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!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On Voting Early-Material for Jay Leno

I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry on this one.

My daughter thought I should send this story in to Jay Leno.

I called my town clerk's office yesterday to see about voting early. Now, my small Vermont community has not reached the age of video phones. I was concerned about the long lines and the weather (already a snow storm tomorrow) and the long lines I would have to stand in with my uncooperative leg. The town clerk may need additional training for her job on how to speak to the public.

The conversation went something like this!!!

Joan: Can you give me info on voting early?

Clerk: Yes, and what is your name?

Joan: Joan XXXXX

Clerk: Are you related to George Washington XXXXX?

Joan: No, he was black

Clerk: Well, how do I know what your family has been up to? He was famous you know, for peanuts, etc.

Joan: Well, I'm voting for Obama, does that count?

Update: I voted today on my lunch hour. The lines were spilling out into the hallway. Whether you are voting for McCain or Obama....please vote and encourage your friends to do so. It's an honor and a priviledge.

I related this story to a blogging friend. She asked if this person was young or old. Neither, I would say, probably mid 40's or so.

So it's back to my knitting tonight! (smile)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Free Pattern: Feather and Fan Socks (<--click)
Yarn: Classic Elite - I've lost the ball band but there is some angora.
Needle Size: 2 - Magic Loop MethodPicture is a little dark and fuzzy. I completed these socks at least a month ago and am just getting around to taking a picture. I'm trying to complete those single socks that are hanging around. I think I have four more to go. (sigh)
Impossible to make these identical so fraternal it is. Yarn is so very soft. This is the yarn my daughter also purchased without either one of us knowing the other had selected this yarn. You know the old saying "like mother, like daughter". I think I know where that came from.
I spent the last couple of evenings up quite late watching TV and knitting. Above and below is a preview. Again, the 2nd pic is a little fuzzy but I wanted you to see the colorway. It's the Mano merino/silk blend DK that I have absolutely fallen in love with.
This project is being gifted later this week or early next week. Final pics coming soon so stay tuned.

I got together with my girlfriend, Arnette, today. She is retiring and leaving for Florida the end of this week. She has had a long career as a legal analyst at IBM. We've been friends for about 15 years. When we parted I was able to keep a smile on my face but cried when I was alone. I will miss her.
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pattern: Fetching (<--click for free pattern)
Wool: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes
Needles: Size #5 dps
More of these mitts. They take a couple of evenings to knit. A very fast and gratifying knit. A few blogs back I posted light blue ones which are my favorite. These burgundy (and not red) ones are for my older daughter, Amy, who has a very cold office.They are not bulky at all....just fat hands! Younger daughter complains she inherited her hands from me, though she is very petite.
This pair is for younger daughter, Emily. What I knit for one, I knit something similar for the other daughter. This pair was knit with Berocco Ultra Alpaca which was leftover yarn from the scarf I knitted for Brian late last winter which I don't think I ever posted....but I will soon.
Again, the fat hands!!! Whoever said exercise will make you thin, well they are wrong!!! Those fingers travel about 7 miles a day on the keyboard and they still aren't thin!!! (giggle!!)

I had not yet mailed these mitts and brought them in to my class to show the logic of selecting the correct yarn for a project. The burgundy mitts made of merino, though not as soft as they grey alpaca ones, really make the cables pop out!
I don't know why I never thought of making a thumb this way. You just cast on stitches of a different color yarn on the left needle, knit across and then remove and pick up those live stitches. Makes for a much neater thumb!

This weekend's theme at my home is "clean, clean, clean" as I am way behind on everything. Tomorrow is a "get together" with a friend of many years who is retiring on the 30th and moving away to Florida.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Instructional Socks

Pattern: Blueberry Waffle Socks (click for free pattern)
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease - Oatmeal
Needles: Size #5 dps

Pictured are my instructional socks. The pattern has been adjusted for larger needles. The first one was knitted some time ago while I was trying to teach my older daughter, Amy, how to knit. I was in no hurry to complete these socks as they are quite thick for my shoes or my boots. Besides I suffer from the dreaded “SSS”. You know, the one more commonly known as “Single Sock Syndrome”.
The pattern may look familiar to you. I think this is the 5th pair I have knitted in either worsted or fingering weight. It’s an easy pattern to remember and a free one at that.

