Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Lizzie Vest, A Fair Isle Pattern

 I finished the fair isle vest!  And I wore it on Saturday.

Here are the details about my 'practice' vest.

Pattern:  Lizzie Vest from the blog (now inactive) Yellow Pink and Sparkly.  You can click on the link and find the Lizzie Vest pattern on the side bar.

Needles:  The pattern calls for size 3 and 5 needles; however, I adapted to using size 7 and 5 because the yarn I used called for those sizes and because I also adapted the size to fit.

Yarn:  Caron x Pantone.  Bamboo.  Five colors.  I purchased the yarn as a set with navy being the main color.  Unfortunately, it looks like Caron is no longer making this yarn.

Full disclosure:  I used the pattern as a guide for knitting the fair isle patterning; it is not exactly the same.  Mostly, this is because I did not have enough of the three colors pink, white and plum to follow it row by row.  But even so, I love how it turned out.

The edging is Knit 1 Purl 1 ribbing.

The fair isle patterns were fun to knit!

Friday, January 26, 2024

A Month into Winter Fave Fives

 Welcome to Willow's Cottage this grey and misty day.  This week we have moved from this (never above freezing temps for a week):

to this: quite warm but very foggy.

That's ok. That's life in Ohio, evidently.  Don't like the weather?  Wait a few minutes.

Why do I begin my Friday Fave Fives talking about less than ideal weather?  Well, we are supposed to be joyful in all things, thankful for everything.  For me, that seems so very easy because I am not living in a dangerous place in the world. I have food. I have shelter. I have water. I am safe. I never take these blessings for granted.  It seems like I have just written all my faves for the week right here.  But wait!  There's more!  (the link above takes you to Susanne's blog where she hosts our FFFs)

1.  I am thankful for a cleaning lady.  She helps me once a month with chores that my hands don't like me to do.  What a blessing she is!  She has been out on maternity leave, so I am especially happy she is back.

2.  I am thankful for friends.  One very important factor in living a longer life is having companionship.  As we often do, we met our friends T and S for coffee one morning this week.  Three hours!

3.  More friendships.  We drove north to meet other friends between their new home (they moved 'home' from Oregon where we knew them) to have lunch with them  We took Mia with us because she had the day off from work and because she knew Laura from the time she was in middle school.  It was a great reunion and catch up.  We look forward to many more lunches with them.  Even Eleanor Elizabeth Bunny enjoyed the lunch--lots of lettuce and carrots for her!

4.  I am thankful to live near my daughters.  One evening the two 'girls' popped over to talk with us about summer plans.  I love living a five minute drive from them both.

5.  Mia also helped me with something that has been nagging at me for a long time.  I own the rights to a website, willowscottage.com.  For a long time, it has sat there just doing nothing, no photos, no information.  This week, Mia showed me how to make the first steps in setting it all up.  The only thing there so far is a link to this blog... try it.  www.willowscottage.com

I hope you have found many many blessings in your week, too.

PS:  I am almost finished with the vest I showed you last week!  Come back later today or tomorrow and get the details.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Cold and Snowy Faves

Hello from a white and icy Willow's Cottage!  In a zoom call this week with my Art Girls group, one of us mentioned her focus phrase for 2024-- JOY, no matter what.  YES!  That is what Friday Fave Fives is all about.  Finding and focusing on the blessings, no matter what else is happening.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives for this frigid week. (follow the link to Susanne's blog to join and read more)

This has been a week of rest, coffee, and books.   I didn't plan my week to be like that, but with our below freezing temperatures all day and night and now the snow which is falling, I haven't been out much and I haven't had much energy, either.  I truly am thankful for all the downtime.

We did make two expeditions out in the cold.  One trip was to have our annual eye exams.  Results were all good.  No changes, no new lenses, no new frames.  Our optometrist is wonderful and personable and professional.  It was a joy and a blessing to have that visit.

The other trip took us to the medical center for my m--m-gram.  Again, all good.  On the same trip, we did our big shopping trips to Costco and TJ's and added in REI and LLBean.  These stores are thirty minutes plus from us, so we group them together and do the trip once or twice a month.  Again, I am thankful that the medical visit is done and all the shopping is, too.

The Professor and I had a fun and relaxing coffee time with Mia, Younger Daughter, on one of her days off.  We enjoye our coffee in a sweet shop in a nearby town.  Ragamuffins Coffee is definitely a favorite.  While we were there, two people who work for our county's park district came in and grabbed their coffee.  A quick conversation about our knitting projects cemented the woman's name in my mind (I'm not usually good with names, so this was unusual).

Much to our surprise, we met that Park District lady at our eye doctor's office as she arrived for her appointment.  I remembered her name!  Then she told us about a volunteer program the park district has for people interested in helping keep the trails in good condition, and she invited us to join.  We'll definitely be looking into that since we walk the trails all the time, anyway.  I love those serendipitous meetings.

Extra:  update on the Fair Isle vest...  in rummaging around in my extensive yarn stash, I pulled out a bunch of yarn that came as a combination of five different colors in small skeins with a couple of the colors in larger skeins.  Perfect for me to make a 'practice' vest!  So that's what I have been knitting this week.  If all goes well, I should have it finished by next week.  Here's a quick glimpse to entice you...

