Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Potholder 1 (for me!)

Done—It will even make it into the wash today, for fulling/shrinking. I have just finished weave in the ends- I have taken some before photos, (to show the shape and the unevenness of the stitching.) and will take some after photo's and show how a good soaking in hot water, with some agitation, evens out the knitting and at the same time brings the potholder closer to a square shape.

These photos are limited.. I want to have a proper launch with all the new designs at once.. so there will be just peeks.
Potholders 2 is square—but square isn't square once it has be washed and shrunk—see below. It will end up being a big one (even by my “I love oversized potholders” standards).. More of a counter mat or hot mat than a potholder. It working name is Awning...I am not sure if that will stick.

In any case, Square is 11 inches square, so I will continue till it is 14 inches or so. Small for a place mat, but actually just about the perfect size for my dinner trays. I have some real serving trays (for carrying food or plates for company) but I daily I use small trays just big enough for coffee, a small bowl of cottage cheese and another bowl for fruit.. (and a single rice cake.) Its the old dieters trick use small bowls and plates, so the food fills the plate and makes small portions look bigger.

Meanwhile, here is old old potholder.. the once dark black has faded to pale grey (this potholder might have found itself in a load of white wash, and been bleached)

It started out Taller than it was wide.. A rectangle.
But repeated washing, and with each one, the ratios changed... Its a rectangle again, but now it is way wider than it is tall. I can stretch it into an almost square shape. But it wants to squat!
Of course, seconds after potholder 1 was off the needle, potholder 4 was cast on. (3 times before I got it right!) I know it's out of order.. Potholder 3 (part of the black/white/red set) should come before potholder 4.. but potholder 3 is a design I have knit before

It's a natural part of the black/white/red set, as is pot holder 5 (if I ever get to 5) which is just going to be another window pane or gingham one.. designs I have knit so often I could do them in my sleep.

Potholder 3? Something total new (for me)--A round potholder.. Lucy Neatby's round and rounds of round double knitting is just too interesting to pass by! I am not sure that I NEED seat cushions, (and I KNOW I don't need an other lap/mid sized blanket) so what a person to do? Clearly I need to knit some round potholders, or round hot mats, or well, something of that sort.

Maybe if I like round flat double knitting, I will go all out and knit a rug—Loosely in wool, and then full it into a nice thick rug for my living room. I bought a bunch of yarn years ago, to do just that (knit a floor rug) and I have never gotten around to it... Maybe what was holding me back was the ROUND to it part.

If I hate double knitting in the round, I can always go back to my original plans for a rug knit in very uneven stripes, in garter stitch.

Monday, June 13, 2016

I Lied.

Last time I posted about of my SIL's sock, I said I had 5.5 inches done. Wrong—the gussets end at 3.5 inches, and last week (on Friday) when I posted with out any photos, the socks were just 4.5 inches.

Since then? 4.5 became 5.5, and then 6.5 (Past the half way point in the foot!) and now the foot is 7.5 inches long-- 3 inches of progress in 3 days. If the sock were for me, I would be starting the toe in a row or two. But my SIL is taller than me, and well, men in general have wider feet, so 7.5 is far short of being a foot. In fact, a foot is a foot for my SIL (where as my foot is just 9.25!)

A lot of this knitting was done on buses.. going back and forth to Winthrop hospital.. Miss C and Miss J now have a new sister, Miss K. The 3 inches of sock were knit for the most part on the way to and from visiting. Miss K has been nicknamed “the Meatball” by the nurses—she is a healthy 10 lb baby, who is a newborn who wears size 1 (not size 0) pampers, and her head is too big for the hospital issued new born hats. Her mother (DD) was of a similar size--(9lb15 oz) and had a similar problem. Fortunately, DD saved some of the hats I knit for the twins—so there are hats that fit.

The girls are thrilled with new baby sister, but they have been missing mommy—who will be home from the hospital tomorrow.

At home, I am working on some potholders for me—working out new designs, and documenting them at the same time... and my mind has been working over time on ideas for more—potholder and new designs for the same. Potholder 1 is now 9 inches long (and will be continued till I run out of yarn (the black skein)) Potholders 2, the red and white one, is just past the half way point. Potholder 3 will be a simple one—worked from a stitch pattern that is in the public domain, and the partial inspiration for potholders 1 and 2) Potholder 4—will be not part of the red/black/white set, though there might be a potholder 5 in the red/black/white color ways. But first I will work out a simpler design—then I will work out the finer points for a 3 color design.

It will be a totally new design (and for me, a new shape, too!) Who knows how many other ideas there are fermenting in my brain...Certainly potholder 4 (I am hard pressed not to start it IMMEDIATELY!) is something new for me, though its not a totally new idea... just my SPIN (key word there) on what others have done.

I feel bad keeping these potholder designs secret--but trust me they are worth waiting for!

