Saturday, December 5, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Ok mom, I finished my shawl, it is so yummy and warm. It has not been that cold here yet but it will be so comforting when the wind blows and the temperature drops!!! I love the way it looks. Very happy with the final product.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 3:16 PM
This sweater has been folded in my room for months, finished, but not FINISHED, that is, I knitted the entire thing, but I couldn't find the perfect buttons, and I copied it from a sweater that my friend had so there were no written instructions. All those fine finishing techniques that patterns have at the end were not written out for me. Finally, at the Rhinebeck sheep and wool Festival, I found these horn buttons. I grabbed them immediately, I loved them right away. So the work on this sweater was resurrected. I finished the buttonholes and added the buttons. Coincidentally, I bought some foam blocks that industrial shops put on their floors to prevent accidents and use them for blocking. I am now an avid proponent of blocking. I never spent much time or effort in blocking but i have found that this is the secret ingredient to the finishing touches. I also invested in a floor stand steamer. This is really a project that requires some time and space but the results are worth all of that. So here is the sweater in it's glory. I am happy with it, I wore it to work and everyone loved it.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 12:27 PM
Saturday, November 7, 2009
The longer I work on this the better I like it. It really should be finished by now but my bosses at work have been harassing me so I have not had time to knit even though it would be very soothing in this time of great stress!! Maybe by the end of this weekend I will be able to model this. I will post a new picture when I make more progress!
Meanwhile, I am sending this preemie cap and baby blanket to my daughter-in-law-to-be's sister who had a premature baby. His name is Caden and we have been holding our breath watching him struggle along. He is doing well now.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 10:23 AM
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Ooooh I just love this yarn. It is working up so beautifully into a luscious wrap. I am working on this during my classes at the school in Port Washington and in Manhasset. I enjoy the classes, they are filled with wonderful ladies who are all doing wonderful work. We all enjoy knitting and talking and seeing the progress everyone is making on their projects.
This is a picture of the yarn I am using, I am just combining random skeins of the same yarn and I am thrilled with the result!
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 7:41 PM
Sunday, October 4, 2009
THE shawl is finished, here it is in all it's splendor, I love the way it drapes, I will steam it out a tiny bit longer today but the colors and the design is just great..I promised Steff I would put it on right away so here it is! The pattern caught our eye at The Mannings and I knew I had to make it. What was really neat is that every row and section was different so knitting it never got boring.
I was able to connect with a wonderful person online who owns an alpaca farm in Washington County.
I made a trip up there to visit the first annual Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival on the last weekend in September. I was happy to finally meet in person Andrea Wade who was so gracious and introduced us to her alpacas and sent me home with a skein of wool from her "Juliet" for me to experiment with. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful experience. Visit the website for AREA Cria-tion Alpaca Farm.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 12:40 PM
Sunday, September 6, 2009
AAHHhh...Judy, what a wonderful baby sweater. We have been knitting together for many years, I am not even sure how many, definitely 7 or 8. Careful, persistent, fearless, gentle, all of these things describe Judy. Great job! We are now working on the "Ganomey Hat" that Elizabeth Zimmerman made famous.
Sue with her terrific Nantucket bag. We all want to run right out and buy them! Billed as the ultimate knitting bag, it has pockets for everything, it is sturdy and it converts into several different configurations. http://www.nantucketbagg.com/
Sue knits and knits and knits for preemies. She is the least selfish person I have ever met, funny, talented, smart, a great friend. I want to get her into knitting something for herself!
I love Monday Night Knitting!
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 7:51 AM
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Just an interesting, cool pattern I had to start working on right away when I returned from my trip to Downingtown Pennsylvania to visit Steff, my dear friend and fellow yarn worshipper. We made a side trip to The Mannings studio where we absorbed all kinds of inspiration and touched all kinds of wonderful yarns. I did not escape without succumbing to the lure of some absolutely divine yarn and a pattern for a "Curlique Shawl" The interesting thing is that it is a modification of a baby blanket pattern that I would never even have looked at twice. The knitting artisit knitted half of the blanket in "mini mochi" by Noro and the shawl is spectacular. I have been working on it for the last two days and am dying to post it on Ravelry, there are a lot of postings of this baby blanket but wait till they see it as a shawl!! Hopefully, I will be able to sport it at Rhinebeck this year.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 11:31 AM
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sorry that I didn't put my mind to it, sorry that I didn't stick it out. Sorry that I didn't invest the time that it required. Sorry that I didn't have the courage to either fix it, or forge ahead and create it, mistakes and all. The beautiful, spidery web of a shawl that I was once going to finish with my two knitting partners, and instead jumped into headlong before they got the courage to even cast on, is full of moth holes. Yesterday, when I convinced myself that I finally had time and space to spread out my knitting and inspect the mistakes so that I could determine where I had goofed and try to pick it up again, I found that the tiny threads that loop together seemingly endlessly were horrifyingly letting loose and leaving gaping holes where there should not be any. One might have been fixable, several began to make my head pound so for all of the putting-off I have done on this project, I suffer the ultimate indignity and regret. I have no choice now but to unravel all of the millions of stitches that I have hitherto held onto and begin again. Sigh.
