Lovely Yarn Escapes

My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Adding More Color To My Color Shifting Shawl

 


     I decided to add more rows to my Color Shifting Shawl.  It was beautiful as is, but I know I had started with the intention of having a bright shawl.  A celebration of Spring, and while it was tempting to keep it with its grey tones and burgundy, I decided to forge on and add more color and length.  So I'm adding a beautiful rose, with peach tones and then I'm thinking of adding the lighter peachy-pink yarn that I started with.  I certainly have plenty of yarn left.  But that was intentional, I need a stash of fingering yarn to play with and my head is already filled with ideas of what I'll do with it.  Color and yarn are so inspirational!




     I'm still reading and loving Craig Johnson's "The Cold Dish" A Longmire Mystery.  And I have a stack of his next books to keep me happy.  He has a way with words and descriptions.  It's less the plot line or murder mystery that's unfolding but the portrayal of the man himself, the sheriff in this Wyoming small town and the landscape of Wyoming itself. 




     I'm having so much fun reading "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership" (April 17, 2018) by James Comey.  I got it on Kindle and looked forward to reading it after a weekend of reading NYT's critiques.  I grabbed it first thing yesterday morning and I was pleasantly surprised how good it is.  The first half is a personal memoir that at times is riveting and is thoughtful.  It's much more than a tell-all book.  I also had to get beyond my anger at Comey for his actions of Fall 16'.  While I still don't agree with these actions I'm more understanding of the man, his actions I think were well-intentioned (just disastrous in its outcome).  In some ways, I feel bad for him.  Reading his accounts you realize he's more than that one decision and his whole life has been ruled by a pursuit of truth and trying to do the right thing.  He wrote his thesis in college about leadership having a higher morality leading their actions.  This isn't just a present-day philosophy he came up with because of Trump.  What seems sad is because of anger towards him many Liberals who won't read this account and like I said it's much more than a tell-all about Trump but this man's memoir and he writes valid points.  As a child, he was relentlessly picked on by bullies.  As a teen, he was found in a situation where a gun was leveled at his head, and he explains how these events influenced him.  Later he recounts the bosses he had and how they influenced him.  And how meeting, talking to mob bosses and prosecuting the Italian Mafia was like.  It's an interesting read and needful for today's situation.  We need leaders with a sense of right and wrong, a higher sense of morality to hold to.  And Comey defines this as either religious (his minor in college) or based on philosophy and reading of others and/or good mentoring.




     On Audible I'm listening to "True Fiction" (Ian Ludlow Thrillers Book 1) by Lee Goldberg.  A gripping thriller that has a humorous streak.  Massive fun while knitting.






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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl and Longmire

 



      I'm working with the last colors of my Color Shifting Shawl ( more details - Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl).  I replaced a repeat of the first color (which the pattern called for) with "Sweet Home", a pretty violet that went perfectly with the previous color Eugene, a deep plum.  Next, a few rows away I'll add a grey with a faint stripe of blue called Kerns.   At that point, I'll decide whether to end it or use the original pinky peach Burlingame which barely showed in the first repeat.  One comment on Ravelry said it was a small shawl (which can be nice), so I'll see.  Also, I need to see how the colors play.  Do I want it to end in a dark tone or will the pop and light of the first color give not only balance but more interest?




I'm finishing the Audible "The Woman Left Behind" by Linda Howard.  A really exciting audio.  Intense.  I'll be looking for more by Linda Howard.




     My book is Craig Johnson's The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery.  A great read, even better than the TV series, which I loved.  I like the details about Longmire.  The subtle humor going throughout.  The landscape.  A plus with this story is  I've got the familiarity of knowing the series where I can fill in the voices and faces in my head with the show's characters I like so much.  Usually, that's a frustrating feature of reading a book after seeing it performed, but I think the show's portrayal of the characters are done so well that overlaying the characters from the show onto the book add dimension, fleshes it out  But, so far the storyline and details are different enough it really is a new story for me.  Also Longmire not only is a grieving widow, like the series, in the book, there's more dimension to his character.  For instance, in the book his cabin is only an unfinished cabin with 2 by 4's struts, few walls and he lives in boxes.  Not the pretty cabin we see in the series.  What's amusing and touching is his friend Henry Standing Bear shows up to outline the four-point plan he has for him to reclaim his life and win point #3, a lady (but you have to be worthy of her, he is told).  I'm glad I've got a long series to explore in the future and keep me company with wonderful characters.






