Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Belated News of Baby Boy's Arrival (and subsequent wearing of handknits)

Grandbaby boy arrived in August! Seen here on his very first Halloween wearing the pumpkin hat I knit and blogged about earlier in the year. (I know, I know, there have been no blog posts for MONTHS!).
We spent Thanksgiving with this adorable little one, his little cousin and oh yes, their parents. What a delight little boys are!
The little peanut did arrive with handknits nearby.
Amazing to think they no longer fit, just a few short months later.
I hate to ruin this delightful baby boy post with the news that there has been NO Christmas knitting whatsoever. None. The days have suddenly become very short and dark and this whole Christmas season crept up on me.
Am not going to stress myself out with Christmas knits this year.
Apologies extended.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Boy, Oh Boy! (FOs)

For the little boy who will arrive at the end of summer, there are warm knits for cool fall nights and early winter. More knits will of course need to be made for winter, as he will pass the three month stage of my knitting pattern.
This adorable little sweater is the 5 Hour Sweater for Baby Boy pattern, by Gail Bable. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted in dark blue, and Bernat Cottontots in light blue. I experimented with adding the color right before the increase rows to get the little dots of light blue peeking through (from the knit back portion of the increase stitch). I added color on the wrong row to get the little ridge of color and then added a few rows on right side (before kfb) to get a more solid line of baby blue). The "Little Lamb" buttons I found at Joann's Fabrics and bought before I even had a pattern to make. Do you do that? Buy buttons without having something knit on which to attach them? I do! Upside Down Daisy from Itty Bitty Knits by Susan B. Anderson. Tried to use colors that wouldn't be so "girly". I actually knit this before the sweater, and decided to give it a matching sweater that was a little more boyish to justify placing a flowerdy hat on a baby boy. (Again, Lion Brand Wool-Ease and Cottontots.)
My i-cord stem got an extra stitch in there somehow, and so it gets a tad bit wider toward the top. Still cute! Didn't realize it until I'd cast off and posed the itty bitty little hat, but decided it wasn't that noticeable and that I would leave it as it is.
The last pumpkin head hat I knit was so freakin' cute, that I figured this little man is going to need a pumpkin head hat too! I believe I used Caron Simply Soft for this hat (yarn band gone from stash). These little grandbaby boys will have loads of hand knit hats, as Grandma S. has a large, large stash of washable yarn in assorted colors!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Le Tour de San (Diego)

In the spirit of le Tour de France, I'm posting my newest love: beach cruiser bicycles. When we arrived at our hotel in San Diego on Mission Bay, our hotel offered bicycle rentals. We immediately rented and hopped on. I fell in love! See the smile on my face?
One speed leisure cruising along Mission Bay's boardwalk. We rode to the ocean (though must admit the man and I walked our bikes up over the bridge). Is it possible to be bicycle smitten? Yes, I am here to tell you, it is! I didn't want to get off of my bike and park it for the night. Though it was a bit chilly by the ocean, I merely purchased a sweatshirt and kept right on riding. When the man asked me how much I liked them, I told him that if the flight home were not a consideration, I would be purchasing one, and that I would most definitely be asking Santa to bring me a beach cruiser come Christmas. He pointed out that internet purchases were all fine and good, but that it wouldn't be from San Diego, where this particular love affair began. How right he was! Definitely, I needed a true San Diego beach cruiser, and here she is, all girly and laid back. She brings a bit of the beach air to my Midwestern town. I've big plans for this girl. White wall tires, pink basket, flowery bicycle bell, pink hand grips with pink and white streamers. Why, I might even clothespin some playing cards in the tires! Isn't she lovely? Le Tour de Ms. Fancy Pants!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lack of Blogging Does Not Equal Lack of Knitting

Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono
from Mason Dixon Knitting. Used 1.5 skeins of Lily Sugar 'n Cream in camouflage. I ran this adorable baby blue ribbon with brown dots through the eyelets resulting from yarn over increases along the neckline. I went ahead and ran the ribbon across the inside back neck and back down the other front. On kimonos I've made in the past, I've used buttons, but this time I used the ribbon to tie the kimono shut both on the inside and the outside. I believe it came out heartbreakingly cute, as promised by the title of the pattern.
Ribbon tie, and color detail: Inside of back neck:
I return from a blog vacation. The last few weeks of school were just generally hectic, and immediately following the release of school, we went on a fabulous family vacation, the three of us, to San Diego. It was a wonderful time. We ran from sun-up to sun-down (and past) and came home exhausted, just as it should be when one is vacationing.
There was little knitting the final weeks of school and first weeks of summer break, but I'm back on it! There is another finished object, but the parents-to-be have not yet received it, so I'm reluctant to post pics. The above baby knit was sent on the the anticipating parents as a baby knitting teaser, thus the posting of these pictures. However, there is more knitting for the same recipients, so my pictures may not come forth for awhile. These knits are for babies so stay tuned for the typical, adorable baby knit pictures to come.
p.s. my knitting went on vacation with me, but did not make it to the beach, nor into my fingers. Ah well, at least they can say they've been to California.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

So Warm!

Yarn Swap Part Three - It's Finished and It's Warm!
The Chickadee Cowl from throughtheloops was my chosen project for my yarn swap skein. It's knit entirely in linen stitch, so the fabric is very dense. No cold air is coming through this thing. Six inches seemed short to me, but look at how high up it reaches. I will be one warm chickadee! It very nearly covers my ears! My fabric is not as drapey as throughtheloops', but I knit it very tightly. I'm sure I could make it relax with some blocking (we knitters can make fabric do anything we perceive possible with a little bit of blocking, no?) The reverse side is fun too. The stitches are bobbly and show off splashes of color. The linen stitch side (right side) displays a more muted blend of colors, given the tight weave. How fun is this as an accessory? Pull it over a bit and it becomes a nice warm cowl collar! Even more and it can be worn indoors to compliment a lovely blouse or long-sleeved t-shirt!
The roll over can display the linen stitch or the reverse fabric bobbly looking stitches.
What fun! I loved my yarn swap challenge. Well, now I need a verdict from my swapper, Voie de Vie, and you as well. Check out her blog site. Someone who would send off such a lovely skein (3 actually) of this yarn has fabulous inspirational projects of her own.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Voie de Vie: thank you so much for the fun and challenging project! Your yarn swap choice was excellent. Should I have never received this, Chickadee would have remained in my queue for years! I just don't get around to making myself winter wooly warmies! (too busy doing gifts)
And now, it's back to stealth knitting.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Yarn Swap Part Deux, (or Why I Sent the Skein I Did) My ravelry yarn swap recipient, pinkundine, received her skein of yarn from me. She sent me a lovely message indicating that the color choice was a good one for her. I am glad. I waited eagerly to see if my swap choice was a success or failure. Like every other prudent knitter, I always purchase extra yardage when beginning a project. I always have a skein (or two) left over from my project, and I never return them to the yarn store. They just get added to the stash. There are plans in my head for baby sweaters and accessories... I chose to send a bluey/purpley tweedy wool that was leftover from my Wicked sweater. It was girly enough, wool was practical enough, and there was enough yardage to create an accessory. It's hard to imagine an accessory for someone when you don't know the color of their winter coat, or if they require a winter coat, but it did seem like it would appeal to a person of the female persuasion. It would likely languish in my stash for years, as we keep have grand boybabies. I can't wait to see what she makes of it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yarn Swap Arrives!

My Ravelry blogger yarn swap package has arrived! The swap is for stash only, one skein leftover from a project. My yarn swapper actually included three skeins of the following with a note to let me know why she felt that those three were actually one. I admired them, put them in a lovely bowl, and for a few brief seconds, contemplated what they would become.It was only a few brief seconds because I remembered a little project I was coveting for myself. A little piece of warmth. This would be perfect! It has begun, thus only two skeins in the bowl. The third is on the needles. Project underway! Feels fabulous to knit for myself as I'm doing lots of gift/stealth knitting right now. Thank you Denise. Can't wait for you to see what this becomes!
Check out this lovely gift blogger Denise.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The ABCs of Knitting - B is for...

