Success!?

What is our measure of success? People measure success by the cars they drive, the homes they own, the jobs they have, how much money they make and a lot of other things. It’s different for all of us. Right?

I’ve measured my success by looking at what others think of me for much of my life. It’s only after a ton of therapy and the grace of having had a lot of time on this planet, that I can say that I feel successful. I’m content. Content with the life that we’ve built here on the lake in Maine.

Members of my Friday Knitting Group loving each other … kindness is rampant in this group!

I feel successful at work. I have created a circle of customers and friends and students who I enjoy spending time with. I feel like I am making a difference by sitting on two boards of trustees go organizations that have meaning to me. My kids are grown and living full lives. I’m deeply in love with the person I married and he loves me despite my perfect imperfections. (*ha! ha! ha!)

I’m feeling confident as a knitter. I’m wearing my Sunset Highway sweater today for the first time. It fits and it’s really lovely. I am quite proud to be able to make garments that I can wear. I have been finishing some projects, too, projects that have been hanging around in my studio for a long (long!) time!

Last year I was going to knit Christmas stockings for my daughter and son-in-love. Because I got a pretty good case of tendonitis, I wasn’t able to knit the stiff fabric for the stockings. But I just got them finished … with a little help from my friend and co-worker, Peggy. She took the first stocking, which I had begun over a year ago, and whipped it into shape while I started and finished the second one. They’re all steamed and finished now and ready to be gifted to the wonderful couple. Their anniversary is next week but I think I’ll save them until Thanksgiving and give them as an early Christmas present!

The stockings are both kits from Accessories Unlimited. Kits #402, Toy Soldiers and #103, Christmas Tree Stocking. The yarn isn’t what I would choose to knit with. It’s very stiff and scratchy but because it won’t be worn, it’s ok. They will hold up well and the stitches are pretty well-defined. I am very pleased with them both.

I’ve also finished a scarf promised as a trade with my herbalist. I had wanted it to be done a year ago as well but for the same reasons that the stockings weren’t done, the scarf was shelved (quite literally). Yesterday I brought it over to Danielle and she loved it. I’m pleased. It was (is) gorgeous. This is the first project I actually blocked with blocking wires. Lace really requires it. The pattern was a free one, Sage Smudging Scarf, on Ravelry and I knit it with the most gorgeous shade of gold Alegria by Manos. All of the details are on my Ravelry projects page. Suffice it to say that this scarf will adorn a neck and feel soooooo good!

When I was at Medomak Fiber Arts Retreat (or as I call it, Fiber Camp) this summer, we designed a lace cowl in our Lace class with Bristol Ivy. I have finally finished and photographed my cowl. The pattern was created using a process called “encoding” which was first brought to knitting by Naomi Parkhurst. In the yarnovers, there is a secret message.

Encoded lace … “I love Ned” and “Embraced” are hidden in the yarnovers

I’ve finished a new sample, a baby sweater, for Yardgoods. It’s Knitting Pure and Simple pattern #214, Baby Pullover. We chose a Cascade yarn, Pacific Color Wave, to knit it up in and since it’s teeny-tiny, it takes only one ball of yarn and knits up in no time at all.

I still have several projects to finish and a few to start, but I’m feeling the success all around me and it feels really good.

Gone knitting!

You can find more details about these projects and others on my Ravelry projects page. I’m Lindar. Also, follow me on Facebook, Queen Bee Knits by Linda Warner, and on Instagram, @QueenBeeKnits.

Finishing Line

Over the Christmas holidays and the last few weeks, I’ve been slowly but surely finishing up some projects. Others, I have finished photos of and can freely post them here without any surprises being ruined.

This past week, I started and finished a Boxet Bag. This pattern is in Making Magazine #5, Color and it’s designed by Cal Patch. I had been home all week with a “broken” back … not sure what I did but I finished my morning stretching and couldn’t stand up … and I needed to do something fun! I have a full bin of wool bits and bobs that I’ve been carrying around with me since we lived in Florida and I thought this was a good way to use some of it up. If there was any disappointment, it’s that it isn’t bigger and didn’t use more but I really love this little tote. I used Patons Classic Wool in several colors. This is a crochet project and I’m so pleased that this knitter is finally feeling more sure of herself when it comes to crochet. I only had to pull it back once or twice and that means I’m learning!!! It’s so cute and it’ll be so much fun to carry!

