SNOW!

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We had our first snow Saturday. It’s still only October and this seems pretty early but it was thrilling to see! After living in Florida for ten years, and Ohio before that, the anticipation of winter makes me feel like a little kid again!

I’ve been knitting a little bit but I also am very cognizant of needing to take my re-entry into knitting slowly so that my tendonitis (knitter’s elbow) doesn’t return! So, each day I knit for a very short while and then I do something else. On Friday I bought some new supplies to make an embroidered pillow. I purchased the pattern ages ago (seriously, several years ago when I went on the Maine Quilt Shop Hop. I haven’t been out on a shop hop for at least two years. So, the pattern is at least that old.)

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The pillow, if I can get it done by Christmas, will be for my dear husband. I hope he doesn’t read my blog or I may have just ruined a surprise. Anyway, I’ve traced the design onto the white cotton fabric that I bought and ironed on a thin stabilizer. Now I can stitch the design. Stitching  with the stabilizer will slow me down because it pulls the same muscles that haven’t been feeling well but that’s ok.

And I have finished the knitting portion of a little baby sweater. This is a gift for a new baby. I can’t give too much information but it’s the Zip Up the Back baby sweater. (This pattern is a free pattern that we have at the Yardgoods Center where I work. I am not sure if it’s a Ravelry pattern or not but if you happen to read this and want a copy, I’ll send you one from the store. Just ask!) All I have to do is get a zipper and sew it in. (And sew in all the ends!) It will be sent off as soon as I get it finished and I hope it will be a good surprise. Meanwhile, another of my daughter’s friends has had a baby and I feel like I need to knit something for him, too. I may knit this sweater again. It was quick and easy and I really like it! I made this sweater in Plymouth Yarns Encore worsted in the Ravelry Red colorway. It took two skeins.

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I continue working very slowly on the Frosting shawl in Manos Del Uruguay’s Alegria yarn. Very slowly. It’s difficult to knit only a couple of rows a day but I know it’s what I need to do to heal completely. I am getting there! I am eager to be all better and back in the saddle. I have a shawl/scarf that I “owe” to a friend as a trade of services. I’d love to get it started for her!

No Christmas knitting from my house this year!

All my Yarn is Packed

Of course this isn't all my yarn!

Of course this isn’t all my yarn!

It must be an unwritten rule that knitters (ok, fiber people?) pack their yarn first when going on a trip. I know that’s my process for packing. So, when preparing for a move, the first thing I did was plan what yarn I would take and with what patterns. Makes sense, right?

My yarn is safely packed in the car with my swift and winder and all of my needles. My WIPs are on my desk, just in case there is some time today for knitting. I will make some time.

Movers arrive at 8am.

We’re moving to Maine!

Gone knitting. (OK, I’m getting dressed and drinking some coffee.)

WIP(s) Queen Bee Style

I have a few projects on the needles. It’s just the way I roll … some days I don’t feel like thinking about knitting and so I need some “mindless” knitting. And some days I want to challenge myself and for those days I need something on the needles to stretch my brain. Some projects have to be portable. Some need a bag of their own (and I have a good collection!)

I am working on a Dr. Who scarf that I hope to have finished in February … it’s quite boring as knitting goes. Garter stitch all the way. I’m weaving in the ends as I go so I don’t have to do that later. I started out thinking I was smarter than the average bear and decided to add one row to each color/stripe so there would be no “wrong” side. I didn’t like it so I have stopped that. Hope it’ll be loved even though I didn’t frog the whole thing from the point where I changed my mind. The colors are not exact but I decided to use Paton’s Classic Wool which I could get in my knitting bag in a day … lots of yarn and it requires a bag of it’s own! 😉

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

Dr. Who Scarf WIP#1

I have a Valentine’s day project that I’ve started. Some left-over red cotton and my beautiful new red Signature needles and that’s all it took to get me going. Needles were a wonderful Christmas gift from my number one son! Dish cloths are perfectly portable! I love to pitch a project in my plastic zip-locks for my purse! (alliteration!)

Valentine's WIP#2

Valentine’s WIP#2

Plugging along on my Downton Abbey Mystery KAL with Jimmy Beans Wool. I love the yarn that I chose (Malabrigo Silky Merino #856 Azules) as an alternate to the Lorna’s Laces which would have been here way too late to begin the KAL. I also love the color way. We know that final project will be a shawl and that’s all … that’s why it’s called a “Mystery” KAL (knit-a-long). I still have one week of work to do to catch up before tomorrow’s episode. Check out the JBW blog … it will be a written pattern at the end of it all. This is a pay attention pattern. Except for the garter stitch sections, I have to concentrate – not to be knitted while chatting!

