Sunday, April 30, 2006

New pics!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend, it's sunny here today and warm if you're sitting in the sun pulling weeds out of your flowerbeds, as I was doing earlier. Now I'm going to (hopefully!) post some progress pics of my knitting to share with you.

This first pic is of Mara, as you can see I'm on the second repeat of the pattern sequence and looking forward to starting my steeks shortly. But I will measure carefully first as I want to make sure it's long enough before I commit to the steeks. I hate sweaters riding up in back when I squat or sit down.

These next pics are of my DH's FLAK, I'm done with the sleeves except for the cuffs, which I'll do at the end, and am working my way down the body eagerly. He's looking forward to wearing it and my Mom saw him try it on Sunday and thinks it will look really good with his coloring.

The second picture is also his FLAK, closer so you can see more detail. The color is Cordovan, in Cascade 220, 100% wool that is really great to knit with, so far (knock on wood) no knots in the skeins.

Well, there is a third pic but it's not loading at the moment so I'll try later if I get a chance. Everyone have a great week!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter! Good Pesach!

I'm going to start with posting some pics of Terri's Mara showing her steeks. She is just whizzing along on hers and I am so impressed (and a little jealous, but then she's retired so doesn't have overtime getting in the way).

I finished the first pattern repeat today on mine while spending Easter with my Mom at her care facility and have started the second one. I need to check the instructions to verify which round I start the steeks on for the front and the armholes. I did put in the pretty stitch markers that a friend of mine in the stitchnbitch group I go to on Wednesday nights gave me as thanks for sharing my left over sock yarns with her. They really look nice with the fine yarns. She makes these and sells them at one of the LYS.

On the FLAK front, I broke down Thursday night and gave my DH his, as I needed more knitting time and wasn't getting it in time to finish for his birthday the end of the month. He loves the Cordovan color and is anxious to wear the sweater when it's done. I'm hoping to have both of them close to finished by the end of the month, if possible, God willing.

Our yard is in bloom and I love walking around looking at all the beautiful flowers that have come up. I bought some more bulbs and we will plant those soon.

Have a blessed Easter and a good Pesach!


Saturday, April 15, 2006

FLAK Progress, corrected crochet steeks, Easter

I finally broke down Thursday night and gave my DH his (incomplete) FLAK sweater. I was getting stressed about not getting it done for his birthday on the 25th and just decided he could enjoy watching me knit on it in front of him. He loves the color (Cordovan, same as men's shoes used to be) and loves the design (same as my FLAK, so we kind of have matching sweaters, just different colors).

This morning I wound another ball of yarn for his sweater so I can knit on it most of the weekend without delay. I'm meeting Terri for lunch today so we can compare progress on our sweaters and discuss our DH's (did I just say gossip about hubbies????).

My DH and I and some friends are going camping at Silver Creek Falls the first weekend in May and I'm really looking forward to getting away for that weekend. I've put in for that Friday off work but won't know until the week before if I get it or not. The check in time at the campground is 4pm, so if I have to work, DH will take one of our friends who totalled her car and our camping stuff up there, set up camp, then come back into town for me when I get off work. But I reallllllllllllyyyyy hope I get that day off work! DH is realllllyyyy looking forward to fishing that weekend a lot.

I'm also going to take out the steek on my Oregon vest this weekend and redo it. The photos in Meg's book didn't give me enough info to really do it the right way (or I'm still interpreting things differently from other folks, a gift I've had my whole life) and something about the steek kept bugging me so I didn't cut it and move on. Finally I took the bull by the horns, or the sweater by the needles, and wrote to the kbth list about it asking for clarification. Bless her heart, Meg Swansen herself wrote me offlist to say that I had indeed misunderstood the directions and told me the right way to do it. One thing that had tipped me off was her relating a knitting camper's method of weaving together the armhole steeks, then crocheting up one side of the armhole and down the other. Thus working from the garment toward the steek each side, instead of crossing over the steek as I had done. So I confessed my mistake to my Mara_class group and hope I saw the light in time so others don't follow my mistake.

Tomorrow is Easter and we are planning to meet my Mom for services at her assisted living center, then stay for dinner with her, which she will get a kick out of as she gets to introduce us to all her friends again. With the dementia getting worse, she never remembers who she has already introduced us to and does it each time we visit. Fortunately, the other folks are sweet about it and just say hi to us, knowing I think that someday they could be in the same boat with their memories. Now that Dad is gone, I've noticed she is sliding away faster and it hurts but that is the way life goes. So I cry a bit when I'm not around her to let the pain out, then remember the good times and move on.

I finally got my copy of 'This Morning Woolcraft' from England that I had won on Ebay back in the middle of February, took 7 weeks to get here by surface mail! But I didn't feel like paying about $30.00 for air postage when I had already paid about that much for the book. Needless to say, it was a long wait for me as I'm not patient very often. Which is why I knit so fast, I'm eager to see how something will look when it's done. But the wait was well worth it, the book contains the instructions for AS' Marina cardigan and I think that will be my be next FI project, after I get the ones I'm working on now done. Of course, I will have to work on it in between working on my DH's Mara vest. He decided he likes the colors and was talking about borrowing my cardigan - not! I told him I'd make him a vest in the pattern, but I may use Terri's colors for a bit of change. Making the exact same thing twice doesn't appeal to me very much when it's a full size garment. So my summer knitting is getting planned ahead of time. I just hope I can get most of the started garments done by the middle of June so I can start the others and get them done by fall, so we can wear them when it gets cool again.

