Monday, September 22, 2014

Colorful Cocoa

 Let me begin by saying that I hate the fact that I cannot get a good picture of my knitting with my damn camera. Ugh. This scarf is awesome and these pictures do not do it justice at all.

The scarf is Holey Cocoa! by Silvia da Silva. It is a simple 2 row scarf that it easy and fast to knit. I was able to watch tv (NCIS season 3) while knitting. The yarn is Noro Tanabata in colorway 6, mint/sunflower. I love this yarn. It is colorful and fun and surprisingly soft. I got the yarn at the Clever Ewe about a year ago. It was on sale...maybe a buy one get one? I got 4 of them and I did not pay very much for it.
 So yeah, these terrible pictures just do not do this scarf justice. It is so much better looking than this. Oh well, I love this scarf and that is what counts! I can wear this with just about anything :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Flying Duchess

 I used the Imperial Yarn Erin that I received in the August Yarnbox to make Flying Duchess by ambah. It was an easy knit, although the cast on was 351 stitches. I used the cable cast on and a stretchy bind off that I believe is called the lacey bind off.
 The project went pretty quickly and the yarn was fine to work with. One thing I noticed was that the natural color had an odd odor to it. Even my dogs went for the natural yarn. It made my eyes water and itch if I got too close to it.

I blocked it, but the damn dogs felt I had pinned it out for them to walk and play on. I picked several t-pins out of Captain's tail hair.
I'm hoping it relaxes a bit now that it is dried and unpinned. I tried arranging it on myself and I think it looks terrible on me. I like the pattern, but for some reason I just don't like it on me. Of course, that is usually how it goes when I knit things for myself. That's why I like hats, socks, mittens and scarves so much. Those never look too awful on me.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Socks! I love Socks!

 I love self-striping sock yarn. Love it. A favorite place to get self-striping sock yarn is the White Birch Fiber Arts on She does some fun combinations and always has different colorways going. Two of my favorites are Nothing Says Screw You Like a Rainbow which is the sock up above and A Dingo Ate My Baby which is the sock below.

I use Susan B. Anderson's sock pattern How I Make My Socks. It is an easy and fast pattern that is well written. It showcases the yarn beautifully. In fact, I've made 10 pairs of socks and used this pattern for 8 of them. Yeah, I like it :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Few More Photos...

Just adding some more photos of the kids in their vests.

Initial Vests

 I wanted to make vests for the kids to wear for school picture day this year. I thought it'd be cute if they had vests with their initial on it. Not sure if it'll show up in the actual school photo. Of course, I think these pictures show it, and the children, quite nicely!
 The pattern is Kid's Vest from the book More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I've knitted this pattern once before for my nephew, Eric. I used Caron Simply Soft yarn. It is pretty sturdy and is washable which is good when my kids are going to be wearing it. I found the yellow shirts online at Target. I 'eyeballed' the color and it ended up matching the yellow yarn perfectly. 
School picture day was this past Monday. It'll be a while before the pictures come back. I can't wait to see them!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Back in May (I think) I saw that a friend had signed up for Yarnbox. It is a company that each month sends out a box of yarn and a pattern. Each month there is a different yarn featured. It is a great chance to try yarn that you normally wouldn't. I was excited to try it because I find that I fall into a yarn rut of buying the same brand over and over.
The first month we got two skeins of supermerino yarn from ArtYarns. My pictures are terrible and you can't really get the true color of these yarns. At first I made SMASH and PUNY by Rebekah Darylin. I really like this pattern and I love the edgings used in it. Seriously, I love the way the edges come out. Yeah, I know...I'm weird. Anyway, while I liked the pattern it was definitely not the pattern for the yarn. I ripped it out and decided to make something for Irene with the crazy colorful yarn. 

