Keeping Busy.

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We have had installers here for the last week, working on installing solar panels on my roof, they are finished with the install, and are just waiting for inspections, from both the city and the power company, before they can be hooked up, and we can be using solar power, at least partly. I am excited, I would dearly love to see our power bill go down. We know this won’t eliminate it completely, as it is only about 1/3 of the total system we need, but it is a start, and what we can afford to get installed now, so it is what we are starting with.

I have been staying busy since we got back from visiting my family. I work on the housework first thing in the morning, getting what needs to be done for the day done, then I spend the afternoons and evenings doing things with the kids, or listening to audio books and knitting. I have managed to get quite a bit done on my current shawl project. It is a hexagonal spider-web shawl, and I am working on round 145 of  160 or so, and then I have a border to put on, I am still debating on what exactly to do for it. I have only been working on it for 14 days, so I am feeling very upbeat about it. I may get it done in the next week or so, that would be a record for me.

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it’s done!

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my little wrap that is… I finished the knitting last night, went button shopping today, and wove in ends and blocked it this morning. Here it is..

IMG_0024

it’s not really big, it wears like a cape, and is not quite elbow length. or can be rapped tighter and worn like a scarf. I totally love it. It was a great quick knit! 

I will have to take a closer picture, but the button is a dragonfly, that the wings almost exactly match the yarn of the upper portion.

small knitting obsession….

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I am a big fan of Knitty. For those of you who don’t know.. Knitty is a free, online knitting magazine. It comes out  quarterly, but not on any set date that I have been able to discern.  And then, some time between the time an edition is published and the next edition, there are bonus patterns that just seem to *appear*.

Anyway… the Fall edition of Knitty came out last Friday. I browsed through it, several times, and I really liked several of the patterns in it. I usually really like one or two patterns per edition, but this one was great, I really liked at least 6 of the patterns. All of the shawls, and several of the sweaters. One of the shawls was Colonnade. I LOVED it… The more that I looked at it, the more I had to make it. But I had to make changes.

#1. I live in southern Arizona. It does not get cold enough here to warrant aran weight wool. 

#2. I don’t want to BUY yarn for this, if I can help it. Wool is hard to find here, all we have is Jo-ann’s and Michaels, and that limits availability.

#3. I don’t have 10’s needles.. I don’t like working with them, but if I had them, I would use them, even with worsted.

Because of the smaller yarn and needles, I didn’t get gauge, being unable to use larger needles to get gauge, I had to adjust the stitch count, doable, but more work mentally.

I hunted through my stash and found several skeins of Patons Classic Wool Merino one in Peacock, and two in Too Teal, perfect! I cast it on and got started on Saturday night, and by the time I went to bed on Sunday, I was 3/4 done. I haven’t had time to pick it up today, but once the kids get in bed, I will work on it more. I can’t wait to get this finished.

Knitting thoughts

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I am almost out of sock yarn. *sob* I only have enough yarn in the house for 2 more pair, and one of those is yarn that is a royal PITA to work with.  So last night, in an effort to find something else to work on knitting, I started another shawl, similar to my not so Basic Black Shawl, from Folk Shawls. Here is my first version.

it was done in Knitpicks Palette, in black and garnet heather.  This is a fingering weight, and it has been really handy, I use it all the time. But I got into my head that I want to do another one. This time, lace weight, and green and red. I ordered the yarn to do this several months ago. This time I went with Knitpicks Shadow, in Juniper and Sunset Heather. It took me a couple false starts to get the needle size right for the yarn (I ended up with a 5) and off I went. so far, I am making good progress, andI am almost to the second lace panel, in the second color. The rounds are fast at this stage, but as it gets bigger, the longer they take. The first shawl took me right at a month to finish, any guesses on how long this one will take?

And  Yes, I will share pictures when it is done.

March Treadmill time 3Hrs 33 mins 10.31 Miles

I have spent my last few days

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other than walking, and since I try not to dwell on the evil, i won’t discuss that. Knitting and reading. I am still working on my pi shawl. but it is getting closer and closer to done. I am almost done with the second cake of yarn, and will start the edging with my third cake. Right now I am at 1152 stitches per round. and I won’t get any bigger around… except for the 4 I need to increase for my edging pattern.

I searched and searched. 3 stitch dictionaries and 3 pattern books plus Ravelry, to find the lace edging I want for my shawl. I finially found it, in Victorian Lace Today. It is a simple diamond pattern border, called a Torchon lace pattern. it should be pretty eas, and turn out great, now if only I can get it done!! I am so excited, I still totally love this project.

my shawl…

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pre-dying…

before dying.

before dying.

center view, before dying

center view, before dying

during the dying process, I dye using food grade dyes, usually Wilton’s frosting gels, available at Jo-ann’s, Micheal’s and Walmart in the cake sections.

I mix with vinegar and water and for large projects, like this one I use my turkey roaster, just more room for things to move around than in the crockpot.

The whole thing in the dye bath

The whole thing in the dye bath

pulling the center out first

pulling the center out first

a little more every 5 mins.

a little more every 5 mins.

almost done....

almost done....

rinsed and blocked

rinsed and blocked

a slightly different view.

a slightly different view.

Side effects of dying.

Side effects of dying.

knit knit knit knit

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I have been working hard to finish a shawl I am working on. it has been fairly slow going, but the end is in sight. I started the edging day before yesterday, and so far, I am 9/16ths of the way done. Once I get it all finished knitting I will stretch it out and take pictures, but I am not going to take the time to block it yet, because I still have to dye it. I am thinking Burgandy. Starting light in the center, and getting darker towards the edges, then, once it is dyed, I will block it out. And, of course, take more pictures. Hoping to finish the knitting tonight or tomorrow.

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