Thursday, December 5, 2013

Trying to catch up with postings

Once again it's been too long since I posted.  My excuse:  I got busy knitting.  Finally sent off a box full of socks to the Motherless Child Foundation and as of the weekend after Thanksgiving they have arrived in Kazakhstan.  It's always a surprise how many pairs I was able to knit during the year when I pack them up for shipping.

I already have two pairs started for next year's gift box, but have taken time out to knit myself a sweater.  The older I get, the more woolly things I need to keep warm.

Here are the socks:

Odds and ends socks knit with dark green Wildfoot yarn and patterned yarn of unknown history.

Knit with Opal Diamant yarn from a free pattern on Ravelry . You can click on Ravelry to get the pattern.

Knit with yarn hand-spun by my youngest daughter.  The pattern is Kalajoki by Tina Seppala.  Again, the pattern is free.  

More to come.  Knit on, Merrily! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oh my, it's already the last day in October

It's Halloween or All Saints Day, but the little goblins won't be out tonight due to the weather.  It's miserable outside. It's raining, it's pouring, but thank goodness it isn't snowing. Not that any goblins ever visit us since we live outside the village and the house cannot be seen from the street. More socks have been finished since the last time I blogged and all of them will shortly be packed up and sent to the Motherless Child Foundation for transportation to the orphanages in Kazakhstan.

So here are photos of two more pairs of finished socks.
The pattern is Rainbow Cable (Regenbogen Zopf) by Sonja Koehler.  The pattern can be found on Ravelry . The yarn was hands-pun from roving by Yarn Hollow, a Michigan yarn dyer.  She can be found on Ravelry as well. 

The yarn used was Plymouth Stiletto. As far as I am concerned the yarn was a disaster: 3-1/2 knots within a fairly short length. The 1/2 knot were 2 pliĆ©s of the 4 plies. On top of the knots, the yarn knotted together was a totally different sequence than the rest of the yarn. Yikes. It’s a pity since the yarn was nice to knit with. I cast on 60 stitches and decreased to 56 stitches on foot since the pattern was not continued on the foot.
I have seen this pattern on various website. Basically the stitches are divided equally into as many sections as wanted and then the last two stitches of each repeat are crossed with one stitch offset each row so that the running stitch becomes a spiral.
Knit on, Merrily!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More Socks!

I am still trying to catch up with photos of finished socks.  Here are two more pairs ready to be taken to Kazakhstan by the founder of the Motherless Child Foundation.  I am still having fun finding odds and ends and putting them to good use.

This pair was knit with some hand-dyed navy blue yarn and scraps of unknown origin. Of course the hand-dyed portion was master-minded once again by my daughter.

The netting over the summer squash is to discourage the deer from eating the leaves and protecting the summer squash.

The second pair was actually knit with a brand-new skein of sock yarn from the Yarn Hollow bought at the annual fiber festival in Charlevoix, Michigan.  This pair is also going to the kids in Kazakhstan.

Aren't these luscious colors?

More socks to come. 
Knit on, Merrily!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oh my, it's been a month since I last posted.

How time flies.  But I've been busy knitting socks and more socks. The pile of odds and ends seems to be multiplying rather than being depleted.  Of course, every so often our cat dives into his private stash of yarn balls and supplements my stash with an odd ball of yarn.  We can't be the only household in which the cat has amassed his own stash of yarn in a place only known to him, or are we?

So here are the next three pairs in the series.

These are knit with the remainder of some ancient Brown Sheep sock yarn on a 1 lb. cone which I bought for the huge sum of $1. 
A pi shawl and another pair of socks emerged from that pound cone as well.  I think I've used up the last of it. The lighter color is yarn I do not even remember buying. 

This is what happens when you forget to rewind one of the patterned balls which you have divided into two.  You get two different socks. These socks are made from a mixture of yarns, the blue cuffs and heels are knit with a hand-dyed yarn and the toes with a dab of Opal.

A variety of Opal, Regia, hand-dyed and ONLine. I weighed the yarn, halved it and knit until the yarn ran out.   

So now you know what I've been doing.

Knit on, Merrily!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Playing with finger paint, almost.

I feel like the proverbial 4 year old who has been given finger paints and a sheet of paper.  Except, I am not using finger paints, but left over sock yarn to knit socks and I hope there is a kid out there that likes wild and woolly socks as much as my daughter and I do.

