I know that because the inside of the cones says so!) Mostly natural colors, with a bright green and some blue thrown in, all neatly wound onto what have to be 1 kg cones and larger...If I was to hold to my "all yarn from non-knitters is knit and returned as a finished object" for all of this I would be knitting for Beth for a very long time!
I haven't done a wraps per inch test yet, but eyeballing it I have a pretty good selection of DK and heavy fingering yarns there.
And what does she want me to knit?

A scarf.

All that yarn and she gets a scarf!

I better start looking for one fantastic scarf pattern!! Any suggestions?

~M

* SABLE, Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot, Humid and a Chance of Knitting

It is hot and humid here in the mid-west, which did bring us some fantastic thunderstorms in the late evening last night and first thing this morning. I didn't want to drag myself out of bed and would much rather have stayed all cozy, listening to the thunder and catching glimpses of the lightning through my curtains, but unfortunately TDQ was a "good little daughter" and reminded me that I did, no matter how much I wanted to stay where I was, have to get up and go to work! I am not 100% convinced she had actually been to bed before telling me that it was time to "rock n' roll" already, but I digress.

This is, after all, a knitting blog and you don't come here to read about how tired I have been lately or any of my other complaints, you want to see the knitting stuff.

So I present :

Chart 3 of Back to the Garden.

Can't see much, can you?

I really need to put her on a longer circular needle, but that is a 40 inch one right there with those stitches crammed on it! I did create a longer one to work on TDQ's blanket, but it is still in use and anyhow those are not interchangeables , those are Addi Lace Turbo's. Side note here, I think that if I ever have a couple of hundred dollars not earmarked for something else I will get myself a set of the Addi Lace Clicks, and then some of these to go with them! Don't expect to see them appearing on my blog any time soon, but they are on my wish list. Which is a very long winded way of saying, until I finish the blanket for TDQ I am stuck using the 40 inch needles for BTTG.

I can give you a little bit of a closer look though.

The side project of Socks is calling my name, but I really do have to get something, anything, off my needles before I cast on. Even if I might have already wound some of my favorite sock yarn to knit them in!

Maybe next time I will have a finished object....

~M

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How many stitches to make a blanket?

A quick check of my "on the needles" projects revealed an interesting fact to me, and certainly explained why I have not had any finished objects to share!

I seem to have a "thing" for blankets at the moment!

There is the baby blanket through time, which only had four rows worked on it this week so I didn't take a new photo, you remember it though, right?


There is TDQ's blanket that is getting closer to completion but each round is taking me forever! That little bit of border there took hours, most of them spent shuffling stitches around the extra long circular needle I am using. I got myself a set of these a while back and joined two of the longest cables I had to make a giant circular! The plan is to keep going with that color until I use an entire ball to knit 4 rounds, then switch to the lighter for 6 rounds of garter to finish her off.

The Other Brother's blanket should be moving along faster than it is, size 15 needles and only a 115 stitches wide you would think it would have just flown by. Guess it comes of having small hands but I am finding that although the pattern is still holding my interest the logs I am knitting with are not!
That is just about the half way done point, judging from both the yarn I have left and the pattern instructions. It is plenty wide, the only question is will it be long enough to suit him? Of course DS1(The Brother) wants one in red so I will have to start scoping out yarn soon.

Back to the Garden Chart 3 was released early this week, but I haven't started knitting it yet. Another side project made an appearance as well, socks in a variation of one of the stitch patterns from the shawl.

Yesterday was weeding day in my garden, today was cutting back things that had decided to take just a little too much advantage of my quick to tire body this summer.

This little guy kept an eye on me, just to make sure I didn't cut things too far!

He's awfully cute, and much less naggy than my usual "mom is using tools so we better keep an eye on her!" spotter.

Til next time....to quote Bad Cat Designs...Knit On!

