Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day, full of family, love, and happiness. I am so blessed to have my beautiful family all together and healthy.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dragon Brooch

My beautiful Dragon Brooch arrived today. Even though it's my Christmas pressie from Hubby, I had to play with it a bit, see how it looked on the scarf, and just generally handle it. I love it, it's the perfect accent. I'll probably give it a few day's tryout in the field, you know, before wrapping it up and putting it under the tree.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Irish Hiking Scarf meets Pfeiffer Falls Hooded Scarf

My ever patient model!

When knit up in bulky yarn, this pattern goes quite quickly. I used the cable pattern from the Irish Hiking Scarf by Adrian Bizilia for the bulk of the project, the scarf portion, and then altered the Pfeiffer Falls Hooded Scarf (Anne Kuo Lukito in Interweave Knits Winter 08) cables to match the Irish Hiking cables, and to learn how to add a hood to an existing scarf. I didn't really know how to adapt the short rows used in Pheiffer Falls for this, so I just used decreases as if for a mitten to go over the crown of my head. I'm very pleased with the overall outcome.

I LOVE how when I grafted the cable on the hood together, that the cable pattern was intact. I didn't plan on it, it was a very pleasant surprise. And the crown decreases worked out nifty, too.

I wanted a brooch or pin to help keep the scarf snug around my neck, so I ordered this brooch from Crafty Celts, and told my husband it was his Christmas gift to me. He's the best!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas is complete

I did it! It's all done. The list I put together for knitted Christmas gifts is officially now complete. The second Sea Minerals mitten was steam blocked today.

And although it's a long time coming, I've been promising you pics of the blocked Willistead mittens. Here ya go!

It feels good to know that my friends will be receiving something that I put my time, effort, and love into. This is one of the things I love about Christmas, creating gifts for the special people in my life.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Finish line just a thumb away!

I finished the second Sea Minerals Mitten last night, with the exception of the thumb, which I totally forgot to knit with the waste yarn. Absolutely forgot. So instead of a peasant thumb, it will become an afterthought. Otherwise it's just a sock without a heel for your hand! This particular pair of mitts will go to my son's girlfriend.

KnitPicks has an adorable freebie download that I may also try to knock out before Christmas: the Cathedral Purse. This could be a good stash buster project. No promises, just a thought that if I have the time......

Isn't it cute? This is the pic off the website, using their Shine Sport yarn.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It was a lovely Thanksgiving. We had our usual meal of pork roast with crackling, roast potatoes and parsnips, monkey bread, veggies, gravy, dessert.... yum! Our son came home from college, our daughter didn't have to work and was able to spend time with us and her friends, hubby got to work on his 77 corvette a bit, and I knitted. We also watched a lot of movies we hadn't gotten a chance to see in the theaters.

While we didn't emerge at the crack of dawn on Black Friday, my daughter and I did go out at lunchtime, had lunch and shopped, just the two of us. Later on while the fellows hung the house lights, we got the decorations and tree out of the attic and decked our halls. This year we put out fewer items, but they were the bits and bobs that really mean a lot to us. Katie loves doing the tree, and went for a beautiful understated theme, putting only the collectible decorations on the tree. She did a wonderful job, as usual, and I love how it turned out.

The cat approves, as well, and she wasted no time in staking out her claim under the tree. This will be her spot for the duration, even when the gifts start appearing.

I made these stockings for the kids back in 1991. They were felt kits that took a month each to make, during my lunchtimes. They get used every year, and hold quite a lot of goodies. Katie asked me if I would be making the grandkids, when they appear down the road, stockings like those, and I said most likely, because I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I love the tradition of it all.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so much to be thankful for, and I am grateful for the many blessings in my life: family, friends, pets, job, this wonderful country we live in, the grace of God.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's a dog's life

or, alternately described: A Boy and his Dog....

and the dog is snoring.... (by the way, her tongue's not purple, that's her dogtag.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One down, two to go

Ten pattern repeats of the Irish Hiking Scarf took one skein of KnitPicks Cadena. A tidbit I found interesting. That means that my scarf should work out to be 30 pattern repeats, or about 48" long, since I have three skeins to knit up.

