Google+ Beverly Is Yarn Crazy!: July 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lost in Plurk Land

Where have I been you may have asked, or not. Plurk has had my full and undivided attention. I have only knit about 12 inches on my scarf and I have spun about 1 ounce of fiber in the past week. Why has my Plurk obsession suddenly risen to a new height?

Last weekend, I got a used computer from one of my brothers and it was set up next to my lift chair, so that I can now be online in relative comfort (relative, because there is always some pain). Before this, my time was limited to short intervals after which I would have to elevate my legs to stop the swelling. Since I can now have my legs elevated while I am online, I now am having a difficult time logging off.

Still this doesn't quite explain why I have neglected my blog for so long. I guess that is because I feel that this blog is primarily about my knitting, crocheting and spinning, and since I haven't been doing much of that, then what do I blog about?

I have decided that this one is dedicated to Plurk since the reason for me wanting to spend so much time there is that so many knitters, crocheters, and spinners are there too. I live in the middle of nowhere, Maine. There is no LYS, no guilds, no group of fiber obsessed people in this neck of the woods. I find a kind of camaraderie of like minded individuals in Plurk. We can share pictures of our projects, our fiber finds, and our furry, four-legged friends. We help each other learn new techniques, new shopping resources, and new links of interest. Most of all we encourage and support each other, like friends are supposed to. You to can be a part of this fiber love fest if you would like to meet me there!

So I don't foresee me slowing down on the Plurk time in the near future. I am going to have to find a way to strike a balance between plurking and my crafts, because I have been missing the feel of yarn slipping through my fingers and my needles clicking away. Wish me luck.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

At a loss for words

I just don't know what to write about today, so I guess it will be a pictorial blog.
This is the Amanda Hat that I had started a few days ago.Here is the whole set together. The Amanda Hat, the Fancy Cabled Braided Scarf, and the Top Down Mittens knit 2 at a time.
Finally, this is the scarf that I started this morning. It is another of the Fancy Cabled Braided Scarf. I wish I had enough of this yarn to make a set. Now, I am off to knit some more on it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Generosity of Others

I am one of the luckiest people that I know. Now, if you met me on the street, you may not get that as your first impression. My walker and awkward gate may make you think that I am anything but lucky, but you would be very wrong. I have the most amazing family in the world and my friends are incredible too.

Why is this what I am writing about in my crafting blog? For starters, I have wanted to learn to spin yarn ever since I started plurking. My fellow plurk pals are mostly knitters, crocheters, and spinners and we love to share what we are producing in our craft endeavors. I have become enamored of the lovely handspun yarns that they are producing and desired to be able to do the same.

Last week, one of my wonderful plurk friends, twisted knitter, had tried spinning and didn't like it so she gave to me the beautiful, burnt orange, Corridale fiber that she was using to learn! I am sooooooo lucky and grateful!!! But, I don't have a spindle or spinning wheel. No problem. My talented youngest brother is making a spindle for me. Again, I am soooooo lucky and grateful!

My brother won't be here until this weekend with the spindle, so I managed to find a tutorial on how to spin on a bent coat hanger. That way I didn't have to wait any longer than it took for me to cut and bend the hanger to try to spin. Below is the result of my first spinning attempt.If that isn't enough to prove how lucky I am, my other talented brother had provided Ray and I with a computer to replace the one that died a few weeks back. Then last weekend he brought up a second one so that I could sit in my lift chair and be more comfortable while online. I am in quite a bit of pain most of the time that I sit in a "normal chair" at the computer, so this will make my life so much better. Once again, I am sooooooo lucky and grateful.

These examples are not the real reason I feel I am the luckiest person that I know. They are just much more tangible and easier to relate to you. I do not know how to adequately communicate how much my man, my family and my friends do for my heart. I just hope that you are as lucky as me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

As I promised...

