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.

Glitches!

cropped-bee5am6.jpgI knew that moving my website (it’s really a blog) from one place to another was going to be time-consuming. Well, little did I know it would take WEEKS!

I can only call the tech support people on Mondays when I am home from work and so it’s been a series of Mondays to get things moved over to my new WordPress.com platform. One would think that to move from WordPress.org to WordPress.com would be a painless and simple task. Not so. I’ve had to deal with GoDaddy where I bought my website name and also with HostGator who has been hosting my blog but who wants $85 a year for the next three years to host the site. Needless to say, I’d rather not go that far for a blog that I enjoy keeping and some of my friends like to read but I’m not making money from it … so. I’d prefer to keep it as inexpensive as possible. Thus my ideas to change the hosting platform to WordPress.com which is less expensive.

A lot of jabber to say that I am having some glitches. I can’t see my pictures and I am getting a message that says that my website can’t be authenticated. A little bit scary considering that I have several years of content that I want to keep!

I’m working on it … and I have only the ability to email the tech people at WordPress. It might be easier to actually have someone to talk to!

Gone … oh, crap! I wish I was knitting!

100 Years of Colorful

Yesterday I went to the Central Florida Fair which is celebrating its 100th year. Wow! 100 Years! Quite an accomplishment for a little regional fair. I’d never been to the fair before but my knitting girls brought it into my awareness and I decided to give it a try – trying new things is good for me!

The Knit or Knot Guild was doing demonstrations in the Creative Arts Building – which was air conditioned … for which I am eternally grateful as it was near 90 degrees outside. We demonstrated and taught knitting, crochet and spinning to fair-goers young and old. And enjoyed an afternoon of knitting together. As usual, I made a mistake in my knitting while my jaw was exercising and had to “frog” a dozen or so rows this morning. But it was such a fun afternoon!

We ate fair food.

My sugar-coated sweetie!

We saw horses, calves, 4H calf roping contests, bunnies, colorful people and chickens. Lots of wonderful chickens … a few of which were happy to pose for me!

               

I posted before about submitting knitted items to the fair, didn’t I? Without expectation, I submitted the Señorita Lolita sweater in the “Other” Knitting category and won a second place ribbon. I also submitted my Cambridge Shawl in the “Shawls/Scarves” Knitting category and won a third place ribbon. Yay for me!!! I also will be receiving a check for $30 which, as one of my knitting gals said, I can use for buying more yarn. (Like I need more yarn!?)

I feel very proud that my knitting was acknowledged by a judge and am already thinking ahead to next year’s fair and what I can submit … especially since I know better what the categories are and what gets submitted! Look out world, the Queen Bee’s on the prowl!

Gone Knitting!

Short Rows Superwoman!

Short Rows.

I’ve attempted a couple of short rows projects over the years. Never successfully. Until today – and thanks to a great short rows tutorial posted by the Purl Bee. Click here to head on over to see the tutorial and bookmark it!

I’m becoming a short rows expert today. I’m in my atelier working on a new project that I saw for the first time when I was in Lafayette, LA for my nephew’s wedding. With all the hoopla surrounding the wedding, my sister and I HAD to make a trip to her LYS – the Yarn Nook – and that’s where I found the Bandana Cowl pattern (free from the Purl Bee!) and bought some yummy, super soft Manos Maxima (color way M8881) in Queen Bee colors (mostly yellow and golds and browns and blacks but a touch of grey and blue too).

I love the Manos yarn. It’s 100% extra fine merino wool, kettle dyed and fair trade! They call themselves the “fair trade merino”. The Bandana Cowl is a one-skein project using a little bit more than 100 yards of chunky-weight yarn. My skein has 219 yards (200 m). Gauge is 18-20 stitches per 4 inches (10 cm) on a 6-8 needle (4-5 mm). The yarn doesn’t split much at all despite it’s loosely spun look and feel. The hand of the extrafine merino is so soft, it’s like knitting with a cashmere blend and I’m quite certain that it will feel really nice around my neck.

Now that I have the hang (sort of, I am only referring back to the tutorial once every three wraps!) of the short rows, it’s knitting up pretty quickly. I’m not sure when I’ll have an opportunity to wear this cowl but you can be sure that I’ll be wearing it soon – at least to take a few photos for you!

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!

The way to a man’s heart …

There are white caps on the lake this morning. When I look outside from the warmth of the wood stove, it looks (and sounds) a lot like the ocean. It’s a bit misty, too. Not a warm spring day in Belgrade!

We have a copy here of The Settlement Cook Book. Copyright 1944, the “Victory” (26th) edition published by the Settlement Publishing Company during WWII. Compiled by Mrs. Simon Kander. On the inside of the front cover is a lovely “autographed” photograph of Mrs. Simon Kander (if you click on the link above, there is a photo of the page!) who compiled the recipes and (not to worry) they’re “tested” recipes from “The Milwaukee Public School Kitchens, Girls Trades and Technical High School, Authoritative Dieticians and Experienced Housewives” … what a hoot!

As you may know, I love to bake. When I’m up here I like to use what we have around – much of which has been here for 50+ years. This cookbook is one of the things I love (and who’d ever have thought that it’s a rare, collectible book!) The big mixing bowl, is another. Anyway, I digress … Chapter One is entitled, “Household Rules” and it tells you all you need to know about keeping house – literally. Including, how to light a “modern” gas range, set a table, and how to make soap. One of my favorite recipes, though, is a recipe for “Scotch Scones” which I’ve used as the base of my recipe below and have adapted over the years according to what I’ve been eating. Since I’m now eating gluten-free, I’ll give you the basic scone recipe and then gluten-free!

Maine Blueberry “Scotch” Scones (best served warm with a cup of coffee or tea on a cold May day, inside by the wood stove when Lake Messalonskee looks like the ocean!)

2 cups bread flour (I use unbleached all-purpose flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter, cold!, cut into small cubes
2 eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk or cream
1 cup Maine blueberries (frozen or fresh)
 
 
 
Wash your hands now and take off your rings … this gets messy!
 
 
 
Preheat oven to 350°.
 
 
 
Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add butter and with your hands, mix butter into flour mixture until it is all blended in by pinching it between your thumb and fingers. Flour will look like larger grains and no lumps of butter will remain. Add eggs and buttermilk and mix until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Toss dough onto a floured surface and pat or roll to a square about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into triangles about 2 inches across. (This time, though I patted mine into a circle 3/4 inches thick and cut it into large wedges.) Transfer to greased cookie sheet, brush with egg white, and sprinkle with your choice of brown sugar and cinnamon, organic raw cane sugar, cinnamon sugar, etc. (My traditional sprinkle is with Turbinado sugar but today I used brown sugar and cinnamon.)
 
 
 
Bake for approximately 15 minutes.
 
 
 
For the gluten-free version, substitute Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free baking mix for the flour and add 3/4 teaspoon of xantham gum but the rest of the recipe is the same.
 

Now, for a cup of tea and a bit of knitting … new on the needles this morning, the Queen Bee’s Tweed Boulette Blanket. My French daughter and her family are coming to visit after waaaayyy too many years and I’m worried that the baby, la boulette, will be cold. So, what does a good “grand-mere” do? … She knits one!

Off I go to knit and snack!