Wednesday, August 24, 2011

a whiter shade of...

i have this thing about weird greens.

i am not really drawn to the color green much, but it seems to be drawn to me. and it can't be a regular green, it has to be a weird shade of green. it seems that i can wear weird greens, they look good on me. which is an odd and good thing since weird greens are usually the last thing to sell on a sale/clearance rack. whether it be for clothes or yarn.

i have always wanted to knit the paris loop which calls for bulky yarn. and while the lys was having its "last month in existence sale", i thought i would check out the bulky yarn shelf. and what was on it but this...

yup, weird green yarn. gobs of it. thankfully it was a yarn i have always wanted to work with, classic elites sprout, a 100% organic cotton yarn. i usually find cotton yarns a bit rough but this one is soft and cuddly so i was glad to have the opportunity to work with it.

so i cast on. and even though the pattern said it fits every body, i decided to add 20 stitches. just in case.

bad idea. this pattern turns out big, very big. so big that when i first tried it on, it slipped off my shoulders and landed on the floor big. it would have been big even if i hadn't added the 20 stitches, so with the 20 stitches it was even bigger than big.

so i went down to the local joannes fabric and got some cord. i wove the cord in and out of the 2nd row of knitting so i could tighten up the poncho as needed and ta-da! it fits!

i am so glad. because i love the way it turned out. the pattern is so easy it is like a knitting vacation. and i loved working with the yarn. it felt good going through my fingers and it knit up really well. the poncho felt soft and comforting in my lap as it became bigger with my continued knitting.
my original concerns in knitting with a cotton yarn is that it would not be soft and it would not have enough give. both unfounded. the yarn is very soft and has lots of give. as well as being pretty warm. i thought cotton would be a nice, light wrap for summer, but because of the yarns bulky-ness it is heavy and and keeps me warm, even with our cool evening windiness.

i find myself wearing it all the time. yup, i'll have an order of weird green please. thanks!

btw: this last picture does not reflect the actual color of this garment. the middle picture is a much better representation of the actual color. just so you know!

Monday, August 22, 2011

trying to make the grass grow greener

i like plants. i think they add something to a home.

for a long time i had a whole window sill of african violets. there wasn't a good windowsill for them in the new house. they gave it a good try, but the sun won out in the end.

late last summer, we got a puppy who chewed and dug out all of the house plants i had thriving in a corner of the dining room. thankfulluy i was able to salvage one of the christmas cactus'.

she then started on the outside succulents and begonias. i wasn't happy. but, like babies, puppies have no clue. especially this one. so i continued to water and fertilize those poor stumps of plants, hoping they would come back.

the winter storms took care of winter watering. and i started watering and fertilizing after the rains finally stopped. yesterday i went onto the patio and walked out to these.

i love begonias. they are funny little plants that never give up. they are so glad for some attention and care, they just bloom their happiness.

and thankfully they survive being chewed by a puppy.

now if i could do something about the roses....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

the beat goes on...

the last month the lys was open for business they had a sale. it started with merchandise being 30% off; then 40% off and finally 50% off. and though the end of the sale meant the end of the lys, the sale, and the lys, was pretty fun while it lasted.

i had gone into the store a few times during that last month. most of the time, just to sit, knit and chat while i still had the chance. but these visits always turned into scouting for yarn opportunities. and since the yarn was on sale, i would sometimes pick up a ball of this, a skein of that, knowing that my big purchase(s) were yet to be decided. finally, on the last week the lys was open, i purchased big.

sock yarn was my first choice but it was also the first to go, which meant i needed to get creative on what type of yarn i was willing to make socks out of. to this end, i bought panda cotton and bunny hop.

my sweet friend came to shop with me and fell in love with the "leaf lace sock" sample the owner had knitted up. only one sock was knitted which meant if my sweet friend wanted a pair to wear, i would need to knit the second sock. so the pattern was purchased as well as the panda cotton yarn it was knitted in.

i have a total jones for frog tree yarn. i also have a shawl jones. coincidentally the lys had quite the selection of frog tree. they also had a sample of "the scallop shawl" which just happened to be knit up in a frog tree sportweight colorway that was on the shelf. so to indulge both jones', i purchased the pattern and the yarn. the purple frog tree was purchased during one of the scouting visits. it was the last ball in that colorway and just to lovely to pass up!

the last yarn i purchased that day was some classic elite sprout. i love shawls and poncho type garments and had always wanted to knit stefanie japel's paris loop which calls for bulky yarn. which sprout happens to be. so there you have it.

this purchase was well within the "budget" i had set for myself. which meant i had money left over. how lucky was that? it also meant i could go back to the lys to make some last minute purchases. so two days before the lys would close forever i found myself back at the store. i decided on two skeins of raspberry/lavender frog tree which complimented the dark purple frog tree purchased earlier with hopes of pairing both in knitting some fingerless gloves. i also planned on checking if clara parkes book of yarn was available since it has a pattern for fingerless gloves i find myself consistently drawn to. much to my surprise, one copy was available. and at 50% off! score!

so with this final purchase, along with many hugs and thank yous, i said goodbye to the lys and its owners one final time. i miss them all terribly but am thankful for the time we shared together.