Monday, December 13, 2010

Drum Roll, Please!

It's finished and I really love the way it turned out!  Even though I thought I was making it smaller that some of the other stockings I've knit using this particular pattern, when I put it up against the one I made for my husband it was only about 2" shorter which isn't a whole lot on a stocking.  However, that just means good news for our sweet little Connor, since he'll continue to get more in it each and every year, so that's a good thing which he'll love but his parents might raise their eyebrows now and then. :) 

Below is a picture of our trimmed tree which I thought you might like to see.  I made most of the ornaments on it including the white popcorn garland which is crocheted.  I've always been partial to it since it makes the tree come alive, so to speak.

I think though, that I may begin another (can you believe it) stocking for person unnamed since they may read the blog now and then, using a different pattern this time.  I have one from years ago that I got from my 'then' local yarn shop and it's knit in garter stitch holding two yarns together and the finished product is really quite lovely looking.  I knit one for my mother years ago and she still hangs it up every Christmas season......I should take a picture of it the next time I'm over her house and post it here for you to see.

Also, I want to begin something in (dare I say, it) crochet!  I've missed my crochet craft lately and haven't done much in the venue, but that's soon to change.  I'm thinking, perhaps a baby blanket, but not sure just yet so I'll keep you posted.  In the meantime, I wish all of my faithful (even though few) readers out there, a blessed Christmas filled with love, good health, peace, and much joy for all of you!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Knitting Mojo

I seem to have temporarily misplaced my knitting mojo!  The only 2 things I'm currently knitting are this Christmas stocking for my sweet little grandson, Connor, and a pair of socks in the earliest of stages, the cuff.  As for the stocking, I'm into the red section now and going to put in a Christmas tree in green and then begin the foot.  However, I'm not  totally satisfied with my color carrying across the back of the Santa.  For some reason, it's puckering and I honestly don't know why.....I was careful not to pull the strands too tightly but there you have it.  Hopefully, on the tree, things will look smoother and more like my usual color work, which by the way, I carry on bobbins behind the knitting.   I will post the finished stocking as soon as it's completed which at the rate I'm going, will no doubt be Christmas Eve !

This yarn is lovely to knit's Claudia's Handpainted fingering weight merino and it's very like one of my favorite sock yarns, Koigu Merino.  This yarn flows smoothly along and knits up with a sort of loftiness and has a soft, squishy feel to it once you complete some rows.  I really like it and I'm glad I bought 2 other colors for a future pair of foot indulgence.  

Otherwise, there has been nada on the needles (or hooks) and that's fairly unusual for me.  I hope to get back into the groove now the it's finally (please, God) cooling down.  Those of you who read my blog with any regularity, know that I love the cool and downright cold weather so bring it on!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's a Wrap

The socks are finally complete.....ready for gifting with a month to spare!  I am glad they're done since I didn't particularly enjoy knitting with this yarn.  However, I do like the way they feel now that they are completed and I hope they hold up as well as I think they will.

I've been trying to post a picture but since Flickr has changed their photo pages it's a major mess!  The urls don't work and it's so much harder to get from 'here' to 'there' so I am giving serious thought to ending my 2 year association with Flickr when my subscription comes time to renew.  These people think that everyone is a computer wizard and ease of use along with good, clear instructions, are not something they concern themselves with.
The only way this picture is showing up now is through Picassa 3 but it's not easy to put in here because I have to go through a variety of steps and it's time consuming.  However, for now, this seems to be the only way that I can put a picture in and have the ability to control the size of it at the same time.

Now, I am working on a Christmas stocking for my newest little grandson, Connor.  Still too soon to post any pics but hopefully soon, and by the time I do I hope the Flickr situation has resolved itself, but I'm not holding my breath, LOL.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Down, One To Go!

 At long last, it's sock number One which seemed to take forever on size 2 dpns, no less!  However, I knitted it with patience and love, trying to keep in mind that these are going to be gifted to a very special someone whose name cannot be revealed because he/or she may be reading my blog one of these fine days, LOL.

I've decided to knit the second sock using 2 circulars and see if they take as long......I do love dpns (one of the few, I guess) but since I'm no longer intimidated by socks on circulars, I'll see how it goes and report back once I post a picture of the completed 'pair'.

I've also started a Norwegian color pullover for one of my grandsons for Christmas (yes, I've begun early, knowing my past 'rush-rush' deadlines).  I will be following EZ's directions from her Knitting Workshop which by the way is available at Schoolhouse Press.  I love this book and the great patterns in it which aren't always fully explained to a dyed in the wool (pardon the pun), line by line dependent knitter such as myself.  However, EZ always strove to empower knitters to think things through on their own to a certain extent.  When this fails me, I call Schoolhouse Press and ask away.  They are all so helpful there that my questions are soon answered.

