2023: Wk of 1/8-14; Plan Changes Already!! and Lessons Learned

CAST-ON, FROG, RECAST-ON; SEA GLASS TEE

Well, that didn’t take long. I already changed my mind on the yarn to use on a project although so far so good on pattern choice. I knew I needed a light colored yarn to use with my minis and I planned a cream colored yarn that I had bought years ago for a tee. But since my advent calendar from Emma’s yarn had a lot of light colored yarns, I decided that I would use the light colored minis from the Emma’s Yarn calendar with the dark colored minis from A Girl And Her Wool advent calendar for my Sea Glass Tee. I’m actually thrilled to be using only advent minis for the tee. So this is a change I’m happy with. I also didn’t realize the Sea Glass Tee is a “colorwork” sweater so I’ll be knocking off that goal too by knitting this tee.

I’m knitting the “light/dark” colorwork version. I love it!! I can see making more of these tops for my daughters. Colorwork means the fabric is double thick so it’s going to be warm. But we get cool days in the spring and fall. (Or I’ll just crank up the AC!!) I was given the yarn ring below for Christmas. I’ve never used one before but it’s perfect for this 1×1 colorwork!!

Full confession – I’ve already frogged the sweater shown below. It is my fault. I used the ring to knit my swatch but was having trouble learning how to use it. Much of the tee was knit with one yarn in my right hand the second in my left. This resulted in a MUCH tighter gauge. It tried on the tee (LOVE top down) and it was going to be more of a turtleneck!! In addition to the gauge being too tight, I think I need to do the increases more frequently than the pattern calls for. I’m making a smaller neck opening so I think that’s causing the need for faster increases. I’m not upset. I see the first attempt as learning how to use the ring and figuring out the neck. I’ve already recast it on and I’m finding it much easier to use the ring. I’m doing increases every 2-3 rows instead of 6 as the pattern calls for.

MORE LESSONS LEARNED 😦

Starting my 2023 plan took a one week hit as I hated the hem on hubby’s sweater so I ripped out the ribbed hem and put in a garter hem. I learned that the yarn does not “unzip” when pulled from the “bottom”. Since it was a bottom up sweater, I ripped out the cast-on and thought I’d easily be able to “unzip the ribbed rows”. A one day project. Instead I had to “unpluck” almost stitch by stitch pulling the yarn through each stitch. So ripping out 2″ of hem took a week!! I should have removed the hem from the first stripe like I did when I lengthen the sleeves. Since it took a week, this is likely a lesson I won’t forget.

A second “lesson” comes from a review of last year’s stitches per day analysis (thanks Backstage Knits). Turns out Sundays are often when I get the most knitting done. Not too surprising as I tend to knit while watching football games. Fridays on the other hand are when I get the least knitting done. Friday evenings are usually spent enjoying a pizza dinner with my son and his girlfriend followed by an evening of card playing. I will cherish these evenings for as long as they last. I don’t plan to make any changes based on this analysis. It was just interesting.

FO – HAT

WOW, what a quick knit a hat is!! Finished the rainbow hat for my son early this week. It was a very basic ribbed hat that was a free pattern on Ravelry, RibaRoni. He loves it although it’s a bit too short so it doesn’t completely cover his ears. I have enough leftover yarn to knit a second longer hat.

DOUBLE HAT WIP

This is now my “brain dead” project for social knitting and walking knitting. Similar to the Musselburgh but it starts in the center with a provisional cast-on. I haven’t done the decreases yet as I’m waiting to make sure I like the length before closing off each end. It’s Christmas stripes on one half and a “winter” stripes on the other. Not sure who is going to be the recipient. Maybe it will be stashed away for a future Advent gift.

Well, the year has had some initial stumbling but I’m happy with the changes and learning to use the yarn ring. Hubby likes his sweater much better with the garter hem. I love the projects I’m working on. I hope your 2023 is also off to a good start.

This is a year of projects (YOP12) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each 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 started it’s 12th year in July and I’m starting my third year in the group. I’ve been knitting for six years.