Pennies for Bella

My friends over at Sonny and Shear, Dana and Kris, blogged about a little girl in their church who has Hurler's Syndrome, named Isabella.

Isabella was diagnosed with Hurler’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents the body from properly storing mucopolysaccharides. The end result is organ damage, mental retardation from the resulting brain damage and a life expectancy of no more than 10 years. Bella is only 18 months old. That’s the bad news. The good news is that if Bella receives a bone marrow or umbilical cord stem cell transplant before she reaches age 2, much of the damage from Hurler’s can be prevented, Bella can have a greater quality of life and she may actually be able to avoid the brain damage that leads to mental retardation. While it isn’t a cure, a transplant can greatly change the outlook for Bella.

How can you help Bella? Visit Sonny and Shear's site, read more about Bella and see pictures of that beautiful little girl, then follow the links to, click on the Chip In button and make a donation toward Bella’s care. (Or you can use the link in the righthand bar of my blog and go straight to Bella's site.)

Thank you!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A change from mittens

I needed to knit something other than a mitten right now, and the Irish Hiking Scarf fit the bill to a T. I'm using Knit Picks Cadena, in Saffron. This is a lovely little pattern, satisfying to the touch and visually very pleasing. Cadena is a bulky weight yarn, 70% Peruvian Highland Wool, 30% Superfine Alpaca. Mmmmmm, yarn.......

The pic makes the yarn look much too red, it's really paprika-y orange-red with almost not there yellow tones.

Yes, I know, I am procrastinating on the last and final mitten to finish off all my Christmas projects, the second Sea Minerals mitt, but I can't make myself pick it up. This is still only November, though, and I can knit on the Scarf for a while yet, and still have time to finish my self-imposed gift obligation. December is lots of time, Christmas comes very nearly at the end of the month, plenty of time!! Yeah, I keep telling myself that. Often enough and I'll believe it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Willistead is finished and steam blocked. Finally! The knitting for work is done. Hubby took my MIL's Hamsa scarf to the post office today, and it's winging to the UK, just in time for Christmas.

I love my White Witch mitts, they were the very first mittens I had ever done, and stranded, no less. Very pleased with them. They were knit in KnitPicks Telemark, and despite 100% wool, not itchy or scratchy at all. But.... even though my fingers are already warmer in the wool than they've ever been in any of the other mittens/gloves I've ever tried, I could still feel some windage sneaking in around the fingertips. So this last weekend I tried something that was only a nebulous thought in my head. Certainly not a new idea, but new to me.

I know about knitting mitten liners, and had even entertained buying cashmere to make the liners, until fiscal responsibility reared its ugly head. And the thought of actually knitting another whole mitten to go inside the other put me off, a bit. So I made a fingertip lining for them out of stash KP Palette. A few rows above the thumb hole, I picked up stitches on the wrong side of the mitt, and proceeded to knit up the fingers, decreases and all in the proper places. Turned right side out, you can't even tell I picked up stitches, or that there's any extra bulk at all!!

I tried them this morning, in the high 30-degree temps and Oklahoma wind, and no windage got to my fingers. Warm and toasty, they were. Happy, am I.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mitten Madness

I am on the thumb of Willistead #2. Doin' a happy dance, because the completion of this mitten will mark the culmination of my Christmas knitting for the ladies at work. Then to wrap it all up by finishing the second Sea Minerals mitten for my son's girlfriend.

Through Ravelry, in the I Make Mittens forum, I found a link to another marvelous knitting blog: Two Strands. It's been added to my links section for frequent future perusal. Mary Ann's Postwar Mittens are offered through Twist Collective and they are gorgeous. I need, I want, must have pattern. In fact, I drooled over quite of few of the designs found on the site. Pop on over and take a look, it's well worth it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday!

