Monday, August 18, 2008

February Ladies Sweater

While my dad was in the hospital last month, I decided to knit the February Ladies Sweater by Pamela Wynne. If you are on Ravelry and are thinking of knitting this free download sweater, please by all means, don't stop, just jump right in. It's a ladies version of the February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman from Knitter's Almanac.

I choose Blue Sky Organic Cotton from the stash, I needed to order two more skeins of this wonderful poppy colour. I knitted the body in the stash dye lot and knitted the arms in the purchased dye lot. You can't tell that it's two different dye lots. I love the lacy look of the body.

I choose three 1 inch wooden buttons, ok they came free with the UK Simply Knitting magazine.

The pattern is knitted from the top down, you don't even have to pick up the button band. The sleeves are knitted on dpns, next time (and there will be a next time), I will knit the garter stitch edging on the arms in a smaller needle, they turn out bell shaped, pretty but I would have like it a little more streamlined.

The sweater turned out more as a fall/spring jacket for me, I will wear a long sleeved t under it. They only drawback, it does tend to get a little heavy towards the end. I am going to knit it in wool next time, a nice aran weight, I have some Skye Tweed and also Katmandu in the stash that I think would make a lovely sweater.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where have I been?

I haven't dropped off the face of the planet, but once again life gets in the way of all we pursue.

In the spring I was diagnosed with Arthritis in my spine, I have under going physical therapy and am under the care of a neurosur
geon. I have meds to take and unless the pain becomes intolerable I am putting of surgery.

Bill and I purchased a motor home in the spring, second hand, we now own a Winnebago Adventurer. We have only been away for a weekend so far, but in September are spending six days at the Elora Gorge, to be near my parents and in October we head out west to see James in Colorado, Deb in Idaho (and finally meet Jada and her new little brother or sister). On the way home we are stopping at Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. All the dogs are going with us, as you can see Islay enjoyed her first weekend camping.

My parents came down for their usual two weeks in July (and ended up staying three), my father came feeling under the weather and after being with us for two days finally agreed to go the the Emergency Room. He had a collapsed lung and ended up in the hospital for five days. He had wonderful care, and my mother, even though she was overwhelmed, couldn't have been more pleased. When he was realeased he was put on oxygen, so for two weeks we had tubing and a large oxygen machine in the house.

We did managed to get out and about though, we went to the Pittsburgh Zoo for an afternoon and saw the new six day old elephant calf. We managed an overnight at Gettysburg, in a wonderful bed and breakfast, and a tour of the battlefield the following day with a battlefield guide. The trips gave my parents confidence that you can go out and about while attached to oxygen.

We arranged for everything to be in place when they went home, and Bill stayed until they were confident enough to let him go.

Dad is doing very well, he is getting out with is walker or wheelchair, driving and changing oxygen tanks on the fly. They have seen their doctor twice and she is very happy with his progress.

Just as my summer was starting to slow down, and I could look forward to the end of August and Bill's retirement, Banff (lab/bloodhoud) our 11 year tore his ACL. He had surgery last Tuesday, came home on Wednesday and has been doing wonderfully, until Sunday when he decided to lick out his stitches and I had to buy an Elizabethian collar for him to wear. However, since he is not allowed to go up and down stairs, I have been sleeping on the couch in the family room to keep him com
pany - it's not done wonders for my back.

I have been knitting over the summer - The February Ladies Sweater, which is a free download on Ravelry. Chic Knits Eylete Cardigan, baby knits, socks, and my Rowan exchange gift, and I jus. I also knitted this cute Rowan denim jacket, I had the denim in stash, hece the two colour combination. I modified a top down raglan and a stitch pattern from Rowan Babies to create this cutie. I
used silver buttons from stash, every one is different. This really turned out better than I expected, it will be one I knit again.

I want to thank Arianwen for the push I needed to update the blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On the same theme...........

My youngest step-daughter is expecting her second child at the end of summer, which means that the needles have been clicking. Since they don't know the sex of the baby, blues and pinks in any shade are out, although I am not a huge fan of the pastel baby colours anyway. I am sticking to bolder greens etc. and muted neutrals. The inspiration for this combo came from the hat Baby Sheep Hat by Melissa Burt which is based on the Sheep Yoke Cardigan by Jennifer Little

I decided to knit a raglan using part of the motif for the hat and cardigan. I have such a wonderful stash that finding the approprate yarn was not the issue. I used RYC Cashcotton DK in Apple and RYC Cashsoft Baby in Blue Boy. The white and black sheep are bubble cotton remnants. I placed two sheep on the front band and one on the back.

The buttons are green leather that match the Apple, I have button holes on both sides of the bands that way when I know if it's a boy or a girl I can sew them on.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Little Lamb....Little Lamb

Before I retired from school my favorite baby gift to knit and give to the new mother or grandmother was this little lamb. I was asked by one of the secretaries at school if I would knit her another, she recently added a second granddaughter to the family. Of course, this is fun to knit, and put together, the problem was finding the time, and I have to admit that I about a month late in knitting and delivering this little pet to it's new family.

