Friday, July 12, 2019

Front Patio, Backyard, Knitting Trick

We have had a rainy spring, which is good for us in north central Texas. It stayed cooler longer and we were all hoping that the dog days of summer, wouldn't ever arrive. Hahaha! Well, they did and they have stayed. I loved having a long spring, because I was able to spend a considerable amount of time out in the yard.

But before that, I had spent part of the winter watching You Tube video's about how to build a patio, with pave stones. I wanted to have just a small patio out in front of the house. When it came right down to it, I ended up putting it in where there was a flower/bush area up next to the house. That way, mowing the lawn would be easier.

I did do 95% of the work. I did get Jeff to help with carrying the pave stones, he is more the Hercules type. :) Have you ever lifted a pave stone?????

The first step was to measure out my area, pull up 6 bushes and roots, then dig the hole. Next, I poured in sand, leveled it and then "placed," more like heaved and hoed the pavestones in place, At this point, I was thanking God that I had decided on only a 3x4' area! Oh, yeah, then I discovered, the stones weren't centered under the window, so I moved each one 4 inches to the left. This window is my studio window, so I get to look out on my handiwork.


During the winter, I had also decided that we needed a raised garden bed. I did enlist the help of Jeff and his truck to help me in bringing home the cement blocks and dirt. I was careful to place the perimeter blocks, in between the sprinkler heads of the lawn sprinkler system.  In May I spent time with the grand dog, Skye, while her family went on vacation.


Here's a knitting hint. I have a new pattern that will be coming out on my TerrificCreations page on etsy, it will be named Butterflies. My local spinning/knitting friends helped me by testing the pattern for me. Pictures will follow for that.  I decided to knit another Butterfly with them, and realized that I have a trick that I do when a lot of stitches are on my circular needle and they want their freedom. I pull the needles so that the stitches are all on the cable, cross the cable and place a little girl's butterfly clip over the cord. This has been a real life save for me.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Is That Top-Down Sweater Done Yet???

Almost. :)

I did knit on the sweater, off and on, all through October and November. This photo was taken in November. One thing I had noticed, while knitting sweaters from the top down AND then knitting the sleeves in the round, was there was a different gauge on the sleeves. Hmmm, am I the only one that sees this, or is bothered by it????

Did you know that your knit stitch has a slightly different gauge than your purl stitch? The purl stitch is a bit larger. So, in a cardigan that is knit(and purled), back and forth in rows you are working both of those stitches. The knit stitch and the purl stitch. Working from the top down that is exactly what you do, so with the purl stitch above and below the knit stitch your gauge and the texture is affected.  Most people, me included, will knit a sweater top down because: 1. You can try it on as you knit and 2. No seams, if you knit the sleeves in the round.

The gauge and the look of sleeves that are knit in the round differs, because you only knit every stitch in every round.

Here was the dilemma..... To seam or not to seam...... Slightly different gauge on the sleeve with no seam, or same texture/look/gauge and seam the sleeve.

I decided to seam the sleeve and worked back and forth in rows.

If I had thought about this ahead of time, I could have worked the sleeves BEFORE the body and done them two at a time. But, no I did them after the body, one at a time...... It was difficult to do this, because there isn't much room at the armhole section for adjusting the stitches on the needle. The first few rows were tough to knit. I would recommend doing the sleeves before the body if you were going to knit them in rows, whether you knit them two at a time or just one at a time.


Worked on the sleeves all through November and December. The sleeves were finally finished right after Christmas. Then the sweater sat and I decided what front band pattern I wanted to use and how many buttons.

The pattern that I was using, Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd, didn't really have much help for this, or tell me how to work the band around the slight angle formed by the straight center front and the v-neck. Thankfully, though, I have other top down books and went on the hunt for info. Finally finding out what to do, I had peace of mind to start picking up my stitches for the front band. I picked up starting at the bottom right center front and worked around the back of the neck and then down the left side. Then worked the band in one piece.

With the stitches picked up, I decided to work the band in garter stitch(knit every row). I went looking for help for the button spacing and there was no help in the book for that either. After searching other patterns I had used, I found some help and decided to try to space the buttonholes about every 3 inches, starting 1/2 inch from the top and bottom edges. The bottom button is a bit higher than the 1/2 inch suggested. 

The front band is now done and the left front is marked with the safety pins for where I need to sew on the buttons. Buttons will be sewn on soon. :) Really, that is all that is left!!! I have even hidden all the ends. 

One thing this project has reminded me of, is that I LOVE to knit with my handspun yarn. :)


One of the projects that I made while the sweater sat, is this Coffee Cozy. Here is a link to Ravelry and my project: Link


In December my daughter Rebekah, two of my granddaughters, my oldest granddaughter's fiance and I made cookies together. We had great fun with lots of cookie tasting going on. Rebekah's house smelled really fantastic at the end of the day, too. We made 8 different types of cookies. Some recipes we had doubled too, so there would be plenty for us to give away and share. Both Rebekah and I decided to  mix the cookie dough before the actual baking day, so progress moved along smoothly.


Here's beautiful Claire! Not much you can do, but to smile, when Gramma sticks a camera in your face and says smile. 


Here's beautiful Nicole with her fiance Josh! They are rolling peanut butter balls for our buckeye ball recipe. Those peanut butter balls were eventually dipped into chocolate. Yum!