Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all my friends a Bright and Joyful Christmas that is filled with Love and Laughter!

Monday, November 9, 2009

multiple layering

Multiple Layering would best describe my life for the past couple of weeks and contributes to some of my blog silence. Change is a hard one to swallow for most of us, but the end result quite often is one of emotional and personal growth. Hey...I'm the first one to admit I'm one of those that can easily find myself fitting into a very comfortable and sometimes jaded life style.

One of those layers that released me of such a "laid back" life was a knee replacement for DH! My daily concerns now include "Putting DH First", ice packs, sponge bathes, preparing drinks and meals of the patient's choice, keeping tabs of the meds for the patient and using my layman nursing skills at a moment's notice.

DH is progressing marvelously and about to graduate from the walker to a cane (we are sure the Dr. Man will be most pleased with his progress this week)! Look at the new knee of 2 weeks. O-U-C-H!
I am the official full time dog walker around our house till DH (the patient) is back to 100%. This additional layering of my life gives me the opportunity to start the day with a (3) dog walk at 5:45 am. Joy...Joy, but aren't they just too cute! The Italian greyhounds are thin, muscular and nearly hairless, making their anatomy intriguingly apparent, while the Papillon is sturdy and compact. Yeah, there's not only lots going on at home, but lots happening at work as well. This is one of the busiest times of the year with Open Enrollment meetings and the additional tasks that go along with it. Surprisingly, I have been focused and quite accomplished at the office thru all the changes at the homestead. You know I can't post without mention of a knitting project! Luckily I have the Log Cabin blanket on the needles that I have been knitting on in small lots of time. By luckily I mean...what a great project to work on in small increments. By working LC in squares, there is a reason to celebrate with the completion of each square. My LC will consist of 20 blocks of which 17 are finished. See the layers of finished squares.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

fall and a log cabin blanket

Fall has come.

October is here.

The local fair has come and gone.

The maples are at their showiest.

The leaves are in waiting for a long slow rain before exposing their branches.

Hey, any knitter knows these are signs to start some serious fall and winter knitting. So brings me to my latest WIP - The Log Cabin Blanket. My pattern selection was designed by Kay Gardner and Ann Shayne from Mason Dixon Knitting.

As my fingers are in constant Log Cabin motion these days, I have come to a comforting realization...there is no pressure, no questioning my size selection, not a grain of worry if my color choice works with my (pink) skin tone, and no doubting my fiber see, I know this project WILL FIT! One size fits all type thing. Let this sound unusual if you may, but I'm finding this realization to make for an awesome, easy and stress-free project.

Here I am in my Log Cabin Motion.
Upon review of 750 Log Cabin blankets in Ravelry, I discovered that a blanket knit in individual blocks was the design that suited me best. So, I'm enthusiastically churning out a square every two days with no brain input.
My LC is knit with nine different colorways of glorious Berroco Ultra Alpaca on #7 needles. I wanted a blanket that had a modern and sleek flair and chose shades of whites, browns and turquoise with a dark grey border. The colors used are: 6208, 6279, 6293, 6204, 6246, 6201, 6203, 6294, and 6289.

This blanket will be pieced with four squares width-wise and five squares in length and connected with a dark grey two inch wide panel of garter stitch while the outside border will be finished with the same dark grey two inch wide panel. The piece should measure about 54" x 72".
A blanket that rocks!

Monday, October 19, 2009

easy peasy fuzzy wuzzy

best describes this knit!
I know it's only a scarf! But Oh. My. Gosh ... how fabulous! This One Skein (mine is actually Two) Portrait Scarf was knit with Artful Yarns Portrait Yarn. Using two skeins made for a nice, long scarf that can be wrapped and worn in many different fashions. See the simple fun lace pattern........

