Lovely Yarn Escapes

My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Emily's Mittens

 



     I'm finishing up projects and Christmas gifts this past week.  I got several gifts done and Emily's Mittens is a real success!  I knit this mitten first up in soft wool for myself to test different patterns and sizes.  Then Emily's Mittens was done in an extremely soft Alpaca yarn.  I think they're perfect.


     I used two different patterns to create Emily's Mittens.  The cuff starts with Waiting For Winter Bulky Mittens in M (27 sts) and I lengthened the cuff to 3 1/2" and then added 1 stitch (28 sts) and switched to Simple Chunky Mittens.


     The wonderful Baby Alpaca yarn is Herriot Great by Juniper Moon Farm.  I love this yarn and I'm finishing a sweater for myself from it and starting a Hoodie for my son (more on that later).  I'm learning about the fiber, it's hollow and warmer than wool.  But I'm learning it can stretch more and apparantly has less ability to keep shape as wool.  So far my projects seem alright but I'm going to measure my sweater when It's finished and after a few weeks see if it grows a lot in length and make adjustments on my son's hoodie.  But I'm pleased about what I've learned from using Alpaca and it still is the softest yarn I've ever used.






     I'm still reading and listening to the 4th book in the Outlander series "The Drums of Autumn".  Lately I've been getting the books with my Audible credit, buying the hardcover through Amazon second hand (a usually very cheap option) and I download the book so I can follow along if I can't figure a word out and also read in bed with the lights out for my husband.  I figure the books are very long (888 pgs) and will keep me happy for probably a month.  I'm exploring a few other books too and will talk about them later.

     


This painting traditionally hangs over the president in his office in The White House.




     On this day I listen to the House wrangle over Impeachment; a week after I listened in shock to the attack on The Capital.  I happened to turn on a live feed after 2 PM Jan 6th, 2021 after the first shots were fired.  In shock and feeling personally violated, that same sense when Colombine happened and 9/11.  I'm still feeling a sense of shock.  I've spent my life studying history and somehow the buildings and the effort that goes on in there does seems sacred to me.  I believe they try to do their best.  Now they deliberate and we hope, hope for the best.  A book I started listening to a few years ago and have promised myself to pick up again I'm starting again today on Audible - "The Soul of America: The Battle For Our Better Angels" .  It is not an easy read or listen in the sense that it is a lot of history to digest.  Jon Meacham is explaining how this country has gone through difficulties and very low points and we can get out of that place again.  He uses a lot of presidential quotes of what makes a president and what his qualities should be.  As I said I started this when it just came out in 2018 and I was very familiar with Meacham's argument using Lincoln's words about "Our Better Angels".  Then when Biden spoke the past year I was struck by his own use of the words and how it echoed the book; figured he had read it.  Well, it ends up Biden is friends with Meacham.  They have debated together and Biden has picked his brain of how a president should be.  Meacham was asked at the Democratic Convention to define what "our Better Angels" meant and I've heard he helps in writing Biden's speeches.  What I find interesting about Meacham is that before this he has tried to not be partisan.  He is Bush Sr.'s biographer and spoke at his memorial; he also has a new book out on John Lewis.  Reading this book I am hoping to awaken a positive hope in me for our country.  I believe we are better than this and hope that in the days to come we will come out of this new darkness into a hopeful and purposeful light.




Stay Warm,

 Stay Healthy,

 and 

Stay Hopeful






Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Aspenglow Hat for the New Year

      




     Our local yarn store The Cashmere Goat was open on New Year's Day.  It's down by the wharf on a beautiful street in Camden.  I haven't explored the length of the street and I don't even know what the rest of that side of town looks like yet.  Covid makes exploring not so fun.  But I've visited the yarn shop since it reopened under a new owner since the summer.  Having such lovely yarn just literally down the road is a treat.  Especially one well-stocked with Malabrigo yarn!  I could stare at it forever.  So of course if I'm just buying something as an excuse to visit and to celebrate the New Year it has to be Malabrigo. 