 I made the Diamond Rib Lace Bolero by Christy Hills for Irene. It used it all but a tiny bit of the yarn. It is also super cute and perfect for Irene.
 With the jade colored yarn I made the Crooked Paths hat by Melissa LeBarre. This is one of those patterns that knits well when you use multiple stitch markers. Thankfully, I have a fair number of stitch markers that the very kind Danielle sent me (and that I wrote about a couple of posts ago). I can happily say that I made no mistakes because of the stitch markers, so I did not have to rip back any of the hat. That makes me ridiculously happy. I do not like to have to rip back knitting.
 The ArtYarn was June's Yarnbox. For July we got 2000 yards of lace weight yarn from Unique Chic Studio. I got the colorway Fresh. I normally never knit with lace weight yarn. I do have a good reason for this! Lace projects have a lot of charts and yarn overs and is so easy to mess it up and lose your place. With three kids running around I have to set aside my knitting frequently. Sometimes it is hours before I get back to it. With lace projects I lose my place as well as stitches from the needle. Still, I was surprised to find that I had several projects saved in my favorites on Ravelry that used lace weight yarn, but were not lace projects. Confused yet?
Basically, I have a shawl pattern that uses lace weight yarn but has not lace work in it at all. It does have a crazy 'suicide' ruffle that requires picking up a million stitches in order to add a ruffle to the shawl. The pattern uses 1600 yards so it would use up a fair amount of my 2000 yards of yarn.
In August our Yarnbox was actually a bag since the yarn we got was so big. We got three skeins of wool yarn from Imperial Yarn. I got what they are calling the 'greys' box. I really like this yarn. It is a thick wool that is perfect for Michigan weather. I can imagine knitting up something that I can wrap around myself as the weather gets cooler. I have a couple of different patterns in mind, but I am still undecided. It helps that Yarnbox has a group on Ravelry so I can see what other people are making with their yarn.
Sadly, I've had to put my Yarnbox subscription on hold. School started today for the kids and (shockingly!) they needed shoes and school supplies and backpacks. Also, picture day is next week and school pictures are crazy expensive. I did, however, knit them vests with their first initial on them to wear for picture day. I will post pictures of that soon.
So, I love the Yarnbox experience. I love getting the new yarns and patterns. I am hoping that I will be able to get my Yarnbox account off hold in the new year! Totally worth it :-) 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Grandma...

My Grandma must have had the patience of a saint. She taught me to knit when I was around seven years old. I can still remember the needles she let me use! I don't recall her ever getting annoyed or upset with me while doing this. It's a fond memory.

I have been trying to teach Irene how to knit. She asked me to get her set up. I tried to get the boys involved, but they were not interested at this time. Irene got to pick put needles at the store and I set her up with 10 stitches to knit. Holy cow, keeping her on task and fixing mistakes and all the other little things that pop up while doing this...Ahhhh! Plus, she is a perfectionist. She wants to be able to do it perfectly right now and when that doesn't happen she gets upset. I keep telling her that I am constantly at knitting sites and youtube to find out how to do certain stitches. Hell, I can't keep kitchener stitch in my head and I use it on every sock I knit.

I think it would be easier if someone else taught her. I am no good at it. Still, we keep trudging on. I hope she finds a love of yarn and knitting even if it doesn't take hold until years from now.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

I Hat You

 One thing I seem to knit a lot of is hats. I love hats and I like to knit the kids hats for winter, plus there are just so many cool hat patterns. This past winter and spring found me knitting hats, hats, and more hats.
 First up is the Hat of America by Iam 4MAN. Gavin is a HUGE Captain America fan and he wanted a hat that looks like Cap's shield. There was actually a couple of similar patterns for this hat on Ravelry. I made Gavin's hat with leftover blue and white yarn, but I'm pretty sure I had to buy the red. The red and white yarn is Caron Simply Soft and I can't recall where the blue is from.
 Our small town actually has a comic book shop and a couple months back they participated in the free comic book weekend. Lot's of comic book characters were there including Captain America. We had to stop and get pictures.

 In the Superhero group shot above and the pic below Irene is wearing Wayside by Gabriella Henry. It is made with Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima Paints in the colorway Princess Mix. She picked out the yarn at The Clever Ewe in Ada. This pattern was an easy, fast knit that with the cotton yarn is perfect for spring/fall.

 This winter we had so much snow and so many days off from school because of snow. All the snow had me sharing the hat-love with my friend David and his partner Brian. They also live in Michigan and are only a couple of hours away from me.
 The pattern is Windschief by Stephen West. I love this pattern and would definitely knit it again. I should have had one of the kids model it since it looks so much better on someone. Oh well, cool pattern. Definitely recommend.
 Yarn used...leftover gray yarn from my Perla cardigan. Off the top of my head I can't recall what I used. The Brown mix is a Vanna White yarn that I bought yarns ago and never used.
 Once again Irene is modeling another hat for me. This one is All-Day Beret by Debbie Stoller. I made this once for a friend that is going through chemo. For some reason, that made perfect sense at the time, I did not block this into a beret shape. No, I can no longer remember what that reason was.
The yarn used is Lily Sugar'n Cream Solids in the color Ecru. I had enough of the yarn leftover that I am knitting another one. It is a great spring/summer/fall hat.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stitch You Up

 Recently I was lamenting on facebook about having almost no stitch markers. LuLu, my darling lab-mix dog, has had separation anxiety since my Tibetan Spaniel, Chang Po died. When I leave the house she eats something of mine. Usually it is something knitting related. She has eaten two notions bags, stitch holders, pair of scissors, and stitch markers.

