Friday, January 30, 2009

Knitting Interests!!!!

Last night's 1st mitten class was great. The women are delightful. More on that in a future post.

I'm compiling a list of commenters who are delightful but I am unable to respond because either they don't have a blog or their settings in Blogger doesn't show an address to respond to. Rachel from New Zealand is one of those individuals. I so enjoyed your comment the other morning but couldn't respond.

"KnitPicks" is having a 40% off book sale so I have been dieing to buy "Selbuvotter". I'm on a mitten knitting kick. You'll have to wait and see which books and what yarn I purchased.

"Continuous Cables" - Deb, this one is for you. This book looks fantastic "Knitted Tams" . And for those of us with children/grandkids to knit for, how much fun can knitting these be!!! "Finger Puppets" You can knit up all those acorn size balls of leftover sock yarn that you have in that wicker basket and wondering what to do with them all.

A blog that I read and love is by
Rosemarie Hill. She has a pattern to knit wire jewelry in the"Bijouterie-Knitty Winter 2008" (online for free)(Bijouterie is French for jewelry). How cool are these earrings!! This is definitely in queue for my knitting. As a matter of fact when I tried to get my foot in the door at one of my LYS as an instructor, they were only interested if I knitted with wire. Rosemarie also has a new book out called "Elements of Style". The jewelry is so beautiful, especially the bracelets. Beads and knitting make an interesting combination. This is a challenge for all of you who are comfortably knitting the same ole pattern! Yes, you!!!!

I feel like I hit the lottery today. It's TGIF and payday. Nice combination and no snowstorm predicted for several days.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More Cables!!

Hip, hip...hooray!!!! Not only did I get the one additional person I needed to make my cable mitten knitting class happen at my local educational center, the class filled to the maximum number I would accept which was six knitters. I am excited and delighted and can't wait for the first session tomorrow evening. Thanks, to Lizzie for helping test knit and proofread my patterns and making suggestions.

The other day
Deb mentioned in her blog that she felt like knitting something with cables. She even mentioned my cable mittens and Brooklyn Tweed's Almeara gloves (also in this issue of Vogue Knitting) in the same sentence. Though flattering, now, that was a stretch. If you have not heard of him, go check out his blog. His knitting and photography are always inspiring.

So, I pulled out this UFO filled with cables and am excited to return to it. That left edge is secured when completed. It's an extremely difficult and time-consuming pattern. I have written each row on a color-coded index card as the repeats are not the same number of rows alongside of each other. This is what it will look like. When I started this project, and we won't mention when that was, I would bring my lawn chair and park myself by beautiful Lake Champlain on a mild summer day. As I write this, we are getting 12 inches of snow.
I live 5 1/2 miles from work and it took 1 hr. and 45 minutes to get home tonight. I am content to stay indoors where it is warm.
More good news tonight, actually....great news! The local TV station announced that Vermont will be getting a fair amount more in $$$ from the stimulus package that is expected to be signed as early as this evening and those deep budget cuts, involving job losses, cuts in prescription subsidies for the elderly and much more will not happen for my state. There is enough money for the next two years with careful planning for the future. For many years, Vermont was one of the few states with a balanced budget. We will be fine.
Happy Knitting!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Here's Jakob!!!

Need I say more!!! (14 pictures total, I couldn't pick just one.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Knitting a Picot Edge!

After posting pictures of my picot edge mittens yesterday, several people asked me to share the information on knitting this picot edge. There are several ways of doing so and I selected the easiest method in order to teach my upcoming class.

In this case, I cast on loosely an even number of stitches (48 stitches in this case) on dp needles and joined. I knitted as follows:

With MC, K3 rows (these are the rows that will be folded to the inside and stitched when finished)
With CC, K1 row
With CC, *K2tog, YO, repeat from star to end of round
With CC, K1 row,
With MC, K3 rows
Continuing with ribbing (or other cuff method of choice)
Here is a pic of the inside of the mitten. I very loosely stitched the fold to the inside. If time had not been of essence, and of course the method I chose certainly is acceptable, instead of knitting those beginning three rows, I would have knitted 2 1/2" and folded into the inside of the cuff for a neater, more professional appearance. You can also initially select a provisional cast on to accomplish this but this is probably not for a beginner knitter. Here is a link describing this method.

