Sunday, April 30, 2006

FLAK Part 7 ("The Body")

This weekend I finished knitting the body of my FLAK sweater. I don't like sweaters where the bottom ribbing pulls in too much. After knitting the cables I only decreased the stitches 10% instead of the recommended 15-20%. The ribbing is knit in "twisted rib" like the cuffs and measures 2-1/2".
The collar and button bands will finish the project. Next, I will swim back to "sleeve island" and knit the sleeves for DH's FLAK pullover.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Rejection, Bittersweet?

I am trying not to take this personally but my application to "Fair Isle Knitting with Ann Feitelson"and "Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp" have been rejected. One of my online friends made me realize there is a bright side. Since I will be saving a boat load by not traveling and attending knitting camp or the Fair Isle workshop I should treat myself to a shopping spree at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival . A silver lining!!! Thank you Sandra. I like looking on the bright side and since I did not get into knitting camp this year I am guaranteed a spot in next years camp. Another sliver lining.

One of my other online friends sent me a pair of socks she made on her auto knitter. They really are nice and I am so impressed they were knit on a machine. Thank you Gay. I instantly wanted to purchase my own auto knitter but made myself stop and think about it first. I want to learn a lot more before I take the auto knitter plunge and wonder if I really need another obsession.The auto knitter's are excited about, and eagerly awaiting, Jacquie Grant's New Zealand Auto Knitter (NZAK). Vintage auto knitter's sell for big bucks on eBay.

I just went to the mailbox (I forgot to go yesterday) and was happy to finally receive my copy of Janet Szabo's new book Aran Sweater Design. I am going to resist looking at the book (too much) because I want to take it to Spain when we go in May. Flipping through it appears to be a very nicely done book. The pages are printed on shiny heavy stock paper that has such a nice feel. I like that.I am down to the bottom ribbing on my FLAK sweater. The last installment of the Follow the Leader Aran Knitalong will be finishing instructions. The end is in sight!

The Azaleas are blooming. We have a variety of colors. Next up will be the Rhododendrons. They are about to burst.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

FLAK Progress

I've been in the "Body Shop". That is, I've been knitting the body of my FLAK sweater. I am currently at 10" from the underarm to the bottom of the sweater. I want the sweater to be 14" from the underarm to the bottom ribbing so I have a few more inches to go.

I am using Peruvian Highland wool from Elann in color #1029 Admiral. I really like this wool and won't hesitate to use it again.

I created my color card for Mara KAL. Before I start this project I wanted to make some progress on FLAK first. I purchased the wool from the very nice people at Jamieson & Smith. I saved some room on the bottom of the card for notes.

I absolutely love the lilac's. They are in full bloom and so fragrant.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Happy Passover! Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had either a Happy Passover or Happy Easter. We had the family over for Easter. It turned out to be a lovely day. Here is a picture of our grandson wearing sunglasses I put into his Easter basket.

He is 19 months old and we love having him for sleepovers. We had an Easter egg hunt for anyone who wanted to participate then played croquet. It was hard because the little guy kept wanting to pick up everyone's croquet balls. After the big day and his bath I laid him on the bed and within minutes he was fast asleep.
I am bummed because my application for Ann Feitelson's class at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival was rejected. I didn't pay attention and wrote the check out to the registrar and not to "Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival". My application must have been initially accepted because they wrote a message at the top of the application "check needs to be signed over to S&W" then they crossed it out and put a slip of paper that said "The class you have requested is now filled. Margot Johnson, Registrar" and returned my check and application to me. I know I made a mistake but why didn't Margot just sign the check over? Sheesh!

I haven't been knitting lately so no progress on SFC or FLAK. My hands have been too sore from yard work. They are still hurting today but I am going to try to get some knitting in since my husband left this morning for a business trip so it's just me and the dogs this week.

The dogwoods are in full bloom.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Let the Decreases Begin ...

Over the weekend I finished the 4th repeat of the 30-row motif for my Sweaters From Camp KAL project Northwest Sunset Vest. The steeks for the armholes have been started as well as the decreases at the V-Neck (SSK, K steek stitches, K2tog) and the decreases for shaping the armholes (K2tog, K steek stitches, SSK).

No progress on FLAK and I haven't cast-on Mara or Spring Forward Cardigan.

I mailed my application for Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp. Applications are only accepted if they are postmarked April 6 or April 7, 2006. This will be my first Knitting Camp and hope I get in. I signed up for Camp I (July 7 - July 10). Here is a Knitty article from Fall 2004 called "The Secrets of Knitting Camp" by Jenna Adorno.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Weekend Update

Despite my grandson giving me his cold and spending the entire weekend in bed I did manage to get some knitting in. I completed another 30-row repeat of the motif of Northwest Sunset Vest for SFC (Sweaters From Camp) KAL. I also worked some on FLAK (Follow the Leader Aran Knitalong). I added 4" to the sweater body. In a previous picture I tried to show the sweater with a full wing span but it was difficult to see the sweater. I think this picture shows the sweater much better. I am very pleased with it so far.

On a topic other than knitting, on Friday my husband and I cleaned up the leaves from the yard that were missed in the fall or blew into the yard over the winter. We have 4 acres and just about all the leaves come from our neighbors as we have very little trees. We have so many leaves to clean up we purchased an Agri-Fab Chip 'N Vac to pull behind our small John Deere. We literally vacuum up the leaves and the Agri-Fab (a chipper too) grindes the leaves and brances (up to 2" in diameter) and collects them in a large trailer. Once the leaves are collected they go into a compost pile. Leaves can be a cheap source of nutrients for your plants and lawn. My collection area is a simple cylinder made from wire fencing. Once the leaves are dumped there I don't do anything. Next fall the leaves will be composted and the pile will shrink to about 1/3 the size and will look like back dirt. I learned this from a landscaping segment of "This Old House". They called it "black gold".

If you don't have something like an Agri-Fab you can rake your leaves onto a tarp and drag the leaves to the compost. If the leaves are not ground up then you will need to turn your compost pile on a regular basis.