Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Cottage Garden, Iced, and Xeriscape

Ahhhhh, the end of the fiscal year is today and I can feel people at work breathing a big sigh of relief right along with me! September is always a crazy month at work and even if it isn’t super busy for me on any given day, you can just feel the tension and stress from other people some days. I’m glad that the month is over and things can get back to “normal.” Well… as normal as usual for work anyhow!

A little over a week ago, I finished up the yarn for the SAL/KAL over in the Zarzuela’s Fibers Junkies group on Ravelry.

Emeralds Targhee Yarn
Finished! 8 oz of Targhee in “Emeralds”

I ended up with 977 yards of fingering weight yarn, which is a bit less then the 1200 yards required for Featherweight. I’ll need to combine it with something to have enough yarn. I’m still undecided on what to combine it with, but I have a few ideas that I’ll try out when I swatch. I plan on using whatever yarn I decide on for the collar and possibly the cuffs, too. This will be my first handspun sweater and I’m pretty excited to get started on it! I’ve been holding off on starting it because I wanted to have my Rhinebeck sweater done before I started anything new. Well, guess what I finished Tuesday!!

Cottage Garden
Cottage Garden – FINISHED!!

It’s done! My Rhinebeck sweater is finished and with time to spare. 🙂 I was concerned for a while that I wouldn’t get it done because the colorwork felt like it was going slowly once I started it. Then, before I knew it, I was done. I modified the final neck decreases because I thought it might not fit around me very well if I’d done it as written. I’d seen some notes from others about changing that part, so I did my own version of modifying it and I’m quite happy with it. It still needs to be washed and blocked, then I’ll get some FO pictures before sharing all the final details on it. I’m excited that it fits well, I love the colors, and I finished with two weeks to spare!

OMG TWO WEEKS UNTIL RHINEBECK?! Kinda just hit me after I typed it that it’s getting really close. I’m excited and a little nervous, but mostly excited! I should really get my packing and buying lists in order soon. I think I’ll do the same thing I did last year and make a list of the projects I’d most like to knit, how much yarn is required, and buy based on that. I’m sure there will still be an impulse purchase or two! Last year it really helped to make a list with yardage requirements so that I didn’t end up with a single skein I don’t know what to do with. I’ve been keeping up with the Rhinebeck group on Ravelry and someone suggested making event reminders in your phone for any events you want to see, so I’ll probably do that as well. I didn’t see any of the events last year (didn’t think to!), but there are a few I’d like to see this year and that’ll be a good way not to miss anything.

Will YOU be at Rhinebeck? I’ll be at the fairgrounds Saturday and the Ravelry party that evening, so if you’ll be coming and want to meet up/hang out/have someone else to check out vendors with, let me know. Or, if you just happen to see me there, wearing my sweater above and my Ravelry name badge, come say hi 🙂

Ahem. Got sidetracked with excitement for Rhinebeck there!

Since Cottage Garden is all finished, I’ve moved up Iced as my main project. I finished the body today and started on the first sleeve. Picture shows it when I was working on the garter stitch edging on the body, before I did the bind off.

Iced
Iced

I knit the body to 13″ (measured from where the sleeves were split off) before doing a 2″ garter stitch edging to keep it from rolling since I’m using 100% wool yarn. I’ll be doing the same edging for the sleeves as well. It’s going pretty quickly, so I think I’ll have it done this weekend. Still undecided about any buttons or closures and I’ll probably wait until it’s completely finished to decide.

I’ve been working on Xeriscape, but I’ve run into some problems. I got to the halfway point in the pattern and it looked like there was NO WAY I’d have enough yarn. I weighed it and sure enough… I don’t have enough to finish it. I figured out pretty quickly that my gauge was off and I hadn’t checked it while working on it because… well, it’s a scarf! Figured it didn’t really matter, disregarding the fact that I had the exact right amount of yarn the pattern called for. D’oh! I decided to frog back to the halfway point in the yarn, which would give me less scallops and length overall, but now I’m not sure about that decision. I’m considering frogging the whole thing and knitting something else with this particular yarn and coming back to this pattern later. Here it is at roughly the halfway point, pre-frogging.

