December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

When I realized my Braided Pullover wouldn't be done in time for New Year's Day (I still have 1 sleeve to go), I decided I needed some instant gratification. Presenting my very own Just Enough Ruffles (by Laura Chau - Ravelry Link). I had some Malabrigo and it used just over 1 skein. It was a quick knit with the only time consuming bit being binding off 600 stitches (took almost a whole quarter of the Giants game on Sunday).

So, what are my knitting resolutions this year? What do I want to accomplish?

  1. Write up the pattern for my daughter's cardigan.
  2. Use up the Berroco Touche I have and make a summer sweater - perhaps this.
  3. Design another sweater for my daughter.
  4. Start an advent calendar with at least 2 mittens a month.
  5. Knit items ahead of season so I can wear them when appropriate.
  6. Take a class and learn something new.

Who knows what else...I'm open to ideas. I just want to keep growing in my knitting.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!

December 26, 2008

Just What I Asked For!

My family is quite large and a few years back we realized we needed to pick names for Christmas. This year my mom had my name and I had hers.

I asked for a Della Q circular needle case and even sent her a link for one on sale at Webs. Mom and my daughter emailed and my daughter intercepted the package and wrapped it up. So under the tree I found this wonderful case - just what I asked for! I'm looking forward to having all my circulars nice and neat and organized.

Mom not only gave a knitting gift she also received some. A while back she admired this bag I felted so I wrapped it up just for her.

I also made something specifically for her. I couldn't post the finished scarf on my blog as she reads it from time to time. I found this Branching Out pattern on Knitty and made it with Ella Rae Silkience for mom. I explained to her how I think of people when I'm knitting things for them and the whole time I made this I thought of her...we both got a bit teary when I told her that (then again our family cries at Folgers commercials).
So, thank you Mom for my great knitting gift and Merry Christmas Mom with your gifts knitted with love.

December 24, 2008

It's Almost Here

Miss America woke up this morning and said "I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas!" It sure does sneak up on us sometimes...

Yesterday my godsister came over with her 3 kids - her youngest is my godson. I took him up to my stash of FOs and pulled out this hat that was part of my experiment hat for my sister's birthday last year (oh it is funny the irony of that post as I lamented that too bad she wasn't expecting another and she is due with her 3rd in February!). It fit him perfectly and he was absolutely adorable wearing it.

This angel belonged to his grandmother, Robin, who was my godmother. We hung her up near the kitchen and when the heat turns on she flutters and sways like she is flying. Robin is in heaven loving my fluttering angel.

A quick shot of the tree. Not a great photo but there it is. The curtains are closed to help keep the heat in.
Okay, time to wrap stocking stuffers. Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2008

No Pictures BUT I Have Been Busy

Sorry I don't have any pictures right now but I have been knitting a lot. Miss America has been home from school since last Tuesday. Sunday morning I drove her through the snow (a white knuckled drive and thank God for 4 wheel drive) to the pediatrician and as I suspected she had walking pneumonia. She's doing better now but still a lot of coughing and we have to use a nebulizer several times a day. All this translates into a lot of knitting going on.

I finished the body of my Braided Pullover and started on the sleeves. I got about 8 inches along in the sleeves and realized that I had terrible ladders - they are on DPNs doing a reverse stockinette stitch. I don't know about you but I don't get ladders on a knit stitch on DPNs but I'm sure getting it on the purl side. So, this afternoon I'm off to get some Addi Turbo 36" needles and try the magic loop method. Hopefully this will resolve my problem.

I'm also getting 36" needles to cast on for Just Enough Ruffles - I can't wait to try this scarf. However, the pullover takes priority as I'm hoping I can crank it out and wear it on New Year's Day. I'll post pictures soon.

December 17, 2008

One Down, One to Go

Another miserable attempt to photography my first Magic Mirror Mitten...I think I need a new camera.

