My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Yarns - Socks and Shawls

      I like to bounce around on projects.  Picking up what interests me at the moment and sticking with what inspires me.  Eventually, I get things done, but I found it's the process of knitting I like and getting a finished product done right away isn't my priority.  Maybe I work hard at it not becoming a job.  I enjoy the labor and knitting is my instant happy and peaceful place.  I do try to corral my efforts around one or two projects a day and tell myself, you know I should try to finish this or that.  But in the end, I grab what makes me happy.  Eventually, I'll have it done. But I'm in my happy place meanwhile.

     This week a really cold day had me grabbing this small shawl I made last year - "Just Knit It with Gifted Stash" for my neck.  It actually seemed such a small shawl I thought I might not be able to use it much.  But it was perfect and very soft.  I made it out of stash from a friend so I wondered how I could make another one and find soft enough yarn.

That led me to my stashed projects and a shawl I started with Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn in Pacific.  The yarn knits up so soft and squishy.  I grabbed the shawl and just started knitting on it again to see how it felt and I've barely let go of it.  It's a free pattern called the Garter Stitch Shawl by Megan Goodacre.  A simple shawl knitted up in Stroll by the designer and it's really perfect.  Relaxing work, quick knit and it has a great feel to it.

     Another knit I've unearthed and gotten a lot done on recently is my first socks.  I got through the heel and I have inches to go before I finish the toe.  My First Socks Adventure are following Susan B. Anderson's How I Make My Socks.  Knitted in Red Heart "Heart & Sole" in color "Lakehouse".  It's knitting up beautifully and soft.  I really do want to push getting them done for cold weather.

       My main read is the second book in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy called Winter of the World.  But often I find I get sidetracked by reading David McCullough's Brave Companions: Portraits In History.  I've gotten to know some interesting historical characters and lately spent some time with Theodore Roosevelt in his early years as a cowboy and Frederic Sackrider Remington (October 4, 1861 - December 26, 1909), an artist who captured the spirit of the West that would become the essence of what Americans would in visualize as "The West".  He also illustrated many of Roosevelt's works of writing.

The Cowboy

The Fall of The Cowboy

Self Portrait On A Horse

A Vaquero

Mounted Cowboy In Chaps In Race

A Dash For Timber

Modern Camanche

The Bronco Buster

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Yarns - Blues Antarktis and Eclipse Shadows

     I'm working on Janina Kallio's Antarktis.  I just love her "ONE SKEIN WONDERS", just having finished Ardent.  My last week's post - Yarns -The Ardent Shawl Finished!

      This shawl is made from Hawthorne Fingering Multi Yarn in Goose Hallow.  I'm loving the color, but it's a tougher, courser feeling yarn than what I used for my Ardent.  I'm hoping when it's done I can wash it and soak it for a bit in a mild detergent.  I learned this from a comment from a customer on the KnitPick site who says this will soften the yarn.  I think in the future I'd rather knit with the Malabrigo Mechita Yarn that I used for the Ardent Shawl, but that's single ply, so it's soft, but it might not last as well as the plied Hawthorne, which is gorgeous!

 Finished Antarktis by Veveroben's

     I've gone onto the second book in The Century Trilogy by Kenneth Follett Winter of the World.  I'm continuing off with the same characters that I got to know in the first book, but it's about a decade later, leaping from the early 20's after WWI to 1933 in Germany, to start.  The kids are now grown up for the most part (later teens) and Nazi Germany is just getting rooted in Germany.  What I'm finding a bit shocking and in the face is the similarities to now.  I mean these are historical facts I am aware of, yet put in the context of now familiar characters, and starting to live several similar events, it's just so much more real.  One aspect of Nazi rule is the attack on the Press.  The rhetoric out of the Nazi leaders convincing the public that the news is inaccurate (hear the roar of someone shouting fake news lately?).  I am aware that is the first area a government and country will be attacked when there is a takeover, their source of news.  Brainwash the public and winning over the people is already done.  The battle of the mind starts first.  A good book to thwart this now is to read On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century Kindle Edition by Timothy Snyder.  Timothy Snyder speaks about his book - On Tyranny: Yale Historian Timothy Snyder on How the U.S. Can Avoid Sliding into Authoritarianism.  The actual 20 Lessons - 20 Lessons from the 20th Century About How to Defend Democracy from Authoritarianism, According to Yale Historian Timothy Snyder.  Read these, they are profound!

Eclipse Shadows


Celebrate the Moments

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Yarns -The Ardent Shawl Finished!

My beautiful Spring Ardent Shawl is done -

     I've started Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy, Book 2) by Ken Follett.  The first book Fall of Giants was great and I enjoyed it thoroughly, so I expect the same.  Also I so enjoy learning while I'm a having fun reading and it's interesting being immersed in another time period. 

