Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fresh thoughts on Thursday

I'm done people.

I haven't touched what was supposed to be a Loro vest in weeks. In all honesty I haven't been knitting much in general. But as I stared at the blue gray yarn in the corner, I felt less and less excited for it. This is unusual for me. Generally if you tell me I can't work on a project it makes me long to get those needles clicking more.

I know, I can be a bit contrary.

Yesterday I thought why am I knitting this vest? Do I really hanker for a vest?

I can't remember. But no, I'm not feeling it. I think when I was reading through the next parts of the pattern for the different pieces and was strategically thinking how I was going to ensure my pieces matched up evenly for seaming and sewing I just about fell asleep on myself.

Really? Seaming? Really sizing pieces? Ugh no. I think all I can manage right now is making sure sleeves are even.

So rip we go.

What to do with this sweater amount of worsted weight yarn? I'm kicking around between this cape thing and Flaum. What do you think? And no, I have no idea why they both start with F.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Kathy's Monday Meme: This or That

Love a Kathy Monday Meme ...

Sunday morning bake: A co worker gave me a bunch of lemons from his tree and thus we have lemon cake. The glaze was much better this time, since I melted the butter for the mixture and poured it on instead of spreading a lumpier mixture on a hot cake.

Do you love Noro or not so much?  
I like other people's Noro. I don't really enjoy knitting with it that much myself. The one project I find validating using it in is Turn a Square hat by Jared Flood. Okay so maybe I'm like Kathy. "Both"

Are you more likely to wear a  poncho or a shawl? 
Shawls. I like to wear them like a scarf. I like ponchos on other people, especially children and my friend Mrs. B. They have whimsy. 

Which brings you more joy,  Casting on or Casting off? Oh always casting on it brings out the eternal knit optimist Hands down Casting On. I actually have a little anxiety (shocking I know) at Casting Off. I begin to think, "Oh crap what if all that work and all that love is useless and nothing?" I get over it pretty quick. The wonderful thing that is knitting simply is, the actual act of knitting no matter how I feel about it afterwards. Such a lovely thing.

Are you more likely to knit a baby a hat or booties? 
Hat all day everyday. Booties are so ... small but I struggle thinking I can get them to work/match! Although I had a good exchange with Judy about booties and she even recommended some excellent patterns, so perhaps this summer I can be turned. I wouldn't be surprised. Knitters are so good at infectious enthusiasm. There was a day in my knitting life I was sure I was never EVER going to knit socks. pffft. I know! Who was that crazy lady?

Does anyone in your family fall asleep in a chair or do they fall asleep in bed? 
My grandfather was a recliner snoozer, my father is a chair snoozer, even my stepfather is a chair snoozer,  and since I am a girl more drawn to tradition than I like to admit, I have married a man that can sleep pretty much anywhere, anytime through a small war possibly. Unlike Kathy's Fireman after he dozes for an hour or so, he can still skip to bed and be sawing logs before I have even brushed my teeth. The Kid and I have to be either sick or jet lagged to properly fall asleep on the couch. It doesn't mean it won't happen every now and again, but it's very rare.

*In my husbands defense he gets up pretty early and is in the service industry where they are on their feet and have to use their bodies. Crazy right?!?

Would you rather win a hot air balloon ride or a dinner cruise?  
Both freak me out a little because it sounds like I'm trapped. I don't know how enjoyable that is. I've been on a bay cruise before so I'll go with the hot air balloon. Surely they have some that are short right -- where I can go up and see the beauty of the landscape and then return without being up there for half a day, right? 

Do you watch the awful news or do you avoid it? 
I watch it. Sometimes I swear at it. I will turn it off if I get really riled up. But most times I'm okay, I can get through most of it. I am sort of obsessed with the local morning news on my days off. It doesn't rile me up in the same way. I can enjoy local color and the weather as well as check out the anchors outfits. What? I have my favorites!

Do you go to the movies or wait for them on cable? 
I like to go to the movies for the big action movies. However I'm very content to watch movies at home as well. Like Kathy, I have shameless love for the butter popcorn. I bring a shaker of nutritional yeast and sprinkle it on. I haven't been going to the movies lately, schedule has been bad so the kid has been going with his pals. I hope to remedy that a bit this summer.

