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Posts Tagged ‘blanket’

Dad is out of the hospital but not doing well. He sees a kidney doctor on Friday. It seems the one kidney he has left is not functioning at an acceptable level. I feel we are at the beginning of the end. As I see it we are in the eye of the hurricane and the back side of the storm has yet to hit.

I was going to show you a picture of the short-row shawl. I had knit up a whole ball of yarn and was starting on the second ball. I felt I had enough of the shawl made to give you an idea of how it looks. Well…that shawl ended up being ripped back to the beginning yet again. On Monday evening there was a small health crisis with Dad and I put the shawl down in a hurry, not marking where I was in the short-row work. When I came back to it later that evening not only could I not discern what specific short-row I was on, but a number of the stitches had slid from the needles and were unraveled.

My life line was in and so I ripped back to that only to realize that I could not tell where I was in those short-rows as I had the life line in the whole shawl. What became clear to me was the life line needs to be inserted only on the wave just finished, not run through the whole shawl. That way if I need to rip back I know I am at the beginning of the wave. I almost cried when I had to undo the whole thing. I was so happy having gotten through one whole ball of yarn. But I didn’t cry. I just took away the new knowledge about the life line.

In the meanwhile, Yarn Rascal has been busy. The craft room clean up so new windows can be installed continued on without me while Dad was in the hospital. Every dog we’ve ever had gets a trip to the pet store to personally select the “house” he wants to call his own. We take down various crates and allow the pet to chose the one he/she feels most comfortable in. After all, this is a place in the home where the pet can go to relax, de-stress, or hang out with selected toys. Along with the crate we also buy an orthopedic foam mattress to fit the crate so that things are comfortable. The crate Yarn Rascal chose was a small mansion made for a bigger dog but it was what he wanted. He uses it to store bones and toys he doesn’t want anyone to touch.

While I was busy at the hospital and at Mom’s Yarn Rascal continued with the yarn clean up of the craft room. He moved every ball of left over yarn that was a merino and cashmere blend to his “house”. When I finish making socks or a shawl I keep the remaining yarn in a ball. Usually it ends up in a whicker basket and there it remains until I put it in a Rubbermaid bin. I keep the yarn with the dream that some day I am going to make a blanket out of all the different colors. In fact I had chosen the Bee Keeper’s Quilt as a possible project.

bee keepers quilt

bkq

As you can see it is made up of small hexagons that are two-sided and individually stuffed and then sewn shut. They are then sewn together one at a time. While I love the look of this quilt and think it would work quite well with the yarns I have I also think that it might drive me nuts construction-wise.

Anyway, Yarn Rascal is now the keeper of the merino-cashmere extra balls of yarn, while I am left to pack up the plain merinos.  The dog knows his yarn.

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For all the enablers out there I want to let you know I ordered and received the yarn. Thank you for enabling me. I am happy as a clam at high tide.

Yarn Rascal went completely wild when the yarn came. He was so besides himself he came close to winning a Golden Paw Award. Has it been that long since I ordered yarn?

On Saturday, I went over to my parents and delivered the completed blanket to Dad.

herringbone blanket

The blanket turned out just as I wanted it to. The yarn was Berkshire Bulky in Cream, Stone, Medium Grey Heather, and Medium Brown Heather. The inspiration for the color combination was a geode. Dad seemed pleased with it. It turned out to be one heavy blanket.

On Saturday evening I wrenched my neck so I spent Sunday in a neck brace thing and a lot of pain. I got no knitting done. Today I am in less pain, but still in the brace. I also have a weird rash that seems to have popped up around the base of my neck. I swear it’s from the neck brace but how could I be allergic to a fabric covered foam thing? The rash goes between being very itchy and then being sore. Of course all this happens on an extended holiday when no doctor is on call. Such is my life.

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At An Intersection

I’m approaching an intersection. Tonight the last part of Dad’s blanket will be done (please merciful powers-that-be let this be true), tomorrow I want it blocked. But first, I need to decide where to dry it so it isn’t disturbed by Yarn Rascal. I’m thinking of pinning it to the ceiling, but I just don’t know if I can make it work. The other option, is closing off a room and placing it on the floor to dry. This last option may be the best way provided I buy a padlock for the door. Yarn Rascal is a master at opening doors that are closed to him. He’s a little Houdini in that way.

