Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Made Myself Some Mona's - Kind Of

Last week when I sat down in my knitting spot late in the evening, I was tired and needed something easy to knit. Looking around, I spotted the leftover Dorothy's Destiny from Mom's Birthday Monas. It wasn't going to be enough for a complete pair of socks, but I knew I had two other little balls of left over Dorothy's Destiny across the room in a bin to finish the foot.

I quickly sketched out the Mona stitch pattern reducing the stitch repeat from 16 to 14, so I could knit a pair for myself on 56 stitches, cast on, and started knitting without ever having to get up out of my seat.

These will never be prize winning socks because the change in dyelots is very obvious.

I do like the 14 stitch repeat pattern very much and will use it again.

This is a very pretty stitch pattern for as much ribbing as it has in it and the ribbing sections make for a nice snug fit.

Pattern: Mona from Knit. Sock. Love. by Cookie A. modified for a 14 stitch pattern repeat.

Yarn: Stalwart Sock from Slackford Studio. 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon 4 Ply Fingering Weight Sock Yarn.

Color: Dorothy's Destiny.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Metro Finished

Metro was a quick and pleasant knit. I love the feel and look of the City Tweed. If this sweater doesn't pill excessively, I'm sure I'll use City Tweed again, maybe in the Sport Weight version.

The comments on Shirley's Metro, mentioned she had a challenge getting the bottom of the sweater to lay flat and not roll, so I decided to put a short section of ribbing on the bottom.

One challenge I did not meet was the Kitchener of the left collar to the right collar.

My favorite basic knitting how-to book is Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti, so that's where I went for guidance on grafting ribbing together. Maggie said:
Grafting ribbing can drive even an experienced knitting instructor up the wall. Sometimes I have gotten so frustrated with it that I have used the double bind-off method instead.
Since my aching jaw was driving me up the wall as high as I wanted to go, I went right to the double bind-off.

Another pattern attribute Shirley warns about is the tight sleeves, so I used the sleeve pattern for the next size up. They're still a bit tighter than I'd like.

On the other hand, I learned many new (to me) techniques on knitting set-in sleeves top down that, in my opinion, improve on the Barbara Walker method. That alone was worth the price of the pattern because I love knitting sleeves directly into a sweater instead of trying to neatly sew them in after the fact.

Pattern: Metro from the Fall 2010 Twist Collection by Connie Chang Chinchio.

Yarn: Knitpicks City Tweed, Heavy Weight Worsted. 55% Merino wool, 25% superfine alpaca, 20% Donegal tweed.

Color: Dungarees.

Needles: Options #7.

Gauge: 4.4 stitches/inch, 6 rows/inch in stockinette.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mom's Monas Finished

Done, and done a day before needed.

I wasn't sure I was going to like this stitch pattern when I started these socks, but I do like it very much.

The ribbing travels every twelve rows, but it still works to supply a nice snug fit. The overall effect is a pretty lace pattern that isn't going to sag and bag. So, now I have another favorite Cookie A. sock pattern.

Pattern: Mona from Knit. Sock. Love. by Cookie A.

Yarn: Stalwart Sock from Slackford Studio. 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon 4 Ply Fingering Weight Sock Yarn.

Color: Dorothy's Destiny.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Wings - Nestbox Report for June 15

First the Bluebirds used this box for a brood of four. That mostly happened when the weather was too cold and/or wet and/or windy to open the box, so I don't have pictures.

Once the Bluebird young fledged, the wrens adopted the box and filled it with sticks to the brim. They are sitting on eggs now.

The way Wrens build their nests, the cavity is much lower than the nest box hole. The adult Wren has to go up and over the sticks before it can go down to the eggs or hatchlings. If I open the nest box, I'll crush the pile of sticks, so there won't be any any pictures of Wren eggs or young Wren hatchlings.

In a different box: The Wrens are sweet, energetic little birds full of song, but I find them annoying when they take over the nest boxes.

After reading that moving the nest boxes away from nearby trees and shrubs would discourage the Wrens, I moved this nest box to the front of the property in a small garden in the middle of the lawn. In less than a day, a Wren couple had claimed it.

The young Wrens have fledged now, and I'll be emptying out the box to see if it attracts something else for a second nesting.

One of the nest boxes out back has a Tree Swallow brood that's ready to fledge.

When I walk within twenty feet of the box, I can hear the young Swallows chirping away and see them peeking out of the box hole.

Monday the parents were yelling and dive bombing me as I approached the nest and this little guy or gal stuck his/her head out and joined in the scolding.

It's a big world out there and he/she can hardly wait to get out in it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Simple Woman's Daybook for June 14

These writing prompts are available from Simple Woman's Daybook where each Tuesday we're invited to join in celebrating the beauty of everyday moments around us.

FOR TODAY June 14, 2011...

Outside my window...
The sun is shining and it's about 72 degrees. Beautiful.

