Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More Finished Projects

Hope you have all had a Happy Holiday!  I had a great time with my older daughter and her family in Rhode Island. 

This hat is a very quick knit and was one of my Christmas presents to my daughter.  I promised I wouldn't knit for Christmas this year and I broke that promise about 10 days before the 25th.  I guess I needed a little last minute stress.

Pattern: Thorpe Hat  (free pattern)

and a matching scarf! 

I put this ornament together using wooden skewers cut to faux knitting needle length.  I glued a bead on the ends.  I wound leftover yarn which was a great way of using up bits of yarn you don't know what to do with.

I printed out and attached this tag which is apropos for all of us knitters!

So, while we were on the "emergency" track, I ordered my daughter and myself this knitting bag.  Customer service from this site was fantastic!  Check out their other colors at Illiane's Corner.

Christmas Day was spent at my son-in-law's family home.  His mom passed away last January.  She was a wonderful mom, grandma, crafter, etc. The tree was decorated with all her hand-crocheted ornaments, mostly victorian and snowflakes.  All were white with an occasional touch of color.  

There were probably 25+ people there.  At the end of the day, all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren were invited to go up to the Christmas tree and select an ornament(s) to bring home with them as a momento of their beloved grandma.  It was very touching to see what everyone selected.  Every year there was a handmade quilt, sweater, or mittens under the tree for them.  She is definitely missed.

My daughter and I went to WEBS the day after Christmas.  WEBS is known as the world's largest yarn shop.  Again, the customer service just cannot be beat.

My daughter asked me if shopping at WEBS ever becomes less overwhelming.  I told her it gets easier.  However, by the time I left the store, I was totally exhausted and overcome by the fiber fumes. 

If you can't find the yarn you are looking for at this store, it doesn't exist.

I purchased nine skeins of Berocco Lustra which is one of their new lines.  It is Merino and Tencel and is marvelously soft.  I received the Knitpicks "Harmony" needle set as a Christmas present and the combination of this yarn and needles is a marriage made in heaven.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa Ingenuity l!!!!

I was sitting in my car at McDonald's enjoying my favorite beverage.  Someone behind me in the parking lot was being rowdy.  I turned around to see this:

Because here in Vermont we are not experiencing the Nor'Easter that most of New England is having today, Santa had to be resourceful and find a new mode of travel.  Not enough snow for a horse and sleigh!!!!

Rudolph came along for the ride!

It was near 0 degrees so Rudolph's arse buns were a little cold!

Santa and his family kindly posed for a family portrait!

And because the economy is a little better than last year for Santa, instead of candy canes, this year he was able to hand out presents.

It appeared that Santa and his family needed a "potty" break.........

I'm not sure what made me stalk follow them.  I think I wanted to tell Santa that I had been really good this past year and so had all my blogging friends.


Santa was ordering milk and cookies!!!  Had I been smart smarter, I would have put down my camera and offered to pay for them!!!!

These kids were pretty happy to see Santa!

Happy Holiday Knitting!  (I'm in a knitting time crunch!!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hats for "Head Start"!!!

Lizzie wanted to see my completed "Sherbert Hat".  I explained to her that I wanted to have little "curly cues" on the hat instead of a pom-pom.  She provided me with the instructions as follows:

Crochet a chain about 5 times longer than you want the finished curly-cue to be.  Three half-double (or double) crochets in each chain.  That's all there is to it.

These curly-cues are smaller and daintier than they appear.  I only had enough yarn left to do three of them which I felt was just fine.

I had time to knit this hat at the last minute with yarn from my stash.  All these hats are knitted with acrylic yarn for ease of washing.  They, along with the others in my previous post, are being donated to the "Head Start" children in Rhode Island.

It's such a busy time of the year for many of us.  I promised myself that I would not put any pressure on myself to knit gifts this year for Christmas.  At the last minute I broke that promise.  Some may get an IOU with their partially completed knitting item.  I have two full weeks off from work starting next Friday which will allow for knitting time as well as travel.

I'm looking forward to celebrating my many family traditions come the 25th.  My older daughter has taken over many of those tasks.  She recently made 18 "French Canadian Tourtiere" (pork pies) and froze them to be enjoyed on Christmas Day.  Some will be gifted.  Spices in the tourtieres vary from family to family.  Though easy to make, they are quite time-consuming.

