My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

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.




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Last Week's post - Finishing Will's Hat




A Happy & Merry Holidays to All!



Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Finishing Will's Hat




     I finished Will's hat at 10", instead of the 11' requested, leaving a good amount of yarn remaining for a pom-pom.


      Somehow today I'll get that pom-pom done and this post is done. How I'm not too sure. I start today on a new adventure of elderly home care.  So I press on and I'll do the blog today as I can.  Right now squeezed between brushing my teeth and my shower (thankful for small tablets!).



     Ah, reading? What's that?  I've read the New York Times Morning brief, every morning.  That's almost it.  A good way to know your news in a short informational burst.


Late Today - I did have a great day.  My first client was a sweet man that wanted cookies baked like his wife used to.  So I baked Chocolate Chip cookies (thanks to a large bag of chocolate chips in the freezer) and we talked of his WWII experience and some of his life and we had a great time.  I had planned not to go again. He was an hour's drive out up North above a forest and lived on an old ranch.  His grandson in a truck directed me to grandpa as to the left and over the cattle guard.  As soon as I arrived to my first-person my AP for work with all details failed, no service!  But the request for cookies and assurance from his nurse leaving that that was OK and I felt right at home. What a lovely way to start.  When I told him about my husband being sick he gently grabbed my hands and bowed his head and prayed for him. I was so touched.  Next week I get to see him again.  As for the blog, guess I'm finishing it tomorrow!
 Nope! Pressed on and now I need to go to bed! Back up North again tomorrow. It was so pretty, but I'll be up early for a long drive. Couldn't tell the scheduler no, especially when she said pretty please?



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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Knitting On


Through good times or bad, or simply challenging times knitting is what soothes and calms my soul.  It is the constant despite all and I'm thankful for that gift of making.   





      I'm finishing up Will's hat.  I love the way it's worked up.  I'm a little unsure of when to start decreases because the hat's directions make a 9" hat, but Will wanted 11" and, yes I can do the math, but the ball of yarn is getting smaller and I want a good pom-pom at the end.  I'm nearing a turning point and soon I'll decide to decrease and maybe not go for the full 11".  Afterall a good pom-pom is important too!  Isn't it kind of nice to bring life down to what do I do so I can do a pom-pom vs. large life changes and decisions that can weigh one down?  Perhaps, for a mere moment, I'll pretend life is just a ball of yarn I need to pay attention to.




     And I started the Project Peace 2019 needing a simple project to carry that feeling of peace I discovered previous years as I knit and read The Healthy Knitter's blog.  Details - Project Peace 2019...let's do this!  Every December for 21 days the Healthy Knitter promotes peace through a knitting project.  This year we can choose among any of her previous Project Peace patterns, and then while knitting you check out her daily blog posts on peace - The Healthy Knitter.  I decided to do a shawl I've done before - The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief (because I constantly wear my teal one - "A Silky Shawl").  And I picked up some beautiful Malabrigo yarn in a local yarn shop - Ewe and Me in a deep purple  Blackberry Silky Merino.  A previous Project Peace used Malabrigo Silky Merino and I really connected that silky feel with peace, that stop-in-your-tracks and let-peace-seep-in type of peace.  I only just started but I'm thinking it will be special.  Debating whether to put clear beads on it.  Make it sparkle!




     I think I must be setting my beautiful book on my lap, reading a page or so and just knitting.  I have never spent so much time on just one book, and a good one too!  The Golden Hour is a delight for sure.  I guess if I'm stuck on a book and gazing out and just knitting, this certainly was the book to savor.  I guess I look like I'm reading.  But I'm getting my holiday knitting done!





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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Apple Pie and Will's Hat





     I'm going to keep this short because there's an apple pie to bake and other Thanksgiving preparations.  This year I need to figure out a Gluten-Free version to an apple pie for my husband's sake; which is a bummer since I do make an awesome pie with a Pate Brisee recipe handed down from my Mom.  She added a Tbl. of apple cider vinegar and used a Tbl. sugar (the real trick is to handle it quickly and lightly and use cold butter and chill afterward).  So I'll try the same recipe with rice flour.  My Mom's apple pie was always amazing, a Tbl. of cinnamon being a trick and dotted butter on the top under the crust.  Since GF crust will not handle well with a rolled-out top I'm going to try Chocolate Covered Katie's Apple Pie topping, it should be good.

