Saturday, October 4, 2014


You know how protective I am of my knitting time. I hate the thought that I would make something for someone and they would reject it. Or worse yet absolutely they would love it and that is all I would end up making for years and years to come. Hey why did all of you just think of my sock collection?

One of the conundrums of being a selfish knitter is that I fear rejection of my knit lovelies. I love them and D loves them and that is all that matters.

Well it is not. My mother-in-law (Mil) suffers from poor circulation due to MS. She says her legs and feet get very cold. My father-in-law confirmed this with a snort of agreement, there may have been muttered words like ice blocks, we're going to let that go.

After all the socks and wooly things I've knit I finally gathered my nerve and asked my Mil if she would like to try hand knit socks or leg warmers. The answer was yes, we could try leg warmers.

So I've been puzzling over how to make them. Well, not how, I'm pretty darn sure I know how to make a tube that fits over a leg, but what would make a successful leg warmer?

I've come up with a few questions, and since Mil reads my blog I'm gonna throw them out here for us to ponder before I buy some yarn.

  1. Wool is the best fiber ever but will she agree? I'm leaning towards a super wash wool because even I don't care to hand wash things but I have nice hand wash setting on my washer. I've made the decision to take the time to learn how to care for wool, superwash wool takes some of that pressure away, easier to care for with wooly warmth too.
  2. What weight of yarn should I use? My socks are typically fingering weight but they have to fit into shoes, leg warmers do not. There are a lot more stitches in a pair of socks than the sleeve of a sweater. So I am leaning towards a light worsted weight, really I can tell myself I'm making sleeves for legs.
  3. I should make sure the yarn is relatively soft. These will most likely go right next to her skin. While I have trained myself to love rustic wools, most people need something softer, at least as an introductory item. 
  4. What color? I know she likes blue but a nice burnt orange makes me feel warmer. Oh what about red? I know when I'm wearing a bright pair of socks I feel a bit peppier. What about a nice natural brown or cream? The knitter's world is full of color. Please, please don't say black it is too hard to knit in the winter.
  5. Oh what about the fit? I don't want them to be too tight or too loose. I'm thinking some ribbing up the back of the leg gives stretch but not bagginess? I cannot handle the thought of fully ribbed warmers. I don't like ribbing enough to do that. Sorry I just don't.

That is what I've been mulling over. Anyone have any other suggestions or thoughts? I think we both know each other well enough to know the first pair may not be perfect but they should be warm.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival 2014

It is that time of year again when my yarn basket gets replenished. D however is noticing that it is still overflowing from last year's replenishment, but who lets that stop them from buying yarn? Not Yarnkettle, I tell you!

Although first up this year is not yarn but a cat mat instead. Gus' acceptable temperature range has narrowed considerably. I thought his old arthritic bones and joints could use a nice place to snuggle into, so I bought one.

I found out at the fair this summer one of my favorite sock yarns is going by the wayside. Ensign Brook Farm's Cheviot sock yarn may soon be no more. She sold her Cheviots but dyed up some of the last yarn. I had another skein in my hand but then I thought what about a sweater from her other yarn? Maybe I will have a new favorite sweater yarn.

Don't you know I bought all of them without tags. I even put the one with a tag on it back in the basket so she would have the marked one. I think this is a Romney/Merino cross yarn, 2 ply sport weight? Guess I will just have to email for confirmation before I knit my sweater.

This is one of those times when my better senses took over. We were debating how many skeins I would need. She had a sweater that took five so my good judgement made me buy six. I would rather have a sweater and mittens than almost a sweater.

This is Fiber Stash's Tweedy Toes in "Pick Your Own". Last year I regretted not trying this tweedy freckled yarn. This year I did not make the same mistake. It is a nice bright yarn.

Angoraonline had some nice yarn too. This one finally picked me out of the group to come home with.

New stitch markers! I found last year that stitch markers made this way, work really well for me while sweater knitting. I did finish two sweaters this year it must be the markers right?

