New Sock, New Room

My two days of rest were exactly what I needed. I worked on my Dowland shawl and even got past the point where I had to frog last time. I’ve only got eight rows left before the bind-off, I believe, and I’m so ready to be done with this one. For some reason, the lace in this last section is giving me so much trouble. I want to get back to the easier lace of my Penny sweater but am just stubborn enough to make myself finish Dowland first.

I also cast on a new sock, as predicted. I pulled out one of my new brightly-colored sock yarn skeins, Orange Jellyfish in Intergalatic Planetary, and cast on for a Vanilla Latte sock. It’s growing quickly.

It’s knitting up differently than I expected but I do love the bright colors. And the dog! πŸ˜‰

But for now, the knitting is paused again while I resume my painting activities. I’m tackling the dining room now. Yesterday I patched and taped and dusted and sanded and vacuumed and patched and sanded and vacuumed. (There were some pretty serious cracks in the biggest wall.) The husband picked up the paint last night and today I’m ready to do the fun part: getting the paint on the walls! This is the biggest room I’ve done so far; it might take me a few days just for the painting.

Happy Friday, friends. Hope you have something fun planned for the weekend!

Well, THAT took forever

It feels like I have completed very few projects during this stay-at-home time. Ravelry says I have, a whopping six projects: two simple cowls, three pairs of socks, and several masks (which I guess could count for more than one project). But anyway, I finished a pair of socks last night and it felt like I’d just finished a marathon! I looked back and discovered I’d started these on March 16, the first day I started working from home. That’s almost two months ago, friends! Does it seem crazy that we’ve been doing this for so long? Sometimes it does to me, and sometimes it just feels like normal now. I’m so glad to have these off my needles finally.

The yarn is Leading Men Fiber Arts Showstopper in Complete Imagination and the pattern is Vestigial. I love the colors of the yarn and the gentle stripes. I carried the pattern down to the end of the gusset and after that I just wanted plain stockinette feet. And now I get to pick out a new sock yarn and cast on something fun…as soon as I clean off my craft room table of all the stuff it accumulated while I was painting!

I like cables now?

What the heck, who am I? I always thought I didn’t want to knit fingering weight, now I love it. I didn’t want to knit socks, now I’m addicted. I knew I’d hate cables — they’re fiddly and slow — and yet I chose to knit another hat with cables. And it didn’t even seem that fiddly!

img_7731It probably helped that this is worsted weight yarn and wool, so it’s sticky enough that the stitches don’t slip out easily when you’re doing the cables. And I’d say it helped that I’ve done this pattern before except I got to the cable bit and had no memory of how exactly to work it and had to look up the comments on the Ravelry pattern page. It’s Winter Walk, by the way, and knits up quickly. And next, I think I’m going to do some cabled mittens for my nephew. Clearly the shelter-in-place stuff has addled my brain.

Or maybe it’s paint fumes? After my bedroom, I tackled our upstairs hallway. It was a dirty tan with woodwork that had been painted a flat reddish-brown. I’m sure they did it to make it look like “wood” but I hated it, so the hall got the same gray/white paint as my bedroom.

It’s so bright and clean! I love it. There are SIX doorways in this area, though, so I got to paint a lot more trim than I would have preferred. The good news is that I’m now quite good at painting edges cleanly, but still, I’m so glad the next room to be done has beautiful natural wood trim! I’m taking a couple of days to rest before starting the next project; my hands and shoulder and elbow are feeling a bit of strain. Plus I was starting to miss knitting a little bit. I’ll get to the dining room soon though. It occurred to me that before I was furloughed, our plan had always been to hire someone to paint all these rooms, so I’m saving us a ton of money, probably a couple thousand by the time I’m done, as big as the bedroom and dining room are. That’s a pretty good feeling, and once you add on getting to enjoy the new paint, so far it’s worth the sore muscles!

Oh, and Mother’s Day was lovely too! We had a family breakfast, and went by to say hello to the mother (keeping a safe distance, of course) and I got plenty of knitting time before our delicious steak dinner, complete with mashed potatoes, and chocolate cake for dessert. The boy picked out a great t-shirt for me, and the husband ordered the most gorgeous blue Franklin Christoph fountain pen.

img_7719The girl’s gift was running late, so I’ll get a bonus Mother’s Day once it arrives. Hope all my fellow American moms had a good Mother’s Day too!

More painting

Maybe I should wait until my new purple bedding comes but I’m not going to. I’m going to share the progress on my bedroom now because I’m just so tickled with it. Here are a couple of before shots that show the “lovely” paint job from the previous residents.

Note: the spackled cracks are my work. We have not been living with that for five years! But we have been living with the cracks, some of which are pretty bad, so it was very satisfying to fill them all in and sand them down smooth, and then PAINT OVER THEM so they disappear (mostly).

And look at that last photo — see that weird unpainted spot? There was a radiator there. There are radiators throughout the house but the boiler wasn’t even close to being in working condition when we moved in, and I had no interest in dealing with radiators as a heat source, so we’re slowly removing them. I was thrilled to finally get this one out, especially since the last owners had painted the room but not behind the radiator, so you could see the other paint color back there. SO bad. Once it was out, I patched up the huge crack it was hiding, painted over the nasty stained trim, and voila!

