Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions - Knitting Wise Of Course!

Happy New Year Everyone! What are your knitting resolutions and goals for 2011? I have lots planned for my needles this year! First up, NaKniMitMo - a Ravelry group for National Knitting Mittens Month.  Mittens I'd like to knit include Hermione's Mittens and Norwegian Selbu Mittens.  Of course, I'd also like to do another pair of Irish Hiking Mittens.  I actually started the Hermione Mittens a few days ago and, so far, I'm doing okay with the colorwork and the chart reading!

Hermione Mittens from - In progress!

Along with NaKniMitMo, I've joined  Allyson's (The SweatShop of Love) sweater Knit-A-Long...a sweater for me.  I'm going to knit this from Knitty

Beatnik from

I found yarn at KnitPicks and I'm going to use City Tweed DK Yarn in Splash.  I've already ordered the yarn so shhhh! I may get started a little early.  The Knit-a-Long officially begins January 10th!
Also on my 2011 Knitting List, finish the 2 pairs of socks that I'm about 75% complete on...why can't I finish them? And start some new socks...and some shawls...and hats...and...and...and...

So, what's on your 2011 Knitting List?  Share Here!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nutcracker Hat Challenge - The Results Are In!

I did it! I stretched the time period out a bit...last hat was finished on December 14 but I knitted Nine hats in just over 2 weeks! Yay! My fave was A Hat Fit For A Boyfriend. I knitted six of those. I absolutely loved the way the top of the hat turned out. I'd knit this hat again and again and may have to knit one for me in January if the weather here in Georgia stays as (unseasonably) cold as the past 3 weeks have been! I'm probably going to try to get one more Turn A Square done before Christsmas. I want to make this for my son in his school colors (green with gold and a little white). In the meantime, I'm finishing two "girl" hats - Brattleboro Hat which I'm knitting for my daughter's ballet teacher and (shhh! its a secret) Hermione's Deathly Hallows Graveyard Beret  (for my daughter). I should be finished with both of those today! And then maybe a Christmas Stocking for my niece who is coming to visit us for Christmas! Here's some Pics of the hats (now all wrapped and mailed!).

Buddy modeling the "Rudolph" Hat

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wanna Join Me?

The Challenge:  How many hats can I knit in eight days! I'd like to get nine done Before for each of the guys in my family.  I'm choosing pretty plain patterns mostly because the guys in my family are not fancy hat guys.  I'm hoping that each one will only take about 4 hours. 
Sounds like a lot of daily knitting right? Not this time of year. 
This afternoon started The Eight Days of the Nutcracker.    Haven't heard about that time of year? It is a bit specific to dancers and their families.  Today was the "in-studio" rehearsal for the Nutcracker at my daughter's dance school.  Then, a regular day of dance classes (where certain Nutcracker dances are almost always practiced).  Followed by a "tech" rehearsal at the theater. (The dreaded "tech" rehearsal might be over by midnight; it is supposed to start at 6pm - it won't.  There will be  hours of making sure everyone knows where to be on stage for two casts - my daughter's dancing in both of them).  Wednesday and Thursday bring dress rehearsals, Cast A one night and Cast B the second.  Cast A's dress rehearsal will last much longer than Cast B's.Finally, show time! Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday afternoon.  It is a long, long week.  But I think I love it as much as my daughter.  I'm not even a once upon a time dancer.  But we've been going to Nutcrackers since she was two and she's been dancing in them since she was seven.   It's a family event that starts off the holiday season.  Even my son loves the Battle Scene.  I never get tired of watching it.  The rehearsals though get a little tedious.  But there's a Starbucks nearby.  Perfect for several evenings of knitting.
So what am I going to knit?  First up, Rib-a-Roni.  I started this in an adult size large today...we'll see how far I get this evening.  Later, I will knit A Hat fit for a ....   nephew or a brother-in-law.  Then, of course, another Turn A Square.  I think that will be my 5th Turn A Square.  I love the crowns of all three of these hats.  The decreases in the pattern create very beautiful crowns on these hats.
And, I promise not to buy any more yarn! I have several skeins of worsted weight yarn that I can choose from.  So, Stashbustarmy, I promise not to go AWOL this week!  Wish me luck!
I can't wait to see how many hats I can knit this week! Wanna join me?  Take the hat challenge!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Irish Hiking Mitts - My First Pattern!

