Friday, February 29, 2008
I like them best for what you don't see in the picture--no man-made development. On the first mile of the beach there are a few homes, but no high rise hotels or condos. The rest of the 20+ miles is undeveloped.
On one side of the dunes is the beach and the Gulf of Mexico.
Behind the sand and sea oats is marsh and coastal pasture for cattle.
It's not uncommon to see cows grazing on the dunes.
(Photo by John)
I don't know if it will always be like this, but I hope so.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Yarn: Pagewood Farm Hand Dyed Sock Yarn
Fiber Content: 70% Merino, 20% Bamboo, 10% Nylon
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) DPNs
Lifetime Total: 23
Of course, I had to stick to my preferred heel and toe: short-rows the PG-R way. It was a perfect match for these socks. I worked six repeats of the lace pattern, then began the set up for the heel. It always looks better to have about an inch of stockinette stitch before starting the short-row shaping. This required working one more repeat.
I don't think I caught the fever to knit multiple pairs of Monkeys like some people, but I did enjoy making them. The best part of these socks to me though is not the pattern, but the yarn. The bamboo content gives the yarn a silky feel. Heaven to knit with and oh so comfortable to wear. This is my favorite sock yarn so far.
My next pair of socks is well underway and they aren't stockinette stitch. See, I really am out of my rut.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Two Color Inca Scarf
Yarn: 2 hanks Classic Elite Inca Alpaca (100% Alpaca)
Colors: 1124 (Blue), 1103 (Gray)
Needles: US 7
Size: 7" wide x 43.5" long
Scarf In Action
This was a very quick and easy scarf to knit. It utilizes a stitch pattern that I call the prayer shawl stitch. If it has an official name, I couldn't find it, but it's the same stitch used in this pattern. Simply k3, p3 on the first row and then purl the knits and knit the purls on the second row. Change colors every two rows and an intricate design of stripes, blocks and columns fall into place like magic. You will notice (first picture) the scarf begins and ends with three rows of regular 3 x 3 rib.
Full Length View
This scarf is extremely soft with a nice drape; stretchy, but with plenty of memory to hold its shape; and completely reversible. All these qualities make it extremely versatile and will likely become one of my favorites to wear.
In fact, I will probably make it again. I think it would look good as a stash buster scarf, using lots of colors of whatever is on hand.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Everyone is invited. No special sign-ups. All you do is spin some yarn in February and then knit it in March.
I decided to spin a blend of Columbia/Dorset that I've had for a while. It's combed top which I have found to be a little more challenging to spin in the past. Usually I have a harder time drafting it evenly and I have to be extra careful not to put too much twist in it.
Straight Out of the Package (left) and Pre-drafted (right)
I didn't have too many problems this time though. And since I was shooting for a bulky weight two-ply to match some other handspun in my stash, the spinning went quickly, as will the knitting.
I plan to use this yarn and two others to knit a pillow. No need to spin a fine yarn for something like that.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday was the complete of opposite of Saturday. It was a glorious day of sunshine and mild temperatures. So after church, I packed up my knitting, John grabbed his fishing gear and we headed out for our favorite place--Matagorda Beach.
See how much the scarf has grown from last week?
This is my mindless knitting project. It's super simple: K3, P3 one row, then knit the purls and purl the knits on the other row. It's the alternating colors that give this stitch pattern interest.
Classic Elite Inca Alpaca
Blue and Gray
And the socks I'm working on?
The ever popular Monkeys.
Pagewood Farm Hand Dyed Sock Yarn
I'll have more to say about these when they're finished, which should be soon.
John didn't catch any fish, but he had fun trying.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Fair Weather Cumulus
Clouds are our mountains here in the flatlands. When they are low on the horizon, I imagine a snow covered mountain range in the distance.
Clouds at sunset are pure drama.
A few minutes later...
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Begin with yarn suitable for felting. Whatever you choose should be equal to two strands of bulky weight held together. I used one strand of Caron Felt-It and three strands of White Buffalo Canadian Unspun.
These colors look good together: Adobe and Goldenrod.
Get out your copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting and size 10 (6mm) needles. Turn to page 60 and follow the simple pattern. In just a few hours you will have knitted the whole thing.
That didn't take long at all!
Clever "fold lines" are the key to square construction.
Time to sew it up. You'll need a crochet hook for this part. Don't fret it though. No special knowledge of crocheting is needed. Step-by-step illustrations take you through the whole process. It's easy!
