Saturday, May 30, 2009

In Non-Knitting News

Last weekend, the Tiny Prince's Mom and I found this little rocker at a sidewalk sale sort of place in the City.

We were scouting for Big Trucks in Good Condition. There was a yellow Tonka on display (turned out to be quite rusty) that we passed on, but this sweet little chair (somewhat wobbly and with ripped upholstery) caught my eye.

The guy was asking $25, but willingly took $10.

I figured that I could clean it up a bit and reset the bolts, add a new seat cover and call it "perfect" for the Tiny Prince.

Of course, this is turning into My Project Of The Month.
Today, I got paint and sandpaper and new hardware. We stopped in a fabric store (ooo, shiny!) and looked at lots and lots of fabric and finally settled on. . .new padding.

I found a great cotton dishcloth in red tattersall plaid that I think will work for the seat cover if my first idea (patchwork of some cool kid prints I have from my quilting days) doesn't work out.

Let's just say that So Far, it's a good thing I talked the price down!

This afternoon, I took the thing completely apart.
The wood is in pretty good condition. There's one cracked piece that's non-structural and a gouge missing from one spot, but glue and wood putty will fix those up.

I can't swear to the age, but materials and construction are pointing to the 1930s or maybe even earlier.

Since we're shooting for a small, functional piece, and not something to eBay, I shall press on.

The guys on Antiques Roadshow will be appalled

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Blue On Blue

Okay, pretend to be surprised.

I have yet another fair entry project on the needles.

It started long ago (maybe 5 or more years) with a yarn swap.

Frankly, I don't remember what my half of the swap was (it might have even been cash), but I remember fairly clearly that the part I was getting was "thick and thin wool yarn, sufficient for a sweater."

It arrived in due course in three huge hanks. Lovely, scratchy, wonderful royal blue wool.

And then it languished.

Right there on the shelf amid my other (ala Sally Melville Styles) color-sorted blue yarns.

Then, not to terribly long ago, I put the first hank on the swift and started to make center-pull balls of the masses of yarn.

Running it through my fingers, I got a sense of what it might become, and so I swatched for a sweater for me. Sort of an outerwear tunic-y sweater, loose and cozy. I envisioned a Cottage Creations sweater (Tunic for the Family, I believe it's called) and swatched a little bit.

Lumpy, bumpy. Very wavy hem-line. Not what I wanted to wear.

So I tucked the swatch back on the shelf with the rolled yarnballs and let it have a little time out.

Earlier this week, a light went on! Shawl! Perfect for homespun-y wooly stuff. No need to worry about the thick- and thinness messing up the gauge. One size fits most.

So I cast on some stitches (36?) and started the good old Increase a Stitch Every Row basic shawl.

Current plan is to knit until my eyeballs fall out of my head (or to 72" or so across the top) and bind off.

Then I will knit an attached lacy border (okay, rustic moose lace, but open work and pointy edges of some sort) to finish it off.

Ideas all came together from a number of sources. I can thank Jared at Brooklyn Tweed for the garter-stitch-with-edging and I really like the idea of not having a point pointing at the butt, though I cannot find the link or reference that added that to the mix.

By the time it's finished, this shawl will be "my creation" with a little help from my friends.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009


Jean came through with her "first" nine pairs, and i can say with almost no doubt that they won't be her last.

I hope this inspires all of my readers to get Mittn Knittn!

Nine pairs. That's not so many. And you have until the end of September.

What are you waiting for?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It's a Zoo Inside, Too

There's lots to look at and lots to play, but the Tiny Prince has gone back to his castle and Belle of the Ball has gone home to her house. ::le sigh::

But they'll be back another day.

Memorial Day is behind us for another year and there's not another 3-day for more than a month. ::le sigh, sigh::

And it's rainy and cold.

But it will be warm and sunny again. Soon. I hope.

I sincerely hope.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

Mammo and Daddo have a Grandparent Membership at The Lehigh Valley Zoo so this afternoon, we gave it its premiere run.

There were repeated discussions about holding hands or sitting in the stroller. Some were more successful than others.

First, we saw this snake. If you are at the Zoo, you can touch the snake. See how brave Daddo is?

Daddo did not touch the snake.

There's a whole section of Africa and Australia. Here's The Tiny Prince surveying the zebra. The zebra didn't seem to mind.

We got this close to the peacock. And we got right in the cage with the rainbow lorikeets!

Here's Mama and The Tiny Prince observing one of the two camels.

The camel didn't care.

Neither did the kangaroos, nor the oryx.

The otters and the lynx were sleeping. They don't even know we were there.

Why is it that an hour walking at the zoo is fun and 18 minutes walking in the 'hood is torture?

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Saturday, May 23, 2009


Farmers Market was a hit as always. The Tiny Prince can eat his way around, consuming all manner of goodies: almond pretzel, 3 kinds of cheese, strawberries, peaches, grapes and a beef stick.