    Before I left home I had a new pattern downloaded Aspenglow Hat and a general idea of what I needed.  Of course, when I hit the yarn shop I am always overwhelmed with the choices and it took some help from the friendly owner to get what I came for.  I'm literally like a deer in headlights in that shop.  Most of my life I have shopped at Walmart or Joanns and Michaels over the years.  More recently KnitPicks made yarn affordable.  Buying expensive yarn (for me with 3 kids and husband) wasn't an option.  I always weighed things opposed to buying a gallon of milk.  The milk won out.  Later, as the kids have grown and left I realized one skein of sock yarn from Malabrigo could last me a month of joy creating a shawl.  Surely that's cheaper than going to the movies.  But times change and I can afford the luxury of buying good yarn now.  Especially if you're spending so much time on a project, it does seem worth it.  But I never will lose my appreciation for being able to stand in a yarn shop and make a choice.  That's why I stare.  Always like a kid in Candyland.





     Finally with Malabrigo Mecha in the color Candombe in hand I rush home and cast on.  I'm actually juggling several late Christmas gifts finishing up, a sweater for me and one Hoodie for my son, but this won out.  With visions of a warmer head, the hat has been finding it's way into my hands.  I'm so pleased with the results.  The colors in the yarn really are shown off in this pattern and the pattern so easy!  A simple alternating rows of knit and a slip-a-stitch purlwise, then a knit row.  You can get a rhythm to it and it grows fast.  Note I did cast on with a Long-tail cast on feeling the German cast on beyond my patience at the time, but it seems fine to me and plenty stretchy.  When done I hope to top it with a pom pom made of the rest of the yarn.





     Lately, I've been finishing the last books in the "Outlander" series.  My absolute favorite books.  I started reading them way back when the books came out.  Well, when the 8th book came out 4 years ago I made a promise to myself I wouldn't read it till I had gone over the whole series again.  I got the Audible "Outlander" and listened to that as I knitted one summer month years ago, but besides starting the second book I didn't keep on reading.  Then the TV show came out and over the years my husband and I watched that.  I started reading and listening to the 6th book - "An Echo in The Bone" because the show takes you up to the end of book 5 and the next book starts after the drowning of a pirate, and he is bobbing in the water.  Have I mentioned this is a very unusual series blending time travel, romance, adventure, history, and great characters?  I think reading the books really highlights the details Diana Gabaldon uses to write.  So I finished the 6th, 7th and now 8th book "Written In My Own Heart's Blood" and not wanting to leave her books I downloaded the 4th book "The Drums of Autumn" and maybe by the time I get through that and the 5th book: "The Fiery Cross" I might circle back to the original "Outlander" book.  Word through posts on FB and Diana Gabaldon's website is she has finished writing the 9th book (there are 10 books planned) and now the editing process will begin (which can take a long time, outlined on her site).  But there are sneak peeks of her new book "Go Tell the Bees that I Am Gone" at her website.



     Yesterday I also stacked up 5 books to go through and decide on which one to read.  I belong to The Book of The Month club and have a well-stocked bookshelf of new books (years ago I decided I wanted a bookshelf with books to read, not just books that have been read).  I love BOTM books because they usually stretch me to read really good literature, but often out of a genre I would think to choose.  I picked up the book "The Beauty in Breaking" by Michele Harper, a memoir and I haven't put it down yet.  It's a tough one but I think very appropriate for this year.  It is her experiences in her life and as a head ER doctor.  It seems a good read for a year of deep tragedy for many to read of beauty found in difficulties.  It is also a book of overcoming coming out of an abusive childhood; a divorce and being a black female doctor.  This one is going to be good.  The writing already has me.


Here's to your New Year

 and

 hope you all stay

 happy and safe!






Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Contemplating New Beginnings

     

      It's been almost a year since I stopped blogging.  It's been running through my mind to start again in the New Year.  But I want to do a quick update and share the Peace Project I'm starting today.


                                                      My mini view of the ocean in Maine.


     We've had an eventful year, everyone in my family is well and I'm thankful our family has been spared so far.  We live now in the state of Maine with the lowest Covid rate and in one of the counties (as of today) with the lowest rate of the state.  We had been planning to move to Maine since last year, to where my son lives, so we had no clue we'd be in a safer place than Colorado, but I'm very thankful. (A longer update on my family is down at the bottom for those who have followed me over the years.)

 



  And today I'm starting the Peace Project at The Healthy Knitter blog that I've done every year but it slipped my mind somehow.  More details on Project Peace - Project Peace 2020.



     I hope to blog about my shawl for the Peace Project 2020 which I'll be making with Malabrigo Mechita yarn in Whales Road that I had in stash.  The project takes 800 yds. so I'll visit The Cashmere Goat, Camden's local yarn shop to get another skein of some coordinating color.  What fun to have such a beautiful and well-stocked store just in town.  I park in the free parking space just by the wharf and walk down the street.  So picturesque.  This town is a treat to the eyes.


