Monday, December 01, 2008

Sweater Work

Hope that everyone had a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. We had a great time here at Chez Morris. The only person missing was my youngest brother who had to work for the first time on Thanksgiving. We all missed him. Mom and I spent the day cooking and the food was wonderful even if I must say so myself.

This is one of the few holidays when all five kids are home. Almost all the nieces and nephews were at the house. It was the usual family fun; eating, games and more eating.

I started on Mr Greenjeans last weekend. This color of Silver Thaw photographs with a lot of blue, but in person the colors are a lot different. The blue isn't as prominent and the shade of blue is different. The greys and purple show up as well as the yellow and hint of green. I didn't like the colors at all at first but they have begun to grow on me.

I've finished the body and most of the first sleeve over the long weekend. The sleeve is a little snug. I'm knitting the large as I think the 1X would be a little large. I'll have to see how it fits over this belly I've acquired over the past several months.

For the first time I haven't committed to any Christmas knitting. I have two scarf and hat sets that I would like to make for family friends who will be in the area during the holidays. I'm still searching through stitch dictionaries and patterns. I haven't set a time frame so that if they are done I'll just stick them in the mail. It feels great not to have that pressure even if I did enjoy making the gifts. I usually find the holiday season to be stressful, but this year I'm relaxed, most of the shopping is done and the plans are made.

I'm still practicing project monogamy. This sweater will be completed before I cast on the next project. There are several wips in the basket that were started way prior to this but I'm just not in the mood to tackle them. I'd like to get some cold weather knitting under my belt before I go back to them.

The next sweater will probably be a Noro sweater for mom. I'd like to get the new Noro purchases knitted up in case I need to purchase more. Since they are clearance yarns I'd be hard pressed to locate more if they go to marinate in the stash. It'll be a cardigan for sure.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Closing In

Last weekend I was at the beach and from our condo you could see the turtles sunning across the lake/pond. There numbers continued to increase as the day went on. They were there for hours and then all of a sudden they dove into the water.

One of our lys's, the Hook 'N Needle, has Noro Silver Thaw, Iro and Kochoran on sale for 50% off. I didn't think much about it until I went to the Knitting Fever website and couldn't find the Silver Thaw listed. Mom went by the store today and picked up enough for two sweaters.

Noro Kochoran

Noro Iro

She pays more attention to the stash than I realized and saw that in one color of Silver Thaw I have only two skeins. She's going back tomorrow to pick up 5 more so that I'll have enough for a sweater.

I've been practicing project monogamy and it is working great. I've finished all of the pieces for the Belted Wrap Jacket with the exception of the belt. I completed the sleeves at the beach last weekend and wrapped up the collar yesterday.

There's lots of blocking to be done and I'm going to have to break down and buy some wool wash to get that task accomplished. None of the yarn shops in this area carry wool wash. I find that amazing given the amount of yarn they sell and the number of knitters in the area. If it gets here in time I plan to finish this sweater during the Thanksgiving break.

For my next project I'm going to knit the Mr. Greenjeans from Knitty in Noro Silver Thaw, color 12. Mom, like Kathy, thought this would be a good color. I wear jeans a lot of the time and this will work perfectly with my current wardrobe. While I was selecting colors for this sweater, I found two 15 skein bags of Kureyon that I'd completely forgotten about. They are similar colorways and one seems to be a more toned down version of the other. My next couple of sweaters will probably come from the Noro stash. It's a good way to add color to your wardrobe, so don't be surprised if this becomes a Noro Knit blog for a while.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Schlumbergera Truncata

When my father died in December 2004 we received several potted plants as is usual in the case of a death in the family. One was a cactus that was in full bloom combined with other plants in an arrangement. This cactus has continued to grow but has never bloomed. The owner of one of our lys told my mom to set it outside in the cool and all of a sudden buds began to appear. It is back in the house and its' beauty is astounding. It has bloomed just in time for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Smooth Sailing

Last November I started on this sweater...

the Belted Wrap Jacket from Interweave Knits Winter '05.