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2022: Wk of 11/27-12/3; Blogging 5 Yr Anniversary and Advent Calendars Begin!!!

I started knitting 6 years ago and started a knitting blog 5 years ago last week. In the beginning my blogging was erratic and was meant more as a personal journal of what I was learning. It’s fun to see how my project bags for example have changed over the years as I find what I really like to use. (I have ~10 mesh bags from Michaels that I need to give away.) I have enjoyed the past few years of writing weekly blogs with the YOP Ravelry group. Thank you to everyone that comments and encourages me as well as all the inspiration I get from reading your blogs.

WEEK’S KNITTING

I didn’t get much knitting done this week since it was primarily a travel week from Ohio to Florida. It was a great trip. The weather was good and indeed I did do 80+% of the driving so very little knitting. But I did get to watch the US men’s soccer team beat Iran and a fun evening out with our daughter and son-in-law. We visited a “sippin santa” bar. The company Sippin Santa takes over a bar and fills it with Christmas decorations. Our daughter knows how much I love Christmas lights so this was definitely a treat for me to have a cocktail surrounded by Christmas lights. The next day it was off to our son’s and a fun game of parcheesi. Our daughter-in-law had a really neat 3D game set she got on Etsy.

I have already gotten to reconnect with one of my Florida knitting groups. This is the one that’s residents of the condo complex where we rent. It’s pretty casual with at least half that only know how to crochet blankets. But I just enjoy being with them each week. Ginette runs the group and is a highly skilled knitter so she’s a great resource for me. I got a few rows done on hubby’s sweater. This coming week I will reconnect with my other group. They all are knitters and have made sweaters and shawls so we do more pattern sharing/discussing.

I’ve restarted my “walking socks”. Taking a morning walk each day is definitely a treat of being in Florida. It is not easy to do in our “no sidewalks” and hills home in Ohio.

ADVENT CALENDARS

I brought 2 advent calendars to Florida to enjoy. The one with Emma’s Yarn 20g minis is shaped in a wreath with red and green bags. The bags aren’t numbered so everyone that bought one will have a different order as they chose which ones to open. The second one is 10g minis from AGirlAndHerWool with a full 100g skein of “contrast”. It came in a box with the each mini wrapped in tissue paper and numbered. I decided to make a twine clothesline and bought mini clothespins so that I could hang the wrapped minis under the TV as a decoration with a tiny strand of LED lights. Our Christmas decorations are a bit scant at our Florida rental so I’m happy to add some yarny decorations.

Here’s the mini’s I’ve opened so far for Days 1-4 for each. I’m really happy with the rich colors from AGirlAndHerWool.

Hope you have a wonderful week. I’m hoping to get some serious knitting done this week now that packing and driving is in the past. Gotta get hubby’s darn sweater done in 2 1/2 wks so it’s done by Christmas!!

This is a year of projects (YOP12) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each 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 started it’s 12th year in July and I’m starting my third year in the group. I’ve been knitting for six years.

2022: Wk of 11/13-19; Hubby Sweater Update, Holiday Traditions

HUBBY SWEATER

Making progress on Hubby’s sweater. The sleeves have been joined to the body. Still can’t understand the pattern instructions so I’ll plan to kitchener the sleeve underarm to the body. I’m still hoping to have it finished before we leave for Florida in a week. It’s not too warm of a sweater since it’s a cotton/silk blend (Berroco Summer Silk) so he may be able to wear it on those occasional cool mornings in February. If it doesn’t fit, I’ve already warned him it goes to the long term time out corner as I’m not going to delay working on other projects to reknit this sweater that I now hate. (Fortunately due to knitting stripes and breaking the yarn after every stripe, lengthening the sleeves won’t be hard – just remove the cuff, add stripes and kitchener back onto the sleeve).

