BBQ’s and Knitting

Hello Everyone!  Well, I am taking some downtime uploading some Jimmy Buffett on my iPod (yes, I still use an iPod for music, not my phone) for a BBQ we are having today.  While I had my computer open, I thought I would blog.  It is the middle of August and nearing the end of what has turned out to be a very busy and social summer.  There was one week, not to long ago that I had something going on after work every night of the week including Saturday.  The average time I got home was 9 pm.  I didn’t even knit those nights, by the time I got home, I only had enough energy and brain capacity to lift the wine glass to my mouth while I watched House Hunters.  (I love that show)

Fortunately I was able to finish my Sunnyside Market Tote before then. I haven’t used it yet but I will let you know when I do.  It so pretty and colorful but I can’t tell you the last time I went to a Farmers Market.  I don’t know when or for what, but I am sure I will find a use for it.

Sunny side Market Tote
Sunny side Market Tote

 

Unfortunately during this busy summer, I have had kind of slow progress on my Rocky Coast Cardigan by Hannah Fettig,  I started this in July and I want to wear it on my vacation to Michigan this September, I will be in Northern Michigan by the lake so I think I will need a sweater.  I am leaving in 3 weeks and I am almost done with the 1st sleeve.  So one more sleeve after this on and the collar.  I have been wanted to knit this sweater since I heard about it when the book it is in Coastal Knits, by Hannah Fettig & Alana Dakos came out. I tried once before but apparently didn’t buy the correct yarn.  So this time made sure to do so. I am using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targee Worsted in the colorway Strawberry Fields Forever that I purchased last year at Rhinebeck.  I got this yarn specifically for this sweater.  Other than the fact that I have knit with Blue Moon before and I LOVE LOVE LOVE their yarn, I love it came in one of these long loose loops, not a skein so I got to ball all 600 yards of each “loop” into one gigantic ball.  I loved the giant ball. Right now I am on giant ball #2 that still doesn’t even fit into my yarn bowl.

That's a big ball of yarn.

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I think if I buckle down I can get that sweater done before I leave.  Wish me luck.

Ok, must go shower and get the food out for the bbq.  Bob is grilling burgers, I made my Crab and Spinach dip, Buffalo Chicken Roll-ups and Candy Crack.  Our guest are also bringing food so I can kiss my diet goodbye today.

I will talk to you all soon!  Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

Summer Knitting

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far.  We have had quite a heat wave.  High 90’s with over 90% humidity.  Give me 90 degrees an up any day but not the humidity.  I hate humidity.  You just feel sticky, dirty and miserable.

While we have been in this heat wave I have been happily sitting in the AC and knitting the Picabeau Shawl by Jennifer Dassau.  I really like this shawl but I’m not sure if I am reading the pattern correctly or not. For the first part of the shawl (the increases) you are supposed to work a 16 row repeat 8 time until you have 133 stitches. Well, after my 8th pattern repeat, I only had like 70 or so stitches.  I have read and re-read the pattern and am pretty sure I am doing it right and have plenty of yarn so I just continued on the first part of the shawl, I lost count of pattern repeats after 10 but the other night, I got my 133 stitches and began the second, part, the decrease part. It is coming right along but I am sorry to say I haven’t knit all weekend. I have been quite social out and about both Friday and Saturday evenings. Hopefully I can get some knitting done tonight.  One good thing, with my extra pattern repeats, the shawl will be a lot longer, I really like long shawls as I wear them around my neck like a scarf.  I am knitting the Picabeau Shawl out of GnomeAcres Hand Dyed Fingering Sock yarn in the colorway Hermione.  Its a natural colored yard with reds, pinks and browns.  The shawl really is coming out very pretty, color and pattern wise.  this is a great couch knit and perfect for binge watching when it is too hot to go outside. While I am not sure if I read the pattern right or what, I would knit this again.

I think I owe you pictures from my last post, so here they are, pictures of my Rosebud Socks and my Mindless TV Afghan.