Believe it or not, I have spent much of the past week designing my first knitting pattern! I am SOOO excited! Irish Hiking Mitts is now available on Ravelry as a free pattern download! It’s my holiday gift for all of you lovely knitty and yarny people who have been so encouraging over the past year!

Since I’ve never attempted designing a pattern to share before, it took a while to figure out what to try. My priorities in chosing a first project: (1) a small project and (2) something that I could knit with yarn from my stash.  With the colder weather, I thought fingerless mitts would be a great place to start…something fairly simple with an interesting pattern. I love knitting cables and if you haven't tried them yet, this is an easy pattern to try! I adapted these mitts from Adrian Bizilia’s Irish Hiking Scarf…a beautiful cable pattern. I hope Adrian finds that these mitts are true to her original and lovely pattern!  And ,Stashbustarmy - this project uses about 220 yards (or less) of worsted weight yarn!

Once I started knitting, it wasn’t terribly difficult to write the pattern down. The thing with mitts is that you get a chance (more or less) to test knit your pattern by working the second mitt. Hopefully, I found most of the errors when I did this! I also made a second pair to test the whole pattern. It was a little bit of a challenge to add the pattern onto Ravelry. I’m going to stick to the theory that creative people (cause that’s what I am now, right?) are not necessarily tech people. It took a while for me to figure out how to save my Word file as a PDF file. The instructions on Ravelry were great and I managed to set myself up as a designer and upload my PDF file into the Ravelry library fairly quickly.

Hope you all get a chance to make some warm and toasty Irish Hiking Mitts soon! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


What  do I really like about the updated  Ravelry Website?  Well, there’s a lot…but mostly, it’s the Pattern Search Engine – I love to click on the pattern browser and advanced search and then click on various sort features…most projects, most favorites, most queued, etc. Seems to be a close race right now between Clapotis (haven’t knitted this yet) and  Fetching (recently knitted). Maybe the colder weather and upcoming holidays have everyone wanting to knit scarves and gloves. I also like to click on the browse categories on the main pattern page and then click search inside this category to find, for example, the most popular scarves. For me, I equate popular and most projects with being on the easy to moderate side. That’s generally the kind of projects l like; something that I can pick up and put down and pick up again since I don’t always have huge chunks of time to sit down and knit (wish I did though!) I could spend hours browsing patterns. Some weekend mornings, before the kids are up, I think I might be on Ravelry for a few hours! A pot of coffee, hubby has his newspapers and I have the laptop! I try to be judicious in what I queue and what I fave but sometimes that is a monumental task because…I…want…to…knit…it…all! NOW!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Catching Up!!!!

Wow! It has been Forever since I Iast blogged….looks like the first day of school in fact! Yes, I’ve been busy with the kiddos and taking them here, there and everywhere. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My son has his learner’s permit and can’t wait to get his driver’s license; I will miss the time we spent together in the car. He’s been a little more talkative of late and I will miss all of that time with my wonderful son! Fortunately for me, my daughter never wants to drive, never wants to leave home….I will have my sweet baby girl’s company always….for now, anyway!

So…what’s been on my needles? By mid September, I finished @Sweatshopoflove’s Test Knit Sweater! That was a lot of fun! I learned intarsia which I had never tried before. Also, I learned reverse stockinette….seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? But I never ran across that before.