A GIRL AND HER WOOL

I’m especially glad I ended up ordering an advent calendar from A Girl And Her Wool this year. She announced this week that after almost 4 years, she is ending her yarn dying and thus her shop. I loved her concept of letting you order exactly how much yarn you wanted versus being forced to buy 100 gr skeins. I could order 60 gr of MC and 10 gr of contrast color to make a pair of socks and not have a lot of yarn leftover. Her business was doing well and that was part of the problem, it was taking over her life as she also had a fulltime job. I’m glad that she walks away knowing she can start-up and run a successful online business.

HOLIDAYS ARE HERE!

In the US, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to celebrate friends and family with food so it’s my favorite holiday. Looking forward to turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie with my in-town kids and father. Then it’s Christmas cookie baking on Friday followed by putting up the Christmas decorations on Saturday.

Hope you have a wonderful week.

This is a year of projects (YOP12) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each 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 started it’s 12th year in July and I’m starting my third year in the group. I’ve been knitting for six years.

2022: Wk of 10/16 – 22; Christmas Stocking Cast-on and Hubby’s Sweater Update

CHRISTMAS STOCKING CASTON

I did end up casting on a Christmas stocking for my granddaughter. So the winter colorwork sock goes on hold until I complete the stocking. I decided to go basic with the Christmas stocking. Kits are expensive and I didn’t want to buy more yarn. I had a skein of Christmas striped sock yarn in my stash. I bought 2 skeins last year and had already knit up one skein into a pair of Christmas socks for me. The yarn is kind of “wooly” so I didn’t want to make another pair of socks. It’s perfect for the Christmas socking. I’m using some stash yarn to make the white cuff. “Unfortunately” since it’s knit with sock yarn, I am not knitting it with a large needle to give my hands a break from the smallish (US 4) needles I’m also using on hubby’s sweater. I hope to add my granddaughter’s name with duplicate stitching down the leg. This should be fun and fast. I will have to line the sock as it’s not going to be strong enough fabric on it’s own.

HUBBY’S SWEATER

With the focus on the Christmas stocking, Hubby’s sweater is getting less love so not a lot of progress. Poor hubby, he always falls to the back of priorities. Good thing I love the yarn. I’ll be lucky if I get it done by Thanksgiving. More like Christmas. The progress keeper shows the progress I’ve made this week.

ADVENT CALENDAR

The first advent calendar has arrived. The others should arrive next month. This one is the Emma’s Yarn calendar. It will make a nice Christmas decoration. Apparently you just pick random ones to open versus being in a numbered order. It will be packed away to open in Florida. I’m thinking of making the Party Cardy with the mini skeins. The pink bag in the middle is a Christmas Day goody added by the yarn store that sold the calendar.

I also receive my autumn mini set that I will set aside for a Christmas in July ’23 opening.

COVID?? FLU??

Sadly I didn’t get to see my granddaughter and stepdaughter yesterday as she had to cancel the birthday party. My granddaughter has been running a fever for the past 5 days and my stepdaughter also came down with a fever, sore throat and body aches. Not sure if we will be able to squeeze in a visit in November before we head to Florida as my stepdaughter needs surgery for a “frozen shoulder”. I’ll have to mail the baby blanket for my grandson’s baby.

DEATH VISITS

Just when I thought things were bad enough with the loss of my childhood friend, “God” sends my family a sucker punch. My brother called me Wednesday evening with words I thought I’d never hear, “Derek is dead.”. Derek is my brother’s 35 year old son. It’s not clear exactly what happened other than he fell on his front steps and hit his head hard. He had a heart attack (?) either before or after the fall. I pray my brother and sister-in-law can survive the death of their son. I cannot image surviving the death of my child. So give your loved ones a special hug, call, or text this week.

This is a year of projects (YOP12) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fiber activities, then update your blog each 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 started it’s 12th year in July and I’m starting my third year in the group. I’ve been knitting for six years.

2022: Wk of June 5-11; New WIP

Hello from rainy Cincinnati. My wish that June would bring clear skies was not to be. It was grey and drizzly for hubby’s birthday party but all had a good time anyway. I do treasure every time it is dry enough to enjoy our decks.