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

Downton Abbey KAL WIP#3

I’ve got the big (boring, stockinette stitch) panels done for my “Just So Bag” tote. I just have the lace “ends” left to finish. I must confess, that I have frogged these ends more than once because I didn’t keep track of where I stopped. Not a wise choice when you’re knitting a lace pattern. Even when the lace is being knitted in a heavier weight yarn (Lambs Pride Worsted in charcoal grey). I have a wonderful collection of Interweave Knits magazines that I can’t bear to part with … so it was a free pattern for me. This pattern needs to be knitted in my atelier. No talking. No TV. Lots of counting. Since my super quiet time is somewhat limited, I haven’t even cast on this project (again) yet.

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

WIP #4 Lace Panels (two) not on the needles yet!

My sister-in-law and brother sent me a wonderful Zauberball (Color1564, 100g) sock yarn ball for Christmas and I love knitting socks. I am on a mission (sort of) to knit a whole drawer full of socks and this pair will add to it, I’m sure. They’re super portable which is what I love about knitting socks. I had thought to do a cuff-down pair but I think I’ll do two-at-a-time from the toe up just for kicks! That means I have to split the ball (or I’ll have a mess!) I’ll let you know what I decide.

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Zauberball Socks WIP #5

Last, but not least, I have some odds and ends of worsted weight yarns that I have been knitting into tiny trees (with wine cork “trunks”). Patterns are Pint Sized Pines by Julie Tarsha. This is a free download on Ravelry … mine aren’t as colorful (yet) but I do love them! Just so happens that I have saved a few corks … this is a great quick knitting project and they’re so cute. Plan is to add some beads, etc. to some of the trees making them look like Christmas Trees.

Tiny Trees WIP #6

Tiny Trees WIP #6

There you have it! All of my WIPs and my reason (excuse?) for having so many on the needles at one time. I have enough yarn for three sweaters in my stash that I want to start next … and I’m trying to hold off from casting on until I have finished at least the February deadline projects. Must get going!

Gone knitting!

Great Class & Frustrating WIPs

I feel badly that I am not knitting and blogging more but my days are quite full with my “new” job and life after work. So, the blogging and knitting have taken a back seat for now.

I had a great sock class at The Black Sheep this morning. Five students took on the “Lesser Evil” socks pattern, learning the Magic Loop technique and a Turkish cast on at the toe. Two of the five left class with two toes all ready for knitting the foot. The other three were also well on their way to success with this pattern. I do love teaching knitting and I love sharing new ideas and ways of thinking about knitting with people. It’s supposed to be fun, too!

Noro Shawl

Noro Shawl

My knitting projects (WIP=work in progress), however, are far from satisfying. I have decided to frog the Noro shawl and use that beautiful Noro yarn to knit up a Bermuda shawl. I am not thrilled with the pattern from the Noro magazine after all and would rather have a light colored, colorful shawl/scarf that I love. So, I’ll be frogging later today.

I have all the pieces knitted for the French Press Knits Felted Slippers. And when I use all my seaming experience it still looks awful.  I know, intuitively, that the felting will make all sorts of flaws disappear. But, for goodness sake, it shouldn’t be such a battle. For today, I’ve set the pieces and the pattern aside and I’m going to tackle it again another day.

I am waiting for yarn to come from Knit Picks (duh! I somehow sent the yarn to the house in Maine instead of the house in Florida where we actually live most of the time … and where we are now!) Fortunately, I caught it and Knit Picks has re-routed the yarn to Florida (think it was Freudian?) I am looking forward to making the Gaptastic Cowl for my daughter in Chicago.

I have signed up for the 30-day Sweater Challenge. Not sure how I really feel about the project considering my time constraints BUT I may have a look and see what I can come up with.

And lastly, I have the fingerless gloves, Composed Mitts, that I found on Facebook and happened to have the pattern in a 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. The yarn is beautiful and if I could decide that I like the bobbles on the cuff edge of the mitts, we’d be in good shape. I have already tried starting the pattern twice: once knitting the pattern as written and once knitting the pattern using Annie Modesitt’s bobbles. I didn’t really like either one. Perhaps a picot cuff edge?

I have N’s slippers to be felted, too … since mine are being set aside, perhaps I should go ahead and felt his rather than waiting for mine. Or maybe not. 🙂

Gone knitting.

Not Knitting but Grateful

My new school - teaching on a beautiful day!

My new school – teaching on a beautiful day!

Well, I’ve once again joined the working world with a temporary job outside of my home.

While I am enjoying working with children in the elementary school environment, I am noticing that I am not knitting enough to feed my passion and art. Partly because at the end of the day I am pretty tired and partly because I still have all my work at the house to do, too. And my little dogs (and now our new big dog) have missed me and need some of my undivided attention … as does their “father”!

