Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Knitting New Year

This post is going to be knitter ramblings, so if you aren't one of my knitter friends, just go back to getting ready for the bowling party (you know who you are) and you won't notice how much of a one track mind I have.

Okay, now, I must say that knitting resolutions are great. No real fear of failure, since even if you don't do what you planned, you do something else which is usually just as good, so NO STRESS! Plus, other than a little Christmas present stress, knitting is usually relaxing. Right?

I joined the 10 shawls in 2010 group on Ravelry. And joined a few (ahem, we won't count how many) Ravelympics teams. So I have stuff planned. I am getting the feeling this will be the year of lace. I'm not supposed to start until tomorrow, but swatching is okay, so I started a little swatch (or point of the shawl shh, don't tell) of one of the starting projects, the Valentine Shawl, made from Hana silk that I got a long time ago at Artfibers in SF.

I have a lovely stash of laceweight, and it is begging me to use it, so I will try to just knit from my stash whenever possible. The only glaring exception to this will be Stitches, and I plan on being very PICKY with purchases. One thing experience brings you is the ability to not get so caught up in the moment with impulse buys. Especially when you have a few past purchases still hanging around.

I have printed most of the potential patterns for what I want to make and stuck them in one binder, so I am organized and ready to go. I need to spend a little time with my new ball winder I got for Christmas, but other than that I'm at the starting gate ready for the ball to drop.

Happy Knitter New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas Knitting!

Merry Christmas to all my knitting friends and other friends who happen by my little sporadic blog. It seems that ravelry and facebook occupy too much of my time already, so my little blog gets neglected.

I have finished my Christmas knitting - knitting I have been working on since around October. I have been saving up the photos, so, are ya ready?

First up, Carey. She got a set of fingerless mitts and a neck warmer in Malabrigo. This is a unique colorway (fancy term for end of the bucket) that I fell in love with at Imagiknit a few months ago. The pattern is Vancouver Fog Mitts.

The neckwarmer pattern is Celtic Cable Neckwarmer and this is the second one I have made. Great pattern.

Next up is Jean. Jean is getting(or will be soon if the USPS is late) the Laurel hat I made and entered into the fair. To go with, I made some simple mitts in the same yarn. Yarn: Vintage Wool by Berocco.

Then we have Mom - she got the Damson shawl in Cascade Heritage sock yarn. As you may recall, Tracy got the same shawl for her birthday, and I ran out of yarn at the exact same place (even though I went down a needle size). Fortunately, Janice had a skein of the same yarn and I twisted her arm, and now Mom has enough left over to make herself some little socks. She likes 'em short anyway.

My mother-in-law requested bed socks, so I made dk weight socks from Sublime Merino with Angora cuffs. They are so soft, and she has been warned not to slip. She swears she will only wear them while actually IN bed.

My sister-in-law received the Raspberry Silk scarf I made earlier this year,
and Maurice's relative Nelly (WAY too complicated to explain how they are related) is visiting from New York, so she didn't escape the yarny gifting. I started her a little keyhole neckwarmer scarf made from stash yarn that was just waiting for the right moment to be used. It took around 24 hours to make, and was done on Christmas Eve, and given to her on Christmas Day. I liked it and may make another one sometime.

Happy New Year to all!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tracy had a birthday!

And I have been knitting her a little something without her even knowing about it. Aren't I sneaky?

It is a little shawlette/scarf called Damson, designed by Ysolda Teague, a favorite designer of mine who lives in Scotland and must have a cool life - living in Scotland and designing knitwear.
It uses one skein of sock yarn, and I chose a skein of Malabrigo sock in a lovely blue/black color that I hope goes with jeans or black or both.

I modified the original pattern by inserting a lace pattern into every other little triangle at the bottom. I had seen this on ravelry, and the originator had permission to give it out to others which she did, and there you have it! I think it made a lovely addition to the overall look. I also like the scallop edge.

Such a fun knit, and it looks good on Tracy. She modeled it for me at Whole Foods (our knitting group spot). The folks at the grocery store are getting used to a bunch of knitters being there, and now they are getting to see a bunch of knitters photographing shawls in front of the carrots. Good times!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Rosemal Hat and Mittens

I got the latest issue of Knitter's Magazine, and was not very impressed. Several of the patterns were for items I had actually seen in person at last year's Stitches. It is more than a little weird to know that the items you are seeing in a brand new magazine you get in the mail you have actually TOUCHED. And some of them were much scratchier than any garment I'd wear. Just sayin'.

