I guess all you are going to get from me on this blog is big gaps between posts and then one that tries to play catch up. There actually has been a lot going on around here, mostly to do with the barn. Capsule version: excitement, hard work, drama, DRAMA, DDRRAAMMAA, big let down, whew! But riding every morning is still fun. I love my barn friends, and am always very happy to spend as much time as possible there. We had a really fun party at a local pub on Saturday for the Kentucky Derby. It was also set up to raise funds for renovating our outdoor arena, so we had a silent auction, merchandise sales, a raffle, and even a special Ginger Mint Julep. Yum! Lots of fun was had and a good bit of money raised. Yay!
Through all the upset of the last few months, knitting has helped keep my stress level under control, and since I was here last, I finished six projects and have two more on the needles. I have yet to get around to blocking some of the projects from both this year and last, but hope to do better in the coming days. Of course, after a protracted cold and wet Spring, it's now almost too hot to wear anything made of wool, but I figure it probably is a very good time for blocking. Then my lovely items will be clean and ready for the inevitable return of cold weather (which I do not even want to think about for more than two seconds at this point!)
So, let's see what I can figure out has gone on for the last few months.
At the end of February, I went to Arizona to visit my aunt and cousins. Talk about bad timing - they all had some kind of plague! Not only did it curtail the activities they had planned for my visit, but I didn't get to see a whole bunch of them, either. However, I did have a good time visiting with my aunt and the family who made it over before falling ill themselves, and it's a good excuse to go back later this year for another try. Also, I miraculously avoided becoming sick, thank goodness.
After my last post of February 12, I finished two items.
I knit this with the same yarn a few years ago. Last December, I put it, along with some other things, up for sale at the barn's Holiday Bazaar. One of my friends fell in love with it, but had the Christmas spirit and bought it for her friend, instead. When I saw the yarn at Claudia's shop, I grabbed it and knit it again as a gift to my selfless friend. I'm going to ahve to make one for myself, because I love the way it drapes, and it can be worn many different ways.
This is one of my "go to" sock patterns. Mindless to knit, but not boring. Perfect for Friday knit nights. Try as I may, though, my camera wouldn't capture the true color of this yarn, which is really a deep purple.
March 17 was the ninth anniversary of this sad little blog. Poor thing was ignored even on its birthday. I must start paying it more attention, don't you think? And I'd better not forget the big One Oh next year!
At the end of the month, we had our Spring Pony Ride Day at the barn. This is always a big event, and this time was no exception. The lines were long, but everyone had a good time (except for some of the horses, who were clearly over all the fuss!) I was busy walking horses, hiking out to the pasture to bring in replacements, and helping tack horses, so no photos this year. Picture a smiling kid on a big horse and you'll get the picture.
I finished four projects in March, one of which is still waiting to be blocked. Another task I really need to get on top of.
Years ago, there was a Yahoo group for this German sock knitalong. They included English versions of the patterns, and although the group is long gone, I was excited to find all the patterns for free on Ravelry. I changed the stitch count on this sock, so it doesn't look exactly like the orginal, and frankly, it's too tight. Next time, stick with the pattern! I also went back to my quest for a short row heel that is easy to knit and fits nicely. I used the Strong Heel for these socks and really like both the process and the outcome.
My next project was the Zetor Shawl. I used a skein of Wollmeise that Claudia gave me a few years ago. Great pattern and, of course, fabulous yarn. One of these days you'll see a picture of the beautiful BLOCKED shawl.
This was one of those "whoops" projects. Isn't it cute? Nice detail on the back (shown on the front here.) But, instead of the size 2 needles I thought I was using, they were really size 4. Soooo, it's a tad big. Funny thing is, the ribbing fits pretty well, but to say baggy would be generous. Anyone with a big head of hair need a hat??
I made this last winter with wool and liked it, but had some Alchemy merino/silk that has been languishing in my stash for a long time. I liked the idea of using the two colors and the yarn is so soft - just perfect for this cowl.
Lots of birthdays in April. Cory and his wife, Laura, both celebrated. And my kitties turned six this year! They are still the best of friends, and as nutty as ever.
My cousin, Pam, was in town with her husband for a convention, and we got to spend a day together. This was especially nice as she was one of those I didn't get to see when I was in Arizona in February. We took a tour of the city, had a nice lunch, visited the barn, and talked, talked, talked. Such fun!
The first April finish is another project in the blocking queue - Poe. I love this shawl. So pretty, and easy and fun to knit. The yarn was a birthday gift from my friend, Brett. I'm going to have to hunt up some more!
After a long drought, I'm obviously back on my sock kick. These are made with Interlacement Tiny Toes, which has also been hiding in the stash for a long time. Again, I used the Strong Heel. It looks a little weird to me, but fits nicely. I'm interested to see how it wears compared to my usual flap and gusset.
So, now it's May . The grass and trees are green and the flowers are blooming nicely, thanks to all the rain we've had lately. Going to the barn every morning is a lot easier now that it's light outside when I leave, and it's staying that way until almost 8:30 at night. I know Summer's heat and humidity aren't far away, so for now I'll enjoy the warm days and cool nights. And I'll keep knitting...and riding!
My first May finish was the Dovetail Cowl
I saw this pattern in the Neighborhood Fiber Co. booth at Stitches South. The yarn is their lovely worsted weight in the Rock Creek Park colorway (the first photo is the true color.) I LOVE this yarn, and the pattern was very fun. I'm so happy it's finally warm here, but can't wait to wear this cowl in the Fall.
To prove I can get things done, here's a 2012 project, blocked just in time to wear to Stitches South this April.
We saw quite a few gracing knitters at Stitches South. Mine is the fingering weight version, and it came out HUGE!! But soft and drapey, too. I'm glad I went with the trend.
Ok, back to my current project. And later this afternoon, Quadrille practice. I'm having WAY too much fun these days!