Sunday, May 29, 2011

Frogging a LOT Lately!

Yes, I'm knitting and knitting and knitting....have I completed anything yet? Well, yes and some of the doll pieces knitted, but I've knitted and frogged (knitter's lingo for rip it, rip it, rip it out) the front jumper piece about three times...arrrggh! It's a moss stitch pattern AND intarsia knitting, which means changing colors, in color blocks...and I haven't quite figured out HOW the heck to move the yarns back and forth when changing colors AND doing the knit 1, purl 1 stitch, switching to the opposite on the next row and keeping the right side looking like the right side, and the wrong side like the wrong side with the yarns moving up and staying secure while doing color changes. Trying a fourth time, and this time I think I might have figured out how you change colors while doing the moss stitch. We'll see...if I don't get the first few rows right this time, I'll put the question out on the forum and see if somebody can understand my difficulties....

We're been doing a LOT in San Francisco and in our new location near Trinidad, CA so I am not knitting as much this week. I still have hand quilting to go on the tee shirt quilt I am making for my daughter's friend back in South Bend, IN, I still have my second fingerless glove to finish trying to make it without a really fat thumb this time, AND the knitted doll....and let's see, is there anything else? Oh, yeah....I have a vest I was working on on double circulars, it's taken a back seat for now...I'm at the point where I need to start the decreases and just need some quiet time to sit down and concentrate so I don't screw that up!

Here's our pile of things to do, or at least to sit down, read, and check out to see if there are things we want to do. We always stop at a welcome center and get the lowdown for the's fun reading the brochures and sorting through the hokey tourist traps. Even though we are becoming seasoned travelers, we still fall for some of them. For example, the drive thru redwood tree that cost us 5.00 for about ten seconds of silliness. But it was fun, anyway.....

My sister, Lyle, is still's a brown scarf she made...she's kind of like me, a perfectionist, and she is not a happy camper with this brown scarf at the moment.  Sometimes it's hard to get good photos of what you make, but she says it's too drab and needs livening up! She's got some more things going so can't wait to see what they are!
My goal this week is to get the doll done...there! I've said it, now I've got to do it! HA! We'll see if it happens.....I AM working on my second fingerless glove, it's almost done! There's hope for me yet, the eternal procrastinator!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Little Bit of Everything

It's been a busy week...we are busy exploring sunny California, so knitting has kind of taken a back seat to wineries and exploring gorgeous Sonoma County. We took a drive on highway 101 and stopped at some of the Sonoma County beaches. I caught this bird sitting on top of a small field of bright orange flowers--these flowers look like red hot pokers. I've seen another variety that looks like candy corn tops on long leggy stems...the white flowers are blooming like blankets on the California coast.
I'm trying to do a better job of getting detailed photos but haven't figured out how with my little Panasonic Lumix camera.

As far as knitting, I finished one fingerless glove and am working on the second one. I had trouble with the thumb--something isn't quite right with my picked up stitches at the gusset or my increases as the thumb is "FAT" and I don't have a fat thumb! The fat is elsewhere! :-) I had taken out the stitches at least three times trying to fix it, so the last time must have been where I added too many stitches picking up, I guess. But I still like it! I have to hurry up and finish the second one as it is chilly in the evenings here in Santa Rosa, CA and I've been knitting outside for a couple of hours before it gets dusk. I need that second glove!
Got another project started....(don't all crafters have a million things going at once?) This is going to be a knitted's a photo of her. It's a book from Australia from a company called AK Traditions. They have the coolest knitted accessories for their "huggable" dolls!  Can't wait to get one done. The directions are a little funky on how to put it together, and there's an awful lot of seaming. I'm trying to figure out how to do some of it on circulars, so we'll see as we go. I'm having trouble joining colors to do the color blocked front, so I'll have to figure that out...So far I have the jumper back and two sleeves done.

Lyle, my sister, made another scarf...but she's hard on herself! She's not happy with it...I'll post a photo next week.....gosh, the time goes by so seems I just post and another week as flown by....We're very busy but very happy in seeing this beautiful country of ours....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Big Beautiful "Backyards"

This week is a choice to publish my favorite nature photos from the past week here in California, our temporary favorite time of day is about an hour before sunset....while traveling all over the country as a full time RVer, we see some amazing things, but some of the most amazing, are in our own little backyard of where we are staying, or in the bigger "backyard" of the RV park.....