Here's to a good week!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Then this happened: American Strawberry Scones

I feel very short on time. I know this is a theme for me, but I suppose I just feel the need to constantly explain why my blog presence has been smaller of late.

Work has been busy, my family life has been busy, my social life has been busy and somehow I've been trying to shove some exercise in there. One afternoon of soccer can take up a good 3 or so hours of my day, and that's without baking for the team! (I take 2 buses and a train to get out there and you have to get out there early enough for warm up, and then of course we linger for a little bit to catch up with our friends.)

But I'm doing alright. Trying to keep up the balance like most of you.

Soccer season has come to an end. Track is over, and school will be out next week. So if work could just cooperate a little I think I'll do just fine.

My knitting needles have been a little quiet while I have been going from one thing to another. However I was baking like crazy. I baked every single match weekend. While I was baking for the team, I started to explore other recipes just for home and entertaining.

I can't remember how I got there (much like the discovery of a pattern completely different from the one you were originally looking at ...) but I became a little obsessed with my American scones.

What makes them American? Well my British friends laugh at the Starbucks sized scones we have out here. The idea that the scones below also have fresh fruit in them AND have decorative sugar AND a vanilla glaze was just plain bonkers. I've made these a few times now and I am pleased to report to my mother that they did not turn out like hockey pucks. (One time she was visiting and I attempted scones and she literally knocked it on the kitchen wall to prove what a fail it was. Good Golly I love that woman.)

Well without further ado. Here's what's been happening while the wool waits ...

I did these for a girls brunch up in Tahoe and since there were 9 of us, I went for the old rectangle / cube cut instead of the pie cut that yields even numbered servings :)

I'll be back shortly with some more rambling. I hope you're all well. I'll be around checking in on your lovely selves. I've missed the stories, the book reviews and the goodness of heart. I've missed the fluffy animals and the fiber. Wishing you all a lot of laughs and smiles. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

I don't know what size these socks really are.

My friend Clare brought me some lovely yarn from her last trip to England. It is West Yorshire Spinners yarn. This Pheasant colorway is from their Country Birds line. It was super fun to knit up and watch the stripes change.

I did have two knots in this ball which is why the stripes do not line up exactly. I couldn't knit with them without cutting and joining, because that knot would've irritated a foot. Good thing I don't care, I still think they are striking.

Here's the thing, this pair of socks was most definitely a "please Universe, let me have a few rows of knitting in my life before the insanity sets in." It was late. I admit, I used these socks as a coping mechanism for a few nights of insomnia.

Therefore as pretty as they are, I'm not sure what size they are. I thought they were my size, but they blocked bigger. I don't mind. I have enough yarn leftover to make myself some ankle socks and I think they will make a friend with bigger feet happy. Hand knit socks are happiness, right?

Anyhow, on the note of bigger feet and gifting knit socks I have been eyeing this chart from Zappos. What do you think? Useful? What method do you use to knit someone's "size"?

Good stitches and good sleeping to you. Catch you soon loony tunes. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Books That Made ME Want to Drop Everything and Read

I was visiting KimKnits and saw her list and thought I'd join her and Carole and throw my hat in the ring for Ten on Tuesday.

In no particular order. I can't explain why I like all of these books, but I remember that "can't stop now feeling" and I admit there are more, but these are the ones that are jumping out at me right now.

1. Harry Potter: I'm getting on KimKnit's bandwagon for this one. Yeah, all of them. Instead of "Calgon take me away" it's definitely J.K. Rowling take me away. Sad, mad, bored, sleepless in San Francisco, or anywhere else in the world this series is like a warm hug and safe world to whisk away to. I'll say that #5 The Order of the Phoenix is my favorite (since Kim listed hers)

2. Dune

3. Pride and Prejudice

4. The Rickshaw

5. Mistborn

6. Moon and Sixpence

7. The Count of Monte Cristo

8. The Book Thief

9. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase

10. La Dame aux Camélias 

I have more books that I kept reading that didn't make this list. Some I kept reading just to see what would happen. Some because I just wanted it to be done which doesn't necessarily mean I enjoyed the read. For example I read Gone Girl like a crazy person when I was on vacation, but I'd probably never read it again and if I did, I wouldn't feel compelled to devour it.

