Hungry for Color…

It took me the entire month of July to knit an eyelet curtain panel for my kitchen window. I had intended to make two. However, once finished, it was discovered that the one panel stretched across the length of the window.

I had used Red Heart Super Saver in white and my size I knook.

The pattern used was this one and I used the five-eyelet chart. I cast on 170 stitches, did 10 rows of garter on the bottom and 5 garter stitches on each side. The rod pocket was created by making 5 rows garter, 5 rows stockinette and another 5 rows garter I then sewed the last garter row to the first.

After hanging the curtain, it doesn’t perfectly fit across the width of the window. But, it’s good enough. I might make another one someday, but probably not for a while. It was a lot of work and pretty boring stuff.

Eyelet Curtain 1

Eyelet Curtain 2

All that white yarn made me want to work with some color. I joined a couple of knit-alongs and crochet-alongs on ravelry.

The first challenge was to make something related to the TV show Outlander. This show is based on some of my favorite books, which were written by Diana Gabaldon.

I decided to modify my MacLean Clan Tartan found here. I made a cowl. This was my first try at knitting with color and my first try using the Intarsia technique (for the vertical stripes). I made yarn butterflies to contain the lengths of yarn. It worked pretty well! I figured that since this was a Scottish clan tartan, it would qualify for the -along.

I cast on 65 stitches and used my size I knook.

MacLean Tartan Cowl Knit 1

Handsome model is my son.

Handsome model is my son.

The next -along that I got into was the August challenge in the Cowls group on ravelry. This month’s challenge: color work. I found what looked like a cute and simple pattern called Alba, by Greta and the Fibers. I believe it would be considered a Fair Isle technique, as you are only doing a few stitches at a time in one color, with two colors per row. Just so you know, the website is in Spanish, it is an unsecured site and they require a LOT of personal information before you can download their free patterns.

It was a simple pattern and I really enjoyed the stranded technique (another first for me) – much more than the Intarsia. I made several mistakes (that I didn’t notice until I was finished). Despite the fact that it is terribly imperfect, I love this cowl. I absolutely adore the colors. I knew from crocheting another cowl that I liked these two colors together. But in this cowl, I like it even better.

The pattern is simple and charted. It’s a 10-stitch repeat. I cast on 80 stitches. I used Red Heart Super Saver in Black and Macaw. I did a seed stitch border, which I’m really not happy with. I think I much prefer the look of garter borders.

Alba Cowl

The next -along I was involved in was on the Red Heart Lovers group on ravelry. It was the August Square of the Month. I followed the crochet pattern. It made a 12-inch afghan block. I used a K hook and Red Heart Super Saver in Shocking Pink, Perfect Pink (I think), Gray Heather and Black. It is the pattern See How They Run, pattern found here.

See How They Run 1

The Alba cowl inspired me to work on another stranded knitting project. I downloaded the Spirit Cat chart a long time ago and had intended to work it up as a filet crochet project. I never got around to doing that. So, I decided to knit it in the same colorway as my Alba cowl. I’m about halfway done, at this point. To be continued…

Works In Progress…

Most of the animals are fine. The goats have had their coats removed. They always look so skinny when we take their fur off! And though they act like they were assaulted, I’m sure they feel much better. I now have a couple of bags of fiber and I do plan on sending it in for processing into roving. I can’t wait to see how it spins up!

Thumper is doing well – fat and happy as usual. But Billy Bob has been ill. He has a bad upper-respiratory infection. He’s been on antibiotics since Monday and is only just beginning to show improvement. He goes back to the vet on the 20th for a follow up. If he hasn’t had a drastic improvement by then, they will burn x-rays. The doctor was a bit concerned that he might have cancer. We’re really hoping that he doesn’t. He’s such a sweet little guy and he’s had such a hard, hard life. It would just be tragic if he died in the near future.

My son and his fiance (the ones who just lost their baby) came for a visit. They were here for a little over a week and left yesterday afternoon. It was nice to see them.

