Monday, December 24, 2012

Special Present

  This lovely gift was made using some luscious angora yarn that I hand dyed and hand spun. The fiber came from my senior buck Satin Angora named Thunder. He has been a faithful, well-loved fiber producer over the years and his wool spins up like a dream. I also get really nice subtle hues when I dye it. 


  The button is from Jennie The Potter who is a local potter that makes lovely mugs, buttons, yarn bowls and other fabulous items. I made up the pattern just for this lovely yarn and am not sure yet if I will post it or not. If anyone is interested in having it I may write it up. The cowl is ever so slightly ruffly and is knit from the middle down and then stitches are picked up to knit the top. After sewing in the ends I added a length of yarn sewn through the middle for the scarf to slide along allowing the wearer to bunch it up here or there if they choose.

Originally I made this very special gift for my dear sweet sister but she is so graciously allowing me to gift it to my aunt who is in town for Christmas. Thanks Yeshie! You are the BEST and I love you sooo much!

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Free Knitting or Cross Stitch Chart

I have been having a little experimental fun over at Tricksy Knitters and wanted to share this cute little chart with you all for free!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Project Updates

So I haven't posted for a while, partly because of other commitments and partly because I have been slack in my project making mojo. Right now I have been doing boku overtime on some Christmas stockings that are for a neighbor of a friend. The foreign ground of Fair Isle Knitting both thrills and intimidates me. Previously I have dabbled in it a bit but never to the extent of three X-mas stockings!!! Most of the work that has needed to be done up until now has been arranging charted designs and purchasing the right materials. I have a basic traditional pattern to work from which is especially helpful in determining the number of stitches to start with, what type of yarn to work with and the general look I should be going for. The project began with me being handed four older stockings that belong to a family and they all have a particular look similar to the old 1945 Personalized Christmas Stocking from the Woman’s Home Companion. To match the others I went to my LYS to seek out some roughish, sturdy worsted weight yarn in the limited color palette of Christmasy red, green, white and blue. Nature Spun worsted weight turned out with just the right type and colors. I purchased two skeins of each. Hopefully this will be enough for three stockings. For the past several days now seeking out charts for just the right motifs and drawing everything out has kept me very busy. Like I said, I have never done this before but I still have enough confidence to do the job. Compensation has come up a couple times before in conversation with my contact and so far I have yet to mention a number. It is kind of a touchy subject for me because I really value the experience and opportunity to do this for a friend but want to make sure that I at least get the value of the yarn back. Is $80 a crazy amount to have spent on the yarn?? Originally we were to go to the store together and pick out the yarn but it is always so hard to coordinate schedules with others when you have so many kids. Also I saw exactly what I needed in just the right amounts when I was at the yarn store and wanted to give myself plenty of time to get things going. So now I have everything in motion and of course I can't find the dpn's I specifically bought to do the knitting with. I'm of to do some house rearranging.... pictures to follow soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! XO, Etsy from Etsy on Vimeo.

Happy Valentines Day everyone! I love you. ;)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Review: The Knitter's Life List

  I was browsing through Amazon books and came across this title. It intrigued me immediately. If you ever saw the movie "The Bucket List" then you can probably associate it with this book. With a whopping 320 pages and written by Gwen W. Steege, The Knitter's Life List is an exhaustive source of knitting inspiration. This book really has it all and goes beyond the simple basics of knit and purl.
  *Now here is my disclaimer: This is not a book for a beginning knitter and it is not a book of patterns. Now with that said let me share what it is.

