Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, rain and staying inside...

studio shot
Originally uploaded by bren47
Thought you might like to see another studio shot. The typewriter was my Dad's and it sits on top of an antique Singer sewing machine cabinet - machine is inside. My Aunt gave the cabinet and machine to me after I helped her with some stuff. I always did want it!

The closet doesn't have a door - gets in the way - the room is too small. There are books on Elfa shelves in the whole thing - you can't see the left side - it's a walk-in - but there are also most of my bead boxes on the shelves, too. And notebooks of scrap papers and ephemera and collage stuff in general. I just love page protectors. You can see everything you have! Not that I actually have EVERYthing where I can see it - YET. I'm working on that.

Feather and Fan Cardigan/Jacket progress

Originally uploaded by bren47

Here is a close-up of the yarn and stitch pattern. I have been designing this as I knit so it's been slow going. It is NOT a portable project! (Thank goodness for socks) The yarn is Sonata from Elann and is 100% cotton. It goes great with denim.

The body is done and the shoulder seams are sewn, the sleeves are knitted but not set in yet. I am not sure they will fit (nervous about that) so I will need more time than I have tonight to work on them. And some peace and quiet.

Tomorrow I get my hair trimmed. Yep, I look like a shaggy sheep again - especially with the humidity we have now. Allergies are acting up again, too. Darn it. No relief probably until December!

Finished Jacket

Originally uploaded by bren47
This is my finished top-down-cardigan. I was waiting for a non-cloudy day to photograph - but it ain't happ'nen so I took pics inside with Matilda's assistance. The details can be found here:

I am a little worried about this yarn (Lang Mille Colori) as it is a singles (single ply) and very soft. I worry that it will pill and fuzz so I'm going to be careful with it. Of course now that "summer" has hit (the humidity is here folks) I may not even get to wear it!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chevron Socks to heel

Originally uploaded by bren47
Here are the (with thrice-frogged yarn) Chevron Socks to the heel turn. I hope to turn both heels today. Hopefully they will fit better than the poor Jaywalkers. I must say, the Meilenweit yarn is holding up very well!

Spring Gardening - Corner Re-do

Originally uploaded by bren47
The back yard is looking pretty empty - the trees you see inside the fence are now gone. The right-hand side of the fence is now new (as you see) The plants are still in pots, waiting for our decision on paver stones for a small patio area in that corner.

Fern (wood river and holly) and a Japanese Aralia wait - among some seed-planted flowers (barely showing their leaves) in the pots.

The weather has been iffy the last couple of days and unfortunately, it's supposed to rain this weekend. Sigh. Ah well, like the patio cover on the back porch, this will eventually get done....

Sunday, March 23, 2008 -Delicato Mitts

Originally uploaded by bren47
Look what I finished today! Delicato pattern. See details here:
This pattern was easy to do and the yarn (Lorna's Laces sock) was a dream to work with. I had left-over yarn from the Embossed Leaves socks. I still have a little bit left - hmmmm.... must make mini earring socks!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

FO - Embossed Leaves Socks

Look what I finished today! I would have finished them last night if I could have stayed awake. Details on Ravelry - I'm knittybabe.

The second photo is closer to the color of the yarn.
I had my last Top-Down Sweater class today. I still have to knit the length of the body yet. It's been too warm to work on it today. We're supposed to have a cold front so maybe I can work on it tomorrow!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Today is E's 12th Birthday! I can hardly believe it. I still remember her as a baby when I took care of her while her parents went to work/school and I do treasure those memories. We plan to call her tonight. Too bad she has to go to school on her birthday. We're going to "kidnap" her and take her out to eat and shop later in the week.

Next Monday is R's 8th BD. Repeat process! Grandchildren can be such fun - take them out to play then take them home again - after they've worn us out!

Sunday March 16

Originally uploaded by bren47
Nice day out - I sat on the porch swing knitting while DH finished digging the holes for the fence posts. The neighbor had to work until afternoon, when he set them in concrete. Now to wait a couple of days for the concrete to set.

