December 31, 2012

What A Year!

This has been a roller coaster year dealing with my 50th birthday, a new job (thank God) for my husband, a huge move in our lives, hurricane Sandy devastation at my husband's family summer home in New Jersey and of course, lots of knitting.

This year's knitmeter total:

It's down from last year where I hit over 20,000 yards - however, I think I'll chalk that up to the huge move.

My favorite knits of the year???  Let's see...I think these 3 are my favorites:

Interesting that they all are things I knit for someone else.

Also, I put my toe in the designing pond - while I won't be retiring on the sales of my Just One More Hat and Just One More Mitten patterns, they have done better than I expected.  Now I need to get my designing mojo back and get knitting again.

As I do every year around this time, I question whether or not to continue this blog.  There are so many other ways to stay in the knitting world with Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest.  However, I do find this a therapeutic place for me at times.  I do pour my heart out here and find comfort in kind words and encouragement from you all.

I wish you a Happy New Year - 2012 is one that I don't care to repeat and I do hope the 2013 will be much kinder.  Happy New Year!

December 13, 2012

Now this is really MY Blanket

On Monday a package arrived from my friend Jennifer.  I emailed her to say I put it under the tree and told her I was very curious.  She then told me it was a gift from our knitting group in Connecticut.  So they arranged to Google+ hangout me into the weekly knitting group so I could open the gift with them.

Lo and behold, it was the most gorgeous blanket in my favorite blue.

We had made this same friendship blanket for another member of our group, Lisa, when she moved away.  It was so fun to receive a gift that I knew what it means to knit.  When you knit for someone you think about them and when I helped knit Lisa's blanket, I thought of her.  I now have a blanket that our group made while thinking of me.  It is beyond special and it is MY blanket.  I have already informed the whole family that only I get to use it.

Just this morning I was snuggling under it sipping my coffee.  I had to giggle as only Jennifer knows how cold our house is in the winter (we keep it at 56 during the day) so this blanket will be used a lot!
Here's her post on my opening the gift - had I known my gym clothes would have been on the blogosphere, I probably would have showered and looked a little nicer.

Today I'm off to my new knitting group - I miss my CT group every time I'm with this group.  Maybe one day they will grow to be as special as our CT group is...I kind of think the CT group is irreplaceable.

November 28, 2012

New Pattern For Little Hands

Presenting my newest pattern called Just One More Mitten.  After knitting the Just One More Hat pattern several times I realized that matching mittens would be wonderful.  So I devised a pattern for little hands just in time for some quick holiday knitting.  I will eventually add more sizes but I wanted to get this one out quickly.

If you do order it now, I will be sure to send you an updated pattern when I add more sizes (thank you Ravelry for that wonderful feature).

November 27, 2012

I Think I'm Done Now

As you've seen in past posts, I've made quite a few snowmen ornaments.  As of late I've cranked out another mini army of them.  Part of the reason is they are an easy go to pattern for me - I have memorized how to make them so I can just grab the needles and get started.  The other part of the reason is I needed some for Christmas gifties - perfect to take for small hostess gifts etc.  So here's my army of snowmen - I'm done now - at least for this year.

Stay tuned as I'm releasing a new pattern later today or tomorrow!

November 21, 2012

I Love Buttons - Just Not Sewing Them On

I finished this cardigan 2 weeks took me that long to put on the button band backing and 5 little buttons.  It's the Playful Stripes Cardigan by Alana Dakos - I love how this looks and hope to gift it to my great niece on Thanksgiving.  I just don't know if it will be too small for her or not...

November 20, 2012

Cari's Caps

When I posted my new hat pattern on Facebook, an old friend who I haven't seen in 16 years asked about the hat and if it was itchy.  She was asking because she has breast cancer and is undergoing chemo.  If you knew Cari and I said her name, the first thing that would come to mind is her gorgeous red hair.  She buzzed it down last week and and was thinking she needs hats to keep her head warm this winter.

So, I told her to pick out yarn colors which she did and I whipped up 3 hats for her....she texted me a picture of herself in the green one and she looked lovely.  She asked what she owed me and I told her absolutely nothing...just wear them in good health!

BTW - I used Knit Picks Brava Bulky for all 3 hats as they are washable and surprisingly soft for acrylic.

Just One More Hat

Slouchy Beehive Hat

The Republic Hat

November 14, 2012

Sunday Drive Designs

Every now and then one of those little sidebar ads on Ravelry catches my attention.  I was in need of tags for my hand knits and saw an ad for Sunday Drive Designs.  So I ordered some baby related tags and some more generic tags.  They arrived very quickly and the thing I love most about Etsy is the careful and personal packaging...sometimes even a bonus gift!

Go check out Sunday Drive Designs - Becky Morrette is the vendor.  Lovely products, nice packaging, and a personal touch of a hand-written thank you - what more can you ask for?
Here are the tags - I love the care instructions inside.