Hello Yarn (<--click)- this gal's blog is on my Google Reader list. I've attached the link to her picot "Selbuvotter "mittens. They are gorgeous.

The "Selbuvotter" (<--click) mitten book is on sale at Knitpicks for 40% off till February 13th. I am odering it this week. The book itself is not filled with pretty colored pictures but the patterns are to die for. There is a Yahoo Group dedicated to these mittens. It is not for the "faint of heart".

Purlwise - this blog explains the provisional cast on method for the picot edging. There is lots of very valuable knitting information on this site.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Mittens Galore

I've been staying out of trouble and knitting mittens. I've been testing various techniques such as casting on, the "afterthought thumb" and different mitten tips. The class I hope to teach starting this Thursday (if one more person can just please sign up) will focus on cables and the mittens in general. The cuff on the mitten above has a knitted picot edge as opposed to a crocheted picot edge on the blue mitten. The white accent rows will be wider on future mittens. They are somewhat lost in the shadow on these mittens.

I've been using up my stash. What was I thinking when I purchased this colorway?

I plan on gathering various knitted items in my possession that have different types of cables as samples. Fortunately, I didn't have to hurry and knit those up this week.

Lizzie has been test knitting for me as well. She's always such a great help. If you don't read her blog, go on over there as she always has great tips on a number of subjects.

Tonight I need to write up two mitten patterns. Even if the class does not materialize, it will be good practice for me.

I'm reading your mind!!! I bet you are thinking, "Gee, Joansie just added 3 more UFO's to her long list!". I know, I know!!!!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beginner Easy Cable Mittens

Pattern: My Own - Still Designing
Yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes - Blush
Needles: Size 5 dp's

I'm scheduled to start teaching a mitten class next week at my local recreational department. I need one more person to sign up to make it happen!

As a very young girl of 13, I knitted my first cable mitten (with a different style thumb). It was a bright orange and was to be worn to my local high school's football games. We were proud "Tigers" and always wore black and orange.

I couldn't find a mitten pattern with all the features that I wanted so I am writing my own. It really is not rocket science. I do want to present to my students a nice booklet with a glossy 4x6 picture of the mitten on the cover.

Most mittens using worsted weight yarn are on size 6 needles. I'm using size 5 as I wanted a tigher knit providing additional warmth.

The students at my mitten class will be learning how to cast on properly, measure for a comfortable finished mitten, an afterthought thumb and have a choice of two mitten tips. One is the classic "rooftop" requiring a kitchener finish and the other a more rounded top.

I also experimented with the mitten below which has a cable cuff with a picot crocheted edge. I decided to go with the pink mitten as this one, the cables will be somewhat hidden by a coat sleeve.
I always enjoy teaching knitting and don't consider it a job till it's time for the paycheck to come in.

I'm already thinking about my next class for next fall. That one will either be Magic Loop socks or a moebius scarf. I'd also like to have a Christmas stocking class, stranded knitting, etc., etc., etc. Can you see why I have so many things on my needles? I just love it all.

I can actually go to bed at a decent hour tonight. The inauguration is over, the balls are over but I don't have an excuse to just sit there and knit.

I think I've been using my camera as a "one size fits all". I better check my settings as the pictures are not as clear as I would like them to be.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Tomorrow is the BIG DAY!!! I never thought that 1-20-09 would arrive. I remember when I first started seeing bumper stickers with that date and wanted time to fly by. I am so excited that America will have a new president. I plan on watching the inauguration from big screen TV's at the university and will be glued to my tv when I get home.