I have a favorite brand of stitch markers, although I love almost all stitch markers, from The Snarky Llama. These stitch markers never catch on the yarn and they are lovely to look at. Unfortunately, LuLu thinks they are lovely to eat. After moaning about my dog eating my stitch markers my absolutely darling friend, Danielle sent me three different sets from Snarky Llama!! It was such an awesome surprise to get this package in the mail. I was and still am thrilled to get such a gift. Danielle is a talented knitter and she makes and sells soap and shampoo bars. I've written about her shop a couple of posts ago. Check it out her soap is terrific!
 I recently finished a project that required 10 or 12 stitch markers being in use at one time. Thankfully, I had a bunch of new ones to use!
Check out the Snarky Llama stitch markers HERE!

Check out Danielle's awesome soap, shampoo, and rugs HERE!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sock it to Ya

Pattern~ How I Make My Socks by Susan B. Anderson. Yarn~ Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in the color Evening Star. This colorway is a dark purple with other colors that pop up. I bought this yarn at the Clever Ewe in Ada. They carry a nice assortment of sock yarns.

 Last year I wanted to give handmade socks as birthday gifts to my family. The first two pairs were made and delivered on time (I wrote about them earlier on the blog). Then I lost my knitting 'mojo' and the last three pair took much longer than they should have done.

I made one sock for my dad and then just stopped. I don't think I knit for a couple of months. I made the kids hats for winter, but that was it. I finally got it together and finished the pair.

 Pattern~ How I Make My Socks by Susan B. Anderson. Yarn~ Cascade Yarns Heritage Paints in the color Thunder. This colorway is shades of blue that I thought would be perfect for wearing with jeans. I also got this yarn from the Clever Ewe.

After I finished my dad's socks I felt like knitting again. My older brother was the next in line for socks. I always use the same sock pattern since it is one I like and it showcases the yarn so well. I got the first season of Shameless from Netflix and watched that while knitting this pair.

Pattern~ How I Make My Socks by Susan B. Anderson. Yarn~ Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in the color Queen Anne. This yarn was picked because it is pink and yellow. My sister-in-law loves pink and her next favorite color is yellow, so this one was perfect. I knit this pair while watching the first season of Queer As Folk on Netflix. Watching a movie or TV show helps me knit faster. I don't know the hows or whys of it, but it works.

I am not sure how well received these socks were. Granted, the socks were delivered well after the birthdays of each person. I got a texted 'thank you' from each person, but that was it. Not everyone likes handmade gifts/socks. This year I am not giving socks. I am keeping them all for me!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Humblebee Gifts

 Another school year has finished and I found myself in the need of teacher gifts. We like to do a small gift as a 'thank you' to teachers we found to be especially helpful. Henry had two reading teachers that he saw three times a week. They worked with him outside of the classroom to get him more comfortable with reading out loud and word pronunciation. They each got a soap and lip balm from The Humblebee and a knitted leaf washcloth.

The Humblebee is an Etsy shop run by the wonderful and kind Danielle. Her soap, lip balm, and shampoo are all natural and all homemade. I love the soap so much because my super special skin does not break out from it and actually feels good after using it. The lip balm is great and once it is on you forget that it is there.

She is on vacation until the 17th, but I highly recommend her stuff. Oh! She makes fantastic rugs, too. They are made out of t-shirts. I have one in my bathroom and I love it. So easy to take care of. Plus, Danielle is right on top of shipping. Seriously, these things got to me so quickly which makes me super happy since I have zero patience for waiting on goodies.You can find her Etsy shop HERE and her blog HERE.
 My sister-in-law, Kaye, had a birthday recently and I did up a gift bag for her. Soap, lip balm, and shampoo from The Humblebee and three leaf washcloths. I knitted the washcloths with an organic cotton that I found on Etsy. It is undyed and I got six washcloths out of it and still have some leftover. I found it at Thoughtful Gems and you can check them out HERE.
 While getting together teacher and birthday gifts my friend wrote on Facebook how she was losing her hair from chemo treatments. I decided to send her a little care package that included soap, shampoo, and lip balm from The Humblebee. I figured that the unscented soap and shampoo would be easy on her senses. I remember that warning from taking my mom to see her oncologist, no perfumes!

I also knitted a hat for her to wear during the summer months. Irene is modeling it in the picture.
 It is the All Day Beret by Debbie Stoller. The pattern has been saved in my favorites on Ravelry for the last two years and I am so glad to have finally made it. Easy hat to knit! It looks great, too. I decided against blocking it though. If it was for me I definitely would have, but I wanted to make sure it would fit my friend. I have reasons for not blocking it, but they seem a bit convoluted and strange right now.

