Monday, December 31, 2012

A last look at the old year - and a Happy New Year to come

I just couldn't resist tucking that last cabled scarf into the picture - it'll be done by tonight. 

A happy and peaceful New Year (full of knitting) to you all!

My 2012 creations

I have to say that my favorite knits were the ones connected to Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp. Simple as they were, those projects were the most fun. Also, my Mobius cowl was quite an experience.  And that Challenge Lopi Sweater? Although Youngest Child is not enchanted, Youngest Daughter has asked for a cream colored Lopi cardigan. Hmm. Knitting is contagious!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Countdown to Christmas

The snow has arrived - finally!

Lucia Fest came and went successfully - the number of beautiful Nordic sweaters, dancing children and smiley Swedish faces was like the flip side of that quote about "you'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy." 

I finally blocked my Wilhimina Shawlette.

And, once I tinked back the mistake cables, the cabled boot toppers began to whir along.

Things don't move along until this gent takes a nap, however . . .

I let him stay on the chair long enough to get a good photo.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

A bundle, a baby, and a book

In October, I committed to the 2 Knit Lit Chicks Gradient Shawl Knit a Long. No problem, I bought some excellent yarn from Desert Vista Dye Works and I decided on the Wilhimina Shawlette from "What would Madame Defarge knit?" for my pattern.

Well, I finally finished the shawl yesterday - it isn't blocked but that's okay. It looks like a bit of a bundle but it will block out beautifully.

And at the same time, we got a new baby in the house, 

Meet Nico! 

So, far, it's been a bit of nap off at our house. Our older German Shepherd, Zelda, has been studiously ignoring the new boy.

And, yesterday was also the end of 
National Novel Writing Month!

This was the second year I've participated and once, again, I finished right on the dot. Basically, give me a deadline and I'll walk right up to it.

Today - time to nap, bake some muffins and knit some socks. And walk that pup - again!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Another road

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost

Can you sense me slowing down? Coming to a critical juncture?  Deciding what step to take next? 

For me, November is a month that represents just those feelings. Where do I go next? So many activities to chose from . . .

It's NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month, so I'm writing as much as I can. When I can. And let me tell you, I'm not on the downward slope yet.

It's the pre-Christmas rush. Like most knitters, I have some holiday knitting to finish up. Actually, I'd need to start it first.

It's the start of hockey season for Youngest Child - lots of hoiking gear from house to car to rink, etc. This isn't as much fun as you might expect.

I'm doing a Knit-a-long - the 2 Knit Lit Chicks gradient shawl Knit-a-long. Goodness knows why but I'm inching my way to the bind off. I'm thinking this shawl might make a two-fer as a holiday knitting project.

And there is that *&%$#@ blue sweater hanging over everything. I can only knit on it when Oldest Daughter is around to try it on. Those sleeves are killing me!

But there is the bright side of November as well:


I bought some Roubaix Wool sock yarn from Winterwind Farm in a lovely heather cream color - which I have now dyed purple for Youngest Child's second pair of requested socks. The boy's on a purple kick, what can I say?


I've been experimenting with using herbs from my garden in home made glycerin-based soap. So far, I've produced a lovely fresh Lemon Basil soap.


 I am a big fan of using things up and when I discovered the bag of oranges I'd bought was none too sweet, I used them to make marmalade. Yum! (And please, please set up!)


 I've been hacking along on my Quilt Block of the Month project and I'm practically done. The last two in fact, are on my cutting table right now. 

Special Dates! 

Yes, November is my Blog-a-versery and my birthday month. Yes, this blog started way back on November 14, 2005. Some things never change - the first problem project profiled?

The first blue sweater for Oldest Daughter!

Happy November!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Let's just do it again, shall we?

Madge returned - as a youth sized hat.

This time, I simply cast on 70 stitches and used the same size needles. This made it much smaller but still maintained the pattern. Not something I can wear but I think it will be a good craft to donate to the St. Lucia Fest at my church. 

