Tag Archives: virginia

Another Knitting Lesson Learned

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Remember a few posts back when I/we learned a knitting lesson about needle sizing?  The one where I ran out of yarn and I thought it was because of the square needle?  Let’s revisit the square needle issue, shall we?

Okay, but first, I have to let you know that I have apparently become obsessed with the Apple Blossom Socks.

I’ve been knitting them during my breaks….

…and in the car on the way to Virginia this weekend.  I just love the look of the pattern and I’ve been so excited about them, even doing my usual knitting two socks at the same time, each on a set of double pointed needles.  The only reservation I had was my choice of yarn. I love the yarn itself – I’ve knit a pair of socks with it before – and I loke the colors but I really liked the green version in the pattern picture, and I couldn’t find a green I liked. But I decided that I would just keep looking for a green version and knit another pair!

So, we get to Virginia and I’m knitting along during evening conversation.  I pick them up the next morning to knit while I wait for everyone else to wake up.  And I noticed something:

One is smaller than the other.  Skinner and shorter. By a lot.  I realized that it was because of the square needles I was using on the right.  I had read, as I said in that previous blog post, that many people have to go up a needle size with the square needles because their gauge is too tight when they use the suggested needle size.  But in my previous cowl experience, that was not the case, so I used the size 2 that was recommended.  When I decided to start the second one and knit them at the same time, I picked up a round set of double points in the same size.  They clearly do not get the same gauge.

And so, the negotiating began — with the help of my sister-in-law who is also a knitter and, like me, would not want to start over. She said, “Will anyone really notice since they are on your feet?”  Nope.  Just what I needed to hear!  So, I happily thought I would just keep going.

But, then I decided to put those little bits on my feet.  The one on the right fit over my toes and on the top part of my foot, but was definitely tighter.  I began to worry that it would not fit over my instep where the sock needs to stretch the most.  I hemmed.  And hawed.  And sat.  And looked at them for quite some time.  Since I was, at that point, not wiling to chance the fact that I would be really, really, really mad if the one sock didn’t fit, and I didn’t want to have to knit a third sock…..

Luckily, we were headed to Fibre Space, the local yarn shop, and I could look for square needles there.  And some green yarn that I would like better.

Then, the most ridiculous, never-thought-it-would-happen thing happened.  We went to the yarn shop and I didn’t buy any yarn.  Paul had a heart attack when I told him.  They didn’t have square needles there and there was no yarn that was jumping out at  me that day.  None.  At all. I have no idea why.

But, I did see a beautiful display of local-to-me Periwinkle Sheep yarn there!

Karin comes up with the most beautiful colors and that Hyacinth in the middle is one of my favorites. So that was fun. [I buy that at my local yarn shop to keep it all local!]

So, knitting lesson learned that square needles really do get a different gauge than round needles of the same size. To make up for not buying anything at the yarn shop, I ordered square needles from the porch when we got back to the house:

We had a lovely afternoon sitting on the porch and chatting and knitting while Paul and his brother did this:

It was beautiful weather and such a nice change from our rainy/snowy weather we had to drive through to get there:

That was the view the whole way there.

We went on some nice walks and saw cherry blossoms:

And just some pretty flowers and green stuff (we don’t even know what that is up here these days – everything is just mono-brown):

I was so excited to see purple flowers and green grass and green trees and then my sister-in-law said, “Well, that’s a holly tree, but….”  Didn’t matter – it was GREEN and there was GREEN GRASS! And BLUE SKY!

The other fun thing we did was have my mother-in-law teach us her family recipe for “the doll cookies”:

These are Italian cookies that have frosting and I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. There was no recipe so she said it as we went along and I wrote it down.  They were yummy!

So, not just a knitting lesson learned, a family cookie recipe learned.  And on the car ride home, because I did not buy any yarn, I ordered the exact yarn that was used for the Apple Blossom socks.  It is coming from England!  I am ridiculously excited. See?  Obsessed.




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…..That’s the sound I’ve been making all week because of a crappy cold that knocked me over.  Which I developed on the way home from our very busy yearly trip to Virginia, after a crazy week leading up to that weekend.  So, here’s what you missed:

Before going to Virginia, it FINALLY got nice outside and it was all about chalk:


And measuring the bean plant that finally started growing.  In the time I was there one day (9 hours) it grew one inch:



And currently it is about thirty inches.  Some days (in 24 hours) it grew four inches! Tons of fun to watch.

Then it was time for Virginia, and the unexpected cancellation of the doodlebug family due to illness.  Boooooo.

On the way, we stopped at Hershey’s Chocolate World:


Where we of course purchased the five pound bar again (among other things):


And made a stop for ice cream:


Once we got to Virginia, fun was had by visiting the National Arboretum (or Arbortreeum as we like to call it) to see cherry blossoms (of which I took no pictures) and the bonsai museum (of which I took a ridiculous amount of pictures):


And also at the arbortreeum, there were these:


The original columns from the capital building which were replaced when they did a renovation.  I’m glad they kept them.

There was also a walk with Jake:


A trip into Old Town to get fig balsamic vinegar and onion bourbon jam from Olio:


And guess what was right next door that we didn’t even set foot in because my sister-in-law Anita and I had placed ourselves on a no-yarn-buying thing because we have so. much. yarn. ?:


I may have felt a huge amount tiny bit of regret at that decision.

Then there was the usual game-playing.  A new game called Cubb:


A game we have never heard of, but was fun, and which apparently has a National Championship-type thing going.

And Yahtzee! and Uno, after which there was a house building thing:


And I got to take home my yearly supply of tomato plants, grown from seed by Anita:


And we came home to my wonderful head cold (see aforementioned reason for the doodlebug family to not go), as well as beautiful weather leading to these wonderful sights:

IMG_5422 IMG_5425 IMG_5420 IMG_5419

Ok, some may think that last one is questionably wonderful. But it’s wonderful because it was such a nice day, Paul could work outside. And some may think it’s wonderful because it means work is getting done on my-car-that-I-didn’t-know-was-my-car-until-after-it-was-purchased-but-now-I’m-excited-about-it-since-it-will-have-a-new-not-old-engine-and-air-conditioning.

“Oh my gosh, where is the knitting?” you ask???

Well.  Let me tell you this:  the week leading up to Virginia was just jammed with deciding what projects to bring with me. I spent an inordinate amount of time on this decision, which I didn’t really have because I had to teach a knitting class and make cookies. But I was intent on starting something new and exciting. After all, this was a special occasion, only happening once a year.  I finally decided on the Halona Shawl. The decision for what yarn to use was a ridiculously long process.  I was trying to use yarn from my stash, of which I have plenty (see aforementioned no yarn buying thing).  SO MANY skeins of fingering weight yarn, 3 different colors of which were needed for this shawl. Three colors that went well together.  I hemmed and hawed about it.  Showed Paul 80 different 3-color options.  Even texted him some color combos, which I brought to the yarn shop in case I needed to supplement with a color that I didn’t have, even though I was not supposed to buy any:


Either the combos just didn’t seem right or they didn’t thrill me, leading me to declare that I just didn’t have enough yarn.  I didn’t go with any of those combinations.  I did go with the green on the bottom though and got quite a bit knit on the way to Virginia:


By the end of the trip I was here:


I love it.  And, yes, all yarn from my stash!  Still have a ways to go, but now that the germ fest is basically over, I’ll stop the Candy Crush Soda/Bubble Witch marathon and get back to knitting.