After knitting Ishbel, which I love, I’ve been yearning to knit some more shawls…first, Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante. I used Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock in the Jimmy Beans Wool September Limited Edition Color called Chocolate Mousse.  Yes, it is pitiful but this beautiful shawl still needs to be blocked!

And, I’m so in love with Lornas Laces yarn, that WestKnits’ Boneyard Shawl was knitted using Shepherd Sport In Eclipse (also a Limited Edition Color). Seriously, I love Lornas Laces yarn so much and would work at Jimmy Bean’s Wool just to get more!

I wanted to start some easy-peasy projects for Holiday gift giving. First up, Fetching by Cheryl Naimath on  Fetching, as you all probably know, is one of the most popular projects on Ravelry. I knitted these pretty mitts while watching TV with the family one weekend. Quick, easy, pretty and a great use of yarn from my stash!

Next up was Habitat by Brooklyn Tweed aka Jared Flood. I could look at his Ravelry project page for hours so beautiful are the photographs! I used Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter in Sweatshirt. I love how soft and squishy this hat came out. Can’t wait to make one for me!

Lastly, my Halloween KopyKat Skully Socks inspired by @mysevenkids (my7kids on Ravelry). I love the combination of green and orange and the skull and bones was an easy intarsia pattern. (already making use of skills I learned a few months ago!) I finished them just after the last Trick or Treater came to our door (and got a ton of candy as a prize for being the last). First socks that I ever knit for me! And I squeezed them into Socktober! Now, onto more quick and easy projects for the holidays!

What have you been knitting lately?  Share here!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Test Knitting a Sweater & Learning a New Technique

Playing Show & Tell with Twitter Friend @SuzyKnits!

I'm test knitting a sweater for another Twitter Friend, Allyson of @sweatshopoflove...the Granny Bomber Jacket...Take a Look!  Its adorable isn't it!  So I'm learning a new for me technique...intarsia knitting.  My first attempt was not coming along too off I went to Knitting Help and watched the video on intarsia...several times.

I think I am starting to get the hang of it.  Attempt #2 is going much better. And I'm really loving the basketweave pattern.  It looks like a mess with all of the strands during the intarsia section but the reality is, the strands pull out very easily.  It's moving along quick enough now that I will probably separate for the back section by Saturday.  And I've only been working on Attempt #2 for a week as of tomorrow.  I can even do this in the car while I'm waiting for the kiddos here and there.  (School has started here in Georgia and we're trying to get the new schedules down).  I'll post more progress pics soon!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The End of Summer - Catching Up!

Well, summer passed by much. much, much too quickly…between vacations, summer camps and programs and a few projects around the house, it seems like just yesterday that my kiddos finished up exams and we all looked forward to the summer ahead! And now, today is the first day of school! Can you believe it?!!!The schedule is already jammed packed with my son running on the high school cross country team and my daughter dancing several nights a week at her ballet school. I’m sure it will be crazy the first few weeks with evening cross country practices scheduled so the kids don’t have to run during the extremely hot afternoons that we’ve had these past few weeks.

Over the weekend, I sat down and tied up loose ends (quite literally) on several projects. First up, weaving loose ends on this baby afghan for my son’s cross country coach who has a two month old baby boy!  Welcome Baby Mac! I used Knit Picks Swish DK in Sea Glass, a superwash yarn and this Lion Brand Yarns Baby Afghan Pattern. I never used superwash yarn before so one of the weekend’s big projects was to test wash and dry the afghan. I used a gentle cycle, cold water wash and dryed at a low temperature and the afghan retained its shape and size! Perfect yarn for a baby afghan!

Next up was blocking my July socks for our 12 Socks Project Twitalong. In July, I finished a pair of socks that I had started in April for my son. Even though his feet grew 3 WHOLE sizes this past year, they were no match for these socks! They were just huge! As always, he kindly told me how much he liked them but they simply were not wearable. A couple of times through the washer at hot temperatures changed that though…I’m still not sure what happened with my measurements but at least the socks fit him now…more or less…

I knitted these legwarmers for my ballerina daughter while she and I were in NYC for her summer dance program. The pattern is Hyde Park Legwarmers designed by Allyson of The Sweatshop of Love. I love how they turned out. All I had left was weaving in the loose ends and voila! My daughter can’t wait to wear them to her ballet class tonite!

