Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oh knitting...

I spent a lovely day yesterday recharging my battery. Mostly that consisted of knitting on my Color Affection shawl. I am still in love and am choosing to not worry about some things. You see this shawl is very popular and many people have adjusted it to meet their knitting needs. One common discussion topic is the edge tightness. Some people have made adjustments for a stretchier edge. Others have made claims that the tighter edge helps the shawl stay in place while wearing it.

I had thought while I was still finding my colors that I would like a stretchier edge and would make adjustments too. But then once I found my colors I decided that it is so much easier to just follow the directions. Some days I am a go with the flow kind of gal.

Yesterday I joined in the third color and tried so very hard to give the edge just the right tension since I was carrying two colors along the edge. I stopped to admire the colors, how well they were working together and noticed my edge was looking quite sloppy in a section. I ripped back a few rows and continued to knit merrily along.

Today we went to a friend's house to watch the Tour de France. I got a few more rows in. I am in love with the way the colors are working, the yarn and the simpleness of the pattern. So very in love. Then I notice that I knit an upper and lower stitch together. I did consider leaving it that way but sometimes mistakes just mock you. I decided to rip back again and reknit. Never ever attempt to rip back just a few rows when you're distracted by a bike race.

I ripped back the whole three color section. The whole stinking section. All I have to show for my knitting weekend is a few tussled balls of yarn and a day of happy thoughts and relaxed knitting.

In the grand scheme of things I will take it. I did not ruin my yarn or the shawl. I can simply start that section over again. I had a lovely day of knitting and I know now that my color choice will be lovely. How many things can you say that you would like to do over again? This time I will.

Thanks knitting for the therapy session.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Some Summer Reading

So I've been working my way through The Help by Kathryn Stockett on audio. I am loving the use of multiple voice actors reading the book. I thought it would be distracting, but the book is written from the view point of three characters. The story progresses through all three characters each one having a chapter. So you don't really get the voice overlapping which has been distracting to me in the past.

I've been enjoying the book but I don't love it. As with many things I don't understand why some things become so very popular and other things do not. So far I'd say go ahead and give it a try but don't expect it to be your favorite. If it does turn out a favorite of yours; I'm happy you enjoyed it.

I've picked up a new mystery series from the library too that I'm cruising through, Kilt Dead by Kaitlyn Dunnett. When you set your story in a town named Moosetookalook, you have my attention. When you name your second book Scone Cold Dead, you made me stop and take a look at your first book.

Am I the only one that hates reading books out of order? I am always afraid that something will be disclosed in a later book that will override my enjoyment of a previous book. Sometimes I think way too much.

I've run into a bit of a problem with my library though. I've enjoyed books 1-3 of the Phryne Fisher series by Kerry Greenwood but books four and five, they do not have. So it looks like I will need to buy them for my Kindle if they exist. But in the mean time I have plenty of other things to occupy myself with. I just find it odd they would skip books from the middle of a series. Then again I believe these are Australian books so maybe it is a distribution issue. 

I've got a couple of books on order from Amazon too. They are of course knitting books so I am excited to show them off. Don't you just love new knitting books? They're almost as good as new yarn, almost.

Friday, June 28, 2013

It is CSA time again

Oh our veggies have started to reappear. I could not be happier to have fresh from the farm produce again.

We've had a couple of stir fries and salads. But they were eaten before I could get my camera out to show off our bounty. Some of the fun is just throwing things in the pan for stir fry and seeing what we get. Last week's lesson was that beet greens will turn your stir fry reddish. But you probably knew that.

I have learned to "preserve" the dill with sour cream. Which makes a nice dip for the scallions. In the past I've struggled to use things I am unfamiliar with or have a bit too much of. Herbs are great but what do you really do with them? Well now I am finding out. Although cilantro is a bit of a challenge still. Wait, I think my falafel recipe calls for cilantro. You all know how much I love falafel now, well at least D knows now. It is one of my go to desperation dinners now. I usually have a can of chickpeas in the pantry.