On Sunday I frogged my Malabrigo Rios cardigan. I was finished with the body and could try it on and I hated it. It’s just not for my body – there’s nothing wrong with the sweater, it’s just not right for my body. I’m still learning that. I do love the yarn and I need to find another simple cardigan pattern that will accentuate the beautiful Malabrigo colorways. The yarn is back into it’s caked format and ready to go. Pattern suggestions are welcome. It sure seems to me that when I knit sweaters I need to make two and frog them before I get it right!

My embroidered mittens are finished and have been worn quite a lot. They’ve also inspired a few other knitters to make some of their own! I love seeing everyone’s work!

I started knitting a Newborn Vertebrae sweater as a baby gift and then I didn’t have the right needles at work so I switched gift ideas in mid-stream. I made baby Izzy a pair of adorable baby booties and sent them off to New York and then I finished the Vertebrae and it will be added to the gift drawer in my atelier for another little baby. Vertebrae is a free pattern on Ravelry and I knit it with leftovers of On the Round Signature Sock yarn in the Silverlining Tweed colorway. It’s super cute! (And so tiny!) The Booties are made in Cascade Yarn’s Fixation and the pattern is Sue’s Baby Booties. Have a look at my projects page in Ravelry (I’m Lindar.)

Have I posted pictures of my niece’s Unicorn Mittens yet? They really came out super cute and I love them! I sent sparkly Unicorn purses from Target and a few other little things that I found and thought the girls would like. But the mittens are my favorite!!! One pair had blue eyes and one had green eyes. The bright colors are fabulous, if I do say so myself.

Last photo for this post is the pillow that I made, ostensibly for my hubby. He has a brand new (to him) red truck and he loves the old fashioned trucks that he drove at camp as a teenager. I had purchased this embroidery kit forever ago and had never made it up. So, since I was resting my knitting arm, I decided to give it a shot. It turned out well but if I were to do it again, I’d choose fabric that isn’t so Christmas specific so it could be kept out for a longer time. Oh well. I keep learning as I make!

So, there you are! A few more updates as promised in the older posts. I hope that you’ll check them out, too. I have so much fun making things for my family and friends. I would much rather make than buy … it seems more personal and I enjoy the process of thinking about what people would like!

Gone knitting.

Virus Shawl … FO!

This is one of my wonderful Friday knitting students, Annie! Annie’s from East Texas and has the beautiful accent to prove it!  My boss took this photograph of us on Friday after my class. I’m wearing my Virus Shawl for the first time.

IMG_0441

I am really happy with the way the shawl turned out. It’s my first “real” crochet project and I think it’s really pretty. I used two hanks of Malabrigo Sock in the Candombe colorway. I’m not sure why I love it so since green is not really “my color” but I do love it and I was happy to wear it!

IMG_0438IMG_0439

Candombe has greens and purples and a great grellow color all smooshed together to make another great colorway for knitted garments. The way the colors, with very short color changes, move is really quite wonderful and I think I’d even like it as a sweater or other garment.

The pattern for this shawl is a simple chart that you repeat. I memorized it and could just crochet away. It could be made in any weight of yarn. (Since I get hot easily, I most always choose fingering weight yarns for shawls and, increasingly, choose sport or fingering for sweaters, too.) The only stitches are single crochet, double crochet and chain stitches. Simple! Even for me!

Fun! I’m feeling accomplished!

Button, Button. Who’s Got the Button

Basic Baby Raglan Cardigan Sweater

Basic Baby Raglan Cardigan Sweater

The adorable baby sweater is finished except for the buttons.

The pattern used a yarn over (YO) to make a small button hole and it’s a bit odd … thus, it’s going to be a challenge to find an adorable girly-not-too-girly button (times seven). I’ve tried several that I thought would work and they don’t.

Again. The pattern calls for a 3/4 inch button … they seem a little bit to big. And anything other than a smooth circular or near-circular button gets caught in the button hole. Grrrrr!

I am sure that I’ll win at this battle. I can always make my own buttons but I’d like to find something sweet for my niece-to-be.

I chose to use a Knit Picks yarn, Comfy Sport, which was wonderful to work with. I love the way it feels and the colors are great. Price point is very reasonable at and it’s washable. I think that knitted gifts for babies have got to be washable. You can check out the colors that I used on my Ravelry projects page.