  Each chapter of the book picks a topic in the realm of knitting and then explores that topic to it's fullest. In fact Steege begins each chapter with a sort of 'to do list'. Some of the topics that are explored are different types of yarns, knitting techniques, and what to knit. There is even a chapter on kid's knits and one on home decor, and last but not least a chapter for fiber lover's (my favorite!). Not only do the chapters fully explore each topic but they also provide history, valuable resources and introduce you to different knitting masters in each field of knitting. A couple of people whom are included (but not limited to) are the famous Lily Chin and the uber creative Cat Bordhi. If you spin, there is also a great section devoted to this (and dyeing yarn) and with some tips on plying and recognizing different kinds of twists. You will be on the top of your game when you delve into these lists.
  So, if this is not a knitting pattern book why would I be interested in using this book? If you are like me then you get frustrated and tired of all the money you waste in the many many pages filled with the basics of knitting that are in so many of today's new knitting books. These 'refreshers' can be tiresome and annoying. Especially when you have already been using the basics of knitting so long that you wouldn't need a refresher if you died and came back to life again. I would say that about 90% of the beautiful knitting books I have include these types of pages and I think of all that wasted space on my book shelves. Finally I have a knitting book that I can (and want to) come back to over and over again because no matter how many times I look inside there are still hundreds of inspirational ideas to try out and improve my skills (or learn totally new ones). Even if I lived three lifetimes I doubt that I would ever complete every suggestion in this book. 
  If I have whetted your whistle then go ahead and check it out.  You can take a peek inside The Knitter's Life List if you look it up on but if you decide to buy it, check out how much it costs at a couple of different places first. I got mine cheaper at KnitPicks but it probably took a little longer for shipping than it would have if I had bought it from Amazon. Oh, and there might have been a sale going on when I purchased it. Also I don't remember seeing it on the shelves when I browsed through the knitting section at Barnes & Noble but I'm sure they would be happy to order it for you and you can pick it up at your local store. This could be a real plus if you are already a member with them.

  I'm already in love (perfect Valentine's gift?) with my copy of The Knitter's Life List and you will be too. And if you are a new knitter with some grit and determination, go ahead and pick up a copy too, it definitely could do you some good and set you in the right direction. Just don't expect it to teach you how to knit, although it will give you some great ideas and good resources to go to to discover how to knit, and it will tell you where you can find some patterns too.
Lastly to all my Ravelry friends who where wondering, it does talk about us in there too! *wink*

For anyone interested there is also a Sweepstakes going on by the publisher of this book. It is called the Knitter's Life List Sweepstakes and is open to any US resident 21 years or older as of 9/14/11. There is a great trip to Maryland for the next Sheep and Wool Festival in May, a knitter's retreat and lots of other great prizes! No purchase necessary but if you want to enter you must do it before 2/29/12. Click here to go to the website to enter the sweepstakes. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Look at the beautiful gifts that I received from England yesterday from my swap partner on Ravelry. I love my gifts. Thanks Bambin.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How to be a Knitting Fool...

Yay! Today I found a great new resource for knitters. It all started when I was looking for a particular version of the Chevron stitch to refresh my memory for a scarf I awoke from hibernation. Then I came across this great site that has an index of over 2500 stitches! The site is called Knitting Fool and you can browse through thumbnails of the different stitches, or if you already know the name of the stitch you are looking for you can search through the list. Other ways you can look are by type of stitch, row count and stitch count. There are patterns for the simplest most basic stitches to the most complex difficult stitches or most intricate lace. It is a definite resource for any serious knitter and a fun place to check out even if you are just beginning to learn to knit.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Ode to a Discontinued Yarn...


I was going through my stash today and updating my online stash on Ravelry and I pulled out 6 beautiful balls of cotton yarn. Normally I wouldn't really consider cotton yarn as 'beautiful' but these colors are just lovely and really do deserve the title. They are Rowan 4 Ply Cotton. A smooth earthy mix of both baby and adult colors in a fingering weight yarn. I have 1 full ball of each color originally intended for a toddler dress from a back issue of Interweave Crochet. Here is a picture of the dress: 
I tried to find it on their website but couldn't. Luckily good old Ravelry has it stored in their patterns index. Of course my colors are a little less clashy and it was fun picking out the yarn. I found the color chart for this yarn on Yarndex, a handy tool. If you've never checked it out before you should. It will tell you everything you need to know about a yarn including a list of people that may carry it.

