My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

A Mystery Yarn


     I discover a ball of forgotten Alpaca Lace, actually, the cat discovered it and thankfully didn't ruin it, after batting it around for a while.  I knew I'd gotten the yarn for a specific purpose, but I couldn't remember what for.  I also remembered it was Knitpicks.  That's all I knew.  And it was soft and by my standards tiny, tiny thin thread.  So with a bit of hunting, I found it was Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud Lace in a dark navy called Edgar.  

     So a new way for me to dream up appropriate projects is to look up the yarn on Ravelry and see what previous projects were done in that yarn.  In this instance, Alpaca Cloud Lace had over 10k projects, but I plowed on thinking it's such a lovely soft yarn but what in the world do you do with it?  I was quickly disabused of its supposed limitations and I found a so soft & simple asymmetrical scarf called Fluff.  I saw I could knit it singly into this lovely soft scarf but in the back of my mind, there was a certain purpose I had for this yarn.  What was it?  The next day as I looked for the right size knitting needles I came across the lovely yarn my oldest daughter gave to me a few years ago.  Now, this ball of something silk, Wool and perhaps Alpaca is in a size called "cobweb".  Yup, it's aptly named, and if I thought Lace was small, well this was something else.  I had carefully wrapped it into a ball, all 1,000 plus yards.  At the time I wondered what to do with this gorgeous, but super downsized tiny yarn?  I'm not into Lace knitting, preferring my knitting to be rhythmic and peaceful. (Apparently, my daughter who knits Colonial balls, a pincushion, in very fine lace silk yarn on 00 needles wanted to challenge me.)  So my thought was to find a coordinating Lace wt. yarn and do something knit together.  So hence the Alpaca Cloud. 

     So I started my Shawl called "Fluff" in both Yarns held together on a size #9 needle.  I'm really happy with the result.  The yarns together don't show off the beautiful cobweb yarn my daughter gave me but this project will take under 500 yds; so I have plenty of cobweb yarn left for a simple Shawl, almost a scarf done in a simple lace design that will show off that yarn called Spring Festival Scarf.

mewkittie's Another Fluff

perrineleblanc's Fluff !

bluelilystyle's Prune Fluff !

  I started a new book series: CJ Box's Joe Pickett series.  Totally a new genre; a cross between modern western and mystery set in Wyoming.  The main character Joe Picket is a Game Warden for Wyoming who has endearing qualities that make him real, as opposed to macho.  He has a family with a young precocious daughter also featured in the plot who finds a "secret" pet in the woodpile, vaguely described as a ferret.  A mysterious murder happens which many seem to want to declare solved while Joe sees the discrepancies and continues to investigate.  The landscape is such a fundamental part of the book and describing Wyoming issues are important plot detail.  Really interesting and riveting.  Lots of books to go and the upside is I can share with my husband and when done there's a TV series.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Twists of Life: Wednesday's Yarns


Blue Hat found in post:

     Hey yesterday (really today as I write this) Life took it's sudden turn as it's want to do unexpectedly.   I started the same way, going through my morning ablutions struggling with stupid negative thoughts, as usual.  Not knowing something is coming down the pike that swiftly makes my dark memories as nothing.  My husband calls and says: "I'm in the hospital".  I reply, as the family's self-appointed person that feels I must be positive at all times: "Well, you're talking you must be O.K."  Well he sliced almost all the way through his pinky while fixing a intake valve or something on the roof of a Senior facility he manages.  His job is his hands.

     Thankfully my youngest daughter was home from college.  She's a steady one and together we spent the day in the ER.  His pinky is sewn on and we wait a few days to see if the surgeon thinks it's salvageable.   Thankfully the whole hand wasn't cut by this fan he was fixing.  Horribly understaffed he should of had help.  Sigh. Well now they need to hire  someone to help him.

The large Blue & Green knit is the

     So, a day in the ER is immeasurably better with knitting.  Getting ready to go I purposefully packed a bag with 3 knitting projects.  Have knitting have peace.  My daughter watches the stitching,  I knit not handling the sight of blood too well. It's been a long day.  I'm having a bath.  My daughter is watching old sitcoms with Dad.  I will be thankful for my knitting and to a God that knows.  

🙏 if you do that his pinky is saved.

P.S. A few days later the Dr says it's healing well, he's in lots of pain from dropping the opiod but he'll be O.K. with a whole finger. Such relief. Apparently fingers heal really well, we were told.  It's so hard to believe considering how detached it was.  Totally a miracle how the body is made. 

