Celtic Cable

Celtic Cable

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!
Centennial Park, Columbia, MD

I don't really make resolutions, but I do 'hope' for things for the new year. I hope to challenge myself to knit outside my comfort zone next year (brioche, entrelac, lace, more Fair Isle). I hope to destash, which will mean a lot of one-skein-wonder projects, as my stash is all odd lots. I hope to destash some of the unspun fiber that has been in a drawer for a few years. I hope to have a lot of really nifty ideas for projects!

Right now I'm working on Celtic Pride Kilt Hose ... I'd like to make them for me, though the pattern is for men. I'll see how it goes.
See that tube in the top middle, on the dpns? This is the first time I bought sock yarn that came with its own reinforcing yarn for the heel.

Do you all have any new year resolutions? Crafty or otherwise?

Ellicott City, MD

What I'm Reading: "A Murder at Rosamund's Gate."  By Susanna Calkins. Set in Restoration England, 1665, a murder-mystery. The main character is Lucy, a maid in the magistrate's house, who investigates recent murders in her corner of London. Her lot as a servant is better than most, as she knows her letters and her master and mistress are kindly. But she is surrounded by "louts" who are very "handy," and when out-of-doors, she not only has to dodge pickpockets and the like, but she is constantly fending off men who think a young maid has no right to say no to their advances. It's somewhat better in the house, but her master's guests are sometimes men who prey on maids. I'm about halfway through it, and enjoying it.

Happy New Year!! Be safe if you're going out tonight. I'll be staying in with the cats and a warm cup of tea. I doubt I'll be awake at midnight!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Kilt Stockings

All done!

Lace-me-up-kilt-hose are done!

They weren't difficult to knit, but I had to do a lot of math to make it work with the yarn I chose.

Yarn which I bought too much of ... I have nearly three full skeins left over ... so much for destashing!

What are you doing on the floor? Why are you taking pictures of your legs? 
Linking with Wonder Why Alpaca Farm for Fiber Arts Friday. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nearly There!

The Kilt Stockings are nearly done! Sort of.

Oh, oops, sorry ... that's a picture of me after I ran the Baltimore Celtic Solstice 5-Mile Run this past Saturday, which I blogged about on my other blog. My bad!

Here are the stockings...

I love the S1K1/SlP heel flap. So sturdy and still so pretty.

To solve my eternal problem of wearing through the heels, I'm trying something new.

I bound off the sock in two spots -- at the bottom of the heel flap before turning the heel, and on the top of the instep before picking up the gussets. Then I picked up the bound-off stitches along with the gusset stitches, and started completely afresh. Once I've gotten all the gusset stitches decreased back to the original number, I will bind off again, and pick up and restart. It sounds tedious, but this way I can reknit the problem part if a hole develops, and darning doesn't work. Of course, now that I weigh fifty pounds less, maybe I won't wear through the bottom of my socks any more ;-)

I can't think of any way to properly bulk up that spot on the sock without making it uncomfortable to wear.

Molly reminds you to stop by TamisAmis for Work in Progress Wednesday!

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Finished Object!

I can't remember the last time I had a FO for Friday!

I love the pom-pom ... I used all the colors from the yarn for it.

I actually wanted it to be ridiculously long, but I didn't have the patience, I guess.

I'm off to the vet ... these two have checkups, and since they're besties, they go in together!

Don't forget to stop by Tamis Amis for Finished Object Friday!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow Day!

It doesn't snow frequently here in the Baltimore area. Every ten years or so, there's apparently a monster snowstorm or two, but for the most part we get an inch or two here or there, and that's it. Today we're expecting 4 - 6 inches. It's a very heavy, wet, unpleasant snow. It is sticking to the pavement, but it's very slushy, as you can see ...

I like my little eucalyptus tree, so I'll probably be outside a lot today, shaking it off. It was huge last year, and I was regretting planting it near the fence. Then the cold killed it, but it came back. So pretty! I know if I dry the leaves I can dye yarn with them.

Maybe I can dye yarn with this winter cabbage, too! It would be blue yarn, right? Or is that just radiccio that makes blue yarn?