Lastly, I finished this Cotton Smocked Top! A Twitalong with @CheekyTart and @Jbee42 . Finally! I was really worried about attaching the straps and adding the elastic but it turned out to be pretty easy. Not sure how pretty my effort looks but I’m pretty sure the top will stay put…it was a little big on my daughter before I added the elastic. All in all, this was pretty easy to knit.

And as for the other projects around the’s what my powder room currently looks like: We started last Wednesday…the contractor has been busy fixing the drywall because of a wall treatment that we decided we no longer wanted. It’s moving along pretty quickly and will probably be 100% complete within the next two weeks. We are also doing a small renovation to the basement. For me, this meant going through a lot of boxes and trimming things down. ..somewhat of a time consuming project but it was great to get rid of some of the stuff that we no longer needed.

Next up on my needles…my 12 Socks August 12 Project …I’m knitting these Lacy Mock Cable Socks with a Medium Weight Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock That Rock in a colorway called Nodding Violet. I love the colors; they are perfect violet greens, purples and blues. While I thought these would be MY socks, the colors just reminded me so much of my sister who loves to grow violets. So they are Michelle’s socks. Please don’t tell her because I think they are going to be a Christmas present.

And I’m very excited to be a test knitter for Allyson @sweatshopoflove. I’ll give you some progress updates as I go along!

Friday, July 2, 2010

What's on My Needles?

Well, I guess its more like, what’s gonna be on my needles??  The plan for July is this…legwarmers for my daughter. This summer, she is going to 3 weeks of dance programs.  I love these, Hyde Park Legwarmers, by @Sweatshopof Love. I don’t think my daughter will find any other ballerinas with those! Also, a baby blanket for my son’s track coach. Welcome to the World, baby Mac. I am going to knit the baby blanket found in the July Issue of Creative Knitting. Thanks @BevKnits! Hmmmm, what else? I just joined #12Socks Twitalong, a new Twitter Knitalong….I’m joining (so far) @KnittyorNice, @TreeHuggersWife and @VTKnitboy. The goal: 12 pairs of socks over the next year starting today! Who else is going to join us? This month, I am going to finish a pair of socks that I started for my son this past April.  And lastly, I hope to tackle something for me! Do you know I have never finished anything for me? I have a beautiful handbag that needs felting and lining but I think I got an overdose of felting last December. Hopefully, by the time the kids go back to school, I can get that done…right now, I seem to have been bitten by the What Can I do Around the House Bug? Nothing major: swapping the guestroom with my daughter’s bedroom, changing some light fixtures, cleaning the basement and some closets and a little gardening. But I digress… for me, I will be knitting The Loop Entrelac Tank Top also by Allyson of The Sweatshop of Love. I have wanted to learn Entrelac for a while and this is such a pretty summer sweater.

Currently, I am almost done with the Cotton Bamboo Smock Top Twitalong. Binding off the main part and working on the sleeves/straps tonight. This turned out to be a very easy sweater to knit…perfect for watching TV. I think all of us in the Twitalong used   Knit Picks Shine Sport Yarn …I used blush and cream. I never knitted much with cotton and was a little hesitant to do so.  I was afraid ,since it was cotton, it would separate but it never did. It’s very soft and, I think, has a nice look. Can’t wait to see more pics of @Jbee42’s and @Cheekytarts’s Twitalong Smock Tops….they were both using some pretty green colors. 

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Still working on my Cotton Bamboo Smock Top...Just joined the front and back and am now working in the round...nice, easy knitting for hanging out in the shade at the pool today.  In the meantime, I got tagged by @CheekyTart & @Futterwackan to play the Eight Questions Game:

1- What's your staple meal (ie what meal do you cook most often when you can't be bothered to be adventurous)?