We didn't make it to Lunch Out, though. The Tiny Prince crashed halfway there, so we came home and got some take-out hoagies.

After a long nap, supper and a bath, the Tiny Prince was ready to sleep for the night.

And truth be told, so were the grown-ups.

Some heavy duty yarn work, and the Tiny Prince was ready for bed!

Other fun stuff that lives at Mammo's house: John Deere tractor that was Daddy's and Uncle Cool's. And a school bus that knows the tune to Wheels on the Bus. What fun!

Big plans for tomorrow if the weather cooperates.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Busy Days

Company came!

The Tiny Prince of Wails is 18 months old now. For those keeping score, he is 27 pounds and 34.5" tall. That's not so shabby for a fellow who weighed in at just barely 6 pounds a year and a half ago.

He remains a happy, jolly fellow most of the time. Vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds with "cookie" (something to eat) and "more" being the words of the day around here. Fortunately, he has not started using the "N word" (NO!) very frequently yet.

If someone had told me how much fun grandchildren could be, I'd have had them first. (Thank you Lois Wyse for that insight!)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

One Night, Two Finished

When I stick with serial monogamy on the knitting front, I can accomplish stuff.

Just look!

Completed during the season finale of "24" (Thank you, DVR)--a short-sleeved summer cardigan. The pattern is a free one from Elann, the yarn, also from Elann, though not free, is called King Kim (I think) and is a pale gray-blue cotton blend.

Truth time: The knitting has been finished for weeks. One sleeve has been installed nearly as long. It took 2 hours of Jack Bauer to get the rest of it seamed.

And in fair knitting, the blankie, she is done.

My own "pattern" and Red Heart Soft Baby (from Smiley's) in the Laddie colorway.

Personally, I think it's suitable for boy or girl, but what do I know? I make most baby prezzies in red.

I am pleased with the pooling, and the yarn (100% acrylic) is rough and ready. I'll enter this on in the fair then pass it along to the next baby that appears, or donate to the reservation.

It's been a very long week (and it's only Wednesday), but there's good stuff coming on Friday (besides the 3-day)! Film at 11 (or so).

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Public Service Announcement

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

You little guys know how I hate robo-calling, so, stop it!

We've been bombarded. Today was the Primary Election. Why would I vote for someone who 1) interrupted my dinner and 2) knocked me off-line?

Yeh, I voted. 9+ hours into the polling; I was #76. That's like 8 voters an hour! Two hours later, the Other Half was #85.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

Little Things

Sometimes, it's the little things that keep us sane.

Little things like baby sweaters and socks (Don't look. There are no pictures of them in this post.) and dish/face cloths.

These two were fnished tonight. Simple stitch patterns, unmercerized cotton. Useful, simple.

Just the thing.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Signs of Progress

Once I thought it was wasteful, even decadant to own 2 Addis in the same size and length, but this morning, I used my second 60" size 7 to knit up half the stitches on the current center-out throw, just to, you know, "see."

It's at about 40" on each side, so scrunched up (no photo, sorry) it's hard to get any feel at all for how big it is or how it's going to look in place (assuming I ever finish it).

Spread out on two 60"ers, though, it's almost flat as you can see in the photo. Striated, sort of, but not entirely lacy, it looks good where it's going.

I chose the yarn color Decor Sand Castle) originally because I thought it would look good in our TV-watching room. Clearly, I was delusional, since that room has a blue, brown, and burgundy patterned rug (and red walls that are destined for painting, but I digress).

The Sand Castle colors, though, were a nice match with the rug in the living room.

When we first purchased this rug (before we decided on furniture to replace stuff that was at least 30 years old) and the walls were off-white, I toyed briefly with the idea of a solid throw for this room and sampled balls of various Elann yarns in shades of celery, burgundy, and beige.

Nothing seemed right.

Never mind that no one wraps up in the living room. (Never mind that we seldom even sit here.)

Maybe with the right wrap, someone will sit and read a book, wrapped in a snuggly throw.

I can only hope.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Note to Self

Amount of time it takes to knit 2 Mittn thumbs: 25 minutes, start to finish

We drove to the garden center yesterday and bailed out when we saw the line to get Into The Parking Lot. There is nothing I need that badly!

Got the Flip half-warped and realized that there is Not Enough Yarn to do what I wanted (4 placemats), so reluctantly unwarped.

And I didn't garden either.

But I did fill and hang the hummingbird feeder and we were treated to the antics of a pair of the little charmers.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday, Sunday

Happy Mother's day to all who have reason to celebrate!

I tried to take my whole walk (I've built up to a whopping 18 minutes) but I was wasted from work yesterday. Second Saturday in May. Tradition dictates that we work our butts off receiving food donated by the community to the annual Letter Carriers' food drive. So worth it, but so exhausting! This body is not accustomed to physical labor!