Open for Online Yarn & Knitting accessories 

    

 Next time I have a lovely Alpaca sweater to blog about that I'm almost finished with.

 So until next time have peace and

 join me in the Peace Project 2020.

More details on Project Peace 2020 - Project Peace 2020




 A Family Update from last year for those who have followed me over the years:

This past year has seen lots of changes for our family.  My oldest daughter Elisabeth secretly got married in her backyard to Will (her fiance) since the June wedding was canceled.  My youngest girl Maggie graduated high school, class of 2020, in the school's football field as my husband and I watched online 2,000 miles away in an Upstate New York parking lot as we were traveling to Maine. My son Jonathan and his significant other Emily watched the graduation from above on the mountain trail in Colorado (it was student-only graduation).  I didn't know Elisabeth was getting married in their backyard the next day as we drove within an hour of her home (she still hopes for a June wedding and didn't want that ruined).  Just as well, 5 days from South Bend (a hot spot no one wore masks in) I got sick with a sore throat and mild fever, and absolutely no energy and a camp chair my only furniture in our new apartment in Maine (the moving van 3 weeks late).  I quarantined and tested negative after 2 weeks but I don't know if I had Covid.  Then Jonathan and Emily followed a week later and moved back to Maine (they had left to come to Colorado to help my husband the year before).  They have rented a cute cottage in a town over an hour away but close to their jobs and gotten their dream jobs, she an Art Teacher on Mt. Desert, and my son working for a Solar installing company and has been promoted already.  And as the year finally ends I find out my youngest Maggie wants to move to Maine to be back with all of us.  We left her in Colorado at her choosing, and at 18 she worked hard in a grocery store bakery for 7 months, paying rent and her bills, getting up to work a 3 AM shift.  Adulting can be hard.  So she's giving away most of her stuff and for Christmas coming to live with her brother Jon and Emily.  They are all fast friends and it'll be so nice to have my whole family together on the same coast and within visiting distance.

     So here we are in Maine. I work Eldercare a few days a week and my husband works part-time and has gotten partially better and put on some weight. Still somewhat sick but at least we're not dealing with a horrible disease but a digestive system that won't accept many types of food. But better than last year.

                                                              Christmas Gifts in Progress



Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The Elk Tooth Shawl is Done!




     Regardless of life knitting must go on!  I'm very busy in a new job of Eldercare, usually in people's home's.  But today I'm in a Rehab facility for 8 hrs. doing a sitting job for a fall risk patient, so you can guess what I'll be doing? Yes, lots of knitting!

© Brutally Beautiful Photography


      So this week I finished my February knit of Elk Tooth Shawl in a Malabrigo Arroyo yarn in Cirrus Grey a lovely blue grey.


     Life has gotten so much better because they discovered what was wrong with my husband!  Tremendous weight loss on an already thin frame and tremors seemed to have been caused by a severe yeast infection in his stomach.  This was discovered after a winter eliminating ailments from Parkinson's to Lou Gehrig's.  He's slowly getting better and putting on weight but the load off my heart is tremendous.  We've been together for 41 yrs. Hard enough pulling the economic weight but imagining him gone had me crying in off places, like shopping or listening to a song on the radio.  I always felt I needed to be strong at home, project a positive attitude, then I'd crumble when no one was watching.  But he's better now and my Elk Tooth has been a soft companion this past month, I'll miss working on it, but it'll be around my neck.


  In the reading department it's been slower but I got done "See Me" by Nicholas Sparks.  A so very good read.  A great author, I was not disappointed.  One thing I was really relieved that this book didn't end like some of his other books on a negative note, but upbeat.  This I needed.  Happy reading!