Anyway, just as disappointment set in, I saw Rosemal. A darling mitten and hat combo made from Mission Falls 1824 Wool. I don't own any of that yarn, and loved the particular color combo shown in the magazine, so I have managed to find most all the colors and am ready to make them.

Meanwhile, I couldn't wait for all that so I started them in dk weight, using leftover Rowan Pure Wool dk from my mom's cardigan I made for Christmas last year.

They fit Grace and were tons of fun to make. All those colors, the embroidery and the fair isle made for some quick and entertaining knitting. The weaving in of the ends was a pain though, over 30 per mitten.

She loves them!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Fair Time!

I entered in this year's fair, even though I swore I retired after last time. Sometimes you just can't deny the little "fair bug" that bit me when I was a kid entering in 4-H.

This year I won two blue ribbons and a red ribbon!

My Aeolian Shawl won first place in the shawl category:

And my newest finished project, the Laurel hat from Jared Flood's Made in Brooklyn book got a first place in the hat category. I loved making this hat - it was quick and full of cables - what could be better?

My Marlene socks got second place. No photo, but you remember them, right? The socks that got first place were made by a fellow Ancient Pathways knitter, Jenn, so it's all good. There's always next year for that, right?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Swappity Swap

I am a Cindy. Not incredibly unique among my generation, but I named my oldest Emily, so I guess I'm passing the popular name thing along quite nicely.

Anyhow, on Ravelry there is a group of us Cindy-knitters, and I am participating in the "Summer of the Cotton Cloth." This is a traveling swap of you-guessed-it, cotton cloths. We are given the name of the person we will be knitting for, and a little info about them. We knit them a cloth, include a skein or two of cotton yarn for them and some goodies to round out the love.

The swap is a traveling one, meaning it travels around the United States and Canada in a path known only to the moderator. I have been waiting since the beginning of the summer and it has been stuck on the east coast until recently when it has made its way to Texas and British Colombia. And guess what I got in the mail yesterday?

You guessed it, the little box. We have been using the same little box, and boy is it tired.

Mine came from Cindy in Canada, and she did a fabulous job of spoiling me! Two cloths, a purple one made from hemp and and white cotton one in a diamond pattern, both very lovely.

I was spoiled with three skeins of yarn, some chocolate with yummy nuts, smarties (Grace got those) two sets of stitch markers, a handmade soap, and an cold pack commemorating the upcoming Olympics in Vancouver. A lovely package worth waiting for!

Now it is my turn to send it on its way. I have enclosed some kona coffee, and my Cindy collects thimbles so I found three interesting ones at a local antique store, along with some art deco buttons. The cloth I knit from Meg from Ancient Pathways' hand dyed yarn and I am enclosing another skein of her cotton/tencel. My package is going to another state (I won't give away the secret) and I'm putting my goodies into the little box and marking the map to show where it has been and tucking in that too. Bye little box!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What I did this summer

I've been knitting my little fingers off this summer - not doing too much blogging as you can see, but knitting and knitting and knitting (and maybe a little driving kids back and forth, that never ends).

Here is the grand finale: The Aeolian Shawl, made from Baruffa Cashwool, merino cobweb laceweight, and it took very close to the entire skein which was 1400 yards. This pattern was very well written, consisting of several (like 6 or so) charts, which I like to work from. It also had lots and lots of "nupps" which are Estonian torture devices, I mean bobbles. You work nine loops into one stitch, creating a little bobble. Sounds easy, but it isn't. It also has over 2000 beads, each one put on individually with a crochet hook. I had done beading before (the Swan Lake shawl, two years ago) so that part was okay, it just took a long time.

Blocking was a challenge, each point had to be pinned out separately and now it is in the other room drying. Our cat Cuppy tried to help me by pulling out the pins with her teeth, so it is behind closed doors at the moment. Hopefully it will be dry by tonight.

Now what do I knit?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chugging Along

It is knitting time on the blog folks!

I finished my "sand art" socks. They are Kaffe Fassett yarn, self-striping socks knit as a plain tube with an afterthought heel. I did that to preserve the sand art look to the stripes, and it worked well. They are photographed here on my new socks blockers from KnitPicks, which are great and not expensive which makes them even better. That makes pair number 2 done for this year. SLOW progress.

The nice folks at Ancient Pathways are doing a knit-a-long to make the Aeolian Shawl (ravelry link) and though I initially resisted I gave in. I am usuing stash yarn (Baruffa Cashwool 100% merino) but I did buy some beads. They didn't have size 8 black beads so I got triangle shaped beads in black but they have a irridescent blue/green cast to them. I am knitting a long more with Janice than the AP gang, because I'm behind due to the resistance thing. Anyway, I am on the first set of charts and here is progress so far--

Such as it is.

