Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On the knitting needles

Today on my knitting needles is of course, the pi shawl.  Still.

Knitting a pi shawl and several hats while sick with the flu & binge watching Bloodlines on Netflix.
The pi shawl will probably still be on my needles when I die.  Or so it feels.  It's been six days since I knit the last increase & brought the stitch count up to 576 stitches per round.  Six days & I've managed to knit eight rounds.  Only 32 more to go.  And that's 32 rows before the outer edge border starts.  I'll definitely be dead before this shawl is finished.

I may even be dead from old age rather than this illness the entire family has.  Oh my gosh, we're all in bad shape.  It feels like a cross between bronchitis, the flu & pneumonia.  And maybe even rabies.  I don't know how rabies feels, but it can't be any worse than this.  And the whole family has it, except the son.  Knock on wood & say a prayer for the son.  He's the only one capable of walking upright at the moment.  Meanwhile the rest of us are hacking up our lungs, near tears from the head, sinus & ear aches, we can't swallow and I have so much snot in my head it's affecting my vision.  Yesterday, I fell asleep in the middle of a tweet and last night, my poor husband had the chills so bad I thought he was having convulsions.  In other words, we're pretty miserable at the moment.  All I can say is, we're making the Mucinex stock owners very rich.

On a more positive note, I was able to knit the brown hat in the photo above & started the blue one while binge watching Bloodlines on Netflix.  Bloodlines is a most excellent show & if you haven't watched it, do.  I may be partial to it because it takes place in the Florida Keys and so much of the scenery was recognizable.  In fact, I'm fairly certain one of the big scenes was shot on the beach where I had my infamous wind surfing accident.  If you haven't watched it, give it a try.  The story line was good, although I'll admit, the flashbacks everyone has were a little confusing at first.  But it is a good story and the scenery is gorgeous.  And even though I only 'lived' there for a few weeks at a time over the course of five or six years, the show made me homesick for the Keys.  As soon as I can stop coughing long enough to crawl to my car, I'm going back.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Hats - Bratach

Today's featured Sunday Hats pattern is Bratach, designed by Alasdair Post-Quinn.

Double knitting hat pattern from Etsy and Extreme Double Knitting.
Bratach by Cooperative Press
Isn't it beautiful?  I love the way the edge of the brim is wavy.  It's also double knit which makes it double sided with the opposite color way on the inside.  It's like having two hats in one!  What's not to like about that?

The pattern comes from the book, Extreme Double Knitting.  If you aren't sure you like double knitting, or for what ever reason don't want to invest the $16.95 for the book, the single pattern can be purchased from Cooperative Press on Etsy.

Bratach is knit with worsted weight yarn at a gauge of six stitches to the inch.  And that means, it's not only a beautiful hat, but the knitting should go fairly quickly and it ought to be an extremely warm hat.  Go check it out and get busy knitting.  You know this hat would make an excellent Christmas gift and Christmas is only nine months away. And that means, you've got time to knit one for everyone on your list.  No excuses!

Friday, March 27, 2015

It should be legal

It should be legal to do bodily harm to a spouse who brings icky germs home & spreads them all over the house.  Just saying.

icky sickness, flu
I feel like Lurch from the Adams Family.  Uuuuuggh!

There really isn't anything else to report.  I did knit the increase row on the Elizabeth Zimmermann pi shawl.  And I've knit a few rows on Indian Feathers.  And I've attempted to breathe.  That's all I've accomplished over the past 36 hours.  Well, that and pray to the Mucinex gods.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

TBT - Sisters

I have the best big sister!

