Who’s the Boss?

Color Wheel Scarf
Color Wheel Scarf

It would seem the baby blanket is the boss of me. I didn’t like how the ends were done on the stripe sequence and that meant starting over. But I think it’s because the knit goddess was smiling at me – I know, I didn’t even know she could smile let alone send one my way.

The baby blanket is being made for a friend’s niece and she wanted the colors to match the baby’s room. Did I show you the baby’s room?wall It’s a boy. That’s coca, light brown, blue, sage green and white. I have a blue that looks to be a fairly good match and the cocoa and taupe and the sage green, I thought I had sage green in the stash but I couldn’t find it. I did find a lighter sage green but it wasn’t quite the same but I going with ti.

When I decided last night I needed to start over, I did the stripe but stopped short at the green. Not because I was going to get a darker sage but because it was almost 2 and I needed to go to bed.  This morning when I came into the office and decided to continue with the slow but effective decluttering, I pulled open a small box that had been sitting there for weeks and inside I found a pair of scissors I had not seen in months and an almost full skein of sage green yarn.

I wanted to have the blanket in the mail tomorrow though the ship date isn’t for two weeks. The entire blanket is 90 rows and I think I have four of them done. I may not make it so I have the gift notification card ready to go so that will reach them by the date of the shower. It’s going to be sent anyway because even if I get it in the mail tomorrow there’s no guarantee it will make it in time and I want there to be something there in time for the shower.

In other news, the cowl seems to be taking the inevitable with great class. I am working on it this morning and it’s not dropping stitches or splitting yarn or doing other things yarns can do when they are temperamental or heartbroken. I can even see the progress in the end of skein. I was thinking it would be over by now so I am going to continue working on it until it is done so I can block it out on a big cushy towel,

I finished the last row and will start the bind off because it’s not simple knit two pass a stitch over. Unstretched it is more than 24 inches – about 26 so it’s ready to be done. So I am off to YouTube to look at the video that will show me how to bind off.

 

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It’s finished and seamed and definitely needs to be blocked. I have the towel and pins ready and I am going to lay it out and block it. A full immersion blocking – none of that spritz it with water. I intend for this to be longer and flatter. Perhaps new pics of it when it’s dried.

It’s Not You….

The Cableret in taupe
The Cableret in taupe

Dear Entrelac Cowl;

You’re a great cowl. Or you will be when you’re done and blocked. You brought me new insight and skill. I didn’t do entrelac before I knew you and if I knew how easy it would be to get to know you, I could have save a few bucks and not bought the book. But the book has some nice patterns in it so maybe that wasn’t so bad.

You’ve given me the chance to use a fiber that has just been sitting in the yarn bin for the past five years. I’ve used one skein on a hat and that’s been about it. You brought new meaning to its life – which is a good thing because now the yarn is discontinued and needs to have a purpose for being.

But I feel we should part company. It’s not you; it’s me. I know I wanted this relationship and I pursued you. At first, I was sorry to leave your side – even to go knit an order – I did think of you throughout the day. I did make you feel as if you were special. And you were, I mean you are. You were my first – well, my first of this kind – and that will always mean something to me. To both of us.

I am not sure if the other yarn and finished projects tried to warn you. I don’t know if they tried to signal to you. Did you hear the whispers at how one day you would be with me and the next I would be..well, doing this? What can I say; I’m George Clooney.

I’ve measured you and without being stretched, you are just about 24 inches and there’s enough to finish you off complete you in the way you deserve? Remember when I thought there wouldn’t be enough? See? I did care.

If you want to blame someone else, you can talk to that baby blanket. I thought I was the boss of it but I shouldn’t have trashed talked yesterday. I had to start it over because it just wasn’t working out adding the color the way I thought it would. It demanded attention and that was surprising because it’s not like it’s a hard pattern. But you have to watch out for the easy ones. You can also blame the next fiber in the bin that’s coming out and the cute baby hat I want to make with it. As much as I love you, entrelac cowl, you aren’t giving me babies.

I am not going to abandon you. I will see you through to the end, We are almost there. We will make it down the aisle – I just won’t promise you forever. But then, nothing lasts forever, does it?

Fondly,

beverly

 

 

The End of the Beginning of the End

The Ribbed scarf in taupe
The Ribbed scarf in taupe

Had a girls night out last night with Bri, Melissa and Laeh for Laeh’s birthday. We went to Brick and then to see Grand Budapest Hotel. (Wait for video unless you like going out.)

