Friday, December 31, 2010

A Time For Resolutions

Happy New Year! I hope 2011 brings all of you good health and memory making fun.

As always I plan to do a lot of knitting. Timber is still time-consuming but is quite a cute Golden fellow so I don't mind too much. Teddy Bear is an angel...and I remember the time I never could imagine describing him like that. He is now 7 and is grown up but loves to play with his 11-month-old Golden brother. Lily is doing well on her thyroid medication, so I'm hoping she continues to ride a steady course.

I will be knitting for myself and others. I knit for a very few selected friends and for charity. It makes my heart feel good to knit a simple hat for a child, teen or adult who otherwise would be cold. The people of Penns Valley are important to me. I have encourage my fellow knitting group members to knit for charity and the people of the Valley. I haven't heard responses yet but I'm hoping they consider giving a little of their time and talents to knit or crochet something for others. Our knitting group has plenty of donated yarn and others of us have niceleftovers that could be knitted into striped hats, scarves, neckwarmers, mittens and gloves. It is horrible to be cold. I'm planning to knit at least a dozen charity items this year and more if possible. I am trying to be realistic and do know my time constraints.

Other charity knitting on my list is fingerless mitts to donate to Golden Retriever Rescue for its sales table. I think they will sell least I hope so. I have nice yarns from Knit Picks for those items.

My mantra for the year will be "Knit From Stash." I have tons of yarns of varying weights, colors and fiber contents. I'm also going to share some stash with others who would love to use a nice skein of hand-dyed yarn but it just isn't in their budget right now.

I am not unrealistic enough to say I won't buy any yarn....heck if I lived in a cave I'd find a way to order on-line! But, my purchases are going to be better thought out, not spur of the moment, and measurable less in volume that the past few years. The two places where I know I will buy yarn of some sort is the upcoming Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, PA (begins on Jan. 8 for a week). There are a number of vendors with hand-dyed yarns and many with handspun fibers. Really nice. Also, a number of alpaca farmers have booths and their yarns are scrumptious. And of course there is Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in May. I have some specific goals in mind for this show and plan to visit as many booths as possible. Last year I saw less than 15% of the show but this year will be different. It is always an awesome time.

I need to knit myself some more socks. Yes, seriously, I do. But instead of the heavier weight ones that I'm hooked on I must add more fingering weight yarns into my sock knitting. Some heavier ones wont fit into certain shoes so don't get worn often enough.

I resolve to learn to knit a cable. OK, laugh. I'm sure they are as easy as you all say but until I knit one several times I won't be convinced.

I also want to learn to felt, if only to knit slippers for three guys who I know will love them. I have plenty of terrific stash yarns that will work. One thing I want at MDSW is to purchase slipper bottoms for each of them...that will definitely get me knitting and felting.

Hopefully, even if it is just a few rows I will be able to knit almost every evening. It is relaxing before bedtime.

What are your knitting resolutions for 2011?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Knitting

Christmas knitting was done...or so I thought. Then I got the bright idea to knit a neckwarmer for the wonderful woman who takes care of my Goldens at the kennel. An easy, quick worsted weight neckwarmer. Easy, peasy right...not necessarily.

I chose a nice superwash Cascade 220 twist in navy, royal blue, teal, and light greeen. Really pretty, soft and from my stash! Yeah stash knitting!!

I have knit probably 4 inches total but right now there are no stitches on my needles. I have frogged twice. The pattern I was modeling my version after called for 95 stitches on a size 6 or 7 needle. I had an idea for a simple neckwarmer -- 4 rows of purl, 8 inches or so of stockinette, 4 rows of purl and cast off. Easy pattern but huge...would have fit a middle linebacker for the New York Jets. Second time I tried 85 stitches on the size 7. Still too big. So, now I got a size 6 circular needle and am knitting 80 stitches and I hope it isn't too small. I think it will be fine. Design is stretchy. I don't want her to feel as if she is wearing a neckbrace but I also want a sturdier fabric and smaller neck opening. So it will be her New Year's present when I pick up my boys from her kennel.

I knit a nice feather & fan neckwarmer for the friend of a friend. She loved mine and my friend picked the yarn -- from my stash again. Woo-hoo! Mountain Colors twist in the Sundance colorway (I think that is the name). Came out really nice and should keep the new owner who lives in Buffalo warm this winter.

