Summertime……

And the livin’s easy…..

Hello Everyone!

Here it is the middle of summer, and I hope you are all enjoying it.  I am. Honestly, I have been spending my weekend in our pool.  A small inflatable pool we bought the just perfectly fits the two of us or me while I quietly read a book in the sunshine. Cant beat that.

There has been times that A/C has been wonderful and yes, knitting has gotten done in those times. Last weekend (4th of July weekend) The hubs and I went hiking in the Oklahoma panhandle. Yes, at the very tip of the panhandle on the borders of New Mexico and Colorado are some mountains, and intact Black Mesa, which is the highest point in Oklahoma.  It was a wonderful road trip, we stayed in New Mexico, explored, hiked and had a wonderful time.  On this long road trip to and fro, I did even get some knitting done.  I got 6 hexi-puffs done. I have over 100 now.  Here is just a sample of one of the hexi-puffs I finished.

I think in my last blog I mentioned I finished my Miami Beach Shawl.  It came out beautiful.  The pink is so perfect and vibrant.  It may be a few months before I wear it but I am excited.

Miami Beach Shawl

Right now I am working on the Tappen Zee Cardigan by Amy King.  Its a great short sleeve cardigan that buttons above the empire line and simple diamond lace design at the yoke. I just finished the lace portion and am on the second half of the cardigan now.  I am knitting it Mama Zooma Nanoo Handknits Handdyed yarn.  It is a DK weight 100% Superwash Merion Weight Wool and hand dyed in the colorway “Breaking Midnight”  It is a beautiful dark blue yarn with color variations of light blue. You can find the website for MamaZoom yarn here.  I bought the yarn a few years ago at CampKIP and have been waiting to use it. It is perfect for this sweater. There are color variations but just not to much to take away from the lace pattern.

I must say, I really like the Tappen Zee pattern in general but for as simple as the diamond lace pattern is, I sure was having a hard time with it.  I don’t know why, its a simple pattern, but man,if there was something good on tv and I was’t paying enough attention, I would have to start that row all over again. I had to do this several times.  It was so frustrating.  I have tackled much more complicated lace patterns and it was fine. This for some reason was difficult. I don’t get it. Oh well, I got through it. That is all that matters really.

Well everyone, enjoy the second half of your summer!  I will talk to all again soon.

-Alexis

Show and Tell

Hello Everyone!

Happy Sunday, I hope you all are taking it easy like I am and recharging for another week. I have been busy knitting as always. And acquiring wonderful new knitting gadgets of which I will show you.  I finished my Linum Tee by Bristol Ivy. It is beautiful and I can’t wait to wear it.  But Oklahoma in late June just really isn’t a good time to wear wool, so maybe in a few months.  Its really just a simple cap sleeve tee with a beautiful Fisherman stitch detail at the collar.  I love it.

Linum Tee

As I am a monogamous knitter, I began thinking of my next knitting project well before finishing this one.  I have a very large stash of yarn, and a lot of worsted weight so I did what any knitter would do. I went on Ravely and found some amazing worsted weight patterns.  I think I printed off like 5. The first one, the one I am working on now is from Cascade Yarns and designed by Vera Sanon,  It is the Ultra Pima  - The Miama Beach Shawl, I thought this would be perfect as it calls for 2 skeins of Cascade Ultra Pima and I just happened to have 2 skeins of Cascade Ultra Pima, if a bright vivid pink.  The perfect color for Miami in my opinion.  I am done with the lace pattern and working on the short rows so I hope to have it done soon.

Oh, my toys, I thought it was finally time to buy some sock blockers, and I went nowhere else but The Loopy Ewe, they have beautiful wooden sock blockers!  I had to order a pair. Just remember, the price of the sock blockers is for 1! Not 1 pair, 1!  So if you want a pair, order 2!  I forgot that little detail and had to order a second blocker and more yarn. I need to justify the shipping.  I love this store and their yarn selections, I ordered some Lorna’s Laces, Manos del Uruguay, and some hand dyed yarn from their own collection.  So pretty!  If I am ever in Fort Collins, CO, I will make it a point to check out their store.  You really must check out their website.  https://www.theloopyewe.com

The Loopy Ewe Sock Blockers

Ok, that is all I have for now, must get back to work on my laundry and dinner so I can work on my shawl more.