     So as for reading, I finished a really nice Rom-com the day before: "Say Yes" by Maxine Morrey.   But when life gets tough it just doesn't work to read a feel good book.  So I didn't want to read her next book right now.  My insides feel ripped apart and jagged.  So I scanned my downloaded Kindle Library.  It's rather big with books I either thought to read or started and didn't continue.  Also tons of samples.  I perused "Peril" by Woodward which starts after the attack on the Capital.  But I still am tired of reading about He-Who-Will-Not-be-Named. Maybe next year I'll attack the Woodward books on his presidency; very well written.

     So next I thought of a book I started and at some point I have to finish.  Again I just couldn't handle the topic any more; this time Covid.  The book "The Premonition "by Michael Lewis is about the medical and scientific community that tried to avert the Covid disaster.  In it is mentioned that President Bush was engrossed in a book one summer about the Spanish Flu called "The Great Influenza" by John M. Berry (also a great book to read I have heard, it's on my to be read shelf).  He then immediately ordered a team to create a pandemic response of protocols if something happened.  These were ignored at the time Covid happened, even though still in place. The book is about the missed opportunities and the lengths Dr's & Scientists went to fight the Pandemic.  

     Thinking of these books I remembered a new book I got which is Green Cli-Fi, as dubbed by the New York Times.  "Deluge" by Stephen Markley is a Sci-Fi like disaster book dealing with an apocalyptic ending because of Climate change.  Fiction but based on real science and today's issues and possibly tomorrow's problems.  Really tough material to read, and perhaps a bit too much right now; but I got it because it did sound like a gripping, eyeopening read. 

     So I moved on from those books, not exactly hitting the spot, to fiction.  I perused a Longmire book I have "Another Man's Moccasins" number 4 in the series.  If you've watch the series, which is great, the books are even better.  I read the first 3 books a few years ago collecting some of the books later in the series.  Book 4 opens with Longmire's daughter Katie obviously post some major accident and I'm thinking I can'tclearly remember the previous events so maybe I should just start over.  I have all the first books, so I'll do that.  So that left me with CJ Box.  I tried to order the first book "Open Season" used online from Better World Books, my favorite online Used store (they donate a book for each one you order, and do green things, and are very cheap).  But we moved and my address was not updated.  The book traveled the US and back again.  Sigh, they refunded me but no book.  I'll try again but meanwhile I'll try the first book online and see if I like it.  I wanted the books for my husband to read them too.  So tomorrow I'll see if that story hits the spot.  If it doesn't maybe I should go back and check out the Cli-fi book.  Certainly apocalypse and the World's end should make today's hardship seem small in comparison?

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Wednesday's Yarns: More on the Planispiral Shawl

     I figured out how to do my Planispiral Shawl.  I put it away over a year ago after almost 400 yards into it.  I thought if I gave it a break I might get excited about it again and I was right.  It's a totally a relief to get back to my favorite knitting with fingering yarn and I love doing shawls.  I've  spent the winter knitting mostly Chunky projects and DK wt Fingerless Gloves or my Fall Worsted Shawl (a favorite I'll be sure to repeat and blog details); but nothing in fingering.  I forgot how easy it was to do the Planispiral Shawl once you get the hang of it.  Perfect for reading my Kindle Paperwhite while it's propped up on a pillow.  My fingers easily keep track of stitches.


     The yarn is such a treat!  I wanted to replicate exactly what the designer did with his Shawl, I thought it so stunning.  So I got the Heritage Wave by Cascade Yarns in Tropical; but I didn't know how soft it be.  And it is as vibrant in its colors as the pictures. 

     I'm still with the British author Maxine Morrey in spite of my determination to read some more serious literature.   I will still move on but the Morrey series are nice warm feel good stories with happy endings.  I just find them cozy.  The last book of hers "You Only Live Once" was a winner and I just started "Just Say Yes".  Many of her books are on Unlimited kindle, which I love for finding lighter but fun reads.  

