Cozy Cables Irish Twist Crochet Afghan Placed 1st at Armada Fair 2015!

Twists and turns from start to finish!

002

Last fall I purchased Cozy Cables Irish Twist afghan kit from Mary Maxim in Port Huron Michigan as a gift for my sister.  Sis has always amazed me with her talent to crochet. She has made afghans for queen and king size beds with lightening speed. Truly amazing she is! I on the other hand have a slight tendency to get bored on larger projects. I have a quilt that was started in 1987 that still is not finished.

When considering the purchase, the image on the package looked like it would even keep my attention long enough to complete the project … Perhaps?  It was quite an intriguing pattern.  Even the title “Cozy Cables”  with an  “Irish Twist”   had a warm appeal.  For a moment I  had considered purchasing a kit for myself. Why I could even imagine sitting by the fireplace in a rocking chair all snugly cozy warm working out the detailed cabling effect of the blanket while watching the Scrooge Musical.  The idea of “Irish Twist”  I thought was much like my Irish Ancestors immigrating into Canada in the 1850’s. It all seemed so wonderful, the pattern, the fiber, the rocking chair, my Irish people …

Cozy Cables Afghan 1Mary Maxim was having a great sale on their afghan kits offering 30 percent off in store purchases. I considered again purchasing one for my sis and one for myself,  but alas, knowing my limits habit of boredom with projects, a single kit was purchased for my sis. The money “saved”  on the kit was wisely used to  purchase the Addi Swing Crochet Hooks needed for the project. The Addi hooks are “senior friendly”. No more aching knuckles! A wise purchase for sure!addi

In October, sis traveled ere for a visit, and she was presented with the kit.  She was excited for the challenge. Things were cozy between us for sure.

Christmas came and went, and in January sis again came for a visit. She came in, and tossed the kit at my feet and in all sisterly kindnesses  siad “Do it yourself!”  Now this gal had just finished an amazing lacy  afghan that had taken 3rd place at the 2014 county fair!  If she gave up on it, then trouble was ahead if I were to attempt the project!

I considered taking it back to the store, but thinking about that fuzzy warm feeling being close to the fireplace, rocking away while snuggled under a beautiful piece of crochet work was very enticing.  The challenge to complete a large project would be accepted.

In reading the pattern over, analyzing the stitches to use,  and wondering how this cable technique was going to work, it was clear that this was going to be very tricky.  Algebra was never my forte, but it was easy to see that  FPdc + BPdc +C6F + the pattern rated intermediate + myself a beginner = unraveling experience ahead!

I committed myself to the project. Scrooge Musical was put in the dvd player, play button was depressed, and the adventure began.!

January 4, 2015 – Round 1 : Bah Humbug! You remember the wonderful Addi crochet hook that was purchased with the money saved on the kit ? Well it was the wrong size! Sore knuckles – here we come!  Todolist : get new glasses!

January 9, 2015  – Bah Humbug indeed! Talk about insanity! I finally have 14 rows done correctly on this afghan … but I believe I restarted the first 5 rows at least 14 times.  So glad to finally have the pattern figured out. Never tried these stitches before: Waffle stitch , crochet cable stitch, and what should have been the easiest to do – lacy stitch – turned out to be the most difficult to line up correctly! I will tell you – I thought it was my age – then I thought I must be loosing my mind trying to figure the pattern out. When this project is completed I will be delirious – but with delight!”

004

January 9, 2015

047

Crochet Waffle Stitch

048

Crochet Lace Stitch

052

Crochet Cable Stitch

January 14 –Thank you very much!  I feel kike singing and dancing! … finally making good progress!002

January 19, 2015 – Scrooge is buying presents for Tiny Tim,  I have become a Scrooge-a-holic, and I am finally ready to start the border!

004

“Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us!”  That quote from A Christmas Story fits all to well here. Remember hose new glasses that were needed last fall had done double their devious work, for you see there were 2 different sizes of those wonderful Addi -no more aching knuckle – crochet hooks needed for the Cozy Cables Irish Twist Afghan – a smaller size for the body of the afghan and a larger size for the border –  and both of the hooks that were purchased were the WRONG SIZE!

