God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda Engish

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Brief Update ... I Hope

October 9, 2016

It's been "one of those days" for more than a few days, & Blogger has been acting up on my end.  Still, amidst all the frustration I did get a few projects finished!  First of all I finished my Blue Christmas socks for the Hisser Sisters Christmas Socks KAL.  I'm very happy with how they turned out   : )   Claire is still working on her socks but hasn't far to go.  She should be finished with them sometime this week.

I also finished two unfinished objects that had been languishing on my needles since the summer of 2015!  Both are Yowza Weight It Shawls designed by Susan B. Anderson, & both are made using Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein yarn.  I haven't blocked either of them yet, but here they are.
Yowza Weight It Shawl 3
Colorway:  Berlin
Yowza Weight It Shawl
Colorway:  Nori 

I am currently working on finishing another UFO, a pair of socks I started back in March.  Hopefully you will get to see a photo of those next week   : )

I'm sorry to say that's it for this post.  I want to get this post saved & published before Blogger cuts me off again.  

Three More Months Until Christmas, Hisser Sisters Christmas Socks KAL, and A Finish

September 25, 2016

I will begin by telling you about the second installment of the Hisser Sisters Christmas Socks KAL. As I noted last month, Claire & I decided that we would cast on a pair of Christmas socks on the 24th of each month before Christmas.  This month I am pairing my yarn choice with a fun project bag made by Kathy Norman who has an Etsy shop called QuiltKnitCraft.  Kathy is an accomplished seamstress with an eye for color & fabric choice.  She is also one of the nicest sellers in the Etsy community.  This New York City at Christmastime project bag caught my eye right away.  John & I enjoyed our visit to NYC a couple years ago & have talked about one day returning during the holidays.  The fabric print of this bag can take me there all year   : )

I took this photo yesterday after having wound my yarn choice into a ball & knitting the cuff.  My yarn choice is by Brew City Yarns, a knitting shop located in ... where else? ... Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The name of this colorway is Blue Christmas.  There's a bit of stellina blended in the yarn to make it sparkle.  You can see a few sparkles in the first photo below.
Thus far I am pleased with the feel of this yarn & the way it is knitting up   : )

Claire's yarn choice is the Christmas Special offered by West Yorkshire Spinners, a UK yarn company  The photo below is taken from their website.  The colorway on the left is Holly Berry, & the one on the right is Cherry Drop.
A photo of Claire's first HSCS KAL socks was featured in last week's post.  Here is a photo of my finished pair.
You may remember that in last week's post I indicated that I had knit the heel flap of the second sock eleven times.  My OCD paid off ... lol!  You can be sure that I will never start a striped pair of socks willy-nilly again   : )   The yarn is Opal, a German yarn that knits beautifully & wears like iron.  This colorway is from their Klangwelten series & is called Popmusik.  They didn't design it to be a Christmas yarn, but it is definitely Christmasy   : )

This past week brought us a very happy event ... the arrival of Fall!  I look forward to the cooler temperatures, the crispness in the air, the beautiful colors painted on the leaves, & that certain scent that only Fall can bring.  Fall is my next-to-favorite season   : )

I will leave you today with a song sung by country legend Ernest Tubb.  It not only ties in with my Christmas yarn choice, but this particular recording of it holds fond memories for me of Christmases when I was growing up.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do   : )

Hisser Sisters CAL / KAL - End of ... What Week Is This Now??? And Other Stuff

September 18, 2016

The first official Hisser Sisters CAL ended on schedule!  Claire & I put down our crochet hooks on September 7th.  Here is my finished blanket, as yet unblocked ...

& here is Claire's!
We both enjoyed our first CAL immensely & look forward to starting the second one!  That will be next month, so stay tuned   : )

As for our first official Hisser Sisters Christmas Socks KAL, Claire, aka "Speedy," finished her socks in a couple of hours I think!  She is an extremely fast knitter!  These socks are a surprise Christmas gift for her daughter.  Aren't they pretty?
As for my socks, I've had some problems.  Much as I tried to convince myself otherwise, I really disliked how my first choice of yarn was forming big blobs of white on just one side of the sock.
I finally frogged it & started another pair using a different yarn.  However, in my eagerness to get them started, I unfortunately began knitting the first sock without planning ahead for the second.  As I had chosen self-striping yarn, this was a serious mistake.  Some people don't mind socks where the striping sequence doesn't match.  I envy them.  Being the poster child for OCD, mine must match.  I started the second sock three times before finally feeling it would knit the same as the first, but I discovered that something was drastically wrong when I got to the heel.  I had to break the yarn & wind off some of the skein in order to try to make things match.  To make a long story short, I ended up knitting the heel eleven times before I finally got it pretty well right.  Fingers crossed the rest of the sock will at least give the appearance of matching the first!  The deadline to finish these socks is Friday, September 23rd.  I think I will meet the deadline.  I have to!!!  The second official Hisser Sisters Christmas Socks KAL begins on September 24th!!!

While dealing with the aftermath of my not well planned out Christmas socks start, I decided to finish a pair of plain vanilla socks that had been languishing on my needles since early April!  They are made with Opal yarn in the Apple Bobbing colorway.  I'm not sure why they chose that name for a pair of green & purple socks, but here they are.  The sunshine is making the colors look faded out I'm afraid, but they are a lovely bright colored pair of socks   : )
This past week I spent a lot of time inventorying my yarn stash.  You don't even want to know!!!  Let's just say I'll be destashing quite a bit in the near future ... lol!!!