My first formal sock knitting class ended a couple of weeks ago. To be paid money to do something I truly enjoy was “like having my cake and eating it too”. Oh, I’ve been rewarded with gift certificates, yarn , roving, etc. from friends that I have taught and I was delighted with those gifts. However, to actually see my class listed in the local town brochure was exciting.

I had only three absolutely delightful women as students. The three were at various skill levels. The goal was to complete one sock over four sessions while learning proper cast on, increases, decreases, picking up stitches, and the scary (not) Kitchener stitch.

I wish I had thought to bring my camera with me at the last class. One gal who had a slower start, frogged her sock, started again but did not knit in the round till two inches down the leg actually completed her sock five minutes before “quitting time”. The look on her face as she tried on her sock was priceless. She was absolutely beaming with pride.

And I got paid for all of this!!! (Handsomely, I might add.) It was definitely a win/win situation.

The women want me to teach another class which probably won’t start again till January. They offered to come to my home to give private lessons. Yikes, I would be stressed doing the house-cleaning bit before each class. You know the drill!!! Why fold laundry now and put it away when I can knit. It’s one of the hazards of living alone.

I am busy putting together information for another class. I can’t wait.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kreativ Blogger Award

I was given this award by Toni at Raising Eden. Thank you and I am honored.

Please do not feel obligated to respond if you are selected. This is suppose to be fun and stress free. There is no time limit. I am trying to select readers who are new to my blog or others that I know like these sorts of awards. The fun part for me is seeing links to other blogs I may not have encountered. If I like your blog, chances are that I will like blogs of other folks that you read.

The rules for the Kreativ Blogger Award:

  1. Mention the blog that gave it to you, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know that you have posted your award.
  2. Share six values that are important to you
  3. Share six things that you do not support
  4. Grant the prize to six people

Six Values Important To Me (in no particular order)

  1. Love - your family, friends, neighbors and other human beings. Filter out what is good, throw away the bad. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!
  2. Honesty - If you are not honest, nothing else about you is important.
  3. Fairness - Consistency with this quality. If you are unfair to others, eventually my turn will arrive.
  4. Dedication - To family, first and foremost.
  5. Spirituality - Belief in a higher Being that loves you and takes care of you.
  6. Health care for the needy.

Six Things I Do Not Support (in no particular order)

  1. Abuse of any sort whether it be mental or physical towards any other human being or animal.
  2. Disregard for our planet. Many generations to come will inherit how we leave this planet.
  3. Greed - Find the pleasure in doing for others
  4. Exploitation - Some call it artistic expression. Need I say more?
  5. Stealing - You'll get caught and pay a terrible price.
  6. Lies - How can I believe you next time.

I give this award to:

  1. Lizzy - a faithful blogger who knits a lot for charity
  2. Renna - always has something interesting to blog about
  3. Karen - an avid knitter and newcomer to Blogger
  4. Deb - Loves to knit socks. Has a real sense of wit
  5. Chris - A fellow Vermonter who knows so many crafts and is good at them all.
  6. Amy - I consider Amy the queen of creativity. Her blog is always so inspiring.

To my six blogging friends that I have listed, again do not feel obligated if you are too busy.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm A Proud Mom!!!

The phone rang the other evening.................

(Picture taken September 2007)
it was my daughter, Emily, calling me during my favorite program. I love watching "Dancing With The Stars" and only answer the phone during that precious time if it is my daughters. Her call was later than usual in the evening so I wondered what was going on.

When I mentioned that I had something to tell you about Emily, several of you asked me if another grandchild was on the way. I have three grandsons and another one would be wonderful. No, but the news was just about as exciting.

Emily, a registered nurse, who went to school part time for 8 years while working full time to earn her degree was enticed into going to the "Nursing Association" dinner the other evening. She wasn't sure she wanted to go but decided to be supportive of a friend who was attending and it happen to be the one-year anniversary date of a tragic event in this gal's life.

