It’s a Ruana. A Giant Square.

I finished this project. It’s so ridiculous it’s cute. Random yarns that are no longer available to buy, and much patience. It’s Augustina from a Noro magazine. You, too, could buy a kit.

Mine is big. It’s ok. It’s soft and warm and I’ll enjoy it around the house this winter. The colors look great! Bonus surprise.

Note I’m missing a foot but another one showed up to make up for it.

Lee made fancy photos for me. I like that I’m wearing shorts and the dogs are inspecting it. enjoy my garment. I un-cropped the pictures do my head would not be cut off.

Oh yes. Yarn for the project after my blanket for Kathleen arrived! It’s for a very macho toddler. Camo and swampy green. Gonna be CUTE.

The green yarn is very interesting. Can’t wait to use it.

Why Acrylic and Superwash Wool are My New Friends

Those of you who know I love to knit and crochet may be scratching your heads and wondering what in earth has happened to their Suna. It’s true. Suna loves natural fibers like wool, silk, mohair, alpaca, linen…mmm. She loves to touch the soft or scrunchy loveliness of natural fibers. Mmmm.

Natural fiber wonderland

Kendall Sue, however, knows the value of quality acrylic or Superwash wool that’s been treated so it can be machine washed. For one thing, it’s machine washable. Baby items and things made for non-crafters hold up way better when made from sturdy, colorful acrylics. Kendall Sue is practical.

Current project made from a variety of unnatural fibers, but still nice looking enough.

Wool is Suna’s (my) favorite to knit with. But I’ve known the heartbreak of moths in Texas so much that I no longer have the heart to make socks. All my socks have holes now. I’ve also known the heartbreak of having your wool handknits accidentally put in the regular washing and drying cycles. Felt is great when done on purpose, but…

Fancy ass knitted item on couch with dog-proof covering.

Sometimes your fancy ass knitted item is needed. Last winter, it got really cold and we lost power. I happily lent a blanket I was almost finished with to a family member who was cold. Now, this item was knit from a Noro yarn from Japan. Lots of it. A few hundred dollars worth. Because I’m worth it, ha ha.

I forgot it was there, and thought I’d folded it up in my cedar closet. Nope. I think Vlassic was sleeping on it. And then it got washed, I’m sure by a very well meaning caregiver or something like that. There was no label saying “Fancy Blanket – cold wash and lay flat to dry” on it, after all.

Hmm

The good news is that the yarn is a blend, so there’s silk and cotton in it. So the blanket just got somewhat smaller, stiffer, and fuzzier. It’s still pretty. I can’t finish it, since the original yarn doesn’t go with it. I’ll just say the missing squares are on purpose. And I’ll remember to keep precious stuff up in my closet. Lesson learned!*

Fewer than 30 seconds after I put the blanket on the couch. This is why I need to stop making fancy ass items.

And I’ll channel Kendall Sue, my practical alter ego and make my next things washable. Luckily, Kathleen ordered the yarn already and it’s Kendall Sue approved.


I’m not mad. Just shaking my head that I didn’t think to retrieve the blanket. It was my error! All is well in the world.

Things You Find when Looking for Something Else

My spouse is trying his hand at book binding. He needed a needle he could thread dental floss through to sew the binding in. So, I went through my unorganized craft stuff to find something. I found a needlepoint needle, which was good. But I found many other things.

Found!

One thing I found was this pouch I made to test out felting an entrelac project. I ended up using it more than the very nice purse that was my main project back in the old Bluebonnet Yarn Shop days. Believe it or not, I stored tampons in it.

Mama bear

The necklace is one my therapist made for me back in the Very Bad Old Days when my marriage was painfully ending, as were the marriages of many of my friends. On top of that there was a horribly toxic woman who showed up at our UU church who ran around ruining marriages, breaking up friendships, and rampantly spreading rumors and suspicion everywhere. Many of my friendships never recovered, and though I stuck around a while, I never again felt safe at church. Victoria was making jewelry at that time, and she made me the mama bear necklace to protect me.

My spouse found these journals. The top one covered 6 months of this time in excruciating detail. I feel so bad for my kids. And I can’t believe how doggedly I insisted people had good intentions in the face of evidence to the contrary. I’m sure glad my ex and his dogs and super-fit wife are so happy. We paid for it.

I needed it. My son was struggling, too. It was the start of so much stress, struggle, and growth. All that hit me when I saw the necklace. I’m sick to my stomach. No wonder it’s a good idea not to live in the past!

This is actually slightly more organized.

On a happier note, I found this UFO (unfinished object) in the knitting bag where the necklace was. It’s another entrelac project. I think it’s a table runner? It’s made of leftover sick yarn. Maybe I can work on it later.

Speaking of the past

The other UFO I found is this very warm shawl. I’m on the border of this one, too. What is it with me and unfinished borders? I should finish it before I start the other project. Sigh. It is very soft, too. Fancy yarn.

Hey, I remember this.

But wait, I found something else. I was in the Hen Haven or whatever I want to call it, and realized I didn’t know what was in a box under the work table. So, I opened it. Wow! Leather tooling supplies!

