Thursday, June 26, 2008

What I've been doing lately

Making yummy jam of deliciousness - it doesn't get better than homemade strawberry jam. (Well, actually, homemade strawberry jam and chopped strawberries and vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup is right up there too.)

Knitting (and FINISHING!) the Retro Redux Shrug from Lace Style in Malabrigo Verdes - it's sooo soft, and I can't wait until the weather gets just a bit cooler so I can put it on without spontaneously combusting! (hence the lack of modeling shots)

Nearly having a heart attack when this 2-inch-long spider suddenly appeared in the dishes I was putting away!

Being amused by the antics of my dad and my dog - Tucker's a bit of a ham.

Being glad to live in a state with such exciting weather! Bring on the thunderstorms!

In other news, look here! Hooray for Beverly!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

New yarn and furry friends

One of the benefits of Ravelry is that you can trade out yarn that you're tired of looking at. I had some Schaeffer Anne in a bright yellow-green and Schaeffer Miss Priss in a variegated yellow, blue, and green - both lovely yarns, but my inspiration was waning with both. So I swapped them for some lovely Malabrigo. I received two skeins of Oceanos and one of Peach Tree. Oceanos is a variegated blue, from darkest navy to palest sky, and Peach Tree is a mix of warm peach with olive green.

Yesterday, we had a family reunion for my maternal grandfather's side. (And before you ask, no, these are not my family members!) Family reunions are usually almost as exciting as renewing your driver's license, but one of my cousins-several-times-removed) had a spectacular idea. She brought gumdrops and spaghetti, and the kids could build towers. So of course, "the cousins" (me, my brother, my two cousins, and one cousin's boyfriend) had to get in on the fun! (And for the record, my 19-year-old brother was the youngest of the bunch.) One of my cousins is an engineer, so her tower made it to almost four feet tall. My other cousin and brother made a fortress-thing, complete with gumdrop people furnished by yours truly. My cousin's boyfriend's tower wound up looking an awful lot like Barad Dur from Lord of the Rings. I think this may become a family tradition!

After the reunion, we went back to my grandmother's house. She has a small farm, complete with Eight-Ball the Llama, Magnum and Elvira the miniature donkeys, chickens, and peacocks. Eight-Ball looks a bit intimidating, but he's such a marshmallow. He loves to lie out in the sun on his back on hot days. The first time my granddad saw him out there with his legs sticking straight up and his neck turned back, he was sure he had a dead llama. Llamas can be such drama queens.

Magnum and Elvira are my buddies. They're getting up there - I think Elvira is at least 23 years old! - but they're so sweet. The old proverb about donkeys being stubborn is mostly true. There are only two things these two will move for - sweet feed and petting. Give them a few scratches behind the ears, and they'll follow you anywhere. Magnum especially loves hugs.

As I was cleaning my closet (yikes!) the other day, I found a partial ball of wool left over from my Tangled Yoke Cardigan. So I made a little headband from it. It's very easy.

CO 3 sts on a circular or double-pointed needle. Work in I-cord for about 6-7 inches. (You want it to be long enough to tie behind your head.)
Start working in garter stitch; k1, kf&b, k to end; repeat until you have 12 stitches.
Start cable pattern:
Row 1: k2, p1, k6, p1, k2.
Row 2: k3, p6, k3.
Repeat rows 1 & 2 twice more.
Row 7: k2, p1, c3b, p1, k2
Row 8: k3, p6, k3
Repeat until cable section reaches across your head from ear to ear. (Cable pattern is VERY stretchy.)
Start garter stitch end: k1, ssk, k to end; repeat until you have 3 stitches.
Work 3-stitch I-cord to the same length as the first I-cord. Bind off and weave in ends.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Is it winter yet?

I need to accept the fact that I do, in fact, live in Oklahoma, a state of four seasons - almost summer, summer, HOT summer, and Christmas. From about May to September, you don't even need to check the weather forecast - it'll be HOT, HUMID, and WINDY. Yet somehow I've chosen to live my life surrounded by wool. Go figure.

Pattern: Emerald, from
Yarn: Recycled Greek wool
Needles: US 10
Cast on: May 22, 2008
Cast off: June 3, 2008

This was a very easy knit. Bulky yarn and size 10 needles make it an almost instant gratification project. I still need to find a button - you can't see it in the picture, but there's a five-stitch buttonhole in the ribbing. I have a few ideas, but I might wind up waiting till winter to pick one.

The shawl collar was much easier than I expected. I messed up on part of the directions, so it's a bit larger than the pattern specifies, but I like it with a slightly bigger collar. It's a big, snuggly, oversized sweater that I'm looking forward to wearing when it's cooler than the surface of the sun outside.

Here's my new knitting toy! It's a yarn meter that I ordered from With all the recycling I do, it'll come in very handy. Speaking of, I just discovered that you can get YARN there. Lorna's Laces, Misti Alpaca, Cascade, Plymouth...if only they had Malabrigo on there too!