He is based on a the Fiber Trends felted lamb. I tweaked the pattern here and there and came up with a lamb I liked better.

This little lamb is knitted Elspeth Lavold Chunky AL, in Ecru and Black, and Crystal Palace Kid Merino (all from stash) . I knit the tail face, and ears in a non felting wool first (Dale of Norway baby yarn, from stash). After felting I fill in the face with Chucky AL Black, felt again for about 5 minutes and let dry for about a week. The effect on the face is almost like astikan, and I really like the effect. Once dried I add safety eyes and nose, and stuff the head, body. The small seam left open for stuffing is sewn up tightly and covered by the brushed out coat. I use a wire hair brush (mohair brush), and brush from the center back down on both side. I do not brush the face, ears or tail.

A green ribbon and a flower stud attached he was ready for delivery this morning. I had to go to the LYS to pick up two needles circular needles that I ordered, only to find that as of May 1st they are no longer open on a Wednesday, however, I get this little chap delivered. The recipent was thrilled.
I am knitting lots of baby knits at present, hats, cardigans, pullovers, toys and a blanket. My youngest step-daughter is having her second child at the end of the summer and its such fun to go through pattern books and yarn already in stash to find fun things to knit. I have to start my Rowan Exchange gift soon, if I don't I know I will get distracted and fall behind.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Birthday Bear

Meet Otto another wonderful pattern from Ysolda.

I knitted this wonderful polar bear for our grand daughters birthday on Monday.
A very quick knit, using Cleckheaton Fiddle de Dee cotton from the stash.

I knitted a little scarf and crocheted a hat to keep him warm on his trip to Idaho.
I used safety eyes and nose rathern than embroidering ones.
The bear did not go empty handed he took a copy of Goodnight Polar Bear.
The beautiful tulips and iris' are from my son for Mother's Day.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Monkeys in the House

The monkey's arrived today from the wonderful Melanie in Idaho. The Cookie A pattern is Minugs which I have wanted to get my hands on for quite some time.

Lots of monkey goodness, to spoil me, two kinds of sock yarn, lots and lots of chocolate, stickers, body cream two little monkeys to keep me company and a monkey puzzle picture to keep me active. I have not tried the Araucania sock yarn from Chile, the colours a ocean blues and I think would fit the Mingus Sock pattern to a tee.

The Monkey Socks in a dreamy cotton purple, they fit and feel terrific on the feet.
Thank you Melanie for making me feel very special and making my monkey dreams come true.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Outside Geese

Flying Geese outside

Child's Ragan Cardigan from Cabin Fever. The Top Down for Toddlers is a wonderful book, easy patterns, knitted top down and very little finishing. If you hate the finishing part of knitting this is a book for you, once you weave in the ends and sew on the buttons and block you are finished.

I knitted this in Frog Tree Silk/Cotton, the yarn is a Rosy Pink colour. I was very disappointed to find that it had no care instructions on the ball band. I blocked by hand, it bled a little, I popped it into the dryer for about 20 minutes, shaped and finished dryer on top of the dryer. I had the yarn in stash, my LYS had a sale last year and I bought about six balls, the cardigan used almost four balls.

Yarn: Frog Tree Silk/Cotton (from stash)
Needle: size 5 US
Size: Toddler 3 to 4 (for grand daughters birthday in May)
Buttons: Joann's ($1.50 for a card of 3)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Up a tree..........

What happens when you combine 4 dogs, 3 bird feeders and one very hungry, young racoon!!!!

He spent most of the morning trapped up a maple tree, yearning for a free breakfast. Mid-morning he silently slipped down the tree and waddled off to the woods.
The last time this occured the poor raccoon spent the entire day sound asleep up the tree and slinked off at sunset.

The Geese Have Landed

The Geese are Blocking!!!

Mason Dixon Flying Geese Lap Rug.

These pictures don't show the true colours, I'll take some pictures outside after blocking as they really are vivid.

Yarn: Rowan Harris DK (10 balls from stash, 3 extra had to be purchased)

Needle : 6 US

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Resting (not grounded) Geese

On Sunday I came to the terrible conclusion that I had miscalculated on the amount of Brilliant Pink I had in the stash. No matter how hard or where I searched I could not find that ball I thought I had. I went online and quickly ordered from Two Swans Yarn, 2 Pink, 1 Lavendar and 2 Peat, just in case I run out of these before I finish. I sent Karen an email yesterday and she said the yarn would be in the mail by the afternoon. I am hoping to have it soon so geese knitting can commence. I choose not to finish off the section with the geese band but to use it to knit another block, hoping that this will save time in the long wrong (am I grasping at straws). I think I will pick up the Peat stitches on the bottom half for the mitered border, more straw grasping. The blanket has to be finished by May 1st for it's arrival in Minnesota on May 3rd. I have one more yarn store in the area that stocks Rowan to check today to see if they by any chance have a ball in stock that I can start on before the yarn package flies in, until then the geese will be resting.

To aleviate some of my anxiety I do what every other knitter does, I knit.