For reasons that I can no longer remember this sweater went into hibernation. I picked it back up after finishing the February Sweater and have been steadily working on it for the past few weeks. Even though I don't knit on it every day I've managed to make good progress.

I casted on the last sleeve yesterday and though it's a year late I'll have this completed before Christmas which brings up another dilemma.

I'm struggling to decide on what the next sweater will be. Mom has given orders that next project must be for me and socks are excluded. I don't know what the problem is but I get bogged down in color choices and pattern details. Do I knit a cardian versus a jacket? Patterned yarn or plain? Textured, lace or smooth? I've got oodles of yarn choices which further complicates the problem. In the end, I may end up dumping slips of paper in a bowl and pulling out one.

I'm trying to narrow my yarn choices and at the moment I'm considering the following:

1. Silver Thaw
2 & 3. Noro Silk Garden Reds or Purples
4 & 5. Plymouth Galway Sage or Plum
6. Debbie Bliss Merino Aran Mauve or Olive

This is where the tendency to purchase yarn in sweater quantities makes for an obscene number of choices. How in the world do you narrow it down? I still have others under consideration but these are top choices for the moment.

At the recent halloween sale at the lys I purchased most of Elsebeth Lavold's books, so the alpaca that's in the stash is also fair game. One sweater that I like in particular is Zarah. It is knitted using EL's Angora which the lys has on sale. I'm considering subbing some of the Indicieta Alpaca that's already in the stash therefore another choice for the list. Either way I go I'll have made a decision by the weekend so that I can have another project to take to the beach.

If you have any suggestions for cardigans I'd be happy to here them. I've added several to the Ravelry queue which didn't facilitate this process. The more choices you have the harder the decision making becomes.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


I'm sitting on pins and needles watching the results come in. I've been politically jaded for a while and the kind of excitement I'm experiencing at this moment is indescribable. The country is alive and vibrating with a renewed energy. We're all ready for ...

Change we can believe in!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

State Fair Update

Last week I went to a christian women's retreat at Cedine Bible Camp in Spring City, Tennessee. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. This was our cabin...

and this was our front yard.

It was a glorious spirit-filled weekend with breakout sessions and workshops. Marlean Felix, mother of olympian Allison Felix, was the guest speaker. This was my first time attending and I hope to attend another in 2009.

I went to the fair again yesterday and was able to take pictures of my entries. The quality isn't all that great since most of them were in glass enclosed display cases. I'll take more once I get them home on Monday.

We went to the fair again to see Anthony Hamilton in concert and the show was fantastic. He is truly and entertainer and not a studio artist like so many of them are today. He sounds just as great in person as he does on his cd's. The only downside was that we had to get there so early, 2:00 pm, because there was a football game scheduled that evening in order to find parking. Needless to say having been there for over 6 hours made for an exhausting day.

I finished the February Lady Sweater prior to the trip to Cedine and mom wore it while we were in the mountains. I forgot to get a picture then but will get one up soon. I love the way it turned out and she does to. I briefly toyed with the idea of making another but I'm not a fan of the rows and rows of garter stitch. She looks cute in it so I'll try to get her to model it for this week. Maybe by then I will have located my camera which seems to have disappeared. I can only hope that I didn't take it somewhere and forgot it.

Monday, October 06, 2008

State of Shock

I'm in a state of shock. I won the knitting sweepstakes prize at the SC State Fair! No details on the list so I don't know which entry won. I received 5 first place ribbons and 1 second place. I hope I can hold out going until Monday.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Catching Up

Wow! Time has really gotten away from me. While my knitting did go through a lull and I wasn't feeling all that great, I didn't realize that it has been well over a month since I last blogged.

Things picked back up last month and I've been working on the February Lady Sweater for the guild's kal. I've completed the first foot and started the second of my third pair of socks for SOS08.

I doubt that I'll get the fourth pair made since I'm busy working on some other special projects. One is the Andean Child's Cap for one of the special girls in my life. I need to add the straps and the pompom to complete it.

Last month I went to Florida for vacation and got caught up in TS Faye. The trip wasn't a complete bust as I got some knitting done and the hotel was great and the common areas very nice. The storm hung around for so long that we ended up driving through the tropical storm force rains on the way back home. That was an experience I hope to never repeat as there were times when I could barely see the highway.