I will talk to you all soon and have a happy and safe 4th of July holiday!

-Alexis

Girl Meets Grill

Hello everyone!

Yes, I know, not a knitting related title, but I just came in from grilling outside. I’m not a big griller, I leave that more for my husband since he enjoys it so much but I think I really enjoy it also.  It smells so good and the taste of the char on your meat and veggies is delicious!

Anyway, back to knitting, Hubs and I went on a road trip to Austin over Memorial Day weekend (last weekend) so I got some great progress done on my Diamond Gansey Socks and was able to finish them last week, and isn’t it just a great time of year for hand knit socks.  Diamond Gansey Socks

Yea, I don’t think I will need to wear them for a few more months, but they are done and I love them.  The past few days I was working on hexi-puffs for my Bee Keepers Quilt, I have over 100 done now.  Yay!  Yesterday, I started a new project, the “Linum Tee “by Bristol Ivy as featured in the Summer 2014 issue of KnitScene, I love that magazine, its full of stylish perfect designs for every season and for every stage of knitter, from beginning to advanced. This tee, as it is featured in knit in a linen yarn, perfect for summer, however, I went stash diving and don’t have any linen yarn so I am using wool.  It is a light airy tee, so hopefully on some cool nights I will be able to wear it this summer, if not, I can wait until fall.      The tee is knit from the bottom up and starts with a K1b, purl rib.  I have never done K1b before or heard of it.  So after doing what I thought it was, then watching YouTube, I may have done it wrong.  So I may have to take it out and do it again.  I will keep you posted.  Oh, the yarn I am using is Sun Valley Fibers 100% Superwash Merino in Fingering weight in  the color way Kent.  It is light cloudy day blue.  I love it.  I does remind me of those storm clouds you see in the summer that you know are going to bring some wonderful thunder and a much needed downpour of rain.  Perfect for summer.

Oh, while we were in Austin we of course had to go to Hill Country Weavers and I picked up some Manos Del Uruguay Yarn.  It was Manos day, off all the yarn I looked at, I went home with Manos.  Two skeins of Maxima (Worsted weight) in a calm “Sand” color way that the wonderful girls at the shop helped me with and even gave me a free pattern for.  I also couldn’t resist a skein of Manos  Alegria (Fingering Weight) in the color way “Locura Fluo” a BRIGHT multi colored skein that screamed “TAKE ME HOME!!!!!!!” I swear, this skein would NOT let me leave without it. I tried and it wasn’t going to happen.  I don’t know what I am going to do with it.  Probably a shawl or scarf. Something prominent. It it much to bright be hidden as socks. It must be shown.

TAKE ME HOME!!!!!

TAKE ME HOME!!!!! It said.

That’s all for now folks.  I will talk to you all again soon.  Happy Knitting.

-Alexis

 

Done and Done!

Hello everyone,

Really quick I wanted to post my finished projects for you.  First the Minty Bailey’s Irish Cream cardigan.  I finished it last night and sewed the buttons about an hour ago.   The buttons I also purchased at Maryland Sheep & Wool 2013.  The are hand-made porcelain buttons by Melissa Jean www.melissajean.net for more information, her buttons and patterns are beautiful and I think the buttons I got are perfect for my sweater.

Minty Bailey's Irish Cream Cardigan

Minty Bailey’s Irish Cream Cardigan

Second, I also finished the McMilne Shawl made from my Brooks Farm Yarn in Willow. It is gorgeous,  I can’t wait to wear it. It was also so easy and quick to knit.  I recommend it to anyone.

McMilne Shawl

McMilne Shawl

I also finished one of my Diamond Gansey socks and will start the other one soon.  As the weather is rapidly getting warmer, it may be awhile before I wear them, but you can never have too many hand knit socks.

