Celtic Cable

Celtic Cable

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday!

Happy WIPnesday! 

Socks, the ones I was working on last month before I knitted the baby sweater ... from "Socks a la Carte, Toes Up." I am in a class this week for work, and the instructor is okay with me knitting during the class. He even asked if I was knitting his name into the sock ... LOL! I love literary references, especially when they're knitting-literary references!

These are coming right along. It's a seed stitch, and a simple lace panel.

It's so hard to take a good picture of my feet.

The yarn is from KnitPicks. It's sort of a cross between pooling and striping, isn't it? I really like it, but the colors aren't coming through here. There's a lot of pink in it, which you can see on the foot. 

Here is the beginning of a WIP that I'm making for a giveaway. My 100th blog posting is coming up (in nine more posts from this one, so it might be a while), and I am going to have a small giveaway.

And speaking of giveaways ... I won a paper-bead kit from fiberdance. It came in the mail today:

I'm really looking forward to this! I love trying new crafts. Thanks!

That about wraps this up ... I started another blog, so I'm off to go update that one. Last week I decided to take the couch-to-5k challenge. Since blogging about my knitting and spinning motivated me to knit and spin more complex items, and to suffer fewer UFOs, I think blogging my 5K challenge will keep me on track. At least, I hope so!  Can't knit and jog, unfortunately :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

So Glad That's Over.

Next time a Category 1 hurricane hits my area, I think I'll go somewhere else for a day or two.

That was seriously scary. The wind gusts actually shook my house, and I'm in the middle rowhouse in a string of seven. I thought it was another earthquake.

Some trees were hit pretty hard, but the tornado that hit this area a month ago took out a lot of trees and limbs, which means that the debris from Irene wasn't so bad this morning. There were a lot of little limbs down, stuff you could pick up and pile up with no trouble. If there hadn't been that tornado last month, though, this morning would be a whole different story. The wind gusted over 80 mph. Sustained winds on the bay reached at least 62 mph, which is when they closed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.

The power went out at 11:15 PM in my neighborhood, and didn't come on again till 8:00 this morning. It went off again for about a half hour. I could hear the transformers booming all around the neighborhood while the most excellent and much appreciated BG&E repairmen were working.

I did not sleep at all last night. I am a light sleeper anyway, but with a hurricane raging ... every time the windows or the tarp I'd put up in front of the patio rattled, I'd be wide awake again. There were some scary strong gusts of wind.

The sunflowers look awful this morning. 

So all Saturday night, I watched the weather channel and the local news incessantly, and crocheted and knitted, till the power went out.

Kool-Aid blanket: 

Socks from "Socks a la Carte Toes Up." I'll take better pictures outside, when there isn't an inch of mud on everything.

So, that was Irene.

It was much windier than TS Isabel in 2003, when I was without power for four days, but also a lot rainier. I don't think we got so much rain with Isabel. Some areas around Baltimore got 10 inches. We've already gotten so much rain, there are mushrooms all over the place. I wish I could send some rain to my Dad in Texas.

I don't want to go through that again. It wasn't exciting or thrilling or exhilarating, it was just plain old scary!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Watch

I really don't like hurricanes. No one does, I know, but now I'm in the path of one, and my dislike has increased tenfold. Go away, Irene! Go out to sea! Head up to the hurricane graveyard in the North Atlantic, and leave us nice people alone!

I don't expect Irene will be a hurricane when it hits my area, but you never know. The Chesapeake bay water temperature is 74.5. It's in the 80s along the Virginia coast. I'm hoping the cooler water will shrink that $&^$* down to a mild TS or TD. We're used to severe thunderstorms and gusty winds. Heck, just five weeks ago or so a tornado formed about 100 yards from my house and ripped off the roof of a house in the next court.

There are a lot of stray kitties I take care of, and I have a lot of potted and hanging plants outside, so I will be spending tomorrow securing my property and preparing shelter for the kitties. My animals already seem a little uneasy. I'm still hoping and praying it will diminish or turn east into the open ocean. I'm located in southern Baltimore County, so if you hear anything dire about that area, pray for us. I know if the power goes out I can knit ... but you can only do so much by candle.

