I’m Not Ignoring You!

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Lilies of the Valley

I don’t want you to think that I’ve been ignoring you. I just can’t believe how busy my life has been since we’ve moved to Maine.

Mother Nature has been working double overtime to make everything around us green and blooming. The pollen has been like snow at times but it is beautiful when the wild flowers start to bloom in the woods. I saw some lilies of the valley on my walk a few days ago and our yellow iris down by the rocks at the edge of the lake are blooming profusely.

We have been to bed early and up early and have seen some beautiful sunrises. We are reminded with each one how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place. Even when it’s really, really early! IMG_4783

IMG_4798All three dogs are adjusting to living in the little guest cabin and to the noise that is our home-building destruction and construction life. Little Boq has had some wicked hot spots but we seem to have them under control again. The little dogs have been to a new groomer and will feel so much better now that they’re groomed and bathed.

I have been knitting a little. I’ve managed to finish the little pink zebra footie socks for my mentee in South Florida. She is turning 14! Yikes. I am hoping they fit and I have another whole ball of the same yarn to make one more pair to her specifications. She loves pink and zebra stripes, I thought the yarn was perfect!

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Pink Zebra Low Socks

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Two Dishcloths … one good, one not so good

I have also finished a couple of dish towels for my daughter. She sent me the yarn and I knitted her some cloths. One, I love. It’s Grandmother’s Favorite and it’s an easy knit and I love the way it came out. The second one was supposed to be a paw print. Ya know … I’ve knitted many paw prints before and must have used a different pattern. This one I do NOT like. It’s huge and not a good image of a paw print. I’m sending it anyway because she can use it for her dog’s muddy feet or something. But it will go with a note of explanation. (I wasn’t going to frog it after it was done but I’m not happy with it.)

I have chosen the third pattern for my Seacolors Yarn sweater and I think I am going to like this one much better. The pattern I am knitting is called Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer. I will not be making stripes but rather blocks of color. I’ve started with the peachy-orange shade and then will change to the green for the bottom of the body. I’ll see what I have left over for the sleeves. I’ll use the blue yarn for the edging and probably most of one of the sleeves. I’ll keep you posted!

I wore my cotton tunic to work yesterday. I love the color and the cotton yarn is perfect over a t-shirt or blouse. BUT I have always thought the straps were a bit too long. So, this morning I’m pulling the straps apart and shortening them. I would like to be able to wear it without  a shirt under it if I want … when I’m done, I’ll be able to. I got quite a few compliments on it and that always feels good!

I feel so blessed and grateful to be able to live here on our beautiful lake in Maine. It’s really a dream come true. The love of my life and I are building our home and all is right with the world.

Gone knitting.

Is There Such a Thing as a Knitter’s Block?

I know that there’s supposed to be a writer’s block … I am afraid that I have a knitter’s block. I have been knitting little simple projects but my brain isn’t wrapping itself around the idea of one of the several sweaters that I know I have the yarn to knit.

I’ve marked a few patterns, I want to have the garments. So, what the heck’s going on?

Sometimes, one just has to take a few days “off” from the challenges of knitting, I guess. Life gets in the way of our art … work, family, and other things poke their heads in, demanding our immediate attention. My energy level at the end of the day is waning and I am simply tired. So, I’m going to take my own advice and be gentle with myself. Give myself the time to just be … and know that my knitting mojo will return.

For now, I’ll be satisfied with the granny squares and the dish cloths.

Gone (not) knitting!

 

Ho-Ho-Holiday Knitting

I’ve had a few knitting projects that I have nearly completed for Christmas giving. I would like to add one more to the bunch, but I am sane enough to know it just won’t be happening. I will make it for a birthday gift in 2014!

What have I knitted, you ask?

For my mom’s cousin, Rita, I made a really pretty blue feather and fan scarf. I’ve been wanting to make something for Rita since I saw a woman on the subway last winter (or the winter before). She was an older lady, like Rita, and she was all bundled up in what could have been hand-knit hat and scarf. I imagine that living in New York when you’re older is not easy and I just wanted to remind Rita that I love her and think of her often.

Rita Scarf

Rita Scarf

I work closely with several wonderful people every day at school. So, of course, I wanted to do something for them for Christmas … there are about ten of them … and, of course, I decided to knit them dishcloths. Red. With “Woody” paw prints. I still have one or two to go but I’m getting there. I just have to make the handmade soaps to go along with them. It won’t take too long but I have to heat up the kitchen to do it – which, when the temperatures are at near-record-breaking highs, isn’t very attractive.