I also started a new sock with yarn I overdyed at Janice's. This yarn used to be yellow/red and with some chestnut over it, it turned a lovely brown/russetty red. I am making the Leyburn socks. This pattern goes FAST. I started yesterday. It is toe-up, and I used Judy's Magic Cast-on for the toe. Happy toe! The rest is going great too. It really helps when you are in love with the yarn.

I'm also set to cast on another Clapotis. More on that next time.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raspberry Silk

I think I love lace. It is a mental challenge, at times irritating when you mess up, but for the most part it is like mental exercise. Then when you are done, the payoff is huge. After you block it, it turns into a beautiful piece of knitting. The only drawback is it is not good social knitting. You have to pay attention.

Behold, the Raspberry Silk Scarf:

I made this to give at the Good Things gift exchange, but couldn't part with it. At least, not yet. It could become a Christmas present. Shhh, don't tell.

Yarn: Redfish Dyeworks, 20/2 Silk
Pattern: Asphodel Lace Scarf by Misti International

I started this on May 25 and finished June 15. Not too bad for less than a month!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

When is a pair not a pair?

I finished my Marlene socks. I actually finished them awhile ago, but just now am getting photos of them on the blog. They are the longest socks I have made, and took FOREVER. But I love them. They will be so nice this winter when it is cold and I'm wearing brown shoes. You can't wear wacky color socks all the time (well, you actually can, but sometimes I like to be a little more discreet).

Pattern: Marlene by Cookie A. (ravelry link)
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, Color: Cocoa Kiss

My goal this year is to knit 12 pair of socks. This is actually the first pair I have completed. Pretty sad, huh?

I actually finished another "pair" but I don't think you could count it as a pair. On the left is some Lorna's Laces yarn knit into a plain ole' sock, a la Yarn Harlot Sock Recipe. On the right is a plain sock, knit from Kaffe Fasset's sock yarn. I made this one with an afterthought heel to better preserve the sand art look of the stripes. I had never done that before and really liked the effect. With any luck, I'll knit another two socks and then have three pair done.

I also wanted to blog about a swap I did with my Cindy Knitter group on Ravelry (yes, there are enough of us Cindys who knit to form an entire group). The rules were you were given the name of a Cindy and were supposed to spend around $30 and get them some yarn and some other goodies. We were given a deadline, and I mailed mine off to Elizabethtown, PA in time. And then I waited. And waited. And nothing. So I contacted the Cindy in charge and she called upon two "angels" who had signed up to rescue someone in the event someone flaked. So I got the above pictured lot of goodies from two different people! It ended up being way more than I would have gotten originally, so I went from feeling left out to guilty for getting too much. Then about a month later the original Cindy who had flaked sent me some stuff too. It was good stuff, but over a month late. So I ended up with 3 packages. So much for my first swap experience.

I'm starting a new lace project - this one is a little lace scarf I'm going to use in a gift exchange. This pattern has the two end pieces knit first and then they are grafted on to the center section. The ends went fine, but the center section is driving me crazy. I'm looking forward to blocking it to see how it is going to look. The yarn is Redfish Dyeworks 20/2 silk. Such a pretty color!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Alex graduated from 8th grade yesterday!

The school is a Kindergarted through 8th grade school, so reaching the end of 9 years is a big deal. Look at those big feet! And did they all buy the same suit?

Alex is off to high school sooner than you'd think, he's on the freshman football team and daily practices begin June 8.

We started the day with a brunch hosted by the seventh grade and then after the ceremony we had lunch at Gigi's.

We are proud of you Alex! Go Panthers!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Small Town Joys


Not too long ago, we got the urge to take a drive. Gram, Pop, Grace, and I hit the road and made our way up the hill to Three Rivers. It is close to the Sierras, and a nice little hour or so drive from home.

And, ahem, coincidentally there is a nice little yarn shop there, Creekside Yarns. The shop has a very nice selection of yarns, including some very posh cashmere sock yarn at 35 dollars a sock! (I didn't get any of that - this time) I did come away with some alpaca that could become a Christmas present.

We also got treated to some very special scenery, metal farm animal sculptures. Why? Who knows. But it was fun to see.
We then made our way to the little town of Exeter, which is known for the murals they have painted all over their little downtown. I must say I have been in a lot of little valley towns, and this was a very nice example. Here are a couple of the murals:
We had lunch at a little "hole in the wall" place which was very yummy, and then we shopped a little, and then went to Kingsburg, which always must include a visit to Our Stuga, a great little shop.

It was a nice spring Saturday in the valley.