Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Years Eve!

On my fb page this past year I kept track of all of my knitting projects. I should have done that on my ravelry profile, but I'm slower there to input projects....but whatever (as my kids say).

My last project was a plain vanilla pair of socks, in anything but a plain vanilla color. While visiting my friend in England I was admiring this yarn in a shop and she mentioned that she really likes the zauberball yarn. I'd never knit with it, but have seen it in many shops. I liked this green color and decided to give it a shot. Looking at the yarn I couldn't decide if I wanted to knit it up with a fancy pattern, or just a quick plain sock to let the yarn shine, so to speak. I decided to let the yarn shine, and I'm glad that I did. The plain Jane is a quick knit, no pattern to worry about, no fuss for holiday visiting while knitting, just knit happily away. I am happy with the end result and think they will be a favorite in my wardrobe (of odd clothes and socks). In keeping with my plan to track everything I knit this year, I finished them up this morning....a mere 16 hours before we ring in the new year.

Here is a list of my year in knitting:
11 fish hats
1 pair slippers
1 brooch
3 cowls
2 felted bags
1 felted kindle case
5 shawls
1 doll shawl
2 scarves
1 baby hat
1 baby sweater
1 beret
5 1/2 pairs socks (I ripped out that 1/2 of a pair)
2 vests (one child sized one grown up sized)
1 doll sweater
and about 1/2 of a sweater for myself

Happy New Year. May 2012 bring wonderful things.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not so much holiday knitting

I'm not a toe up sock person. I've knit a couple of pair and find the fit to be odd. I've done an afterthought heel and a short row heel and this pair has a gusset heel. I do think that the fit is better with a gusset, but we'll see. Perhaps my thoughts are colored by the fact that I knit my socks from the top down.

Holiday knitting has pretty much come to an end around here. Of course with Christmas staring me in the face about the only thing I'd be able to finish in the next couple of days would be a book mark...and only if it were a small bookmark. We've had snow days around here and some delayed starts to the school days. I have had my girl child at home with me the past couple of days, which really throws a wrench into things. She loves to stand next to me coughing and hacking and asking if she can help. Only from afar.

Happy Holidays to whoever may see this post. Enjoy!!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Those odd skeins

One of the LYS's I visit on occasion has an "orphan" basket of odd skeins near the check out. These are usually discounted 15 or 20%. Often, being a lys and all, these are very nice skeins that just happen to not have enough yardage to pull off a very big project. Often these are skeins that do not have enough yardage to be featured in a "One Skein Project" book. You just don't see a whole lot of patterns dedicated to that odd 50 gram 195 yard skein of sock yarn. Faced with a couple of these "50 gram not enough yardage for more than one sock" beauties I decided that I would find something to knit with them. Something useful, something to throw into the one small skein pattern pool, which is how I came up with my "Dainty Chevron Cowl", which I do plan to figure out how to publish as a pdf instead of how it is here as a blog post.

So I dug through the orphaned skeins and found a lovely skein of some Mochi stuff. I'd never knit with it but a friend loves the stuff and soon will have a lovely cowl of my own (since I wrote up the pattern and have knit several of the cowls I thought it might be nice to have one of my own).

My limited Christmas knitting is done. I don't knit a lot of gifts. I find that knitting gifts is a complicated thing. If people don't knit they may not appreciate the amount of time and effort that went into the project. Then there are those who think that the whole home made gift thing is a way of being "cheap" (quite the opposite actually). My very own mother will say "but why would I knit you something? You knit beautifully and can knit anything that you'd like" (but I can't knit the hand knit gift from you, my most precious knitted items are not the ones that I've knitted for myself, but the ones that are gifted to me). If anyone besides myself reads this post, you and I both know that hand made gifts are lovely (and perhaps I've just been lucky, but I've appreciated every hand made gift I've received).

Happy Friday blogland. I didn't think I'd enjoy having my work day rescheduled today, but it's been nice to slow down a bit....even if I should be doing the holiday craziness!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Christmas knitting

I don't know about you, but for me Halloween marks the true rush toward Christmas. Oh, I start thinking about Christmas knitting mid summer. We'll be sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows and my mind may idly wander to if/what I will be knitting for gifts especially if we pass by a yarn shop on our wanderings. The spousal unit doesn't put any thought into the holidays until December 20th (tho, it did surprise me when he picked up a watch yesterday and said that perhaps that would be the perfect gift for one of the boy children we have around our house).