Friday, January 12, 2024

Mid January Gratitude Warmth

Greetings from cold and windy (dare I say frigid?) central Ohio.  It's a grey and chilly Friday.  But.  Even in harsh weather or maybe difficult situations, there is always sunshine and goodness if you look for it.  That is the whole point of Friday Fave Fives.  Susanne leads other bloggers in this exercise of gratitude each week and for me it is important to look back and note the blessings I might have otherwise missed.  I am so thankful for Friday Fave Fives (the link takes you to Susanne's blog)

1.  Does working through your mending pile count as deep cleaning?  While I did not manage to clean any cupboards or floors, I did do all the mending.  My daughter's beautiful green cashmere sweater had a hole-- she brought it over and that set off the chain of sewing.  Of course, the next day, I had to start a new pile...

2.  On the one day when the weather cooperated (no rain, no snow, no below freezing temperatures), The Professor, Young Daughter and I took the two 'puppies' for a walk.  Three and a half miles!

3.  We have friends from here who have been on a road trip to the West Coast.  Knowing that we have lived in the Pacific Northwest and that we have driven those routes numerous times, they asked us to help them out with planning their trip and being their weather reporters.  They're on their way home now, and so far,  they have had only one nasty weather day (yesterday in Utah and Wyoming).  We are monitoring and texting with them (well, it's mostly The Professor) and are thankful they are safe.  One extra blessing is that they have sent us photos of all the wonderful places along the way and especially the Columbia River Gorge.

4.  A morning spent with Younger Daughter at a local coffee shop.  We chatted about so many different things including knitting, of course, and her work as a nurse.  I think she is going to love being a nurse.  It's her passion.

5.  Our discussion about knitting?  I am in the planning stages of using up some of my handspun and hand dyed wool yarn.  I want to knit a Fair Isle vest or sweater (or both).  My biggest issue has been having enough of a single color of yarn for the base color.  Then last night I had an AHA moment!  I have some unspun wool fiber in my stash!  So, I made a mess in the room I call my studio and pulled out two rolls of roving.  Now I just have to spin it and make sure it is the same weight (size) of yarn as all the skeins I already have.  If you care about how yarn is made and how it can be dyed, you can click on these three links and read some old posts I wrote years ago.  Handspun    Dyeing Wool    More Dyeing 

Bonus.  Cold weather means I stay inside more.  I have finished reading several books!

Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Simply Garter Vest

Here are some details about the vest I finished last week.  I added a photo of it on my Friday Fave Fives,  and various people commented about it, so I thought I'd added extra information.

The pattern is Simply Garter Vest from the pattern book Folk Vests by Cheryl Oberle.  I have used this book to knit several vests and highly recommend it.  This is the second Simply Garter Vest I have made; last year I knit a purple vest for my younger daughter (Mia).

Last fall, I was given a huge bag of yarns from someone who is organizing her home to get ready to sell it and decided she doesn't want to continue knitting.  So I had eight skeins of this lovely yarn.

A mix of 70%wool and 30%mohair from Green Mountain Spinnery.  Excellent company with high quality yarns.

I used almost five skeins.
Size 8 US needles

This vest is really cozy warm.  I will be wearing it ALL. WINTER.

Friday, January 05, 2024

First Fave Fives of 2024

Good day to you all.  Here we are in the new year, 2024.  It doesn't seem real somehow.  But it is.  I have my Friday Fave Fives for you to read (the link takes you to Susanne's blog where you can read more and find other blogs writing FFFs).

1.  We spent most of New Year's Eve with family, watching the celebration of the New Year in London and hearing Big Ben ring in 2024.  Then we toasted in 2024 with some sparking cider (and water for the one who doesn't like cider) and watched a movie.  Yes, we were all home and in bed before midnight here.

2.  On New Year's Day, we gathered the family of two girls and three grands and three dogs and took a walk/hike at Black Hand Gorge along the Licking River.  The weather wasn't great but the exercise and conversation was. 

3.  Tuesday, January 2nd was our Little Warrior's fourteenth birthday.  How did he want to celebrate?  By a visit to Dayton's Air Force Museum.  Five of us piled into our car and made the drive down there and spent the day wandering around several of the museum's many hangars which are filled floor to ceiling (literally) with planes, helicopters, a few tanks and so many displays of various wars and eras.

This quilt naming all the US Air Force bases was hanging in one of the hallways.

4.  A finished vest.  This vest was knitted in a simple garter stitch pattern.  The yarn came as a gift from a friend who is moving and getting rid of all the yarn she doesn't want.  Green Mountain Spinnery's Mountain Mohair. 70% wool, 30% mohair.  Charcoal gray color titled Raven.  It's a very warm vest, which is what I need in January and February.

5.  I was able to do some deep cleaning this week.  Laundry room and kitchen.  My goal is to deep clean every room this winter.  This week was a good start to my goal.

There it is.  Five good things from this cold cold cold first week of January 2024.