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Little Bit Here

A little bit there. And so it goes. SIL socks have another inch added to the foot (5.5 inches now) not quite half way. More to be done today, (there will be several bus rides and a hope of lots of knitting today and the next few days.

But no photo's today.

Potholder 1 for me, black and white stripes, is now half done –with 6 and bit inches. And potholder 2, red and white stripes, is still short of being half done, but it too has another inch.

I will need some more black and red cotton to finish the 4 potholders I plan to knit as a group-all variations on striped patterns Do you think I am stuck on striped patterns? I do, but each pattern is different—and stripes offer so many possibilities! Vertical, horizontal, diagonal, mitered, thick, thin, all knits, or knits and purls, multi colors (that is more than 2 colors); stripes are complex. 

 I think want some gingham potholders, for me and one for DD,  too!

I also have some red linen yarn, so I think I might end up making a towel too. (That is what i bought the linen for in the first place!)  I have made several hand towels, for my bathroom, a red linen towel might be nice for kitchen. I have some gingham towels, and some striped towel (when I like something, I like it in lots of different forms) but both are cotton. Linen towels are special though they last for ever--(one favorite is some 30 year old, and it hasn't match my kitchen in years!) But I keep it- linen towels get softer and lovelier with each washing.

I still plan to make another potholder for my DD, (even though she complained she had too many already)—but she is still holding onto 2 potholder that were damaged.

After the potholders, UFO's and hats.. (as for which UFO, well, there are still a few of them.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Late With the Update.

The second double knit potholder is big enough to be a small place mat--(9 X 12) I didn't add a hanging loop. Small mats are great for drying a single glass, or at a hot mat for something hot from the oven, or...  They have lots of uses. I will be doing laundry tomorrow, and will wash and pre-shrink this mat (and the dimpled diamond pot holder, too) eventual there will be a third potholder to finish the series. (I am also taking back one potholder from her--It is one I never added to Ravelry...and since it won't go with her new kitchen....

Meanwhile I am working on 2 different potholders for my kitchen. One is half done—the black and white stripes, (6 inches) the other red and white stripes, has 5 inches done.. I am holding off taking picture for a short while. It will be worth the wait.

My SIL's socks? Gusseted! Just 2 rounds past the last decrease, and the sole is 4 inches long. Or 1/3rd done! There will be a long stretch of just foot—since I need 12 in total, but the toe will be longer than my average (woman's sized) toe—since the socks have 72 stitches (12 more than most of my socks that are 60 stitches on average)

After the SIL socks? Well I still have some UFO's (socks, a vest, a shawl) and some plans for some hats (what more hats?!) Yes more hats. All of these are small, light weight project that are good for the summer (who wants an alpaca sweater sitting in your lap on a 90° day?

I might knit some slippers, too. My written queue is dated fall/winter, so the summer is unscheduled time for small projects and finishing UFO. I might not get them all finished, but I will make a dent in the pile of UFO's and I plan to get some sewing done too.  This week I got some mending done.. but there is still a big pile left.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

How Do You Queue?

This should have been posted Monday—there will be an update later today!

I know that Ravelry has a queue feature, but I never use it. For years I have had idea books, and these are also queue books. They are not strictly chronological, but tend to over lap. (and they are not always saved)

Sometimes they are blank paper, sometimes, lined, and there have even been books that have cross hatched graph paper. I like them all. I found a misplaced one just the other day, and I enjoyed finding queues of project ideas (and realizing I had completed many of them!) and also being reminded, there were things on these lists that I hadn't gotten to.

So, immediately, I made a new list! About half the items on the new list are ideas that had been floating round in my head—but some how, writing them down made them more real. Others are left overs from previous queues that I had sort of forgotten about.

I sometime stumble across a new pattern, or a new idea, and queue be damned—the NEW and shiny! jumps to the head of the mental list.. and then, my mind, un-moored from the list just goes out and continues to work on project that float into view.

I have 3 “homemade sock club” kits to knit, (and 2 socks kits that are UFO's!) but the SIL socks aren't one of them, and chenille neck roll wasn't on any queue either. The double knit potholders—well they were sort of planned. Never made it to a written queue, but I have needed new ones for a while. And I never just make potholders for me.

I have too much cotton, in too many colors! I love my black and white kitchen and black and white potholders—but I always want to knit with colors, too! So there are always extra ones in colors that get knit up.

Speaking of which—I have made only a little progress for a few days now on the striped potholder, but I have started a black and white one (totally different stripe pattern). The SIL socks had heel flaps by Friday evening, and now, a few rows of the gusset. Some progress but not a lot. I will be knitting in earnest again to day, and next week too.. Lots more bus rides planned.

