Monday, March 30, 2009

Spiral Scarf

The scarf was knitting with lace weight yarn (silk/merino) from Knitpicks. Pattern was purchased at Webs.
We, as knitters, want our projects to be the best one thus far until you cast on the next project. This spiral scarf really fell short of the mark. I've only worn it a couple of times, and though I always get compliments on it, I'm just not happy with it. I feel like I am wearing a clown's collar or a collar on one of those medieval women's dresses. What was I thinking? I love the yarn and fortunately I have two more skeins to play with.
I completed this scarf last summer and waited to blog about it in the hopes that ....well, I'm not sure what I expected as it is what it is.

I wet, pinned and blocked this wayward scarf. The yarn is stubborn like it's owner. Now, stubborn can be good in some instances. For me, it is synonomous with determination. The dang scarf just will not conform and curls as if it were a bathing beauty's hair at the ocean on a hot, humid, summer day.

I crocheted an edge around the neck because, as its name implies, it was spiralling out of control. Nope.....that didn't help much either.

So, I've adopted the attitude that there has to be a few "not so hot" knitting projects to really appreciate the good ones.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Christmas Stockings/Planning Ahead!!!

Note: Pattern and picture by Ann Norling patterns.

Above is a picture from my latest pattern purchase from Halcyon Yarn out of Bath, Maine. I've shopped their store and if you are a knitter AND a spinner, it's a really fun place to shop. Actually, it's fun regardless of how many crafts you enjoy. It is definitely worth ordering their catalog.

I knitted a similar Santa Christmas stocking many years ago and my daughter, Amy still hangs it out at Christmas time.

My other daughter also had a hand-knitted stocking which was recently found after laying dormant in packing boxes for many years.

I hope to knit one of these stockings very soon so that I can offer it as a knitting class in the fall.

What is unique about these patterns is that some things are 3-dimensional. The scarf on the snowman looks like it's blowing in the wind. The miniature jingle bell, strung on a ribbon, hangs from the reindeer's neck. It also uses cross-stitching techniques such as the shadow outline of each figure as well as embroidering the name at the top (not shown). The stocking is then lined with fabric to add stability which means it won't get completed till the holiday fabric is out in the fall.

When I was a child, I always had an orange in my stocking along with rolled mints and Avon products. Even today, it is fun to figure out things that will fit in the stocking and be meaningful.

I hope to return to my regular knitting this week and blogging. I've been so busy and actually doing a lot of "playing".

I've neglected my spinning and that will be revive this week also. It is my turn to bring snacks to my spinning group this month. I am able to return now that daylight savings time in combination with dry roads has returned. I'm looking forward to June's meeting as we will be dyeing wool.

I know I mentioned "dry roads" above but we are actually in the middle of "mud season" in Vermont. Back roads are difficult to navigate and it is not unusual for kids to have time off from school because school buses are unable to get to them.

It is also maple sugaring season which means cold nights and warm days allows the sap to run. I'm a real snob when it comes to maple syrup and think there is none better than sap collected and boiled right here in Vermont. I think the cost is now about $45/gallon for Grade A with "Fancy" being a little more.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Indulge Me!

Ok, blogging friends, indulge me for several reasons. I spent a ton of time trying to figure out how to post this video of my precious grandchild to this blog. Well, it really is easy but I must have been in a "duh" frame of mind. The first frame of the video looks out of proportion but it does get better, that is, until Jakob put his finger up to the camera. It may take a minute or so to load. More on knitting after the video.

I must say that this video really touched my heart. It made my day!

I had to frog back about 5 rows on the sock I am working on. I knitted for awhile today, parked in my car while enjoying a beverage. The sunshine was wonderful.

I went to an indoor farmer's market for the first time. I had not gone before because parking was an issue. Now, I understand why. It was fantastic. There were many, many vendors, crafts, etc. with live entertainment on the stage.

Eggs were selling for $5/doz. (ouch!)

A well-known Vermont handspinner was there selling her hats for $65. They were knit on about Size 13 needles. Am I the only one who thinks that is a little pricey? I looked at her yarn and it was beautiful. I wished I remembered the fiber content. Perhaps it was merino. I almost choked at the price. It was selling for 90 cents per yard. A skein was $94. I felt like Rip Van Winkle and perhaps had slept for 100 years and just waking up to these prices. The lambskins were a "hot" (no pun intended) item.

A simple baby bib sewn from cotton was selling for $12. I remember making mine from fingertip towels and adding ties to them for my girls.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Girly Baby Afghan

I started this baby afghan about a month ago and only knit on it when I don't feel like knitting something a little more complicated. The pattern is from a very old book and is a take-off on the feather and fan. It seems like it is taking forever. This item will go into my gift storage cedar chest. I know no one expecting a baby girl. It matches the Helena baby sweater I posted a short time ago.

I have too many knitting projects I want to start. Oh, wouldn't this be nice for my youngest grandchild next winter. Or, wouldn't my two older grandsons look handsome in this!!!

Lizzie encouraged me to join, as her support buddy, the weight management program called "Live Strong". I have the desire to lose weight but not the discipline. Now, you are looking at the girl who when she drives up to order at Dunking Donuts, they recognize my voice and call me "Hun" and comment if I deviate from my usual order. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beautiful Vermont!!!

Renna, from "Finding my Knitch", has been asking me about photos from the view I described in a previous post. At the time, I did not have my camera with me. I returned this morning and captured the following views:

Vermont is exceptionally beautiful. Burlington, it's largest city, is a wonderful place to live and raise a family. It is relatively crime free in comparison to the rest of the country. We have quite a few colleges and a university along with a lot of cultural opportunities.

