December 31, 2010

Year End Wrap Up

Wow, a whole year has gone by - this year I had 116 posts (down vs. YAG at 155). Honestly, there are times I think I don't need to blog anymore. Ravelry has dominated the knitting world for sharing and communication. Still though, my blog let's me have a ramble/rant every now and then and I guess that's good.

Last year I bemoaned the fact that my Knitmeter reset and I forgot my totals for 2009. So I saved it the other day and here's what I knit in 2010!

I also have a final FO for the year - a baby sweater for our dentist's little girl born a few weeks ago. The pattern is Summer Chills Cardigan and I made it in the 6th month size using Classic Elite Summer Set (which is on sale at Webs and only cost $13 for this sweater).

I also reviewed my goals I set last year (not New Years Resolutions as I'm not a fan of those). Here's what I had:
1. Finish Inca Marl Coat (preferably before March) - the collar is going to take forever. Done! I checked and I finished it on March 7th. The collar DID take forever and I ran out of yarn. Thanks the the wonder of Ravelry I found more in the same dyelot and a very nice lady sold me a skein. I LOVE this sweater.
2. Finish the sweater I'm designing for Miss America - it's sat alone for 2 months now. Not done but kind of done...I frogged it as it wasn't working and made a whole new sweater which she loves and wears a lot.
3. Take a class - I know I had this one on last year's list but I still need to do it. Not done again for the 2nd year in a row...I will this year! Thing is I hate committing to several weeks as it cuts into my substitute teaching times potentially. I'll have to find a one or 2 day class and go for it.
4. Learn to crochet (Kimberly if you read this I'm talking to you sister...this summer!) I'm not doing well here am I? No, Kimberly and I never pulled off the crochet class on the beach...we WILL this summer as my schedule will be much easier. I have several things I want to crochet that she's designed.
5. Knit something I've never done before - gloves? Something with a zipper? I dont' know what to say for this...I didn't make gloves or something with a zipper. However I did branch out to different weight yarns...I have never used lace or fingering weight before and did use them this year.
Well, looking at the amount of red above I guess I need to try harder with next years goals. Now, what shall they be? Hmmm...I'll save that for my first post in 2011.
Happy New Year!

December 28, 2010

It Arrived and It fits

Better picture later - however, the smile says it all. It arrived and it fits and it looks great on her.

December 26, 2010

Lucky Me!

We draw names every year for Christmas in my family (with my parents having 4 kids and 10 grandkids it is a good call)...actually, I keep a list from year to year and re-shuffle the names so no-one gets their spouse or the same name 2 years in a row.

This year my knitting sister had my name...lucky me! I opened a rather large package to find this wonderful basket loaded with goodies. Books, yarn, spot remover, and note cards came pouring out of a wonderful lined basket with a drawstring top. Love it! Hmmm...perhaps I can arrange for her to have me again next year?!?

Been knitting a lot...will show you another day.

December 22, 2010

Sometimes I Amaze Myself

I started this sweater on November 17th for my sister. We purchased the yarn on November 13th and she jokingly asked if it would be ready by Thanksgiving. I never expected that I would be done before Christmas. I gave myself the deadline of getting it to her for the new year but ended up mailing it today and I hope it will be to her by Christmas Eve...if not she'll have it for New Year's Eve.

It is Big Frill by Sublime Yarns. The photos aren't great but I made her promise to take a picture of her wearing it so I'll post them later.

December 16, 2010

My VERY Clever Friend, Kimberly

This summer I was a witness to a work of art in creation - my clever crocheting friend, Kimberly, was creating a pullover for Interweave Crochet. As we sat on the beach she worked on this sweater now called Frosted Windowpane Pullover. What I love about it is that it almost looks like it is knit!

The thing is when you are as good as Kimberly is they send you yarn to work with...when Kimberly got this divinely soft Manos Silk Blend we both loved the yarn but not the colorway. It had a lovely sheen to it which to me made it look like the belly of a pidgeon. Kimberly kept saying they must have something in mind when they photograph it...and they did as it really looks a million times better here! They chose a dark haired model - the reason Kimberly and I weren't crazy about the color was probably because we are blondes and would look awful in it!

Anyway, it is STUNNING and I feel so lucky to have seen this being created from beginning to end. Congratulations, Kimberly! Now I MUST learn how to crochet! :)

December 10, 2010

A Little "Just Because" Present

This past summer my mother said how much she used the scarf I made for her 2 years ago. My parents live in Florida but they are right on the frost line and it can get chilly there sometimes. So I promptly started the Firefly Scarf for her and gave that to her in early November.

When I saw some Skacel Merino Lace on sale I purchased a skein and cast on for Citron. I finished this on took me about a month of inconsistent knitting. It is a fun pattern and you really need to trust in the magic of blocking as it really looks so much better after blocking.

