Finished another pair of knitted socks. These were made with a special lady in mind but if they are too big for her, DS will have them. They we knitted with Knit Picks ‘Koi Pond’ Stroll Hand Painted Sock Yarn and took just less than 3 weeks to complete.
I like the way the yarn pooled in stripes and made mini-stripes on the toes and heels. Aqua and teal are my current favorite colors and the orange gives them a zing I really like. I hope the recipient likes them!
As usual, I’ve also made a washcloth. It may be my favorite yet. I love the colors and pattern so I plan to keep this one for myself. It’s 100% cotton yarn named ‘Birchwood’ that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. It turned out really nice.
For the past few weeks, we’ve experienced crazy weather. The temperatures have ranged from the high 90’s to the high 30’s with lots of wind and bi-weekly severe storms. We spent much of yesterday under tornado watches and warnings but received little rain compared to neighboring areas. We didn’t need more moisture so I’m thankful. I’m also grateful we saw no severe weather.
Other than crazy weather, not much else has been happening here. I continue to cook daily, grocery shop, clean house and deal with the critters. I didn’t plant a garden this year and I don’t miss the work but do miss the fresh veggies. I hope I can find some locally grown produce to enjoy and possibly preserve. We’ll see.
Dodge the storms and have a terrific week!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve worked on another pair of socks for Jacob. He liked the first pair so much, it was easy to start another and with socks, the more you make them, the easier the task.
Because I had ordered only one skein of this yarn (On-Line Supersocke brand in their Desert blue color), as I knitted the first sock, I became very concerned there would not be enough yarn to finish the second. Upon discovering matching yarn was not available, I quickly ordered solid navy blue yarn (Knit Pick’s Stroll) for the toes and I like the way they turned out. Upon completion, I discovered there was probably just enough of the original yarn but I’d prefer to have a little leftover for future darning (if needed) than to sweat while playing ‘Yarn Chicken’.
Learning to make socks has been a long-term goal for me. When I first learned to knit many moons ago (before my decades-long hiatus), I decided that knitting fisherman knit sweaters and learning to knit socks proved one had a full comprehension of knitting. Fisherman knitting (with lots of cable styles) was accomplished during my first knitting life when I made several for my family. When I returned to knitting, I was determined to learn sock making. This second pair is without mistakes so I feel there is no need to fear anything about knitting. I will be starting my third pair shortly, as soon as I decide the pattern, yarn and recipient. I have several of each from which to choose.
In the meantime (and because they are so popular), I’m knitting more washcloths. Pictured are the three latest and a fourth is nearing completion. I now have several for myself too! Yippee!
Some radical weather came through here this morning. In less than 4 hours, we received 5 inches of rain, a fair amount of hail, winds and tornado warnings. Thankfully, the weather system has passed only leaving behind well-watered trees and grass. I’m hoping some of the Junebugs and pollen have been washed away!
Hope your first full week of April is a cheerful one!
The other day as I was figuring my taxes (a chore Bob always handled), I began thinking about how I have so little time for doing the artsy/craftsy things I love. Though I still sew and knit a little (haven’t touched quilting in months!), I’m usually ignoring something else that really needs to be done, causing those small pleasures to be sprinkled with guilt.
When DH was alive, I often thought he spent SOOO much time being idle. Now that I have taken over the tasks he usually handled, I more appreciate how much he actually did. I’ve come to realize just how spoiled I was!!
Though I made the lists and deposits slips, he took care of grocery shopping and banking. I’ve learned that food shopping takes HOURS each week (and I don’t like doing it!). I was nearly always the home cook (unless he grilled) but he always cleaned the kitchen. I still cook balanced meals each day but nearly as much time is devoted to cleaning up. He also handled all the animal care now left to me. With the arrival of Spring, he’s no longer available to mow around the house. Along with trash disposal, mowing has also fallen to me. I’m certainly beginning to understand why widows/widowers often jump into a new marriage. Unless one’s nose is constantly to the grindstone, it take 2 people to maintain a normal, civilized life.
No, I’m not complaining. Frankly, I’m absolutely NOT interested in re-marrying. I gave this one everything I had and I don’t mind being alone. I’ll figure out how to keep up with the chores or may luck into finding a cheap handyman to hire. Until then, I’ll be happy with little snatches of me time.