     


     As for knitting, I'm making progress on Will's Hat - "A Zappy Tall Hat for Will" in Malabrigo Rios, color Volcan.  The brim came out beautifully with a simple 2 x 2 rib.  And the stitch is easy to memorize.  It should finish up quickly.  I just need to estimate how long the bind off is, so I can get around an 11" length and have some leftover yarn for a good pom-pom.




     I'm still reading The Golden Hour and still loving and savoring it.




Come on by and check out our Ravelry group Ravelry Resistance Knitters where we do Craftivism to help make a change and/or simply to help!




     We are currently doing Hats, Cowls, and Scarves for Asylum Seekers in Asylum Cities in the Northeast, but also some hats have been delivered across the border to Migrants by some courageous people.  All of our creations are sent to a private address of the head of Suenos Sin Fronteras, a relief organization.  She is a knitter herself and a member of our group and lovingly distributes our creations.  An incredibly direct approach to helping the Migrants.




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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Zappy Tall Hat for Will




     I've just started a hat for my future son-in-law Will for Christmas.  What better way to gift to a future member of the family but knit something useful?  After all most appreciate a warm head, especially a Southern guy transplanted to Upstate New York where I know from experience it is terrifyingly cold!  So I went with many questions to ascertain what he'd like.  No guessing here and making him live with a future mother-in-law monstrosity to be hidden in the back of the closet!


© Kelbourne Woolens

       The hat request was something tall, you know that sporty look with a large pom pom on top.  I found the September Hat, which seems so perfect.  I'm going to make it a little longer.  He wants it 11 inches long.  The September Hat is a part of a year-long parade of free hats from Kelbourne Woolens (Year of Hats).

All Free Patterns!

      I've ripped it out several times trying to get Will's size head, 23 3/8's.  The first time following instructions seemed too tight for my 23" head and stiff, and I'm using # 7 needles.  While the design in the brim is so beautiful it made the brim stiffer and tighter than I liked.  So the second time I cast on 5 more stitches and did a 1 x 1 rib.  Softer with this rib, but too big now that I changed stitches.  When I got far enough to put on waste yarn it seemed too loose.  So the fancy rib pattern also made the brim tighter.  So, I'm back to 100 stitches on my needle and I'm trying a K2 X P2 rib which gives me an even amount of stitches on the needles.  I think this will do the trick.  After all my hat, The Simple Hat starts with 100 stitches on #7's to get a good fit for 23', so I ought to be good.




     Will requested Fall colors, browns, orange, red.  I love Malabrigo and found a color called Volcan.  A perfect choice of yarn in worsted, Rios.  Soft.  And I love the play of warm colors.  I hand wrapped the ball of Malabrigo Rios Yarn in Volcan from its hank and enjoyed the process of really looking at the colors.  Oranges, brown shaded in, subtle russets and red and a logan green.  Really warm and the simple pattern should display the yarn well.






     With my husband, I started Timeline by Michael Creighton on Audio.  My eldest Elisabeth had just finished it and said it was good.  We've both read the book (and seen the movie) but it's been decades and so far it's tremendous fun to do an audio book with my husband.  An adventure for sure, since he's almost deaf, but with new hearing aids he seems to be hearing it just fine.  And more knitting time for me!


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Thursday, November 7, 2019

When Knitting Is Your Place of Peace





     When life gets complicated and stress and disappointments arise knitting is my refuge.  It's a steadying point.  A place where I feel no matter what that I've returned home and I settle inside and find peace.  Daily adding to my Quick & Thick Scarf.  An easy knit, mindless and satisfyingly fast (even if I'm too busy to knit a lot, I see results).  It's free on Ravelry.




Come on by to our knitting group on Ravelry

 Ravelry Resistance Knitters.

We are currently working on a KAL for Cowls & Scarves for Asylum Seekers!!!


Contests for those that post they are in the KAL! First drawing Saturday, November  8th.

We have a direct connection to the head of Suenos Sin Fronteras who will personally see our knitted creations get to Asylum Seekers in Northeast Asylum Cities.  Brrr, it's getting cold, please remember our newest arrivals with kindness and ways to get them warm in body, soul, and heart!