They knew that I was going to be working on Independence Day and the day after. And because my job requires that I get up at an ungodly hour in the morning – therefore I go to bed at an ungodly hour – they knew that I would not be able to enjoy any of the evening’s festivities. They were thoughtful enough to bring some fireworks. We waited until Monday night (I have Tuesdays off) and after the sun went down, we went out to a clearing on our property and shot them off. It was 9:30pm and though I could hardly keep my eyes open, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Thankfully they didn’t set off any firecrackers – I’ve always hated those things. I got to try not to catch myself on fire with a sparkler and they lit of a couple of really nice fountains. He tried to set off a bee-shaped thing that I think would’ve been dangerous if it had functioned properly.

I helped my future daughter-in-law choose a photographer for their upcoming wedding – that was fun.

Overall, they seem to be doing well. She is healing well and he seems to have pulled out of the depression that he went into after the baby died. I hope it continues.

They told me that my grandson had been wrapped in the blanket that I made for him from the moment he was born, until after he died (the only exception being when he was getting weighed and measured). For that reason, they decided that they wanted to have him cremated in it, too. That was the sweetest and most touching thing that I’ve ever heard and it made me cry. It’s making me cry a little bit now, even.

Since I don’t know of any more babies being born in the near future, I can take a break from working on baby blankets for a little while. I decided that I really need to work on kitchen curtains.

As you may (or may not) be aware, I have finished one curtain panel already. However, it’s a granny-square thing and just too lacy to be an effective curtain. I had fully intended to use my knitting machine to do them, but I decided that I wanted something with a little bit of lace. And that’s just not very easy to do on my machine.

I decided that I would knook them, so they needed to utilize a knitting pattern. I’m using a portion of this pattern. The part I’m using is the center motif. The holes are arranged to look like little flowers. The pattern is super-easy to memorize. It will give me enough lace to be happy and enough solid to make my sweetie happy. I’ve completed 10 rows of garter on the bottom and am putting 5 stitches of garter on each side. I’m currently on row 11 of pattern repeat 3. I’m not sure how long I’ll need to make it, but it will be wider than it is long. Hopefully, I won’t suffer from second-curtain-panel syndrome like I seem to often do and I’ll actually finish BOTH of them!

And of course, because knitting miles of white yarn is boring (and because I have project ADD) I am planning on making a Year of Weather something. I believe the original idea came from here. Basically, you work one row for each day of the year. In the link I provided, she is working on a scarf that reflects the colors of the sky. I am planning on doing something that reflects our daily temperatures.

The code I’ve come up with (but may change) is this:

  • Below 0 to 10 degrees = white
  • 11 to 30 degrees = baby blue
  • 31 to 50 degrees = turquoise
  • 51 to 70 degrees = light green (I’m thinking a bright, spring green)
  • 71 to 90 degrees = dark green
  • 91 to above 100 = yellow
  • For birthdays and days of remembrance I’ll use orange

Luckily for me, my neighbor up the road has a weather station. It sends data to weather underground. I was able to go there and find the historical data for his site. So, my scarf, blanket, whatever, will accurately reflect the temperatures very near me.

I went through today and wrote down all of this year’s temperatures through yesterday. It was interesting to see that since January 1st, we haven’t had one day that had a high temp that was in the teens or 20s. And though we are fairly sure that we reached triple digits a couple of times, we actually haven’t yet.

I tentatively plan on crocheting – rather than knitting – this project. I haven’t decided which stitch I’ll use. And I haven’t entirely decided that I’m going to crochet it, either. The bad thing about using crochet is that the thing will be very long. One gal crocheted a scarf – in SC I do believe – and it came out over 11-feet long! I’ve seen others split the project in half, because it was just going to be way too long to use. In the sky scarf, she is knitting and those stitches are smaller than crochet.

Maybe I’ll go ahead and make two scarves, in SC. I can give one to my hunny and I’ll wear the other. They’ll be different enough that they won’t match, but they’ll be similar enough that they’ll obviously go together. Hmm… Yes… I think that’s a good idea!

Grandniece Baby Blanket

My sweetie’s nephew (I claim him as my nephew, too) and his girlfriend are having a baby. Her name will be Kaylynn.

