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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do I need this stress....isn't the weather enough stress!!

One more day and then it is the month of March....please let the weather get warmer...hopefully spring is not far away. It has been so cold, we had a warm day last week...or was it the week before?...I am hanging onto my sanity by a thread!! O.K....the warm day...the wind arrived...not a breeze...nope could not have a nice breeze...hurricane force winds!! First we heard something whopping on the north side of the house.......soffiting is loose on the peak of the roof....then the noise on the roof and there go the shingles...into the siding on the back of the garage...damaging the siding...well we better phone and leave a message with the insurance agent so we will be first in line to have the appraiser out. He came out and now we have to wait until warmer weather so we get the repairs done. We went to town the next day and there were trucks and trailers in the ditches all along the highway.
   I had purchased this sweater kit from Knitpicks before Christmas and decided to get it out and knit on it taking a break from the colorwork hats. I do not know if it is just me but I have a terrible time with their patterns. The sweater, they call the Gallatin Coat has a cute shawl type collar which I loved when I seen it, the sweater is knit all in one, no side seams which is O.K. but with the heavy yarn it is really heavy to manage while you are knitting. They had a chart with a deer to knit around the body and as I wanted to use some of my Alpaca yarn to knit another sweater later I thought I would chart out a llama and knit it into this sweater. so charted out the llama and knit a swatch and could see where a couple stitches should be changed. . O.K this is great and away I went with my knitting............the first llama faces the front.....then the second llama is reversed to face center back........and then the next llama is knit facing the llama on the back...and then the next llama in the pattern is turned around again to face the front.........now is it my brain or what...this is bloody hard to keep track of!!!!!! Now if the fronts and back were knit separately this would not be that bad but when you have 146 stitches on your needle in thick heavy yarn.... and you are trying to manage four separate small balls of yarn for each pattern along each row......now I do not give up very often but after knitting and ripping back I have finally decided my life is too short and my back is aching....so have decided I love owls and they have a chart for an owl that is not directional so that is what is going on the sweater!! And I knit the first two rows without a problem. I am not giving up on the llamas and am plotting out how I will knit them into a sweater as I work on knitting the owls into this one. One solution would be to knit the sweater body in three pieces or another thought just came to me...maybe the solution would be to put llamas on the front and another non-directional pattern on the back. I also had a problem with the chart for the band across the bottom and I finally added one more row to the chart and charted out my own pattern. now I read ahead to the directions on how they knit the sleeves......the sleeves are knit in the round....and then are attached and knit up with the front and back yokes.......we will see when I get to that point. I normally do not have a problem following a pattern...so is it the pattern.....or is it the senior moment of my life...I am blaming it on the winter weather we have had this year....that is my story and I am sticking to it!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

There she is Finished...we will say good bye to her!!



O.K. here she is all finished and blocked!! Before I washed and blocked her "Majesty" Miss Andean Chullo Hat she just seemed too long and bulky but when washed and blocked she settled down a bit and hung down nicely at the back, before that she could not decide what she wanted to do and ended up just sticking half way inbetween, but still am thinking I might take a pattern out, but love them all the way they are....we will see on the next one, but for sure will not make the I-cord so long on the top of the hat before the tassel is put on. The thing I will change is the ear flaps, they are too long so will just shorten them up by one pattern. have already started another hat and have been trying to tighten up the stitches  around the outside of edge of the ear flap as it was hard to attach the i-cord properly. This time I will organize the pattern instructions a bit and hopefully not have to do so  much ripping back with this one. I had so much trouble with 


matching the yarn to the colors on the chart.....the color for the deep purple looked navy on the chart, think I have it sorted out. so she has had enough time on the blog so will get at something else!! But this stranded knitting is addicting so will keep a project on the go taking residence on the end of the table ready to suck me in. I also got the yarn in the natural shades of brown, tan and creams to knit the hat and I better get organized on that one I tell you, if I thought all these colors were a problem....the natural shades could be a nightmare.

  





Now to sorting fibre to go to the mill to be made into roving, this is Black Mommy Alpacas fleece and it did not matter what light I took a picture under it turned out this grey color and it is black! black! I was trying to get a picture of the crimp in it but was hard, she has the softest crimpy fibre, now the decision is what male to bred her to this spring so her baby has this same great fibre. All her fibre is washed and cleaned of debris and in a bag ready to go. now onto the white llama fibre. Warm weather has moved in so I can get out to the workshop and do some sorting and get it washed up too. I am sure I washed up some llama fibre last fall ready to ship....or was I just dreaming I did?? Will have to go have a look. should have had this all done and ready to go but with all our super cold weather there was no way to work out in the shop. Hoping this is the beginning of spring...I am dreaming aren't I???

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Almost finished my Alpaca Hat!!

We had a few nice days and are now back to overcast and snow, spring can not come soon enough, although spring means working outside and I do not have all my fleece sorted to go to the mill to be processed. Did get a large bag of Alpaca away to the local mill in between snowstorms but have to get the rest ready to go, this mill likes to have it washed once so better get the washer full this morning of some black alpaca from Black Mommy, she has beautiful fibre with a nice crimp to it. Now baby Bella, am wondering is my life is long enough to get her fibre ready to be processed it is so full of stuff (nice way of saying crap). It will be shearing season again before I know it so better get last years tended to.
   Now the "Hat" almost finished, am just knitting the I-cord finish around the bottom which is sucking up a large portion of my time right now, I think a person has to figure out how to do a more stable edge for the bottom as this yarn is a bit fragile, will have to think on that for the next hat. now this hat is really long....I mean really long....I think it is meant to flop over and hang down at the back, the ear flaps also seem too long. Someone on Ravelery has made this hat and she said she would take some charts out when she knit it again as she found it way too big and I agree with her but for my first one I thought I would follow the pattern as it was and then make changes when I knit the next. now my views on how the pattern was written, they give you pattern choices to put in each section, love the chart patterns but....and this might be just me...the pattern is so fragmented...there is a bit on one page... then you have to go searching to find what comes next and then find you have missed some directions and have to rip back, plus I would cut little snippets from the yarn and tape them next to the color squares as you are always getting mixed up. I have a hard time knitting when I am in a state of confusion on what comes next and have to search for it...so will be writing the pattern out the way I want to knit it for the next hat. I know I keep saying the next hat but I will be knitting another one because I love knitting stranded knit and really if I had kept track of the time I spent actually knitting it was not that long, could not really knit at night as it was hard to see the color changes but I think if I organized it properly with the color snippets that would not be a problem. This is the first time I have knitted I-cord right onto an item and they have you knit the I-cord for three inches for the tassel on the earflap then you increase a few stitches and leave half the stitches on a holder and continue around knitting the I-cord along the bottom and then when you get to the end you graft the stitches to the stitches on the holder. (Hope you understand this) what I was a bit miffed at was they did not say anything in the instructions about how to proceed when you got to the second earflap (or maybe I have not found it yet) but I just knit off to a I-cord to match the one on the other earflap after I had increased and left half the stitches to be picked up to continue around. So that is where I am now and hopefully will finish it today. Am actually looking forward to starting on another one.if this one is just too large for me to wear.....I will stuff it and use it as a decorative cushion!! While I was knitting the "hat" I also knit five pair of slipper socks and another hat I had started a bit ago. Well am off to finish the I-cord and get the directions organized for another one.