I do have a couple of things I’ve made in the past weeks and will include photos of them in the next blog post.
Have a joyous week!
I found knitting the second sock more relaxed and easier than the first and can find only 1 visible mistake (which I didn’t notice until the sock was finished). It took nearly as long (a week) to knit the second but I devoted less attention to it. I’ve done other things besides knitting since starting it.
My next challenge is trying to convince myself to walk away from wool and needles to concentrate on shirt making. There is already a dress shirt cut out and ready to sew.
This weekend, my clothes washer died. Naturally, it was filled with water, soap and dirty clothes when it quit so I’ve spent the past 2 days hand washing jeans and other soppy, heavy clothes. Thankfully, nothing was extremely soiled. Sadly, I don’t have a clothesline so the dryer has worked extra hard drying things that are only wrung out. DS is already on the lookout for a replacement washer.
Thank goodness I was able to save a little money last month because the bank account will be taking a hit. For the price of appliances these days, it’s ashamed they don’t last longer.
Hope your week is joyous (without appliance surprises)!
I’m finding it rather amazing that knitting socks is a butt-kicking experience. I’ve finished this first sock after ripping large sections out 7 times only to achieve a FAR less-than-perfect sock. Mistakes abound!!
Onward and upward!
I have begun knitting this sock’s mate (with fewer mistakes, thus far) and if it turns out nice, I’ll frog (rip-it, rip-it) this first sock and re-use the yarn to make a new one. I am determined to successfully knit a pair of socks, though I truly can’t explain why.
Here in Texas, I live most of the year in sandals and flip-flops and I already own a drawer full of socks to wear on rare cold days. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that I’m hell-bent to knit socks…. but it’s the challenge. In my mind, if one can successfully knit socks (with all the fiddly components), one is an accomplished knitter. It also offers experience using fine-gauge fingering yarn, I’ve seldom used in the past.
I’m learning that my radical allergy to wool either has eased as I’ve aged or this particular yarn (75% Merino Superwash wool, 25% Polyamide) doesn’t trigger itchy hives. That’s definitely good news after spending a lifetime avoiding yarn and fabric I’ve loved when I see it contains any wool. I’m excited to be opening my fiber horizons!
There was more washcloth knitting done recently. I gave a few away as Valentine’s gifts and have received great reviews and requests for more. I failed to take photos of some of them but this one is the newest. I’ve already purchased yarn to make a few more. I love them for their mindless knitting and the resulting useful and pretty products. They make a great pairing with my homemade, luxury soap.
Hope the remainder of your weekend is filled with happiness!
As I finished, washed and photographed the two newest shirts for Jacob, I was surprised to realize no new shirts were made since December, 2015. That poor guy has done without new ‘Mama made’ shirts for over a year!
During a quick chat last night, I asked him if any of his shirts need repairs (loose seams, missing buttons, etc.) and he said they are holding up surprising well. I know they are receiving good care and I’m happy he is still enjoying them. He’s often wearing one when he drives here after work and I’m pleased to see ’em in action.
The new shirts are made using the usual seersucker he loves. I suspect he likes the ease of care and breathability of this 100% cotton fabric.
The first one pictured is red/white/turquoise/blue stripes with a bias pocket and back yoke. As I was hemming the pocket, I noticed how the hem offered an interesting zig and zag and since this is yarn-dyed fabric (looks identical front and back), I turned the hem to the outside for a little added zing. A contrasting inside collar stand provides interest and flat-felled seams were used throughout.
When I purchased the fabric for the second shirt, the description said it was grey. When it arrived, I would call it more a muddy tan (far from grey). Regardless of the color, I like it and fortunately since both shirts used white thread for sewing, I was able to stitch each similar seam one immediately after the other. This is probably no faster but feels as if two shirts are made in little more time than one requires.
The second shirts also includes a contrasting collar stand and bias back yoke and pocket. It too has flat-felled seams. The buttons are real deal antique mother of pearl.
I’ve done a little more nighttime washcloth knitting. I plan to use a few for Valentine’s gifts. They will serve as a little token without being romantic and mushy. My current life has no room for romance or mush.