Well, a bit of good news, another project, begun, out of frustration and yearning. My brother-in-law, Hap gave me a pattern and some yarn that he picked out for Christmas last year. I am happy to say the instructions are clear and concise, leave nothing up to the imagination so I knit the two fronts and part of the back last night. So!
Moral of the story: Don't leave your projects in big lumps all over the place. Stay focused, love your yarn.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 9:09 AM
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
My friend Steff loves her socks! I am happy, she is happy... they fit her perfectly! I love handmade socks for that very reason. AND no picture does the project justice like the one of the wearer sporting the garment, so here it is! Wear them in good health for a long time Steff!
I am nearing the end of the cable vest project and am struggling with thefact that the front button band is about 1/2 inch longer than it should be. I know I have read somewhere how to undo parts of knitting, maybe in the Vogue knitting book, it will take some research. I don't want to undo all that I have done on the shawl collar, unfortunately if I have to I will. I have knit too far to easily rip it.
I am now working on pink socks for LauraJean. I wish I didn't have to go to work so I could stay home and knit.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 6:45 AM
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I complain all the time about not having enough time to knit, "I can't ever get to my projects! I have millions of beautiful projects waiting for me in bags with needles and patterns! I wish I had more time!" And then, when I get a little bit of time, this is what intrigues me, these little "Korknisse". A pattern I found on Ravelry that was just so cute and enchanting I had to put everything else aside and make one of these. I don't even know what it is or what it is used for but I have visions of millions of these little people in all different colors.
I will admit, though, that I did settle down and seriously focus on finishing the purple cabled vest, all the pieces are done and I am working on the sleeve edgings now. It looks great, very vogue,
I think I love it. Of course all of us knitters bemoan the moment of truth when we actually finish the garment, steam it out, shrug it on and take that first brutal true-life look at what your hard work has wrought. This hobby forces me to understand that it is the process, not the product that reaps the rewards. So o n to my next project...
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 9:46 AM
Friday, July 31, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
In between finishing a pair of socks and working on the purple cabled vest I baked two solid loaves of whole grain bread. This is a great recipe, I admit I ripped it out of a magazine in a doctor's office and I am glad I did. I am going to share it with all who are interested. The Sunday was just wonderful, I was able to read, knit, bake bread, all restorative things. I never wanted the day to end. Here are the socks I finished, they do not photograph well but in real life are very vibrant, and Fall-ish. So today it is back to work, I will be thinking of all the knitting, reading and baking I could be doing instead!
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 6:57 AM
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Now that I have shaken off the burden of heading out into the dark early morning to follow the line of traffic into the incorrigible Queens to work every morning AND my youngest daughter has finally moved away to Chicago (sniff!) I have begun to sift carefully through every inch of my house including my YARN CLOSET and ruthlessly toss and donate "stuff" that will never be used by any of my family. This is the aftermath of disassembling my closet and it is just a fraction of what I have stashed. Now, I know from spending hours on Ravelry, that this is very normal for any self respecting knitter; to have an embarrassing amount of yarn stashed, enough to satisfy an Egyptian queen in her tomb for the afterlife, for sure. I am increasingly nervous that I will not be able to knit it all before I succumb. I have asked my friends who regularly visit psychics if they have yarn and knitting in the after life, I would be so disappointed if they did not. I have visions of knitting happily with my grandmother ever after just like we did when she taught me to crochet, sitting on her plaid, high-backed sofa in Middletown, listening to the mantel clock ticking while we studiously hooked stitch after stitch.
HAPPILY, I came across this pile of cast-on socks, I am just crazy about socks. all different yarns, and all different styles. I am making a promise to finish these socks this summer! These will be terrific Christmas gifts! If you are interested in receiving these as gifts, make a comment on my blog! Ha ha!
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 11:18 AM
Monday, July 13, 2009
I have been dying to get a chance to cast on with this yarn, I bought it at Dutchess County Sheep and Wool, it is Scandinavian sock yarn, it has an oily feel to it and get softer every time you wash it. I bought yards and yards in natural and gray. I found this very simple but sort of fancy sock design, it is the first time I am using the picot edging...verrry fancy! Does this mean i won't knit the heel in the last sock that I was working on? You can never have enough socks cast on, that's what I think.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 7:24 AM
Thursday, June 25, 2009
This silky, shimmery shawl, turned out really great, I am so happy with it, I already wore it to work and everyone loved it. The yarn is scrumptious, it drapes so nicely...AND...What? a granny square blanket?