It's time to think about Christmas knitting. I'm still on the fence as to whether or not I'm going to knit any gifts. If I do it will more than likely be a gift for my mother. My hands are itching to knit some of the Noro that's stashed into some type of modular garment. I'd like to make a jacket or cardigan which highlights the color changes. That's the short list for the moment unless I get sidetracked by one of the UFO's calling for some attention.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

SOS08 2nd Pair

I finished the second of four pairs of socks for SOS08. These are basic toe-up socks with a short-row heel.


Yarn: Online Supersocke Fun Color
Needles: 1 & 2 US Inox dpn's
Size: Women's 10
Stitches: 68 with 1x1 rib

I figured out my problem with the Viola sweater. For some reason I stopped the armholes way too short. It had to have been a brain fart but now I'm back on track with the front finished and working on the back.

I'll be searching for the next project patterns from either the Ralvery queue or the spreadsheet project list. At this time I'm still undecided about the next socks and the yarn for them. I want to do something a little complicated but portable. Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Third time up?

Twice I've knitted the front of the garter carriage sweater and twice I've gotten to the same point and made an unrecoverable error. It is so frustrating to knit over 200 rows at this fine a gauge and get stuck at the same point each time. Perhaps this is too advanced and I need more practice on easier garments before the knitting machine shaping will come to me.

My hand knitting slowed down a bit due to some sleep issues. I've gotten more sleep the past two nights than in the past two months and the mind is working better. I'm still working on the second pair of SOS08 socks. They're a basic toe-up pattern.

The next pair will probably be a Cookie A pattern. I broke down and purchased several that I had been eyeing for a while.

The pillows for the barbecue are finished. I sewed the last one yesterday and am so glad to have this project behind me. I may make a few smaller pillows from the leftovers.

I've been steadily picking tomatoes.

I planted banana peppers, tomatoes and bell peppers and the first two are going like gang busters. Last year I didn't have hardly any tomatoes, but this year I've been sharing peppers and maters with neighbors, friends and family. Next year I think I'll plant a few squash and zucchini plants if I can find the space. At one time I had a large garden and it's something that I really enjoy doing. I love the summertime because of all the fresh fruits and vegetables available. The heat I hate, but the food I love.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Embossed Leaves


Pattern: Embossed Leaves from Favorite Socks
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Potluck Water
Needles: 2 US dpn's and 2 US addi Turbo Lace for Magic Loop
Size: 9..5
Started: June 21, 2008 Finished: July 4, 2008

No mods except I knitted my pointy toe. The shape of my toes isn't suitable for round toe socks.

This is the back of the machine knit sweater I'm working. I made an error on the front and then made it worse so I'll have to start that piece over.

I've cast on sock #2 for sos08. They are a pair of plain socks for the moment in Online Supersock Fun Color. These will be for mom as I decide which pattern to use for the next pair. My biggest dilemma is deciding whether or not I'm going to knit any thing to enter into the state fair. I want to in a way, but I'm not sure if I want to devote my knitting time to the projects. I'll have to make a decision one way or the other.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the usual afternoon thunderstorm. I love the sound of rain falling.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Butter Beans

Saturday morning I got up early and traveled with my sister-in-law to Blythewood, SC to pick fresh farm grown vegetables. We opted for the butter beans and corn. I was able to pick almost a half bushel which cost only $7.00!

I shelled all the beans Saturday and cooked some on Sunday. They were delicious. I haven't tried the corn. Mom is making creamed corn tonight.

I finished the first Embossed Leaves sock this evening.

It never ceases to puzzle me that I still have to consult the directions for doing the kitchener stitch. I'm sure part of the problem is that I so rarely knit socks from the top-down that I don't get enough practice. One day it will all click, but until then I'm grateful for Knitting Help.

This afternoon I cast a sweater on the knitting machine. I've been listening to the chug-a-lug of the garter carriage since then. I'm using the v-neck pattern from this book Caernafron Castle. It's not as complex as it looks so I"m hopeful that I can complete this one. It's for mom and I already have several on the to-do list.

