Tuesday, March 31, 2009

damp morning

guess it's typical of spring, but so overcast..fits my mood, as I'm still working on our taxes..

The neighbor's dogs are feeling adventurous--which sets our dog off..poor Fred doesn't understand why, when he's not allowed to visit next door, the dogs from next door are allowed to tromp all over our place..which results in his being kept inside. Not the dogs' fault--but not fun for me, or Fred.

Started over as planned, with socks for Jim..finished turning the heel on sock #1 last night, and it looks like it'll fit his extra high instep better than my ususal..I've knit socks for him for 29 years, but those of fingering yarn always ended up with the heel flap disappearing..those knit of worsted weight always suited him better..so I've gone up one needle size and added 4 st to that part..I'm eager to see how these stand up to his wear.

No new calves yesterday..one of the old cows is getting close..I hope she has hers nearby..her daughter had hers day before yesterday--some years the two of them give birth the same day.

Hmm, which to concentrate on today?...taxes or knitting..guess I'll sandwich them..reward myself with a few rounds after each plateau on the tax forms

Monday, March 30, 2009

my favorite special bread

as promised, here's the recipe for apple raisin bran bread..it's yummy--especially with cream cheese spread liberally on it

Apple Bran Bread
makes 4 loavesI've done this in my bread machine, but divided ing.
by 4 when doing so.
2 cups raisin bran cereal1/2 cup sugar2 Tbs. melted butter1 1/2 cups sweetened applesauce1 1/2 cups boiling water1 env. dry yeast [I use 1 TBS bulk yeast]1/3 cup lukewarm waterapx. 8 cups sifted flour
1. combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. pour the boiling water over, mix and let stand
until lukewarm
3. Soften yeast in lukewarm water, and add to mixture
in bowl once it has cooled to lukewarm temp.
4. Add flour to make a smooth dough that can be
kneaded. Knead and leave in bowl, covered, to rise
until doubled. Punch down and let rise again.
5. shape into 4 loaves and place in greased pans.
6. let rise til doubled.
7. Bake in a 350 F. oven for apx. 50 min or until
done. Remove from pans and let cool thoroughly on
wire racks before slicing.
8. enjoy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

rainy Sunday...

typical spring morning..sloppy as all-get-out outside. I don't envy anyone who has to slog through the mud to do chores this morning..I'm grateful the guys have to do it this morning! I'll be sitting here getting our account ledger up to date and knitting yet another sock.

I've a bag of crochet thread that I've accumulated, when buying grab bags from the Peaches and Cream site..I love their worsted weight cotton, and the grab bags are a good deal [note to self: send for more grab bags from Peaches & Cream!] but so far, I've not used the balls of crochet thread that was included..I don't care to crochet, so am sorting through knit doily patterns...

As my big love is divided between socks and seamless raglans, as a rule, when I'm in knitting mode, those are what calls me..I need to diversify, as Barney Fife said..yes..Barney was talking about investing in the stock market, but it's a line from the TV show often quoted at my house, lol

another thing I've contemplated, and even tinkered with as a trial basis with old socks to see how it goes, is steeks. I've actually taken sweater patterns that called for steeks, and converted them to avoid doing them..I worry that the yarn would catch on the feed dog or presser foot of the sewing machine..I've wondered, worried, tried other methods, but never actually knit a sweater that was to be steeked..this is something I need to do, if only to prove to myself I can..silly, aren't I? I've knit for nearly 1/2 a century, and this well-established, time-honored technique is still a mountain I've not fully climbed.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday Ramblings

Well, the sun is trying to shine through an overcast sky, the preemie calf is still holding out, on some old quilts, in the bathroom--we figure she is a 6 to 7 month baby, as her mama's previous baby was born just 9 months before she was, and there is usually about a 2 month rest period before being bred again..she almost, but not quite can stand when helped up and is taking a bottle at frequent intervals in small amts. Today, I plan to offer some baby cereal dissolved in her formula. This calf is actually smaller than Fred, our little beagle! Longer legs, natch, but weighs less and not as large in the body. A real imp/dainty sort.

Last night, I knit a hat for a round robin exchange in a Yahoo group..and cast on a sock as I plan to send a pr heavy boot socks with the hat..

Still need to sew buttons on the baby cardi..don't know why I put some things off, but need to push myself, then, once they've been done, I generally wonder why they'd seemed like work.

Someone's big gray tiger striped tomcat has been hanging around our place..no doubt calling on our 2 lady cats, but as we have 2 tomcats of our own, he's really not wanted/needed. His presence is getting on the dog's nerves big time...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

little owl sweater

last night, I inserted the second sleeve, and ran the yarn ends in on the sweater for an online friend's new baby..this is my favorite gift for baby boys..from a book I acquired over 27 yrs ago, called The Great Knitting Book. It has 3 owls on the front yoke, made with simple cables. Now to get the package wrapped and off to the post office..
There's a little pink girly one, for another online friend awaiting buttons then it can start its journey..love knitting for babies..

