Starting Coraline

April 11, 2010

I haven’t knit a sweater in a very long time  – in fact, its been about a year and a half since I finished Cobblestone.  I can’t believe its been so long – I’ve wanted to make sweaters but they just seem to take forever, and to be honest, I don’t think they ever fit well, so I think that I avoided the whole issue by focusing on shawls and socks and little projects.    But in the last few months, I have felt the urge more and more and I decided that I’ll never learn how to make them if I never try – and so I picked a pattern, bought some yarn and started Coraline.

The first thing I had to do was learn a new provisional cast on – I’ve done them in the past for shawls but generally its just a couple of stitches and no big deal.  Coraline started by casting on over 200 stitches and I was very intimidated by it.  But the pattern recommended a very good site with a video and other than getting my counting right (which is always the issue regardless of cast on method), it wasn’t bad at all.  The only thing I need to do differently next time is to loosen up a bit when I do it – some of the stitches were a little tight.  Very nice cast on –  much easier than I expected.  Here is a shot of the sweater with the provisional cast on just waiting for me to pull it.

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The reason for the provisional cast on is that you create a folded hem – it seemed to take forever for me to knit the hem but I finally got it done on Friday, and I’ve been clipping along on the sweater ever since. 

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Isn’t that hem nice?  I am really enjoying this project  – the yarn is just amazing to work with (Serena by Manos Del Uruguay) and its one of those projects where I stop ever little bit to just look at it and enjoy how it looks.  The colorway is slightly variegated – I’m not sure you can see it but its a very light blue with small bits of white.  Very pretty, very spring/summer. 

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My tension is a little uneven but I am hoping that blocking helps it even out.  I don’t know why its uneven – I think my knit tension is tighter than my purl.  I was thinking about why that is and I think it’s because I knit more than I purl – socks in the round have very little purling, and although the shawls I do have purling on the wrong side, I don’t think tension is important or apparent.  But for this it is – I think it will be ok – but I have to admit to a little worry about it.   But I’m enjoying the sweater, and I’m already thinking about the next one I’d like to make – maybe Featherweight Cardigan?

I took a spontaneous day off on Friday (well, it was spontaneous on Thursday when I decided that I had enough for the week), and had a really nice day off – and it was the start of a very nice weekend.    A little golf, a little shopping, a lot of eating out and a lot of down time too.   I’m going to be sorry when I’m out of vacation days in October, but sometimes you just have to play hookey, right?  The nicest thing is that I’m scheduled to take next Friday off too – Thursday is Larry’s birthday so we planned on taking Friday off to go play golf.  It may rain, so I’m not 100% sure, but the thought of two short weeks is sort of nice! 

OK  – I’m off – but before I go, I thought I’d share with you why I’ll be stalking the mailbox this week – I’m hoping these come in soon!

Have a good week!

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Traveling Woman

April 4, 2010

I thought I’d start this post with a little sweet

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Doesn’t that look good?  Cieara and I made carrot cake cupcakes today (with cream cheese frosting of course!) and Cieara piped some carrots on them.  I have to admit – everyone in the house already sneaked one.  They are very good, and I’m looking forward to having another one later. 

Want to see something else sweet?

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I finished it last week, but finally got it blocked today.   And really – what a perfect shawl for spring! 

Pattern:  Traveling Woman
Yarn:  Top Cat by Wandering Cat Yarns, Aurora colorway
Started:  March 16, 2010
Finished:  March 30, 2010 (well, blocked on April 4, 2010)

This is a great pattern – very simple, very easy, very fast.  Just what I need sometimes in between bigger projects.  Another very easy, great as a first time lace project.   I like the stockinette portion, and I think the lace piece is a little different from other small shawlettes so it kept my interest, and I enjoyed working it.  This was commute knitting – so you know it wasn’t complicated. 

