February 24, 2009

Service With A Smile

I often buy yarn online...I know it isn't the same as going into a yarn store, touching, feeling, smelling the yarn (yes I do smell it). I know the color isn't always true on a monitor. However, I have been very lucky with some of my online yarn purchases from this amazing store in Seattle called Little Knits.

What I love about this store is its service - there have been times when I've placed an order and then realized I needed more yarn. I've emailed, added a skein or two and no problem it's done. Today I got a call from Sue at Little Knits following up on an e-mail. What a nice person she is! They even have a Ravelry group which I promptly joined.

I was getting some more Ella Rae Classic which is at a great price. I used it to make my Ingenue (Ravelry Link) and am making one for my god-sister and another one for me. The price can't be beat, the yarn is lovely and when you order from such nice people it is even better. Check out Little Knits...worth your time.

February 23, 2009


I have a few things to show you - miscellaneous stuff.

My daughter and I went through the bags of yarn remnants and balled them up - here's how it looks in a very special bowl my godmother gave me. Now I can grab them as I need them for little projects like my tiny sweaters I make as Christmas ornaments. Such a nice addition to my knitting space.

I had a chance to work on my Slinky Ribs. The body is done and now on to the sleeves. Wendy Bernard is just so brilliant in her design - the sleeves are worked from the top down and consist of a series of short rows to make a cap and highlight the ribbing.

Also, I haven't forgotten my Lutea Lace Shell - here it sits waiting for me to pick it up again.

I mailed off the little green sweater to my nephew...I'm hoping to post pictures of him wearing it as soon as it fits him.

February 21, 2009

Seaming Saturday

Well, I spent my Saturday afternoon seaming this lovely little sweater for my new nephew, James. I'm showing it to you in two different lights and locations.

This pattern is from the latest Debbie Bliss Magazine and is referred to as the Garter Stitch Pullover. It is an easy knit (all garter) and I made a few adaptations to make the pattern work more quickly.

I'll be sure to post a picture of it on the cute little guy when my sister puts it on him.

Now back to working on my Slinky Ribs.

February 20, 2009

Busy Me = Boring Blog

I've been meaning to post for days now but I got a spur of the moment substitute teaching job which has run for 3 days. A wonderful teacher who taught my son last year has been ill and she called me at home (instead of publicly posting the job online) and I couldn't let her down. So, while I've been busy the blog has suffered.

However, since the students have been reading and taking quizzes, I've been working very hard on a sweater for my new nephew. The pattern is in the new Debbie Bliss Magazine and is a garter stitch pullover.

I promise to have some pictures for this weekend - won't quite make finishing Friday with it but it could be done by Sunday!

February 17, 2009

What do you do with just a little bit of yarn?

So when I told you I had the littlest bit of blue yarn left after knitting the hat, I realized it was enough yarn that I just can't throw it out? Do you have that problem too? See this little ball...it is the beginning of a collection soon to be put in a lovely bowl. If you're wondering about the photo...that is me when I was 5 or 6 hiding Easter eggs at my grandparents.

I got my inspiration from Jennifer - today I had a lovely time sitting, knitting, talking and enjoying a yummy soup at her house. She has this wonderful giant brandy snifter full of little sock yarn balls. I will find uses for these sometime and I just can bear to throw out good yarn.

Here's the "awwwww" part of my post - my new nephew sporting the blanket his auntie knit for him. Awwwww...isn't he cute!?!

February 16, 2009

An FO and a Story

Okay, this is what I was thinking when I agreed to make a hat. She hasn't taken it off since it came off the needles even though my DH says "no hats in the house. I keep saying ladies are allowed to wear hats inside. Anyway, my colorwork isn't the prettiest but she loves it and that's what counts. I ended up with just enough blue to finish the project - phew!

Now for the funny knitting story. On Saturday we went to my MIL's for a party she was throwing. It is about an hour drive and it was light out on the way down so I brought my Slinky Ribs to work on. I knit the whole way down.

We left her house around 8:30pm - dark outside and when we got on the highway I thought to myself "too bad you can't knit". Then I realized it is just stockinette stitch and it is on circular needles so I pulled out my knitting. The quiet click clack of my addis drifted through the car and in the dark my husband said "Are you knitting???" - somewhat incredulous in tone. My response was "Yes, you know blind people knit." Knitting in the dark wasn't a first for me (I knit in the movie theater one time years ago) and I was glad to keep working on my sweater.

February 14, 2009

What WAS I Thinking???

This past Tuesday I was on Tiennie's blog posting a comment about her wonderful Olivia Hat when Miss America saw it and said "could you make that for me?" Now, who can refuse a request from their child who loves handknit items and helps design them as well.

We struck a deal that I'd get the white yarn and she'd have to come up with colors for the pattern from my stash.

What I forgot is I don't like making hats as I stress about fit (remember the one I made for my sister and went crazy over it?).

Oh, and it looks so pretty from the outside but I forgot that this is what the inside looks like! I forgot about the bobbins and the yarn needing to be unraveled and the mess! I admire people who do colorwork but I can understand why my mom didn't knit much after making argyle socks.

I keep saying to myself "what WAS I thinking when I agreed to this!?"

February 13, 2009

No Frogging or Finishing but an Update Instead

Sometimes you just have to trust in a pattern. I'm making Wendy Bernard's Slinky Ribs from her Custom Knits book. I'm using the recommended Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool which she describes as sproingy. So, while it looks so small on the needles, you can see it does transform on the body and does give a lot!

The neckline needs finishing and it will look better with another scoop neck shirt not a turtleneck.