Bri is the only one of my StitchCraft buds to have a blog and I have to admit, her’s is so much better than mine. She has pretty pictures and she writes well and…I may want to be like Bree when I grow up. This is a curse with my friends. I want to be my friends – if for no other reason than I want to know why they’re friends with me. In any case, check out her blog because it’s good reading. Tell her I said hi in the comments.

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For instance, Bri would take a much better picture of her WIP than this: the entrelac cowl will need to be blocked. Now that I see around the mannequin neck, I don’t see how there’s going to be any way around not blocking it before I seam it together. It just looks too clunky and too short.

I’m not doing photos of the baby blanket until it’s done but I know I will be doing another one that is not so color specific to add to the baby shop. I also know I am going to be using Red Heart Classic as the main fiber for custom orders because that’s how I priced it out otherwise it would over $100 and that’s fine for the afghans I do but not so much for the much smaller baby blanket.

The baby blanket and I will need to have a talk. I am doing the center white part first and the darn thing has fallen under knit math. Which would be fine except it’s a crocheted blanket. The crochet is not immune and you kind of think it would be. I keep adding rows and I swear, it’s not getting over 10 rows long. The blanket is going to end up being about 44″ square and 36 of those will be that center and I want to have it done by the first so I need it to step up and cooperate. Now, I am not of the mind that because it’s a baby blanket, it is acting like a baby. I am not using baby yarn so I expect it to behave accordingly.

To coax it along I am going to pull the other colors: Cocoa, medium blue, tan and sage green. Perhaps the white part will get the hint that I can just start the other colors and one end. It doesn’t have to be the center of my attention just because it’s the center of the blanket. Sometimes you have to tough love a project into knowing who’s boss.

Hopefully it will be me.

I just emptied a shopping bag of yarn and placed the skeins in a bin (OK, there was a one skein overlap so I used two bins.) and I found some of those free patterns they have hanging around the store. There are some cute cowls and scarves that I don’t remember pulling down but now they’re in my head.

Not only have a cleared away a bag to reduce the clutter. Not only is there more yarn in the bins but now I have more ideas from patterns which you know I am going to change. This is a great start to the weekend.

 

Rainbow Rising

Knit mittens
Knit mittens

I am seeing the end of the yarn ball for the entrelac cowl. The optimism I had the other day of being able to get all 26 inches out of this single ball is waning just a little bit. I have about 21 inches a little stretched and just this much left: GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Is it enough? If I stretch it more than a little bit, I have more than 24 inches. What are the odds that a fiber blend is going to stay unstretched? For some reason unknown to me, I decided to weigh what was remaining and it 1 1/8 of and ounce. I don’t know what that tells me and it doesn’t make me rest any easier that I have enough for a couple of inches and a bind off.

I don’t really know why I worry – I will have what I have and it’s going to have to work because there’s nothing else for it. But I want 26′. I would also like to have this done this weekend. My mind is on my next ball of yarn and what I am going to make with it. I’ve actually had a change of mind of what I was going to make. At first it was going to be one hat but now it’s going to be another hat. And, get this, it’s going to be a baby hat. One of the cutest baby hats’ I’ve ever seen. I saw a photo and I said to myself “I can make that!’ So I’m going to. I would show you the photo but my hat is going to look a little different because not only can’t I follow a pattern, I can’t follow a photo either.

You know what I can show you? My yarn wall.

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That’s not even all of it. You can’t see what’s behind it. There’s two more bins downstairs and there’s more yarn that hasn’t made it into the bins. There’s even some more in the basement. At least there’s no more hiding out in the car. And it doesn’t show the bin that’s by the desk. The one where I am pulling skeins and coming up with things to make.

I’m eyeing that bin on the left in the front and thinking that has some of the yarn I got when we went to Herrschners and I’m thinking it won’t be long before it’s the bin sitting close to the desk and I can get into that but then I see the bags with the yarn in it and I think it might be better to tackle those. Do you see why I hesitate to adopt more?

I am about to go down and work on the baby blanket. I have to print out the photo Connie sent me of the wall colors of the baby’s room and I am going to try and duplicate the color order on the blanket. Fun!!!

 

 

The End is Near

Newsboy in yellow
Newsboy in yellow

I am almost done with the entrelac cowl and I am having a blast knitting backward. I am having so much fun knitting backward that I’ve begun to think of other times when I would use the technique other than knitting entrelac.

