YOP Week #21 – Cicadas are Here

Actually the cicadas started appearing just before last weekend. They are out in full force now. All plants are covered with the nymph casings as well as the juvenile cicadas that are rapidly growing into adults. Fortunately the males haven’t started screaming by our house but literally just up the driveway, they are already screaming by our neighbors. Lucky us. 17 year cicadas are the loudest insect in the world.😖 Hubby gave me a mosquito net for my patio umbrella so I have a bug free outdoor space to knit all summer.

FO Anklets

I did finish my anklets made from the leftover yarn from my @agirlandherwool sample sock knit. Not a bad deal. I did learn that the Russian lace bindoff listed in my cast-on/bind-off book as stretchy is not stretchy enough for socks. Oh well. I also got my Fixation anklets done today!!!

TRAVELS

Visited my stepdaughter this weekend which is why I’m posting so late. Got to enjoy eating out which we never do at home since my husband prefers his own cooking. Evansville, IN is not exactly a hot tourist spot so she gets frustrated that we don’t make the 8hr trip more frequently. We split the drive over 2 days. Unfortunately I don’t get to knit on car trips due to hubby’s health issues. Car drives are just a waste of time for me.

Looking forward to working my my stepdaughter’s baby blanket this week and maybe casting on a new project!!

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog every week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 10th year although I’m in my first in the group.

Week #20 – Sweater, Socks, and YARN!!

Sailormoon is FO!!!!

I finished my Sailormoon this week and I love it. Really, really happy with the modifications I made and I will repeat them on my daughter’s sweater. I am learning that I don’t like as much ease as I keep knitting because I’m afraid the sweater will be too tight. But I really need to try going down a size so the sweaters/tops aren’t so baggy.

New WIP – Advent Sock Attempt #2

Since I finished my sweater, it means I can start a project right?? Throw in that my local knitting friends have been discussing 9″ circulars for sock knitting versus magic loop (for 2 at a time sock knitting). So we all decided to cast on a sock with a 9″ circular this weekend to see with we think. Since the advent socks are colorwork, there are some advantages to knitting it kinda one at a time so I’m not juggling 4 balls of yarn. So I cast on my second attempt for an advent sock using a 3.5mm (US 4) needle. Recall the 2.75 mm (US 2) needle ended up with the socks being too tight. I have to admit using the 9″ is much easier that I thought it would be when I was just handling the needle without yarn. I was afraid I’d be fighting the needles as being too restrictive as I knit. Knitting also goes faster since I’m not constantly repositioning the socks on the magic loop. Now this is cuff down whereas I usually knit toe up. So we will see how I feel about the needles as I get to the heel and the toe. I need to watch The Crazy Sock Lady’s videos on using a 9″ circular to make socks. But I like them well enough that I’ve ordered the second needle so that I can “kinda” do 2 at a time. I’ll do cuff on sock A and then cuff on sock B. I’ll continue back and forth for each stripe.

9″ circular

Sock WIPS

I got a little work down on my Sunset anklets – one heel done. This will be my focus in the coming week as I really want to finish the 2 sock (anklet) WIPs I have before casting on my next top/sweater.

Yarn Swap

My local weekly knitting friends decided to do a yarn swap today. While I still liked all my yarns I realized that I had about 4 sweater/tops in reddish pink to deep red. I didn’t need that many tops. So I gave away 4 skeins to one friend. Then I had some Summer Silk yarn, that I love, to make a top for about 3 years. It keeps falling to “next year’. So I gave that away to another friend. Finally the skein that I got in my advent calendar, which I didn’t like, went in the Goodwill pile. But I picked up yarn so it was pretty yarn stash neutral. I ended up with a top quantity to replace one of the top quantities I gave away!! Then I got sock yarn in my son’s college school colors. Ironically I took a skein of Madelinetosh speckled yarn only to find I already had one at home. But I’m thrilled as I had paired it with some gorgeous solid and now I can really feel free to make another striped sweater. My son’s girlfriend wore a shrug I had made and liked it so I picked up a skein with turquoise, that she likes, so I can make her this simple shrug. Then I just love orange so I picked up a skein. Still have to figure out what to do with it. Till then I’ll just enjoy looking at it.

Yarn Sale – Who Can Resist??!!

