Tag Archives: aaron’s aran sweater

Finishing

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There has been a lot of finishing going on around here, in more ways than one.

The ice cream finishing:001

Last one of the season from our local spot.  Boooooooo.  It was really yummy – simply unadorned vanilla for both of us this time.

No pictures, but the finishing part of the pole building is going on.  Just like knitting, the main part is done, but there’s lot of other stuff to be done before it is done done.  First up was cutting up rigid foam insulation into 6″ wide sections to glue to the underside of the walls.  This is so when the cement floor is poured, and the winter cold makes things expand, the cement will compress the insulation rather than lift the walls/building.  I have six letters for you regarding this bit of finishing (and, let’s be honest, probably all the other bits of finishing): B.O.R.I.N.G.  And it’s even more “fun” when the days are getting shorter and you are trying to get it done before the sun goes down, working in partial darkness because the cement guy was coming the next day and we wanted him to see it, only to have the guy not be able to make that next day.  Whatever.  Bring on the next bit: Preparing for the garage door.

Then there’s the knitting finishing.  Also a little boring for me, but a totally necessary part of my favorite hobby.   And I figured I should really finish some projects since the NY State Sheep and Wool Festival (commonly known as “Rhinebeck” in the knitting world, since that is where it takes place, and when you say “Rhinebeck” everyone knows what you are referring to…) is coming up this weekend and there is a high likelihood that I will see/find something there that I will have to buy/start immediately.   So, I turned on my audiobook – which I will tell you about soon, because I am “this close” (finger and thumb really close together) to finishing it – and decided to crank out the finishing bits of two sweaters.

My Aaron’s Aran Sweater is done:004

love. Love. LOVE.  Made with Merino Worsted yarn from Malabrigo, it is soft while you are knitting with it, but so incredibly soft and squishy now that it is washed.  You just wouldn’t believe it is 100% wool.  I made the medium, sized for 3-4 years old. That little ball of yarn is all I had left of my third skein.  Whew.  (Truth be told, I do have more of that yarn, but who wants to break into a brand new skein for just a few rows and then not know how many yards you have left when you want to do another project with that yarn?)

And I made a huge dent in the finishing of my Bloody Mary Cardigan:016

All sewn up with one button band done.  One button band (the one with the buttonholes) and the neck left to do.  Oh, and then sewing on the buttons.  UGH!  However, one of my purchase items for Rhinebeck will be buttons for this sweater.  Then, maybe I’ll hire someone to sew them on for me.

Ok, and this doesn’t really count officially, but it counts in my head so I’m counting it.  I’m almost finished with the body of the Ecuador sweater:005

Just 12 short rows and 17 regular rows to go (if that means anything to you).  Then there will be the sleeves, which will be short, so hopefully they won’t take too long.  Ha! — I say that now….

Lots of things for you to look forward to on the blog in the next week or so…. a book review, a Rhinebeck re-cap, a visit to Connecticut, more finishing (maybe)…. it’s probably the only blog you’re going to want to read, and share with the world.

I Love Yarn Day

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According to the Craft Yarn Council, today is “I Love Yarn Day”.  So, I’m going to tell you about some yarns I love. In no particular order:

1) Moonshine from Juniper Moon Farms:

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50% Alpaca, 50% Wool.  I just used this for a fair isle hat and I just love it.  Soft and not scratchy.  Very warm.  I want to make all the other things with it.  Not sure what yet.

2) Watercolors II from Periwinkle Sheep:

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Karin from Periwinkle Sheep is a local kettle dyer and that picture has other blends in addition to the Watercolors II but that one is my favorite.  I love the colors she does and am always picking up an extra skein because I just can’t resist.  There is a pink one at The Spinning Room right now that is calling me.  Watercolors II is  75% superwash merino wool, 25% nylon – perfect for socks but also other things too.  That item on top is my Glitz at the Ritz in progress.

3) Peace Love and Yarn

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Liz is another local dyer – she does hand-dyed yarns as opposed to kettle dyed.  I just love Love LOVE the colors she does.

4) Tosh Merino:

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Worsted weight yarn by Madelinetosh.  I made my first Mystic Spiral hat with this yarn.  Love the color blend and love the feel of the yarn.

5) Merino Worsted by Malabrigo:

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A wonderfully soft single plied merino wool.  I love working with it so much that I’m making a toddler sweater and telling the mom to give the sweater to me when it is needs washing so I can hand wash it for her.

Two more yarny things since it’s I Love Yarn Day.