At the dinner, folks were whispering but Emily couldn't hear them. They were pulling a surprise for her. She was honored with a "Nursing With Excellence Award". I am so very proud of her.

I like to tell the story of Emily, as a new nurse working in the intensive care unit (and still does), taking care of an elderly patient who was comatose. She would speak with him as if there was a two-way conversation. Others asked why she was doing that as he was not responsive. Well, the gentleman recovered, and can you envision this?

Here sat an elderly man, now propped up, who every time he saw my daughter walk by would muster up a faint wave and smile!

Need I say more! .......except that she is a terrific little mom to my grandchild, Jakob, amongst many other things.

Ok, I need to stop.......I'm going to get teary thinking about it all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Alligator Scarf

Pattern: Alligator Scarf from Morehouse Merino
Yarn: Red Heart (yikes!)
Needles: Size 6
The scarf is smaller than it appears and I am not happy with this one. I just couldn't find washable yarn that I liked for this project. It is for my grandchild, Jakob, who is not quite 2 years old. You know that a 2 year old is attracted to dirt, mud pies, etc. Jakob insist on his mom taking the tractor key with her when they go outside. He loves tractors, helicopters and motorcycles and anything electronic. He is all boy!

So, I started a green one instead last night. I may still complete the brown one and donate it to local scarf project.

Not much to report except that I need to yet pass on a blogging award that I received.

I also have great news to tell you about my younger daughter but I want to get a picture first.

Looking out the window this morning there was a flock of honking geese flying south. There is always a stray one trying to catch up to the rest of them. That is a definite sign of winter on it's way. We are suppose to have a dusting of snow in the valley tonight and 1-2 inches of snow at higher elevations. Time of all those wool socks I knitted along with the mittens and scarves.

Happy Knitting!

Girly Socks

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette - Blush
Needles: Size 2
I added a little special touch to these little pink socks that I started one evening when my daughter called with difficulty with a pattern she was attempting. It turns out the pattern was really all screwed up and I ended improvising on my own. I thought the socks were a little "blah looking" so this past weekend I just added a little crochet trim and the rosette.
Now, I don't know what I am going to do with these socks because they are not machine washable and what new mother has time to hand wash.

My co-worker tried on the neck warmer I posted yesterday and it really does look very nice once worn. I had shown her a couple of other projects I knitted such as the wrist warmers, etc. and she'd say, "Oh, that's nice!" However, I didn't get a sense that she would really like it as a present. So, when she saw the neck warmer, she said, "Oh, that is absolutely gorgeous!" You have to see it in person to get the full colorway effect and the nice sheen the yarn has. I am knitting her one as a birthday present. However, I told her she had to select a different colorway as I would quickly get bored knitting the same pattern with the same yarn.

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

These buttons are not what I had in mind but I couldn't locate anything better. The color is "hot pink" and not red as in the pic. Now sewn, I do like them better. In the back of my mind I've been wanting to try polymer clay and make my own buttons. Will someone please take my temperature? I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head. I knitted this simple rolled brim hat to go with the neck warmer. It was a simple and quick knit and I'm very happy with the hat. I usually like my hats simple.

My anemia is beginning to resolve itself with my iron supplements. As a result, I ran around like a mad woman this weekend getting a lot of things done. It felt so good to get to those tasks. Speaking of anemia...that mannequin head needs some of my supplements, you think?

I actually completed four UFO's (unfinished objects) this weekend. I have so many of them that I stopped putting them on Ravelry out of embarrassment. However, I did start two more projects. One is a must but I feel guilty starting the second. More details soon.

Can someone tell me if when I respond to a comment someone has left on my blog, and it says (no comment/no reply) next to their name, if it still goes through to them? I've wanted to reply to several new readers this week but not sure how to go about it.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Where Am I?

I’ll catch up on this week’s knitting adventure in my next post which hopefully will be tonight.

I had difficulty reading the
Yarn Harlot's blog in its entirety today because I was laughing so hard. She told of her experience with coffee at the airport. When she mentioned “the loo” I had to stop and think for a moment and, ah yes, it’s the commodity (is that where the name commode) came from. It’s “The John”.