Monk models Willow's snood

Monk models Willow’s snood

I made a snood for my Chicago grand-dog, Willow. My Monk is the model here. I hope it’ll keep her ears super warm on those cold, windy Chicago winter days. My daughter asked for gray and I added some bright green for color. I’m happy with it!

I was raised with little emphasis on handmade gifts. They simply weren’t valued. I’ve come to believe that they are more valuable than anything that I could buy. My time and talents are well spent knitting for my friends and family for their gifts. I hope they know that there is love in every stitch. I wouldn’t be knitting for people that I don’t care about! 🙂

Happy Holidays! Happy knitting!

Gone knitting.

And they’re D. O. N. E.!

Three projects hit the finished projects file today. It feels good.

My daughter in Chicago asked me to make her a cowl in a dark gray, chunky yarn. I found her a lovely gray bulky merino and alpaca blend (Knit Picks Cadena) in the Kestrel colorway. The pattern wants three skeins of yarn and knits up really quickly. Of course, it’s bulky yarn! I think she’s going to love it. And it didn’t break the bank. The pattern, free on Ravelry, is the GAP-tastic Cowl. Knitting it is super simple and no seams. You cast on a bazillion stitches but it’s a short knit! It can be worn singly or wrapped double. A fun cowl – and one that I was honored to knit at her request. (She’d seen a bulky cowl in a store and thought that since it’s my business, knitting, she’d ask me to make her one!)

Gaptastic Cowl in Knit Picks Cadena, Kestrel

Gaptastic Cowl in Knit Picks Cadena, Kestrel

The seed stitch fabric is just lovely … and it feels nice and soft with the addition of the alpaca fiber.

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Next, I finished her headband.

The pattern that I used was a cabled headband, “Green Forest”. I love the seed stitch (matches the GAP-tastic cowl) and the cables. I normally would make a cabled pattern with plain yarn as the alpaca sort of softens or makes the pattern less visible but I wanted to use this yarn! So, I did. And I’m pleased at the success. I think she’s going to love wearing the headband in Chicago this fall and winter! OK, maybe fall. I added a second button hole so that she can tighten up the headband if the alpaca yarn stretches a little bit. And I made her headband 32 repeats of the 4-row pattern. I think I will have to make another one for my sister-in-law in Massachusetts.

Green Forest cabled hea

Green Forest cabled headband

Last, but not least, is the sample dish cloth that I made to teach a new bunch of knitters at work. Or at least my boss! She wants to learn to knit because she wants to knit dishcloths! I think it will be a riot and a half teaching my wonderful boss. And an added bonus will be if any of the other staff choose to join us! It has also given me a great idea for Christmas gifts for my co-workers! But, suffice it to say, it’s a secret for now!

Basic (easy) Dish Cloth

Basic (easy) Dish Cloth

I know I haven’t been blogging much since I started working and I haven’t really been knitting that much either. Life has taken on a different turn for now and I am quite satisfied by the way it’s going. I love my job and the people that I am working with. It’s already November! A couple of weeks and we have a long weekend for Thanksgiving and then before we know it, we’ll have several weeks off for Christmas! Before we know it, I’ll be heading back to Maine for the summer.

I’d rather be knitting … in Maine any day! Can’t wait to be on my summer porch!

Gone knitting!

Twin Baby Socks

One of each is a real blessing. I’ve decided to knit something for the babies and started with my favorite baby wash cloths … baby feet. I found some wonderful cotton yarn in Maine last summer. Ta! Da!

Lov this green!

Lov this green!

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And this salmon is fabulous!

To go with the wash cloths, I decided to make a couple pairs of booties but the pattern annoyed me (not sure if it was the pattern or me but it simply wasn’t working for me) so I went with the basic sock in baby size. I love the gray Cascade Eco Alpaca (100% baby alpaca) yarn. It’s a little bit “splitty” but so soft and will be so warm on those baby toes!

I wanted to have a little bit of “color” for the socks so I used an eyelet row to embellish the plain socks and allow me to add a bit of ribbon for the color (I went traditional this time but the new mom can change out ribbons if she wants). The eyelet row was simply a purl row, a row with a few yarn over, K2togs as evenly spaced as I could get it, and then another purl row. I’m really happy with the way that they turned out.