My darling daughter turns 18 today. Much love to you from your Mom and Dad!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Adorable animals ahead

The thumb of the second Daina mitten caused me no ends of grief, to the point where I chopped it off, picked out the stitches and redid it, twice. Grrr. But the poor little whacked off piece did prove to be the perfect cat eartip mitt:
She looks thrilled, doesn't she?

Hubby has to sleep in his recliner while recuperating from his second shoulder surgery, because laying down in bed hurts too much still. To make him more comfortable he's taken his pillows from the bedroom and uses them to help prop up his arm. He does, that is, when the dogs let him:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Obama

History was certainly made yesterday. I am hopeful for the future of my country.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day 2008

Today I exercised the freedom to vote for the candidate of my choice, without fear or coercion. What a wonderful thing this freedom is! May God bless our country, and bless our leaders with wisdom, compassion, strength, and goodness.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lovin' Lupin

You may have noticed that I added another linky to my Yarn Blogs I Read section: Lupin. While this artist isn't primarily a knitter, she is head over heels into the fiber art of felt. And she's a master of it, I think. I love her ingenuity, her incredible color sense, her spot-on depictions of flowers, critters, and things --- all boils down to the fact that I visit her Etsy site and her blog several times a week.

Please check out Lupin Handmade, run by Laura "Lupin" Howard. Linky to the righty!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Well, finally!

I seem to have a major problem with taking pictures. My intentions are good, but my follow-through is sketchy. Maybe it's because I'm not much of a photographer, and I'm rarely happy with my results. But today when I finished the Daina mittens, I made myself get the camera, the latest finished knits, and take a pic NOW. No lollygagging, no procrastination, no "I'll take pictures tomorrow when the sun is shining better" or after I finish the housework.

(top left) Daina, (top right) Swirly , (bottom) They Call Them Pirates.

Spooky decided to trade laps for a change - she's normally on mine while I knit - but this time she graced my hubby's lap instead.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The second mitt of the Kiehkuralapaset - Swirly Mittens by goldenknits / AnneL is complete and steam blocked. Steam blocking seems to work very nicely with mittens, and it's so easy.

Only three more mittens to knit, the mate to each of the others already done, and then my Christmas knitting will be finished.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Four down, four to go

Christmas gifts, that is, and I'm pleased with my progress. I finished the gift for my friend Lisa. It's an adaptation of the Cat Mittens pattern by Jorid Linvik. They're not mittens, but they are cats and fishbones. A nice little bag, very slightly fulled, won't stand on its own (I stuffed it for the picture), about 9.5"h, x 6.5"w at the bottom, with an i-cord drawstring. Knitted in KnitPicks Telemark, black and cork.

I also finished the mittens for my friend Dana. They are soaking in a nice blocking bath right now, so pics will be forthcoming when they are in a less compromising situation. How would you like it if your blocking bath was interrupted by cameras and flashbulbs? LOL

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mitten update

I've finished the first Willistead mitten, using KnitPicks Palette. I haven't blocked it yet, but I plan on trying steam blocking for the first time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to me!

It's my 1st Blogiversary -- here, everyone have some cake! :) This time last year Hubby and I were redecorating the downstairs, and living with aching bones/joints from tiling, grouting, painting, carpentry, etc. It turned out beautifully, and I still look at it in wonder, thinking, we did this, all of it. Wow.

I was deep in the throes of knitting my first big lace project, Mystery Stole 3 "Swan Lake", and knitting socks out the wahzoo. I'm still knitting lace, but have slowed down on the sock front to concentrate on colorwork, specifically stranded mittens. Lovin' that! If I ever save up enough money, I want to knit a Starmore piece, the Rheingold Wrap has caught my eye.

All in all, I'm really pleased with my blogging journey. It's been fun. Think I'll go for year number two.

Blog on.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Getting closer..

