Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fanning The Flame Mittens-Finished!!!

Pattern: Fanning The Flame Mittens
Yarn: Jitterbug - 1 skein
Needles: Size 1
I'm quite proud of these mittens. I looked back in my posts and I briefly wrote about them on Oct. 15th. and then promptly lost one of the finished mittens and recovered between the seats of my car!!!

This type of mitten falls in the "modular knitting" category. With a provisional cast on at the fingertips, each fan is knitted by picking up stitches on the side of two of the fans. I was totally confused at first and had to return to my LYS to view their finished mitten and then it was easy.
When I reached the thumb portion, it just didn't seem right. My goodness the opening was huge...........because.............
The thumb is actually knitted to fit your thumb very comfortably. Most mittens have a circular opening, this pattern doesn't.
I must have started the thumb on the 2nd mitten at least three times. This is where "stubborn" works to my advantage.
Mittens were completed and then I knitted the neck warmer I posted a couple of days ago. I forgot to mention in that post that the neck warmer has a unique bind off reminiscent to a Kitchner stitch without joining two edges. It makes the item more elastic and I love it. So, I ripped out the last couple of rows to this mitten and used that method to bind off.
These mittens were very time-consuming. Not the kind of project you knit while chatting with friends.
Happy Knitting!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thermis Cowl

Pattern: Thermis (<--click) Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes/Blue Bonnet
Needles: Size 7 I love this pattern. It was difficult to put it down. It only took about 3 evenings or less to complete.

The little boy in the picture is my grandchild, Nick, taken many years ago. It's one of my favorite pics as he has his jean pockets laden down with rocks. He was about 3 or 4 years old at the time.
Here's a close-up of the neck warmer. I knitted a large, however, next one will be smaller with the bottom ribbing the same circumference. I couldn't get a good picture of the buttons but they are "snowflake" buttons.

Click on the pattern above to see pictures from the designer on how it is worn. The photography is really great!

I paid $2.49 for the pattern download. It is rare that I will do that. However, this one was well worth it. It is one of the "favorites" with many on Ravelry.

One of my young co-workers asked if I would knit her one so that will happen in the near future. That one will be an "oatmeal" color with wooden buttons.

I've completed quite a few projects in the last couple of weeks. More to come on posts this coming week.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I haven't blogged in awhile but I have been knitting. I just haven't felt like blogging as there is so much going on that it's been difficult to find the energy.

I want to wish you all a Happy Holiday! This holiday season is a very difficult one for me. Besides family issues that can't seem to get resolved, yesterday at 5:05 p.m. after everyone had already left work for the 2-wk holiday break, an e-mail was sent informing us which departments would be affected with layoffs in January. My department is one of three at the university that is mentioned. The timing of this e-mail is extremely frustrating as we have to sit with our "questions and worries" for the next two weeks. We had a meeting last week and that meeting was reassuring at that time. How quickly things can change behind closed doors.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Cozy Neck Warmer

Pattern: Cozy neck Warmer (<--click for free pattern)
Yarn: Halcyon Bontanica (Worsted - 2 skeins)
Needles: Size 7

It wasn't until I had this pattern completed that I began to think I might like it!

You know how some patterns are better written than others, well, I think I would rewrite this one and include the # of stitches at the end of increase rows, etc.

Pattern called for 29-31 repeats. I wanted 33 but ran out of yarn so I stopped at 32.

It's always about the buttons when I finish a knitting project. There's not much of a selection of stores that carry buttons in Vermont (sigh!).
On the inside I always sew a reinforcing button. If you have a "loose" buttonhole, it helps to keep things in place besides relieving the tugging on your knitting.
I already had the perfect jewelry to wear with this new "warmer". I'll probably omit the necklace as I think it will detract from the beauty of the pattern.
This will be great to wear over my turtleneck while in my drafty window office. Mind you, I'm not complaining as we are scheduled for a layoff in January and I am hoping my department is not affected. The memo came out last week.
Ok, so this is one less UFO on the list. However, I really didn't consider it a UFO as I only purchased the yarn a week ago while in Maine. I enjoyed all your excuses for UFO's on my previous post. Now that I think about it, we really weren't comparing apples with apples for the following reasons:
  1. The older you are the more UFO's you can accumulate. I'm probably older than all of you so I can shave off some of the mea culpas on my list.
  2. The enormity of the pattern, the size of the needles, the weight of the yarn, never mind the size sweater, etc. all make a difference.
Ok, I'm off to read blogs and leave comments. I'm a couple days behind.
Happy Knitting!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