TBT, Throwback thursday, 1965
Sisters, 1965
As a kid, I worshipped her.   She was always happy to play with me.  Being ten years older, she willingly passed her dolls down to me.  As I grew, she taught me about music.  I was listening to Three Dog Night & The Rolling Stones when my peers were listening to Donnie Osmond.  She not so willingly allowed me to play in her makeup, but she didn't kill me for making a mess of it and that's what's important.  She shared her boy friends, and by that, I mean she allowed me to sit beside them on the couch and talk to them.  And they talked to me and one or two even let me tag along on dates.  They were the coolest!  She took me to my first real concert, Sonny & Cher.  She let me be in her wedding and afterwards, her wedding party took me bar hopping.  I was 12.  They were THE coolest!  And now that we are both getting on up there in years, she gets to have those big "_0" decade birthdays ten years before me.  She is the best sister ever!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The joy of knitting pi

The pi shawl is progressing.  Slowly.

An Elizabeth Zimmermann lace pi shawl knit with Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label lace yarn.
Pi shawl 3/25/15
 Seven more rows and I increase again.  Increase up to 576 stitches per round.

Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label lace weight yarn knit into a simple EZ pi shawl
Pi Shawl knit with Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label
And I thought my progress has been slow up to this point.  Just wait for the slug crawl of 576 stitches per round.  Oh, the joys of knitting pi.

Another joy of this shawl... picking the dog hair out of it.  I dropped it on the floor & Max promptly rolled over onto it.  And it's that time of year when Max sheds about three pounds of hair a day.  Oh, the joys....

A simple lacy Elizabeth Zimmermann pi shawl knit with Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label
Coffee and pi
It will be worth it in the end though.  Know why?  Because look!  Look how well my pi matches my favorite coffee cup.  Five or six years from now when this bad boy shawl is finished, I'll be so freaking stylish & matchy-matchy wearing my pi & drinking my coffee.

Monday, March 23, 2015

On the knitting needles 3/23/15

Just a quick post to show what I'm knitting today.

A slouchy beanie for spring and summer, perfect for dreadlocks. Lacy hat.
Teal Slouchy Tam
It's a lacy, slouchy tam/beanie and perfect for wearing with dreadlocks in the summer.  I'm knitting it with Heartland from Lion Brand.  I'd bought several skeins from Walmart during one of those overwhelming 'MUST buy yarn!' urges while grocery shopping a while back.  I'd intended to knit a scarf but, honestly, I just don't enjoy knitting with acrylic yarn.  It just never feels good in my hands and the thought of knitting a whole acrylic scarf was too painful so... a hat.  I may not enjoy the feel of acrylic yarn sliding through my fingers as I knit, but I do like the feel of the knitted fabric on this hat.  It's the perfect weight and drape.

And speaking of this hat...

Slouchy beanie for dreadlocks in summer & spring. Lacy tam or hat.
Yellow Slouchy Tam
I really do like this pattern.  Actually, I shouldn't call it a pattern, it's just some notes scribbled in my knitting journal.  I received a catalog for infant clothing the other day.  Why, I have no idea.  Specially since my youngest 'baby' is 18.  Anyway.... Since I can't resist looking at catalogs, no matter what their content, I glanced through the infant clothing catalog & spied an adorable crocheted lacy skull cap for babies.  I decided to recreate it and ended up with the yellow slouchy hat instead of a tight little skull cap.  But that's okay.  I really like this style.  And if I ever decide to go for dreadlocks, I'll already have a hat.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Hats - Heads-Up

It's Sunday so you know we're talking hats and the pattern for the day is Heads-Up from the Spring, 2005 issue of Interweave Knits.

knitted hat pattern from Interweave Knits, found on Ravelry, slip stitch pattern
Heads-Up, Interweave Knits, Spring 2005
It's a simple slip stitch design and would be a fantastic way to use up those little scraps of yarn left over from other knitting projects.  Of course, knitting this hat would also be a terrific excuse to go yarn shopping.  The pattern calls for cotton DK yarn but I don't see why you couldn't use wool instead.  And, if you have a calculator and paid any attention in school, it should be fairly easy to modify the pattern in order to use differently weighted yarn.  If your knitting pattern collection doesn't contain the Spring 2005, Interweave Knits magazine, the pattern is available for sale on Ravelry. 

As for my own hat knitting...

