Friday, November 20, 2015

Cowl count down to Christmas

 
In conjunction to this years New Years Resolution, I have decided to finally try and de-stash my hoarding closet full of yarn!  It has taken 10 months to finally start this resolution - although better late than never and I'm actually feeling accomplished!  My mission was to find 1 skein of lonely yarn and match it with the ideal pattern.  This is a project in itself!  However, I think I found the right patterns and I know that I have the right yarn. 
 
So Christmas gift #2 is......
Pattern:  Purl Bee, The Classic Cowl
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/classic-cowl-4
Since I only had 1 skein, I cast on just enough stitches to work in the round on the long needles that I had.  I believe I cast on 168 sts.  This is a Brioche stitch which is slow moving but I love it.  I used every last inch of this Rabbit Angora yarn.  Cost of this cowl, approx. $18.

 Yarn:  Aslan Trends, Invernal
I love this yarn - mainly because Rabbit Angora is scrumptious and a luxury fiber.
It barely double wraps but on a cold blustery day, this turtleneck like cowl will keep you warm!  This gift is for my 15 year old who is into the camouflage green and wears infinity cowls well.  If she doesn't like it, I get it!

Christmas Gift #3
Super easy 4 round repeat
 Yarn:  Cotton Fleece by Brown Sheep Yarns
I used this yarn because this gift is for my 1st born who seems to have skin sensitivity to just about everything itchy!  This cotton fleece is soft, squishy and has no itch. 
Feeling accomplished!
Once again, I only had 1.5 skeins of this yarn.  I cast on the 240 sts as the pattern states and I just knit until I ran out of yarn.  It is approx. 6.5" wide where as the pattern calls for 10" wide.  I don't think the extra width matters.  What matters is that I de-stashed again!  Woohoo! 

Heading back into the yarn closet to find some more loner skeins......

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Knitting fingers on fire for Christmas this year!

There has been some years where I knit up a storm for Christmas (like the time I decided that all 15 of my nieces and nephews needed new ski hats for Christmas -- and the thought came to me on December 1st!) while other years (like the past 3 teen years) where I didn't knit a single gift.  I miss the busy knitting fingers.  I miss the late night knit nights trying to finish in time.  I miss the constant reminder of who I am knitting for and how much they'll love it. 

So this year, in conjunction with my New Years Resolution to downsize my yarn stash, I decided to rummage through my personal LYS closet and see what I can't use up.  I made a mess doing it but ended up finding 7 different skeins of yarn for 4 projects.  4 hats, 2 infinity cowls and 1 pair of socks.

Next, I cruised the Ravelry pattern pages trying to marry partial skeins with patterns.  Huge success in minimal wasted time.

So this seasons series will be on my Christmas Creations using existing stash (which also means free gifts!)

 

Project 1:  Tally's Hunter Rain Boot Socks.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-woodcutters-daughter

Yarn:  1 skein of Cascade Eco-Wool

Needles:  US 10


Seriously excited about these and super quick and fun to create. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Souvenirs to last a lifetime

I find myself feeling overwhelmed with sentimental souvenirs from my many travels over the past 30 years.  I can't seem to throw them away - it's as if I am throwing away the memories from that trip.  For example, I have a black mask that I purchased in Venice, Italy in 1982 that I can't seem to let go of.  I had a Swiss clock from Switzerland and a Norwegian hand knit sweater from Norway that I have also been lugging around since 1982.  None of it goes with my d├ęcor these days and the sweater is small, itchy and has a hole in it.  Those are my oldest souvenirs, I still have all of the mugs and trinkets from the other 30 trips since 1982. 

So this past month, I changed my souvenir shopping to a whole new approach.  I now only buy local foods (honey, coffee, chocolates....) to savor when I get home and YARN! 

 

Yarn will last a life time - good quality yarn, anyway.  This one, although very spendy ($40!) is from Wyoming.  I'm not sure what hand pulled Bison is but I'm in love with the Bison here and had to have some of  their fiber.  It's local, supporting 2 small businesses - the indie fiber company and the local yarn shop where I purchased it. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

My big bad girls weekend away

Even though I turned 50 almost 11 months ago, I finally had my girls spa weekend away with my best friend of nearly 40 years.  Our intention was to hike, do a few spa treatments, eat some healthy organic food and celebrate our accomplishments to date.  Knitting was not supposed to be part of the trip aside from a few rows here and there while in flight. 
 
However, keeping in tradition, I thought I better knit on a few red rocks in between catching my breathe and enjoying the views. 
 
