Friday, December 31, 2010

Seemingly random

I'm adding a border of half-square triangle squares to a nearly finished quilt top (pictures soon!) and I wanted the colors to look balanced but not too balanced if that makes sense. I discovered it's hard to make something look random that really isn't. I thought about throwing all the squares into a bag and laying them out as I pulled them out but a) I was worried all one color would end up in a corner and b) I'm way too much of a perfectionist so I laid them out randomly but not too randomly. . .

Weekend's best: Dec 24th - 26th 2010

White Christmas in Virginia:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Weekend's best: Dec 18-20

At my sister's house - view from her front porch

Knitting - photo taken by my niece :)

Watching my niece watch the train go by

Reading books with my niece

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend's best: Dec 10th - 12th 2010

My weekend started out with a bang because I found out Friday evening that I'd won contest on a blog I'd entered! The blog is written by Olympic swimmer Mark Gangloff's wife Ashley about what it's like to be married to an Olympic swimmer.

Last week Mark was resting up (ie spending a lot of time on the couch watching movies) for Short Course World Championships in Dubai this week so the contest asked for a movie that was inspiring. I chose Miss Potter even though it's not your typical inspirational movie. I loved how Beatrix went against Victorian society and chose her own path.

I won an autographed copy of Mark's new book:

And on Saturday I finished my niece's February Lady sweater! Well except for sewing on the buttons which I couldn't do because I haven't bought them yet. . . I'd talked to her earlier in the day and told her I was nearly done with the 2nd sleeve and she said " Yipeee" so cute!

Also on Saturday yarn for my next couple of projects arrived from WEBS.

When we were in Scotland we stayed at a super B&B so I'm planning to make semi-matching snowflake hats for the couple out of Cascade 220. His will be blue with a white snowflake and hers the reverse.

Dark and Stormy requires a fair amount of concentration so I wanted another sweater project to have going that was easy peasy but didn't want to make another Peasy, so after much searching on Ravelry I finally found Transitions Yoke Cardigan pattern (rav link):

I had been searching for a color with a "winter" feel to it and finally I found one: Rowan Felted Tweed - grey mist.

I'm not ready to start it yet so left it sealed in the bag. It's a beautiful pale grey with bits of black, darker blues and purple. The pattern is a little vague and the gauge is a quite a bit different so some knitting math will be involved. I'm planning to use Peasy as a guide since it was also made with Rowan Felted Tweed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Weekend's best: December 4th, 5th & 6th 2010

I finally decided to join in LoriNY's idea to post a photos summing up my weekend mostly because this past weekend was very busy but also fun!

Saturday I went to the UNC- UK basketball game. Here is a pic from a couple of years ago showing where I sit and yes it's quite high up! As an employee of UNC I can get basketball season tickets and my seat is determined by how many consecutive years I've gotten them. It's a very mysterious process though. Some years my seat stays the same but others like this year I moved down 2 rows!

This is the final score so I was very happy along with 20,000 other screaming fans:

Unbeknownst to us it had started snowing hard while we were at the game. This is what it looked like as we were leaving:

On Sunday my handbell choir gave a concert at my church:

And last night (which wasn't part of the weekend but it felt like it) the handbell choir played in the lobby, oncology and pediatric units of Duke Hospital. I stupidly forgot my camera but the director took pictures so I will post some later. We put the bells on gurneys and rolled them around the hospital. People took videos of us with their phones so we might be on you tube!

The neatest part of the evening occurred in the pediatric ward. We had just finished playing and were about to go back downstairs and pack up when one woman realized a teenage girl had just made it out of her room to hear us play so we halted the roll out and played Jingle Bells for her and she rang the jingle bells for us (we always ask someone listening to ring them). Her parents were there and said she played the piano and loves music. It was a great way to end the weekend.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two down two to go. . .

sleeves that is. Somehow I reached the point of knitting the sleeves on both of my top-down projects at the same time which although a little boring is fun because it means the end is in sight!

First, here is my niece's February Little Lady sweater:

I realized if I get my act together I can give it to her for Christmas along with something fun because even though she always squeals with delight whenever she sees it, a sweater really isn't all that much fun to play with when you are 4. . .

Second, here is Peasy:

And to break-up the Sleeve Monotony, I also swatched and CO Dark and Stormy:

The color in the top picture is closer to what it actually looks like. It was dark (but not stormy) last night when I took the 2nd picture so I had to use the flash.

Birthday Cakes

For my birthday last week one of my coworkers made me a FABULOUS Nutella cake!

