December 31, 2009

New Year, New Goals

I realized in yesterday's post that I'm not crazy about resolutions - goals are more to my liking. I've been wracking my brain and wondering what my goals should be for my knitting. I have had goals even mid-year which helps with summer knitting. Let's see:

  1. Finish my Inca Marl Coat (preferably before March) - the collar is going to take forever.
  2. Finish the sweater I'm designing for Miss America - it's sat alone for 2 months now.
  3. Take a class - I know I had this one on last years list but I still need to do it.
  4. Learn to crochet (Kimberly if you read this I'm talking to you sister...this summer!)
  5. Knit something I've never done before - gloves? something with a zipper?

Okay, I might add more but that will do it for now. What are your goals for 2010?

December 30, 2009

Year End Review

I realized that at the end of last year I made some resolutions about what I wanted to do with my knitting in 2009. As usual, resolutions aren't always met...let's see

1. Write up the pattern for my daughter's cardigan. - NOT DONE...should have written it when I finished knitting I forget everythign I did.
2. Use the Berrocco Touche I have and make a summer sweater. DONE! But I don't really like is what I made.
3. Design another sweater for my daughter...almost Done...have to make the sleeves and it is sitting in a pile while I do other things.
4. Start an advent calendar with at least 2 mittens a month. DONE! And used this Christmas with great delight...however Jennifer pointed out I need to make another one so both kids have one when they are grown up. Guess I should keep going on this.
5. Knit items ahead of season so I can wear them when appropriate. DONE! I made Annikki and Tilted Duster this summer and wore them all fall/winter. Right now I'm working on Inca Marl Coat which will be perfect for March/April wearing.
6. Take a class and learn something new. NOT DONE...sadly that didn't happen but maybe next year? It's hard to commit to a few weeks of classes when I substitute teach...I'm already booked 5 days in January.

Well, there is more green than red on my list so I guess my knitting resolutions were successful. Did you make any last year? How did you do?

I'm going to reflect on next year and give you a new does help to have some goals.

December 28, 2009

Giving is So Much Better Than Receiving

Especially, when you knit something and get a reaction like my friend Kimberly did...check out this video on her blog. I know Kimberly's mom and her enthusiasm is contagious - I know that this knitted gift will be loved.

Recently, one of my non-knitting sisters asked me if I had any scarves in my store of knitted items. I had two, Saphira and Wisp (Ravelry links). So, I boxed them up and mailed them to her. In our family we draw names for Christmas and I didn't have her name on my list but I figured if you ask for a knitted item and I have you, you shall receive.

I called my sister before Christmas to make sure the box got there - she had stowed it away thinking it was a Christmas gift. So, I told her to open it and I had an audio reaction to the package that was similar to Kimberly's mom's reaction. My sister immediately decided on a grey sweater for the day and was going to wear the Saphira scarf with it.

Giving is definitely so much better than receiving.

December 24, 2009

The Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care

An old, dear friend of my mom made stockings for our kids when they were born. In fact, she's made stockings for all 10 of my mother's grandchildren - now that is a devoted, special friend.

Each stocking has the child's name and birthdate at the top and she tailors them for boys and girls.

Here is #1 Son's stocking...sailboats and really good wool.

This is Miss America's stocking. She chose a different yarn for this one - more stretchy which serves well when it is overstuffed.

Another friend of my mother's had a knitting machine for years. She made these stockings for my husband and me when we got married - an unusual, wonderful wedding gift. They too have our names at the top.
They also are lined beautifully.

And the last stocking in our house is store-bought with a Sharpie taken to it for when we got our dog 3 years ago. I probably could take some thread and embroider her name but she really doesn't know the difference. Yes, there will be goodies in it for Missy to have tomorrow.
Here's hoping your stockings are hung by the chimney with care and Merry Christmas to All!

December 18, 2009

Christmas Ideas

I don't have anything interesting to show you from a knitting standpoint...everything is stockinette and boring to look at right now.
So, I'm showing you my idea for my knitting sister's Christmas gift. I'm quite sure she doesn't read my blog. If she does, she's never commented and it hasn't shown up on any of the visitor tracking.
In addition to the cowl I made and some other things, I found this book on Amazon - Hattitude. Love the name and even better it has some wonderful hats in it. While I am not a big fan of knitting hats (I always worry they won't fit and I hate wearing hats as they bother me), my sister has made lots of hats in the past. She and her family ski a lot and hats are essential. I did flip through it before wrapping it up and shipping it off and I think she might have some requests from her kids for new hats.
Now, a last minute shopping idea if you need it...I received a wonderful gift from my sister (we draw names in our family) which came via e-mail. She gave me a gift subscription to Netflix! They have all different levels - 1-3 DVD's and different numbers of months - it let's you accomodate your budget. She gave me 3 months of 1 DVD at a time and I already have my DVD waiting to be watched tomorrow when the snow starts falling!
Okay, I'm off to substitute teach in 6th grade social studies. Happy Friday!