Sadly, I can’t think of any.

It makes sense with entrelac to knit backward because there’s all that turning and that can get on one’s nerves – it found my last nerve which is why I started doing it/ But it really doesn’t make sense for regular flat knitting because you don’t turn that often. I suppose then if I do other short row work it would make sense to do it there.

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That is the entrelac cowl in most of its knitted glory. It is almost two feet long with a little stretch help. Unstretched, it is about eighteen inches. We know from previous cowl experience that we want about 26 inches. It looks like there’s about 1/3 of the ball left so I am thinking making it to the promised land should not be a problem. I have learned from my last lesson to have faith in the ball.

On the order front, the last of the March due orders leaves today so I have started on the baby blanket because the shower is on the 4th. If I don’t have it done by the first, I will send the  gift notification card. But let’s keep our fingers crossed and our hooks moving.

I’m off to the dr and hopefully, he won’t lock me up again over the weekend.!

Closed Windows

Dana - The Pattern
Dana – The Pattern

I thought of taking a photo of the entrelac cowl to show you because it’s different than the last photo I had of. But I decided against because although it is different, you wouldn’t be able to see the difference.

But the difference is I knit and purled backwards. I wanted to give it a try to see if it saved me any kind of time or sanity from the constant ‘turn your work’ action that is part of entrelac.

I like it alot. It took a couple of rows of me twisting stitches to finally get the hang of it and I bet I am going to have to refresh myself with it the next time I pick it up but I did it without benefit of a video or other instruction. I worked it out for myself. There is no photograph of that kind of pride at having worked it out in my own head on my own knitting.

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I am putting up a photo of the work in progress because of something I just noticed but don’t quite get. This yarn has four colors: Almond, apricot, taupe and sand – that’s what I call them, don’t know what the manufacturer called them. But if you look at the edges on either side, they are made up of only two of the colors. On the left the apricot and taupe and on the right edge the sand and almond and then all four mingle in the middle. Don’t know why that is but it strikes me as funny strange not funny ha ha.

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Remember this view from the window yesterday? The new roof is on (looks like the old roof to me but Mr. Honey walked in the door and said something about ‘architectural roof shingles’ which to me is an oxymoron right up there with jumbo shrimp. This is the view from the window this morning:

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you gotta love an omnipresent sense of humor.

I was speaking with God yesterday and told him I was sitting at 817 sales and that was a little too close to 820 and I love 5 and 0 so I thought I should move right up to 820 sales. And, sink me, I had 820 sales by the time I went to bed and this morning , it’s 821. No, that doesn’t make me anxious to get to 825. I’m good holding where it is for a few days.

One of the orders is a custom baby blanket made with this pattern. But the colors will be chocolate, blue, green, tan and white to match the baby’s room. It will be fun. But before I can get to that, I have to get to some hats and that’s what I am about to do. I have a puff hat to crochet and that will be followed by a variegated rasta. I also have a little bit of writing and cleaning to do.

Great to back to the routime.

Sneak Peek

daphne
daphne

Part of the decluttering part of the office is taking the skein remnants and rolling them into balls so they can be stored and I can go in and pull one out when I want to make something small like a headband (which I have made) or a boot cuff (which I have never made) or pom-poms.

This process has led to discoveries of yarns I forgot I had and in an amount that could actually be made into something. It has also led to the confirmation that I do have a lot of yarn. When I made the order from Knitting Warehouse that I had to make because I didn’t have the fiber the client wanted, I went trolling through the other yarns just to throw a skein or two in the cart. I usually do this of yarns I might want to try – buy a skein or two and eventually turn it into something I may want to sell.

It did not go as planned. I looked up a yarn I might be interested in and then I would look at the bins filled with full skeins and then noticed some more remnant skeins and I felt almost ashamed at wanting to add more because I just wanted it. i wound up ordering just what I needed and nothing more.  This isn’t a source of pride or guilt. I feel just fine doing it and knew it was right. I didn’t need it.

This was the view from my window this morning: GE DIGITAL CAMERAActually, I grabbed the camera when there were four of them but three of them scuttled away quickly. I think they know I am here but they don’t care. The roof (that roof) is being redone. We had our roof redone a few years back so I know this will be completed today and there will be a new roof to look at in the morning.