The washcloths are also serving to stall my first attempt at sock making. I’ve bought expensive yarn and tiny size needles needed for making socks but I’m incredibly intimidated by the whole prospect. I know the intimidation is unreasonable and the Internet (YouTube) is at hand for instruction/help but for some strange reason, I find learning the project daunting. I also want to see how I’m effected by knitting with wool yarn. Inherited from my father, I have a wool allergy but since I’ve avoided wool my entire life, I’m anxious to see if I’ve outlived the allergy. Simply touching the yarn doesn’t seem to cause problems thus far.
In hoping an added ‘nudge’ will help me get over my unfounded fear, I’ve vowed not to purchase any more yarn until a serious attempt at knitting socks is accomplished. After all, thousands of people knit socks every day! We’ll see how it goes!
In the past few days, I’ve suspected Mother Nature has forgotten how to read a calendar! IT’S WINTER, LADY! February is usually our coldest, iciest and nastiest month of the year. Not this year! Our current high temperature is hovering at 80°. We will drop into the mid-60° range later this week but still, that’s warm for this time of year. I’m not complaining but I am a little fearful for what summer will bring.
The holidays took their emotional toll and when I feel down, I tend to crawl inside myself and wait for better days. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been sick off and on for six weeks, first with an upper respiratory infection, then a serious bout of cellulitis. With the help of multiple antibiotics, I finally feel I’m on the mend but doctors have warned with my compromised immune system and aging, I can expect increasingly severe illnesses more often. Oh what fun!!
In the meantime, I’ve enjoyed visits from Jacob. It’s a great comfort knowing when I’m in need, he drops everything and comes. When he’s not here, he checks on me daily. I am so fortunate my only child grew up to be compassionate and kind. I couldn’t love him more!
As I’m feeling better, I’ve started sewing 2 new shirts for Jacob. I hope to have them complete (and photos shown here) before his next visit.
I’ve also picked up my knitting needles again. I’ve found following patterns and counting stitches is a terrific distraction from ‘the sound of my own gears’ but doesn’t interfere with movie viewing or conversation.
After winning some incredibly inexpensive (and not so pretty) yarn on eBay®, I’ve knitted another scarf. Folded in half, it is 37″ long. It is knitted in the round with linen stitch in Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, gold and white. I already own several shirts in these colors so this will be a nice accessory for chilly days especially prior to Ash Wednesday (when Mardi Gras ends). The linen stitch makes a dense fabric so knitting it is slow going while mindless, making it a perfect pattern to knit during my sickest days.
Also, while I was sick, my across-the-road neighbors sent over several tubs of homemade soup. I can’t say how much I appreciated it and after racking my brain on how to show my appreciation, I’ve baked cookies to fill the returning tubs and am gifting a couple of hand knitted cotton washcloths. I’ve made several and will share them with friends and family members. They are perfect for body/face cloths as the nubby stitches act to exfoliate and feels invigorating to the skin. They also make excellent dishcloths with the texture offering good scrubbing action. I’ve really enjoyed knitting them and look forward to gifting them along with bars of my handcrafted soaps. I plan to make several more since I love using them too!
After baking 2 loaves of yummy banana nut bread yesterday (one for the freezer) and not putting away the baking supplies when I was finished, today I plan to make cookies. I’m expecting visitors in the coming weeks and it would be nice to have homemade treats to serve and send home. I love using wholesome ingredients and reducing refined sugar. Today, I’ll bake chocolate chip cookies by exaggerating Betty Crocker’s recipe (more chips, more nuts!). Before I lose interest or my energy runs out, I hope in the next few days to bake nutty peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal apple walnut cookies.
Thanksgiving has come and gone and I spent it with my dogs (they’re lonesome too). In looking ahead to a long string of holidays and birthdays, I get the feeling each is a hill to conquer. Eventually, I hope being alone feels more natural and the hills less steep. In the meantime, I’ll keep busy and concentrate on TODAY.
The holiday wasn’t too bad and I cooked and feasted as usual. I baked turkey wings and drumsticks, sweet potatoes and the very last cream peas stashed in the freezer. With bits of bacon and plenty of onion, those peas were wonderful! The entire meal was delicious and I made plenty to provide for days of leftovers! YUM!