I am working on my gifted Monkey Sock Swap 4 socks. The yarn is hand spun and hand dyed the colour is Majesty, the dyers tag is upstairs but will give her full credit when I finish the socks.

I am also working on a quick baby cardigan from Lopi 26, knitted not quite all in one, sleeves are knitted seperately and then 5 stitches are grafted under the arms. I have had this green baby yarn for years (really), it's Shepherds 4ply from Australia. I am using the large size (1 year) measurements.

And last but certainly not least I have almost finished a baby set using Bouton d'Or Baby. I will post more on this in the next few days, listing patterns and yarns. I still have to finish the button loops on the jacket and buy a yellow ribbon for the elephant.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The Geese are Flying

The second instalment of the Flying Geese Blanket from Mason Dixon.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Flying Geese

Flying Geese Blanket: Mason Dixson
Needle: 6 US (2 dpns, + 1 circular 24")
Progress: 1 of 6 blanket squares
Colours: Lavendar, Bright Pink (borders), Apple (corner squares), Thistle (3 of 6 squares), Sunset (3 of 6 squares), Thatch (outer border).
I need a special gift for my oldest step-daughter Sandy, who will graduate in May from the University of Minnesota Veterinary School. I had been looking online and searching through books for a special afghan blanket pattern. While flipping through Mason Dixon, trying to decide if I had enough time to complete the Log Cabin or the Mitered Squares, my eyes fell upon the Flying Geese. I have love the Harris Scottish Tweed yarn and patterns, for the last couple of years and each time I visit my LYS I pick up one or two balls and pop it into stash, ($10.00 a ball - not the most economical buy), knowing one day I would be using it for a large project. I only needed two more balls to complete the Flying Geese, one ball of Sunset (rust/terra cotta) and one of Apple. The pattern says it takes one ball of Thatch (chocolate brown) to complete the outer border but I'm not sure of that so I will probably pick up another ball of Thatch before all is said and done. Since taking this picture I have a Sunset square completed and attached, that means I am one third completed and have two thirds to go before the begining of May.
I used Publisher to complete a colour template for the blanket design, using my colours and switching them around until I had a colour templete that pleased. It's a very easy blanket to complete (save for the picking up of stitches pain on the fingers), very little finishing, as I am sewing in all the yarn colour changes on each section before I move on to the next, less overwhelming at the end I feel. I have a pact with myself that I cannot start another section until all the ends are darned in.
I am also knitting a small baby jacket and a toy lamb to give respite to the picking up of stitches which can as I said be a little difficult on the finger tips.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Monkey Swap 4

Monkey Sock Swap Questionnaire

The Measurements
Shoe size: 8
Foot length in inches: 9-1/2 inches
Circumference: 9-1/2 inches

Yarn Preferences
What are your favorite colors?

Anything but pastels.
What color clashes with your wardrobe?

Do you prefer solids or variegated yarns?

Surprise me.
What are your favorite brand sock yarns?

Yarntini, Woolmeise, Fleece Artist, Dream in Colour
Is there a new sock yarn you really would like to try?


Cookie A. Patterns
List the patterns you do not have but would like to receive:

I have all the patterns except Mingus, Gothic Spire, and Marilinda

Do you have any allergies that your pal needs to know about? (animals, fiber, sensitivity to smoke etc.)

Will you knitting be exposed to animals?

Will you knitting be exposed to cigarette smoke?


What country do you live in?

Are you willing to ship outside your country?

I would prefer not to, but if you need me I will.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter Elephant

This lovely little fellow is on his way to a sweet little girl who adores elephants. Why a bunny for Easter, why not a elephant? The pattern is from Ysolda, and is available for sale via pdf download, you can buy it today and be knitting him tonight.

He is knitted in the round, no seams, you pick up stitches from his arms, legs and ears, stuffing as you go. Once completed you add his french knot eyes and he is finished. I knitted him/her (after all that will be his new owners decision to make), a scarf for the journey. I slightly overstuffed him, next time knitted I won't be so generous and his legs won't be so puffy.

The Details:

Yarn: RYC Cashsoft Baby in Imp (from stash)

Needles: 3mm (4 dpns)

Stuffing: microfiber/silk blend (because the don't make the microfiber/cashmere anymore)

Time: pattern can be knitted over two nights, or on a rainy Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Baby Mary Janes

Pattern: Baby Merry Jane (pdf) by Bekah.knits from Etsy

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Colour: Chocolate and Fresh Cream
Needle: 2.75mm
Buttons: from the button stash
Size: 6-12 month

Knitted over two evenings (one "merry jane" per night). Shoe is knitted on straight needles, sock is knitted in the round after picking up stitches.
Changes I made: I knitted five more rounds of the sock in st stitch before starting the cuff, I also changed the rib of the cuff from k1 p1 to k2 p2.
I am working on the Toddler Moc-a-Soc at present, I have dropped down a needle size as the gauge was off. Next time I knit the Merry Jane's I will drop down to 2.5 or 2.25mm.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Silence of Snow

We woke up to a winter wonderland this morning.
Winter took it's time but February has more than made up for the delay.