Happy Knitting!  (more finished projects in a couple of days)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Parade of Hats

Voila!  My parade of hats! When I told you I was busy knitting I wasn't kidding.

Can you stand another Quincy hat by Jared Flood? This is the second one I knitted. The yarn is Debbie Bliss alpaca/silk.  It feels nice but stretches more than I would like.  Though pattern called for chunky, this is DK and worked out well.  Scarf knitted several years ago and one of my favorites.  Yarn is Frog Tree

I’m finding that pins are like buttons to me. The hunt is so much fun. This pin is exactly what I was looking for to give December a festive feel. Only thing is, Vermont has been having record high temperatures so a hat is not in order. Now, I’m not complaining, mind you. I had enough sleet, freezing rain and snow last winter.

Another Quincy knitted for my daughter.  Her's has a snowflake pin.  The hat has a beautiful snowflake pin on it.  Yarn was doubled and not bad to knit with. It has a sturdier shape to it.

This Odessa hat is far from my favorite. It’s probably because I didn’t use the correct weight yarn but figured it would fit someone and I needed to start a new project after having temporary amnesia regarding all my UFO's. This is an easy pattern to remember but don’t drop one of those darn YO’s.

 This hat is being donated to the “Head Start” program. I love knitting for little children and will have to start earlier next year. I think this one will put a smile on some child’s face.  Second mitten and thumb to the first still need to be knitted.

 This one was knitted with leftover yarn. Not an entry for a blue ribbon but it will keep some child’s head warm.  This is the only hat that was knitted some time ago.  All the others are recent knits (less than a month).  I still have to knit the mittens to go with this one.

Sherbet hat started today.  Not sure this one will make it to the kids in time.  Hats and mittens have to reach their destination in Rhode Island by the 18th.

I’d love to be walking up the street and see a stranger wearing one of my handknits. I’m sure I would recognize it as mine. I would say nothing but it would warm my heart.

 This put a smile on my face.  I hope it puts a smile on your face.

Back to my needles…..lots of knitting to do yet before Christmas. It will keep me out of trouble.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Should I Have Said Something?

Like most of you knitters, I carry my knitting everywhere.  I had an appointment for a manicure after work and brought my project with me in case I had to wait.  They were ready for me and I didn't have time to even sit down.  My knitting project, in a clear plastic bag, was rested in the waiting area along with my coat.

I proceded to sit in my manicure chair within elbow length to a lady with advanced years (i.e. old).  Listening to the conversation she was having with her manicurist, I realized  that she had an interesting job.  This is what happened next:

Joan:  "You fly planes?"

Lady:  "Yes, I own my own plane and do aerial photography."

Joan:  "Have you been flying long?"  (thinking she was introduced to flying at a very young age)

Lady:  "Oh, ever since I turned 40 and the kids left home."

Joan:  "That's nice!"


Lady:  "Oh, I'm not one of those people who will pull up  a chair and just knit!"   (insinuating that it is a cardinal sin and only the most boring individuals must consider picking up a set of knitting needles.)

At this point I am debating whether or not to tell her that I am an avid knitter, teach knitting classes, that I breathe, eat and sleep knitting.  I consider reaching in my handbag for my knitting business card, ruining my freshly painted nails.  No, I keep pondering how I can slip into the conversation how great knitting can be so I ask.....

Joan:  "Have you ever had a close call?"  (I'm thinking that I can tell her what a stress reliever knitting can be.  After all, if I almost crashed a plane, the first thing I would do is reach for my needles once I was on terra ferma.)

Lady:  "Oh, yes, a couple of times and you don't forget those near tragedies."

I'm still not getting up the courage to say something for fear of embarassing her.  As the conversation progresses, I find that she is a very nice lady. 

I concede, there are nice people who are non-knitters.

Now that I am home I wish I had diplomatically said something and promoted knitting.  What do you think?

Happy Knitting!

"Class Show 'N Tell"

How quickly time flies when you are having fun!!!  My neck warmer class ended last week.  We met for four consecutive Tuesdays from 7-9.  Lots of laughter, sharing and more.  Deb opened her beautiful home for us to get together.  Not everyone knew each other but it didn't take long to feel like old friends.

Here's Deb with her beautiful neck warmer.  It's a tad bit large but we discussed how to remedy that after the fact.  Deb has a real eye for buttons.   She has a contagious laugh and often would say something that had us rolling on the floor.  Deb previously took both my mitten and sock knitting classes.  

