Fruit and Wool

Soft fruits, stone fruits, are juicy and inviting at this time of the year. My neighbor gave me plums and I messed up the jam. Sadness. I’ll try again.

I bought plumcots at Trader Joe’s. I’m not sure why we would find it necessary to tamper with the gorgeousness of the apricot, but they are interesting.

A friend brought me peaches. She grows them in her backyard. She’s aiming for a mini-orchard someday. One harsh winter many of her fruit trees died. I shall not use them for “putting by” because I want to relish them in all of their sticky juice.

I’m thinking of the winter and how the oranges will come around Christmastime. That smell (especially the tangerines) is heavenly.

I’ve been busy preparing to teach a class of children for Community Bible Study, so I’ve not been knitting much. I have been knitting a little. I am astounded by my Snowy Woods mitten and soon I shall begin its pair.

I like my rendition of the Hitchhiker shawl.

I bought this because . . . Yorkshire. The Dales. I am not sure if this particular skein from Yorkshire is amazing or not, but I wanted it and I’ll make a pair of socks.

I added this to my overly huge collection of knitting books.

This little sunny sun decided to squeeze her neck through the crack in the fence and say hello. Welcome, little flower face.

I’ve got the fall feelings and the crab apples are such sweet mascots. I don’t have a crab apple tree, but I am stunned by the loaded trees in the neighborhood. Wow!

I think I’ll do a little knitting now. First I’ll put on some paint clothes so that after my knitting time I will be ready to paint on the patio (a chest is going from red to green today).

Thank you for popping by to read my blog.

Hello Teddy Bear

Teddy is sewn together and stuffed. His arms are funny (stuck on him in a funny way) but oh well. His overalls are coming along, taking a lot longer than I thought they would. His face is precious. I like him already.

When I went to buy more wool for the loopy sheep I’m making, I had to buy this cake. Green and gray are a good combo.

It’s hot outside but cool in the air conditioned house, so I shall knit on.

A Sock and New Wool

A sock finished one and a half years after I started it (Christmas Eve 2017). It languished in a bag and the needles came out a few times thus the bumpy stitches. The wool wasn’t a great choice, but IT FITS really well, so yay!

I did order the watermelon smoothie Lambs Pride wool and it’s very full of girth. It will make a nice little cardi or maybe a pullover. If it is a cardi, I’m going to steek it even though it’s super wash.

I’m off to the grocery store to buy strawberries and lactose free milk (and chocolate milk) for two little grands who are spending the night tonight (cousins not sisters) and two little grandsons who are coming over for dinner, too.

Next knitting finish: A teddy bear! He is all blocked and ready for his parts to be joined, his face to be stitched, his body to be stuffed and THEN his overalls to be knit.

Lots of people to love today. Thank you, good God.

Small Knitting

Instead of casting on another pair of socks I dug around for this WIP. I started out with Little Bobbins Knits Twas the Night Before Christmas pattern (an excellent pattern!) but I didn’t want to make trees on the leg so I created purl rounds instead. I really like the twisted ribbing and the way she wrote the heel and gusset instructions. I’ll use the instructions again. The colors are muddy. They remind me of my elementary school because we were the Vikings (ha ha ha) and our colors were green and gold. Go Vikings!

I’m using my Penguono by Stephen West as a decorative item in the hobbit hole. I have put it on a few times when the AC makes the house cold. I’ll use it for that in the fall when the weather changes.

This cake of brightness was a birthday gift . A Sockhead head, perhaps?

When our daughters and I were in Victoria, BC last September I visited The Beehive Wool Shop. What a lovely yarn store. I found this Fleece Artist wool. It smells like a sheep.

I have shopping and sewing to do for our daughter’s theater company. I am puppy sitting tonight for our son and his wife (they are going camping). I must hurry along, but I’m so excited that I have decided to homeschool myself in history. A friend told me about this homeschool curriculum and there are four volumes. When I read about Gertrude Bell (The Queen of the Desert) I realized that I don’t know enough about the history of the Middle East. I want to learn. I could spend years studying history. I am not sure if I ever took a course in world history in high school or college. It’s time to grow my brain in a new way. Yay!

I hope for a quiet cup of tea for YOU and me.

Yay for knitting!


A bumblebee was having quite a snoop in the wild thistles on my walking path. I’m comforted that I find so many bees around.

Here is a green canopy for all who pass by.

And a place to make a fort.

Living on the edge of a big city I’m ever grateful for the open spaces. I yearn for views, but I shouldn’t be greedy. Every time I drive anywhere I can see the Rockies.

The rabbits (or SOMETHING) are eating my seedlings so next year I’m making the whole of our flowerbeds into sunflower riots.

The Sweet Williams are almost finished and I am so in awe of their beauty. They came from a big bag of wildflowers from last summer. Wow. What a nice surprise. This might be the last gnome summer. I had fun repainting them last year.