So, on to the knitting ... I have a finished object for friday, the baby Fisherman Sweater. I made this in just under four weeks, and it was a fast knit. I didn't get the collar right, even though I re-sewed it twice ... perhaps I just didn't make it long enough.  

It's the same front and back, and the whole thing is either seed stitch or cable, so you can imagine how heavy it is! It will keep baby very warm, I'm sure. For the one winter he fits into it!

Good luck to all of you in the hurricane path.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My First Earthquake!

Yay! My first earthquake! It was exciting. I was at work, on the 4th floor of an 8-floor building, and everything shook a little. Everyone stood up and did the prairie-dog-over-the-cubicles thing, and then it shook harder. It only lasted a few seconds, but for someone who has never felt one before, it was scary! My legs were shaking, and I couldn't tell if it was still the earthquake, or if it was just me. The co-worker closest to me was just as unnerved, and we got our purses and bags together and prepared to flee. We weren't able to go right away, but it did shorten the workday. Cell phone service was down, and it took a while before I could get through to a neighbor and ask her to check on my house. I got home a couple hours after the quake. One cat was so seriously freaked out that she wouldn't even come out to eat. I had books on the floor, small things knocked over -- lotion bottles, lava lamp, etc. A knife block on the stove was knocked over, so the stove shook really hard. It's a gas stove. Yikes! I think it was worse here than at work. Another co-worker was in the elevator when it happened, and she said it was terrifying. They thought it was the elevator about to plummet.

Anyway, that was my excitement! So I've been through a tropical storm, a tornado within a hundred yards of my house, and now an earthquake. 

Oh -- here are some WIPs for Wednesday.

I just adore this little sweater. It is so much fun to knit, and so quick. I have the other arm and the neck to do still. It's meant to be a 6 - 9 month size, but I think it skews closer to 12 months. I used the exact yarn the pattern called for, and the exact needles. Since I did that, I guess I didn't feel it necessary to do a gauge swatch. Ah, me. Oh well -- too big is far better than too small! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Note To Self: Kool-Aid Attracts Flies

File that under duh. 

 I should have known, right? Kool-Aid smells sweet, and on a hot day, it is just irresistible for certain flying insects that appreciate sweet smells. I was dyeing the skein pictured above (3 packets Blastin' Berry, one packet Grape) in my large tea jar, just like before. For some reason, though, flies got into the jar. I always leave the flipper lid on top open just a little so the hot air doesn't just build up in the jar, and this is the only time I had flies get in. It was pretty gross, picking them out. I'm not too freaked out by it, since I'm making this project for me.

That's not to say I wouldn't make a project for someone else from yarn that had been dyed with flies and Kool-Aid.

I just wouldn't have blogged about it.

Here's the in-progress blankie ... I'm quite happy with it, but the last square (the red blotchy one) is wonky. I will see what happens when I crochet the next square. If it's still off, I'll frog for the fourth time. I don't know what's different about that one square.

This dye pattern was because the sun didn't come out on a day it was forecast to be sunny. It's 3 packets Pink Lemonade, and one packet Cherry. I put it out in the morning, but then it was cloudy and under 80 degrees all day. The water didn't heat up at all. All the color absorbed, though, which is odd -- I thought it had to have heat. Perhaps it won't be colorfast? 
This little guy is coming along nicely. Cascade Superwash is a fine yarn, I must say. I bought a whole book of patterns for kids using Cascade Superwash. What savvy marketing...

And ... I have so far made one felted dolly. It was actually quite fun! I have a lot of Corriedale roving I dyed badly (water got too hot, and the roving felted a little), and I can use it up on stuff like this. What will I do with this dolly? I've no freakin' idea. I just really wanted to make one!

I'm already a Crazy Cat Lady. I don't think I want to be a Creepy Doll Collecting Lady, too.

A storm that recently hit ...

And the resulting rainbow.


Five seconds before I took the picture, Molly Cat was being cute. Soon as I picked up the camera, she rolled back over and sat up and gave me this nonchalant look.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oh, Dear ...

What have we here?

How did that get into my Joanne's bag?

And what do I do with this?

Guess I'll have to muddle around with all this and see what happens ...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cabling Along in August ...

Ahhh, August. I can see Autumn from here!

I've been working diligently on the cabled item and have finished the back.