I also knit a pair of fingerless mitts for the woman who grooms my Goldens. Hope she likes them. They are shown in the accompanying photo.

It wasn't a Christmas present but I made a neckwarmer with a drawstring for a colleague in Philadelphia. She received it in Thursday's mail and called me that night. She LOVES it and can't stop raving about it.

Next up after Jeannie's neckwarmer is a gift for a swap I am doing through Ravelry's Loopy Ewe site. Will not post photos until it is mailed for the Valentine's Day deadline. I think my swap partner is now reading my blog so I don't want to ruin the surprise.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Knitting Erratta

November just flew by. I will have knitting content to post in a few days. I still have to finish the ends of the neckwarmer for Erin. MUST do that tonight so I can mail it to her. The neckwarmer is not a surprise, but my choice of yarn is. I gave her 3 to select from and she couldn't decide between 2 of them and let it to me. I am pleased with the results and think she will enjoy it.

The fingerless gloves are almost done. Only need to knit one thumb and pull the ends through so that will be a photo soon, too.

The baby sweater is stalled but will be finished. However, the little girl arrived on Friday morning and is well over 9 pounds. So, I'm going to make her socks and save this sweater for a little girl who is smaller when born. Teaches me to knit a minimum of a size 9-month next time.

Also knitting a neckwarmer for my friend to give to her friend. She chose a bright, multi-colored Twist from Mountain Colors. Really fun to knit. I made myself one from this pattern last year and it is basically a quick knit and fun with feather & fan.

Am happy to say that all the knitting is being done from stash yarn. My friend "shopped" in my stash instead of us heading to the yarn shop.

Spent the weekend in PA instead of NJ, so I did more organizing of my yarn. Made good progress and hope to continue the process this weekend. My goal is to have the mess cleaned up and know where things are by the end of 2010 so I can begin the New Year fresh.

Photos in next post...I promise.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fingerless Mitts

I love the fingerless mitts pattern designed by my friend, Libby, and decided to knit a pair for Nancy who grooms my Golden Retrievers. Just started them and they are going quickly...almost done with the ribbed cuff. The pattern calls for a 3-inch cuff but like most knitters am going to make a slight change. But only slight to add 1/2-inch to the cuff length.

The yarn is in shades of green, a dark teal, raspberry, denim and purple. Color changes are an inch to two inches in length and work well together. This is the first time I've knit with Plymouth Yarn's "Sockin' Sox" and really like it. Content is 60% superwash merino, 25% bamboo and 15% nylon. Quite soft to knit with so should be wonderful to wear.

Hopefully will have a finished mitt to post by early next week. We will be heading to NC next Thursday so will get some car knitting time. I also am working on a hat and scarf in Malabrigo worsted for myself and they will definitely go along for the ride. Happy knitting!

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Night for Frogging

Looked through a few UFOs and decided that some frogging was necessary.

First was the shawlette from Zauberball. Why did I ever think I would wear Halloween colors near my face? Beats me. The yarn will make lovely fun socks and I will enjoy them immensely.

Frogged a pair of socks that were going to be huge for me. They were probably the third pair I knit (one was finished and the second one was about 1/4 complete). I am wearing a pair today that are too loose because of too many stitches. Decided I didn't need another pair falling down around my ankles.

Third was another shawlette from Lorna's Laces sport weight in the Zombie Bar-b-Q colorway. A pretty mix of greens and reds but it doesn't look like Christmas. Can't remember what pattern I was knitting but I decided I didn't like it. So now I have 600 yards of Zombie for something else fun.

Have two shawlettes planned. Both from stash. I'm doing pretty well knitting from stash. I have a long way to go until I get it under control.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Progress on baby sweater

It is amazing how much time it takes to knit even a baby sweater. But, this one is as cute as a buttom! I'm nearing the second sleeve (this is knit side-to-side -- see my previous post). Once the second sleeve is completed I need to sew the side seams and then pick up stitches around the bottom. Two knitting tasks I have never done. Time to learn new knitting to-dos. Hope to have this completed by the time I return from NC the middle of next week. Then will block and pop into the mail. The little girl isn't due to be born until middle of November but I'm anxious to give this to her mom.

