Thursday, December 30, 2010

Snowed in in NY

Laura Jean in her new GAP-tastic Cowl! I saw this on Ravelry and started right away, I knew she would love it. I want to make several more, I would like to have one. She looks great in it, of course!

The great part of having a huge blizzard in New York (that was fatefully handled badly by the Mayor) is that it has afforded me time to work in my yarn closet (big mess) and sort through some older projects and get to finish them!  I have been in since the day after Christmas when we got home just in the nick of time driving straight into the blizzard from Massachusetts.  I have the pleasure of having Dexter and Elle with me as well, what could be better?
I  have been trying to make this scarf for Susan, it was just a request from her, without any pattern, I am not sure this is what she wanted but I think it is interesting!
This is a triangular scarf/shawlette that I made as a result of seeing someone wearing a beautiful scarf under a leather jacket at the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival.  I bought Mini Mochi right away at the Festival; I searched for a pattern on Ravelry for days and I did find this which was very close.  I love it! 

More bookmarks for all of my favorite people,  Interestingly, lots of people got Kindles and Nooks for Christmas, but you always have a real book to place one of these in!
AND...the third project that I have made with this wool.  I bought it years ago at the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival because I love this yarn, but it just doesn't work up well in a large project.  It is too stripey and I frogged a whole sweater twice, now I have made this huge shawl to wrap up in.  I am still questioning if I like it or not.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Goose is Getting Fat!

Christmas is sister just reminded me.  Wow that sneaks up fast!  I have been busy at work, knitting up a storm, Lindsay sent me some beautiful yarn and a pattern book (hint, hint) for my birthday.  Just in enough time to knit her a set of mittens for HER birthday!  I was thrilled that she came to visit with Brad, and she was thrilled to receive her mittens just in time for the bitter cold weather out in Chicago! 
But before the visit from Lindsay and Brad, I was able to go out to Chicago and spend a fabulous four days with m y girls for Thanksgiving ! At which time, I gave Laura Jean her ultimate scarf, which was a specific request from her. I looked far and wide for the particular yarn to make this scarf and had no luck for the longest time. One night, I walked into my knitting class, and one of my "girls" came in with some yarn and put it on the table and said "I don't know what to do with this yarn, my sister gave it to me." The heavens opened up, the angels sang I whooped with joy! This was the ABSOLUTELY EXACT yarn I had been looking for for months!! Only the best of friends are able to give up their yarn, she was the ultimate sacrificer and said I was welcome to as much as I needed. I used just short of three skeins for this scruffy, puffy, Laura Jean Scarf!
I love her!!

Then, before Thanksgiving, going back a few months, I attended my favorite event of all time, the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival. I go every year with my friends and it is like Christmas day for me. I saw a lady with a triangular scarf that she had obviously knitted (everyone wears all of their best knitted work there) and I almost followed her to ask her where I could get the pattern, I loved it so much. I am now sorry I did not, because weeks of searching did not help me find the ultimate pattern similar to the one she had used. That is so frustrating!! I did come upon this pattern and I bought Mini Mochi to knit it with, I am not unhappy with the results!

I am going to go right ahead and make another one because I bought so much of the yarn it will yield another scarf!! Some lucky person may be getting a Triangular Scarf for their birthday!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jackie made me do it

My niece, Jackie, who happens to be a much better writer than I, started writing her ownn blog.  You can read it here Room 18.  Needless to say, my mom, right away said, "You haven't written anything on your blog!  I check it every other day!!"  AARRGGHHH!  Now I am shamed into writing about all of my half finished projects!!

I DID finish the beautiful wedding shrug/bolero, however, 


I think it looks even better when it is on, I am going to block it out.  I actually took it to the cleaners and they did a half-hearted job so I am going to tackle it myself.  Maybe one tiny pearl button in the middle of the button band if I can find the just-right one.

I decided that I am going to try to stick with just no more than 7 projects at one time!  I have to finish some of these before I go on to another...this is very hard for people like me, I have a sneaking suspicion that it is hard for anyone who loves yarn and the promise of beautiful knitted things to hold back from beginning new projects.