I've reached the finger decreases for Willistead. This pattern is a sneaky one, in a good way. It's easy to memorize, you only really need the pattern for the middle section on the front once you get going. But you've really got to watch the tension on the knit3 MC knit1 CC bits. If you don't, you'll end up with puckers and pulls. Willistead makes you think about your knitting, and take heed. I'm liking that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Flash report

I'm almost at the thumb for Willistead, by spillyjane knits. It's a great knit so far, more later. That is all.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This is a sweet one

Play "spot the thumb"

I love the Daina pattern, I love everything about it: the perfectly formed little squares, the way the X's peek out from each center, the burst of color from the red spots...... it's just wonderful.

*happy sigh*

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A fine Saturday afternoon

This past week in NE Oklahoma has been really lovely. Once Ike moved out of the area, we were blessed with cool mornings, slightly breezy afternoons in the high 70's low 80's, and beautiful blue skies. I can feel the fall in the air. Somehow, even though the temps are the same as we get when spring is starting, these feel like fall.

This morning I got out in the front flowerbed and performed my fall "slash and burn" on the old plants in there. I must say that I dislike gardening with a passion. I like nature, but not when it gets on me. If I were rich, one of the first people I would hire would be fulltime gardeners and lawn care specialists. I appreciate a beautiful garden, but I know how much work goes into keeping it that way and I don't wanna. But I am not rich, so I am the gardener, dang it. The cannas needed cutting back, the zinnias were out of control, and the grass seed from summer mowings had taken root and needed eradicating. I did all that, and about two hours and eight big trash bags later, I stumbled into the shower to get the nature off me.

So now I get to reward myself with an update of finished knitting. Yippee! I like knitting.

This is the finished Hamsa by Anne Hanson. It's for my MIL for Christmas. The yarn is by Deb Kessler of Fearless Fibers, laceweight merino wool, Spring Breeze colorway. Final size: 10" by 42".

Below is my current bus ride project: a basic no-frills sock in ZYG Merino Nylon Sock, colorway Buttercup. (Reminds me of "The Princess Bride")

I'm not happy with the color pooling, but the yarn itself is so soft.

I've working on the thumb for the Daina mitten, no finished pictures yet; soon, though, soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mitten #4

Daina Mittens, by Tuulia Salmela

Yep, I've made some headway on Mitten #4, even though Mittens #1-3 don't have mates. I think I'll make the one mitten from each of the patterns and then go back to pick up the match.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The cat just informed me...

...that I forgot to post the most important picture of all: hers. Spooky, I most humbly apologize. Ladies and Gentlemen, le chat:

"I see you, over there, across the street. Yes, you, the little yappy terrier dog being walked by a human. I am watching you, with my keen kitty cat eyes. Come closer and I shall slash you."

Long time no post

Sorry about the hiatus; life got away with me. Work mainly, it's been murder. Anyhoo, there has been knitting going on:

The first Sea Minerals mitten is done.

I did change up the pattern a little during the cuff, and then again at the fingertips.

The Kiehkuralapaset - Swirly Mittens by goldenknits / AnneL was written as full mittens, but I made them into fingerless mitts:

I must say, I wish the two colors stood out from each other a bit more. They blend in too much. If I knit this again, I'll be more color careful.

Hamsa, my MIL's Christmas gift, is finished with its soak and is now pinned out, looking nifty. But it wasn't until I was actually going over the pics I took for posting, that I noticed my error: an extra yo or two. Oh well, too late now, and as my grandmother used to say, no one will notice it on a trotting horse. True, I would have loved for it to be perfect, but it's very close. Finished dimensions: 10" by 42".

To recap: I have three mittens finished, none of them have mates, and I've started a fourth. Good grief!

On a non-knitting note: my heart goes out to all those poor people affected by the recent hurricanes, and especially to our friends from the Mayan Dude Ranch who live in the Houston and LA areas: I hope you all are well and safe, that no damage was incurred, and that you know your Ranch family members wherever we may live are thinking about you all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Coming along

Christmas knitting continues. The first Pirate Mitt is completed, and I've finally gotten the hang of Sea Minerals.

Sea Mineral mittens

Pirate Mitts, front and back

I've gotten another repeat done of my MIL's Hamsa scarf, but since it doesn't really look any different from earlier pics, I'll wait until it's finished to show it off.