Friday, April 17, 2009

Horray, this morning I can upload photos. This is the bottom band of Nigella, the circle sweater. After around 900 rows I'll bind off and then pick up stitches with a 36" circular needle and start the stockinette and decreases. I DO think this could be done on the machine and maybe I will make one on the machine next time but I'm enjoying knitting it by hand at the moment.

So you don't have to scroll down to look at it, here's Nigella. Its a Berroco pattern in book # 259 in case you'd like to get the pattern.

2 years ago my daughter and I found circle sweaters in Fred Meyer in Tacoma WA. Honestly that was the most comfortable sweater I've ever owned but it ws made out of crummy yarn that pilled almost from the minute we put them on. I said then that I would like to make one some day and wanted to figure out how that one was made but never took the time. When I saw Nigella I knew this was even better. The yarn is 50% cotton/50% Model Rayon (whatever Model means, I don't know).

This would make a great Christmas present but I'll have to do it on the machine if I want to make more than this one because it would take way too long by hand to make several, given there's 900 rows of lace before you start the rest of the sweater. Not sure the actual stockinette would go very fast by machine because it looks like you decrease across the rows often, that is do-able on the machine but takes time. Of course, thinking about it, the actual knitting wouldn't take all that much time.

While I was pampering myself, I bought a pair of Knit Picks Options Harmony Wood Circular needles. I like Bamboo needles for slippery yarn and this is slippery yarn so who can resist the Harmony Wood needles??? And while I was ordering I ordered their new blocking mats, only $19.99 and they're fabulous, they come as 9 9" square puzzle pieces, you use as many squares as you need for your project. How handy is that? you can take them apart and store them in their box when you aren't using them. I love it!!! I didn't get the case for the needles and all that stuff but 1 pair of circular Options needles comes with the stitch holder and the little screw to put the needles and cable together. I have a set of Boye circulars and broke the size 8 as well as the cable which really broke my heart. BUT you can replace 1 needle and cable if you want, however I have heard such good things about Knit Picks needles, I decided to go that way. This new one can be stored in my Boye case. Now all I need is a sewing/craft table to use as my blocking table, cutting table, hooping table, etc. I was going to go get one at Hancock Fabrics yesterday but got waylaid at Walmart where I bought a new camera for trips, its small enough to plop in my travel bag, my old one wasn't that small.

Enough money spent this month though and we're only half through the month.

Enjoy! While I have the luxury of my Internet Satellite's speed I'm going to put up some pictures of my yard but will start another post for that.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Satellites, Bears and Knitting

My Internet has been down since April 6 when the Internet satellite I use suddenly quit working. First someone from Florida called to make an apt to fix it. The next day someone from VA called to make apt and then someone from Iowa. WHAT? I live in SC, did anyone tell them that? or do they have an atlas or globe? Finally after calling day after day and threatening to go with another satellite company, the guy came. It took until Tuesday the 14th to get someone out here. He moved the dish closer to the house, said he didn't know how it ever worked as far away as it was originally installed. Well, it was put in January 2006 and its worked pretty good although not as fast as cable or DSL but 4 times faster than dial up so we were happy. As soon as the guy left, the thing went back to its shenanigans, on again, off again. Over and over, so that it was impossible to get on and stay on. Yesterday it finally locked on for longer periods and today its still on for longer periods although I don't dare say too much for fear it will hear me and quit again. XX fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, since I couldn't get on the Internet I started hand knitting my wonderful circle cardigan, Nigella. The pattern is written so that you start with a long straight piece of lace, almost 900 rows of it. Funny, I'm not a very patient person but when it comes to knitting, I can knit and tear out and start over as long as it takes to figure something out. After a couple of mis-starts I decided to study what I was doing each row so that if I made a mistake I could quickly fix it. That worked until I was up to 96 rows when I saw an error down the line and ripped back out once again but now I'm back up to row 46 and seem to be doing OK with it, its just a matter of concentration now (hard as patience for me but....) I tried to upload a picture of what I have done so far but the satellite, although its working won't let me upload anything. Bah Humbug! The pictures in the book and on the internet sure don't look like lace but lace it is. The yarn is 50% cotton and 50% rayon. the straight piece will be turned sideways and I'll be picking up stitches over those 900 or so rows, to start the circle. Its intriging to knit this thing, I am so anxious to finish it but not anxious enough to put it on the knitting machine although it would make those 900 rows go sooooo much faster. Maybe after I finish it I'll give it a try on the machine, the lace might be the part that can't be duplicated but where there's a will, there's a way, right?

Meanwhile, the other night, I was exhausted and went to bed before one of my favorite TV shows comes on (forget what it was, but I have DVR and recorded it). About 30 minutes after I hit the hay---the dog started to bark furiously. Good Grief, what now? I laid there and waited to see if he'd shut up but he wasn't shutting up, he was running around the living room like a maniac. Suddenly the motion light on my garage door went on and so of course, I was terrified, thinking there was a burglar. We've neve rhad anyone bother us before because we live on a very dark road in the mountains, what idiot would come up here and bother anyone? I peeked out of the curtains and there, in front of the garage, about 10 feet from my window, was a bear. A large bear. Now--DNR assures me that one doesn't need to be afraid of a bear here in SC. Just leave him alone, the dog barking will make him leave because bears don't want to be messing with people or dogs. Great! I watched and wished I had my camera close by but anyway, he left, going between garage and woods and heading for the "bear camp" next door which gave me a chuckle. I hope he left tracks, those bear hunters will croak when they see a bear actually came all the way to their cabin. Dog kept barking though until I knew it was safe enough to show him there wasn't anything in the yard. I opened the front door and held him up so that he could see through the screen that all was quiet and no one was there. Poor little dog slept the rest of the night in the bay window, watching I guess, just in case that guy came back.

Last night the same thing happened again only I don't know what it was he was barking at. The neighbor's 2 dogs were barking furiously all evening and well into the night and then mine started in again. This morning I went out to look and found tracks that resemble dog tracks in the mulch around my flowers. Doggone it, I don't want anything tramping through my flowers, I've put way too much work into them. I suspect it was a coyote which I've heard are coming closer and closer to our houses here in Pickens and can cause a bigger problem than a bear because coyote's can kill pets. I know I don't want to come in contact with one and I sure don't want Biscuit to meet one face to face because Biscuit thinks he's a lion.

Well, as soon as I can successfully upload some pictures, I will. I'm anxious to show off my azaleas, my new rocks and edging, all the work the landscaper did for me to pretty up the yard and of course, my knitting. Patience, my dear, patience--as my mother used to say to me, or was it the nuns in school?????