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!