Deciding which way to wear this piece is more difficult than knitting the simple lace pattern.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

knitting the blues

....and wondering how I have a shawl and a scarf on the needles in blue tones. No problem 'cause blue is always good in my book.
On September 9th, I started the Swirl Shawl. I purchased the Jojoland-Melody yarn and the Swirl Shawl pattern over a year ago and thought 2009 would be the year of the Hexagon for me. My first experience with Jojoland was THIS project using Jojoand Rhythm and now I find the Jojoland Melody fiber to be just as pleasing, their color combinations and tones are fabulous!
My piece is knit using the Magic Loop method with #5 Lace Addi needles. How interesting reading the many different methods and needles selected by different knitters. I think everyone has to find those perfect needles and the method that works for them and only after completing a couple of Hexagons do your really know what that is. My project was started on regular circular addi needles (which I love), but I quickly realized I would have to invest in some Lace Addi needles. Well, the Lace Needles made all the difference when knitting all those K3togs! Yea..lace needles for the K3togs and a #D crochet hook were the perfect tools for my Swirl Shawl. Now I'm moving right along without incident.

Here is a copy of a worksheet used to keep me on track with this project. I have a sheet for each row (my shawl will be finished in 5 rows), one for row A, B, C, D and E. Each sheet consists of a row count for each Hexagon.
My next blue project is
the One Skein Portrait Scarf. This is a simple, but lovely scarf using Artful Yarns/Portrait. The pattern is actually on the inside of the yarn band. I chose to use 2 skeins of the Portrait yarn to make a longer 80" scarf. This is such a wonderful and simple lace pattern and perfect for TV and movie watching. I love multi-tasking! Actually, I think I will pick up this project and put in the DVD, Race to Witch Mountain by Walt Disney. You just can't go wrong with a Walt Disney movie and a mohair scarf on a Sunday afternoon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I was aimlessly strolling around my house last evening taking notice of some things. Example: my house was dusted, vacuumed and picked up (with the exception of DH's usual kitchen table clutter consisting of his unopened mail and the last three days' newspapers that had already been read and processed - just not deposed of). Moving from the kitchen to our dusted and vacuumed bedroom was the very noticeable unmade bed! While my home is quite orderly (kitchen table being the exception), I found the unmade bed felt quite liberating and even rebellious in a strange kind of way. My rebellion only goes so far as it is still made up when we have company.

While I may feel a twinge of guilt when looking at the daily unmade bed and the 10 decorative pillows resting on the floor in the corner of the room, I only smile as I realize the extra knitting time earned by such liberation.

Extra Knitting Time......
time I cherish
time I relish
and time I totally bask in!

my winter leggings

My Super-Easy Leg Warmers were not finished to enjoy last winter, but are now complete and ready to profile soon as the weather permits! Many knitting friends couldn't believe I was knitting Leg Warmers and certainly didn't think it was something I would really like, let alone wear! Well....let me be perfectly clear about two things, I think they are fabulous and believe me they will be worn a lot.

This project was knit with 2 skeins of dark dark grey cascade 200 heather and 2 skeins of black madil kid seta yarn on #8 - 32"circulars. The madil kid seta really adds a depth and softness to the cascade 220 without feeling itchy. Such Softness! Ahhhh...leggings with straight leg jeans and velvet flats or how about my lace up construction boots and a long sweater! And don't think I won't be wearing these around the house with my birenstocks on those cold days and evenings! If you think you would enjoy a pair of these, you can find the pattern (and many many other lovely knits) in Last Minute Knitted Gifts book by Joelle Hoverson.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cabled Rib Wrap

What a sophisticated and luxurious wrap! I found the ribs and cable definition to be awesome when knit with the Shibui Baby Alpaca and Silk Cloud. This yarn combination is the coziest, yummmmiest yarn ever that results in a divine garment with a nice halo effect.
The Skinny:

Yarn: Shibui Baby Alpaca DK
Color: #220 Peony
Amount: 4 skeins

Yarn: Shibui Silk Cloud
Color: Peony
Amount: 3 Skeins

Needle Size: #7

Finished/Blocked Size: 74" x 20"

My wrap will adequately accommodate those cold weather coats and jackets.
Cold weather.........bring it on!