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They’re all wrapped and ready to be sent! I can’t wait to see pictures of the little ones wearing these socks!

Gone knitting!

 

 

Proof – on the needles and newly finished

Here are the photos, as promised!

Socks for my Boy!

Socks for my boy in Trekking XXL (75% super wash wool, 25% polyamid). This yarn might be the most wonderful sock yarn ever but knitting with it has been a nightmare! The center-pull ball has been in knots from the first pull. Grrr! What a pain in the neck (or needles!) But the socks are looking good and the boy has asked for them (the third pair!) Promised for graduation in mid-June.

New yarn arrival!

Yes, you can ooooh and ahhhh!

I bought the Berroco Pure Pima and Cascade Yarns Fixation for two projects. The Berroco is for a cotton sweater (sleeveless tunic) for moi. The Fixation is for a pair or two of baby socks … trying a new pattern!

Also FO –

HUGE socks ... soon to be felted!

Two super huge socks all ready to be felted. These are for my Etsy shop at the end of the summer. One lavender and one multi-colored, fall colors (green, orange, brown, purple, burgundy) both will be felted to size and be ready to go to some cold tootsies!

Flower Power Dish Cloth

Also trying to use up some of the cotton yarn that I’ve been carrying around. This green turned into a dish cloth. Perhaps it will live in my kitchen (replacing the icky ones that are there) or perhaps it will be matched with a couple more and sold in my shop. We’ll see what I decide.

Cooked Lobster Mittens (a Queen Bee Knits Original Pattern)

Since I have a bunch of wonderful merino wool that I bought in Maine last summer, I decided to resurrect my original pattern and make some more Cooked Lobster Mittens. I love these cute little mittens for kids. I’ll be knitting up several small pairs (and knitting up the bands for the claws, too) for my shop. One down … if you want a pair in a specific size, best to request because I know they’ll fly off the shelves!

Meantime, a friend of mine and her partner welcomed to the world a beautiful baby girl yesterday. I’m thinking a pair of those lovely cabled baby booties needs to be knit up and sent to West Palm Beach! What yarn to use? What yarn to buy?

Oh, the challenges this Queen Bee faces every day! (The last was said in sarcasm … next, in all truth and sincerity) How lucky I am!

Got to wait for my camera battery to charge so I can post the pictures. For now, I’m gone knitting!

New on the Needles

I bought some yummy cotton yarn to make myself a Drops knitted tunic that I saw somewhere online when I was wandering. The pattern is a free Ravelry download. The yarn was on sale (serious sale! I think it was $3.99 a skein!) at WEBS. It’s Berroco’s Pure Pima (color #2243 “Barely Blue”). I love that Jimmy Bean’s sent me a bag and matched the dye lots of the extra few skeins. It’s a pretty sky blue color with a bit of a gray undertone and I really like it. The pattern is found here!


Classic and simple patterning … I loved the yellow but my mother always said that when I wore yellow I looked green. I don’t want to look green!

Will be winding a skein and doing a swatch … because I know that if I don’t swatch, I will make the sweater in the wrong size! I guess I had best measure my chest, too … just in case! (Note to self – gauge is not for wussies!)

Also trying a pair of baby socks by Cat Bordhi – you can find out all about Cat at her website CatBordhi dot com. All of a sudden, I have an interest in knitting baby things … could be that there’s a new little niece or nephew in the oven!? Anyway, it’s the Baby Life Rings socks and they’re cuter than cute. Found some Cascade Yarns Fixation (also at WEBS) in a couple of colors … color #9030 (“denim”, if my memory serves) and color #9936 (“pacific”in really great ocean colors.) It looks like they’ll stay on the baby feet with three rings around the ankles. Always an issue for new parents, keeping feet on those wiggle pigs … I aim to please!

Already on the needles, my son’s socks. I’ll report on the yarn … because it’s not making this knitter happy. I’ve never had a ball of sock yarn “fight” with me quite so much! Promised by his graduation in June … who can believe that my baby will be graduating from college? And the baby blanket – reversible cables in a white acrylic yarn (to make it easier to wash over and over!)

Finished – a pair of lobster mittens (cooked, of course!) and two pairs of slipper socks. Also finished is a dishcloth … ours are getting pretty yucky! Photos will come soon … maybe tomorrow!

Grateful for fingers that work.

Gone knitting!