Celtic Cable

Celtic Cable

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ringing Out the Old Year

It's nearly 2016! As usual, I have made no resolutions or lists or anything like that. I try to make necessary changes as they are needed, rather than waiting for a date on the calendar. I fear I might misbehave too much before that date, out of a sense of desperation. Resolve to cut back my caffeine intake on 1 January? You can be sure that I will increase that intake in the weeks leading up to that day! In general, I wish to keep knitting, keep reading, and keep running and going to the gym to maintain both mental and physical health. And blog a bit more -- it seems like blogging fell off a bit this year. It will be nice to reconnect with everyone.

This year...

I knitted 6 projects, totaling about 4,200 yards.

 A baby blanket (I have actually forgotten for whom this was knitted!)
Same blanket, different lighting.

Scandinavian Mittens for me.

 A sleeveless tunic for me, but it hasn't gotten cold enough to wear it yet. Cascade 220 is quite warm.

A lovely lace poncho, which I've worn a few times. It's extremely comfortable and makes me very happy.

 A Moebius, which I've warn several times.

And I've just finished and blocked a little shawl out of a mongrel skein I bought at the last sheep and wool fest. It's not quite what I imagined, but it will keep my neck warm.

I went to San Diego in February with a friend, to participate in the Special Edition Diva Half-Marathon in Temecula.

The visit was all the more special because it was icy and cold and miserable in Baltimore that week!

It was wonderful to be hiking in the sunshine and warmth! I can't tell you how much I loved the low humidity in Temecula. And the scenery was lovely, rolling hills, wineries, orange groves...just beautiful. Green in the hills, a little like the desert not too far off. 

I went to the Republic of Texas, East, to visit family in September. We went down to the coast to Winnie for a family reunion, and being on the Gulf Coast again made me so homesick I very nearly stayed there.

(This picture is near Lufkin, not on the coast)

Let's see, what else? My garden grew a cat, for some reason...

Inside, dogs and cats lay about like good-for-nothings...

But at least they got along.

So much so that Molly didn't even budge when Georgie Girl got up and left.

I read 67 books, according to Goodreads, surpassing my goal of 60. I just finished this monster today:

Middlemarch! I loved it. Very ponderous at times, and I had to re-read a few sentences a few times, but the characters were fascinating. I think I liked Dorothea best, although I was furious with her at the beginning of the book. Such a slave to that terrible husband! I'm always struck by how much position and class dictated old English society. Some of the best characters in the book were the ones who had no social standing, but they were the smartest and kindest. So many friendships were not made, hands not offered, because of the class differences. I can't imagine it. Neighbors not associating with one another because one family was in trade. The horror! Despite that, I do have a soft spot for 18th and 19th century English literature.
I try to read a few challenging books a year, in addition to the more fun reads, but I always like books that make me think.

And that was my 2015. How was yours?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Welcome Back!

That was for me. I've not blogged for a couple months. I noticed that knitting blogs have sort of fallen away, and I felt a little discouraged. I don't really want to go into Pinterest, so I will spend the holiday time mulling over what to do. Continue with Blogger? Move to Pinterest? I use Pinterest now to find recipes, I guess it wouldn't be much harder to use it for knitting, but I would have to acquire the necessary adapters to move photos from my camera to my ipad.

Okay, well, on to the knitting. The weather here has been so strange, thanks to El Nino. Below freezing a few days, then in the 60s and 70s. It really doesn't make me want to knit!

A while back, I started this shawl.

The yarn is something unique I picked up at Sheep and Wool a couple-three years back. I started one shawl, didn't like it, painstakingly ripped back ... the yarn is thick-and-thin, much like something I would spin if I were being lazy or careless. I decided on a simple pattern, starting with 3 cast on, yarning over on either side of a central stitch. I'm up to about 130 stitches now.

Here it is outside, where it appears blue.

The yarnover spine down the middle (picture indoors, now it's purply again).

I'm slowly working on a hexipuff blanket. I really enjoy this project, but I don't attend to it often.

Pretty Kitty gives it her mark of approval.

