Thursday, March 7, 2013

Level III goes on and on and on.....

Still at it!  Level III continues to occupy my brain, my hands, and nearly every waking moment.  I often can't sleep for thinking about it, and am up for two or three hours during the night to knit, eat, write, or otherwise try to calm myself enough to get back to sleep.  I do have the sweater and hat finished now, and photographed.  Dear husband does the photography which I greatly appreciate, and I figured out how to get Shutterfly prints made.  Learned something new there!

I have one swatch left to do, the dreaded entrelac.  I finished the Bavarian traveling stitch swatch, and for the life of me I can't figure out why anyone in their right mind would actually want to do either entrelac or Bavarian traveling stitch.  I am loving the research for the fiber report however.  That is such fascinating stuff, and stuff I wish I had known 25 years ago.  It would have saved me some serious mistakes in matching yarn to patterns.

This is such a learning process.  Stressful, yes, but valuable learning.  Still hoping for submission by the end of this month.  Then I can relax and forget it for a few months until I get it all back and have to tackle the inevitable "redos".

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life and Level III

January 23, 2013

Every time I check my daughter's blog and find nothing new, I'm a bit disappointed since it's one of the few ways we have of keeping in touch between infrequent visits.  She hasn't written anything new for several months now, then I realized I haven't written for even longer!  So here goes.

I continue to work on Level III of the Master Knitter Program.  I feel like I will be continuing to work on Level III of the Master Knitter Program for the rest of my life.  I so wanted to get it finished and submitted by the end of January, but when I found a mistake mid-December which required frogging 11 1/2 inches of the sweater sleeve, I realized it just wasn't going to happen.  I put the whole thing aside for a couple weeks while I did Christmas stuff, then went back, frogged and finished that sleeve.  Have one more to go, a buttonhole band, and then sew it all up and do the neck ribbing, put buttons on it, block and it will be finished.  Then there is the matter of the hat.  I had started the corrugated ribbing for that but ripped it all out this morning, after deciding I didn't like the color combination.  I have most of the swatches finished, but haven't started any of the reviews or reports.  Oh, will I ever get this finished?

We just returned last nite from a 12 day road trip to Houston, TX, driving about 2500 miles in all.  Have decided that's the last time I want to do that.  Meals were very haphazard, and not very healthy, and I began having symptoms of something, maybe low blood sugar.  Anyway, I was very weepy on several occasions, nearly passed out once, and felt really crabby a lot of the time.  I've thought that in a relationship the happiness of one depends on the happiness of the other, but maybe not!  This was a trip Clint really wanted to take, now, to see his son and family.  I didn't want to go now, since my first great grandbaby was going to be born while we were gone, and I wanted to finish Level III before we went south.  I opted for his "happiness," but forfeited my own.  And my being so crabby didn't do much for his happiness.

Anyway, we are home now, the baby is here and beautiful and we will go see him today or tomorrow.
I'm still tired though. And a bit crabby. although trying to not let it show.

Maybe Level III will be ready to submit by the end of March.  I surely hope so for I'm leaving for a couple days in NYC mid-April, with three other women.  Flying. Staying in a nice hotel. Eating when and what I need. Sleeping in a good bed. And although NY traffic is about as nerve racking as Houston's, we won't be in it for hours on end.

So life's looking up.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Level III continues, along with the rest of life.

I continue to work a bit now and then on level III of the Master Knitter Program.  However, I have also taught the two 10-year old girl triplets cake decorating for their 4-H projects, and helped Will (the other triplet) with his art projectm this summer.  Cake judging was today and both girls did well.  Maddie got an A for her high heeled shoes, and Jessie got an "A+ outstanding" for her sock monkey cake.  Both were cute as can be, and fairly reflective of their different personalities.

The coming weekend holds a wedding reception for the daughter of a long time friend, and she asked me to make a cake for the party, but not a "traditional" wedding cake.  It's an outdoor party, and after much thought and in keeping with the garden party theme, I've decided on a large hat, covered in rolled fondant with a ribbon around the brim, bow in back and orange and yellow fondant poppies on the side.  Thinking this (a 14" round layer, with a 6" crown) won't be enough for all the guests, I'm also doing 4 dozen cupcakes, each with a small poppy surrounded by white frosting ruffles.  Will try to post photos soon.

Yesterday was the final day of the triplets' softball tournament, so I sat through three of their five tournament games during the past four days.  Their team took second place.  Thank heaven for my knitting to keep me sane during the exciting times, and occupied during the boring ones.

I missed the other two games primarily because I have bronchitis and cough all night instead of sleeping, so don't feel quite up to par, to say the least.  Gave in today and went to Urgent Care for another round of meds.  The first round which I got at the Keene, NH Hospital ER while on vacation didn't quite finish the job.

And....while we were in Keene, Clint drove me over to Manchester, NH, for the Masters Day of the big TKGA Knit Show.  (He drove for two reasons; it was a long way and we didn't know the roads, and I was a bit spaced out on codeine cough syrup.)  The Masters Day was good.  I particularly enjoyed meeting members of the committee and Arenda Holloday.  Arenda is a truly amazing person and inspiration.  Her knitting is beyond belief - think fair isle sweaters at a gauge of 12 sts. to the inch, but she is approachable, and down-to-earth.  Some of the committee members reviewed a few of my swatches, which they all thought were acceptable.  I really want to get going in earnest on Level III, but can't do much until I get the wedding cake done, and the cough under control.

Finally, the big news here is that I am going to be a great grandma.  My grandson Nick, and his Amanda are expecting in early January.  That babe is going to need lots of warm woolies.  So there will be small knitted items competing with the Masters swatches.