I've also just begun a Christmas stocking for my newest grandson and I'm using Meg Swansen's 'Eli's Stocking' pattern, available at SP also.  I am tweaking the pattern a bit though, starting out with the basic knit 2, purl 2, ribbing followed by a plain section for the name.  I'm using the 2 ply jumper weight, Jamieson & Smith yarn available at SP as well.  Right now there's not enough progress for a picture but as soon as there is something to see, I'll post it here.

 The weather here has been extremely hot but even so, with much watering, I leave you with a couple of colorful, lovely pictures to brighten your day.

Monday, June 14, 2010

IT'S A BOY!!!!!

The big day has arrived and at 8:09 a.m. this morning our darling little grandson was born weighing in at 7 lbs., 7 oz., and 19-1/4" long and so beautiful!  I thank God for his health and the blessing he is and will be to our entire family!

As you can see, I finished up the Baby Surprise Jacket in time and I'm loving how it turned out.  I decided to add a collar since to me this really finishes this awesome pattern.  By the way, as I mentioned in an earlier post, this pattern is available from Schoolhouse Press and was created by Elizabeth Zimmermann, an artist of the knitting world.  To create a pattern that comes together like this one does is nothing less than sheer genius.  I had the great pleasure of speaking with Meg Swansen, EZ's daughter, last Thursday and what a treat it was.  Not only is she so multi-talented, but she is down to earth and lovely to speak with so it was truly my treat!

I am currently finishing up a baby cap to go with it using the green and white colors and employing stockinette and garter stitch and I will put a little I-cord beanie type loop on top.  When I finish, I'll post a picture so until then, knit on  and may many blessings come your way until we meet again.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm All Set!

 Well, it's official......the baby ripple blanket is complete and in plenty of time for the new little bundle's arrival.  I am very happy with it and I'm especially thrilled with the way the sides turned out as well.  I decided on a row of single crochet along each side and then a row of reverse single crochet (also known as crab stitch) which gave the finished blanket a nice substantial feel when gripping it, and yet, went with the entire look of the pattern itself.   It measures approximately 32" wide by 36" long so it's a nice size for the wee one to be wrapped in and snuggled in by his or her, Mimi (that's me, naturally). :)

I've also begun a Baby Surprise Jacket (sweater, actually) from The Opinionated Knitter (EZ) which is not only a big surprise when completed but a work of art also.  Elizabeth Zimmermann was a true knitting wizard in every sense of the word and her creations will always be as fresh and vital as they were when she 'unvented' them.  The knitting world misses her still but at least we are gifted with her daughter, the wonderful Meg Swansen who is multi-talented and a joy to speak with, if you're lucky enough to reach her on the phone when calling to order from Schoolhouse Press.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Blankets & Socks

Here are a couple of pictures to show you what I've been working on for the past month or so.  The first one is my progress on the baby blanket I'm crocheting for my yet to be born grandchild and since we don't know whether it's a boy or a girl, I'm taking no chances.....I'm making one for each, this one for a baby boy, thinking that the one that's not given will be given at some time in the future to one of my future grandchildren, so how can I lose.   I'm using the Fall Hedgerows pattern from Jan Eaton's book, 200 Ripple Stiches and a size H hook.

The next picture is the one I crocheted for a baby girl which seems to be everyone's guess (except mine) .  Either way, the little one will be most welcomed and loved by all of us.
I know that there's blue in this one also but the fact that there is pink which is jumping out at you prevents this one being for a son is a man's man and will want no pink whatsoever in his baby boy's blanket (if in fact, that's what he and his wife are having).

I'm also knitting a pair of socks using Plymouth's Sassy Stripes Superwash yarn for the first time in a combination of varying shades of blue.  I hope this yarn holds up as well as my Regia and my Opal yarn socks always do, but time will tell.  I'm using size 2 dpns which even though I can knit socks using one or two circular needles, seems to be my needles of choice.  I find that the knitting process for me, at least, goes much quicker using dpns.
I think I better start working at least 6 rows on the baby blanket everyday because I may need it earlier than anticipated (can't say why since both Mom & Dad may read this) so that I will have it finished at least a month or more ahead of time.  When I complete it, I'll edge it and post a finished picture here for your perusal.  Until then, have a wonderful weekend and good knitting (and crocheting, of course)!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Projects Completed & In Progress

 I completed the above hat for my son, Matt, and he loved thing, it will be very warm and he'll really like that when the wind is howling and he's got to shovel snow, which we've been having in abundance, or when he has to walk Mojo, his sweet little chihuahua.  I used Green Mt. Green from Green Mt. Spinnery and a size 7 circular needle till I got close to the top and then switched to dpns.  I used Jared Flood's Turn a Square hat pattern for my number to cast on and for the decreases at the top, but alas, forgot to take a picture of the completed hat in my rush to gift this to him while old man winter was still in town. 