I have completed the mittens from the top down. I worked them on 2 cable needles. I changed the pattern by working half the thumb gusset stitches on each needle instead of all of them on the 1st needle as the pattern called for. It was just easier for me. I worked the thumbs on dpns.
This morning I cast on for the Amanda Hat designed by Gina House, to go with the scarf and mittens. I will let you know how this goes, but I looks like a very straight forward design. This is what I got done this morning:
I hope I haven't made too many mistakes during this post, but I have been rockin' out to Pat Benatar and lovin' it. Later!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stubbornness is a virtue

Yes, I am stubborn and proud of it! I know, I know, yesterday I said I was going to frog the mittens completely because I just couldn't figure out how to do the thumb, but....

....I just couldn't give it up! I decided to move half the thumb stitches to the 2nd needle instead of having them all on the 1st needle as the pattern calls for. It wasn't easy to move them because I was working 2 mittens at the same time on cable needles, but I accomplished it. After moving the stitch placement, the knitting was easy all the way down to the end of the cuffs. I will finish the thumbs on dpns tonight and post pics tomorrow.

Again, I am so glad that I didn't give up!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tink, tink, tink....

Here I go again. I had cast on to make 2 mittens at a time from the tip down, but it isn't going well. I used Judy's magic cast on, then increased to palm width and knit even to where the thumb needs to appear. The pattern uses a provisional cast on for the thumb stitches, which was easy enough to learn, but I can't figure out how to knit the thumb stitches from one needle to the next. The thumb stitches want to curve around and stretch the connection. I have redone them 3 times and now I think I will just frog it and make them from the cuff up, which I know how to do already.

For the record, I hate quitting. I want to figure this pattern out. If you have any advice, if you have made this pattern up, I would be grateful.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cable Success!

Whew! I have successfully completed the Fancy Cabled Braided Scarf designed by Trish Day. I am so happy with the way this scarf turned out and with all that I learned from the experience of making it. I owe a big THANK YOU to Trish Day for encouraging me through this.
Now I have cast on for a pair of mittens, knit on 2 cable needles to go with the scarf. I have made many pairs of mittens before, but I have never knit both mittens at the same time so this will be interesting too. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thank Goodness for Mistakes!

I screwed up a few days back. My lilac scarf was looking so good and then I got distracted during the Red Sox game, but my fingers kept working. Next thing I know, I examined the knitting I had completed and found that 4 inches back I had created an S-turn instead of a braided cable. Now what do I do?

I was so mad at myself that I just pulled out the needles and ripped the yarn back past the error, into a big pile of yarn spaghetti. I briefly thought about picking up the stitches and attempting to get back on track, but I just couldn't. So I threw the scarf into my basket and assumed that it would stay there until I need the yarn for some other project. Cables defeated me again.

I glanced at it the next day, but just didn't want to deal with it. Then last evening I decided I was only undermining myself and I had better get over it if I wanted to grow as a knitter! I picked up the tangled mess, slowly picked up the stitches, though I wasn't sure which way they should face, and then...

...I pulled out the needles and ripped out one more row. That's right. I decided that the previous wrong side row would be easier to try to decipher so I picked those stitches up and started over. This time I paid close attention to how the cables really worked instead of just checking off rows of pattern. By paying attention to how my cable needle position affected the twist of the cable, I learned so much more and found that I didn't need to check off rows because I now could recognize where I was in the pattern. This was such an amazing moment of realization for me!

So I must be thankful for this happy mistake and the knowledge that I gained with it. I only hope that I will think of this when, inevitably, the next mistake occurs. May I face it with the optimism of what I may gain from it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


I have an irrational fear of cables. When I see a pattern, if it has cables, I just keep on going. I have made a few attempts to make sweaters with cables that have ended in lots of frogging and cursing, so I just don't try anymore. Well, today is a new day sparky.

