Sunday, September 23, 2018

More hats...

Not a lot going on this week except having some plumbing repaired.   The good news on that front is that every single faucet in the house has now been replaced (and a couple have been replaced for the second time).  Counting the repeats, that's 9 faucets!  Eleven, if I count the two outside faucets.   That is over the course of 20 years, though, so it's not as bad as it first sounds.

A not-very-busy-week meant I got to spend a fair amount of time knitting and crocheting hats.   They are accumulating for the hat drive coming up in less than a month.

I do love the ease of the Benefaction Hat pattern.  I still enjoy making it:



And after digging through my stash for some self-striping yarn I think I'm going to enjoy making even more.  The following is Deborah Norville Everyday yarn in the colorway Red Rocks:
I am of course complicating things by removing that beige-y pink color (you can barely see it up there in the wound-up ball).

I'm looking forward to trying out a few more self-striping yarns I just happened to have single skeins of.



And I do still love a crocheted hat.  I made another Stepping Textures hat in a gold yarn:

When I get them all done (some will need pom poms) I'll try to create a collage of all the hats.  For now, some teaser pictures will suffice.

To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.







Sunday, September 16, 2018

Doilies and hats...

I missed my YOP buddies last weekend, but we were enjoying a bit of traveling.  First on the docket was taking our middle son some furniture.  It was so good to see him (and a little kitten he had recently adopted 😊).  When we considered that once we got to his place, we were nearly half-way to friends in Michigan, we made plans to visit them, too.  It was a fun, if rainy, weekend and we caught up with each other, laughed 'till we couldn't catch our breath, and went to bed a lot earlier than we used to.  Somehow we'd all gotten older in the years since we last saw each other...

Because our friends had recently moved into a new house, it occurred to me that some doilies might make a nice little housewarming gift for my girlfriend.  I decided to give her the autumn colored Summer Splendor I made a few weeks ago, and I got busy making two more. 

I made another Winter's Breath Doily, this time in a gray color of Artiste thread called Coin:
I know it pretty much looks white in a photograph, but it's actually a nice shade of gray.

And I had been admiring this small doily called Octoberfest, but I knew I wanted to make it in a red color because I think it looks kind of Christmas-y:
The outer edge looks darker than the center, but it's all the same color (called Jam) of Artiste thread.

The doilies were a hit, and I can't believe I haven't tired of making them.  So stay tuned!

~~~~~

Doilies may have to get in line, though because wanting to make some hats for a hat/scarf drive coming up in early October, I'm finally getting a little more focused on that.  This year, I'm adding knitted hats to my crocheted ones.

First, a crocheted one - called Stepping Texture:

This is an easy pattern that can be made to fit any size head and with any size yarn as long as one starts the body with a stitch count that is a multiple of 5.  I made several of these last year and I'm happy to say it's a pretty enjoyable pattern. 


As far as knitting goes...  while I'm eyeing some colorwork patterns, at the moment I'm still practicing knitting in the round by making simple stockinette-stitched hats, but playing around with different yarns:
I love the Premier Sweet Roll yarn these are knitted in (colorway is Black Pepper Swirl).  I find it very easy to work with.



While I love the Sweet Roll yarn, I did begin to get tired of gray, so I went digging for something brighter.  This lone skein of Willow Wash  yarn in the colorway, Cherry Heather fit the bill:


Pom poms will be added to some of my hats later.  Or not.  I'll figure that out after I've made more and if I decide to crown any with poms, I will do it assembly line style.

And that's all from me this week.  To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.







Sunday, September 2, 2018

I knit a hat!

Remembering this past week that I wanted to complete a knitted project for an August KAL (in the Red Heart Lovers' group on Ravelry,) I put down my tiny crochet hook and thread and set myself to knitting a hat.  In this C/KAL we were to challenge ourselves to do something that was new to us.

Well...  I'd never knit a hat (so that was new), and since I'd never knit in the round before, and I'd never used DPNs, I looked for a video to walk me through these things.

I found the Benefaction Hat (from Knit Picks):

I was actually surprised at how easy it was to knit on 16-inch, size 6 circular needles.  And then I got to the DPNs at the top.  My yarn (Red Heart Soft) was very splitty, so that was problem #1 when trying to decrease, and then my stitches started slipping off my DPNs.   Ugh. 

It became  a royal mess, but somehow I pulled it all together, and closed her up and I can at least say I finally knit a hat.

Now...  If the front was all there was, I'd be happy enough. I could cover the messy crown with a pom pom.  

Problem #2, though, is something I can't fix or disguise.  I simply can't stand the jogs that my color joins created, and I don't know what happened with the top stripe.  I tried to use a jogless joining technique there, but clearly I didn't understand something.  I know y'all will be encouraging, but I'm disappointed with the back:

That said, I'm super pleased that I finished it, and I immediately jumped into making another one:

I'm using a self-striping yarn (which is giving me really wide bands of different shades of gray so color jogs are not an issue), and most importantly, the yarn doesn't split!  This second yarn is Premier Sweet Roll yarn in the colorway Black Pepper Swirl.

This will be a toasty hat!  And Ooh, how I wish I had other colors of this yarn, but I will not go shopping for more.  I can content myself making more gray striped hats until I tire of the pattern.  Or combine colors on my own to make large bands if that's what really floats my boat.

The truly important thing for me to remember here is...  I knit a hat!!!  
~~~~~