Big Beautiful Ball of Bear Creek Bulky in Blackberry:
which plans to be this hat.
Baby Boy (stealth knitting): Back-up Bag (alternative knitting project). Bring it on! (ravelry queue!) For more of the ABCs of knitting, check out these projects for B is for....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Swinging in the Apple Tree

This week I traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to attend the burial services for my mummu, who passed away this past February. All of her children were there as well as many grandchildren. It was quite a gathering. The last time the family all gathered was 20 years ago. While there, I met my eldest aunt and her children, whom I had never met before. If you remember from a previous post, the family is scattered throughout the United States and get-togethers were difficult and rarely coordinated. Let me tell you, it was a wonder to be together again! At meals and for visiting, we would cluster together and the stories would fly, and laughter was abundant, and our jaws ached from the smiling and laughing. What a remarkable family we are. Every which direction you turned, there was a conversation to hop into, a smiling, welcoming face, the same sharp witted humor in each of us. The air buzzed with our energy. It was very nearly a palpable thing. Not all of the grandchildren were able to attend, and I believe if we all had, that the family energy would have been visible from space! (captured on satellite: the Great Wall of China, The Las Vegas Strip and the J++++ family gathering).
Not everyone "gets" or appreciates my sense of humor, so it was remarkable to be in a room where not only did everyone "get" me, but everyone had and expressed the same sense of humor. It was an amazing few days being with my family. I was very nearly high at the experience of love and belonging and connectedness.
I am known for my sense of humor and goofy nature, my quick wit, my devil-may-care attitude, my easy-going, fun-loving spirit. A few years ago, a colleague of mine met my parents and after spending time with my father and me she commented that "the apple didn't fall too far from the tree". Ladies and gentlemen: I spent the week swinging in the apple tree!
The picture below is of the siblings, less their parents, from the picture opening this post.
A fine looking clan, don't you agree?
I vow to not wait another 20 years to connect with family. Even if mummu's longevity is passed on to all, it is too long to wait to be together; to be in touch. Phone numbers, email and residence addresses were shared, and I plan to use them. So if you are family, and if you are reading this, consider yourself warned!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday

These I am calling Pour Mama chausettes. For some reason, I am naming my socks in French. The goal is to finish these by Mother's Day. I am using Kroy FX Socks yarn. I really like the colorway, but the yarn feels a bit scratchy as it knits through my fingers. It is machine washable, so keeping my fingers crossed that it softens up for my mom's feet. My double pointed needles are 16" so the needles are shorter. I am going to order longer ones, as the little ones are difficult for my fingers to manage. I am using a beaded rib pattern, after 2 inches of 2x2 ribbing for the cuff.

I am off on a field trip tomorrow with the kids. Three hour bus ride there, three hours back. Lots of knitting time. My class is a lovely group, they require no behavior management. They like to sit low in their seats and chat with one another. Couldn't ask for a better group of kids! Though it will be a LONG day, I'm sure we will have fun and I'm actually looking forward to some knitting time. Here's to hoping that the weather holds for us; we sure have had a rainy spring season here.

Figured I'd better post to WIP Wednesday, as FO Friday would be less often. I don't seem to knock a project off the needles that quickly!

For more lovely WIPs, check these out at Tami's blog

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Security Blanket

While driving to work today, I realized that my coffee table, not my tote bag, contained my current knitting project. Panic set in. I made it through the day, but interestingly enough, I thought about knitting more today than I do any other day. Add to the interest factor: I knit the same amount at work today that I do every day. Which is none.

If you are a knitter, do you carry your knitting when you know you will not have knitting time? Or is it just me?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend (including a FO)