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The yarn is a cashmere/merino blend and I have to say – it was fantastic!  I loved working with it, and couldn’t wait to pick it up.  It is so soft that it would make wonderful baby clothes or blankets (if you think that a cashmere/merino blend would be good for a baby!).    I couldn’t resist this colorway when I saw it – it’s just perfect for this time of year – spring colors – a few different soft pinks with yellow.   Just so nice to see and use after such a long dark winter.    I’m struggling a little with wearing this – I don’t typically wear pastel colors, but I think I’m going to branch out a little and do it.  Because this colorway just is so beautiful that it will make me happy to wear it  – and make me remember that its nice outside when I’m stuck inside working.    I love this yarn too – I’ll be stalking the Wandering Cat shop for more  –  highly recommend!

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All in all, another succesful knit.    Fast, interesting pattern, wonderful yarn.  What’s not to like!

We have been really busy this last week – the room got painted, and we had a bit of a time cleaning up after the painter (he’s cheap but so sloppy – not sure we’ll use him again).  The room looks beautiful and we are starting to get things back in.    I’ll have some pictures to show you once we get it a little further along, but wow – there is nothing better than going to sleep in a room that makes you happy!     

We took the dogs for a walk today in a preserve right across the street from us (very convenient!).  They had such a great time – they are so happy that its nice again, and that we are back to fun walks.  There is a lake in the preserve and Penny ran right in up to her belly (we don’t think she realized how deep it was) – we had one dirty dog on our hands!    I didn’t care though – it was so good to be out in the sun and be moving.   Isn’t it amazing how good Spring feels?

I’ve been working on Coraline – I’m still working on the hem, but I should be finished with that shortly and then onto the body of the sweater.  I needed some commute knitting so I started a project today with the silk/cashmere that I picked up visiting my mother.    I’m having a hard time putting it away in my knitting bag  and saving it for my commute – amazing yarn!

OK, I’m off – have a wonderful week and enjoy Spring!


Socks and stuff

March 20, 2010

Thanks for all the nice comments and wishes about my 4 year blog anniversary!  I thought I better get the giveaway over first before the rest of my blog post – so without further ado…the winner (picked by Random.org) of the Wandering Cat Yarn certificate is….Lorraine!  Lorraine – I know you just posted about having too many choices…but hopefully you won’t mind picking just a little more yarn! 

I finished up a couple of projects this week – yes, I finally finished Citron!  I haven’t blocked it yet, so it will get its own post when its ready, but I thought I’d show you the socks I finished.

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Pattern:  Basic Gusset Heel Toe Up Socks (Wendy Johnson pattern)
Yarn:  Poems Sock by Wisdom Yarns, colorway 952
Started:  January 26, 2010
Finished:  March 19, 2010

OK, first off – these took forever.  I have to admit that I really love the colorway, and the color changes.  I love the pattern – just a basic stockinette sock.   I love the fabric of the yarn – these are superwash but just very wooly feeling.  Very perfect winter socks (just in time for the first day of Spring!).  But I hated knitting with the yarn.  It’s a single ply and extremely splitty.   I can’t tell you how many times I had to tink a stitch back because I had knit with half of the yarn.  So although I like the finished product, I don’t think I’d use the yarn again. 

I also screwed up the cast off on the second one – I used a cast off I found on Knitting Daily  – Version A – I usually do a sewn cast off for toe up socks but that takes forever so I thought I’d try something new.  I thought I did the same cast off on the first one (I really should start keeping notes on projects) – but if so I messed up the second and they are really hard to get on.  I thought (briefly) about ripping it back and doing it again – but I’ve spent almost two months with these socks and I think I’m done – I just can’t bear to spend any more time on them.  Poor Larry – he’ll be fighting to get them on from now on!

Since I finished the socks, I had to start new commute knitting.  I’m really sort of tired of socks, so I started a Traveling Woman with my Wandering Cat Yarn Top Cat – this yarn is so amazing!  So soft, so pretty – I’m enjoying every minute of the knit.   And the colors are perfect for Spring! (I think this would be a cute colorway/yarn for a baby sweater)

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I didn’t get a lot done on this shawl this week because I haven’t been commuting – I came home sick on Thursday and stayed home yesterday too – just a cold but so irritating that I’m sick.  I don’t get sick often so when I do I just hate it – I have to admit to being a little whiny.  So instead of getting my work done, and having knitting time on the train, and golfing on the first day of spring, I’ve been stuck inside – sleeping, coughing and sneezing (and whining). 