So in the spring we usually get garlic scapes, lettuce, herbs, various greens like beet greens, radishes and kohlrabi. Radishes are something I used to love to eat but now find way too harsh. Kohlrabi on the other hand has become a favorite of mine. D is not as enthusiastic, but that just means more for me.

I'll try to get a picture next week but it could take a couple of weeks for my excitement to wear down. I do love the CSA so.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Woolie Wednesday

You ever have something you knit turn out a bit, blah? But you hold onto it because it is wool and wool can always find a home in your house?

I knit an easy simple garter cup cozy that just never seemed quite right. Turns out it just needed the right cup.

This is my "Yarn Diva" cup and I think that is part of what drew them together. Nothing compliments a Diva like simple garter stitch. Plus what Diva does not like to show off her garters?

I like how it gives a shawl collar effect when you turn down a bit to get sipping room on the cup. So while it may not be perfect, my cozy made my tea a little warmer. And there is nothing wrong with that!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Lovely Lintilla and Gus

I finished my Malachite Lintilla. Luckily Gus was available for the modeling portion of the project. It just goes to show you that all models should not be stick thin. My boy makes my knitting look fabulous! 

Otherwise you would have thought that my shawl just looked like this.

All washed out and blah. I think it may have something to do with the sidewalk. Look it happened to my socks too. All washed out and rather lifeless. I'm looking to take another round of pictures for my socks to see if I can bring them back to life.

No really they are much more beautiful than that.

In other knitting news I am loving knitting on my Color Affection shawl. Soon Gus will be modeling that one for you too. Shh, don't tell him I am going to use it myself. I already gave him my Wingspan shawl, how many shawls does a cat need in 70+ degree weather?

Gus's answer; "One for every place I sleep. Get knitting Mom!"... "I love you Mommy."

He is a smart cat he knows to save his demands for food only.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Vacation Yarn

I have not yet shown off my yarn acquisitions from vacation land. First tip for finding vacation yarn is to have a lovely and patient husband that books you into a B&B that is run by a fellow knitter. D as always you're awesome. 

Each day Margo would send us off to see some beaches (those you've already seen) and directions to a yarn store that was mostly on the way. We did detour a tad for the first one but then again is it really a detour when you're out for a nice drive along the coast?

First up we have a lovely soon-to-be-a-sock yarn: Manos Del Uruguay Alegria in the Pindo colorway. Look at those colors. It is amazing to me how I've learned to appreciate colors so much more now as a knitter. It certainly does help when they're mixed with other colors that you love. The clerk say these colors remind her of irises, and it clicked as to why I would pick this one, I love irises. 

The second one is a DK weight, I know it is out of my normal sockiness but what a lovely hat it will make. Madelinetosh tosh DK in the Ophelia colorway. Can you guess what color I was wearing that day? Purple would be correct.

My new first day lovelies were brought to you via A Loom with a View. While it was not the largest yarn store I've ever been in, they had some lovely yarns. The sales lady was very nice and showed me versions of several shawls I was interested in making. I just wish I had thought to buy the pattern for Leftie there, who knows if they even sell it? See I am more of a book buyer, I rarely think to buy a single pattern. I sure do see myself knitting Leftie up, I am on a garter stitch shawl kick. My Color Affection shawl is moving right along. 

On the next day we were directed North to York Maine, again along the lovely coastline. If D wants beaches I try to give him beaches. The Yarn Sellar was quite a bit bigger with a class going on. The class members were happy to have D sit down at the large table with them. He got a few offers to teach him to knit too. He did try it once or twice when I first started knitting, to see what I had fallen in love with but it seems I got all the knitting mojo in the family. He certainly knows how to appreciate the heck out of the things I knit for him though. 

I found a ball of my beloved Zauberball. This time with "crazy" in front of it, which I think means it is a two ply that stripes a tad differently than what I am used to. Can you believe that I resisted casting this on while we were on vacation? With new needles in my possession too? I am a rock of will power.

The green yarn is from the shop owner's Triple G Farm. It is 250 yards of sport weight also dyed by her. I forgot to write down the sheep breed, but I think it was Romney since I told them about people asking where the Obama yarn was at a yarn festival. If Mitt had Romney wool didn't that mean that Barack had Obama wool?