Mt. Rutsen had the stitch marker and some nice yarn named "Patina". I do so love me some green yarn. Even though last year's yarn is still in the aforementioned over flowing basket.

I've seen String Theory and their Bluestocking yarn mentioned in quite a few places. So I just had to get my own skein in "Dark and Stormy".

Don't worry you'll be seeing all these yarns here again, once I figure out what projects they want to be. And I finish up all the projects already on the needles and the ones that are waiting in the wings too.

I am one happy knitter!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A sock and some camping mitts

D's poor sock has lost some of its novelty. It is my purse knitting but it has been usurped quite a few times now. My needles and yarn are not currently getting along so it is easy to let it drift to the bottom of the bag. How sad is that?

Still it is such a lovely blue that it will not stay neglected for long (I hope).

In the mean time my fascination was caught by Camp Out Mitts by tante ehm. I made them a bit deeper to cover more of my finger than the pattern is written. And I don't have delicate dainty hands either so I made them wider too, just like I have to adjust all my socks.

I knit them with Noro Kureyon which I had originally bought to knit a tea cozy. I was worried that the yarn would be too scratchy and rustic for my liking but it turns out I have trained my hands to appreciate a good rustic wool.

I even had fun picking out the bits of hay and straw this yarn is notorious for. No really it makes me feel a bit closer to the farm. But then again I am a weird old farmer's daughter. I don't mind the smell of animals being near.

Speaking of the old farmer, aka my Dad, I was thinking of printing off some of my blog posts and mailing them to him. Anybody know if that is possible? Guess I should just go ahead and just try it first.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Working hard

Oooo I've been busy. I got some of my spinning mojo back. My trip to the fair where I got to see the spinning competitions may have something to do with it. 

I took this and...

turned it into the one on the left.

A nice two ply pretty yarn. The nice blue on the right is the single ply start to another yarn. Now really I have to start knitting with my hand spun. What is a good first project for learning how to knit with your own hand spun yarn? I am thinking some cup cozies or wrist warmers are in order. I'll keep you posted.

I also signed up for a spinning class at Rhinebeck. I'll get to learn how to spin specifically for sock yarn. Hmm wonder why that one sounded good to me?

That sock that jumped on the needle while I was trying to finish up some things before I cast on some new is looking pretty good. It was a bit deeper in the stash than I remembered. So it is not just new not-yet-stash that gets cast on around here. This is some Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch Heather yarn from not-last-year. I tried a bit of a pattern with it but ripped back because it was yelling at me full volume that it just wanted to be a plain sock. I don't have any nice deep green socks so this one is for me.

I paged through my sock knitting books and remembered that I really wanted to make Nancy Bush's Stockings with Clocks. I decided that I don't know how to adjust for stockings to fit my legs yet so I am making socks with clocks instead. I have a bit of practice under my belt making socks.

I did make good use of my holiday weekend and finished my saddle shouldered sweater and a pair of socks.

I know the picture is not great but hey the sweater is! I am almost begging for the cold weather to come early.

I had a wee bit of a laugh with my not pictured socks. I started them on Memorial Day and finished them on Labor Day. I should have called them summer socks but who knew the timing would work out that way? 

Finishing a sweater lead me to winding up all this woolliness. I wrote up the pattern on cue cards again but I did not know my gauge on the last Peruvia sweater so I have some blank spots to fill in before I cast on. I could not resist getting the yarn ready to knit though. It is sort of like the first date of the knitting process. 

That is how the wool is stacking up at my house. I am still gearing up for festival time. Of course you could say I am always geared up for festival time.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I have a few more things to show you from our South Dakota trip.

First we were able to take in a play at the Black Hills Playhouse. It just happened to be my very most favorite play, Spamalot! The playhouse is small and intimate. Even with my short legs I could stretch out and touch the stage with my feet. 