This is the personal touch that makes Etsy so nice.
A handwritten note and sample cards.

November 12, 2012

Just One More Hat

You might have noticed a new item on my sidebar.  I designed a new hat pattern, put it out to test in child sizes and then wrote it for adult sizes.  That too has been tested and I published it today - originally I called it Herringbone Hat but there were too many of that name and it really isn't a herringbone pattern.  So I named it "Just One More Hat" - you can never have too many and you might need just one more!

Check it out on Ravelry - it's a fast knit in bulky yarn.  One hat took me 4 1/2 hours.  Perfect for holiday gifts!

November 6, 2012

10 on Tuesday - 10 Things on My Mind Right Now

When I first saw this theme I thought there can't be 10 things on my mind but then I got to thinking and there definitely are 10 (or more) things.

1.  My husband's family home in New Jersey - we still haven't seen the interior damage yet.  I'm fearful everything on the first floor is trashed and we'll have to put everything curbside.

2.  Our home in CT - it is still without power and I worry for the family that is renting it.  When Irene hit, we lost power for 10 days but it wasn't freezing out like it is now.  Tomorrow will be day 10 - I hope they are using the fireplace and keeping warm enough.  I'm also worried about the tree damage and how the property looks now

3. The election - enough said.

4. A job interview I went on - I'm still waiting to see if I made the next cut.  I made the first cut and gave them references the day after Hurricane Sandy.  God bless all the people I contacted who responded in spite of power outages, etc.  It's a great opportunity and I'll tell more about it when I hear one way or another.

5. My husband and his jaw pain - he has trigeminal neuralgia - look it up.  It sucks and he's in terrible pain right now.  He's had it for 15+ years and it comes and goes.  Sadly, he's in a really bad bout.

6. What to bring to knit in the car this weekend while driving to NJ to see the damage to our home.

7. Our dog's trip to the vet tomorrow - she has this cyst on her side which isn't going away.  I hate taking her to the vet as she is very protective of herself and sometimes we have to sedate her to get anything done.

8. Collecting items to take to NJ for those in need - I've started bags of canned goods, blankets, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.

9. Choir practice - my new friend here in MA has convinced me to sing in the choir for the Christmas season.  I haven't sung in a choir since I was a teenager.  I'm nervous, wondering what I was thinking, but a little excited too.

10. This pattern which I've put out to test knit...wondering what price I should put on it - any suggestions?

November 2, 2012


This past week has been a crazy one for our family - while Hurricane Sandy didn't affect us too greatly here in Massachusetts, it has impacted our home in Connecticut and our home in NJ where my husband's family has had a place for over 75 years.

We had 15-18 trees fall around our house in CT...miraculously only 1 hit the house and it only hit a deck railing.  The local tree guys have told our tenants that it is the worst destruction they have seen on a single piece of property.  These photos don't even begin to show what happened.  Had the wind from a different direction, a whole stand of trees that fell would have hit our house.

Our house in NJ is situated between the Ocean and Barnegat Bay.  The water was up over the railing of the front porch.  It looks okay from the outside but we have yet to see the damage to the inside as there was 2 feet of water inside our neighbor's house and we're expecting the same for our home.  Our neighbor said their first floor is filled with sand, silt, mud and smell.

This is what it looks like down our street looking towards the ocean:

We can't get to the NJ house right now as we wouldn't be able to gas up to come home and we can't stay with any family or friends on the way back as they don't have power.  We hope in the next few weeks we can go down, have a good cry, and figure out what needs to happen.

It's sad for so many - there are so many who lost their homes entirely.  I feel lucky as things could have been so much worse.  I'm thankful for our neighbors in CT who brought over chainsaws and helped our tenants get out of the driveway.  I'm thankful for our neighbors in NJ who survived the storm and could keep us updated.  Tears have flowed a lot around here...sadness and joy and relief and frustration.

Thanks for listening and if you have a chance, reach out to someone who needs a hand...this storm leaves me speechless at times.

PS after seeing the Hurricane Sandy concert on NBC, have to add: You can also go to or call 1-800-HELPNOW, 1-800-435-7669.

October 26, 2012

I Won A Contest!

Remember when I went on the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl and I received a pack of mini-skeins from Island Yarn Company?  This pack:

Led to these ornaments:

Which led me to winning this skein of Pagoda Yarn in the Twilight colorway from Island Yarn Company!

550 yards of super wash merino/bamboo blend - oh, the possibilities.  If you haven't checked out the Island Yarn Company, do so - they have lovely fibers in amazing colorways.

October 21, 2012

I've Been Busy

A few weeks ago I saw a piece in the local paper about The Wayland Depot.  It's an old train station depot which sells local handcrafts.  They accept items for commission.  So I looked through my collection of handknits which had no home/recipient and went on Monday to see if they would accept my hand knits.

