The Cat seal of approval

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Life is a Circus with endless Monkeys

I'll try to be brief here--its summer and we all have lots to do. I primarily feed all the birds flying in my community...feed my two betta fish, two goldfish, two cats, one husband, grow plants and squeeze in a little knitting.

Its been so long since I posted that I do not remember if I mentioned that I'm knitting my first sweater in 20 odd years. I'm too lazy busy to read my last post but my sweater is coming along fabulously, and I re-learned one thing. Knitting a lap full of 100% wool in steamy July is not a good idea, but come November, I will be very happy indeed.

Lazy Knitting Girl techniques I've learned:

Why do things the correct way when you can take a shortcut?

SSK: Slip, slip, knit

Old wayWork to the place where the decrease is to be made. Slip the next 2 stitches, one at a time as if to knit, to the right needle.Insert the left needle into the fronts of these two stitches and knit them together. One stitch is decreased. This decrease slants to the left.

Lazy Girl way: slip 1 stitch to the right needle. Knit into second stitch. Pass first stitch over the knitted stitch....done....try it...looks the same

P2tbl Purl 2 through the back loop

Old wayInsert right hand needle into the next two stitches on the left hand needle through the back loops (the loops farthest from you); wrap yarn around needle in the same way you normally would to purl and purl the two stitches together. (while maintaining your sanity) <---my addition

Lazy Girl way: Purl one stitch. With yarn in front move the stitch back to the left needle. Pass the next unworked stitch over the purled stitch and drop it. Move the completed stitch back to the right needle. My WIP stole is full of p2tbls!
I didn't learn this on my own but you can read about it (and see the instructional photos) from knitting designer Asa Tricosa and the beyond brilliant Barbara Walker.

That's the knitting news. Personal news: I'm having a few medical tests and possible surgery soon but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.***

We had a HUGE neighborhood disagreement with people getting angry and sending terse emails to everyone in the two block perimeter where I live. For once I was not involved, and I stayed uninvolved because I learned a new mantra.

See you next the Yarn Cave

nance  xx

***Update 7/12/14  We just got to that bridge....test results are back and I need double surgery as soon as they can schedule two Surgeons at the same time. Gastroenterologist for esophagus repair and Surgeon for displaced gallbladder.
Fun times, times....

Friday, June 13, 2014

I should be warm in the poor house.....

No yarn purchases until New Year's
and I will get a daily reminder

Just for laughs I totalled up my yarn/pattern/bead purchases since 5/11/14.
I have a monthly allowance for my "passion" of knitting, and I knew I had been exceeding it. I even posted that I thought I had expended my summer's total. Not even close. I've spend six months worth of allowance in a little over a month.

After I had a cow, I made myself a daily calendar reminder
(definition for Non-Americans: 
  1. have a cow to be very worried, upset, or angry about something. The record companies were having a cow over downloadable music files. Usage notes: the opposite meaning is expressed by don't have a cow: Don't have a cow, Mom, I'll clean up my room.)
Until January (or beyond) I will be, in fact, stashbusting

definition of stashbusting

completing craft projects with the deliberate intention of reducing your stock of materials
Over the weekend I completed lots of stashbusting projects.

Its going to be a tough six months!!

xx nance xx

Monday, June 9, 2014

Water as High as a Mallard Duck's Eye--new song for the Musical, "Oklahoma"

Hello Knitter Friends!

We've been enjoying a week of rain, with light and heavy downpours totaling 1-2 inches a day, so needless to say, I haven't been playing in the garden much, except for feeding ducks in pouring rain. I must be nuts....

Lots of time to knit, though! Finished one project, cast on another, and knitted a swatch for yet another project. (Sssshh! Bought lots of yarn this week too!)

Finished Object:

Rather racy for him as he is a standard white crew sock fellow during his leisure time. I have enough stash yarn to make him two more pair and I have an actual pattern in mind. These are just standard ribbed socks, so next time I plan to totally blow his mind with color and pattern. (well, maybe just pattern) (ok, I lied, its just another ribbed sock, but sexier rib stitches)


These are flying on the needles and I hope to have them finished by next week. At least done as 'high as an Elephant's eye' since I live in Oklahoma and love the musical. (off topic- no we don't raise corn here Mr Rodgers and Mr. Hammerstein, its too hot and dry. You must have us confused with Iowa..though it was wet enough this week for rice....)

