Starting the New Year off with FOs!

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First finished object is the Ruche Beret by Susan B. Anderson. I love this hat and hope that the new owner will wear it through some challenges and into a lifetime of good health. I knit this for a friend from college who has a friend going through chemo treatments. I knit this in this pretty beige-y taupe-y color and it’s a dk-weight yarn, Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK. I love knitting with this yarn! It’s so soft and will feel so good on a “naked” head. The best thing about this hat is the simplicity of the design. I just love it.

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Next up, the 1898 Hat. This is a free pattern on Ravelry and calls for a worsted weight yarn and US 7 needles. I started knitting with the needle as in the pattern but it was too small. So, I changed to a US 8 and the hat is lovely! I knit with the customer’s Cascade Yarns Eco Duo. Another super soft yarn and it will be so warm. The construction of the hat is a little bit different – the “cuff” is knitted in garter stitch with slipped stitches that is folded in half and grafted into a “headband”. Stitches are picked up around the cuff and the hat is completed in a more traditional manner. The customer was so happy that she’s asked me to knit another one out of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride. Stay tuned!

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Last but not least, a baby blanket for my sister-in-love. They have an employee who is having a baby this month and she asked me to knit a blanket. I love stripes, so this was my suggestion. Knitted in Plymouth Encore (navy, white and bright green) to make life easier for the new mom (it’s washable and dry-able!) This is a simple knit – almost boring, actually – two rows of each color, carrying the yarn up the side. The green is an i-cord edge. I love the way the green pops! It’s blocking on my guest bed (sans sheets after Christmas) and it will be sent very soon.

Speaking of Christmas … I haven’t shown you all of the Christmas knits that were finished and given.

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An eyeglass case in Berroco Comfort DK (red and green, obviously!) The pattern is Sweet Sunglasses Case by Ambah O’brien. This was a fun little something to knit for my co-worker who is super sweet. I will make more of these. The Comfort yarn is very soft and won’t scratch glasses … it could be lined but I stink at sewing.

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These are really a better and brighter blue with a bit of sparkle and were sent to my adorable mentee. I met this darling girl when she was ten years old and I was her mentor at school for a couple of years before she moved about 2 hours away. She had a rough transition and I adored her so I traveled to meet her for lunch at her new school every week. Zip ahead and she’s now a beautiful teenager and I still adore her.

Pattern is Holywood Mitts and was a free pattern at our store. I knit these in Holywood by Cascade Yarns. It’s just enough sparkle. And I loved the button that I found to serve as a ring!

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Wow! This is a terrible photograph! These are alpaca fingerless mitts knitted in Cascade Yarn’s Eco Alpaca in black. The pattern is Maize by Tin Can Knits. I love, love, love Tin Can Knits designs! I made the mitts a bit longer than the pattern called for because when I am driving I want to have the fabric of fingerless mitts between my hands and the freezing cold steering wheel. Most fingerless mitts are a bit too short. I hope my son-in-love loves them. I figure that they’re classic enough that they’ll go with any coat in New York City. Right?

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Another questionable photograph but these are the felted slippers that I made for my step-daughter. (I don’t love that “title” and will need to think of an alternate term for my husband’s wonderful daughters.) Anyway, I made these for her for Christmas at her request. Her favorite color is blue so I chose two shades of blue Cascade 220 Heathers. The pattern is Fiber Trends Felted Clogs by Bev Galeskas. I’ve made several pairs of these for different people and they are fun to knit, interesting construction, and they’re very cozy, too.

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I made several of these hats! This is another Tin Can Knits pattern called Barley. I made a trial Barley for my husband and he loved it so I made one for all the boys in the family for Christmas. This one is Plymouth Yarn’s Homestead in Brown Heather colorway. The other three, for the NYC boys were knitted in Berroco Ultra Wool in black. All city people like black. I like black, too. I love the Ultra Wool! it’s a wonderful super wash wool and I am looking forward to seeing how it holds up to the washing machine!

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Two more! For my other step-daughter, a cowl made with Universal’s Bamboo Bloom in shades of pink and Wisdom Yarn’s Poems. I love the Hanassaku Cowl pattern, too! It’s fairly simple pattern is easy (-ish) to follow. I say “fairly” and “-ish” because it always seems to me that when I let myself believe that something is easy, I always make mistakes. I started this cowl twice because I assumed that I knew what I was doing and I also pretended that I could count! Needless to say, I couldn’t do either! It was better on the second try! I started my cowl with the Poems and ended with it, too. Mine is not nearly as wide as the pattern suggested. I used one skein of each and knit until it was gone. I love it and I hope she does, too.