To fill the evenings, I’ve continued knitting and made this turquoise and shades of grey long scarf. It finished at 87″ x 5 ½” with an additional 3″ fringe. I love the super-long length as it provides for multiple ways of wearing it. It can be worn as shown in the picture, doubled around the neck or doubled with the ends drawn through. I will be gifting it and hope the recipient enjoys it.
When the scarf was finished, I decided to use some yarn I’ve had for many years and make some leg warmers for myself. I like wearing them under my boot cut jeans for added warmth in my chilly house. I found a pattern that would offer me more practice of knitting in the round using the magic loop method.
The yarn is fairly small and the needles required were smaller than I’m accustomed to so the progress was really slow. After knitting a lot on the first leg warmer, I remembered that I already own some nice ones. I dug them out, tried them on and decided I truly don’t need another pair, especially ones taking most-of-forever to knit. Though the first skein of yarn was almost used, I ripped it all out. I’ll find something else to knit with the yarn.
I’ve also done
some VERY little sewing this week From scrap fleece, I’ve cut out a self-drafted long-sleeved top with a kangaroo pocket. I had hoped to include a hood but didn’t have enough fabric. I managed to get half of it sewn before I ran out of enthusiasm. Maybe when the house gets colder, I’ll be inspired to finish stitching it. The temperature is dropping tonight so we shall see!
I hope the rest of your week is joyous!
After crying a few tears on our anniversary, I decided to remember funny times… those rare moments that have me laughing decades later. I also spent a few hours cooking. I baked a half ham slathered with dijon mustard, sweet potatoes and cooked some of the purple hull peas I had frozen from our garden. The meal, though eaten alone, was delicious, as were several consequential leftover dinners. Today for breakfast, visiting Jacob and I enjoyed grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on whole grain and there is more ham to freeze for later. No ham ever goes to waste in this house!
I have devoted more time to knitting. I finished the second fingerless mitten… this one without mistakes! Since I plan to use them at home, I don’t mind they aren’t perfect but will serve their purpose well. They were knitted with Caron® Simply Soft Paints in the color Oceana. I don’t know the yarn weight for sure but it feels and knits like sport weight and the sizing was perfect using size 7 needles. The pattern called for either DK or worsted weight. I frankly don’t know what ‘DK’ means as much has changed since I ‘understood’ knitting terms.
The next thing I knitted is a snuggly cowl. It’s made completely with garter stitches and finished 13″ x 60″ before stitching into a loop. I used Lyon Brand® Homespun® bulky weight yarn and size 10 needles. The color of the yarn is Painted Desert.
Not only do I love the soft texture and colors but I will enjoy the versatility of the garment. I can wear it as shown as a long cowl but because it’s so long, there is plenty to cover my head on misty, rainy or windy days. I can even wrap it around my neck twice for a snuggly turtle neck. With the width, I can completely cover my shoulders and upper back for added warmth. It will be useful in so many ways this winter and I know I’ll enjoy wearing it!
I’m currently knitting a narrow scarf in shades of turquoise and gray worsted yarn. When this is done, I hope to make some lacy, feminine fingerless mittens. I also plan to drag out a sewing machine and make myself some flannel and fleece pajama pants and if yardage allows, some warm t-shirts too.
Have a great week!!
Tomorrow marks a wedding anniversary with hubster and myself. Usually we would celebrate the day by him purchasing and grilling rib eye steaks while I made either loaded baked or garlic mashed potatoes and a green salad or veggie.
This will by my first November 10th alone. Without the hubs, things will be very different. I won’t think about our long ago struggle to purchase wedding rings in the correct sizes (without resizing) or originally planning to get married on 11-11-77 (lucky numbers) but having to move it one day earlier because of Veterans Day. I won’t give a thought to my father-in-law presenting me a corsage saying ‘every bride should have flowers’ and welcoming me to his family. I won’t remember our lunch break jaunt to the courthouse or the shortage of cash to pay the license/judge’s fee (it cost more than anticipated) and the funds contributed by total strangers also waiting to be married.
No, I won’t think about these things……MUCH.
Instead, I will be a little sad without him but thankful for the many years we were together.
The house is too quiet and my memories too loud. I definitely need a distraction!