Kaylynn Blanket 5

I haven’t yet met her mama. But if my nephew loves her, then she is probably a sweet girl.

Kaylynn Blanket 7

Naturally, I had to make a blanket for the new arrival.

Kaylynn Blanket 6

Their nursery colors are pink and gray. I had purchased some gray ribbon to embellish this blanket, but I don’t think it would add anything.

Kaylynn Blanket 3

I’m thinking of making her a little cardigan, booties and diaper cover set. I think I’ll make that in pink and gray.

Kaylynn Blanket 4

For this pattern, I’ve used the Victorian Lattice blanket instructions from here.

Kaylynn Blanket 2

I improvised a border.

It is 43-inches square. The blanket was crocheted using a 5.5mm hook with Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn! in the Pink colorway. It took 3 skeins of yarn.

This was a fun project. I learned a new skill – the flat braid join and I really like that join. It takes longer to do than my usual join-as-you-go way of doing things, but I absolutely love the effect and will definitely be using it again in the future.

I hope mama likes it.

Well…

My grandson was born at 2:52 pm and passed away at 3:33 pm. He was 4.7 pounds and 16.5 inches long.

I was unable to attend the birth and I’m counting it as a mixed blessing. I wish that I could have been there for the kids – especially my son. But, I think I likely would have been a mess and that probably wouldn’t have been very helpful.

We plan to take a trip to see them next week.

Grandson Baptismal Blanket

Most of you know the story about my grandson; it’s pretty much all I’ve talked about on this blog for the last few months… He will be born and will die soon afterward (if he survives his own birth). My son and his fiance decided that they are going to have him Baptized as soon as he is born. I knew I had to make his Baptism blanket.

Christening Blanket 5

I used the Baby Counterpane Christening Blanket pattern written by Kay Meadors.

Christening Blanket 3

I’m not a proficient knitter; in fact, I haven’t actually knitted much… Two socks, a kerchief, a little decorative owl and a hat. The socks were actually done with needles. Everything else has been done using a knook.

Christening Blanket 6

I had some problems with the edging portion of the original pattern. And since I don’t have much knitting experience, I didn’t know what changes I should make, to make it work. So, I frogged the edging and switched to crochet.

Christening Blanket 7

For the edging, I used the Lacy Vs and Picots Edging pattern written by Amy Solovay. Because I had done one row of SC all the way around, I skipped straight to round 2 in the pattern. I completed two rounds of round 2, one of round 3 and then the picot round.

Christening Blanket 1

Aside from the fact that this was a sad project, I really did enjoy the process of making this blanket. It was a fun knit, with lots of different things to do. But, because it was fairly repetitive, it was also easy enough. I put in a lifeline every 10 rows. I think it is a great beginner’s lace knitting project.

I used my favorite baby yarn – Red Heart Soft Baby Steps – in white.

Each of the four panes took less than a skein of yarn; I started a new skein for each pane. The edging took the better part of a skein. I started a new skein for the v stitches and then started another for the picot round. I would say that it took five skeins of yarn, even though I opened six.

Because I’m a slower knitter, I’d estimate that this took me close to 50 hours to make.

It is a little over 3-feet square.

Mom loves it, and really, that’s all that counts.

Three of Four

I know it’s been almost two months since I’ve updated. It’s kind of been a whirlwind of activity.

We ordered the edging tile for the island and it is taking forever for it to come in. I guess it’s a special-order thing. We got it at Lowe’s and it was bloody expensive! But, it will be so nice to have the counter all intact. Then, we’ll need to get the propane hooked up and we’ll have our lovely propane cookstove to cook on! That will be so nice! And it will look very pretty!

I’m considering repainting the kitchen. I love the yellow, but everyone (and by everyone I mean Sweetie and my son) have said that the yellow doesn’t go well with the flooring that we installed. I’m thinking of changing the yellow to gray. I think gray would still look good with the white cabinets and cobalt accents. And, of course, it will go well with the marble. I haven’t decided yet, but I am leaning toward painting again.