They must have cone with all the horse stuff.

I immediately knew what to do with it, too. I ran to get Drew’s fancy leather lead rope. After practicing on an old belt, I got to work.

Custom lead strap!

It’s Drew’s now! He fancy. I’ll see what else I can whack with a mallet. By the way, if the nephew is reading this, I did put the mallet back.

Bonus content: how many hens are at this chicken conference?

Finished a Shawl, Finally

And it came out great! This shawl is what I was working on before I started making all those baby blankets.

Knockout Round shawl with large sawtooth border

I started on January 15 and was almost finished in February when I sat the project aside. I knew I had to finish it, though, because both yarns were delicious. The tan yarn is baby llama. Baby llama! It’s called
Frog Tree Llambrosia. I used up every bit of that. The second yarn is a hand-painted yarn, whose name is a mouthful: Knitwhits Freia Handpaints Freia Ombré M/S Sport (Refined) – Gradient (the links are to their Ravelry pages). That Freia feels so good to knit with. It’s a silk/wool blend.

As you can see, it’s a simple, triangular shawl, but I did use a pattern to do the tabbed start, so credit goes to that person. The border is based on a classic sawtooth pattern, but I messed around with it. Since I had a lot of Freia left over, I added some plain stitches to make it wider. (Want to learn more? Here it is on Ravelry.)

Border up close

The big surprise was that when I got to the end of the triangle, I was at the end of a border repeat, which made turning the corner easy. Then, today, when I got to the end, it was EXACTLY at the end of a border repeat! It looks like I did a bunch of careful planning to get the pattern to come out right. I wish I could say I did, but nope, it was total luck.

I’m happier than I look. Just tired from horse lessons. That is why my shirt is dirty.

And no, I don’t have a border pattern. You cast on some stitches, and declare some number your sawtooth and the rest the plain part. You knit some, yarn over, K2 together, then knit to the last stitch which you knit along with a border stitch. Then going back out, you knit 2 together at the end. When there is only one stitch before the hole for the yarn over, cast on some number and start again. I believe my number was 12. You see, I’m a technical writer by day, and it’s the weekend now. No technical writing.

Yes, you can find the pattern online at http://www.interweave.com somewhere.

I actually DO have something interesting I want to make after I use up all the Mandala yarn from the baby blankets with my overly colorful crochet ripple afghan. It will be a garment! A sleeveless top! With yarn I have been saving! It’s from the latest Interweave Knits (Summer 2022) and called Morellet. Let’s see if I can do that!

I’m so glad that there are at least a few knitting magazines out there. I can read patterns much better on a page than online. And no way am I sitting through someone yammering on and on for some online pattern. I know I am old, but I don’t have time to sit through endless promotions, background information, videos on how to do a stitch…I just want a pattern.

Vlassic would like to thank me for the very pink chair he can sit in to watch me in the tack room.

Don’t get me started trying to find the actual recipe for anything online. I have no sympathy with people’s needs to cram more and more ads in their patterns and recipes. I hope they get rich from it. Wait, don’t I have ads? Yes. And I have yet to hit the magic $100 to get paid.

Heat apparently makes me grumpy. I did drink my healthy supplement o’ magnesium and potassium when I was running around with the horses though, honest. Tarrin made me do it. (That’s her tag line, too.)

Work Is Worky

I like my job a lot. I’m really lucky to be doing what I enjoy for great folks. But whew, sometimes I need to take a break. My eyes are throbbing from looking at my tiny laptop screen and trying to write software instructions for hours and hours.

Necessary beverage

I finally stopped writing at 5:45 and had a sandwich and large beverage at the sports bar where there were no small screens. That helped a lot. I’ll be glad to have my large screen next week! And my dogs! And the horses! And the family! I keep dreaming about horses. Weird dreams where they do odd things but I’m fine with it.

I’ll miss the hazy shoreline.

I also know it’s time to go, because loud people showed up next door, for the first time in two weeks! I’m glad I have an online horse meeting tonight. That will drown them out

My goodness, actual vehicles in the water.

Tomorrow I have to work more, somehow, after checkout. And ship those turtles home. I’m sure I can do it. Then yay, I can go home.

I’m too tired to write. So, bye-bye stats! I’m gonna knit the border on this fine blanket.

Just needs borders

De-Fence-less

I didn’t work today and didn’t do too much, either. My biggest accomplishment was taking notes for a very long Master Naturalist Board meeting. I’m glad they were more boring when I was President.

I’m what you should have focused on.

Much of the day was spent writing a blog post on the big mushroom, which is finally dying. Turns out, it’s poisonous!

Bye!

The other highlight, if you can call it that, was grooming the horses. Poor Drew hadn’t been groomed since before he got sick, but he wasn’t too bad. He was shedding, but not too badly. But he was hungry, so I followed him around and got it done.

Grooming remnants.

Apache, on the other hand…oh my goodness that horse is hairy. I spent like 45 minutes and three different implements trying to put a dent in the hair. It had only been three days since he was brushed! It felt like grooming a bunny. I’ll try again tomorrow and maybe I’ll have time to ride. I guess birds have lots of nesting material now.