NEW WIP

I did finish the Quirky socks. So I got to cast-on a new project – my son’s girlfriend’s shawl. I’m knitting Summer Shrug by Dana Young. It’s a very basic pattern; 6 rows of “lace” (3 rows of YO, k2tog with a purl row between the YO rows) at the beginning, followed by 40″ of stockinette, finished with the 6 rows of “lace”. I really want to be complimentary of the pattern but I just can’t. I bought the pattern through Ravelry but if I had looked on her Etsy page I would have seen the criticism that it was pricey ($6) for an extremely basic pattern. On the other hand it’s only $6 so lets not nit pick. It’s knit flat as a long rectangle and then the edges are seamed for a few inches to create a slight sleeve. I’ve modified the pattern by putting I-cord edging for what will become the top and bottom edges of the shrug (thank you Steven West for teaching me this in your Spiraling Cables shawl). The only positive of the pattern as that she does provide mattress stitching instructions although I’ve learned from watching podcasts that I should use Bickford seaming for a more invisible seam.

I am using a skein of yarn that is basically a fade through 4 “yarns” that I got in a yarn swap. I cut the yarn into 4 balls since I want to have the second half match the first half. I will use half the mini ball before switching to the next color’s ball. The construction will mean the ‘stripes” will be vertical instead of horizontal. I found a mini that continues the fade if I need more yarn. Turns out I’m not liking the big blocks as stripes. I’m going to show it to my son’s girlfriend later today to get her thoughts both on the colors and the big blocks. It’s likely I’ll rip back to the “lace” and make much smaller stripes. This is a quick knit since it’s just stockinette. It’s a nice change to use a large needle, US 9, instead of the US 0 I use for socks.

WHAT’S UP NEXT??

I have the toes knitted up for one pair of socks to take on the Windjammer cruise I’m taking off the coast of Maine in 4 weeks but I want to take along a second pair as I expect to spend LOTS of time knitting on the boat. So I got the yarn divided in two and wound into balls. I’ll work on getting the toes knit up today. I’m going to use the Simple Spiral pattern as it’s supposed to be easy to memorize while having a slight lace to it.

Plus I really do need to watch the Patty Lyons Fix It video for brioche and work on my swatches. Guess the shrug will be hibernating for a few days.

ADVENT CALENDAR – ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!!

After sharing my 5 year stash plan last week, you would think that I’d be successful in resisting purchasing more yarn. But no. I watched a YouTube video of one of my favorite dyers, AGirlAndHerWool, this week. Wouldn’t you know she is offering a very good price on an advent calendar. Did I mention I’ve already purchased 2, count them 2, advent calendars? Supposedly one of the advent calendars I bought I’m putting away until 2023 so that means I only have one for 2022 right?? She offers 10g mini skeins so I bit and ordered one. I have no self control!! It really is an expensive way to buy yarn but I know I’ll enjoy the little surprises every day in December. 10g will be perfect for the Sea Glass Tee. Downside is I’m going to have to figure out how to store all these new minis.

KNIT IN PUBLIC

Yesterday was “Knit In Public Day”. World Wide Knit in Public Day was started in 2005 by Danielle Landes. It began as a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each other’s company since knitting is often a solitary craft. I’m trying to get a monthly knit session set up with knitters that I met at my LYS so we met yesterday at Panera. We got to “knit in public” and kick-off a monthly knitting group. It was nice to catch up with folks I haven’t seen in a year or more.

That’s it for this week. I hope you have a wonderful week of crafting.

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 each 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 11th year. It’s my second in the group. I’ve been knitting for five years.

2022: Wk of Apr 17 – 23; Lessons Learned From Test Knitting and Yarn Advent Calendar

ANNE HANSSEN TEST KNIT LESSONS

I enjoyed knitting Anne Hanssen’s new tee that launched yesterday. But I certainly learned some lessons in the process.