I'm picky about who I'll knit for. There are two gift recipients in my family who enjoy hand knit socks. (One of these recipients will actually send me sock yarn hoping for socks). This year I have several requests on wish lists for hats. This time of year is difficult for a lot of knitters (or at least it is for me, you'll have to speak for yourself). Back in July if I said "I'm knitting this as a holiday gift" I was looked at as if I had a screw loose. I'd hear "but the holidays are half a year away!" Come October I find people asking me "Can I pay you to (fill in a craft here, in addition to knitting on occasion I also sew), I'm thinking of giving (fill in gift) to (fill in recipient) for Christmas.....oh, and I need it in time to mail". Rarely do I "hire out" to knit/sew/cook gifts. My general rule is, if you want me to knit your dear old dad a scarf, I should know your dear old dad. And I do have a list of the things that I will willingly knit for gifts. That said, and as snotty as it probably sounded, I do knit for my younger children's school senior luncheon, Santa's breakfast and the Giving Tree. Most years I donate a knitted item or three for door prizes. One year I donated a lace scarf to be raffled off for the PTO. My charity knitting is my favorite and yes, I'm lucky enough that I will pass up a paying knit job to give my knitting away.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is. I'm here with my cup of coffee in hand, working on this lovely beret for my girl child. I am hoping that I can scale this pattern down, or write one that will work so I can knit a matching one for her doll. Then there are ear flap hats to knit, and socks and a scarf and and and. There's always something waiting in the wings.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Frog Pond

I dutifully knit up a swatch for the "Henley with a Twist"(after starting it and ripping it twice). I cast on after swatching and deciding that I should have not ripped out one of my false starts. Then, I've proceeded to cast on and rip it out another 4 times, prompting the husband to ask "What is wrong with it NOW?" So, rather than making myself crazier than I already am, I have set aside the lovely "Henley with a Twist" to rest for a bit while I finish this little lovely "Estonian Lace Sampler" from my hand spun wool. So, I'm going to try to get myself and my projects out of the frog pond and back onto my needles.

Fall is in the air. Labor Day came and suddenly fall/winter was here. My garden is winding down and the thought is of sweaters and baking and knitting. Perhaps the frog pond will freeze over for a while :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Rarely do I do a real swatch. Often times my projects are small enough that I just cast on and knit a few inches and measure my gauge. But I've decided to knit Anne Hanson's "Twisted Henley" and rather than put a sweater's worth of knitting and find out that it's just not going to work. So here is my four inch swatch. (Just like Anne did with hers, I actually copied her from her blog). I think that it will work.

We shall see.....and on my friend.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My life in stitches

So at some point I started this blog thinking I'd post about my knitting projects and really I'm kinda spotty about posting about my projects. I decided for a few friends of mine that I would chronicle my year in knitting over on my FB page. Perhaps at the end of the year I'll roll that little tome into a post here. Suffice it to say so far this year I've knit something like half a dozen fish hats, the sweater vest pictured here, a vest for my daughter and some other odds and ends, but for the most part it's been those hats. I'm tired of those hats.

I ordered a sweet little spindle from Thomas Creations (Threadsthrutime) over on Etsy because apparently I feel that I don't have enough projects to keep me busy for longer than I can imagine. And just for yucks, because the tiny was was so wee and sweet and tiny in a day or two a medium one should be showing up. Then I think I'm done as far as spindles go. Oh, I did sign up for a class and they specified a "top whorl spindle". My sweet new spindles are of the Turkish variety (my favorite to spin on)....while I'm no expert, shoot you probably couldn't even class me in the beginner category as far as spinning is concerned (my husband thinks that I'm at least an intermediate spinner, but what does he know?), I have fiddled around with a couple of different types of spindles and I really like the Turkish variety. So, being me, I've bought these nice lovely Turkish spindles and for the class? I dragged the husband down to Home Depot where I bought a dowel and a disc (actually it's the wooden thingy you use to hold the pole up in the closet) and we fashioned a top-whorl spindle (I forgot to grab a cd when I dragged him to the store, so we improvised). I plan to bring my top whorl (which will drive me crazy to spin on) and my Turkish spindles with me to my class. We'll see what I learn.