This pattern was free on Ravelry and it’s a very simple knit. A beginner could certainly make it … especially if one made it in a single color. Stripes are not difficult but carry the yarn as you go because there would be a ton of ends to weave in if you don’t. With my three colors there were enough ends and I carried the yarn as much as I possibly could. I made the 3 – 6 month size. It required one ball of each color and there isn’t much yarn left. Once it’s blocked and buttons are sewn on, I’ll post another picture. I just need those buttons.

Anybody got any ideas?

Gone knitting.

 

WIP to Finished!

It always feels so good!

IMG_1192

Lesser Evil Socks (Toe Up, Two at a Time!)

IMG_1202

My own design … baby blanket backed with polar fleece & silk border (sewn by me … and, no, I’m not a great seamstress!)

IMG_1203

And finally my Wonderful Wallaby … heading to my niece on the west coast for next year … or maybe the next year. We’ll see when it fits her!

IMG_1205 IMG_1206 IMG_1207 IMG_1213

 

Gone knitting!

Ta-Da!

My Vintage Velvet scarf is finished! And felted. And blocked (well, dry.)

Vintage Velvet

Vintage Velvet

I first saw this pattern a decade or so ago and I fell in love with it way back then. I loved the way the yarn felt and I loved the way it looked. Truly like vintage velvet. Mine is no exception.

The pattern, from Scarf Style by Pam Allen, is pretty much perfect. The directions are clear and well written. The reversible cable pattern is simple to follow (even I learned it by heart) and the Meunch yarn, “Touch Me” is delightful to knit with. It feels so good in your hands while you’re knitting, it’s hard to believe that yarn could be so soft. I was fortunate to find the yarn, after all these years, on sale at 50% off so the scarf isn’t worth a small fortune. But even at full price, this scarf is so beautiful, it’s totally worth it! You do need 5 skeins (and I think I used six to use up all that I bought – I was shopping without the pattern) and at $16 or more per skein, this is not a “cheap” project. We all know, however, that it’s not about the price. Right?

Cable Close-Up

Cable Close-Up

The scarf has a beautiful reversible cable right down the middle and when it’s felted at the end – Yes! Felted! I washed mine with a load of towels in hot water and then put it into the dryer for about ten minutes as directed – it truly does look like velvet.

I only have one complaint about the yarn and that is that my dye lot seemed to have a lot of  knots and that meant that I had a lot of stops and starts … and a lot of ends to weave in at the end which is not my favorite part of knitting. But I loved watching the scarf unfold and am so pleased by the end result. It was worth waiting for!

Gone Knitting!

I win!

The first attempt was a flop. But the second attempt at the Gaia Shoulder Hug was a success! I did it! It’s finished! Yay, me!

Gaia Shoulder Hug (FREE Ravelry download)

And I like it … more or less. I’m not totally loving the Noro Kureyon Sock (which is now discontinued in the United States) colorway that I chose, but I think it will be a pretty piece to wear in the winter with a shirt.

I’m pleased that it’s finished and pleased with it – that’s what matters most.

Gone knitting!

 

Today’s Completed Projects

I wrapped up a couple of projects today and it feels good to get things finished. No pressure, for sure, but good to finish none the less. Here’s my story about one – or at least it’s a partial story!

I’ve made a twelve inch square for a group gift that my group will be assembling for a special member. I’ll explain more after it’s been presented but here is my square …

"The Candle Tree"

I didn’t want to do just a plain square. Tried a couple of stitches that I was unfamiliar with and then found this one in one of my stitch books – Barbara G. Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (if you want to buy a book of stitches, this is one of the ones to buy. Clear concise directions and a ton of different patterns. The only “problem” is that there are more than one treasury … so start your library!)

The pattern (on p. 290) is called “The Candle Tree” and it’s a panel of 35 stitches. I liked the idea of the candles as a memorial – I’ve explained my love of the Jewish tradition of Yarzeit candles before in my blog and that’s part of why I love the pattern. The tree is a symbol of family (think “family tree”) and strength (think “mighty oak”) and perhaps also a bit of the natural circle of life. and the tree as a symbol of family and strength. When I can tell you more about the gift that we’re giving, you’ll understand why this patch or square is significant!

I didn’t get the tree perfectly centered but it’s now blocked and ready to go to the assembly team (of one?) I am excited to see the end result – and if I do say so myself, it’s a really thoughtful gift – and see how its recipient likes it. I think she’ll be very touched.