Of course, there are the inevitable ends to sew in.  I've tried the knit in the ends as you go method, but don't like the look of it.  So I've gone back to my old method.

This is the second pair in the series. I got wise with this pair and changed the yarn every row and, thus, didn't have that many ends to sew in since I could carry the yarn along. 
More to come.  I'm on a roll.
Knit on, merrily.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

No more odds and ends sock yarn afghans

I finished the afghan made with left-over sock yarn.  It only took from September 2009 to May 2013. Never again.  Way too much work to sow together.  I kept procrastinating and then the dreaded moth invasion happened and thus the afghan was smaller than anticipated.  It still ended up a good size.  In order to stabilize the edges of the afghan, I single crocheted one row and then did the crab stitch.  It'll keep my son-in-law warm when he takes his naps.  The photo is without the edging.  I was so glad to be done with it that I forgot to take a picture. 

I still have odds and ends of sock yarn.  They will be made into much needed socks for the Kazakhstan kids.
Knit on Merrily!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Witches Garden

Another pair of socks for the orphanages in Kazakhstan via the Motherless Child Foundation.  These were knit with an ancient ball of Opal sock yarn which I picked up on the cheap some years ago at . The pattern is by Sonja Koehler and the link to the pattern is on Ravelry.  It is available in both German and English.  The pattern is easy to knit, but slightly boring due to the moss stitch.  I saw one photo where the knitter knit the back of the sock in stockinette. 

Knit on, merrily!

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's been a while...

...exactly a month less one day since I've posted last.  I have been busy, however with knitting, ripping out, knitting, ripping out, and knitting.  Somewhere in the vastness of the Internet, I found instructions for these:  Dryer balls.  Yep, you read correctly.  And here is a photo of said dryer balls:

If you click on the link above, instructions will appear magically.  You can use these felted balls instead of fabric softener sheets.  It actually works, provided the load isn't too heavy.  I made four balls, but will make another batch and have enough for larger loads.  Of course, if you like the smell of dryer sheets, these will not give you that lovely Spring-time aroma.

The link above will lead you to the instructions; however, there really is no magic to it and despite the blogger's exhortation to wind the balls "just so" you don't have to.  The instructions call for worsted weight Fishermen's Wool.  But you don't have to go out and buy that either.  I used repurposed feltable, fingering weight yarn from projects that just didn't work out.  I just had to wind more yarn to get the same size.  Also, I knotted the yarn together when it ran out and continued winding.  The only thing I had to do was to do the exact opposite of my mother's instructions.  Instead of winding the ball loosely, the balls of yarn had to wound really tight.

Oh, and if you have cats who like wool, shut the dryer door after removing the wash or the balls may end up in the cat's food bowl.   

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

For a change a pair of non-short row socks

Happiness is finding two skeins of hand-spun yarn that you didn't realize you had.  Spun by my youngest daughter from Corriedale roving.  The color is a light gray with a tinge of perriwinkle and I mean a tinge. The yarn is spun in a heavy sock weight and tightly twisted, so it should wear well.  I think I found just the right pattern for it.  The pattern is by Sonja Koehler and can be found on Ravelry under Sonja's Sockenland .  While the pattern is written both in English and German, the group  is almost all in German.  It's a good thing I can still read German; however, my writing abilities have deteriorated over the years.  At times, I have difficulty remembering which words are masculine, feminine or neutral, particularly with words that have been adopted from American English.

The name of the pattern is "Pfaffenwinkel" or Priests' Corner.  I was hesitant to use the name since the word "Pfaffen" was a slightly or not so slightly derogatory word for "priests," depending on the region you lived in,  and I definitely lived in an area where few people were catholic.  While most Catholic children went to a Catholic school, there were a few that attended the local village grade school. We certainly had our "priests' corner" on the school yard and more than one fight broke out on the line of separation. Of course, when I was a child, girls didn't fight. Once I started 5th grade, I went to a secondary school for bratty and precocious girls.  I have no idea what today's school system in Germany looks like, but in my time those kids who were smart went to a different school starting with 5th or 6th grade.  There seemed to be none of the sectarian separation I experienced in grade school. 