1) I finally tried Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel using one of her basic patterns from her ebook:

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It is an easy, short-row heel made in wedges and is supposed to be very smooth, like a tomato skin, hence, the name.  And it is very smooth.  I circled and outlined the wedges in the bottom pic to make it a little more obvious.  You might notice the right and middle wedge are a little wider than the left wedge.  The left wedge is the last wedge and you stop short of a full wedge for most heels.  Some may need a full wedge, so it’s nice that you can customize it to your own foot!  I’m doing this heel for all my future socks.  I used to do a heel flap heel and it is quite tedious.  This is much easier.

2) My first Loved crown is ready for finishing:

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Ugh.  Lots of ends to weave in and some sewing.  that left side gets tucked and sewed inside to give the crown some heft so the points will stand up.  Now I have two things ready for finishing.  I better get to it.

And, lastly on I Love Yarn Day:

The pole building is done! (Ha! NOT a yarn thing….)

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Except for some filling in around the edges, a floor and a garage door and door opener…..you know, not much:

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On a Roll and Distracted

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I’m on a roll with my Aaron’s Aran Sweater!  Done with the main parts: 016

(Ha!  I just realized the “front” is backwards. Sorry.) Now to the “finishing”, my very least favorite part.  I even thought about trying to adapt the pattern so I wouldn’t have all that seaming to do, but then I realized that it would be a lot of work to do that.  Plus, I will be teaching a class with this sweater and if I went and changed the pattern a whole bunch, that would be confusing for the participants.   This will also be a great pattern for teaching how to knit a sweater and how to do the finishing.  So there.  I did it for the knitting students.  Let’s see if I can actually get it finished so that I can actually offer it as a class.

Because there’s this that I got distracted/sidetracked by: 019

So incredibly cute, I can’t stand it.   This is the Loved knitted crown pattern.   Here’s a picture from the pattern page on Ravelry:

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I’m knitting two of these for the doodlebugs for Christmas.  Like I really needed to start something else.  But seriously?  SO. STINKIN’.CUTE.

How about a pole building update?  At the end of Monday: 006

At the end of Tuesday: 014

It seems to be going along pretty fast.  Must be those chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies I made for the builders.

We had lots of rain on Monday, so they were delayed a little.  But I got some really pretty yard pictures when the sun came back out:

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The Good and the Bad

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Ugh.  Dreary weather around here this weekend.  We’ve had some ups and downs this week and now the weather is crappy.  The pole building got started, so that was good.  The inspector came and gave the all clear so that was good too.

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Paul did his own inspection and found the builders had cut the phone and cable wires he and his brother so painstakingly placed during the hottest weather of the summer, so that was bad.  He spent time yesterday and today, in the rain, fixing it, so that was also bad, especially given that his reading up on the subject indicated that splicing an outside wire means it won’t last long anyway.  It’s worth a shot to try.

I was supposed to teach a class for the Cozy Wrap yesterday, but there were not enough sign ups and the class had to be cancelled so that was bad.  But, Paul and I took that found time to bring a whole load of things that didn’t sell at the tag sale to donate at the Salvation Army, so that was good.

Yesterday I made the Pumpkin Spice Cake from the Martha Stewart’s Cakes book:

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Doesn’t it look just like the picture from the book?:

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Sort of? …except for the crumb stuck in my frosting.  So it was good that I baked.  But it was bad that it didn’t taste I good as i thought it would.  I’ll still eat it, mind you (it’s not that bad).  I just thought it would be better.  It has a cream cheese/butter/honey frosting that is a little rich.  And also, I had to make it in an 8″ pan instead of a 9″ pan, which meant I had to cook it longer and that made the edges a little overcooked, and it made the frosting to cake ratio off-kilter.  In other words, when you put your fork in the cake, the cake is too high so you can’t fit the whole bite in your mouth.  You have to end up scooching the frosting around and taking two bites out of the one forkful and it’s just a lot of work.  These are the kinds of things I care about in a cake.  I need a 9″ pan.  It might seem as if it would not make a big difference but I really think it did.  Or I needed to turn it in to a layer cake.

Today it was raining like crazy and that was bad since we were bringing Paul’s mom up to Lake George to the Easy Spirit outlet so she could get her favorite sneakers that she can’t find anywhere.  They are buy one, get on 50% off at the outlet and you can’t beat that.  I may have also gotten in on the deal since she wanted three pairs and needed another pair to get the 50% off, so that was good.   I was only doing my part.

We drove to see the lake and it would have been nice if it was a sunny day but:

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Still pretty, even in the rain.

And of course we had to stop for ice cream:

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..which was still tasty, even in the pouring-at-that-point rain.  When can ice cream ever be bad?

The dreary weather, and the drive to Lake George, gave me some inside time to work on my knitting!  So that was good.  I made a lot of progress on the front of the Aaron’s Aran Sweater:

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Just one short little left-side section to do and then it’s on to the arms!

