Lovely Yarn Escapes

My Adventures in Knitting, truly my Yarn-escape!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wednesday's Yarns - A Soft Shawl, A Time Travel Book and a Chocolate Poundcake

     I might have an assortment of projects up on needles, but this one is my favorite.  A squishy soft yarn from KnitPicks called Stroll Tonal Sock in Pacific.  The pattern is actually made in this yarn, which I had bought just at the beginning of the year because I loved the look of it.  When I came across the pattern Garter Stitch Shawl by Megan Goodacre, I had an aha moment when I rushed to my stash in hopes, that yes, that was the same yarn.  I'm dreaming of it around my neck as soon as possible.  Another plus for this knit and the yarn is the small needles (size 6) and simple design make it easy to knit and read my tablet propped up on a pillow on my lap.

     My book right now is so good: Stars in Your Eyes (de Piaget Family) by Lynn Kurland.  One of my favorite authors that I have literally devoured all her books over the years.  Her time travel Romance books are unique.  A warm romantic mood warms up throughout her tales, usually only culminating in a kiss. or a simple bedroom scene after vows.  Yet, so romantic.  Her humor threads throughout her stories.  A real treat.  These tales revolve around one of two families in the past, one Scottish, the other French & English and how inevitably people from the future pop up into their lives.  Knights of Medieval Times collide with damsels in distress with cell phones in their pockets (who then try to hide them so not exposed as a witch). Her writing is great and her characters are endearing.  It makes me want to start all over and read all her books again from the beginning.  

     And I'm going to go outside and enjoy this amazingly beautiful day on my porch with my book, knitting, and tea.  I'm slowly getting ingredients out and mise en place (putting them in place) to bake a Chocolate Streusel Poundcake I saw on the New York Times Morning Brief this morning.  It's a dark chocolate poundcake with a salty twang to it.  Should be delish!

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Yarns - Mom's Prayer Shawl Finished

     Last Spring I was working on a Prayer Blanket for my Mom (Details and pattern: Technique Thursday- A Prayer Shawl for My Mom).  It ended up an opportunity more for me to pray for her during a time when she was in a home with Alzheimer's and dying.  Too far away for me to visit.  Knitting and praying were my solace.  Mostly I prayed she'd pass away, gently and soon.  And she did.  So my blanket didn't get finished and it had played its part, but it was too hard to work on last year.

      Now this year I needed it's huge #15 wooden needles for a new shawl and every day I wanted to knit on my new shawl, I made sure I knit on the blanket too.  It no longer hurt and I decided to finish up the yarn I had and make it larger than I would of.  It's beautiful and I guess a success since it hasn't made it off my teen's bed.  I thought it'd look nice on the couch. which is where I just put it.  Until I get a blanket made for my daughter it's going to keep disappearing.  (Details on my new shawl I'm knitting- Yarns - A Shawl for Colder Winds).

     I'm still reading Ken Follet's Century Trilogy and I'm into book 2 now - Winter of the World.  I've been immersed in the Spanish Civil War which I haven't studied before.  I love having the perspective of familiar characters (now we're reading about the next generation from Book One); it makes it come alive more.  Before reading this I don't think I really had made a real distinction about differences between Fascists and Communists besides the basic theory that they are on the opposite sides of the political spectrum.  Played out in the drama of the book you see more clearly how that influenced politics prior to World War Two.  The Fascists in Germany supported the Conservative rebels in Spain that were led by Franco.  He eventually would become the Spanish dictator who would rule for 36 years.  The Socialists and Communists at that point tried to support the Republican government, they failed.  There was much international support for the government among people who went to fight for Democracy, hoping to hold back Fascism in Europe. "On the left, including labor unions, students and intellectuals, the war represented a necessary battle to stop the spread of fascism."(Wiki)   A half a million died in the effort and Hitler supplying the Rebels and testing his aerial warfare helped bring that about.

My Mom

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Yarns - A Shawl for Colder Winds


     The cold has come here in Colorado.  As if a switch has been flipped for Fall.  Knowing Colorado we'll have our hot days in September, but by October we can have snow.  So I've started a real warm looking shawl.  Thick super bulky yarn and a lovely cable down the back.  Medhel an Gwyns by Kalurah Hudson.

 © Kalurah Hudson

     I'm making mine also (like the above shawl) in Lion's Thick & Quick Wool-Ease in the color Fossil.

     I'm still reading Brave Companions: Portraits In History by David McCullough, along with some other books.  My latest read was about the building of the Brooklin Bridge.  It's a fascinating achievement architecturally and as a human achievement.  I downloaded a sample of his entire book on the subject - The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge.  I find the subject matter fascinating and a picture of the times it was built.

After Prohibition, the wine cellars in the bridge were opened - A Sip Of History: The Hidden Wine Cellars Under The Brooklyn Bridge.