Once the blanket is knit I am at an intersection of what to pick up and work on next. Yes, I have socks that need knitting, a sweater for me that really needs work done on it if I am to wear it in my lifetime, and various baby sweaters in various stages of design. What I absolutely don’t need is another shawl. Yet look at what caught my eye.

jb travelers Point of Libra Shawl

jb travelers Point of Libra Shawl

Yes, the Point of Libra Shawl as seen on Ravelry. It’s garter stitch and it’s modular. Dad’s blanket was garter stitch and modular. I really don’t need to do the same thing. But look at what I found.

gemstone gradient miss babs yarn yummy 2 ply

That’s gem stone gradient in Miss Babbs 2 ply Yummy yarn.

I think it would look nice with this.

oyster-2ply_large

Miss Babbs 2 ply Yummy yarn in oyster.

I am going to give myself another 24 hours before I whip out the credit card.

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Knitting Borders

I am knitting the border of Dad’s blanket and a few things have become apparent to me through the struggle.

First, this is one heavy blanket. Skeins and skeins of bulky weight wool yarn knitted together makes one hefty blanket. Knitting the border while sitting beneath all that weight is challenging. At the end of each row, the entire blanket gets turned and repositioned. I need both arms to lift and readjust the wooly mammoth. Each border has 11 very long rows. Three hours of lifting and wrestling has left my shoulders quite sore. I am thinking rotator cuff injury, but I don’t want to freak myself out. Who knew a lofty bulky weight wool could weigh so much when knitted together?

Second, in sitting beneath all that woolly warmth and knitting away I get quite hot and sweaty. I hate feeling hot and sweaty. Call it a womanly thing, but excessive heat is not me. So between knitting the border rows I go outside and stand in the cool night air. It’s a little like going from the Amazon to a Swiss Alp, and yes I am noticing a sore throat, some sneezing and a cough developing, but we all know we can’t really catch a cold this way…can we? After the fourth time of standing outside, I went downstairs to The Skipper’s shop and brought up a fan. I figured it might help me stay cooler while I worked underneath the woolen goliath. That’s when The Skipper said, “Are you too hot? I turned up the heat because I thought it was too cold in here.” Ah, the male thinking pattern. Suffice it to say, the heat was cut off but it didn’t help much. I still needed my evening air breaks.

Third, Yarn Rascal is trying all his best manipulative behavior to try to appropriate the blanket for himself. The minute the blanket goes on my lap so does he, as if I need more fur and warmth on me. He immediately rolls over on his back, becomes like jelly, and looks up at me with big puppy eyes that say “For me?????” It is hard to carefully remove a dog who has amazingly rid himself of all bones in his body. He oozes one way, then the other and is impossible to pick up. In the meanwhile, I am getting hot and sweaty from the struggle and can’t wait to rip off blanket and dog from my lap and run outside into the cool air.

I figured once I got to the borders the blanket would come together like a dream. I figured wrong. Today I am going to take my head cold medicine and some aspirin for my aching shoulders which I may never be able to use again and knit up the second of four borders. It’s going to be a lovely day.

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Knit, Knit, Knit.

The photo software is still giving me fits. I need to find out how to adjust the file size of the photo, but I uploaded these anyway.

While I can’t show you the actual garment sample I am knitting for a designer, I can show you the yarn. It’s Plymouth Yarn Encore Tweed. The actual color is much darker, closer to a teal in certain light.

17 aug 2015-3

The yarn knits up into a firm fabric perfect for coats or even a blanket.

The next picture is of two panels of Dad’s blanket. The yarn is Valley Yarn Berkshire Bulky. I am close to having 75% of the blanket done.

17 aug 2015-2

The next photo is the beginning of a sweater I am making myself. Nothing fancy, just a hanging around the house type thing. The killer is the yarn is fingering weight and I am knitting it on size 5 needles. Great for a baby sweater, but a mountain of knitting for an adult sweater. I knew that going in but I didn’t care because I fell in love with the color and instantly knew the stitch pattern I wanted it paired with. It’s a long term project. The name of the yarn escapes me at the moment, but it was being discontinued and I bought up all they had.

17 aug 2015-1

So those are the knitting projects I am currently working on. I have the second sock of the no ribbing socks yet to complete and the mountain of lace that is the Rock Island Shawl. But these are for another time. I first need to get the sample knit done, then concentrate on the blanket.

I know I’ve missed posting the Sunday Knitting and Crochet Images. Behind the scenes here some hard things have happened and are happening. Two childhood friends died within a few days of each other after long battles with cancer. A third friend is fighting her way through chemotherapy. It’s hard right now. I hope to continue the Sunday Images soon.

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The very last thing I need is another knitting project. At the moment I have 3 major ones in progress and am finding it hard to find time for all.