31J2ehy3PIL._SY300_This was not the only issue at hand, for through mathematical calculations of common sense one could see, even through the worst of eyes, that there were only 2 skeins of yarn left! – Not nearly enough to do 17 rows of border!  Even though the length of the inside portion of the afghan had been done to specifications, obviously my crochet technique must have a depth quality that resulting in the rapid usage of my allotment of yarn!

An order would have to be placed to get more yarn for the border, so it was sensibly decided to order the correct size crochet hook as well.  The order was placed, then came the decision about shipping which was free at that particular time. I could get the order shipped quickly for money or I could wait 10 to 14 days for free shipping.

addi jThrough rapid calculations if was figured that a person could purchase another one of those wonderful hooks for the price that the shipping would have been to get my materials sooner, so size H hook was placed into the  online shopping buggy along with the correct Addi Swing Crochet Hook Size J, and the extra skein of yarn that I thought I  would need and set my hand to work again., got checked out and waited for the free shipping parcel to come.

Now, this is the part where I usually quit on something because it takes so long to get all the way around the afghan when doing the border, and my mathematical skills told me that each round would take subsequently longer. green-acres-tv-01 A new strategy was needed to get through this – Scrooge had to be done away with – what was needed was shorter movies – perhaps a short sit com of sorts – funny of course – with the goal of getting through 1 side of the border with each clip. Ahhh – Green Acres! Just 17 rounds x 4 sides = 68 episodes! Green Acres aired for 6 seasons, so it could be done in a little more than 2 seasons of hot cakes! I could do this thing!

Round 1 – This round required careful counting to set the foundation of the border – simple enough stitch – just super careful counting on each side – and oh my the new comfort hook  – amazing – very smooth – extremely kind to the hand – and it only took 2 episodes of Green Acres to complete! Yeah!

Round 2 – not too bad -just one stitch repeated for this round – careful on the corners – still done in 2 episodes! I am on a roll now!

Round 3 – a bit more complicated – two alternating stitches required – careful attention to the corners – done in 3 episodes!  Loving Green Acres!

Round 4 – easy street – what was done in round 3 as the foundation was the pattern – it was an easy “feel” in the pattern too – I could tell by touch when to alternate between the stitches – and because this was the pattern for rows 4 through 10 – it was going to be a bit easier than I thought.  I could feel the rhythm of the piece going down the length of the afghan – front, back, front back, front, front – what?  Front – front – oh no! Even with my failing glasses it could be see that there was a mistake! Green Acres had to be paused – this had to be figured out!

Hot Cake Disaster!oliver – if this round is wrong, then the round before is incorrect which is the equivalent of 4 episodes of hot cake heartburn for Oliver! Makes my tummy tumble just thinking about it.

A decision had to be made – could it be “fixed” so no one notices? Just FPdc 2 together and it should blend in? I consulted a friend of sorts – my husband.

Hubbs said: ” Just hook them together and push play”.  At times he reminds me of someone … a movie star …

Decision made, FPdc 2 together, pushed “play” made it to the corner of the afghan and to the end of the episode 8, but still not convinced the “fix” would not be noticeable.  Episode 9, back, front, back, front, back – back, oh no  – not again! Made the decision to fix and continue to the corner because it really was not noticeable – not really, but while episode 10 was playing, the front – front – back front – back -back – no- no- no – this is just too much!

017It was inevitable – episodes 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, and 5 would have to be unraveled. Twas more than a girl could tolerate in one evening. The power off button was depressed and so was I.  The unraveling would have to take place in the morning.

It is quite amazing to see 100 yards of fiber piled in a somewhat orderly fashion on a footstool. If you take into consideration that you can only pull out about a foot at a time, that is about 300 pulls. Although it takes less time to pull out each stitch than it took to put the stitch in, it is quite burdensome when a person dwells upon the fact that every stitch taken out will have to  be put back in – to the tune of 6 or more episodes of Lisa and Oliver Wendall Douglas.

003To place a bit of a rush on the whole ordeal,   the disassembled portion has to be reassembled before the toddler granddaughter arrived to spend the night! Talk about being between an afghan, a pile of yarn and a skein! It could be equated to a purgatory of sorts – not the most desirable of places to be!