I mailed it off yesterday and told my mom to open it up as it isn't a Christmas present - it is a "just because" present...just because she asked for a handknit item and just because I love her.

December 7, 2010

Aidez Info For Sarafina

I couldn't email you via your comment so I'm letting you know how I did my Aidez neck on my blog - who knows...maybe it will help someon else!?

I knit the neck bit for the 3 3/4 as it told me to...when you get to that point see if you can gently stretch it to reach the center of the neck. If it works then you are good. Do not make it the full length to get to the center of the neck as I don't think it will set will bunch. When seaming you just need to put the two neck ends together and then ease the fullness of the body to what neck you have knitted.

I hope this helps!

December 4, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Just hung up this year's wreath with a few new sweaters - I chose some bolder colors so they really pop! I have over 20 mini-sweaters so the rest will go on the tree...more pictures to follow after we decorate our tree.

December 1, 2010

Where Did November Go?

We are getting our tree on Saturday and today we started our Advent Calendar...I truly worried our kids would think themselves too old for it but they love getting their chocolate treat out of the mitten every morning. I married a chocoholic and gave birth to 2 chocoholics...they have checked out what kind of chocolate is hidden in the mittens. No Hershey's kisses for these kids - they like Lindt!

I saw this on someone's blog and it is a little different from the last one I did so I figured I'd fill it out.

1. Wrapping Paper or Gift Bags? Mostly wrapping paper but gift bags are great in a pinch.
2. Real tree or artificial? Real...preferably balsam.
3. When do you put up the tree? First weekend in December.
4. When do you take down the tree? Usually, the day before New Years then I'm ready for the new year and the tree is rather dried out.
5. Do you like Egg Nog? Since I do not like milk, I definitely do not like Egg Nog. My mom used to make homemade egg nog and quite frankly it was vile even when it was liberally laced with bourbon.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? I remember getting a box set of the Little House On The Prairie series - I still have it.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, we have 2 in fact. A small simple wooden one and the Playmobil one that the kids loved playing with when they were little. I wish they weren't so expensive as I'd love a nice one.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My sister-in-law (I could go off on her right now but I'll hold back) and my brothers-in-law.
9. Easiest person to buy for? My daughter...girly stuff is so easy.
10. Mail or email Christmas Cards? We do an email card with photo to people we see a lot/local friends and then mail a photo card to those who aren't email types or far way.
11. Favorite Christmas Movie? Hands down...It's a Wonderful Life. I cry every time.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Pannetone...when I was 16 we spent Christmas with my grandparents in Italy and I fell in love with Pannetone. I don't buy it often as I'm the only one who eats it and I could eat the whole loaf in one sitting.
13. White lights or colored? White!
14. Favorite Christmas Song? The Christmas Song by Dave Matthews...not traditional but I love it.
15. Travel or stay home at Christmas? Stay home. We used to travel to my in-laws on Christmas morning and one year we couldn't due to family visiting us and a snowstorm. After that wonderful time of being home and having a relaxing/stress free time. My DH informed my in-laws they could come to us if they want but otherwise we're staying home and we'd come to them the next day (Boxing Day)...they weren't thrilled but the change has been wonderful for us.
16.Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeer? Yes, but I have to hum Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in my head to do it.
17. Angel or Star on the top of the tree? Usually an angel - that's what I grew up with...however, when our son was young he insisted on a star as it was "the star that shines on Baby Jesus". Can't argue with that. We have a star but it requires a very strong treetop which can be hard to find.
18. Open presents Christmas Eve or Morning? The kids can open one on Christmas Eve but everything else happens in the morning.
19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Angry people fighting over parking places.
20. Which looks best, theme trees or homey trees? Definitely homey trees with handmade ornaments.
21. Gingerbread or Sugar Cookies? Butter cookies which Iguess would be closer to sugar cookies...I use a cookie press and put Hershey's kisses in the center. Yum!

November 29, 2010

All Done Aidez

Well, the day before Thanksgiving I finished seaming my Aidez and put it out to block. I then wore it Thanksgiving Day to my mother in laws - it was still a bit damp but I didn't care. I just had to wear it. I had my camera - did I pull it out and get some pictures? No. So, here are a few shots of it hanging out in my room.

I love how it seamed up at the sleeves and the neckband worked like a charm.
Now, all my family knows I knit. I love to wear what I make. I love to give my knitting as gifts. What I love most is when someone compliments what I have made. Not one peep from anyone except from my proud husband about this sweater. Must say it took the air out of my balloon. However, I won't let it bum me too much as I LOVE this sweater and I know I'm going to live in it.