I got Janet Szabo's new book in the mail yesterday - wow! She personally signed it and included a little gift for the first 500 folks who ordered it. I'm taking it with me to meet Terri, as she's thinking about getting the book for her library, too. I haven't had a chance to sit down and peruse the book yet, I was tired when I got home last night so did some knitting on my DH's FLAK, then read my email and played a few games of Pogo Canasta with him before bed. But another lister on Aranknit said the patterns in the back are all new, and I know that JC Briar was test knitter for most of them so are extremely unlikely to have any errors in them. JC lives down by Eugene and I've chatted with her in person a few times. She has so much knitting knowledge and such a great way of sharing it, very exact and precise in designing patterns to make knitting them fun and easy.

Time to hit the shower and go meet Terri, have a great weekend all and a Good Pesach and a Blessed Easter to those who observe them.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday evening getting ready for the week

Hope everyone's weekend went well, I got lots done on my FLAK, the first sleeve down to the cuff (won't do the cuff until I get the second sleeve done to make sure the length is right for me). I also got a lot done on my DH's FLAK, which I haven't spoken about here before in case he was reading this. But I noticed I was starting to stress about getting it done in time for his birthday on the 25th and decided I needed to come to some kind of decision before I undid a lot of my hard work on destressing my life.

So Thursday morning at work I pondered while I stocked supplies and merchandise and finally came to a workable solution - I will work hard on it on my breaks and lunches and maybe even stay 15 minutes after work to knit a round or two on the sleeves until the 20th. I am off work that day for dental work so when I get home in the morning, I will haul it out and start working on it in front of him. He will make some comment about not having seen it before and I will say that I need to get as much of it done as possible for the next Tuesday (his birthday). When he makes the connection, I will smile and say, "Happy birthday, my love!" and plant a big kiss and hug on him. Then go back to knitting madly on it.

We are going camping the first weekend in May and it would be great to have both of our sweaters done so we could wear them then. I know, that's less than a month away now. About four weeks from last Friday actually. But I will get as much done as possible before then. Since I'm using size 5 needles it seems to fly, even on the sleeves as long as they are. I'm knitting them in the round to avoid seams and so they finish up faster.

I met with Terri for lunch yesterday and took some pics of our Maras to share. I was focusing mostly on the differences in our ribbing. Mine is tighter and shorter than hers, but she didn't want hers drawing in at the bottom very much and I do. The gauge is working out about the same on the stockinette portion so far, the section that I took out to try the Jade green in is a little loose but the yarn may have gotten stretched out from being knit so many times and I'm not worrying about it. Dressing the sweater will take care of any slight difference in tension.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Home made color cards for Mara

Jan sent me two pics of color cards she made for her Mara, showing the colors very well and also giving her a length of yarn for future repairs - smart idea! So I'll post them here for Mara_class members to check out. Some folks are still having trouble picking colors, which is understandable as there are three different lists of colors I found once I started looking into it. Here are Jan's pics.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tuesday morning greetings

Just got back from my walk at the mall, only did two laps today as my shins down by my ankles were hurting. Guess I'm going to have to spring for genuine walking shoes this payday, the work shoes are good for walking short distances and standing but not for sustained walking. But I did get up, I did get dressed, and I did go walk for 20 minutes this morning at a reasonable pace, using the talk test. So, good for me, even though I had wanted to do three laps. I just tell myself it will come, I haven't been walking on a regular basis for a long time so it will take my body a while to get back comfortable with it. And this is something I plan to keep up for the rest of my life, as my Grandpa Walter did. He told me, "Use it or lose it," and I almost lost my walking, got back to it just in time I think.

I worked a little more on my Mara last night, need to get some new pics of it to put here. I'm almost to the middle of the first OXO repeat and it's looking good! I've got a rhythm down now and I hate to put it down when bedtime comes, but I know I'll pay for it in the morning if I don't go to bed on time and it will be there for me to work on tonight again. I do need to get some more work done on my FLAK and other projects.

I had hoped to get some done last weekend, but took Mara with me to Portland to work on while my DH drove and at the restaurant with my Mom. That reminds me, my DH took pics of Mom and I knitting and they are still in the camera - I'll have to upload them tonight and post one of them. Mom turned 85 in February and still knits, when I'm with her at least to remind her. Dementia is setting in and she doesn't think about her knitting unless I remind her of it. So when we take her out for lunch or coffee I try to remember to grab hers to take with us. She's making a garter stitch scarf to give to charity when she's done. She likes to remind herself while she's knitting that it will keep some poor person warm this coming winter and that gives her more pleasure in her knitting. Her family lost their farm during the Dustbowl Days in North Dakota and moved to Spokane when she was in high school, so she knows what it's like to do without and be cold and hungry. Maybe I'll get some of the same yarn and make a scarf to donate as well. Kind of a cool Mother/Daughter project, don't you think? Anyone want to step up and join me in doing this?

Happy knitting!
Helen B

Sunday, April 02, 2006

More pictures!

I'm going to try to post some more pics and see how many (if any!) show up here.

Sunday catching up

I got the CPU fan installed and it feels sooooo good to be back on my own system so I can store pics and emails and find them again!

I'm going to post a pic from one of the members of the Mara KAL as she doesn't have a blog set up yet but is brave enough to put her beautiful work out for the world to see. Here it is.