Sara is a new knitter having just completed by "Beginner Knitting Class" in October.  Already a beautiful knitter, her neck warmer will be gifted to someone special (I didn't say who, Sara. ;>))  Also a quilter, crafting comes easily to her.  I had the opportunity to meet her two daughters recently.  Lovely, lovely girls.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Megan, 9 years old, is knitting a scarf and is doing a wonderful job.  Perhaps I'll be able to show you a picture soon.  Megan loves to fondle fiber.  Molly, age 6 just grabs your heart with her beautiful eyes and smile. 

Laurie is also gifting her neck warmer.  She also did a lovely job knitting and we are keeping a little secret regarding the scarf.  If you want to have fun, invite Laurie to any gathering you may have.  She is the life of the party!!  Laurie and I often get together for lunch and knitting clinics as we work in close proximity of eacch other.

Deb, Laurie and Sara with their neck warmers!

Another Sara had to drop out after the 2nd week due to overextension of her workload.  We missed you, Sara and we hope to see you again.

My next "Beginner Knitting" class doesn't commence till January 25th.  By then I should have my new web site created with detailed instructions and videos for my knitting students.  Four weeks later I start another mitten class.

Happy Knitting!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Family Fun and Knitting!!!

I attended Jakob's 3rd birthday party last Saturday.  Notice the excitement in his eyes as he sees his front bucket loader cake that my daughter, Emily, baked and decorated for him.

Jakob blowing out his candles!

Enjoying my grandson!
It was a great Thanksgiving at my son-in-law, Richard's family home.  Lots of great food, laughter and fun!

My older daughter, Amy, and I had a lot of quality time together from shopping at LYS and mall to going to an alpaca farm that unfortunately was not open that day. 

Amy and I knitted a lot, watched knitting TV programs and more.  I wish I had remembered to take a picture of her knitting project as she is knitting very, very well for the short amount of time she has been knitting.   (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!!!! hehe)

I am so proud of all my grandchildren.   Above is Nick, age 12, chopping wood to donate to needy families in the area.  Unfortunately, he is still too young for a chain saw.  He was out there for quite awhile.  He drove the tractor and loaded the wood on the cart.  This will also help him earn a Boy Scout badge.  He's always been a hard worker.

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of all family members and also didn't take a picture of the completed hat I gifted to my daughter.  I just plain forgot.

All you your heart out!!!  I stopped here briefly on the way home. 

I was on a mission and it was a quick shopping trip as I am returning for their December 26th sale accompanied by my daughter and catching up to Brian and his brother.  I scooped up 20 skeins of sale yarn...more info later.

"Show and Tell" knitting blog post tomorrow.  I've already written and scheduled the post. 

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blogging friends!  Sorry, no pictures to post.  This gal is just dog-tired. 

I'm traveling to Rhode Island for turkey treats and quality time with my family and grandkids. 

I've completed lots of knitting and I mean lots.  So much so that I've had no time to take pictures.  I finished my 3rd Quincy hat last evening (all in about 10 days), another cowl, a scarf and one 3/4 completed, started another cowl.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Lots of pictures when I return.  Will catch up on blog reading at some point.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh, Baby, Baby....

.....I'm so in love with you!

Pattern:  Quincy (Jared Flood's new book "Made in Brooklyn")
              This pattern can also be download from Brooklyn Tweed's Blog
Needles:  Size 10 1/2
Yarn:  Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky (2 skeins with plenty left over)

While knitting this hat I kept humming "Oh baby, baby, I'm so in love with you!" because it  was a truly fun knit.  A couple relaxing evenings with your needles will complete this hat.

The Crown Of The Hat!

I love the simple elegance of this hat. 

It's difficult to capture the true beauty of this hat with my camera on a cloudy Vermont afternoon but it is one of my favorite patterns. 

I've completed several other projects that I have yet to post.  Those needles are just a clicking away.  The "Sally Bag" is completed but for the felting and lining.

I had a tooth extraction late Thursday that did not go very well.  The dentist was having difficulty and ended up hitting all my upper front teeth full force with the equipment.  He reassured me that nothing was chipped or broken.  I was then informed that my jaw was ready to collapse and that he needed to do a bone graft which is normally $400.  He said he would not charge me which left me wondering exactly what happened.

