Happy New Year’s Eve

It was a slippery ride home on the bus.  It’s been showing since lunch time those small little flakes that get slippery on the road – a couple inches of them.  But I’m safely home and that’s where I plan to stay.

I did get rid of one unfinished knitty object on the bus. As I was knitting on a triangular scarf, I decided the pattern was just not what I wanted  – it was going to be too deep of a vee before the ends finally got long enough to wrap around my neck and it was way to much rib stitch – just too boring even for bus knitting.  But I really liked the yarn so I quit knitting on it and on the way home – unraveled it and rewound the ball.  That yarn will be something else.

I just finished printing the Art Deco pattern pages I needed and will be casting that on shortly after I find some dinner.

20131231_7But waiting for me at the office today – my final yarn purchases of this year.

This is Miss Babs Yowza in Old Gold – it will grow up to be a sweater some day.

 

And then there was my Box of Fun which contained these oh so cute stitch markers.

20131231_9  Somewhere in this house there are stitch markers hiding in great number but whenever I want some I can’t find them so I’m hoping I can keep these little cuties from disappearing.  What could be more perfect than little yarn balls for markers.

And of course there was yarn

20131231_8 Shalimar  – Breathless DK in Glacier.  The photo is a little off  – it’s more the light green color in the quilt the yarn is on – in the photo of the stitch markers than the blue it shows in my photo of the yarn.  It will grow up (I think) to be a cowl necked poncho.

Now to find a quick dinner and pick out some dvds to keep me entertained as I knit into the new year.

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A new knitting project and some fabric

If you are a Ravelry surfer, you may have seen Amy Herzog’s Designs (which I love) and her latest creation, CustomFit.make.wear.love patterns.  I’ve been reading info on her Ravelry Group regarding CustomFit, looking at all the great garments women who are my size range have been making, and decided to give it  a try.  I’m always confused in sweater making when they give a bust measurement and say it should have so many inches of ease — added on to the bust measurement? is it included in the bust measurement? If it’s not included, many designers don’t carry extended sizes.  Just too many things to try to figure out, guess incorrectly, and then rip out a project or just not wear it because I don’t like it.  And then there’s  the expense – I am not a petite person and will never be one – just my height means I need to add to the length of sweaters, sleeves, etc. and then there’s the width …– hence a lot of lovely yarn is needed which is not cheap.  So after reading the group messages, website, etc. since it was launched I decided to take the plunge and give it a try.

So that’s what my swatch was for .

20131230_7 After it dried, I marked off an area to count rows and stitches.  That’s one of the things I like about CustomFit – I don’t have to match my gauge to anything.  I  just pulled out some needles and started swatching – I like the feel of the fabric it makes and that’s all that matters.  The pattern is created to accommodate my personal gauge with the needles I used and the yarn I want to use, my measurements, I picked the style sweater I wanted, the fit style I wanted (close fitting, average, or relaxed — I chose the relaxed), and within a minute, quite literally, a pattern was generated specific to me.  No having to mark which stitch counts or row counts to follow on a multiple size pattern.  So I’m excited to start on this project and see how it goes.  We’ll see how well I did on the measurements too or if they need some tweaking — some of those measurements  are a bit tricky to do on your own – like the back underarm — but I compared it to a favorite sweater so hopefully I did okay.

First I really want to get the Greta vest finished and then there’s Art Deco I want to start, but hopefully later this week I’ll start on this green sweater and see where it takes me.

 

dppasbuttonfinal

 

Oh and I’m so excited — I really love the plaid that I colored in the DPPAS block on the button with and thought it would be fun to use a plaid rather than a more traditional solid or tone on tone neutral background for my quilt.  But I also knew that fabric had been in EQ’s fabric Stash for a while so probably was no longer available in quilt shops.  But with a whole lot of sleuthing, I found just enough — or at least I’m going to make it be just enough!  So I’m very excited about that.  So far there are  42 quilters signed up to play in this project.  Have you started collecting your fabrics yet?  I know I have several great fabrics to use for the dogs but I think this weekend I’ll have to go stash diving and start collecting them in one container to see if I need more and if so what colors.

A few Monday accomplishments

I did finally get a few things done today.  The bedroom is mostly clean – things picked up, couple loads of laundry done, closet straightened, and knitting storage containers back under the bed.  It still needs some vacuuming, dusting and top of the dresser and night stand cleared up a bit but heck I’m on vacation can’t do too much work.  But at least I won’t trip over anything and no longer of two yarn  tubs taking up room.  And there was room in those under the bed storage tubs to add more yarn so I gathered some that I need to put away and filled them back up.