While I was perusing a friends blog, I came across a scarf pattern that she designed and thought, "that is beautiful, but it has a cable", so I was going to move on. Then I was sad that I couldn't make such a wonderful scarf, so I decided it is time to give cables a chance again. I have come a long way as a knitter since the last time I attempted them. Besides, a scarf is a lot less challenging than cables with sweater shaping too!

So, I printed the pattern for Fancy Cabled Braided Scarf (on Ravelry too) and started knitting last evening. I only frogged one row, one time. Below is a picture of the scarf in progress and I must say "I am proud"!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

I hope that everyone in the U.S. is enjoying a very safe Independence Day. I had went to a wonderful family birthday party for my beautiful Mom and my pretty niece who is turning 4. It was a sunny, warm, clear afternoon with one of those perfect breezes that keep the bugs away.

Now I am back home, achy from my little excursion, and looking forward for an evening of watching National displays of patriotism while I knit. Ray will be watching baseball. These quiet, simple pleasures are who we really are.

I finished the nanner socks a few days ago. I finally took some pictures. The blocker that I have on one sock is made from a coat hanger. I only have one because I need to find another plastic coated, wire hanger. I must say that I am quite pleased with the way that this pair of socks turned out and I really learned a lot while making them. I owe a big thank-you to Wendy Johnson who designed the pattern for her fellow plurkers.
That's all for this post. I wish you all the happiest of Independence Weekends! Celebrate safely please!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Inner Farmgirl re-visited...

In my post yesterday, I mentioned that I am not physically able to participate in all farmgirl activities. Well, I now have a photo of my pitiful excuse for a "garden". And worse yet, I have to admit that my mother planted them for me! At least I have watered them and kept them from dying, so far. I always have the intention of planting herbs, even if it is just a window sill planter. Some how I never seem to follow through with it. I am hoping that my new "farmgirl spirit" will give me the gumption to finally get it done.

On the crafting front, I have cross-stitched a few pine trees on my sister-in-laws afghan, so progress, albeit slow, is being made. I am not thrilled with the way this project is turning out, but I dare not turn back as she may slay me if I don't finish it. Tomorrow I will have pictures of my first pair of nanner socks which I will block tonight. And finally, I have a picture of my new nanner sock yarn from the chicks with sticks . Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Inner Farmgirl...Sorta

As I have mentioned in previous posts (more than you would like me to have), I am addicted to Plurk. While plurking I have had the extreme pleasure of getting to know the fabulous Miss Violet of Lime & Violet fame. She has constructed the Plurkette Hencircle for many of us to share and explore our inner and outer farmgirl. Miss Violet has asked each of us to introduce ourselves in our blogs. So, although this may be repetitive for some, here I go.

My name is Beverly and I am 40ish. Actually, I am more ish than 40. I am in a long-term committed relationship with a wonderfully supportive, loving and humorous man. I grew up in a small town in central Maine and every time I leave it, I come back because it is where I belong. I am small town Maine.

I have difficulty walking on a good day, and walking is damn near impossible on a bad day. Fortunately my hands work pretty well on most days, so I can knit and crochet. I am a wanna-be spinner. My maternal Grandmother is the person who taught me to crochet when I was seven. I've had long periods of time when I didn't pick up a crochet hook for a while, but I always come back to it when my life gets too hectic and I need calm. My favorite aunt used to knit sweaters for us and helped me to re-learn stitches when I had been away from my hooks too long. About 5 years ago I took some classes at my LYS (local yarn shop) to learn to knit, because I wanted to make mittens like my Grandmother used to. Now I am addicted to sock knitting.

I love gifts that are hand-made. Someone put time, effort and thought into the idea and construction. I get so much joy from the process of creating, and I think about the intended recipient while my needles and hooks consume the yarn. I think of it first as a gift for me to create and then a gift for others when I give.

I don't know if this really qualifies me as a inner farmgirl, but I like the ideas they put forth and the camaraderie that we share. I may not be physically able to participate in some farmgirl activities, but I feel I am one at heart.

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