Had an interesting conversation with a non-knitting friend who saw this sweater. Took me several tries to explain why the stripes in the self-striping yarn were wider in the sleeves than the body of the sweater. She was not getting fewer and more stitches....I love how it looks. Hope baby and mom do, too.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's a Baby Sweater

Foremost I'm a sock knitter who has a blossoming new interest in knitting shawlettes of various sizes in an array of weights of yarns. But, my newest projects are this baby sweater Phazelia's Ribboned Baby Jacket which can be purchased for a few dollars from Ravelry.

It is an easy, cute and quick knit in fingering weight yarn. The pattern recommends a size 1.5 needle...ummm...don't have one of those and have never seen one. A size 2 would have been a good second choice. However, I chose to go to a size 3 to make the sweater wearable for just a little longer by growing babies. The designer is kind enough to give directions for two sizes -- 0-3 months and 3-6 months. I'm doing the latter.

I have two skeins of this Trekking yarn. No, I won't need them for one sweater but they will enable me to knit two sweaters. I have two colleagues who are expecting babies this in a few weeks and the other in late November. I hope they like their surprises when the mailman arrives in a few weeks. I will post a finished photo when the first sweater is complete.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Fiber-y Farmers' Market

There is a terrific Farmers' Market at Ard's along Route 45 near Lewisburg, PA. This week there was a new vendor -- my good friend, Libby, who owns the fiber sales website Mad About Ewes. By Spring she will be selling roving and spun yarns all from the sheep at her farm. There was a problem this year when her yarn was processed so unfortunately she is now a season behind her plan for an online shop. She has plenty to sell at the market. Her rovings are so soft, if they were butter they would melt in your mouth. The yarns are beautifully spun, are sturdy but soft and the colors are beautiful.

Friday was her first day at the Farmers' Market and she will be there each Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. through the end of October. Stop by and see what she has. There are other fabulous goodies at other vendors, too. Ard's Market is an interesting place and quite colorful in the fall.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finally Finished

These socks were begun in late winter, tucked away during Spring and early Summer knitting, and brought out about a week ago. One was half finished. Now they are a pair. Love how fast sportweight yarn knits into a finished garment. I have had this yarn for several years and don't remember where I purchased it. I think like the combination of teal, purple, light grey and gold. It was called "Lord of the Rings."

I have another pair of unfinished socks that hopefully will join these in the sock drawer soon. A third pair isn't so lucky...I frogged them. Lorna's Laces sport weight is not as heavy as others. I felt they would be too small. Will cast on again but with more stitches next time.

Monday, August 09, 2010

My Yarn Crawl

Work takes me many places and sometimes a slight detour makes the day more bearable. This past week has illustrated that.

Last Thursday I needed to visit with some downtown business people in Danville, PA which is in Montour County. We were discussing small businesses and I asked if the local yarn shop was still open. One man quickly said, "yes" and that he thought his wife's paycheck was directly deposited into the shop's bank account!

I went around a block and there was a very unassuming one-story brown wooden building that frankly has seen better days. I ventured into Swisher's Yarn Basket at 327 Ferry St. and was pleased with what I saw and the genuine warmth of the greeting I received from the owner. She retired 8 years ago and said she was bored after 3 weeks so opened the yarn shop. She also has a small amount of counter cross-stitch remaining in her inventory and is trying to get rid of all of it since that craft isn't as popular as it was a few years ago.

The shop is welcoming. The middle of the room hosts a large circle of chairs with soft pads on the seats...just inviting customers to sit and knit a bit...which some people were doing. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay that long or I would have joined them.

The selection was well organized, the shop is clean, and she sells a good variety of yarns -- everything from some higher end fingering weight yarns to Galway worsted weight wool to Encore worsted weight acrylic/wool blends. She truly has yarns for all tastes, I think. I will definitely visit the shop again when I'm in town.

Today I headed to Gettysburg in southern PA for our all-staff retreat which begins bright and early in the morning. Most colleagues will be arriving later today. I did some work visits as I traveled along Route 322.

One of my favorite stops during Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival each May in Maryland is the large booth operated by the staff of The Mannings Handweaving School in East Berlin, PA. Now I'm neither a spinner nor a weaver but I know they have lots of yarn and patterns. It was delightful to see their huge store, the beautiful setting and just browse. Well worth the trip if you haven't been there.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Fall Knitting Magazine Review

They are horrible! That about says it. I was so excited today to find the Fall issue of Interweave Knits on the grocery story shelf. I grabbed it, leafed through the entire publication in 1 minute and returned it to the shelf. That is $6.99 plus tax I won't be spending. I have bought Interweave Knits for years, but in this past year or so find myself purchasing fewer and fewer of them.