Wiinter hat for teens or preteens, hand dyed purple and pink wool, slightly slouchy
Pink & Hand-dyed Purple Hat
The junior sized pink and purple hat is complete.  It's definitely pink.  But I think there's probably a teen or pre-teen young lady out there somewhere with a passion for pink that will love wearing this hat.  If you have such a girl in your midst, the hat should be listed for sale in my Etsy shop by tomorrow afternoon.

Meanwhile, I think I'll go search the stash pile and start myself a slipped stitch Heads-Up hat.

Friday, March 20, 2015

On the knitting needles - 3/20/15

On the knitting needles today is the final hat being knit from my home-dyed-with-food-coloring yarn.  I had a little less than a yard left after I finished the brim.

Pink and purple hat or beanie for teen and preteen girls.
Pink & Purple Girl's Hat
I'm not sure how I feel about the purple & pink combo.  It's a little harsh.  And a little harsher at night under a lamp with a yellow tinted lightbulb.  But, the turquoise and purple one looked like a giant, tacky Easter egg until I got to where the crown decreases start and then it suddenly turned into my favorite color combination of all time.  So, there's hope.  Hopefully there's a young lady in Etsy Land who likes combination because that's where the hat is headed.

Speaking of Etsy, a few people wanted to know when the turquoise & purple hat would be listed for sale.  It has been.

Happy First Day of Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

TBT - Snakes alive!

It's Throwback Thursday!


It's TBT & I'm looking back to when my niece & nephew were young & I had a pet snake, Charlie.  I'm not sure how long ago the photo was taken but my nephew now has a child of his own not much younger than him in the photo.  I'm guessing it was somewhere around 1985 - 1987.

One of my favorite things about this photo is that if you look closely, you can see my niece is wearing a shark bracelet on her ankle.  Shark bracelets were a summer tradition in our family.  Every spring/summer, just days before it got warm enough to hit the beach and/or before the pool opened (because you never knew - there might be sharks in the pool,) we made shark bracelets.  And although we wore them on our ankles, we called them bracelets.  And we wore them religiously.  And they worked!  Year after year, they kept us safe from rogue sharks.

So, are you wondering why I had a pet snake when I'm terrified of snakes?  I went through a phase where I faced my fears.  If it scared me, I did it.  Thankfully, the phase didn't last long.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Are you wearing green?  I'll admit, I'm not.  But I am knitting green.

scarf, lace, beaded lace
Indian Feathers
Remember Indian Feathers?  I mentioned it here.  I got sidetracked & the shawl got shoved into the corner for a while.  The goal was to get the beaded lace part finished before March 29th, when I go back to work for the summer.  But it's okay.  I dug the shawl out & finished the beading over the weekend.  I only have 6 more lace rows before the plain, boring knitting part happens.  And that's the part I'm saving to do when I'm bored at work.  Yes, I can knit at work.  I LOVE my summer job!

I got a few other things done over the weekend too.

Cascade Quatro, Cascade 220, cables, cabled ribbing, cap, beanie, toque
Faux Cables Hat
I'm currently obsessed with this twisted stitch rib pattern that looks like cables.  I'm putting it on everything!  Well, 'everything' being hats.  I've been on a hat kick lately.

yarn dyed with food coloring, Cascade 220, Cascade Quatro, fake cables, cabled ribbing, twisted stitch, hat, beanie, toque
Dyed with Food Coloring
I absolutely adore this one!  I had a little yarn left over from knitting Kate's mittens & wanted to use it up.  I also had the yarn I dyed with food coloring.  The Gods were looking out for me because amazingly, the two yarns went together perfectly.  I think this may just be my all time favorite hat.  Too bad I knit it to be for a normal teen sized head instead of for my gigantic adult one.  Oh well.  If you're interested, you'll find it in my Etsy shop soon.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday Hats - Arabella Two

It's Sunday Hats day!