December 15, 2009

NYC Weekend

I had the lucky opportunity to go to NYC this past weekend and spend a day and night with my mom and sister who were visiting from Florida.

We signed up for a walking food tour of Chelsea Market and the meatpacking district so we started the day by walking around the area. First stop - Washington Square Park where we realized we could see the Empire State Building through the arch.

Here are my mom and sister with their phones - they had to text and post on Facebook. After they were done they realized their hands were freezing and all texting could wait until later.

Chelsea Market is in what used to be the old Nabisco building. They had a display case of Nabisco memorabilia which I had to photograph as my father in law worked there for 35 years.

The place was beautifully decorated and the "ornaments" were made from recycled items - this big red globe is made of plastic cups. They had "snowflakes" made from white plastic forks, knives and spoons. They were really clever.
The tour was amazing and we had plenty to eat from a variety of stores and restaurants. It was a fun 24 hours in NYC with my mom and knitting, no yarn store crawl (wrong sister...she's not a knitter) but definitely lots of laughs and lots of fun.

December 10, 2009


Yup, I've cast on for another project...actually I did it so I would have something small to work on when I got into NYC this Saturday to have some fun with my mom and sister who are visiting for the weekend. I'll have some time on the train so I cast on Ulmus by Kirsten Kapur.

I'm making the smallest (11") scarf sized one using Knit Picks Stroll Handpainted in colorway Make Believe alternating with Knit Picks Stroll in colorway Midnight Heather. I know that variegated yarns can be dicey sometimes but since you alternate the solid with the variegated every two rows, you get a great effect.

I'm loving how this looks and I'm a little addicted to it - a very easy pattern and repeat.

December 9, 2009

Mother Nature Must Be A Knitter

Yes, I've decided Mother Natures knows how to knit. She used the wind and rain of this huge storm to remind me that I always should block my knitting.
I went out my front door and exclaimed "Oh, my sweaters!" when I found these three on the doormat all covered in pine needles and sopping wet! So, they are now "blocking" and I'm hoping the other sweaters on the wreath are hanging on tight.

December 8, 2009

Unbelievable Realization

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, an unbelievable realization hit me...I didn't knit a single stitch yesterday!

That just shows that my arm is bothering me enough that I did other things instead. It is this odd pain when I raise my arm over my head - a stiff muscle almost. I think it comes from holding my arm up to knit.

Today, I'm doing other things too like shopping online and wrapping gifts. Tomorrow, I am teaching in 2nd grade (weather permitting as a storm is heading our way) and I can't knit while in 2nd grade - 6th grade is another story.

All this poses a question - are there warmup excercises for knitting? When I told my DH I had injured my arm from all that knitting I did, he laughed out loud and said he didn't realize knitting was a contact sport. Good thing I didn't have a pointy needle when he said that - actually, it made me laugh too.

December 7, 2009

Handmade Holidays - A Mini-Tour of Our Tree

I don't have much to show you on the knitting front...I'm in the boring part of several projects. I also think I've been knitting too much - I'm having some pain in my left arm after last week's vacation knitting marathon. So, I figured I'd give you a tour of some of the handmade ornaments on our tree.

Miss America made this from a kit last year - it is a petal fairy ornament. She had great fun doing it.

This is the first ornament #1 son made when he was 3. He was in preschool and the teachers told me that they were so proud of him for picking a religious picture for his Christmas ornament - in fact, he was the only one who did. Warms a mother's heart! This one always gets front placement on the tree and he's tired of me telling the story but it IS special.

This ornament is from our town's nature center. This is indeed handmade and painted to look like our train station. I have several of these and love them.

Okay, these aren't made but this cluster is always together in memory of my godmother. She gave me both angel ornaments and the violets on the glass ball make me think of her as she loved violets.

This was an ornament my godmother made back in the 1980's. Her daughter gave to it me the year after she died.

My first needlepoint ornament.

My second needlepoint ornament - maybe this is what inspired #1 son?

It's multi-dimensional with the nativity on one side and the 3 kings on the other.

Well, that's all for now...thanks for touring our Christmas tree with me!

December 2, 2009

Very Dear and Small

Our church youth minister and his wife just had their first baby...a little girl born about a month ago. I saw this pattern in One More Skein - it is called Nash's Garter Stitch Baby Sweater. It calls for Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton but I substituted Knit Picks Comfy which is delightfully soft.

I whipped it up over the weekend and just now put on two mother of pearl buttons that have lovely little flower etchings on them. Hopefully this very dear and small sweater will be worn in good health and happiness.

