Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Loving and losing

Well it's certain ally has been a long time since my last post. I truly apologize for this but life can be very consuming! Illness, disease and death has been headline news for me as of late.
I said a teary goodbye to my 14 year old crazy but lovable beagle, helped pack up my uncles dental practice and now his home as he battles cancer and spent much time in Florida visiting my mom whom is suffering from congestive heart failure and kidney disease.






This is the last project I worked on. It has been washed and blocked but still needs to be seamed and the trim added.
I also managed to finish a pair of socks for my mom, but forgot to get a picture before leaving town :(
I have yet to start a new pair but hopefully soon.








My hopes are high for spring! Of course the snow that fell last night will need to melt first. I will be adding pictures from my garden along with gardening tips I have picked up along the way such as,
Early spring is the time to apply crabgrass control to the lawn followed by a general weed and feed four weeks later.

Until the next time, stay strong!
CeCe

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Is it Here Yet?!



Are we there yet? I'm talking about spring! Winter has been brutal for most of us. When 17 degrees F feels warm, there's a problem. I am trying hard to be positive but my efforts are wearing thin. I started a pair of socks using the brightest and most colorful sock yarn in my stash. If Spring won't come to me, I will bring Spring to me!

 



I am awaiting my latest order from Knit Picks. In it will be a beautiful blue, cotton blend, light weight yarn that will be used to knit a sweater for those cooler spring days or the overly air conditioned public places. 
So why is it that temperatures are so darn cold in public places? Recently I spent some time in southern Florida and was amazed at how cold the grocery stores, restaurants and shopping malls were. People bring sweaters and jackets wherever they go despite the outside temps of (plus) 80 degrees. I don't believe i's necessary or good business practice, I actually left a store because I was too cold. If I had my latest knit hat, I would have put it on. Who knew...

Sorry for the short entry this time but I have a ton to catch up on. 
Thanks for stopping by,
CeCe

Monday, January 27, 2014

Conquering Cables






Another day of hibernation here in the Midwest. Yes, I realize it's winter but, it's not Alaska were temps below zero are the "norm". But hey, who am I kidding...this weather gives me a valid excuse for staying indoors and getting some knitting done. Always a good day when I have a chance to prolong my knitting time.
Now that we have some time, let's take a look at cables! I have so many people tell me they have not tried to cable because it looks too hard. I am here to tell you it's not! Yes, there is a third needle involved, to hold stitches in place, but like any other stitch you will be knitting with only two needles at a time.
So go ahead and cast on 12 stitches using your favorite cast on method.
(RS) Row one: knit.
(WS) Row two: purl
Row 3: Purl 3, the next 6 stitches will be used for the cable, and then the last 3 stitches will be purled. (P3, C3F-K3, P3).
Rows four, six and eight: purl
Rows five and seven: knit


These 8 rows are the pattern repeat. If you want to make the price wider, do so in multiples of 12.
P,P,P C3F-K3, P,P,P Place marker P,P,P, C3F-K3, P,P,P and so on.


C3F defined:
The cable will be made using 6 stitches. Depending on the pattern, a specified number of stitches will be held in front or in back of your work. Sounds a little confusing but I have included some pictures. I find being a visual learner, pics help tremendously.
For this cable repeat, we will be placing 3 stitches on a cable needle in front of the work. Don't panic if you don't have a "cable needle" there are many items that will work. I have been known to use a double pointed needle, pencil, coffee stirrer or anything else that is round and not bigger in circumference than the needles I am using.

Begin by working the first 2 set up rows as they are commonly referred as. Row three is the cable row, start by purling the first 3 stitches, place the next 3 stitches on the cable needle and hold in front of your work. These stitches are just going to hang out in front of your work while you go ahead and knit the next 3 stitches from the left needle. Looks funny? then you probably are doing it right. NOW, the 3 stitches on the cable needle need to be worked. You can either place these stitches back on the left needle (careful not to twist) or as I do, knit directly from the cable needle. Work should look twisted and feel a bit tight. The last 3 remaining stitches on the left needle will be purled. Turn work and purl back. Continue in stockinette stitch for 6 more rows.

If you plan on going wide with this, I strongly recommend using markers between each repeat. It helps to keep your place and any mistakes can be caught very early avoiding needless frogging of repeats done correctly.
I also suggest starting out with a medium weight yarn for the sake of manageability. I am using a # 4 designated yarn in Aran color. In this weight a 2 or 3 repeat sequence makes a great scarf width. To keep from curling, add 3 stitches on each end. Place a marker after the first three and before the last three stitches to remind your self these are edge stitches and not pattern stitches. Knit all edge stitches of every row.
K3, Place marker (PM), *P3, C3F-K3, P3*,repeat pattern between stars to desired width, PM, K3.

