Monday, November 26, 2012

Texas our Texas: edited to add photos

It was such a wonderful trip to Texas.  I wish I could have forever.  Like moved myself and all my belongings and set up shop in Texas and not worried about missing that place ever again.  I could eat myself silly on good Mexican food, be around smart and friendly people, and live a quality of life that would be really nice.

During our 5 days in Texas I got to spend some wonderful time with my family.  There were almost 30 of us at lunch on Thursday, and both of my brothers and their kids showed up, so it was a whole "Thornton" family get-together.  I enjoyed so much visiting with everyone and eating all the wonderful food.  AND there was a surprised card shower at the end with a couple of small gifties thrown in there.  Very wonderful.

Then on Friday afternoon we drove to College Station to show the kids around town.  We looked at the apartments where they used to live and drove around campus.  We ate some yummy food at Chuy's and then went to Midnight Yell, which the daughters claimed was the "strangest and most wonderful thing" they'd ever experienced.

Saturday was spent tooling around campus.  David and I got to go by the building where we first met, and I showed the girls all the places where I liked to camp out and study.  We got to visit the newly remodeled MSC and hung out there for a while.  It was truly a nice and beautiful day....

Capped by some really awesome football Saturday night.  I was completely impressed watching Johnny Manziel play football.  He is an amazingly talented individual.  When he fell down with an injury the stadium was completely quiet.  Eerily so, considering there were 87,000 people present and apparently not one of them was even breathing.  Then someone started chanting "Johnny" and he eventually got up.  Good Ags stay for the entire game no matter the weather or the score, but these Ags were cold and tired, so we left after the band performed and watched the rest of the game from Tony Roma's over a rack of ribs and onion rings.

I can't wait to be back in Texas, even if it is for a short time, but I'm hoping to make it a permanent situation sometime in my near future...if you know of anything be sure to let me know!

Today I'm posting two pictures.  The first is a picture of two pictures that we have hanging in our hallway.  it is of me and the girls when they were 3 and 13.  The second is from this weekend (they are now 20).  We are posed in the same parking spot in the apartment complex where we last lived in Bryan.  It was really nice walking down memory lane!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Mittens are Finished

I think I love them. I  hope I have the opportunity to wear them.  Quite bright and very difficult to get a good photograph, but they're fun, super easy and quick.  I even had to rip one out and start completely over, remember?

Now, off to start something new.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Great Mystery

I do like these little mystery projects.  When I quilted I would go to mystery classes when I had the time and money.  It was always fun to just get little bits of the pattern at a time and see the whole thing progress.  I'm loving this's pretty and fun and will be very very warm (perfect for London I'm supposing).

Aren't the stitches incredibly beautiful with this yarn?  The entire time I'm working on this project I'm shocked that the yarn is so wonderful and not scratchy or "wooly" feeling.  Truly lives up to its name, de-vine.

I can't wait until next week to see the next phase.

In the meantime I'll be finishing my mittens and working on my sweater again.  It would be lovely to try it on soon...and that's not too far away, in all honesty.  Updates as they are merited!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

...and I'm making a cowl!

I decided to participate in a Mystery Knit-a-Long.  This sounded like a lot of fun.  You get a clue every week for three weeks and in the end you have a beautiful cowl.  I purchased the yarn, which arrived just in time to get the first clue and start.  So, I cast on last night and began knitting.

The hardest decision was choosing the color.  I bought two skeins hoping that when they arrived at home I would be more enamored of one than the other, but I wasn't.  I loved them both.  David picked for me--the color name is Hobbit Garden.  I love the bright aqua color, and the deep purple, which when knitted almost reads as brown. (I highly suspect you're going to see the other colorway, Currier and Ives, in a second cowl seeing how quickly this project is going to knit up!)

The yarn is called Devine, and boy is it.  It's extremely difficult to believe this is 100% wool yarn.  It's soft and springy and very round, and not the slightest bit itchy.

Based on the first clue, I think the cowl will be a sampler of knitting stitches.  The first is linen stitch and the second is herringbone.  I'm currently 5 rows into the linen stitch.  It's it pretty!?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm making mittens

I'm making mittens...don't ask me why because it's hardly ever cold enough here to warrant more than one pair of gloves.

But, Saturday I wasn't feeling great and needed an easy knitting project while watching the football games (go Aggies!).  I didn't want to mess up the lovely sweater, so knew that I needed to take a break from it, for at least on Saturday.  I had a bag beside me that had two "cakes" of yarn--a lovely green bamboo and wool sock yarn and a hot pink silk and wool sock yarn.  I decided that every girl needs a bright pink pair of mittens, and somehow channeled the memory that I have no idea how it works and went through the giant stack of patterns that I'd printed out months ago in search of the "great guide to mittens" by Anne Budd...which I found and off I was going.

Problem is I didn't check guage and ended up making my mitten WAY too big.  So I ripped out the whole thing and started over.

And here's its picture.  Lochi was a very good prop for my mitten last night.  The silk is what you're seeing shimmer in the picture.  They are so fun!

Don't worry.  I'll get back to the sweater.  But first I must finish these mittens and today starts the Mystery Cowl Knit-a-long (and I should get my yarn today so I should be able to start that today).  But it'll happen because that sweater is just too gorgeous to let sit for very long.  Apparently, though, I needed a break, and that's ok.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Sweater

I reached the arm-pits last night, and was very excited.  I love this sweater.  I love it all the more that I'm making it, and it's pretty, and I can't believe I'll be able to wear it someday soon...maybe week after next?  Wouldn't it be lovely to wear to Thanksgiving, but then I fear spilling food on it and that would be tragedy.

