Distractions Abound

There are distractions that are meant to confuse and divert attention and then there are distractions that are meant to entertain.

Desperately Looking to be Entertained!

With all the craziness going on in the U.S. added with the distress of getting over a kidney stone, I have been bouncing back and forth between any distractions I can find.
I’ve picked up and/or started three different knitting projects:
This is the Knit-A-Long I’m doing for a pair of socks with an afterthought heel.  I’m grateful to have deadlines to force me to keep up.  Right now I’m a bit ahead of schedule.

This is a garter/biased-knit scarf done in some handspun I started a while ago when I was intensely bored.  It’s beautiful yarn and the mindlessness of the garter stitch is just enough to keep me distracted.

This is a keyhole scarf in a bulky handspun/hand-dyed yarn done by a local fiber artist who I admire a lot.  I’m not so sure how this will turn out, but it will definitely look better once it’s finished.

I sat down and tried finishing my current spinning project…I’m almost done with the Shetland/Mohair singles.
I’m also distracting myself (and hopefully blog readers with photos of Finn.
Unfortunately, Finn is angry with me right now…we’re training him to stay off the dining room table and he was just physically removed.
And as a last-ditch effort, I’m even photographing my lattes.  Here’s my latest masterpiece.
So, if you have anything you can entertain or distract me with, feel free to chime right in!

Source: fre

Big Box of Hedgehog

It’s been a long evening working on the computer. Accounting. :( My post is going to be quick because I can barely focus.

Here’s a little teaser from a shipment that should be arriving soon.

Turf, Jezebel and Tidepool

Mr. Canada Post made a visit this morning. Hedgehog is here!

The Potluck colours are great. I’ll have them on the website tomorrow.

Now I need to choose my colours for the Ambah O’Brien Mystery KAL. An email came from Ambah this evening with some notes on the KAL including

How should I arrange my colours?
While all of the colours are used equally in the project, CC2 will be the best choice for the colour you’d like to dominate overall. It is perfect if MC and CC1 work well together and use CC2 to contrast against these two.
MC: Can be a soft/subtle or bolder contrast to CC1, either a solid or variegated will work here.
CC1: The perfect place for your speckle skein, if you are using one. A solid/ semi solid or variegated will also work well here, if you are using 2 variegated skeins they will be best placed here and for MC.
CC2: Best for a solid/ semi solid skein. Great to have this colour contrast or be darker/lighter than MC and CC1. Perfect for a bold colour choice or a dark or light neutral.

Visit Ambah’s website to join her mailing list…
 

Beth was Lucy sitting today. They started out in the office but someone wasn’t on her best behaviour. The other dogs caught her attention and she wouldn’t leave them alone. Then the cleaning ladies came. And there were meetings going on. Beth packed Lucy up and brought her to our house.

It seems that she is pretty comfortable here.

Source: Looms

Fresh Start for the Week

 I wore them all day and they stayed put!  No slipped heel, no twisting-what a wonderful fit and surprise for me as I had a very low expectation for them!
I will be making more, just watch!
This morning Bill finished spackling and texturing the sheetrock so we can paint tomorrow! 
 We moved the cupboard away from the fridge (so he could work and so we could get a visual on my idea) but we aren’t sure it is going to work for us……..stay tuned.
If all goes according to plan, we will be ripping up the floor when we are done with the painting!
 I traced the outline for the snowflakes from one of the Accuquilt dies (ran a piece of cardboard through to get a stencil!) and then loaded up the cardinal wall hanging and got right to work!
It didn’t take too long (1 1/2 hrs) to get it finished-very exciting!
I will bind it tomorrow in between the remodels! lol
This is what supper time looks like at our house.  We have two more cats but one isn’t social and eats quite solitarily and the other won’t touch canned food!  There are dishes of dry food throughout the house/garage  but these four are regulars for the canned food feast twice a day!
Lena likes being part of her posse!

Source: FF

Prism

There was a new shawl hanging in the Prism booth at TNNA. I took a picture but I couldn’t get a good picture. Here it is.

Three strands of slender, silky Delicato team up in varying color combinations to create this dramatic wrap.

You take charge, changing color gradually and at will.

Laura’s colour combinations are amazing. The kits should be arriving mid-February.

Lynda knit this Eccentric Wrap for us and I have knit the kit as well. There will be more colours coming. These kits are more tonal. Our kits are not coming with 6 skeins. Ours will have 7. This makes the wrap a bit bigger. Or it is perfect for Find Your Fade.

The kit will have 1330 yards of yarn. A bit less than Find Your Fade calls for but the shawl is huge and most people wouldn’t mind it a big smaller.