The Leafy Washcloth pattern can be found on Ravelry by clicking HERE. The All Day Beret can also be found on Ravelry by clicking this one HERE.
I forgot to take pictures of the main teachers gifts. They each got a stained-glass flower in a flowerpot from Gala Gardens on Etsy. I thought these were cute and perfect gifts. I want one of the larger ones for my window! I had a great shopping experience there. The flowers were well wrapped and shipped out quickly. Check out Gala Gardens by clicking HERE!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


 I recently finished knitting Perla by Joji Locatelli. The pattern was gifted to me for Christmas in 2012 by a fellow LSG member. The yarn is Encore Worsted from Plymouth Yarn Company. Yes, it took me a long time to knit it. I took a very long break last summer after knitting the body. In the last month and a half I decided to push through and get the sleeves and neckline finished.

My pictures are horrible and do not show the sweater well at all. There is a lot of sweater there and it will be great for when the weather is colder. Unfortunately, I am not happy with the way my sleeves came out and the edges roll even after an aggressive blocking. Still, I have a bit of pride that it is finished and that 'hey, I made this' need to show off.
In 2012 LSG started a December-only thread for the Fairy Hoar Mother. There you can semi-anonymously gift patterns or other items to members of LSG or any Ravelry  member. Fairy Hoar Mother did so well in 2012 that it was revived for December 2013 as well. It's a nice little feel-good at Christmastime thread.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sushi Stitch Markers

Sushi stitch markers I bought for a knitting friend. Made by and purchased from Midnight Dolphin Designs which can be found on Etsy.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Last of the 2013 Knitting

I have been such a slacker on keeping up with my blogs. My excuse is that I've been suffering from insomnia, or a version of it, since shortly after the kids started school. Everyday is like living through a fog. I'm tired, forgetful, and very sad. A lovey mix.
So, the knitting has been very slow going. I have almost no concentration and I easily forget what I'm doing. I've decided to put up the pictures of everything that did get done. My list of things that still need to be started is gigantic. I owe three different birthday gifts and two Christmas gifts. Yippee!
 First up is Gaskell. I love this pattern. Great for when your attention has to be divided by tv or children. I knit this back in April (?) and I believe it is knit from side to side with the ruffle knitted with short rows as you go. I want to make another one, but this time I would use a bulkier weight yarn. Plus, it can be made to any size. The yarn used was Fantasy by Dark Horse Yarns. 
 For Kaye's, my sister-in-law, birthday I made her Hermione's Everyday Socks. Very cute socks, although I think I messed up the heel and ended up using a different heel from another pattern. I won't swear to this since I made these back in May. Yarn used was CoBaSi by Hikoo by Skacel Collection.
 Ah, Betsey. I love this pattern and would make dozens more. However, I would NOT use this yarn again. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. Not a bad yarn exactly, but a terrible choice fort his pattern. And I HATE the colors together. Betsey is another pattern that I cannot wait to make again. Different yarn and color choices, obviously.
 Another pair of socks for me! Used the How I Make My Socks pattern again. Yarn is Happy Feet from Plymouth Yarn.
 Birthday socks for my brother, Peter. Pattern is Basic Ribbed Socks. He wears a size 15 shoe. These socks took a bit longer to make and I wanted the stripes to match up as much as possible. Yarn is Felici from Knit Picks in the colorway Building Blocks. I love the Felici yarn. I would buy every colorway. What can I say? I am charmed by self-striping yarn.
 These slippers have a sad story associated with them. They are the Options Slippers for Men. They were made for a family friend that passed away shortly after receiving them. I recommend the pattern. I used the suggested idea of putting the rubber goop on the bottoms.
 Hat time for the kids again! We have been big into The Avengers and Shield here. Henry wanted a hat with the Shield insignia on it. I used a basic hat pattern and added in the Shield Insignia.  
Irene got the Heart version of the Spider Boy-Lover Girl hat pattern.
Not pictured is the 6 placemats I made my Dad for Christmas. He asked for them to match the coasters I made him last year. I forgot to take a picture of those last year, too. Also missing a picture is Gavin's hat. Once again he wanted a Dinosaur hat. No problem, but the size I made is just a bit too small so I am going to make him another. And he wants a Captain America hat because Captain America is his favorite. I've also got an almost finished cardigan for me that is just waiting for sleeves. I really need to get on it. Oh, and I have a pair of not quite finished birthday socks for my dad. Yeah, I really need to get with it.
As for knitting goals for 2014, I would like to finish all the stuff I didn't get done in 2013. I also want to make an afghan from a beautiful circular shawl pattern. I'd also like to make Gaskell and Betsey again and do the projects that I already have yarn for. I am dreaming big!!