Sunday, January 11, 2015

Magic Loop Sock Knitting

After all the home improvement projects we've done the past few days, I had the pleasure of hanging out at the knit shop yesterday with a bunch of friends. We all  took a class with Robbie and she is teaching us how to knit socks from the top down, two at a time, on one long circular needle. The cable is 40 inches in length.  

I am using some great heavy weight sock yarn by Regia (Design line by Kaffe Fassett).  I often painstakingly line up the designs when using self-striping yarn like this, but today I just cast on with reckless abandon. It was just dumb luck, but it is actually great that the socks are mismatched so I can easily keep track of Sock A versus Sock B as I am learning a new technique. 

I don't know yet if this will become my preferred method of sock knitting. I like to knit socks with double pointed needles; that is the technique I learned first. Whatever the case may be, I sure enjoyed taking the class with a great bunch of ladies. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Home Improvement: Garage Organization

My husband retired from his job on December 31, 2014. I am not too far behind. I will be retired by the end of 2015. At work, lots of folks are retiring and we joke about the lists of "honeydews" their spouses have lined up for them. We have a list of projects we would like to accomplish and this task went rather quickly since we both rolled up our sleeves for a few hours yesterday.  We cleaned and organized our garage.

We bought these great industrial shelving units at Sam's Club. I put the same shelves in my craft room. They are under $100.00 and should last for a really long time. 

Since we enjoy being able to park two cars in the garage, we've been pretty good about throwing things out and not accumulating a bunch of stuff in the garage over the last 22.5 years, but yesterday we cleared out quite a lot and it feels really good to have it all tidied up. 

I suppose the walls could use a coat of paint. I painted them 22 years ago. I keep joking that I should probably paint them every 22 years whether it's needed or not. 

I still feel like our home feels NEW. Time flies!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Home Improvement: Pergola Blinds

The weather in Southern Colorado has been crazy this week. It was 66 degrees on Tuesday then we woke up to freezing fog and rain on Wednesday. On Thursday we had warm temperatures again so we got out and hung these blinds on our backyard pergola. 

We custom ordered them from Home Depot. The blinds are fully open in these photos. We did not need them to go all the way down. 

Sandy photo bombed this picture!  She's posing so nicely. She's wearing my Boulderband headband; looks mighty cute on her. 

I would love to say the blinds went up in 20 minutes as the instructions suggested. We had to hang two sets of blinds; it took us three hours!  

We are DIY challenged. 

Below:  This is what the blinds block. We have a huge, mostly vacant lot behind us. At the far north end of the lot, there is a house. Just behind our fence is an old garage which is used infrequently as a welding shack. The homeowner's grown son runs a landscaping business in our area. He stores some equipment in the big lot. His employees meet up in the lot at the beginning of each day and they park cars back there. We had two cottonwood trees which blocked all of this for over 15 years. We had the trees removed last spring and we felt like we needed some privacy from the activity back there. Don't get me wrong... these are great neighbors. It just feels they can look up into the main living portion of our house right up over the fence. 

After our warm temperatures yesterday, we again had freezing rain this morning. It's an ice rink out there!  Today we took our home improvement efforts into the garage where it was a bit warmer. I'll show you the after photos soon!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Good Knitting Weather

It felt like Spring yesterday. It was sunny, the temperatures were in the 60's, and it was not windy. Today we woke up to freezing fog, roads covered in black ice, and super cold temperatures. We were hoping to assemble some new shelves in the garage, clear out clutter, and paint the garage walls. That will have to wait until another day. 

I think today is a good day to knit!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hello Dolly

Hello Dolly!

That's the name of this yarn's color way. These socks are knit in Knit Picks Stroll Hand Dyed.  They turned out great and fit like... Uhhhh!?  A glove?  No, they fit like socks made just for me by me!  

Yep, Etsy has slowed down just enough for me to indulge in a little knitting. Yippee!

I used 2.75 mm needles and cast on 56 stitches. I followed a pattern by Red Heart called "Self-striping Knit Socks".  I love this pattern; it's the first pattern I used when I learned to make socks. 

I actually got out of bed in time to graft the toe closed on sock #2 so I could wear these today. I wore a raspberry colored cardigan and black slacks and my Alegria shoes so my socks would peek out.  I have my own unique fashion sense I suppose. If any one comments about my socks, I say... "I have happy feet!" And then I rip off my shoe so they can see the whole sock. Yep. I am weird like that!

Love my Alegria shoes. Great to show off hand knit socks!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Years Eve!  We woke up to bitter cold temperatures today. No worries. I had my Labradoodle blanket. This is the view of my lap. 

We (Zach and I) took the doggies for a walk at the river. It was a gorgeous bright and sunny cold morning walk. On the ground, there was super dry, light snow that looked like a blend of sugar and diamond glitter. It felt more like walking in sand on the beach than walking in snow.  The water in the river was slushy and frozen in some places and there was a beautiful mist hovering over the river and river banks in some places. Sandy was not too keen on the cold weather. She started to shake so I wrapped her in my fleece jacket and we took turns carrying her for awhile. 
When we got home. Brutus still had some spunk left in him. He played in the cul de sac with Zach. It was hilarious to watch Brutus chasing and pouncing on a slippery football in the ice and snow. 

It's nice to be toasty and warm in the house now. I am looking forward to a quiet New Years Eve with a little sock knitting. I doubt I'll stay up until midnight. 

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy new year. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

An Afternoon of Sewing

Wine Bottle Bags 

Today I got to do a little sewing ... just because I wanted to. It was nice to not HAVE to sew pillows today. ETSY orders have slowed a bit which is a welcome break.  I looked through my book to find a project I'd like to try and I made the "Wine Lovers' Special".  There are lots of other projects in this book I'd like to make. 

It was fun pairing coordinating fabrics for the outside and the lining. I have lots of black ribbon and black fabric with white polka dots and it goes with lots of other fabrics so I used the black fabric to line both bags. 

On the knitting front... I am working on some mittens out of great self-striping sock yarn. Here's a sneak peek!