I have been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. It’s no great surprise… I love sugar, so it’s not a shock. However, it means that some big changes need to be made to my diet.

With the permission of my doctor, I’ve decided to go the low-carb route. I know there are a lot of opinions on this subject, but I’ve done it before and seem to be pretty successful eating that way.

I’ve been doing low-carb since March 30th and have lost 5 lbs, thus far. For the most part, I feel better. But, for the last couple of days I haven’t been eating enough fat. I don’t have the energy that I expect. So, I’m currently looking for fat bomb recipes. That should boost my energy significantly.

The Christening blanket for my grandson is not yet finished. It is a sad project, so I find myself easily procrastinating. I have three of the four squares finished and the fourth one started. God willing and the creek don’t rise, I should have it completed in the next couple of weeks.

I’m still unemployed, unfortunately. I haven’t been making things for my Etsy shop, because my crafting energy has been going into the Christening blanket. I have had a couple of interviews in the last week and I’m hoping to be gainfully employed sooner, rather than later.

All the animals are fat and happy. Ray and Frank have beautiful coats this year! They have lovely curl definition. I plan on sending this year’s and last year’s fleeces in for processing. That means I’ll need to get to spinning!

I’m actually considering donating some of the unspun fiber that I currently have to my neighborhood birds. It’s been quite chilly lately and they could probably use it. I’m thinking about getting one of those suet cage things and putting the fiber in there. I can hang it by the bird feeder.

Well, I guess that’s about it for now. Hopefully I’ll have a tah-dah post for you in the next couple of weeks!

Grandbaby Update

So, the kids have decided to take the baby to term. Doctors have told them that they can expect the child to live for approximately 10 days, after birth.

They are going to have the baby Baptized and then they will have a funeral for him – it’s a boy.

Because of his condition – he doesn’t have a skull (but don’t worry, there is no pain or discomfort associated with this condition) – they expect him to have a delayed due date. Since his original due date was June 13, I guess we can expect him a week or two later.

I have offered to make them a Christening blanket. This is the pattern I’ve chosen. So far, it’s been fun to make. I’ve just started working on it today. It is a knitting pattern, so I am using my knook. I’ll post pictures when I’m finished.

Grandbaby Fibonacci Sequence Blanket

Hi!

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to make something using the Fibonacci sequence in stripes. I’ve always liked the way it looks, but I’ve always dreaded making a blanket in some sort of solid fabric.

Grandbaby Fibonacci Blanket 3

I’m the first to admit that I get bored easily. And while I love afghans, I tend to put them on a shelf when they’re only part way finished.

Grandbaby Fibonacci Blanket 2

That said, I’ve found that baby blankets are doable. Especially when they’re blankets made for my grandchild who is due in June.

I did get a bit distracted from this blanket, but that’s only because I have been trying to stock my etsy shop. I figure that one blanket for my grandbaby and one or two for the shop would be good.

Grandbaby Fibonacci Blanket 1

For this blanket I did double crochets in rows of: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 13.

I’m still waiting to find out the gender of the baby.

For my etsy shop, I’m currently working on a filet argyle blanket. For the baby, I haven’t decided yet…

Oh and here’s my latest addition to the shop! I seem to have neglected to make a post about it, earlier!

Drumroll Please!

Well, after pretty much EVERYONE telling me to get an Etsy Shop and start selling my crochet stuff, I’ve finally done it!

It’s really scary! I’ve never sold anything, except commissioned pieces. I’m afraid that no one will buy anything and that will hurt my feelings, because I’ll think that it’s because they don’t like it. Which is completely ridiculous, I know…

I’ve talked to my friends about pricing and I guess that’s the hardest part. So, I’m going with the fairly common practice of taking the cost of materials and multiplying it by three. Then I’m adding to that the cost of listing the item and the cost of shipping. We’ll see!

If you’d like to see the first item I’ve ever listed for sale, it can be found in my Etsy Shop here.

And if you have any feedback about my listing – the price, the pictures, the verbiage, please tell me. I need all the advice I can get!