Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summertime Fingers and Toes.

I am such a girl.

One of the few things I like about summer is pedicures. Remember, I am the one who hates summers -- heat, bugs, sweat, allergies, and of course, the heat (maybe I already mentioned that, but it needs to be repeated).  I love my hand-knitted socks but I rarely wear them in the summer.

I have this wonderful sundress full of sunflowers, so I had to have toes to match. These are my toes against the print and you can see they turned out great. I almost feel like I am dancing through a sunflower field with such abandonment that you can hear the flutes playing in the background, see little bunnies waving at me beside the path, and birdies scoop down to drape a delicate shawl around my shoulders. The image falls apart when I starting sneezing, sweating, and wheezing with a fog of pollen surrounding me. I rush back into the house to down a glass of wine. Alas.

And while getting my toes done, I get my nails done. This is my tribute to my little black kitty Neko, also known as Hannibal Lector. And this little kitty doesn't even want to scratch or bite me. I did show them to Neko; he just hissed at them.  Well, maybe he was hissing at acetone-scented nails pushed in his face.

Painted fingers and toes are a passing fancy for just a few weeks until a whim changes them again.

Well, I have a day with no plans, so back to the needles.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Making Peace with Cables

I don't know what it is, but I am not crazy about doing cables. I will do them if I really like the pattern but if I see a sweater with cables, I just glaze over it and go onto the next pattern. Don't get me wrong. When I make cables, they are beautiful. But then ...

Maybe it is because cables are very time-consuming. I am a fast knitter and this pattern is not fast. Normally, I can knock a couple of hats in a weekend but a pattern with cables take much, much longer.

So then why would I do a pattern that requires me to do an entire row of cables every four stitches, every other row?  Because I just love this hat. I did more cables in the week I did this hat than I have probably done my entire knitting life (of over 55 years!). But it is very repetitive which makes it a great pattern for putting in my purse and taking it with me. The only problem is I kept losing my cable needle! It has a wonderful fit and just a great slouch. The pattern is in the Interweave Knits, Summer 2014, and it is called the Nautilus Hat. The cable looks more like a rib and makes the hat very study.

I liked how this hat turned out so much that I will probably do it again in another color. So I am making my peace with cables and giving those cabled patterns a more lingering look in the future.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My Passion -- Lace Knitting

I get most of my knitting books at the library. Our local library carries just about every new knitting book and even though I might have to wait a few weeks to get my turn at it, I get three luscious weeks to explore the patterns in the book. So when I saw a new book entitled "New Vintage Lace," I put a hold on it, and checked my email every day to see if it was my turn.

So when I got the book, I looked at it for one day and then took it back to the library. That's because I went to my local yarn store and purchased it. There were just too many patterns in the book that I have  to make that three weeks just wanted enough time. It is a very worthwhile purchase.

My first project was a shawlette called the Blue Dahlia. I made it without the beads in a wonderful alpaca lace yarn. It is one of those patterns you have to follow every row practically stitch by stitch, and mark the row when you finish (I use a sticky note).

So I spend an entire week in my easy chair, enjoying the air-conditioning, and worked on my bright blue shawl. I didn't even want to stop to eat or sleep, it was so much fun.

So come, on cold weather! I want to wear my scarf to work and be the height of fashion!

Until then, back to the needles.

Friday, July 18, 2014

What I Have Been Doing on Summer Vacation

First of all, I work full time at a new job, so I don't get a summer vacation. Kids are so lucky.

I have been knitting this summer, but not writing. Summers are not my favorite time of year, so I consider myself successful that I am doing anything. So over the next few days, I will post what I have been doing on summer vacation. And just a teaser, I am going to post another free pattern for a scarf I am working on.

I knitted this cute little hat which is just for looks. It will not keep you warm but it is adorable to put over your head on bad hair days. However, if your bad hair day is when the temperature is over 90 degrees, it will probably not be comfortable anyway. Just live with the bad hair day.

This pattern is the Ravine Hat from Classic Woolly Toppers by one of the most creative hat designers around - Woolly Wormhead. I am sure she/he has a real name, but I wasn't able to find it. But if you like to knit hats, this is must! Of the ten hats in this book, I want to make at least seven of them, including the one on the cover. I have been wanting to make a newsboy hat for awhile, but the patterns have all been crocheted. This is on my to-do Although I do crochet, I just prefer to knit.

Stay tuned. Most projects to come!