December 1, 2009

Ready for December

All my little sweaters have decorated the Christmas wreath! Now that I'm looking at it I might move a few around. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Also, in case you missed it, here is a knitters advent calendar online thanks to Garnstudio. Check it out...they had one last year and I really enjoyed it.

November 30, 2009

The Problem with Red!

What is it with red???? It just doesn't photograph true. This shawl/scarflet is made with Knit Picks Merino Style in the colorway Hollyberry. It is a deep, dark rich red...not the Santa Suit red you see here. Oh well, I tried.

This pattern is the Textured Shawl Recipe which I found on Ravelry. I adapted it a bit and added textured stitch rows in the stockinette section. It is lovely, soft and I'm sure I'll wear it a lot....or it might be a gift. Hmmm...

You can see we're ready for Advent...the mittens are stuffed with Hershey's kisses and Lindt chocolate as per #1 Son's request. I was flipping through Garnet Hill's catalog - I love their stuff but never can afford it. Anyway, I saw they had their own advent calendar that looked so much like this fact it was just like the pattern I purchased for $5 or so and they charge $78 for the finished item. Now I know with labor mine probably is worth more than $78 but I call it the best odds and ends stashbuster I've ever knit.
It looks lovely and has me ready to decorate the Christmas wreath next!

November 25, 2009

What The Heck Is It?

What is this thing? An alien, a blob?

Here's another view.

It's Bastille's Ball (Ravelry link) from One More Skein.

My mother in law has a new kitten...poor thing was named "Kitty" in spite of all the names Miss America offered up. So I figured if you can't have a real name, you get a real toy. This one is a felted ball with funky i-cords all over it. I put catnip inside. Poor thing has an unimaginative name so she gets an imaginative toy...delivered on Thanksgiving tomorrow so she can be thankful for the toy not her name.

Apologies to anyone who has a cat named "Kitty" me though it is like naming your dog "Doggy" or your child "Baby". Poor thing deserves a name in my estimation. End of rant.
Also, some things just can't be photographed - today's lesson learned.

November 24, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

I was reading Carole's blog and liked her Ten on Tuesday adapatation - 10 People I'd Like (Living or Dead) to Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner. I can do this.

1. My grandmother, Mimi. She was a wonderful, spunky lady who loved to cook and I miss her most every day. She wasn't my knitting grandmother but she was my special grandmother.

2. My grandfather, Pappy (Mimi's husband). He loved to cook too and loved the theater of carving the turkey and serving the meal. We spent most Thanksgivings at their home so I guess that is why I'd have them both at this imaginary meal.

3. My godmother, Robin. She lost her battle to cancer 13 years ago. There isn't a day I miss her. When I moved to NYC and couldn't take the long trip home for T-giving, it was her home where I spent my turkey days. We had a memorable meal where some Russian friends were visiting for Thanksgiving and we made a spinach dish with buttered bread crumbs on top. She only had dark rye bread for the bread crumbs and it looked like coffee grounds - we laughed at it for years. She also had the BEST cranberry recipe which I'll post at the end of this list.

4. Amelia Earhart - she's always just fascinated me and I'd like to hear about where she ended up. I've always wanted to get my pilot's license and she's been a childhood hero.

5. Leonardo Da Vinci - I majored in art history - this man would be a fascinating person to talk to. If he were busy, I'd ask Michelangelo.

6. Thomas Jefferson - I went to the University of Virginia. This man is fascinating on many levels and I have a bunch of questions for him.

7. Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird speaks for itself - I'd like Gregory Peck to join her.

8. Eric Clapton - just for the music.

9. My husband's grandparents - I never got to meet my husband's paternal grandparents...just as he never met my maternal grandparents listed above. They were so important in his life and we both wish we had met each other's grandparents.

10. My parents and sisters - okay this is more than one person. I haven't had a Thanksgiving with them in years. I always am with my husband's family and I guess at this time of year I just miss mine.

I could add a knitter to this list...Wendy Bernard would be fun, Elizabeth Zimmerman would be enlightening, Yarn Harlot could be a hoot, oh there are so many knitters I could add.

Now, for Robin's Cranberries - try them, you'll never go back.

1 bag of fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all these put in an ovenproof dish and bake at 350 until bubbling...around 30-40 minutes. This can bubble up so make sure you don't overstuff the dish. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 23, 2009

I really think I have Knitting ADD

Currently, I have more WIP's than I usually do. Here's the start for my Farmer's Market Cardigan which I'm using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. I've finished the body of the sweater and had fun with adapting the directions so I could knit both the left and right fronts at the same time.

The beauty of this sweater is there is little seaming - they make it look like it is seamed as you do a purl stitch at the sides for the "effect" of a seam.

Next is the sleeves which I'll do both at the same time but I've put it down - sleeves are the bane of my knitting existence.

I also am working on Inca Marle Ruffle Coat which I've stalled on the collar which has tons of short rows. I also have stalled on a sweater I'm designing for Miss America - I'm to the sleeves portion and have lost my mojo on it.