The picture above was taken January 7, 2008 when I took the day off from work and traveled to NH to listen to Obama speak. The traffic jam was unbelievable, the crowds were overflowing. Two young men protected me against the stampede of people going in through doors of the auditorium. Because I am older and mentioned I had driven several hours, I was given a front row seat reserved for VIPs in the balcony. Downstairs was standing room only. At the time, unbeknownst to me, there were protesters gathering in the balcony as well and were very disruptive before being kindly escorted out. It was such a thrill to be there!!

I wish I could be in Washington, D.C., to see history in the making but that is not possible. I envy those that are in spite of the huge crowds, etc. There will be a sense of unity. Today, Obama has a 77% approval rating.

I had already gone to listen to John Edwards (and who knew how that would fall!), as well as Hillary Clinton on two other days in my neighboring State of New Hampshire. I was an avid Clinton supporter but I must say that Obama has won me over with his plans on getting us out of the economic mess that we are in. I like his choice of cabinet members though he did diss Vermont's former governor and Democratic Chairman, Howard Dean, who in my opinion has gotten a bum rap.

It's been somewhat sad to see Bush on tv the last couple of weeks. He looks like he has aged so much, is very sad and especially lonely. I'm disappointed that in his eight years in office, Vermont is the only state in the U.S. that he has not visited. We were the forgotten people.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You Gotta Love John Deere!!!

Pattern: Roo Designs
Yarn: Plymouth Encore
Needles: Size 7
Knitting Style: Intarsia

It's tough taking pictures in the wintertime when the lighting is so poor. Anyhow, intarsia knitting, such as this sweater, is when there are large blocks of knitting with the same color, usually requiring lengths of yarn on a small plastic, adjustable, bobbin. The yarn is not usually carried across except for the twisting with the stitch beside it. It differs from fair isle or stranded knitting.

Sweater is for my grandchild, Jakob now age 2, who loves his dad's John Deere tractor. When my daughter tells him they are going outside, he will cry if she doesn't reach for the tractor keys. Thus, the inspiration for this sweater. I added a label that says "Made With Love By Grandma!" You can find those at JoAnn's.

Here we are on my other daughter's John Deere. Picture was taken last August.

Another pic of Jakob! Indulge me...I'm a proud grandma!!
Now, really, how can a handknit sweater be exciting to open as a gift for a 2-yr. old boy? I went to the animal feed/grain store and they were having a huge sale on these toy. So, look what I found to include in the package I will be mailing to him. I don't know who is more excited!!! Me or Jakob when he receives this.
Now, doesn't that look like a ton of fun!!! I'm hoping my daughter will take a video of him playing with it. He loves remote controlled gadgets/toys.

And look what I found at the supermarket......

It's a box of "gummy tractor, bulldozer, etc." candy. As a treat once in a great while won't hurt!!!

Making all of this happen has been fun!!!
I also have something special for my two older grandchildren going in the mail. I always make a point of remembering them all as I love them all very much. Each has their own unique personality.
On another note...............
Thanks for all the nice comments left on my previous post regarding the negative comment(s) I received. Some of you I am not able to respond to because of your settings. For instance,'s been awhile and it was so wonderful to hear from you. I want to help you with the sock knitting but I no longer know how to reach you.
Happy Knitting!

Not Very Nice Comments On My Blog

Ok, if you leave a very negative or nasty comment on my blog and you choose "anonymous" because you don't have the integrity to identify yourself so I can respond, it will be deleted.

If you wish to knit with what I consider crap yarn, go for it but don't criticize me. There are many colorways out there because we have different tastes. So, you don't like my color selection so just be polite and be quiet. Geesh!!!!

I have a right to my opinion, what yarn I want to use, or what products I don't wish to purchase. Seeing you wish to lurk, be negative, etc., I have changed my settings and your comments will never see the light of day on my blog. Anonymous comments will not even be read and automatically be deleted.

So to the person who left me that comment today............go read someone else's blog.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Doing The Happy Dance!!!!

I work till 4:00 and today at 3:55 there was an impromptu department meeting. The dean has confirmed that there will be no cut in staff or cuts in the budget for my department.