Life is never dull, at least not for long.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Once again....
I thought I blogged a few days ago, but apparently I didn't do something right because it didn't show up here, which is just as well because I was tired and grouchy and worried when I wrote it.  I was worried about my 38 year old daughter-in-law who has breast cancer, and worried about how I could hold up taking care of her 9 year old triplets while she fights this stuff.

She had the double mastectomy two days ago, and the report was good.  No cancer in the lymph nodes.  So no radiation.  That's good.  She still faces reconstruction, and probably chemo, because of the size of the tumor, just to be sure although the surgeon thinks everything he left was clean.  Triplets are with us and we are getting along fine.  No squabbles, just lots of movies and reading, and eating.  They are at the stage where they think they need food every two hours or so.  Good thing I stocked the freezer before the surgery.

Level III of the Master Knitter Course is pretty much on hold for a while.  I'm enjoying what little I've done - all the new and pretty stitch patterns are fun, but still intimidated at the thought of designing and knitting the sweater.  Glad there isn't a time limit - I may be 80 years old before I finish this!

Friday, December 2, 2011


About the third week of October I finally sent in Level II of the Master Knitter course.  What a relief to have it out of my house and off my mind, as I don't expect it back for at least another month or so.
Finishing up this level made me crazy.  Right now I'm not feeling like I want to go on to Level III, but we'll see how many things I have to resubmit to pass Level II.

At a doctor's visit this week, the doctor noticed my barn jacket (pattern on Ravelry) and told me she is a knitter too although she claims to have two left hands and three thumbs.  I'm glad she's not my surgeon! She said she'd like to knit socks but has trouble managing those "double sided" needles.  I told her about using two circulars and later e-mailed the Simple Sock On Two Circulars pattern I wrote a few years ago for the class I taught.

I also sent that pattern to the young man who waited on me at Office Max who was having trouble learning to turn a heel.  Amazing how I seem to find other knitters everywhere.

Learned yesterday that Braeden, age two and a half, asked to wear his backhoe sweater on Thanksgiving.  (Photo on my ravelry projects page) .  Braeden is our next door neighbor who often asks to come see my husband, Clint,  and dearly loves all kinds of big equipment, especially backhoes.  He doesn't seem to have any feelings for me one way or the other, but I keep making sweaters for him anyway just because he's so cute.

My birthday is coming up soon, and I'm using it as an excuse to get all kinds of goodies I've wanted for a while.  Yesterday the UPS man brought three books: Stephanie Pearl McPhee's newest "All Wound Up,"  Mary Jane Mucklestone's beautiful new book of fair isle patterns, and Shirley Paden's book on knitwear design.  What a volume that one!  It could be a design college textbook.  Can't wait to finish my Christmas knitting so I can start a new project using the techniques in Shirley's book.

Speaking of Christmas knitting, I have several projects in process, and can't quite seem to finish any of them.  One sweater only needs a button band and buttons, one is about a third finished, a scarf needs to be a little longer, a cowl is waiting to be cast on, and one sweater is waiting to be sewn up, although that may take a bit of doing since when blocking the pieces I discovered that while the sleeves and back are worked with raglan shaping, the fronts are designed for set-in sleeves.  How on earth I managed that one, I do not know, but to comfort myself from this strange turn of events, I've made three Scandinavian fair isle mittens since last Friday.  All for right hands.  The first was too small, the second too big, and the third just right. (I'm wondering if the Big Bad Wolf is waiting to gobble me up).  No, it's just that all these projects needing to be done before the 25th are gobbling me up.  The second mitten to match the third - that does make sense, think about it - may have to wait until January, or at least until Dec. 26th.

I hope everyone else is doing better than I am with the Christmas knitting.  Maybe I should think about a nice glass of wine rather than Scandinavian mittens.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pluggin' Away

After almost two months into Level 2 of the TKGA Master Hand Knitter Program, I'm making progress, but slowly.  I have 21 swatches done, but may do a couple of them over.  I got so tired of the buttonhole swatches that I quit on them - have two left to do, plus the last cable swatch.  All of the patterns and other written work need a final proof reading, and swatches need remeasuring, just to be sure.

I have an argyle sock finished, but not good enough to submit.  I used part of the sock yarn for the lace swatches, so had to order more sock yarn before I can do the next one.  I had one heck of a time figuring out how to seam the instep stitches 1/2 stitch in from the edge - finally think I have it!  I've discovered that pearle cotton is my friend.  I pick up stitches with it before picking up or seaming with the working yarn.  If I've made a mistake somewhere the pearle cotton slips out easily without damaging the yarn.  Now if I could just figure out how to weave in the tails in all that seed stitch, I'd be feeling a lot better about this.

I've made several mittens and although each one looks a little better than the last, I still don't have one good enough to submit.  Fair isle isn't hard on hats, but on this tiny little circumference, it's giving me fits.

I've found a vest pattern I think I want to use, but haven't swatched the stitch pattern yet, or bought yarn.  Plan to do the vest for Will who is almost 9, so if I have to redo it, it won't take as much time or yarn as an adult size.

I finished my rose colored sweater and although I don't really like the yarn or the pattern, the color is nice and the sweater is soooo comfortable.  I wear it a lot.  I also made a cardigan sweater for my 12 year old granddaughter, Sophie, and am now working on one for one of the 8 year old triplets.  Doing some intarsia work on this one, and using a tubular cast on, which I love! (don't love doing it, just love the result).

I've read that level 2 is the hardest - I surely hope so!  It will be a happy day when I pass this level!!!!!
Back to work now...........

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Level I - Passed!

Just got the word this morning that I have passed Level I of the Masters Program.  Woo - Hoo!  Time to celebrate, but honestly I just want to get started on Level II asap.