Queen Bee’s Injured Wing

beewingI may have an injured wing but I’m still knitting!

My right shoulder has been hurting for a while now. I have done everything I know to help it but when I can’t put on a shirt/jacket/coat without a problem and I can’t take off my bra without pain, that’s the last straw. Thursday after work I went to a massage therapist for a deep tissue massage and it has helped. I have some bruising … I asked her to use the full force of her skills against the knots in my shoulder, arm, and anything else that was “tight”. So, this week I am recovering and working on stretching the muscles and opening my chest muscles. Good news is that I can put on my deodorant but I have a long way to go.

I’m working on a couple of projects. Sample socks for the adult education class that I am teaching this spring. The class is “Socks 101”. We’ll be knitting our first socks in a worsted weight yarn. Preparing to move to smaller needles and finer yarn. I’m knitting my samples in Plymouth Encore Worsted in a very pale yellow. Light yarn reveals the stitch details for my students.

IMG_2447I have nearly finished a 1898 Hat for my dear husband and valentine. I’m knitting it in Malabrigo Rios in the Piedras colorway. It will match his scarf that I made last year. He works outside (in Maine, in the winter, in all kinds of weather) and the doubled garter brim of this hat ought to keep his ears warm! This yarn is absolutely amazing and I hope he’ll love it as much as I love him. He takes such good  care of me. I can’t imagine life without him.

IMG_2388I have a scarf on the needles, too. I’ve been wanting to knit the Zick Zack Scarf for a long time. We have a sample in the shop that I have always liked and chose to do it in the “original” colorway. I’ve gotten half-way through the project and find it monotonous at best. The pattern is the same row throughout and it’s even repeated across the rows. But the color changes in the Lang Mille Colori Baby yarn is exquisite and I love the way it looks. I’ll keep plugging because it’s really bee-utiful.

I finished one of the pair of my Forget Not Mitts. This is a kit put out by the Alpaca Yarn Company. I chose a kit with a kiwi green and a variegated purple/pink/green. I love the colors and the yarn is really nice work with but there isn’t enough contrast between the two yarn colors and as a result, the argyle pattern on the front of the mitt isn’t particularly clear. I love the broken rib and the 1×1 vertical stripe but I am bummed about the argyle. Oh well. The second one won’t take too long to finish and they’ll keep my hands or someone else’s warm in the spring or fall.

I have been plugging along on my Camden Hills Poncho and if I was to sit and focus on it for one day, I’d have it finished. I’m working on the back of the poncho and am nearly to the shoulder decreases and neck. I’ll get it done but have to finish hubby’s hat first … Valentine’s Day is the day after tomorrow.

I bought all the yarn for a fair isle yoked cardigan. I’ll be knitting my Ellen Cardigan in Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca. The main color will be navy blue. I’ll write more about it later. I have also lined up a couple of other sweaters. A green wool using Ella Rae Classic Wool for my husband and something wonderful for me in Malabrigo’s Rios. I am thinking a boxy pullover for this one. More about each of these as I get the first projects finished up!

Details of all of these projects and more are available on my Ravelry project pages. My Ravelry name is Lindar.

Gone Knitting.

WIP(s) Queen Bee Style

I have a few projects on the needles. It’s just the way I roll … some days I don’t feel like thinking about knitting and so I need some “mindless” knitting. And some days I want to challenge myself and for those days I need something on the needles to stretch my brain. Some projects have to be portable. Some need a bag of their own (and I have a good collection!)

I am working on a Dr. Who scarf that I hope to have finished in February … it’s quite boring as knitting goes. Garter stitch all the way. I’m weaving in the ends as I go so I don’t have to do that later. I started out thinking I was smarter than the average bear and decided to add one row to each color/stripe so there would be no “wrong” side. I didn’t like it so I have stopped that. Hope it’ll be loved even though I didn’t frog the whole thing from the point where I changed my mind. The colors are not exact but I decided to use Paton’s Classic Wool which I could get in my knitting bag in a day … lots of yarn and it requires a bag of it’s own! 😉

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

I have a Valentine’s day project that I’ve started. Some left-over red cotton and my beautiful new red Signature needles and that’s all it took to get me going. Needles were a wonderful Christmas gift from my number one son! Dish cloths are perfectly portable! I love to pitch a project in my plastic zip-locks for my purse! (alliteration!)

