Hot off the Needles

Well, I’ve gone and done it! I’ve actually got some finished projects!

First, I started and finished an adorable layette for a customer. At the suggestion of a co-worker, I chose a sweet garter stitch cardigan and bonnet and then found an adorable pair of baby booties that match perfectly! I hope that our customer loves the outfit as much as I do. I used Universal Yarns “Adore” DK weight yarn (two skeins with a lot of left-overs!) I love the peachy-pink color which is not quite a baby pink and not quite a peach. I think the lacy leaves pattern is wonderful around the neckline and it’s also on the back of the little bonnet. I found the perfect buttons for the cardigan before I knew I would need any for the shoes. Lucky for me, I’d already bought the package which contained 5 buttons. The perfect number with none left over!

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The shoes may be my favorite part! They were a simple knit and they’re so stinking cute!

IMG_7867I have also finished a cowl that I wanted to try. This was a free pattern at our shop that used a Galway worsted wool and a Gina, both by Plymouth Yarns. I had a charcoal gray Cascade 220 Worsted in my stash and a skein of Gina left over from my favorite mittens ever. I hadn’t ever “really” knitted anything in Brioche stitch so this was a learning experience which was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. If you know how to knit and purl, try Brioche! Another of my co-workers knitted the same pattern for a store sample and hers came out similar but stretched a LOT more than mine did when blocked. She used a different main color yarn that had some silk in it – and hers is significantly less scratchy than my wool one. But I learned something. By the way, I didn’t make mine like the pattern directed. I used less than one skein of Cascade 220 and one skein only of the Gina … I am not sure I’m going to love it and wear it.

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I also finished another commission for a returning customer. She wanted a bulky/chunky lacy slouch hat/tam exactly like I have made for her before and a cowl to match. The hat pattern is a free pattern from Revelry called Quick Lacy Slouch Hat. The cowl pattern that she found is in a little Leisure Arts book and it’s called Berry Twist Cowl. Each used one skein of Cascade 128 Superwash yarn. Knitting with large needles and with chunky yarn, these were a relatively quick knit and I got them done in a weekend. I hope our customer is happy with these as she was with the other things that I’ve knitted for her. IMG_7883

I will be looking for “sparkly” buttons for the cowl at work tomorrow and then the set will be ready to go to their new owner!

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With all the finished objects, that leaves a few projects still on the needles …

I still haven’t seamed my Aran Cardigan. (It’s easy to keep putting it off!)

I haven’t finished my wool Vail Island Vest because it’s boring!

I am working on a store sample for Yardgoods Center in a bee-utiful Manos Silky Blend.

I still have that linen top in the project bag – when I frog it, it will truly be “dead” to me.

I started a new felted bag yesterday. I’m using all of the stashed Paton’s wool … well, I’ll use some of it, anyway.

I have one sock of a pair done. Second sock will get cast on this week – I like to take my socks in my purse just in case I find some knitting time.

My KAL shawl is in process … middle of clue 3, if memory serves!

So, there you have it. I think. Three projects finished and seven on the needles. I wish I didn’t need to sleep! You can find more information on any of these projects by visiting “lindar” on Ravelry.

Gone knitting!

Hat for Haley … a Chemo Princess

Princess Hat

Princess Hat

I had a message from a friend in Ohio requesting a chemo hat to be made for a friend’s three year old daughter who has cancer. As I’ve said before, maybe not here in the blog, the words cancer and child should never be seen in the same sentence.

When a special friend asks and because my three children are healthy, I agreed to put aside my personal knitting and make a gift for a little girl who faces some yucky days. I needed to know her name and her favorite color. I had some fun purple (Haley’s favorite color) yarn in my stash and I went over to Ravelry to look for patterns.

I was originally thinking about a striped hat that I’ve made before. It’s a great hat. I’ve made a couple of them to donate for fund-raisers or whatever. Although, this old girl forgot, it seems, to take any photographs of them. Oops!

Anyway, I was looking around and found a lot of cute hats … and then I found THE hat.