     



     Still reading The Golden Hour, which I got through the Book of the Month club.  It's a really great book and being in BOTM has opened up so many books and authors, and genres I would of not normally know about and read. 




     At nights in bed and during my break at work I read "The Music Shop" on my kindle.  It's such a beautiful book.  Really nice to savor.  I love the words, the descriptions of music.  I just wished that I knew more about music and recognized all the musicians and musical pieces, but it's an inspiration to learn.  The story revolves around a music shop down a worn-down street in a city where all the shops are closing down.  Frank the music store owner only sells vinyl records, even in the face of new CDs.  He has the gift of selecting music for people and their emotional needs, but he is alone.  Then one day a mysterious woman walks in, who never listens to music, and Frank embarks on teaching her.  Very sweet and an amazing book.  Relishing it one chapter at a time.



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On a Thursday!




 




Friday, November 1, 2019

Quick & Thick Scarf

   


Thick & Quick Scarf

Pattern link at bottom
Ravelry Pattern - Quick & Thick Scarf


     It’s Colorado and the snow is falling in October! Great inspiration for a white woolly scarf.  That’s how this scarf started this week. I’ve adapted a simpler version of the Fisherman’s Rib called the Half Fisherman’s Rib. Essentially the original stitch produces a very thick, too thick scarf and after brainstorming a bit I thought certainly one can do a rib on one side and reduce the bulk? Turned out perfect! And then I found this less know stitch had a name. More details on the Half Fisherman’s Rib - How to knit the half Fisherman’s rib and Knit Below One (YouTube). It’s super simple and makes the knitting go so much faster than the original Fisherman’s Rib.  Pictures of this stitch say there’s a difference to the two sides, I can’t really see it. Both are beautiful to me.





  I’ve done this scarf up in Lion’s Wool-Ease Thick & Quick but I imagine it would be lovely if done in pure soft wool. Please share your experiences with this pattern on Ravelry.  The length is up to you! A manly short scarf or a really long one to wrap several times around your head. I really think this is a winner scarf and bound to make some lovely gifts during the holidays.


Pattern Link - Quick & Thick Scarf



Thursday, October 31, 2019

New Scarf on a Snowy Day

     


     Yes, this is Colorado and it snowed on and off all week!  We're on the Front Range, in front of those soaring 14,000 ft. mountains that trap most of the moisture on the other side so you have Aspen and skiing slopes.  But on this side, we have yuccas and cactus and sometimes little snow in the winter.  But we do get dumped on in the Spring and Fall when there's more moisture in the air.  So here it is October, the temperature is 20 degrees and there's piles of snow outside!  Great inspiration for a simple easy scarf called Quick & Thick Scarf!  And creamy white yarn reflects the new snow piled up (I love snow!!!).


Photo credit: David Reinhardt Schoeler Kellogg


New scarf pattern: "Quick & Thick Scarf" 

 It uses a less known version of the Fisherman's Rib stitch to make it quick and thick!  It's fairly simple, requires a couple of skeins of Lion's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn (or another Super Bulky yarn) and #15 needles. You can also find a coupon code in our Ravelry Resistance Knitters group on the thread for the Cowls & Scarves for Asylum Seekers KAL on Friday.  




      I'll be also publishing a new pattern - The Simple Cowl in Ravelry soon! 

 This pattern requires Lion's Heartland (or some other soft worsted) and #9 circular needles.  




   


      I'm also starting a new KAL on Friday, November 1st called "Cowls and Scarves for Asylum Seekers".  You'll find our KAL in the Ravelry Resistance Knitters group.  Come by,  join and plunge in!  We will be having drawings for prizes!!!

      All Cowls and Scarves are sent by crafters to Suenos Sin Fronteras to be sent to the Asylum Cities they help up in the Northeast.  We have the head of the organization, Laura in our Resistance Knitters group and we give you directions on how to get her personal address to ship items in the Ravelry Resistance Knitters group.






     I'm still reading The Golden Hour and loving it!  I just have small bits of time to read, so this book will be savored.





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On a Thursday!








Thursday, October 24, 2019

New Day, New Cardigan


     

     My schedule has changed with a new part-time job.  I'm learning how to dictate phone calls for the hearing impaired.  After training I have Thursdays off, so I thought I better switch my blog post days to Thursday.  So here I am!

