December 31, 2011

Out with the Old, In with the New

As you can see from the post below, I knit a lot - here's what my KnitMeter says for this year. I realize that a lot of it is guestimate but I try to be accurate based on what I record in Ravelry. This is more than last year's number and to think I frogged about 1200 yards of it and am reknitting it right now.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year - no major reflections this year - my heart isn't in it right now. No goals set either - with the bump in the road that has hit our lives I'm just focusing on each day as it hits me.

Happy New Year! May 2012 be a good one - someone I know turns 50 in 2012! Yikes!

2011 Knitting

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2011 Knitting, a set on Flickr.

Here's a Year's worth of knitting...wonder what next year will bring? According to Knitmeter this totals over 20,000 yards. Wow!

December 29, 2011

Last Bit of Ornament Knitting

I had a lot of football in front of me on Christmas Eve - Giants game especially. I wanted to do something that stash busted and was fun and not too hard. I found this snowman pattern and got to is the first one I made.

I then realized the Santa hats I made would fit on the snowman so I made another and put a hat on it and made a matching scarf! I have one more on needles waiting for some more stuffing and then I'll have 3. They will be my ornament gift next year. They are just so cute.

December 28, 2011

My First Gloves

After knitting so many pairs of mittens, I tried something new - Gloves! I had some leftover Sheep Shop 3 wool which I searched on Ravelry - I only had 1 skein and some leftover variegated which I had used in a scarf for my daughter. I found someone had made these gloves and decided it was high time to try making gloves.

They were a relatively quick knit - not too hard - just a bit fiddly with the fingers. It is hard to get a clean pickup between the fingers but overall I really like how they turned out. I used the variegated yarn to make a little interesting stripe section on the cuff. I really like how they turned out.

Due to life's curveballs, yarn purchases are not in the cards right now so I'm finding ways to knit through my meager stash. I cast on an Estelle cardigan for my mom - she picked it out from a bunch of patterns I sent her. The yarn went from Ramen noodles back into lovely sweater work - I'm already at the part of the top down where you put the sleeves on waste yarn.

Since I can't just have one project on needles I'm going to see what else I can cast on with the yarn lying around my craft closet.

December 22, 2011

Another Mini Knit

Okay, I think my mini collection is complete with this little Santa Hat - found the pattern here. Takes no time to knit up and is delightful.

December 17, 2011

Okay, I'm A Little Obsessed With Knitting

So after seeing my wreath with its old wrinkled bow, I did a little surfing on Ravelry and found a pattern called Take A Bow. Not really a pattern but a quick idea how to knit a bow. So I cast on the right number of stitches and did an endless bit of seed stitch. Then I made a little shaped seed stitch piece to go over the center of the bow and left a long enough tail to use it to tie onto the wreath.

I must admit - I LOVE my new wreath bow!

December 14, 2011

Mitten Mania Continues!

Just finished (and need to block) these Cable Cuff Mittens out of Cascade 220. They are a quick fun knit and I really love how the cables run around the cuff and the pointed tops. They look like something Santa or his elves would wear - if they were into fuschia!

December 13, 2011

Okay, I'm over Mitten Madness

Here's the last pair of mittens I whipped up - also from 60 Quick Knits - pattern#3 Waffle Mittens. Warning - check the errata as I found another error that wasn't in the copy I had printed out a while's since been caught. Kind of a shame that such a useful books has so many errors.

Anyway, our daughter saw these in progress and coveted them - they're going in her stocking and the Kisses and Hugs pair I made a while back are going to a friend.

And now I'm done with mittens for now.

A Big Trip to The Frog Pond

Remember a while back in August when my mom asked me to knit her a sweater? It was the Elizabeth Cardigan and I was using some Classic Elite Premiere. The pattern is knit from sleeve to sleeve sideways which really doesn't allow for trying on. I also adapted the pattern to pick up and knit the collar on it like you do with a Mondo Cable Cardigan.

Well, when it was finally ready I tried it on and HATED it. I blocked the hell out of it and it still sagged and drooped and pulled and was entirely too short for my mom. So I emailed her this picture which showed the string hanging out to unravel it. She agreed that it wasn't the right length and cracked up when I told her I had put it in a time out.

This past Sunday while in a cranky mood I pulled the whole thing out - I think it made my mood worse and I determined next time I frog a project I should be in a good mood. The last shot shows the ramen noodles waiting for a soak before figuring out what next. Hmmmm...what should I knit with this - she wants a cardigan. I am open to is dk weight and I have 1400 yards.