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I used a Top This! Hat “kit” to make this little crocheted lamb lovie for my dental hygienist. Well, not for her, exactly, for her new baby. I am going to visit her next week and will deliver it then. The pattern is a free pattern that I found at the shop (Yardgoods Center, my LYS). I started to knit the pattern and didn’t like the way that the fabric felt. I decided to try to crochet it instead and really had fun making my fourth (or fifth) crocheted project! I hope the baby will love it. It’s really just a great big granny square – and I love making granny squares!

I finished a pair of socks for my handsome hubby, too. I used a ball of Regia (their worsted weight sock yarn) and he’s happy as a clam. He was “nagging” me about a new pair of socks for him and I knit them at work or at knitting group so that he had no clue I was making him socks. I do love a surprise when I can keep them! I haven’t taken a photograph of them … they’re already in the laundry.

So, that was a long post full of finished objects. It feels good to see that I have gotten a lot of knitting done and gifted. I love to make gifts! More details are in my Ravelry project page. I’m “lindar” on Ravelry!

Gone knitting!

We Interrupt This Life … Vacation Knitting

I just spent a lovely week with my siblings, some spouses and some kids on the “left coast”. Two days in Marin County where my “Irish twin” brother (not really but close enough) lives with his wife and two adorable daughters.

Horsey Rides

Horsey Rides

Happy Baby

Happy Baby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faye will be 3 in December and Lilah will be one at the end of November. They are precious! It was the first time any of us had met the girls and we all had a blast. Well, their parents are sleep-deprived because of Lilah’s teething. The rest of us thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The Aqua hotel in Marin was a perfect place to stay! They have rental bikes and a beautiful full breakfast buffet. In the evenings after dinner when the girls had to go to sleep, the rest of us sat in the lobby with Wendy (at the front desk) who poured us a glass of wine and baked us fresh hot cookies. She even got the nephews and a brother or two a glass of milk.

Sister selfie

Sister selfie

On Saturday we had to say farewell to my sister who was headed home to prepare for a bike trip to Italy. (She brought her bike to California and rode every day!) The rest of the crew headed out to Lake Tahoe, Nevada for a few days at the lake. Some fun pictures are at the end of this post!)

With all the family activity, I didn’t get a lot of knitting done. But I did do some.

My Arne & Carlos Regia sock number one is finished and sock number two is started. I love knitting with this yarn and I love the sock! I’m using Susan B. Anderson’s How I Make My Socks pattern which is a very simple, plain sock pattern and my Signature US 1 DPNs. Can’t wait to add them to my sock drawer. For now, they’re in time out so I can finish my test knit sweater. It’s called “Crew, by Lori Versaci of VersaciKnits. Knit with a DK yarn, I’m using Berroco Fiora in a deep teal color. (Color 3856, dye lot 83925) I am using my Knitters Pride interchangeable needles (US 5) and a 32 inch cord. The pattern is great and I love the drape of the fabric. I’m knitting two sleeves at a time to keep them even and (hopefully) accelerate the finish. I can’t wait to wear it! I’ve finished my Manos Serena shawl. It still needs to have the ends woven in and be blocked but in our little cabin there really isn’t room for me to block knitwear. If we have a sunny day tomorrow I may lay it outside on the grass. I’m eager to see it finished!

Gone knitting (deadline looms)!

Fay, Uncle Rick and Papa

Fay, Uncle Rick and Papa

Clowning around in the cul-de-sac

Clowning around in the cul-de-sac

Catching Crawfish (we cooked and ate them, too!)

Catching Crawfish (we cooked and ate them, too!)

Tahoe Mountains

Tahoe Mountains

Tahoe sky

Tahoe sky

Old wooden boat on the lake.

Old wooden boat on the lake.

Diane, Greg & Melissa - my cousins - at the beach picnic

Diane, Greg & Melissa – my cousins – at the beach picnic

Cousin Jack and Cousin Lily

Cousin Jack and Cousin Lily

Papa and Lilah

Papa and Lilah

Princess Faye -swimmer

Princess Faye -swimmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trouble with Turkish Bed Socks

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Car Knitting – Turkish Bed Sock in Lorna’s Laces Bee Stripe

I wish I had been more awake last night when I frogged the Turkish Bed Socks that I knitted this weekend. But it was late and I wasn’t thinking well.

Needless to say, I gave it a shot with my wonderful Lorna’s Laces sock yarn and smaller needles (because that’s what the yarn needed). The striping came out really well and I liked the way the socks were looking but they were too small this time.

Turkish Bed Socks in Koigu KPPPM

Turkish Bed Socks in Koigu KPPPM – the first pair … too big!

The last pair (the first pair) I made were too large … which is why I decided to try smaller needles and thought the lighter-weight yarn would be OK. My first pair are wearable but the heel wrapped part is too low on my heel and they slip off. So I wanted to knit a second pair only smaller – But it was too much smaller. The heel wrap was too short (didn’t come up high enough on my heel) and the whole thing was just too tight. And, even though I added a bunch of rows to the length of the foot, they were still too small. OK. Let’s move on.