Since then, I've been working on the third pair of Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley (known as my Wasting Time Socks)

This was a few days ago - I'm on the foot portion now!

and started a lovely Wilhimina Shawlette using a skein of Desert Vista Dyeworks Voir in the Burning Leaves gradient colorway.  This is through the 2 Knit Lit Chicks podcast Gradient Yarn Shawl Knitalong. Complicated, isn't it? They just like gradient (yarn dyed from one light to dark shade in one skein) yarns and decided to have a contest getting other people to use gradient yarns.

Once I actually saw how these yarns are designed - I just had to join. Sheer yarn lust, I admit, but I'm also enjoying knitting the shawlette. It's from "What Would Madame Defarge Knit?" with Heather Ordover, editor, and it's a very traditional triangular shawl.

A terrible photo but I had no where else to photograph it.

So far, I'm only on the light  colored portion but I'll just keep working until I use it all up. 

And, of course, I'm still working on Oldest Daughter's cardigan. I just hate doing those sleeves one at a time - very boring when I have socks and a shawl calling to me . . .

And, because I have so much spare time, I've started a new hobby - quilting.

I've been taking the Craftsy Quilt Block of the Month course and I'm finally getting my blocks sewn. Some block designs I love and some, not so much, but I've been making a point of using up my extra fabric and I like the effect. 

Lots of fun! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

I will never make fun of those pictures again

Oh, I'll never make fun of those photos again. You know, those photos! The self taken, vanity shots of projects. You know - someone wearing their knitted items with great pride - but with horrible, horrible photographs.

Because, I took that photo today.

Darn - I just couldn't get the photo I wanted! Everyone that showed the detail got blurry or made my hair look even worse. Hmm.

Not a good idea!

Madge is a fun little overnight project - just something to knit while I watched Warehouse 13 reruns. 
I used up some leftover Rick's Red handspun but I'm still not crazy about the pill-box  hat shape. I may re-knit it or just donate it to a craft sale at my church. We'll see . . .

Monday, September 10, 2012


So - those blue socks I finished a little bit ago?

English Garden colorway

I finished the By Request Purple socks and then switched them for the Captain Daisy's Delight* blue socks. Same pattern, just purple and washable Berroco Comfort Sock. He may never notice . . .

*The blue socks were made out of a lovely Gypsy Wools Kona Fingering I bought out west last summer. Not machine washable at all!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Vacation knitting

Rule #1 of knitting: If you knit a pair of socks, 

Basic Ribbed socks

someone will snap them up. Surprisingly, Youngest Child and I apparently share a sock size.

Perhaps I'll make my next pair out of this loverly red sock yarn - a vacation-to-Pennsylvania souvenir:

Pagewood Farm's Really Red Yukon sock yarn

That's the ticket . . . girl colors!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Growing like a weed or The Cruelest Month

You'll have to forgive the melodrama. I've been reading lots of early 20th century fiction (A Pin to See the Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse) as well as fiction set just after WWI (The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton by Elizabeth Speller) and I have an irresistible urge to twirl a mustache . . .

 Although he is growing wildly these days, my Knitting Camp sweater was never meant for Youngest Child.

Which is a good thing!

August has been a cruel month for me, though, as I was working on finishing up this camp project sweater in order to saw to donate it to the Minnesota Knitting Guild's service committee at our August meeting.

Bea is also destined for donation as well.

My Rebecca Danger monster was a fun knit and Youngest Child liked it so much he picked one out as my Ravellenic Games entry in the toy toss. More August knitting!

My other finished Ravellenic Games project -  the Embossed Lace Tam - came out looking a treat. Youngest Girl snatched it up to take away to college. In August.

Once I owned up to the fact that my Ravellenic Captain Daisy socks weren't going to be finished, I loosened up and finished the Puptent hat. A lovely, simple pattern that I'm planning on making again.

This one, however, is going to charity. In August.

Right now, I am so looking forward to September!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Going Camping?

You'll need a tent.

Try Pup Tent - you'll like it! It's just a hat for the MKG service committee's drive but I'm working on getting it done this week before the Ravellenic Games start this Friday. I'm on Team Twin Cities and I can't wait for some quality knitting time. A little Chris Hoy, anyone?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

And one month later . . .

the beast arises!