Because I am from Maine originally, now living in Vermont with adult daughters in Rhode Island, I often find myself confusing clerks in stores with my selections. It’s a polite way of telling you that there is a breakdown in communication. To make matters worse, I usually can’t remember which New England State coined the word.

When asked what I want on my hotdog, I have to decide the following:

1. “the works” or “loaded”. One comes minus one condiment. Because I can’t remember which is which, I just say “everything”. Ok, ok, hot dogs are not good for me but I didn’t eat one for over 10 years, along with processed cheeses and anything with chemicals, etc. so I am entitled. I fell off the organic, natural food wagon awhile back. Just when it came into vogue. Do I detect a bit of rebellion there?

2. Water fountain in Maine, “blubba” (a/k/a bubbler) in Rhode Island so……….oh, just go to the store and buy one of those bottled waters.

3. “Tonic” in Maine…..soda in Vermont. I have to get that one correct as I am so addicted to soda. Doesn’t tonic sound like a hair product for men?

4. “Bag” in Maine, “sac” in Montana. I use sac to impress people because they ask where I am from. I told you I need to get a life!!!! However, now I am bringing my own crocheted market bags to the store so it doesn’t really matter.

5. “Car” ….well, they just say it differently in Massachusetts and those of you who have been there know exactly what I am talking about. I’d explain it but it really is a “location” joke. Location….you have to be there to understand.

So to add to the confusion, I am bilingual and try to be polite when I return home to family and speak the language with elderly relatives and hope the heck I am getting it right!

There are days when I really get an “identity” crisis trying to remember all this and figure out which “hat” I am wearing today.

Ah, heck…….I’ll just be me. That solves it all.

What are some of the terms unique to your geographical location?

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fanning The Flames Mittens - Part 1

Pattern: Fanning The Flames

Yarn: Jitterbug Fingering Weight

Needles: Size 1
When I saw this pattern, I knew, I just knew I had to have it and knit these mittens. This company also has the matching sock pattern.

I tell you, I am just loving it! Absolutely loving these mittens and they are for me to go with my very favorite winter coat. The true colors really are greens with golden greens and rasberry and some blue.

I have since knit quite a bit more of this mitten and will blog in a couple of days about the thumb. It is just absolutely wonderful the way it fits. Now, doesn't getting excited over a mitten thumb sound absolutely pathetic? Really, I must get myself a life!!! :>) It's because it is very different from other thumbs I have knitted. Ok, I'll's getting worse...I must do something other than knitting!!!
Here's a closeup! What is so great about these mittens is that it is started with a provisional cast on at the tip of the fingers with a total of 14 knitted fans. Side fans wrap around the hand. You can quickly see your progress by counting the fans and not just trying to remember where you started knitting today. Quick gratification!!! The two live stitches on each fan eventually connect to another fan.

I'm thinking of knitting the cuff in a rasberry color. This yarn is beautiful and wonderful to knit with. However, this is also the yarn that had knots in it which is ok for this project as the yarn is cut after each fan allowing for easy avoidance of those knots.

This company also has this pattern. Essence Gloves It is on my "to do" list for sure but perhaps not until the holidays have gone by. I have another pattern I received yesterday that I am just itching to start but I must be disciplined......I MUST be disciplined.

Vermont is so gorgeous right now. The colors are brilliant probably as a reward for the rainy summer we had. Some years the foliage is better than others and this is one of those years. Check out VTknitboy's (<--click) blog to see spectacular pictures of Vermont's foliage. You'll be envious of the scenery.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

As Mr. Rogers Would Say...

"It's A Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood!"..that is what Mr. Rogers used to say, I hope. It's been too long since I was a kid. I think he was around back then, but maybe not!! I feel old as dirt these days so probably not. Speaking of getting "older", have you ever gotten up in the morning and while innocently brushing your teeth, you look into the mirror and shriek..."Oh, my gosh, I didn't look this old yesterday!" "How did that happen?" Did I have a bad dream?