Xeriscape
Xeriscape

This week the new issue of Knitty went up (Deep Fall 2010). Nothing really jumped out at me screaming “KNIT ME NOW!”, but I’m thinking of frogging Xeriscape and knitting Eleanor with this yarn instead. The scarf is so soft and squishy in garter stitch and I really do want to make one, though I think I want to have a yarn with bit more yardage so I don’t have to worry about my gauge with it. Hmmmm. Decisions, decisions!

The mittens haven’t seen much progress, but I’m still hoping to get them done before Rhinebeck. Maybe even get a cowl (Eleanor?) or scarf done, too. Guess I should get to knitting then! Hope everyone has had a good week and has a good Friday and weekend. 🙂

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Posted in Current Projects

Cold Weather Knitting

Lately I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of cold weather knitting.

I’ve been working on Cottage Garden as much as possible since Rhinebeck is only three weeks away, but it’s at the point where it’s no longer portable because of the colorwork, chart reading, and size. I’m about a 1/3 of the way through the chart right now. I found two errors on rows 14 and 21. The decreases can’t be done on this row because the stitch count by my math wouldn’t accommodate it as written (not enough stitches to knit as written AND decrease), so I moved them to the row above. Seemed like the best thing to do since that’s where they are for the other 4 rows of decreases. I was surprised that even with the projects in Ravelry, there was no mention of this issue at all and there was no errata on the Twist Collective website. Sent a message to the designer about the possible error since I couldn’t find anything about it elsewhere. Anyhow… it’s progressing!

Cottage Garden
Cottage Garden – Full Sweater Progress

Cottage Garden - Yoke
Cottage Garden – Yoke Progress

I think I’ll be able to get it done within the next week or so, but we’ll see. I’ve had some extra knitting time this week since we didn’t go to the gym because of the sinus infection I’ve been fighting. I figure breathing is pretty important when you’re working out and if you can’t do it properly, you might be in some trouble! Best to let myself get over that before getting back into our after work gym routine.

Shortly after my last post (on Sept. 9th? Where has September gone?!), I started Xeriscape. A very lovely scalloped scarf with a unique construction of the scallops. I think I’ve been a little burned out on sock knitting since I’ve had no desire to work on Maelstrom, so I started Xeriscape to work on when I needed a break from Cottage Garden. I’ve been hanging on to this lovely skein of MCN (Merino, Nylon, Cashmere) sport weight from Squoosh Fiberarts, unsure what to do with it, until I saw this pattern.

Xeriscape
Xeriscape

I’m a few more scallops along then the picture shows. I haven’t been working on it too much since I keep getting distracted with other projects!

After Cottage Garden became not-so-portable, I started Iced from the current issue of Knitty (First Fall 2010). When I first saw this cardigan, I wasn’t sold on it. It looked too oversized and I’m not really into oversized garments. It wasn’t until the designer (Carol) posted pictures of a more fitted version that it caught my eye. Carol posted on Ravelry about the smaller size here, stating the green version was knit with 1″ of negative ease. I found the perfect “this will go with everything I wear” yarn in a chocolate brown and cast on for it on September 15th. Since there was a size that was spot on my bust measurement, I decided to go with the 42.5″ size. I’m up to the waist decrease rows. It seems to be going pretty quickly considering I really only work on it on my lunch breaks.

Iced Cardigan
Iced Cardigan

So, let’s see… that’s two sweaters and a scarf. What other cold weather knitwear do I need? Mittens? The ones from last year are still perfectly wearable, but Rhinebeck is only a few weeks away and I wore those mittens LAST year, so I can’t wear them again this year, can I? Hahahaha, I’m sure I could and I still might, but it occurred to me that I’d like a secondary pair of mittens for winter since I only have that one pair and winters here in Ohio can be pretty darn cold. I looked at a lot of patterns and nothing really called me until I remembered the mittens Jesh knit earlier this year: Skeuomorph. I looked through my stash and found enough yarn in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes “Iris Heather” colorway for them. Took a few times of starting, frogging and restarting before I made much progress. My stitch gauge was off and I ended up going down a size from small to extra small. It doesn’t look like much right now, but I’m a few rows in to the first mitten.

