Wednesday, March 28, 2018

MIDWEEK UPDATE

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It's another wonderful Wednesday and time for me too do a bit of an update.  Today, I am going to actually do a crafting update.  I have been very busy since Sunday.  Wanna see?


I finished the Boxy Dishcloths.   They were done two at a time.  I was not a fan of that method.  I now realize why I no longer do my socks TAAT on magic loop.........the tangled yarn.  After about 5 rows, I needed to untangle the yarn.  It really slowed down progress.  So the next cloths I did were done one at a time.


This is one of my favorite patterns.  DW dishcloth.  It is my go to pattern.  It works so nicely with variegated yarn.................of course, this is not variegated yarn but it still shows the pattern nicely.



I know it is hard to tell but this is Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth pattern.  I took a page from Sam's book and increased this until there were 54 stitches and then started the decreases.  This is the craziest yarn too.  It is thick and thin with no real rhythm to the changes.  It will be a good scrubbing cloth.  It was gifted to me and I had no clue what to make with it other than a cloth.

The green and brown cloths will be gifted to the AirBnB owners.  I will be making the packages with one green and one brown and also one of each pattern.  I found some lovely wrap to 'tie' them up with.


These were a free printable I found on.....................where else.................pinterest LOL.  Between Ravelry and Pinterest I can spend hours on the computer.  I do limit my computer time.  Otherwise, there were never be any FO's to show.

I have been working on my Tadpoles socks.



The little circulars took me a couple of days to get used to.  I do like them.  One of the things a person needs to remember......do not hold them with a death grip.  In fact, I can hold these much looser than any other needles.  There is no fear of dropping a needle or even of stitches falling off.  I like them so well, I ordered another one so I can start my second sock.  This is a pretty easy pattern to follow.  Now, the trick with these needles will be when I get to the heel.  I see most folds transfer the heel stitches to DPN's..........Since I do the Fish Lips Kiss heel, I am hoping I can do it on the circs.  If not......I have DPN's in my project bag.

Hubby is on his way home.  It has been very quiet here with him gone.  I am not a huge TV viewer so mostly I have music going in the background just for some white noise.  I ave watched a few movies in the evenings.  Ones hubby would not care to see.  My favorite was "Victoria and Abdul".  A true story.  If you haven't seen it, I would recommend it.

I did get some deep cleaning done this week.  Our linen closet got decluttered and a 33 gallon bag of rugs and towels are ready for donation.  Hubby's area where he sits, got a going thru and there were many things that miraculously 'disappeared'.  It looks so much better.  All nicely organized!  Went through some cabinets in the kitchen and got them straightened up and got rid of items we do not use or need.  Also, went through the guest room and got a bunch of my mom's things out of there and thrown away.  I need to go back to working on one room at a time and do not leave it until it is completed.  

Time to go and fold my laundry.

Until next time.........................happy crafting!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

WEEK 39!



Another Sunday morning.  It is a gorgeous spring day here with the sun shining and a nice gentle breeze blowing.  Hopefully I will get time to sit on the porch and do a bit of knitting there this afternoon.  But before we get into my 'personal life', let's take a look at my 'crafting life' for the past week.

First up.........................FO's!!!!!!!!

Hubby's socks got completed this week.  I really like them.  They are just a plain vanilla sock but the self striping yarn really makes them POP.  This is the first sock pattern I ever did and I have probably done 5-6 pair with this pattern.  


The Midnight Sunset Shawl got completed also.  Sorry for the cruddy photo.  It was late in the evening and I wanted a photo of it before it went to the prayer shawl group.  I did not do the prescribed bind off.  I started it and it was not working at all.  Not the patterns fault but the yarn's issue.  This is a super soft acrylic yarn and it does not have the ability to be blocked.  The edging was a picot and the little picots where going every which way.  Not attractive at all.  The next one I do in this pattern will be with a 'stiffer' yarn and then the picots will behave much nicer.

So.......my needles were empty.  (Do not think of those WIP's languishing in the project closet)  So I needed a new project or two.