Looks a little crooked, but it will all straighten out in the wash.
Machine wash in hot water on the lowest water level setting with a little soap and a lot of agitation. Take it out when it looks right to you. Shape and allow to air dry (this might take a day or two). Trim off excess fuzz with scissors (my preference) or a disposable razor. Fill with treasures of your choice and enjoy.
All finished. That was fun!
This is the small box. Mine turned out to be 4" x 4" x 3". Just right for holding an assortment of Post-It Notes.
Monday, February 11, 2008
We drove over on Saturday to look around and to paddle the kayaks. I lived in Rockport when I was in high school. In 1978, my first summer job was at the Sea Shell Shoppe. Walking into that store this weekend, was like stepping back in time. Nothing had changed: the same shelves, the same layout and if I'm not mistaken, some of the same merchandise.
The Sea Shell Shoppe may not have changed much, but the town certainly has. It has grown and flourished. Tourism is still big business though. This time of year, the RV parks and vacation rentals are filled to capacity with people from colder climates. We used to refer to them as Snowbirds, but now we call them Winter Texans.
After our tour and my remembering how things used to be, we went to Goose Island State Park where we intended to paddle, but after checking it out, I changed my mind. While we were there, we stopped to see Big Tree.
It's surrounded by a fence to keep people from getting too close, so it's impossible to get a perspective of it's size. More impressive than its size to me though, is its age. It is estimated to be over 1000 years old.
Afterwards, we decided to check out Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail in Aransas Pass. We should have come here first. This type of paddling is what I'm most interested in.
You can't tell from the picture, but on the other side of the boat channel is a series of mangrove-lined estuaries. It's advised to paddle with a map of the trail and a GPS, as it's easy to get turned around in the maze of channels. We're coming back when we have more time. It was too late in the day to start out on a serious paddle.
As long as we were so close, we took the ferry across to Port Aransas. Drove out to the beach and walked along the jetty until about sunset, then found a nice restaurant on the harbor to eat dinner.
It was a very full and enjoyable day. Round trip (including all the driving after we were there): 370 miles.
* I'm working on a scarf. The stitch pattern is K3, P3 for one row, then P the knit sts and K the purl sts on the next row. Yarn colors are alternated every two rows creating an interesting design.
Friday, February 08, 2008
A nature walk at Brazos Bend was how I celebrated. I saw alligators, of course, and a few turtles, but the birds stole the show.
Elegant Blue Heron Looking for Fish
Creepy Black Vultures (Buzzards)
Beautiful White Ibis in Flight
Entertaining American Coot
White Ibis Against a Clear Blue Sky
Male Cardinal Getting Ready for Spring
Hope the sun shines on you this weekend!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The Knitter's Book of Yarn
Yarn: Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille
Needles: US 4
According to the designer, the key is to use a smaller needle than the yarn requires, and then machine wash and dry the cloth to tighten the fabric even more. It was a little hard on the hands to use size 4 needles with this yarn, but not too bad. My gauge was off and I should have gone down one needle size smaller, but I knew I could never manage that, so I just adjusted the pattern instead. Really, it's such a simple design, you don't even need a pattern at all.
Reverse-Bloom Flower Washcloth
Yarn: Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille
Needles: US 6 Circular (16") and DPNs
For those of you who have not tried this pattern yet, the flower shape is achieved by knitting the garter stitch petals separately and then joining them together in the round. To finish, you work in stockinette stitch, with gradual decreases, to the center.
ETA: Thanks, Jean for locating the free pattern for the flower washcloth.
Monday, February 04, 2008
We decided it didn't look too bad, so we launched anyway.
The transitioning sky entertained us as did the pelicans.
We spooked a couple of wild hogs and they swam across the channel to get away from us. It all happened too quickly to get a picture.
Soon it was too overcast for good pictures and the plan I had of photographing my new blue socks was put on hold. It has been gray and dreary ever since.
This morning the sun broke through the clouds just long enough for a couple of shots.
64 stitches, Short-row heels and toes
Needles: US 1 (2.25)
Gauge: 8 stitches per inch
Yarn: Trekking (XXL)
I really like how the transition of color creates subtle stripes in the knitted fabric. And the blue makes me happy.
Won't it be wonderful when the sky matches the color of these socks? I'm so ready for that!