Monday, October 30, 2006

Almost There

Just a couple more inches to knit on the body of the cardigan and then I can move on to the neckband and then the sleeves.

For some knitters, the large amount of stockinette stitch in this cardigan would be a chore to finish, but not for me. I enjoy this stitch. It keeps my hands busy and my mind free. It's been the perfect project for evening knitting in front of the TV.

This cardigan has also been a good traveling companion on all of the trips we've been on lately. It's easy to put down and pick up later without having to relearn some complicated stitch pattern or spend time figuring out exactly what to do next. I'll pack it in my suitcase for this week's trip to Charleston, South Carolina.

This will be my first trip to Charleston and I'm excited about it. We'll have one full day to explore, so check back in a couple of days for pictures.

P.S. Playing around with the new template layout options on Blogger Beta. Are these color choices too hard to read? Should I go back to the white background? Let me know what you think.

Please Read: Ignore the note above about template color changes. I've already changed back. I was trying out a dark background. I liked the way the pictures "popped" on it, but the text was too hard to read. The white background is much easier on the eyes.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Yarn Search

I've been looking for some black and white yarn for a hat I want to knit for a gift. I had in mind to get superwash wool or maybe a wool/acrylic blend. Something that won't shrink if thrown in the washer. I've been to several shops, but I haven't had any luck in finding something like that in both colors.

Yesterday I was in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I decided to continue my search for this elusive yarn at a yarn shop I saw listed in my yarn guide. Armed with the address, a map and a phone number, I navigated my way through the town and found the building. One problem, though. It was empty. Had they moved? Closed down? A call to the number got me a recording with the name of the shop and operating hours and a message to call back because they were probably on the phone. I called back numerous times throughout the day, but all I got was the same recording. I suppose they are out of business, but why is the phone still connected?

I decided to check out Hobby Lobby. No luck. Next on the list was Michaels. I haven't been in this chain craft store in a while. I was really surprised to find that they are now carrying Patons Classic Wool. This is 100% wool and requires handwashing, but is so affordable (only $4.99 a ball) that I decided it would work.

Began the hat last night, just to see how the yarn knits up.
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I really like it. It's a smooth worsted weight yarn. Soft. Not scratchy. The hat will not take long to knit, but I won't show it finished until after Christmas. I can't completely spoil the surprise now, can I?

Monday, October 23, 2006


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It feels so good to finally be knitting on this cardigan. Look at the progress! In about the same amount of time it took to knit these little booties, I've worked through one of skein of yarn and have completed the yoke. The yarn I'm using is Berroco Ultra Alpaca (50% Alpaca, 50% Wool). Very soft and nice to work with.

As promised, here's what I bought at The Yarn Garden Knit Shop in Lawrenceville, Georgia:

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Two hanks of 2nd Time Cotton, a recycled fiber that is 75% cotton, 25% acrylic. The best part was that it was on sale for 60% off. Great deal!

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I couldn't resist this lovely blue color (#77) of Trekking XXL. One of the ladies in the shop is using it for a pair of socks and she said it knits into a very subtle striping pattern

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This is my favorite purchase. A hand turned nostepinde made by Thomas Smith of Milledgeville, Georgia. I now own three hand crafted nostepindes. A collection is born.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quick Update

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Thanks to everyone for the comments on the booties from the last post. I like to respond to all comments with a personal note, but not every comment is linked to an email address. So, thank you to everyone I couldn't reach.

This week I'm traveling with John...again. It's going to be like that at least until Thanksgiving. We're in Duluth, Georgia (near Atlanta). This trip has been a good one for getting some knitting done. See the knitting in the picture above? That's the beginning of my cardigan. I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening in that chair just knitting and enjoying it. My plans for this afternoon will include more of the same.

Stopped in at Panerra Bread for lunch and to use their free wi-fi. Can't justify spending $10 a day for Internet access at the hotel when I can get it for free. That's money that I could use to buy yarn! Which by the way, I did. Full disclosure when I get back home. Until then, happy knitting.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Baby Shoes

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Pattern: Stripy Bootees from 50 Baby Bootees To Knit by Zoe Mellor
Yarn: Cascade Yarns Pima Melange (100% Pima Cotton)
Needles: US 2
Size: 3-6 months

I made these at the request of a friend who wanted a special gift to give to a new mom. She told me what size to make and that they were for a boy, but left the pattern selection up to me. I immediately thought of these shoes, since I'd made them before. I remembered that they were cute and that the mom I gave them to said they were the only booties that would stay on her baby's foot. The only thing I didn't remember was how long it takes to knit them. This pair took me fourteen hours. Normally that wouldn't be such a big deal, except I really wanted to start knitting my cardigan. Maybe I'll be able to start it this week.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

One More Time

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Well, I thought I had knitted my last pumpkin hat for the year until I won this book from a contest on Veronica's blog and I learned that I needed a gift for a baby to be born this month.

