Wednesday, December 30, 2009

MhEaRpRpYy CbHiRrItShTdMaAyS!!

That title? It's Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday blended together, kind of like my gift!

That's one of the advantages to having a birthday that is really close to Christmas. Sometimes if you are willing to blend the two celebrations together you can convince a loved one to splurge on a single more-awesome-than-you-otherwise-would-get present.

This is my most recent knitting "tool", a comfy swivel/glider/recliner and matching ottoman in leather that matches our other living room furniture. My old cloth covered one was getting rather worn and tattered looking. I can't bear to part with it either, it has served me well and is still comfortable, but it now resides in the less public family room.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Altered Hat

Back in the fall of 2004 I made a felted, brimmed hat. When it was first made I was very pleased with it, but over time the brim began to droop. The crown of the hat was still in great shape so a few days ago I made the decision to do radical surgery on it. I hacked the brim off, knit a separate brim from handspun kid mohair, and then sewed the new brim on.

I'm pleased with the result. It makes a very warm, perfectly fitting hat.

This may become one of my submissions for a guild art show to be held this coming March.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snowflake Portrait 2009

My favourite Christmas ornaments are the ones that hold portraits of our children when they were little and now similar ones of our grandchildren.

This is the addition for Christmas 2009. Two and half year old Kaylen and her 8 month old sister Kenzie.

The free crochet pattern for this snowflake/portrait ornament can be found here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Vest Project Revisited

Way back in May I started on a vest using Kauni 8/2 Effektgarn in stranded colourwork. I wasn't happy with the method I was using to add the burgundy coloured stitch. Inattention was causing a lot of mistakes.

I made the decision to rip back to the ribbing and start over with a simpler check pattern. It will be so much easier to use duplicate stitch and put in that burgundy fleck AFTER the vest is complete and blocked.

Work is now progressing much quicker but there have still been a couple of minor frogging episodes. There is something about nearly mindless knitting that gets me every time! I must zone out and allow my hands to continue on without the active participation of my brain. Like a classroom full of unruly teenage students, turns out my hands need supervision.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Playing At Working Out

I haven't made one of these in decades!

About 20 years ago we moved from Prince George, where there is plenty of cold and enough snow to keep the snowman population plentiful, to Chilliwack, where snow is infrequent and rarely of a quality that makes good snowmen.

We got a bit of the heavy, wet stuff last night. Avoiding potentially hazardous roads I stayed home from the gym this morning. Later, returning from an afternoon walk with the dog, I realized what my workouts have been missing these last few years. . . . . . FRESH AIR! I enjoyed myself so much that I shovelled the driveway then made a snowman.

Despite the temporary snow, that's GREEN grass under the snow, and nice green bushes in the background. And it's raining now. We'll be back to "normal" in a day or two.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pecan Carmel Turtles

My eldest daughter, Lisa, was happy to help out in the kitchen today. She prepared this simple treat for the family.

Pecan Carmel Turtles

6 rolls of Rollo candy (60 pieces)
60 small pretzels
60 pecan halves

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line baking pan with foil. (Oops, forgot the foil, no wonder they stuck.)

Arrange the pretzels on the foil covered baking sheet. Place a Rolo candy on each pretzel and bake for 5 minutes until candy is soft.

Squish a pecan down on the warm candy. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, then cool for another 30 minutes before peeling from the foil.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

New Garland

A crocheted, beaded garland, new to the tree this year.

Pattern by Lee Mathewson available here.

Cardifession Debut

Cardifession, (my version of "Juliet"), is done! I'm quite pleased with it. All my modifications worked and the fit is good.

If you are interested in my custom changes they are as listed below:

I had to adjust all the stitch counts because I knit the pattern from worsted weight rather than bulky yarn.

I wanted the neckline to be narrower and higher than shown in the pattern so I started the neckline with the stitch count for a small and then kept increasing at the raglan shaping until I had the stitch count for a large. When complete I folded the front opening edges down to create a V-neck with “lapels” look.

Before starting the lace I increased evenly in the last row of garter stitch rather than in groups as stated in the pattern. I also increased way fewer stitches so it amounted to only a 10 to 15% increase.

I made the front garter edging 4 stitches and knit 6 rows of garter stitch for the bottom edging.

To prevent the sweater from hanging directly from the bust I stabilized and pulled in the under bust area by hand stitching a grosgrain ribbon inside just above the beginning of the lace.

For the button loops I used 3 strands of the yarn twisted together into a cord rather than the crocheted chain suggested in the pattern.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Apron In Action

Remember that apron I made a while back? Kaylen wore it for the first time today. We made S'mores and brownies.

The pattern is Simplicity # 3949 and comes in both children's and adult's sizes. I made Kaylen the child's medium.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blocking For Christmas

The granddaughters' portraits are done and they turned out beautifully. In celebration I am finally getting around to blocking some snowflake portrait ornaments I made for our Christmas tree. They're the three with the empty centre of course. When they are dry I will copy and shrink one of the pictures so that it fits the frames.

The two larger things blocking there are just motifs from a table cloth I once started. That was years ago and there are still only two so I have decided that they will live on as miniature doilies instead. The smallest little piece on the lower left will be a simple snowflake for our Christmas tree.

While I had the pins out I decided to block a garland I had embellished. No room on the blocking board for this one. It's 18 feet long! I'm blocking it on the carpet in the hallway.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sherwood Merino

100g of merino top from Aurelia Wool & Weaving spun into a 2 ply of about fingering weight. The colour is "Sherwood".

My plan is to eventually use the yarn as trim for a vest knit from this yarn.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Essential Dissapointment

Outrageous sock yarn failure!