That hair gets in my way, says Buckeye.

Hey, what about the title of this post? We are fence-less in the side yard now. While I was blogging on the front porch, I got to watch the guys use both tractors to lift and pull and finally remove the posts for the fence we don’t need anymore. That tractor was jumping and flying, while the backhoe just carried stuff. I’m not sure they all were having fun.

It was fun to just relax, hang out with Lee, and do whatever I wanted to. I did knit a bit. Penney would like to show you my squares.

A Shiny Baby Blanket

I finally finished this special project, which is a blanket for my friend Mandi’s upcoming surprise baby. It took a long time, because I used small needles and only have about an hour of knitting time per day. I recommend the size called for by the yarn, a 5 US.

Knitted ripples

Mandi asked for a ripple afghan, which is easy to crochet, but it hurts my hands too much. So, I looked for knitted ones. I didn’t like any of the ones I found, so I just did it the way I wanted to.

Note the sequins!

I used another version of Lion Brand Mandala yarn, the one that has slow color changes. This one has sequins in it. Just enough. Not too many. It was easy to work with and is machine washable. I also like the size it came out. Perfect for a newborn or a “lovey” blanket. I had one of those I slept with until college. Its name was “Lovin’ Blanket,” or LB. It once was a satin receiving blanket, but after many years, all that was left was its edges. I digress.

How to Make Your Own

So, here is the extra easy pattern, at least if you know the abbreviations.

Mine took 3 balls of Mandala Sequins plus about a quarter of another ball, to make both ends blue. You can make the blanket as wide or long as you want. It could be adult size, if desired!

Cast on a multiple of 12 stitches + 8. I did 12 repeats. 142 stitches.

Row 1 slip 1, knit to end

Row 2 slip 1, *SSK, K4, YO, K2, YO, K4, K2tog* repeat between ** until the last stitch, K1

Repeat these two rows until you reach the length you want, then bind off loosely. Slipping the first stitch on each row makes a nice edge, especially if you knit the last stitch through the back loop.


The next blanket I make will be mitered squares in another colorway of the same yarn, with a centered decrease accent.

Baby Blanket Bonanza

Yeppers, I’m making more baby blankets. It’s rewarding to me. And relaxing. I found some fun yarn to use for the next two. It has both long color changes and sequins! Woo.

Mándala sequins yarn

The yarn is weird in that it doesn’t stay wound up very well. The sequins are in the yarn, though, so they will stick. I got three colors, even though I only have two blankets to make. I’ll find something else to do!

Really pretty color

My first recipient wanted a ripple blanket, so I looked around for patterns. I didn’t find one I really liked that was knitted, so I added yarnovers to one that looked good.

My pattern.

I like how the thinner yarn makes the blanket delicate and good for a baby, even though it’s a boy. It’s a fun pattern that’s pretty traditional.

Close up.

I’ve managed to make a few mistakes in the easy pattern, and I had to rip out a few rows twice! You do need to pay attention when you are counting to 4, I guess.

This is closer to the real color.

It’s nice to just do something for someone else and put in some love. Kindness, giving, and stress relief all bundled together.

The third color.

Let’s all find ways to heal our souls and share love with others.

Normal Horse Activity

This is exciting! Sara and I rode our horses around our pastures and it was uneventful! Woo!

Who me?

I promised I’d just write about horses for a while. So yep. Aragorn and Apache were good guys and checked out lots of stuff with a minimum of acting up. It wasn’t perfect, but it was way better. I’m so glad to be able to have fun with our horses again.

Aragorn did great opening gates, too. What a guy. He’s so much calmer. We are all developing our partnership.

It’s happy for me, in the horse department.

The yarn came for my next baby blanket project. It has sparkles.

Colorway is Opal. It’s for Mandi.

That’s all I’ve got. Peace out.

I’ll Just Show My Knitting

After the most disturbing evening of television watching EVER last night, I hope the poor shawl I’m working on won’t forever be linked with the dismal 2022 Winter Olympics. It’s not the shawl’s fault I was holding it in disbelief as I watched the poor little girl who won the gold medal being totally ignored.

Here. A warm shawl.

I said I’ll talk about knitting. So, this has been a pleasant break from baby blankets. It’s soft and cuddly, though I’m not sure if it’s all that attractive.

Dizzy stripes

I’m done with the brown baby llama yarn, so I’m going to end with a few inches plain, then bind off with a border of the silk/wool blend. I’m not sure what the border will be.

It will be a perky border!

Now I’m trying to decide what yarn and pattern to use for two more baby blankets, since Mandi is expecting boy #5 and my mentor from my previous job is also expecting. I’m no longer a fast knitter, but it helps me relax.

Wonder what pattern I should choose? Ideas?

Consider my pattern choice while viewing this morning’s sunrise.

I’m the meantime, I’m relaxing and trying to recover from a shoulder tweak from lifting and tossing hay bales. I need a farmhand.

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