Valentine's WIP#2

Valentine’s WIP#2

Plugging along on my Downton Abbey Mystery KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool. I love the yarn that I chose (Malabrigo Silky Merino #856 Azules) as an alternate to the Lorna’s Laces which would have been here way too late to begin the KAL. I also love the color way. We know that final project will be a shawl and that’s all … that’s why it’s called a “Mystery” KAL (knit-a-long). I still have one week of work to do to catch up before tomorrow’s episode. Check out the JBW blog … it will be a written pattern at the end of it all. This is a pay attention pattern. Except for the garter stitch sections, I have to concentrate – not to be knitted while chatting!

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

I’ve got the big (boring, stockinette stitch) panels done for my “Just So Bag” tote. I just have the lace “ends” left to finish. I must confess, that I have frogged these ends more than once because I didn’t keep track of where I stopped. Not a wise choice when you’re knitting a lace pattern. Even when the lace is being knitted in a heavier weight yarn (Lambs Pride Worsted in charcoal grey). I have a wonderful collection of Interweave Knits magazines that I can’t bear to part with … so it was a free pattern for me. This pattern needs to be knitted in my atelier. No talking. No TV. Lots of counting. Since my super quiet time is somewhat limited, I haven’t even cast on this project (again) yet.

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

My sister-in-law and brother sent me a wonderful Zauberball (Color1564, 100g) sock yarn ball for Christmas and I love knitting socks. I am on a mission (sort of) to knit a whole drawer full of socks and this pair will add to it, I’m sure. They’re super portable which is what I love about knitting socks. I had thought to do a cuff-down pair but I think I’ll do two-at-a-time from the toe up just for kicks! That means I have to split the ball (or I’ll have a mess!) I’ll let you know what I decide.

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Last, but not least, I have some odds and ends of worsted weight yarns that I have been knitting into tiny trees (with wine cork “trunks”). Patterns are Pint Sized Pines by Julie Tarsha. This is a free download on Ravelry … mine aren’t as colorful (yet) but I do love them! Just so happens that I have saved a few corks … this is a great quick knitting project and they’re so cute. Plan is to add some beads, etc. to some of the trees making them look like Christmas Trees.

Tiny Trees WIP #6

Tiny Trees WIP #6

There you have it! All of my WIPs and my reason (excuse?) for having so many on the needles at one time. I have enough yarn for three sweaters in my stash that I want to start next … and I’m trying to hold off from casting on until I have finished at least the February deadline projects. Must get going!

Gone knitting!

Didn’t Knit. Not a stitch!

Yesterday I didn’t knit a stitch. Not one. WTF?

Didn’t knit it yesterday …. but I love the fabric of this yarn!                                                          Malabrigo Rasta in Archangel Colorway

I’m not sure what happened yesterday that allowed that to happen, but it did. Sadly, it did. Hurricane Isaac was blowing through (weakly) and we went for a walk. I spent several hours working on my new shop, I went to the grocery store and to return some stuff that I bought and didn’t need to finish my Rasta Basket. I made dinner. No construction happened (Thanks, Isaac!). Hunh. Not sure where the day went but I know I wasn’t knitting.

Rasta Basket – Finished!

Rasta Basket – inside (not a lot of contrast in the lining but it’s OK!)

Gone knitting! (No, really! I am going to knit! Now!)

Re-Entry

I struggle every year when we have to leave Maine just in time for August in *gasp* Florida. The shock to my body and our culture is, well, shocking! The temperature has climbed from reasonable and comfortable to Oh My God, how can it be so hot that I can’t walk to the mailbox in bare feet? Even the pool in the back yard is not refreshing.