So, now I’m going shopping in my stashed yarn and I will find a more appropriate skein of yarn and then I will knit it again. When I get a pair of socks that I am happy with, I will happily adjust that pattern to work with lighter-weight yarn!

Gone knitting!

A Little Bit of Progress

Those of you who know me well, know that I like to eat. I also like to bake (can anybody say, “sweet tooth”?) And over the years, it’s become my mother that I see when I walk to the mirror. Now don’t get me wrong, my mother was a lovely woman and I love her a lot. But I never wanted to have her body. SO, I’ve been to see a lovely woman In Portland, Maine who is helping me try to get my hormones into balance with food. Of course, I’m also going to have to move my body up off the knitting couch … but since my feet are finally healed (or healthy for now, anyway), I feel confident that we can start walking and hiking at the very least!

Gaia Shoulder Hug by Anne Carol Gilmour
(A FREE pattern on Ravelry!)

So, tonight’s knitting night again and while we drove to Portland and back, I didn’t knit on the way home. I slept. I’m looking forward to visiting with the “girls” and I hope to finish the last few repeats of my Gaia Shoulder Hug.

Piggy Hat Pink

I think that I will start the commissioned piggie hat next … and it’s going to be sent with matching mittens. (Since they’re for a baby, she’ll need the little stringy thing to go through her jacket so mittens don’t get lost! I) think I can sew/embroider a cloven hoof on the mitten and that will be cute. I’ll try!

Maine Woods Yarn & Fiber “Maine Lobstah” Superwash Sock

 

 

I have finished one Maine Lobstah sock and it’s quite tight. Since this is my handy-dandy go-to pattern for socks, I am a bit surprised but am not going to worry much. On occasion, even Queen Bees make mistakes. I may be using a smaller needle … or maybe was using a bigger, inappropriate needle before. Whatever the reason, if they’re too small, they’ll be a gift for someone in my family with slightly smaller feet than I have at Christmas time. I bought two hanks of the yarn because I loved it so much and the woman said I can probably get three socks out of each hank! Woo-hoo! I love knitting with this yarn. It’s really got a great hand, it’s washable and it’s not “splitty” at all! I also happen to love the colorway that I chose!

Dropps Tunic … going nowhere! But check out the beautiful Signature needles!

My poor tunic hasn’t budged out of my knitting bag. Oh well! I still love the yarn color and I adore knitting on my first of many pairs of Signature needles (green is US6).

I will be knitting up a Falling Leaves scarf designed by Lucy Neatby with some yarn that I bought at the Maine Fiber Frolic last year (2011). I fell in love with the pattern and have bought it on Ravelry.com with my white bunny blend yarn in mind. Another gift for a friend who is so deserving!

Had a lobster roll for lunch after fasting for a blood test. Not sure what’s for dinner but I’m looking forward to balancing these hormones and seeing myself in the mirror again! A big grocery shop tomorrow!

Gone knitting.

(An aside … bought some new stitch markers and thought you should see the cutest ones … by Lantern Moon, purchased online! They’re buzzing around my Gaia!)

 

 

On the Needles (and in my head)

So many patterns and so little time!

I’ve got a couple of projects on the needles and I’m nearly finished with one of them. My big brother’s birthday socks – only a few more inches on the toe of the second sock and they’ll be done. I still love the yummy “java” sock yarn by String Theory … it feels so good knitting with it (and that doesn’t happen with all yarns!)

Today I visited my LYS here and bought a new knitting needle – a 40″ US 13 Addi that I will be using to make my life much (MUCH!) easier. I finished the bottom of my Noni Medallion tote bag and had started picking up the stitches around the bottom for the main part of the bag. The two needles that I had on hand were not working for me – yarn was getting twisted and it was a mess. My new needle makes life oh so very much easier! The two colored knitting colorwork is getting better and better with every row. Knitting in the round on the right side is so totally more easy than purling on the wrong side! Anyway, I got the new needle today because otherwise, I am going to have to knit with two needles and that’s a challenge for me – particularly since this is my first colorwork. Did I mention how much I like my colors? I am looking forward to seeing the bag once the colors and pattern really start to show!

When I was at the Yardgoods Center today, my darling Betty, who also happens to head up my Wednesday night knitting group, sold me a new sock yarn which I will wind and cast on this week! I’ll be happy to knit with and make another pair of socks – and she’s going to teach me how to do two socks at once. The yarn is a German brand … it’s hand-dyed and wound with two strands together so that when you make two socks at once they come out exactly the same. Fliegende Untertasse means flying saucer, she tells me … and that’s what the package looks like. Very different and we’ll see how it looks when I get knitting!