When I got there I only had 4-5 items including my Vardon Vest, a few shawlettes and one mini Christmas ornament.  When I wished aloud for a computer, one of the staff pulled out her husband's iPad and I taught them the glories of Ravelry.  When I showed them my Christmas Wreath, they fell in love with all my ornaments and asked for more.

So, I have been knitting up these mini-sweaters.  Next some stockings and more of the snowmen.  I don't expect to make lots of money doing this but it is fun to have a place for these to go.

October 16, 2012

Today's Housekeeping/Cleaning Tip

Pick your knitting up off the floor before you start vacuuming!

October 8, 2012

One Week Wonder

When my godsister asked for a sweater for her daughter, she also asked for one for her son.  This pattern is a free one called Mystery Sweater and I had a bit of adapting to do to get it to his size (around an 8).  I used Knit Picks Brava Bulky which was surprisingly soft for an acrylic yarn.   The second photo is truer to the color.

I call this a One Week Wonder as I started it on October 1st and finished it on October 7th.  This speed was helped not only by the bulky wool but also by a lot of car time this weekend...we went to NJ and back which gave me 10 hours of knitting time.  I'm off to the post office tomorrow!

October 6, 2012

More Mini Ornaments

When I received my package of mini skeins from Island Yarn Company, there was a contest for those who wanted to knit up their mini skeins and post them in their Ravelry group.  So mini skein to me meant mini-ornament...a sweater using their wild Combo Fibers and a mini hat.  I had some fun and maybe just maybe I'll win a prize??

October 3, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I've got a lot on the needles right now - at least it's a lot for me.

A while back I started the Cotton Reel Mittens which I'm making with Aslan Trends Santa Fe.  I'm almost done with the first mitten and have seemed to stall as I'm afraid I'll get second mitten syndrome.  I like how these are looking and am thinking of gifting them to my cousin who has been so helpful in our move here.

I'm also inventing some legwarmers for the same child who requested a sweater.  You can see she's in 1st grade with the pink and purple theme working.  Simple cast on of 52 stitches, 2x2 ribbing for an inch, increase 2 stitches every 2 inches, then I'll end with 2x2 ribbing.  One almost done and one to go.

I also cast on a blanket for some of the Ecological Wool I received for my birthday.  This is monotonous but easy to put down and pick up between knitting.  It is a free Cascade pattern.

And now I've cast on another sweater for my godsister's son.  It's called Mystery Sweater and we're using Knit Picks Brava Bulky in a lovely heathered gray.  No photos yet but soon enough.

Now you're caught up on my WIPs.

October 2, 2012

A Sweater and A Half

My godsister has requested some handknits for her kids which I am always willing to do as she pays for the yarn and I get to knit.  We chose the Libby sweater for her daughter.  She ordered Knit Picks Wool of the Andes as they have the best heathered colorways and she doesn't mind handwashing.  We chose Haze Heather as the main color and Icicle and Amethyst Heathers for the contrast color.

The pattern is written in a size 10 and her daughter is not a size 10.  She gave me measurements from one of her favorite sweaters and I got halfway up the front and realized it was too big. So, I ripped it out, adjusted my numbers and started again.  So for one sweater I've knit a sweater and a half.

Hopefully the next photo of this will be with her daughter's smiling face.

September 30, 2012

Mini Yarn Crawl

This weekend was the Greater Boston Yarn Crawl - it started on Friday and continues through today.  So in the pouring rain on Friday I made a mini yarn crawl and explored 2 yarn stores close by.

First I went to the Island Yarn Company in Waltham.  It's a small storefront in a strip mall and they dye their own yarns (in addition to carrying a lot of commercial yarns).  I fell in love with their colorways and found myself walking around holding skeins of yarn.  All of their yarns were 20% off - so don't look at anything else just their lovely dyed yarns.  I ended up with a skein of fingering single ply merino - I don't know the colorway name but that's okay it's lovely.

Then I received a free pattern and a bag of mini-skeins.  They have a contest where you can post things you knit with the mini-skeins...I see some fun mini-sweaters being made soon.

Then I found another store in Natick called the Iron Horse.  I was wary heading to Natick as it mostly is a mall/box store town.  But as I drove I found Natick Center which was lovely and this store was right off the town center.  It was a wonderful, welcoming store with an excellent variety of yarn brands.  They too were having a sale of 15% off yarns and 10% off books.

I picked up some Berroco Remix to make a baby sweater pattern I've had floating in my head.

And then I found a 50% off bin and couldn't resist this Fibre-Isle Pearl Bison in a lovely Cranberry Pearl colorway.  Each skein has 218 yards so I can get something lovely out of this...they were originally $25 each.  Got to love 2 skeins for the price of 1!

I'm tempted to go back out today and find some more bargains but I'm being prudent and staying home.  I love what I got and enjoyed finding two new stores to add to my repertoire.

Now I get to think about what to knit - unfortunately, I have so many things I'm working on right now that I can't start anything for a while.  I'll do a WIP Wednesday this week so you can see what I've been up to.