Thursday, September 22, 2016

Another Day, Another Sweater

    Jeff and I were sitting over our 2nd cups of coffee this morning when the phone rang.  It was Steve who was working in the shop in Cooperstown.  He had just sold 2 of my sweaters and wanted to let me know.  Oh, wow!  That meant a quick trip to Walmart for yarn before lunch...with a stop at the Post Office so I could send my Hogwarts's Express scarf on it's way to California!  (It should be there by Monday.)   After lunch I started the first sweater,
a size 1 Black Sheep raglan, from the neck down, done in Red Heart Turqua on circular US 5's & 7's.  And now I'm ready to start the sleeves.  I enjoy making these small sweaters because they knit up so fast!  I'm not scheduled to work in the shop until a week from Saturday so I have enough time to do a couple more sweaters and some hats...pumpkin hats! Since that's the only time I'll be there before Columbus Weekend it will be the only time I'll have to stock my shelves. And after working once a week for the last 9 weeks, I have only 4 work days scheduled for the rest of this season...and 3 of
them are 1/2 days that are shared with another member.  That means I can start my Christmas knitting.  hmm, how many pairs of socks do I have to make this year??? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Hogwarts Express Is Finished

   I got my Hogwarts's Express scarf finished today.
There were moments in its growth that I was sure
that would never happen.
   I've knitted many pairs
of socks but they were always done on very small needles...US0-US2's...and the sock yarn stayed on the needles.  This scarf was

done on US5's and the yarn had a mind of its own and tried to fall off the needles constantly.  The first 2 stitches at the beginning of every row would slide off  when I tried to work a knit front and back increase in the 3rd stitch.  And whenever I dropped a stitch it would slide down 2 or 3 rows in an instant!  I frogged the entire scarf couple of times because when I did drop a stitch and managed to pick it up, my repair looked awful and I had to rip the whole thing out!
   Then there was the pattern.  I bought it from and it was written by an English woman.  It was the first pattern from England I had ever bought and it may be the last.   Maybe British knitters are smarter than we are on this side of the pond but there were times the pattern just didn't make any sense.  After you cast on and set up the garter stitch section, the directions tell you to repeat the last row until you have used up 45% of your yarn.  It never says how many stitches you should have or how many stitches you will need to work the owls!  I had 2 skeins of Stroll Tweed sock yarn in Down Heather from KnitPicks so I just used up 1 ball on the garter stitch section before I did the increase row, ending up with 462 sts.   (I ended up with 30 owls centered with 34 garter stiches on either sides.)
And after the owl band was completed I had enough yarn to work 8 rows in garter stitch before I bound
   The scarf ended up being about 54" long and 12" deep.  Because the yarn is a merino wool/nylon blend it is super soft...and machine wash and dryable.  The owl's eyes are glass beads that I knitted in.  If I ever do this pattern again I think I'll use a heavier at least...and it may end up deep enough to be worn as a shawl.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

How We Spent our Saturday

   We went to a wedding this afternoon at the Masonic Community in Utica...actually, it was a renewal.  Jeff had worked with the groom, Doug
Christine, Doug and Jeff
Rocker, in the Utica Public school system twenty years ago and hadn't seen him since he had left that job.  Doug and Christine had originally gotten married in 1997 at the chapel at the Masonic Home and for their anniversary they renewed their vows there. 

I haven't been at the Masonic Home in about 15
The Masonic Home's Chapel
years and I hadn't ever visited their chapel.  It's tastefully decorated with several beautiful stain glass window including these 3 behind the altar of faith, hope and charity.

Former Utica Public School Custodial Staff
There were 7 other guys from the old job at the
wedding.  There was a lot of 'what happened to your hair','...your waist',
'I'd never recognize you'. etc.  I was surprised men were as bad as women in this department!
The reception was at the American Legion in N Utica and featured an open bar and a very nice meal, and a DJ with a nice selection of pre-recorded music.
Guess who was one of the first on the dance floor
dancing with the bride?  Jeff even danced with me! The photographer got a shot of that, wish I could have!