I have a pair of socks for my nearly 50 year-old brother on the needles. I reverted to my favorite (go to) sock pattern and have had some lovely green (with a hint of blue) yarn that I bought for exactly this reason last summer. His favorite color is green and this yarn by Plymouth Yarn Co. called “Happy Feet” is a superwash Merino and with my brother’s feet, I bought three skeins (he wears a size 14 shoe!)

Seacolors Yarn

Seacolors Yarn … 

I have deconstructed the sleeve on my Boxy Cardigan that I started last summer with my Maine wool from Sea Colors Yarns. The pattern was pretty straight forward but someone clearly forgot to have the sweater test knitted – the sleeves are at least two inches too narrow to fit into the shoulder. (You do get what you pay for! This was a free pattern. Lesson learned!) I will unknit them and then add more increases to make up for the two inches and see how that works. I hope I don’t have to start over from scratch because I don’t like it – and I spent a lot of money on the wool and want to love the garment that it becomes!

Dropps Tunic (Pattern #111-21) in Berroco Pure Pima (color 2243)

Dropps Tunic (Pattern #111-21) in Berroco Pure Pima (color 2243)

I still have my Pima Cotton tank on the needles. The back is done and the front is getting close but, honestly, I haven’t worked on it much at all! It’s really time to focus on this garment as we’re getting ready for that sleeveless shirt season!

I have several ideas that I want to knit when I’ve wrapped up a few of my WIPs … a tea cozy by the Queen of Tea Cozies, Loani Prior … it’s the daffodil one. We don’t have daffodils here in Florida and I miss them. A Stash Buster Shawl and I have yarn for a sweater and hat for my niece. I also want to knit myself a Wonderful Wallaby! It would be perfect for those cool (or even cold) evenings in Maine this summer.

I’m so grateful to be working with these great kids who really need the extra support to bring them up to grade level by the end of the year. I love the teachers that I’m working with and I am blessed to have the opportunity to work close enough to my home that I can (well, I could) walk to work. And since it’s temporary, I am hoping to pick up the needles more when I get to Maine after school ends.

Gone knitting!

WIP to Finished!

It always feels so good!

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

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

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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!

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Gone knitting!

Knitting with Friends

Camp Smedley – From the Water

We have our first house guests (maybe I should call them “camp guests” since this house is really a “camp”).

Our friend Bob comes up with kids each summer and the kids keep on growing. They’re fun to watch around the lake each year and it’s interesting to witness the excitement that they get when they’re “let loose” at the lake.

Coffee discussion this morning centered around what it is that one of the kids likes about fishing. Talk amongst yourselves….

We decided that Bob was probably “right” in his observation that the joy of fishing is in not knowing what you’ll get. The adventure of the hunt. Walking through the grass and finding a snake or up on the railroad tracks and finding a long-dead porcupine or dipping a hook into the lake over past the boathouse and waiting for the thrill of the first underwater tug. The joy of the unknown? Would that that joy continued into an adventurous spirit in adults rather than fear!

Meanwhile, I’ve had lunch and attended a knitting class with a new knitting friend. My post about the Ravelympics was picked up by a reporter for an Olympics News-related website and I was asked to respond. (Little old me?!)

On my needles … my tunic sweater is growing again after its too-large frogging. 🙂 I really love knitting with my Signature needles. The cord is so flexible. Much more so than the other needles that I have. I’ve finished my first Maine Lobstah sock and must admit it’s a tight fit … not sure if I’ve knitted it more tightly or if the yarn is a bit heavier than typical sock yarn but they’ll be fun. Sock number 2 is cast on and a new WIP. I’ve decided to pull out a few of the older projects and yarn that has been in my stash for a (long) while. I’ve cast on the Gaia Shoulder Hug shawl by Anne Carroll Gilmour. It’s a simple lace design knit in Noro Kureyon Sock (or Silk Garden Sock) and the lace/eyelet rows are knit as the colors transition. The color way that I chose is difficult to knit with as the color transitions are so slight. But, I’ll finish it this time … if for no other reason than to do it. And, last, I’ve pulled out my mohair lace yarn to cast on the lace scarf that I had attempted years ago. I’ve done a successful cast on as required in the pattern and I’m ready to try the pattern again.

Bought a bit more yarn the other day, too! (I don’t know what to say, I can’t seem to help it! Must be just like I wrote above … the wonder in the discovery!)  Ron Miskin had another surprise purchase (with an excellent discount) on The Buffalo Wool Company‘s Facebook page. And, I’ve had an order from that wonderful grandma who won the socks give-away. A little hat and mittens for her grand-daughter for the holidays! More goodness to come! Blessings are all around me!

Gone knitting!