But lately, while I've thrown myself into spinning, I feel like my life is spinning....out of control and I'm fighting to get it back to something more manageable. I have one kid going into braces on his teeth. Not earth shattering, but boy are those things expensive! The boy could go visit Europe....twice on what we're sinking into what will be a lovely smile. I have another kid going into a back brace to try to slow the growing curve in her back. That one is more earth shattering. I'm not even going to mention the expense on that one (in part because I know that we don't have insurance coverage for the mouth braces, and I have no idea what will be our share on this back brace). I just know that the doctors get all excited to see us coming we do contribute to their bank accounts these days.
But for now I'm going to enjoy the sunshine and try to not think about spinning out of control. I will concentrate on spinning a nice yarn, and perhaps a tale to go with it.

Monday, April 11, 2011


First let me say that I have a love/hate relationship with Colinette Jitterbug Yarns. I love the colors, I love the feel of the yarn (that said, I think it knits up into a very very warm pair of socks, not something you'd ever feel and say "gee, this feels summery"). There's just something that I love about the yarn. But there's a dark side to it too. For some reason it seems to be skimpy on the yardage. I've knit a total of two pair of socks from Jitterbug and the others I've had to frog back because of this (see photo above). Yes yes yes, I could always knit my socks from the toe up, but I prefer a top down sock having never gotten a toe up sock to fit quite right. So there you have it, a lovely sock from Cookie A's first sock book, knitted to the toe, where I ran out of yarn (after I took this pic I knitted several more rounds just to further convince myself that I'd run out). So now this lovely yarn has been rewound is will be a finger weight "Traveling Woman" shawl-ette/scarf/something pretty that will be seen.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My life in Fish Hats

So at the beginning of the year when I decided that I would photograph and keep track of all of my knitting (there are people out there who actually do this. They catalog everything that ever appears on their needles. I have always been fairly lazy about's on the needles, then it's off the needles and out of my mind until my sister says "hey, I love those socks! What pattern is it?"). But really I've knit so many of these hats since January 1 (5 of them so far!) that I don't really feel compelled to note the pattern (dead or alive fish hat) or the techniques I used to knit it (whatever entertains me at the moment, same with my color selection....I'm more governed by whatever odd skeins I have hanging around).

A friend asked if I'm tired of knitting these hats, and the answer is yes......and no. I've knit so many of them now (I've knit a total of 8 or 9 of them) that it's a fairly mindless knit and they're quick to do....which is good as I still have 4 or 5 more of them to knit for gifts.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I remember when

I have been a knitter for most of my life. I can remember when it wasn't "cool" to knit. It was okay that my mother knitted sweaters for me, I preferred her knit sweaters to match my school uniform to the scratchy uniform sweaters. But I remember being that age when knitted gifts were looked down upon. You know, like in "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie's aunt made him that Bunny costume for Christmas. Doesn't everyone have a gift like that costume? For me it was a woman my dad dated, she gave me this lime green sweater. She didn't knit it, a friend of hers did for me. It was horrid. I thanked her for it and wondered what in the world I would ever do with it. (for the record, I did wear it. It was warm and perfectly suited for wearing around the house and in the yard).

This whole thing crossed my mind as I asked my son's friend what kinds of things he might like for his birthday, since my son is invited to his party and, of course, a gift is customary. Several of the boys in my sons class have asked for a hat. So when asked this boy piped up "A fish hat". The party is day after tomorrow, I got the invitation yesterday. I know, I know I could just go buy a nice gift to give the kid. But I already had started another fish hat because I knew that if I could get a fish hat or three or four ahead that they would make perfect gifts. So, I'm madly knitting away on this hat and wondering how it is that now hand knit items for the middle school set have become so popular?

