Personality Plus

So, I designed this pattern for a competition – I won “skein-ettes” and had to make them into something. What better than a sweater for my “little girl” (aka Lola).

Animal lovers know how each little critter has a personality all their own. My brother has two big dogs. One is afraid of her shadow and hides behind the kitchen table. The other is just “one of the boys”, my fourth nephew, and always wants to play – drops slimy soliva-covered popped ball pieces (chewed frisbees, bits of sticks or firewood, plastic water bottles, shoes he grabbed indoors, etc.) at your feet morning, noon and night. He never gives up.

Ever watchful Lola. Ever sleepy Boogie!

My little dogs each have their own personality: Boogie is a “stoner” … he’s very trainable and has “sit”, “down”, and “give me five” but he is not a self-starter. Lola is the “alpha” dog in the pair;  she’s independent, and as nosy and bossy as dogs get. She’s a whopping 9 pounds dripping wet … go figure. In order to get Boogie to go outside, we call, “LolaBoq Come” … most of the time we get both dogs. 🙂

Anyway, I digress …

I have a first Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits order. The first sweater, “Turtle” is finished and ready to ship. BUT the yarn that I originally bought for the second sweater just wasn’t doing it for me. I ordered a second skein and cast on this morning. I love it – and I want to recommend it to you knitters out there in blog-land! It’s called Koigu KPPM. The one I bought this time is one of their solid colors but they have an endless line of wonderful colors sure to please every person’s taste. I’m buying mine at JimmyBeansWool.com because their service is very quick, their prices are reasonable and they’ve got a great selection. I think I could knit with only Koigu and be happy. I just ordered their last book … I’ll report on it as soon as it arrives.

So, off I go to knit AJ’s baby girl a pink Señorita Lolita sweater (Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits’ first design) … gone knitting!

UFOs No More!

Woo! Hoo! I’m wrapping up some (long overdue?) projects … it feels really good to get them off the needles and into use. Socks from hell. These are the ones that I tried (and won’t try again – at least for awhile) to do two socks on one needle. It was a struggle to get the hang of knitting two socks on one needle but I’m always open to a new knitting challenge. This one was OK until I came to turning the heel. I asked Betty (my Maine knitting teacher) who couldn’t explain her method to me and did it for me. I’m sure there are others  – perhaps one person who is in my new knitting group – who like to have their socks exactly the same and that’s what this method is best known for. Perhaps, after a while, I’ll decide to give it another shot. For now, I am glad that these socks are off the needles and I may just have to put them on my feet today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mac Bag Blue. I have had this yarn hanging around in my stash (yes, I have a pretty amazing stash … what’s the big deal?) since my eldest daughter (now 27 1/2) was around two. My son got quite a giggle about this this morning on the phone and pointed out that the yarn has been traveling around with me for more than two decades. Well, yeah, and so?! 🙂 Anyway, this project grew out of needing a properly-fitting bag for my new Mac. I used a seed stitch for the main body of the bag and then used a more stretchable 2×2 rib (in two colors because I ran out of blue) for the pouch on front that holds the cord. I think it came out well. The black leather button seals it all up and adds a pop – different texture and different color family. I am really proud of the end result and now I need somewhere to travel!

Prima Dogma Bulky Turtle(neck) This is the first half of my first Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits first order. It’s based loosely on a design that I’ve made before but needed to change quite a bit in order to fit a teeny-weeny dog. Truthfully, I’ve knit this sweater twice and “frogged” it twice before I got it right. Now, I have to type up the pattern and will likely start offering these for sale in my Etsy shop. My client asked me to make it pink with grey stripes … I love the colors that I chose and I hope she will like them, too. The sweater is styled to look like you’re wearing your boyfriend’s sweater … a bit big and bulky but oh so very warm and cozy. Yarn is a bulky baby alpaca – super soft and it will also be super warm! Before I block it, Lola will model and I’ll post photos.

Next on the needles… Prima Dogma for Queen Bee Knits Señorita Lolita sweater in a pretty peachy pink wool. Not sure what the flower will be yet. Stay tuned! Also, a hat for my son. Another custom pattern in specific stripes – black, grey and orange – with cables and earflaps. Also black socks (they’re started but haven’t gotten very far) for my son.