The first one that must get done is a sample knit. The original designer and knitter was allergic to the yarn and I offered to complete the sample. So far I am not experiencing any allergies. The yarn has an oily feel which could come from the acrylic in the yarn plus the spinning oil used to keep the tweed flecks in place. I will be interested to see how the yarn changes when given a bath. This project has top priority.

The second project is Dad’s blanket. The backordered color wasn’t due in until October. Thus, I switched to another color and am working on it in my off hours. The problem with this is by the time I get to it I am so tired that counting to 30 just doesn’t seem to be something I am able to do. Hence I start the knitting by ripping back what I did the night before. The blanket, it seems, has to be put on standby until the sample knit is complete.

The third project, the most insane of the bunch, is a sweater for me knit with fingering yarn on size five needles. That’s 132 sts for the front and 132 sts for the back. The stitch pattern is finicky and uses a western knit stitch and an eastern purl stitch through out. I believe the technique is called combination knitting. This I have had to put aside to save my sanity.

I’d love to show some photos. Yes, I am still at odds with the photo software that came with this infernal computer. Though I am trying to work it out. Yesterday I learned how to delete pictures I want to keep and keep pictures I want to delete. Believe me, this is progress. I also learned that pictures are not saved to just one area, but three different locations in the computer, two of which I didn’t know existed and have yet to figure out how to access to remove the photos. Still, it’s progress.

In wildlife news, our newest addition is a fox that drives Yarn Rascal crazy, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Sleek and beautiful, the fox is buddies with a young buck. They pal around together eating the apples and pears from our trees. Our resident woodchuck doesn’t wait for the fruit to fall. He climbs the trees to eat it. I’ve never seen a woodchuck climb a tree, I fear he will fall and kill his fat little self. So I’ve taken to getting the apples and pears down for him and placing them at the bases of the trees. All our regular characters are still around. Hank the Heron is still stalking the pond. Percy the Osprey is still dropping fish heads on the lawn. Having the sample knit to complete keeps me indoors and out of trouble.

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The Endless Summer

This summer seems endless.

First it was Sammy the snake, then Hank the heron, now it’s an osprey. I was down at the pond checking out the life that is coming back into it. Baby frogs are hopping all over and about a dozen fish have reappeared and are swimming around. The dragon flies were zipping here and there, pausing on a water plant every now and again. Even the two hummingbirds were visiting the pond flowers. I was very happy.

Next to the pond is a very tall ash tree. Many birds sit in that tree during a day, including bald eagles. The pond and ash tree area is usually maintenance free. The woodchucks, deer, and rabbits crop most every weed that grows in that area. So I was surprised to see this little plant snuggled up against the ash tree. I wasn’t wearing my glasses so I got pretty close to it and had to bend over to get even closer to identify it. I never noticed the osprey eating in the ash tree.

I was completely bent over when something wet, slimy and weighty plopped on the back of my head, slid down my cheek, over my neck and landed in full clear eyesight range in front of me. It was a decapitated fish head looking right at me. Trying to expel a full throated scream while bent over and twisting away at the same time does horrible things to the human body unless one is a gymnast and very flexible. The full throated scream came out as a squeak when my right back muscle decided it wouldn’t contort itself into the escape position I wanted. My neck muscle agreed with my back muscle and went rigid too.

Resembling the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I managed to hobble in a crouched position away from the fish head. My back and neck were not letting me stand upright but I managed to turn my neck just enough and swivel my eyes up the tree to see the osprey in all his dining glory. Fish scales, fish skin, bones, all fell from the tree as he discarded what he didn’t want.

In my hunchback position, I stumbled up the hill and into the house. Yarn Rascal thought I was playing some kind of new game. He ran, leapt and squealed with delight all around me as I made my way through the house to the shower. The Skipper said, “What happened to you?” when I passed through the living room. I didn’t say a thing. I merely raised my index finger at him, which means don’t ask silly questions I might just go over the edge.

The truth is, I am longing for snow bound, ice cold winter to appear. The kind of winter weather where only an idiot would be outside. The kind of weather where even all the animals hide. Then I am going to don my snowshoes and take a relaxing, albeit freezing, walk around my yard.

Oh yes, one final thing. I finally wrestled the picture of my dad’s blanket from the circuitry of this infernal computer. I still need to learn how to work the photo software.

17 aug 2015-1

I am still waiting on the rest of the yarn, but that’s alright for the moment. I need to give my neck and back time to rest.

Oh yes, the plant I was looking at? Poison Ivy. Don’t even ask how I know.

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