Friday, June 30, 2006

Blue Mittens

Here's the start of a mitten I'm knitting in Rowan Kid Classic. Just for fun, I photographed it with a cup and saucer from a Victorian child's teaset.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Garden and Dog Pics

It's quite dim and foggy out and we've had a little rain, but I've been out enjoying the garden today. My husband saw a hummingbird this morning and I was hoping it would come back so I could see it. I think it will like these bee balm flowers:

The hollyhocks are looking pretty.

And the bush bean plants are getting quite large.

Saffy kept flopping down in front of me as I walked around. I guess she wanted me to rub her tummy, but I didn't really want to rub a soggy dog!

Silas just wanted to play with his toys and hoped Saffy would chase him. (His paws got wet from the ground and his toenails look enormous here! They really aren't that huge looking in person!!)

I bought Knitscene Fall 2006 at Barnes and Noble last night. I love #13, #18 and #25!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rainy Day Update

The shawl is on hold for now while I order some other yarn. I'll be able to decide what to use when I have the choices in front of me. I know I'll be able to use up any extra yarn I end up with! In the meantime, I'm working on finishing some wip's and have also started a pair of mittens using Rowan Kid Classic.

Thanks to She Knits by the Seashore, I am now fixated on yarns from Australia! Check out the links in this post. And you probably know what a magazine junky I am, well she pointed out two I'd never seen before, so I'm going to have to order a couple issues of those as well!!

I'm having a little less time for knitting as my garden is in the height of Weed Season! I was actually out in the rain this morning hoeing rows. I got the beans, peppers, zukes, cukes and some flowers hoed. If it ever stops raining and dries up a bit, my husband will run the tiller along the pathways, so I don't have to weed those by hand. I set up a little fence along the cukes, so they can climb if they are so inclined.

The flower gardens are looking a little bedraggled in the rain and a couple of holly hock stems (they are 7 feet tall!) have broken off in the wind, but for the most part things should perk up when the sun comes out. I'm letting a lot of plants go to seed rather than cutting them back so I can collect the seeds and add to the gardens next year. So far, I've been able to harvest a lot of Knautia. There should be a lot more very soon.

I've had some extra privet shrubs growing in a row in the veggie garden for awhile as I wasn't sure what to do with them. I finally had an idea for them yesterday! I am going to move them to the end of the mini-orchard and plant them in a row. As they grow and thicken, I will cut an archway thru them!! I think it's going to be so pretty and it will be an architectural element for the garden. I'm not as hoity-toity as that sounds ;-). I'd love to have some old stone ruins like you see in English gardens, but no such history here, so I'll have to make my own in hedge form! It should look interesting in winter as well. So, wish me luck with all the digging and replanting! If only I could get the dogs to dig where I want the holes...

I have also been busy picking and shelling peas over the past few days. I've been getting a plastic grocery bag full each day. Shelling all those peas tends to stain my thumbs green, so I end up literally having a 'green thumb'!

My husband and I watched "Failure to Launch" last night and enjoyed it--especially the scene with the yellow labrador!

And, if you also love yellow labs, check out 2paws for lots of dogs pics and stories. I just found that blog yesterday and enjoyed it.

Well, I'm off to knit now!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Weekend Stuff

This weekend, I was eyeing my growing number of yarn scraps from finished projects and wondering how to figure out how many yards were left and what was enough for another project. Then I remembered: I have a nifty, digital kitchen scale! So, I weighed the leftovers and wrote the weights and yardage on the bands. Then, I went even further and weighed finished objects and figured out which I had enough yarn to duplicate! I feel soooo organized!

I found I had just enough purple RYC Cashcotton left to make another hat with flower, so I knitted up one of those to give away. I also made a lot of progress on the lace headband for my mother and should be able to get that in the mail to her this week.

My Dad got the cashmere blend scarf for his birthday this weekend and was really pleased with it. I know it's a weird gift for June, but he can save it for fall!

If you've read my list of current projects in the sidebar, you'll see that I've listed a shawl from Sirdar #319. Well, I'm trying out a different type of yarn than suggested by the pattern. I'm not absolutely sure that I like my choice yet. The pattern shows un-mercerized cotton which would be nice and soft, of course. I bought mercerized cotton which is going to have a very different feel to it. It's Sonata from and is peacock green. I actually think of it as sort of a mermaid green that could be pretty for summer over a tee or tank. That is, if it works out and if I manage to finish it!! I cast on last week and worked 8 rows. At that point I pretty much had the pattern in my head. Now, I'm actually thinking about frogging those rows and starting again as I think I can do a neater job now that I've got the hang of the pattern. The mercerized cotton is certainly able to handle frogging and re-working ok. So, this shawl is going to be a looong project for me and I'll probably need lots of encouragement! And, I'm still not sure that I won't just buy the suggested yarn and do it in that after all! Ack! I'm certainly having a lot of indecision about this project!!!