My blog on Yahoo 360 has been dormant for months because of the many, many problems the site experiences. However, there are several posts that I will be copying and pasting into this blog over the next few weeks because they are sentimental to me.

This baptismal gown was made from my mother's wedding dress in 1946. This post is about the gown but not meant to take away from the true meaning of the occasion.

Above is a picture of my parents on their wedding day just before my dad left for WWII.

Displayed is the dress and bonnet but there is also a slip, and coat. There are "tucks", embroidery, and french seams on various pieces. It cost my mother $30 for this couture. During that era, $30 was probably a week's pay.

I was baptized in this ensemble, so was my sister, my daughters and two of my grandchildren. It is satin and the couture is superb. Tradition used to have boy babies as well as girl babies in a dress for their baptism.

Pictured is my 2nd grandchild, Nicholas, on his baptismal day, wearing this heirloom gown. Just to add a little humor, well now I can see it as humorous, but Joseph, then about 2 yrs. old, was quite unhappy in this picture. His grandfather had given him a Davy Crockett racoon hat and he wanted to wear it in this picture. We won that battle but in retrospect it would have been quite the picture for conversation for years. We did take a less formal picture of him in the hat a little later.

I had occasion to encounter the seamstress a few months back. I knew her as a child. Mrs. Desrochers, a redhead at one time, is now 95 and a lovely person. She was pleased to know that I treasure the gown.

There are minor stains around the neck from baby formula that did not come out at the dry cleaners but that only adds to the sentimental value of the gown. There is still the slightest faint color of blue where there is embroidery, probably from being "stamped".

I was initially baptized by a nurse at the hospital the first day I was born because they feared I would not make it through the night. I was born 2 1/2 mos. premature and was in the hospital for over a month. I've always been a "survivor" of sorts and for those of you who know me real well, will understand the true meaning of that statement.
Custom was that a newborn was baptized the first Sunday home from the hospital.

I'm hoping that the next generation of babies in my family will be able to be baptized in this gown.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My UFO's

My blogging readers are very observant. You noticed that I had not listed my UFO’s and took me to task.

I must say that I really chuckled at your comments. I knew who anonymous was by the list before I reached his name at the bottom. Melissa wrote her list on her own blog. She may have the most UFO’s. Some of you regulars did not respond, either because you have no UFO’s or you are afraid to own up to the numbers….lol. Before you get to the list…

Have you read the Yarn Harlot today and the needles she has fallen in love with. $45 for a pair of dps is quite exorbitant but I sure would love to try a pair. I’d have to treat them like gold so as not to lose one.

  1. Sienna Cowl (50% completed-started this week)
  2. Fanning Flame Mittens (60% completed)
  3. Diagonal Lace Hat (50% completed-started this week)
  4. Tractor Child’s Sweater (40% done – recently started – must finish for next year)
  5. Baby Sweater (50% completed-not due till March)
  6. Julia Shawl (10% knitted-will be frogged as this pattern deserves much nicer yarn)
  7. Burnt Orange Vest (40% done – don’t like it, don’t have the heart to frog it)
  8. Black Cable Mitten (50% done – gave as a Christmas Present last year and person has not had the other arm amputated so I should finish this)
  9. Not So Manly Mitten (50% done – probably will never get finished)
  10. Entrelac Socks (75% completed)
  11. Pink Baby Sweater (70% done – not due till I have a granddaughter – probably never)
  12. Dusk Cable Socks (50% done – on the needles for about 2 years)
  13. Petticoat Socks (50% done- on the needles for about 3 years)
  14. Blue Baby Sweater (99% done – on the needles for the last 13 years)
  15. Autumn Socks (50% done – not a priority)
  16. Braid and Bobble Hat (40% done – not sure I have enough yarn, lost my place in the pattern)
  17. Blue Tweed Child Sweater – (60% done – started by another knitter and my job to finish it for my grandchild)

There are UFO's in my ex's possession from the days of my divorce..but we won't even go there. They have probably rotted with age by now.