But last night Larry gave me a gift to make me feel better (he really has amazing timing!)

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He bought me a Hiya Hiya project bag from The Loopy Ewe.  He really is a great guy, isn’t he?  The bag is beautiful – I’ve been wanting it for months and every time they restock I drool over it.   The fabric is gorgeous, and the handle is part of the zipper and it just so cute!  And its the perfect size for a small project…

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Isn’t that nice?  It’s so well made and the little pocket is a nice touch.  Thanks, Larry!

I’m starting to feel a little better tonight and hope that I’m over the worst of this cold.  Tomorrow we are starting to clean out our room – the painter is coming a week from Monday and we have to have everything out of there (including all the closets).  Yikes!  I moved all my yarn out today – and that was enough to make me take a two-hour nap.    I can’t wait to get the room done – it’s going to be so nice.    I still have to buy new curtains and all that but I’ll get there.   Cleaning out the room has made me realized how cluttered it was – we are not going to be putting everything back in, and I’m hoping to figure out a way to keep it simple.   

OK, I’m off – we are watching New Moon tonight (I know, embarrassing but I loved the books!) and Larry and I made a crumb cake (3.5 sticks of butter – so unhealthy – but so good!) to eat while watching the movie.    I think I’ll knit the shawl too – I’m going to start the sweater tomorrow, but for tonight I think I’ll keep it simple.   I don’t want my stuffy head to lead to a bad start on the first sweater I’ve made in years!

Have a good weekend!


Love the one you are with…errr..or the one that’s new

January 31, 2010

I have a terrible tendancy to love the very last thing I’ve seen or bought.  I intend to make things, buy yarn for the project, and yet that yarn hasn’t seen the light of day in years.  Why?  Becasue before I can start that pattern with that amazing yarn – I’ve seen another pattern or yarn that I had have – and so I push the first one aside, get everything I need to  for the new project….and then my wandering attention sees something else…and then I start the whole process over.  Case in point:

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Sure, I have a pair of socks on the needles.  And yes, I also have a shawl that I have to get done.  And the other shawl that I’d like to finish.  Or the fair isle vest.   I have 53 sock patterns in my Ravelry queue.  I have 112 different types of fingering weight yarn in my stash. But the blue yarn – so pretty!  New!  Had to see how it knit up!  And there I go, starting a new project (just a basic toe up) , with a new yarn….while all the beautiful yarn in the stash sits and waits in the dark.    And you know, I think its time I started to do something a little different.

Today, I’m going to be going through my stash.  All of it (sigh).  I am going to look at every skein I have and make sure I have it posted in Ravelry.  I’m going  to ask myself if I ever will use this yarn (there are some I know I won’t – for example, I have a KnitPicks Fair Isle cardi kit that I know I’ll never make).  That yarn will be posted on Ravelry for destash.   For the yarns I’m going to keep, I’m going to pull out those yarns or patterns that I want to make this year.  Sort of like the Personal Sock club – but not limited to socks.  I’m going to put the pattern and yarn in a freezer bag (so I can see what it is – I hated not knowing what I got last year and I think its why I stopped doing it – you have to be in the mood to make certain things!) and put it on my shelf.  And I will commit to making them this year.  I’ll still going to make the impulsive, spur of the moment projects with the yarn I just bought, but this way I’ll finally use that yarn to make that shawl that I planned to do 3 years ago.    So I’m not going to have 100 bags – I was thinking 12 projects – shawls, mittens, hats, sweaters, scarves and of course socks.  The top 12 patterns that I’ll be very happy to finally do.  I can’t even tell you what they are at this point (well, Citron with Madelinetosh Prairie is one), but I know they are all amazing projects.  Since I’m a little late starting this, I’ll have  to get two done in one month along the way but that should be ok, and I’m not worried.  I know I had a lot of fingerless gloves and hats I wanted to make and those don’t take long. 

So there you go – that’s my plan to manage some of my stash, and to stop the feeling that I don’t really accomplish a lot in my knitting.  I can’t wait to dig in and see what I’m going to put in my bags.   I’ve been sort of blah about knitting lately – which is why things are taking so long to finish – and I’m hoping this helps me jump start it.  I do know that I need to spend a little less time on Ravelry, and a little more time knitting. 