Rosebud Socks
Rosebud Socks
Mindless Knitting TV Afghan
Mindless Knitting TV Afghan

I have also been gardening this summer, I planted my garden in early may so I think I may have planted it a bit too late, all my plants look very healthy but no blossoms or fruit/veggies yet. I even put some fertilizer spikes in but maybe when the weather starts to cool in the fall  I will get something. If not, oh well, I will just have plant earlier next year but I didn’t even get my garden built until May this year.

Well, that is all I have for today, I will be back later with more summer knitting fun.  I hope you are all staying out of the heat and finding some good summer knitting projects to work on as well. If you want to share what you are working on in the heat or the AC, go ahead and let me know in the comments.

Talk to you soon and happy knitting.

-Alexis

Voila!

Hello Everyone!

My goodness it is HOT outside.  Now I grew up in Las Vegas and pride myself on being used to 110+ heat in the summer.  But it is barely 100 degrees here in Oklahoma City and I am dying.  Its the humidity.  I just feel like everything is sticking to me and I am dripping sweat just thinking about going outside.  If you haven’t experienced dry heat, yes, it is MUCH better than humidity. I would much rather be in an oven than a sauna any day.

Now for knitting.  I have cranked up the AC and am cranking away at my Rhinebeck Sweater.  The Gnarled Oak Cardigan.  I finished the second sleeve last night and connected the sleeves to the body and am just about to start on the yoke.  The sleeves were very easy to attach.  You know how sometimes in sweater patterns when you attach sleeves it can be really confusing?  Maybe thats just me.  Well, since this sweater is worked from the bottom up, you just pick up the body that has been set aside, knit the body to the where the sleeves go, take the  sleeve stitches that are on the stitch holder and knit them on to to the the body with the needles that are holding the body.  Voila! the sleeves are on.  There are still 16 stitches on the underarms of the sleeves and the underarms of the body that are being held with waist yarn that I will graft together later.  I will let you know how that works out. Grafting and Kitchener stitch are not my strong suits.

Ok, that is all I have for today.  I will leave you all to your Sunday afternoon.  I will be back next week.

Happy Knitting!

-Alexis

That Extra Skein of Yarn

Hello Everyone!

Just a short post today as it has been a quite week in my knitting world.  The hubs competed in a triathlon on Saturday in Dallas so we drove down on Friday, I was able to get 5 hexi-puffs done and Bob did great in his triathlon!

As for my Rhinebeck sweater, The Gnarled Oak Cardigan I am almost done with one sleeve.  The pattern requires 17.5 inches but I am going for 19.5. I have long arms and I like long sleeves.  Sleeves that I can move in.  When I make changes like this to sweaters, like make things longer or bigger, it always makes me glad I bought that extra skein of yarn, I might actually need it.

Tonight for dinner we are grilling hamburgers, I am also grilling some chicken for lunches this week. I went outside a few minutes ago to turn the grill on we were out of propane.  So of course, my husband, the wonderful man that he is just got back from getting a fresh tank and just hooked it up and turned the grill on so it would be hot by the time I finished this post.  So I must go now and grill some chicken and burgers and veggies.

I will talk to you all soon.

Happy Knitting.

-Alexis

Totally Going to Match Fall

Hello Everyone!

How is everyone on this beautiful June day?  I believe it is the first day of summer if I am not mistaken.

I have finished the Bavarian Cable Socks, they came out very nice if I do say so myself.

Bavarian Cable Socks
Bavarian Cable Socks

One thing I will tell you about them, that you can’t really tell unless you look very closely at them is that there are mistakes.  There are the “bumps” I told you about earlier that happened when I was working on them on an airplane and oops, turbulence over Kansas.  But there are others, where I knit where I should have purled and purled where I should have knit. And cabled where I didn’t need to cable and vice versa.  Oh well.  That folks is knitting. We as knitters all encounter that and it is at those times where we must decide if it is worth it to us to stop and fix the mistake or to just keep going and live with it.  Anything ever done my hand is never going to turn out 100 percent perfect, and that is OK.  I knit for me.  I don’t knit for anybody else so for me, its ok if not every project I do is perfect.

That is also what I tell my students, especially the beginners.  Knitting is hard at the beginning and I can see in their eyes that they immediately want to turn out a perfect piece and I tell them that its ok if they don’t.  I always teach them how to identify mistakes, (they usually see them right away anyway) and how to fix them and tell that I myself after knitting for 14 years still make those same mistakes.  It happens, but not to get down on themselves when it does.