I also did some baking today. Needed to attach my feet to the ground. I love this recipe which I found on the Internet … Levain Bakery’s Oatmeal Scones. I have been making this recipe for quite some time and my brother once said they were the best scones he’d ever eaten. I use a gluten-free flour and craisins in lieu of all-purpose flour and raisins. Today I even threw a few currants in because I didn’t have quite enough craisins. They are so delicious. You really should try them! And it’s easy to make scones – I mixed all the ingredients together and then added the diced butter and mix it all together with my hands until crumbly and then add the milk/cream/buttermilk and quickly mix it together with my mixer. Rather than mess up my counter, I use an ice cream scoop and have perfectly shaped, similarly sized scones that freeze really well … and we can warm up one or two each morning! I love Turbinado Sugar as a sweet and crunchy sprinkle on top! You could also make a little “frosting” with confectioners sugar and milk or orange juice and drizzle on top. Try it out!

Gone knitting (well, walking first and then knitting!)

Finished!

I have finished a few projects and wanted to show them to you!

I finished two hats – one for my son, and one for my shop. The son  one is from a pattern that he found and you, too, can find it if you click here. What I like about Staci’s patterns and site is that she includes tutorials that you can click through to and follow. They’re lovely – and my son needed to have just that hat! (And he loves it … and promises a photo when he gets his phone fixed!) For now, however, here’s a photo that I took of the hat. My son picked the colors!

A Hat for my Boy!

I made another hat from the leftover yarn from my boy’s hat. So, the colors are the same (duh!) I switched up the pattern but kept the ear flap style. It’s likely that I’ll send it to one of his roommates because he reported that they all wanted one! If not, it will be in my shop. Click here for complimentary transportation to Esty (dot) com!

I have also finished a “Boyfriend” sweater for my friend Harriet’s 4-legged fur family. My little guy tried it on and it fit him. I have heard that Harriet’s little dogs are a bit pudgy – too many treats? – so, we’ll try it on one of them and we’ll get another one done for the second little darling. I’m making them just like my little dog’s sweaters because I love them! Harriet will, too!

Lovers’ Mitten – Great Valentine’s Day gift!

I’ve finished a “Lovers’ Mitten” to add to my Etsy shop. It’s Valentine’s Day red. Hope it (and it’s pink sister shown here) will sell this month … and I have yarn to make one or two more! They’re a little bit kitchy but they’re fun. And if it’s cold where you are, think about it – you can walk down the street with the person you love and hold hands without them being frozen stiff at the end of your walk!

I’ve also finished a pair of fingerless mittens intended to be a gift but then I realized they were going to be a duplicate gift so they’ll go into my shop. I think. Or I’ll save them for my … well, if I tell you about it, then the cat is out of the bag, so to speak. Let’s move on!

On the needles …

One almost finished pair of wool and silk fingerless mittens for my shop – they’ll be done very soon.

One half-finished black sock for my son. He’s the one who said he didn’t want me knitting him sock but this will be the third pair that I’ve knitted for him … the second that he specially requested. Ha! I knew he’d love them … who wouldn’t!?

I have 2 of my swatches from the class that I’m taking from the Knitting Guild Association finished. I’m working my way through their process with the goal of becoming a certified Master Knitter. It’s quite prestigious – but I think I can do it. The only part that makes me squishy is thinking about designing a human garment! Yikes! But I do have an idea – my sister Abbie has this really cool, unstructured sweater that I’d like to use as my inspiration.

I have a pattern for another pair of fingerless mittens sitting on my work table in my Atelier. I bought some really pretty red- and another lovely teal-colored yarn and will be making one pair as a gift for a super special friend and another for me.

I also want to make myself a tea cozy. Have you ever seen the book and patterns by Loani Pryor? She’s the Queen of the Tea Cozies! Visit her website/blog by clicking here. She offers a couple of free patterns on her site. I will likely try one of them but also really covet her book(s)! On my Amazon (dot) come wish list! I’m drinking tea daily and am wrapping my tea pot with a towel to keep it warm in the morning. I’ll also be making a tea cozy as a Christmas gift. Trying to think ahead!

Goodness, I’ve gone on … time to hit the hay so I can photograph the finished objects tomorrow and get some more knitting done!

Gone sleeping!