Posts for : June 2016

The Big Blue (Highly Wearable) Rectangle 12

So the big blue rectangle has become what I think is going to be a highly wearable, pretty blue poncho. Go figure!

EFP-1

EFP-2

Despite the monotony of knitting what felt like miles and miles of stockinette, I’m glad I decided to make this.

For one thing the Rowan Felted Tweed yarn is one of the nicer yarns I’ve used lately. This was the first time I’d knit with it, and it felt good in my hands, wasn’t at all splitty, and produced a lovely (soft and  dense without being heavy) fabric. I’m surprised that something so light has such great drape.

I’m also a little surprised at how polished the finished piece looks despite the pattern’s stone cold  simplicity.

EFP-3

As alexandknits says so well in her run-down of The Giant Blue Rectangle, blocking is key, and blocking wires are a must. So is getting the shoulder seam right. Do those things, and you’re home free.

I’ve been looking at patterns for Paul’s sweater. That’s going to be my next project. And I have to tell you that sleeves, collar, and a bit of shaping are sounding pretty good right about now. I’m happy to be  leaving the the endless stockinette behind. That said, I love that I have this versatile new addition to my wardrobe.

I love you, summer . . . 6

Somehow, I’ve ended up with a lovely window of down time for a couple of weeks. I’m in between summer classes, perched on the dash in the middle of the crazy long sentence that is my current editorial project. The timing couldn’t be nicer.

The weather is fabulous, and this past week, I’ve gotten to do all sorts of decadent things including taking my wheel to the creek to spin.

Spinning-4web

I also went hiking with my friend D. We like to trek out to this little waterfall.

Falls

The going is strenuous at times but not overly so, and the reward is this pretty spot at the end. Plus . . . you almost always meet a dog or three. Today, we visited with this sweetie. Her name is Cocoa. She’s eleven years young. She’s apparently been hiking with her dad and her two human sisters since she was a puppy, so she’s kind of a pro.

Cocoa

She approved of my handknit socks.

Handknits In Action

Other things I’ve gotten to do this week are work in the garden:

Garden

And do yoga on the deck:

Yoga

Snuggle with Augie in the mornings:

Augie Paw

And watch the sun set in the evenings:

Summer-Evening

Isn’t summer wonderful?

On the knitting front, the big blue rectangle is finished. Pictures of that next time. Be well, my friends.

 

Wear It Every Day Sweater 6

CPY Sweater 1Behold the Crystal Palace Yarn sweater! Its proper name is He’ll Wear It Every Day (from The Yarn Girls’ Guide to Simple Knits). As you can guess from the pattern name, it’s actually sized for men. I knew it would be a bit big, but I just knit the smallest version and went down a needle size. It’s definitely roomy, but I think it’ll be fine for knocking around.

Crystal-Palace-Yarn-Sweater-2

I found the pattern when I was looking for a quick sweater knit in pieces to remind myself what it was like to knit set-in sleeves. I’m planning a sweater for Paul and was thinking this construction might suit him better than a seamless sweater would. It had been so long since I’d done it, though, that I wanted to find out if it was really as big of a pain in rear as I remembered.

Guess what. It wasn’t!

Since the last time I knit a sweater this way, I’ve discovered Amy Herzog, and I think I must have been channeling her when I did the sleeve caps.

Crystal-Palace-Yarn-Sweater-4

I’m not saying it wasn’t a little tedious, but the shoulder seam makes for such a nice fit that I think it’s worth it. I don’t find nearly as many patterns for sweaters with set-in sleeves as I used to, though, so I’m going to have to do a little looking to choose something for Paul.

Meanwhile I’ve got the never-ending, giant blue rectangle to keep me busy. Surely . . . SURELY, I will finish it today. If I don’t, my next blog post will probably be from the psych ward.

At least when I was working on the infamous blue rectangle this weekend, I had the company of lots of other knitters to keep my spirits up. Our local fiber contingent got together for World Wide Knit in Public day and spent the afternoon knitting outdoors in beautiful Jonesborough.

WWKIP-Day-2016

This picture is of my BFF Cari and me. I say this every year, I think, but we actually MET on WWKIP day four years ago! How’s that for a knitting fairy tale?!

Wednesday 2

The Crystal Palace Yarn sweater is finished and blocking. I hope to have pictures of it later this week–Monday at the latest. For such a simple, spur-of-the-moment knit, it’s turned out to be something I think I might really enjoy wearing.