That said, while you’re all assuming that I am outside enjoying the sun down here (that’s what people in Florida do, right?) I’m really in my atelier, blinds closed, A/C and ceiling fans on, knitting and planning.

Today I’ve been working on a “basket” (bag) that I found somewhere on the internet that uses one skein of Malabrigo’s Rasta yarn. I’ve written about this yarn before but I have to reiterate just how much I love knitting with it. It’s super bulky and the color way that I have is rich purples and burgundies interjected with gold, green and orange (amongst others). Simply fabulous! And since it’s super bulky, it knits up in a flash.

The basket is an interesting construction. I couldn’t figure it out at first glance but I have really enjoyed watching the basket come along. It’s knit in the round on four DPNs but it comes out square! Very clever. I got the bottom of the basket done in an hour or so (after the hour or so that I took to realize that I wasn’t reading the directions correctly – and it was really me. Must be the heat!)  The pattern is called “Rasta Basket” by Kate Vanover and you can find it on Ravelry. I’ll add pictures to this post just as soon as it’s done.

Gone knitting!

Second Iteration?

So, you’ve seen the Malabrigo Rasta cowl that I knitted (in a simple seed stitch and in a lousy photograph) a few posts ago.

Poor color (not accurate) and not a great look!

Well, I decided to redesign it … which meant frogging it and then re-knitting.

I totally love the yarn and want to work with it but it’s just not working with me … or for me! I’ve knitted three really long 5-stitch I-cords and braided them together and this is what it looks like now!

(photo coming soon!)

I’m still not sure I’m in love with this and probably will frog it, too! I really want to use this yarn for something that I love love love … something that I will wear or carry or otherwise use on a regular basis! For now, it’s going to sit on the needles and we’ll see where it takes me!

Knitting is a lot like life – you never know where you’re going to end up. One day you may be very productive and other days, never get out of your own way. It’s learning to recognize each day for the value that it adds  and accepting every one as it is. Judge me not, I don’t get a ton accomplished every day but over the course of time, it all balances out and I’m proud of where I am today.

Gone knitting!

 

Challenge

For Christmas I got some beautiful new yarn from my LYS – Knit in Longwood, Florida. It’s a relatively small shop but it’s warm and welcoming and they have some splendiferous (yes, my word!) fiber!

Anyway, it’s a super bulky yarn by Malabrigo called Rasta in the Archangel colorway. It’s lovely in it’s wide variety of colors from purple to yellow to orange and blue and green. Like all other Malabrigo yarns, though, it’s got a lovely, soft hand and it’s great to knit with! (None of the photos of the yarn look like the yarn that I have!)

Poor color (not accurate) and not a great look!

I have already used one hank to make a seed stitch cowl (it was a free pattern with the yarn). But when it was finished, I didn’t like the way it looked … especially when I put it on. So … I did what any other knitter would do and frogged the sucker! Un-wove (yes, another one of my words!) the ends and ripped it out, ready to start over again.

Tonight, I’m trying a new approach. Something that I thought about when I was braiding the  ties for an earflap hat. Something totally different and an “out of the box” approach to this beautiful yarn.

Once again my knitting relates to my life. I’ve started a new life after having lived a very different one. My marriage needed to be  frogged too (so to speak). It wasn’t working. Not in the fabric of my life. It didn’t make me happy. Today, I’m re-knitting the frogged yarn. Creating a new life that suits me better. Learning the feel of the yarn in my hand as it passes through my fingers with each stitch … just as I’m learning about myself and the fibers that are spun together to make up the person that I am today. It’s a work-in-progress. But it’s fitting better and I’m learning so much and I’m knitting a beautiful fabric that will be my life.

Each time I sign off from an entry on this blog, I say, “gone knitting” or something similar. It’s not said lightly because, for me, knitting is serious business. I’m knitting in the hope that I can make a living and I’m knitting to make a life. And today, life is good.

Gone knitting.