I have put all the other fall ones back into their respective slots on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, too. Guess I will knit socks and other patterns I have this fall.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just When You Least Expect It...A Knitting Bag Will Be Found

See this beauty!. Gorgeous eggplant -- one of my favorite shades in the purple family. 8 outside pockets, the inside divided into 2 large pockets with a narrow pocket that closes with velcro, and a shoulder handle. The latter is my only complaint and after a trip tomorrow to JoAnne's Fabric Store and a purchase of sticky-backed velcro this bag will be perfect. The bag's woven fabric is waterproof so has an unusual texture and is very lightweight.

As you can see this one nicely holds a sock project and shawlette project, with my knitting accessories in the interior pocket and my small box of coilness metal pins in one outside pocket. My Blackberries fit into other pockets as well as a small wallet. Great to take to knitting meetings.

Bags just seem to pop up everywhere...this one at at the Nittany Kennel Club dog show this weekend. The bag is designed for use as a ringside equipment bag for those who show dogs and horses. I saw a lot of people with this particular style and similar ones.

The bag is open at the top so I will have to be careful that Teddy Bear and Timber don't try to knit one more time...yes they have tried in the past but their paws are too large for this hobby.
The bags can be seen here

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Photo Day

Boneyard Shawl is crawling toward the finish line and I will post a photo when it is done. Given that I'm using fingering weight yard, it will be a scarf and not a shawl...which is exactly what I wanted from this skein of fabulous yard. An early photo is in my last blog posting.

I've been really sidetracked with some personal issues that I think/hope are resolving themselves in a positive manner.

Knitting progress has also been slowed by organizing yarn, culling through yarn for what I won't be using, and posting yarn for sale on my Ravelry page. I'm not gouging people but am asking purchase price plus shipping. Wildaboutsocks is my Ravelry name in case anyone wants to browse what I currently have available. I will be adding more this weekend once I get to that stage of organization. I have sold 5 skeins this week. Excellent! I'm sure that was the exception because two of those skeins were Wollmeise which people seem to covet. I just need to move yarns, recoup my money, and regroup. One person said she would "take" yarn I didn't want...ummmm...nice but there was no mention of money and none intended. Sorry, I can't give away skeins of yarn that cost me $30.

It feels good to organize. A lot more to do with the yarn and then I dive into the closets. Have done a bit of that pulling out clothing I don't want to give to the Faith Center for their resale shop. Gives me space and helps them raise much needed money for their community projects. A win-win in my opinion.

More soon with photos I hope.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Another Boneyard Shawlette

The DK weight Zauberball (I have serious doubts about that yarn being a true DK weight) is complete. A photo will be posted once the shawlette is blocked. I decided it needs some blocking to smooth out the knitting and to make it just a bit larger.

I really likethe Boneyard Shawl pattern by Stephen West. Enough so that I started another one which I know will be a scarf as I am using a lovely fingering weight yard from Pagewood Farm. It is a hand-dyed merino/cashmere/nylon (80/10/10) in the colorway "Prism" which is rich shades of red, navy, grey, gold, dark green. Very fall/winter like and will be a wonderful wardrobe addition. The yarn is scrumptious to knit with and I'm glad that after much debate with myself I decided to use it for a shawlette rather than socks.

I still love knitting socks but some yarns are just destined for certain projects. This is one of them.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Coming Down The Home Stretch

Boneyard Shawl is almost finished! I started the garter stitch edging last night. I probably could have squeezed one more 12-row pattern repeat out of the yarn and then did the edging, but these long rows take a lot of yardage so I didn't want to run out and not have a wide enough edge to do the shawlette justice. I just LOVE this pattern and will knit it again...probably in some of the Alpaca I got from my friend Monica who has an alpaca farm.

I will post a finished shawlette soon. I'm not even sure I will need to block it. Now, wouldn't THAT be a bonus!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Farmers' Market

Being a summer Saturday I made my weekly trip to a local Farmers' Market. As usual it was packed with people of all ages enjoying the conversations, local products -- from breads to apple butter to freshly picked strawberries to early lettuce to plants to iced tea and cookies. There was a trio playing and singing folk music and a dog or two roaming around their owner's stand. There also were people working in the demonstration garden. A fun few hours on a June morning.