I finished knitting the swatch I need to make, it got soaked and is drying so I can go back and mark it and count stitches and rows to decide what I want to make with this yarn since I decided against the original project I was going to use it for.  It’s Wollmeise DK in Pesto. I was not overly fond of the Wollmeise sock yarn I had previous knit with but this DK feels wonderful and will make a great sweater of some kind.

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I also spread the bottom of my Greta across a couple other needles so it wasn’t all bunched up – tried it on – and my guess work at adding some increases where those stitch markers are I think worked perfectly.  I was so afraid it would be too snug across my broad backside and pull the front edges back.  Then I was afraid I put the increases in the wrong place but it looks like it will hang very nicely despite my bumps and bulges.  Excellent!

And I figure I have another 6 inches or so to knit to get the length I want but I need to heck how wide the bottom band is to decide for sure.

Time to go finish fixing dinner – need to make a salad – the stuffed mushroom caps should be nearly done and are smelling great.

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Meandering Monday

That’s what I’ve been doing – sort of meandering from one room to another, one task to another – not accomplishing much at all.   But then again, a day of work is meant for meandering I guess.  But I hate it when I think back over the day and haven’t accomplished what I wanted.

I was going to venture down the drive to the mailboxes but it’s minus 2, I opened the door and decided against it.  The wind chill is not nice.  So I closed the door and cranked up the heat inside a bit. LOL

I did get a load of laundry started, had a late breakfast, did a whole lot of futzing around on the computer, and played with a simple quilt design.

So I think I’ll switch laundry, and then go put the bottom of my Greta vest on several needles so it can be stretched out and tried on to measure how much longer I want it, and then I have a swatch to knit for a new project I want to start.

Maybe just maybe I’ll straighten up the bedroom and gather the rest of the yarn that needs to be put away – but that sounds like a lot of work!

Here’s the design I am playing with – a little eye candy for today.

mosaic

DPPAS – did you complete the process???

I added the below message at the top of the Dog Pound Pal Adoption Society page in the sidebar.  It’s in caps, it’s in red — it is not yelling. 🙂 but it is a strong reminder that you must properly sign up or you won’t be playing with the group.  And please please please save that password where you can find it.  I’ve now emailed it out a second time to 8 different people and we haven’t even started yet!

UPDATED 12/29/13 —IMPORTANT REMINDER  – SOME OF YOU ARE  LEAVING COMMENTS ON THE BLOG WHICH MAKE ME BELIEVE YOU HAVE BOUGHT THE PATTERN FOR THIS PROJECT BUT YOU ARE NOT ON MY SIGNED UP LIST.  YOU MUST FOLLOW THE SIGN UP INSTRUCTIONS BELOW BEFORE THE SIGN UP DEADLINE PERIOD ENDS OR YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN AND YOU WILL NOT HAVE THE PASSWORD TO THE PROTECTED PART OF THE BLOG WHERE THIS PROJECT WILL TAKE PLACE.   I WOULD HATE FOR YOU TO MISS OUT BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T COMPLETE THE SIGN UP.

By justquiltin Posted in DPPAS

On the Needles – 12/27/13

20131227_4  We’ll I’m ending the year working on something I started at the very beginning of the year — here is my Greta so far.  A few inches have been added since pulling it out of hibernation on Christmas Day.  The blue marker is about where it was when I picked it back up and tried it on – that was about waist length.  That’s also where I decided  add an increase row.  It’s supposed to be drapey and I think this yarn will with the alpaca in it but I’m hoping it’s not too straight down the back because I am certainly not.  I added a row of spaced increases and then knit about 2 inches and added another.  Was it a good addition or bad – won’t be able to tell until I get to the end and see how it hangs and looks on but heck I can always rip it back out if I want.   I need to lay out all the remaining hands of yarn tho because I think I set aside a lighter one to use to do the little cap sleeves.  I didn’t even thing about alternating hanks as I was doing the yoke and then realized – oh some are a bit darker than others.  So I started alternating them – which is why the main portion shows darker and lighter bits and the top doesn’t but they are more obvious in the flash and in reality and I like them — it’s hand dyed yarn and those little color variations keep the long expanse of stockinette stitch from being so stagnant.  But can I finish this one before the end of the year – who knows I still have a lot of inches to add.  Of course the bigger needles and thicker yarn do make it go a bit faster but there are a lot of stitches on those needles.  But I would like to add it as my last finish of the year.

For those who have joined in the Sticks ‘n Strings challenge – I’ll do a blog post on New Year’s day to recap it and please leave a comment with how your progress turned out for the year.