I started to look for a yarn with which to make some fingerless gloves for a darling girl who I haven’t knitted anything for yet. Her birthday’s coming up and she loves gray. Pattern will be with me on Wednesday (I love the Yardgoods Center! They have knitting classes several days and nights a week, it’s not overly expensive and you get a 10% discount on all purchases.) I’ll find yarn on my knitting night because I know I don’t have the right color in my stash that I brought up with me.

There are so many other projects that I have saved patterns for  … and they’re just burning a hole in my knitting bag (kind of like money burns a hole in a “normal” person’s pocket!)

OH, I forgot to mention  that I finished a new cowl. This one will go up for sale in my Etsy shop pretty soon. It’s made from two different navy blue wool blends so it feels really soft and it will be washable (in the machine, on cold and gentle cycle, always lay flat to dry) and wear like iron. I love the way it turned out and it reminds me of the color of our lake when it’s a beautiful blue day with a little breeze.

Bella mittens, colorwork fingerless mitts (fiddlehead pattern from Ravelry is really cool. The “yarn lady” at my LYS had a pair made in two shades of grey, black, cream and lined with grey – yes, in my head there is another pattern to try.) Oh, yeah, and there are the sweaters that I want to design for my dog line. Oh my goodness, there is a lot of yarn out there and I really want to try it all!

So, with that, I’m out of here – going to bed so I can knit again in the morning!

 

Yummy Yarn and One I Can’t Find in Maine

I bought the most wonderful yarn to make my big brother a pair of socks for his double nickel birthday. I had to really search my brain to remember where I found this picture which was and is my inspiration for the pair that I’m knitting. But, I found it on Ravelry when I was searching for a pattern for a pair of socks for a man (with pictures and free.) The pattern was found on Ravelry (if you’re a knitter and don’t know about Ravelry, I’m sure you must have just crawled out from under a rock in a far, far off land!) but it was originally from Knitty (again … if you don’t know about it, not sure where you’ve been living.) If you visit the Knitty Website and search for “Java”, you’ll find this lovely sock pattern (and many other patterns) for FREE!

Anywhoooo … I have my very own tried and true pattern and since these are a gift, I’m going to use my trusty old pattern and I’m going to endeavor to add a couple of these beautiful cables. BUT, the reason that I’m writing about this picture really, is all about the yarn.

I loved the name, Java, first and foremost because I love coffee and so does my big brother. I’m not, however, a huge fan of brown but this pattern showed a lovely mix or tones of brown and so I decided to look into the yarn and the place from whence it comes. Which lead me to String Theory and their hand-dyed Bluestocking yarns. Imagine my surprise, when I realized that they’re only about two hours away in Blue Hill, Maine! So, feeling like this was karma, I ordered a skein of the yarn and had it mailed to our “camp” in Maine hoping that it would arrive before we had to leave for a weekend in Florida. Which, thanks to the good old US Postal Service (thank you very much!), it did!

On the Needles

And it is the yummiest yarn I’ve had the pleasure to knit with since knitting the Senorita Lolita sweater with the Koigu KPPM yarn (“skeinlettes” that I won in the Jimmy Beans Wool facebook design contest ever so long ago and which, it seems, I can’t yet buy in Maine despite the fact that it’s made just over the border in Canada!) I’ve wandered off again but as I reign myself back in to talk about the Bluestocking yarn from Maine, it’s the softest yarn and it’s a delight to knit with – never splitting and sliding smoothly over my needles and off. And … it really is pretty, too! And now I’m going to have to beg for another fiber field trip to the shop where maybe I can witness some dyeing!

… and according to the String Theory Website, there’s a fiber fair coming up really soon and I’m wondering what I’d have to promise my sweetie in order to get there for a workshop or two!

Gone knitting!

Scrappy Socks … and Low Socks

Finishing some projects and it feels oh, so very good!

I’ve been making a concerted effort to use my stashed yarn to clean out the closet and while I’ve been knitting away, the closet doesn’t seem to have a lot more space. Oh well, it will!

I’ve finished Cousin Lisa’s cowl and all it needs is some buttons and it can be wrapped and mailed. Now that it’s warm up north, she will be able to put it in moth balls and wait to wear it in the fall/winter! It turned out to be quite pretty.

I made a pair of socks … well, I started to make a pair of socks ages ago for my daughter’s friend Peter (who collects socks). Got all the way to the tip of the toe and realized that I wasn’t going to have enough yarn to finish two socks. Ok. What to do in this situation? I searched my LYS to see if I could match the yarn and do a toe in a complementary yarn. No such luck. SO, I just frogged them and put the yarn back in the stash and used another different yarn to complete the gift for Peter. Last week, I made a pair of “low” socks with the yarn and then started a pair of “Scrappy” socks to use up the many bits and pieces of sock yarn that I’ve collected (because I can’t throw it away!)

Anyway, I’m knitting … and that’s a good thing!