Boxy Dishcloth.  I like dishclothes with a bit of texture to them.  Nothing wrong with the smooth ones but...............I use them for cleaning my granite counter tops and like a bit of scrubbing power.



Both of these are being knit with Lion Brand Cotton Ease.  I have never used it before and had 2 skeins given to me by a friend.  So, why not give it a try?  I do like it.  It is a little splitty but I am enjoying the feel of the yarn.



Doing them two at a time is fun too.  I am going to make another pair as soon as these are finished.  They will be left behind in the AirBnB's we are staying at next month.  I think it is fun to gift people that I do not know.  I wish I was still making soap as I would add a bar of that to the package.  Oh well..................the clothes will have to do.

Then, this happened.


Wednesday, I asked a question on my blog update, if anyone had used 9 inch circular needles to knit socks.  Only 4 people responded....................all said 'no' but wondered how they would be.  Thanks for the responses.  I went online and looked at reviews and watched videos on how to use them.  I figured................what the heck.  I ordered the ChaigoGoo needles.  The only reason I went for them is............their tips are 2 inches long and I figured that would give me a bit more to hold onto.  Most other small circular's tips are 1.5 to 1.75 inches long.

Once I get going on this sock, I will decided if I want to order another needle.  I very much like doing my socks consecutively.  I am very curious about the gauge I am getting though.  I ordered the needle size I normally use but feel like I am knitting looser than I do with DPN's.  I do know, I knit looser with Magic Loop.  I won't know until I get to the leg though.

Oh.......before I forget.  The yarn being used for the sock is Wendy Happy Yarn.  It is a discontinued yarn and makes me very sad when I think about that.  This was one of my all time favorite yarns to make socks with.  I still have 5 more skeins of this yarn and am making sure I savor it.  

That is all for the crafting this week...................let's talk about life.

This was a week I finally came to terms with the fact, I own too much yarn.  Yup......you heard me.  My yarn cubbies were spilling over with all the yarn I owned.  (And I have LOTS of yarn cubbies)  I decided to pull it ALL out and take a hard long look at all of it and make the decision whether or not I would ever knit or crochet with it.  I now have 2 kitchen garbage bags FULL of yarn in all weights to donate to the prayer shawl ministry group.  It has really made me feel so much better knowing I only have stash I will use.  When I want to do a project, I no longer need to go through tons of yarn that does not speak to my heart.

In other news.................hubby is leaving today for Las Vegas to see his mom.  My cousin is tagging along for the enjoyment of Vegas.  While hubby is away, I plan on doing some deep cleaning.  It is so much easier to do that when he is away. Some of the deep cleaning will be some of his stuff.  I have done this several times before and he has never missed anything I have gotten rid of LOL.  

Also, this is Holy Week for us.  Starting Thursday evening, we will be quite busy with church activities until late Saturday night.  I love this week.  But, this year is the first year I will not get that Easter phone call from my mom with the phrase "He is Risen" and my reply of "He is Risen indeed".  I always heard all the 'firsts' are hard.  Now I know what is meant by that. Also, with mom's final road trip just a week away, I am having quite a hard time imagining leaving her at her final resting place.  



Today I leave you with a photo of my best friend, Enrique.  Enrique is always right beside me.  He sleeps next to me, stays outside the bathroom door when I am taking a shower, follows me throughout the house when I am doing laundry or cooking or moving around, stays in my craftroom with me while I am sewing or working on a project and reminds me when it is dinner time for him and his sister, Luna.  He is smaller than Luna but has a huge heart and a large bark. He is not fond of strangers.......especially men.  He has save me many times from the diabolical postal worker that comes to our mailbox.  Enrique is sure the postal worker is a serial killer as are all the children who walk to and from school every day.  He even guards our backyard from the evil UPS delivery trucks.  He is one of the most stubborn animals I have ever owned..........just like me.  It is probably why we are so attached to each other.

Until next time.........................Happy Crafting!!!!!