I’m seeing both our girls this morning. Jenny and I are meeting for breakfast and I will take Kelli and her girls lunch at theater camp (Jenny’s girls will be there, too! Bonus!). Then on to the Apple store to sort out my phone battery. I do love the Apple store.

Knitting. More pink knitting on my Skeindeer sweater (I cannot remember the name of the pattern! Sorry!) on lovely Jamison and Smith wool. It’s mindless because I’ve finished the hard part (the yoke) and now it’s all round and round and round.

I hear the neighbor children playing outside. I shall go play now.

Summer Knitting Thoughts

This morning I walked what I call The Ridge. It’s really just an open space with a path. No cars. Yay. I try to imagine the cold weather of Colorado that will descend in a few months time and I pretend I’ll want to take walks outdoors then. I will want to wear my wool sweaters, hats, mittens, and scarves. This year maybe I will. I will finish the thumb of my navy and white Snowy Woods mitten and start the next one. I learned so much from concentrating on the graph, holding navy wool in one hand and white wool in the other. Even though I made quite a few flub ups, the almost finished mitten is stunning and snug. I’m messing up the pattern on the thumb, too. Oh well.

The stripes below were going to be a sweater but the dropped shoulders were tight (I was fatter then) so I took them off and now I just have one sleeve opening to rib and it will be an FO, a vest. I even bought a knit turtleneck (such a granny thing) to wear with it. It’s a little clownish, but extremely cheerful. A win.

I ordered some watermelon smoothie colored wool from Little Knits because they are having a bag sale. Thirty dollars for a whole sweater of Lamb’s Pride Superwash Worsted. I shall have too many pullover sweaters, I fear. Well, I don’t really fear.

The Brown Sheep Company is SO my favorite. It’s in Nebraska, not very far from here. At the Interweave Yarn Festival in Loveland they always have a wonderful booth with SO MANY bargains. They are generous that way.

Now this cubby is full of my Bible study books (and some other small favorites) but it used to be a stash spot. I bagged up everything because of moths. I fear them. When I iron down in the basement, I look at all my wool and feel very content. I have never purchased very expensive wool, just a hand dyed skein every now and then. My LYS is full of hand dyed wool and it’s all in the middle (it makes a pretty show) but I like to look around the edges for mitten wool, sock wool, rustic stuff.

I used to tell my students that even grown ups can improve their reading. It just takes practice. Have you noticed this yourself? I have. I will pick up a book that seemed too detailed and operated from background knowledge that I didn’t seem to have before and I notice that now it’s okay, now I get it. We can always become better readers and we can always become better knitters. Knitting is that vast. Maybe I’ll pick up my Vogue Knitting today or the older version of The Principles of Knitting (I don’t have the new one yet, but I saw the author on Fruity Knitting and she is so inspiring).

Because I’ve had my walk, I shall knit without the “sitting too much guilt” I struggle with. Bliss. Knitting is full of hope and dreams.

Sheep Knitting

In an old book, The Country Diary Book of Knitting, I found a pattern for a toy sheep. I had to learn the loop stitch first. It hurts my old hand a bit to work the loop row, but it’s impressive looking. I love Brown Sheep Company because I’ve never met a yarn from their line that I don’t love!

I finished the Mossinette socks using Hueloco wool. Millie Rose wanted them and she’ll wear them to bed after her mama applies essential oils to her feet. Clara has some, too. Hers were knit from some Madeline Tosh sock wool. I’m glad they love the idea of cozy handmade socks.

I knit while Kelli and the girls relaxed after lunch. I might make this sweater’s sleeve 3/4 length. Perfect for working around the house, washing dishes, floors, and cooking, I think.

The bag of mulch and wild flower seeds I scattered last summer is making such a gorgeous show!

I ordered an old Shetland Wool Week magazine (2017 with an article by Ella Gordon in it that I wanted to read). I received this year’s program and I can’t wait to browse through it and wish I could go. Someday we’ll go to Shetland.

I found a new gansey pattern in a Pam Allen book. It’s up to date and more in line with what is practical for now. The wool I have is too slippery and the needles from China are in packs of four. Drat. Oh well. I want to finish my Fair Isle from Skeindeer Knits first AND my February Lady Sweater. And a bunch of other works in progress.

I’m studying the book of James. I’m reading The Salt Path and The Honey Bus. I also must continue with the Paul Tournier study I’m doing with Sondra. So much reading to do, but luxurious and delightful it is!

I set up my swift and winder and wound some lace wool, a skein of flecked sock wool, and two navy merino and nylon balls. That was very fun. I love the swift. It’s practically poetic.

Tonight we shall grill bison burgers but I might have salmon instead. I made scrumptious picnic beans with ground turkey. I’ll buy the deviled egg potato salad when I go to the grocery store today. I really love food. The key for me is waiting until I am hungry to partake. I’m done with this little knitting post. I am going downstairs to my ironing board because I love clothes and ironing makes me thankful that I have plenty of pleasing garments. Thank you, God. Thank you for caring for me.