A happy rider!
Easter Weekend 2011, we delivered the Xmas gifted riding lawnmower to its proud owner. We stored it for dad over the winter, as his shed is "down the hill" that is their back yard. As you can tell, he was pleased. I suspect that the minute we left Sunday afternoon, he skipped down the hill and was on it! While in the Quad Cities, we made a trip to Davenport, IA to see the level of flooding. We crossed over the flood on the skywalk to nowhere (it was initially built to provide entrance to a riverboat casino, but by the time it was completed, the riverboat had moved downriver). Oops. Still it has nice views, provides interior viewing and an exterior viewing deck, as well as stairs leading down on the other side. There was a patch of dry grass on the other side, where four of us posed (dad, me, mom, sister-in-law). While walking through the skywalk, we discovered that lovely sister-in-law has a fear of heights. She was a good sport and walked through with us (though she kept in the dead center and eyes straight ahead at all times!) Skywalk is visible in picture above.
We didn't see anyone crossing at that intersection! Black Widow Cowl (Spider and Web Lace Cowl) is off the needles, needing a good blocking and wardrobe being evaluated for proper wearing attire to accentuate this as an accessory. Only modification I made to the pattern was to omit the additional repeat of rows 1-5 on the web lace pattern. After blocking I will submit pictures for your approval. Happy belated Easter everyone! Hope yours was as Hoppy as ours!
(if you were curious, there is some stealth knitting going on, yes)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Clapotis Lamentis

Clapotis was rockin' on the needles. I am not a scarf knitter (I know, I used to not be a sock knitter), but this scarf I wanted. I scoured the projects of ravelry and decided upon sock yarn. I was knitting increases. It was a busy time and it didn't seem like loads of progress was being made, but progress was being made. Soon I started the straight rows. I got to the first drop stitch row. I dropped the stitch. It ran down. I helped it along. Lovely, lovely! Fun! Fun! Then I got to the next dropped stitch. I dropped the stitch. It ran down. I helped it along. It kept right on going! Yikes! The stabilizing stitch was one stitch away.
Hmmm. Two weeks was I into this scarf. This scarf I love, but am not a scarf knitter for. To frog or not to frog. That's a lot of fingering weight frogging. If I knotted the dropped stitch in this section, I could continue on my merry way and have one little tiny section (who would notice, really?) with a knotted spot. That's a lot of frogging. I continued on my merry way. Then it hit me. These stabilizing stitches are spaced. If one is off..... So I stopped and checked and yessir, indeedy, I believe they are off. Way early on, I goofed.
With tears in my eyes, I frogged Clapotis. 14 lovely inches of Clapotis. I cast back on but now only have one inch. So I did what any self-respecting frogger would do. I cast on a new project. A quickie that would boost my self-confidence, so that I could say "see, I'm a good knitter". That new project is called Spider and Web Lace Cowl. I'm using Knit Picks Felici in Chimney. Since it has dark gray, lighter grays (webby colors), black and a splash of red, my cowl will be named "Black Widow Cowl". I'm making good progress. No mistakes. Instant fix of knitter confidence.
Another good fix: the wearing of Shalom. The receiving of many compliments. You know you're a knitter when a cold front enters during the warmer days of spring and you think "Yes! I can wear that new knit today; it won't have to actually wait until next fall!"

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Fetching Good Knit! 2 FOs (2!)

Fetching, aren't they?
I started these Friday on the bus to wile away the transportation time of the field trip with my 5th graders. Knit the second of the pair on Sunday.
I love them!
Now I know what the fuss was about on Ravelry.
My modifications: I added 4 additional rows before the thumb, and added another cable repeat on the fingers. I based this on measurement, so my row gauge may have been off, as the pictures from the pattern and other projecters seem to hit at about the same spot on the fingers. I did not add a thumb gusset, but wishing I had. The thumb opening is not constricting or inhibiting, nor does it limit your range of motion, but you can certainly feel that there is no gusset. I might make my mom a pair of these for Easter. She has terrible arthritis in her fingers, which these won't keep warm, but at least her hands would be warm...?
Ok, that was just a weird sort of rationale to knit mom a girly pair of fetching, wasn't it?
The recently discovered macro setting on my camera shows a bit too much detail (the pasty, hairy arms!) Really, my arms do not resemble a gorilla's. Shalom is finished and ready to be blocked. It has met Boots' approval: Once blocked and buttoned, I will update pictures. As to the 2nd Annual Knitting Crochet Blog Week: I had a blast with that! Was great fun to wait for the inspiration on assignments and read everyone else's posts. "Met" many new blogs and their owners through the week. Received comments (which I look forward to, as do all bloggers, but rarely get). I am definitely in for next year! In fact, hoping another blog assignment pops up before then, as it was a fabulous way to connect with other knitter bloggers. I did not do my post assignments this weekend, but it was a busy busy weekend. We had a birthday party for grandbaby (his First!!) to attend. Temperatures soared yesterday, and we spent the day with many out-of-doors projects, including getting the golf cart out and about. And today, the weather has turned to crap again. No worries: we are on the downslide of winter and upslide of spring now, for which fetching, new, fingerless mitts are perfect. And now, Clapotis will hop onto my needles. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 1, 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different: 2AKCBWDay5