My WIPs wanted to go out and play in the snow. On the left is a stocking hat. I might be able to finish it this week. And the Kilt Hose, which are really warm and thick and I can't wait to wear. I am a bit confused why patterns call for holding two strands of yarn together, instead of just thicker yarn. Any ideas?

This picture is from our Snowpocalypse (also known as Snowmaggeddon) in 2010. I think this was the first one ... we got hit by two, four days apart, and each gave us about 40" of snow.

Georgie Girl was not amused.

But, that was almost 4 years ago. Today's just supposed to be about a half a foot, which isn't that much at all. I shall spend the day running outside to shake the snow off the eucalyptus, and brush off my convertible roof. Other than that, it's just me, the knitting, and a lot of hot tea.

You call this a snowstorm? I remember back in '10, when it snowed 84 inches in four days. Now *that* was a snowstorm!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Tale of Two Appliances

This is a bit off the topic of knitting and crafting, but I wanted to share it with you all. There'll be knitting at the end.

A couple weeks ago, the washer part of my combined washer-dryer machine died. Judging by the horrid smell of burning metal, it was the motor. Long story short, I had to replace both. I was pretty irked, but I got a set that was marked down $200 on each machine for "Black Friday."

I'll spare you the horrible details of getting it hooked up, because the state of MD insists only licensed plumbers uninstall and install gas units, and it costs $300 ($120 to "pull a license." I have never hated politicians as much as I do now. Thankfully, I have a neighbor who knows how to do these things.)

Then, long story short, the hot water heater died and had to be replaced.

This was Tuesday. It was raining, about 30 degrees, really miserable. I had to turn off the furnace while the guy was working in the utility room ... the water was off ... I was cold, cranky, hungry, wanted coffee, and had to pee. And I was feeling sorry for myself because I had to spend so much money all at once.

There's a knock on the door. It's a woman I know by sight, who lives nearby. She wants the washer-dryer unit out front; I tell her it's broken, she says she wants it for scrap. She is going all over the neighborhood looking for discarded scrap metal (gutters, appliances, etc) to recycle for cash. Because there's a leak in a pipe in her bathroom, and she is trying to raise $240 to get it fixed. She cares for her three grandchildren, and she is worried they'll have to postpone Christmas because they really have to get this leak fixed, it has damaged part of the house already, and they have to fix that before anything else. Before buying Christmas presents. Despite this, she was much more cheerful and upbeat than I was. She said the Lord was leading her and taking care of her needs. Her faith was pretty strong.

Needless to say, it put my problems in perspective. She left with the washer-dryer and the old hot water heater, and I hope that was enough to get her to her goal. 

Okay, on to the knitting!

Kilt stockings ... I've many times mentioned my problems with heels wearing through, so I'm going to have to come up with something inventive to keep that from happening with these.

Cascade Yarn striped stocking cap. I'm mostly working on the stockings, so this doesn't get much action.

In the midst of the appliance drama, Molly Cat had a dental procedure and had several teeth pulled. I guess they couldn't get a good vein on one leg, and had to try both. Doesn't she look ridiculous? I hope her little legs aren't cold. She's been very playful and affectionate since the surgery, so I guess she had been pretty uncomfortable before.

Happy post-Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kilty Stockings

These just zoom along!

I'm nearly to the heel flapdoodle, but since I minused so many stitches to make it fit me, I have absolutely no clue how I'll proceed.

 Look at the very end of the stocking, to the left ... do you see something there in the last pattern repeat that isn't in the other pattern repeats? I messed something up ... either I did that one repeat wrong, or I did all the repeats wrong and that one was correct! 

I leave you with this picture of a doggie in a rufferee t-shirt. Don't forget to stop by Tamis Amis for WIPnesday!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hold Everything!

....I gotta make some kilt stockings.

Fold-down top of Lace Me Up Kilt Hose
Ribbing for just below the cuff. 

This pattern was really big -- not just because kilt hose are for men, but apparently because the super-fine yarn I purchased (it says super-fine on the label, but I think what the pattern is using is much finer) is not really super-fine.  So I did some calculations, which was very easy for the cuff, but is a bit more challenging for the body of the sock. We'll see how it goes!