We were loaned a bunny to throw at our favorite or least favorite actor at the end of act one. I took aim and can report that I nailed my favorite, who was conveniently performing on my end of the stage.

I have the soundtrack so I was mouthing along to the singing. I know I am not a good singer so there was no danger of actually singing along.

On the other side of the state my father-in-law was growing kohlrabi. Our CSA introduced us to this vegetable but I've never seen one in the soil. It looks just as funky there as when I get it out of the box. They are so tasty though.

D was disappointed that the tomatoes were not ripe yet. We all know how he loves tomatoes.

My father-in-law also finished his Model A restoration. Why yes that is a trophy standing on the running board there. He does excellent work, doesn't he?

I could have driven it but WOW that is just a tinge too much responsibility for this girl. At least on this trip it was. We'll see if the offer still stands next year.

I love how the traveling box on the back completes the look. 

So that pretty much wraps up our summer vacation. Anyone want to visit South Dakota now?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Can you feel it?

As I was driving home today I looked over and saw a tree had just a splash of reddening leaves on it. Fall colors may come early this year. Apparently the Farmer's Almanac is predicting a colder winter this year. They were hasty to point out in the story, colder can be only 3 - 5 degrees. But hey it sounds like my knitter senses are indeed tingling.

I cast on another sock the other night without even thinking about it. Walked over to the yarn basket found the yarn I was thinking about already caked up and some free needles. Bam! I had the start of a sock before I knew it.

This of course means that I am stealing time from the other two second socks on the needles but hey?! I was thinking the other day that I should not get pulled over because I would have a hard time explaining the contents of my purse. I had: two hand knit first socks, not matching of course; two lovely knitting bags each containing the start to a second sock, still not matching; a black tank top, don't ask; a deck of cards; and two glasses cases, only one of which contained glasses and is unfortunately leopard print. It is tough being a knitter's purse, I tell you.

Anyways back to the knitting. Except for the sneaky socks I am fighting casting on new knitting. I have both a shawl and a sweater calling out to me. It does not help that I have a voice in my head telling me that wool festival season is right around the corner and I need to clear out some places to hide put the new yarn. I even wrote up a list of the vendors I don't want to miss for the September festival. Yep I am feeling it!

I am however stoked to have two new sweaters to decide between as my Rhinebeck sweater. Who am I kidding? It is going to be the one called Rhinebeck the Second, whose yarn I bought at Rhinebeck. Good Golly woman what are you thinking?

Anyways I am off to have some dinner then to avoid being attacked by my yarn as I quietly knit something already on my needles. I will not cast on something new till I finish something old, I will not cast on something new.....

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Exercise in Frustration

Gus has been feeling off these last few days. Nothing to see the vet about but his standard, Mom I don't feel good. I struggle with this because I know I cannot fix him but I want him to be as comfortable for as long as I can make him.

Last night while we were outside he vomited, whole body racking vomit. I carried him into the bedroom, settled him down and gave him a few treats to settle his stomach. Later I gave him an anti-nausea medication and coaxed him into eating.

This is our normal method now. Everybody stays calm and things will get better. I work very hard on not hovering, but it is quite difficult to fight my true nature.

Around four this morning he seemed a bit agitated. We had a nice petting session including rubbing his stiff enlarged knees. He calmed and we all went back to sleep.

This morning I spoon fed him some sweet potato baby food that helps calm intestinal inflammation. Then he ate a good helping of his regular wet food mixed with water.

When I went to clean his litter box I found he had over shot the edge. Hey this happens when your insides are feeling a bit off.

Then I noticed something in his poo, well really I noticed that something else made up the greater part, a 2x3 piece of plastic bag! No wonder he was not feeling good with a big ole hunk of plastic bag in his intestine!!

I marched myself over to where he was lounging on the bed and asked if he was trying to kill himself. I told him Mommy was very angry with him and that he should not be eating things like plastic.

Then I gave him his morning treats and he forgot all about what I said, because you know Greenies solve everything.

I say again it is tough being the Momma!