November 19, 2010

Lots of Knitting and Not a Lot of Blogging

I'm still know sometimes I wonder why I blog because I have Ravelry too as an outlet for my knitting and creativity. Then I realize I can't write on Ravelry the way I do here. So, sometimes I have a lapse in posts as I start to write one and realize I don't have anything to say.

Today, however, I have somethings to show you. First is Aidez by Cirilia Rose which I've changed the back too look more like this Aidez. It looks so small when you put it on the floor - the back looks more like a sleeve but this is very stretchy and I can put it on me with no problem. I'm using Cascade Ecological Wool and it is a fast knit. I'm almost done with the front.

Next I cast on for Big Frill using Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK (long name but lovely yarn). My sister wanted a sweater and she survived going to the yarn store and being told about weight/gauge/yardage and went from wanting $400 of cashmere to make this sweater to $130 of bamboo. I'm halfway up the back and am making it a bit longer for her.

Last is my first lace project ever - I've knit with fingering but never laceweight. Thank God for Addi Lace needles. This is Citron and I'm using Skacel Merino Lace. I keep trusting in the magic of blocking and know it will be stunning...I'm making it for my mom. I had the chance to give her that pink scarf I recently made and she loved it.

November 6, 2010

Another Successful Knitted Gift

My niece's birthday was on Thursday and I had sent her a few scarves I had made (2 I made specifically for her) and 2 books. At the time she was opening her gift from me, my mom's gift arrived via UPS. She had purchased her an outfit with all the same colors that were in the scarf I made - it was as if we had planned the whole thing. Last night she went out for a birthday dinner wearing her new scarf and her new to love when your knitted gifts are used right away!

November 4, 2010

This Year's Endless Christmas Knit

I started my string of Christmas lights from the Knit Picks Snow Day kit...this is going to be another endless knit but I'm having fun with it. This is how far I've gotten since Sunday...13 bulbs worth.

November 2, 2010

A Visit from One of My Sweaters

Today my godsister and her kids came over before we went out to lunch (no school today for election day...I know, ridiculous but that's how it is). As her daughter came in I spotted something pink under her very pink coat...I asked and yes, indeed, it was the sweater I made for this summer. One of my sweaters came for a visit. So we had a modeling session...the first photo was Robin's idea...the rest are poses that Miss America suggested.

She loves the sweater, wears it a lot to the point her pre-school teachers asked for adult versions. We also learned at lunch that a hot pink sweater is great camoflage for to love a washable knit.

November 1, 2010


It started with 4 skeins of yarn purchased at Rhinebeck 2 years ago...a bad start to a project and it sat there for another year. Then I pulled the yarn out and Miss America drew a sketch of what she wanted with it. She picked out the lace panel pattern and directed each step of the sweater...length, waist shaping, sleeve style and a last minute lace edge to the sleeves.

My job - figure it all out - and I did! She loves it and that makes the challenge worth the effort.

October 29, 2010

Mom, If You are Reading This Don't Look!

My mom sometimes reads my blog so I'm hoping she isn't reading lately...I started this Firefly scarf for her in August using some old Debbie Bliss Cathay I had leftover. It's a light summery yarn which is perfect for her life in Florida. I'll be seeing her in 2 weeks and I figured I'd finish it up so I could give it to her in person.

Now, on to the next project...hmmmm...what will it be?

October 28, 2010

Was Yesterday Christmas???

Yesterday I went to Jennifer's for her usual Wednesday knitting group and I felt like it was Christmas morning. She presented me with this wonderful Knit Picks ornament kit. I've been eyeing it on their website and she knew I was on an ormament kick and got it for me! Thank you Jennifer - I can't wait to get started - I think I'll begin with the mini lights. Funny story - Major Knitter's son saw the lights you could knit and mused why she just doesn't use real lights...

Then Jennifer said she had been cleaning out her basement and she had this wonderful kit of fleece for needle felting - I can't wait to use it on some felted mittens! What a lovely rainbow.

And if that wasn't enough, I was the only PC user in the group (I know one day Mac is in our future...) and she had this software - wow! Was yesterday Christmas or what???

I managed to finish my mom's scarf which I can give her when I see her in a few weeks. I hope she likes it - here it is in blocking stages.

October 26, 2010

Another One

The addiction continues....tomorrow I have knitting group so I'll be working on something easier than these mini-stockings.

I was listening to The Knitmore Girls podcast and they were trying not to use the phrase "mindless knitting" as it makes what we do as a craft isn't as clever as it really is. They proposed "cruise control" or "auto-pilot" knitting - I'm game for renaming it "cruise control" knitting...that's what I'll be doing tomorrow. BTW more on podcasts later.