But back to "Priests' Corner."  I did what most of us do when we want to find out something:  I googled.   And here is what I found and it's in English.  I also found out the name was given to this part of Bavaria in the 18th century due to the large number of abbeys and pilgrim churches.  It's only taken 73 years to learn that this area of Bavaria had a nickname. While it is a beautiful area, in my opinion the Black Forest and the rest of Swabia are even more beautiful.  Old regional rivalries are hard to bury.  For those in Michigan think of football:  UofM vs. Ohio State. 

And there is enough yarn left to knit another pair of socks.  Yeah!

Knit on Merrily.

It's that time of the year...

...when once again it becomes fun to just go for a drive on the back roads of our area of Michigan.  Each year Spring brings new discoveries.  For example this tree burl:  we've driven through this area a number of times, but never saw it before. Nature truly is a marvel.

We also made a drive to Ludington, Mich. State Park and look what we saw?  Have you ever seen a salmon net pen?  Well now you have. We were there just at the right time.  According to information posted by State park staff "about 250,000 salmon are delivered to the Big Sable River net pens.  The fish are fed in the pens by battery-operated feeders.  The pens are covered with chicken wire to prevent predation by raccoons, herons and gulls.  Fish are in the pens for about three weeks, or until they smolt and lose their parr marks (vertical bars on the body).  The net rearing also helps the fish to imprint on the site, enabling them to return as adults in three years."

Now back to knitting. 



Friday, April 5, 2013

In the pink...

...socks that is.  A quick pair of short-row socks knit with 6-ply ONLine Wellness II.  This pair is also going into the Kazakhstan orphanage bin.


Knit on, merrily!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Memories

I can't remember when exactly this happened, but I know it was before 1946 when I informed mother that she could color the Easter eggs before I went to sleep because I didn't believe in the Easter Bunny (Osterhase) any longer.  So this must have occurred before the French and Americans came through the neighborhood.  It most likely happened on Easter Monday of 1943 or 1944.

One of my mother's sisters, my cousin who was 10 years older than I, and my mother took me on an Easter egg hunt.  There was only one rule:  If I found an egg, I had to show it to them and then put it back so other children could find it also.  I would be able to keep the last egg for myself.  Off we went into the Forest for a walk and Easter egg hunt.  I eagerly ran back and forth searching for eggs, finding one, showing it to my aunt Agnes and mother and then putting it back for another child to find and, then, on to finding the next one.  The afternoon went by quickly and when I was tired from looking for all the eggs, I was able to keep the last one.  I never questioned the fact that all the eggs I found were the same color and that my cousin was not to be seen anywhere.  I had too much fun.  It only occurred to me later in life that there were no other children and that my cousin hid the same egg over and over again so I could look for it.

Some years later, when food was more plentiful, another cousin and I colored several eggs with various colors with the last one dipped into every color we had used.  This work of "art" was for my uncle.  That year we hid it in the kitchen lamp shade.  My uncle being a good sport went through every room in the apartment looking hither and yon until he "found" it. 

Now this was fun.

A happy Easter Holiday to everyone. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

More short-row socks

And another pair has gone into the donation box.  This one was knit on 2.75mm needles with 6 ply ONLine Supersocke Wellness II Color.  I really like this colorway, but the eyes didn't like it all that much.  The leg is knit back and forth sideways and closed with a 3 needle bind-off on the outside of the sock.  Then stitches are picked up for both the heel and the foot and the cuff.  The cuff is different from the pattern shown in the booklet since I needed to make the leg longer.  I added the stockinette and garter stitch sections.  I also made the 2x2 cuff longer.  The pattern is again by Ulrike Brueggemann from "Twist-Socken stricken" or translated "Knitting Short Row Socks."

 Oops, I just noticed the little gap.  Will have to fix that.


By the way, that dirty white stuff is snow piled up from plowing.  It's not quite as high now as when I took the photos. 

Knit on, merrily!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

More socks

I have always a car project going; these are usually socks.  It keeps me from being too much of a backseat driver.  These are called "Voeges Indische Rauten" or "Voege's Indian Diamonds."  Somehow I came across it on the Internet.  A search shows that the pattern has been knit multiple times, but no one seems to know who Voege is.  The pattern exists of a chart only.  Each pattern repeat is conveniently 15 stitches, so a 60 stitch sock is easily knit. If you don't like yarn overs, you can knit the yarn overs through the back loop on the next row, but be warned:  it will most likely take another repeat to make it fit the average foot.  The pattern is easily memorized, so it's ideal for knitting in places where charts are not convenient.  As the chart symbols are in German, here is a translation for those who would like to download the chart. 

