Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Guess What I've "Bean" Doing

I was making bean soup this afternoon and was struck by the gorgeous colors and shapes of the lowly (organic) bean.

Starting from the top and going clock-wise: Kidney Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Great Northern Beans, Black Turtle Beans, Pinto Beans, French Lentils, and Green Split Peas.

The French Lentils look very interesting and are all sorts of lovely colors.

Pinto Beans

Garbanzo Beans

Green Split Peas

A delicious soup for a cold day!

Ice Storm

What a difference from my Monday post! We had snow, rain, ice, and sleet since then and this morning I went out to take some photos.

It was bitterly cold, with a chilling wind that blew right through me. The thought crossed my mind of how silly I must look bundled in knits, camera in hand, slogging through frozen grass and taking pictures left and right.

I was glad to get back inside to the warmth of the stove. There is nothing like relaxing with a cup of tea and some knitting by a fire on a cold and chilly day. The June In March shawl edging is almost halfway done, I think I will need at least one more skein of yarn to complete my shawl. Maybe when the roads are safe once again, I can venture back to the yarn store and purchase my last skein. Until then I shall knit, sew, etc. and keep cozy by the fire!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

June In March Shawl

Remember the yarn and pattern that I showed you last Wednesday? Well this is how the project is going. I have so enjoyed making this knit. It is rather addicting, once I get going on it I don't want to stop. The pattern is the Juneberry Triangle, by Jared Flood. It has 5 charts so you are always looking forward to what the next chart will be like. The shawl looks very intricate but is really quite easy. It uses different types of decreases, bobbles and increases to form diamonds, swirls and the like.

At this point in the above photo I had just finished Chart C and was several rows into Chart D.

This is how far I am as of this evening. The edging is knit back and forth in rows, and joined to the shawl with a k2tog at the end of every right side row. It is a wide knitted edging, and so beautiful! I am loving the way it looks.

This is a quick knit when done in worsted weight. My cousin is making one in sport weight and hers is working up very quickly as well. There were a couple issues that gave me trouble and I would like to point them out in case anyone else is having difficulties with this. First being the abbreviation "ssp" or slip,slip,purl. I had never encountered it in any knitted projects before so just blazed on ahead thinking it was the same as a slip,slip.knit. That is until I looked at my knitting and saw the decrease was slanting the wrong way. So I checked online and found out how to properly do it.

Here's how: slip 2 stitches (one at a time) knit wise, put back on the left needle. Purl through the back loops. 1 stitch decreased.

The other issue I encountered was with the bobbles. They looked rather flat and wimpy. However while browsing the Juneberry projects on Ravelry I came across this hint that helped with that:

Bobbles/Nupps: When doing the final psso on the bobble, bring the loop of the stitch around the entire bobble. This makes the bobble stay on the RS, plus defines it better.

I hope this helps! If you have any questions feel free to drop me a line or comment and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

I look forward to showing you my June In March Shawl when it is completed and blocked!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Knitting In Literature

"What she piqued herself upon, as arts in which she excelled, was making candle lighters, or "spills" (as she preferred calling them), of coloured paper, cut so as to resemble feathers and knitting garters in a variety stitches. I had once said, on receiving a present of an elaborate pair, that I should feel quite tempted to drop one of them in the street, in order to have it admired; but I found this little joke (and it was a little one) was such a distress to her sense of propriety, and was taken with such anxious, earnest alarm, lest the temptation might some day prove too strong for me, that I quite regretted having ventured upon it. A present of these delicately wrought garters, a bunch of gay "spills", or a set of cards on which sewing-silk was wound in a mystical manner,were the well-known tokens of Miss Matty's favour."

--Elizabeth C. Gaskell, Cranford

Spring Is In The Air !!!

I went for a walk outside today to see if there were any signs of spring.

At first glance everything seems pretty much the same. Right now we are in that in between state where it does not look like spring or winter. Everything has a grayish, brown aspect, and there is mud everywhere.

But upon closer inspection there are little signs of spring popping up here and there. There aren't many things are growing in the flower beds yet. The sedum is coming up (pictured above) as well as the iris plants. And weeds.
I found a happy spot of moss out in the back lawn. Moss has such a way of looking so bright and cheerful on a gloomy day.

