Thursday, August 15, 2013

We interrupt the yarn lovefest for.....wood

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that we have wood birdhouses on plant hangers spread throughout our back gardens.  I finished a couple more a few weeks ago:

J was also persuaded to paint up one that was shaped to look like an aircraft carrier:

He painted the planes to be representative of colors used on WWII era planes (apparently he was quite a model plane builder back in his younger years) but what I want to call attention to is the way he painted the bottom of the birdhouse:

He painted it to look like the ship is plowing through the water, complete with whitecaps and color shading.  I had no idea I was married to the Bob Villa of prefabricated bird house painting.

Monday, August 12, 2013

(Wo)man cannot live by knitting socks alone

In addition to all those socks I've been churning out, I have also been working on a summer shrug, which comes from the summer 2013 edition of Love of Knitting.  The official pattern name is "Little Black Shrug" but I had a violet colored yarn (originally purchased to make the Opening Night sweater I started in February, but it was the wrong weight) so that's what I'm using.

 The yarn is Berroco Comfort solid.  I love the draping and the eyelet pattern.  I ripped it out once due to some stitches that went awry (and since I'm starting with the back, there's no fudging the pattern on an area that exposed) so instead of doing the 2-inch ribbing for the bottom as picked-up stitches when the back was complete, I cast on with those and then switched to a larger sized needle to continue.  I really don't like picking up stitches.  I also really don't like knitting with heavy wool in really hot weather, because I've set that Opening Night project aside for many weeks now.  I do need to get back to it, winter is coming.

Currently on the loom - a scarf:

I had purchased the tweed yarn to be part of the new! and improved! plan to weave a blanket out of that enormous amount of burgundy-red yarn I have (you might remember my disastrous first attempt, which I wrote about here) but it just didn't work, so I decided to turn it into a scarf.  There is no intended recipient for this scarf, but it's always good to have something on hand.  It's also a fast project.  I hope.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Squirrels gather nuts, I make socks

My preparation for colder weather continues as I am on a sock-knitting binge.  I finished those Halloween socks in 13 days, and they came out great:

I was so pleased with them I decided to make myself another pair:

.....which took me 14 days this time.  The yarn is Araucania Ranco Multy, and the photo above does not do the beautiful color blend justice.  It is a random variegated yarn, which meant that I didn't need to unwind any of the skein to start the second sock.  It is the little things in life that are so thrilling to me.  Or I'm easily amused.  Probably both.  They are a lovely neutral color that will look great with everything.  I could almost say I'm looking forward to cooler weather.  Almost.  Notice I did not say, "winter."  I will never look forward to winter weather.

I have also started a new project with leftover sock yarn called The Beekeeper's Quilt. I must have seen this pattern for the first time on Ravelry, (although for a long time I thought I might have seen in in a past issue of Love of Knitting) and I have been dreaming of it for quite some time now.  I finally broke down and bought it, and I've knit up the first few half-dozen of what the designer calls "hexipuffs" for this quilt. 

It will probably take me more than a year to make enough (a 3' x 4' quilt calls for more than 300 of them) but I knit up a half dozen in 2 days, while simultaneously finishing a pair of socks, returning to a pair of fingerless gloves for my best friend I had stashed, working on a shrug, and, you know, working full time.  The pattern is cute and quick and not at all expensive, so buy it if you're interested, or you have a lot of bits 'n bobs of yarn gathering dust in your yarn storage area, because you cannot ever.toss.yarn.away.  Perfect use for it!

From the commuter knitting bag - fingerless gloves for my good friend Aideen:

I started these back in June and then completely lost interest.  However, it is now August, and the start of Christmas Knitting Season, so I needed to get cracking.  I've made great progress these past two weeks - it took about a week per glove, and they are now DONE.  The pattern is the same Woven Fingerless glove pattern used for the ones I did for myself last fall:

Aideen is an usher, and has complained that her fingers are cold during the early December performances of The Nutcracker.  So these will be an early Christmas gift, since she starts that ushering job the day after Thanksgiving.  The gloves are solid black with a hint of sparkle in them - perfect for an usher.  And for Aideen, who likes shiny things.