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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl & Longmire

 
  

      My Color Shifting Shawl is looking lovely.  The colors are fun to work with and the design interesting yet easy to memorize.  A real winner. (Last weeks post for details - Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl)



     I've started reading The Cold Dish: A Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson.  The first in the Longmire series.  A TV show I absolutely love and I didn't know until last week that it was based on a book series.  (Thanks to As Kat Knits and her "Unraveled Wednesdays" where she shares her knits and books).  So far I'm loving it.  The descriptions of Wyoming are beautiful and are an important element of his books, that and the myth and reality of Western culture.  The character of Walt the sheriff grips you right away and is much like the series.  It's like getting into the series in a 3-D way.  The characters you love are more fleshed out.  The style of prose is one moment beautiful and then funny.  Walt has what I would have called a mid-west sense of humor, that dry, tongue-in-cheek way of conversing (especially over corpses).  I think of it as Mid-West because I once knew a Kansas couple who ran a funeral home.  I never met a funnier guy.  Almost as if death brings a stark reality that forged a unique, dry, humor that also tells it like it is.  Walt says as he's hovering over a corpse in a field that his humor increases when there's death around.  "There's a kinda cocksure attitude that overtakes a man in the presence of the dearly departed, a you're dead-and-I'm-not kind of perspective. There's something about a carcass of an animal like oneself, the post-shuffled, mortal coil that brings out the worst in me, and I start thinking that I'm funny." (Walt Longmire)


Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming

     I've already bought some of the following books in the series anticipating wanting to go on.  The books I think are pricey so I first checked my local used bookshop and there I got #1 and #2 - Death Without Company  The third book - Kindness Goes Unpunished I've got coming used (but new condition) through Amazon.  The 4th book (yeah!) that one is only $1.99 (for now) on Kindle- Another Man's Moccasins.  That ought to keep me busy for awhile and I anticipate my husband wanting to read them too.



          My Garter Stitch Shawl is finally blocked.  I set it aside figuring I'd wear it in the Spring (Wednesday's Yarns - Finishing a Book & a Shawl). I do tend to do that.  I have to finish tucking in the stray yarns on my Peace Shawl too for Friday night.  I want to show it off with this pretty tie-dye shirt and jeans.  I'm hosting a fundraiser for Rebuilding Puerto Rico.  We have local musicians (some professionals) coming to play at Jives Coffee Lounge April 6th in Old Colorado City at 7 PM - 9:30.  We give the raised funds to a missionary friend who goes in and helps rebuild homes.  Last time's donations helped an elderly woman who just lost her husband 4 days before the hurricane.  Her roof was torn off and the team used the funds we raised, fixed her second story to be a roof and refurbished her bathroom. Want more details because you're local leave a message.





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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Color Shifting Shawl

 


     I don't own a ball winder, usually finding the task peaceful (Hand Wind A Ball Of Yarn); but I ordered the Color Shifting Hawthorne Value Pack with 5 skeins of fingering Hawthorne yarn, plus I ordered 1 of Hawthorne Tonal Hand Paint in the color Sweet Home so I had lots of balls to wind.  But I set up my tablet on two pillows, wrapped the skein around the pillow and I happily wrapped and read.  Not only is it a peaceful process and I get to read, but also I get to delight in the colors unfolding.  A skein can be pretty, but the colors are in blocks and I like seeing how it wraps into a ball, the colors mixing together, getting a totally different effect.  It's like celebrating your yarn before you knit with it.




     Now that I'm knitting my Color Shifting Shawl I'm also enjoying how the colors unfold and work together.  It's a great pattern, easy, with lots of contrast, texture, and variety.  I'm knitting now with Arleta which reminds me of raspberry swirl ice cream.  Especially in the striped section.  An intense raspberry color.  Next, I get to add Eugene, a very dark plum.  Every third section of stripes a new color is added and at the end of this section, the older one is cut off.  In this way, the colors are flowingly introduced.  Plum and raspberry divine.  After Eugene, I'm entering Sweet Home in, instead of the MC Burlingame.  I'll add Burlingame for another repeat at the end.




     My The Bulky Blue sweater has an arm and soon another one.




     My listening to a great audio always helps me knit along.  "The Woman Left Behind" by Linda Howard is a great book to listen to.  A young geek working in a department of a paramilitary organization to fight terrorists Stateside is picked with 10 others to join a secret paramilitary group.  They had unwittingly played a game set-up in the break room, not realizing it was a test, one she always bested the rest of the guys in.  The plan is to insert one tech for a drone in each "Go" team that goes into hotspots internationally.  They will help aid surveillance and protect the team.  First, they need to train to be up to speed with the group, especially if something happens.  So Jina, whose not into sweaty pursuits, must push to pass the grueling training.  I find this an interesting part, her work to overcome and push, regardless.  Meanwhile, there's an attraction mounting between the leader and herself, one which they both are fighting.  I know eventually, she'll be left alone (hence the title) and she has to pull all of what she's learned to survive. Awesome!




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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Finally the Hem Done!

    


      I've mentioned I'm a perfectionist.  I will rip and redo till it's right, but sometimes I feel like I'm ripping more than knitting.  But in my mind, it's got to be just right, perfect.  I knit away on my The Bulky Blue and I wanted it long so I went beyond the recommended length thinking it'll give it a nicer long silhouette. Wrong!  It didn't work, just too huge and it made me look like a little girl in an adult sweater.  Also, the recommended hem was just too thick and the rib too big itself.  (Pattern The Easy Bulky One)



 
      So the second plan, I ripped out to recommended length and tried a hem with two levels.  A thin one in front and a longer one in the back, with a split in the side.  I also went down from an 11 size needle to 10.5.  The front hem looked perfect, but I didn't like the way both hems looked and I longed for the original look.  Unfortunately, since I didn't want the slits in the side, all of it had to be ripped out.  Rip, back to 16 3/4" from shoulder underarm (recommended length).  Been here, done this too many times, but usually, the last one is the perfect one and it is.