Come Join Us at Unraveled Wednesday




Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Preparing for a Spring Shawl


  Due to a life that has taken some unexpected turns (a very ill husband with an undiagnosed ailment and a new job at home Eldercare) I'm going to be publishing my blog whenever I'm able.  So there might be spaces inbetween posts.  Or posts on an odd day like Sunday.  I just need to pair back.  Make this more fun and less a job for myself and get back to just knitting to settle me down and give me peace.  This is not farewell just a warning of pauses and impromptu posts from now on. If you don't want to miss sign up on the right column for Email updates. Love you all. This has been a five year effort and I'm just going to fit it better into a life that is radically different now and often out about and not home.  I am happy in my job and I do get to knit often with elderly clients. So all is good there. So long till next time. 😊



     I always have one of my shawls around my neck and when one of my regular client's wives admired it and asked if I'd make her one, I said sure.  I now do eldercare in homes.  She will need to be patient.  I seem to have a full plate lately with a job and a very ill husband.  But the opportunity to knit can't be missed and also the chance to make her smile precious.  Perhaps since we are both wives of challenged husbands I can only too well relate.




    So I took pictures down in our local yarn shop Ewe & Me of the Malabrigo that had the bright blue in it she wanted.  Here's some of the shots (unfortunately my phone didn't pick up the vibrancy of the yarn).


 
     The winner was the speckled sock yarn called Parade. It's sure to be a winner for Spring. Update: A friend online called the store and bought the yarn for me! When the customer pays me back I'm going to buy yarn for a shawl for my oldest daughter's upcoming summer wedding.  Something bright blue! 😁




     I'm making a Reyna Shawl and she wants the same mesh pattern that I did last Spring (just a bit smaller sections towards the end).


     Well I think I've broken a record for me.  Reading the same book for months.  But it's been a real good book to savor. Im drawing to the end of "The Golden Hour" and it's really good.  It's going on my shelf for a reread another day. Some books you know you'll love again.



Come Join Us at Unraveled Wednesday








Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year's New Starts

     

Please note the details on the KAL down below.


         White to me is the color of January, a New Year.  Fresh, new, untouched.  I crave getting my hands into something white and soft and untouched.  So I grabbed some undyed Bare Stroll Sport Yarn and started a shawl called Fichu Bleu.  A simple, yet unique design with interesting contrasts of simple stitches.  Interesting but I'm expecting rhythmic knitting, which I love.


 © Orlane Sucche
 © Orlane Sucche

Ravelry Resistance Knitters Group KAL





     Well, the New Year 2020 is upon us and I’m personally revved to make a difference! How about you? One stitch at a time.  This year we've been trying in the Ravelry Resistance Knitters group to create items to help migrants.  I've run several KALs this Fall for hats and then Cowls and Scarves and have drawn a lot of interest. We created over 270 hats, most hats went up to Northeast Asylum Cities but some of those hats made it even across the border to a center for migrants. 



      This January and February I'm running a KAL focused on Mittens, Gloves and Fingerless Mitts but I also want it open for any winter accessory that someone wants to make. Some people get excited about making hats or want to just make cowls; it's all good and will help make people warm
Come visit Ravelry Resistance Knitters group, join and look up the thread for the January KAL. Please use the space to share your creations and patterns and details and your thoughts, questions, and comments. Working together We can achieve more and encourage each other.  I will also be creating soon a thread for pictures of finished creations.



     When done with a few items or a pile you can ship it to the head of Suenos Sin Fronteras, a relief organization for Asylum Seekers, who is also a knitter.  Details in the group how to get the shipping address. She will in turn get your creations to either Asylum Cities up in the Northeast or at times to get items across the border to Migrants stuck on the other side.

     Thank you for all your efforts to warm hearts and bodies. Your efforts count! Have fun. I hope to run some contests but they are still being determined.




   For reading, I've downloaded a new book for the new year, "The Ten Thousand Doors of January".  I'm intrigued by it but I haven't cracked the cover yet (well metaphorically speaking since it's an e-book) but it looks good.  Review - "You'll Want To Open Every One Of 'The Ten Thousand Doors Of January' " (NPR)





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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Jon's Sockhead Hat





     I've been working on this Sockhead Hat for several months.  Perhaps it'll be done for Christmas.  Little needles and thin yarn, Patons Kroy Sock yarn in a natural heathered color called Flax.  The yarn is thinner than the Patons Kroy Sock yarn (colors in Maxim) I used last year on the same hat.  But this is a favorite hat of my son's; I made one last year for Christmas and I thought the color of the yarn would make for a good work hat for carpentry outside in winter.


Last year's Slouchy Hat modeled on my youngest daughter's head



     Still not finding time to read anything but the Morning Brief in The New York Times.  Hopefully today.




Come Join Us at Unraveled Wednesday




Last Week's post - Finishing Will's Hat




A Happy & Merry Holidays to All!