I tried to photograph the robins, but they were not too keen on having their pictures taken. They proved rather difficult and all I ended up with was blurry smudges that could be interpreted as almost any sort of bird to someone with a good imagination! I did get a nice shot of these bugs. I have no idea what they are, or what they were doing. They appeared to be chewing on the bark. Perhaps eating sap? I don't know.

It is nice to know that in just a month everything will be in bloom and there will be a riot of color where ever one looks. I am looking forward to the return of warm weather, and the chance to dig into the dirt again. We won't be planting the main part of our garden for 2 months yet, but there is lots to accomplish in preparation. We probably will be planting sugar snap peas soon as they like cool weather best.

Well, I'm off to eat lunch before getting back to my day. I have some knitting I'd like to accomplish before this evening. Our church is having a ladies get-together tonight where we will be knitting, quilting, scrap booking etc. I'm the one assigned to teach knitting so I need to gather my things together and make a bit of a plan this afternoon.

Cheerio & have a lovely day my dear friends!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This and That

I have a bagful of knitting to show you!

I purchased this yarn at my LYS this afternoon. It is Classic Elite: Moorland. I would like to make a shawl for church, and I wear a lot of brown and green so this lovely heathered color will be perfect! Quite versatile I think.

My cousin mailed me the "Juneberry Shawl", I think that's the pattern I'll use with this lovely yarn.

My "Bleeding Hearts Stole" has progressed some since I last showed it to you. I realized once I got going on it that it was not realistic to try and get it done in such a short time. So I am taking my time on it, just doing a few rows here and there. This pattern has lace work on both the right side AND wrong side rows. Consequently it ends up being a little bit of a headache after awhile. I'm used to have the wrong side of the row to relax from patterning. I want to make the stole shorter than the pattern requires, but I'm not sure if I have enough yardage. I'll probably order another skein just to make sure. I can't wait until the stole is finished and I can block it! It's so much fun to see it transform from a scrunched up bit of knitting, into a lovely, lacy garment.

And lastly my reversible dolls! They are from the "Itty Bitty Toys" book. I've been wanting to make one of the reversible patterns for awhile now and finally did this past weekend. Aren't they SO cute!? I will probably keep this first reversible for my self. I used handspun yarn for the multi-colored doll shown above.
Don't you just love her hair? It's so wild. It stands out every which way when she is turned right side out.

And one last photo, to demonstrated how the reversible works. Very nifty I must say. This was a fun side project to work on over the weekend. Now I'll have to try out some of the animal reversibles.

I need to head to the kitchen now and make supper, stir fry chicken and veggies.

You all take care, and I'll be back with you soon, Lord willing!

Hello everyone! It's SO good to be back in blogland with you all! I know it's been awhile.

I thought I would share a couple pictures of my last spinning project with you. Currently I am banned from spinning by my chiropractor. Gasp! I know, dreadful eh? It has been one week and two days since I last spun. I look longingly at my baskets of fiber, my lone spindles with projects just waiting to be finished, and can't help but wish I could be working on spinning. However in January I fell flat on my back on the ice. Nothing terribly serious at the time, just a bone jarring, bruise making thud. But apparently I threw at least 3 ribs out and locked up my neck. Then a couple weeks ago I spun for too long and irritated my shoulder.
I have an excellent chiropractor though, and last week and this week he straightened out all my wayward bones and now I am feeling much better.

This yarn is for my Church Mittens. It is the secondary color, I still have to spin up the main color. It seems like every Sunday in the winter we have freezing temps, and bitterly cold wind. Well, we always have wind at our house....but still, it makes for very cold Sunday mornings.

So I decided to make a warm and woolly pair of mittens to pop my cold fingers into for those chilly Sunday morning rides. The main yarn will be a lovely brown Polwarth/Angora. This secondary color is some Corriedale that I hand painted while it was still roving, and then spun up. The pattern I am planning on using is from one of the Spin Off magazines. I don't remember which, but I will share more details with you as the mittens progress. I have the whole summer to make them up. Regrettably I didn't think of this splendid plan until almost spring. However that gives me something to look forward to wearing for this coming winter.