For more lovely shawls by Janina Kallio - ONE SKEIN WONDERS

Joining with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Simply Saturday


     My Ardent Shawl is almost done.  I finished the pattern and still have yarn leftover so I've added a few more rows with holes, and now I'm doing the final garter rows till the yarn is gone.

      It's a good weekend to turn off.  Turn inward.  Quiet the soul.  Knit and read.  And turn off the news.  Sometimes, somethings are beyond our control and for me too overwhelming to contemplate.  I'm going to let the birds and trees surround me.  Knit, take a walk.  Breathe.  And hope.  Out of this place, I can handle next week better.  What else can I do but tend my little world?

     A cake to make.  My husband's birthday on Sunday.  Still some unpacking to do, clearing off the kitchen table, finally so I can block my shawl.  My teen starts school in a week.  10th grade.  Starting to talk about colleges.  Life goes on.  Embracing the simple.  A hot soup to make.  When the world seems impossibly crazy and out of control, what I can do is be thankful for what I have.  Breathe in, breathe out, because I can.  And hope for a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Yarns - Socks Tackled Again

     Last year I started my My First Socks Adventure and got stalled after working on them all day at my daughter's college graduation.  Unused to tiny needles and seemingly so little progress, it got stashed away with the thought that that's it, socks are not for me! 

Last year:

     Then the past year I've been working with smaller needles and shawls with fingering weight yarn and I've gotten more comfortable with knitting with small stuff.  So I picked it up again this week and I'm really happy with the results.  Of course it helped I had most of the cuff done and now I'm working on the heel.  Now I'm dreaming of wearing them.  It's a cold rainy summer and warm socks would be dreamy.

I'm almost done with Ken Follet's Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, Book 1).  It's been an amazing ride and I believe I've learned a lot about WWI and I feel like I've been immersed in that time frame.  I've got the next book Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy and I'll be ready to continue on to the next generation and WWII.

     I'm also reading a collection of short stories which are biographies of historical heroes.   Some forgotten long ago.   "Brave Companions: Portraits In History" by David McCullough.  I love these stories so much, I'm finishing a story and passing the book over to my husband when he gets home at night.  It seems just such a shame that we don't know about these people.  The first chapter is about a Naturalist (and many other things) that explored South America and did more for science than Lewis & Clark, but we probably don't hear about him because the U.S. is so centered on itself and ignores the history of any country that surrounds it!  Anyone know Canadian History?  Case in point.  This explorer, a Naturalist was Alexander von Humboldt.  If you love history and biographies this book is a must.  I love David McCullough's writing.  Very interesting, gripping stories.

Joining with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Yarns - What's Up in Your Knitting & Reading World?

   In honor of a wildlife refuge in Texas threatened by the building of The Wall, I've started knitting the Passerine Hat by Erica Heusser.  I was excited I had the materials on hand and I've bravely waded in to tackle colorwork with Fingering Weight yarn (I'm a bit of a newbie on this, only having done one Fair Isle piece before - Technique Thursday and Learning Fair Isle).  Today I should get to the bird motif.  Read on for details on how the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is threatened.

Blue Bunting Cyanocompsa parellina

     In September the next fight in Congress will be over the budget.  Hidden in the proposed budget is funding for the Wall.  Surreptitiously testing the area, hoping to avoid notice, the US Customs and Border Protection has been working to get soil samples and check out a three mile stretch in the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Texas to build a portion of the Wall. Today the Washington Post reported that Homeland Security will be evoking previous laws in order to skirt any Environmental rules or reviews for building the wall along the border The Energy 202: Trump to Waive Environmental Rules to Construct Border Wall

    The Santa Ana National Refuge is the home of the many birds and some endangered species - "The 2,088-acre Santa Ana refuge, located along the Rio Grande south of McAllen, Texas, is considered one of the nation’s top bird-watching sites, with more than 400 species of birds. The refuge is also home to two endangered wildcats—the ocelot and jaguarundi—and some of the last surviving stands of sabal palm trees in South Texas." (Mother Jone's - Trump’s Big, Beautiful Wall Will Cut Through a Big, Beautiful Texas Wildlife Refuge). An update from Texas Public Radio.

     I'm more than half way through Ken Follet's Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, Book 1).  It's a great book and fills in a lot of gaps of my understanding of WWI and the Russian Revolution.  The Characters feel real (and interspersed with real historical figures) and the plot keeps up a good pace.  Every page you want to know what's going to happen next.  I'm pleased I'm reading an accurate historical fiction, having fun and learning at the same time.  I'll have to remember to prowl the second hand book shops this weekend for #2 in his trilogy - Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy.

Join "Frontier Dreams" to post your  projects on Tuesday or later in the week.

Nicole says: "The act of creating, in one form or another, preserves my sanity amongst the chaos of life. This explains why I always have more than one project going at a time as well as why my housework tends to fall behind. I enjoy seeing what others are working on and keeping calm with, too. What are you creating? What is keeping you going? Snap a picture or two and share it with the rest of us by leaving your link" on her blog, link above.