This does not take into account my cross stitch UFO's.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time To Own Up!

You are all familiar with the “shell game” where your eyes are trying to keep up so that you guess correctly which pea is under which shell. That’s how I feel right now.

It’s time to “own up” faithful readers and new readers alike and make me feel better. How many UFO’s (unfinished objects) do you have? It doesn’t have to be knitting. Ha! That means Melissa (a crocheter) and Kim (a quilter) have to participate. If Mel (a quilter) still reads my blog, she has more UFO’s than 10 of us combined. Are those UFO’s simple projects? Almost completed? Perhaps you can’t even remember where the heck you last put project that you had some much enthusiasm about but like a balloon, quickly deflated.

Make me feel less compulsive about starting new projects. I have a baby sweater I started for my grandchild. It only needs one more front button band. It’s assembled. But who am I kidding, it won’t fit him as he is now 13 years old. It won’t even fit the youngest grandchild who is only two. I don’t like the sweater. There are many prettier patterns and yarns out there. So, do I waste 1 hr. (or maybe 2) of my precious knitting time and complete this albatross around my neck? or devote that time to something I truly enjoy?

I’d take pictures of all these UFO’s of mine but it would blow up the memory card in my camera.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Diagonal Lace Scarf and More

Pattern: Diagonal Lace Scarf (<--click for free pattern), also on Ravelry
Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca - 1 skein
Needles: Size 7 circular
A closer look................
If you click on the link above, you'll see a more accurate picture on someone else's blog and discover how truly beautiful this pattern is. It was a fun, easy knit which took 3-4 nights. I knitted mine slightly wider as I love the feel of a full scarf.

Knitted to match the infamous lost, but now found, mitten. Picture is a little dark to show the start of the second mitten. I'm getting there folks but these mittens are on size 1 needles and uses the modular method so it really takes a lot of time.
Jakob, my grandson who will be 2 years old this week, loves tractors. I should say LOVES because his mom has to take the tractor keys along whenever they go out. Not much done yet on this little sweater but there is no real hurry as I am knitting a size to fit him next winter.
I traveled to Maine yesterday to visit Halcyon Yarns in Bath, Maine. I was a little nervous when I realized they were closing earlier than I had anticipated. It's a great yarn shop. However, considering the distance, I would travel to Webs instead in the future. It's hard to beat Web's for selection and customer service. While at Halcyon I only purchased a couple skeins of yarn. I was looking for Noro Silk Garden in colorway 229. They didn't have that colorway and I decided it was just as well as it is a pricey scarf to knit and falls in the $40-$45 range for yarn. It is a favorite with the Yarn Harlot and Brooklyn Tweed.

I was in Portsmouth, NH after dark when I stopped and asked for directions at a gas station. I had my car window rolled down and speaking to the attendant, I suddenly realized that there was something wrong with this individual who was now giving me the creeps. I realized I was blocked by an empty car in the front at the pump (owned by the station) and couldn't see well enough to quickly back out. I refused when he told me "Get out of the car, NOW!!" I finally managed to maneuver my car out of the station. It was a busy highway but would anyone have noticed if there was something wrong?

Brian, I was on the highway near the rotary headed (in the wrong direction, of course) to where Yoken's Restaurant was located but is no longer there.

Note to self: Make sure car doors are always locked, cell phone handy, and handbag on the floor instead of on the seat next to me. I should have been more selective as to where I stopped. The busy highway felt safe but in retrospect, I'm not so sure. Any other safety tips are welcome!!!! (besides making sure I know where the heck I am
I just thought of a great solution. Get my car one of those GPS systems!!! This way I won't have to stop and ask for directions.