I did laundry and knit. We watched last thursdays episode of Survivor and then watched a DVD - The Gameplan - with The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) produced by Disney. This is a very funny and charming movie! I recommend it!

Got past the heel on #2 Embossed Leaves sock. Took 2 pics - first one has too much flash. This one - no flash at all. It's cloudy out and hard to photograph.

March 15 Saturday

Originally uploaded by bren47
I also had a skein of Mountain colors Barefoot to ball up. It was too big for my umbrella swift to I had to improvise with a piece of foam core and clothespins! It did work! Unfortunately, this skein had a knot almost in the center. I went ahead and made 2 balls out of it.

Just not my day for winding I guess.

The neighbor started taking down the fence today and DH went out to help.

Originally uploaded by bren47
Winding yarn: or should I say winding aggrivation! I had 3 skeins of Araucania Ranco (from Chile) to wind. I am NOT impressed by their skein-winding skills. I kept having to stop and un-twist/un-tangle! And I had to tear off the tag labels. I couldn't figure out how the got them on in the first place! They were in the skein somehow - maybe placed as they wound the skein? Weird. The second skein was even worse - no extra (figure 8) separators and the KNOT had to be cut which ended up having 4 tails and I had to make a smaller ball with that part. Annoying for later if I have to make a join.

I sure hope I like this yarn. It is so much trouble to ball it up!

March 14 Friday

Originally uploaded by bren47
Yesterday- Updates on Ravelry. Net surfing.

Working on E's sweater - sleeves finished - back to the body.

I think there are more martins? I told DS - to count them while they're flying overhead squaking because we're out in the yard!

Today: Finished E's sweater by noon. I'll take it to class Tuesday.

Finished the first Embossed Leaves sock, started the toe of #2.

Saw Bewick's Wren. Finally found him! THAT is the tiny bird that's been making all that noise! He had no tail feathers though. Wonder what happened? Molting? Cat escape?

BJ came over - no grandgirls though. Had a nice visit.

March 11 Tuesday

Originally uploaded by bren47
Started Chevron sock toes with the frogged Meilenweit from the unsuccessful Jaywalkers. I hope this works this time!

2 more Martins showed up. Such noise! I guess they were doing the welcome thing. Lots of coming and going. Lots of in and out of holes making decisions. There is only 1 pair on the house-facing side of the complex. Wish I could see on the other side, too!

Monday March 10

Originally uploaded by bren47
Started E's sweater - got to the separation of the sleeves (158 sts) before stopping.

Looked in Ravelry and did some laundry. I also have decided on the Chevron pattern from SKS to replace the failed and frogged Jaywalkers.

Originally uploaded by bren47
Finished both sleeves of the Colori cardigan for class. worked the body until the ball ran out - then I put it on a yarn strand and left it for later. All I need to do is decide how long it should be and I'm done!

March 8 Saturday - Spring Planting Begins

Originally uploaded by bren47

DH & I went to Natural Gardner (local plant nursery) and bought ferns for our backyard and a llive oak tree for mom. We went over to plant it 'cause it's too big to sit in the truck! 3 years we've been trying to get a tree to grow in this spot. 2 have died - mom's soil is mostly clay - holds water like crazy. Third time has to be the charm!

Here at home, we repotted the large Japanese Aralia - we want to leave it in a pot so we can move it around - then I repaired the back fence (some boards were missing or broken). I also raked leaves, pulled the weedy runners at the fence line and trimmed some of the bushes.

Just generally cleaned up the yard to get ready for further enhancements! The Purple Martins were freaking out and flying overhead. I guess hoping I wouldn't lower their house again!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Studio

studio shot
Originally uploaded by bren47
I love my Studio - it's MINE all MINE! No one can come in unless invited. No one can mess with my STUFF. Even the cat has to be allowed to come in!

This photo is a collection of containers atop an antique chest of drawers - which houses some tools, misc small items and incense in the bottom drawers. It smells sooooo good when I open a drawer. I love sandalwood.