Can you believe it!!! If I could have kicked up my heels, I would have. My co-workers and I lit up with smiles at the announcement. We are pretty fortunate indeed! After the e-mail of Dec. 23rd, it was pretty worrisome and this news was fantastic.

So...........if you'll excuse me, I am going to go relax with a couple of knitting needles!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Garter Stitch Matinee Jacket

Pattern: Garter Stitch Matinee Jacket By Debbie Bliss
Shown: Size 3 mos.
Yarn: Bernat Satin Sport
Needles: Size 4

The pattern in the book shows this cute little baby wearing this sweater. Most of us usually like a garter knit project as it usually is mindless knitting. Trust me when I say this was the project from hell. Had I not told the recipient I was going to knit this sweater, I would have abandoned it. Perhaps if the baby were here already to try on the sweater, I might warm up this little sweater. After all, who doesn't like to nuzzle up to a newborn baby who still has the scent from heaven.

It was difficult to find the correct weight yarn in the color that I wanted in washable yarn. Originally, I wanted it to be a cream color as we don't know the sex of the baby that my co-worker is expecting in late March/early April.

The Bernat Satin Sport looked lovely as a skein. However, it snagged and split very easily, pilled, etc. The join on the cables of my knitting needles compounded the problem. I ended up purchasing more needles but the store did not have the correct length and the cable coil kept getting in the way (sigh).

I was going to knit a matching hat and booties, but gave up that idea. I'm not into torturing myself.

I'm almost embarrassed to give this sweater as a gift. It definitely is not my best work. There are different methods I would use for joining in the future were I to knit this again.

I knitted an I-cord instead of thread a ribbon as a tie because I felt it would look more unisex.

It's an absolutely gorgeous day in Vermont with a fresh snowfall of about six inches with the sun glistening on the accumulation. I plan on going out later to take pictures.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


My son-in-law's mother, Pauline, passed away last evening. Her health had been frail for some time but took a turn for the worse on New Year's Day. It is extremely sad for the family. She was a wonderful mother of five, grandmother of many, and great-grandmother of several.

She was an avid quilter, cross-stitcher, grew bonsai and was interested in needle felting, and always ready to learn a new craft. She had recently started to learn how to knit socks. She was a very interesting lady.

Above is one of the quilts she was working on for one of the grandkids. (Picture taken December 2007). I have several of her beautiful, hand-knitted scarves.

For the last 18 years I spent many a holiday at her home which was the gathering place for family. Tables laid end to end from the kitchen to the living room, it was not unusual to have 35+ people at the dining table, linen tablecloth, real dishes and food fit for a king. I always felt welcomed. Everyone pitched in bringing a favorite dish and with cleanup afterwards. Lots of chatter and laughter especially with the ritual Christmas Yankee swap. Both she and her husband, Normand (who passed away April of 2006), were very gentle and loving people.

She took excellent care of my first grandchild the first year he was born and never expected anything in return. That is the kind of woman she was.

My daughter was fortunate indeed to marry into this family.

One of my last visits with her, I had occasion to spend time with her alone crafting. She wanted my help blocking a sweater.

She will be missed by so many!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

John Deere Tractor Sweater

Pattern: Roo Designs
Yarn: Plymouth Encore
Needles: Size 7

I'm getting excited about this sweater. I can see an end in site and I can't wait to finish it. The most difficult part is done.

The sleeves will be striped like the bottom edge. The neckline will have a K1,P1 ribbing in cream and then a green rolled edge like on the front/back bottoms.

One of the reasons why intarsia knitting can be such a pain. Lots of ends to weave in is not my favorite thing to do.

The sweater is for my grandchild, Jakob, now age 2. He loves his dad's John Deere tractor and will cry if they leave the house without the keys for the tractor. The sweater probably won't fit him till next fall. I didn't want to pressure myself into finishing it in his current size. Hopefully, he will still be enthralled with the tractor by then.