  1. No more test knitting. I just don’t knit fast enough if the project has to be completed in one month, especially if it’s fingering weight yarn. This was my second test knit. I barely got a baby sweater finished in one month. Yes this was a somewhat cropped tee but I still barely got it done and had to abandon all other projects for the month. For me, it would be better to wait until the pattern is for sale and I can knit it on my own time schedule.
  2. Use those numbered stitch counters I bought!!! I apparently miscounted my stitches leading into separating for sleeves, etc. What an unpleasant surprise when I found out this week that I had 20 too many stitches in each row of the body. Turns out I ended up knitting a size larger than I intended. Fortunately it fits okay, just a little more ease than the pattern intended.
  3. Take the time to make a stitch count chart. I usually do this for sweaters/tee but skipped it since I was behind on getting the tee started. Making a stitch count chart has multiple benefits. It forces me to read through the pattern as I determine how many stiches each row should have. I think it would have helped me (coupled with using numbered stitch markers) to make sure I was making the raglan increases correctly. It also would have helped me know how many stitches per day I needed to knit in order to complete the tee in the required time.
  4. Either learn how to pick up stitches (!!!!) or take the time to do a provisional cast-on (as the pattern advised!!!) I’m okay with how the neckband turned out but I didn’t pick up stitches a) correctly or b) quickly. Can’t believe how long it took me to pick up stitches!! Then as I was nearly done I realized I hadn’t done it right.

All in all, I’m glad I got to knit this beautiful tee. I will definitely knit another one with less ease and a less tonal colorway to show off the textured sections better. I will use a provisional cast-on but I will also need to learn how to pick up stitches for the front neckband stitches.

Structure Tee by Anne Hanssen

I’m looking forward to someday knitting her Hope Cardigan which Anne gave me for doing the test knit. I will make it short sleeve and keep the sleeve in the lace pattern.

ADVENT CALENDARS

Just in case you might be looking for an advent calender…. based on my research the two “best prices” are Vicki Brown Designs in the UK and Wool Interrupted in Canada. Wool Interrupted is BY FAR the best price based on how much yarn you get. I am seriously considering buying a second advent calendar and saving it for December 2023. One of her choices looks to be lots of different bright colors (lower right photo) which is what I prefer over concentrated in one or two colors. She is using a bamboo/wool mix which should add sheen to the yarn. I’m concerned that she might not have the diverse set of colors as an option or the bamboo yarn if I wait till next year to order one. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it 😉).

She has really upped her game since I bought her 12 day calendar 2 years ago. She now offers multiple choices of color inspiration, better colors, and offers 8 days, 12 days, and 25 days calendars. All calendars include a full skein for the last day.

NEXT……

I am so looking forward to knitting new things. I need to fix the Heldig Tank I knit back in January for my daughter-in-law. It is too tight in the underarms so I ripped out the collar and will add length to the yoke.

Once I get that done I look forward to working on my socks and my neice’s baby blanket. Good knits for the drive to Charleston, SC in mid-May for my daughter’s wedding. I also plan to sign up for Patty Lyons online Brioche class as my next big project will be the Joji’s Newspaper sweater. I’ll be working on mini projects for the brioche class.

Hope you have a wonderful week.

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 each 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 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2022: Wk of Apr 10 – 16; Chaio Goo Needle Tip Set, Test Knit Update

Chaio Goo Twist Needle Tip Set

I have wanted to get the Chaio Goo Shorties interchangeable needle set Size 0 – 3 for years. But I always felt they were too expensive. Sadly, they are even more expensive now. Well, despite my insisting not to be paid for walking my elderly friend’s dog in Florida, he gave me a going away card. He included cash knowing that if he used a check I wouldn’t cash it. So I figured the best way to meet his wishes was to buy something for myself that I wouldn’t normally splurge on. Since I knit almost exclusively fingering weight projects, these tips will get a lot of use. I plan to also purchase some longer cords. They came with only very short cords for socks and sleeves.

Tee Test Knit

The test knit tee is getting all my attention. As much as I say I don’t care if I don’t get it done by the end of the month, I still am trying to do my besting by focusing all my knitting time on it. That way I can say I did my best, I just can’t knit that many stitches in one month. When I started it, I didn’t count on how much my son and his girlfriend would want to play card games in the evenings once we got back to Ohio. Usually we only did this on Friday night but they have wanted to play an hour or two every evening. Sorry, but knitting will ALWAYS lose to spending time with humans, especially my kids.