Here is one, It is a gorgeous shawl with gorgeous yarn that I bought in Maryland at the Sheep and Wool Festival with Steff.  I had started it, and committed the cardinal sin of all knitters by not making careful notes about where I was in the pattern.  When I set it aside, I was so lost that when I took it up to New Hampshire to work on it, I was forced to begin all over again.  Lessons learned!  I have created an Excel worksheet which can be used for all projects with just slight variations.
  Here is the second start, and the way it looks in the basket when I am working on something else!
On the needles
In the basket

And another project which caught my eye, and I just had to start it is this really neat tunic, I am using a silky mercerized cotton, I just love the way it feels.  It is a long cardigan-style tunic that will tie in the front.
Reminiscent of the 70's

Some more detail
So, there you go, Mom!!  I have a lot of work to do!  I am just hoping that I will get some quiet time to work on these before my summer sadly comes to an end.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Never Enough Time

So the summer comes along and instead of being calm, serene, lazy, full of time to ponder and knit I am caught up in a vortex of activity and obligation which rivals my schedule during the school year. "Summer Camp" sucks up all my time and energy, making sure that every one else's children are safe happy and entertained for the hot sticky days. It never ceases to amaze me how much advice parents have as they blithely drop off their precious cargo to me, so I can deal with them the whole day during the blistering heat. These same children that parents cannot deal with for half an hour...are with us for seven!! "They're hot, they're tired, they have to carry too much, they are not happy, I don't want them in the computer lab, they are not using real clay, they are afraid of the kayaks, they don't get enough time on the horses..blah blah."
I just endure as I watch my summer time minutes slip away forever, watching the clock until I can be released into my own world, my own thoughts, my own interests. There is a knitting class at my camp, my fingers itch as I walk by the room, I stop to visit and sit with the kids, urging them to keep their stitches loose, don't fight with the yarn, enjoy the rhythm of the act of knitting. I see them in the hallways clutching their prized needles with rows of beginner stitches, it is a creation, it is a source of pride. We have a bond. I want to go home and get settled on my couch where I can work on my creation-of-the-day.
Three more weeks and then I am released to do what I need to do. I will consider it a retreat into the quiet, where I can focus on my own knitting and restore what is left of my sanity and sadly, prepare for the coming school year.
I am now working on a lacy little jacket for Nathalie to wear over her wedding gown when she gets married to my Michael in October. The yarn is delicious, it is called Cashwool, and it is the softest Merino yarn spun so thin it is like cotton candy. Photos will not do this justice but i will put them here anyway so we can watch the progress.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lessons Learned

This Wilshire Vest is finished!  But here is the lesson I learned.  I loved the yarn so much when I bought it but had something else in mind so I only bought 2 skeins originally.  I decided to make this vest so when I started it, I quickly found that I would need more yarn.  I had to contact the manufacturer in Maine to have them send a new skein; the dye lots were not the same but close enough.  I was so determined to finish the vest; I loved the way the cables made it fit the curves and I was so interested in finishing the collar.  Once I finished the skein I had ordered, I needed another!  The collar took up much more yarn than I had imagined.  So the moral of the story is, always buy more yarn than you will need.  The extra yarn plus the shipping cost way more than the original price of the two skeins that I bought at the Sheep and Wool festival!  I finished this vest in June of 2010 when the weather was 90 degrees so I can't even try it on, so the dress form, Adele will model it for me!

This is a scarf that I am working on, the Easy Drop Stitch Scarf pattern, I am using the left over Mini Mochi yarn that I used for the Curlique Shawl, The stitch is easy but look s great, and the yarn is so soft.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Maryland Sheep and Wool...Woot!

It has become a kind of tradition, we bring all of our treasures bought at the fair back to Steff's house and lay them all out for a beautiful photo op.

And here are my favorite little creatures, these two were so incredibly cute, I couldn't resist taking this picture while their necks were intertwined.

I did come home with more yarn than I should have, but I was so taken in by the handmade and hand dyed yarn at one of the booths that was run by Steff's friend.  As the day went on it became extremely hot, the temperature was 90 degrees.  We walked into a tent and the nicest older couple asked us if we wanted some ice tea.  As we stood drinking cold, cold unsweetened tea and chatting with this couple, my eye was caught by some soft, baby pink mohair.  Well, I was sold on the spot so I came home with this cotton candy mohair!  It was a fabulous day, we tailgated in the parking field.  Of course, we visited the basket ladies first, then made the rounds of all the yarn vendors. 