Some of you may remember the wonderful and very comedic (borderline..a little crazy) Ewey from our Yahoo 360 days! She and I got together at her home yesterday for some spinning. We had fun on her outside deck with the sound of her chickadees providing us music with an occasional piping in from her sheep and donkeys. (Yes, she has donkeys!) The donkeys were added to the family of animals to protect the sheep but they are not meeting the minimum working requirements.

Here's Ewey with some of her own roving from her sheep. Because I had to lighten the picture you are not getting the beautiful color of the Vermont foliage in the background. (sigh!)
Just some of her roving from her sheep that she is now selling. Ewey has an electric drum carder that does a wonderful job. She also dyes it herself. Interested in buying some? If so, let me know and I'll forward the info to her. I don't believe she actually has a web site (yet) to sell her fiber. I forgot to take pictures but I purchased roving from her ewe called "Butterfly".
Just a few of the sheep parading by as we sat on the deck spinning!
A neighbor made this "Snowball" quilt for Ewey. She keeps it in her studio to snuggle with on the couch.
Ewey has been knitting "Bat" hats for her craft shows. They have been a big seller with the college kids!

I'm wearing my "Spiral Scarf" that is not quite complete. I have to reblock it and make some adjustments. I'm not excited about this scarf but perhaps I'll feel differently once I've done a few extra things to it. Perhaps I need a few people to tell me that it is beautiful. I'll post more pictures in an upcoming blog.

Yesterday was just absolutely delightful in so many ways. I spent time with a very good friend. The weather was perfect and the drive extremely scenic. Ewey baked a Vermont McIntosh apple cake while I was visiting as well. It was delicious!

I have started a new project and I can't wait to show you. I am loving it! It may be in my top 3-5 favorite projects. Ewey got a sneak preview yesterday and I am swearing her to secrecy.

Happy Knitting and Spinning!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Boycott Burton Snowboards

Today’s post is not about knitting or spinning.

I live in scenic Vermont that has a reputation for its beauty, low crime rate and it’s artistic opportunities. It’s a state where parents want to raise their children.

We are proud of our Vermont companies that have an international reputation; companies such as
Vermont Teddy Bear (a very fun place to work), asty Ben 'N Jerry's Ice Cream and Burton Snowboards that forged a path for boarders to be able to share the slopes alongside skiers.

Proud of them all until yesterday, that is. Burton Snowboards has outraged many people because they have partnered with Playboy and depicted nude women on their boards. They also have a line of jackets and boots with nude women. The young Burton representative on the local news last night ,and who looked like an “All American boy”, had a Cheshire grin on his face is probably laughting all the way to the bank as I write this post.

To make matters even worse, Burton also has a line of boards that depict self-mutulation. They have described their new lines as “pushing the envelope”, “edgy”…you know, all those modern buzzwords that makes you think that what they are doing is innoventive and it is ok.

The boards are available in 15 stores locally as well as across the country and internationally. I’m not a skier or a boarder but can you imagine bringing your children to the slopes for a day of fun and seeing that trash.

Burton Snowboards, you are polluting society.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Market Bags

When Brian visited recently he gave me a lesson on crocheting his Crochet Market Bag which he designed for "Peaches 'n Creme". The kit may be purchased on "Peaches" site. It was fun to crochet.

Melissa are you proud of me? Melissa and I have this little challenge going on. I'll crochet if she learns to knit!
I ran out of yarn for the handles and fortunately had a matching colorway in my stash.
I bet people were wondering why I was taking pictures of my market purchases!
So, then I was addicted and made another one out of mercerized cotton. I like the shiny effect. I decided I was going to crochet one of these for all the women I gift to at Christmas......NOT!!!! My crochet speed leaves a little to be desired.

I have crocheted a little in the be honest! I crocheted the Martha Steward poncho when that was popular.

On another note, (click --->)PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) sent this request to the founders of "Ben 'N Jerry's Ice Cream" (of Vermont) last week. They want the ice cream manufaturer to use breast milk in their product. I have nothing against breast feeding (my daughters were breastfed) but this is taking things a little too far. I could take this information in quite a few funny directions. However, I will spare you and let you use your imagination.

Happy Knitting!