Friday, July 29, 2016

Sweater Magnet

I've been reclaiming yarn from thrifted sweaters for about six years now. As a result it seems, sweaters come to me in different ways. Some of them are too much like works of art to disassemble them for the yarn.

This one was gifted to me while I was visiting my Mom last summer. It's a classic from the 1970s and in perfect condition.

 This one came to me from a local fund-raiser rummage sale, for $2.00. Judging from the chest measurement I'd say it's a Men's extra-large. I took it home, gave it a nice warm bath and mended a few holes. What a beauty.

I made room in the yarn collection for them, where they'll end up, I'm not sure.

ETA: I sold the black and white one at the annual quilt guild's boutique. That was one happy customer, she was thrilled!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

July Flowers

I stopped at the Brooktrails Community Garden to water and Frank took some quick pictures.



He does like to take close ups. I love the honeybee on the left, flying toward the hollyhock. Bzzz...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pudding Creek Day Trip

This is the closest we come in Mendocino county to having a beach. Most 'ocean access' is to a bluff or a craggy foot path down to a rocky inlet.

When we arrived there was a formal wedding being set up on the sand. It was a beautiful setting, but the wedding party and guests were having a hard time walking in the sand in their finery.

We picnicked, Frank took pictures while I knitted. We escaped the heat for awhile. A perfect day.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

TaaT Toe-Up Socks

I seem to fall for just about any knitting pattern the ladies at Mason Dixon Knitting suggest. When Kay talked about linen dish towels, I bought a soft linen-cotton blend and made a towel. When they were having their Bang Out a Sweater KAL, I searched patterns and acquired the yarn for a Lopi Icelandic sweater - it's on the list. When blog readers call Ann and Kay yarn enablers, they are spot on.

So when Ann talked about hand knit socks and the beauty of self-patterning yarn, I jumped on that band wagon too! I'm a great lover of Fair Isle color work, but my skills aren't quite there yet, so the next best thing is Faux Fair Isle.

This is Regia Design Line by Arne and Carlos. I want knee-high socks, hence the two skeins. And in an attempt to make them appear more Fair Isle-ish, I'm going to use cream for the toes, heels and ribbing. It will also avoid the weird patterning that happens when you knit the heel flap with self-patterning yarn.

I decided to use a two at a time, toe-up pattern, in an effort to get the colors to line up. I also made sure the yarn from each skein was at the same place in the pattern when I cast on. I'd rather have my socks match, than have random stripes.

This TaaT pattern allows you to completely customize the fit as you make them, and you can try them on as you go. A win-win!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Mother and Dot Together Again

It was almost a year ago this week that I visited Mom in her apartment in Massachusetts. I forgot to take pictures (again). But we often sat on the balcony to catch a breeze and enjoy the view of Quincy Bay.

Later in the week we got together with my sisters from Wellesley and Arizona, a mini reunion.

I like this little vintage rocker by the door to the balcony. It seems to say, "Come, sit and rest yourself."

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Split Nine Patch

What better way to get over the frustration of a long-term quilt project than to start something new! I also wanted to use up some of my precut 2" squares, so I decided on a blue-green split nine patch. Here are six, set in the Broken Dishes pattern.

I really seem to enjoy sewing HSTs and the blocks sew up so fast, I'm happy as a clam. Also, the colors are a nice change from the Fruit Salad quilt.

I don't have a plan yet, just motoring along. Though the blocks finish at 4 1/2", so maybe a child-sized community quilt would be a good idea.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Summer Bouquet

Cosmos, bachelor buttons, clover, flowering oregano.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Sourcing Icelandic Yarn

When Mason Dixon Knitting launched their knit along of the Stopover sweater, called Bang Out a Sweater, using Lettlopi Icelandic wool, I was captivated, along with the 600+ readers that joined the KAL.

I shopped the web for Lettlopi and discovered it was 5.50 a skein plus postage and a sweater in my size would need 12+/- skeins. I thought maybe I didn't need to make this sweater right now.

But I was intrigued just the same and kept looking. I found the Nordic Store offers Lettlopi for 2.45 USD plus shipping. Some MDK readers were ordering from Iceland and even with shipping included it was cheaper than ordering it stateside. Huh.

It occurred  to me I might want to actually knit with this yarn to see if I liked its hand and drape before I turned myself inside out trying to get some. I asked a friend at the knitting group, who has a 30+ year old stash if she had any, and she said, "Sure! I have enough for a sweater. You want it?" Jah! I thought she might have a skein I could experiment with, but WoW!

She said she's had it in her closet for decades and if she hasn't made it yet, it wasn't likely she was going to. The bag had enough skeins in natural gray for the body. Woot!

Time went on. It turned out that this summer my husband's brother and sister-in-law were going to vacation in Iceland. (?!)

Before they left I asked if she'd be willing to buy some souvenir yarn for me. She said: "I'm happy to. Please send me a quest list. You know I'm not a knitter, so you'll need to tell me exactly what you want."

I said,
"One skein each, Istex Lettlopi
9422 Sage Green Heather
9421 Celery Green Heather
1414 Violet Heather

US prices are around 6.00 a skein. I'll be interested to learn what it costs in the county where it's made. Thank you so much! I've often admired these sweaters, but didn't think I'd ever make one."

Here's her email when they got back: "Leslie - Mission accomplished! I have the three skeins of yarn! I'm sending you a picture of the WALL of yarn in a grocery store.

I'm glad you told me exactly what to get, because there were so many brands and types available. It definitely costs more in the tourist shops, such as in Reykajick, the capital. But on the northern part of the island I was in a small fishing village with only one grocery store for MILES around. I paid the USD equivalent of 2.33 each. Everywhere we went it was being offered for sale. In the tourist shops there are women knitting 100 miles an hour and selling their wares. Fun!"

I visited the Ravelry page of over 685 Bang Out a Sweater projects that the KAL produced and this is the one I hope to make. And it's my goal to not let the yarn sit in the closet!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Hanging Mitered Towel

I found some fun variegated cotton yarn on the free table at quilt guild and decided to make a hanging towel for Mom. Something to share when I visit her in Massachusetts later this month.

Last time I made this was three years ago.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Birthday BBQ Bash

The grandson's birthdays are (two years) and two weeks a part. This year we had a great combined birthday BBQ. And it was a bash!



DS2 and his wife were with us on Skype.
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