Friday, March 24, 2017

A tale of two cities...I mean socks...

So it has been a crazy busy week and not much has been accomplished on the crafty front... haven't touched my sewing machine... did a little cross stitch... and did a little knitting... which brings me to the tale of my two cities... socks...

I was knitting away on the Frankensock I showed last week and that got me thinking (always a dangerous thing) about other Blue Moon yarn I had in my house...




So I went looking for wayward Blue Moon yarn  and found this sock...


This one is a Blue Moon Rare Gems...  a yarn with no real name... I put it aside when I thought it was a bit too bright... prior to my cataract surgeries... and somehow now I don't think it is too bright at all... I LOVE it... it bits of neon orange and hot pink and green... so pretty.

Well looking at these socks side by side I noticed something...



I don't really think you can see it in the picture but the Frankensock on the left is noticeably thicker...heavier than the Rare Gems sock on the right. These socks have the exact same number of stitches ...58... but the Frankensock is knitting on a 2.75mm needle and the Rare Gems is knitted on a 2.50 needle.... and I like the feel of the "fabric" on the smaller diameter needle much much more. Who knew that a needle a mere .25mm smaller would make such a difference????

Sooo...... I'm going to unravel the Frankensock and start again... I can hear my friend Linda groaning right now as I type this... she can never understand how I can rip out and start over when I have so much knit already.... but if I'm not happy now, I won't be happy with the finished sock and I enjoy the process of knitting them as much as the product.... and Linda... how many of those teeny tiny, itsy bitsy little leaves/circles/flowers have you redone on that magnum opus quilt you've been working on??? I'm just teasing her and she knows it... admitting something isn't right and fixing it is all part of the whole crafty experience.

Well I've been having my handyman, Dan, do a bunch of projects around my house and my son's house this week... both of our bathrooms needed repainted... we both live in older small houses with tiny bathrooms and inadequate ventilation... I have an exhaust fan which does help a bit but there was still some paint that needed touch up... and he put in a new faucet in my bathroom sink... and a bunch of new overhead lights...I've found some cool fixtures at Costco that are LED... love the look and the light they put out...however as always seems to happen when you work on fixing one project another crops up. An inspection of my water heater lead the conclusion that it needs a look see by a professional plumber... the hard water/calcification/gunk built up on it in less than 5 years is pretty severe. It was suggest about a year ago that I should get a water softener installed but it was going to involve demolition on the ceiling of my basement which was remodeled just 3 years ago... I couldnt' bear to do that at the time... but I think we've come up with a new plan that wouldn't require that ... there will still be some demolition but not the ceiling... having a plumber come tomorrow and another on Tuesday to give me some direction and estimates.  There is always something isn't there???

I'm going to link up to Judy's Patchwork Times On the Needles... hope you have a great weekend ahead... I have more "house" projects to do...

happy knitting -
carol fun

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bird-brained...

So I haven't posted for Slow Sunday Stitching for quite a while as I didn't have anything to show...but today I do have something to show...and I continue to have birds on the brain and in my hoop (if I stitched in a hoop but I don't but somehow that sounds better than in my hand...which makes me think of a squished bird)...see I told you I was bird-brained...LOL


I finished The Christmas Bird by With Thy Needle and Thread...


this is so much prettier in real life... colors are washed out here but its the best I can do with the camera from my phone. I love the color of that background... 35 ct. Chestnut from Weeks Dye Works.. very rich...but that 35 ct. was not easy to stitch.  Don't know what I'm going to do with this. The picture on the chart has it finished as a little pillow...it about 2.75" X 6.125"... I'll think about that.

And this one is almost done...


this is Bluebird Out My Window also by With Thy Needles and Thread.  Just have a few more flowers to do and some scattered little ditsy elements to fill in the background. This is the first piece I've tried stitching since my cataract surgery and I've found I need some Mr. Magoo type magnification... but then I can see the threads ...and if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes.

I should be able to finish this tonight and I think I may start this piece...


Little House Needleworks "Needlework ABC's"... I got this as a kit and while I'm happy with the threads and the chart I'm not sure I like the linen that came with it... 32 ct. Confederate Gray by Weeks Dye Works... it is a nice color but the linen is real soft (I prefer stiff linen) and the weave seems very loose. This piece will finish 2 3/8" wide by 19 3/8" long and I think a loose weave will be difficult to get framed straight... I think I'll look in my stash and see what I may have... I think I still have some pale grey evenweave... I LOVE the motifs on this piece... the house, the flowers, the needle, the thread, the scissors and that cute stitcher at the bottom... she may get a different colored dress...just saying ... maybe something gold-y yellow and perhaps her hair will get a bit more auburn/red... some personalization on my part...LOL!