I had the experience of participating in someone else’s crafting obsession yesterday.  My sister started quilting a year or so ago, and she’s obsessed by it – she makes the most beautiful quilts, and she is so passionate about it.   She’s made me a couple of table runners in the past but nothing big.  I was telling her a few months ago that Larry and I are going to redo our room, she offered to make me a quilt.  So yesterday we went to her quilting store and picked out materials and a pattern.  What an amazing place!  It  was really crowded, and had so many beautiful quilt samples and all that fabric!  Overwhelming!  I had the paint chips of the paints we are going to use – and someone from the store helped us put it all together.  She had me start with one bolt of fabric that I loved, and then she helped build the quilt – we ended up picking 15 fabrics.  It was so much fun – and so hard!  I think picking yarn is so much easier.  I wish I had taken a picture of the fabrics – but I just didn’t think of it.   We are planning on getting the room all done by May/June so she has some time, but I’m so excited about it and hope she starts soon so I can see how the fabrics come together – I think its going to beautiful and I’m thrilled she’s making this for me.    It was funny, though, to be in another crafting store and listen to the people be just as excited and passionate about their craft as knitters are. 

OK, I better go – I have to go grocery shopping and Larry is sitting here staring at me.  Guess that’s a sign he’s ready to leave.    Have a great Sunday, keep warm, and check out my Destash page later today – you never know what I’m going to let go!


Rushing by

January 23, 2010

Doesn’t it just seem like time is just rushing by?  I can’t believe its almost the end of January!  Where did this month go? 

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We took a break from reality last weekend, and went up to Vermont for the long weekend.  We had an amazing time – it is so good to get away from real life sometimes, isn’t it?  We stayed at the nicest B&B, The Maple Leaf Inn (look at that snow!  We got more the day we left – so pretty!).  I would highly recommend it – the rooms were gorgeous, the service was outstanding and the food – wow!  I keep on asking Larry where my three course breakfasts are now….but I don’t think I’ll be getting those anytime soon at home!   While we were up there, we did a little shopping, ate a lot of good food, and took a class in making bagels at King Arthur Flour.  The class was so much fun, and we made bagels that …looked like bagels!  And tasted like bagels!   Larry and I have been doing more and more baking (ok, well, Larry has been doing most of it) and we want to do it together – sometimes its very easy to get caught up in our different lives and activities and we are going to use baking together to make sure we regularly spend some time together doing something fun and relaxing.   

We really had a good time, and loved Vermont.  It was so quiet and peaceful where we stayed, and the area was just beautiful.  Very rural, and we didn’t have cell signal most of the time (which was sort of nice).  People in Vermont were really friendly.  What is up with that?  I’m from NJ – people just don’t say hello to you for no apparent reason!  It took me a day to stop being startled by it – and to respond with a friendly hello back rather than a suspicious “hello…?”.    Sort of funny how the NY/NJ “don’t make eye contact, or talk to people you don’t know” thing is so ingrained. 

Of course, since I can’t just go somewhere and not check out a yarn store – we went to the Whippletree yarn store in Woodstock, VT.  Very cute store, really friendly people (and a dog!  A big dog!  Every store up there had big dogs!  Dogs that would eat Penny as an appetizer!).  Anyway, really a very nice yarn store – one of those yarn stores that you wish were your yarn store because it looks so nice and a great place to sit and knit.  I didn’t get anything though (I’m still kicking myself in the ass – they had a really pretty sock yarn – and I can’t remember the name of it…sigh) because I had gone to a yarn store the day before and bought a little bit.