© Life Is Cozy

     The call center where we work is beautiful.  One of those new buildings in North Colorado Springs with glassed walls filled with mountains marching in the horizon; Pikes Peak rising above them.  We get nice roomy cubicles and so far I'm very challenged; I will never be bored!  We repeat verbatim calls a few words behind a caller we can hear, and the computer types out what we say.  So the center is cold and I came up with the idea of making a cardigan for work to keep me warm.  Midnight after my shift this week I found this simple, free pattern Life is Cosy.  It's made in Super Bulky yarn, I'm using Lion's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Fossil and I've been working on it the past two days.  Ripping out a few times and finally, I got it started!  What fun.  It's going to be soft and cozy, and warm!



     Have I mentioned I can knit at work?  In between calls and right now as I listen to presentations.  Hats are my go-to, requiring no thought.  I've gotten a lot done, while I've learned a lot.  One thing only a knitter could understand; I am so more able to concentrate when my hands are occupied.  Glazing over?  I grab my knitting!  Miraculously, I wake up and are more attentive.  But I purposely picked two hats I'm knitting (The Simple Hat and a Sockhead) that are fairly mindless knitting.  Probably like a fidget for someone else.


(Mini pumpkin decorated during our mini-break at work; art supplies supplied. I've read Kindergarten art is the most free-flowing, replicating that level!😁)



     Halfway through The Golden Hour, a great read.  I highly recommend it.  Just well written; interweaving several time periods.  It goes from 1943 in England, back to the past in Bermuda in 1941, and then back to 1900.  I think it's taken half the book to understand why the switches, but it keeps you wondering what's around the corner.  A unique style of writing.  I'm really enjoying it.



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On a Thursday!





Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Simple Cowl




     Years ago I was in a Gap store trying to measure a cowl with my eyes, a pile laid out on the table.  Instantly I knew they were that perfect cowl size.  Trying it on was an instant sigh from me.  Just big enough to go over your head, but not too tight either.  A stockinette stitch, nothing fancy (which to my mind translates areas that can be scratchy).  I wanted it, but I couldn't afford it, so I memorized its size.  Years later I've been still trying to recreate that cowl.  I think I've got it!  The first cowl rolled and slumped too far away from my neck to do much good.  As Goldilocks said, this one's just right.




     I've created The Simple Cowl for a KAL I will host in Ravelry Resistance Knitters group on November 1st for the month.  The theme will be "Cowls & Scarves for Asylum Seekers".  We'll be knitting for Asylum Seekers in asylum cities in the Northeast.  We do have direct contact with the head of a relief organization that delivers our knits (more details in the group).




     The Simple Cowl is a partner to The Simple Hat pattern (free).




     My cowl pattern will be released on November 1st.  I'll be providing a coupon code in the Ravelry Resistance Knitters group on the thread for the "Cowls & Scarves for Asylum Seekers" KAL to get the cowl for free.  Otherwise, I'm changing a small price that in my mind might supply me in more yarn! 😁


Many of these are The Simple Hat:
Dknit52


     Our September - October Hats for Migrants KAL  is wrapping up this week and we've had lots of hats made for Asylum Seekers in Northeast cities.  Top knitters exceeded 30 hats!  One of our top hitters of knit hats was Dknit52 (hats above).





          I'm loving The Golden Hour  by Beatriz Williams.  Set in the Bahamas in 1941.  A reporter Lulu is trying to gather information about the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (the Duke is the Bahamas Governor during the war).  Personally, all I had known before this book was that the Duke had abdicated his throne to marry an American, which seemed romantic.  Little did I know, until I did a bit of research, that the couple were known for their sympathy to the Nazi regime.  Making several trips to Germany to fawn over Hitler.  Apparently, the former King Edward VIII of Britain was related to Czar Nicholas II who was killed with all his family by the Communists, so Edward favored Fascists.  The British feared that Hitler would kidnap Edward and the Germans almost did!  If they conquered England they wanted to install him as a puppet king.  But they narrowly missed him because he went to the Bahamas.  Churchill forced him to become Governor of the Bahamas because he knew what could happen.  How this plays out in the book I'm not far enough in to know, but I'm hooked and it's a great read so far.




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