Hmmmm…if the question were what do you make for dinner most often when you can’t be bothered to be adventurous, I might have to say I like to make phone calls for carry-out. With two children always (or so it seems) at after school activities, carry-out is an easy habit to fall into. But lately, I’ve been on a cook ahead or 30 minute or less kick. On the table a lot recently, bow-tie pasta with olive oil, spinach, grape tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Sometimes, I add chicken. Sometimes, I sauté the spinach. Just depends on time and mood.

2- What do you want to be when you grow up?

Timely question since my son just got his learning permit and I’m sure the year ahead until he turns 16 and gets his license will pass way too quickly. Then, he will want to do all the driving and I will have significantly more free time than I now have. So what would I love to do? Open a yarn store, of course. Problems I’m facing: three new yarn stores have opened in the area in the past 12 months and, since my daughter is only 13 and dances 6-7 days per week, there is the issue of how to staff a yarn store full time.

3-What books are you reading at the moment?

Lately, my reading has had a knitting slant…mostly knitting magazines and knitting how-to books. Since we’re heading to the beach soon, I just picked up Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews.

4- How do you relax?

Knitting, playing tennis with friends and enjoying a glass of wine with my husband.

5- What color are the interior walls of your home?

A lot of the main areas of my house are a neutral dark tan color…a few different shades…who knew there could be so many different names for tan?!!! My dining room is sage green. My son’s room is olive green. My daughter’s room will soon be a light shade of aqua. (Anybody have a nice shade of aqua to recommend?) The master bedroom is a medium brown.

6- What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Shhh…I love to slip a nap in every now and then while I am waiting in carpool at the end of the school day. I usually wear my sunglasses and open a magazine but I occasionally get caught….

7- What time is bedtime and getting up time?

Bedtime is around midnite. I get up between 5:30 and 7am. (We have three dogs who are early risers!!)

8- How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?

I probably spend a couple hours a day reading Twitter updates, reading Twitter Knitter friends’ blogs and getting lost on Ravelry.

I would like to tag:




P.S.  Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband!  We were married 17 years ago today!  I love you!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Four Hats, an Ishbel and a Twitalong

I can’t believe that we are already two weeks into our summer break! We’ve just returned home from a wonderful family vacation. I knit four Turn a Square Hats by Jared Flood. A very easy knit for relaxing evenings watching movies with the family. No stress except for adjusting the size a bit. The instructions as written resulted in too large a hat for my husband and son…I hope the large one fits my father in law…I guess he will love that my daughter has a matching hat! Because the lovely Malabrigo yarn that I used for the first time yielded two hats per skein!! A quick length adjustment resulted in a nice hat for my husband and decreasing the number of stitches and shortening the length worked for my son’s and daughter’s hats. My adjustments are found here: Turn a Square for My Son
The next time I knit this hat, I’m going to follow the striping directions because it’s a very cool looking hat! Now, back to the Malabrigo merino worsted yarn - I love, love, love the softness of this yarn and its slightly felted quality. I can’t wait to knit something larger with this yarn. Definitely a sweater. For me. Maybe even an afghan.

And since I’ve last blogged, I finished my first Ishbel Shawl by Ysolda Teague. Ishbel was a huge challenge for me! It really tested my patience. I’m very thankful for that center stitch marker, letting me know that I was halfway through a row and letting me know that I was knitting a row correctly (or incorrectly as the case was several times!!) I used Shadow Tonal Lace Yarn in Queen Anne from . I love the peachy-pink color! I think if I were to start Ishbel again for the first time, I would use a fingering weight yarn. The lace weight yarn was so delicate that I lost track of stitches in counting and double checking resulting in numerous recounts.
I am most certain to tackle this project again. Probably in a fingering weight to get a heavier shawl. But before I knit another Ishbel, what am I knitting next?
I’m joining a Twitalong! So far, @Cheekytart, @Jbee42 (and hopefully @Killerlashes) and I are going to knit the Cotton Bamboo Smocked Top by Rebecca Hatcher. I’m going to knit this for my daughter using Shine Sports Yarn from in blush and cream. Who else wants to join the knitalong?!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Completed Ravelry Project!