     I again used my 10.5 needles to do just 4 rounds of 1 X 1 rib.  Unfortunately, I only have them in two sets of straight needles, one set very long, and no circulars.  So it took forever to do a side, switch all the stitches on the other side around on a needle with the point towards me (while stitches dropped from the other side).  I despaired of getting it done, but I finally did it and it looks alright.  But yarn is so forgiving.  Off the needles, last night and it looks just right.  Sigh, finally!  Now, I'm off to work on the sleeves, with changing tones of blues going down the lengths.





     Even though it was a bit of a journey to get back to how I did finish, I think it was worth it to arrive where I did, with a perfect finish to the bottom.  Sometimes the long, more difficult route is worth it since you discover exactly how you want something and how to achieve it in the end.







     I'm still reading Linda Lael Miller and I'm reading a 3 book series called The McKettricks of Texas.  I finished Tate  and I'm onto Garret and I'll soon be onto Austin.  They're all good books.  Sweet and engaging.





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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Batwing Shawl





     I impulsively joined a KAL last week - Bat-Tastic KAL.  A post was made in my facebook group Resistance Knitters about an opportunity to knit for Moms of families going through difficulties.  From the first look at the pattern, I could immediately envision the yarn I could use.  I also love the idea of being able to have something up on needles that's for someone else, especially in need.  The To the Batcave! Shawl pattern gives part of the proceeds from the pattern and yarn also made for the shawl to the Colten Cowell Foundation.  The shawls can also be donated to moms of families impacted by significant life challenges.
“ ‘To the Batcave!’ “ is a pattern inspired by, first and foremost, the crime- fighting superhero himself, and at the heart, by the many brave children and their families whose lives are impacted by significant life challenges.“"
 





     The pattern is very simple, an increase of three stitches on each side, every other row.  That's it for the beginning.  It's a peaceful knit and it's going up fast for a fingering weight shawl.  I'm using a very nice soft and squishy yarn - Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn from KnitPicks in Orbit (there are also other colors in this yarn that would look really nice done up as a "To the Batcave" shawl - Raven, Inverness, Train Station, Cordial, and Malbec).  Orbit was a yarn I got for another "Just Knit It" shawl (which I can do later), it just seemed the perfect color of dark blue and black for a bat.  So I ripped out the bit I did and started again.  I'm naming my shawl the "Batwing Shawl" (My Ravelry Project page).




     I'm on the bottom rows of my The Bulky Blue sweater.  Into the darkest smokey blue yarn I dyed (Feeling the Blues - Dyeing with Black Beans).  I'm thinking of adding a few more inches because I don't want a boxy look and I like my tops long to cover leggings. (Pattern - The Easy Bulky One).


   


     Yup, I'm still stuck on Linda Lael Miller's Romantic Westerns.  I just love them!  I finished Once a Rancher: A Western Romance (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) Book 1 and Always a Cowboy (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) Book 2 and I loved both.  The third book - Forever a Hero: A Western Romance Novel has a really exciting start.  Now I'm reading an older book of hers - At Home in Stone Creek (A Stone Creek Novel) and I'm really enjoying this one!  But I think I think that of all her books while I'm reading them. (Goodreads summaries and reviews of Linda Lael Miller's books - Goodreads).




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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Wednesday's Yarns - Bulky Blue and the Color Shifting Shawl

   



     The Bulky Blue is growing so fast (for me, a slow knitter).  I'm impressed with how fast and easy this is, even after I ripped the whole thing out last week.  I've pushed to catch up and I'm onto the 4th shade of blue from Dyeing with Black Beans, a really nice dark gunmetal blue.  It's going to be so comfy and still at a size M it's plenty big!  (Pattern - The Easy Bulky One).


A little pinkier and lighter than true color, it's more vibrant, with different orange to magenta shades.


 Color Shifting Hawthorne  (KnitPicks Pic)


     Today I got a big box of goodies from KnitPicks!  I ordered the kit - Color Shifting Hawthorne Value Pack, on sale too!  I'm making the Color Shifting Shawl, which looks like an easy knit, but it's the colors of the yarns that caught my eye, incredible!  I also bought Hawthorne Tonal Hand Paint in Sweet Home, because I just love that color and I knew it look good with the others, it does! (M - Shifting Colors Shawly Ravelry Project page






      On the book front, I'm still reading Linda Lael Miller's Westerns and I have a pile of lovely books from Book of the Month I need to get my hands on.  But the Romantic Westerns are warm and cozy and just feel just right, right now.  I just finished Montana Creeds: Tyler and I loved it!  This three-book series is really good - The Montana Creeds Logan #1, Dylan #2, Tyler #3.




     I'm really excited about an Audible I just downloaded.  It's a new Linda Howard - The Woman Left Behind By: Linda Howard.  It sounds massively exciting and I'll let you know about it next week. (GoodReads - The Woman Left Behind).
   





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