Sunday, January 8, 2017

RETIRED

RETIRED!!

Yes, It finally happened, I am retired from teaching after 25 years!
I have to say I was a tiny bit worried that I might not know what to do with myself, but LO! I can do whatever i want now!  It is exceptionally freeing to wake up and say, "I can do anything I want to do!"

Me at my retirement celebration!

Most exciting, of course, is that I do not have to drive into Queens, NY anymore.  The commute had become so onerous, taking up at least three hours of my day every work day.

ENOUGH of that...

Knitting became the first thing I think about every morning!
Of course I immediately started knitting socks



This is me knitting while walking around.  It is not easy but sometimes necessary!

Next I started to panic about Christmas, and similar to socks, I began to knit fingerless mittens for some presents

These were for Sue, The yarn is a tiny bit sparkly, I love this yarn!


These were for Nathalie, the yarn is soft white, these are sort of dressy.

I also started knitting hats, once I got the idea about how to fit them, I became a little more successful.
This was the first hat I knitted, for my little baby grandson, Shane.


Then I liked it so much I knitted one for Callum, in his favorite team colors, the Islanders hockey team.  He was not as excited as I was, when he opened his present, he threw it on the floor.  He was expecting a toy, I guess!


Brad loved the photo and told Lindsay he would love to have a hat in Vikings colors!



Sooooo, he got one!

One of the funnier projects I worked on was this Wacky Scarf.  That is what I decided to call it.  My friend Su gave me a cone of yarn that she did not think that she would use.  I started knitting up a pattern that I had saved called Nirmulintu, a sort of asymmetrical scarf/shawl.  I brought it to Skytop and when Sue saw it, she said "I want it!"  I took it off and gave it to her, and promptly knitted a new one for myself. 


Here is Sue with the Wacky Scarf !  It was very cold at Skytop this year, any warm accessory was greatly appreciated.

Sue is the (lucky?) recipient of many of my projects, first because she always says I WANT IT! But also because she looks great in everything and she uses all of the projects I have made for her. 

Laura Jean also wanted a sweater, for years she has asked me to make her a "Grandpa sweater" big, bulky with pockets...When I went to the Sheep and Wool Festival in October I actually brought patterns with me so i could choose the right yarn and the correct amount.  I bought a beautiful pure wool in denim blue.  She got her sweater on Christmas!


There were other projects, during the summer I knitted with Euroflax, which is like linen, I made this top it took me about 5 times to get the sizing correct, and I used several different patterns combined to come up with this.  I am happy with it


And then, for colder weather, I made this Vogue pattern with some very raw wool yarn I had bought years ago.  I did change the front button band from the pattern and made up my own with contrasting yarn.


This was taken in the middle of the summer so I tried it on FAST and then took it right off.  When the weather got chillier I was happy to get to wear it.

Right now I am going to go get the Reyna scarf that i just made with yarn that my knitting friend Su gave me for Christmas.  I will post the photo soon!







Monday, May 9, 2016

Catching up on Two Years of knitting!





I have ignored my blog, but never stopped knitting, I am getting ready to retire so I want to start again, I am hoping to be much more prolific after July 1!

I decided that I like to make vests as sweaters with sleeve are:
 1. Too hot!  and
                2. Sleeves never fit well.

 I was extra happy with this aran well vest, the yarn was so bouncy (that's the only way I can describe it) and the pattern was so well written.


 I also found this tunic and loved the yarn and pattern.  I will slim it down the next time I decide to knit one, it is very comfortable, and perfect over slim pants, but makes me look bulky!
 One of my dearest friends went to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival with me, and ran back to buy this yarn bowl for me for Christmas.  I treasure it!
 I had a visitor for a few months, my little Elle, she was my knitting companion while LauraJean moved from one apartment to another.
 My spur of the moment purchase at Rhinebeck turned into this wonderful long sweater-jacket.  I am so happy with it, I am going to move the buttons over a tiny bit so the sweater closes better, I wore it all winter, as we had a very mild sinter overall in 2015-16.
 This winter was the year of the teddy bear hats.  My niece, Jackie is holding her precious baby Charlie wearing the pink teddy bear I made for her first birthday.