Monday, February 07, 2011

So life has slowed down my knitting a bit, it feels a little bit like the last couple of weeks have been a blur of activity and work. But I still have managed to squeeze in a little knitting time. This guy here needs eyes, he's for a friend who wanted one for her daughter's birthday. As soon as I talk to my friend about whether or not this guy gets "live eyes" or "dead eyes" (a button in the middle or an "X" in the middle), I'll give him eyes and be on to my next project....which is actually on the needles right now. Socks. For me. From yarn my friend in England dyed and sent me. Socks I am hoping I'll have done before I go to visit her next month. Of course, soon, very soon, another fish hat will be on the needles. I'm thinking I shall call 2011 the year of the fish hat.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Another birthday, another fish hat.....and a slipper

So these fish hats have become quite popular with my youngest son's friends. Makes birthday gifts easy (time intensive, but easy and because I knit them from odd skeins of yarn they are relatively cheap gifts). Now when I'm at the school his friends tell me when their birthdays are and what their favorite colors are. I should probably write down this information, but really I could more than likely just knit up several in whatever color combination entertains me and the kids wouldn't care. It was fun going on a field trip with his class and seeing my hats on several of the children. (well, several being three...counting my son).

My daughter has been hounding me for some slippers. She admires the ones she sees up town. You know, the big fluffy ones that make you think of the 1960's and the moccasin style that was so popular in the 70's. She likes the socks with the non-skiddy stuff on the bottoms of them. She doesn't discriminate....she wants any sort of slipper, any sort at all. So we were perusing Ravelry and we came across this pattern perfect. Lord knows I have enough yarn laying around and it's a quick knit. She all but stood over me waiting for them to come off the needle, then just about sat in my lap helping me to sew them together.

A friend of mine has gifted me with yarn. In some of the yarn I was gifted was some fluffy lace weight stuff that just said "knitted flowers" to me. I'm sure that to other people it would say "Shawl" or "lacy something", but really what I heard was "you'll have a nervous break down because this stuff grabs itself and knots like crazy" But I have a skein of it and I'd pull it out every now and again and pet it and think of how pretty it would be knitted up into something that wouldn't make your eye twitch. Perhaps something small, the yarn is pink it's got a nice halo action going for it.....I know!! A knitted rose!! Small, quick, a nice easy peasy way to discover that a big project with this yarn might drive your family crazy. Actually the rose was a quick easy knit, the yarn is not easy to work with, but not too too bad for this project. I'm actually thinking of making several more and donating them to our school's senior luncheon in November.

So, just to keep tabs on what I have knit (and finished) so far in 2011 (yes, I realize that we're only 2 weeks into the new year but the fish hats birthday recipients birthdays were Jan 9 and 15. Kinda made my year start out looking all ambitious like!) 2 dead fish hats, one pair of slippers and one brooch. (I finished a cowl for girl child that I started back in November, but other projects needed to be finished first, but it is still on the drying table)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Can we sit by the fire and knit

Husband left for a business trip this morning. So we were up just before 5 so that I could drive him on the snowy icy roads to meet his ride to the airport. The thermometer at the bank said it was 2 degrees. At home it tells me that it is 3 with a wind chill factor of 17 below. The thermometer in the house swears that it is 67, but my feet are so cold I'm sure they'd beg to differ. School has been canceled and it feels like a good day to hover around the pellet stove and knit. Of course I still have to take the trash out to the curb and I just noted that no one told me that we were low on dog food. I find myself looking into the bin and wondering if we have enough to last until Wednesday when I go into town again.

I'm nearly finished with another fish hat. This one if for a boy who is red/green deficient. Yes I have some rust in there, but I'm knitting from my stash and I'm not exactly sure of what he can see color-wise. I know that he'll enjoy the hat, regardless of the colors.

So my second project of this year is nearly finished.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

knitting in the new year

So my new years resolution, such that it was, was to keep track of my knitting this year. I know people who catalog all of their knitting projects, the needles, the yarn, the gauge, etc. I knit whatever I fancy and when it comes off the needles often it goes to whoever it is knit for with nary a picture or thought about it. After forty odd years of knitting I have no clue as to how many things I've knitted. At the end of the year two friends mentioned that their sons birthdays were coming up and how the boys love my sons fish hat. So I begin my year with the fish hats.....just as I ended the year with the fish hat. As I type this I have several skeins of yarn sitting next to me because my second project for 2011 will also be a fish hat (done in blues this time). Then perhaps I'll break the fish hat streak and knit socks, or a sweater or.........