Knitting Peace

Just as I was thinking and deciding about ways to deepen my understanding of my own passion for knitting this book arrived. Heinz researched the history of knitted fabric and found many associations with sheep, lambs, garments of importance, and much more that I can hardly get my brain around.
The SACRED history of knitting. Yay! My own history of knitting plays into my interest as does my granny’s knitting life. My mother-in-law learned to knit at the age of eight. She is also a knitting mother to me. I just KNEW there must be more significance relegated to knitting though the ages. Yes, knitting is good work.

I dabble in different projects every day. It’s satisfying to pull the Lopi out of the center of the wheel of wool.

This is called The Hitchhiker Shawl. I am not a member of Ravelry anymore, but I bought this pattern (it’s incredibly popular, I guess!) before I deleted my account. The wool and silk blend yarn is smooth and neat.

And then (below) we have more wool from Brown Sheep. I shall search my knitting library for just the right pattern, mostly navy with added yellow.

This is the February Lady Sweater and it’s a challenge for me because of the lace. It’s gull lace with just a four row repeat but it takes me quite a while to make my way around. It hurts my shoulder. Drat. I’ll keep going.

I love this vest. It was a free pattern. The Cascade Eco wool comes in one big ball, large enough to make the whole vest.

I’m also making a dress. I bought this fabric years ago and intended to make a curtain at Christmas (for the patio door). I’m sure when the children were home and we were shopping and cleaning for the big day, a curtain moved down the queue. Now it’s a dress made from a pattern that a young woman designed when we were at Malibu Club (that again!). I made a dress right away (this was thirty five years ago – gasp!) and then tucked it away in my sewing containers. I made it bigger this time and it’s very feminine and light. I’ll take a photo of myself wearing it when I finish.

Later today I’ll take up my knitting again. I am thankful that I don’t have to produce essential pieces of clothing, but instead I can enjoy the steady clicking at my desired pace. This morning I listened to the book of James while I knit. This afternoon I might listen to The Secret Garden.

I hope my long double pointed needles come in the mail today so I can start my gansey. I like making a big creative nest of books and wool in my hobbit spot in the family room. Bliss.

Today’s Stitches

The yarn name is something “poems” and it was a good bargain from Knit Picks (I think). I like the roving texture and the stripes are fun to watch as they appear. I chose a v-neck pullover pattern and the challenge (aka something I am not completely sure how to execute) will be the i-cord trim on the V. I learned quickly how to make an i-cord bind off when I completed my Penguono (that never LOOKS right) which is one of West Knits designs and has been floundering in a pretty Vera Bradley bag for a very long time. I’m happy it is finished. Wool. I like to pretend that I am a knitting granny of old, from England or Scotland, finding my knitting way from books and photographs.

There is nothing like Lopi wool from Iceland. The Cowichan sweaters that I fell in love with when we were at Young Life’s British Columbia Malibu Club (Christian outreach camp for teenagers) used a type of roving wool. Because the camp had formally been an exclusive club for wealthy boaters in the 1940’s (I think that’s when) there remained a camp store called The Totem Trader. On the shelves were handmade Cowichan sweaters, a tribute to the wool shop of the wealthy resort days where they sold Scottish and Canadian woolens. All the buildings at camp were named native names, too. Anyway, I wanted one of those sweaters but they were over 100 dollars and we were barely able to stay afloat financially so I didn’t even consider buying one. I fawned over them. I still do like to look online, watching videos of older women knitting the lovely thick sweaters. They use five needles.

This will be my first try at Norwegian mittens. I am so proud of the design (a free pattern) and the mistakes are not bothersome. The corrugated rib looks fine and so does the picot edge. The stars are lovely and I’m getting better at interpreting the pattern. I’m working on the thumb and soon I’ll start number two. They are tight fitting and very warm. I imagine myself strolling the neighborhood when the winter comes, wearing my handmade mitts. I hope I am not hesitant to go out in the cold. Sometimes I am. House mouse.

And here are the ingredients for my own gansey. I’ve been reading Traditional Knitting and when I saw the photos of the fishermen’s wives knitting fine ganseys for their husbands I had to dive into more reading about knitting during that time period. Now I am semi-obsessed with the Yorkshire knitters. They were so artistic and unique in their pattern design. I want a fine wool sweater knitted in the round on long double points. I am waiting for them to arrive in the mail.

Finally (for today ha ha ha) I ordered this from WEBS (I think) because I decided to knit my next Flax (Tin Can Knits) sweater from a durable yarn. This is mostly synthetic with a little wool. I gravitate toward green.

I have an embarrassing collection of knitting books and I shall find some cheerful and industrious words to go with my dreamy plans. When I can’t decide what to do with all of my freedom (now that I am not teaching anymore or working more than a tiny bit doing part-time bookkeeping) I KNOW that knitting for a while, sitting in my hobbit spot (the family room sofa), I can gather my bearings. I might listen to the audio Bible while I work. Psalms, maybe.

More later.