 Here is a detail of the sweater-jacket I made with bulky yarn from Rhinebeck.   The jacket is warm! and soft, I love this yarn, I want to score some more next time I go to Rhinebeck, not until October!

 My brother-in-law asked for FIVE teddy bear hats, I think each one has it's own funny expression!  I had to take a picture of them all together!I still love alpacas, they are so gentle and serene.  I feel some kinship with them not sure why!?




 Nathalie wanted mittens for her birthday (according to Michael)  I love the way these turned out!








 And Lindsay bought yarn and a pattern in Rhode island so I would knit her this hat!  I love it, and want to knit more of these.




















Saturday, February 22, 2014

So Much to Write About!

Mostly, my trip to Iceland and Scotland with the Vogue Knitting Tour.  It was amazing to travel with fellow knitters.  I had a wonderful time, it was truly the trip of a lifetime!!

My very best friend on the trip, Norma, and I in the lobby at Aberdeen, knitting and laughing.


We travelled with Nicky Epstein.  She never knitted except this once, when she borrowed some of my yarn to make a leaf.  She was very energetic and vivacious, but had to leave the tour when she fell and broke her ankle.


A picture of me in St. Andrews Scotland.  This was a beautiful part of the trip.  So much was wonderful, I have so many amazing memories, I cannot even write them all here.  Mostly, I want to focus on the knitting aspect!

We met Ysolda Teague, who  is so talented, I was in awe of her. She came and gave a presentation and offered some of her yarn and books for sale. I bought her book which I really have not had any time to read, but I know it will be a great resource when I have the time.  She was adorable and friendly and humble.  I wore my curlique shawl, which everyone loved.!!


 Just had to include this photo of me going into the Blue Lagoon.  What an amazing experience.  I would go back to Iceland just to go there.
 Some of the amazing Icelandic yarn that I brought back.  I had to ask my friends to carry some home in their suitcases because I did not have enough room in my bags!!  This is Lett Lopi which is the medium weight yarn.  All made from Icelandic sheep which are different than any other sheep in the world.
 We knitted at night in the sitting area of the hotel, we knitted in the day on the bus,
 I carried and knitted this sweater all the way through Scotland and iceland.  Lots of my travelling companions could not understand what I was making or why I was knitting this sweater from side to side.  Here it is all finished, I wish I could show everyone how nice it turned out!!  Who's laughing now??                               
 We were introduced to yarn and more yarn, all gorgeous an hand made and hand dyed, it was too much to even choose from.  It was like a dream come true, everywhere we went.
 Photo from the plane, this is when we were flying over Greenland to come home.

                                                 
 So I used some of the Icelandic wool to make this hood/cowl.  The pattern was from the Lopi book that we were given at the Istex factory, the name of the pattern is Hetta.  Lindsay loved this right away so she took it home and wears it in the cold Boston winter.
                                                           

 When I got home I set up this old worktable that I salvaged from Dad's basement as my own type of worktable.  I wind my yarn here and it doubles as a sofa table.
 This is some of the yarn I bought from the Sheep and Wool festival this year.  I saw the colors together and had to buy it.  Vogue  had a pattern for a "varsity jacket" style sweater so I knew what I was going to use it for right away.

                                         
 Mom and me at Skytop.


Tools of the trade:  The woman who makes these knitting pots by hand was retiring, so it would be her last year at the Sheep and Wool festival.  I had to buy one of her pots.  It holds the yarn while you knit so the ball doesn't roll all around the place, like under the couch or something.  Also does not allow Elle to get all tangled up in it!
 And buttons! I am always fascinated with buttons, especially old buttons.  I love to search through all my buttons to find just the right ones.  Karen and Gap went to an antique show while we were in Atlanta for Brian McNally's wedding and they came home with this Ball jar full of old buttons for me!!  What a treasure!!
 Laura Jean is still making great use of the warm hat and cowl I made for her.  This winter has been brutal, especially in Chicago!!



I me other famous knitters when i went into Manhattan to the Vogue Live! show.  I met up with Beth, a friend from the trip to Iceland, and her friend Helen.  It was so great to see them and enjoyed the show together.  

 They also got to spend some time at Times Square which was a thrill for them.
 And the picture of my house, this is what it looked like almost all of February, encased and surrounded  by snow.