I also tossed off about 4 cup cozy thingies for friends at work. They're not very practical, but it was a nice way to use up leftover yarn.

Hopefully I'll see more of all of you, but if I must move to Pinterest, then move I must. Or is there something new everyone is doing these days, that I'm not aware of?

Molly measures my level of coolness, and finds it lacking.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Fixed a Sock and I Liked it

When I first was learning to knit, I turned to U-Tube for all my tutorial needs. Now, thanks to Pinterest, it's even easier to learn new ways to knit, patch, repair, and darn. I browsed across a sock-darning tutorial for fixing holes that looked much neater than my usual thread-yarn-around-the-hole technique. It takes more time, but not much, and it looks great when finished!

Both socks of this pair had holes in the exact same place, right where Achilles' mother held him to dip him in the water. I suspect that it happened because the socks are, like all my handknit socks, too loose. Friction wore a hole right in the back. Normally I get the holes under the heel or ball.

Following the Pinterest tutorial, by jackie-es.com, I inserted a needle in the row under the hole.

I picked up a stitch on each end as I started each row, and knit or purled it together with the first stitch. That way, I was completely covering the hole. I hope.

As I got closer to the hole, for a couple rows, I picked up a stitch and purled it together with one on the needle to make sure it didn't unravel. This wasn't really in the tutorial, I just like to be extra-double-sure.

Finished up ... picking up a stitch and purling with each one on the needle.

Finished by weaving the live stitches into a sock stitch.

Ta da! Unfixed other sock on right, patched on left. I think it looks awesome. Luckily, I found some leftover yarn.

And even more luckily, which I was scrounging for leftover yarn, I found a WHOLE ENTIRE SKEIN of Jawoll Sock Yarn.

A WHOLE SKEIN that I didn't know I had. So once I fix the other sock, I'm going to settle down with "Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders." I do love those one-skein books.

In other news, Georgie and Patches enjoy a sunny day ...

Georgie haunts me from the top of the stairs...

And Georgie ferociously protects two treats she will never, ever consume. 

What are you all up to? 

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Pretty Kitty wants to know why I am taking pictures of knitting, and not her ...


So I finished the Downy Buffalo Socks from the One Skein Wonders Lace book.

I am not going to block them, because -- as always -- they're already too big, and blocking them would make them fall down around my ankles. SIGH. So frustrating.

I have a perpetual problem with wearing the heels out of my handknit socks. I was browsing through a big knitting book, one of the big heritage-of-knitting type books, and saw something about how women used to reinforce heels, when knitting for the war effort. You take a length of sock yarn on a tapestry needle and thread it in and out of the heel and ball of foot stitches, like so...

I probably should have done it a bit thicker. And I totally reinforced the wrong section for the ball of the foot -- looks like I reinforced the toe area. Oops.

And I have renewed working on the Beekeeper quilt. I love this project so much.

It knits up so quickly, and now that I am better at joining knitted pieces, I don't mind the sewing involved.

We had a week of cold weather, now it's warm again ... too warm to wear my fabulous purple knitted poncho, or the cleverly-named #03 Lace Poncho.

(My left hand looks freakishly huge on the camera. Ugh). 

So that's my update! I'm hoping now that cooler weather is back, people will start blogging again. I've noticed a distinct lack of knitting blogging going on ... has everyone jumped the fence and gone to Pinterest? 

Snuggling on the front porch right before a big thunderstorm rolled through.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Just in Time for Autumn!

Finished just in time for cold weather!

My new favorite poncho! Lace Poncho ... 03 Lace Poncho, pattern by Tanis Gray, from an old issue of Vogue Knitting. The yarn in the pattern was discontinued, so I substituted it with an acrylic, James C. Brett Marble Chunky. I purchased the yarn at MLYS, All About Yarn. I used an old skein of something stashed, something without a label, to do the blue edging.

Close up of the leafs.

I also took up an old project, the beekeeper's quilt.

The hexis knit up so quickly!

I hope to see more of all of you knitting now that the weather has cooled off!