I love the way the sunlight casts the shadows late in the day, or highlights the simplest flower. I try to capture that on my little Panasonic Lumix camera. Some day I hope I to get an SLR.

It's such a peaceful time of helps me to take photos of pretty flowers and bushes because I miss my old nature trail back home in Indiana...Ropchan Nature Preserve in Fremont, IN. I used to walk about a two mile hike every other day or so through the preserve, and it was always late in the day after work when I did it. Seeing the sunlight through the trees and the angles of the light on everything, reminds me of that peaceful happy time, that solitary time of walking in the woods as the daylight lessens. I'm not stressed now that I am retired, but I still love that peaceful feeling of the light that time of day.....
I don't know the names of these beautiful flowering bushes, but they are all over the RV park where we are staying....
These little orangy red flowers below were sticking out of a dirt hillside...nothing around them at all, but here they were, persistent and pretty and holding onto the hillside, kind of like holding onto life when it gets a little ugly. You know that there's beauty around the corner or beauty in every day if you just look and pay attention.....

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Try, Try Again

Fingerless gloves.....hmmmmm, where do I start? I really want to make myself a pair of these to ride a bike in the early mornings when it's cold, or to sit outside in the early evenings and knit and not get cold hands! Misread the instructions the first time through...I didn't realize the directions about how long to do stockinette stitch meant from the line of cast on, and not from the line where the wrist ribbing was. By the time I got to the gusset for the thumb, the glove was WAY too long...ripped it back out down to the correct length and started almost over from the ribbing. Got to the thumb gusset, and directions were to pick up five stitches in the "gap" which I did. Got the main part of the glove done and went back to the thumb gusset. Kept going with the thumb gusset on double pointed needles, (first time for those) and by the time I finished the thumb I had a couple of problems....there was a hole in the gap where I hadn't picked up either enough stitches or just didn't choose the right place for the pickup stitches. Ripped out the thumb and tried again...

Got the thumb done the second time, and discovered I had dropped a stitch and it was dropping gradually down, down, down...I was starting to get frustrated. I don't know how to pick up dropped stitches other than ripping down to where it was dropped, so that's what I did. I've seen people use a crochet hook to lift up and through the lines of knitting to get it, but didn't have one handy where I was working on it at the time. It's just the thumb, so out it came again. If this yarn wasn't so pretty and soft, I'd pitch the darn thing, but I really like the yarn and don't want to waste it!

I got the thumb done, finally, and bound off of the three double pointed needles and something went wrong on the bind off. Good grief! Wish there was a knitting shop nearby! There isn't...I somehow got the bind off extending past the edge of the thumb gusset! And I bound off too tightly or decreased too many stitches as the thumb part about cut off the circulation to my thumb! (The directions are a little loosey goosey on how to do the decreases for each size.) So-o-o-o, I am bound and determined (bad pun intended) to get this right...out came the stitches for the thumb once again....hope I have this right this time.....good exercise in patience, that's for sure!

On a more encouraging note, I got my first sock finished just about! Just doing the ribbing and that's all that's left. What I'm not quite understanding is why the sock appears so big in the body part. I've got the correct gauge, and it's for a woman's medium size (whatever that means!) but it just seems so big around! Guess it's just the particular pattern I used. Not sure how hand knit socks are supposed to fit? Like store bought ones, or looser because they are a wool blend?

I got some help with my sock at a BEAUTIFUL knit shop in Bakersfield, CA, our last RV destination. (We're now in Coarsegold, CA). The shop is called ABC's of Creative Pursuits, and it was a fabulous place to get help, buy fibers, sit and knit at a sunny, warm, "living room" table. Beautiful store and great gals in there....I wrote about the store in my blog "Where's Eldo?" but here are a couple of photos in case somebody missed it. Lots of great handmade creations to visually stimulate your creative genes! And of course, bin after bin after bin of the most beautiful yarns and fibers for knitting and spinning and creating something beautiful.....
The shop owner, Karen, made this beautiful blanket....I just love it!

Got to get back to my knitting...I'm gonna get this fingerless glove done and it's going to be right! I hope!