I'm still working on the cushions and have switched to the assembly line approach. It's not necessarily faster but it is more organized. I'll use the long holiday weekend to knock this project on out.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sewn Up

The first of four bbq pillows is complete and residing in its' place of honor. The fabric is a Waverly print. I inserted a 72-inch zipper to allow removal of the foam for washing. Now that the first one is done the rest should be smooth sailing.

Last year I got a little frustrated when I was working on two machine knit sweaters and gave up on them. I recently ordered some new patterns and yarn to try again. I programmed the pattern into the KH970 last night and will knit a test swatch tonight.

The only other project looming on the horizon is a 50th birthday gift for my next door neighbor's daughter. I've picked out the pattern and the yarn but have yet to get started. I'm making the Melon Pattern for a Shawl from Victorian Lace Today in Rowan Kidsilk Night instead of the Kidsilk Haze called for in the pattern. She lives in Alabama and doesn't know about this blog so I'm not worried about the surprise being spoiled.

I finally have time to answer Cici's Meme so hear it goes.

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer."

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was working 2 jobs and going to school to get my degree in computer technology.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
Get of work early, get dishes from storage for homeless housing, finish sewing piping and first pillow, cast on tension swatch for machine knit sweater, finish first Embossed Leaves sock.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
I recently changed my diet to diabetes so I'm skippping this one.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Donate, share with my family, friends and church, do charity work, open a craft shop, take some cooking classes, sleep late, put all my nieces and nephews through school, build a house, take a trip around the world.

5) Places I have lived:
Bronx, NY, Fort Bragg, Alabama, Spartanburg, Irmo, SC, Spartanburg, SC for college, Columbia, SC.

6) Jobs I have had:
Ward clerk, lsm operator - USPS, fsm operator - USPS, mail clerk, spreadsheet specialist, computer programmer, software applications analyst

7) Bloggers I am tagging who you will enjoy getting to know better:

Irish Eyes Kathy

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I am making good progress on the first Embossed Leaves socks. The 16-row repeat is easy to memorize and execute. Whether or not I can memorize is solely dependent on me being able to find the rhythm in the knitting and this one is excellent. I was going to give these to mom but decided to stay true to the original design and continue the pattern onto the foot. This means that these lovelies will grace my tootsies.

We went to the beach for Memorial Day weekend and got caught in black bike week. I forgot about this picture until I had to locate photos that were saved to the wrong folder. Check out the orange car. I'll gladly accept donations, both cash and yarn, from anyone who can't think of anything better to do with their money than this. You need a ladder to get into it!

I've almost completed the first bbq pillow and will need to make a trip back to the fabric store to finish this project. I was more or less guessing as far as the piping is concerned since I've never taken on a project like this and will need considerably more fabric. It's fun and I'm learning something new even though I've been sewing for decades.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Whoa Nelly or Playing Catch Up

Life is good. It's still been busy, but a good kind of busy. Week before last I had my favorite nephews every evening for Vacation Bible School. I picked Isaiah up from day care after work each afternoon and the first day I picked him up was surprised to see him sporting his new do. A partial faux hawk.

I finished and have worn the Spicy Fitted V-Neck Tee pictured in the previous post. I still have much more yarn leftover than I expected. I've been trying to work from stash with the hope of using all the yarn chosen for each sweater. So far I've struck out twice.

Yesterday I finally completed the Seed Stitch Rib Socks. The Happily Handpainted reminds of Cherry Tree Hill. From all appearances, texture and knitting it feels like the same base yarn. These socks took a while but once I committed to finishing them they rolled right off the needles.

Sunday I began cutting the fabric for the pillows for the barbecue. I'm making four pillows that will go on the open sections for seating. I started with cutting out the pillow sections and made some of the piping yesterday. This evening was busy so I only managed to get one of the zipper strips done. This is a project that will probably take the next couple of weeks to finish.