Woman on the Water, Etsy, hat pattern, cap, toque, cabled hat pattern, knit hat pattern
Arabella Two, Woman of the Water
Today's pattern is the Arabella Two hat which you can find in Woman on the Water, an Etsy shop.  The listing suggests worsted weight yarn & US9 needles so it should be a pretty quick knit.  I particularly like the cabled brim.  I also think the pattern could be quite versatile.  Knit with wool, it would be a nice, warm winter hat.  Knit with a cotton blend, it would be a cute summer hat.  So, go check out the pattern here and send me photos of your finished project.  I'd love to see them!

Moving on to other topics....

It was pointed out (thanks, Kate!) that I forgot to include the fiber content in my post about my newest Pi shawl.  It's 100% superwash merino wool.  What does that mean?  Well, the wool comes from a merino sheep and well, I have no idea how they make it 'superwash' but 'superwash' means that it won't felt & if you want to risk putting it in the washing machine, you can.  The reason I say 'risk' the washing machine is because there always seems to be a crayon, a pen, a tube of lipstick, a pack of gum, a Tootsie Roll, a couple of screws and/or a wad of tissues hiding out in the washer whenever I wash something important.  But, if you don't have that problem at your house, you can machine wash your superwash knits.

So, what is a merino sheep, you ask?

Milligan's Gander Hill Farm, sheep, merino
Momma and her baby.  Adorable right?

merino, sheep, rams, sheep image
The proud pappa sheep look rather fierce & protective.

Well, happy Sunday.  I'm off to knit a hat, a few rounds on the Pi shawl and maybe even venture outside.  The sun is finally shining & it's supposed to be over 50 degrees today.  Yay, spring!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!

Or in my house, seeing as how none of us are overly mathematically inclined, happy

pie, Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi Shawl, pi
Lemon Chess
pie day.  As a blogger, Pi Day is my all time favorite holiday because it's the perfect excuse to have pie before breakfast.  After all, I gotta get that photo, right?

But, since it's pi, not pie, day,

Elizabeth Zimmermann, pi day, pi shawl, pie, lace shawl, circular shawl
55 rows
As I've already mentioned, I started knitting another Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi Shawl this week in celebration.  I'd planned to start it much earlier so that it would be closer to being finished today, but well, you know me and planning....   I'm using Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label lace weight yarn in the Midnight color-way on #US6 needles.  I haven't had a lot of knitting time the last couple of days and am only on the 56th row.  Which means I have a gazillion more to go.

The picture above doesn't look like much.  Lace never does look like much until it's been blocked, in fact, it tends to look like a big, giant mess before blocking.  And lace knit in the round just sort of puddles into a big giant heap of mess and looks even worse.  So...

Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi Shawl, pi day, Tanis Fiber Arts, Pink Label, lace
Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label 'Midnight'
I fake blocked it.  Actually, all I did was stretch part of it & pin it down.  But you get the idea of what it will look like.  Sort of.  This pi shawl won't be a fancy one.  It's just a basic pi with *YO, K2tog* rows every 6th row to break up all that plain knitting between the increase rows.  One of these days, (well, years....) I'm going to do a fancy one like this one, or this one, or....  Well, you get the idea.  I could keep showing you fancy examples all day long.  But instead, I think I'll go knit a round or two.  And maybe even have another slice of pie.

Happy Pi Day!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Fiber - Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label

It's Fiber Friday & today, I'm discovering Tanis Fiber Arts Pink Label lace weight yarn.

Tanis Fiber Arts color codes their yarn by weight category.  DK weight is yellow, fingering is blue and lace is pink.  They have lots of other color categories as well.  I'm not mentioning them here because I'm trying very, very hard to ignore those other choices.  I've already exceeded my yarn budget for the month and I'm admittedly a little scared to look at the other options.  I glimpsed the word 'cashmere' and well,  I just know that somehow, cashmere would manage to talk its way onto my credit card.

Anyway.... The other day, when I realized Pi Day was coming up, I pulled out my Pink Label in the Midnight color-way and cast on a pi shawl.