I started knitting intarsia when I was only 12 years old. For some reason, I think my tension was better back then or I just didn't know any better. I remember knitting my high school sweater with a mascot on the back to wear to the football games and everyone wanting me to knit them one.

I'm almost done with a Debbie Bliss baby sweater. I only have to assemble it and I can't wait to be done. I purchased cheap yarn at Michael's that looked pretty but has not been fun to knit with. Pics coming later this week!

Happy Knitting!

Being Content!!!

This picture, originally posted on my Yahoo 360 blog a couple of years ago, is resurfacing because it seems appropriate as I prepare to return to work tomorrow after a two week vacation. Layoffs are imminent and I hope to survive the cut backs.

Life has never been easy for me. After a terribly difficult divorce, I cross-stitched this piece from the "Book of Philippians" and hung it on my wall as a reminder. It took me one year to complete on 14 count Aida cloth.

I am paraphrasing...."How great is the joy I have in my life in the Lord!....I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. I know what it is to be in need, and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. (Phil. 4:10-14).

Just before the mandatory two-week holiday break, actually, 5 minutes after everyone left, an e-mail was sent with a few details of the upcoming layoff. My department will be affected. We read the e-mail from our home computers.

When you work closely with someone and you know their families, their children, their personal circumstances, perhaps even had dinner at their home, it is always difficult. You hope that the single mom with young children will keep her job, as the gal who desperately needs the medical insurance for a family member. Then there's the gal expecting a baby and the two women who were just hired a couple months ago. There are many more.

I think I am safe but one never knows for sure. At least I only have myself to worry about. My job is difficult to learn and has a heavy workload. In this situation, it just may help me. It's not a position that can be eliminated but I could be replaced.

Tomorrow will probably not provide any definitive answers, but many questions or total silence as everyone ponders their own personal situation.

I have wisely saved as much vacation time as allowed for the number of years I have been at my job. It is a short-term security blanket for me.

Ironically, except for the few days before vacation, I have been serene about the whole thing. I've been down this road before so I am a veteran and know I can survive.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Neck Warmer #3 & Matching Hat

Neck Warmer #3
Yarn: Manos Silk Blend
Pattern: Ask me if you are interested
This neck warmer has been completed for several weeks. I was waiting to post it till it had arrived to the intended recipient. I have just one more of these to knit and then I am not knitting the pattern again, ever again. I'm not one to like to knit something more than once. I usually find it boring. It's about the buttons again. I'm not excited about these but I had to sew something on the neck warmer. I saw these great buttons at Jo-Ann's. Just absolutely loved them. They were perfect for this warmer. I decided to wait to purchase them till I had my coupon as I needed two packages for a total of $6. Gee, a 40% off coupon would save quite a bit. Well, the buttons were never to be seen again the several times I have gone looking for them. That'll teach me to be so frugal!!!
I originally posted this pic on my blog when I started the project. This yarn is so fantastic to knit with and the colorways are out of this world! Selecting one was difficult.
It's been a great day! There was a storm warning on TV that never materialized. The sun was out all day which is highly unusual for Vermont which is the 2nd cloudiest state in the nation.
LDSVenus sent me Yak Down to try spinning. It's absolutely delightful. It has a very short staple so it will be challenging but I will succeed!
I felt energetic and accomplished a lot. Tomorrow will be spent preparing for my return to work on Monday. It's been a great two weeks of getting up when I felt like it, napping if I wanted to which happened only once, knitting to my heart's content, shopping and just being my own boss.
Well, I'm off to click those needles!
Happy Knitting!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Diagonal Lace Hat

I posted the diagonal lace scarf a few weeks ago and here is the matching hat. I designed (made up is more like it!) the hat pattern as there was not one available. Both items are meant to be worn with the Flaming Fan Mittens blogged about a couple days ago. The hat was completed 2-3 weeks ago and I've been wearing it. However, I'm thinking of picking up stitches along the edge and adding a K1,P1 ribbing. The hat just feels like it will be blown off the way it is now.