 Check out the awesome classes!
Source: Looms

Fun day of visitors

Lynda sent a box this week – what a great vest.

Pattern: Library Vest from Churchmouse Yarns (pattern in the store or available on Ravelry)
Yarn: Zara from Filatura di Crosa

Sarah and Cathy stopped in for a visit and Sarah put the vest on so we could see how it looks. The buttons haven’t been sewn on yet but Sarah thinks she would like it with no buttons. Or maybe just one button at the top.

With simple styling that lends itself to the classroom, workplace or weekend, this vest is so classic, so quintessential, it could become your uniform. The jumper length has a certain schoolgirl chic. The abridged, hip-length version is a flattering layer without the bulk of a sweater. Either way, it’s a nice little primer of techniques you’ll use again and again.

I had to check under Sarah’s coat when she left. I was afraid that the vest was going home with her – it fit her perfectly.

It was a fun day for visitors. Wannietta came in this afternoon – she just finished a shawl for the store.

Pattern: Born Trippy (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock
Full skein of Fly
Mini skeins – 1 each of  Hush, Wish, Sorry not Sorry and Coral

Just one skein of Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn together with four Sock Minis will knit up into this cute little chevron scarf. Use your prized favourite speckle-tastic skein! Add a few pops of colour with the Minis, or use a second full skein for a slightly longer scarf. Speckles work well with a matching or a contrasting semi-solid.

Hedgehog has new colours. Meet Hula Hoop. They’re on order and I’m hoping they’ll be here sometime in March.

I’m not sure if she realizes that she’s a dog.
Source: Looms

Six Point Five Millimeters

Size does matter…and since knitters deal with millimeters quite often, you may understand the shock I had with my latest CT Scan.

Diagnosis – Kidney Stones

Years ago, a friend of mine was in a lot of pain due to a kidney stone he was passing.  Karen, a mutual friend of ours, and a mother of two, asked him about his kidney stone.  When she found out that the pain was caused by a sand grain-size object through his urinary tract, her response was:

“Fuck you!  I passed a grapefruit size object through mine twice and didn’t whine anywhere near as much!

About a week ago, I started having quite a bit of pain in the area of my kidneys.  It got bad enough where I felt I should see the doctor on Monday, who had me get a CT Scan to check for stones.  The above image isn’t my CT Scan, but mine looked like it (except for the thin waistline of the patient above).  Turns out, I had a 6.5mm kidney stone blocking the ureter (the tube through which urine passes from the kidney to the bladder).

A quick visit to the urologist was ordered, followed by a whirlwind tour of various Hunterdon Medical facilities for pre-op EKG, blood test and x-rays, and then a visit this past Friday to the hospital to have a lithotripsy which successfuly pulverized the stone into a bunch of smaller stones.  And now I’m recuperating at home with my best friend, Percocet while I pass the smaller stones.

Current Knitting

Despite all the waiting rooms at doctors offices and labs and the time in pre-op for my lithotripsy, I had no desire whatsoever to knit.  Now that I’m on Percocet and going into and out of painful episodes, I still don’t care much about knitting.

See?  So blogging about a medical condition does have some significance to knitting.
Source: fre

Mending

A friend has been sorting out her mother’s things, and found a stocking mending kit and other sewing bits and pieces that she has offered to the Knitting & Crochet Guild.

Roz’s mother had a collection of stocking mending threads, in a very nice little basket.  I was impressed by the number of different shades of light brown, as well as a pale blue and a pink.  (The photo doesn’t show the entire contents of the basket, by the way – there were several other spools of thread in it.)

Roz thought that the basket might have belonged to her grandmother originally.  It has certainly been a long time since stocking-mending was an important part of looking after your appearance – and silk stockings haven’t been everyday wear for women since before the Second World War.

The strange object that was in the basket along with the mending threads is called a ‘Speedweve’.

We couldn’t guess what it was for, but Tom of Holland has one that came with the original instructions, and has very helpfully written a blog post on how to use it.  It’s a very clever gadget!

Roz also found a Stocking Ladder Darner – a tiny latchet hook, still in its packaging.  (Critchley Bros. made Wimberdar brand knitting needles and needle gauges, too.)

And a few things that are nothing to do with mending stockings, including a ‘War Time Pack’ of snap fasteners.

  

The message on the back of one strip reads: ‘These Snap Fasteners are of pre-war quality.  The card ONLY is “austerity” in size and style.’