Back to rounds 3 and 4 – Done correctly, now onward through rounds 5,6, 7, 8  with no errors, but alas – there is just one skein of yarn remaining – you remember the extra one that was ordered, and there are still 9 rows left.

irish twistThere is most definitely a shortage here – but no worries – when ordering the correct crochet hook  extra skein of yarn for the Cozy Cables Irish Twist Afghan, another something just happened to slip into my shopping cart – a knitted afghan kit that contained the same Aran Irish Twist Yarn that was needed. Good thing that had been ordered with the rest of the stuff. It would have been terrible to have to order another $75 worth of merchandise in order to get more yarn and free shipping again! There is enough yarn to complete the project. All in all, tis a great ending to this day except for the “sitting end” of things.

A new day!  Although the “burden border” caused me some problems, there are just two rows remaining of the front-back pattern – rows 9 and 10 – then there will be a stitch change.  Just 9 rows remaining – I can do this.

Got my rocking chair, the fireplace is radiating wonderfully warm heat, have my supply of yarn, Green Acres is on,  I am good to go – I pick up my awesome Addi Swing Crochet Hook and – HORROR OF HORRORS! I USED THE WRONG SIZE HOOK YESTERDAY! Somehow in all the tangled yards of yarn from the tear out the J hook and the H hook got switched out! HORROR OF HORRORS!  It is times like these that a person needs someone calm and rational near them.  It can be a good friend, a child or even a husband on rare occasions!

019Me: “Stop Green Acres!”

Him: “Why?”

Me: “I used the wrong hook!”

Him: “No one will notice.  It looks fine “(he is not even looking at my catastrophe) “It’s time for Green Acres.”

Me: “No – look at this!”

Him: (sometimes he is just awesome)  “No – I am watching Green Acres.”

Me: “What should I do?”

Him: (mathematical fella – seriously he is excellent mathematician) “Is it bunching?”

Me: “It is starting to.”

Him: “Rip it out and turn Green Acres back on.”

End of day – not so good.

It is a new day.  A beautiful day to begin again.  The pile of yarn was much higher this time.  Hubbs even gasped out a “WOW “amidst his laughter. 6 rounds of crochet, 400 plus yards of yarn, thousands of stitches were torn out resulting in a pile of re-work equal to a dozen episodes of Green Acres.  Before beginning to re-crochet rounds 3.4.5.6.7 and 8, the Horrible H Hook was disposed of properly.  Picking up the Jolly J work began anew.

February 5, 2015 – Just 2 more rounds!

004

It thankfully did not take all  6 seasons of Hootersville happenings to finish the afghan. It sure has a lot of cables and twists to it – far more than were written in the pattern.

For those of you who are curious, those 14 days while I was waiting for the J crochet hook to come in the mail, I started a pair of baby booties.  The right one worked out after a dozen attempts ,  but the left … well … to be continued …

003

Update:  At Armada Fair in August 2015, the afghan and booties both placed 1st!

018009

Advertisements

My First Fair Isle Style Mitten

Thank you Hershey, Nestle Crunch, Milky Way and Cookie! Your fiber will keep me warm next winter! Fair Isle Style Mittens are the best! If they work for the folks on the Shetland Islands – they will certainly work here in Michigan. I may even try them out over the bridge!

Image

Is midnight better than 3 am – not!

Another Nocturnal Delivery!Klondikes doe 3-24-13

Hymnotes Farm Klondike delivered twins just after midnight.

Another AI success thanks to Billie Lynn Bolday!

I really need to put a sun in the barn during the night and a moon during the day so these deliveries become more shepherd friendly!

Welcome  Hymnotes Farm Midnight Escapade. Born March 24, 2013 @ 12:26 am

Welcome Hymnotes Farm Midnight Delivery Boy. Born March 24, 2013 @ 12:03 am. Klondikes 2013 Buckling

Another 3:00 Delivery!

My goats must be nocturnal!March 22, 2013 Ella

The nighttime deliveries are causing me to seriously consider inducing my girls so the babies come at a more convenient time.

Welcome Hymnotes Farm Anton Diabelli!

Great job Ella

March 22, 2013

Ella needed a bit of assistance for delivering number two. Ella’s Pedigree.

Welcome Hymnotes Farm Antin Leopold Dvorak. March 22 2013 ella #2

Let the kidding begin~!

“Let the kidding begin!”

DSCN5687

The first kids at Hymnotes Farm arrived at 3am on March 13.