I was trying to be good. Then a friend texted that a LYS was having 50% off Daisy yarn – a yarn I LOVE. It’s the yarn I made my daughter’s tan tulip top out of last summer and my Seeing Eyelet to Eyelet top I made for me in winter 2020. It’s Linen, Silk, and Hemp. So bought 2 top quantities!!! Uhh, one in that deep red that I said I already had too many projects in and one in bright pink for my son’s girlfriend. I haven’t made her any tops/sweaters yet. Although she is the recipient of the advent mitts I recently made.

50% Off

Tracking Update

I have decided to add yarn purchases and usage to my knitting plan tracking. I’m really happy with my digital calendar tracking. Since it’s excel based, I can track how many stitches I knit each day and what WIPs I worked on that day. I list all WIPs each day so all started projects are always in front of me. I maintain a list of my knitting related goals (such as trying a new technique, etc.), a list of project/goals for next year, my average daily knitted stitches for each month, and now the grams of yarn obtained and used during the month.

Digital Knitting Planner

All in all a pretty great week. Hope yours was too.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog every week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 10th year although I’m in my first in the group.

YOP – Week #19 – Lost my Nook

The things to you do for your kids. I had to give up my beautiful knitting nook as one of my stepsons has moved in with us for “awhile”. 😭 We finished the area above our garage and it has a 10′ x 8′ dormer cut-out. It was the perfect size for a loveseat on one wall and shelves of yarn on the opposite wall. The area above the garage is so large it is like a small apartment (no kitchen or bath though) and the dormer makes a perfect living room. The garage is at the front of the house so he can “zip” in and out the front door and thus feel more private than using our guest bedroom. He was in a tenuous roommate situation so now he has a safe place to sleep while he builds his auto repair business. I have moved everything to the living room “temporarily”. My college aged son was shocked by how much yarn I already own – at least 2 years of projects worth. On the positive side, I no longer need to worry about sun exposure to my yarn. 🙂

Sailormoon Update

Sailormoon is humming along. I decided to do the collar before the sleeves to make sure I had enough yarn for the collar. Got plenty! (I’ll have yarn leftover to use on Advent colorwork socks). Like most people knitting the pattern, I did a different collar than the pattern called for. The pattern has a very simple, pick up stitches, knit them once, bind-off. Many complained that this causes the neck to roll inward. I instead wanted the collar to reflect the bottom lace panel. So after picking up stitches and knitting them once, I did 3 rows of the lace pattern, followed by 3 rows of alternating K1P1 before binding off. This does cause the neckline to scallop and thus pucker but I think it will get better with blocking. I made a “just below the elbow sleeve” and again deviated from the pattern on the cuff which called for just ribbing. Like the collar, I did 3 rows of lace before 5 rows of ribbing. I am now on my second sleeve so I should be done with the sweater in the next couple of days. I completely forgot to go down a needle size for the bottom lace panel and the sleeve cuffs. At least they match. I will try to remember to do it on my daughter’s sweater. Of course after an unusually cool spring, we are now heading into the 80s. After a quick wear to showoff to my local knitting friends, it will get packed away till cooler fall days.

I will complete my 2 sock WIPs before starting either on a Sailormoon for my daughter (in blue and speckles), or a summer top for me. Plus I better get back to work on that baby blanket for my step daughter. Oh yeah, and attempt #2 on that hat. See lots of choices!!😵

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog every week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 10th year although I’m in my first in the group.

YOP Wk #18 – Cicadas are coming!!

The year is zipping by isn’t it!! Already May. Doesn’t feel like it here. We are having an unusually cool spring. I can’t remember having a fire in the fireplace for Mother’s Day. Still can’t plant any flowers or start our garden as there is still a risk of frost this week. Fingers cross that next weekend can start planting flowers.

Fire on Mother’s Day??

Course we are just in time for the 17 year cicadas to emerge this week or next. Annual cicadas are about 2 per square foot. These 17 year cicadas are about 30 per square foot. Literally everything gets covered in these big bugs and you basically can’t go outside. Their “singing” is as loud as a lawnmover so you can imagine the noise of millions of them!! They don’t bite but they do land on you. Yuck. They should all be dead by the end of June. They slice young tree and shrub branches in order to lay their eggs so I’ll have to wait till July to plant the new lilac bush I want.

Cicada

Sailormoon

I did add an extra 10 rows to the make a longer lace panel. Pattern calls to bindoff after 2 repeats but I’m doing 3. That’s only an extra 2900 stitches!! I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped. I’ll get the lace done later today and should be picking up stitches for the sleeves tonight.