What book did you read that you couldn't put down that the experience continues to stick out in your head?  That is what the above book list makes me feel when I start to read them again, hungry. Even if I put it down, I am wistful for the world I'm leaving.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Kathy B's Monday Meme

It's been a while since I posted so I thought I'd join the great Kathy B. As many of you know, Kathy B does a Monday Meme and she's always got interesting questions and it's always fun to see what she and her followers are up to knitting and non knitting wise.

1. What did you do during the Masters? 
The Masters goes on  for  D A Y S. However the time I was aware it was on the t.v. I was at the gym, huffing and puffing and sweating (possibly swearing) on the treadmill.

2. What is your most recent knit fail/change my mind/don't want to knit this afterall? 
I struggle with completely giving up on something. I often hibernate things for at least a year before I can say "see ya, never want to knit ya!" I've got 2 scarves in hibernation, but I still feel pretty good about them, much like end of high school romances, the timing is not right ...

3. When was the last time you walked in the rain? 
Squeal! I'm so excited to be answering this question. We are getting some bonafide spring showers and weather in Northern California and the days of gray mixed in with the days of partly cloudy and random 78 degree sunshine is very very welcome.  Anyhow, it was Saturday I stood out in the soccer match rain (The Kid scored the first goal of the match!) and at a birthday party where these shenanigans happened...

4. Do you like to get yarn as a gift? 
I do from Knitters, because they are not insane and give you practical things you will actually knit with. My family tends to give me gift cards because they don't know what I want. Though now that I have found the love of sock knitting I am pretty much learning one can never go wrong with sock yarn. At worst it's a funky colorway it seems. But hello! Socks in anything funky are fun!  

5. When is the last time you had to repair a handknit? 
Get out of my head Kathy!! I had a friend talk to me about a pair of Everyday Hermione's getting a hole in them on the top of the foot. I don't have that yarn anymore, so I'll have to patch it. The rabbithole to darning and patching techniques is  D E E P and awesome if you are so inclined. It will still require a sufficient amount of uninterrupted still and quiet (no family no t.v.) time for me to attempt...

6. If someone was going to knit you the perfect sweater would it be a Fisherman's Irish sweater or a Lopi ? 
I'm going with the Fisherman's Irish sweater. I love the word shenanigans. I like cables and neutral colors and fish. I think the Irish accent is lovely but whenever I attempt it, I sound like I'm attempting an Indian accent. Not pretty people, not pretty. 

7. When was the last time you raised your voice? 
Wow Kathy, these questions are like a mini confessional eh? More than a few hail Marys for me. I raise my voice too often, but less than I used to in all honesty. I yell too much as a parenting tool for my own impatient less than valid reasons. My son once told me I was angry. Even when I'm not yelling, there is a tone I take that I will never be able to take back. This is why I have a casual knitting and whatever the heck I'm fiddling with blog and not a parenting one.  But I try to be good to him and own it when it's out there unnecessarily. It's the only way we improve people. To actually answer the question, last night I raised my voice after 20 mins of dithering around an already sanctioned late bed time. But this time, raised, not yelling. Great now I want to hug my kid. I only have to wait 11 more hours. sigh.

8.  Do you take blog photos with your phone or a special camera? 
Just the phone. I don't have the organization or the time to use anything else. I think a special camera would be wasted on me. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Finished Object Friday: The Iba Cardigan

I feel like a blue ribbon winner for finishing a Cardigan.

This is Iba by Chic Knits. I struggled initially with the pattern second guessing myself understanding it, but really it was a fun knit once I regained my confidence. I'm willing to do it again, that says a lot, right?

I got this kit from Craftsy on sale. It was a good deal and I feel like a champion for actually using all my kit pieces for its actual purpose!

I think as WoolyThyme would say, you know it's a winner when you're already wearing it!

Happy Weekend and Happy Knitting to you!