I had been searching Ravelry for what to knit next but nothing seemed quite right until I saw LoriNY's Dark and Stormy - it was EXACTLY what I had been looking for but couldn't seem to find. She had received the pattern for her birthday :)

I decided to make it with Cascade 220 in a purple heather and the yarn arrived on my birthday:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sweet Sixteen

Last week I finished Umbilical Cord Hat #16! A few years ago I started making these for friends, coworkers and of course my niece and it has become "my thing" to give to expectant mothers. This latest one was for a coworker and at the baby shower someone commented that people could recognize a baby from our group by their hat.

And here is my niece sporting her auntie hand-knit goodness on the first cold day of the season. It looks like she might need a new set of mittens soon :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Katherine's Quilt

This is my first year to join in the fun and enter the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy.

I chose the quilt I made for my niece Katherine. It's called "Many Trips around the World" from the book Tradition with a Twist by Blanche Young. I love everything about this quilt. . . the soft colors which remind me of an English garden. . . the simplicity of the pattern. . . and the joy I had in making it for my niece-to-be. At the same time as I was making it my mom was also making a quilt for her so we had a great time comparing notes on where we were in the process.

If you look closely in the picture below you can see that the quilt had not been bound yet because my niece was a month early!

On my next visit 2 months later it was finished.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

As Peasy as Pie

Since I've been back from Scotland I've gotten quite a bit done on Peasy:

It's slowly coming along. . . The body is such a slog I made up a chart based on how much I have left so I can tick off rows as I go so I can see that I am making progress. I'm getting 8 rows/inch and decided I wanted about ~14" post sleeve-divide:

I've done more inch since I took this picture on Saturday!

My coworker told me about this blog so late last week I found a recipe for Buttercup Squash on it. It sounded so good that I made one this weekend sort of. I mistakenly read it as Butternut squash so that's what I bought and I cheated and bought pre-made pie crust. It was so yummy I'm planning to make it again soon with the right squash and make the crust from scratch (maybe).

Friday, October 15, 2010

Knitting in Scotland

I didn't get as much knitting done on my trip as I had hoped (isn't that the way it always is) but I did get some work done on Peasy in some beautiful and interesting places:

On the Isle of Skye outside our B&B

In Oban waiting for the ferry to the Isle of Mull

On the train from Ft. William to Mallaig

In the lounge in our B&B in Crianlarich

And wearing my Central Park no-Hoodie on St. Andrew's Golf Course!

Friday, August 20, 2010

F.O Central Park No Hood

If I hadn't had a deadline to finish this sweater there's no way it would have gotten done because seaming it when it was 105 was not fun but it was worth it because now it's done and even better it fits! Scottish Highlands here I come!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Packing, Peasy, and Pickles


I leave for Scotland in 2 weeks so this past weekend I began gathering clothes, rain gear, etc!
I know some people can pack in a matter of minutes but I'm not one of those people. I'd end up leaving out something really important like my underwear.


I'd been thinking about what knitting project to take with me (Alexandria and I have had enough adventures already so I thought it might be best to leave her at home) so when I saw LoriNY's Peasy I thought it seemed like a great project to take with me. And a tweed yarn? How perfect!

Given my difficulties in getting projects started correctly I thought I might be a good idea to get it going before I leave. I'm just about to start the lace pattern. The color doesn't show up very well but it's a beautiful blue with flecks of white and black.


This doesn't have anything to do with Scotland. I just felt like making pickles last weekend. I used my mom's Million Dollar Pickle recipe and they turned out great. It was my first time making them or canning anything for that matter so I was a little anxious until my mom pointed out "It's not that hard. You throw everything in together, bring it to a boil then put them in jars". I love how my mom can cut to the chase about a situation.

I let the cucs soak overnight (there is also onion but I forgot to add it until later):

And here they are finished:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Good news and bad news

First the bad:

I had 3.5 inches of Alexandria done but now I have this much. . . .

The pattern near the bands was looking really strange so after much pondering and comparing the chart and instructions, I figured out that when I made a short-cut cheat sheet for the section I was doing I somehow copied the instructions for the section done in the round not flat. Der.

Last night I laid it out flat on my DR table and slowly and painfully ripped out 2 inches (sob!) then stopped 1 row above where I wanted to re-start. The next row I carefully un-knit 217 sts onto smaller needles. By some miracle I ended up with the same # of sts that I started with so I am good to go. . . . yet again. I called to tell my mom (also a knitter) my sad story and how stupid I felt and she said "well patterns are tricky". That made me feel better so thanks Mom :)

Now the good:

Error-free progress has been made on my niece's February Little Lady Sweater!

I'll see her next week so I can do a size check and if she's grown out of it just shoot me now.