Left to finish … my Noni felted bag. Knitting and felting is done but the lining and handles need to be added so I can tote it around. It’s so pretty … maybe tomorrow? I’m not a super-sewer!

We’re off to get outside in this beautiful cooler-but-warming-up weather! It’s already past noon! How does that happen!

Gone knitting!

 

Knitting Progress and a Treat!

My Facebook page is heading toward 200 “likes” and I’m really excited about offering another “treat” when we get there. I’m not sure what it will be this time but I’m sure it will be something fun – I get to knit something that I’d like to have that’s not an order or a gift that’s specifically for someone else.

My Cambridge shawl is done! Yippee!!! I finished it on our way down to Naples (FL) to visit N’s mother in the “home”. I am really pleased with the way it turned out. It took a lot of time but I love the pattern (a basket stitch that’s a bit off; kind of like me. LOL!) and I love the ruffles.

Cambridge Shawl by Carol Sunday - pattern on Ravelry

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve also finished the knitting part of the Mac Envelope that I knitted using old yarn (it’s been in my stash since my eldest – now 27 1/2 – was about 2). I think it’s going to be a great piece and will protect my beloved Mac!

MacEnvelope ... almost finished!

 

I went to a new knitting group last night in Casselberry (FL) and it was great fun. Thanks to Cindi for letting me know about it. There were ten of us and I heard about a special treat (which I signed up for immediately). In late January, Annie Modesitt is coming to town! She’ll be teaching four classes and I’ll be front and center in every single one – Embellishments, Heel! (Toe up socks called “Mutt-Luks” for dogs), Entrelac Lace and a Mitered Bag (modular knitting)! Yay! I love Annie Modesitt!

I still have to line and finish my felted tote. Frankly, I’m a bit intimidated to pull out the old sewing machine. I’m going to try to power through it … maybe even this weekend. But first I have a Prima Dogma by Queen Bee Knits order to finish.

Gone knitting!

Finished Objects and You Never Know What Will Happen

So, I’ve finished the second design for the Prima Dogma for Queen Bee Knits line. An Irish knit sweater that I think I’ll be calling “Mac Tire” (pronounced “mock teerah”) which is Gaelic for wolf or, literally, son of the land.

As I’m new to designing, this sweater isn’t perfect yet but I think I’m on the right track. I love the cables that I chose and I am happy with the fit except for the length under the belly (it’s too short) and the chest needs to be a bit longer. So, back to the drawing board!

And while I have your attention, I wanted to show you a lovely natural phenomenon that we witnessed in recent days (well, before the rain returned!)

One day we noticed a patch of the new mulch was covered in these: 

Turns out that this phenomenon is called “puddling” and it’s male tiger tail butterflies who do it. It’s part of their mating ritual – they are sucking nutrients out of the mulch to give them what they need to reproduce. Cool, huh?

I counted up to 10 at one time, here in the mulch. One had a damaged tail but seemed to be doing just fine. We’d walk in and out of the house and they’d fly away and then return to the same spot. Over and over, all day long.

And then another day, we heard this strange sound up by the railroad tracks. The train didn’t seem to be moving. Well, upon further investigation, this is what we found …

Central Maine Railroad - New Rails

They were laying down new rails! The rails are one quarter mile long a piece and they slide out of this “train” like play dough out of an extruder. The process was rather interesting and left us “blocked in” because we have to cross the railroad tracks when we come and go … and this is what was at the top of the driveway.

No way, even with the truck, that we could drive over the rail. Luckily, though, the next step was for a big “digger” (backhoe?) to dig up the driveway and bury the rails on either side of the existing tracks. One of these days (and that’s a relative term) they’ll come back and put the new rails into place and remove the old rails and build a new crossing at the top of the drive.

Could be next summer! I love Maine!

Same old Pictures, Same old Projects

Why is it that some days (or series of days) seem to bring up all the ugly in the world?

I’ve got three WIPs and I don’t like the way any of them are knitting up. The last project that I finished (a bee-utiful cowl for moi) is way too huge to even consider wear it – it would be too big to fit a COW, for God’s sake.

My motivation has fallen and can’t get up, I’m feeling frustrated and frozen. Ugh.

So, when I was lolling in my tub this evening, I wondered … so, why is it that I attack myself and think that I’m doing a crappy job and can’t even knit decently these days? Why don’t I blame the pattern or the yarn or the crappy, sticky needles with the inflexible cords?