What yarn store did I go to?  Webs!  We went on Friday, on the way to Vermont, and I’m so glad we did.  I’ve wanted to go to Webs for a long time, but its a little bit of a drive so I’ve never done it.   My initial impression was that it was a lot smaller than I expected.  The front store is big – but not bigger than some stores I’ve been to.   Nothing amazing – at first.  The warehouse is big, but I didn’t get anything in it – I didn’t see anything that I really liked and to me – it was full of the type of yarn that I bought when I first started knitting – sort of meh yarns at cheap prices.   Updated – I thought about what I wrote while I was taking a shower this morning – and I had to correct myself.   The warehouse isn’t full of meh yarn – it actually had nice yarn.   But it had packs of yarn – and the majority was for sweaters.  I typically don’t buy a lot of yarn for sweaters unless I know what sweater I’m going to make.  So I tend to skip over things like that – I don’t buy 2000 yards of worsted on a whim.  So to be fair to the warehouse – if I had been looking for larger quantities of yarn, I would have found something – and probably would have received a great price.  I mean, you could have opened the packs to get a ball – but it was just sort of plain vanilla yarn.  OK, I’m going to let this go because I sense at least two more incoherent paragraphs about this. 

I picked up a couple of things in the front store, but I was really sort of disappointed  – they really didn’t have a huge selection – so weird since they have a lot online.  I mentioned it to Larry and pointed something out to me.  I’m not going to explain this well, but hopefully you will get what I mean.  In most yarn stores, the yarn in the wall or cubby is all the same – and typically they have the same type of yarn in the cubby’s all around it.  So most stores I’ve gone to have Cascade 220 in different shelves/cubbys all around each other.    So you see Cascade 220, and you don’t necessarily think that the yarn in the shelve right under it will be anything but that.  But at Webs it was.  So I was skipping over shelves because I thought it was more of the same yarn – but it was different yarn.  I said to Larry that it was weird that they didn’t have Madelintosh worsted since they had sock and lace – he said “oh, here it is”  – and I had looked at the shelf but just blew by it becasue I thought it was something else.  So you have to look very carefully at Webs!  In the end, there was so much yarn there that I just got sort of overwhelmed by it.    I probably could have spent another hour there but we wanted to get back on the road (we left late so we were at Webs late in the afternoon). 

But I’m pretty happy with my purchases – and the 25% discount was outstanding!  I had forgotten all about that – which is good because I probably would have gotten a little bit more (I really wanted to buy Pearl by Lorna’s Laces – so pricey, so beautiful!). So what did I get?

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Row 1:  Berroco Lustra (to make a Springtime Bandit for me), Malabrigo Sock in Stonechat
Row 2:  Trekking Hand Art in Tundra, Madelinetosh Prairie in  Thunderstorm
Row 3:  Poem Sock, Socks that Rock Lightweight in Gingerbread Dude

These have been sitting in a bag waiting for me to blog/upload to Ravelry.  As I was pulling them out of the bag this morning I fell in love with them all over again.  All of them are so pretty – its going to be hard to resist casting on with all of them.   Larry picked out the Trekking and Poem yarn for socks for him – he’s lost several pairs lately to holes so I think I’ll start something for him next – but I can’t wait to use the other ones.  There just isn’t enough time in the day to do all the knitting, use all the yarn, that I want to do.    I’m thinking of Citron with the Prairie – and I may be starting that as soon as I finish my mother’s shawl (almost there on that – I hope to get it done this weekend!)

OK, I should get going – I have a busy day.  Some errands this morning, and then I have knitting group this afternoon, and after lunch with the group, I may be heading across the street to see a knitting exhibit at a local art museum.    I’m looking forward to knitting group – hopefully I’ll finish a sock so I can start a new pair (I’m only finishing the first sock but I decided to take a break and start some new ones and go back and do the second one later – sometimes you just need a break, right?)

Have a great weekend, and I hope yours involves a little yarn!


Happy New Year (just a little late)!

January 10, 2010

My last post was on December 30  – I don’t think I’ve ever taken such a long break!  So I’ll start off with a little belated Happy New Year!  We had a busy New Year’s Eve, a very quiet New Year’s Day.  This holiday season went so fast this year – seemed like it just flew by – and yet, I was ready to get back to normal by last Monday.  I love the holidays, and enjoyed this year’s  – but I am pretty happy living in my scheduled, routine world and miss it when I’m out of it! 

So although this is a little late, and you are probably tired of reading resolution posts, I want to share my knitting goals for 2010.  I always do, and its something that I refer back to at the end of the year.   I had one undone goal from 2009 – to knit a fair isle sweater.  I am going to carry this one over for 2010.  I have the vest started and need to just get back to it and do it.  