I am thinking...
About what needs to go on the grocery list.

I am thankful for...
A special friend who said, "Let me do that for you" and spent over a half day chauffeuring me to a medical appointment last week. Nothing serious, but it did require a "responsible adult" and getting drugged.

From the kitchen...
Last thing I made was a batch of baked macaroni and cheese. It was cool enough Sunday so the oven could be on. In fact, it felt good to have the oven on.

I am wearing...
Size 10 jeans again. And, they're not too tight. Total weight loss so far is fifteen pounds.

Maintenance concerns me. I'm an expert at losing weight, but I haven't mastered the art of keeping it off.

I am creating...
Still working on the Mona socks.

The Metro sweater is done but needs to be washed and blocked before I take pictures. Brandywine is done except I'm going to frog the sleeves and do them a different way. The sleeves are short so that shouldn't take long once I get organized and motivated.

I am going...
To clean out my closet and take many things to Goodwill.

I am reading...
The NIV Application Commentary: Revelation for my daily Bible study.

The NIV Application series are perfect for someone who wants to understand what the Bible is saying. For me, they're written at the perfect level - not simplistic yet not too scholarly.

For each passage it teaches what the passage originally meant to the people and culture at the time it was written and then brings the ancient message into modern context.

Revelation is my first NIV Application book, but I have two more on the way, Genesis and John.

I am hoping...
The Orioles will bring their fledglings to the Oriole feeder. If they do, I'm hoping I'm looking out the window to see it and possibly take a picture.

I am hearing...
Pappy whining to go outside and Glory shaking her tags. Guess it's time for a dog walk.

Around the house...

The Sedum is thriving. It likes the sandy soil, doesn't need feeding, doesn't need watering, seems to be indestructible, and the deer don't eat it.

I have seven different varieties and they're all doing well.

One of my favorite things...

The Trap-It Ant Moat for Hummingbird Feeders, Red Bulk.

I have one for the Oriole feeder and one for the Hummingbird feeder. Fill it with water and the ants can't get to the sweet stuff. So simple and so perfect.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Today I get the final crown on the tooth that started all the dental trouble. Afterward I'm meeting Mom and Sister Doris from Virginia for Chinese lunch at Hunan Garden.

I'm working overtime to get caught up on yardwork after the uncooperative spring weather. But it's lawn mowing season and it seems like I'm always mowing instead of doing everything else demanding my attention.

Thursday is haircut day, so back to Kalamazoo for that. I'm sure I'll be able to think of a few other errands to work into that trip.

And, of course, I'm trying to get back into the routine of blogging a few times a week

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

We have a creek and two ponds on our property, but the birds like to drink the water in the ant moats.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Green

Mom asked for green socks this spring, so green it is.

Since she's short she likes five inch cuffs, making the cuffs are shorter than I usually knit. That's fun. The cuffs are done before I'm tired of working on them.

This yarn was picked to match a Federer T-shirt she wears to exercise class. I didn't bring the lace pattern down the instep so the socks would be smooth in her workout shoes.

Pattern: Hedera from Knit. Sock. Love. by Cookie A. or available free from Spring 2006 Knitty.

Yarn: Knitpicks Stroll.

Color: Springtime Tonal.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

On the needles now, with five days to finish, are a deeper pair of green socks.

The light wasn't at it's best to bring out the beautiful color of this yarn. It's a gorgeous, almost solid, super jeweltone Kelly green. I'll try to do it justice when the socks are finished.

Pattern: Mona from Knit. Sock. Love. by Cookie A.

Yarn: Stalwart Sock from Slackford Studio. 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon 4 Ply Fingering Weight Sock Yarn.

Color: Dorothy's Destiny.

Needles: Options 2.50mm circulars.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chat Back for June 11

Responding to comments left since the last time I did Chat Back.

Mr. Squirrel (and many others) want to know . . .
Where are you?
Right here.

It's been a tough spring. In an attempt to keep this blog light and positive, let's just move on and not talk about it.

Kathy B. asked . . .
I wonder though if the mess of the (sunflower seeds from the bird feeders) shells can be kept up with somehow.
Maybe somehow, but I don't know the answer.

They make good mulch, but it all requires work.

Many readers . . .
commented and left helpful and encouraging comments about my endodontic surgery
Thank you.

I had an infected, undeveloped tooth bud removed from my jaw that was wedged between the roots of two teeth and near my right side facial nerve.

Just last week the pain has dimmed to occasional ache. Parts of my jaw are still numb and the nerve sometimes jumps and tingles. Estimated time to return to completely normal, six months. But it's mostly ignorable now and regular Tylenol works well.

Judy S. asked . . .
Have you ever seen them (the Orioles) building their nest?
The nests are very high up in the tallest trees and with the leaves blocking my view I've never seen the weaving of the nest.

A few years ago when a tall willow blew down, there was an old Oriole nest in the top branches and I got a chance to admire the handiwork. It was amazing.