Ok, that is all I have for today. I will talk to you all soon.  Happy Knitting.

-Alexis

3 Projects and Some Gardening

Hello Everyone! I have three projects to tell you about today and some gardening.

I finished the Maryse Cowl last week, but Suki was sleeping and I didn’t want to disturb her last weekend, so it is blocking on her bed now. I will have a picture up for you soon.  I felt that since it was Mother’s Day, she could share the bed a little bit and let me block a shawl. The weekend before I had the Bailey’s Minty Irish Cream blocking.  After it dried, I neatly folded it up and have yet to pick it up again to finish it.  I still need to make the collar and button band and sew up the sleeves.  If you know me at all. I hate doing this finishing stuff.  As far as I’m concerned, once the project is blocked, it is done!  But no, I still need finish this cardigan. It is so pretty and I really can’t wait to wear it, although it might not be for a few months as summer is rapidly approaching.  Even though, there may be a few chilly nights.  Maybe I will pick up this week or next weekend.

Bailey's Minty Irish Cream Cardigan

Now I am working on pair socks. Yes, from Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy D. Johnson, as I work my way through this book, I am now on the Gansey Sock section, my first Ganesy sock are the Diamond Gansey Socks, I am in the middle of turning the first heel and am knitting them out of a beautiful pink skein of yarn I purchased last year at Maryland Sheep and Wool.  It is hand-dyed and natural dyed yarn by Juanita Breidenbaugh.  It is One of a Kind Natural Dyed yarn in 100% Merino Wool.  Being natural dyed, this particular skein was dyed using Cochneal and Madder. Yes, bugs and plants.  It is beautiful and the super wash 2ply yarn knits up beautifully.  I tried looking up Juanita on Ravelry and the web and all I found was that she is an instructor at The Mannings Handweaving School & Supply Center.

Cochneal & Madder Yarn by Juanita Breidenbaugh

Cochneal & Madder Yarn by Juanita Breidenbaugh

As I mentioned, the weather has been turning into summer very quickly, I planted my garden last week and yesterday, picked my first basil harvest. Bob even build me a wonderful 4 tiered herb planter, I love it.

My Garden and Herb Tower

Before I go, I would like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mother’s out there, whether your children have 2 legs or 4, whether you birthed them or not, there is someone you care for, and you are appreciated on this day for all you do!

Ok, I must go and finished that heel of my Diamond Gansey Sock, I will talk to you all soon.

Happy Knitting,

-Alexis

Needles and Calves on Fire!

Hello everybody!  I am sitting on my couch with my feet up.  Why? I ran a race today.  A 5K, not just any 5K, the Oklahoma City Memorial 5K.  The Memorial race is known for its marathon, but lets not go there yet.  The race also, of course, is dubbed “A Run to Remember” because it is a memorial to the tragedy that struck our town in 1995 when the Federal Building was attacked.  It is important to remember to that tragedy and to pay respect to those who died that day.  I think I’m happy just running 3.1 miles for now.  After a rain delay, the race was awesome!  Yes, we had a lovely rain delay, welcome to Oklahoma in the spring.  We all (26 Thousand of us) took shelter during the thunder storm and when it passed, the race was on!  All and all, I think I did good. My time was much better than my last race time, and I hope to keep improving on it.  I have had a few hurdles training for this one with an injury of sorts, but I have kept running as much as I can.  Click for my awesome post race pic, there is a reason I left my head out. You did want to see my hair.

Ok, on to knitting!  Last night I finished the neck shaping and binded/bound off, what ever the proper word is my Bailey’s “Minty” Irish Cream cardigan. I am almost done.  At this point, I need to block it, sew up under the arms and make the button band and collar and sew the buttons on. It fits well though so I’m excited.

Yesterday, I went to to a local art gallery Artspace [Untitled], downtown and sat for a discussion and knitting circle with local artist Romy Owens.  Romy is also a knitter who just incorporated her knitting into her latest art pice “An Imagined Otherhood” click here for the website about the discussion and a link to her own website. Her knitted piece is the first picture on her website.  It was a great 2 hours and I met some wonderful know knitters and artists.  Romy herself is also wonderful and I hope our paths cross again.