TEST KNIT TEE

One lesson I’ve learned is the value of creating a stitch count chart. Since I was already late starting the project I didn’t take the time to calculate the stitch count per row as I made the raglan increases. Big mistake. Sadly I can see that I have not always remembered to make the yo at the raglan increases. I’m not willing to frog back but will “wing it”. If the errors truly bother me, I’ll end up frogging the top.

Adding to the lack of time is now we are making a 11 hr trip (each way) to Minneapolis next weekend to attend a memorial service for my husband’s cousin. She was younger than me. She died from ALS or in America known as Lou Gehrig’s disease (showing my age that I know who he was). Since I have to do most of the driving, I won’t get much knitting done. The only positive is that we will stop and visit my step-daughter and our new granddaughter on our way back home from the memorial service. It’s the first time we will see the baby and she will be six months old.

ADVENT CALENDAR

I have been looking at yarn advent calendar’s for 2 years. I did buy a 12 day one in 2020 but wasn’t real happy with the colors of the mini (shades of grey mostly). A local knitting friend and I created a google spreadsheet of all the calendars we could find last year but I resisted buying one. I’m always afraid that I won’t like the colors the dyer comes up with and some of the prices are outrageous. Including “extras” that I don’t want doesn’t make the calendar more valuable to me. I’ve updated the spreadsheet for 2022 (who would believe you have to order them in April!!). My friend shared with me a yarn store in Indianapolis that is offering an advent calendar using minis of Emma’s yarn. That’s the yarn stocked in the yarn store I visited with my Florida knitting friends so I know I love her yarn and her colors. So I bought myself the advent calendar!!!! My plan is to knit the Sea Glass Tee as my New’s Year’s Day 2023 cast-on with the advent minis. I can’t wait!

EMMA’S YARN ADVENT CALENDAR 2022

Specking of holidays, I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend if you celebrate it. My 22 year old still likes me to make and hide an Easter basket for him, and one for his girlfriend. It’s a once a year treat of high quality chocolate cream eggs from Cincinnati’s best chocolate candy company. I make a basket for hubby and I to share as well. It’s a beautiful sunny day and we will enjoy a small family gathering with our 3 boys that live in Cincinnati.

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 each 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 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

2021: Wk of 11/21-27; WIPs, Thanksgiving, and Christmas In The Air

HELDIG TANK #2

Completed the hems and have joined for the body. This is a simple knit although the Daisy yarn is a bit fiddly. Thus this will not be a car knit project. It will get worked on possibly the day of rest at my daughter’s or once we get to Florida.

MARY MAXIM CHRISTMAS SOCKS

I’ve decided to continue the Christmas socks. My husband might like them as house socks in December. Blocking (twice) helped some. They are in the car just in case I get a break from driving.🤞

KNITTER CHRISTMAS

My friends did like their “12 Day” Advent set. Hopefully they will still like the eclectic mix of yarns after they open them all. One of my friends gave me these thoughtful knitting aids – a foldable ruler and a magnetic dish to hold my stitch markers. I have 2 sock rulers, and I like them, but they are too long to fit into my sock project bags. This foldable ruler will be more useful since I can keep it in my sock project bag. The magnetic dish is great! I have a magnetic necklace but found that I accidently end up knocking the stick markers off it so I don’t use it. The dish has a much stronger magnet so even if you knock it off a table, the stitch markers won’t fly off. If you have a metal tray table, like I’ve been using from IKEA, there is no way that dish can even get knocked off!! Then another knitting friend made us all these adorable knitting basket ornaments.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

We had a wonderful time for Thanksgiving. Just 3 of our boys on Thanksgiving. Then the same boys with my dad, brother (and SIL), and nephew yesterday for a delayed Thanksgiving. I just love Thanksgiving foods!! My diet took quite the hit this week but I know I’ll get back to more moderate eating once we are in Florida.