As for the Flaming Fan Mittens, I used Colinette Jitterbug yarn. They have beautiful colorways, however, I am not happy with the yarn at all. There were knots in the yarn and today I noticed that the mittens are beginning to pill after wearing less than a week. Darn!!!!

I've been rotating four knitting projects this week and accomplished a respectable amount of knitting on each. A baby sweater is almost done as is another cowl. I've been working on Jakob's tractor sweater after frogging it back and the intarsia portion is done, thank goodness. Pictures to come later.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

This and That!!

You all read the Yarn Harlot. If you don't you are missing something. I've been ROTFLMAO...I had to ask when I was a newbie what that stood for. It's "rolling on the floor laughing my "arse" off". The Harlot's blog and pictures today are totally hilarious as she bids farewell to Mr. Washie! Go read it!!! (after you finish reading my blog, of course)

Several of you wanted to see pics of me with my neck warmer I posted about a couple weeks ago. You wanted to know how long it was.
I went out to dinner this evening and had occasion to wear it. My friend took a slew of unflattering pictures. Good gravy!!! I thought I looked in the mirror recently, or at least before I left the house. One picture I looked like I had just one....well, never mind! I cropped the few that I could salvage so here you are!!!!

I added snaps below the buttons......I think I need to add one more! If my neck looks short, it's because the restaurant was so cold and I was trying to stay warm. I think they were trying to sell extra cups of whatever may be your favorite warm beverage. See the YO? All during dinner, my eye would catch the color of my sweater coming through and I thought I had crumbs down the front of

As I left the restaurant, a diner stopped and asked me if I had knitted my neck warmer. She said she had been admiring it from afar and told me how lovely I looked in it. I asked her if she was a knitter and she is. I was quite pleased to have a stranger ask me about it.

This picture shows you that it fits comfortably under my coat to keep me warm, and believe me, it has been frigid today.

My coat is a recent find at the Goodwill store when I was delivering something and decided to see what they had in the store. It is a Talbot's wool/mohair blend coat in perfect condition, absolutely perfect. It has a beautiful lining inside. I purchased it for $12.99 and it cost me more to have it dry cleaned than it did to purchase it. The cleaning was $14. A pretty good deal, I would say!

Happy Knitting!

Mosaic Mitts

Pattern: Mosaic Mitts
Yarn: 1 sk. of Baby Ull 1sk of Koigu

I confess. I started a new project but I started it before 2010 was upon us. I confess...I did not make a New Year's resolution that I would not cast on new projects before others were done. But really!!!! I do complete many of my projects so I needn't feel guilty. I just rotate them around and they eventually get done.

This pattern, though it looks fair isle, it is not. It is much easier. Each two rows are knit with just one color and some of the stitches of the opposing color are slipped to give it the mosaic effect. The pattern will be knit at home as it requires close attention to the chart. What you see was easily knitted in an evening and the cuff is doubled over itself so that you can knit a picot edge which really doesn't show up very well. Perhaps instead of K2tog, I should have P2tog to make the picot more prominent. I forgot how wonderful Baby Ull is to knit with. Koigu....well, how can you go wrong with Koigu. I just wish it weren't so expensive. I splurged as my boss (a knitter) gave me a gift certificate to my LYS.

The mitts are fingerless and will be worn in my office while typing. My office is absolutely frigid. I dress in layers, mostly wool. The shades are drawn to keep the cold air out, the plants are dieing due to lack of sunshine and rebelling at the lack of warmth. I have a small electric heater at my feet. When I return on Monday, it will be colder than ever as the heat was turned way down during vacation break. I'd love to get these mitts completed by then. It probably won't happen as per my usual habit, I have way more things to do on my "to do" list than is realistic.

I hope you all have had a happy start to the New Year!!! Even though we have pending layoffs at work, I remain optimistic that I will not be eliminated. Obama will be sworn into office soon and though it may take some time, I truly believe that he will turn the tide around for the economy. Vermont is the only state that Bush never once visited during his eight years, yes...eight years, in office.

Happy Knitting!