I bought Issue 16 of Simply Knitting at Barnes and Noble and it has a little 'how to' article about knitting blogs!

I'll have some more knitting pics soon. I actually have to buy needles for some of the projects in my To Do list that I already have yarn for.

What a lot of rain we got this weekend! The weeds are growing like mad and the lawn needs mowing again. Fortunately, yummy things are also growing in the garden. I can't wait for these blueberries to ripen!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006


I picked the first peas from the garden on June 23rd!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Dog Pics From Yesterday

Saffy resting in a lawn chair. Just look at that turkey neck!

Silas wanted to play, so he brought the rope over to get Saffy's attention.

Saffy decided to humor him and they trotted around the yard holding onto the rope together.

I don't think I have properly introduced the dogs, so here's some information about them. Saffy is short for Saffron. On walks at night, I noticed how bright she is in moonlight, so I decided her full name would be Saffron Moonglow! She is an 'English type' yellow lab and is 6 years old. We adopted Silas from a Petsmart store where he was left with all his litter mates. He's a lab mix and is 3 years old. They both have strong personalities and lots of energy. In other words, they can be devious and hyper, but we love them ;-)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hat With Flower

Here's my second hat! This is a side view (with the back toward the right of the picture). I'm actually encouraging a little roll on the edge as I like the way it looks in this case.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's Yarn in Bloom

I knitted this little flower last night using Rowan Cashcotton DK. I have plans to attach it to a simple hat I'm making in the same color. The flower was so fun to knit up that I'm thinking about making some for another project...details coming soon!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lace Hat

I enjoyed knitting up the lace hat from Sirdar #319. The pattern was very clear and my substituted yarn was in gauge perfectly. However, I'm wondering if the shape of this hat is for me? I'm worried it may look more 'peasant' than 'rock & roll', lol! Perhaps I just need to get used to it and I'm sure some makeup would help a lot. It still needs blocking to keep the hem from rolling, so it's going under a wet towel in a few minutes. Once again, the pic was taken with an arm outstretched and in the bathroom lighting, so it's not the best and the gray color is much prettier in person.


Here are my dogs, Saffy and Silas!

Both dogs love to have cool showers under the hose. Here's Saffy demonstrating how she sits with her back to me so I can soak her!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Weekend Knitting

What a great summery weekend! It was so hot that the dogs wanted a lot of cool showers from the hose! I had lots of time to knit and finished the 'raspberry' wrist warmers...

...and then made another pair in blue!

Sunday, I started my first hat ever! It's the lace hat from Sirdar #319 California Girls in Luxury Soft Cotton, but using Rowan's Cashmerino dk instead as I had it in my stash. This is knitting up quickly, so check back for a finished pic soon :-)

Even more flowers are blooming in my gardens now! Here's a pic of the Canterbury Bells.

Oh, I ordered some DK cotton from too! It's for the shawl in Sirdar #319.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Goodies in the Mail, etc.

Yesterday, Sirdar #319 California Girls Luxury Soft Cotton arrived from McA Direct. I have to get some DK yarn, but I'd like to do the shawl first and then one of the shrugs.

Also, my purl order arrived (nicely packaged as you can see in the pic). I had ordered a couple of 8 inch long circular needles for making fingerless gloves in the round. I knew the needles would be small, but was still surprised how tiny they looked in person!!

I cast on right away for the fingerless gloves in Last Minute Knitted Gifts and the first round was hard going, but it got easy by the third or fourth row. I actually managed to finish one glove last night!

Here's another picture of my garden. I know I've been posting a lot of flower pics lately, but I can't help it! This is the best time of year in the garden :-) The pink and white flowers are centranthus and the blue is penstemon.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Would you like to knit with these colors?

These are Sweet Williams blooming in my garden now. Just think how fabulous some self striping socks would look in these colors!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Yarnmarket Order

Aren't these colors gorgeous? It is Noro Cash Iroha for making two pairs of fingerless gloves from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It has a wonderful soft texture and I can't wait to knit with it.

Also in my order was Rebecca #31 and I'm planning to make some of the summer tops. I think I will substitute with Knit Picks Shine worsted and sport to save on cost.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Change to Comments Settings

I've changed my comments settings to allow anyone to leave comments. You no longer have to be registered with blogger. I'm sorry if I excluded anyone! Thanks for visiting :-)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Obsessed With Edges

Everyone thinks scarves are the simplest thing to knit, but I think they can be a bit tricky. You have no room for error in a scarf! You can't tuck that crooked edge into a seam and obscure it forever; it's right there in plain view.