It's got an 8-row repeat that is fairly easy to memorize. I only have to look at the chart for the middle cable. 

A few years ago, I got into Kool-Aid dyeing. I made several skeins on the stovetop from Lion Brand wool. I used some up on socks and hats, and the rest got tucked away. I decided I wanted to use them all up on one big project. Here is the start of it: 

It's the half-double crochet stitch ... I think. Between single and double crochet. It's my favorite crochet stitch, not too tight like single, but not too open like double. I'm going to make a patchwork-y afghan, with alternating squares of colors. The squares are 31 stitches long by 31 rows, and it's a J hook. I didn't want it to be too dense. I think this will use up all the Kool-Aid yarn. To be safe, I ordered four more bare yarn hanks from Knit Picks. 

Yes, I know it's useless to try to "use up" something if I'm just going to keep ordering more of it! There should be enough warm days to sun-dye more yarn, in any case. I really enjoy doing it that way. No watching it to make sure it doesn't boil, no heating up the house, no worries about having to hover around the stove. Just pop it in the sun tea jar and set it out.
I have been a bit more creative this time around with the Kool-Aid colors ... this is 2 lemon-lime, 1 lemonade, and a cherry swirled through the water to make streaks. Or was it orange? I don't recall. 

That is it for today. Happy Fiber Arts Friday, everyone!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Knitting on a WIP and a Prayer

It's been a funny weather day today ... the skies have been full of rapidly moving gray clouds, and the breeze was cool. The humidity is still high, but something about the cloudy sky makes me think of Autumn. I have this problem every year ... by mid-July, I am done with summer. I'm tired of sweating when I walk the dog, I'm too hot to knit, and even the garden isn't fun to tend when it's 98 degrees and the humidity is around 70 or 80 percent.

I am longing for Autumn. I eagerly anticipate that first morning I go out to walk the dog before work, and need to get one of my lovely hand-knit shawls. I can't wait to get out my comforter and my winter robe. My bags of winter hats and scarves and mittens are still hanging on the back of the front door, and my yarn basket is full of lovely handspun. My cup runneth over ... if only cool weather will come!

On to the knitting. Here is WIP ...

The one on the stitch holders is 3" from the back of my heel, and ready for the gusset increases. I will knit the other one through the heel before switching back to the first one. No SSS for me! No sock fatigue allowed!

And here is the "prayer." I am not saying anything about this yet, in case I don't finish it. The pattern is not hard once you get started, but the directions were hellishly complicated! It's three charts, with five cables and seed stitches in between. There -- wasn't that simple? The designer did not write it that way, trust me. I had to resort to graph paper and colored pencils to figure out what they were instructing.

Here are the two Kool-Aid skeins. I'm willing to do more, even went to Weis and bought more mix, but now the weather is 80 and cloudy. Maybe next week.

On the right is three packets Berry Blue and one packet Grape, on the left is two packets Cherry and one each Grape and Lemonade. The blue has a lot of purple in it. I think it's becoming more and more purple ... is that possible? Some sort of odd chemical reaction from the blue dye?

And finally, I had a birthday on the first of the month. My friends' thoughtful elder sons, I think they're 11 and 9, kindly sent me a singing birthday card that they signed themselves.

Har, har. Smart arses!

Happy Fiber Arts Friday (submitted from my front porch, with a nice iced beverage at my side)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What a Kool Way to Dye!


A thread on Ravelry's "What a Kool Way to Dye" group caught my attention ... so out came the Kool-Aid, tea jug, and KnitPicks Bare Yarn.

Above is 2 packets cherry, one packet grape, one packet lemonade. Left is three packets berry blue and one packet grape.

The 90+ degree sunny days this week made it a perfect time to solar dye!
Ta-da! And they smell delicious. 

In other news, for WIP Wednesday ...

Some WIPS.... I'm not saying what the blue is yet, because I might become too daunted by the pattern to finish. The others are socks, with my new Knit Picks yarn. They aren't striping equally, but I've found that I don't mind if the patterns don't exactly match.

And here I have a birthday present from a crafty friend ...a teacup bird feeder! It's on a 5' pole in the middle of my tomato plants. So far the birds haven't seen it, but the ants and wasps have!

Happy August, everyone! And happy birthday to all my fellow Leos!