I went for my usual multi-grain bread and strawberries. However, today there was another item on my list and I found it. Janice and Mike from Tamarack Farm were there with spun wool from their sheep. I was looking for something in particular and I scored big time! Please note the two skeins of Icelandic yarn in the photo. It is a 2-ply DK weight in a tan/mocha mixed that I want to use for Stephen West's Boneyard Shawl which is a free pattern available on Ravelry.
I currently am knitting the pattern in Zauberball 6 in twists of dark blue, navy blue and some white. Perfect for the Penn State games this fall. I LOVE knitting this pattern and wanted to make one in yarn similar to what the designer chose. What I purchased today is perfect! The pattern calls for 654 yards and I bought 800 yards, so I will probably knit until I almost run out of yarn. The shawlette/large triangular scarf will be a big larger but that is fine. The yarn is a bit scratchy but when I soak the finished garment in some hair conditioner it should soften nicely.
A fabulous Farmers' Market find and supporting a local farmer at the same time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Golden Moment -- and the kitty too

Timber will be 4 months old tomorrow. He is a wonderful, lively puppy who is growing up way too fast! He and Teddy love each other so much. Lily just loves to hang out away from the Goldens.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Slightly Sidetracked

I'm still knitting shawlettes, and the wool pink/raspberry/metallic combination is 8 rows from completion. That will happen this weekend and I will post a photo.

I love the pattern I'm using for it, "Simple Things Shawlette" which can be purchased from Ravelry or perhapy from the designer's website

It is such a cute shawlette and easily can be made larger, if you have more yarn available. A predicament that I have encountered with the shawlette I started -- see photo. The pattern calls for 360 yards and I have 421 yards of yarn. After each 10-row section of eyelet I will weight the remaining yarn to help determine how many additional sections I can knit and not run out of yarn. I want to use up the yarn for both, so they will be larger than called for in the pattern.

The yarn is a cotton/wool/polyester combo in gorgeous shades of blue -- it reminds me of the ocean. I found this yarn in my stash and remembered it was a gift from my good friend Roberta who many years ago was very patient with me and taught me the art of sock knitting.

I had decided to make a summer weight shawlette. I decided to use a size 5 needle, instead of the 4 I am using for the wool yarn. The 5 gives a nice fabric but is just a little lighter which I think is perfect. And the colors in this yarn, the texture, and the drape are gorgeous! Thanks Roberta.

Last week at knitting group I was knitting the wool version and said it would be worn for the holidays. That certainly didn't meet with approval (NOT that I was looking for their approval!) from several vocal members of the group. If they knew about the cotton version perhaps they would be relieved.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shawlette Mania

Top yarn is a nice hand-painted from Ellen's Half-Pint Farm in Vermont; bottom left is a skein of Schaeffer Anne in the "stadium blanket" colorway; and lower right is a ball of Zauberball which changes to unique color combos as you knit (this one is in shades of teals, purples and greys. All have futures as shawlettes. Watch this blog for photos of works in progress.
This is "Boneyard Shawl" a pattern I found on Ravelry. I am using Zauberball DK weight yarn for this. It is in shades of blue and white and I am knitting this easy, quick and fun larger scarf to wear to Penn State football games this fall. It gets cold in Beaver Stadium!

This is "Simple Things Shawlette" a purchased pattern from Ravelry. It is about 3/4 completed and is my knitting focus for this weekend. I want to get it done for a number of reasons -- not the least of which is because I need the size 4 needles for another shawlette! This yarn is a commercial fiber from Berroco in shades of raspberry, pinks, and a bit of greenish-grey. I bought this yarn at MD Sheep and Wool. It caught my eye. Yes, most yarns catch my eye, but this one has a strand of gold shiny fiber running through it. I'm not into shiny fibers but I am knittng this one to wear over the holidays. Bonnie had knitting it in a green blend in a similar yarn and was wearing it on the MDSW bus trip. I really liked it so decided to find the yarn and then got the pattern. I'm so glad she enabled me.

