Monday, April 25, 2011

What a Difference a Day Makes

I'm back in Florida for a few days, and it is truly amazing what a difference a day makes. 

It was cold and rainy in MI on Sunday morning, by Sunday afternoon, it is sunny and warm in Florida. 

My excuse for coming down was to finish some dental work - which I finished up this morning.  As luck would have it, I couldn't get a cheap flight back home sooner than Thursday (really...I mean it) , so I am forced to be here for a few more days.   

It feels good to be back in the sun and the surf.  This is a pic from my walk this morning.  The water level was much lower and I was able to walk further north on the beach than I could all winter. 

I took my first swim in the gulf for the year too.  The water was 82degrees and so inviting - so I took the plunge.   Next time I'm bringing my floating chair so I can kick back and relax in the waves!

Writing about my knitting funk pushed me into finally starting a new project - so here it is:

Pattern: Juneberry Triangle by Jared Flood
Yarn: Louisa Harding, Aimee - a blend of 90/10 cotton/cashmere

It is a well written pattern, and I love knitting it almost as much as working his Girasole shawl pattern

I brought Tan Man's felted clogs with me to Florida. I have a top loader here and it is so much easier to felt.  Here is the before picture - they have to felt a bit, don't they??

After - I think I felted them enough.  I used one of his flip-flops to help me felt to size.

 Enough talk, time to get back to the sun!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Knitting Breakdown

I guess I must be having a knitting breakdown.

I keep knitting the same thing over and over, and I think it might mean I am having a knitting breakdown. Kind of like a nervous breakdown, but it is a disease that only fellow knitters will understand.

Spring Fling is my latest pattern, so I have knit a few pairs to finalize the pattern. Then I knit a few singles for shop models. Then those singles became pairs. Then I found a few more yarns in my stash that might work for the pattern too is a obsessive-compulsive knit-mare.

Over the last few days, this is what I have done to bring about a cure.

In an effort to get my knitting groove back, I pulled out some yarn I have for new projects. Maybe I should start one of these projects??

It hasn't happened yet.

Then I went through some of my stash, tossed out some partial balls, listed some for sale on Etsy, stacked it up nicely in a few totes.

(and NO, that isn't all of my stash, just the "overflow")

Then I tried a third approach to a new design. That isn't looking very promising either.

So I started the match for my Spring Fling in Kauni Effectgarn.

Tomorrow I am heading to my favorite MI local yarn store, Your Local Yarn Shop in Battle Creek. Maybe I will get some inspiration to knit more than these crazy socks...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Little Knits

It is snowing today and I am asking myself, "what am I doing here??"
I guess it makes for a good day to knit, but then again, every day is a good day to knit!!

My granddaughter Anna turns 6 tomorrow, so I decided to make some clothes for her American Girl doll. New additions to her wardrobe are:

A summer dress



Wishing Anna a very happy birthday, and I hope she loves the doll clothes that Grandma Diane knit for her.

We have been decorating our living room at the Lake Michigan condo, and I am at the final stage, where it just needs a few finishing touches. I want to add a few pops of red, so what better way than a Mug Mat aka coaster.

Doesn't my "World's Best Maga" mug look perfect on the coaster?
I used the mitered square technique and varying widths of stripes in two colors of red. The yarn is Knit Picks Shine Worsted, which has a nice polished look.

It was a fun, quick knit - so I think I will make a few more and watch it snow.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No salt, no sharks

I may have repositioned, but I'm still knitting from the water's edge!

My northern home is on the coast of Lake Michigan, kind of like the gulf, but as my grandson says, "no salt and no sharks".

The weekend weather was perfect for walking on the beach with Mason. Huge piles of sand are everywhere, it is always fun to see the shoreline change as it moves from winter snow fences and sand piles to beach umbrellas.

Not much design work has been done, but it was fun spending the weekend with family.

I have made good progress on my couch throw, it is a super easy knit in bulky yarn. Originally I planned to use it in Florida, but I brought it north with me to finish. It will look great with my MI furniture, so I am working hard to get it done.

Pattern: Elaine Reversible Throw
Yarn: Schaefer Yarns, Sandra

Have you started knitting items for warmer weather?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm back

I have recovered from the repositioning - and am happily settled in MI.

I finished the Spring Fling road trip socks. They are lovely - what do you think? Love the color, don't they look different from the ones done in Noro Silk Garden sock, as shown on the pattern? Amazing what a change in yarn can do for the look and feel of the same pattern. I want to do them in Noro Taiyo sock yarn next - I love that yarn and haven't used it yet.

The Studio June Eight Bells sock yarn that I used for the road trip socks, has enough yarn for TWO pairs of socks in the skein. So,I started another pair just to make good use of the yarn. Maybe I will share them with a shop or two for use as shop models, or use them as a gift for a friend??

I am also working on a new design, no picture yet, but maybe a peek in a few days. Honestly, at this point, I'm not sure it will work yet! I've done a swatch, worked up the math for the pattern, and knit up the first version. I have reworked the math for the second version and started knitting version two. I will keep you posted on it!

It is time for me to start a project to knit for myself. I am going to knit the Mermaid's Fan, a shawlette pattern that I designed for A Good Yarn. I love the design and after spending hours designing and knitting up samples, I think I deserve one for myself. The chosen yarn is HandMaiden Sea Silk sock, "imported" from Toronto by a knitting friend. She picked out a nice color, didn't she?

I haven't gotten very far. Here it is hanging out with a latte and my summer Vera Bradley tote. Guess I had better pick up my needles and cast on!

I hope you are knitting something for yourself too! Sometimes we spend all of our time knitting for others and we forget about ourselves.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It was a long day on the road. Lots of traffic, many slowdowns for miles and miles. We know better than making this trip on a weekend, but we didn't want to delay our return. So, we made the best of it!

Had several stops at MacDonald's. Tan Man loves his coffee, so we stop about every 2 or 3 hrs for refills. I got my Starbucks.

We are listening to an audio book, so that keeps it interesting. And of course, there is lots of knitting. Travel knitting is a Spring Fling out of Studio June's Eight Bells. The yarn is wonderful to knit with, and I love the deep colors.

And then there was this! (uh, no, I didn't get my hair cut there!)

Location:Knitting from the road

Friday, April 1, 2011


Have you heard about repositioning cruises? Where the cruise ships are moved from one location to their next seasonal location? They are supposed to be a good bargain, but lots of days at sea, like when it crosses the Atlantic, going from a Caribbean season to Europe. (can you tell I have thought about doing one of these cruises? Seems like there would be lots of time to knit, read and eat gourmet food - and maybe gain 5 pounds too?

After a few years of doing the winter season in Florida, I have started to call it my repositioning. It sounds like it should be easy, but I seem to struggle with the change.

We have made the decision to do our repositioning a month early. We decided this about 24 hours ago, after talking with two of the kids. It seemed that each kid, in their own way, could really use some help from us. So with that, we spent today getting ready for the trip back to Michigan,

I can hear the waves crashing as I write this, and see half of the furniture covered in sheets. It is hard to leave, especially when I had planned on another month to play. I am going to miss the beach house, and can't wait to come back.

I did my last minute shopping at Bealls, and sorted through my yarn stash, deciding what to bring with me (really?!!! it's not like I don't have enough yarn where I am going!!!) We have said our good-byes to the neighbors and cleaned out the fridge.

Tan Man is in bed, and I just need to unplug the light, cover the sofa with a sheet and hit the hay.

See ya in Michigan!