Swatching :  is something I hate to do, but its necessary. I also hate it when a project I poured time and love into doesn't fit, so I can either use the swatch as a drink coaster or save it to make that great patchwork afghan 'someday'.  I'm wet blocking it now, and soon I'll have cast on my first sweater in at least 20 years. It's #1 in my queue. I save all my hate to do things have to do things for early morning when I'm drinking that first great cup of coffee. I'm not terribly alert to be knitting more than a swatch, so thats the time I use for weaving in ends finishing projects, or swatching. I'm alot more patient when I'm semi-conscious. 

Guilty Pleasure:

I've been a naughty girl and my allowance is now expended to the end of summer.
If you want to read about my yarn addiction indulgence, then go here and don't be surprised if you have an impulsive craving for all things fiber-y and wooly soft!

See you again soon---in the Yarn Cave.

-nance xx

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Conflict and Resolution

Every great story line has a hero and heroine. Guy sees girl, guy doesn't know girl has already chosen him, cast her line and has been reeling him in. Soon after enters conflict....he resists commitment, resolution...she calls her Momma and Daddy and the Preacher and everything is set. (Well maybe it works this way in Hollywood).

All relationships have conflict and resolution..Our little family currently has one. Husband wants to take a vacation and drop a few thousand dollars going to a far away place and come home more ragged and stressed then he went left. Wife doesn't want to leave her cats, fish and ducks* so the matter is pretty well settled. She instead spends his money making his home appear more French Polynesian so he won't be tempted to wander and instead enjoy tranquil moments together in his gardens with said wife, cats, fish and ducks*. Conflict and resolution...... solved. Bora Bora is after all, a state of mind.

I haven't had much opportunity to knit because of gardening, redecorating (and my NBA team has made it to the quarter finals...go THUNDER!) so I thought I'd share what I've been doing since there isn't any progress reports on my knitting.

Start with a killer sunset

Front yard (garden) oasis

Add the sound of trickling water

Don't forget the tropical plants 

Finally, be sure and carry the theme inside

Yeah, I've been busy, but soon I will be sewing cushion covers to match the decor. For now the cats are pretty pleased with me just using the towels!

(and let the theme spill out to the back yard or back garden)

Have a happy vacation!!! (We will be!)

-nance-   xx

*The Wild Ducks we feed:
   Mavis (her chick)
   The "Real" Gerald (her mate)
   The "Imposter" Gerald (a free loader)
   Dirty Rat and Itchy Brother- two ducks looking for a handout

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Awaiting the Yarn Stork....

Hello Knitter Friends!

I've been working in my Yarn Nursery all morning...expecting the safe arrival of 14 International yarn skeins.

3 Silk Lace from Nuremberg, Germany
4 Fingering weight from Manchester, England
2 Silk/Kid Silk Lace from Bradford England (North of Manchester)
5 Pure Silk and Mohair/Silk Lace from Vancouver, Canada

A preview of two such adoptees : 
Find it here
Photo Credit: DyeForYarn

Find it here
Photo Credit: Solstice Yarns


Slowly but surely my WIPS are getting manageable. Finished this week is My "Little Green Dragons" known to the rest of the knitting world as "Hermoine's Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder. Yep....they are really green. It was my first (but not last time using Countess Ablaze's Lady Persephone Sock Yarn. Once I soaked these babies in the sink, I was smitten. I expected mass bleeding due to the heavy dye, but surprise! No green dye around the sink and these beauties bloomed and softened like green lotus blossoms. (Please note that the toe and heel is "After Thought" construction using another yarn)

Thought I'd share this humorous YouTube Video of a LYS near my City. (I live in the Suburbs. I saw this in My Sister's Knitter blog and was astounded that I recognized these ladies.) 

See you soon, as ever, I'm hanging in the Yarn Cave....

-n-  xx


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Playing Mad Scientist with unexpected results

I'm playing mad scientist today. I've never felted wool before so I made a prototype slipper (found here) to test the results before starting "the real project". I honestly didn’t think I could get it right on the first try, so I used scraps of Cascade 220 worsted held double I had on hand.
Cornflower yellow and poopy brown on bottom, crimson and gray on top. I expected Frankenstein and instead got Adonis.
It worked brilliantly and as soon as a few wips are completed, I will cast on the “real” project.

Before--Slightly smaller than a shoe box

After--perfect fit

My felting recipe for Cascade 220 worsted,
using my HE Top Load Washer:
35 minutes on Whites setting (Hot) (took two cycles, no spinning)
Extra Heavy Soil (agitation speed)
placed inside a zippered laundry bag with tea towels and wash cloths placed separately to counter balance.

Can't wait to start the real thing!