At the discussion I began my next project, the McMilne Shawl, I am knitting it out of Brooks Farm Yarn, Willow.  I got this yarn a few years ago at my first fiber festival, the DFW Fiberfest in Grapevine, Texas when I first moved to Oklahoma.  Its a great quick knit, easy to memorize the pattern and it will be the perfect scarf, cowl or shawl depending on how I want to wear it.

Ok, my calves are on fire!  I am going give them some love and enjoy my evening.  I will talk to you all again soon!

Happy Knitting!

Early Spring Afternoon

Hello everyone!  Happy Sunday Afternoon to you all.  Its a lovely early spring afternoon, complete with rain.  I love the rain and love seeing the blossoms and leaves come out on the trees and plants after a harsh winter.

Here I am again to tell you all about my knitting adventures. I have been working on my Bailey’s “Minty” Irish Cream cardigan. It is coming along, although Friday night I frogged it and started all over again. Its going a little better. The thing is, is not the most challenging pattern I have ever done, but I am working really 2 patterns at a time and I get a little forgetful. Has anybody ever experienced that when working 2 patterns at t a time?  I am working the button band, which has a cable pattern and the front which has a lace pattern, they interchange at different times, I just need to remember when to cable the front and also remember, who really is going to notice?  Am I going to let anyone that close to me so they can examine all the mistakes in my button band when I wear it?

Oh, did I tell you the exciting news! I won stitch markers!  I won them from the Ravellenic Games from Team Stash and Burn. They are from Cat’s Pajamas Crafts, they are black with translucent pink beads and I can’t wait to use them. One think I like, which may seem odd, but I really like those personal touches, is when they arrived, the were so nicely wrapped.  Like a present. See pictures below. I almost didn’t want to open it, they were wrapped so nice.

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Oh, I am cooking ribs in the slow cooker for dinner tonight, that cooker is filling the house with that yummy rib smell, so good, I’m getting hungry.  Still a few more hours until dinner though,  Also on the menu is cole slaw with homemade dressing and cornbread in the iron skillet. Again,still a few more hours until dinner.  Maybe I will knit until then.  Yeah, that’s always a good idea.

Ok, everyone have a great week and I will talk to you all soon!

-Alexis

Racing…

Hello everybody!

I am TIRED!!!!!  I just woke up from a nap I was taking in a warm bed recovering from running a race on a very cold and windy day.  This was my 3rd 5K and this crazy winter weather did not make training for it easy.  Nor did todays weather. If it had been a tad warmer and NOT windy, it would have been a breeze.  Except for the hills on the course. I did make up one though, It was hard, and I have been dreading running up that hill all this time I have been training but I made it up that damn hill.  Go me!

Me crossing the finish line

This past Monday, I started teaching knitting at another library, all the ladies in my group were beginners or had not knit in years.  It was so fun teaching them to cast-on, and the knit stitch, we are making a scarf and I am so excited to watch them grow in their knitting and discover what I have discovered. Quite simply, knitting is fun, you get to make beautiful things for you or your loved ones.  It is a wonderful time-honored art we need to keep and most important, the knitting community is filled with wonderful people who are more than happy to share with you their love for the craft.

I also, finished my Sheri’s Posies socks and they are lovely. After that I quickly unwound yarn for my next project, Bailey’s Irish Cream Cardigan by BabyCocktails, perfect for St. Patrick’s day, also perfect because its green.  I am knitting the cardigan out of yarn I picked especially for this cardigan at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last year.  It is the “Reflections at Roclans, “Out of he Dyepot” YARN ‘from Kate Bostek. I can’t remember if the booth I got the yarn at was for this yarn or what, but it cried out to me to knit it up in this sweater. The color way, is like a light moss-green. I will try to get a picture for you before its finished. If not, you will just have to wait.

Sherie's Posies Socks

Ok, I am tired after that run, I think I will put my feet up for the rest of the night and knit.