Anyway, Miss America is home with a fever so I'm getting some knitting done in and around the cleaning, laundry and Christmas stuff. Just as I was finishing up this mitten my DH said "You have one more of those to make right? So much work you put into it worth it?" How do you explain that the time isn't what is the process, the learning, the creating, the pleasure in slowing down.

So, one down, one to go...however I think it is time to pick up my neglected Braided Pullover - I was thinking I'd like to wear it for New Year's Day when we're having a little party...

December 15, 2008

Mittens and Socks are Not Photo Friendly

What is it about Mittens and Socks that make them so hard to photograph? Your arm looks pale and hairy or your legs and feet look funny. I just don't get it!

I had 3 hours of knitting time on Saturday (long car ride which ended up in dark at the end and I wished I had a head lamp) so I made a lot of headway on my Magic Mirror Mittens. I'm almost done with the left mitten.

December 14, 2008

Another Quick Cowl

When my daughter saw my new coat cowl, she asked if I could use the same yarn to make one for her social studies teacher. The colors are perfect for her and her coloring. So I whipped up a plain, simple one - it does have a subtle twisted stitch.
We also raided my stash of completed items and got gifts for her other core subject teachers - 2 scarfs and a felted purse. They are wrapped and waiting to be delivered by hand.
I've been working on my Magic Mirror Mittens - had 3 hours of car time yesterday and made some headway...more pictures tomorrow.

December 8, 2008

New Coat = New Cowl

I was given a new coat by my is hard to see here but it is a chocolate brown. So I decided my new coat needed a new cowl and whipped this up in 2 days.

I used the Diagonal Ribbed Cowl pattern with some Good Shepherd yarn (autumn colorway) I picked up at Rhinebeck. I think it turned out perfectly - the picture of me leaves something to be desired though. Those self timer shots are never great.

December 3, 2008

Christmas Questionnaire

I have never posted one of these before except for the One Skein Secret Pal questionnaire...but I'm into the Christmas mode and I saw this on Beth's blog and thought I'd do it too!

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both - I start with wrapping paper but when things get a little more harried around Christmas I move to bags.
  2. Real tree or Artificial? Only real...I prefer balsam as I LOVE the smell.
  3. When do you put up the tree? First weekend in December. It's going up this Sunday.
  4. When do you take the tree down? It's always down before New Year's Day.
  5. Do you like eggnog? Nope, not even spiked!
  6. Favorite gift received as a child? No particular one stands out - sleds, books, a camera.
  7. Hardest person to buy for? My mother in law and my sister in law.
  8. Easiest person to buy for? Our kids - they make their wishes known.
  9. Do you have a nativity scene? I think we have knitting sister gave us the Playmobil one which the kids love. I remember my son when he got it made the angel fly around with rocket sounds.
  10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both - email for those we see a lot and they don't need a picture of us and the kids. Mail for those far away...usually a photo card - got 75 from Costco for only $24.
  11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A faux leather trench coat that was 2 sizes too big.
  12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Hands down - It's a Wonderful Life. I watch it every year and cry every time.
  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually November but if I'm making something I start earlier.
  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Absolutely - however, I couldn't regift that trench coat. I don't regift often but if I know I'm never going to use the gift I save it for the right person.
  15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My butter cookies with a Hershey's kiss in the center.
  16. Lights on the tree? White mini lights and lots of them
  17. Favorite Christmas song? I have lots of favorites - I love to sing along with Handel's Messiah. I discovered The Christmas Song which Dave Matthews sings - love it.
  18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We used to go to my in-laws on Christmas Day and it was a drag pulling the kids away from their gifts. About 6 years ago we said enough and we'd visit on the day after Christmas. It is SO nice being home all day on Christmas Day.
  19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Absolutely -Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen. But do you recall, the most famous reindeer of all? Rudolph!
  20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Our kids open one on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas morning.
  21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Fighting for parking spaces...grumpy people.
  22. Favorite ornament theme or color? No themes - very eclectic collection.
  23. What do you want for Christmas this year? Nothing really...knitting stuff is always nice. We pull names in my family and I asked for a circular needle holder.