December 9, 2011

Mini Knits Resources

Beverly left a comment asking where I got all my mini-patterns here goes:

Mini - Mittens is a free pattern - Ravelry link and other link.
Mini - Stockings is another free pattern - Ravelry link and other link.
Mini - Christmas lights is a $7.99 Knit Picks download which includes a lot of Christmas knitting projects - Ravelry link and other link.
Mini - Sweaters is a free Berroco pattern called Minutia - I also started inventing my own after a while.

Major Knitter has gotten the mini craze as well - here are her wonderful mini-sweater wreaths.

I also notice Cosmicpluto was working on minis - I'm hoping she'll share her Santa hat pattern.

Have fun with these - they are great for using up old odds and ends of yarn.

December 7, 2011

Secret Santa Gift

This year I was asked to join in the holiday lunch and Secret Santa exchange for the 6th grade teaching staff - I was tickled as even though I'm a substitute teacher I do very much feel like one of the gang. I drew the name of a woman who is having her first baby - she taught our daughter so something special was in the works.

After consulting stash ($10 limit and limited family budget sends one stash diving) and found some old Lorna's Laces Shepherd superwash. Hit Ravelry and found this hat pattern in One Skein and this free bootie pattern online. Done! And so was the gift - started on Saturday and done on Monday. I think they are adorable!

December 6, 2011

Decorating Done!

We picked our tree and wreath up on Sunday and after decorating the tree, I selected some of my handmade ornaments to decorate the wreath. This year's features the handknit Christmas lights, mini-sweaters, mini-stockings and one pair of mini-mittens.

While we were shopping for the wreath, I commented that I need a new bow but haven't found one I like. To that my family responded that I should knit a bow. When I put my tired 15 year old bow on the wreath I thought about it some more...then I went on Ravelry and found a bow pattern. Stay tuned - if I can power through 21 plus inches of moss stitch we might have a bow. I'm not holding my breath.

November 30, 2011

A Step Further...

I decided the mini-mittens could have a whole new level of cute...I took them a step further and personalized them for my sister's kids. Here they are with their initials - now they have their own personal ornaments.

November 14, 2011

Mini Madness

I graduated from mini stockings to mini mittens - these are fun to knit up, take very little time and really are adorable. Of course, my whole family thinks I'm a little nuts. I think I'm clever! It's a free pattern and it uses up old scraps of yarn. I love how I can use a yarn and reminisce about what I made with it originally...

November 11, 2011

When In Doubt - Make More Stockings

When the October snowstorm hit, I had some knitting time but was at an impasse on some other projects. I rooted around in my knitting closet and found a bag with the materials to make mini Christmas stockings. So, I reacquainted myself with the pattern and cast on. Here's what I accomplished in a few days...I've decided for this year's unplanned frugal Christmas (usually I am frugal but this year we won't even be doing Christmas cards) I'm going to use them to decorate a wreath to give to my MIL for her December birthday. Not the most exciting gift but handmade and done with love...and affordable.

I won't have much knitting to show for a while...this injury to my wrist has really sidelined my knitting - I think I've done perhaps 4 rows on a lengthwise scarf in the past week. So frustrating for me as knitting is my peaceful salvation and I really need it right now more than ever.

November 5, 2011

The Aunt Hits The Mark Again

My sister emailed me this photo of my niece on her 8th birthday - the sweater fit perfectly and it was immediately accessorized with some "pearls". How perfect! Don't you just love when you make something for someone and it is loved?

November 4, 2011

Lots to Tell - The Good, Bad and Ugly

Well, it has been an interesting week here in our corner of the Northeast. I'll try not to belabor it too much but I will tell you it has affected my knitting. I was wide awake from 3-4am today and had a clever post all written in my head - I don't know that now at 9:40 I'll be able to replicate it.

First of all - I finished this Corrugated Capelet - they must have liked my version as it is now one of the featured photos on the Ravelry page. I made it out of Ecological Wool which I dyed a few weeks ago - LOVE it and love color. My father took one look at it and told my mother it looked like I was wearing a fitted you need to know that when my mom first met my dad he was wearing a striped polo shirt and madras shorts at the same time...enough said. Okay that's "the good".