~M

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back to the Garden Chart 2, finally

It took me longer than a minute to knit this clue, which as it was fairly short worries me a little as the piece gets larger and larger! One of the more mathematically inclined people in the group calculated that at this point we are 13.8% of the way through the knitting of this shawl. Which as I have used more than 13.8% of my available stash of this yarn could leave me scrabbling towards the end.

Luckily at that point I have two choices, three really but I am not sure how changing yarns part way through on this one would look so we will ignore that choice! The first choice being that there are actually several ending points along the way, so when I get really close to being out of yarn I could just stop at the next stopping point, or I could hit another knitter up for their leftovers.

At this point, I will just wait and see how the yarn holds up!

~M

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

It was supposed to be a restful week of visiting, playing with kids, a little knitting and maybe even some yard projects...work had other ideas. If only I could find someone who wanted to pay me my regular salary to stay home and play with my kids, and knit!

I did get a little knitting done, not as much as I would have liked, but some at least!

The next pattern on my "baby blanket through time" has nupps!
Which are not the easiest thing to knit in a linen/silk/cotton blend and look a little wonky with the oil still on the yarn, but I have faith they will even out in the washing and blocking process. I have used most of a cone of yarn on this already and plan on two more repeats of that nupp pattern before hitting the edging. Good thing I have a cone or three more!

During one of the few hours that I stole from my job (I did manage to get a few hours on a couple of days away from work, even if for one of them I had to go back to man a table at Jazz on the Avenue ...looks like they update that link frequently, the first performance has already vanished from the calendar, if you don't see a Jazz performance schedule you are too late for this years events!) I got a few things accomplished, namely getting new mattresses for the kids who said that sleeping on their beds was like sleeping on the floor! And then Dear Son #2 (aka The Other Brother) picked out a green yarn that he wanted a blanket made out of, then he kabitized over my shoulder at patterns and picked Umaro by Jared Flood.

That is how far I got while we watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 with the monster man.

You would think that a blanket that includes, lace, texture and cables would be right up my alley, but those size 15 needles are killer on the hands. The one nice thing is that the bulky weight yarn is thick enough for my shaking hands to keep a hold of!

I also took advantage of the second pair of adult hands to get a little yard work done, not much because the monster man found it a little hot, and of course him doing my yard work while I was at the paying job was not in the cards, but I did get some of these picked!
The birds got a fair number before I got to them, but there were enough left to mash up a little...
And put on the stove with some sugar
And ladle out of the pan and into jars
I could only fit 6 jars at a time in my pasta pot....you don't need to get fancy canning equipment if you get a little creative!...so it took me three batches to process the....
13 jars of red currant jelly I made after dropping the monster man back at the airport.

If only I had checked the Back to the Garden Group first, Chart 2 was up!
I am not through knitting it yet, and still have chores to do before I can justify just a few more minutes knitting.

How was your week?

~M

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back to the Garden Chart 1

If you are in the US, I hope you had a happy Independence Day. The rest of you can still have had a happy July 4th.....you know like in the old "logic puzzle" Do they have 4th of July in England, why Yes it comes between the 3rd and the 5th.

The first chart for the main piece for Back to the Garden was published on Sunday. Most people are knitting a semi-circular shawl using 5 "segments" or pattern repeats across the body, an adventurous few are making full circles. I am using a much heavier yarn, a 4ply cashmere/merino blend from ColourMart and sit at one end of the yarn spectrum.."The Faculty Meeting Knitter" sits at the other end using a gossamer weight she had left over from knitting The Princess Shawl. (That is a link to her project page on Ravelry, go drool it is a stupendous piece of knitting!)

I should have been a smarter knitter and weighed my cone of yarn before I started so that I would know how much I have really used. There will be stopping points along the way, but really I have my heart set on a stadium blanket sized piece of lace, however I do not want to run out of yarn two rows before the end!!!

There is still time to join the group...go here and sign up!

In other knitting news I have settled on the next pattern segment for my baby blanket, now I just have to knit it.

~M