On Saturday I started my SOS 2008 socks. I'm doing the Embossed Leaves in Cherry Tree Hill from the stash. I've already turned the heel on the first sock. In addition to these I'm knitting Arial a White Lies Design for mom in Mondial Lucente. The yarn can be a little splitty but it knits up into a beautiful fabric.

I still have to do Cici's meme, but for now I'm playing catch up. It's late so ta-ta for now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tardis Anyone?

Whew! It's been a hectic two weeks. I've found myself wishing I had my own personal Tardis. Mom had an unexpected hospitalization on Wednesday and had to have a pacemaker implanted last Friday. The previous weekend we were at Myrtle Beach in the midst of the Black Biker weekend and last Thursday my oldest niece graduated from high school. Go Kayla!!!

Mom is home and doing great. She has so much energy and is back to her old self again. She still has some recuperating to do and is taking it easy. For now she can't drive or lift her arm above her head. I think the hardest part for her will be changing her diet.

I've been working on a pullover based on the Spicy Fitted V-Neck Tee from Fitted Knits in Noro Hinageshi SS.

This picture is from about a week ago and I've gotten considerably more done. The sleeves are finished and I'm almost done with the body. It appears that I will have considerably more yarn left than I thought so I'll probably undo the sleeves and lengthen them.

I've been tagged by Cici and will post my answers tomorrow. At the moment I'm trying to get things caught up at the house. It's amazing how many things don't get done when crisis occur.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again

Things have calmed down. The blood sugar levels are back within normal ranges and I can see extremely well. So well that I don't need glasses except for reading. The optometrist has assured me that this is not a permanent condition and that my regular impaired vision will return in about another 1-2 months. My left eye at this time requires no vision correction and is doing all the work since the vision has returned to its' normal near-sightedness in my right eye. I also have no vision correction for reading in my right eye but require reading glasses to assist the left eye. He says that the good thing is that I'll be able to use my eyes as a barometer for blood sugar control in addition to the daily testing.

I attended the Middleton Place Sheep and Wool Days two weekends ago and had a nice outing. Mom and knitting buds Calvin and Millie made up the posse.

I saw sheep including a precious baby that was only two weeks old. The mom was being sheared and was a little upset that she was taken away from her baby. Two boisterous alpacas and inquisitive mohair goats. There were several demos going on including spinning, pottery, blacksmithing and dyeing.

I didn't have much time to actually tour the gardens and would like to make another trip just for that purpose.

We left the gardens headed for Knit! in downtown Charleston. I walked in and who did I see but Vera of Vera's Crafty Blog. She was very nice and took time out from knitting to chat. I'm looking forward to seeing her again when she makes it up this way.

I didn't make many purchases this time only a new knitting bag, 3 skeins of Koigu for socks, another pom pom maker and the book "A Garden Stroll". The book was only $5.00 and is one of the better purchases I've made in a while.

I also managed to finish the pieces for the Viola shell I'm making for mom. I've put the shoulders together twice but I'm not pleased with the way they look and will more than likely graft them together. I started a pair of socks in the blue Happily Hand-Painted yarn from North Woods Farm Fiber and Yarn that I purchased at the Greenville Knit-In. I'm loving the dye job and won't have to worry about any pooling and flashing. The pattern is Seed-Stitch Ribbing from MSKS.

Normally I post pictures of the flowers currently in bloom in our yard. I've been focused on other things but this weekend I couldn't miss the rose pictured. It is about 8 inches across and is the biggest rose I've ever seen.

There were several other large roses on this bush. It isn't in the best of shape but it produces some spectacular flowers each year. We are still in the process of planting and re-doing beds in the back yard. This is my favorite time of the year. The time of rebirth and renewal.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Working My Way Back

Two weeks ago I woke up and got ready for work. Things looked a little hazy but I thought it was no big deal. My vision continued to worsen to the point where I had to stop driving. I went to the eye doctor and received the shock of my life. My eyes are healthy but I needed to be checked immediately for diabetes. He gave me some temporary contacts which have allowed me to drive once again.