The BIG containers hold yarn scraps (in case of repairs or for tags), some small mirrors, marbles and glass drops - with eucalyptus leaves coming out the top for decoration. A collaged tin can holds my watercolor brushes and it's covered with an upside-down plastic soda bottle. Cuts down on dust. Sitting in the front is an undecorated pen pot. I filled the inside with paperclay after making a hole for a pen to sit. I plan to paint and collage the outside and put some moss in the top area. A decorated pen (seen leaning in about the center of the photo - flower that goes on it in a clip) will go in the pot.

There's an antique medicine bottle, a bottle holding various kinds of elastic "yarn", a glass holding tiny bottles, and an ink pad - use it alot.

I think it's fun to look into people's studios. I'll post some more peeks later or you can go to my flickr an see more. Hope you enjoyed this peek!

Embossed-Leaves Socks-no1

Originally uploaded by bren47
The first Embossed Leaves sock is now waiting for me in the sock bag.... poor baby. I have to try to finish my projects for knitting class before tuesday - the last class.

I am half-way up the leg and just put this project on Ravelry (I am knittybabe).

Pattern: Embossed Leaves
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Cranberry
Needles: Addi Turbo size 0
Mods: I am working toe-up - using my own rounded toe start via Judy's Magic Cast On with 1 - 24" circular needle

LOVE this pattern! It seems to go quickly and I don't want to put it down!

Friday, March 7, 2008

stash enhancement Feb '08

stash enhancement Feb '08
Originally uploaded by bren47

My LYS had some new sock yarns last month so I thought I'd try some out. UhHum - what was that I told myself about only *2* yarn containers????

I actually did start using the Maizy - got the toes started because I thought I'd work on them while waiting at the hospital (I didn't tho - worked on Broad Spiral Rib socks instead).

Maggie Sefton's new book #4

Maggie Sefton's new book #4
Originally uploaded by bren47
Found some new books to pass the time - a new genre called "Cozy Mysteries". I've read about a dozen so far and pass them on to my mom and she likes them too. Quick, easy reads - very enjoyable and my fav author so far (mom's too) is Maggie Sefton. Love the way she writes! Nice, easy read but you don't want to put it down! Her descriptions make you SEE into the knit shop and SEE the alpaca and SEE the land. Her characters seem real, too. Mom and I talk about "Kelly" as if we know her! Such fun and I have Mom to share this with!

I finished #4 (A Killer Stitch) and am impatiently waiting for her 5th not due out til June. I started with Ms. Sefton's first book because of the subject matter - I was reading a blog and a pic of the cover was in a side bar and went to see what it was. Oh boy, knitting!

There are more authors and you can find these books at, of course. Another author I like is Monica Ferris and then there is Laura Childs, too.

Socks in the Works

Socks in the works update:

Embossed Leaves (Interweave - Knits issue Winter 2005 and also in the book Favorite Socks) in progress. Sock #1 is almost to the top ribbing. Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, color is Cranberry. Yum!
Here's a footie using BW's Broad Spiral Rib. This is #1 finished. #2 is in a sock bag for a take-a-long project since I have it memorized!Yarn is Meilenweit - same as the full pair of socks I made last month. I bought several balls of the ivory white. I can see it - even in dim light in an eye doc's office or a dark corner in a waiting room. Been doing a lot of that lately and the 25th, my son goes in for a cornea transplant. Whoa. More hospital and doctors office visits. He got a chemical burn at work over a year ago and the eye won't heal any more so it's time to try a transplant. We're keeping our fingers crossed it works! Meanwhile, I have 2 weeks between docs visits to work on my class homework and get some more sock projects ready to go bye-bye. I have a nice selection of sock yarn just waiting...

Knitting Class

I've been taking a knitting class at HCW (my local LYS) - Top Down Knitting. We are learning how to design and make our own raglan top-down cardigan/pullover sweater/top. Everybody is making a cardigan to start with. This class is so much FUN! Not only are the classmates kewl and the teacher wonderful but the companionship of sitting, visiting and knitting with others is way fun! I am learning and passing on tips, too. Everybody has their own way of doing things and sometimes you just want to clunk yourself in the head (ala the V8 commercials) that you didn't think of "that".
Here's my progress after class one:
Here's my sweater a little later:

The yarn is Mille Colori by Lang, color 586. It's 50% wool, 50% acrylic and it's a singles. (For those who don't know or spin, it means a single twist and not plied). I am using size 10 (6mm) Addi Turbo circular needles. With the Mille Colori I get 4 spi for the gauge.

