Monday, October 24, 2016

Perfect Timing.

Before I start - nope, no baby! ...and now onto today's actual topic.

Summer seems to have (finally?!) given way to fall
from Friday morning's walk
or maybe it's just Indian Summer (it was nearly 80 here this afternoon).

But I finished the baby hats
full disclosure - the pompom wasn't attached in that photo...bit it is now!
and the yarn for Sigla arrived.

Perfect timing. 
earlier this afternoon when my friend Pat was over - and could help me check the length before splitting the sleeves
I'm glad AsKatKnits is knitting this, too - she tweaked the neckline and shared her modifications with me. So far, so good - I'm a couple inches past the sleeve split now.

Let's see if I can do this - my plan is to share daily updates here... and an FO on Friday!

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Finished Two-fer | Bradway and Portis.

That's right, y'all - I have not one but two finished projects to share today. Because it's finally cool enough to wear wool and long pants and long sleeves outside. and I was able to get Katie (a huge thank you as always!) to take photos.

I did think about saving one for later (because whoa, I've got 30 blog posts in a row to fill up next month), but it's a lot more fun to share them both now (and I could use a short break from knitting baby hats and watching Call the Midwife).

First up is Bradway. I started this way back in August mostly because I had nearly a full skein of Shelter leftover from the baby blanket and I didn't want to waste it (so buying five more skeins made perfect sense, right?!) In any event, the knitting was a lot of fun and went as fast as you might expect on size 8 needles. This is the project that watched the Little League World Series and sat through a few knitting classes. I finished the knitting and bound off on September 1st. and then waited for a reason to weave in the ends and block it.

That reason finally arrived last week and about 20 minutes later* it was on the blocking board.

...but then it got hot again. until today. It was a really nice layer.

What made the project so much fun to knit was the changing colors and stitch patterns.  I think it's going to be a fun piece to wear, too. I should note that the pattern was perfect - not single issue - so I could focus my attention on those fun parts.

Next up is Portis.

This project had it's time-out at the beginning. I was gung-ho to get started, but then got side-tracked to finish the Blue Blanket. Once I started knitting on this one in earnest, it went fast. I finished the big stockinette tube in about two weeks (while watching nearly all of Inspector Morse).  My first steek was surprisingly easy (maybe three hours from beginning to end).

then a three-needle bind off, an i-cord neck, 3" of 2x2 ribbing

and a few more ends* (along with the last season of Mad Men)... and done.

I'm super happy with the finished piece.

This time I didn't quite knit it as written and I've suggested a few changes for my students - those notes are documented on my Ravelry project page.

But I did knit the piece to the schematic measurements and that seems perfect. Note that it's a smidge bigger than the Churchmouse Easy Folded Poncho.

So yay! for cooler temperatures. October 21 seems like a perfectly fine date to start wearing long pants, long sleeves...and wool!

*Weaving in ends with Shelter and Loft is a piece of cake. When wet-blocked, they grab on like nobody's business so the ends hold firm with minimal effort. They're also spit-splice-able, so there aren't as many ends. But as others have commented, those traits make them not-so-great for seaming.(of course neither of these projects required that.)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Making Room.

I shared a very vague post a few months back about making room for new priorities. After more thought and many difficult conversations, including some hard goodbyes, today marked the end of what I now see as a months-long journey to be home on Thursdays.

It started back in May, when I moved my knitting class from Monday nights to Thursdays.

The change was good, like I shared in July:
Beginning last month, I moved my Monday evening class to Thursday evenings. Thankfully, all my students save one were able to make the change and most were just as happy about it as I am. It's nice to be home on Monday evenings - the golf course is closed on Mondays, so if Marc's in town, he's home; and I get to bed at a more reasonable hour, which makes Tuesdays with Charlie easier. So now my Thursdays are a little longer, but that seems to be working ok, since the next day is Friday and then the weekend!
But then I started thinking about how nice it might be if I were simply home. I could cook dinner (??!!) and  I could be the one to turn the porch light on. Once I thought about it for more than a second, it was an easy decision. It was harder to tell my students. But happily many of them have the flexibility to join me on Wednesday afternoons, so I might end up with one VERY full class in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week...and that's wonderful!

We had our last Thursday evening class last week. The girls were great - we drank wine and had snacks and talked about knitting and life ... which is what we always do (well, except for the wine). I thought to take another photo in the parking lot as I left. Marking another milestone.

Today's goodbye was, in a sense, harder.  Holly and I have co-hosted the weekly knitting group at the nursing home since 2011. There are now three of us (four, including Holly) co-hosting and the group of "knitters" mostly crochet. Also it's only three to four ladies most weeks, so it doesn't feel like I'm leaving a huge gap. When we (Holly is really the more popular :-) said good bye today the ladies gave us hugs and I promised we'd keep in touch.

It was really nice to get home today before it got dark. I didn't even need to turn on the porch light.

So now my Thursdays are "home days". just in time to welcome a new baby into the family! If all goes well, I'll be having Thursdays with him when Katie goes back to work next February.  Tuesdays with Charlie have been such a blessing I'm not sure how my heart can possibly hold that and another day with his brother. but of course it will. there's plenty of room!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WIP Wednesday | Newborn Hats.

One down,

two more to go.

and thank you for all the wonderful TV recommendations. I'm on the 4th episode (1st season still :-) of Call the Midwife and loving it. It's definitely the perfect accompaniment for this knitting project.

p.s. details about the pattern and the yarn are here on Ravelry.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesdays with Charlie | Pumpkins.

Charlie's been asking (I'm pretty sure at his mama's nudging) to get pumpkins. and today we did. I planned a morning outing to a somewhat local (16 miles and a 40 minute drive - is that "local"?) pumpkin patch, but when we arrived, they said it was only open at 9:30 am for "reserved groups". We could come back at 3:30 pm when they opened to the public. well ugh. 

Instead we went to a playground with a big slide
"all by myself" he said once we'd climbed together to the top. I raced down the stairs and got to the bottom just in time. and then he did it again. and again. and then the swing.

and then Home Depot. Five pumpkins and two "big flowers" later we made it home. I'm sure the photos from the pumpkin patch would've been great. but I'm guessing there wouldn't be butterflies. because no flowers, right? 

and these two photos are my favorites ... in a very long time!

We also had two FaceTimes with Poppa ... turns out the 13 hour time difference (and perhaps a bit of jet lag on the Korea side) works pretty good on Tuesdays. Both boys were just waking up at 3:30 pm ET :-)

...and a quick report on my solo week - the poncho is done, Mad Men is done and I'll have a baby hat done in another few hours. I've heard really good things about Call the Midwife - and I can't imagine I'll blow through all those episodes in a day - so I'm going to watch that next. Other suggestions welcome (watching, reading, knitting, food, drink ... I'm open!)