I will talk to you all later.

-Alexis

 

Keeping My Feet and Head Warm

Hello everyone!

Man it has been awhile.  I have been knitting up a storm so I could have something to share with you.  After I finished that blanket I started on finishing pair of socks that I had started back in September and had to put down to begin gift knitting. They were the Riding on the Metro Socks from Wendy D. Johnson in her book Socks from the Toe Up.  I have been working through this book and am almost done with the lace portion. I am now working o Sheri’s Posies Socks, but more on that later.  I was surprised, I only had one sock to finish and I got it done in about a week.  We are still firmly in the middle of winter here in Oklahoma and they have been keeping my feet warm, especially today, since it is March 2nd and it is snowing outside.

Riding on the Metro Socks

After I finished the Riding on the Metro Socks, I started on the Greenery Beret (I’m calling it the Mint Sorbet Beret) by Melissa LaBarre from the Weekend Hats book by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Melissa LaBarre.  This hat only took me about 3 evenings and was so quick and easy to make and yes, I wore it yesterday, because It is still hat weather. I knit this hat out of Bijou Bliss Bijou Spun yarn %50 Yak Down and %50 Cormo, It is so soft and a beautiful mint sorbet green, hence my name.  I found this yarn at the Bijou Bliss booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last May, I think what I love most about this yarn, besides it softness and unique use of Yak was that it is from Colorado. My home state and I must say, I have an extra fondness for anything from Colorado.

Mint Sorbet Beret

Last weekend, I went to visit my mom in Las Vegas, it was a nice 4 day weekend, nice to be back in Las Vegas and to see my mom again. We had a good time around town and even took a quick trip to L.A.. And of course, on my trip, I had to take some airplane knitting, so at the airport in OKC, I cast-on Sheri’s Posies Socks, again from Socks From the Toe Up. by Wendy D. Johnson. I am knitting these from MissBabs Babette fingering in Gotta Love Me. A beautiful rich hand dyed red yarn. I got this yarn also at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last year. What I love about these festivals is that its a great way to find yarn that you have heard about, but don’t always find in your LYS. I had heard of MissBabs before but I had never seen it (yes I know I can go online and intend to in the future.)  So I was excited to see the booth at the festival, and no, this was not the only skein I bought.  The bad thing about airplane knitting however, is its easy to get distracted and mis-count, as I did on my way home, I ended up having to frog the sock and start all over. Fortunatly, because the weather, I am almost done with the heel flap of the first sock. (I set it down for a bit to talk to you guys.)  Also, while I was on the plane to Las Vegas, I got called a “Socker?” The man sitting next to me said he had never seen anybody knitting socks before and I said, oh yes, there are quite a few of us (if only he know about Ravelry) and he said, wow, so there are a few of you “Sockers” around. I just smiled to myself and went back to my knitting. Yes, just a few of us “Sockers” and knitters.

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So here I am, knitting and keeping my feet and head warm in this lingering winter weather and hope you are all doing the same and keeping safe and warm.  Just remember, in a few months, we will all be bitching about the heat and wanting it to be cold again so we can wear our hand knits.

I will talk to you all again soon.

-Alexis

Finished!

I am done! Finished! Done!  This morning/early afternoon I finished the Forever Diamonds Baby blanket.  Click here for my Ravelry page. It looks beautiful.  It feels though like it took me forever!  I think it was the moss stitch pattern that seem like it took so long.  Really, only about 3 or 4 weeks.  I’m also just ready to get back so to some good old fashioned selfish knitting.  Digging into my stash and knitting stuff for ME!  First off, I am finished the Riding on the Metro Socks from Wendy D. Johnson in Socks From the Toe Up.  I finished one sock in October and am eager to start and finish the second.  I have also entered both these items in the  Ravellenic Games with Team Stash N Burn.  So yay! I finished one project.  I feel like I get a gold metal just for that.

Ok, time to finish laundry and maybe start that second sock. I will leave you with some pics of the blanket.

Forever Diamonds Baby Blanket