I am now past the armholes and working the body. This is so neat - almost no finishing (as in sewing seams). When you're done knitting, you're done!
I am going to make another one from this yarn:
It's Kochoran from Noro, color 46. And this is what my swatches look like:
The top one is too tight (size 10) and the bottom just right with size 11. It's looser and softer which is what I'm going for.

I've signed up for another class next month with the same instructor - Fair Isle Socks!

PUUURRRfect Haircut!

Tuesday was a busy day! I went to class (I'll tell about that in a separate post), got my Jenny food, went to the grocery store and got my hair cut. And that's not telling what I did after I got home! Whew!

Now here's the wooly sheep BEFORE story:First, I whacked off about 6 inches myself. This is me (below) in the shop preparing for the shearing. My hair hung down past the middle of my back before the first whacking.This is the first AFTER in the shop. Still too long and full, but I lived with it for a while - just to be sure I really, really wanted to go all the way.

Here is me at home from the front about 3 weeks later. (below)

Wooly, wooly! Too full and full of static as well. Oh man. A good haircut (she's really good!) but too full for me. Here's my new haircut: TADA!

It is very difficult to take a picture of the back of your head. UhHmmm.I've slept on it in these pics, but it lays down better when I haven't. My Stylist is wonderful! I knew I could trust her (and I'm super picky about my hair) because she cut my mom's and it is beautifully done. If you live in Austin and you want her name and info - let me know in the comments!

Friday Weird Weather

The weather report is very weird this morning. There were SNOW FLAKES seen in North Austin! It's almost 40 degrees right now, but yesterday a COLD front came through and the daytime temp here never got above 49 degrees. I went out and the temp kept going down!

It rained on and off all day yesterday, too. ANd the wind! Wow. Very strange. I am surprised the weather is this weird. ANd of course, I had to go out in it!

I have a few real chores to do today, but mostly I want to knit on my "homework" from knitting class. Perfect knitting weather!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday again - but it's raining!

I am TIRED. I need a few days off from everything. I was out every day last week. Yesterday I did laundry all day to try to catch up. Today, more of the same. The good news is, it's finally raining! We had some weird weather last week. HOT, hot, hot. NOw it's getting cooler again. So strange. But hey, it's central Texas - wait 5 minutes and the weather will change again. That is why I keep a sweater, hat, extra shoes - in the truck.

There is so much I need to do - but I just am not going to be able to do a lot of it this week. I am just TOO TIRED. I WILL go get my hair cut though. I feel like an unshorn sheep! Did I mention I whacked my hair off??? It started with me chopping off 6 inches or so. WAited, but then made a final decision to go short. And I mean SHORT. Went to my stylist (she's a friend) and told her short - she didn't believe me! My hair was so long, it was hanging down the middle of my back and I HAD to either braid it or big-clip-it. I just got tired of it. I'd had it long for years. NOw, I do love to french braid it but the time has come to give it a rest.

Well, she cut it - but not short enough. I've lived with it for a few weeks now and I want to go really, really short - like one and half inches short! My hair is thick and wavy. Oh and one other thing about it - the longer it is, the curlier it is. Just the opposite of what you'd think it would do. It would make ringlets if I let it. However, the shorter - the straighter. It has a lot of body - no blow dryer here - just wash, comb and go. Wash and Wear hair!

I have an appointment for a cut Tuesday afternoon. I'll put up some pics after the final length is right.

The problem with having short hair is I have to get it cut about every 3 weeks. It grows fast. I must admit I am enjoying the fact that I don't have to pull my braid out of my purse strap anymore - or the seatbelt in the truck! Or pull hair out of my mouth or flick it back when it falls in the front after I've bent over. Or shake my head for the same reasons. HeeHee! Ah - I think the freedom of short hair outweighs the slight sadness of cutting it off.