And of course, there is nothing more exciting than literally falling upon a yarn shop or two!  One, happened to be literally across the street from our hotel.  I couldn't have planned that if I had tried! 
 
The other one was in Jerome, Arizona http://www.knit1bead2.com/
 
and I was just peeping into store front windows when I fell upon my 2nd yarn shop. 
Both had a little something that I needed which completely fulfilled my trip and treasures.
 
I have another adventure about to happen this weekend and I have already been told that there is at least 1 if not 2 wonderful yarn shops in the area.  Stay tuned.......
 
 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mink and Cashmere come together!


Modeled by my niece, Elizabeth
 
You haven't knit until you have knit with mink and cashmere combined!  This duo set will make you happy from the time you cast on to the time you wear them.  Every last inch of this precious yarn is used to make the 2 projects out of 1 skein of yarn.
 
Meribel by Mink.com (70% mink, 30% cashmere in DK weight)
Yarn may be purchased at Rainy Day Yarns in Gig Harbor, WA http://rainydayyarns.com/location/
and also available on-line at www.Minkyarn.com
 

buttons by www.abbeyyarns.com
Both projects are knit in the flat using simple stitch patterns that compliment the yarn.  The faux cable is just that, not a cable but it looks like one.  The fingerless glovettes are also knit in the flat so that every last inch of yarn can be utilized! 
 

Pattern available soon ....

just lining up my test knitters and tech editor!


Monday, August 12, 2013

This is what makes me smile....

As a designer, I rarely hear where my design ideas go, who gets them, who likes them, who even finishes them and who gets touched by them.  Well, I just received a heart warming email today that pretty much summed up what I was hoping for.  This is what makes me smile.....

Quote:

I just wanted to share a great story with you.  A friend of my daughter recently had a health crisis & like so many people nowadays he has no health insurance.  It was decided to have a fund raising auction for him.  A lot of different gift baskets & other creative things were put in a silent auction.  My daughter asked me if I could make something for the auction.  Since she is not a crafter, she does not realize that a week is not much time to come up with something spectacular (they think that these things are done in days not weeks or months). I remembered your Child's Ruffled Hat pattern.  I was able to get it done in time but rather than the silent auction it was decided to have a raffle. They sold 50 tickets at $10 each so that little hat raised $500 for a good cause.   That hat pattern is one of my favorites & now I know why.      Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful ideas.      PS  I bought that pattern from the Allyn Yarn Shop.

End Quote.

 

What a lovely lady for not only her kind words but for the time and commitment she made to the auction and to a person in a time of need. 


                               http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/ruffled-childs-hat--mittens

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oh yea, I do have a blog

I have been so inundated in magazine deadlines that  I totally forgot that I even had a blog.  I have come to realize that this isn't my strong suit anyways.  So what do you do....delete the entire blog, keep it barely floating or learn to like it and use it like a diary?  The other thing I don't quite get is how people manage to photograph EVERY part of their knitting project, post it and write beautiful exerts on it while keeping up with the knitting and everyday life! 

So I was asked by Fibers Etc. to create a simple cowl that anyone can knit.  It had to use 1 skein of yarn (that was the easy part!) and it had to be unique (that was the clencher!).  You do realize that there are about 5,000 cowls on the market - right?  How many ways can you knit a circle that wraps around your neck?  I found this request almost mind boggling.  I am no Cat Bordhi where I can concoct new techniques and apply her mathematical mind. 

I must have sat for hours at a time just staring at the yarn.  I finally found a stitch pattern that I liked.  It is a reversible stitch that gave nice texture to the yarn.  I decided to just start knitting in the flat and see what might follow.  Once I got the length that I was looking for, I decided to finish it with a 3 needle bind off to see how it fit.  The fit was perfect but now I had a seam to cover.  That is where the idea came about to pick up sts along the bind off and knit a flap that would cover the seam and at the same time give the cowl some depth and texture.  I seamed the flap down and added a button for a final touch.  I am thrilled with the outcome.  It's an easy knit, it's a bulky knit that knits up in a day and it's like no other cowl out there - now that is amazing!  Sometimes I even surprise myself!
Pattern sells for $1.99 on Ravelry and yarn goes for around $10.  Gotta love that!

Baby alpaca and bamboo create a luxuriously soft yarn with a lovely drape made in a chunky weight with chainette construction. Chalet looks great knit at a wide variety of gauges and textures

 
http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/classic-elite-yarns-mountaintop-chalet
 




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I'm a mother of 2 girl's, 12 and 15, a wife of 21 years and an obsessed knitter. I'm an avid gardener and cook.