My blogging this past week has been shameful. I couldn't bring myself to even write several short, meaningless posts and schedule their appearance. Sorry.

My knitting has been equally lacking. Nothing but the mindless variety for me. See:

The blankie progresses, but every time I measure, it seems to have gotten wider and shorter. (I'm aiming for square). I can do one repeat (7 rows) in the 45 minutes we allot each evening for The Watching Of the Television, and so, while knitting happens, it's slow.

I figure I need at least 10 more inches before I add the last 10 rows of garter stitch and call it quits. At the rate I'm going, that's 2 more weeks.

The yarn, in case you are keeping track, is Red Heart Soft Baby in the Laddie colorway.

But it's time to put this one away for a week and switch back to the living room throw. ::sigh::

In other knitting, I have accomplished only a little. A little pair of Mittnz, that is. Wool, some odd balls of gray ragg with a snowflake in some odd ball red stuff I found in a basket on the shelf.

They need thumbs and seaming. Perhaps thumbs will happen today. I'm saving all the seaming for a Grand Finish (that means, I'll seam everybody at one time) right after I seam the sweater (summer) that is whimpering over there in the corner. I'd like to wear it before it gets too hot!

Front and center, Walking Around Beanie. It's for Ship Support and is Caron Simply Soft. I'll be adding stripes or fair isle so it's suitable for summer wear by some injured soldier or a sailor on one of the ships currently deployed. The walking around part comes from my knitting while on my walking.

It's a lovely, sunny, cool and breezy day here in eastern Pennsylvania. I might garden a bit (the weeds are taking over the flower beds) and maybe warp the loom. Then too, I just got word that our hose caddy "blew up" yesterday, so maybe a stop at the garden shop to buy some bedding plants and a new caddy and then pulling weeds and warping the loom.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

What A Difference a Day Makes

Remember that little cuff from the Saturday?

Well, I put my mind to it and my shoulder to the wheel and my nose to the grindstone, crossing fingers, toes, and eyes--brother! it's hard to knit like that!--and accomplished Mittnz!

yay, me! Seam sewing will be done at a later moment.

Of course, I had to mess with the pattern, saving the thumb (as I usually do) for last--that doesn't work well when Mittnz are knit flat.

Just sayin' . . .

Then, I cast on another in the next size up.

I knit this bit during my 17 minute walk in the 'hood.

Yes, I have kept it up for a week with only one break in the action (that was mitigated by some fancy steppin').

This old broad plans to be a healthy (er) 60-year old this summer.

Mittn plan --dull gray will be broken up with some striping. Or a pattern of some sort.


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Happy Birthday, Pete!

Today is the birthday of the man who taught many of us to love music, to be compassionate, to follow our passions, folk singer Pete Seeger.

Born in New York City (1919), as a teenager, he rebelled against his parents' love of music and decided he wanted to be a painter. But the first time he heard the sound of a banjo at the Folk Song and Dance Festival in Asheville, North Carolina, he fell in love with folk music.

He dropped out of Harvard and like Woody Guthrie, rode the rails across America in the middle of the Great Depression.

He wrote:
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

And when will we?


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Are You Up For the Challenge?

Mittnz 2009 is underway.

If you are "in," and pacing yourself to finish 9 pairs before the September mailing (last week of, but still) you should have completed at least one Mittn and have a second cast on.

Clearly, some of us ::coff:: are not up to speed yet.
I'm using the Family Mittens pattern from a Really Big Leisure Arts book that I got at Ollie's a while back. It's called Now You're Knitting super how-to handbook and design treasury.Price sticker says I paid $8.99.

What it really is, is a compilation of over a hundred Leisure Arts booklets, some great, some so-so, and some downright fuggitaboudit. A obsessed motivated reader could search the archives for some interior shots. I am not that motivated this morning.

What you see here is the cuff of the first 2009 Mittn I have cast on. The ribbing was brought to you by my morning walk. Walking is more fun with something to occupy. I think I might get something musical rather than something knitterly for tomorrow. I'm missing the scenery.

And speaking of knitterly, I set the baby blankie aside this week and concentrated on the throw that I am composing for my living room.

I was rewarded for my efforts by the approximately 30" square you see to the left. I've broken into the third 100-gram ball of Decor, and since I have 17 more on the closet shelf (Don't look at the shelf! There's a lot of other yarn in there, too.) I don't think I will run out.

I want to get to 60" square (maximum size allowed for this fair category is 60"X 72") including a knit-on lacy border. I suspect that I will be making sweaters and mittnz and hats and all sorts of things with the leftovers! (Maybe I got a little carried away with my order. ya think?)

Next week, it's back to the baby blankie.

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