Other things I worked on this week included a teeny doily, which is #10 in the book 99 Little Doilies:  
It's about 4 inches across.  And it's super simple, except for some twisted stitches (which didn't twist)  - in Round 6, I believe.  Not much to say about this one. 

I also started Doily #11 in the same book:
It just makes me too sad to refer to all these doilies as #10, #11... so I'm going to try to give them my own names (if they're worthy).  This one I'm calling Pineapple Square doily.   You can't see them yet, but there will (hopefully) be a pineapple on each straight side of this square doily.   I plan for this one (and maybe some others) to be finished next time I make a YOP post.

And more hats.  'Tis the month to make hats.  Knit hats, crochet hats.  I want to make hats.

And that's all she wrote!  To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.




Sunday, August 26, 2018

More doilies...

Still on a doily kick, I had to make another one in an autumn color - this one for me to keep.  I made another Summer Splendor (or I suppose I could call this one Autumn Awesomeness):
It's a fairly simply pattern (which is why I've made two now), but it has a nice Wow! factor.  This one is made with Artiste Cotton thread in the color Papaya.


Being smitten by doilies this month (especially smallish doilies) I did something a bit uncharacteristic for me.  I bought myself this overpriced, out-of-print book from a seller on Amazon:

I was searching high and low for patterns for small doilies (anything under 10 inches), and finally, somehow stumbled upon this book.  And I just had to have it!  And just like that, I was putting it in my "cart" and purchasing it!  What's wrong with me?!?  Normally, I'd wring my hands, put it in time out and decide the next day I didn't need it.  But for some reason, I decided right then and there that I needed this book.  And I didn't even put up an argument.

Fortunately, I was not disappointed when it arrived.  While I'd prefer the book had more 8 - 10 inch doilies (and I knew there were few that large when I ordered it), there's not a bad one in the whole bunch.

It was hard to decide which one to start with, but I finally settled on this one with the very inauspicious name of #74:

I'm going to have to get me a slightly larger steel hook for making these since this one (that was supposed to be 6 inches across) measured only 4.5 inches when I was finished.  It will make a pretty coaster, or maybe votive holder, but I'm not sure I'm interested in making doilies this small.   So back to Hobby Lobby I must go to get a larger hook.  Wish me luck!  


~~~~~

Yuko loved the doilies I gave her.  Upon the good advice I received last week, I suggested that she give one to her mother when she return to Japan, but the fact is her family lives about 12 hours away from where they will be living when they return, so I don't even know how often they see each other.  I'm also not sure that Yuko completely understood what I was saying.  Yuko and I have become pretty comfortable working through a conversation until we understand what the other is saying, but with our two boys (her two-year-old and my 64 year-old) making noise in the background, our conversation was more challenging than normal.

Regardless of what she does with them, she appeared to be very pleased with the gift.  And she wrote me a very sweet thank you the next day.

Meanwhile, I got to enjoy these beautiful flowers all week that Yuko brought with her when she and her family visited:

~~~~~

Overall, it was a busy, but relatively quiet week.   After so much rain recently, I finally had a good day to power-wash the area next to where we put so many rocks a few weeks ago.  Pictures don't do the job justice, but I promised pictures, so here you go...  