Well, it’s been a pretty busy month around our house…the school year ends on Thursday so there’s been lots of school projects, exams, baseball playoffs, and ballet recitals for my kiddos. For me, all of their activities means lots of driving around and waiting. Which gives me ample time to knit! No complaints here! In the beginning of May, I started Vinelle by Kristin Alexandra. She’s probably better known to fellow twitter knitters as @Voolenvine. It’s the first project that I’ve knitted using a Ravelry Designer Pattern. I really like the vine pattern on the front sides of the cardigan and I found just the right yarn in my stash to knit this sweater for my daughter:

Cascade 220 Tweed in Spring Green!
I love the flecks of red, yellow and blue that are in this yarn…originally, I bought it to make another felted handbag, but if you’ve seen my Ravelry page, you know that I’ve probably knitted enough felted handbags for a while! I found some cute flower shaped buttons...perfect for a tween! For me, this sweater had some great challenges: the vine pattern and the raglan sleeves. I don’t think I’ve ever knitted a sweater with raglan sleeves before! I loved knitting them…and I think they look great! I’m looking forward to knitting this sweater for me!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I knitted a Sweater for my husband

A long time ago, when we were still dating, I knitted a sweater for my husband then boyfriend. I must say, I’m very touched that he has kept it all of these years as it never really fit him very well…the neckband was too tight, and it’s too long. I think I was running out of yarn without the possibility of getting more by the time I got to the neckband. It’s made out of really heavy worsted weight yarn… almost too heavy for even the coldest days in Maryland…we now live in Georgia where the winters are certainly too warm for my husband to wear a really heavy sweater. (He has never worn sweaters very much).

I loved the pattern that I used, from a book on Irish Fisherman sweaters that I probably purchased at the same time that I bought the yarn. With my newly re-found love of knitting, I starting to search around the house for that book. Thought I’d take a look through it to see if there was anything that I’d like to put on my project list. Problem is, I haven’t been able to find that book anywhere. And I’ve looked all over the house. Twice. I could remember exactly what the cover looks like. But not the title. And not the author. I’ve found most of my other knitting books from that era. But not that particular one. I was really, really bummed out. Until the other night, when on a whim I searched for Irish sweater knitting books on Amazon. I didn’t really think they would have it because it’s so old. I bought it almost 20 years ago. Who knew how long the book had been out at that point. But guess what? Amazon has it. New. In stock. Fishermen's Sweaters from the British Isles by Gladys Thompson arrived in the mail today! Can’t wait to get some time (carpool this afternoon maybe??) to take a look through it. Maybe I will get some inspiration for a sports weight sweater…

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm Seeing Red!

Red yarn, that is! Look at these beautiful yarns that I found at First, this beautiful Malabrigo sock yarn called, are you ready, Ravelry Red! What a great name!

Next, from Lorna's Laces, another sock yarn called, yep you guessed it, Ysolda's Red. Perfect for knitting up an Ishbel shawl which is on my project to do list!

Why the great interest in RED yarn? My niece is going to the University of Maryland next year! Yay Magpie! That means I get to knit red hats, red socks, red shawls, red sweaters, red scarves, red get the idea!
Go Terps!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Welcome! My blog is finally up and running! I set it up at the beginning of the year when I joined Twitter. Finally decided that sometimes 140 characters isn't always enough to talk about all of the knitting projects etc that I am working on and/or planning! Please share your comments with me! Hopefully, I will overcome my blog shyness and post again soon! :)