The "bad" hit on Friday afternoon when my husband came home unusually early which sent of alarms in my head. His company was recently acquired and he was told that he was no longer needed as all the marketing would be handled out their Chicago office. No warning, no severance - nothing - don't let the door hit you on the way out. It's hard to be happy and optimistic in this current economy with 2 college tuition bills looming in the future. I just don't have words or a picture so we 'll cut to a cute dog shot.

The October Snowstorm hit on Saturday - it hit fast and furious and really did a huge amount of damage to our home state of Connecticut. We went out mid-storm to get the snow off the branches as best possible and our sweet dog decided it was a good time to lie down in the snow (she does have a bit of Chow in her). We were one of the lucky 50% in our town that did not lose power - I maintain the guy upstairs new that with our Friday fiasco it was the last thing we could handle.

This is just one of the 4 trees on our property that came crashing down. Our Japanese Maple took quite a hit too but survived. On Sunday morning, we had to spend 2 hours clearing our driveway just so the plow could get in. Okay - here's the "ugly" - there was a large dangling limb on a tree (8 inches in diameter easily). I went to pull it down and didn't move fast enough and it slammed into might right forearm. After trying not to pass out from the pain, I got back to work.

Monday morning dawned and I was on the phone with the doctor (making the most of the few months of insurance we have left before they cut that too). Xrays were ordered and showed up negative. No school Monday or Tuesday but I worked on Wednesday and by Thursday morning the pain was still so bad I couldn't do anything - tears ensued, knitting had halted...not good.

Net/net I was sent to a orthopedic hand specialist who quickly diagnosed "intersection syndrome" where the tendons start grating on each other. You could almost hear them grate. A cortisone shot and a wrist brace have made the pain go away and gentle knitting can begin. Unfortunately the brace has the DREADED Velcro so no hand knits can be worn right now. But this too shall pass. He said this could be from repetitive motions and I admitted I'm "an obsessive knitter" but he deemed it was the accident and not the obsession that cause this.

So for now I'm glad to be free of pain and in a warm home - as for the "bad" only time and patience will take care of that.

October 26, 2011

Took Me Long Enough To Sew On ONE Button

I finished this on October 11th according to my Ravelry project page. It is Harvest Moon knit in Berroco Blackstone Tweed (delightfully soft but not a strong yarn). I had a small pile of buttons to choose from and then I finally conferred with Miss America (who has a huge button fetish) and we decided on one. I sewed it on (with a thread I thought would be right and in the light of day I know I'll be redoing it) and wore it to teach today. I love this sweater! Unfortunately, the navy keeps you from seeing the great details on the pockets and collar. That's okay - I know they are there.

October 22, 2011

Another Addicting Knit

I've been teaching a lot lately and when the kids are reading/working on packets I need something that is great auto-pilot knitting. My other projects require some serious attention so I cast on for another Scrappy Lengthwise Scarf. This is such an addicting knit. I used leftover Cascade 220, Blackstone Tweed, Wool of the Andes and Brown Sheep Lambs Pride - the colors were so fun to work with and I found myself saying "Just One More Row, Please".

October 13, 2011

14 Years Ago

It was 14 years ago our daughter graced us with her presence. I wish I was knitting for her when she was a baby as I would have had so much fun with it. I'm glad now she shares the love of fiber and buttons and color and design. She makes our home and lives a sunnier place - Happy Birthday, Miss America!

October 7, 2011

Dyeing not Dying

This past Wednesday I finally got to join knitting group not to knit but to dye yarn/wool. Michelle kindly hosted the group and I couldn't wait. I called my husband and told him I'd be "dyeing this morning" which over the phone could sound like "dying this morning". Of course, I clarifyed what I would really be doing. Funny thing is the emails after the dyeing event were titled dying which prompted Jennifer (who unfortunately was sick and missed the event) to send out dictionary definitions and spelling.

But I are some photos from the event. We started with colors - Michelle had an amazing array of dyes.

Here's my Cascade Ecological Wool soaking in vinegar and water - it's joined by some of Michelle's roving.

Lisa and I are working on getting two shades of the same blue - one just a bit darker. Unfortunately, all the agitating of the yarn over low heat ended up felting her yarn. Lesson learned the hard way. The colors, however, were amazing!

Here are some of the finished yarns. The divine purple one was done by Joan...she and I mixed together 4 or 5 dyes to come up with the colorway.

Here's my finished color...not what I intended but I'm happy with it. I just barely avoided felting the yarn so I'll wind it up and start something.