Lace Panel

Barbara’s “German” Hat

I finished my first attempt to copy my friend’s hat pattern. My yarn choices were awful. The fuzzy white yarn blurs out the cable. Then I closed the top too fast so the hat barely covers my ears. Great if I want to show off my earrings while wearing the hat. I’m going to rip out the cap part and make it longer although I really can’t see the yarn to try to frog it. I suspect I’ll be cutting the yarn.

First Try

I checked my stash and I actually already had a skein of maroon Berroco Vintage Chunky leftover from a sweater I knit my daughter 2 years ago. Plus I found some tan yarn that I can use as the contrast color. I have no idea what it is or where I got it since don’t own anything with that yarn. I’m going to try again with making the hat. This time I’ll be able to see the stitches better. You got to love the instructions Barbara’s cousins gave her to knit the hat. 1) Knit first part like a headband. 2) make a narrow cable approximately 10 inches long. Sew this part horizontally to first part. 3) Edge stiches from part 2 are cast-on again and the top of the hat is finished. Uhhh – see why I’m having trouble “following the pattern”. 😜

Yarn for #2 Attempt

Advent Calendar

Just a reminder, if you are interested in gifting yourself or someone else an advent calendar, many are starting their preorders now. My local knitting group has create a spreadsheet on advent calendars as we find them. I don’t really need more minis but I really want one anyway. Most are way more than I want to spend but we have found a few good “bargains”. My favorite so far is made in the UK (Vicki Brown) but I’m a bit worried about receiving it before I head back to Florida for the winter.

YOP Update – Wk #17 – an FO!!!

FO #4!!!

I finished my Christmas mitts. I’ve very happy with how they turned out. It wouldn’t be me unless I needed a rip out. I bound off the mitts only to realized that the finger part should have been ribbed so that it fits more tightly at the fingers. I, of course, had already woven in the ends. Got the ends dug back out and added some ribbed rows. Washed and ready to be put away until next winter when my son’s girlfriend will be able to put them to good use during our Ohio winter. The stripes are Advent Sock 2019. The cable on the back of the hand is Mitt Envy. Both are free patterns on Ravelry. The evergreen tree stripe right before the hand is my pattern. I’m happy to share if interested. I still want to make a pair of socks with the Christmas stripes.

Christmas Mitts Finished!!

Barbara’s German Hat

My friend Barbara asked me to recreate a hat that was made for her by some cousins in Germany. I’ve never knit a hat before but fortunately the hat was knit with thick yarn (bulky?) so it’s pretty easy to see the stitches. Looks like it’s 3 parts, the headband, a simple cable mid section that gets sewn onto the headband, and then the cap. Like a dimwit, I bought black yarn. I’m holding some silver with sequin lace with the black velvet yarn to help see the stitches. I think she will be disappointed that you can’t see the stitches. Oh well. I’m plodding forward to at least create the pattern instructions. So far I’m on my third attempt. I’m not that familiar with acrylic yarn so I’m struggling with it’s lack of elasticity. I cast on what I though was the right amount of stitches but after about 7 rows, it was clear that the headband was too large. Dropping a needle size also resulted in a too large headband. I think the 3rd try is ok with dropping another needle size and dropping 12 (out of the original 72) stitches. If this doesn’t work, I’m going to have to buy some bulky wool yarn.

Sailormoon Update

I’m back on track with my Sailormoon. I ripped out the lace rows to fix the purl bump. I love how the lace pattern causes the edge shape to look scalloped. I may make the lace a little longer than the pattern calls for. I’ll be trying it on to decide how long to make the body. I should be on sleeve island in next week’s update.

Lace

Personal Note

On a personal note…. my stepdaughter found out this week that she is having a girl the end of October. This will be the first granddaughter. (I have 4 grandsons – all in their 20s) Despite being a “geriatric” mother (I hate that term – I was a “geriatric” mother), the baby is 100% fine (as were all 3 of my “geriatric” babies). I better get to work on that baby blanket!! I have a rainbow striped blanket that started as a prayer blanket which will now need some dedicated attention. She and her husband live 4 hours away but it can still be a day trip.

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog every week. Plans can be calendar year (like mine) or mid-year start (like many). Following the plan is optional and creates some of the fun of posts. YOP is in it’s 10th year although I’m in my first in the group.