Monday, April 28, 2008

Christmas knitting plan

I was inspired by Beverlyann when she wrote in her blog about gift knitting. I decided to plan my knitting projects for Christmas gifts.

First, I made a list of things I’d like to knit. Then I made a list of people that I wanted to give a gift to. And I tried to match them. I made some adjustments and created my project list. Here’s an example.
From my chart I know what and how many things I want to make, but can I do it all by Christmas? I calculated times on how many total weeks I thought it would take me to complete a project. These are not necessarily concurrent weeks - just total effort. When I saw the total weeks I realized my gift giving plan was overly ambitious. I do have one afghan 30% completed but there are only 33 weeks till package shipping day.

I’ll have to ponder a bit and whittle down my list.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cardinal bird baby pictures

I took a few pictures of the cardinal babies after work today. Sorry for the poor quality - my camera doesn't zoom enough to get close without climbing into the camelia bush. The momma was mad at me. I've learned that cardinals can CHEEP CHEEP loud and long. So loud and so long that hosting a cardinal nest is losing some of its charm.
Look closely in the middle of the picture and you will see a baby's head.

Cardinal babies hatched

The cardinal babies hatched out last Wednesday. I have been trying to take pictures of them when the parents are on the hunt, but the babies hunker down and just look like brown blobs in a brown nest.

I peeked at them last night and they have tiny feathers now. They normally leave the nest after 10 days so I should be able to get decent pictures to share soon.

It's been fun watching the parents feed the babies from my bedroom window.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Womanly knitting – a celebration of liberation

If you are a woman knitter, do you celebrate your womanly knitting? A work friend recently told me about a conversation with a group of mothers she knows. They talked about how they don’t hide their public knitting for fear of seeming too girly, matronly, or grandmotherly. I know what they mean.

I was born in 1950 and came of age as a women during the era of Women’s Lib. Does anyone use that term anymore? Do we still need liberating? Perhaps from ourselves…

I was a very liberated young woman and learned how to exist and thrive in the heavy-duty man’s world of manufacturing. I learned how to be damn tough and hide my femaleness. I learned how to like and talk sports, how to cuss (my pals will tell you I excel at cussing), how to put up with crap and dish it out, and generally, how to act male.

I make no judgment on if it is “better” to be male or female. I love hanging with men because I love to tease, debate, and challenge. I wasn’t so good in my 20s and 30s on hanging with women. I wasn’t good at the social protocol needed to get along in female packs. I was uncomfortable with the rules and I just plain didn’t want to learn them.

As I got older I discovered the sheer pleasure in the company of women. I learned not to compare women’s way to men’s ways but to simply accept the value of womanly camaraderie. I also learned how to get along. I largely have my Ohio pals to thank for this. They accepted me as is and slowly drew me into their band. They taught me their ways.

All but knitting, that is. I drew the line at knitting. They all knitted like fanatics but I resisted because it was too girly for me. When I finally tried knitting (and became infatuated) I hid my knitting from people in my daily life. No kntterly talk on the golf course. No K2tog at work. No yarn chitchat in social groups.

It wasn’t until I was solidly captivated by the calming, creative experience of knitting that I accepted with great pride that I AM A KNITTER AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT. Hmmmm, seems kind of manly to shout about it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Knitting complete on Big Green

The Garden Gate afghan is done and it has a new name - Big Green. Adding another 2 skeins of yarn made it big enough to merit the "Big" and because it's so big now the "Green" is prominent.

Here's the specs.
Pattern: Garden Gate from the Little Box of Knitted Throws by Martingale.

Yarn: Jarbo Garn Raggi - a machine washable blend of 70% wool 30%nylon, worsted weight. I used 2 strands because the pattern called for super bulky.

Needles: #15 US Knit Picks Options circulars. The afghan got pretty heavy after a foot, so I turned the circulars into straight needles by adding a cable to one needle tip and capping both ends. That's the first time I've done that and it worked great.

Stitch: a 12 row repeat Basket Stitch

I washed it in the washing machine and dried it on low heat Sunday afternoon. By Sunday evening it was keeping me warm on a chilly Florida night.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Babies on the way

We discovered a cardinal nest in the camelia bushes just outside the lanai. I took this picture from inside the screen so it's a bit fuzzy.
I went outside to take this picture.
I spooked the mom and she flew to the dogwood tree and scolded me loudly. I quickly took this picture and went inside. She came back in a few minutes and settled right back in. No worries.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Knitting more on the Gate

The Garden Gate afghan is back in action. I received the yarn from my LYS on Thursday and I am knitting away, adding length to a pretty short afghan. I really want to finish it before the weather gets too hot.

My original plan was to buy some more yarn in a contrasting color that I could add to both ends and perhaps a border down the sides. Since Paula had to order the yarn anyway, I decided to stay with the dark green and just add on to the bound off edge.

I unbound and continued the pattern. I am about half way through the first 2 skeins (I’m using 2 strands together). My only problem - my cat, JennyAnyDots, wants to lay on it while I am knitting.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Row, row, row

I’ve started my first Rambling Rows afghan. I’ll be making two – one for each granddaughter. I’m optimistic that I’ll want to make a second one. If not, I’ll come up with another plan. There’s always plenty of yarn and patterns to inspire me.
I think the colors look great together. They are not my personal style but will just the ticket for a little girly-girl.

The yarn is Knit Picks Swish Superwash and the colors here are Bubblegum, Ballerina, and Baby Blue. The stitch definition is great and the yarn is very nice to work with.

I’m really enjoying the pattern. There is plenty of explanation, good illustrations, and lots of helpful hints. And lots of garter stitch.