I was going to have a stash goal for 2010 – not crazy enough to say that I won’t buy yarn, but I was thinking of doing the “for every skein I buy, I have to use two out of the stash” thing.  I do want to use my stash – I have a lot of great yarn, and I tend to use the last yarn I bought rather than looking through stash.  But really – who am I kidding?  I wouldn’t do this – I’m not even sure I’d make it out of January without blowing this one.  And then I read Denise’s blog  post on resolutions  –  and I agree –  I like buying yarn, it makes me happy – so no resolution to stop doing that!

My mother visited us over the holidays.  She’s going to be 90 next week, and has been knitting since she was a very little girl.  She was taught by her grandmother, who always had knitting in her hand.   My mother taught me to knit a few years ago – she was so excited that she was sharing something she loved with me.   She is a passionate knitter  – I knew she loved knitting but I didn’t realize how much until this visit.  We were sitting and knitting and she told me about a technique she had seen at her LYS.  It was double knitting  – and she was so excited about it that she bought the book and swatched a little square to see how it was done.   Listening to her, and hearing how excited she was to find a new technique I realized that my 90 year old mother is more adventurous than I am when it comes to knitting.    She has macular degeneration, and her eye sight is starting to get in the way of her knitting.  She can’t knit with fine yarn anymore, and it really makes her sad – she doesn’t knit as much as she used to and she really misses it.  But still  – she was watching me do socks and wants to learn to do them toe up.    So my only other goal for knitting this year is to be a little more fearless and step out of my knitting comfort zone more.  In knitting, just as in my life, I really get stuck on routines, and doing things the way I always do them.  I use one cast on, two cast off, one heel.  And yet – sometimes when I’m forced out of my narrow little knitting world, it really is wonderful!  I was stuck on doing socks cuff down for years – and yet when I started doing toe up this year, I found that I love doing them this way – and now don’t like to do them any other way (new rut!).  So I need to push myself to pick projects and patterns that are different, use techniques that I don’t know, and that challenge me.  In short, be a little bit more like my mother!

Speaking of my mother, and turning 90 – I started the Springtime Bandit shawl for her birthday – I’m using Malabrigo Sock (Velvet Grapes colorway).  I love this pattern!  I really think its nice – very hard to photograph in this colorway.  I know you are sitting there thinking “I need to stop reading this blog – her projects are really ugly!  I swear it is so much nicer in person.  (Look at this version done in the same colorway if you’d like to see why I chose it!)

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I wasn’t able to knit on it while she was visiting us, so I am not going to make the birthday deadline  – I finished the body on Friday, and just need to do the edging.  But I am not taking the train next week and have to drive in to work, so I won’t have my normal knitting time.  I finally accepted that I won’t have it done for her birthday – so she’ll get flowers and a promise and I’ll get it to her within a week or two.  Anyway, great pattern and I think I’ll make one for me this year. 

I needed a project to knit while she was here since she wouldn’t believe I didn’t have anything on the needles.    I wanted something that didn’t require a lot of attention.    So of course – socks.

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This is Lacey Rib from Socks from the Toe Up, and the yarn is Lorna’s Laces.  I think I should have done a smaller cast on to make it stripe and not pool – but was too lazy to rib them back.  And they are for my sister and she didn’t seem to mind the pooling, so I just kept going.  Love this yarn, though. 

I took a complete break over the holidays while my mother was visiting and wasn’t online.  It was really sort of nice – no email, Facebook, Ravelry or blogs.  I spent the time knitting, spending time with my family, eating, watching movies, playing games.  It was a nice break and a nice way to start the year.  But that means I’m completely behind on blogs – I’m catching up now, and its so much fun to read everyone’s holiday posts and see what you are all up to! 

I have a really busy week ahead of me, but then I have a long weekend – Monday is a holiday here in the US, and I took Friday off.   I know – what does that say that I’m taking days off already so early in the year?  But I have a good reason – and that reason, in part, may be a trip to Webs!  See why I didn’t want to set any limits on stash buying?  Have you been there?  Any advice?  I’m very excited about it – I have wanted to go for a long time and it just came together for next weekend.