I'm debating waist shaping at this point but I think I'll keep trusting in the pattern. Right now it is a breeze with all stockinette stitch.

February 12, 2009

What a Wonderful Wednesday I Had!

Yesterday, Jennifer (aka Major Knitter) and her blog friend, Michele (geminime on Ravelry), picked me up and we went on a jaunt to Katonah Yarn Company. Neither had been there before so it was a wonderful yarn crawl through the store. Unfortunately for us it was quite busy so we couldn't sit and knit there.

After we went for an early lunch at the Blue Dolphin and had a table of ladies (who turned out to be knitting buddies) take a picture of us. It's a scary picture of me - something is going on with my hair and I don't know what.

Before I leaving for school yesterday morning, Miss America saw this Olivia Hat pattern on Tiennie's blog and requested one of her own. So I picked up a skein of Cascade 220 and she picked these leftover skeins to use for the pattern (I hope I have enough!).

I checked out the bargain bin in the back of the store and found Filatura di Crosa Porto Cervo on sale half off - $3.50 a skein was the final price. So I picked up 6 skeins to make a little something for my new nephew.

Isn't it strange how colors photograph...the true color is closer to this photo and not the one above. Maybe I can finish something for him by St. Patrick's day - he is 1/2 Irish!

All in all, a great day - I'm hoping if things work out to sit and knit with Jennifer and Michele next week. I'm always amazed how the internet works to connect us and puts people in our lives. I was trying to remember how long ago I met Jennifer online...I think it was in October 2006 and she had a contest for donating yarn and in November 2006 that I posted that I had won some great knitting needles from it.

February 10, 2009

13 Years Ago Today

I became a mom...#1 Son was born on a Saturday morning that was unusually warm for February. Being one of 4 girls, I had never really dealt with baby boys (or big ones) that much. I remember when he was 6 months old I called my mom and said "Mom, boys are really different". She started reminiscing about a friend who had 4 boys and what it was like when one of them came to our house. My response was "but you didn't live with one 24/7!" From the get-go #1 Son was wired to go...legs twitching and itching to go.

He loved when he could start stealing bases in baseball...put him on 1st and he'll steal his way to home.

Thirteen years ago I had made him this blanket and it as it turned out it I didn't knit another thing for 10 years!! As you can see from the white and yellow, I didn't know what "flavor" I was having.

Even though my mom taught me to knit, she is a firm believer I get my talent from my father's mother who was an amazing needlewoman. Knitting, sewing, needlepoint - she did them all.

She made this jacket and hat for our son. As you can see she had very even tension and I think she created the jacket pattern all on her own. The thing is I think she must have been in her mid-late eighties when she knit these. Pretty amazing! Unfortunately, #1 son was too big for the jacket when it arrived and hats were not his thing. So these lay in a drawer waiting for his children.

For a little guy who had so much knit for him ( have 2 blankets and a sweater that other loving knitters made), he sure won't wear my handknits now! Happy 13th Birthday #1 Son! Love, your knitting again mom

February 8, 2009

Almost Halfway Done and It's Only February

Here they all are - 11 of my Advent Calendar mittens. I think I've made most of these while substitute teaching...the kids usually are reading and working and all I have to do is keep the peace so I can knit while doing that with no problem. Guess I've been subbing a lot lately to get so many done.

I cast on for Wendy Bernard's Slinky Ribs - this is the back along the shoulder. It looks small but it really stretches a lot - very sproingy. I'm using Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool which is the yarn it calls for.

The purple yarn for the provisional cast-on reminds me of a sweater I knit 25 years ago. It was grey with a purple snowflake motif -sounds odd but it looked great.

Oh, the blue blanket I knit for my sister must have played on a hunch I had - this morning she delivered an 8lb 7oz boy! The blanket is with her in the hospital so he can be warm and snuggy on his ride home in a few days.

February 6, 2009

I did it, I did it, I really really did it!

Every time I accomplish something I think of Dora the Explorer (funny I just tried spelling it Explora to make it rhyme) and how she sings "I did it! I did it! I really, really did it!" when she accomplishes a task. I'm singing the song with my finished Ingenue. I cranked out the sleeves much faster than I thought I could. It needs a bath and blocking and then it will be worn a lot until warmer weather hits - yeah right it was 12 degrees when I got up this morning.

I love the ridge stitch at the neck, bottom and sleeves. I think I'm going to design a cowl using it.

And I got it done in time for Finishing Friday!

Now I think I'm going to work on my Slinky Ribs.

February 5, 2009

Wouldn't it be nice?

I was on Ravelry yesterday and saw this photo and suddenly wished I was there - Squam Lake. I spent one of the most magical times as a camp counselor on Squam Lake with a special canoeing trip. On Golden Pond was filmed on Sqam. It is gorgeous.

So, I clicked on the link for the classes being offered there in June. Oh, I surfed and enjoyed dreaming about running away during the week and going to this seminar. Wouldn't it be nice to have 3 days devoted to knitting and learning more about knitting?

Then of course my practical side hit...who would get the kids to/from school, it costs too much for our budget, who would I go with as I wouldn't want to go alone. All those things. However, wouldn't it be nice? I enjoyed the afternoon dream...back to reality.

February 3, 2009

Ingenue Progress

Between watching the Super Bowl and no work on Monday (I watched The Visitor and highly recommend it), I've had a lot of progress on my Ingenue. The bottom is a little wonky but should be an easy fix with blocking. Now onto the sleeves.

What is it about being at this point in a project that makes me want to start another one? The sleeves? Tired of the yarn? The need for variety? Do you get restless too?

We had an early dismissal today so I think I'll curl up and start a sleeve and dream of my next project.