Monday, April 30, 2012

Projects finished, projects begun...

Hey, look what I finished.   This is the Masters Prayer Shawl by Barbara Szabrowicz.   I found it while searching Ravelry for something fast, easy, & pretty to make for a friend in need.   It was simply a dream to knit.  The directions were very clear.   The body of the shawl was easy enough to knit at church or in the movies.  The trim required attention but not so much that I could not work on it in the car.  I am very happy with the results.   I loved, loved, loved the Patons Pure Organic Yarn and am so sorry that it has been discontinued.

I also finished two of the four samples for my classes at Michaels.   I decided to do three washcloths and a scrubby.   My plan is to make a simple garter stitch cloth for my beginner knitting class, an easy single crochet cloth (of my own design) for my beginning crochet class, the Folly Beach Washcloth for a texture knitting class, and a crochet rosette/flower, made with that new Scrubby yarn from Sugar & Cream, for my next step crochet class.   It seems to me that most people will be happy to have something to make that they can finish right in class.

New to my needles is the Bigger on the Inside shawl using Zitron's Unisono in blues.   We are HUGE Dr.  Who fans so when this pattern hit Knitty last week, it was absolutely necessary that I drop everything and cast on.    There is even a special colorway (also called Bigger on the Inside) in Lornas Laces Solemate just for this shawl.  I am not using the recommended yarn in part because I like to be just a little bit different, and in part because I prefer variegated yarns.   So far I have wound the yarn and knit a swatch.   The pattern has only charts for the Time Vortex & Tardis lace which is a problem for me, so my next step will be to translate the charts into words.   Then I will be good to go.

Also recently cast on is a simple side to side shawl using some left over Jitterbug from my stash.   This will be my church/movie knitting since it requires so little attention.   I keep changing my mind about whether to knit it all  in garter stitch or stockinette with a garter border.   I have cast-on and knit a bit of both.   When I make up my mind, I will rip one out and continue on with the other.

So that's it folks.  That the news in knitting from Chez Serenity.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Say it isn't so....

Sadly, due to  a last minute snafu, Hubby and I did not make it to Atlanta last week.   That means that I did not make it to Stitches South, nor did I get to take the two classes I was scheduled for.    I feel like I should be more upset about this than I am.   Not with Hubby, whose work issues were unavoidable (Thank heavens for both of us that I used to be a systems mgr and understand how these things work), but with the situation.    The thing is that I am not terribly upset at all.  In part, because, I do understand how these things happen (I cancelled three trips to Ireland in one year when I was married to the ex), and in part because I am just too tired lately to get overly upset about anything.  

In an effort to cheer me up, T2 took me to Medieval Times on Friday.    This kid is so laid back that he drives me nuts.   This kid is so laid back that he is incredibly relaxing to be around (just call me "schizo mommy").    What a joy it was to not rush.   So not rushed were we that it took us five hours to get to Orlando (it usually takes two).    We stopped for coffee (Starbucks), lunch (Panera), and to visit a favorite yarn shop (Sew & Quilt Shop, Bunnell, FL).    By the time we got to IKEA, we had only  an hour to shop before we had to leave for Medieval Times.   We had a wonderful time and I got to knit while my darling drove home.   The day was slow, easy, and just what the doctor ordered.

This morning, before heading to Jax to run errands, I finally soaked and blocked my project from Stefanie Japel's Design Your Own Shawl class.   I hope to have the pattern written and up on Ravelry soon.  T2 is canvasing his female friends to see who would like to model this baby for me.   Also, I have to come up with a name for it.  

I read somewhere that lace blocking goes better on flannel because the material "grabs" the lace and holds it in place.   This is the first time I tried it and I really liked how easily the blocking went.  I did use pins but not nearly as many as I have in the past.    The only thing is that I always take blocking photos and I don't like the patterned sheet behind my project.    I am going to see if I can find black flannel at Joanne's in the hopes that it would make for a better picture.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

We get by with a little help from our friends

friend:  /frend/  
           A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection

Where would we be without our friends?   I hope I never find out.   In a stroke of good luck, T2's best NJ friend's family has annual Disney passes.  So every spring break and every summer we have been able to spend time with them at the "happiest place on earth".    As if seeing the boys so happy to be together were not enough, the two families get along really well too.   This week, only T2 and I were able to get away (T1 had spring break a couple of weeks ago and Hubby had to work).   We had a wonderful time.    We met our friends at Epcot where we gorged ourselves on good food and good company.    The  culture shock of moving to FL from NJ has been pretty isolating and it was renewing to be able to spend time with people with whom we can be ourselves without fear of hostile judgement or censure.

Rosen Shingle Creek
We used Priceline for the first time and we were able to score a gorgeous room at a nearby, golf resort for $55 a night (I was careful to specify 4 stars in my bid).    How cool is that?!    I admit to being terribly impressed with myself.   The room was large and very nicely appointed,  the beds were luscious, and their buffet (although a bit pricey) was awesome.    We never did get to the pool and we don't golf but both were lovely to look at during our after dinner explorations.

We finished off our mini vacation with stops at Ikea, and a new to me yarn shop called Knit, arriving home last night tired and happy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Serenity Knits rides again....

It's official.   I am the new knitting/crochet teacher at my local Michael's.   If you've been reading since before we moved to FL, you know that I loved teaching at my Michael's in NJ.   I am thrilled to be able to go back to doing what I love.  Keep an eye on my sidebar.  I am hoping to have class info up soon.

As if  my new job is not good enough, we finally found an alternative to Clearwire for our internet service provider.   After three long years, DSL has finally come to our neighborhood.  So far, we can't get the super fast service, but what we do have is good enough, and much more reliable, than what we were getting.   Things are definitely looking up.

Do you like my labyrinth?   I spent a few weeks participating in a "Spirit in Practice" workshop.  One night the facilitator suggested that we go home and create something that incorporated something of our individual spiritual practice.   Since the guided meditation was my favorite part of that night's gathering, I decided to embroider myself a finger labyrinth.   The Sublime Stitching pattern has been in my collection for a while, the thread is from my stash, the hoop is wrapped in leftover fabric from this rope basket that I made last year, and the back is finished with a felt circle cut from a recent experiment with Kool Aid dyeing.   I love that it came together so well using just things that I already had on hand.