OK, well, I suppose that I should wrap this up and get going.  Have a great week!


Wrapping up

December 30, 2009

I just can’t believe that it is the end of the year – this year went so fast – as I get older, I’ve noticed that time just goes so much faster – what is up with that?  I swear it was just August! 

I’m off work today through next Monday – a nice little mini break.  My mother is visiting from California (she always comes when its 20 degrees here – I have never understood it!).   I’m looking forward to relaxing days of going to the movies, eating good food, seeing family, and lots of knitting.  I am working on Springtime Bandit and have finished three repeats of the body chart.  I’m hopeful that I’ll get this done in time to ship it out to California for her birthday on the 16th – I wish I could get it done in time to give it to her here but since I don’t want to knit it in front of her, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that.   I’m really enjoying the pattern – in fact, I may cast on for one for me when I’m done with hers – maybe in a nice DK weight. 

Now that all of my Christmas knitting has been gifted, I can show you what I made….(click on the picture to go to my Ravelry project page)

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It doesn’t seem like much, but this was the most Christmas knitting I’ve ever done, and I was really happy with all of the projects.  And I think the recipients were happy too!  And, you will be glad to know, I also finished one more

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Larry’s Christmas socks – made from some stash KnitPicks Swish worsted I had leftover in the stash.  I had to use a short row heel on these – my first – and they were so much easier to do than I expected.  I thought the heel was ok – sort of hole-y, but I think I’ll try this type again and see if practice helps make perfect.  I think it is good to have options when making socks – I get in a total rut and always do the toe, heel and cast off the same way. 

We really had a nice Christmas, and I enjoyed the family time.  I had a very yarn-y Christmas and received a lot of yarn as presents.  How nice is that?  I do think that giving Larry my Loopy Ewe wishlist was a good idea!    I got lots of Madelinetosh and Malabrigo – very very nice!

Well, its the end of 2009, and its been a good year – every life has its ups and downs, but overall, we got through 2009 without any major disasters or problems.  Everyone in the family is healthy, happy and safe and what else could I ask for?   We had a sad summer and said good bye to two of our family pets, but the bitter was offset by the sweet when we welcomed Penny to our family in October.   I think next year is going to be a big change year – two graduations, one new apartment (maybe more) and who knows what else!   Next year will be Larry and my 15th wedding anniversary and we are starting to talk about how to celebrate – my vote is for Hawaii!

Knitting wise, 2009 was an ok year – looking back on my projects, I realized I didn’t do any “big” projects – no sweaters or huge lace shawls.  I mostly did little projects – and I know that I haven’t been knitting as much as I had in previous years.     I’m not going to list them all of my FO’s here – if you’ve been reading for a while, I’ve already gone on an on about them.   But my absolute favorite project  was my first toe up socks – after years of not being able to “get” how to do toe up, Socks from the Toe Up changed all that, and now I don’t like to doing socks any other way.  Totally changed my knitting!

 My knitting goals for this year were to learn to do toe up socks and to knit a fair isle sweater.  I definitely did the first, but didn’t get too far on the second – my fair isle vest hasn’t been touched in months, and I recently decided to rip it back to the ribbing and restart it because its puckering too much.  But still  – not too bad on hitting my goals.    I also wanted to not stress about knitting, have a manageable number of WIPs and use my stash.  Again, I think I did really well on this part of my goal for 2009 – I really don’t stress about knitting anymore (except for the occasional shrieking when I drop stiches on a lace project!), and I have a pretty small number of WIPs right now with plans to finish them off in the next month or so.   Use my stash?  Well….I did use stash for a lot of my holiday projects, and for other projects during the year, but I know that I bought more than I used.  Hmmm….maybe this needs to be something I look at for next year!

Well, I suppose I should go get moving – so tempting to just stay here in my pajamas and watch movies all day and knit.  That really does sound good, doesn’t it?  But I have plans today, so I suppose people wouldn’t be happy if I just showed up in pajamas…

I want to thank you all for visiting with me here, and letting me get to know you through your comments and your blogs.    I hope you all have a very Happy New Year and that 2010 brings good luck, good yarn and happy knitting!