Give this a try, let me know how you did, post a pic or send an email.
Welcome to the world of cables. Beware, they can be addicting!
Thanks for visiting,
CeCe

Three stitches on cable needle in front of work











 knit 3 stitches for first part of cable

Knitting stitches from cable needle
Notice needle is in front 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Purdue shooting

I received word of the shooting on the Purdue University campus, when my son texted me to tell me he was safe as were those he knows. I have been insanely following any and all news related media coverage trying to make sense of this act of violence. As if there is any sense in such behavior.
About two hours after the initial report the campus, with the exception of the building the shooting occurred at, was declared safe and all activities were to resume as normal.
NORMAL? Really, how does one go from lock down to normal in two hours? Shame on the powers that be to okay ten of thousands of students to return to a campus after such a terrifying incident.
No information has been delivered declaring if any or all shooting suspects have been taken into custody. Does anyone really know if a shooter has not fled to a different building in hopes of avoiding capture?
What about the mental states of the students? I for one would not have the capacity to concentrate. My thoughts would be focused on my safety, why this happened, was anyone hurt. The list could go on for miles. I have assured my son that it is okay not to return to campus today.
I understand the University wants to move forward but that thought does not lessen the impact of the terror felt by so many.
I do hope more questions are answered before another statement regarding normalcy is put out there.
There is nothing normal about this situation!
Hoping all students and staff are safe,
CeCe

purdue university

Missing picture

This a hat I've knitted for charity. So many more to go!

Priceless!


Overnight snow total: 5 inches
Today's temperature: 1 degree Fahrenheit, wind chills, -20 degrees YIKES!
Kind neighbor with snow blower: Priceless

Just another day of winter in Chicagoland! I decided to get the driveway shoveled before I picked up my knitting needles in fear that I would change my mind and wait for my husband to come home from a long day at work (not to mention the commute to and fro) to do the shoveling. That just doesn't seem right, I am very capable of shoveling. Besides by the time he gets home it will be dark and a lot colder. I look at shoveling as a workout, a nice change from the gym. All is good!
On go the long johns, quick wick long sleeve shirt, wooly (hand knit socks, yum) and down the stairs for the outer layers. As I approached the closet seeking my warmest coat I spied a glimpse of my neighbor snow blowing my driveway. Does it get better than that! Yeah, didn't think so.
I poked my head out to say thanks but I feel a bigger thank you is deserved, especially since this is the second time he has done this. Into the kitchen I go, who doesn't like home baked goodies. I have three bananas begging to be used for muffins and a new recipe to try.

Google Dawn Forrester for this and other tempting recipes!


I think I will also bake some cookies with a tried and true Betty Crocker recipe as back up, should I mess up the banana muffins. I'm a much better cook than baker. 

Continuing my resolution to Pay It Forward, I best get baking so that I have some time to continue knitting hats for charity.


Glad you had a chance to stop by today!  CeCe 
                      

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Deep Freeze

Dang! What a way to usher in the New Year. I hope all have made it through the deep freeze safely. And if that wasn't bad enough the amount of snow that has fallen, at least here in Chicago (23 1/2 inches from 12/25/13 through 1/5/14) has buried many a car, made sidewalks hazardous  and the infamous and contraversal parking meters too dangerous to reach.  I hope that any individual issued a ticket for not paying the meter has taken a picture of the unsafe conditions and puts up a fight or if necessary, take legal action. Maybe the city and the privatized parking meter company will get their heads out of their backside and realize how badly they have treated the residents and visitors.
That off my chest, what a thrill it was to pull out my bin of "warmies" and be able to were a different hat or scarf  during the deep freeze. One of these scarves, from my very early days of knitting, found a new home when I saw a young man riding his bike. I could not help myself and asked him what was so important that he had to be on a bicycle in below zero temperatures. He responded he was going to work AND was glad to get the extra hours because he was saving up for a car.  I was in complete awe!
It was then I noticed he didn't have a scarf and off in full mother mode I went. I unwrapped the scarf from my neck (luckily it wasn't pink and frilly)  and gave it to him, wishing him safe travels and told him I'm sure his parents are proud of him. He stood there a moment before checking it out. He smiled in disbelief and quietly said thanks. We started off in opposite directions when I heard him shout, "I like all the different blues!" I got in my car feeling all warm and fuzzy, thinking about my next scarf!
Soooo, searching through way too many patterns, I came across an oldie but well loved basket weave pattern and depending on the yarn choice it is a pattern that can be worn by all. Here's the link:
http://pipersgirls.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/giant-basket-weave.pdf




 Finally finished the Purdue socks for my son. Wow that boy has got some big feet!
I chose to do an after thought heel and matching black toe and really like the results. Definitely a method I will use again. It's a great way to use up some stash yarn whilst creating a one of a kind look. I folded down one sock so that you can see how the yarn is carried in stranded knitting. I had to check the tension from time to time to ensure consistency.  I found it too easy to tighten things up along the way. I'm sure with more practice my tension will stabilize.

In the mean time, I am working on socks for my husband and myself. Hubby has a couple pairs of thick wooly socks but this is his first pair using sock yarn weight. It's so cute how excited he is.



With my to do knit list growing by leaps and bounds, I say good bye with warm wishes and a reminder to be kind to one another!
Til the next visit,
CeCe