Tag Archives: ecuador

More Finishing Madness

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I am a finishing mad woman.

Bloody Mary Cardigan done!:011


Buttons found but not sewn on:001 (4)

And here is a peek at my hurry-up-and-finish-drying-because-I’m-so-impatient technique:


Portable heater set on high with the office door closed.  Works like  charm.

Ecuador Sweater done!:015 014


Ends not woven in.  I think I said before that I was regretting my yarn choice.  Now that it is done, I’m really regretting it.  I don’t really like it. I  like the construction of the piece, just not all those stripes.  I feel like when I wear it, it will scream, “Look at my sweater!!”  And I’m just not that kind of sweater-wearer.  Also, the front needs better blocking.  As I got to the end of the pattern and looked at the instructions for blocking, it said that it was really hard to block and it might need to be done several times to get it to look how you want.  Hmmmm.  Another lesson in “read the pattern the entire way through before you start.”  Although, that probably wouldn’t have stopped me.  If I wasn’t so impatient to knit all the other things in the world, I’d knit this again in a solid/semi-solid.  Maybe someday.

Treads Tipless Gloves done!:001 (2)

I showed you the one on the right already, when I finished it to have ready for class.  Then I forgot to take pictures during both sessions of the class so you could see the pretty colors other people were knitting them in.  So, here is the finished pair, the left one not blocked and with lots of ends to weave in.  Are you seeing a pattern here?  One involving non-woven in ends?  And un-sewn on buttons? Ugh.  Maybe if I just do them all at once, in front of the tv tonight after I go to a Pampered Chef party…

Jacob roving singles spinning done!:002 (2)

That left bobbin looks uneven because i had a WooLee Winder fit issue that has since been resolved.  And involved my being too impatient to make sure it fit properly in the first place.  Impatience is clearly an issue for me in case you hadn’t noticed.  Now they have to rest for a day before I can ply them, so stay tuned.

Cement floor on the pole building done! (pretty much):





They just need to come back and cut the expansion joints.  Bring on the garage. We’re almost done Done DONE with this.

It feels so good to be getting things finished.  Sometimes so many projects in progress makes you feel bogged down, like you aren’t getting anything done even though you are working on everything.  I’m moving on to my Umaro blanket that has been in progress since November 2011 and not worked on since a couple of months after that:001 (3)

It is about 1/3 finished.  Then I can start the crocheted ripple afghan that I’m dying to start.  Pattern will be from the tutorial on the Attic 24 blog.  (Love her stuff.) I thought having three afghans going at one time (including my Great American Afghan that’s pieced, and been in progress for a while…) would be ridiculous.  Of course, that’s all relative.  Three afghans…eighty other projects in progress…. we’ve got to draw the line somewhere, right?

Past Mistakes = Present Mistakes

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Not to drag out my birthday week weekend day or anything, but I had to show you this card I received from my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and niece:002 (2)

They totally get me.

I’ve been spinning up a storm and finishing up a storm.  Here is two ounces of the Jacob roving I bought at Rhinebeck:001

Waiting for me to spin the other two ounces.  Let me clarify.  I have two ounces left. I, in my infinite wisdom, and apparently not learning anything from my past mistakes of needing to know how much roving weighs before you spin it (anyone remember the lets-spin-something-to-enter-in-the-fair-only-to-have-it-be-two-yards-and-point-two-ounces-short debacle?)…. started spinning this without weighing it.  I was so excited to try out my woolee winder that I just forgot.   Of course, once the novelty of the woolee winder wore off, i realized that I needed to have split this roving in half so I can ply it.  It came with a label saying it was 4 ounces, but sometimes there is a little more, sometimes a little less and it helps to know exactly what you have so you can make the most of your plying.  Guessing that I shouldn’t “eyeball it”, which I have also been known to do, I got out the scale and weighed the remainder of the roving until there was two ounces left.  Crisis somewhat averted.  Maybe next time I’ll get it right.  They say third time’s a charm.

And speaking of Jacob sheep, have you ever heard of them?  They are a rare, heirloom breed of sheep. I think they are cool, because they are so different from other sheep.  They have four horns and are black and white or brown and white, hence why my yarn looks like that.  Here is a pic from Google:Jacob-Sheep-1t3g09t

Yes, those are sheep.

Also, guess what is done, Done, DONE???  My Bloody Mary Cardigan!:020

Sorry – that’s all you get!  It’s drying right now and I’ll get some good pictures of the totally and completely finished sweater.  Disclaimer:  I will be calling it “totally and completely finished” even though it will not have any buttons on it.  I haven’t found any yet, and even if I had found some, let’s face it, they wouldn’t be put on there any time soon.  But I’ll still wear it.

And I am one short sleeve away from being done, Done, DONE with my Ecuador sweater.  That one will be a pain in the tookus to block (the pattern says so – not in so many words) but I can’t wait for it to be done!

I leave you today with a beautiful morning-sky-over-the-pond pic and a beautiful tree-we-saw-on-our-walk-today pic:004 012 014(2)


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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.

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.


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?:


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:


..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:


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:


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:


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.

(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:


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”…..


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


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…

Pumpkin Bread

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I made pumpkin bread with my pureed pumpkin from last year’s harvest.  Yes, I admit it, it’s been frozen for a year and I still used it.  I have no idea the recommended time frame for freezing pumpkin but the bread turned out great.  I used my trusty The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook for the recipe.  It makes one, very large, bread.

Putting the pan in the oven was slightly terrifying…. it was so full I was afraid it would overflow once it started rising:


Look how full that is!  …but it was fine and rose very nicely:

002 (2)

It was so yummy!  Especially the end piece (my fave), cut while it was still warm and a little crispy, slathered with butter:

002 (3)

Doesn’t it make you want to make some?

And, while I was on my excursion to purchase donuts the other day, I stopped in at Home Goods after a tip from my friend, Lisa, that they had dress forms there.  Who knew Home Goods would have dress forms?


Exactly what I wanted/needed for displaying and photographing my handknits! (that is my Citron shawl). I resisted the urge to shop around…they have a lot of good stuff there.  It could have been bad.  But then again, I’m having a tag sale this Sunday, so there will be a little more room here for “stuff”.

More knitting to come….it’s been a little boring since I’ve only been working on my Ecuador sweater.  To clarify, I’m not bored.  But you might be, seeing my creeping-along progress.