November 30, 2008

Warm Hands

I whipped up some mittens for my godsister's children - boats for a boy, snowflakes for a girl. I used the same yarn for their brother's tomten jacket a while back. Another stash busting knit which will keep some kiddos warm and put a smile on their mom's face.

I delivered the felted slippers this past weekend to Jackie's kids. They all fit perfectly and it make me smile to see them padding around in their home with slippers made just for them.

I don't know about you but when I knit for someone I think of them almost the entire time I'm knitting their handmade item. It is a special time to carry that person in your heart and then deliver a bit of heartfelt love with the finished project.

November 24, 2008

Another quick cowl

My non-blogging new knitting friend Kathy has discovered making cowls - I think her whole family will be getting them for Christmas.

While between projects I decided to take this lovely skein of Colinette Skye and turn it into a Scrunchable cowl. I didn't get through all the cable repeats as I was fearful of running out of yarn...turns out with only 3 cable rows it was perfect.

November 23, 2008

I Met Major Knitter!

Yesterday was a first in my blog life - I finally met someone who I've gotten to know through our blogs. I've been visiting Jennifer's blog for a few years and we've emailed a bit over the past year. We live about 20 minutes apart but have never met (in spite of shopping at the same knitting store).

She posted on her blog that there was a craft festival and I received 2 tickets through my husband's work. So, I emailed her and said I'd be there and we connected.

Jennifer was clever enough to have a camera and asked one of the artisans to snap this photo...he turned out to be a professional photographer and was very particular about background, smiles, etc. Do note we both were wearing some handknit items.

Now, while this might be an understandable event to you and me, I had to explain to my mother in law who was with me who I was meeting and how we met. This was beyond her realm of understanding as she doesn't have a computer and has no idea what a blog really is...let alone a knitting blog!

Anyway, it was great to meet you Jennifer and hopefully we can sit and knit sometime soon.

November 20, 2008

Slippers for Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear

Don't these look like the 3 bears left their slippers all in a row!?! Who's been wearing my slippers?

I finished making the slippers for my friend Jackie's children. I think they turned out wonderfully and can't wait to give them to them at Thanksgiving...they will be thankful for warm feet!

Now I'll have to whip some up for Jackie but with all that is going on her pair will be for Christmas.

I just cast on for Scrunchable Cowl (Ravelry link) in Colinette Skye...I'll post pics next time.

November 16, 2008

Felting for Friends

I called my friend Jackie the other day asking her shoe size so I could felt her some slippers. Her son, H, was there and got on the phone with me and said "while you're at it could you make me some?" Well, if I made them for H, I'd have to make them for his brother and sister too. While waiting for the Fiber Trends pattern for the children's clogs, I made his sister's they are. H's pair are waiting to be felted and his brother's pair are half done - my daughter has the flu and I'm home knitting today (we both were supposed to be at the Giants game).

Now, I wonder if I'll get to a pair for Jackie and then I will have outfitted her gang perfectly with felted slippers. All the pairs are using stash yarn which is great and forces me to be creative with my color combinations.

November 10, 2008

A Little Yarn, A Little Modge Podge

I was perusing Vogue's holiday issue and they had a craft project where you take votives and use yarn on, I hit Michaels, got some votives at 99 cents apiece and took some Modge Podge and VOILA! I took two pics to try to show how they will look with candlelight...the bottom one gives an idea. I love the ones in the center...they look lovely when you put the votive candle in them.

November 4, 2008

More FOs for Christmas

So my daughter saw my pile of mini sweaters and I told her we needed to figure out who gets which sweater for their Christmas, each sweater was carefully placed with a notecard indicating the recipient. I had a few modifications based on some of my notions but she did a great job. Will have 2 more for her to assign soon.

Thing is when I saw them all in a row I thought that they would be so cute hanging on a Christmas wreath!

I do have an FO for a Christmas gift - you can see it on Ravelry as the recipient reads my blog but not Ravelry. I think it turned out beautifully!

