My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Yarns - Preparing For Project Peace and My TGV Shawl

     I started a TGV in September, but with gift knitting, it's taken a back seat.  I'd grab it almost every day and do one row.  It's so soft and squishy in KnitPicks Preciosa Tonal Worsted in a deep blue and I really had a hard time letting go every time, but I pressed on with my gift knitting.  To my surprise, it's actually grown!  Probably because it's a worsted yarn on #8, but I'm pleased.  It's a joy just to hold.  (Please note Preciosa Tonal Yarn is out at KnitPicks now and I read that they will be offering it again this new year in new colors.  I did notice that there is Bare Preciosa Worsted available if you want to try your hand at dyeing yarn.)   

     Update from yesterday's blogging.  I realized I was getting too big today on my TGV Shawl.  I'm supposed to knit half my skein and then weigh it and switch to the rib then, but my scale is a kitchen scale and not reliable.  So because this skein is 273 yds. of worsted and the original pattern suggests 100 grams sock yarn (about 400 yards) I figured I didn't have enough for the whole shawl.  I had planned to finish my shawl with another skein of something and just knit till I was finished with this skein.  Then today I vaguely remembered there was a suggestion that you can knit till the middle is 7" and then switch to the flange.  I'm over by almost 2" and I'm about to rip out!  Hopefully, I have plenty to finish the ribbing part or I'll still get another skein of something like Malabrigo's yarn in Whales Road and finish it.

Multi-Colored Noro TGV

I've gotten far with my Sockhead Slouch Hat in Patons Croy Sock yarn in Celestial.  And I'm not mentioning the recipient, just in case the person is reading this.

Hat knit for son in color Canyon (Maggie my daughter the model).

Project Peace 2018


     For the third year, I'm doing the Project Peace, a 21 day Knit-Along where we knit on a peaceful project and read blog posts from The Healthy Knitter on attaining peace and passing it on.  Project Peace 2018 is a cowl this year and planting seeds of peace is the theme.  You can do a one loop cowl (my choice) or a double loop.  I tend to lag behind so I choose the shorter project to give me more peace, less stress.

     But this year I couldn't get the expensive yarn but I fell in love with the look of the yarn.  So I ordered some Bare Stroll Sport Yarn and I'm going to Black Bean dye it very light blue and also add beige areas with a tea stain to try and make it look like this:

Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in Dove

     Talk about getting sidetracked and with a genre, I've rarely read before!  Except for last year I read Nora Robert's "Year One: Chronicles of The One" Book 1, which was good, I don't usually go for dour Apocalyptic books, but this was advertised in Facebook for .99c and I wanted something different and maybe exciting.  I got it.  It's non-stop action, just when one situation is wrapped up, another crisis hits.  A real adrenaline pumper!  "After the EMP: Survival in a Powerless World" Boxset by J.S. Donovan. 

     I am really enjoying this book, but it is very violent.  So much so I guess I don't really connect with the violence as real, so it doesn't bother me.  But what does bug me is the basic premise the book is founded on.  That if a disaster happened then with the collapse of society most people would go violent and crazed.  And I can't help wonder well what about those that do good after a disaster?  Or people who try to organize and recreate an orderly existence when all falls apart?  I mean yes, there are those that loot.  But I believe better of humankind, that many would also rise up and try to do good.  Bind people's wounds.  Create a temporary government.  So while I'm enjoying the character, a tough Army reserve supply sergeant and her teenage boy and the interaction with her estranged husband who wants to get their family together, I don't believe society would collapse like that.  Yes, life could be tough without creature comforts like electricity, but that doesn't mean we'd shoot each other up.

     Oh, and about my violent action filled book; I've given myself till the Project Peace starts on December 1st. to finish this series of books.  I can't go from clutching my armrests (or knitting) while reading to trying to attain peace.  I have cued up more peaceful books on my tablet.  One on nature, another on decluttering.  Or I'll get back to reading about hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Something to take me away.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Yarns - Thanksgiving Cooking and Knitting and Reading Breaks


     How to cook for Thanksgiving. Chop, prepare, Bake, mix and knit for a while and read, resume and redo all over again.  So many times in my life my knitting and reading are my refuge.  And a definite stopping point.

 Details on today's knitting - Yarns - A Shawl Amidst Gift Knitting

Autumn Ridge Shawlette in Malabrigo Mechita in Cielo Y Tierra
Sockhead Slouch Hat in Patons Croy Sock yarn in Celestial

      So I'm taking a break sometime today to snap a picture and then press on.  Which I might literally be doing.  Pressing my dough today.  My husband after several weeks of anti-biotics last winter became gluten intolerant. So this Thanksgiving I need to make a gluten-free pie crust with almond and rice flour.  The sad part is my Pate Brisee was so perfect, before with A.P. four (I added 1 Tbl. cider vinegar).  I have a feeling the gluten free will not roll out.  But I'm pressing on.  Husband loves my apple pie.