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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Wednesday's Yarns: Hats for Ukrainians

     Every fall I have a KAL/CAL (Knit-Along and Crochet-Along) to knit hats for people in need in our Ravelry group Resistance Knitters.  We've knit for Migrants and also Ukrainians.  Last Spring 2022 we mobilized our knitters in the Facebook group Resistance Knitters Persist and in the Ravelry group: Ravelry Resistance Knitters and got hats on the first shipment out to Poland from Lifting Hands International Utah


     This last Fall 2022 I had a KAL in the Ravelry Resistance Knitters group.  We had only a few people but some had been knitting since the Spring.  I always hope that any effort we make has a ripple effect that touches others.  One such effect from our Spring knitting at the onset of the war was there were a couple of ladies who either continued to knit more on their own hats or they created a group to also knit.  One such lady created a church group of knitters and continued knitting hats and winter accessories through the Spring and Summer to save for the Fall and they contacted Lifting Hands International themselves and found out what they could make for the warm months (I'll post on that later with a feature on small palm-sized dolls called "Izzy" dolls). Izzy Teddy Bear Dolls

     So when I started my Fall KAL last year I had about 2 ladies contributing but they had saved up all their efforts to create hats since probably around March.  Around March, towards April, Lifting Hands stops collecting winter accessories, or if they get them they save them for the Fall to come.  

     So my thoughts were to start knitting hats and save them till this Fall 2023.  I'm a slow knitter and this would help me actually get more than a couple done to give.  Also, I love knitting hats!  When I want a mindless knit that doesn't require anything of me and I can read at the same time, a hat is my favorite go-to.  And despite the feet of snow out the door here in Maine, I do believe Spring has to come, so knitting warm hats for myself or my family just isn't going to interest me. 

      And I have blue and yellow yarn stashed aside for just Ukrainian hats.  A very nice Swish yarn from Knitpicks.  Soft washable %100 Wool.  And if you knit hats for charity wool is grand but I think acrylic has its place as more hypoallergenic and very washable and affordable; I just really like this yarn and it's really affordable for real wool.

  I designed a hat for a KAL a few years ago, it's called The Simple Hat and it's a great go-to for knitting for Migrants and Refugees.

Links to Helpful Sites:     

  • The Simple Hat
  • Lifting Hands International Utah
  • Ravelry Resistance Knitters I hope to run another KAL in the Fall but There's lots of info and patterns from previous KALs.
  • Resistance Knitters Persist Please come ask to join if you share a need to protest the tough spots in life whether political or help newly arrived migrants or send relief in International crises like the war in Ukraine in a peaceful & creative manner.  Sometimes all you can do is your small part and knit, but it's enough and through peaceful and non-violent means we show concern and hopefully make this world a little better.  It also calms the soul in distressing times

     For my reading these days I've been choosing very light but comforting reads by Maxine Morrey.  I'm just finishing "The Year of Saying No" which has been a delight.  She really fleshes out her characters and I always fall in love with them.  I'm going on to read one of her newer books " You Only Live Once".

     I belong to the Book of the Month club which has given me a bookcase filled with mostly books I haven't read; which was a dream of mine (vs. having a bookcase of books you have already read).  I save my all-time favorites and give away my books I've read so I get to share the love.  And all history books are of course treasured and saved.  

     So my next read is a book I just got from Book of the Month by Jojo Moyes who is an author definitely in my favorite category.   Usually, she knows how to pull the heartstrings and she is a master at creating characters and unique settings.  I'll let you know how it is. 📚 🤔 Random House Review 


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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Wednesday's Yarns: Planispiral Shawl


     I'm celebrating March 1st and trying to have Spring thoughts.  Here in Maine on the coast it snowed the past two days.  I'm hoping to stick my nose (and the rest of me) out for a walk this afternoon.  

     But in my knitting world I'm restarting a pattern I started 2 years ago.  It's lovely, but a huge round Shawl and I was ready to put it away for awhile knowing I'd get more excited picking it up afresh.  The beautiful  Planispiral Shawl is knit up in  Heritage Wave by Cascade Yarns. 

By Nick Davis

     Pretty simple to knit when you get the hang of it, but honestly I'm going to have to work through the directions and get my hands on it to figure it out.  There's a shift every round to make it round and a trick to do it.  Now I need to take one project off a 40" Circular Needle, put it away on yarn and then switch it onto my Planispiral to give it more room.

     Maxine Morrey is my current favorite author.  Another British author with a long list of fresh rom-coms that focus more on the main gal than the guy.  I like that.  Her books seems to cover daily life and overcoming some weakness.  The focus on character building than the romance.  This time in "My Year of Saying No" Lottie, who is self employed has a growing friendship with one of her main clients.  One we can guess where it's going.  She's adopted a cuddly dog from the shelter and is trying at her friend's urging to get out more.  It's just a very pleasant upbeat read that makes you smile.

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