Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Brand New Day

Today is my first day without a job.  I have to admit its a bit frightening. I have worked all my life except for when I had my son and that was another whole career in itself, a very different kind of work.  So Besides sending out resumes and cleaning out my closet, I've been trying to get my knitting in order.  I think the knitting will keep me sane during this transition period.

So as usual I have several irons in the fire.  First up is the Sweet Shawlette I started last month.  When my mom's birthday came up I just put it down and haven't touched it (except to move it around the yarn room).

I would really like to complete this as my first lacey shawl.  I picked out and "faved" about 8 yesterday on Ravelery.  This includes the Catkin pattern that Yarn Harlot blogged about yesterday.  It really is spectacular.  I've never seen anything quite like it. It looks complicated so I am saving it for when I've learned more about knitting shawls in lace patterns.

Second I have started a large cabled wrap to wear over a coat (which I don't have a coat). In between each cable once completed the stitch is dropped.  Right now its just looks all twisted up.  Gee I hope it looks better when I'm done...

The third little thing I started was a chunky yarn weekender cardigan.  I've always wanted one of these and the pattern is so cute.  Just the ribbing so far but I've taken a lesson from Dona Knits and I am watching the angle of the needles when knitting and purling to be sure they are 90 degrees to each other on each stitch.  Voila! the stitching in quite even.  Thanks, Dona!
Lastly and definitely not least I have a quilted banner to do.  This is not knitting, this is my old pal, quilting which I haven't done since last year.  I'll put pictures out as this progresses. It will look like the stained glass windows in my church.  My church is about 115 years old (which if you are from europe you are probably saying, "thats new, huh?")  But here in texas, that is kinda old for a wooden country church. In fact in the 1970's it was moved from Terrell, Texas to Heath, Texas. 

I said "lastly" but if you follow my blog you know that its just not true!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Birthday Knits

This Saturday is my mom's birthday.  I've been knitting like a mad woman (more mad than usual). On many occasions my mother has said she likes this or she likes that.  It was tricky to decide what all I could do for the birthday. 

Here is the short list:
  • Hooded scarf
  • Necklace
  • Slippers
  • Sassy Scarflette
  • Mousy
So the hooded scarf is done and I think it turned out pretty good since I adapted a crochet pattern for knitting:

The necklace is nice and she picked out the beads for it.  Also I made a matching bracelet:

The slippers are crocheted, an adaptation of a Mon Petit Violon pattern:

The second edition of the Sassy Scarflette in gray tones:

I received the yarn for the came in time.  Now to get it knitted in time...

Also, my mom's best friend has a birthday on Sunday so I want to make her some things as well.  I'm still thinking about her list.  One of the things I thought might be great is the strawberry bookmark I saw on Dona Knits web site from ravelry.

Should I give her the sassy scarflette I made last week or something else....hmmmm. Another necklace...?

On another note, it seems our little kitty (who is now enormous) is really not a girl.  So I'm calling him Mr. Kitty, not a very original name but I am at a loss...he's "Sassy" to me.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sassy Scarflette

Yesterday I started and completed a Sassy Scarflette.  It really turned out cute and fits nicely.  A good "one-ball, one day" project.  I used the Knit One, Crochet Too Ty-Dy yarn that was suggested.

We should do this again soon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ride 'em Cowgirls

I have started some new projects to get me rejuvinated.  I think the open projects list was bogging me down.  So I thought, "If I could do anything I wanted...(and what is stopping me, by the way? Who really even cares, I'd like to know?),  I'd start something else that I want to start and quit worrying about not finishing that which is not finished." A small, chin-up head gesture works here.

So here is a new attempt at a lace style shawlette.  A different pattern than before.  It is actually a bit more challenging in that, I completed the stockinette part and am now actually working the lace pattern. 

I also will start several other things soon. I am so happy about this.  ; )  I just want to feel better about the shawl I messed up last week.  Its the old "get back up on the horse" thing. But this time, the life line will be used, dang-it!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pray for Rain

In Texas, as in many parts of the US and the world, we are having a drought.  No rain for a long time and none in sight.  The farmers are in trouble and the firefighters are exhausted.  All of our reservoirs are either mud puddles or dust bowls. About 70 percent of Texas rangeland and pastures are classified as in very poor condition, which means there has been complete or near complete crop failure or there’s no food for grazing livestock. The crop and livestock losses could be the worst the state has seen (AP-Lubbock, TX). Cotton, Corn and Beef are the biggest hit and with Texas as a world provider of these, the results will be devastating. And, get this, Black Bears are coming into townships and raiding everything from dumpsters to bird feeders in far west Texas and northern New Mexico.

We are praying for rain.  I've never received so many e-mails from my friends and acquaintances calling for rain prayers.  The Comanche Nation (native Americans from the Comancheria tribe) are having rain dances.

I didn't realize that there is actually an Intensity Scale for drought conditions.  I knew there was one for rain-fall because I grew up on the Gulf Coast of the US. 

This is what it looks like:

Texas is the 2nd largest state in the US, 2nd only to Alaska (which resides in the great white north, north of Canada).  But the interesting thing is, Texas has no natural lakes.  That's it, zero, nada, none...all of the water we use is dammed from rivers and made into reservoirs. Texas is the only state that was a republic before joining the union; the only state that can fly its flag as high as the US flag; and the only state that can legally secede from the union. Famous Kentuckians/Tennesseans like Jim Bowie and Davey Crockett died here in San Antonio at the Alamo fighting Mexico for Texas freedom in 1836. Unfortunately, they lost. Only women and a slave named Joe survived and were set free by Santa Anna, the Mexican general.

(in case you're interested in the Alamo:

Forecast, 109F:

Oh and I forgot to mention, the water we do get tastes like mud and algae...eek! So when they say "water rationing", we say, "ok."

So please, pray for rain.  I'm going to start a new knit lace shawl. Wish me luck...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Transitional Period

August is my month to prepare for another transition, job-wise, that is.  I've been on a strict diet and have lost 13 pounds already.  This is so I can get back into "work" clothes since I really can't afford to buy new ones. 

I've also been trying to finish up my open projects, clean out junky drawers, work on CPE (continuing professional education credits) to maintain my CPA license, etc.  I still need to clean out my closet, yuk.
So I had 10 projects open.  I completed one and frogged two.  That should be my new mantra:  Knit one, Frog two.  So here is the one successful project, my Affliction Ford racing socks. "If everything was more like NASCAR, everything would be more awesome..."

These go well with my husbands DeWalt Ford Racing socks which are "DeWalt" yellow and black.  We put them on on Sunday's and watch NASCAR racing.  We cheer for Matt Kenseth (#17).  I'm sure we look crazy in shorts and socks.  Especially since it is 108F outside with no relief in sight:

I had to frog my lace shawlette.  I was so disappointed.  I made a critical error and just couldn't recover from it. The yarn got all snagged and gnarly.  So I'll start another with more experience next time. The sad part is, I really hadn't started the lace pattern part yet.  I was still working on the stockinette part.  If I had used the "lifeline" method I learned on the scarf, this would all be worry-free. 

The other item that I frogged was a panel sweater.  Years ago I bought a knitting machine and I thought I'd play around with it.  I put cotton yarn on it and made several panels and then put the panels together.  Its is so shapeless and droopy.  Not really worth the effort.  I think I wasted more yarn than I used.

On the non-knitting side, I made myself four really nice project bags from Fern patterned Batiks:

These turned out really great and they keep the cat from snagging the yarn while I work.  Happy Knitting to you all!