The vast majority of rocks aren't actually visible.  
Most of the rocks are 8 - 12 inches below ground level. 
I forget how deep the hole was.  
Just know that there are a lot of rocks under the top layer

~~~~~

Several days after posting this, I found some pictures of the hole dug, and a couple of the piles of rocks (before shoveling):

Here's the hole (that is shown filled in above):


And here are the first two piles of rock we had delivered (one pile was jumbo-sized river rock, and one pile was simply large river rock):


~~~~~


Seriously wishing I had saved back more of 
the larger (Jumbo sized) river rock to create a 
more attractive sloping area above.  
I need to work on this (and maybe go buy some more rock).  


And the above was a bit of an afterthought.  
We had more rock than we needed, so we decided to fill in 
this area outside our dining room.  
Every spring I plant it with annuals, 
and every summer it becomes a weed-infested mess.  
I think I need to look for some perennials to pretty up this space.  
But for right now, it's just nice to look out the dining room doors and not see a jumble of guilt-inducing weeds.


And then there's a section in the front of our house under a hose reel where we laid some rock and stepping stones.  It's an improvement for various reasons, but at the moment a dirty hose reel box is sitting atop it, so I'm not bothering to take a picture.    Next spring/summer this will all hopefully look nicer with grass filling in the edges, and maybe some plantings in the rocks.  I haven't figured those details out yet, but for now I'm just glad the hard physical labor is finished.  

And now it's on to other projects!

To see what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry.



2018 Yarn Stash-Down:  35.66/100 Skeins






Sunday, August 19, 2018

Quite a week...

The last seven days has been quite the week!   

Monday, hubs had the day free so we went looking at furniture.  Our family room has never had furniture that was picked out for it, and the time seemed right to consider it.  We found some things we liked, but we decided to hold off and wait for maybe a better sale closer to Labor Day.

And then Monday and Tuesday happened...

My clothes dryer broke on Monday night, and after work on Tuesday I went out and bought a new one.  The broken one was too old and beyond its warranty - and I'd been feeling like the thermostat on it wasn't accurate, anyway... so while I hadn't exactly been contemplating replacing it (and it was painful to spend half the money on a dryer that I was contemplating spending on a sofa), in the end it felt much better to replace it than spend money diagnosing it and hopefully fixing it. 

Then Tuesday night my 20 year-old vacuum broke and after finding a deal on Wednesday where I could get a $300 discount off a new one by trading in my nearly vintage and now broken one...   well, let's just say I didn't need any convincing.  So Wednesday I went out and dropped the rest of my sofa money on a bright, shiny new vacuum - that might just live longer than me, I'm suddenly realizing.  It will surely live longer than a new sofa.

Anyway, Friday I became convinced that vacuuming stairs, hard wood floors, and high up places would be much easier with an extension hose, so I went back to get the accessory kit that includes a 12 ft hose and a brush floor attachment.  Oh my - that made a huge difference.  Why did I never consider getting these things before for my old vacuum???  Anyway, the second half of the week, I've been a cleaning machine.  A woman on a mission to find every lazy cobweb and stray dust bunny.   It's amazing how motivating new (and well-working) tools can be.

Saturday, I put down the vacuum cleaner hose and we traveled north to meet our new great-niece.  She is 5 weeks old, so it was high time to meet her. Allow me to introduce you to my (presently) youngest great niece, Hannah:

There were four adults there (not counting the new parents), and if you can just imagine... we all just sat (and sometimes hovered over whoever was holding her) mostly staring at baby Hannah - for over three hours.  It was as if we suddenly came under a spell.  We were entranced.  Definitely enchanted.  I'd forgotten how mesmerizing a new baby can be.  She just lay there doing nothing but breathe, sleep, and occasionally smile. Truly fascinating stuff.

It was a perfect ending to the week.  Nevermind that I want to hold a baby again, already...

~~~~~

As you can imagine, I didn't give my yarn stash much any love this week.  But I did finish the third doily I was working on - Summer Splendor:
The yarn used is Artiste Cotton Thread (available at Hobby Lobby) in the colorway, Ginger


And that's all there is to tell.  It was an expensive week, but not as traumatic as some we've had, and far more wonderful (at its close) than most.

All three doilies in Artiste Cotton Thread in the colors, Ginger, Boysenberry, and Glacier Ice



To see  what other YOPpers are up to, visit our group on Ravelry!



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