Today, I’ve been working on the Easy Folded Poncho. We went to my dad’s so Paul could mow the lawn, and while we visited, I spent a little time making the big blue rectangle bigger. It’s almost finished. Thank goodness. As much as I actually like the look of plain stockinette, I get a little stir crazy when I spend too much time knitting it.

easy-folded-poncho

This is the tree I was sitting under.

tree

It’s an enormous old maple. When I’m near it, I can’t help but breathe and relax. I think about how while it’s been patiently rising and growing and being its incredible tree self, so much has happened in the world, good things but also bad and scary things. Knowing it was here in this spot, spreading its limbs and roots and being home for birds and squirrels, standing in the rain, reaching toward the sun, making a place of shade in the heat of the day . . . knowing that it kept on doing all these things through so many human ups and downs and that it’s still here . . . it helps me.

And while we’re talking nature, take a look at this little guy.

butterfly

Isn’t he beautiful? He spent some time hanging out around my spider flowers today. They’re blooming like crazy.

Turning to more frivolous pleasures, when we got home from my dad’s and running errands, I found this goodie in the mail.

project-bag

Sometimes when I’m in a real work crunch, I buy things. I have a strategy that keeps this from being as bad as it sounds in that I will put off purchases I’m going to need to make anyway until one of these work crunch periods arises. Then I bleed off the work tension by buying the new yoga mat to replace the disintegrating one I’ve been using for the last five or so years, or I go ahead and order the case of giardiniera we love but can’t get in Tennessee.

The recent work madness was pretty intense, though. Hence the new project bag. I’ll be getting a few more in the mail this week. This one cracks me up. It’s from the StitchesPlusPurls Etsy shop.

The new issue of Ply also came today’s mail.

ply

I’ve been putting together my plan for this year’s Tour de Fleece, and it wasn’t going to involve spinning bulky yarn. After looking through the articles in this issue, though, I might have to reconsider.

I hope you are well, my knitting friends. Wishing you love and light.

this fresh morning 8

seaming-4

Someone is stealing weeks. It has to be that, or how it could be June 13th?! Yikes!

It turned out I wasn’t quite fully healed by the peach. It helped, but it took until the end of last week for me to feel like I was totally back on track. As a testament to my improved condition, I returned to the Crystal Palace yarn sweater I left in pieces before my trip to Texas and started the seaming.

seaming-1

Lola swears she put snuggling on the calendar for that time slot.

seaming-2

We finally worked out the details.

seaming-3

I finished the shoulders and the sleeve caps, and I’m hoping to do the rest today. Then, it’ll be on to the neck, and that’ll be it. I’m kind of excited.

In other news it’s my favorite time of year in the garden.

tomato

squash

beans

Everything is looking hopeful and healthy.

All of this means so much, especially today, as I think about all the people closely affected by the horrible, horrible events in Orlando. The words that keep running through my mind are Mary Oliver’s lines from “Invitation,” one of my favorite poems in her collection Red Bird:

it is a serious
thing
just to be alive
on this fresh
morning
in this broken world.

 

Just Peachy 6

Today, I ate the best peach I’ve had in at least a decade. It changed everything.

Peaches_sm

Since my last post, I’d managed to come out on the other side of my work nightmare and walk right into being really pretty sick. I ended up with my third case of shingles. It’s rare to have it more than once, but it happens.

I’d been feeling sorry for myself for several days and basically doing nothing but the work I absolutely had to get done and knitting on the endless rectangle that is the Easy Folded Poncho.

Easy-Folded-Poncho_sm

The knitting was knitting, so it was great, but the stir crazy was setting in. On a whim I went for a drive.

Drive

I happened upon a roadside farm stand. Just visiting with the farm stand people and seeing the pretty fruit and veggies was nice, but the peaches. Ohhhh, the peaches. Language is not adequate to describe the peach I bit into after lunch. It’s amazing how one thing can change your perspective. This peach did. I’m pretty sure it healed me. I might have heard angels. I definitely closed my eyes and wimpered for several seconds.

I’m telling you about this because it’s what I have right now. Thank you for indulging me.

Here’s the Geek-A-Long square I finished in the tiny window between work hell and coming down with the plague.

Plants-vs-Zombies_sm

Now that I’ve been healed by the peach, I think I might return to my English Mesh Lace Scarf and leave the poncho for car knitting. I’ll be back with an update of some sort soon.

I hope you are well and knitting and about to find a peach as wonderful as the one I had today.

Peaches-2

Or some plums.

Plums_sm