Fall is kinda-sorta starting to make an appearance here in northern Kentucky.  You can see a wee bit of color on a few of the trees, & the temperatures are hovering in the high 70s/low 80s now.  I am, as always, looking forward to when it starts to snow   : )  

Hisser Sisters CAL . . . End of Week Four

August 28,, 2016

Our blankets are getting near the end!  Here is mine ...

... & here is Claire's.
As written in a previous blog post, we are not intending to make them as long as the designer has instructed because we are not wanting bed size blankets, just throws to keep us warm while we sit in a comfy chair watching a movie (a 30s or 40s movie for me, a James Bond movie for Claire), sipping a nice hot drink (tea for me, coffee for Claire), or knitting/crocheting a new project.  I'm thinking we maybe have no more than a week of adding rows, then we can start adding the borders & sewing in the ends.

Hisser Sisters Christmas Socks KAL

August 25, 2016

So it was Tuesday, late afternoon, when I glanced at the calendar hanging on the wall & noticed the date ... August 23rd.  "Hmmm," I said to myself, "tomorrow is the 24th."  My next thought was "Hmmm, tomorrow it will be just four months until Christmas!"  And then I thought, "Hmmm!  I wonder if Claire would be up to casting on a pair of socks for a Hisser Sisters Christmas Sock KAL?"  I immediately sent her a message & she eagerly agreed   : )   Our first Hisser Sisters Christmas Sock KAL, running simultaneously with our first blanket CAL!

We didn't have much time to get ready.  I sorted my available Christmas sock yarns.

Yes, there are a few if them as I've been stocking up since before last Christmas   : )   I narrowed my choices it down to two skeins, & the winner was the fourth from the left, bottom row.
It's beautiful, isn't it?  Baerenwolle yarn is produced by an indie dyer in Germany.  This particular skein is a blend of 80% extra fine merino wool & 20% polyamide.  The colorway name is Klingelingeling which means Dingalingaling in English. I can hear those sleigh bells now   : )  

I chose to keep my KAL in this Christmas drawstring project bag.
I wound my skein of yarn into a ball & cast on my socks last night.  Here's my progress thus far.  
Here is Claire's yarn selection for the KAL ... Cascade Heritage Prints & Solids.  
John helped me kick off the "four months until Christmas Eve" celebration yesterday by playing a Christmas CD in the morning, & then we watched a Christmas movie in the afternoon.  A very nice day indeed   : )

Hisser Sisters CAL ... End of Week Three

August 21, 2016

Once again Claire & I are on target with our first Hisser Sisters CAL ... the Cottage Ripple Blanket.  I took a series of photos & picked out my favorite, but somehow I ended up permanently deleting all but this one!  Do forgive me for the very poor quality.

Claire's photo is, of course, much better!
We are currently at the half way point with our blankets, just having finished stripe #42.  There are a total of 84 stripes.  We will not, however, be crocheting all 84 stripes as neither of us wants a bed-size blanket, just a throw to snuggle up with while watching TV or working on another CAL or KAL   : )   We are ramping things up a bit this coming week with the plan to crochet three stripes per day rather than two!  

I am going to spend a bit of time now talking about the yarn we are using.  It's the yarn that the designer, Lucy of Attic24, suggests ... Stylecraft Special DK.  This is also the yarn that comes in the blanket packs that Claire & I both purchased for this CAL.  It is 100% acrylic.  I have never been a fan of acrylic.  Give me man-made fibers any day.  However, a couple years ago I started to make a blanket from 100% superwash worsted wool.  I got about a quarter of the way done with it & it was already extremely heavy.  It was to be a gift for my husband, & I pictured him napping underneath it & being unable to move ... like being trapped by a blanket of chain mail!  I did so want to gift him with a blanket though, & last year I thought I would give one of Lucy's blanket packs a try.  Here is that blanket (the Coast Ripple) which, incidentally, my husband loves   : )
So I was talking about acrylic yarn.  Stylecraft Special DK is a British produced yarn.  It is extremely soft & the colors (74 of them!) are lovely!  The yarn is a pleasure to work with.  It glides effortlessly through your fingers without you feeling as if you're crocheting with plastic, it isn't splitty, & I honestly can't say enough good things about it.  All my future blankets will be made with this yarn.

I have been hearing the cicadas every evening which has always, for me, been the sound that precedes the end of summer.  I remember hearing them when I was a little girl in the weeks before it was time for the new school year to begin.  I think it is a lovely calming sound.  For me, anything that indicates the ending of summer is a lovely thing!

Hisser Sisters CAL ... End of Week Two

August 14, 2016

Claire & I are both on target with our CAL.  At the end of Week Two we now have 28 stripes (two rows equal one stripe) & our blankets are beginning to look quite lovely, if I do say so myself, with all the beautiful colors.  Lucy of Attic24 does have an eye for color!  I am grateful for this because I do not.

Here is my blanket progress ...

... & here is Claire's.
Claire's photos always look so nice!  She is having a lovely sunny day in England so she can enjoy being outside in her garden.  Here it is dark & rainy & flood warnings have been issued for lower lying areas.  

Today begins Week Three of our CAL.  Believe it or not, we are already planning another CAL after this one & then another one after that!  Such is the life of the Hisser Sisters   : )