The first project from Meg Swanson's Knitting Camp 1 2012 - a child sized Swirl Yoke Sweater.  Knitting Camp was fun, educational, entertaining and lots and lots of knitting. 

The most amazing thing about camp no one prepares you for is - the whole meeting room is lined with tables filled with Elizabeth Zimmerman's and Meg Swanson's (and other knitters' and authors') actual Finished Knitted Objects.

Amazing Fair Isle projects! Cable vests!

My, oh my! 

A Pelerine!

It was all so amazing. Careful campers were even able to try on items as well and that made even the simplest projects sing. Some garter stitch project that looked heavy and dated in a black and white book photo just looked amazing when actually worn. 

I very much recommend attending!

My second in-camp project - my Embossed Tam - well, it has already been frogged. Right now, it looks like this AGAIN.

I loved it but I'd chosen too small needles and it wasn't going to fit anyone I knew. So, I treated it as a swatch and ripped it all out, found new needles and, now, it is going to be a Ravellenic Games project. 

Since we last met, I've also all-but-for-the-sewing-up finished my Bea The Basement Monster. This is from Rebecca Danger's The Big Book of Knitted Monsters and if that name isn't enough to make you want to buy the book, the patterns are lovely.

Right now, it looks like I ran over Bea but stuffing her is today's project.

Both the Spiral Yoke Sweater and the Knitted Monster are going to be donated to the Minnesota Knitter' Guild's Service Committee's item drives.

There has been time for fun since June as well.

Middle Daughter, MD's friend and I all did last weekend's The Color Run. A crazy, silly race - with a twist.

This is how you look at the end! 

See you soon - don't forget to sign up for Ravelry's Ravellenic Games!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just a stop on the path . . .

Just in case you were wondering where I've been - 

No, that's not a weird looking hat - it's part of my baby sweater project for Knitting Camp. In between, there have been bits of one of these:

What is it, right? 
A Bea the Basement Monster from Rebecca Danger's Big Book of Knitted Monsters, 

Just something for the charitable toy drive at the Minnesota Knitters' Guild. 

And, of course, more purple requested socks.

Yes, nothing really changes but yet, I feel like I'm knitting all the time!
I'm really looking forward to Knitting Camp, though. It is a bit intimidating, though. What if the knitting is too tricky? What if I bring boring projects? Well, time will tell.

 Knit on, with confidence as Elizabeth Zimmerman would say!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This end - up?

A bit lumpy? A bit twisty? I finally bound off the edging of my Harmonia's Rings Cowl and it still looked a bit - wonky.

Until I found a willing model - Oldest Daughter. 

Hello,  Mr. Pinecone!

It suddenly looked much, much better! 

I'd really just winged the beading but I still like it. I think there must be a YouTube video of making a beaded edging but I did it late one night and I didn't have access to anything but my notes and imagination.

Next up - The By Request Socks!

(And a graduation weekend: Oldest Daughter is moving out of dorms today,  singing at a Baccalaureate service on Saturday morning and graduating on Saturday afternoon. And best of all - she starts her new job in June! And moves into an apartment in July. The Bird has left the Nest!)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Done - finally!

Long, long ago I started a lovely pattern called Turn of the Glass by Kathleen Dames from

I made my first purchase of Madeline Tosh DK to make it something special. I loved learning the seed stitch edging and working the cabled ribbing. 

 I even knit the sleeves 2-at-a-time in order to keep them identical. Then, well, life got in the way. I took a break of about five months. Starting up again,  I powered through adding in the sleeves and working up to the top of the sleeves. 

Then, Christmas and all its attendant knitting meant another break. 

I ended up bringing the sweater to the Minnesota Knitters' Guild retreat in March and used the combined knitting expertise to work the cap sleeves and short rows for the back and collar. Everything but the grafting of the underarms waited for a certain day . . .

Today was that day.

Love it! It's blocking upstairs right now - just in time for Yarnover on Saturday.