Saturday, January 31, 2009

Slowly. With Distractions.

Since I live in the real world--and there are those who might say otherwise--I cook occasionally. Last night it was roast pork with potatoes and carrots and this for dessert:
It's The Pioneer Woman's recipe for apple dumplings. If you haven't tried them, you simply must. Mine don't look nearly as beautiful as hers, but they tasted oh, so scrumptious! While you're at her site, check out some of the other recipes. They don't skimp on the butter and other good stuff!

Last night was the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's Friday night concert, and it was, as usual, spectacular. The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra from San Francisco, played authentic Baroque instruments. The pre-concert lecture by Layton James and was wonderfully informative about the various instruments. The sound was softer than modern orchestra, but just as lovely.

Now, I really have been working on my Blanket Cardigan (started at least two years ago). Slowly. With the above distractions, and more.
The sleeves are done (hope they're the right length) and now I can sew them on and weave in all loose ends. Don't you just love the cockeyed photography angles?
This one will get worn in 2009. You heard it here, folks.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Color Feast

These colors are just fabulous!And I have plans for them, as separate projects but coordinating efforts. In this century. I hope.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Letter T

The letter T arrived today from Eternal Arts & Crafts. I don't normally do memes, but here goes. Hope I don't bore your socks off!

Ten things that I like starting with the letter T (not in order of rank):
  1. Twizzlers--but you knew that already.
  2. Time--to do the things I need to do and also the things I want to do, which aren't necessarily one and the same.
  3. Tech Toys--I am crazy about tech gadgets.
  4. Textiles--Linen, wool, cotton. The classics.
  5. Taupe, Tan--and other neutrals--not to mention shades of white and black, blues and browns; I could go on.
  6. Thinkers--those who think and talk about ideas, not about other people.
  7. Tete-a-tetes--great conversations with one other person.
  8. Tabby cats--and most all cats, really.
  9. Temperance--all things in moderation. Except knitting.
  10. Totes--to carry all that intemperate knitting.

Twizzlers and To-Do Lists

A fact known only to a few (and some who read this blog) is that I have a couple of benign addictions: Cherry Twizzlers (the strawberry twizzlers are easy to find, but the cherry are not) and sock yarn.
I'm working on--you guessed it--another pair of socks. Strangely, it appears I have an affinity for this type of coloration. But not yet an addiction, I hope.

And here's another sweater in the finishing stages. One can only guess how long this has been there. I'm planning to get started on it soon, so look for the completed "Blanket Cardigan."

Now, for those of you who love classical music, I've recently found another podcast that is a joy to hear. It's Classical 95.9 WCRI's "My Music with Dr. Mark Malkovich." He podcasts from his living room with his extensive collection of music. He has been director of the Newport Music Festival and is really well known in the music community. See his bio here.

And to all of you who read my blog, a very big thank you. You make me happy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Handmade Doll

Today's entry was prompted by Jodi's post about the doll kit her mother gave her when she was a child. It brought back lots of memories for me..learning to sew on a treadle machine, the dolls with yarn hair that my own mother made for me, and the doll I made for my granddaughter.

The doll I made for my granddaughter was from a pattern in a woman's magazine. She was supposed to be an English maid. Since I had never seen an English maid, I simply followed the directions and here's what we got.Her hair is made of roving, which I felt lucky to find in a local yarn shop that also had spinning tools. The facial features I embroidered the best I could because I should have done the face before I stuffed the head. (Always plan ahead. heh.)It's hard to see from the photos, but her shoes are little high-top heels with tiny beads that pass for buttons. And her legs are adorned with grey flannel.She is 19 years old and my two granddaughters have taken really good care of her, don't you think?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Those Enormous Socks

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock Yarn, color #5601 Black (75% Merino Superwash, 25% Nylon). Lana Grossa Meilenweit color #1105 Charcoal (80% wool, 20% Polyamid).
Pattern: My personal pattern
Needles: #1 (2.25mm) dpns
Comments: Cascade sock yarn is really nice to knit with. It's soft, but not too soft, and has good stitch definition. It also has a very sensible price and decent yardage (400 yds/100gr) There should be a good market for yarn like this, especially in these economic times. Cascade is getting it right with this one, as they have with their 220 yarn. Good price, good value.

On the left are my size 9 socks (and they aren't small), and on the right his size 13. It's really hard to grasp the difference until you see the two together. And the black one hasn't even been blocked yet in this photo.

I really kinda like this guy. I'm planning another pair of dark dress socks for him.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Socks--Truly the Finishing Touch

I read regularly an excellent blog about fashion caught on the street, The Sartorialist, and his post on Friday showed a glimpse of what looks very much like hand knitted socks. Take a look and let me know if you agree.

