Sunday, June 26, 2011

Why Yes, I AM Still Working on the Same Project

One thing about the combination of not having a lot of knitting time and working on a large project is that you don't have many new and exciting topics to blog about, especially if you are no longer totally fascinated by every issue of every knitting magazine that comes out.

However let me talk about something other than mitered squares briefly. I did enjoy the new Knitty, and especially liked the Lingerie socks with the pretty lace patterning and Undercurrent sweater. It looks like it would be nice and casual to wear with jeans. And I still own some Silk Garden from back when I had a yarn shop to go to! I keep faithfully reading all my knitting magazines, though. I just don't feel like making anything.I need people to knit with I guess, but can't bring myself to go out any more than I already do. So it's my own fault!

8x14 Mitered Square Blankie
Here's how far I am on the Mitered Square Blankie. I realized in my brilliance that of COURSE I had to make it 14 rows long! I had 14 colors! This way each row will start with a different color. Doesn't it look lovely all dappled in the sun?

Here is a labeled photo so you can see how I made it and what the plan is. Yes, I know my PowerPoint skills are awesome. I can really label stuff.

I think, once I add borders, it will be quite blanket-esque.

I went over to Ravelry to see if anyone was doing variations on it, and I saw one that is pretty neat, by a user named Som Som. I don't have permission to show a picture, so go look at it and click the middle photo. You can see how she varied the direction the squares go, starting in the center. It is a nice, subtle effect. There's another one in bright solids by Fudgey, in a yarn that looks like it would be nice to knit with, too. Another person finished one but didn't post a photo. She commented that a solid color combined with mitered squares  means every mistake really shows up. That's why I like self striping yarns for this technique. I'd like to try it in one of the Noro variants some time.

OK, back to knitting. I have three more done on the last row!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Have a Good Excuse!

My hope was to use this weekend's relaxing camping outing to get the last row of the mitered square blanket done and start on the extra row to make it wider. But, I did not get very far--I worked on four squares (hope to get a bit more done after I blog and play Words with Friends). But, as the post title says, I have a good excuse!

It got up to 106 degrees F this weekend. That is 41C. And we spent the hottest part of the day without air conditioning. That is not conducive to working on a 100% acrylic twin-size blanket. I ended up soaking myself with water from the "outdoor shower" feature on Ursula the RV then sitting in the gale-force winds that were blowing and letting myself cool by evaporation. And while trying not to faint, I did work on my new cotton socks.
Classic Elite Summer Sox  Socks Start
I think these will be great to wear with my Topsiders or running shoes. But I will be trying to finish that blanket before concentrating on these!

Wow, it was hot over the weekend, and I had some pretty terrible heat exhaustion symptoms. I turn all read and get faint, then I sweat in huge quantities. Luckily we figured out how to get the air conditioning to work again, but I actually felt too bad to knit. I didn't know that was possible! I got a lot doing today as we came home, though. I WILL finish that blanket.

Another Blog

My husband and I (mostly me so far) have started a blog to keep track of what we learn and where we go with Ursula the RV. You are welcome to check it out, if you are interested in where I am going and what I am doing on so many weekends this summer! Check out Lumbering along with Ursula!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Some More Yarn

I've really, really cut down on my yarn buying for the last year and a half. Not having a conveniently located yarn shop to hang out in helps, but I have also been consciously trying to use up what I have rather than buy more--it's about time I did that.

But yes, what you see is some new yarn. I keep getting tempted by the yarn my friend Ray at Knitivity makes--I like how the socks come out with his colors--they go with lots of things and wear well. You know I like him and his yarn from all the posts the past few years!

Recently I was thinking how I need more dark socks--most of my yarn is bright and perky. I wanted yarn to match my current mood, ha ha. And Ray was having a deal where you would get a free pattern if you ordered something, so I got one of his classic colorways, After Hours. I was happy to see patterns for a shawl he designed, the Two Ball Shawl, and a really interesting stitch design he came up with--one I'd like to do something with at some point.