And now for something completely different. This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create. There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog. This can take one of many forms, but here a few suggestions:
  • Wordless, photographic post
  • Video blog post
  • Podcast
  • Cartoon/sketch of an idea
  • Write about a subject from a different perspective (for example, you could write about a day in the life of a knitted sock from the point of view of the sock).
  • Interpretive modern dance (why does someone always suggest this?
  • A poem or piece of rhyming verse
  • Stop motion animation

I think that I shall never see

A yarn as lovely as on my nee(dles)


Oh Yarn! My Yarn! Our fearful sweater is done;

Our needles have weather'd the project; the prize we sought is won;

The blocking is near, the bells I hear, the knitters all exulting;

While follow eyes the steady hand, the cabling grim and daring;

But oh heart! heart! heart!

Oh the bloody dropped stitches in red,

Where on the blocking board my Sweater lies,

Frogged cold and dead.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where Are They Now? 2AKCBWDay4

Whatever happened to your Cherry Garcia for Diane? Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.
It looked like this, but was black. Baby Alpaca Chunky. Wonderful to knit with, perfect yardage to produce a Cherry Garcia with 1 skein. A lovely, warm gift. I knit one of these for a friend, Diane, who is a sales representative and is in and out of her car all day during Northern Illinois winters. She was tickled, delighted. She had said something to the man, but had not dared ask me to knit her one (she had seen mine). There's nothing better than to knit something for an appreciative recipient, am I right?
A couple of weeks ago, Diane's car was broken into. She had some money in her car. She had valuable storage drives in view, expensive sunglasses on the dash. What did the thieves off with? The money and her handknit gift, which I called Licorice Garcia.
So it seems that even the unsavory characters among us are appreciative of fine wool and fine craftsmanship. (and yes, I will knit her another).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tidy Mind, Tidy Stitches 2KCBWDay3

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry. Tips: Many people use their blogs partly as an organisational tool – logging and cataloguing projects and newly attained skills, projects and modifications. Did you bare this in mind when you began blogging?
Yarn (dis)Organization/Wrangling
This bag travels with me everywhere:

Even to work, though I rarely knit at work. Can't leave home without it. It often contains more than one project. (Or the possibilities for such).
Contents: Options needle set, all knitting paraphernalia - scissors, tape measure, markers, etc., waste yarn, chapstick, hand lotion.
If I'm headed off to work and the current WIP is nearing completion, despite the fact that I don't have time to knit at work, unless illness warranting an ER visit, thus ER waiting room, ensues, I will make sure there is yarn and pattern available for project that I can start if I finish the one in progress. Twisted, eh?
Balled yarn waiting in shoe pocket:
Purchases on top of my clothes closet, still in shopping bags, or designated to project bags:
Purchased collapsible baskets holding some stash in another closet:
Hank draped over coat in coat closet waiting its turn to be balled (once balled it may end up in shoe pocket):
There is also a chest of drawers dedicated to stash yarn, as well as several plastic bins. If
Armageddon befalls us, I will have plenty of choices for knitting!
I do have a very organized system for books and needles, to which I strictly adhere. This wall of books contains all pattern books. There is a lovely turquoise vintage coffee pot with a bouquet of vintage straight needles on top of bookcase. All working needles are contained in specialized places and secured in personal closet. I once found a knitting needle on the patio table, having been left out overnight. The boys had pulled it for some such experiment that enters a boy's mind on a whim. Long talk ensued and importance of needles being designated use ONLY for knitting clarified and established. (though on occasion I use one to extract kitty toy from under dresser. If I pull a needle from that coffee pot, Heimo comes a'runnin'! He knows that a toy will be forthcoming soon.