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Yarns - Socks and Shawls

      I like to bounce around on projects.  Picking up what interests me at the moment and sticking with what inspires me.  Eventually, I get things done, but I found it's the process of knitting I like and getting a finished product done right away isn't my priority.  Maybe I work hard at it not becoming a job.  I enjoy the labor and knitting is my instant happy and peaceful place.  I do try to corral my efforts around one or two projects a day and tell myself, you know I should try to finish this or that.  But in the end, I grab what makes me happy.  Eventually, I'll have it done. But I'm in my happy place meanwhile.

     This week a really cold day had me grabbing this small shawl I made last year - "Just Knit It with Gifted Stash" for my neck.  It actually seemed such a small shawl I thought I might not be able to use it much.  But it was perfect and very soft.  I made it out of stash from a friend so I wondered how I could make another one and find soft enough yarn.

That led me to my stashed projects and a shawl I started with Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn in Pacific.  The yarn knits up so soft and squishy.  I grabbed the shawl and just started knitting on it again to see how it felt and I've barely let go of it.  It's a free pattern called the Garter Stitch Shawl by Megan Goodacre.  A simple shawl knitted up in Stroll by the designer and it's really perfect.  Relaxing work, quick knit and it has a great feel to it.

     Another knit I've unearthed and gotten a lot done on recently is my first socks.  I got through the heel and I have inches to go before I finish the toe.  My First Socks Adventure are following Susan B. Anderson's How I Make My Socks.  Knitted in Red Heart "Heart & Sole" in color "Lakehouse".  It's knitting up beautifully and soft.  I really do want to push getting them done for cold weather.

       My main read is the second book in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy called Winter of the World.  But often I find I get sidetracked by reading David McCullough's Brave Companions: Portraits In History.  I've gotten to know some interesting historical characters and lately spent some time with Theodore Roosevelt in his early years as a cowboy and Frederic Sackrider Remington (October 4, 1861 - December 26, 1909), an artist who captured the spirit of the West that would become the essence of what Americans would in visualize as "The West".  He also illustrated many of Roosevelt's works of writing.

The Cowboy

The Fall of The Cowboy

Self Portrait On A Horse

A Vaquero

Mounted Cowboy In Chaps In Race

A Dash For Timber

Modern Camanche

The Bronco Buster

Come join us for Unraveled Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Yarns - Blues Antarktis and Eclipse Shadows

     I'm working on Janina Kallio's Antarktis.  I just love her "ONE SKEIN WONDERS", just having finished Ardent.  My last week's post - Yarns -The Ardent Shawl Finished!

      This shawl is made from Hawthorne Fingering Multi Yarn in Goose Hallow.  I'm loving the color, but it's a tougher, courser feeling yarn than what I used for my Ardent.  I'm hoping when it's done I can wash it and soak it for a bit in a mild detergent.  I learned this from a comment from a customer on the KnitPick site who says this will soften the yarn.  I think in the future I'd rather knit with the Malabrigo Mechita Yarn that I used for the Ardent Shawl, but that's single ply, so it's soft, but it might not last as well as the plied Hawthorne, which is gorgeous!

 Finished Antarktis by Veveroben's

     I've gone onto the second book in The Century Trilogy by Kenneth Follett Winter of the World.  I'm continuing off with the same characters that I got to know in the first book, but it's about a decade later, leaping from the early 20's after WWI to 1933 in Germany, to start.  The kids are now grown up for the most part (later teens) and Nazi Germany is just getting rooted in Germany.  What I'm finding a bit shocking and in the face is the similarities to now.  I mean these are historical facts I am aware of, yet put in the context of now familiar characters, and starting to live several similar events, it's just so much more real.  One aspect of Nazi rule is the attack on the Press.  The rhetoric out of the Nazi leaders convincing the public that the news is inaccurate (hear the roar of someone shouting fake news lately?).  I am aware that is the first area a government and country will be attacked when there is a takeover, their source of news.  Brainwash the public and winning over the people is already done.  The battle of the mind starts first.  A good book to thwart this now is to read On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century Kindle Edition by Timothy Snyder.  Timothy Snyder speaks about his book - On Tyranny: Yale Historian Timothy Snyder on How the U.S. Can Avoid Sliding into Authoritarianism.  The actual 20 Lessons - 20 Lessons from the 20th Century About How to Defend Democracy from Authoritarianism, According to Yale Historian Timothy Snyder.  Read these, they are profound!

Eclipse Shadows


Celebrate the Moments

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Yarns -The Ardent Shawl Finished!

My beautiful Spring Ardent Shawl is done -

     I've started Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy, Book 2) by Ken Follett.  The first book Fall of Giants was great and I enjoyed it thoroughly, so I expect the same.  Also I so enjoy learning while I'm a having fun reading and it's interesting being immersed in another time period. 

For more lovely shawls by Janina Kallio - ONE SKEIN WONDERS

Joining with Kat for Unraveled Wednesday.