Of course, after 14 years, I have learned to identify and fix mistakes and most of the time, I do go back and fix them so I am pretty proud of myself for my mostly flawless work but you must always remember, it is ok to have one or two flubs in your work.  That is what make us human.

So, what I am working on next now that my Bavarian Cable socks are done?  Last night I wound the yarn for and cast on my Rhinebeck Sweater!!!  I am knitting the Gnarled Oak Cardigan by Alana Dakos and as featured in her collaborative book with Hannah Fettig Coastal Knits.  This is a beautifully simple cardigan with a lovely lace and cable detail around the yoke.  I even bought oak branch buttons.  I love this cardigan for Rhinebeck because it is so simple, yet has that lovely detail around the yoke.  I know I can get this done in time for Rhinebeck and not stress about it being perfect, because it is Rhinebeck after all, it must be perfect.  The yarn I chose for this is perfect as well, I think the colors are perfect for fall as they beautifully mimic autumnal colors and trees.  I am using Malabrigo Arroyo in the Piedras Colorway.  It is so many colors of blues and greens and oranges and reds. I think I will totally match fall in is sweater.

The sweater is knit from the bottom up and I am about 3 rows in.  I have 4 months to go so I think I am on track, but I better get back to knitting anyway just in case.

I will talk to you all soon.

-Alexis

Special Project and Almost Summer

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone had a good last week and stayed safe in the weather.  It is typical spring here in Oklahoma which makes for some exciting weather watching.

I know you have all waited long enough. My special project is ready to be unveiled. ::Drumroll:: I taught a summer scarf workshop at one of the libraries I teach at.  It was just a simple summer scarf that I had learned long ago and I taught it to my students.  It is so easy. You cast on an odd number of stitches. K1, *YO, K2TOG* and there you go.  A scarf.  and some knitting lingo for all my non-knitting readers.  The yarn I used in the picture below is Ella Rae, Lace Merino Worsted in the color 10.  But I just recommend my student use any worsted they liked and size 9 to 10.5 needles.   Of course any weight yarn and size needles would work just as well.

Summer Scarf on Chair

My Feathernest Raglan is also finished blocking and it Fits! I am so happy that it fits! It now resting comfortably in my sweater trunk.

I am still working on my Marin Shawl by Ysolda Teague.  It’s almost like popcorn knitting.  I keep on wanting to get a bit further, I am right in the center now working on the short rows and it is coming along nicely.

I am also blocking my Willington Simple Raglan shawl.  I will take a picture when it dries. I am excited to get to wear it.  However, with summer fast approaching, I am not so sure when that will be.

As summer is almost here, and when the rain and tornadoes stay away, I have been running.  And what do I listen to while I run you may ask?  Well, I listen to knitting podcasts of course.  Listening to music just throws me off my pace and knitting podcasts are the perfect distraction from the cramps in my feet and legs and the heat and that fact that sometimes running, although I like it, it just hard. Right now I am listening to The Commuter Knitter Podcast.  I just started listening to her and I love it.  I am very behind though, the episodes I downloaded started in January of this year.  I will need to catch up, which is what is so great about listening to podcasts while running, it is great podcast catchup time.  Other podcasts I listen to are Knitmore Girls, Stash and Burn, CogKNITive, Down Cellar Studios, and Yarnings.  I love all these podcasts as I like the personalities of each individual podcaster, its like I’m with running with a friend while we talk about knitting.  Anyone else have any other good podcast recommendations?

Oh, and one more thing before I go, last week I was alerted to this fact by one of my wonderful Twitter followers that I had a typo in my blog link when I shared it.  I am very sorry to all of you who were not able to access my post last week because of it.  But, you can always subscribe to my blog and have it conveniently delivered to your inbox whenever I post. That way you won’t have to worry about my pesky typos, of which I am known for.

Thank you again for stopping by and reading and on that note, I will be on vacation next week so I won’t be posting but stay tuned for the week after when I talk about my vacation knitting and all the other fun stuff I did.

Talk to you all soon and happy knitting!

-Alexis