Hymnotes Deux Arabesque I, doe 3/13/13 3am (lying down)

Hymnotes Achille-Claude Debussy, buck 3/13/13 4am (standing)

Thank you Esta! But next time you should schedule the delivery of your kids a little later in the morning AFTER COFFEE!

Esta’s Pedigree

Here is an awesome link for a gestational chart for goats and sheep.

American Dairy Goat Association preferred tattoo for 2013 is  D http://www.adga.org/

American Goat Society preferred tattoo for 2013 is D http://www.americangoatsociety.com/

HYMNOTES FARM HAND CRAFTED GOAT SOAPS AND HAND CRAFTED SHEEP MILK SOAPS!

Hymnotes  Farm has been making and using Goat Milk Soaps since 2007.
Hymnotes Farm just started to make Sheep Milk Soaps in 2009 when our ewes lambed for the 1st time. 
Hymnotes Farm uses unpasturized goat milk and unpasturized sheep milk.
Unpasturized milk retains natural enzymes and amino acids that give our soaps their moisturizing properties.
Our soaps retain all their naturally produced glycerine, nutrients, and minerals that serve to nourish the skin.
Hymnotes Farm Soaps do not contain essential oils or fragrance oils because of possible allergens.
If you have not tried Hymnotes Farm Soaps yet, now is the time!

You can contact me by email at hymnotesfarm@yahoo.com  for current available soap and pricing!

Check out the soaps that we offer by clicking on the link “HF Handmade Soaps” in the blogroll to the right.

WELCOME TO HYMNOTES FARM HOME HAPPENINGS!

And thou shalt have goats’ milk enough for thy food, For food of thy household, And for the maintenance for thy maidens. Proverbs 27:27

Welcome to Hymnotes Farm located east of the village of Capac in the “thumb” of the “mitten” in the Great Lake State of Michigan.

Please use the blogroll to the right to navigate through the farm.

HF Handmade Soaps – will show you our current line of Handmade Sheep Milk Soaps and Handmade Goat Milk Soaps.
HF Home Happenings – will keep you current on farm happenings.
HF Nigerians – will give you on Hymnotes Farm Registered Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats.
HF Piano Studio – will give you information about Hymnotes Farm Piano Studio.
HF Pygmys – will give you information on Hymnotes Farm Registered Pygmy Goats.
HF Shetlands – will give you information on Hymnotes Farm Registered Shetland Sheep.
Obe-To-Joy – will give you information on our Registered Oberhasli Dairy Goats.

Coming Soon – information on our Registered Alpine, Saanen and Nubian Dairy Goats.

Email me at hymnotesfarm@yahoo.com for more information.

HYMNOTES FARM GOATS AND SHEEP GO TO THE FAIR!

The St. Clair County Conservation recently published their annual report that included this sweet pic of 3 great kids. Is seems that my granddaughter and her good friend are not as aware of the photographer as Klondyke.  “Say Cheese”!

The Fall Farm Tour was held October 2, 2010. Our farm offered sheep shearing, goat milking and spinning demonstrations, and offered goat milk cheese samples.

Events for 2012:

May 5: Spring Sheep Shearing

July 23 – 28: St. Clair County Fair – Goodells

August 12-19: Armada Fair

October 13: Fall Sheep Shearing

To Weave – or Not to Weave – That is the Question

Weaving during the winter months is fast becoming a favorite for me. This winter of 2015 in the thumb of Michigan with its -25 to -30 degree weather gives me a bit more incentive to stay inside. Frigid temperatures cause the old farmhouse to be pretty cold. With minimal heat registers in a person can be almost warm in one room and grabbing another hoodie in the next room.

The bathroom in this old house, although modern, is so cold that one might think they were outdoors using the privy. The advantage over the old outhouse is that you do not have to put on your boots and stomp through the snow to get to it.   Hence, for this gal, it is a good time to  weave something. The business of winding warp by hand gets the body moving  producing extra body heat. That is all good with me!