Midnight has been in my stash for several years but I have no idea why.  It's gorgeous!  Why on earth did I stuff it in a drawer for so long?  I remember buying it with the intention of knitting a pi shawl.  And I remember starting to grab it for a new, different project several times, then changing my mind & knitting with some other fiber else instead.  I have no idea why.  Maybe because I didn't want to 'waste' it.  Crazy, I know, but I tend to get a little protective of my stash sometimes.  It's sort of like my stint with scrapbooking.  I spent thousands of dollars on scrapbooking materials & never used any of it because I was too afraid I'd 'mess up' a piece of paper or change my mind about what I wanted after the fact.  It got so bad I had to change my hobby from 'scrapbooker' to 'scrapbook supply buyer.'

But I'm digressing.

Midnight.  It's gorgeous!  I love the subtle color changes.  From looking at the skein, I'd have thought it would knit into long stripes but it doesn't.  At least not at the beginning of a pi shawl. It's just little blips of color variation.  Blips of color variation that don't pool.  In other words, the color-way is Heaven.  It's also going to make one big arse pi shawl.  I have two skeins and each one is 1,000 yards.  That's a lot of pi.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

TBT - Hairy Hillbillies

It's Throwback Thursday & good grief!

Hillbillies, hillbilly, bad hair
TBT - Hillbillies
Have you noticed from past TBT pictures that my family has a "thing" for taking weird family photos in that same spot in the yard?  This is the fourth or fifth photo I've shared taken with us in front of that tree.  Weird.

What's even weirder is, why are we dressed like that?

And what's even weirder, and much scarier, is that that wig I'm wearing (I'm the kid in the middle) seems to be a portent of things to come.

bad hair day

My real hair a few years ago.  Scary.

Something even scarier, but at least fun...  Fun for now, that is...  Saturday is Pi Day.  Being about as polar opposite from 'math nerd' as it's possible to be, I tend to celebrate with pie rather than pi, but I do try to start an Elizabeth Zimmermann Pi Shawl each year in honor of the day.  This year's is blue.

Elizabeth Zimmermann, lace shawl, lace pi shawl, knit shawl, lace shawl, lace
#todayonmyneedles Pi Shawl
Right now, I'm still on the fun part.  You know, the part where you can knit five or six, heck, sometimes even twenty or thirty rounds in a day.  As of that photo, I'm on round 51 and have 288 stitches in each round.  The next 44 rows won't be too bad, the 45th row will be exciting because it will finally be an increase row & I'll get to do something slightly different.  And then...  Then there will be 576 stitches on each round.  It will take almost a whole day to knit one round and ... and that's when I begin to cuss.  I'll cuss the shawl, the color blue, Elizabeth Zimmermann, Pi day and even pie.  Yes, I'll even cuss at pie.  It happens every year.

And you know what's even scarier?  I'm already thinking about 2016's shawl.  As I was trying to find somewhere to hide store all that Knit Picks Hawthorne yarn I just received, I had an idea.  It would make a fantastic, multicolored pi-shawl.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Board Games

Are you into playing board games?  Board games are a big thing in Homeschool World.  There are groups who gather weekly to play games and I know several families who have a regularly scheduled 'board game night' at their home.  Us, we don't play board games very often.  Our tradition is playing them when the power goes out.  I have no idea why, but the minute the power goes out, the kids scramble to dust off Monopoly and we sit at the dining room table & play by candle light.  It's actually pretty fun.

Tonight, instead of playing board games, we'll be playing, "What? That old box of yarn? Gosh, it's been here for years, hasn't it?"

Knit Picks, yarn stash, Hawthorne, Palette, Wool of the Andes, yarn binge
Knit Picks yarns
In other words, my quarterly online yarn binge shopping has started to arrive.

As much as I love Knit Picks, I'm not sure what they were thinking on their cedar boxes.  They don't have tops so they won't keep the dust or dog hair out.  I'm not even sure how much protection it would offer from moths without a top.  But, I didn't buy the box for the box, I bought it for the yarn that came with it.  And that, I'm very pleased with.