It is a retrospective piece, I just liked the way the colors looked all together. It is nice to switch back and forth between knit and crochet, I can more easily crochet when there is something on TV. I am watching the news about Michael Jackson dying tonight. Farrah Fawcett also died today.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 7:43 PM
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
...knitting Like Crazy, but doing many other things...wishing I was knitting like crazy! These socks have been on the needles for a long time, way too long, and I took them to Chicago with me this past weekend to work on them, thinking I would have plenty of time. We toured DePaul Loop Campus where LJ will attend in the Fall, saw Nathalie get hooded with her Doctorate at Chicago School of Psychology, shopped with Lindsay, ate with the Going clan at the Frontera Grill...phew! Wonderful weekend, but the socks are still on the needles. This weekend? Maybe. I have two projects that I am determined to finish by this weekend, these socks and that shawl, I have 9 more repeats to finish the edging of lace. I will be visiting Dad in the hospital after his knee replacement so these will travel with me, a comfort.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 5:38 AM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I just thought these were so pretty, I found the pattern on the Internet and started turning them out, everyone wanted one! I have to make several more for gifts, good for Christmas! Supposedly, you can also use much thicker yarn and make a scarf but I lost interest after I started one, these are much more interesting. They have a Chinese flavor to them.
I am starting meetings at my house this next Monday, I hope all of my knitting girls will come, I like to meet here; it is much more cozy.
Update on the shawl: I am halfway finished with the lace border and it looks terrific!
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 5:30 AM
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I have to start finishing this vest! I love it,it is a Vogue pattern, why did I stray? So many other things to work on. I am really afraid that I have so much yarn I will never be able to knit it all. Today I worked on Ravelry uploading pictures of my yarn so I can try to be organized...There is just not enough time to do everything I want to do. Tomorrow is Mother's Day, I want to knit all day!
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 4:01 PM
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Here are some photos of my latest creation, it is a shawl designed by Meg Swanson. The yarn is shimmery and light and there is a lace border around the bottom which I have just started to knit. I was happy to get this pattern when Steff bought some yarn at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, it came with a free pattern. She took one look at the pattern and said, "No way am I making this, it is too hard for m e" so I urged her to take the pattern and I have had it since then. When I inherited yarn from m y friend Nadine, she had started a project with this yarn, so I unraveled it and started this shawl. Now the dilemma, do I clean my house...or knit? I would rather knit but I am going to hold off and clear my afternoon for knitting. Today is a rainy sort of murky day so it will be perfect to work on my lace edge!
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 10:17 AM
Monday, April 27, 2009
I did finish the baby sweater before the child turned five! I had some anxiety about it, this is the pattern that was written by Elizabeth Zimmerman and is really beautiful, there is just one tricky feature about it when you have to hold all the stitches on holders and then restart them. When I make another one I will do a better job at that...but for the most part I am happy with this! Melissa loves it and Camryn will look adorable in it! Wear it well, Camryn!
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 5:33 AM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It was an exercise that I was invited to try, it became more introspective and thought provoking than I originally thought it would be. I started out very self assured but I feel like I learned some things from myself!
Here are 25 random things about myself.
1. I love to knit.
2. Yarn is my obsession, it worries me that I have so much I will never be able to knit it all, but I love to look at it and buy it.
3. I always wanted to write, a book, or a diary or something meaningful, but can't write when I see a blank page, and it sounds so stupid once I write anything down.
4. I enjoy being alone.
4. I still can't believe how much I love my kids, it almost hurts.
5. I made terrible choices and decisions in my life that continue to affect me.
6. I appreciate fiercely loyal friends, and try to be the same.
7. I love to laugh really hard, and want to do that every day.
8. I really don't like to watch violent or sad movies. That doesn't leave very many movies.
9. I have an acute sense of smell and am easily turned off by strong smells, my favorite scent is fresh basil.
10. I wish I had more time to do all the things that I want to do.
11. I think having a great relationship with the kids at school is a key to good teaching, but I think some people don't agree with me.
12. I have an amazing family, and extended family; I have come to realize that we are the exception not the rule.
13. When I am at work I am very often homesick, I get that homesick feeling like you used to get when you were little.
14. When I am sick, (happily, very rarely), I still want my Mom.
15. I think my father is and was the smartest and most sensitive man alive.
16. I still dream about running miles and miles, I wish I could still run. That was my greatest love for a very long time until I busted up my ankle.
17. The greatest life lesson for me was from Bambi, "If you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all." I am astounded and horrified by mean people.
18. I really believe silence is golden.
19. I am sad that I never experienced a true committed, comfortable, married relationship in my younger years.
20. I never want to be married again.
21. My favorite piece of music is Beethoven's Violin Concerto. I feel like I could pick up a violin and play it because I have listened to it so often. Guess what? I couldn't even get a sound out of the strings! I admired my children when they played the viola.
22. Sometimes I want to tell people how much I love them or how much they mean to me but I get too emotional so I worry that they won't know.
23. I changed the colors in my whole house from earth tones to blues and greens many years ago and I am much happier. I created a good living space for us.
24. I love to read but I wish I could read and knit at the same time. OR read and row at the same time, or knit and row at the same time. OR knit, read and row at the same time.
25. Rowing is serene and peaceful, rhythmic, entrancing. I love to row.
Posted by Nan McNally Wagner at 11:29 PM