Happy Knitting!!

Can You Believe This?

Early yesterday morning I decided that I needed to take a trip to Maine and inhale the smell of ocean air. I live in Vermont which is the only land-locked state in New England. Tough for a gal who has ocean water in her veins.

While driving through New Hampshire my car came to a screeching halt as I drove by this gas station and I saw this sign. This u-turn queen responded accordingly. Would have been even better if.............

I lived and grocery shopped in NH. For every $50 in groceries purchased at this Shaw's grocery store and using your customer card (Vermont stores do not participate because we have no Irving gas stations), you receive 10 cents off per gallon. You can accumulate your credits over a period of two months with a maximum fill-up of 20 gallons. So, if you purchase $100/wk. in groceries, at the end of two months you would get a $1.60 off per gallon for that one fill-up.

Dunkin Donuts also participates. For every $20 you accumulate on your card, you receive 5 cents off per gallon.

These customer cards cost nothing and prices at the grocery store have not been inflated.

On the return trip I planned on stopping to refill at this same gas station and the sign on the pump said..........!!

My car was quite happy to be fed caviar i($1.67 in NY) instead bologna ($1.92 in VT).

New Hampshire has no sales tax and no state income tax. I suppose that property taxes are probably pretty high to support the state. I'm sure that both Alison and Brian can clarify that point.

More later on my yarn shopping adventure and the laughter that commanded that I pull off the highway if this was going to be a safe trip.

It's been a good weekend and I hope yours has been also. This gal has to go eat breakfast and wind some yarn.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Catching Up!!!

I am way behind in blog reading and leaving comments. I am going to try to catch up this weekend.

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving! Mine was quiet with a change in plans at the last minute.

A few people have written me about patterns for some of my crafts. Your settings do not allow me to respond and I can't quite remember where you need to fix that in Blogger.

Lizzie, can you leave a brief comment on this post telling folks how to do that...thanks! (Lizzie always knows answers to my gal!!!)

For the individual asking me about the pattern for the neck warmer, I can send that to you if you supply me with your addy. It is not copyrighted so we are good. For the individual asking me about the strawberry baby hat, that one was purchased and is copyrighted so I cannot provide you with the pattern. However, if you Google "umbilical cord hat", it is free on the web and on Ravelry. You can modify the pattern by randomly knitting in the seed stitches, etc.

On the knitting front, I finished a beautiful scarf yesterday and still need to block it and then I'll blog about it. I can't wait to show you as I am really pleased with this one. The colorway was selected to match the "Flaming Fan" mittens I am working on and blogged about several weeks ago.

I lost the first mitten for almost a month and then found it between the seats of my car. Knitted on size 1 needles, I was sick when I couldn't find it as it is one heck of a lot of knitting. It is the kind of knitting that will test one's patience which is in short supply these days with holiday stress. I couldn't even start the second mitten in hopes that the first one would mysteriously reappear as there is a "left" and a "right" mitten and I couldn't even remember which I had knitted. Would I end up with two lefts, two right, or one of each. I didn't like the odds so I patiently waited for it to turn up.

I am off to read blogs. I have almost 200 queued on my Google list. However, the ones I have been reading for some time and comment regularly are in my "A+ Blogs" folder (smile!!!) and will be read first.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Socks Anyone?

Every year, after the fact, I hear on my local TV news station that Cabot Hosiery (a proud Vermont company) had a fantastic sock sale to coincide with the opening of deer season. Year after year I have heard this so this year I decided to go.

The news reporter said 10,000 people were expected in the tiny village of Northfield, Vermont, population about 4,000. Surely, I must have heard wrong. I failed my hearing test yesterday. Perhaps they were anticipating sales of 10,000 pairs of socks. WRONG!!!!

I arrived and cars were parked, and double parked for several miles. Thinking positive, I drove to the entrance and was able to get a parking space.

I had the presence of mind before leaving the house to bring my walking stick with me. My legs can only stand so much. SMART ON MY PART!!! People will be careful not to bowl you over if they see you with a cane or walking stick. I was also moved to the front of the register line as a result as well...thank goodness as I would have had to just leave. I have severe arthritis in my legs.