October 25, 2010

My Latest Addiction

I ordered 3 skeins of Knit Picks Palette - the green is a little dark but I like it...I'm currently on my 5th one of these mini-stockings. They are knit flat and then you mattress stitch up the back - I decided to just seam them normally up the back and it is much easier. The first 3 are mattress and the one on the far right is seamed.

Okay, I've just finished the 5th one...

October 16, 2010

When in doubt...

Make mini-sweater ornaments out of leftover yarn! These are fun to do and knit up quickly. I was inspired by the Berrocco Minutia '08 and have started making my own designs ever since. I've given them as gifts and I've used them to decorate our Christmas tree and wreath. I put them up on a group in Ravelry and wondered where I could find mini-hangers. Low and behold someone posted where to find them so I've ordered 3 dozen!

Someone asked if I used a pattern for these - no I don't. I basically knit the body in one piece and bind of 5-6 stitches at the neck and then cast on the same number and go down the back. I cast on an appropriate number of stitches based on the yarn weight (I compared this years batch to previous years and they getting bigger I've noticed...hmmm). I originally used the Berroco Minutia patterns to start and then just invented my own after that.

October 8, 2010

Using up Odds and Ends

Remember when I made this for Miss America years ago? She wore it a lot and loved it and I've since passed it on as a hand-me-down.

Well, here is the rest of the yarn in a fun stripey scarf for my niece. I have a few more little odds and end and I'm whipping up one more sweater ornament with what is left. I'm trying to use yarns that I have used to make sweaters for my ornaments...that way after the sweaters are long gone I have an ornament to remember them by.

October 6, 2010

Knitting Mojo

Today I had a lovely time knitting with Jennifer and a bunch of other lovely knitterly ladies at Panera. I brought with me a last minute scarf I threw on the needles this morning so I'd have some mindless knitting. When asked what I was making I explained I am not in a good place with my knitting right now - I feel like I've lost my mojo. So I took some old leftover yarn and am making a lengthwise scarf in stripes for my niece whose birthday is coming up.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have these 1500 yards of Cascade 220 sitting around taunting me...I don't know what to make and even swatched for the Monday Morning Cardigan. I'm not feeling the love. Then I thought a fun cardigan I designed with a colorful yoke pattern would be nice but nothing in my stash made for a good yoke. So the yarn sits there...taunting me.

Then I saw this lovely sweater on Anthropologie aptly named Knitting Needle Cardigan which is Haunting me...I want to make it...I know I could figure it out and try...however I don't have enough yarn in the Cascade 220...I think this would need more.

So as you can see, my knitting mojo is totally out of whack. It got even further pushed down today when I heard that a dear, dear woman who was like a second mother to me when we lived in Virginia lost her battle with cancer last night. She always had a kind word, made you feel like you were the most important person when she spoke with you and her heart was big and full of love.

So, I'm taunted, haunted and heavy hearted and will find a way to get my mojo back the meantime, mindless silly knitting will have to do.

October 2, 2010

Makes My Heart Sing

They fit and he loves them - enough to make my heart sing!

September 30, 2010

After All That Help...

Thank you all for the button input - it was a landslide for the wooden button in the middle. So I sat down to sew it on and the snap to go with it (for some reason both Chic Knits patterns I have made have a thing against button holes and snaps are used) and when I tried it on for button placement I realized it looked better open and without a button! So, no pictures to show right now but I'm not using that fun wooden button just yet.

I'm in a bit of a knitting limbo/quandary. I have only one project on needles (scarf for mom) and I have two piles of yarn waiting for me to be clever and creative. I have 7 skeins of Cascade 220 in a heathered black and 3 skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool in a creamy white.

I bought the Cascade 220 to make Monday Mording Cardigan but then I got worried that the girls would just seem like "monoboob" if I wore that. So then I thought of making something close to King of Confidence of my own design but when I looked for yarns in my stash for the yoke, I hit a wall. Perhaps I should just make Vine Yoke Cardigan...what to do?

I won't even get into my quandaries for the Ecological Wool. So last night I sat down and cast on another mini-sweater to add to my collection.

If you have any recommendations for either yarn, I'd love to hear it.

September 27, 2010

Need Help Deciding

So I finished my Basic Chic V-Neck Cardigan and I need input on which button to choose. Miss America usually helps me and I think she didn't look closely at the buttons - so I'm asking you. The picture on the top is true to the color but the picture in the middle gives a bit more detail on the buttons. The top on is coconut shell, the middle one is wood and the bottom one looks like some kind of fake horn material.

The last picture is a simple scarf I whipped up with leftover yarn for my was a one day knit as I was stuck in a LONG meeting on Saturday and I had to have something to do with my hands.

Let me know what you think on the buttons...thanks!