Celtic Cable

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Friday, April 29, 2011

One More Week Remains ...

...Until Maryland Sheep and Wool! I'm so excited ...This will be my fourth time at the S&W. I hope to find a phang or Russian spindle, and some pretty stitch markers (need to have lots for all the WIPs), and a shawl pin or two. I have a few dozen plastic stitch markers, but just lately I've been wanting the prettier dangley ones that look like they could be earrings. So that is on my list.

And fiber. Lots of fiber. I have spun up everything from last year's S&W, except the camel, which is a bit tedious. I still have fiber, of course, because I'm an Etsy floozy, but it's not the same as walking into the gates at the fairgrounds, and making a beeline for my favorite vendor and fondling everything in sight.

So aside from gardening, what have I been doing? 

The spinning wheel kept giving me hurt looks every time I walked past her, so I finally sat down and indulged her.

There, satisfied? Some yeller merino. I liked the color better before I spun it up. I think it's a bit harsher yellow now that it's spun and plied, but I bought eight ounces of the stuff. I think it will be nice to knit with in December or January, when everything is so gray and yukky.

Here is a new WIP, the Wisteria Arbor Shawl from "Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders." Right now it just looks like a fish tail, I think.

The yarn is some of my favorite handspun, but I don't recall the details right now. I have three different shades of dark red from three different sources. I'm going to hopefully use it all up on this project. The pattern is meant to be lacy, so you're supposed to use a light weight yarn ... I don't know if I can fit 256 stitches of this heavy yarn on my needle! 

The perpetual bunting. I think we established on my last post that there is no way this is fitting that wee tiny child any time soon.

Yeah. Maybe next November, William. I do like how he's holding my hand in this photo. Isn't he adorable? I get to see him tonight, but another friend will be there and she'll probably hog him all night, because she hasn't seen him yet and I've seen him twice, when he was born, and when he was not quite two days old. He's very snuggly and he makes the cutest squeaking noises. And of course, stinky diapers, but I don't have to mess with that. Heh.

And finally ... a much anticipated event. The Falling of the Fence. Here it is in my front yard, in all it's dilapidated glory.

I don't think it had too many more years in it.

I was trying to wait to post till the new fence is up -- it's underway right now! But the yard is going to be a mess and I won't want a picture of that on my blog, no matter how nice the new fence. Maybe by next posting, I'll have the yard cleaned up and the garden in (finally). Then it will be picture-worthy.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday, everyone! Thanks, Andrea, for being such a great hostess!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Child Arrived Just the Other Day

 ... He Came to the World in the Usual Way!
 (Thanks to Cat Stevens for the lyrics)

 Welcome to the world, baby boy! William, this is everyone ... everyone, this is William!

He's about 40 hours old here, so he's seen it all.

 Here he is with me, modeling the bunting that he will probably be able to fit into next winter.

My friend fooled me. She normally has big babies, but this little guy was just under 7 lbs. So the bunting is, of course, way too big on him, and it was 87 degrees today. So I will finish it, and hope it will work out for him in October, when he's  ... uh ... (counting on fingers ... carry the five...) ... 6 months old.

I can't get over how tiny and cute he is.
I really have to develop a sense of scale. I thought this bunting would fit a newborn?! What is WRONG with me? I have to find a newborn-sized doll!

Squeaky, gassy little bundle of joy courtesy of Melissa. She is a wonderful person with only one flaw, and that is of course that she doesn't knit. I keep trying to teach her, but she claims she's "busy."

Here's to you, William!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It Happens Every Spring

No baby yet! My friend Melissa is still pregnant ... After a week of waiting anxiously, I have stopped texting her every hour to see if she's "in labor" yet. I don't think she appreciates it ;-)

All I can do is keep knitting the bunting, which I fear will not be used even if ready ... it's almost May, after all, and Maryland is not terribly chilly in May!

A bit over 7". At 11" I add on for the sleeves in the front. The back continues on for 17". It's not meant to be knitted in the round, but I joined it.

 Fair warning: The remainder of this post is about gardening! (Bad Spinster Beth!)

Ten months of the year, I am a spinning and knitting knut. I am never without a project or twelve on the needles, I've always got something on a spindle and the wheel, and I am forever in search of the next thing to knit. But in Spring .... well, all I can think about is seedlings, flowers, dirt, and manure.

As I pointed out in a previous post, this is my backyard (I believe my exact words were "skanky rowhouse backyard). It's 15' x 41, but the lower 4 - 5 feet are unusable for gardening, due to heavy tree rootage and shade.

The dirt patch in the center is for the vegetables -- tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, eggplant. I plan on putting an herb garden at the end of it. A BIG herb garden. I have to wait for my fence before I plant the herbs, but that is scheduled for the 27th. Yay! No more skanky yard!