October 30, 2008

When in Doubt

Make another ornament - I have to get out and get some wire to make hangers. I've basically started inventing my own combinations. This is leftover Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk. Tried to make it a v-neck...not quite but still cute. I think I'll give it to my friend Jackie who has the hat I made with this yarn...

October 27, 2008

One Word - Perfect

You know when you're knitting up something and you spend a lot of time worrying if it will look right or fit or just work??? Well, some worry was spent on this and all for naught - this is simply "perfect".

My daughter sketched up this pattern and I took out "The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns" and started creating. I learned a lot as it went along and am so glad I could experiment.

Yesterday we got these cool coconut wood buttons which have a slight leaf pattern scratched on the surface.

Today she proudly wore it to school. It fits her perfectly and while we may only get one season out of it, it doesn't matter. Right now it is Perfect.

October 26, 2008

Two Years Have Flown By!

Two years ago today we adopted Missy from Adopt-a-Dog in Greenwich, Ct. She was missing half her fur due to allergies and a deficiency in her immune system. She was looking pretty awful but as Miss America put it "it doesn't matter what she looks like on the outside...what matters is the inside".

She took our love and healed and now her outside matches what we saw on her inside. This dog has won all our hearts - she gives us all joy.

She doesn't wear anything knitted but she does love my baseball blanket - I took this photo this summer as she was enjoying it thoroughly.

So, Happy Birthday Missy! We don't know how old you are (shelter said 2-3, vet says 7-8) but you have given us 2 years of love, licks and wagging tail.

October 24, 2008

Christmas on my Mind - Already!

So, I've been knitting a lot of little projects lately. I substitute teach in our school district and every now and then I get a great slot in the middle school where all you have to do is monitor the kids while they work on packets. This lets me read while they are reading and I've perfected reading and knitting at the same time. Over the last few weeks I've whipped up these mini-sweater ornaments with some remnant yarn. I used the Minutia pattern for some of them but also started creating my own designs. Lots of fun!

October 19, 2008

Rhinebeck 2008 - Lots of pictures

Yesterday morning at 7:30am, Miss America and I got in the car, cranked the soundtrack to Hairspray and drove to Rhinebeck. We were both itching with excitement! My daughter usually sleeps until 8am on the weekends - she was up and ready to rip at 6:30!

My daughter was in charge of photo...I've picked a few. This guy reminds me of the sheepdog in the Loony Toons cartoon.
Lots of amazing fiber - almost overwhelming at times.

These baby alpacas were only 18 months old. Miss America couldn't stop petting them. In fact my little fiber lover fell in love with roving. She found a HUGE pink ball of roving and wanted to buy it just to stroke and cuddle. Got to love that!

We watched the frisbee demonstration by "Pawstars" - it was so much fun. All these rescued dogs are amazing and so focused on the frisbee. This one had just leapt off his trainers back to catch the frisbee.

A sampling of what we brought home - I love that this one was on sale - okay only $4 off but on sale! This skein is from Brooks Farm Yarn and I think I'll make some lacy cowl like Wisp. I remembered this vendor from last year and regretted not buying some of their amazing fiber.

These two skeins are from The Good Shepherd and I think I'll make a clever scarf with them.

I don't know why I bought this one - weak moment when asked by Miss America. Perhaps she can make something with it. It too is Good Shepard yarn.

This lovely pile is from Shelbridge Farm and is destined for a sweater designed by and for Miss America to go with the butterfly buttons.

Speaking of buttons, we got these two by Melissa Jean.

Here's a Melissa Jean pattern I picked up to make a baby cardigan.

I also got this issue of Knitscene for only $3. I really wanted it for the Wendy Bernard pattern.

We're ready for next year! Hopefully, we'll get my knitting sister to come along. My daughter and I are already thinking in a few years we can go up for the whole weekend and spend the night and explore Rhinebeck and go back on a Sunday to get all the yarn that we had second thoughts on purchasing.