Add notes of learning to weave  Grannys Recycled Rugs

Learning to weave Chandler

Elizabeth Wagner videos

1st project

2nd project – rug

piano bench cover

placemats

 

Huck Lace Kitchen Towels with Rosalie Neilson.  Being a beginner at the art of weaving, and self taught to boot, this adventure could prove to be fun at my expense.

huck towel

The fees were paid for the class and emails containing the  directions came … most confusing directions for a person so new at this ancient art.  The directions were read over and over and the graphs were turned in every direction, but alas, this aging mind could not understand them.   Some big time reading and internet surfing was about to begin.Sadly, there were no recommendations for “brands” of cotton  in the instructions I was given for the class.  So being a beginner weaver, I decided to consult the amazing and all wise internet.   The internet led me to a place that sells the cotton on spools by the pound for around $15 a spool.  To make 4 towels for this particular class  you need 4 colors of cotton  (about 800 yards each color) or about 3200 yards of cotton altogether.  Because the cotton was a better value to purchase by the pound (it’s all about savings) 4 one pound cones of 8/2 cotton was tossed into the internet shopping cart each containing about 3200 yards each.   There should be enough fiber for about 16 towels. Sure ope the colors I chose will look nice together, otherwise there will be a new game for Christmas parties called the UGLY TOWEL contest!
It is truly amazing what can be learned AFTER a purchase. The gal heading up the workshop called and inquired what type of loom I would be bringing.  During the conversation it was mentioned that the cotton for the project had been purchased from the internet source. She told me that their cotton is not very strong and often breaks during weaving. WHAT A STINK!  She then told me of a few places that were local for her, but not for me,and then mentioned a place called Cotton Clouds.   You can purchase a kit  for the towels through or purchase the 8/2 cotton on larger spools which gives you the greater value for your money.
A decision had to be made: should a new order be placed or should the cotton already purchased be used?  It was decided that because the towels will  most likely not win any  “Towel of the Year” contest  the stuff already ordered will be used.
First step after reading all instructions and getting totally confused is to measure out the warping threads.  There will be hundreds of these threads several yards long  and the task is to NOT let them get TANGLED or OUT of ORDER. I can sense trouble coming already!
Last year a friend loaned me her warping board sohubbs could use it as a pattern to make a board for me.  There are a few steps that need to be followed carefully when winding the warp threads onto the warping board that are purposed to help keep the threads in the proper order.002
 xxxxx010011

019xxxxx

 

Hymnotes Farm Milky Way – Ewe – Born May 11, 2013

Hymnotes Farm Milky Way

Image

Hymnotes Farm Milky Way Tag# 252 1st Shearing

Image

2014 Hymnotes Farm Shetland Sheep New Arrivals

Hymnotes Farm Doritos – Born March 13, 2014

Image

Hymnotes Farm Cheetos (Musket Ewe) and Hymnotes Farm Doritoes (FST Musket Ewe – Retained)

Hymnotes Farm Cheetos (Dam) may be offered for sale after weaning.

2013 Armada Fair

Armada Fair Poster 1875

2013 1st Place Nigerian Dwarf  Junior Doe Kid

2013 2nd Place Nigerian Dwarf Junior Doe Kid

2013 1st Place Nigerian Dwarf Yearling

2013 2nd Place Nigerian Dwarf Yearling

2013 Junior Grand Champion Nigerian Dwarf

2013 Junior Reserve Grand Champion Nigerian Dwarf

2013 Overall Junior Grand Champion Doe

2013 1st Place Nigerian Dwarf Milker 2 Years

2013 2nd Place Nigerian Dwarf Milker 2 Years

2013 1st Place Nigerian Dwarf Milker 3 Years

2013 2nd Place Nigerian Dwarf Milker 3 Years

2013 1st Place Nigerian Dwarf Milker 4 Years and Over

2013 2nd Place Nigerian Dwarf Milker 4 Years and Over

2013 Senior Grand Champion Nigerian Dwarf

2013 Senior Grand Champion Nigerian Dwarf

2013 Overall Senior Reserve Champion Doe

2013 Best Fleece on Hoof!

Hymnotes Farm $100,000 Bar

Image

2013 St. Clair County Fair – 1st Place Ram Lamb

2013 St. Clair County Fair – Grand Champion Ram

2013 St. Clair County Fair – Best Fleece on Hoof

Grand Champion Ram

Best Fleece on Hoof

2013 Best Fleece on Hoof!

Hymnotes Farm $100,000 Bar

Image

St. Clair County Fair Show Wins

1st Place Ram Lamb

Grand Champion Ram Lamb

Best Fleece on Hoof