The yarn that comes with the box is five colors of Hawthorne fingering weight yarn.  The product description states five skeins, but it's actually nine.  It's five colors, two skeins of four colors & one skein of the fifth.  And no, apparently my order wasn't accidently over-filled.  I have friends who ordered the box of yarn & also received nine skeins.  So, nine skeins of Hawthorne, and a topless cedar box for $54.  That is one Hell of a deal!

The dilemma with all that Hawthorne will be deciding what to do with it.  There's enough of each color to knit a single color lace shawl or socks for my big feet.  Hawthorne is a Superwash wool & has 20% Polyamide so it should be fine for socks.  But the colors of all the yarns that came with the box blend together beautifully.  Combined, they would make a striking stained glass type something.  The question is, what kind of something?

I also got the Holiday at Sea Palette sampler.  Again, I'm not sure what I'll knit with it, but I see a lot of Fair Isle in my future.

And then there's a whole big bag of Wool of the Andes in various shades of bluey, grayish greens.  These will most likely be knit into hats & mittens.

Speaking of hats,

brown hat, warm, winter beanie, adult hat, teen, beanie
Brown Slouchy Hat
I've been busy using up all that extra yarn left over from the ragland sweater.

Faux Cabled Beanie
At the rate I'm going, I'll be able to knit 40 hats and not even make a dent in the excess yarn.  Good grief!

Well, I'm off to try to hide a big, giant box of yarn and a topless box.  I have to admit, the topless cedar box does smell good.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015

Daylight Savings

Daylight Savings got the best of me, or at least that's my excuse.  I totally forgot to post a Sunday hat pattern yesterday.  Since I also forgot to even plan the Sunday hats post, I quickly grabbed a pattern off Etsy.  So, a day late, last week's Sunday hat pattern can be found here.

It's an adorable owl hat pattern, created by Meridian Made.  If you follow the link & click through the photos, you'll see examples of several different color-ways.  I don't normally knit fancy kid's hats because, well, mainly because my kids always seemed to loose their hats before they'd even made it out of the house.  But this hat is so cute, I may have to knit a few for all the little ones I know.

Back to Daylight Savings....  What a strange & glorious day.  Actually, it was pretty typical for March in Virginia.  Remember the eight inches of snow we got Thursday?  Well, it was still all over the ground when it came time to change the clocks.  It felt so wrong to be changing the clocks with that much snow on the ground, but the time change must have been the kick in the butt Mother Nature needed because Sunday turned out to be the most beautiful day ever.  The sun was shining & it warmed up to 64 degrees!  So there I was, wearing snow boots because our yard & driveway still had several inches of  mushy snow, yet riding down the interstate with the car windows open & the music blasting.  It was wonderful!

Another thing that distracted me & made me forget to post the Sunday hat pattern yesterday was that I discovered dying yarn myself.  The results weren't great, but considering the effort that I put into the project and the lessons learned, I'm counting it as a success.

First, while I was out yesterday, I stumbled across some boring, Ecru wool on clearance.  I brought it home and unwound it onto the swift.

While putting the yarn onto the swift & tying it up, I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to dye yarn with Kool Aid &/or food coloring.

Next, I soaked the yarn in water & vinegar.

I used apple cider vinegar instead of white because it's all we had.  I'm not sure if that had any affect or not.  Next, I added food coloring.

dying wool yarn with food coloring

Then I microwaved it for a few minutes and let it cool.  It took a lot of rinsing to get out the tiny globs of dye that were caught in the yarn.  Perhaps I shouldn't have used gel food coloring.  Or maybe I just didn't dissolve it well enough.  What ever.  I had tiny globs of color stuck in the yarn, and if you look closely enough, on the edge of the Pyrex baking dish.  After a thorough rinsing, I ended up with

and a slightly pinkish baking dish.  Tonight, I will ask my knitting group's resident dye expert what went wrong then I'll try again.  But even though I ended up with variegated pink & blue yarn instead of the intended dark purple, and the yarn felted slightly, I still had fun.  And I can knit fun pot holders or something with it once it completely dries.