Here's its picture.  I don't have much more to say about it than's just wonderful all by itself, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


This little hat, photo below, is the inspiration for the sweater I'm currently over half-way finished knitting.

And let me tell you why.  It's the yarn.  It's Malabrigo Rios and so soft you can't believe it's 100% wool. As I was knitting along on this hat and enjoying it so much, I had the inspiration that THIS was the yarn for the beautiful sweater pattern I had picked out...and boy, was I right! This yarn loves knitting needles and behaves itself like no other yarn I've ever experienced.  It's soft and squishy and yet the stitches are very well-defined and hold their own.

Not to mention how incredibly beautiful the colors are.  Each skein is hand dyed, so while one "bag" (10 skeins) are technically one dye-lot, the color varies from skein to skein just enough that you notice if you knit all in one skein then switch to another.

It's also difficult to get enough yardage to knit a sweater (being so well-loved by knitters that it sells out as soon as stores get it in stock), so I consider myself lucky indeed to have found a color that will complement my own coloring.

In order to compensate for this, I am knitting my sweater in "stripes." Unfortunately you won't see the sweater today because the pics I took were all blurry.  Before I started knitting, I noticed that laying the skeins side-by-side you could tell the difference between them--one being considerably lighter than the rest.  There are patches of a tannish color in one skein that aren't present in the others.  I considered different ways to address this issue because I didn't want the experience I had when I knitted my dad's sock and the foot is definitely 3 shades darker than the leg and heel...and that was with two skeins that looks fairly identical.

I had the option to take two skeins at a time and alternate rows.  That made sense, but then as I looked at it I knew that even if I did that there might still be a noticeable break between sections--while not as grand, still it would be there.  Therefore, I decided that I would work with two skein at a time, knit two rounds in one color and then two rounds in the other, switching one skein out each day and replacing it with a skein picked at random.  This is working out very well and the color changes just look like they are part of the overall color changes in the sweater.

Have I mentioned how much I cannot wait to finish this sweater?

(And I didn't even talk about Alyssa's hat which is really wonderful.  I had to go back a bit in the knitting because it was smaller than she wanted, but I'm finished with that revision now.  I need to wash and block it and then add the ribbon and button, which will make this hat very special indeed...but that's still to come.)

Monday, November 5, 2012


That's what I'm calling this picture...disaster:

...and I did it all by myself.  Not one feline in my house had one paw in on the creativity that caused this mess.

It is a project that has been hard in coming along, and then utterly and completely failed.  And I was very sad about it because I'm ready to be done, to move on, to have a wonderful finished object at the end of it...

but that didn't happen with this warp.

Just so you know, when you wind a warp and aren't paying very careful attention and make a mistake in your pattern and then you sley it and don't notice the mistake, and then get it mostly threaded and realize the mistake...

...this is a really good time, to take a step back, tell all the "I can fix this by doing that" demons to get away from you...and just let it sit.

Because those demons truly are giving you bad advice, especially when you say, sure, I can resley this pattern in a completely different way than I wound it.  It'll be a tad tough getting wound onto the loom, but I've made small adjustments before without any problems.

Problem was I made very large adjustments and created a ridiculous knotted mess...that I then tried to un-knot the mess and, well, it just got worse.  I ended up cutting it out of the loom, throwing away all the warp and starting over.

And I'm ok with that because I like the warp pattern I came up with much better than the previous one.  I know I'll be happier with this project than I would have been if I'd spent 20 hours untangling the knotted mess centimeter by centimeter.

But, what I should have done is recognized a mistake in pattern for what it was and left it alone, Kept the project for myself and moved on.  But I didn't, and the result was disaster.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sweater Knitting

I am knitting a sweater.  This is my second sweater. And I feel slightly obsessed about it.  It's beautiful, soft, lovely, and progressing along.  It's not difficult to knit, so I can go along mindlessly, enjoying the feel of the yarn, and the beauty of the stitches and the color of the yarn, and feel satisfied that soon (a couple of weeks maybe) I'll be wearing this gorgeous sweater and feeling so proud of it.

And I'm very  happy about it.  Knitting a sweater that is.

Which leads me to thinking about knitting and why some projects can be overwhelming and frustrating and others can be very satisfying...and the basic differences between the projects are very small.

For instance, I HATE knitting scarves.  I've discovered this after starting a few and begrudging them after I was about half-way through.  I've had to FORCE myself to finish one and am finally almost to the end of another.

But, sweaters are much more knitting than scarves.  So, I can't figure out why scarves make me so crazy and anxious...and hateful towards the yarn, the pattern, and the scarf-y-ness of the project.  It just seems to go on and on and on forever without end.

I "get it" why I enjoy knitting socks and hats.  Both are relatively small projects, and with socks you get to go through all the different parts so it's like knitting 5 projects in one.  It doesn't get boring, the smallness of the needles fits my hands very well, and I love the practicality of the project.

But sweaters, especially plus-sized sweaters, are a lot of knitting...and a lot of knitting that's the same (giant tube around the belly).  I'm not getting tired of it, though, nor frustrated, nor do I want to stop.  In fact, I can't wait to get home everyday so I can sit and knit.

And just so I can share the beauty that I'm enjoying every evening, here is the sweater so far.  Lovely isn't it?  Just lovely.