USING GRANDMA’S CHINA AND CRYSTAL

We did not visit my step-daughter and her baby just prior to Thanksgiving. Enough said. As my son who still lives with us while attending college said, “I never want to get on your bad side”.

TIS THE SEASON

I adore Advent season. Christmas lights and decorations. It will be interesting to see how I feel spending Advent in Florida but I think it will be fine since I know I get to spend Christmas in Ohio. There is a multi-street neighborhood near where we rent that does the whole “Christmas With the Kranks” thing so I will definitely be touring the neighborhood. I will miss my northern friends but look forward to seeing my southern ones.

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 each 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 11th year. It’s my second in the group.

YOP Wk 10/31-11/6; FOs, Advent Calendar, This and That

COZIES

I did finish the 2 Cozies for my seatmates. I will be giving them this afternoon at our final soccer match. Uh, yeah, I used leftover yarn requiring some mixing.

Cozies

12 DAY ADVENT CALENDAR

I am making advent calendars again this year for my local knitting friends. This year though I’m only doing 12 Days. We all have too many minis so truthfully we were all avoiding a yarn advent. Hoping they won’t mind too much. This year it’s a very eclectic mix. Some worsted weight, some mohair, and some fingering. Again purchased from our local yarn dying friend. Hoping they find uses in hats, mitts, or cowls. I’ve thrown in a couple stitch markers/ progress keepers for a 13th day. I’m using advent calendar drawings my children’s book illustrator niece drew a few years ago. I printed them on sticker paper to adorn the tops of the gold boxes. This year no fancy wooden box for the gold boxes since these are intended to be “refills”.

SAILORMOON SWEATER FINISHED !!!

YEA!! Got my daughter’s Sailormoon finished!! Still need to weave in some ends and block it. Fingers crossed it will fit like I envisioned. Not sure if I should mail it down to her so she can let me know if it fits or if I should just wait until we see her in 3 weeks. I hate to trust even FedEx and certainly not the postal system. I’m thinking I’ll just bring the yarns with me as well. (I have enough to knit another sweater!!) If major adjustments are needed, I’ll have to do them in Florida and mail it back to her.

BABY NEWS

My niece had a gender reveal party yesterday. She is having a girl. They didn’t know either. Apparently they gave permission for a friend to be informed. She took care of getting the pink desserts and the pink “cannons”. It was so nice to a) have an excuse to get together as an extended family, and b) share in her and her husband’s excitement over becoming parents. As I have mentioned previously, a baby blanket is now on my 2022 knitting plan. I gave them two children’s books illustrated by my other niece (Megan Higgins). (The one that drew the advent calendar drawings.)

It’s a Girl

HOME IMPROVEMENTS

Fortunately not all our home improvement projects ended in disaster. We replaced our roof in June. The siding that was ordered back in May finally arrived, supply chain issues, and was being installed this week. After 28 years, the old siding had faded to a chalky grey. Now it’s back to it’s original “Colonial Blue”. This photo was taken early in the week. They are almost done. Still need some trim completed and the gutters put back on.

New Siding

We also splurged on a “swim spa”. My husband is an avid swimmer. A “swim spa” in kinda like a treadmill for swimmers. You swim against water jets so you swim in place. We had one for years but it “died” about 10 years ago. Once we retired, hubby chose to swim laps at the YMCA but he is frustrated with the times swim lanes are available. Now that we only have one car, that’s really a problem. Again due to supply chain issues it won’t be delivered till May/June ’22. But by ordering it now we get a 2021 price which will be at least 10% below 2022 prices. Kinda like yarn …. did someone say “Sale”?!

COMING ATTRACTIONS

Now I get to focus on finishing my Advent 2019 socks. Then I’ll be getting out my new ball winder and wind the yarns for my next sweater CAST-ON!! I will also wind any skeins that I plan to take to Florida. I did update my preliminary 2022 Knitting Plan so that I know what projects I want to work on while in Florida. I know I’ll take more than I can finish but I enjoy wishful thinking. Wishing you a great crafting week.

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 each 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 11th year. It’s my second 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.