I am still in love with the entrelac cowl – I have decided it will be a cowl. I have made this decision based on the fact that one edge of the piece is a little wonky and instead of going back and redoing it (I don’t love it that much) it would be easier to make it into a cowl and then edge can become a design feature.

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I also decided it would be a cowl because I am beginning to get that feeling. You know that feeling – I am beginning to look around. I took a little look inside the bin to see what would be the next thing to work on. I am thinking about cheating on the entrelac. I love the entrelac and I know I won’t abandon it. But my philandering ways are trying to make a comeback and that feeling comes when I know it’s near the end of something. I switched from the size five needles to eights to move it along a little. But I know what I want to make with the yarn that’s coming and it’s something I’ve never made before and it’s a yarn I’ve never worked with before. The entrelac yarn is an anniversary yarn and the one that’s coming is one of the skeins i bought in St. Louis and that was, what, five years ago? It’s older than the anniversary yarn. It’s the yarn found in this post. And the ball band isn’t there so I don’t know what it is except that it was pretty popular. I’m pretty sure it’s a Cascade yarn. Might be Eco. Is that still available?

Even working on am order might not be enough to distract me. But I shall be loyal to the project. I will keep to those unspoken but loud vows to not abandon. I don’t like WIPs.

Want a laugh? If you go back and read the post that has the photo of the yarn, you will read where I say yarn stores are not my thing. I know, I had to laugh at myself. That has certainly changed.

Knit Life

Elfin in royal blue
Elfin in royal blue

Mu cousin, Diane, passed away last night after a brief and brutal bout with bladder cancer. I haven’t seen or talked to her in years. But I remember her as being the vivacious, sexy cousin. She was fun loving and she called me Squaw because I used to always wear my hair in to braids.

She has two sons, Billie and Jon, who she is leaving and one son, Lenard, who will meet her in the heavens, along with her folks and mine and all the aunts and uncles.

There are no more aunts, uncles, parents or grandparents since my uncle passed away a few years back, It was something we all know that the next one leaving would be one of us. That circle of the next generation would be broken.

I find it hard to explain why I feel her loss so keenly but I accept that I do. I pray for the celebration that was her life and of the eternal celebration that is to come where she will be in no more pain and can come into her own rest. I pray that my cousins, her sisters and brothers, will know more of the bond that draws and keeps them close to each other.

Be at peace, Diane.

It appears there were batteries up here all the time I thought they were downstairs. In clearing away some of the clutter, I unearthed a big ass pack of batteries. I even remember when I brought them upstairs. I could have been taking pics all along. But I figure I must not have been mentally ready for it or I would have remembered that somewhere up here there were batteries. It’s as good a story as any.

I put the poncho on the mannequin and it falls to the very top of where there would be thighs. I checked it against the photo of the finished poncho and it’s about the same length though I think it would look better if were a little longer. So the next time I make one, I will go until it’s about 28 inches instead of 24-25. I will show the photos when I do the formal ones.

The tally of the completed projects: 1 poncho, 3 scarves, 2 cowls and 3 hats and there’s a scarf on the needles. That’s not bad. Not bad at all. I also have a pack of pom-poms.

The two custom orders were purchased so it’s a good month so far. Someone ordered a rasta hat last month and I made it yesterday and it wa so cute. If I had finished in the daylight, I would have taken a photo of it. I am going to make another one and offer it in the shop because it was so cute. It was in rasta colors: red, yellow, green and he wanted a big pom-pom on it so I broke out the big ass pom-pom maker and put one on. I hope he likes it.

What I really liked about it was I already had the colors in stock so it was pure profit. That’s good because on of the other custom orders required ordering the fiber and that’s a bummer to the profit line. The really nice thing is I have all the colors for the baby blanket that was just ordered and it’s an unusual color combo but it should be fun.

But I have some hats to get out before I get to the baby blanket and that’s what I will be working on tomorrow and the rest of the week. Hopefully, I will be able to stay out of the hospital to get them done.

In the meantime, the entrelac scarf keeps growing but I am fairly certain it will end up as a cowl and I am fine with that. I watched the video on knitting entrelac in the round and it bears watching again when I’m ready to do it.

I am getting a tad sleepy. I’ve been going to bed earlier – part of the problem with being in the hospital. So, I am going to hang on just a little longer and then hit they hay. Projects await me in the morning.