Sideways Grande Hat

Squooshy and Scrumptious would best describe the Plymouth Baby Alpaca yarn used in this project! Now, about the hat...not only is it cozy and cute, but it's a really, really "Cool Hat"! Since I have an extremely small head, I went down a needle size and knit to 19" instead of the pattern length of 20". This entire process was seriously fun when knit flat and seamed together.
Sideways Grande is darling when worn low on the neck and forehead and what a Fabulous piece on those cold wintery bad hair days...a little mascara and lip gloss and I'm out the door.

The skinny:
Pattern from: Boutique Knits
Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande
Content: 100% baby alpaca
Yardage: 110 yd/100g

Sunday, September 6, 2009


The subtle changing and small gradual shift of the seasons is the perfect time to embrace and celebrate a warm delightful friendship.......yep, that's exactly what Laurie (BFF) and I did yesterday with bagels at Panera's, Pandora shopping at Towne Jewelers and an afternoon to just chill out at Reynolda Gardens.

We both are still sporting our Summer '09 Red Toes!!! Oh, that's Laurie on the right and me on the left! The day consisted of more topics than you would wish to hear, you know....much of the usual girl talk and family tales. Of course, there was plenty of book and magazine reviews (knitting - what else) and the ever-ending dreams of those countless future projects! While relaxing. and much serious people and dog watching at Reynolda Gardens, I did manage to complete 5 rows on my Shibui Cabled Wrap.

Here are pics of the beautiful Suibui Wrap that was finished this morning. I thought I would use my Greyhound,"Allie", as a quick model. Allie was a gift to my husband from his oldest and BFF, Alan. Guys do have BFF, you think????

The wrap has been soaked and is now blocking to a usable 74" x 20". The cable stitch is awesome in this fiber and really POPS when blocked. Hopefully, I will have pictures for you next week-end and you can see the real cable definition I'm talking about! Hope you all Enjoy the Labor Day week-end!

Friday, August 21, 2009

winter thoughts

OK, time for a change of pace and time to do some Winter knitting!

This summer I purchased the Shibui cabled wrap kit from here. Love the rich Raspberry tone on tone color, the classic style, and the fiber is outrageously beautiful! The wrap is knit holding a strand of Shibui baby alpaca and a strand of silk cloud throughout. The results of the yarn combination is a wrap that is so wonderful to touch with a glorious halo effect. Totally awesome! After about 12 inches of this knit, purl, knit, purl, cable, knit, purl, knit, purl, cable.....the boredom set in and I knew a side knit would be necessary to get me through this one.

That side knit and perfect project companion would be the Lily of the Valley scarf from my Estonian Victoria book this book! The center of this scarf features the familiar Lily of the Valley motif, along with small flower figures that include openwork leaves and stems. The ends of the scarf have a scalloped lace borders, separated from the main section by garter-stitch bands punctuated with eyelets. This scarf is a nice change with the lace work and O-M-G....the NUPPS(if you look closely I think you can see them even before blocking)! I have wanted to knit a piece that included the Nupps stitch and this is perfect using the 5 stitch Nupp. Lily also gave me the opportunity to use my JoJoLand 100% - 2 ply cashmere. What a lovely fiber. This will be quite a versatile piece when knit with the earthly colorway, 2-101. I'm now 8" into this project and thrilled with the results.

This plan is one of perfection. The mix of one project using larger #8 needles, knit & purl with a cable to a small #3 needle lace knit with NUPPS. I can be soooo weird, I even enjoy the color change from that neutral tone to the yummy rich raspberry color.

Thoughts of the winter months just make me want to knit and knit and knit.........shhhhh, that will be our little secret!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

look see Lemana

Happy Saturday! I am most excited to share a shoot of my finished Lemana. All shots were taken while visiting the quaint Moravian Settlement at Old Salem and the campus of Salem College.
I am pleasantly pleased with the final results of Lemana. This is yet another knit to enjoy during those hot and warm days of summer for both work and fun.
This piece will be worn loose as shown and also worn with a loose low belt (I think it really looks cool when belted). During this knit, there were major doubts about this project as the pattern was looking quite peculiar to me....the length of the fronts were different and the back did not match the front sides; and oh....... that looooong right front, the weightiness of the fiber when knit in the pattern stitch, and how could a light small 1" button sewn at the left front neck edge effectively hold that loooooong right front? Once sewn together, I am happy with the results, but couldn't get that 1" button to cooperate with the heavy right side. If you follow my Blog and look at my projects on Ravelry, you know this is my 5th summer wrap or sweater finished this Spring and Summer. I feel like a summer knitting robot and seriously can tell you I love each and every one of them. No seriously, I do!