My friends who read this blog know I love to knit socks. I have expanded my knitting passion to add shawlettes to the list. What is a shawlette I was asked at Thursday evening's knitting group gathering. It is a small shawl, often truly a larger scarf. The beauty of shawlette patterns is that most use 400 yards of fingering weight yarn -- a great way to use a skein of sock yarn (of which my stash seems endless). Can sock yarn clone itself? Also for the most part shawlette patterns can be knitted larger if one particular loves the design and wants something larger than a scarf or just a shoulder covering. I plan to use mine as large scarves around the neck of a sweater or to toss over a suit for a new look.
I am still knitting socks, truly I am. I have a pair on the needles and hope to work on them this weekend, too, when the long rows of shawlette get tiring. Summer Sox yarn -- quite nice. To be honest, these socks have been on the needles since fall...I finished one and the other was half finished when I deemed it time to knit wool socks. So hopefully I can get this pair finished in a jiffy.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Fun Photos From MDSW

Just a few things of interest....Am working on two shawlettes. Will photograph and post in a few days. One is in the early stages so it needs time to cook a bit.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

One of my favorite events to attend each year is MDSW. This year was a lot of fun but probably THE hottest weather of the 8 I have attended...94 degrees, sunny and muggy. Joyful! I again coordinated a bus trip for 54 knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers (and a few non-fibery friends). We all had a great time. Cole Transportation, a local bus company, is great to work with and our driver, Ron, was such fun!

I pledged not to buy as much yarn as usual and I kept my promise. The photo is of the 3 skeins of yarn I purchased -- all for shawlettes instead of socks. A great way to buy one skein and make something nice. From the top we have Creatively Dyed, Ellen's 1/2-Pint Yarn Company merino, and Berroco Sox with a thread of metallic. I think the latter will be a holiday shawlette.

Socks are still a favorite to knit but shawlettes are quickly catching up.

The only other things I purchased was two pair of very pointed Signature circulars with 6" needles in sizes 6 and 7 -- for shawlette knitting of course and a set of stitch markers from Ellen's 1/2-Pint Yarn Company. It is one of my very favorite show stops.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


It was a long trip from one side to the other of "Baktus" but the scarf is complete. Colorful and as I said a present for a good friend. Can't say more...she reads this blog. Yarn is Mini Mochi color 105 and is a virtual rainbow of happiness...hence my "Happy Scarf" as I dubbed it in a previous post. Pattern is free on Ravelry. Lots of free and fun patterns of all skill levels on Ravelry.

Saturday is Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. There is a full bus of fiberholics leaving Central PA early Saturday morning and returning that evening. A long day but well worth it. Will post after the trip and this year will try to take more photos.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Young Knitters

On Saturday I went to an LYS Stitch Your Art Out in Pine Grove Mills which is just outside State College. I bought myself some yarn and a pattern for a short-sleeved zip front hoodie. I think knitting on it will comment this week once I finish the triangular scarf. I'm on the home stretch with it and will post a photo of the completed item soon.

Cynthia was having a sweater knitting class. There were two nice ladies and a little boy there. I thought, "oh how nice the one lady brought her son." NOT! This 8-year-old boy was knitting a beautiful rolled neck striped sweater and was finishing the last rows of the neck and then was almost done witht the cast-off when I left. Absolutely gorgeous! His stitches were even and the sweater will be something he can wear for a long as a growth spirt doesn't hit this summer.

He is quite charming and told me his entire class knits. He attends the Friends School in State College. I have heard they offer interesting and unusual classes for the youngsters. I consider knitting to be useful and I love seeing guys knit. I think he loved a new audience (me) because his smile grew larger as I continued to compliment his workmanship.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Goal Achieved: Ishbel Finished

My first Ishbel is finished and I really love it! Blocking will commence in due time. Yarn is fingering weight purchased last year at MD Sheep & Wool from Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm in Vermont. Love their fibers!

Meet my new distraction...Timber. 2 months old and adorable! I am not seeing much knitting progress for a while. Maybe dishcloths for the Deisy's Dishcloth project. Something that can be picked up and put down easily. That leaves out the other Ishbel I started once the stockinette section is finished.

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Happy" Scarf

I'm calling this new scarf I started knitting on Saturday a "Happy" scarf. It is going to be a Christmas present -- yes as in December -- for a good friend. Can't say who as she reads this blog.

I'm in North Carolina so wanted a no-brainer knitting project while here. There is NCAA basketball on the TV for what seems like 24/7 so a lace project just wouldn't work.

I wasn't in town 10 minutes on Saturday afternoon until I hopped back into the car and headed 8 miles away to Bella Filati yarn shop in Southern Pines. I had already selected a side-to-side garter stitch scarf pattern, "Baktus" scarf that I found for free on Ravelry. Easy knit and in this yarn quite pretty.