I have another project in the works which is a test knit I'm not allowed to discuss. I was excited to be chosen to test knit something.

So, with all this going on what do I do? Cast on another project. I wanted something portable to have for the Thanksgiving Day trip to my mother in laws...I also needed something to knit while waiting for "Twilight New Moon" to start.

The color is totally off but I've started my first shawl/wrap/scarflet. The pattern is Textured Shawl Recipe (Ravelry link) and I'm adapting it a bit. I love the textured stitch and it is a little addicting adding on the extra stitches and watching it grow. I'm using leftover Merino Style from Knit Picks that I made the Twisted V Pullover with. This might be a gift for someone or it might just be for me.

Yup, I'd call casting on a new project right now a bit of Knitting ADD.

Oh, I forgot, to make things worse I knit up today a small toy for my mother in law's cat - it's felting as I type. ADD again.

November 20, 2009

Eight is Enough

Here are 8 little sweater ornaments - I have yet to put the "hangers" in them. I whipped these up while subbing this week. Easy, quick and now I have enough between these ones and ones I've made in the past to decorate our Christmas wreath when we get it.

I used the Minutia patterns as inspiration but really just created these from my own head. It's fun to play with cables and yarn overs to make the sweaters more interesting.

I'm working on the Farmer's Market Cardigan right now but it is only stockinette so not worth photographing at this point.

Have a great weekend!

November 18, 2009

Doing as I'm told

The library got Kate Jacob's newest book "Knit the Season" in and I scurried to get as I enjoyed reading "The Friday Night Knitting Club". It inspired me so I pulled out some extra bits of yarn and did as the book suggested - I Knit the Season. Here are 5 little sweaters I whipped up while reading the book. The blue one isn't seamed and the red one isn't quite done.

Here they are looking a little bit closer to their true colors. I think this year I'm going to take all my mini-sweaters and put them on the Christmas wreath on the front door. It will be festive, unusual and will certainly tell all visitors that a knitter lives in the house!

As for the book...can't say I loved it. It was predictable and a bit trite. I think she's played the theme out and needs to move on. There are a few patterns and recipes in the back of the book.

November 17, 2009

One More Skein

Our fantastic local library comes through again with a winner book. I read about this in a magazine and immediately requested that the library purchase it. Sure enough the day it was put into circulation I had an email saying my requested book was in.
Of course, I rushed to the library and picked it up. Another gem of a book by Leigh Radford...this one gives you quick projects that might need more than one skein. There's a baby sweater I'm itching to make. There's also a fun felted toy for a cat/kitten which I'm going to whip up for my mother in law's new kitten.
Check it out - it's worth a look.

November 15, 2009

A Time Capsule

The other day my friend, Melissa, handed me a bag with a project I had started helping her knit almost 14 years ago. She never finished it and her son is now too big for the sweater she had in mind.

What she didn't realize is what a time capsule this was for me. In the bag was a 1988 issue of Vogue Knitting. Look it has my maiden name and is from when I lived and worked in NYC.

Check out the wild patterns back then.

I think the reason I saved this 1988 issue up to 1996 (when we started the sweater) was for this one photo (the one of the guy and girl in blue and white)...the male model is a family friend who briefly modeled quite a bit in NYC. I thought it was so cool to see him in my knitting magazine.

Now the wonderful thing about this issue which I didn't appreciate in my 20's is an article written by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It was for this cute modular tomtem jacket. The very pattern Melissa was making for her son.

Here's how far she got on the jacket. Part of me thinks I should finish it but part of me knows that my gauge and hers will be 2 different things.

I also had loaned her my "Learn to Knit" book which was my far knitting has come since then!
What a fun blast to the past!
PS. I apologize for the awful spacing of the paragraphs - I've been trying to fix it but this stupid blogger software won't work that way for me today.

November 12, 2009

Eighteen Days Until Advent

Here it is...all completed with 18 days to go until Advent. My own Adventskalendar! I started this back in January with scraps of yarn in my stash...I decided to repeat the white mitten in a certain pattern with the other mitten colors. I don't know if you can catch the order of how I worked it but it does flow in a certain way.

I was able to finish the embroidery and make the chain while Miss America was sick on Monday. I hung it up by the fireplace as soon as it was done.

#1 Son was impressed and I told him I'd put chocolate in each mitten to help countdown advent. We've always had chocolate advent calendars as I married a chocoholic and gave birth to 2 chocoholics...they literally have to eat it every day.

So, I asked #1 Son what kind of chocolate he wanted in the mittens...he responded in all seriousness "Lindt, please". Did I mention they are discriminating chocoholics?

I won't be hanging this by this particular fireplace as the heat it pumps out during a fire would melt the chocolate...we'll move it to a fireplace we don't use.