Pattern: Little Pumpkin from Itty-Bitty Hats
Yarn: Plymounth Encore D.K (orange) and Sirdar Snuggly (brown and green)
Needles: US 7, 16 inch circular and dpns
Size: Newborn

I really like the way the decreases are done in this pattern. Better looking than what I've used before. Next year, this is how I'll make my preemie pumpkin hats. The leaf isn't really right for a pumpkin leaf, but it's cute. The stem is garter stitch which is different too. However, the model hat in the book shows the stem in stockinette stitch. Someone didn't catch that, I guess. I'm really excited to have won this book. So many cute hats and great ideas!

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

No Knitting This Trip

Knitting this week has been interrupted by travel. John and I drove to San Antonio Monday for another meeting. Our stay was unexpectedly cut short and we had to drive to Port Arthur on Tuesday. Returned home yesterday afternoon. Many hours were spent in the car. Though this is prime knitting time for a lot of knitters, I've discovered I don't really enjoy it. The yarn and needles stayed packed most of this trip.

The only knitting to show is the swatch for the cardigan (pattern #241) I'm planning to knit.
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Looks like the gauge is just right. Now all I need to do is find some time to get started.

Matt is coming home for few days! Haven't seen him since August, so I'm looking forward to his visit. The upstairs is still pretty much like he left it--in need of attention. Think I'll be concentrating on housework today.

Last night we were treated to a beautiful Texas sunset.
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Psalm 104:24
O Lord, how manifold are they works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Socks and Silver Lake

I finished my socks on our trip to Utah. It was probably all the air travel time that helped me get them done. Also I spent most of the this trip recovering from the previous one. Stayed in the hotel knitting and catching up on the computer.

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Pattern: Basic Crew Socks (2x2 ribbed leg, short row heels and toes, worked on 64 sts.)
Needles: US 1 double points
Yarn: Online Supersocke 100 (45% cotton, 40% wool, 15% polyester)
Knitting time: Aug. 23 to Oct. 5

John and I always like to drive to Silver Lake when we're in Salt Lake City. Since this was a working trip with activities scheduled for the evening, the only time we could squeeze it in was yesterday morning before our flight. The weather was grey and overcast as it had been for most of the week, but even so, the lake was beautiful.

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So what's a knitter to do when she finishes a pair of socks? Cast on another pair, of course.

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This is working up quickly, but isn't that the way it always goes with the first one?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Well, it wasn't raining and it wasn't quite as windy, but it was dark and cloudy as we started out. Stayed that way for most of the drive across Vermont. As we drove through the higher elevations we saw more fall color in the trees. We left the interstate at Sharon, I think, and got on a smaller highway that took us to Woodstock. It was a good idea.
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Next time we're out this way I hope we can stay longer. After a while we realized we needed to quit stopping and just get to the airport before we missed our flight. It was torture when we drove over the Quechee Gorge and couldn't stop.

Made it to the airport in time for out flight. Flying time is good for knitting and I knitted on the sock. Hit a little snag though.
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Don't you hate that! I wanted this sock to match the first one so I had to search for the right color sequence to continue. Discovered the yarn manufacturer joined this in the reverse sequence, so I had to re-wind the yarn. How frustrating. But finally I got it right and I think the stripes match.

Thanks for joining me on this trip. Believe it or not, we're leaving in a few minutes for the airport to fly to Salt Lake City. At least we had one night at home. I'll leave you with this picture of the last light in the sky as we made our descent into Houston.
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The end.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


The weather sure can change in a hurry. Woke up to rain, wind and cold temperatures (high 40's).

Attended church in Milton. I was totally surpised to find that one of my Free Home Bible Study students is a member of this congregation. We had just exchanged emails a couple of days ago and neither one of us knew we would end up meeting each other. I didn't even know she lived in Vermont. Small world.

Forgot to mention in yesterday's post where we're staying. We are at the North Hero House.
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It's a quaint little inn just like you would expect to find in Vermont. Our room is on the second floor and faces Lake Champlain. There's even a porch off of our room for sitting and viewing the lake, but it's too cold for that today.
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However, some people (noteably fishmen) cannot be stopped by bad weather. John was determined to fish no matter what. Mark went with him, but Sue and I stayed behind where it was warm. The guys left us a car, so after a while, we ventured out. I bought some McIntosh apples at Apple Farm Market in South Hero. The one's that are sold in the stores at home are never fresh, but these are the real deal.

Lake Champlain from North Hero House.
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Hoping for better weather tomorrow as we drive across the state to get to the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire.

To be continued...