And I’m just starting the right armhole section of my Ecuador Sweater:

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The dreary weather did make for some pretty good leaf peeping pics in our yard:

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Seen amidst all the construction, from front yard, to side yard to back yard, to other back/side yard by the pond.  AND we got a short visit from the blue heron:

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Not the small green one that’s been around all summer.  This is the big heron that flies in like a cargo plane and looks like a pterodactyl.  He only comes once or twice in the summer/fall.  One day I will get a really good picture of him.  Or a good-er camera.

So all the dreariness and frustrations were peppered with fun, yummy, pretty, good things.  And that made it not so bad.  Bring on Monday.

Something’s Cooking

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A few things are cooking around here today.

Our pole building is getting started.

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Yes, that man is standing in a very deep hole.  Exciting stuff, aside from the hassle of trying to figure out when they would get here and coordinating that with the building inspector who, because of our small town, has a “regular” full-time job in addition to his town inspector duties.  And, it’s raining:

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Ugh.  I feel bad for them.  They will go home to Pennsylvania for the weekend and come back on Monday.  Hopefully the building will be completed by Wednesday of next week.

In the meantime, my knitting is cooking along. Back on track with my Aaron’s Aran Sweater:

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That picture doesn’t show you much.  Sorry.   But I was also knitting the Treads tipless mitts to get ready to teach a class last night:

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Had to get to a certain point on the second mitt to do some demonstrating.  I forgot to take a picture of everyone’s projects.  I’ll get one at the second class when we do the fourchettes.

And, finally, in some real cooking, I’m trying to figure out which cake to make first:

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Martha Stewart’s Cakes: Our First-Ever Book of Bundts, Loaves, Layers, Coffee Cakes, and more  (click there to get it on Amazon)  What a great book. Have I said (lately) how much I love Martha?  So many yummy looking recipes and I want to make them all.  Today.  But I think I’ll just start with this pumpkin spice cake since I still have some pumpkin in the freezer: 011

Except I just realized I don’t have any butter.  Or cream cheese. Sigh.  Stay tuned.  I’m going to the grocery store.  Where I might also get the ingredients for this:

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(Very Little) New and Exciting Knitting (and two book reviews)

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I finally resumed work on my Aaron’s Aran Sweater in order to show you something new and exciting that would be a little less monotonous than my progress on the Ecuador sweater.  So here’s “something new”…. I finished the back:

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Bound off and immediately cast on again for the front with my size 8 needle, since the directions for the front start with, “Work as for the back.”  Got the ribbing done and the increase row after the ribbing.

Then referred to the next instruction which said, “Switch to size 8 needle”…… wait for the “something exciting”…..

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I was already using a size 8 needle!…….

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I was supposed to start the ribbing with a size 6 needle, which I done for the back (that’s what makes the bottom ribbing pull in nicely as you can see in the picture above) but apparently forgot.  This wonderful mishap occurred during the doodlebugs’ naptime, so screaming was not an option.  I very quietly ripped out, saying all sorts of things in my head including, “And of course you don’t have a size 6 needle here with you.”  So it was back to working on the Ecuador which I had thankfully brought, just in case.   See?  Even my subconscious knows to plan for these inevitable lapses in my knitting prowess.

How about two book reviews?

Only Time Will Tell (The Clifton Chronicles) by Jeffrey Archer:  This is a new series by Jeffrey Archer.  I remember reading Kane and Abel way back when and loving the family drama.  I like Jeffrey Archer for this as well as his story telling across generations.  This one takes place in England from 1920-1940 and ends on the docks of New York City setting us up for the next book.  Lots of family secrets and drama, in a story that pulls you along.  I enjoyed this one and will read the next one, The Sins of the Father (The Clifton Chronicles).

The Whole Enchilada: A Novel of Suspense (Goldy Schulz) by Diane Mott Davidson: I usually like these books. I have read all of them.  However,  I think I’m all Diane Mott Davidson-ed out.  The Goldy Schulz character has become very predictable and I found myself rolling my eyes a lot at some of her phrasing, which was all too familiar.  I might need to temper this review by saying that I listened to the audiobook and I could. not. stand. the narrator.  She was terrible and was a little overdramatic in the wrong places and put emphasis on the wrong words in a lot of her sentences.  But despite this, the story was a little dull to me.  A little predictable.  But that’s just me.  If you’ve never read her before, it will probably be a fun story.  Plus, if you buy the printed book, it will have Mexican recipes in it.  I made cinnamon rolls from one of her books and they were delicious!

I’m listening to an audiobook now in which the narrator is excellent. You can tell she knows the story inside and out and knows when to sound dramatic etc.  And I’m loving the book.  I’ll tell you more about it when I’m done.  There are “only” 11 1/2 more hours to listen to…. during my half our commute to and from babysitting three days a week.  That means I’ll be done in about 4 weeks.  Put it on your calendar to look for that blog post…