Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Knitting on the Front Steps

Now that summer is in full force, I am trying to spend as much time outside enjoying it.  My favorite knitting perch is on the green lawn chair right outside the front door.  It has a little shade, so I don't burn and I can hear the kids if they need me.  I also like looking at the perennials.  The hosta are super sizing it this year!


My current project is a lace shawl called 'Fragaria', which I think means strawberry, since there is a repeated strawberry motif in it.  I am loving this lace yarn, it is a blend of baby alpaca and silk.  It knits like a dream and it has a smooshy yet fluffy halo thing goin on.


Here is my knitting tip of the day: A makeshift yarn bra.  WTF is a yarn bra, you ask?  A yarn bra keeps an unruly yarn cake from falling apart and becoming a mess while you are knitting.  I pulled a short ankle sock out of my drawer. I only own three pair of socks that I didn't make myself.  They are these little ankle socks that I bought so that my ankle tattoo would heal nicely.  That was during -10 degree weather in January. Brrr! Anyway, the sock/bra keeps the yarn from tangling. Stores sell these things for $, I just dug one out of my sock drawer.



It's all hugged together.  I may never have an idea like this again, so I am going to run with this and brag.  Yeah, I rock!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Winter is Leaving........maybe


     This winter has gone on forever.  If I was a weaker person,  I would have possibly lost my mind.  But,  I used this extended season to hunker down and get some serious knitting done.

   

    After all of the holiday knits, it was time for some indulgent lace.  I am working on a Jared Flood circular shawl called "leaves of grass", using Jaggerspun Zephyr laceweight.  The pattern itself was a fun knit that was presented in an easy, logical way.  I am now working through the edge, adding beads as I go.  The beads add a tiny bit of weight so that it behaves well and hangs nicely.  They also add just a small amount of sparkle.

   

I bought this tool on Etsy, called the Fleegle beader.  It is a long wire with a notch that allows you to preload about 40 beads at a time.

         

This saves you from the ordeal of picking up an individual bead each and every time, and speeds up the process.  I think I want to add beads to everything I knit for a while.

         

This was started before the bead thing kicked in.  This is called the "Huntress" vest. It doesn't really call for be-dazzling.  The yarn is Miss Bab's Yowza in a rich semisolid teal.  I accidentally left my printed pattern for this vest at a church where Steph meets with her disability network friends.  I have to try and track down my lost pattern next week because I scrawled a bunch of notes and info down.  Hopefully, someone didn't toss them.

We also pulled together for a winter knitting and fiber weekend.   My friend Allie's parents graciously offered us their house while they were out of town.  The big hit of the retreat was the "Swants Workshop" led by Lyn.  I did not partake in the swants making activity, but I had a great time watching them get sewn.  Here are my favorite photos from the retreat.

                      Celia performed the opening ceremonies in Viking garb:

       


                                          This is Lyn in a bulky Swantsy sweater:

                         

                          And, saving the best for last, is Kat.  Kat went all out in a "Swonesie".  

                                       

                                             Yep,  that's how we amused ourselves this winter.

                                        In other fiber related news, I got inked with a yarny tattoo. 

                                        
                               

 I have been wanting one for a long time. Like since getting tattoo prizes in crackerjacks as a kid.  Again, my knitter pals were there for me to help me get my courage up.  I love it.  Jerry- Not so much.

          


        I also dragged my spinning wheel out and got some spinning done.   This fiber is from a bond sheep.   Spinning is such a relaxing activity, once you get the technique down.  I should try and spin more this year.  This skein shall be nicknamed 'shaken, not stirred', in honor of James Bond.

         It was nice blogging today after such a long break.  I'll try not to be a stranger.



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hobo Bag Pattern Link

For whoever requested this pattern: http://contentm.mkt2178.com/lp/814/4150/HP_and_fabric_com_NOMAD_download_pattern.pdf?cm_re=SL1-_-crhdqtr-_-Nomad%20Bag

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Arctic Blast!


Baby it's cold outside.  Here is a snapshot of the front yard, with its plowed mountain range.



While snowed in, we attempted another puzzle.  And check it out, another missing piece.  That's  two for two.  What is going on here?  These are new and straight out of the box.  And Darla isn't into eating cardboard.



I also cast on another pair of socks.  some of my vintage ones are becoming scrappy and worn (after twelve years). I am not sure how visible the spiraling appears.  It is engaging enough to not be boring, yet I can still follow episodes of Madmen or Downton Abby without messing up.


Stay warm peeps!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blanketed

This year, we decided not to deal with crazy traffic and stress of the holidays by staying home for Christmas.



It is a good thing we did, because it has been snowing  for days now.   



The house looks buried here. Optical illusion?  I think not.



My snow shadow!



We did some baking, 



Some puzzling (This puzzle came with a missing piece. My girlies were a little upset with the Ravensburger Company.  I think I will shoot them an email about this),



And of course some knitting.  I was able to get my gift knitting done in time and work on some fraternal twin striped socks for myself.  I finished them last night while watching World War Z.  Stripes and zombies.  The stripes kept me going, because I kept wanting to see how the color progressions would play out.  A Christmas miracle!