In my last post, I was having a dilemma about whether to join a new ball of yarn on the edge of the scarf or whether to knit in a little way and then join. On the blue, moss stitched scarf, I joined the new balls on the edge as suggested by the book I was using. My gut feeling was telling me I'd be better off joining in a little from the edge. When I got it all done and wove in the ends, the very edge of the scarf was slightly uneven looking in those two joining spots. Mainly it's caused by the weight of the scarf pulling a bit at those spots. Really I'm the only one that notices it, but it matters to me. I want to do it right!

My husband immediately claimed the blue scarf as is, so I won't frog that to perfect the edges. Instead, I quickly knitted up another scarf in the same yarn though in a slightly different stitch pattern. This time, I paid extra attention to the areas where I joined a new ball and I've decided that I prefer to join new balls in a little from the edge. At least, this is what works for me when I'm using solid colors and this thick yarn. I know when I do striped scarves that I have to join at the edges and that hasn't been a problem with the one I've done with a different yarn.

I'm still interested in suggestions or referrals to books or websites with good pictures or descriptions about making edges look neat. All right, that's all my obsessing about edges for now.

The pic is of my latest scarf. It's done in Debbie Bliss Super Chunky Cashmerino using a pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I plan to give it to my Dad for his birthday.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Men's Dress Scarf

Here is a detail of a men's dress scarf that I finished today. It's done with Debbie Bliss Super Chunky Cashmerino on US 10.5 needles. I'm mostly happy with it. However, I'm a bit disappointed with how the yarn joinings came out.

Readers, I would really value your imput on this: when joining a new ball of yarn on a scarf, do you do it on the end of a row or in a few stitches from the edge? The book I was using said to do it at the end, but this didn't work out so well for me. Also, is there any special trick to weaving ends into moss stitch so they don't show?

The non-knitters who look at my scarves don't seem to see the joinings, but I would like to make them better anyway!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Shopping Therapy

Yesterday, we had a nor'easter (isn't this June?) and the sky was dark, it was windy and the rain was coming down sideways. The best thing I could do was curl up on the couch and alternate between knitting and browsing through my newest knitting books in an effort to distract myself from the fact that my gardens were being flattened by the weather. Today, it looks like a herd of elephants cavorted in the lupines. Eight of my tomato plants are snapped in two. I can't go on; you get the picture. I really needed a pick me up after surveying the damage. What to do? Did someone say shopping?

Well, I love the look of the hand warmers in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, so I ordered supplies to make two sets of them. For yarn, I chose Noro Cash Iroha in Burgundy (84) and Sage Blue (92) from Yarn Market. I also ordered the necessary needles (Clover, circular, US6, 8 inches long) from Purls.

And, as if I don't have enough patterns on my to do list, I ordered a couple that I've been eyeing for awhile. First, Rebecca #31 from Yarn Market. I've never seen this magazine in person, but it looks exciting in the pics online. Also, Sirdar Booklet 319: California Girls in Luxury Soft Cotton as I think shrugs are fun to knit up and I'd like to try the tank, shawl and hats as well! That one is ordered from McA Direct.

I'm feeling a little better with these items on the way. I'll share pics when they arrive!

For now, here's a picture of my butterfly garden before the storm.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Fabulous Books in the Mail

Yesterday, I had such a nice surprise in the mail. My inlaws collaborated to send me two knitting books from my wish list. They chose 'Last Minute Knitted Gifts' and 'The Sweater Workshop'.

Both books are filled with inspiring photos. I'd like to try all the patterns in LMKG! From TSW I look forward to learning how to customize seamless sweaters.

Last night, I was anxious to get started on something from one of the new books. I've had some Rowan Kid Silk Haze in my stash for awhile and decided to use it for the Eyelet Lace Scarf in LMKG.

That fine spun fiber really tried my patience at first! It was tough getting started and several times I almost ripped it off the needles, but I kept going and it actually started to look pretty and got easier as I got a rhythm going. Clearly it will need to be blocked, but I think it's going to turn out all right! Perhaps in the spirit of the book, I'll give it to my grandmother!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Pet Pics

I know my fellow Knitting Kitty and Purling Puppy bloggers have been waiting for new pics of my pets, so here are some I took today!

Saffy stopped to smell the wiegalia blossoms in the yard.

Bandit looks very sleepy here as he was having a nap in a cardboard box that a yarn order came in.

He had some fun yesterday! My husband was vacuuming the back hall with the shop vac and Bandit was just laying there in the way, so my husband started vacuuming Bandit! He liked it! He just rolled around on the floor and even wanted his tummy vacuumed. Do we have a weird cat or what?! Does anyone else vacuum their cat?