On the Street....Socks - The Finishing Touch, Florence

Sock knitters of the world, you rock!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Endless (XXL) Socks

As you may know, Minnesota is a regular deep freeze right now.  -22 degrees this morning.  That's below zero, folks!  We're supposed to have a heat wave this weekend.  +29 degrees.

I wonder sometimes why we stay here in these harsh winter months.  Harsh doesn't begin to describe it.  It's so cold, it takes your breath away when you go out for the mail.  Hear the snow crunch.  
I'm working on a pair of socks for the Judge, who requested some black or dark blue that he could wear with his suits and good shoes.  I've been knitting blindingly black stockinette furiously, and honestly have contemplated leaving the needles in my hands tonight so I could knit in my sleep.  Well, okay, that might not be such a good idea--what with the double points and all.  I'm about 70% done with the pair, but as I've grumbled about before, he has very big feet.  Meanwhile, he has taken to wearing the casual pairs that I made even though they don't match his suits and shoes!  But they keep his toes nice and warm, and that's no small feat (heh) in this weather.

Friday, January 09, 2009

The Sweater That Took Forever and a Day

Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic (70% lambswool, 26% kid mohair, 4% nylon)
Pattern: Men's Roll Neck Sweater by Kris Percival from Knitting to Go Deck: 25 Chic and Easy Patterns (Cards)
Needles: #8 (5.0mm) Circulars and dpns
Comments: Celebrate with me! I started this so long ago--years. Hey, I know there are a few of you who cannot believe someone could knit so simple a sweater and let it languish unfinished for a long time. However, there are some of you who can. For those of you who can, join me in trying to finish some of the projects you know you will wear/use in 2009. No resolutions needed.

Same sweater, without a flash. I sort of like this presentation.

This is my favorite closeup.
Do you have a project that needs finishing? I have more sweaters unfinished, too. So be encouraged! It can be done!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Sweater That Took Forever

Yarn: Mirasol's Samp'a in taupe and cream colors, 100% SKAL certified Organic Cotton
Pattern: Chavin, from The Mirasol Collection, Book Two by Jane Ellison
Needles: #5 (3.75mm)

The pattern called for a longer torso. The yarn is delightful to knit up, smooth and even. The purchase of this yarn is supposed to help support children in the Highlands of Peru.

It took eight months to finally finish this little cotton top. I must admit that for about five of those months, it remained completely seamed, but ends not tidied. For some reason, my interest wanes when a sweater reaches the very end.

But here's the good news: It will be ready for wear with my linen pants and skirt in the summer of 2009! Yay!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

For the Winter Weary

There's a place I go to see sunshine and water during our gray Minnesota days, and I go there from my desktop. It's called "Beach Walks with Rox." Roxanne Darling walks the beach in Hawaii with her dog Lexi and videotapes it, including her thoughts of the day--which are interesting as well.

Happy (virtual) Sunshine!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

More Gray Socks to Match the Gray Days

Yarn: Regia Cotton (41% wool, 34% cotton, 25% Polyamid)
Pattern: My own, plain and simple as it is.
Needles: #1 (2.25mm) dpns.
Comments: Doesn't Polyamid sound like something that's bad for you? I do like seed stitch and cable stitches and ribbed stitches and some lace stitches on socks, but those I like the best are plain old stockinette--even in a solid color. They feel like old friends. Besides, they really go with my stay-at-home wardrobe. And are the ones I generally wear most often.

On my previous post I didn't list the fiber content of the yarn. So I edited and added that, in case anyone was wondering. In case inquiring minds need to know.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Striped Socks - Finished!

Yarn: Sensations "Soles & More" (75% wool, 25% Nylon)
Pattern: My personal pattern
Needles: #1 (2.5 mm) Knitpicks dpns
Comments: We were on vacation and I found myself wanting to do another project. The yarn was on sale at JoAnn Fabrics. They have a small amount of sock yarn, but no double point needles. Good thing I have an outrageously decent supply of them.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Yarn Overload! Bags, too.

Here's a new project that has been dazzling me.
And some yarn...

and some more yarn (Malabrigo sock)...

And even more yarn!


And a few more soon to be finished items.
An elegant bag for socks in progress.

And a vintage bag, too.
Still knitting...

Friday, January 02, 2009

What I Did on Christmas Vacation

Weeds, I'm sure. But aren't they lovely?

Sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico from Redington Beach were breathtaking.

This is just beachy!

Gull, looking for a handout.

We had dinner and watched the sunset. Can you tell I love sunsets?

Surprise, here's a sunrise from our condo in Orlando, through the screened porch. I confess I was in my Nick and Noras when this was taken.

The Judge, mastering the daily New York Times crossword.


Andersonville, Georgia, is a tiny village.

The area is the site of the Andersonville Prison for Union soldiers during the Civil War.

The Prisoner of War Museum

Minnesota's monument.

Wisconsin had many soldiers there.

The war to free the slaves was important for all of us. An enormous price was paid by all soldiers, north and south. I pray for peace.