Lake Champlain, which is about 250 miles long, separates Vermont from New York State. The Burlington waterfront, with all its beauty, attracts both locals and tourists with a variety of events. I was not able to get a good picture today of the Burlington Boat House (<---click). It is beautiful.

Pictured is one of a couple of lighthouses down by the breakwater. There is a bike and jogging path for miles. Till my leg injury, I used to bike 10 miles a day, three times a week along this path.

Come June there will be many festivals along the waterfront. The "Green Mountain Chew Chew Festival" is my favorite. A variety of local restaurants serve bite size food from their menu for a few purchased tokens. Another favorite will be the "Jazz Festival".
This is the "Spirit of Ethan Allen", a cruise boat that is charted for company parties and wedding receptions. There are other smaller boats that offer a very affordable brunch and two-hour cruise along the lake for about $20.
One of two lighthouses along the breakwater with the Adirondack Mountains of New York as a backdrop. There are picnic areas along the path where you can enjoy a nice sandwich and the stunning sunsets.
The above picture was taken from this spot below.
The ice is beginning the breakup with the several days of above freezing weather that we have experienced in the last few days. I thought it was an interesting pattern.

I'm headed back to my knitting (and some housework..sigh) after sharing a little piece of my world with you!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Meeting Blogging Friends!!!!

Meeting blogging friends is so much fun. Norma, of "Now Norma Knits" , invited me along for lunch to meet Rachel of (formerly) "noblogRachel". The Yarn Harlot used to lament that Rachel didn't write a blog ...and thus the name.

We met at Chef's Corner, located in Williston, Vermont. It's a fantastic lunch/bakery favorite to the locals.

Here's Rachel, the reason we all got together today. Formerly from Vermont and now living in California, it was a delight meeting her.

It's a really small world as Alison Hyde, "Wrapped In Comfort", and Rachel belong to the same knitting group in California.

Norma brought along her sweater and knitted on it while waiting for our food. It's gorgeous and the picture does not do it justice. We all were wearing our handknits. You know how when you watch the Academy Awards, the stars always say something like, "I'm wearing Velentino" or something to that effect, well I said, "I'm wearing Elizabeth Zimmerman" (the rib warmer vest)

Joan and Norma!!!Lois, Rachel's friend and former co-worker who lives locally, joined us.

As you walk into the eatery, you are greeted by all these tempting and luscious goodies.

Interesting meringue Easter bunnies!!!

Of course, what do knitters do when they get together? The go to LYS, of course. Kaleidoscope Yarns is a favorite!!! Norma really knows how to shop for yarn!!! Great taste in yarn, that gal has!!!

Great pic of Norma and Rachel. Check out the handknits!!!

As we were leaving the yarn shop I overheard a customer comment, "those gals are having so much fun!"

You can't tell from this picture but we were crossing our legs to the left, having our picture taken, then crossing our legs to the right, folks....another picture but through the magic of "cropping" I made sure my thighs were not visible. (giggle)

Happy Knitting!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lacy Mock Cable Anklet Socks

Free Pattern: Lacy Mock Cable Socks
Yarn: Sockotta
Needles: Size 2 circular (Magic Loop)

This is a fun and very easy pattern with a repeat of only five rows. I've knitted this pattern on two previous occasions.
A close-up of the stitch definition for you. I knit a variety of items but always really like returning to socks.

What a great day! I had way too much fun!!!! Amazing how "fun" can energize you. I had a vacation away from work today. The sun was shining and it was pay day. Quite the combination. Don't even remind me that it was also Friday the 13th. It didn't matter.

I was out the door by 8:00 a.m. and headed into Burlington. When I arrived I had the most beautiful view of the lake and wish I had had my camera with me. The sun was glistening over the mostly frozen lake with a small lighthouse by the breakwater standing guard. The majestic snow-capped Adirondack Mountains of New York was the backdrop.

The rest of the day was spent doing whatever my little heart desired. Shopped for yarn, looked at patterns, had a fantastic lunch.

Tomorrow I am meeting fellow Vermont blogger Norma of "Now Norma Knits" along with another Vermont blogger that I have yet to meet. After lunch at a great little restaurant in this area, we will then head to Kaleidescope Yarns. It should be another fun day!

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Shamrock Pin

Free Pattern: Shamrock (<----click)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! This is a 15 minute project that anyone can do. I'm not a good crocheter at all and was able to do it.

I added this pin on the back and voila!!!...a quick gratifying project.

Isn't everyone Irish on March 17th? I look forward to the day for a number of reasons. It's the one day I have corned beef and cabbage, wear a little green, but I pass on the green beer. I like to listen to Celtic music and it completes my day.

As a bonus, it is my work anniversary date so each year I get two additional paid personal days...yipee!!!

I've been in a knitting slump for the last month. I've not knitted except for mindless knitting on a baby blanket that just keeps my hands busy. No pics yet...but soon!
I've been busy figuring out all the new software on my new laptop and multi-function printer (i.e. scanner, fax, etc.). I'm determined, and though it's been a real time inhaler, I have everything just about all figured out.

I'm being drawn to other hobbies I have not been interested in a long time. My genealogy has sparked new interest as has my cross-stitching.

I knitted so much for awhile that a lot of things suffered and now I'm paying the price and trying to reclaim order in my life before the nice summer weather gets here. I love plants, and to give you some idea, I went from this beautiful African violet .........
to this pathetic looking plant that has only the slight resemblance to the one above.
Time to get back on track by visiting my LYS today to buy yarn to start knitting a test sock for my next teaching class which begins the end of April. This one will be "Magic Loop Summer Lace Socks". The class appears like it may be full before the brochure even comes out!!!
Happy Knitting!