Peace and joy everyone!  Stay warm and drive safe!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Winter is Coming

It is time for big cushy knits.  Think Jan Brett.


Also, for more wooly goodness, check out what Norway watches on television: http://tv.nrk.no/serie/nasjonal-strikkekveld
That's five hours of sheep to sweater.  Norway rocks!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tomato, Tomata

There is a sauce day in my future.  Sock pattern is called  'clover', and yarn is from Sweet Georgia.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Almost Fall

Another beautiful summer at the Soxchik Compound.  I played in my garden pretending that I knew what I was doing.  Jerry tackled the lawn like a boss.  I weed whacked the weeds..... a lot.  But they may have won.

We got a good amount of tomatoes (the greenish brown heirloom ones were the tastiest), and dribs and drabs of everything else.  Not really really a big harvest.  I will just try harder next year.


I did try and make ratatouille with all of the vegetables.  It kind of tasted horrible.


Some changes this fall are that the house is a little quieter.  One of the girlies moved into the dorm and is studying dental assisting.  She gets a break from her sibs and comes home (if she wants to) for the weekends.

I did a lot of knitting this summer.   I cranked out a couple of lace shawls.  They'll be reserved for holiday gifts.

This light green (Jaggerspun, Zephyr laceweight) shawl was a test knit called Starlight.  I think since I've finished knitting it, the designer reworked the pattern and flipped the heart charts around.  


This light blue one has been on Ravelry for awhile.  It is called Vernal Equinox.  The charts are very easy to follow.  The yarn for this one is a laceweight wool from Briar Rose.




I also started knitting hats.  There will be lots of slouchy hats.  



My current project is a lace cowl in alpaca.  I love how it looks laying on top of the light box, except for the stripes.

This one looks a little better.



I also snuck out to the Michigan Fiber Festival with one of my friends from my knitting group, Alesha.
We did a whirlwind day trip, leaving early in the morning, driving south for 3 hours, shopping for two hours, and the long drive home.  I didn't go overboard like I do at Stitches.  I wrote a list and stuck to it.


I love the warmer richer colors.  Out of my usual comfort zone colors, but they felt right this time.  The kettle corn was to divert Jerry from my yarn haul.  I don't think it worked.

Lastly...
Here is a photo of the ground under some apple trees that are tucked into our little wooded area.  I knew they were there, but I never saw what they yielded when the conditions were right.


A giant dessert buffet for the deer.  Most nights, I find these guys snacking away.  Sometimes they make angry snorts and run away.  And then return when the coast is clear.  Eat up guys, winter is coming.










Monday, June 10, 2013

The Garden is Ready

I started my garden...again.

I am trying out some landscape fabric to keep the weeds and sumac shoots at bay.
I didn't have anything fancy to keep the fabric from blowing and shifting, so we grabbed what we had hanging around to secure the perimeter (fireplace stones, railroad ties, big rocks, small rocks, gnomes and fallen branches).  It looks very random, as a soxchik garden should look.  Though it may need some fresh yarn bombs to give it some style.

What's in there?  Four types of tomatoes  including some cosmonaut ones that Jerry found, bell peppers, zucchini, two kinds of eggplant, corn, pumpkins, and some usual herbs.

Wish us luck this year!



And on the knitting front....
I am also stuck in some sort of stockinette hell.  I fell in love with the Tin Can Knits Bonny sweater and there is a ton of stockinette stitch before anything exciting happens.  What is scary to me is that I am not even sure that I have the right size or gauge going on and I  might be wasting all of my time knitting endlessly in circles only to be ripped out later because of gauge failure.

Here is a photo of what is have going, so far.  I think I need about four more inches before I start the lace v-neck insert part, otherwise it will look like a belly shirt (no can do).  The body part is supposed to have this negative ease thing going on.  My only thought is,  "Did I go too negative?"  I know that when I wet block it there will be some room for stretching and shaping of this somewhat.  

I am going to plod onward and pray that I got this going the right way.

Stay tuned for what happens to the Barnwood Bonny!



Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Was I Thinking?


I signed up for test knitting this celtic shawl.
It is delightful to look at but it is not the easiest test.  
Note the pink thread- it is marking a wrongly crossed cable.
I will address that problem later.






Now, this cowl is easier on the brain and eyes. 
Dyed with Easter egg tablets and a laceweight scarf blank.
Cannot wait to see how this progresses.







I finished my beer bottle yarn bomb.  
It still needs a logo for the label.
That will have to wait until I get into an embroidering mood.
(whenever that is)


                 








Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Blast of Color While Waiting for Spring


This one annoys me because the color transitions came out choppy.



I wanted to test out dyeing with PAAS Easter Egg dyes.
I bought a few packs on Easter clearance.



The dye blank looks very intestinal wrapped up in Saran wrap.



Quite pleased with the dye results.  Though, I toned it down with a coffee dyebath to cut the brightness.



The finished cowl matches the kitchen.



 And strangely reminds me of port wine spreadable cheddar cheese.



Some sewing, to round things out.