The good news in my life is, it is getting busier—the bad news is, it is getting busier! I was off to see my DD on Tuesday, as well as the usual Friday, and then on Thursday, I went 90% of the way to her, (and saw her)when I went to the CSA pick up. And I was there again on my usual Friday visit.

Technically, I live in Flushing (as does she) —but in reality, I live in a neighborhood called Rego Park—about 4.5 miles away, she is in Flushing North—a mile or so from “downtown Flushing” (a thriving commercial area) . Should be a 10 minute drive.. On good days, it is a 20 minute one. By bus, it is a 45 minute to an hour trip. Thursday night, going to the CSA took 35 minutes (very good time!) Coming home? It took hour and half! So I am busy—but not doing much of anything, except it seems, sometimes, but riding buses.

I always knit on the bus (and on the subway when I ride it) but knitting on the buses is slow knitting. The good news is: NYC has LOTS of buses and bus routes, and most run 24 hours a day. The are often scheduled 10 to 15 minutes apart. The bad news is: there are delay, and the buses them selves are worked hard, and there shock absorbers? Always in need of repair! Hard winter freezes make pot holes, repairing and patching makes lumps, resurfacing creates delays...So bus rides are never smooth rides, or fast rides. On 3 different occasions, I dropped a stitch while knitting the heel flap. It can be that bumpy.

So some progress has been made, and my idea book, and its queue are front and center.. Who knows how long that will last?

Thursday, June 02, 2016

(2 inches) X 2

Yesterday, the potholder was 6 inches, today it is 8—and looking more and more like a potholder. The peachy yarn is coming close to the end... It was a partial skein, but I felt there was enough for my purposes, and there is still enough yarn left that I feel confident that there will be enough for at least a 10 X 10 potholder—which I realize will not be a square after fulling, but it will still be a nice comfortably large potholder. It won't take long to finish. The pot holder after this, will be a black and white one for me.. Then a 3rd for my DD, followed up by more potholders for me, and then? Well I still have lots of cotton yarn!

The socks, too have gained 2 inches and now with 9 inches of leg, I am are ready to start the heel flap.
I love working the heel—and love even more that the heel marks the half way point of the sock--

The flap will be close to 3 inches-- and this will make the floor to top of cuff about 12 inches. The foot will be 12 inches, too, so heel really is the half way point in the socks –and I have been working on them for 11 days- If I keep making progress at this rate (a rate that includes some days with no progress at all!) I should have them finished in time for father's day (my goal).

I'll make some progress on the flap today since today is first day of my CSA participation. My daughter has been doing the CSA for years—First one in Little Neck, and now a local one (both CSA are supplied by the same farm) .This year I decided to try it out. The first pick up is actually 1 week late—Spring in the north east has been especially cool, and all the crops are a week behind.

This weeks share is mostly greens—mixed spring greens, (little bits of lettuce, from thinning the plantings, pea threads, radish greens and other edible greens from thinning plants.. This is the stuff they charge a fortune for in the green grocers, some real lettuce, arugula, kale, and bok choy.

I will still end up buying some onions, (red, yellow, and spring) peppers and carrots. I like all these greens, but I often like salads that are more than just greens. I didn't sign up for the herbs (from a different farm) and I love fresh spring herbs in spring salads. I know where mint grows wild, (and a little mint goes a long way) and like a spring pesto of parsley, basil and mint. I am growing basil but it doesn't grow (in a window box) as fast as I like to use it! I'll also pick up some sprouts—bok choy, sprouts, onion and carrot make nice stir fry--.

I had hoped to have a car by now--(at it stands it will be August before that happens) so I will knit on the bus to from the CSA pick up point.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

At Sixes and Sevens

Yesterday, I got called to Nana duty—A bit of rough curb (there are way too many bits if you ask me!) snagged my DD car—and took out the tire on her car. This happened over the holiday weekend, and yesterday was repair day.

As Nana, I took the girls on a walk/ride—to a playground, as mom headed to repair shop. On the way, I made a mistake and called this a park—the girls protested that they didn't want to go to the park, they wanted to go to the playground!

This was a work out for me—2 girls each about 30lbs, a double stroller (another 30 lbs) and the 20lb back pack with snacks, spare diapers, change of clothes.. (none of which were used) in a half mile walk (mostly uphill, but not a very steep hill.

We stopped along the way to admire flowers, and comment on trucks (a mail truck and a Con Edison crew that were parked were especially popular) and feel the bark on some trees. Same thing on the way home.

At the play ground, there were swings (to push) and slides, and ladders, and water games.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted—I really don't know how my daughter does it!

So very little knitting got accomplished—the double knit potholder is 6 inches along, and will be knit till I run out of yarn, the SIL socks are at 7 inches. If they were for me, it would be time to start the heel, but for SIL I need another 2 inches or so.

But I am so happy with both projects, it won't be hard to continue working on them both till they are completed.