 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Happy Wednesday

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Hello everyone.  It is the middle of the week and I happen to have a bit of down time so......updating my blog sounded like a great idea.

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Hubby and I slept in today.  It was nice, since we were up yesterday before the sun was.  Hubby had a "procedure" at 6:30.  It was the first time in over 5 years we got good news after his procedure.  What a relief.  

I didn't have much on my to do list today.......for a change.  The big thing was going grocery shopping.

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Lucky for me, hubby enjoys going to the grocery stores with me.  He is my coupon king too.  We only hit 2 stores as well as getting our RO water for our water cooler.  It took about 2 hours total but we got all we needed for the next week and possibly 2 weeks.  We even picked up snacks for our upcoming road trips

Speaking of road trips.........I had a dream/nightmare last night.  I dreamt the family was at the cemetery to intern my mom when we noticed her urn was not there!!  I looked at my husband and told him she was back at home on the mantle and he needed to go and get her while we waited.  He politely informed me it was not going to be that easy.  (it's a seventeen hour drive)  After that I woke up.  I am tempted to put mom in the car now, just so we don't forget her.  Don't worry........I wouldn't do that.  She is still safely on my mantle.



On my to do list is cleaning the inside of the microwave.  There was some soup that kind of blew up in there.  I had it covered but it blew the cover right off!

Today, we are being lazy for meals.  We had sandwiches for lunch today and tonight will be BLTA sandwiches.  We even picked up a cherry pie today and will have that for dessert tonight.

There might even be some laundry done today.  I just did it on Sunday but................we must either be very dirty people or extremely clean because, the hamper is full again!  I really don't mind laundry at all.  In fact, I enjoy it.  

Hubby and my cousin are leaving on Sunday afternoon for Vegas.  Hubby is going to go to see his mom.  Cousin has never been to Vegas and wants to experience it at least one time.  I am staying home to take care of the doggies and getting ready for our BIG road trip to take mom to her final resting place.

Hey...................have any of you ever tried the 9 inch (23 cm) circular needles to knit socks?  Do you like them?  Do you need to change your needle size to make gauge?  Are they easy on your hands?  I am interested in trying them and there are so many options, I wanted to get some feedback before I invested in them.  Hubby's socks are almost completed and the next pair will be mine.  I have the yarn picked out and they will be my traveling project.  I thought, if any of you would recommend the 9 circs, I would get them and get the socks cast on.  So, please let me know.

Until next time........................happy crafting!




Sunday, March 18, 2018

WEEK 38



Hello again.  It is time for a YoP update.  I am a bit disappointed.  I still do not have any FO's this week.  I wanted at least one of my projects to be done.

Anyway.........I got my new needles in and immediately set to getting the shawl done.  The shawl had other ideas.  Evidently, I cannot count while watching TV and talking to hubby.  I managed to do 14 rows before I noticed the lace was not lining up.  I ended up frogging it 4 times before I finally learned to be quiet and chant the pattern repeats as I knit along.  So here is where I am at.

 I have re-knit the 14 rows I frogged.  I don't know if I will complete it this week or not but will give it a try.  I only have 19 more rows of lace and then the picot bind off.

I worked on hubby's socks a bit too this week but again..................they are not finished.


They need another 2 inches before I begin the toe.  I might be playing yarn chicken this time.  I made the leg extra long for him so he could wear these in his boots.

I don't know how many of you follow my blog other than through the YOP group.  So I am going to show you the yarn that just happened to accompany my needles.


My favorite non-wool yarn, self striping showed up.  Diversity is lovely to work with and it is a memory yarn.  It doesn't pill or even need blocking after washing and drying in the machine!

I am still making project bags for friends and family.  They are being well received.

I will leave you with this photo.



My girl Luna.   She loves our new security screen door.  She can lay on HER sofa and look outside and protect us from the evil leaves that blow across our yard.