 

Detour

elfin in terra cotta
elfin in terra cotta

I started a post on Thursday about how the day off Wednesday was good but I found I didn’t watch a lot of T and V when I wasn’t knitting. I did do some decluttering of the office but not nearly enough and I was going to say it was going to be a short post because I had to go spend the afternoon at the hospital for the big post hospital discharge follow up…that was on Thursday.

Today is Saturday and I just got back from that follow up because my dr. put me in the hospital because I said I felt a little tightness in my chest. It wasn’t a pain, it hardly reached the level of discomfort but he put me in Thursday afternoon and after a two day stress test, he finally let me go. A stress test, by the way that shows my heart is really, really normal. Along with my blood – no cancer markers, no heredity markers and my blood level of blood thinners is between the range he wants it.

In other words: I’m pretty darned healthy. There are things I do have to watch and after weeks of dropping weight each week, I didn’t drop anything last week but this is a new week. I have to go back on Thursday for another blood follow up and post discharge follow up where I will be sure not to mention anything unless I am sure it’s serious. I will make sure the scale moves downward because I am anxious to build up my workouts again.

I was also going to show you the progress I made on the entrelac scarf I started to knit.

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I was very excited about it and I was thinking of it as I lay in the hospital bed. I had my poncho and a ruffle scarf with me when I thought I was just going to be gone for a couple of hours and not two days. The closest I come was I brought my book on entrelac with me. I looked it over a couple or three times and wished I had it with me to work on. But it gave me something to look forward to.

I am liking how the colors in the yarn are stacking up. I’m also liking how easy it is. It certainly looks like it should be more complicated. Whoever thought this up is a knitting genius. I wouldn’t have been able to do it in a thousand years. It was a really nice feeling to walk in and pick it up. And I didn’t need to refer  back to the video to where I was or what I should do next.

On the other hand, the poncho is done. I haven’t put it on the mannequin torso yet to see how long it is. I measured it out at about two feet and I even tried it on but I couldn’t tell anything from it.  I actually want it to be fairly long so it may happen I put it on the torso and decide I need to take out the cast off row and add some more or if it’s almost long enough it can be the size for teens or short women and I will make another one of another length.

I had a hat due yesterday and I would like to get it in the mail so I need to go pull some red, green and yellow fiber to make a rasta slouch. It’s good to be home. It’s good to be home and healthy.

And on the seventh day….

Flower puffafghan
Flower puffafghan

I am not going to be doing knitting or crochet today – I did some entrelac this morning after staying up late to learn it but that was more to see if I remembered it. I took a horrible photo before going to bed at 2:30 this morning. GE DIGITAL CAMERABut I was excited that I learned something new especially after being so disappointed with the pom-pom yarn. I am certain once I frame a cuff with the stuff I will fall in love with the idea of it again. In the meantime, I wanted to start the Universal yarn with entrelac and decided it would be best to learn on a sample yarn and here it is. First, let me say I wanted to use the pattern found on the Knit and Crochet Now website and I started off with it but that is one poorly written pattern. It reads like the show. Skips some essential stuff for the sake of time. Anyone new to entrelac won’t be able to follow it. This just isn’t my opinion, the comments bear it out. So after starting it a couple of times and not knowing if the awkward looking mess coming off my needles was right, I turned to You Tube.

If you need to learn how to do entrelac this video is an excellent tutorial on how to get going. I stayed up an extra half hour because I was having so much fun with it. When I got up this morning to take some more bad photos, I wanted to see if I remembered what I learned – almost.

It goes fairly quickly and I was thinking for a moment I would just keep the sample on the needles and finish out a scarf. That thought was thwarted when I looked over at the Universal fiber and it gave me that sad look. Like a puppy you’re leaving at the pound.

“But I have all kinds of colors and I am self striping. I am just what an excited entrelac knitter needs.” How could I avoid that? Today I will because I am not knitting today. I will not be sucked into it. In fact, I opened up my schedule to see what was on the list of things to do when not buried under orders and the first thing is cleaning the office and that is enough to keep me busy for days.

I am not going to knit today because I do need the day of rest. I go to the doctor tomorrow and I get to see three of them back to back. I am prepared to learn that the blood clots were not caused by my family history but because I thought it was a good idea to sit for 15 hours every day for eight months and knit. I need to not knit today because this thing I love should not be the cause of ill health.

I am not going to knit today. Instead, I am going to do some other things and do productive stuff and breath regular air. Of course, it would rain today so my time outdoors will be limited but I will be walking to the garbage can, at least. But I am going to do some balancing with normal life.

I am not going to knit today.