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

addendum to raglan sweater pattern

as promised, got some photos taken of some sweaters knit by the method above.

they are sized for a small man but as I said, this pattern is adaptable for a young child to a large adult.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

sharing my child size pullover

having promised an online friend I'd type up my "recipe" for a raglan pullover for a child, I decided to stick it here...so:
--------top down seamless raglan for child, apx age 6
apx 12 oz worsted weight yarn
needles: circ #8 and #5, both 16 inches long and a longer one--from 24 to 29 inches long,
as well as dpn [if you prefer, you can use the "magic loop" or 2 circ method where I use
You'll also need 2 stitch holders.
first, cast onto the 16 inch #8 circ, 68 st. K 1 round in k2p2 rib. Now, switch to the 16
inch #5 needle, and coninue with k2p2 ribbing until neckband measures 2 1/2 inches. Now,
take the #8, 16 inch circ and fold the neckband over, and picking up each cast on st and
kntting it together with the "working st", k around. This makes a sort of hemmed neckband.
Next round: k 28 for back, place marker, k 6 for sleeve, place marker, k 27 for front,
increase in next st, place marker, increase in next st, k 4 [second sleeve], increase in
next st, place marker of different color, to denote end of round. You should now have 71
Now comes some short row shaping for front of neck.
Row 1. Work across st of back, increasing in last st before marker, slip marker, increase in
next st, k right sleeve st, increasing in last st, slip marker, and inc in first st of
front. K 1, turn.
Row 2. slip first st as if to p, and p around, slipping markers as you go, until you are at
the left side of the front. P the first 3 st of front. Turn.
Row 3. slip first st, and knit around, increasing before and after each marker, until you
reach the right side of the front. increase in the first st, and k the next 3 st. turn.
Row 4. slip the first st, and p around, slipping markers, ending after you've purled the
first 5 st of the left side of the front. turn.
Row 5. slip the first st. K around, increasing before and after each marker, and knitting
the next 2 st of the right side of the front [in other words, 2 more st after the st you
slipped in row 3]
Row 6. Repeat row 4
Row 7. Repeat row 5. You should have, in all, 108 st, 38 each for front and back, and 16
for each sleeve.
Now you're done with the front neck shaping, and are done turning..all the rest will be
worked in rounds. You'll increase every other round, as established, until you've a total
of 212 st -- 64 @ for front and back,and 42 for each sleeve. Work even until the
measurment from the neckband to armpit measures 7 inches. Now you're ready to divide into
body and sleeves. On the next round, place each set of sleeve st on a stitch holder. Cast
on 4 st. for each underarm. and knit around to create the body. On the second round after
the dividing round, p into the bar between the 2nd and 3rd cast on st of each underarm. As
you k around, keep those 2 st in p. It forms a sort of seam st. it'll help you know where
the front ends and the back begins, and when the pullover is done, makes a fake seam. K
even until the body is apx. 9 1/2 inches long. Now, take up the longer #5 circ and rib in
k2p2 ribbing for from 1 1/2 to 2 inches.
Now, for the sleeves. With your shortest #8 circ, k the sleeve st. When you come to the
underarm, pick up the st you cast on for body, including the p "fake seam" st. K even for 2
inches, then begin the sleeve decreases. Decrease 1 st on each side of the p st, every 8
rounds, until you have 32 st and the sleeve is 11 inches long, or 3 inches less than
desired. Decrease to 28 st and, with #5 dpn, k2p2 cuff ribbing.
run in any yarn ends, and voila!
This is my all time favorite kids' pullover. If you have any questions, feel free to yell..I
hope I explained it ok..I've made so many it's become like baking bread..I seldom bother to
look at the recipe.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------enjoy. I'll try to dig out one I made this way and get a photo of it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

typical early March

well, Jim was up all night, assisting in the birthing of a calf, so he's worn out and napping on sofa..I'm trying to be quiet..not easy when the dog threw up in the hall...ah, typical morning, lol

am nearly finished with the baby blanket for shower #1..still need to sew sleeves into the sweater to accompany it..wish I felt inspired for a few other goodies to tuck into the pkg. The yarn for the other shower's gifts should arrive today..just checked the UPS tracking.

Should I feel old? My great-grandson had his first birthday party yesterday..wish I could've attended, but that's what happens when a family spreads itself out over the entire map.

Snowflakes are floating lazily about the place..would be pretty if, a, we'd not been promised a LOT more, and, b, I didn't have to drive into town today. I wonder how much we'll get and how long it'll last..all weekend, I was feeling the urge to do some picking up in the yard..I hate how stuf tends to accumulate. Jim will be hauling hay again today, from the farm where he's been buying it, so I'm hoping for decent weather for him as well..with the boys laid off, at least he has their assistance, although frankly we'd rather they were working.

got the new book from the House of White Birches recently..all hats and socks..some really cute ones..need to try out some of the ideas in it.

ah, back to work..quietly..