My redneck patio ... too lazy to put in a proper one :-)

My growing seedling collection.

Blueberries and dianthus in the ground, and dianthus and nicotenia on the fence. I hope to attract some hummingbirds!

 Forget-me-knots, yarrow...

Icelandic poppies...

And I have forgotten what this is ... anyone?

Hostas in the ground, and I put elephant ears and caladiums in the pots. I don't expect to see those until June, though.

I also have lots of snapdragons, dahlia, tickweed, clematis, and a lovely yellow hibiscus. Oh, and the bleeding hearts:

Happy Fiber Arts Friday, all! I hope to have something more fibery next time, but I really do get into this gardening thing, so the knitting usually takes a backseat until June or so.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Happens at the Baby Shower ...

...Does not stay at the baby shower, if someone has a camera and decides to blog about it.

I guess this sort of behavior is to be expected at a Mardi Gras themed baby shower.

That's the proud dad, by the way. The Bump in the Belly on the left is #5 for them. Isn't that awesome?

In other news, this is what I'm trying to knit for The Bump.

It's meant to be a bunting, but I'm worried it's going to be too small. Both panels are 12". I don't know if a 24" circumference will be comfortable for a newborn. Here is what I am thinking of doing, to avoid having to frog it: pick up stitches on either side of both panels to extend it from 68 stitches to 84, and proceed from there. The added stitches would be perpendicular to the panels, and I would have to add four rows on each side, in moss stitch (back panel is moss stitch).

I think it would work -- the panels are 6" from top to bottom, and the stitches I would add on the side might look like an interesting pattern around the foot. And, it would keep me from having to undo 7,344 stitches (yes, I did the maths) and start over for a baby that is due tomorrow.

Here is the link to the bunting pattern ... beware, the baby in the picture is so cute your head might explode:

Bunting Pattern

I finished the red socks and have worn them twice. They are super warm, so they'll probably be put away until winter.

And I spun a little on the merino.

Finally, a totally gratuitous shot of the bleeding hearts in my front yard.

The next time I blog, there will be a picture of an adorable newborn (with an unfinished bunting)!

Happy Fiber Arts Friday, everyone!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Knitting Without a Safety Net

Sometimes I want to knit, but I just don't want to follow a pattern.Do you ever feel that way? After a mentally tiresome day at work, I want to relax with some knitting, and I just don't want to bother with k1 sl1 psso k2ttbl p4 c6f k2t etc. There are a few things I can make that don't require a pattern. Socks, mittens, and wrist warmers, hats, scarves, etc.

I felt that way this week, after knitting on the red socks for so long. So I put them aside and made "Dasha Mittens," for a friend who said her fingers get painfully cold in the winter. Ta-da! Some BFL should keep them warm!  This is the "Rust" BFL I spun up last month.

I used the Knit-n-Style Mitten Tutorial, which is top-down, and patternless except for the top and thumb gusset. I've used this tutorial many times to make simple mittens. The thumbs look a bit wonky, but they fit very nicely. Posed on Molly Cat to make it more interesting.

Here is an experiment I'm trying. I'm not going to say what this is yet, because if it doesn't work I will pull it back and you'll be none the wiser. It's a cable pattern, and the yarn is some I spun up but I don't remember anything about it. It's soft! And red. That's about it. I'm hoping the cable will look less vulgar once blocked.

And, on to spinning ... this is the Merino I ordered from LunaBudKnits. I pulled it apart, and I am spinning it a few feet of one color, then switching to another. No idea how it will turn out, but it's a good way to stretch three 2-oz bundles! After doing so much on the wheel, I was ready for a bit of spindling.

Oh -- speaking of the wheel. I sat down to spin some more BFL on it last week, and THIS happened:


D'oh! My hemp brake belt broke! I replaced it with some red cotton for now.

My other passion is gardening. This is my skanky rowhouse backyard, complete with a 20-year old falling-to-bits privacy fence (soon to be replaced). And the patch in the middle will be my vegetables. When I get the new fence up, in four to six weeks, I shall hang flower baskets from the posts -- which will have gothic post toppers -- and I hope to have a lovely, peaceful, restful garden. The backyard is 15 x 41. There's a tree in the back left corner which provides a little shade, and I might hang some lanterns from it.


My latest purchase, to help me in my gardening: 

The Deluxe Greenhouse. Looks Deluxe, doesn't it? It's all zipped up now to protect my seedlings.

My front garden isn't even planned yet, but the cats have sprouted back up. I can't seem to get rid of them. 

Happy Fiber Arts Friday, everyone!