The beautiful colors you see here are Angel 143, Bloom 132, Opaque 112, Aubergine 148, Steel Blue 149 and Ripple 121. I think they go quite well together and still might make the dress yet, just that I haven't crocheted in a while. Each ball ran for about $6.50 and Rowan discontinued them in the Spring of '09. The knit gauge is 28 sts /4 in on a 2-3 US needle. 

 Aren't they lovely?

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Where's the -0°?

   I live in Minnesota. That means when January rolls around you need to dig into your drawers and find your long johns. For some reason (crossing my fingers it's not global warming) this year I can look out my window and see snow melting! What's going on? Normally Minnesotans are getting ready to boil water and toss it into the air outside to see it become instant snow. Today the temperature outside is 43°F. 43 °!!!! I can't believe it. It's supposed to be even warmer tomorrow I've heard.Well I am not complaining but I was wondering, since there was recently snow in Texas does that mean that all the Snowbirds are heading back up here for the winter?
For those of you who are not familiar with the term a Snowbird is a person (usually someone who is retired) that has a home both in the Northern part of the country and the Southern part of the country so that when the temperature drops in the north, they can then escape to the warmer climate of the south.
   Anyways, we had such a lovely Christmas and New Year's this round that everyone was in such happy moods. We had family over for supper both nights and even let the kid's ring in the New Year with us, though we let it come an hour early since they started dropping like flies towards the end. We watched Disney's The Princess Diaries with Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. The girls, and yes even the boys loved it. Then we toasted our blessings and cheered everyone with sparkling grape juice. It was really fun! The best part of Christmas was that the kids got neat presents and because we were 'adopted' by a business Rasty and I hardly had much left to buy for anyone. What a relief we are feeling this month now with cash in the bank to pay the bills and enjoy the rest of the winter. Thank you so much to all those who helped out! We love you!!
   Something fun was that I was in a swap on Ravelry and since it was my very first one ever I was really excited. Okay so it was just swapping cards but still it was special. I got four members to send cards to and they in turn send cards back. I wish I thought ahead so that I could take pictures of all of the cards that I made but I forgot and only took pictures of one of them. It was my favorite anyhow and we sent it to someone who is very special to us. This year I wanted to do something artsy so I found some really beautiful photographs of two of my favorite winter birds (Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse) and drew them and used colored pencils and water colors to give them a hint of color. They came out so nice and I was very pleased to give something from my heart.
  Here are some pictures of my card and the two that I have received from the others. Rasty joined in the fun and made two of the cards as well.
Here's my fav birdie card, a Tufted Titmouse

This lovely card is from Hennie
My little reindeer is from BlessedByGod

Well the kids looked smashing in their new pajamas that we just had to have them pose in them.
   Now I am busily working on another swap for January and it's mine and Rasty's Birthdays this month. We have our birthdays 8 days apart so we like to celebrate them together often with something special. My swap for this month hasn't been shipped out yet so it's still a secret. mwuhahahah. The theme is Warm and Cozy, or Snugly? I can't remember but it seems like it will be a little easier to stay toasty in MN this year. I also have two swaps coming up in February; a yarn swap and a de-stash/ toy making swap. Hmmm. I'm still thinking about them. Any ideas? They asked us what our favorite animals are and what our favorite cartoons are. Haha, I do still watch pbskids with the kids sometimes so I guess that counts. I also put my favorite from when I was a kid that we actually got copies of the episodes for our children to watch. Have you ever hear of The Mysterious Cities of Gold? What a fantastic and educational action/ adventure type cartoon.
   Well so I will be knitting my fingers off for a while and I will be sure to post pictures of everything I am working on. Look what else we found under the tree this year. A new baby Petric! Isn't she adorable? We named her Teresa. 
BTW: The picture from my last post is from our wedding. This year marks ten years married so I thought I would keep that in mind as we celebrate. Cheers!

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

And to all a year of old memories and new beginnings, happy and sad, let's take a cup of kindness yet and auld lang syne! Here's to auld lang syne my dears...