Oh the yarn. is Mini Mochi machine washable 80% wool/20% nylon fiber combination. There is no twist to this yarn so is a bit like knitting with skinny roving. The results are a beautiful color combination. I selected Color 105 which is a combination of purple, teal, red, gold, and green. As one color progresses into the other the scarf also takes on other shades. Quite nice.

I am going to make more of these scarves from yarn in my stash. I think, with the new puppy arriving on Saturday, if I'm going to get ANY knitting done for a while it will be dishcloths for my Deisy's Dishcloths project that benefits Golden Retriever Rescue or one of these scarves. Ummm...a plan and one I really like. Happy Knitting everyone...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rainy Day Knitting

It has been pouring rain since mid-morning. The region is on a watch for small stream flooding and I keep checking the basement for water ... it will come in...just don't know always does. That complicates things with Teddy Bear because it also makes his kennel room wet. Sigh...

Today has been a productive knitting day. Ishbel in getting closer to the finish line. No photo to post right now because pretty Ishbel doesn't look any different in a photo than she did in my last post. I have 14 long rows to go and I'm holding my breath more and more. Why? I am hoping/praying I don't run out of yarn. There is no way to get more of this hand-dyed I bought last May at Maryland Sheep and Wool.

I started with 450 yards. Ishbel takes about 360 but I added two extra repeats of the lace. If all else fails I will find a coordinating plain color for the last repeat and cast off row. It won't be as pretty but I'm NOT...repeat NOT ripping back. I have lifelines but not for that purpose. I think I will be OK with little yarn left. I don't care about that. Just want to get finished before Timber arrives two weeks from today. I just can't wait! I know a puppy is a lot of work but he will be worth it.

I will knit but not lace for a while. Will stick with plain vanilla socks, the simple scarf I am knitting (saving that for next post) and Deisy's Dishcloths which I am making for the Golden Retriever Rescue to sell at the merchandise table.

Gotta run..I just heard Ishbel calling me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Ishbel 1 and Ishbel 2

I love Ysolda's pattern "Ishbel" and have started a second one. NOT because I finished the first, but rather because I cannot knit lace while distracted. We are on vacation at our condo in Pinehurst, NC. The TV cable wasn't working so for 2 days all my husband has done is chat. Now, I'm not complaining because he works away from home so I don't see him often. These few days have been nice but I really want to finish Ishbel. He is golfing right now so as soon as I complete this posting, I'm off to Ishbel-land.

My two Ishbels are very different from each other. The first one is being knitted from gorgeous hand-dyed multi-colored merino I purchased at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last May. I am determined to complete the shawlette so I can wear it to MDSW on May 1. I bought the yarn from one of my favorite places -- "Ellen's Half-Pint Yarns" which is located in the main building at MDSW. I want to wear it to show Ellen.
I started the second Ishbel because the first section is stockinette with yo increases so I can manage that even during conversation. I visited "Bella Filati" yarn shop in Southern Pines, NC yesterday and used my gift certificate from my husband. One of the items I bought was a skein of hand-painted fingering weight yarn from Heritage Paints in shades of blue. Holly offered to wind it into a cake for me so I of course said yes. Having it wound was the final push I needed to start Ishbel number 2.

This lace shawlette pattern is fun to knit and an easy lace project. And there are options...I love options! The center stockinette section can be one of two sizes and the number of lace repeats can also be varied. Ishbel 1 uses the smaller stockinette section and the larger number of lace repeats. I think Ishbel 2 will be knitted in the same manner. Not too big but large enough to wear over a suit jacket or a nice sweater for a fun look.

I'm also doing some knitting for the Golden Retriever Rescue sales table. Will save that for the next post.

Going home tomorrow to snowy and cold Central PA. Spring is just around the corner...I am sure of it...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day Knitting

The lighting is very different for these two photos but it is the same project. Central PA is getting slammed with more snow, high winds, and general nasty weather. My office was closed today....thankfully.
Being home gave me time to catch up on uncompleted household work and get in some knitting time. More of the latter and none of the former to come as soon as I finish this post.
This cowl is the same design as I knit for myself last month -- from the Winter issue of Spin-off magazine. I love it. An very easy to remember simple but lovely 4-row repeat. I am making this one for my good friend, Celeste. Her coat is olive green and I think this mix of colors will be perfect. I got her approval on the colorway before I began the project. She is a redhead so needs to be extra careful about her color choices.