1/2 = purl 2 tog.
1/3= purl 3 tog.
U = Yarn over
O =  purl
-  = knit

I used hand-dyed sock yarn in an antique gold color.  Dyer, as always, is my daughter Angela.  Needle size was 2.25 mm.  Recipient will be a youngsternin one of the two Kazakhstan orphanages to which the founder of Motherless Child Foundation delivers each December about 500 pairs of socks. Face Book link is here .

Cuff, heel and toe to your liking. 

Knit on Merrily!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Third pair of short-row socks

This pattern is called Criss-Cross (Kreuz & Quer).
Yarn: ONLine Supersocke 100 Flower Color and some deep purple hand-dyed by daughter.
Needles: 2.25 mm
Recipient:  All three pairs are designated for the Kazakhstan orphanages.


Knit on, Merrily!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Second pair of short-row socks

Name of socks: Auf den Wellen or On Top of the Waves by Ulrike Brueggemann. 
Yarn: Regia World Circus and Regia 4 ply
Needles: My trusted inexpensive metal needles, size 2.25 mm
The white in the windshield is a reflection of snow. The piles are now officially taller than 5'2" (i.e. me) and it all fell in February.  Geesh enough already. 


Knit on, Merrily!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Short-rows, short-rows everywhere

I found a German sock pattern booklet on Amazon called "Twist-Socken stricken" by Ulrike Brueggemann, or in English "Knitting short-row socks." The booklet contains 15 patterns and the instructions can only be described as "pithy" which is probably true for most German patterns.  Instructions for each pattern are contained on one page with the second page containing a photograph.  I can only say I've been smitten although I dislike knitting short-rows.  Short-row patterns do not lend themselves to charts and I am a chart-person. For some reason, I get addled with written out instructions, but I am plowing through them come what may.  It's a good thing I am not obsessive-compulsive, or I would never get any of these socks finished.  The other problem with short-row patterns is that I have difficulty adapting these patterns to various sizes, so all of the socks I am knitting from this booklet will go to the Motherless Child Foundation which provides children in three Kazakhstan orphanages with warm hand-knitted clothing. 

Here is the first pair of socks knit from these patterns.  The name of the socks is "Leichter Einstieg" or "Simple Beginnings." Each pair is knit with a multi-colored and a solid yarn.


 Knit on, merrily!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Opossum playing "possum"

Look what we found by the back door last night.  We've long suspected that we had an opposum living under the back stoop.  I think we now have proof.  Poor thing played dead when we opened the door to let the dog out.  Of course once we saw it, the dog was told to "tie a knot in it" until the poor creature disappeared about a half hour later. That's really wet snow falling on him.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Obligatory Annual Snow Photos

We didn't really have much snow to speak of until the beginning of February in this part of Michigan, but the bills for snow plowing the driveway have made up for it this month.  We  have also not spied any deer this winter; they usually hide in the woods during these months, and I'm not going to trample through the hip deep snow to find them.  The wild bunnies, however, have been active having decided that our old rabbit shed was the perfect winter hide out. So without further ado, be bored with my winter photographs.

And we have sun!
As far as knitting content is concerned, I have been busy with knitting short-row socks after finding and, of course buying, a German knitting booklet on-line.  I am finishing up the third pair today; so hopefully, I can take photos tomorrow and then do show-and-tell.
Knit on Merrily!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's going to get colder again...

...and I'll be ready. This has been a strange winter in these parts of Michigan.  Little snow and unusually warm temperatures.  Well, warm for these parts.  It's 45 degrees Fahrenheit today and the sun is shining.  But the weather forecasters call for temperatures in the 20s once more starting tomorrow.  So, I finally knit myself a hat.  It was knit with worsted weight Wool of the Andes and a discontinued brushed Alpaca, both from Knit Picks.  The pattern is called Gehry and can be found free of charge on Ravelry .

All I have to do now is knit a pair of mittens for myself.  No problem.

Knit on, merrily!