I try to find local yarn to buy when I am traveling but sometimes it is harder than others. It is so convenient for me when you own a farm and a yarn store.

I finally found Lavishea lotion to try. I hear this advertised on podcasts from time to time and wanted to see how a lotion bar worked. The backs of my hands get so dry that they crack, so anything I can find to help in the middle of winter is a winner. Plus it is handy to have close to my knitting and not have to worry about gooping up my yarn.

In case you happen to be driving up the coast of Maine, you may want to look for this sign. I tell you I can spot a yarn store from twenty paces (sometimes).

D loved the huge knitting needles outside the store. But laughed when they showed him the desperation needles that were carved out of tree branches when the knitter had a lace pattern appear in her head while on a camping trip. I can neither confirm nor deny the word firewood, being tossed out there.

So I came home with seven new projects worth of yarn. I have a very understanding and happy husband don't I?

You know the funny thing is I don't like taking pictures inside yarn stores. It always feels like an invasion of privacy or something. Yet I almost always look up potential yarn stores on the internet and hope they have pictures of the store. I am so very complicated, I guess that is why I like the very uncomplicated plain socks that I knit.

I am still resisting casting on that Zauberball. A tower of strength I tell you!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Found them

Remember how disappointed I was that I could not find yarn for my Color Affection (CA) shawl at WEBS? I had such high hopes that I would find the perfect yarn. Remember me coming here and whining to you all that I just could not make a decision, so I bought only sock yarns? 

Yeah, I don't remember that now either since I found my yarn at my local yarn shop. Along with a I-must-have-it skein and a new knitting bag. 

What can I say I am a sucker for a well made knitting bag with knit print and a carabiner.

I received an email from my local yarn shop that they had finally received an order of  madelinetosh, tosh merino light. I had been leaning toward using it for my CA shawl so I popped on into the shop and wow, it was moving fast.

I picked out quite a few skeins and tried playing around with the color combos. I had a blue, green and pink combo each. But as with many things in life that do not work out the way you think they will, I found myself drawn to the combination that occurred in my hands while I was swapping out colors to see which I liked the best. Since I was going for a tonal change of one color, my hands gathered the combo without thinking. I had over thought this project and landed on something I never would have consciously put together.

Whiskers - Grove - Dried Rose
I also tried it with the skein I could not leave behind but I think that one is destined to be its own shawlette. It is pretty but it just does not sing like my accidental pairing above.

Whiskers - Grove - Wilted Rose. 
Don't mind me I am just off to wind up some yarn and find a pattern. Oh needles I need needles too.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

USS Albacore

My husband has a true love and it is not me. He has what we call Submarine Love. It is a deep and abiding love that does not conflict with our married life, much. 

I knew Portsmouth was our vacation destination when he saw they had a permanent submarine tour. 

Allow me to introduce my Hubby and his love, The USS Albacore.

The tour is self guided with audio enhancements. The hatch was our first introduction to the confinement that is a submarine. Can you tell I don't like confined spaces? I still can not believe I went in there willingly. The things you do for love.

Spoiler alert the hatches do indeed get smaller on the inside. Just wait I'll show you.

This would be the wardroom pantry. Now I like a small kitchen but yowsa! Looks like we would be having mac and cheese every night. It is hard to be creative when bumping into everything. But I don't think this is where the cooking takes place, that should be the galley.

And speaking of bumping into things, how would you like to be the guy that has the bottom bunk here? I thought about trying to crawl in but nope! I am not five anymore and I would not want to be cut out of that space.

Ah there is my hatch man! Even I had to scrunch up to get through them. I am short I don't usually have to scrunch up for anything.

On a side note do you think there is such a thing as sub yoga? Poses would include: Hatch one, hatch two, into bunk and out of bunk. Hatch two pose looks a lot like a cat cleaning its nether regions, in my mind. I lost the ability to do hatch two, pretty much at birth.

The officer's ward room, complete with pass through and former officer. Good news it converts into sleeping quarters too. You know for all those visiting dignitaries.