     I cleaned out all my Kindle downloaded books and samples one night (clearing half of them out) and came across this cute book, a romance with a knitting theme - "How to Knit a Heart Back Home: A Cypress Hollow Yarn Book 2".  It's the second in a series, but I already had it so it was a good choice late at night.  It's a fun tale about Lucy who runs the bookshop and seems unassuming but also is an on-call paramedic.  She and a whole slew of characters knit in this town that is famous for Eliza Carpenter, a made up legendary knitter like Elizabeth Zimmerman.  The beginning of every chapter has a quirky pithy quote from Eliza.  The story starts with a bang (you'll see) and the bad boy from High School is on the scene and, of course, love ensues.  Cute and funny and fun to read a story with knitting stories knit in.

     The first book looks good too - "How to Knit a Love Song: A Cypress Hollow Yarn Book 1".  Both books are inexpensive, $2.99 on Kindle.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Yarns - A Shawl Amidst Gift Knitting

      I think knitting on my shawl is a gift to me as I squeeze it in among knitting gifts. 

      It's not very big so far, but it gives me joy.  The new pattern Autumn Ridge Shawlette out in August 2018 hasn't been discovered and it should be!  It's a little gem of a pattern hiding in plain sight, just waiting to be discovered!  It's got a great texture, variety to hold your interest, and as it grows the simple rows of knitting are relaxing.  I'm in love with it and I hope other's give it a try.  Ravelry Project Notes: Autumn Ridge Shawl.

     One gift I'm working on and should just have enough time to finish before Christmas is a Sockhead Slouch Hat.  I made one for my son this summer, intending it to be a Christmas gift but because he was Salmon fishing in Alaska I sent it to him early to keep warm (yes, and now I'm busy on another gift for him).  I hear he wears it all the time.  It looked great on him when we Skype with him the other day, and I hear that his girlfriend steals it at times!  Little does she know I've been busy making her one.

     They're great made out of Patons Kroy Sock Yarn.  They go up in a month for me if that's all I'm doing (I'm a slow knitter).  But the knit is automatic enough that I can knit and read at the same time.  If the book's not on a tablet I use a large hair clip or this Leather Book Weight my mom got for me decades ago from The Vermont Store (thankfully they tend to carry the same old-fashioned items over time and it's still there).

     I'm still reading "The Girl You Left Behind" by Jojo Moyes and enjoying this book about a painting in WW I and then a hundred years later.  When I finish I'll be moving onto a book I missed last year in the Book of the Month club and I regretted not getting.  Then it showed up on sale on BookBub and I quickly downloaded it.  "The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce is a quirky romance that takes place in a music shop in a dilapidated part of town, but the owner has an uncanny sense of what a person needs to hear.  Goodreads - "The Music Shop"

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Yarns: A Fall Shawl


     I've missed working on a shawl, specifically on size #6 needles and with Malabrigo yarn.  These are my favorite go-to knitting ingredients and I'm a shawl fanatic with one wrapped around my neck at all times.  I have a personal goal of actually having all the different colors of shawls I need to complete an outfit; which might just be jeans or stretch pants but the shawl gives it a classy edge and keeps my neck warm.

Previous Shawls:

      I picked out a Fall toned Malabrigo yarn last year, but I couldn't swing it then.  I'd stare at the color photo of yarn and promised myself, one day.  So I finally got my yarn Malabrigo Mechita Yarn - Cielo y Tierra in September and then I needed the perfect pattern.  I had considered Citadel by Janina Kallio which I love:

© Janina Kallio

 But when I saw the new pattern Autumn Ridge Shawlette by Lilybet Designs it was love at first sight.  

© Lilybet Designs
© Lilybet Designs

     Also, my chosen patterns need to not only look right, but they need that quality of easy, simple, rhythmic knitting.  I think my most successful knitting has been where I can rest in the process and read a book at the same time.  It's therapeutic, a meditative quality to just knitting, almost mindlessly.  I think this pattern will fit the bill and add enough different patterns to add interest also.

     I've returned to reading "The Girl You Left Behind" by Jojo Moyes, my fourth book by her.  She's a great writer and I love her choice of words and descriptions.  Now we're in Northern France at the beginning of WWI, the Germans invaded 18 months before, they barely eat.  Sophie is dreaming...

"I was still dreaming of food. Fresh baquettes, the flesh of the bread a virginal white, still steaming from the oven, and ripe cheese, its borders creeping towards the edge of the plate. Grapes and plums stacked high in bowls, dusky and fragrant, their scent filling the air. I was about to reach out and take one, when my sister stopped me. "Get off" I murmered. "I'm hungry". "Sophie. Wake up." I could taste that cheese. I was about to have a mouthful of Reblochon, smear it on a hunk of that warm bread, then pop a grape into my mouth. I could already taste the intense sweetness, smell the rich aroma. But there it was, my sister's hand on my wrist, stopping me. The plates disappearing, the scents fading. I reached out to them but they began to pop like soap bubbles." p. 3  

     I haven't got far.  I know the book revolves around a painting of Sophie by her husband (who is at The Front) and the second half of the book moves forward in time, almost a century to someone who receives the painting as a wedding gift.  Loving the book.

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