Until next time..............happy crafting!!!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY

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We never quit learning.  This is the most obvious when mistakes are made and corrections are needed.  I made some mistakes this week.....................and it is only Wednesday LOL.  Wanna see my mistakes?  GOOD!  Cause I was gonna show them to you anyway.

First up.............Project bag #1''

I was feeling pretty smart after my 4th project bag and decided to make my own pattern for a smaller bag.  This bag is smaller..............in fact it is so small, I can barely get my hand in it not to mention pulling it out with a skein of yarn clutched in it.  Oh well.

Next............................Project bag #2


Ok, I was on a roll and went for a larger bag.  This one is the perfect width but I should have increased the height of it as well.  This one will be re-designed taller and it will be perfect to carry a sweater or shawl's worth of yarn in it.  I really like the width of this one so I got half of it right.

I will continue to work on project bags but do not think I will try for a small one again.  Actually, I have a pattern for a Japanese knot bag that is the perfect small bag to carry a sock or dishcloth project in.

There was a lovely delivery Monday which brought me my needles for my shawl.  I was so happy.  I set to work right away on the shawl.  This is where I was when I got my needles.


  I managed to add 8 more rows to the shawl and as of this morning, this is where I am at.

WHAAAAAAT?  I noticed my lace was not lining up and I seemed to have stitches left over at the end of the pattern rows.  I counted my stitches.............................dang it...........I was WAY off.  So I frogged it and started that section again.....................and again.................and again.  Yes, I took me four times to get the count right and to repeat the pattern repeats properly.  


This cake of yarn was 3/4 gone before the frogging began.  I thought about just going ahead with it and adjusting the stitches as I progressed but........................nope, it was way too noticeable that I had messed up horribly.   I love doing lace but........normally I do it from a chart.  This pattern is written out which is different for me.  You would chuckle if you were next to me while I am knitting these lace rows.  There just might be a bit of chanting going on.  Just might be LOL.  Even my dogs don't sit by me while I am knitting this part.  Hubby just shakes his head and turns the volume on the TV up.  

I hinted about there being some yarn coming in with my needles.


Oh my............there will be more self striping socks in my future.  The two on top will be for me and the two on the bottom for hubby.  I love this yarn.  Webs has it on sale right now for $4.49/skein.  One skein is 100gr and easily makes one pair of socks.  I have a women's size US 7.5 foot (European 37) and I still am able to make an 8 inch leg with yarn leftover.

I am going to work on the shawl the remainder of this week and hopefully there will be no more boo-boos.  The socks are on hiatus until I get this shawl done and off my needles.  

Today has been productive in a non-crafting manner.  I had an early nail appointment, which makes me get going early in the day.  As I was getting ready to leave for the appointment, I started the bread machine.  Since it takes 3.5 hours for a loaf of bread to complete in the machine, I had plenty of time to get my nails done.  

When I got home, hubby was dusting and vacuuming the house.  I decided to cook up the 3 pounds of bacon I had defrosted.  I know...................that sounds like a lot of bacon but.....we don't eat it all at once.  Tonight we are having BLTA salads (bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado).  Our daughter is joining us for dinner too.  

Needless to say, my house smells amazing.  Between the bread and and bacon...............yummy.

The dishwasher is emptied, the canopy in the backyard rolled up (high winds tonight), the patio furniture re-arranged and I am getting ready to finish reading my Real Simple magazine.  We have a handyman coming by in about an hour to give us a quote on installing some doors for us.  He was supposed to be here last Friday, but never was able to make it.  Hopefully he makes it today.  I would love to have the doors done before we leave for my mom's final road trip.

Until next time.....................Happy Crafting!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, March 11, 2018

WEEK 37




Well hello everyone.  Here we are again for another update.  It has been a great week.  It ended with a bit of wetness falling from the sky yesterday afternoon and continuing into this morning.  That is normally a very welcomed thing.  Not so much this time.  Last night, we had a BBQ party planned with our family.  There were to be 11 of us total.  Did we cancel?  Heck no!  We just pulled the grill under our canopy and cooked those steaks like it was a normal sunny day.  They were delicious!!!  Here is a photo of or local Grand Daughter and her BFF having fun while we were cooking.