Edgar wants me to remind you to stop by Tamis Amis for WIP Wednesday. 
And when he looks at me that way, I pretty much do what he wants me to do.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Inside-Out Fair Isle is Just Wrong.

Remember this from last week or whenever that was? Well, I no longer think it was a mistake. I was at Road Runner's running store buying winter running tights and I saw a rack of hats just like this. I turned them inside out and there it was ... lovely Fair Isle stitch, on the inside of the hat. Just like this dress, it had big ol' ugly seams that made it impossible to wear it properly. Now I ask you, what *possible* reason did some asinine "designer" come up with to explain why you would do something like this?! Fair Isle deserves to be seen, on the correct side, not with the butt-ugly backside showing!

To quote Mr. Kurtz' dying words from Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness:"
"The horror! The horror!" 

I wish that we could all come together and mercilessly pummel this brain-dead designer with the knitting implement of our choice. My weapon ... my size 15US knitting needles. 

In other news, I have two WIPs going on, not counting the two that are in time-out.
The Raspberry Dream Stole by designer Dagmara, whom I don't know but I am SURE would NEVER design something to be inside out...

And the cowl-I-thought-was-a-hat that I first saw at babajeza's website, which is from Freshstitch.

Although I think I'm actually going to make this a stocking cap. But I will retain the color combination scheme.

Edgar, Edgar, Edgar.

In other news, I took the pup for a walk in Centennial Park on a beautiful autumn day.

Don't forget to stop by Tamis Amis for Work in Progress Wednesday!

Oh, and I had a great time at the Halloween 5k this past Friday. It was 3.3 miles, which I completed in 34 minutes (a record for me). And despite the rain, a lot of people were out there and spirits were high! I was one of three Wonder Women!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Finished Object Halloween Friday!

First, the FO ...

I dunno.

If I wear it unfolded, it's too big. If I fold it, you can't see the pattern. What to do?

Anyway, happy Halloween!

Don't forget to stop by Tamis Amis for FOFriday!

This is my run costume for the Halloween 5k at work. Not quite accurate, but close enough!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Beautiful Knitted Dress!

That just happens to have been made INSIDE OUT.

Seen at Burlington's, Arrundel Mills, MD. $20.

Don't forget to stop by Tamis Amis for Work-in-Progress Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Frogging Cables is Painful

  Really, really painful.

I got to about row 22 and realized my cables weren't crossing on one side of the hat. I'd been sort of winging it with the instructions, and instead of crossing over one another the cables were forming a sort of  ( ) shape.

You know how hard it is to frog yarnovers? Well, that is nowhere near as difficult as frogging something that has cable crossovers on nearly every stitch! I was far too impatient to tink, so I took the needles out and just pulled back what I thought was four rows. Then I strung the stitches onto yarn with a plastic needle because the crossed-over stitches were too tiny to put back on the needles. Then I picked them up with a much smaller needle, and finally transferred it to the needles I'd been using. Then I had to put the knits and purls in proper order, before I could resume the pattern.

All because I was too lazy to tink!

Anyway, I think it's on track now. It should be finished within a week. I think my next project will be using up my leftover Cascade to make a colorful hat, like on Babajeza's latest post. It looks like a really great way to use up the last of my Cascade, but I don't really need many hats so I might give one of them away. I have a big head, and this knotty one might not fit me well. I'll have to think who might actually wear it, not just admire it and put it up in a closet!

Define "puppy dog eyes?"
Don't forget to stop by Tamis Amis for Work-in-Progress Wednesday! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Finished Objet d'Art Friday

The Hot Gams Legwarmers are done. Now all I need is a frosty cold morning, a skirt, and a pair of tights!

Oh, and remember how I said I didn't think I had enough yarn but I couldn't find any more in the store so I ordered another skein online? You see that little curlicue of yarn at the top of the photo? That's how much I had left. So I didn't need another skein. So much for destashing.

Edgar Allen Poe showing his lurve for the knitwear.

Don't forget to stop by Tamis Amis for Finished Object Friday!