Friday, March 6, 2015


I finished the ragland sweater just minutes ago.

Obviously, the ends still need to be woven in, but I was rushing to get a picture while there was still a tiny bit of daylight left.

In my head, I've been calling this sweater "the brown ragland" but it's now officially, "the magic ragland."  I mentioned in my last post how I was going to have 400+ yards of yarn left over.  Well, the official number is closer to 800 yards of excess yarn.  And that's taking into consideration that I used a contrasting color for the cuffs & neckband.  Once again, weird, wild stuff.

Another weird, wild thing...

Mother Nature.  We had another winter storm yesterday.  It started off as freezing rain then turned to sleet then turned to heavy snow.

The wind was blowing pretty hard the whole time so the snow drifted a bit.  The drifts skew the measurements a little, but on average, we ended up with 5 inches in the backyard and almost 8 in the front.

But what I find to be so weird & wild is that 20 miles down the road, the snow didn't even fully cover the grass and 40 miles further didn't even see the first snow flake.  Maybe Mother Nature new I needed an uninterrupted knitting day yesterday.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

TBT - Buck Hill

Buck Hill 

I'm not sure when that photo was taken, but it's a picture of Buck Hill, my dad's childhood home.  I deeply regret not paying more attention to the stories Dad told of life at Buck Hill.  About all I know is that it was a tobacco plantation, a large chunk of the land was sold to Maury Cemetary (where Dad is buried in the family plot) and the remaining estate was later sold to Philip Morris.  I do know Dad loved his life there.  He constantly told stories about boyhood pranks, shenanigans & adventures he & his brother experienced.  I just wish I'd listened more.

As for knitting, the ragland sweater is coming along.

One sleeve is all that's left to knit.  It's certainly not going to be the prettiest sweater ever knit, but it's going to be warm, it fits well (or it will, assuming the second sleeve turns out to be the same dimensions as the first), the layer of dog hair that constantly covers me won't be overly noticeable and it will be a perfect sweatshirt replacement.  I'm also going to have a ton of yarn left over.   Based on how much I've used so far, I'm going to end up using a little over 400 yards less than the pattern called for.  I have no idea why that is.  This version is spot-on gauge, it fits perfectly and yet, when I knit this pattern in the past, it took the full amount called for, or even slightly more.  Weird, wild stuff.

"Weird, wild stuff," another TBT moment.  Do you know who said it first?  Although I say the phrase all the time, I had to Google it.  I had no idea where it came from.

Monday, March 2, 2015

And then there were 3

Three mittens being blocked.

And if knitting three mittens isn't weird enough for you, how about this.

A big chunk of that roll of toilet paper was trifolded.  Very neatly & precisely trifolded.  Weird.

Or is the weird thing the fact that I'm taking photos of my toilet paper?

I think winter has finally gotten to me.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Hats - Eomer Shield Tam

Today's Sunday hat pattern is the Eomer Shield Tam found on Ravelry.

The Ravelry description states, "The inspiration for this pattern came from an unused Lord of the Rings drawing of a shield for Eomer. This complex-looking tam is not as hard as it looks! A quick, yet fun and challenging knit for intermediate to advanced knitters."  Honestly, the "challenging knit for intermediate to advanced knitters" part of that description scares me a bit & I hadn't planned to knit this tam, but, Sarah started re-reading the series a few days ago so I may end up attempting it.  We'll see how much motherly love I actually have.

But whether I knit the tam or not, I thought it was a beautiful pattern.  If you go to the pattern's Ravelry page, you'll find photos of several different color ways & an instance where it has been turned into a clock.  Pretty cool!

Meanwhile, the dogs have been helping Mike do the taxes.

It cracks me up how Minnie likes to sit in a nearby chair to watch Mike work.