Project: Lemana
Pattern: Berroco Linen Jeans, Book #270
Size: Small
Started: 07- 19-2009
Finished: 08-14-2009
Yarn: Berroco, Linen Jeans (70% Rayon/30% Linen)
Yarn Amt: 11 Skeins
Needles: #7
It's a Wrap.......The scallops around the bottom are divine and I adore the back shaping. I am so pleased I didn't give up on this project me, with the depth of my doubts that was a real consideration.

Several of you have ask who is the photographer behind the camera for my pictures. That would be my DH! Some takes turn out nicely, while some are, but I always appreciate his patience and willingness to document my work. Thank you, my Dear One!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

sneak peek

The jury is still out on Lemana!

This pattern is quite enjoyable, the Berroco Linen Jeans yarn is nice to knit and I'm very happy with the pretty plum color. My concern is how this piece will fit my body. You see, the right front actually wraps from the bottom side up to the left shoulder where it is buttoned!! I have decided it will be necessary to wet block Lemana to afford that nice drape across the front.

With button purchased and fingers crossed I'm nearing completion of this project and hope to enjoy wearing it next week-end. LOL!

Friday, July 31, 2009

the ole bag bug

Just when One thinks it's safe to look at knitting bags again, the ole bag bug raises it's ugly head. That's exactly what happened to me.

I have had this longing for an Offhand Designs knitting bag for a couple of years and came so close several times to ordering one, only to back off when I couldn't settle on a style and/or a fabric selection (I mean, all Offhand Designs bags are delightful). Trust me, their bags are so beautifully detailed with such fabulous fabrics, it is a most difficult decision!

I finally chose the Zhivago Weekender Bag...Ariel (limited edition velvet). I was Glee Glee with excitement when I opened my delivery!!! The bag was everything I had expected and such a functional bag too.

Such beautiful fabrics and check out the space for those larger projects and that grand opening!

Another major (I think it's major) purchase was a "Be Sweet" hot pink knitting bag. What fun! What a beauty! This bag just makes one feel Happy with the large Be Sweet scripted on both sides and a bright cheerful red polka dot lining. Who couldn't love this one!

My one-of-a-kind Mielie product was hand made by Nosipho in South Africa and was handcrafted using recycled materials. Look here for more information on Be Sweet products and learn more about their organization.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hey, Teach! destined for completion

Project: Hey, Teach!
Knitty-Spring 2008
Started: June 3, 2009
Finished: July 20, 2009
Yarn: Brown Sheep - Cotton Fleece (from stash)
Yarn Amount 3 skeins
Needles: #8
I made no modifications on the size 38 (m).
This project went on hold for some time only because of my unbridled, unruly project start ups. While Hey, Teach! waited patiently (in it's almost complete state) as I knit Sabine, The Textured Shawl and Tidal Wave Stole.
Yarn Thoughts...
This was my first project using the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and I must say, this yarn is great! It's 80 cotton/ 20 wool content makes for wonderful stitch definition and memory. There is no fading or pilling and a real deal $$ wise: plus it's easy to find. A real winner!
It's a Wrap....
This sweater is a real success story and a piece I will enjoy wearing well into the fall when the leaves begin falling.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

remember these??

Well, in case you don't....they are the Susie's Reading Mitts by Janelle Masters that I started on April 10th. The first mitt was completed on the 11th (yea, I finished it with little knitting time over a two day period), you could actually knit a mitt a day. They are just the sweetest little things and incredibly soft when knit with Blue Sky Alpaca Sport weight. Mine fit nicely close and snug over my hands and I'm very pleased with them. There is enough Petal Pink, color #516, Blue Sky in my stash to knit a cute little hat and think I have found just that right one, the Rose Hill Hat.