Skeuomorph (mittens)

I think the few cold days we had here got me thinking about fall and wanting to start fall and winter clothing, which lead me to starting new projects. As a knitter, fall and winter are my favorite knitwear seasons! 🙂

Posted in Cooking, Current Projects, Spinning

Cottage Garden, Featherweight Spinning, and Green BEAN Delivery

This past weekend gave me TONS of time to knit because we didn’t have a whole lot to do most of the weekend and it was Labor Day on Monday, so on top of not having a lot scheduled, I had an extra day off work. I’m always a fan of extra free time off work to knit! 😉

Cottage Garden is coming along nicely. I’m about a half inch from being done with the body. Thinking I’ll be able to finish it up tonight. I know a stockinette sweater isn’t that interesting to photograph, but here’s what it looks like right now.

Cottage Garden (Body)
Cottage Garden – Body

A while back, I mentioned the SAL/KAL going on over in the Zarzuela’s Fibers Junikes group on Ravelry. I’ve been working on the Targhee in Emeralds (which spins up so lovely!) and have the first 4 ounces plied up.

Emeralds
Targhee in Emeralds – Plied

I should check what my wraps per inch (WPI) is, but my guess is that it’s fingering weight. I’ve already started on the second 4 ounces and I’m about 2/3 of the way through the first bobbin. I’ve enjoyed working with Targhee and I’m glad I have more once this is finished! 🙂 Once I’m all done with this, I’m hoping I’ll have enough for Featherweight.

I’m not so great at estimating (or calculating) the yardage on my handspun. I’ve been working on getting a yardage counter put together, but I need a piece of wood to mount it on. I found instructions on the Hello Yarn blog: Make Your Own Yardage Counter. I have everything except something to mount it on. I didn’t want to buy a big 2 x 4 just for a small piece of it, but I may need to break down and do that. Anyone know if Lowe’s or Home Depot will cut it down for you?

I didn’t have a picture of the progress on my second Maelstrom sock last post, but I did get one this weekend. It hasn’t seen any progress since I started Cottage Garden. I figure I’ll pick it back up once I get done with the sweater. Rhinebeck sweater takes priority!

Maelstrom Sock #2 (Right)
Maelstrom Sock #2

In new and exciting news, this week we got our first delivery from Green BEAN Delivery (formerly Farm Fresh Delivery). I had been wanting to try them out for a while because I’ve grown increasingly tired of going grocery shopping and ending up having to go back multiple times per week for something that I forgot or suddenly need. This usually ended up being because of poor planning on my part, but regardless, I have grown to despise grocery shopping. Since moving to Cincinnati, I’ve been hoping for something like Amazon Fresh or Peapod. I first heard about Farm Fresh Delivery from an advertisement on the radio months ago. I was intrigued by the concept and was hoping to find someone I knew who had used the service before taking the plunge. Many people I knew had heard about it, but no one had used their service before. Finally, last week I caved and signed up. Just this week they changed their name from Farm Fresh Delivery to Green BEAN Delivery (this happened the day our first order arrived) and got a new website. I placed our first order under the old website, but I found the process to be really easy. I got to choose everything that ended up in our produce bin (there are defaults each week, but you can substitute any of the items), added a few other things we wanted, and it arrived in a green bin on our doorstep Tuesday evening.

Green BEAN Delivery
First Green BEAN Delivery

Aside from a few pieces of lettuce from the salad mix that were wilted (which I wasn’t surprised or worried about since that happens when I buy lettuce from the grocery store, too), everything was in great shape when I went through and inspected the box. This order we got 6 ears of sweet corn, 2 red grapefruits, a pound roma tomatoes, a pound fingerling potatoes, a yellow onion, a bunch of cilantro, a quart of strawberries, two pounds of green grapes, 5 black plums, 2 zucchinis, a head of lettuce, a pound of salad mix, red bell peppers, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing from Farm to Kitchen. I just got an email notice that I can adjust my order for this week and I’m already looking forward to what will arrive in the next bin! Having to plan out what I want delivered last week made me think about what we’ll be eating for the coming week and planning meals accordingly. There are still things we buy that we can’t get from Green BEAN Delivery, so I will still need to go grocery shopping once a week for bread, lunch meat, and whatever other things we may need to supplement the delivery. We’ll also still go to Costco to buy the things in bulk we use a lot of. I’m interested to see if it’s any cheaper over time then what I’ve been spending at the grocery store each week. Of course there’s more then just cost to think about to decide if it’s worth it! After a few weeks of delivery, I’ll try and remember to update what I think about it and how it’s going.

Time to go make some salsa from the produce that was delivered Tuesday! 🙂