My daughter knit these socks from "Knitpicks Essential" yarn (now renamed "Stroll Sock Yarn"). She has only worn them a few times. Each time she has worn them they have formed huge pilling masses like this within a few hours. By the end of the day she can pull an entire wad of loose fibre from the bottom of her sock.

What a heartbreaking failure! They were nice socks.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Garter Raglan Yoke

Progress on the "Juliet" cardigan. I've completed the yoke shaping and cast off for the underarms. It's fitting perfectly so far.

I plan to knit another 4.5" of garter stitch before beginning the lace section.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Spindle Spun Laceweight

Not sure what this will become, likely something from one of my lace books, but until I get a few other projects finished up around here it will have to mellow in my "stash".

50/50 Silk/merino, 2 ply, fine laceweight. 2 singles from different but related Fleece Artist colourways spun separately on my spindle and then plied together using my wheel.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

With Time To Spare

It's finished! It took most of the year, off and on, but I managed to get my granddaughter Kenzie's stocking done with two weeks to spare. That sewing project I mentioned yesterday? Well, that was the liner.

The Mary Maxim felt stocking kits do not include a liner, nor do they suggest making one, but anything that takes this much work needs a lining! A removable liner keeps the fuzz off the candy and the elaborate outer stocking safely tucked away while the toddler is free to drag around their haul in the washable, drawstring, inner liner.

Sorry about the sideways orientation of this next picture. Blogger just will not leave it upright no matter how many times I correct it in my camera program. Anyway, from top. . . . . .

. . . . . . to bottom, inside and out, it's all done now. *Whew*

Edited to add: Just noticed that there was still a small sewing pin stuck in the upper end of Frosty's scarf. That's now been safely removed! The new fringe was a last minute addition. The original fringe was rather fragile and wore away bit by bit while I was working on the rest of the stocking. It's nicely repaired now but I think it will always be a weak spot prone to wear and may disintegrate as the years go by.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ready For Baking

I went on a sewing spree today and finished up two small projects. I've been planning this first one for a while. In fact, the pieces have all been cut out since the day after I purchased the fabric. . . . . .which was at least a month ago.

It's a toddler sized apron for a little Chef that I hope will assist me with my Christmas baking. Sometime around the first of December you might just see a picture of the apron modelled and "in action".

The second item I sewed today will be the subject of tomorrow's post. I'll give you a hint: It's the final step of a project I've been working on sporadically throughout the year.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


1 pound of Romney 3ply, approximately worsted weight, spun from top won as a door prize at a local spinning day.

I know many spinners prefer spinning coloured wool, especially some of the pretty and varied hand-painted ones, but I dunno, there is something about a nice plain, squishy, soft wool that I just love.

And besides, just think of the potential. It's like a blank canvas just waiting for further creativity! I can leave it plain like this, dye it a solid colour, have fun doing the hand-painting myself, or perhaps even dye the finished knitting or weaving when I am through. Such potential!

Saturday, November 07, 2009


I have a confession to make; work on the ultra fine gauge Perseverance Cardigan has come to a grinding halt while I get in some quick gratification.

This will also be a cardigan, also for me, but this time done top down with worsted weight yarn on much larger needles. It will be the longer version of "Juliet".

Monday, November 02, 2009

From the Same Batch

A week ago I showed you the fingerless mitts I made from handspun. I still had a lot of that particular batch of spinning left so I also made this:

It's a cowl based on the Spiral Cowl pattern by Keri McKiernan. I made some important changes but the basic idea is the same. I cast on more stitches (150) so that it would be a bit longer. The pattern seemed a bit snug on some of the Ravelry members, more like a turtleneck, and I wanted it long enough to fold over.

I used the eyelet pattern and picot edge from Suzie's Reading Mitts, a pattern by Janell Masters, and left the centre area plain so that all the design features would match the mitts.

I still have a bit of this handspun left over......another Panta perhaps?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Done In a Day

Was I knitting obsessively all day, or were these just an ultra quick knit?

Probably a bit of both! I cast on for the first fingerless mitt at about 2 pm yesterday and sewed in the last end of the second mitt at the stroke of midnight. Somewhere in there I did make supper and clean up afterward, but yeah, I knit most of the afternoon and evening.

Still, that seemed a very quick project.

I knit these up in my own chain plyed handspun. The halfbred top in the "black allsorts" colourway was purchased from Aurelia Wool and Weaving. The fingerless mitt pattern is "Suzie's Reading Mitts".

Black Allsorts

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cuter Than He Looks

Unfortunately I'm having trouble getting a good picture of the Gnome. He's really quite a charmer in person!

Perhaps he's camera shy?
The pattern is Yuletide Gnomes (Jultomtar & Teeny Tomte) by Alan Dart, and I made this one up in my own handspun, except for the beard of course, which is fun fur.

The pattern requires a lot of tedious sewing up which initially peeved me, but who knows, he's so cute perhaps I will make another one some day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Packages In The Snow

Further work on my granddaughter's stocking. I love the little 3D bows on the packages tucked in the snow. Not much left to do now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spinning Batts

Still working toward having all the handspun to knit up a Gnome. I dug through the fibre stash and came up with this batt. It was originally a commercially dyed merino top that I found too compact. I ran it through my drum carder quite some time ago. Much of it was used in a blend with other fibres, but I had this bit left over.

I spun all 65g that remained into a 2ply. It might work for the gnome, but I won't know until I try a swatch. It looks a bit thinner than I had hoped for.

I also spun up all 65g of a batt of Lincoln that I received as a door prize at a spin-in. It too is a contender for the gnome, but looks about the same weight as the merino. Perhaps they will both end up being used, but in separate gnomes?