Jeff can dance...with Christine!
Tuesday we're meeting Doug and Christine for supper at the Knight Spot in Frankfort (it's centrally located for both of us and the food is pretty good.)   They'll be in Utica until the end of the month before going home to Arizona.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Another Day in the Woods

    Yesterday when I stepped out of the shower the bathroom floor was covered with water.  I couldn't figurer out if something was leaking or if I had left the shower door open when I tossed the used washcloth out on to the floor before I washed my hair, so I just mopped the floor and got ready to go to the shop.  When I got home I remembered to mention it to Jeff...who knew all about it because he had found the bathroom curtain (a 3" long valance) dripping with water! He suggested the easiest way to find out what was wrong was just to turn on the shower, so I did...and was sprayed with water from the base of the shower head where it screwed onto the pipe coming out of the wall!  Mr. Plumber decided we just needed a new shower head.  This is usual for plumbing fixtures that deal with sulfur water...they don't last long.  The sulfur/iron salt hardens in the pipe until the water pressure causes the pipe to burst...and that's what happened yesterday morning. It doesn't water how much you spend for the fixtures either.  Moen last as long as the cheaper labels so we don't buy Moen anymore.  Today we got a new shower head ($9.98 at Lowe's) and Jeff installed it.  All problems should be solved so easily.   He rewarded  himself by going fishing after lunch. 
Fanny was hoping she'd
get taken along. She might share his chair but he won't share his lunch or his fishing trip to Lowe's pond.
   I spent the rest of the afternoon working on the Hogwarts's Express scarf that I'm knitting in sock yarn on US5's.  It's working up nice and soft but so-o slowly.  I finished the first part of the scarf this afternoon.  Now I have to do an increase row that doubles the number of stitches...and I already have about 250 sts...on the needle!  Then I can start to work the cables that create the owls.  Oh, I've got to thread the beads for the owls eyes on the 2nd ball of yarn before I attach it so I can work the beads in place as I come to that part, too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hogwarts Express Part II

      Today I went to the Ilion Library and finally got the Ravelry site to open.  Went to my account and there was the tag for the pattern.  It downloaded and printed...for $1.20...without any problems.  I've been working on the first part of the shawl since yesterday afternoon and, sad to say, although I've got almost 200 stitches on my needles, I haven't used more than a quarter of the first skein of sock yarn yet.  It's going to take a couple of days before I get to the owls.  The designer suggests several ways to get a nice even edge for the shawl but I decided to do it my way.  I cast on 8st instead of 6 and sl st the 1st stich before I followed the directions for the set up row and k the last st in the row.  After that every row starts with a sl st and ends with a K st with their directions inbetween.  And every row starts the same for me:  sl 1, k2, yo and watch those sts drop off the needle as I try to K in front and back of the next st.  Sock yarn and US5 needles don't get along too well on the edges...but I'm sticking with it.  I still like how the yarn is working up.  I just wish it would 'grow' a little faster.  Several other family members have said how much they like this design and I've offered them the same family price as I did Jk but so far I haven't had any takers.  I may make 1 for the shop...but that will have a price tag of $45.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hogwarts Express Shawl

Time to buy those buttons!

     I did another 18-wheeler sweater this weekend...this time in a size 2...because I got an e-mail notice Friday that the yarn I had ordered for my cousin's Hogwarts Express shawl/scarf had been shipped and was probably going to arrive on Monday or Tuesday.  (I wanted to make sure if the one in the shop sold this weekend I could replace it.)  I got the sweater almost finished...2 rows to go to the bottom ribbing...when I found the package from KnitPicks in the mailbox this morning.  (I was expecting a visit from a brown truck!)  I love the
Love the owls' sparkling eyes!
yarn my cousin picked!  It's Stroll Tweed Down Heather.  I really wanted
to start the shawl but I hadn't printed the pattern yet so this morning I went to the library to print it.  But...I couldn't get the Ravelry site to open.  It kept saying I had the wrong password. I came home and changed my password...I even checked it to make sure I could open the page!  Then I went back to the library and tried again and  still couldn't get the Ravelry site to open.  So I gave up and came home and copied the first part of the
Stroll Tweed in Down Heather from KnitPick
shawl directions by hand.  I've got the shawl started and since sock yarn on US5's doesn't 'grow' very fast I think
I'll stay busy tonight.  Maybe tomorrow I'll go to the Ilion Library and see if someone there can get the site to open and my pattern to print.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

18 Wheels

    I've spent the last 4 days trying to get this design to work.  Ripped the sweater back to the underarms 3 times!  I just couldn't get the 18-wheelers to look   
right...or be in the right lanes!  Jeff tried to explain it to me.  Tim, his nephew, who had a trucking company and drove these big rigs, tried to explain it to me.  Nothing got thru to me.  Finally, yesterday afternoon Jeff took me
down to Walmart's parking lot and showed me what they were trying to tell me.  Suddenly it all made sense!  I was never so happy to finish a sweater in my life!  I was going to get fancy and do some
embroidery on the rigs but I'm so glad to get it done I don't want to touch the sweater again!  It's a size 1 and is done in Red Heart acrylics.  It will be in the shop on Friday.

FYI: the first wheel on the cab is a single tire and all the rest of the wheels are double tires so that's 9 wheels on each side of the rig or 18 wheels all together!