I am using Mountain Colors yarn in the "Tamarack" colorway which is a variagated soft yarn in colors of purple, teal, dark olive, gold, rustish-deep pink, and brown. A lovely combination. I am hoping that with today's knitting and the long Presidents' Day holiday weekend I will be able to complete the project. Time will tell.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Finished Projects

I finished another pair of socks! Alert the media. They are comfy and warm. The yarn is Limbo Mexiko in shades of rustish-burgundy (yes Roberta there IS a hint of orange! LOL), browns, grey/black and a bit of off white. Love them. Sport weight (in my opinion) and knit on a pair of size 3 needles. Immediately cast on another pair which you will see in a week or so.

Also finished the Kyle's hat aka The Hat From H***. Knitted in bulky weight gorgeous alpaca. Soft and slippery! to knit. This hat looks a bit odd but when I tried it on the look is perfect. This is the second version of Kyle's hat because the first one seemed to be too large. I think this one will fit him perfectly. I think that is why I hate this hat...I had to knit it twice. Kyle is a co-worker and good friend who lives in Erie. For those of you who don't know Erie, PA it is along Lake Erie and gets many, many feet of snow each year. Right now they have over 3 feet. Kyle wanted a warm, knitted hat that he can wear with his nice black top coat. The only ones he found were not warm, were made of "plastic" (quoting Kyle...I am guessing acrylic yarn) and looked like he belonged on the ski slope. I hope he likes this one. It goes into tomorrow's mail.
Currently I am working on my first Ishbel shawlette which I will wear as a scarf. Being knitted from fingering weight yarn I bought at last year's Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival from Ellen's Half-Pint Farm which is located in Vermont. I've sworn off buying yarn this year but might have to break down and get something from her. Love her stuff! Photos soon.
I love the Ishbel so much I went to the that organizing is fabulous for finding things...and pulled out 2 skeins of Schaeffer Anne in the "Stadium Blanket", grey, gold...yummy! I'm going to make a large Ishbel and enter it into this year's county fair. The pattern is wonderful and goes rather quickly. Well worth the effort, I think.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Yarn Organizing

Spent a lot of this weekend organizing my sock and shawl yarns...much more of the former than the latter. Now at least I am familiar with the colors and brands of sock yarn I have on hand. There are at least 200 skeins of yarn. Fortunately, some I can use a small shawls/scarves, neckwarmers, fingerless mitts and other fun items.

Also came across my bag of leftover sock yarn. Immediately decided that I need to start knitting a leftover sock yarn afghan for my bed. Found the pattern in the Mason & Dixon knitting book and will probably begin the first square this week. Will blog a photo when I have some progress.

Also decided I REALLY am going on a sock yarn diet! Tough to do with Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival a mere 3 months and a handful of days away but this is necessary. And I cannot imagine finding any yarn that is not in a colorway I already own. Just can't fathom it.

I do make gifts for people so I will go stash diving. Am planning to sell some on Ravelry whenever I get the time. Also am going to donate some skeins to groups that do charity knitting...a major win-win.

Am to the toe decreases on a second sock so off to complete it. Photo when finished.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Neckwarmer Finished

Don't need to say much about this little cutie. A Feather & Fan neckwarmer made from one skein of Lorna's Laces worsted weight yarn. Pattern is in the most recent issue of Spin-Off. Easy to knit and makes perfect knitting while riding in a car. Temps dropped again this evening so I think it will get its first wearing tomorrow. Love those colors. Will look wonderful with my new raspberry colored coat.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I, like many others, engage in New Year's resolutions each and every year. This year I decided to be reasonable and have 12 resolutions that I consider attainable:
1. Pay off all my credit cards and close the accounts.
2. Save money.
3. Let the problems of work stay there when I leave each day.
4. Either finish or frog unfinished knitting projects.
5. Organize my yarn stash and knitting books.
6. Organize my house and give things I can't use to the needy.
7. Learn something new in knitting even if it is basic such as a new cast-on.
8. Knit more.
9. Knit from stash as much as possible.
10. Cook more, eat out less.
11. Be more patient with others.
12. Get a Golden Retriever puppy.

So far, so good. Oh I know it is mid-month but usually by now I would have broken at least half of my resolutions. All remain on schedule. The puppy depends on whether or not the breeding was successful. Hopefully will have that information later in the month. If it was, then I wait to see if there is a little Golden male for me.