Last Monday my fears were confirmed and I do have diabetes. This explains the thirst and the trips to bathroom every 15 to 30 minutes and the fatigue that I had attributed to the fibromyalgia. My doctor prescribed a pill for the diabetes and I've already made some dietary changes. As a rule I eat a diet healthy in fruits and vegetables so it hasn't been exceptionally difficult. My blood sugar has dropped from the upper 300's and low 400's to the 160's. I still have a lot of work to do but some of the fog has lifted.

My knitting has been pretty much relegated to the sidelines as I sometimes have difficulty finding the correct line of vision between the contacts and the reading glasses. Each day my vision improves some and the optometrist says that I may gain all of my original visual acuity back and return to my original eyeglass prescription.

I plan to pick up the knitting this week with the hope that I can get the front of Viola finished. This weekend I'm going to the Sheep and Wool Days at Middleton Place Plantation in Charleston. I'm not sure if this is the first one they've had but this is the first time I've had any knowledge of it. We'll spend the day touring the various activities as well as the gardens. There may be a little side shopping trip thrown in the mix, but for now we are going to go with the flow.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Today I made a special delivery. Due to health issues I've spent an inordinant amount of time at the CVS nearest to my house. Over the past several years most of the pharmacy staff has gotten to know me by name. Elaine, the pharmacy tech, recently had her first grandson. She joked about what was I going to knit for him, but little did she know that I already had something in mind. Today I made a special delivery for her.


Pattern: Zoe from A Treasury of Rowan Knits
Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Denim
Needles: 3 and 6 US Colonial Rosewood
Size: 2-3
Started: March 2, 2008 Finished: March 26, 2008

Mods: The sweater is designed as a tunic for girls. I shortened it to sweater length and omitted the side flaps. I also omitted the two front pockets. I was looking for blue buttons and the only suitable ones we found were the doggie buttons. They add that little extra that was needed.

Once the pollen stops falling I'm planning to make this one of my outdoor knitting spots. It's the bbq pit we had built this winter. Mom has already purchased the fabric and foam for the pillows that will surround it. I'll be doing the sewing and assembly. The grills for the pit are on order. We do a lot of cooking out so I'm sure that we'll be spending a lot of time out here grilling and chilling.

Theresa asked about the floor a few photos back. Yes that is the floor in the new section. It's red oak like the floors in the original house. We can do rugs but no carpet. I have severe dust mite allergies and don't have either in my bed or craft room.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Family Ties

Yesterday was a wonderful day. Having a house filled with the sound of laughter is a wonderful thing, especially the laughther of children. We missed Charles and his family and Billy and the Georgia clan. Billy's children from Aiken; Bryant, Brenna and Jessica, and their mother, Cindy, came up.bRebecca and Isaiah came over. Byron my youngest brother and Isaiah's dad, was here from Greenville. They played games, enjoyed good food and played more games.

Brenna, my niece, is modeling her Retro Redux Shrug. I finished it about two weeks ago. I made it a little longer than the pattern called for in the largest size and it fits her perfectly. She's grown a bit since I last saw her during the New Year holiday and is now taller than me!


Pattern: Retro Redux Shrug from LaceStyle
Yarn: Cascade 220 Wool
Needles: 8, 9, 10, 10.5 Bamboo circular
Size: Large
Started: February 28, 2008 Finished: March 6, 2008

Modifications: I added a few extra rows in the body length. It fits her perfectly, much better than the original would have.

These photos are of the Carnival Cardigan that I made for mom using EZ's percentage system. She's been wearing it for over a year. I recently bought the clasps and sewed them on.


Pattern: Carnival Cardigan made using EZ's Percentage System
Yarn: Noro Silver Thaw, Noro Cash Iroha
Needles: 8 Clover Bamboo circulars
Size: Large
Started: January 23, 2007 Finished: February 26, 2007

Mom loves this sweater and has gotten a lot of wear out of it this winter. I love to knit for her because she truly enjoys whatever I make her. I'm currently working on a sleeveless sweater for her using Hempathy in the cool blue colorway.

The falling pollen is turning everything green and the flowers are blooming. All I can think about are the sweaters I want to knit for the spring and summer. I'm still focused on finishing the current wips but I've gotten to the point where I can start another. Spring fever is in the house!