WIP #1 – a Gaia Shoulder Hug made from Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn that I bought up in Maine last fall. The sample in the store was really pretty. Mine, not so much. The colors are too muted and it’s difficult to figure out when the colors start to change, my needles (old ones that I don’t even know what the brand is but they’re awful!) are way too sticky and the cord in inflexible. Add to that the yarn is scratchy and stiff – I sure hope it softens up! I’m actually hating it.

WIP #2 – a Thermis cowl for my cousin. I had enough navy blue left from her hat and mittens to make half a cowl. My LYS had none of the same yarn so I bought some similar (match the fiber and the weight, color must blend) and “blend” the two yarns. I’ve gotten up to where the button placket starts and I’m not sure how to blend the yarns without having ends to weave in on each end of each row. Even an “old” knitter like me needs help so tomorrow I’ll go ask Laura at my LYS. She’s a GENIUS!

"Senorita Lolita" - Prima Dogma for Queen Bee Knits Copyright 2010

WIP #3 – the third (fourth?) iteration of the Senorita Lolita sweater that I designed oh so many months ago which is pictured above … and didn’t write down the pattern as I went. Big mistake! Now, trying to re-knit it and writing it down, I am struggling. Big time. I’ve made it to the spot where it’s time for sleeves … and I just don’t want to pick it up.

So, just for today, I’ve decided to put aside the knitting (I know, everyone  knows that one of my favorite lines is, “I have to finish this row”) and pick up a book or maybe a knitting magazine … I have at least three new ones that I haven’t really read … I’ve glanced at the pictures. And that will be ok. I am a good knitter, I’m a good designer, I’m a good person … I know that. It must be the needles! (They’re going in the trash just as soon as the Gaia is complete.

Banner Attempt

Since my last post (today’s post) I’ve attempted something new. Do you see my banner? I’ve tried over and over to create a banner for my blog and my Etsy shop … with no luck. Until today.

Now, this one isn’t perfect on this blog but it’s looking good on the Etsy shop! Somehow this one must be smaller or slightly shorter because it cut off a couple of pictures of my former projects, but it’s close. The color is also a tiny bit (ok, a lot) off … give me some time and we’ll see how I do getting them matched! The ultimate goal is to have all the colors (yellow, in particular) the same … Etsy shop, blog, business cards, the whole kit and caboodle.

Today I worked on a couple of “new” (the quotes mean that they’re only new today because they’ve been hiding in the closet in the UFO basket for way too long) projects. I frogged and started over the Senorita Lolita sweater (second or maybe third time) and I’m pretty pleased with the new tack. I re-started the little Noro shawl that I bought the yarn for last summer in Maine. I don’t like the yarn … or maybe it’s the needles. Whatever it is, it’s not going particularly well and I’m not loving the project. Haven’t gone out to look for some buttons for my yummy buttery yellow angora cowl that is nearly finished but am looking forward to having another finished UFO!

I’m also trying to attempt something new in my life and get to know me – and see what I love, like, want … it’s a really new thing for me and I have made some choices that I wouldn’t necessarily make again. Already. The unfortunate thing is that you can’t always undo what you’ve done. Once you make a choice, you have to move ahead having made it – good or bad, right or wrong. Sometimes it’s too late before you’ve made the choice. People are not perfect, people make mistakes. I am a person. I can only say I’m sorry … sometimes only to myself … and move on. What’s done is done. Move on.

Koigu Skeinlettes Are in the Building!

Yesterday my wonderful, handsome (pretty?), super special mail delivery person had this envelope of yarn-y love for me! Woo-Hoo! I am so excited to get knitting!

These are the skeinlettes from Koigu yarns that I won – actually the contest was on the Koigu Facebook page but the yarn was send by Jimmy Beans Wool.

Gotta get my needles out and warm them up … I have exactly 18 days to design and knit a darling roll-neck sweater for my little Lola (who hates wearing clothes)!

I’m thinking that since she was named after “Senorita Lolita” from Damn Yankees, something a little sassy and saucy, a little glitzy, maybe a ruffle but certainly lots of color … because we all know that “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets”!

Give me a few days and I’ll have a plan! Knitting to win! Go!

 

Watch Gwen Verdon sing Whatever Lola Wants in Damn Yankees  by clicking here!