When I got home I immediately ripped apart my knitting closet and dug out all the projects that are partially done, motivated to work on finishing them up so I can start on some new!!  This is the back of the Wilshire vest, I like the way it fits and the line of the cables.
The list of unfinished projects is too long to go into and I really should be knitting now!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Isn't She Lovely

Laura Jean loves her vest!!  She looks great in it, I am so pleased.  I had to grab this shot during a video chat!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fairy Tale

One day, while I was organizing my Vogue Knitting magazine collection,  I came across a pattern that I had marked with a flag.  Laura Jean had asked me to please make it for her two years ago.  I have hundreds of patterns marked in my extensive collection of Vogue, but this one just jumped out at me.  I had the yarn in my stash so that day, I sat down and started to work it out.  It is a very stylized vest with a large collar and plunging neckline, just perfect for a beautiful, young, fashionable girl.  I worked on the vest during my vacation to Florida, where I knitted along with my mom, what a treasured time, to knit socks with your mom!  We had so much fun...and she watched my progress with the vest as I watched her progress with the socks.   I had to leave Florida to go home eventually, but i finished the vest, I knitted the shawl collar twice as it has to be full and thick to go around the neck and lay the right way.  My excitement mounted as Laura Jean had no idea that I was working on a special gift for her.  The right buttons had to be procured, over-sized buttons which are hard to find, were ordered on the Internet...The vest was steamed out, photographed, wrapped in purple tissue and boxed carefully.

She is a remarkable daughter, her appreciation screamed through the phone line, it's perfect, she loves it, she is surprised!  She will send a picture of herself wearing it!!  Love you, LJ

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Three Way Wrap

This wrap is so yummy, the yarn is luscious and soft. I found these cool buttons online, buttons are not easy to find or pick out, especially very large ones. I think that these really look great on this! I know my sister Karen will want to make one of these and I would say YES!!! Very easy to do and so comfortable to wear. I may start another one right away. So much yarn, so little time. See this wrap on my page on Ravelry

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Trunk full of Sweaters

What do you do with a trunk full of sweaters?  These are some of my creations from the past few years,  certainly not all of them.  I gave a red ski sweater to my sister Sue, she says she loves it, I hope she does as these are all made with much love and determination.  There always comes a time, during each project, when I stall and think, "is this going to turn out the way I imagined it?"  or, "Is it worth continuing? It doesn't look quite right" This is a critical time, and if I can work my way through it,  I am usually somewhat satisfied with the result.

Recently, I took another close look at some sweaters that I had put away and not taken out for the past two winters or so.  Pleasantly surprised at the memories of working on them, choosing the yarn, putting the final pieces together, here are two that I photographed for Ravelry:

The catch is that it is impossible to wear as many sweaters as you knit!  And now I am heavily into shawls, and I don't even like the cold weather.  Maybe open up my own shop?  Or post on Etsy or E-Bay?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Woven Towels and Wabi-Sabi Shawl

My very talented friend Steff wove these towels for Christmas, I was the lucky recipient of one of them.  I am in awe of her handiwork as she says she is of mine.  We have a mutual admiration society!   Aren't they really lovely?

And here is a photo of the shawl I made for my sister, Karen.  She admired my first Wabi-Sabi Shawl and I decided to make her one; she was my Secret Santa person so this was the gift I gave her along with a long cotton sweater and camisole.  The thing that was great was I had put together a bag full of yarns that I thought looked good together so I used them, they are all different weights and colors but the shawl turned out just luscious.  This is my new creative interest, I am combining all different yarns to make wraps and shawls and scarves.

Here is a detail of the shawl. See more photos of this project on my Ravelry page 
I have had a little time off from school so I have focused on finishing projects that have been stalled, here is a lavender-filled collar that is supposed to be soothing to wear around your neck.  You can heat it in the microwave for a minute or two, then wrap it around your smells wonderful and is very soothing.  I knitted a "sock" to cover it which is washable.  See more on Ravelry page.