The picture above was taken through the glass of one of the doors. Colorful and inviting as was the staff greeting you at the entrance. A sign states that the company is proud to say that there is no outsourcing. "Uncle Sam", dressed in his finest, walked around the facility. (Sorry, no picture.)

A peek inside the factory.

Sock blockers, anyone! Lizzie, for some reason I thought of you when I saw these, perhaps because I remember the sock blockers you made.

When arriving, a staff person advised you to immediately stand in line to cash out while a friend shopped and then you could trade places. Expect 1 hr.+ in line. No lie, there were at least 600-700 people waiting to pay for their purchases and I arrived less than two hours before the doors opened.

Just a small sampling of my purchases.
And several layers more.
Everyone I know is receiving socks for Christmas. Feels a little sacrilegious because I usually gift hand-knitted socks.
So, if all of this wasn't insane enough. I went to the other sale about 1/2 mile away. All t-shirts were $2 with other items slightly higher. All new and discontinued or slightly irregular items. Proceeds going to support the local police department and youth athletic programs in town.
Picture is a little blurry but the place was about 8 times larger than what you see.
People were walking out with garbage bags full of t-shirts, sweat pants, etc. (Note the cloudy, rainy day in Vermont (again).

Next stop planned was attending another knitting book signing in Montpelier but I decided to just return home. I was exhausted.

Oh, did I tell you I think I have a thing for socks. When I was newly divorced, every week I would purchase a pair of socks and a bottle of nail polish. It was comforting at the time.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meeting Alison Hyde

Alison Hyde , from "Wrapped In Comfort" was at my LYS, Kaleidoscope Yarns, for a book signing today! We've been blogging friends for awhile now and I just had to meet her. She is as delightful in person as she is on her blog.

Alison was wearing her "Julia" shawl. It is just absolutely gorgeous!!! This pattern has moved up my queue to 1st place. She had several of her shawls on display, each as beautiful as the other.
We all wanted to see Alison's Kaffe Fassett coat that she has mentioned in her blog. Words cannot tell you how beautiful it is. There are a total of 87 (did I get that right, Alison?) colors in the coat. It took her two weeks to knit it. Can you believe it? Now for all of you who think I get a lot of knitting done, well, Alison has all of us beat by a mile!!!
Here I am with Alison.
The room was filled with so much knitting energy and inspiration that I can't wait to get to my needles and start knitting one of Alison's shawls.
I'm so sorry I have forgotten this gal's name. Alison, if you can fill in for my poor memory, I'll correct the blog later. (It's Mad Angel (a/k/a Paula) (<--click).
This shawl is the "Blue Jay" shawl in Alison's book. At the risk of sounding's gorgeous. The yarn was spun on a spindle. I was in awe!
Kristine , Lucy, (almost neighbors of mine) and Alison. Kristine has been friends with Alison since her California days.
Sorry, that this picture is so blurry but I didn't want to leave it out. Kristine knitted these beaded socks for Alison. Need I say more!!!....ok, gorgeous!!

If you haven't purchased this book yet, you are missing out on some great patterns. I treasure my copy even more now that Alison has signed it.

I'm going on a crazy adventure tomorrow. More on that later! I want to enjoy today for what it was. I'm glad I didn't miss the event!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alligator Scarf Update

Pattern: Morehouse Merino Alligator Scarf
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Worsted - Lemongrass Heather
Needles: Size 6

Well, three times is the charm! I had difficulty finding the correct colorway for this project so I kept starting over.

It took me less than 3 evenings to knit it. What a fun knit it was!!! I can't wait to see my grandson, Jakob, wear it. I'll have pictures for you in about a month.

I have finished the scarf and I must tell you the tail is so cute! A picture will be posted soon.

Someone asked me how I can get so much knitting done. Besides the fact that I've been knitting for more years than I care to number, and a lady never tells her age, weight or true hair color, I believe it is important to have the right tools, i.e. needles, to work with. I love my Denise Needles and highly recommend them. Read the pattern thoroughly before starting.