These girls are so much fun.  Love them to pieces. 

I think everyone had a great time.  The food was eaten without many leftovers.  That is a good thing.  We enjoyed all the laughter and conversation.  It was so nice to have everyone together for a few hours.  My mom would have loved it too!

Let's see what happened in my crafting world.



I am stalled on my shawl.  For some reason, one of my needles has developed a burr on it.  I tried to file it off but only made it worse.  I ordered new needles but............they are coming from Massachusetts and they are in the middle of that horrible nor'easter.  They were supposed to be delivered on Saturday but no show.  I hope they show up next week.  I really want to finish this shawl.  

So......... the socks got most of the attention this week.



Heels are completed on both socks.  I am still enjoying these socks.  This yarn makes a plain vanilla sock interesting.  I am hoping to finish these this week.  I have two new patterns I want to try.  

I am still making project bags.  I was asked what pattern I am using.  

Here is the pattern.  I have done quite a few modifications to #B.  I just basically needed the main outline for the bag and then I made it 'mine'.  I have not been able to get to my sewing machine for about 4 days and I miss it.  Hopefully, there will be some time for more cutting of the bags.  I would like to have many all cut out and ready to sew. 

As for Orchid trees............................They are so beautiful.  The one in my neighbor's yard is just about done blooming.  They only bloom once a year and they do not have any smell.  Their blooms are always purple.  Look them up on the Internet.  Another lovely tree is the Tulip Tree.  They have spectacular blooms too.  I have not seen one in Arizona but they had them in Kansas.  If you want a tree with lovely aroma.................orange, grapefruit or lemon are fantastic and the Acacia tree will knock your socks off too.  of course, these are native to the warmer climates like Southern California, Arizona and Florida.

So that is all for this week.

Until next time.....................Happy Crafting!!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

NORMALITY

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Life has slowed down and things are pretty much back to normal for us.  Yes, there will be more traveling than we're used to, but that's OK.  We still seem to be having more normal days and I am much calmer now.

These past few days I have been working on:

1. Socks.............hubby's socks now have the heeled turned on both pair.

2.  Shawl............Midnight Sunset was set aside last night  I noticed my one needle was snagging the yarn.  I put it under the magnifying glass and found a burr.  I tried sanding it down only to create more rough spots on the tip.  FINE!  I ordered another interchangeable set of tips.  Once they come in I will continue on with the shawl.  There also just might be some sock yarn coming with those needles.  Just maybe.

3.  Project bags.......I am trying to sew one bag per day.  They are fun to sew and only take about an hour once they are cut out.   I copied the tissue paper pattern onto a file folder.  The tissue paper only holds up for so long before it is in shambles.  Since it is all straight lines, I am able to use my rotary cutter and cutting mat and quilting ruler.  Makes it super easy to to get them cut out and the lines are super straight every time.

I contacted my knitting instructor a couple days ago.  I am hoping we can get together soon so he can show me how to read the instructions for the scarf I cast on over 3 months ago.  We have made 2 other appointments but something always came up and we would need to cancel.

This week has found me with tears falling once in a while.  It is a good thing.  It means I am no longer bottling up my feelings.  I realized how much I miss talking to my mom.  It kind of hit me the other day.  I was driving by an Orchid Tree in full bloom. Image result for orchid tree

 I started to stop and take a picture of it to show to my mom only to remember she was not here to show it to.  Moments like that are happening more and more with springtime here in the desert.  Everything is starting to bloom and she loved anything with flowers.  There are sure to be moments like this for a while yet.  

Hubby is going to be gone this evening.  Sounds like a good time to go into the craft room and do some project bag sewing.  Maybe I will just cut out several of them and have them ready to sew up when I have a spare 45-60 minutes.  It actually takes about the same to cut them out as it does to sew them.  It is the ironing the seams open that takes the time.  But it needs to be done to make them look 'finished'.

Until next time........happy crafting!