Ah the periscope! Every young man's dream. And oddly enough something our house lacks. I want a periscope too. Jack would use it to watch the birds.

The main galley is slightly larger but still lacking the window over the sink. The sub force is rumored to have the best food in the Navy. I am guessing not too many souffles passed through here, but the coffee flowed freely.

The head (toilet) was way too small for me to ever want a picture of it. There are just some places of "business" that should not be posted on the internet. So if you want to see what a small toilet looks like you should take the tour. Even the virtual tour has a picture. It is OK you can go look at it, I won't tell anyone.

I feel I should tell you of the smell, the submarine smell. D inhaled deeply and kept commenting "The smell, the smell is right." I can tell you there was not a wool fume in there. But to each his own. It smells a bit like paint, diesel and metal. Mix those up, add the fact that she ran for 19 years with crews that showered once a week whether they needed it or not. Yep the Navy loves a good bathing joke.

Also at the park is a memorial garden for submariners. Dolphins are the symbol of the submarine force. What other air breathing mammal can dive like a sub crew can?

And for those on eternal watch... I salute you.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

More Seashore and a Light house

On our vacation in New Hampshire we spent two days driving along the beach. Stopping whenever we wanted and enjoying the views. 

We drove up the coast of Maine just a bit.

This shell was very big for a person from South Dakota. It was about the size of D's fist. I think we walked past ten of them. I may have pictures of all ten but I will not subject you to all of them.

Poor little dead crab shell.

We watched the seagulls picking at something on the beach then they would pick it up an fly off only to drop it from about 20 feet in the air. They did it quite a few times before I had to know what the heck was going on. 

They were picking up the clams, least I think that is what is in a shell like this, and dropping them to crack it open.

I think they may have managed to get one to open, but after all that effort I did not want to scare them off. So I choose to believe only one clam was killed in the making of this blog post.

We drove up the coast a bit more and stopped to admire the Nubble Lighthouse. I just love lighthouses.

We even managed to spot a few lobster buoys. If you have not yet read The Lobster Chronicles by Linda Greenlaw, you should. D found a copy in the B&B we stayed at on our first trip to Maine, and could not put it down. I waited till we were home and ordered a copy for both of us to read. As I recall it is not a G rated book but humorous and fascinating.

That is it for the vacation pictures of the sea. Soon I will show you what yarn enabling looks like when your innkeeper is also a knitter.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Still learning

I've learned a few things in the past week or so. So who better share them with than ya'll.

First up I enjoyed going to the movies and seeing Ironman 3. It was a wee bit painful making the realization that this yarn...

...and my new Karbonz needles do not make happy knitting time at the movies. Once I split a couple of stitches and dropped one, I was forced to admit to myself that I should sit and watch the movie. Who goes to the movies and just sits and watches the movies? So much prime knitting time lost. Don't worry, I'll live. 

I was suspicious that sock would not work as movie knitting. I cast on the toe of a second sock for D but I was not able to finish the increases before we left for the movie. So now that it is ready, the next time I'm ready to see the new Star Trek movie I will be at the heel and still not able to knit at the movies.

Second thing I learned. People will not believe your husband when he tells them "She makes all my socks." The lady looked at me and said "You do not!" I requested he lift a pant leg and show the lady. She seemed to be duly impressed but she still did not seem to think it was an adequate reason for not buying new socks with your new shoes. 

Third after resisting making The Help my car book because I think it will make me cry...I can only resist so much. So far it is starting off to being a good book and not making me cry but laugh instead.

Fourth listening to your book while grocery shopping makes shopping so much better. I'm not one of those people that walks around every where with earbuds in, but in the store, I found myself being less irritated with others and the task as a whole. Don't worry I switched off while I was checking out. No reason to ignore the clerk while he is just trying to do his job.

Fifth, two things that will make me smile and laugh, seeing young geese out with their families eating grass like it is going out of style. I do love seeing young animals enjoying their first springtime. And a guy out mowing his grass wearing a Viking helmut. It was a big dude and a big helmut.