 This is the first ten rows or so of the baby blanket I'm crocheting for my yet to be born grandchild due in late June, early July.  It's Encore in a baby blue and is more vivid in color than this picture actually shows.  I'm adding two other colors to it, white, and a Williamsburg blue so obviously this is the blanket the little one will receive if it's a boy.....I already crocheted a ripple blanket for a girl and put it away last year......yes, every once in awhile, I'm ahead of the game and it's a good feeling.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Already Gave In!

Wow, my yarn fast didn't last very long, to say the least, but I DO have a very good reason for caving in on my New Year's resolution. As I mentioned in my previous post, my wonderful local yarn shop closed it's doors on Wednesday, January 27 and I made it a point to stop in on Tuesday, the 26th, to say my goodbyes. Jackie was having a 50 % off sale and there were 2 yarns I just couldn't resist at that price. One was Cascade 220 superwash and the other Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I do have many projects lined up for my little grandchildren, all of whom deserve the best, so between that justification and wanting to give Jackie just one more sale, I caved in, but I promised myself and now I'm promising my readers, that was it....NO MORE.

I completed Anna's socks but I'm amazed by the color flow of this yarn. I attempted to begin the second sock around the same place in the color as the first sock, but it turned out completely different (and I do mean completely, as you can readily see) from the first one. The good news is that my sweet Anna won't give a hoot whether or not they match as long as they fit her and keep her tootsies warm and toasty. I can't wait to see her smiles as she flashes one adorable dimple and that makes any knitting I do worth every moment I spend doing it.

I've also begun a Christmas stocking using Jamieson & Smith jumperweight wool for the very first time. I'm used to knitting stockings with acrylics or wool blends in worsted weight. This is a sport weight, I think, at least that's what it feels like to me, but one thing I've noticed after only 5 rows is that using a thinner yarn makes it much easier to do the color stranding necessary. I think I'm going to rip it out and begin again though because the top is rolling under with a vengeance so I think maybe I do an inch or so of stockinette stitch and end with a purl row and then tack it under and then begin my colorwork. When there is enough progress to show you, I will take a picture and post it here. I'm using Meg Swansen's pattern, Eli's Stocking, from Schoolhouse Press .

I think I'll be starting another ripple baby blanket for my youngest's baby due in early July. I already crocheted one using multi-colored yarn but it's more suited to a girl, so to be on the safe side, I'm crocheting this one using baby blue and white Encore yarn which is 75% acrylic and 25% wool and can be thrown in the washer, etc. which I know the new parents to be will like.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Brand New Year

It's official....2010 is here already! I'm continually amazed by the speed of one year to the next and I've been trying to become more aware of living in the moment and enjoying all the moments as they present themselves because who knows what time and fate may have in store. I think that we've all become so results oriented that we rush through each day never savoring the little things that happen which wind up meaning so much. Even as I type this post, I find myself thinking in my old familiar pattern of 'what I need to do when I'm finished' instead of what I'm doing right here and now. Staying constantly busy and multitasking is highly valued in our country and although there is a time and place for it, it shouldn't be our primary way of thinking, at least not as far as I'm concerned. However, habits are hard to break and need constant attention and vigilance to break their hold on you. I"m going to try my very best in this new year to live in the moment and only in that particular moment without thinking much I've missed always thinking that way, so I'm on to a new awareness.

Now, here are two sweetie pies who REALLY know how to enjoy each and every moment to the fullest as they sun themselves and love every minute of it. :)

On the knitting front, I have decided to go on a total yarn fast for the entire year and see how well I do. Yes, you read it right.....I'm buying NO more yarn this year (I'm knitting, just not purchasing) as I do not need one more skein of anything in order to knit all year long solely from my stash. I have begun a pair of Lorna's Laces socks for my 3 year old granddaughter, Anna and hope to start a sweater for my grandson, Johnathan soon after. I'm not sure which yarn I'll choose from my ample stash but I have many choices.

On Ravelry there is a post called ''Going Cold Sheep'' which addresses resisting the urge to buy even more yarn. So many fellow Ravelers have responded that they would love to give it a try for this year, and while we all have good intentions, we'll have to wait and see if we can resist. I just can't justify anymore yarn purchases and since my wonderful local yarn shop is closing it's doors the end of this month (boo-hoo), it will be easier for me to stick to this. I will miss the owner, Jackie, though, who is such a great person with a wonderful personality. I wish her much happiness and good fortune in the future, which reminds me to wish each of you, dear readers, every joy, health, and happiness in our new year, 2010!