I attended my spinning group last Thursday and such a fun evening. We had a guest crafter/teacher doing 3-dimensional needle felting. The woman is a national award winner. Check out her link

Below is my feeble attempt at needle felting an Easter egg. Pretty pathetic but I am saving it to compare my improvement in future projects. It's like spinning! At first I spun "novelty yarn", and please don't be impressed as it was more like bungy cord, and slowly improved to the point where I am now happy with my own spun yarn.

Alison Hyde, author of the below-captioned knitting book, will be at my LYS, Kaleidescope Yarns this coming Friday. Alison and I have been blogging friends for awhile now and I look forward to meeting her and having my book signed.
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You Tell Me!

Yes, you!!! You tell me!!! But first let me set the stage. Today I went to Vermont Teddy Bear, a world-wide known company. It's a fun place to visit.

Picture is a little dark but I wanted you to see that it is a huge place.

A colorful place with much anticipation of fun!
I wanted to see the political teddy bears!

First, there is the brown Obama bear with the classic white shirt with rolled-up sleeves!

Then we have..........
The grey (showing his age) fur Joe Biden bear!
and, we can't leave Sarah Palin out!!!
With her tiara, classic red suit, and hockey stick, not shown is her briefcase which carries her lipstick and baby bottle.
And where is the McCain bear, you ask?????
Well, the bear is sold out!!!
I asked the clerk if the same number of McCain bears were manufactured as Obama bears. She said, "yes".
Is that any indication of how the race is going? Do the Republicans have more money to spend as these bears cost upwards of $110-$120 give or take a few pennies. Of course, the Palin bear is the most expensive one because I was told her outfit is couture made or is that a subtle hint of the realism of it all?
And for you undecided voters, I couldn't leave you out.
There sure are a lot of you!
The variety of bears is limitless. They average around $100 each. While at the store today, people were buying bears but I saw noone buy one of the political bears. Perhaps, like the privacy of a voting booth, people are ordering them on-line.
I've already voted!!! I urge you to do the same. It will be a late night Tuesday and I'm staying up till the victory speech! ...even if it means crawling into work the following morning because I am so dog-tired...oops..bear-tired!!!
Happy Knitting!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yet Another Neck Warmer

Pattern: DK Buttoned Neck Warmer and Hat (free pattern from my LYS)
Yarn: Manos Silk Blend (30% Silk, 70% Merino)
Needles: Size 6 circular

Marianne and I have been co-workers for several years. We exchange birthday and Christmas presents. I showed her several knitted items recently and she would say "Oh, that's nice!" Well, nice was not good enough. I thought perhaps something would get her I, and like the Vermont weather, wait a minute and it will change. She loved the neck warmer I posted about a couple of weeks ago and said "Wow"! That's what I wanted to hear so I took her to my LYS and had her select the yarn and buttons.Picture is a little faded, but here is a close up!

And in case you are not sick of seeing this neck warmer yet in all of the colors I've done, well here is another pic.
It's all about the buttons. I have a thing for buttons. I've always felt that they added a special touch and as a result I'm thinking of taking up polymer clay as a hobby. Gosh! Will someone please take my temperature!!! I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head. However, Amy S inspires me so much with all her hobbies that how can I resist this one.

When I was a little girl, my mom had a "button box". It was rectangular with a beige cover and had a multitude of buttons in it. I loved to play with that box. I would beg my mother for string from wrapped fresh meat packages and I would spend hours looking for matching buttons and string them together. It was like making a puzzle but in the textile world.

When I was bored with that I would make clothespin dolls out of rags. I would dip a toothpick in an inkwell, and now I'm alerting you to my age, and ever so daintily touch the cloth and I would now have polka dot fabric. Lately, when I get up in the morning, it is very dark outside. I navigate my uncooperative body to the kitchen, lit only by a night light, and this past week I have been greeted with my flowering Christmas Cactus. This poor plant has been so neglected yet it rewards me at least twice a year with its blossoms. I'm pretty fortunate!!!

Happy Knitting!