If you wish to join in on the Knit from the Stash challenge – the more the merrier.    I did place my last yarn order just today 🙂 – one last one for a project I want to make as a gift.   My problem is what to start on first!  I’m going to have to spend some time in my Ravelry library  and try to organize them matching up yarn to project.

20131227_5 Here’s the project on my Loopy Mix ‘n Match Challenge.  I’m past the half way mark – just barely that pink marker in the lower left is the middle.  It’s very stretchy and will really drape nicely I think.  So 60 beads placed on that first side, another 58 to go.

The Dreambird, which I wore to work today, got rave reviews from the ladies and even a couple of the gents whose wives knit stopped me to check it out. 🙂

Time to find some dinner and then get back to that vest.  But heck – no bosses in the office the beginning of next week so I granted myself a 3 day weekend and took Monday off.  More time to play.

Dreambird off the blocking board

Here it is – ready to wear.  I need to go buy a dark blue or darker gray sweater  (or maybe dig in the closet to see what else is there because I think there is one these colors would look better against) 🙂  But this one was easy to grab.  I think I’ll be wearing it to work tomorrow to dress up my “jeans day” attire.  Ah – I just remembered a dark brown sweater that might just be perfect under it!   So in the Sticks ‘n String challenge — this is “new” as in started and finished this year — new finish #31!  And I’m now at 20,100 yards knit so far this year (knit as in finished projects — I don’t count the yardage until it’s a done project.    So 31 “new” projects finished and 15 UFO projects completed and out of my knitting boxes, baskets, bins — you get the idea (now I can store yarn in those boxes baskets and bins right?)

New #31-Dreambird

New #31-Dreambird

Dreambird Update

It’s finally done!!! I did finish at least one more UFO before the end of the year – or kept it from turning into a UFO.  I just had a few stitches to bind off on the rolled neck edging I added to part of it and it’s just been sitting waiting for me to finish it.

So I did that, gave it a dunk in some Eucalan and it’s now pinned out blocking.

20131225_8It has 24 feathers total.  I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  The only think I would change if I did it again is the gray yarn I used – it’s not a “fuzzy” enough yarn – more linen-type feeling to me and it does not hide or blend in the double stitches as well as I would like (and of course some of that I’m sure is from me goofing one up here or there).  But that was just poor yarn choice on my part.

I can’t wait to wear it.

I have several balls of the Mini Mochi left over (I knew I ordered more than I needed but it was a good sale) so I think maybe another swing cowl after I finish the one I’m working or maybe another stranded cowl.

I also pulled out my Greta which I haven’t worked on in ages.  In looking back on the blog, I started it nearly a year ago  (first week  of January was when I switched from a different yarn to the one I’m now using).  It would be nice if I could finish it up before the end of the year but I’m running out of time. LOL  I spread the body of it out across several double pointed needles so I could try it on and see where I’m at.  I think it’s going to fit fine, I’ve got it done to about my waist, but I think I’m going to increase a few stitches across to make it a bit more swingy on the bottom where I flare out. 🙂   There’s just a tiny cap line sleeve that I have to go back and add on but the body is just straight knitting until you get to the hem area and then just simple garter.  If I knit like the wind it’s possible I could make it ….maybe… we’ll see.

Yummm I smell Cornish hen – it must nearly be done….

 

A bit of Spritz

The Spritz cookies won out but what a pain in the butt.  LOL  A little plastic piece on the cookie gun broke which made difficulties.  But I managed to get one pan full in the oven.  The baking stone is definitely the way to go with cookies – especially those really butter ones like Spritz, Mexican Wedding cakes, Melting Moments, etc.  Helps to dry them out and brown nicely when other baking pans let them get too dark on the bottom without really drying them out.

But I remembered why I hate making them.  First batch was cooling — talked to my Mom and my Sister for a little bit — went back to fill the baking stone a second time and it was too hot.  The cookies wouldn’t stick to the stone as you pulled the cookie gun away.  Well after trying two or three times to get a cookie to stick, I decided the heck with it.  I stuck the rest of the dough in the freezer.  I had a dozen or so cookies baked — enough to satisfy any cookie craving in the next week or more — so I didn’t bother to try to mess with the rest.  I think they’ll end up getting rolled into balls or cut into slices when I want to bake what’s in the freezer and not mess with the gun.

I must say they did turn out tasty .  One of the options was to add orange zest — no oranges but I did have Clementines so  zested one of those before I ate it for lunch.  So they have that light citrus flavor which is really good.

Need to go find a movie to watch — they are replaying the same Christmas specials on tv I saw last night — and decide what I want to knit on.  Wonder if I can get another UFO finished off before the end of the year. 🙂