I was told to take it easy for a few days, not to lift anything heavy (that means laundry baskets, right?).  I was told I would feel some discomfort.  The first day was just plain pain.... 

I had an excuse to eat plenty of ice cream and pudding (tapioca).  It's back to work tomorrow!!!

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Excited Over My Next Project!!!

I'm so excited about my next project that I have to give you a glimpse of what I am up to.  Did I say next?  I still have two sweaters to finish which are almost done, a scarf and another neck warmer.  Perhpas this will be my Christmas timeoff, vacation, heavenly week. 

Do I have your attention?  Let me tease you a little bit!  It's always so much fun to do that!

Four skeins of Cascade 220 from my LYS.  Only three is needed but I am not taking the chance of running short.  Cascade 220....does that give you a clue?  100% wool.  The project has to be wool.  Still wondering, well, read on.  On second thougth, read on anyway.

I can already feel each one of those strands slipping through my fingers as I anxiously wind the yarn off my umbrella swift.  I'll feel the love of those same strands of yarn as I knit each stitch of my pattern.  

Silly men, (and I suppose some women also) like to say they get twice the heat when chopping wood.  Once, from the elevated body heat while chopping, and again heat when burning the wood. 

I'll get twice the heat from this yarn and it's so much easier....well, almost.  Once as it rests in my lap as it grows row by row and again when I wear it.  Oh, yes, I forgot.....this project is not worn in the true sense of the word. 

Ok, I've kept you in suspense long enough........

I'm knitting the "Lucy Bag" (<----click)as shown in the picture below on their web site. 

I knitted this bag for my younger daughter and loved it.  My older daughter has also knitted it for herelf.

My plan is to knit the bag, line it and needle felt a bird on the lower right (or left) of the bag.  Today, I was on a hunt to find lining fabric.  I really wanted a chickadee on a pine tree branch.  Chickadees and pine trees are my beloved home State of Maine's state symbols.  The material below is what I found.  Now, it's to decide which bird to needle felt.  This one..........

...or this one!!!.....

....or this one!!!

...or this one!!!!

I spoiled myself as well and purchased Brooklyn Tweed's (a/ka Jared Flood) new book.  It's no surprise that every pattern in this book is gorgeous. 

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cowls and Mittens

I knitted this cowl for my co-worker, Amy.  You've seen this same cowl in various yarns several times on previous blog posts.  Amy is always doing something nice for everyone else.  Amy is a fantastic baker and is always bringing baked products into work.   She is proud to say that all her baked goods that she sells incorporate all local ingredients. 

I think this colorway looks fantastic on Amy.  Her hair is a beautiful "salt 'n pepper" and wasn't it convenient for her to wear red the day I gifted her the cowl.  The buttons are from a stash of buttons she gave me awhile back.  Quite a propos!!!  I used Cascade 220 and adjusted the pattern accordingly as it called for DK. 

I have as much fun selecting buttons as I do knitting!

A close up!!

Brian sent me an e-mail because  he knew I had been looking for "Magnificent Mittens" for quite some time.  It's been out of print and if you can find it, the cost will be anywhere from $149 to $1,000.  My co-worker, Amy, surprised me one day.  She borrowed the book through inter-library loan.  Why I can't take books out of the library is a story for another day.  I drooled over this book  and decided the only way I could possibly ever own it was finding it at a yard sale where someone didn't know what they had. 

Well, much to my excitement, and I mean excitement, the book, "Magnificent Mittens and Socks", is going to be published again for $16.47 at Amazon.  I'm not sure if all the same mitten patterns are included along with the socks.  I don't care.  I am buying myself this book.  Here are a few pictures.

A thumb and a spare so that when one wears out, you flip the mitten!!!

I like the large cuff that easily goes over a jacket sleeve!

These would be a slight challenge but well worth the time!

I started teaching my cowl knitting class last evening.  All the women except for one are previous knitting students.  One of the women was disappointed I was not offering another class through by "Recreational Department" before the holidays so she offered her beautiful home to a small group of knitters.  We had less than a week to advertise if we were going to complete four Tuesday classes before Thanksgiving.  I've also been approved to teach additional knitting classes at the Rec Dept. starting in January.  It's exciting and I'm having a terrific time.  The women are lovely and we soon become friends.

Happy Knitting!