And I especially liked a box of Cash’s Woven Initials:

Cash’s Woven Name Tapes and Initials have been made for a very long time: I had a set of name tapes when I went to secondary school and every item of clothing was supposed to have a name tape on it.  (They were inspected at the start of every academic year.)  My sister had a set too, and so did my daughter, and you can still get them.  The roll of  ‘M.W.’ tape that Roz’s mother had seems unused  – and Roz couldn’t think of any family member with those initials, so it’s a bit of a mystery.

Other sides of the box advertise more Cash’s products:

And I suppose now you could use Cash’s name tapes to label your hand-knits.  There’s even a knitting-needles-and-ball-of-wool motif  that you can choose on Cash’s Designer Labels page. Tempting – except that mostly I knit things for myself, and I already know I knitted them.    
Source: ggg

January Yarn Reviews

Bernat Softee Baby Colors
DK Weight (3)
$4-$6
310 yds
100% Arcylic
I think it has great color options, and the colors work up lovely. Easy to get from about every where, and reasonable in price for the yardage you get. Best used on 3/8″ gauge looms. It doesn’t was up well, if you are using for socks it will leave fuzzy ends after washing. Has nice spring to it, and is soft as it states. I would suggest this yarn to anyone.

 Ravelry Link For Pattern

Patons Silk Bamboo
DK Weight (3)
$6-$9
102 yds
70% Bamboo 30% Silk
Beautiful color options, and works up lovely as well. Very soft, but not quite as soft as the bamboo cotton blend I have gotten in the past. I think it is thicker than a typical DK weight, feels more like a worsted weight. Little pricey but you are getting natural fibers. It is typically found online, I haven’t seen it in stores. It has some spring, but a beautiful drape because it has some weight to it. A great yarn for summer projects, for the natural fibers are breathing fibers. There is a enough to make a hat, or some baby items, but you would have to order more skeins if you want to make something larger. I would most likely buy more of this yarn as I really enjoyed looming with it. It also does best on a 3/8″ gauge loom.

 Ravelry Link For Pattern

Premier Isaac Mizrahi Crafts Little Red
DK Weight (3)
$4-$7
232 yds
100% Acrylic
The gradient in color worked up nicely and has a soft but firm feel to it. The price is not bad either, but I would say not easily found. I got mine at Michael’s, and that is the only place I have seen it so far. It washes up really well, I have washed a pair of socks a couple of times and still looks awesome. It has good spring, and a nice drape. It is a true DK weight in my opinion, and works best on 3/8″ gauge looms. I would suggest this yarn to anyone making items they intend to wash a lot.

 Ravelry Link For Pattern


Source: fs

January Tutorial of the Month Seamless Baby Mittens


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Seamless Baby Mittens

Items
24 or 28 peg 3/8″ gauge loom
looming hook
Dk or Worsted Yarn (great use of scrap yarn)
Terms:
KCO: Kitchener Cast On
K: Knit
P: Purl
WT: Wrap and Turn
K2tog: Knit 2 Stitches Together
MBO: Modified Bind Off
28 pegs: circular:
KCO 28 pegs
Row 1: K
Row 2: K13 WT, K12 WT, K11 WT, K10 WT, K9 WT, K8 WT, K7 WT, K6 WT, K6, K6 K2tog, K7 K2tog, K8 K2tog, K9 K2tog, K10 K2tog, K11 K2tog, K12 K2tog, K13 K2tog K14
Row 3-9: K
Row 10-16: K2, P2
MBO
Make 2
Tighten Your Cast on
24 pegs: circular:
KCO 24 pegs
Row 1: K
Row 2: K11 WT, K10 WT, K9 WT, K8 WT, K7 WT, K6 WT, K6, K6 K2tog, K7 K2tog, K8 K2tog, K9 K2tog, K10 K2tog, K11 K2tog K12
Row 3-9: K
Row 10-16: K2, P2
MBO
Make 2
Tighten Your Cast on

Source: fs

Finishes and Feline!

 Shorty sock number one off the needles.
This style is still dubious to me but I am going to give it a try.
 The design wall is completed!
It is such a wonderful space calling for quilt blocks and ideas and incredible quilts to come!
 Each edge is wrapped and tucked so it is like a great big canvas waiting for me to fill it with color!
 Tools of my job this afternoon!
I Swiffered the floor under the frame where all the spray adhesive had fallen;  the good news is that it all came up easily!
 I placed the last projects that were up before the remodel and placed that back on the wall;  just right!
(One nice advantage now is that I can pin into the foam board which I couldn’t do before.)
 I can sure appreciate the clean lines and years of creativity this wall will see!
 Lena helped and sniffed at each move as usual but all this work was very tiring…
in fact, it was just a matter of minutes and this little face was sound asleep!

Source: FF