I knew it was perfect (and I had just put aside some sparkly gold specialty yarn that I have had for ages to see if someone in my knitting group wanted to use it.) So, I pulled out the gold yarn and my stashed purple Cascade 220 and I got started.

The hat is called “Princess Crown” and can be found, free, on Ravelry. It’s one of many adorable patterns in Allison Stewart-Guinee’s Fairytale Knits book. And it was just perfect. I knew it in my heart immediately. What little girl doesn’t love to wear a crown?

Purple is Haley's favorite color … and this is more like the actual color of her Princess Hat

Purple is Haley’s favorite color … and this is more like the actual color of her Princess Hat

The hat knitted up very easily and has just a touch of lacey-ness in the body of the hat which carries down the hat making it look as if it’s a real crown. The golden crown part is knit up separately on circular needles and then stitched together with the hat. Once together, the band is knit and it even has a pretty picot edge stitched right in.

Because the format on the Amazon site is supposed to be laid out as a book, it can be a little bit confusing to follow. Just beware! I did get lost at one point and had to frog and re-knit a couple of rows. If you can follow the format of the pattern, though, the pattern is clearly written and simple to knit. It looks like you’re an expert, too!

Wet blocking so the hat has some shape!

Wet blocking so the hat has some shape!

I have wet blocked the hat and used a large handful of plastic grocery bags as a form to have the purple “hat” part block out. I can’t wait for it to dry so I can get it into the mail! I hope Haley is going to love it and that it brings her smiles on the crummy days when she doesn’t feel well. There’s lots of love in that little hat and it’s all heading to Ohio and Haley!

Gone Knitting.

Still Learning!

I may be creeping toward “old” but I am still learning every day. The lesson that I am learning right now is self-care. I’ve spent the majority of my life taking care of others; my children, my (now ex-) husband, my work, the kids at school, my dogs. You get the drift. I know that the old airplane adage is true. You have to put your own oxygen mask on before you help others… I’ve just never been very good at it. Today, my body has given me no choice. I have to stop and take care of myself.

I’ve taken myself to two urgent care offices in the last week and am not sure that I won’t be visiting my primary care physician before tomorrow ends. I have way more prescriptions than I’ve ever had on my kitchen counter. And I’m not all better in less than 24 hours. I just keep trying to remember to be patient. I’m really such a lucky girl to be as healthy as I am. Need I add the caveat, “at my age”?

Yup, they're all mine!

Yup, they’re all mine!

So, you ask, what are you doing to take care of yourself today? I am working hard to stay still. I’m working on my test knitting project. This is the first time I’ve done any test knitting and I’m excited and anxious about it. I know I know how to knit and have knitted for other people before. But I’ve never knitted a sample for a new book before. So, I’m learning to be more confident. It’s only a pair of mittens for heaven’s sake! So, that’s my big project today. To take one stitch at a time and get ‘er done! I know I can do it (and I’m excited to be offered the opportunity!) Every new knitting experience that I take on makes me grow as a knitter and as a person, too. I learn more about myself and gain confidence with each new attempt.

My pattern is called “Fannar” and it is being stitched up in Cascade 220 on my US #8 needles. I’ll share more as it is allowed. For now, this project is being kept in the project bag! 🙂

My Cooperative Press Test Knit Project … just starting!

My Cooperative Press Test Knit Project … just starting!

So, for today, I’m managing many more medicines than I am accustomed to and I’m working on a project that is challenging my knitting boundaries … and will expand them without a doubt! I’ve helped to fund an Annie Modesitt book, History on Two Needles Exploring Art History Through Modern Hand Knits and now I’m knitting samples for Shannon Okey’s new book, Frozen: Aurora Borealis Mittens, due out “soon”.

Gone knitting!

Ready-to-Felt

Ready for Felting

Ready for Felting

Along the same lines as “ready to wear” or, en Francais, “prêt à porter”, I have a ready to felt project!

I’ve finished the pair of scuffs to be felted for N. I chose a multicolored colorway in Cascade 220 and as the yarn is knit doubled, it’s a quick knit. The felting will wait until I get back to Florida because lake water in Maine is never warm enough for felting wool! And I’m not going to do the early settler thing and heat the water!

Gone knitting!