Now it’s SO GOOD. I love it. The paint is exactly what I wanted, and I even repainted the trim a glossy white, and seeing this room just makes me smile now.

img_7703Now I’m off to do one last bit of trim painting and then I’m taking the rest of the day as a knitting day before starting another paint job. The bedding is supposed to arrive tomorrow so I’ll be sure to share another photo with that!

Happy Friday, friends!

Lifelines

THIS is why we use a lifeline, friends.

C3490BD9-9267-426D-95CC-3126682DD30DI had to frog 30 rows of lace on Saturday. 327 stitches per row. That’s over 9800 stitches, and it was only 15 rows from the end of the shawl. But I’d dropped a stitch a few rows back, thought I’d fixed it, then I dropped another stitch, thought I’d fixed it, my stitch count was off by one so I adjusted, and then the next row my stitch count was off by three. Upon further investigation, the diamond lace pattern was hecked up, to put it in technical terms. I hated to do it but I want this to be a good shawl, thus, the frogging. I got all my stitches back on the needle safely and have done three rows correctly. Now I’m just trying to decide how often to move my lifeline now!

I’m not sure how much knitting I’ll be getting done in the near future, though, because I seem to have found a new project: painting. Alas, no, not pretty pictures but rooms in our old house. We’ve been here five years and never painted a room, mostly because we always had other projects that needed the time/energy/money/focus first. But now I’m not working, the girl is home and will be done with school stuff soon and is eager and willing to help, and paint is relatively inexpensive. It all started with the husband’s office, which was an unattractive salmon-pink color. It’s a small room and he’ll be in there for at least the rest of May, if not longer, so I offered to paint it for him. I filled and sanded all the cracks, taped all the trim, and the girl and I painted it a fresh pale gray. The prep took longer than the painting itself!

I’d forgotten how satisfying it is to paint a room and have it be all fresh and pretty! We’re all jealous of the new room. And honestly, I think it was good for me to have a project that made a difference. I felt a little…lost last week, for lack of a better word, without work to give me a sense of purpose. The last times I wasn’t working, the kids were younger and my purpose was raising them. Well, at this point, that’s pretty much done, and it’s not like the younger one listens to me anyway! So directing my energies toward this sad house is a good plan, I think. It needs to be done before we can sell in a couple of years anyway, and we might as well get to enjoy the fresh paint jobs. Next up, my bedroom!

091869DE-AA0E-437F-A2B0-33DAC2B512B1I hate this color so much. In person, it’s a touch more yellow. It’s like a pale pea green. It’s hideous. All the many cracks have been patched (hooray for old houses with plaster walls, right?) and today I’ll sand them down and start prepping furniture to be moved out of the room. And then it will be painted the palest gray and the girl said she’ll repaint the glossy white trim, and then! Don’t tell the husband, but then I’m going to order new bedding and it’s going to be PURPLE and I will love my bedroom.

And then I’ll take more ibuprofen and lay down because I’m old, friends, and my back hurts.

FO Friday: Rainbow Socks

Well, I started the week with these socks and I’ll finish the week with them. I actually finished the toe of the second sock yesterday but FO Thursday doesn’t have the same ring to it.

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These socks do not match. Can you see why? Yes, the toes match up beautifully and I love that! But look at the rolled cuffs: I started on different colors. So one sock is longer than the other. Whatever. They’ll still wear just fine. Plus this might be my favorite sock yarn ever. It’s from Two Sisters Yarn Company and these colors are just so fun and happy. I used more yarn than I expected on these, about 54 grams, so I’ll have to get creative with my second pair.

I’m still working on my Vestigial sock and am in the middle of the gusset, but I’m planning my next sock as well. These will be for a good friend and here’s what I have in mind:

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They’re even machine-washable! The multi-color is Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet. The green might be Madtosh?? Or maybe Treasure Goddess Treasured Toes? I hope it’s the latter because that’s also machine-washable.

This week I also finished watching Little Fires Everywhere and I highly recommend it. It’s different from the book in a lot of ways, and I’m not sure how I feel about the ending, but I was hooked. And now I need to read the book again to see exactly how it’s different!

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Happy Friday, friends.

Sock It To Me Monday

Yesterday was a sunny, lazy day and it called for a new sock. I pulled out my Two Sisters self-striping and cast on a Rose City Roller. I’m thinking that if I make one pair of Rollers, I’ll have enough left for a pair of full-size socks with contrasting heels/cuffs/toes. And having the shortie socks knit up first will help me pick the contrasting color. Plus I will actually be able to wear the short socks now, unlike the full socks which would be set aside for fall.

img_7619I love this yarn so much. I would wear a sweater in this yarn. I just don’t know how well it works to make a sweater in self-striping sock yarn!

I also spent some time with my sewing machine yesterday. In all my mask-making recently, I hadn’t made any for myself or my family. And with so much uncertainty around the virus and when we’ll go out in the world again and what restrictions will be required when we do, I thought it would be best to be prepared.

img_7616They are all reversible with the same fabrics but I used different ties for each one so we’d know whose is whose. They’re also not perfect but it was still fun and satisfying, even if my eyes were so tired by the time I was done. I don’t think sewing will ever be my favorite craft, but I am tempted to try to make something fun, like a small project bag. What’s your favorite simple pattern for beginner sewing?