Along with the Bluebird out my Window, I hoping for some sunshine out my window...last week was gray and cold... tomorrow they are promising 60...hope they are right... my daffodils are hanging in there and I've seen some of my hyacinths poking up and something bloomed in my rose bed but I'm not sure what it is and I know that I'm the one that planted the bulbs...they kinda look like irises but they are only about 6" tall... maybe I did plant those...oh the memory ain't what it use to be... but the flowers are pretty!!

Well dinner is in the crockpot... beef tips in gravy to serve over egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream... should be yummy... hope you are having a lovely relaxing Sunday... I'll link up with Kathy's Quilts today and Super Mom - No Cape tomorrow...

happy stitching-
carol fun 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bad blogger... rant on DST... tale of the scale...

Today I offer a trifecta of tales...

Okay... first thing first...I'm a bad bad blogger... I didn't mean to be away so long (but then does anyone really mean to not post for 2 weeks?)... but life got in the way...nothing dramatic ...just life.
I had my second cataract surgery and it went well, except the first time I didn't remember a thing. This time they gave me a different anesthesia and I was "there" for the procedure... heard a boring conversation about the anesthesiologist's son's soccer team... I liked it better the first time... ignorance is bliss.

On the plus side, my vision has never been better in my life... on the minus side, my vision has never been better in my life and I can see stuff I NEVER noticed before!!! Like dust on the furniture... and woodwork that needs cleaning and painting ... and floors that could use to see a mop... and a shower that is no where as clean and white as I thought it was....yuck!!! So I've been spending time with a dust cloth/mop/rag/vacuum cleaner/paper towels/bleach/cleaning products... you get the picture... and it ain't a pretty one. Glad this isn't a big house...

And since I didn't post last week I missed my chance for my semi-annual rant against Daylight Saving Time... nothing has changed  my opinion from last year or the year before that or the year before that or the year before that... I STILL HATE IT!!!!  Just leave the time alone... it will stay lighter later all on its own... and I won't be nearly as crabby as I am from losing that hour... do you have any idea how much chocolate it takes to make me chill out over that hour??? A LOT of chocolate!! LOL

So lets move on to more enjoyable pursuits... like socks! Here is the last pair I did with the sock yarn from my Opal Advent Calendar...


This time I took 4 of the mini skeins and divided each of them in half. Then I knit each half until I ran out of that skein and I started another. I've finally figured out that to make a pair of socks with Opal yarn I need 28 grams  per sock... the little skeins weighed 15 grams... half of 15 is 7-ish grams ...hey you know math is not my forte... so 4 half skeins will make a sock. I glad I'm documenting this info on the blog so I can find it later... as, it has taken me numerous pairs of Opal socks to figure this out.

Now armed with the amazing discovery on my part I figured I could apply this information to making other scrappy socks. I thought about breaking out my bin of Opal sock yarn and making a mountain of mini skeins but then I thought that a change of pace from Opal sock yarn would be nice... I was thinking waaaay too much here.

Instead I liberated my Blue Moon Socks that Rock yarn from it's bin...



 and made little mini bobbins of colorful yarn....


 I was so proud of my math skills, as I determined that I wanted to use 5 different colors in each sock... so that meant I needed about 5  to 6 grams of each color, right??? 28 divided by 5 equals 5.6...so I'm in the ball park, right???  I was able to use my newest toy... a little bitty scale...


isn't it cute?? My older son, the prosecutor, pointed out that these scales are primarily used to measure drugs....ummm... not me...LOL!!   Yarn...only yarn.... so off I went winding, winding winding.... I cast on this new Frakensock and I barely got the cuff knitted...oh something is wrong here ... I should be able to get waaay farther than this on 5/6 grams of yarn... on an Opal sock I was able to do the cuff and another inch and a half or so...

At this point I reweighed the Opal sock... 28 grams... and then I went and got a Blue Moon sock... a whopping 55 grams!!!!  The Blue Moon yarn weighs almost twice what the Opal does... yikes!!! Need to wind more yarn bobbins right away... and I did!  Thank goodness for my little scale and the tale it told...

Here's the sock so far....



I love the colors of Blue Moon yarn and I ADORE the names they give them... starting with the cuff this sock includes Crabby McHappypants... Fire on the Mountain...Azure Malachite... and  I'm just starting Chickabiddy... this is definitely a Frankensock!!!

I'll be linking up with Patchwork Times today for "What's on your needles?"... this sock will be a great project for waiting in the car knitting... and I might just cast on another new project... this cowl...


my friend Cathy was wearing the one she knit last night and it is soooo PRETTY... it is called the Orchid Cowl and it is a free pattern on Ravelry that you can see here.  Need to go root through my stash for a nice skein of something with cashmere in it... that would feel so good around my neck...

Hope you have some nice weekend plans... today my son's friend is hanging out here... tomorrow we have a wedding to attend... and on Sunday I think my older son and his wife are coming for dinner...and I'll try to squeeze in some kniting/stitching/sewing... sounds like  a pretty nice weekend!

happy knitting-
carol fun