I've bought a few skeins from Ray this year, and I think that's about it other than the few things I showed you last month or the month before. So I think I am doing well. I have so much beautiful yarn--I will just find stuff to make with it. Of course, with all the blogging and working lately...when will I knit? Oh, now that I am back at it, I will find the time. And I will keep it simple--I am no longer of the mindset that I am as creative or innovative as those people whose blogs I used to read all the time--I think I'd been trying to "keep up with the   Joneses" or something.

I have a few skeins of sock yarn just sitting around, including the one in the picture. I just enjoy looking at yarn--especially in all the colors I wear, which this one is perfect for!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oh Happy Day

Why am I so happy? Well, I am baking bread. But also, I finally got INTO blogger so I can post again! How frustrating it was to finally want to blog again, then have Blogger not let me access my blog! It was strange--I used the right password (I could get into gmail just fine) but I was thwarted. It's fixed now, though. Woo!
Toe-up socks with 2x2 rib. The beauty is in the yarn!
I am also sorta happy that I finished this pair of socks--The only reason they took a while is that I only worked on them in the car. And the only reason I am just sorta happy is that I really enjoyed working with this yarn. Since there were no repeats I never knew what color was coming up, so it was fun to see what order the colors showed up in. They are mostly green and yellow, but every other color makes an appearance, as well. I will get a lot of wear out of these, I know.

Once again, the yarn is Creatively Dyed Yarn Calypso, which is 100% merino. I will NOT let anyone wash it in the washer! They were made toe-up using figure-8 cast on of 14 stitches. I used Wendy Johnson's toe-up flat heel construction. There was no special cast off. I just did it loosely and it came out fine.

Perhaps this photo is upside down. In any case, it's the mitered square blankie after 12 rows,
I tried to get an aerial view of the blanket at this point, but this is the best I could do. I have decided I have enough leftovers of each color to make it one row wider, so I think it will end up being 9x14 before I finally start putting on the borders. I think the borders will pull the colors together nicely. 

So I was wondering what I would do with the final product, which will be big enough to sleep under or cover a single bed. So, we went and bought a recreational vehicle to house it in. Don't you think that's a good idea? OK, so if you actually know me in real life, you will know that an intense mid-life crisis, combined with some unexpected funds, led ELAB and me to purchase a used motorhome. Mostly ELAB. The photo above was taken on our first purely recreational trip in the behemoth...err. Ursula. 
Ursula sits in a lovely wooded setting. Sorta hard to get there, but nice once we got her parked!
 That's Ursula Ultrasport above. She is a 2005 model, so not all perfect, but she is pretty nice--certainly nicer than anything I ever expected to own. The real reason to get it was that ELAB's dad is going to need a lot of treatment for his bladder cancer, and there is not space to stay in his trailer. So, we needed a place to stay extended periods (no hotels in the Yorktown, Texas vicinity). ELAB's nephew also brings a bus down, so it turns into a little compound at times.
Krause Springs, Spicewood, Texas
But, since I work on a contract basis and can't really go on long vacations, it is nice to have a way to go explore the area around Austin on weekends. The place we were last weekend is just an hour from our house. This place is a private park, with huge cypress trees and over 30 springs. Just beautiful (though full on Saturday nights). No matter how hot or dry it is, this place is cool and wet! Now I hope we get to go more places and perhaps go with friends. I am thinking of turning my old personal blog into a chronicle of our adventures with Ursula. I can keep track of all the things that break and go wrong, as well as share photos of how pretty or ugly the places we go are. I'll let you know if I do that. I'll try to stick to knitting here.

As for knitting plans, I hope to get a knitting group going again, from the students in my church class. There were just so many icky things the past couple of months that I couldn't get the energy. In addition to dad dying, my stepmom being hospitalized multiple times, and ELAB's dad's illness, I have had a sudden job change (back where I said I would never go again...for the third time) and more stuff I just won't go into. I am hoping things are settling down and I can knit!

I started what I hope will be a pair of summer socks now that the colorful ones are done. I am using the Summer Sox yarn in a self-striping colorway. It's mostly cotton. Will be a nice change, and quick. That's to work on when I am not finishing the mitered square blankie! I'm hoping to teach knitting or crochet to the house guest we have this summer, one of Tuba Boy's college friends. All the visiting and resident kids are the highlight of the summer.So many recent high school grads and college kids home for the summer coming in and out of the place!